Here’s a very disturbing Opinion article from our own Jackson Sun. The 3rd pagagraph is the most disturbing. I just can’t help to think if this was challenged in court, these “on site” warrants with no judge or probably cause would be declared illegal and unconstitutional. This is exactly what the British were doing to the founding fathers and it is why they wrote the 4th amendment in the way they did. In that day they were called “writs of assistance“…..
In colonial America
General writs of assistance played an important role in the increasing tensions that led to the American Revolution and the creation of the United States of America. In 1760, Great Britain began to enforce some of the provisions of the Navigation Acts by granting customs officers these writs. In New England, smuggling had become common. However, officers could not search a person’s property without giving a reason. Colonists protested that the writs violated their rights as British subjects. The colonists had several problems with these writs. were permanent and even transferable: a writ holder could assign them to another? Any place could be searched at the whim of the holder, and searchers were not responsible for any damage they caused. This put anyone who had such a writ above the law.
James Madison, the father of the Bill of Rights, was very concerned about the prospect of militarizing the home front. ‘A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty,’ he warned at the Constitutional Convention, ‘the means of defense against foreign danger have always been the instruments of tyranny at home.‘” (like the War on Terror?)
From the Jackson Sun:
While local civic and political leaders and the media have been concentrating their mental energies on a senior moment of insanity by local radio talk show host Bill Way, the American Gestapo has been created in Tennessee.
In a letter to the editor last year, I warned of the Transportation Safety Administration’s illegal search and seizure on Tennessee highways, as did David Nance, chairman if the 8th District tea party coalition in a similar letter to the editor. The administration falls under the Department of Homeland Security. The department has the authority, under the Patriot Act, to write warrants, and not just for transportation. This has been written about by concerned readers in newspapers across the nation. The only safety net was the fact that local sheriffs had the authority to prevent TSA agents from operating in their counties.
With the recent merger of the Tennessee Department of Safety with the Department of Homeland Security, now called the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, county sheriffs no longer have authority to prevent TSA from operating in their counties. (This is troubling as well) Local judges, and even federal judges, cannot prevent the issuing of “on site” warrants by agents operating under the banner of Homeland Security. ( I guess you could say the State of Tennessee has been federalized) These warrants are not limited to pulling over your car and searching it. They can be used to walk into your home at any time.
If local civic and political leaders and the media are looking for something to get infuriated about and investigate, I suggest closely looking at the creation of the American Gestapo. Remember the words of Thomas Jefferson, “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”
Mark J. Rawles