DC Court Confirms That Government Agents Can Abuse US Citizens' Rights With Impunity If They Leave The Country

from the the-problem-is-that...-no-one's-ever-told-them-'no' dept

Your rights as an American citizen are null and void if you happen to be outside the nation's borders when those rights are violated. That's the gist of a ruling handed down by the DC district court last Friday.
A federal court on Friday dismissed an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit on behalf of a U.S. citizen who was illegally detained and mistreated by American officials in three east African countries in 2007. After fleeing unrest in Somalia, New Jersey resident Amir Meshal was arrested, secretly imprisoned in inhumane conditions, and harshly interrogated by FBI agents over 30 times before ultimately being released without charge four months later.
The ACLU had argued that Meshal's Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights were violated by these FBI agents, but the court has found that there's no legal recourse available for Meshal. It even admitted that the allegations, along with the legal questions the decision itself raises, are "deeply troubling." Unfortunately, the district court finds itself unable to do anything more than dismiss the case.
The defendants have moved to dismiss his case, alleging that even if Mr. Meshal’s allegations are true, he has no right to hold federal officials personally liable for their roles in his detention by foreign governments on foreign soil.
Except that it wasn't just foreign governments. It also involved US FBI agents who operated extraterritorially, operating in an area where they had no true legal authority to pursue or detain suspects. Any imprisonment was courtesy of local governments in three East African nations. The alleged torture, however, was All-American.

Despite it being held that Americans are not stripped of their rights when they leave the country, the court finds that earlier precedent finds in favor of the government thanks to the always-useful evocation of "national security" and "terrorism." (The FBI agents believed Meshal was connected with al-Qaeda.)
[I]n the past two years, three federal courts of appeals, including the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, have expressly rejected a Bivens remedy for citizens who allege they have been mistreated, and even tortured, by the United States of America in the name of intelligence gathering, national security, or military affairs.
The decision notes that courts have been reluctant to insert themselves in matters of national security, either in terms of military detainment or actions resulting from executive orders. This court is no different, although Judge Emmet Sullivan at least has the modicum of decency to note how truly screwed up this whole situation is.
The facts alleged in this case and the legal questions presented are deeply troubling. Although Congress has legislated with respect to detainee rights, it has provided no civil remedies for U.S. citizens subject to the appalling mistreatment Mr. Meshal has alleged against officials of his own government. To deny him a judicial remedy under Bivens raises serious concerns about the separation of powers, the role of the judiciary, and whether our courts have the power to protect our own citizens from constitutional violations by our government when those violations occur abroad.
This is another win for the unsavory side of our government, which uses fear of terrorism as an excuse for all sorts of malfeasance and overreach. Rather than buck precedent, Judge Sullivan cites and follows, creating even more precedent that will make attempts to reverse this trend less and less likely.

As it stands now, the government need only claim it suspects you of terrorism to treat you however it wants once you leave the relative safety of the United States. No one is allowed to question actions performed under the color of national security. The State knows best and if you try to challenge its actions, you'll find that route has been blocked by bad precedent set in deference to executive branch FUD.

The ACLU completely understates its opinion of this ruling.
"It is a sad day for Mr. Meshal and for all Americans, who have a right to expect better of their government and their courts than immunity for terrible government misconduct."
Oh, we certainly have the right to expect better. We just don't have any way of demanding it. That decision currently lies in the hands of legislators, a group that has also shown an appalling tendency to defer to national security fearmongering. Judge Sullivan knows this is terribly wrong but can't find a way to get out from under bad precedent. Here's hoping judges in the future can do better.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 4:17am

    What would any true American be doing outside his own home let alone his own country? Only terrorists and communists travel to countries that aren't the US. Knowing this Amir (what a give away that he's not really American) shouldn't complain.

    /s

     

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  2.  
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    Wig, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 4:26am

    So next time, just kick that FBI-guy-working-abroad in the ****

    If he doesn't have to answer for his violence, why should the rest of us?

    Reciprocity is a bitch!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 4:53am

    Your constitutional rights end once you're outside the US border. Rulings out of our secret legal system also proven you have limited constitutional rights inside the US border too. These days, the US constitution is an option. Not a requirement.

     

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  4.  
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    David, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:15am

    Huh?

    To deny him a judicial remedy under Bivens raises serious concerns about the separation of powers, the role of the judiciary, and whether our courts have the power to protect our own citizens from constitutional violations by our government when those violations occur abroad.
    This judge must have stopped listening to the news years ago since the qualifier "when those violations occur abroad" is just delusional these days.

