Do tea partiers care about the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth amendments?

Like many civil libertarians, I have been deeply disappointed in President Obama’s insistence on keeping many of the same disturbing, unconstitutional policies that President Bush employed during the so-called war on terror. Those policies include detaining citizens without any charge.

You’d have thought that tea-partiers would express outrage against those policies, since they advertise themselves as restorers of the constitution and advocates of individual liberties or “freedoms.” The Fourth, Firth and Sixth amendments are clear about the rights that citizens have to be free of imprisonment by the state.

In a case about to go to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Bush administration imprisoned a man, supposedly because he was a “material witness” holding valuable information about the commission of a crime. It wasn’t true and authorities never even interrogated him about any crime. From The NYT editorial page:

It can be hard to distinguish between the Bush administration and the Obama administration when it comes to detainee policy. A case the Supreme Court agreed last week to hear, Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, is one of those occasions.
It turns on a principle held sacrosanct since the country’s early days: the government cannot arrest you without evidence that you committed a crime. An exception is the material witness law, which allows the government to keep a witness from fleeing before testifying about an alleged crime by somebody else.

These principles were horribly twisted when John Ashcroft was President George W. Bush’s attorney general. The Justice Department held a former college football player in brutal conditions on the pretext that he was a material witness in a case in which he was never called to testify and which fell apart at trial.

The Bush administration’s behavior was disturbing, and so is the Obama administration’s forceful defense of this outrageous practice of using a statute intended for one purpose for something very different. Judge Milan Smith Jr. of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals called it “repugnant to the Constitution.”

The Justice Department arrested Abdullah al-Kidd, known as Lavoni Kidd when he was a star football player at the University of Idaho, at Dulles airport in March 2003 before he boarded a plane to Saudi Arabia, where he was going to work on his doctorate in Islamic studies. For over two weeks, he was treated like an enemy of the state — shackled, held in high-security cells lit 24 hours a day, and sometimes humiliated by strip searches. When Mr. Kidd was released, he was ordered to live with his wife and in-laws, restrict his travels and report to a probation officer. The restrictions lasted 15 months.

The government said Mr. Kidd was a material witness against Sami Omar Hussayen, who was tried for supporting an Islamic group that the government said “sought to recruit others to engage in acts of violence and terrorism.” A jury acquitted Mr. Hussayen on some charges and didn’t reach a verdict on others. Mr. Kidd was not called to testify. Nor was he ever charged with a crime.

Kidd has sued John Ashcroft, who was the attorney general at the time of his detention. Previously, courts have held that the attorney general would be immune from lawsuits. The Obama administration has supported that position. Where is the tea party?

330 comments Add your comment

Memphis11Gate

October 25th, 2010
10:15 am

Gm you only hear what you want to hear. I heard the same talk when Bush was in office mainly about opposition to the war and fiscal ill-responsibility from Bush and the prescription drug program which was a waste of tax payers money. I also heard from you liberals, K@L^ Bush every day, Bush=Hitler, Bush go to H$#LL, Bush the monkey, Bush the dummy, Bush I hope gets H1V, so now you hear what you want to hear, intensified by the liberal media. Gm, Democrats have been running congress since 2007. Republican voters voted for Obama, some of the tea partiers or tea baggers as you would say. WAKE UP!!!

HDB

October 25th, 2010
10:15 am

Memphis11Gate October 25th, 2010
10:07 am

Too many people haven’t thought about how health care reform WILL affect them; they are thinking how it will SUPPOSEDLY affect them!!

One aspect that hasn’t been considered –

….from the same AJC article:

Erin Shields, a spokeswoman for the senators who wrote that part of the law, says she’s confident that when companies do the math, they’ll decide to keep offering coverage.

That’s because employers get to deduct the cost of workers’ health care from the company’s taxes. Take away the health plan and two things happen: Employers lose the deduction and they’ll probably have to pay workers more to get them to accept the benefit cut. Not only will the company’s income taxes go up, but the employer will also face a bigger bill for Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. So it’s not as simple as paying $2,000 and walking away.

“It is clearly cheaper for employers to continue providing coverage,” Shields said.

Another wrinkle: the health insurance tax credits available through the law are keyed to relatively Spartan insurance plans, not as generous as most big employers provide. Send your workers into the insurance exchange, and valuable employees might jump to a competitor that still offers health care.

