Saturday, June 30, 2012

Greenwald On 'Tea Party "Treason"'

Glenn Greenwald at Salon asks the highly controversial question, "What powers should the president have against those who [verbally] advocate open, violent revolt against the U.S. government?" The answer seems to depend
  • first of all, on whether you are a Muslim (even if you are a US citizen... cases in point, Anwar Al-Awlaki, citizen and Muslim, as vs. Mississippi Tea Party Chair Roy Nicholson, citizen and non-Muslim, who has similarly made some radically anti-government statements),

  • second, whether there is any sustainable analogy between presidential extrajudicial assassination orders against American citizens far from any battlefield and Lincoln's orders to kill rebels in the Confederate army (who, though arguably American citizens, were nonetheless soldiers in uniform engaging in battles of a systematic insurrection against the USA), as frequently asserted by neocons,

  • and finally, whether individuals who are not charged with any crime against the United States but who associate with and possibly assist the likes of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, may be, systematically, secretly and without a warrant, surveilled by the FBI (case in point, Jacob Appelbaum, an activist whose internet provider has been harassed with no fewer than 23 "national security letters" of which that ISP was not permitted to inform Appelbaum, thus arguably a failure "to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation" [a Sixth Amendment right]).
Be sure to watch the video in which Appelbaum, through incisive questions, pins a DoJ/FBI representative to a very uncomfortable assertion of support in the law for essentially secret and warrantless demands for documents from Appelbaum's ISP. It is chilling to hear these things said out loud by such a spokesperson, who apparently believes the statute (I presume some part of the PATRIOT Act) prevails over the Fourth Amendment.

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