constitutional democracy

Editorial
US constitution terrorist

Is the U.S. Constitution Terrorist?

Fred Foldvary
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor

Someone in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation seems to think so. A brochure from the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Phoenix, Arizona, provided FBI agents and other law-enforcement agents with ways to identify potential terrorism. According to this brochure, a knowledge and use of the Constitution of the United States of America, its supreme law of the land, brands a person as a terrorist.

See If You Encounter and examples of suspected terrorists.

What the FBI agents and police officers are to look for include "Someone who makes numerous references to the U.S. Constitution." So if a highway patrol officer flashes his lights and orders you to pull over to the side and stop, and he says he will arrest you because the bumper sticker on your car says "Preserve the Bill of Rights," and you say you have a Constitutional right to free speech, he could brand you a terrorist suspect.

If the FBI, an agency of the government of the United States, declares that knowledge and use of the U.S. Constitution makes one a terrorist, the implication is that the U.S. government no longer recognizes the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land. In reality, de facto, the U.S. Constitution has now been shredded into irrelevancy. There is no more Constitution.

Of course, some elements of the U.S. Constitution remain implemented, such as the provision for Congress, the Supreme Court, and the President. The structure is still there, but the substance, the Constitutional justification for government, would be gone. That substance was liberty and justice, and when the U.S. government itself has contempt for the Constitution, "with liberty and justice for all" no longer exists.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated ..." This right has been violated by asset forfeiture, but now we may no longer even be allowed to cite the Fourth Amendment in protest, because only terrorists do that.

The Phoenix FBI flyer also mentions as something for law-enforcement agents to look for, an "attempt to police the police." So if citizens want to monitor the police to make sure they are not abusing their powers, these citizens are now to be branded as suspected terrorists.

We are no longer supposed to be concerned with the foundations of law, and we must not question the enforcement of the law. Johann Sebastian Bach titled one of his great musical creations, Where Sheep May Safely Graze. Are we "a nation of sheep"? Shall we graze safely while Big Brother wolf watches over us?

The Phoenix FBI terrorist brochure does not, at the present time, reflect the official policy of the FBI headquarters. It was created locally in Phoenix for distribution only to law-enforcement agents, but it got out into the public. It is, however, a warning of the mentality of some law-enforcement officers, and a warning that the Constitutional foundation of our liberty is in peril. There are agents who would be happy to make freedom null and void.

Yet, ironically, our freedom is what we are supposed to be defending. Will we lose our freedom in the attempt to protect freedom? Let us be watchful, lest they start burning the books and erasing the web files that "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land" (Leviticus 25:10). We must indeed police the police and use the Constitution to defend our rights, otherwise the inscription "liberty" on U.S. coins will be an empty shell.

-- Fred Foldvary      



Copyright 2001 by Fred E. Foldvary. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system, without giving full credit to Fred Foldvary and The Progress Report.


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