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:17 am

Cynthia – you are throwing the sh1t against the fan, just to see what sticks. very, very desperate my dear hottie. You know darn well the focus of the TE party is lower taxes, and unconstitutional tax/fee assessments – mainly from Obummer care. I would say less than 25% of the citizens of this country know enough about the constitution to be outraged at the violation of these amendments. However, i also share your anger about the Bush admins flagrant abuse of its police power – heck, Obummer has kept “extraordinary rendition” in effect, why are you not attacking the MAN IN POWER? As opposed to the movement to simply reduce the cost of government?

T-Town

October 25th, 2010
10:18 am

Gm: “Where was this new love for the counry when George Bush was destroying America?”

They were working, as was their family members. Now, whether they retired or were retired, they have time on their hands and want to know why. Healthcare is great, unless you’ve lost your job and your home.

Kamchak

October 25th, 2010
10:18 am

Care to add anything to the topic, or are you just going to sit back in the shadows and throw out snide remarks?

That seems to be the best way of dealing with piffle.

Gm

October 25th, 2010
10:19 am

4 change: Telling some one to move back to Africa: Another rednceck that does not know their history, whites are not from this country, do the reseach you stupid hick.
The world sees what a bunch of racist the tea party are, poor President Obama actually thought most white americans would help him thru the worst crisis of our time. The averag black person knew what kind of people we had in this country we were waiting on the modern day KKK (tea parter) to show up the second day he was elected, so this did not surpise us, you only get respect from these bigots if you are playing football, basketball, they dont have the understanding of a educated black man, George Bush could have lead them to hell and they would not or did not say anything.

Tea Partier

October 25th, 2010
10:20 am

Hey GM. In case you haven’t been paying attention (which of course, is obviously not) the Tea Party is made up of middle to upper class who have worked their entire lives paying into the system only to get it “redistributed” by the liberal democrats to those generations of welfare legacy families who have never worked a day in their lives.

They are the ones with free healthcare, housing, food and high def TV’s in their Section 8 housing. All paid for by these very people who have for once raised up their hand and said “I’m not taking it anymore!”. You don’t stand a chance babe, we are taking back our country whether you like it or not. And, by the way Gerald West, how many Gods do you have?

Gm

October 25th, 2010
10:23 am

T town: George Bush lost over 5 million jobs, sent our jobs over seas, Gas prices were $4 Gallon, where was the Tea party then????

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:24 am

Obummer, who has never run a business, and has scant experience in the federal government, MUST know that big corporations have earnings targets – insurance appears to be 5-8%, with the gross profits coming from volume sales, and some monopolistic protection by their home state. When you increase the cost of business (no max pay, cover those with existing conditions without charging more vs. a healthy person), then the cost to each unique customer must increase – to comply with the law & to maintain your target profit margin. Now, with the cost becoming egregious, and the existence of “VA” type government insurance on the horizon, it is no longer viable for many small (under 100) companies to offer insurance, so they will simply drop it, and let the individual pay for it themselves. Will your salary go up? Not likely. One of those million “unintended” (read: we did not study the bill we passed thoroughly enough to understand all the particular impacts) consequences of this horrible legislative act – and one very similar to Barnes getting rid of the old state flag – barnes got dems kicked out of Georgia for the last decade, and Obummer the Orator without substance will do the same thing nationally. If the repubs really embrace the TEA party line, and eliminate the deficit, you may never see the democrats back in power.

granny godzilla

October 25th, 2010
10:25 am

Bush, who ran a business, didn’t do such a hot job now did he?

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:26 am

Gm – Clinton sent jobs overseas by signing NAFTA – or don’t your remember that? Combine that with the annointing of China with permanent “most favored nation status” – also under Clinton – and you know why most things at Walmart say made in China.

T-Town

October 25th, 2010
10:27 am

Gm: “T town: George Bush lost over 5 million jobs, sent our jobs over seas, Gas prices were $4 Gallon, where was the Tea party then????”

They were working. Who’s fault doesn’t matter as what I hear is that the Tea Party is just as upset with the right as it is with the left. Gm I suggested a reading of an editorial earlier by Charley Reese titled “545.” Read it, it’s very enlightening.

Gm

October 25th, 2010
10:27 am

Tea Partier(bigot) We are comming out, liberal, muslims, gays, blacks.
This is not your country”"” this is how stupid you people sound, take it back from the American people that voting for the President.

We are not going back to 1959, the way you bigots want it””’

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:27 am

granny – how much of his deficit came from the two wars, which Bush did not anticipate? I have also stated that democrats problem with Bush is he spent like a democrat – which is why the dems came back into power in 07.

Gm

October 25th, 2010
10:28 am

Enter your comments here

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:29 am

Who here supports the earned income credit? If you support it, please explain why it is the obligation of government to operate this program.

granny godzilla

October 25th, 2010
10:30 am

Paddy O

If Bush did not anticipate the debt from the wars he did an even worse job than we thought.

