In the Name of Security

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Today is a sad day for the American people. Commuters using the public subway in New York City will be forced to undergo random bag checks. How can this be justified? Does the threat of a bomber diminish the rights and liberties of all?

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly assured the public there will be no racial profiling. Apparently, the Transit police will be using a random number search technique, meaning they will search every 4 or 8 people, for example (apparently terrorists travel in certain numbered patterns). Anyone refusing an illegal search will not be questioned or detained, but will not be allowed to enter the station (to use the public subway they pay taxes for). Will this new procedure prevent an attack? Maybe it will and maybe it won't; that is not the issue at hand. This new policy is in direct violation of our Constitution of the United States Fourth Admendment which clearly states:

'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and siezures, 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 siezed.'

Stop; re-read the Fourth Admendment. Where in there does it allow this type of random search of a person and their effects? This won't stop here. Rail commuters in New Jersey and bus and ferry passengers in New York City are also subjected to illegal searches. Police in Washington, D.C. are considering the same policy for subway passengers. When is enough enough in the name of "security"? Do we allow the government and police to strip all our rights away before we realize the direction we are heading?

"First they came for the Jews. I was silent. I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists. I was silent. I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists. I was silent. I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me. There was no one left to speak for me. [Martin Niemoller]"

1 comments:

matt said...

Regarding the subway searches, be sure and check out The Citizen's Guide to Refusing New York Subway Searches put out by the Flex Your Rights Foundation. It teaches subway riders exactly what they need to know in order to assert their rights when they encounter a subway search.

 
 
 
 
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