     

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  5.  
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    AJ, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:16am

    How does that work.

    If my wife and I are U.S. citizens, and are in Mexican, and she hits me over the head with a frying pan, and if hitting someone over the head with a frying pan is legal in Mexico but not the U.S., did she commit a crime?

    I guess what I'm saying is; If your physically on Mexican soil, regardless of who or where the people are from, should they not be following Mexico law?

     

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  6.  
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    David, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:16am

    Huh?

    To deny him a judicial remedy under Bivens raises serious concerns about the separation of powers, the role of the judiciary, and whether our courts have the power to protect our own citizens from constitutional violations by our government when those violations occur abroad.

    This judge must have stopped listening to the news years ago since the qualifier "when those violations occur abroad" is just delusional these days.

     

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  7.  
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    Michael, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:22am

    Re: How does that work.

    It seems, according to the US, everyone on the planet is subject to US law.

    Oh, and you are also apparently subject to Canadian law if you have any devices that use the internet.

     

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  8.  
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    scotts13 (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:26am

    Since the FBI agents had no legal authority to detain or torture this man, anything he did in self defense against these agents would be entirely legal - right? Good to know.

     

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  9.  
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    Buzz Light Beer, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:30am

    Re:

    Since the global corporations own everything and the us is the world police, then theoretically one never does leave the us - unless they go to the moon or something.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:31am

    "DC Court Confirms That Government Agents Can Abuse US Citizens' Rights With Impunity If They Leave The Country"
    ... especially if you are brown and do not have a good 'merican-sounding name.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:39am

    Where does it say

    Last I checked the Bill or Rights does not have a clause stipulating that our guaranteed rights end at the US Border.

     

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  12.  
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    ernest gonzalez, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:42am

    Re: How does that work.

    Your example is an apples-oranges comparison. The case highlights how the U.S. government, or its agents, interacts with U.S. citizens. In the past (Pre George W. Obama/Barack H. Bush), the Constitution was the document that detailed the parameters of that interaction...not so anymore.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:49am

    Re: Where does it say

    The US Constitution and authority of the US Government end at the US border where on the open seas International Admiralty Law takes over and in foreign countries the law of that country govern. The importance of this is that the FBI agents are the terrorist they claim to be seeking since they have exactly zero authority to kidnap people in foreign countries. The legitimate authority in a foreign country reports to their respective government not the US government thus what you are calling an arrest is really a kidnapping subject to the judicial procedure of the foreign country.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:51am

    Way to pass the buck

    Since when is it required that the Judge follows judicial precedent? If in his judgement the precedent is wrong and troubling he should rule against the precedent.

    I though the whole purpose of a judge was to be impartial and rule according to their understanding of law, not be biased towards their colleagues viewpoint which is not actual law.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: How does that work.

    Everything was peachy back in the good old days.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re:

    The moon is international property, meaning every nation owns it (or noone, but I digress). Even in space the world police can make might into right.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:09am

    Re: Where does it say

    Apparently the bill of rights only applies when you've got lots of bills in your accounts. Money is speech, money is rights.

     

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  18.  
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    Whatever, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:10am

    you realize

    You do realize that anyone detailed outside of the US is detailed by the police / officials of that country and not a US agency, right? If it was done any other way, it would be essentially kidnapping.

    Now, the foreign government may hold someone at the behest of the US, and may allow the US agents access to interrogate, etc. But they are held by the foreign government, under their laws and legal system.

    If this guy has a complaint, he should take it up in the country that he was detained in.

    Guess what? Your US rights don't follow you around the world like an invisible shield. When you leave the US, you leave your rights behind.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:13am

    Re: Way to pass the buck

    Since when is it required that the Judge follows judicial precedent? If in his judgement the defendant is poor and annoying the rich then he should rule against the defendant regardless of precedence.

    FTFY

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:15am

    Re: you realize

    Awww, aren't you cute.

     

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  21.  
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    bosconet (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:16am

    Re: How does that work.

    Funny thing, the US is a country that applies its laws to citizens even when on foreign soil. A prime example is the Foreign Corrupt Practices act. Grease a palm in a foreign county, come back home to US and the consequences (assuming you've been caught).

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:19am

    Re:

    And it would also be legal for the agents to shoot him should he any any "self-defense".