Did he think he could pay for it with pixie dust?

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:30 am

gm – you also know that obummer won for 2 reasons – people who NEVER vote, came out & voted for Obummer; and McCain selected an unqualified candidate for VP, which prompted a lot of people to question his judgement.

Dave

October 25th, 2010
10:30 am

Of course, GM….it’s all about racism. It’s ALWAYS about racism…isn’t it? When a whita man and a black man run for office and the white man wins, it because of racism. SURELY it couldn’t be about policies or agenda, could it? Every single vice in the black community is a result of something the white community did. Am I right about this? It could NEVER be anything BUT that. Here’s a note to write on your refirgerator….until you start taking personal responsibility for your actions and predicament and stop blaming it on someone else, the environment, your social status, (enter any other factor), your plight will never change. You will always put yourself as “the victim”, “the unfortunate”, “the unlucky” and you will remain where you are. There are MANY minority figures that DIDN’T fall into that quagmire and became very successful. They do it every day. The only person holding you back….is YOU.

Left wing management

October 25th, 2010
10:30 am

You’re asking the right questions, Cynthia, which is refreshing considering the failure of people such as Wolf Blitzer, John King, Christian Amanpour, etc. to ask them. Yesterday on Amanpour’s show a Democratic strategist actually made the statement that the Tea Party movement is critical of the Republican party just as Democrats are, apparently implying that the Tea Party is effective an ally of the Left. Idiotic. With friends like that, who needs extremists. The task of an analyst is not to simply observe the obvious surfaces of things, but to ask WHY and to tease out the obfuscations of the dominant ideologies. Nowadays there’s nothing more dominant as an ideology than the Tea Party – and things are NOT as they appear.

MSEcon

October 25th, 2010
10:31 am

I stopped reading this opinion piece when I saw CT refer to herself as a “civil libertarian”. From that one claim, I know that the rest of the words coming out of her keyboard are pure rubbish.

Harry Callahan

October 25th, 2010
10:31 am

“Do tea partiers care about the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth amendments?”

Better question…do DEMOCRATS care about the Fourht, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments? Because they’ve been in complete control for nearly two years now and haven’t done squat to protect any of the three.

quod erat demonstrandum

October 25th, 2010
10:31 am

Gm,

Why are the lefties so afraid of limited Government and personal responsibilities?

Why is the left so afraid of Congress actually following the Constitution?

Why are the lefties so worried about their free handouts and not having to work for a living?

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:32 am

Bush believed as Reich & Cheney did – that deficits do not matter – that is a Democrat perspective. You can NOT run two wars and give people a big tax reduction, which is what Bush did. The TEA party has occured because those who support realize that democrats are dedicated tax & spend and repubs under Bush/Delay could NOT control their spending.

HDB

October 25th, 2010
10:32 am

Paddy O October 25th, 2010
10:29 am
Remember:earned income tax credit is a REPUBLICAN idea…done by Reagan in an attempt to raise low income people OUT of poverty!! IF EITC assists in raising a lower income family’s standard of living so that that family can SURVIVE…..isn’t that a good thing??

Keep up the good fight!

October 25th, 2010
10:33 am

Because they’ve been in complete control for nearly two years now

Look…Harry can shoot blanks!

Harry Callahan

October 25th, 2010
10:34 am

Anybody ever wonder why, if republicans and/or Tea Partiers oppose Obama it’s racism, but if Democrats oppose (indeed hate) Clarence Thomas, it’s just principaled opposition?

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:34 am

granny – all those professional financial people who write the paper to fund our bond issuance – who do you think they donate campaign $$$ to? Most likely repubs who like to deficit spend – look at Sonny Perdue – almost every year the last 8 years he has floated a billion dollars worth of bonds – but of course, he won’t be around to pay for it.

Harry Callahan

October 25th, 2010
10:36 am

Keep Up…what part of my assertion would you disagree with, leghumper?

Oh, and by the way…depending on government to provide a cradle-too-grave security blanket, which is what you clearly want, is hardly “keeping up a good fight.” In fact, it’s a total pu$$-out.

quod erat demonstrandum

October 25th, 2010
10:36 am

HDB,

The original Earned Income Credits was passed in – surprise – surprise – 1975 – Jimmy Carter’s term.

Yes, I know, it was expanded under Reagan, Clinton and Bush.

