Bob Dyer has a very good column in today's Beacon Journal. Fitting too. Fitting for a 6th anniversary of 9-11. Dyer's topic is the local checkpoints the Summit County Task Force have carried out recently, the results, and how all of it is a sign of lost freedoms.
I couldn't agree more with his assessment of the situation.
The premise behind "checkpoints" is the same premise behind George W. Bush's Iraq adventure. Pre-emption. The premise that it is correct and proper to stop what could be something bad before it happens.
Anticipate danger, then stop it before damage is done. In the case of "checkpoints" for sobriety observation, everyone on the road is detained and "checked". No exceptions. If you haven't been drinking or using drugs....it doesn't matter....you get detained regardless. And, obviously, we are told it is all for our own good.
In the case of pre-emptive wars...if there is a perceived threat, regardless if it is ACTUALLY a threat or not, action must be taken...at least according to the neo-conservatives.
Pre-emptive law enforcement. That is what is a threat to all Americans. Yes, thug dictators are bad. Yes, drunk driving is dangerous. Neither situation, however, reaches the threshold of setting aside Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Here is the 4th amendment in it's entirety....
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and
no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized. Link
Pre-emptive sobriety "checkpoints" and pre-emptive wars are cut from the same cloth....lawlessness. Sorry to be so harsh towards the fine men and women of the Summit County Task Force. But it's still true.
If law enforcement uses pre-emption as their model of enforcement...then really....anything goes. It's a small step from sobriety "checkpoints" to randomly or systematically searching homes without warrants. In fact, warrantless spying by this president has now been accepted as proper, all for pre-emptive purposes, of course.
Here are some of Bob Dyer's words of wisdom...
I.... have talked to the people who run these things. They sincerely believe their methods are proper. In fact, they are convinced they are doing all of us a huge favor.
They are not. What they actually are doing is chopping away at the very essence of our nation.
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