Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Presumed Guilty in the Name of Fighting Terrorism

Presumed Guilty in the Name of Fighting Terrorism | The Moral Liberal - Bob Barr::

Jan. 1, 2013 - "The legal principle placing the burden of proof on accusers rather than the accused can be traced back to Second and Third Century Roman jurist, Julius Paulus Prudentissimus. Yet, this ancient concept, which forms the legal and moral cornerstone of the American judicial system, is quickly being undermined in the name of 'national security.' "In August 2004, President George W. Bush created the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) via Executive Order 13354.... The primary purpose of this secretive government agency is to serve as a clearinghouse for information related to terrorism, at home and abroad.... However, in a classic example of mission creep, over the last eight years the scope and power of the NCTC have slowly expanded....

"In 2012, the operating guidelines for the NCTC were updated to include previously prohibited activities; prohibitions intelligence officials claimed had inhibited their ability to find and disseminate terror threats.... According to the Wall Street Journal, whose Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests unearthed much of the internal debate behind the changes to the guidelines, the chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security called these new powers 'a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public.' In a word, it is simply unconstitutional.

"The change in the standards by which the NCTC now is able to troll data means every action a person takes that is logged into a government database, is subject to scrutiny for criminal behavior. Probable cause or reasonable suspicion – constitutional standards for invading a person’s privacy by government snooping — are irrelevant in such a scenario. We are all presumed guilty of engaging in potential terrorist acts." Read more: http://www.themoralliberal.com/2012/12/31/presumed-guilty-in-the-name-of-fighting-terrorism/
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