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:36 am

HDB – that sound like a might socialistic notion, no? Would it not be better to have domestic market protection via import tariffs, thus increasing the pay of those who make all the stuff we buy? Reagan ran a very large deficit – I would say that this is one of the reasons. Also, government is not created to things for individuals they should do for themselves (motivated self interest). It is created to do things that the individual can not do – such as build roads, or an aircraft carrier.

Keep up the good fight!

October 25th, 2010
10:36 am

Anybody ever wonder why, if republicans and/or Tea Partiers oppose Obama it’s racism

Anybody ever wonder why actual racists in the Tea Party are not considered to raise concerns among Tea Party members and are ignored?

Harry Callahan

October 25th, 2010
10:37 am

Poor little keep up…wets the bed at night in fear of the very notion of taking responsibility for his own life…

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:38 am

ever wondered why the NAACP does not announce the % of racists in its organization?

Harry Callahan

October 25th, 2010
10:38 am

Keep up the good fight!

October 25th, 2010
10:36 am

“Anybody ever wonder why actual racists in the Tea Party are not considered to raise concerns among Tea Party members and are ignored?”

Anybody ever wonder the same thing about Democrats, who elected a guy president who sat in church every Sunday for 20 years and listened to Jeremiah Wright spew unadulterated hatred of white people?

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:38 am

75 should be in Gerald Ford’s term.

HDB

October 25th, 2010
10:39 am

quod erat demonstrandum
October 25th, 2010
10:31 am

The government IS limited….limited to what WE as Americans give it the power to do!! No one that I know of is afraid of personal responsibility; the question is what are CONSERVATIVES afraid to allow society’s segments to EXERCISE that same responsibility when they desire it?? The responsibility to control their own body…the responsibility to determine whom to marry…

The only HANDOUT I’ve ever asked for is the ACCCESS and OPPORTUNITY to everything that EVERY American citizen has….nothing more….nothing less!! I WANT to work…and the only thing that has kept me FROM working is Republican politics when they are in control!!

Cowboy Bob

October 25th, 2010
10:39 am

Accept it my dear, we are but a week and a day away from liberation.

Harry Callahan

October 25th, 2010
10:40 am

…and by the way, does anybody have proof of racism among the tea party, or is that pretty much just wishful thinking on the part of liberals who are going to get gobsmacked at the polls in 8 days?

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:40 am

my experience with people who get EIC, which if you have kids could be 5-8 thousand dollars, is that they take that money and buy big ticket items – tvs, cars, etc. It is a program that MUST be terminated.

granny godzilla

October 25th, 2010
10:41 am

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:41 am

a student at UCLA inventoried slogans put out at a TEA party event, less than 5% were racially oriented.

Keep up the good fight!

October 25th, 2010
10:41 am

Is that the best you have Harry? By your “association” logic, you just proved that tea partiers are racists and terrorists.

Harry Callahan

October 25th, 2010
10:41 am

Keep Up, you were always the last one chosen when picking teams for kickball on the playground, weren’t you?

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:42 am

granny – that is the goal – locally created organizations that determine their purpose & activity.

Paddy O

October 25th, 2010
10:43 am

I suspect there is more racism in the NCAAP than in the TEA party groups.

Harry Callahan

October 25th, 2010
10:43 am

Keep up, my comments regarding Obama and ev. Wright are factual. You have facts regarding tea party racism?

willie lynch

October 25th, 2010
10:43 am

I guess when you stop all the silliness and except the fact that nothing changes overnight in the political realm you can have more reasoned discussions.

This monster is not going back in the bag. The world is not going backward but it’s hurtling forward at a pace that we can’t keep up with. The hostilites between the some in the Islamic world and some in the West will continue for years to come because the extremist on both sides have hijacked rational behaviour. The policies of the U.S. will not change because it’s those policies that have so amped up the conservative muslims, hence causing the enviornment in which we now live.

Unfortunately the practices (renditions and the like) that are now in place(although not new) are only going to become more common in years to come and sadly too they will be more necessary because of the enviornment the U.S. has created. Americans will continue to be suspects in their own land, they will continue to be looked at with disdain around much of the globe, and they will continue to retreat into the narrow mindset of us against them.

We are going to have to sit and talk one day but it will be hard to see eye to eye when both parties agenda’s are dictated by conservative paronoia. Those aren’t liberal muslims calling for death to America.

Harry Callahan

October 25th, 2010
10:44 am

Granny, we’re going to find out how little the tea party does to engage in the political process next Tuesday.

stands for decibels

October 25th, 2010
10:44 am

those ammendments apply to US citizens.

not even remotely true. You don’t suddenly become subject to unreasonable searches and seizures in your home just because you aren’t a US citizen.