     

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  23.  
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    Michael, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:20am

    Re: you realize

    The man in question was detained by police forces in another country, but held at the behest of the FBI and interrogated (possibly tortured) for four months.

    The first question is why a US investigative agency is interrogating anyone outside of this country. They are supposed to stop at the border and ask for the person back (extradition). Once back, a US citizen would have all of their US rights (oh, now I get why they didn't do that).

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: How does that work.

    "The case highlights how the U.S. government, or its agents, interacts with U.S. citizens."

    Let me finish that for you...
    The case highlights how the U.S. government, or its agents, interacts with U.S. citizens on foreign soil.

    My question was; Would not all parties be subject to the law of the country they are in, not the laws of the country they are from?

    I ask this because you could reverse this thing.. Lets say water boarding is legal in the U.S., but not in Mexico... if the FBI detained me and water boarded me in Mexico, have they not broken Mexican law even though we are all American?

    I'm not saying what they are doing is right, I'm saying there may be larger implications.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:37am

    Sounds Good to Me

    Sounds good to me, it just says that if I capture an FBI agent outside of the US, I can interrogate him/her to my hearts content. As long as they are a citizen of the US and we are in a foreign country, they have no legal recourse to go after me anymore than I can go after them for the same acts outside of the US borders.

     

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  26.  
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    teknoloji, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:53am

    Oh, and you are also apparently subject to Canadian law if you have any devices that use the internet.

     

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  27.  
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    Mason Wheeler (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:55am

    Judge Sullivan knows this is terribly wrong but can't find a way to get out from under bad precedent.

    Doesn't the plain text of the Bill of Rights trump bad precedent?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 7:03am

    No matter how imperfect the Bill of Rights and the Constitution may be, they are still better than the criminals who lead us.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 7:03am

    Re:

    i wonder if their agents will apply the same logic process to a certain someone named Barack Hussein ... one other Hussein, Saddam ended up at the end of a long noose.

     

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  30.  
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    Seegras (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 7:06am

    A Bill of Rights for Everyone

    Absolutely. Even more, the Bill of Rights applies to EVERYONE.

    Yes, nowhere in the Bill of Rights it says anything about "citizens" (although, it refers to them in the constitution and other amendments regarding voting and such), it always talks about "people".

    It's quite clear that this is what the authors intended.
    And one reason I admire the founders of the United States, it does express such an enlightened spirit. Of course, the whole thing gets ignored, trampled on by lawmakers for decades and so on, but still, the spirit is there.

    Of course, the USA can only enforce the Bill of Rights where no other nations interfere, but that absolutely means that it must follow it itself.

    - The NSA spying on foreign people (not governments): Unconstitutional. (Note: This is also not about spying on terrorist-suspects: There obviously "but upon probable cause" applies).

    - Holding people imprisoned without speedy trial in Guantanamo: Unconstitutional.

    - Torturing (foreign or its own) people in foreign countries: Unconstitutional (Well: Theoretically allowed with a warrant and "upon probable cause").

     

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  31.  
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    Michael, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 7:17am

    Re:

    No, actually it doesn't. The precedent system in US law effectively takes the latest version of legal interpretation. If the text of the Bill of Rights was completely unambiguous, the precedent would not have interpreted it in the way it did.

    Judges do not like to (and mostly shouldn't) go against legal precedent because it would mean they are effectively re-writing the meaning of a law. Rewriting laws is the job of another branch of government.

    The exception is jury nullification - where a citizen jury acknowledges that a law has been violated but rejects the law itself.

     

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  32.  
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    Seegras (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 7:17am

    Re: you realize

    Actually, your US rights _do_ follow you around the world. Because the US Constitution grants them to everyone. But they only apply to the doings of the US government, not any foreign government.

    So yes, the FBI is bound by it, everywhere in the world.

    It won't help you if you get interrogated by the GCHQ, but the FBI can't even ask the GCHQ to imprison and interrogate you without the FBI having a warrant and probable cause (at least, it can't do it without violating the Constitution).

     

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  33.  
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    limbodog (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 7:17am

    Is the reverse, therefore true?

    If you relinquish all rights outside of the USA, does that mean that, say, someone in the CIA has no rights outside the USA too?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 7:37am

    With a name like "Amir", you're going to be scrutinized. If you're an American with a name like Steve, George, Melissa or Sue, your rights are highly unlikely to be violated. Hate to say it, but your "name" determines if you're going to be a target or not.

