A reader writes:
The response from Just One Minute that you published, accusing you of "miss[ing] the point", is itself an almost pure expression of missing the point. Money quote: "...attempting to criminalize non-violent political dissent ...is deeply problematic even if they do it with all the proper warrants."
Here's what's missing from their crack analysis - if indeed "they do it all with the proper warrants", then that strongly implies that there is a reason to suspect criminality. That's precisely what a warrant is, and why it's so important. How is it that they don't see this?
Look at it like this - let's say that I'm a decent, moral, and productive American who nonetheless fosters a deep distrust and maybe even active dislike of a large and powerful federal Government - maybe I even occasionally feel compelled to publicly and loudly express my social and political frustrations at events sponsored by Fox News. Also, I enjoy dressing up like a soldier and shooting up trees on the weekends, and I happen to own a small arsenal of weaponry.
Of course it would be an injustice to accuse me of criminal behavior without any further evidence or just cause (to say nothing of what a sick abomination it would be to indefinitely detain and/or torture me absent any such evidence, and without any legal redress). Of course that would be wrong. No reasonable and decent person believes otherwise. It sucks when innocent people are accused, much less convicted, of crimes that they did not commit.
Now, let's also say that I am also prepared to willfully and cheerfully grant the the authorities - those very same authorities against whom I regularly express such animosity and distrust - the express permission to ignore, at their whim and entirely without mitigation or oversight, the critical protections against unreasonable search and seizure afforded to me by the Constitution of the United States and the fundamental intuitions of western jurisprudence dating back to the Magna Freakin' Carta.
Well, then, it certainly seems fair to ask - is it more, or less likely that such a miscarriage of justice will occur?
I remain utterly gobsmacked that adult Americans in the 21st century can be so obtuse to the dangers of tolerating and even codifying such unmediated exceptions to due process. I don't think that it's hypocrisy, per se, so much as it is a willful ignorance, a blinding stupidity, or at least an expression of breathtaking intellectual dishonesty.
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