Bad things your mad dog government has got up to lately; the Unity Candidate arrives

The law is a ass, and it wants to see yours. Watch what you think; don’t think it out loud; don’t think it in the vicinity of a marijuana dispensary. Good news: the one candidate who can truly unite Americans of all political stripes has jumped into the race.

In a decision supported by the Obama administration, the Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that security services can strip search anyone they arrest even when they have no reason to think the search is necessary. Given the latitude police have to determine probable cause for arrests, the ruling licenses police to arrest and subject anyone to a strip search for no particular reason.

In his dissent to the ruling, Justice Stephen Bryer paraphrased the language of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.” Breyer described unwarranted strip searches as an “affront to human diginity.”

Strip searches have long been used by police and other authorities to humiliate, coerce or intimidate prisoners—or even people outside of captivity, such as airline passengers—who annoy them or contest their authority. We are guaranteed to see an increase in strip searches of Occupy protesters and others who publicly oppose authorities and protest police tactics now that the court majority have in a stroke removed any official protection against the technique.

Meanwhile, federal authorities have imposed nearly two decades of jail time on Tarek Nehanna after convicting him of thinking bad thoughts and saying bad things. They’re attempting to do the same to CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou.

Elsewhere, the State Department is slow-roasting Iraq development expert Peter Van Buren for saying true things that the department doesn’t want said.

No drones were deployed in any of these cases, so that’s a good thing.

Cui bono? When not stalking whistleblowers or people with ideas that the state can’t abide, the feds are knocking over weed dispensaries in California, Colorado and other states where the dispensaries operate legally under state and local law.

Who benefits from those actions? Drug dealers and cartels, obviously; the prison industry, since the pool of potential marijuana offenders is enlarged; and, last but by no means least, the federal agencies whose budgets are swollen by drug war money.

Who loses? Medical marijuana users, obviously; municipalities and states that lose the tax revenues; people employed in the industry and related businesses.

And finally, the candidate I’ve been touting for six years jumps into the race:

2 thoughts on “Bad things your mad dog government has got up to lately; the Unity Candidate arrives”

  1. Linda Greenhouse wrote an op-ed about this case noting the “anyone” part is questionable. The biggest issue here is the guy should not have had to stay in jail, in the general population, for days for what evidence shows was a mistake. Once he put there, his privacy would drop off.

    The dissent, e.g., accepted the police watching him shower or to have a doctor give him an examination that would be pretty intimate. The dissent also notes that the feds have a different policy and cited police sources on the matter. If some stray person in general population smuggles in something, even if it is but one, the outrage, including those from the left when innocents like him can be hurt, is predictable.

    Since Linda Greenhouse flagged it, I think it rather notable. Roberts and Alito, yes them, actually concurred separately to note the limited nature of the ruling. Many people can cite their opinions to sympathetic local magistrates, such as someone not put in the general population for days, but perhaps just kept in a cell like a mom arrested once for driving w/o a seatbelt. A small victory, but you would never know it from some of the coverage from Maddow to Stewart to other places.

    I think the dissent is correct but part of its argument is that it wasn’t really going that far from what the majority eventually held.

  2. Tarek Nehanna’s prosecution is troubling but it isn’t just for talking/thinking.

    “Following an eight-week trial, Mehanna was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda, providing material support to terrorists (and conspiracy to do so), conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, conspiracy to make false statements to the FBI, and two counts of making false statements.”

    Mother Jones also noted some of these charges are different than others (“one thing” … other)

    Justice Stevens voted with the majority in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project.

    Obama, doing what I thought when I thought in ’08 that he was too centrist, has various things to answer for. The medicinal pot thing too, though the Rolling Stone piece many cite notes he actually had a less restrictive policy in the first two years and a full story would be appreciated there. Overall, the best path there is for the legislature to change the law. Selective enforcement is the best of a bad situation but is open to abuse when the wrong person is in power.

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