     

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  35.  
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    steell (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 7:59am

    Re: you realize

    If your Constitutional rights, regarding the US Government) end at our Border, why is a US Citizen abroad still be required to comply with US Law and can be prosecuted for violating US Law abroad? Even a non US Citizen in other countries can be charged with violating US Law, the infamous Kim Dotcom being a shining example.
    This is wrong in so many ways.

     

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  36.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 8:03am

    Re: How does that work.

    You're misunderstanding the issue. It's not whether US citizens are subject to the laws of the nation they're in or not (they are). The issue is: can the US Government treat US citizens without regard for the Constitution just because they are physically outside the borders of the US?

    The clear answer is "no".

     

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  37.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 8:05am

    Re: you realize

    "the foreign government may hold someone at the behest of the US"

    And when they do, they're acting as the agents of the US government -- therefore my Constitutional protections apply.

    "When you leave the US, you leave your rights behind."

    Bullshit. When I leave the US, I am still protected from the actions of the US government by the Constitution.

     

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  38.  
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    steell (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 8:07am

    Re: you realize

    Wrong in so many ways. Constitutional Rights (the kind we're talking about here) apply to interactions between you and the US Government. The US Government is not absolved of it's responsibility to treat you in accordance with those rights just because you stepped over an invisible line. In the same vein, US Citizens abroad are still required to follow US Laws. As an example, go to SE Asia on one of the pedophile tours and enjoy the attention you will receive upon your return.

    But like every other situation involving the US Government, there's two sets of rules, one set for us plebes, a different set for those in power.
    .

     

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  39.  
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    Michael, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: How does that work.

    can the US Government treat US citizens without regard for the Constitution just because they are physically outside the borders of the US?
    No.

    can the US Government treat US citizens without regard for the Constitution just because terrorism
    Yes, apparently.

     

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  40.  
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    alternatives(), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 8:33am

    And I bet that

    you are still required to pay taxes back to the US of A if you are in the no-rights zone outside of the US of A.

     

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  41.  
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    Anony, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 8:33am

    Re: Way to pass the buck

    Exactly!

     

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  42.  
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    Whatever, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: you realize

    go to SE Asia on one of the pedophile tours and enjoy the attention you will receive upon your return.

    Yes, but not if you choose to stay there. See, the difference is when you return, you are charged with "sex tourism", which is an offense that STARTS in the US.

    I always find it cute when Americans think that their laws apply worldwide.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 9:22am

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 9:33am

    Natural rights is universal, not something to be circumvented

     

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  45.  
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    Dave Xanatos, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 9:55am

    Re:

    Legally speaking, they are still criminally liable and within the jurisdiction of the US Govt. There's this law:
    (a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
    (b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—
    (1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
    (2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.

    Even if the agents are outside of the US, they can and should be convicted for torturing *anyone* and not just US citizens. But that would require the government obeying its own laws.

     

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  46.  
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    AC, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 10:41am

    Great job, guys

    Finally an answer to the unasked question of "how do you turn average people into terrorists?"

     

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  47.  
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    AJ, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: you realize

    "Yes, but not if you choose to stay there."

    LOL! If our government wants a U.S. citizen back in the U.S., they have no problem breaking the laws in any country. They will snatch you up and ship your ass back to the U.S. in the middle of the night, black hood over your head... all signed and sealed by a court that you will never get to see, question, or in some cases even know exists. Our Gov is so above the law, that they will literally kill you with a machine from thousands of miles away, and do so legally. I suggest you open your "cute" eyes Mr. Whatever, our laws don't apply to YOU worldwide, but they damn sure apply to U.S. citizens, even if we never come back.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_rendition
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/20/ob ama-drone-strikes_n_5360746.html

     

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  48.  
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    Digger, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 10:59am

    U.S. Government just cut off it's own balls.

    If, and I say IF what they claim is true, then that also means that NO US laws, NO US agreements, NO US treaties apply outside of the UNITED STATES borders.

    That also means those fancy badges are meaningless outside of our borders.

    So attention all of you global governments - feel free to ignore the US with impunity because they said it themselves, their LAWS do not apply outside of their borders.

    The Constitution trumps any law ever passed, any treaty ever signed, any executive order ever signed, any decision ever made by any judge.

    If the Constitution doesn't apply outside of the U.S. borders, then nothing the government has ever said does.

    That's the end of this discussion folks, our Government doesn't apply anymore, they are now inherently powerless once they leave the last piece of sand on our borders.

    Gotta love it when the U.S. Government castrates itself publicly.

     

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  49.  
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    Digger, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 12:20pm

    Constitution trumps precedent.

    There's absolutely no room for interpretation whatsoever in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    That means that if anyone tries to anything even remotely akin to what the Constitution says they can't, then it's unconstitutional, and therefor illegal to do.

    That means that every law passed with regards to limiting freedoms, reducing privacy, restricting human rights has been unconstitutional and illegal.

    Because those things that were done are so damaging to the people of the United States as a whole, they are acts of treason, with only one penalty that can, and should immediately applied to everyone involved with said actions.

    That includes, but is not limited to, every member of Congress, Senate, SCotUS, PotUS, VPotUS, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Cabinet of the PotUS, NSA, FBI, CIA, NSA, HSA and any secret alphabet organizations that we do not even know the names of.

    That's right, all of them are traitors, all of them have committed acts of treason either in full, or by not preventing their cohorts from performing those actions.

    That means they all deserve the death penalty that is applied to traitors who commit acts of treason during a time of war, declared or undeclared, which we have been in since 9/11.

    I hereby nominate Snowden for the replacement PotUS as soon as our current and previous ones receive their due punishment as dictated by law.

     

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  50.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Constitution trumps precedent.

    "There's absolutely no room for interpretation whatsoever in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights"

    As much as I wish that were true, there are many parts of the Constitution that are vague and require interpretation. Also, when different Constitutional principles disagree with each other, someone needs to work out how to resolve the disagreement. That requires interpretation.

    My problem with how the courts work is that they depend so much on precedent. It leads to lots of terrible things, and as time goes by court rulings depart more and more from what the Constitution actually says or allows.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    JoeBuckley, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 1:05pm

    This doesn't make sense

    US law says that if a citizen commits a crime overseas and if its a crime in the US they can still be charged when they get back to the US with said crime. How the hell can any amendment not apply if said citizen is overseas in this case? This potentially means ANY thing in the Bill of Rights is null and void the moment a person is abroad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Great job, guys

    Or as they like to call it, 'creating future job security'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 1:25pm

    Cowardice in the courtroom

    The judge is a coward, plain and simple, and in no way shape or form deserves the respect given to the position of judge, or even to hold that position in the first place.

    Admitting that the situation is horrendous, knowing that what they're ruling is an affront to basic human decency and rights, and yet ruling against the victim of torture at US hands regardless...

    That 'judge' and all those like them deserve all the scorn and contempt people throw at them, as they are a big reason the government feels it can do stuff like this, because they know no judge has the guts or integrity to stand up to them, and will cave the second the USG pulls out the ever so handy 'Because terrorists!' and/or 'Because National Security!'.

     

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  54.  
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    Personanongrata, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 1:56pm

    Lickspittle

    Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is a pliably supine lickspittle for the national security state genuflecting his obedience and abdicating his authority to an unconstitutional criminal cabal in DC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
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    Zonker, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 2:58pm

    [I]n the past two years, three federal courts of appeals, including the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, have expressly rejected a Bivens remedy for citizens who allege they have been mistreated, and even tortured, by the United States of America in the name of intelligence gathering, national security, or military affairs.
    From the US Bill of Rights:
    Congress of the United States
    begun and held at the City of New-York, on
    Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

    THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

    ...

    Amendment IV

    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.

    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
    I see no exception for "intelligence gathering, national security, or military affairs" in the Fourth or Fifth Amendments unless it involves the military in active service during a time of War and neither the citizens involved nor the FBI are members of the military.

    The Bill of Rights as written expressly limits the powers of the US government, period. The limitations apply to what government itself is not permitted to do no matter where they are. I cannot possibly see how this can be otherwise without the courts, legislature, or the President creating new law above the Constitution in violation thereof.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
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    Padpaw (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 3:31pm

    Seems like the logical answer would be to emigrate out of your country as it slowly turns into a police state tyranny hellhole. Find a country that respects the ideals the American forefathers died for. as long as you stay you apparently do not have any rights if your government decides you don't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:05pm

    Arrest and Transportation

    When a person is arrested the government may transport them to a holding facility. If the government chooses to transport the arrested person to a holding facility outside of the country, then the arrested person ceases to have any rights.

    You just thought you had some rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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