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11 June 2013

Will Someone Not Rid Us Of This Troublesome Pest, Senator Graham?

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, disdains the Bill of Rights.

'In World War II, the mentality of the public was that our whole way of life was at risk, we’re all in. We censored the mail. When you wrote a letter overseas, it got censored. When a letter was written back from the battlefield to home, they looked at what was in the letter to make sure they were not tipping off the enemy.  If I thought censoring the mail was necessary, I would suggest it, but I don’t think it is … The First Amendment right to speak is sacrosanct, but it has limits.  In World War II, our population understood that what we say in letters could be used against [us by] our enemies. It was designed to protect us and ensure that we would have First Amendment rights because under the Japanese and Nazi regime, they weren’t that big into the First Amendment. We don’t need to censor the mail, but we do need to find out what the enemy’s up to.'

- Senator Lindsey Graham, 10 June 2013

Unfuckingbelievable.  He doesn't 'think' censoring the mail is necessary, but if it ever becomes so, then screw the Constitution.  

Since he has no problem with what the United States did during World War II, presumably, he would have no problem with rounding up all American Muslims, interning them, and stealing their property.

Unfortunately, this isn't the only recent glimpse of Senator Graham's 'totalitarian temptation.'  In 2011, he said:

'General Petraeus sent a statement out to all news organizations yesterday, urging our government to ban Koran burning. Free speech probably allows that, but I don’t like that...That bothers me; I have been one of the chief sponsors of legislation against burning the flag. I don’t like the idea that these people picket funerals of slain servicemen. If I had my way, that wouldn’t be free speech. So there are a lot of things under the guise of free speech that I think are harmful and hatefulWhen General Petraeus wants us to say something because our troops are at risk, I’m glad to help. I don’t believe that killing someone is an appropriate reaction to burning the Koran, the Bible, or anything else, like I said Sunday; but those who believe that free speech allows you to burn the flag, I disagree. Those who want free speech to allow you to go to a funeral and picket a family, and giving more misery to their lives than they have already suffered, I disagree. And if I could do something about behavior that puts our troops at risk, I would. But in this case, you probably can’t. It’s not about the Koran; it’s about putting our troops at risk. And I think all of us owe the troops the support we’re capable of giving.'

- Senator Lindsey Graham, interview with National Review, 3 April 2011

The fact that General Petraeus asked for no such thing matters not.  Lindz has a totalitarian itch and the 'good' Senator has to scratch it.

As Allahpundit opined, 'Look at the way he frames the calculus on mail-censoring: It’s not a matter of privacy rights versus security interests, it’s a matter simply of whether censorship is necessary — yet — to protect those security interests. It isn’t, so congrats. The government doesn’t get to read your mail. Yet.  What he’s really proposing is a permanent, gradually but perpetually expanding surveillance state. I think maybe that’s why he seems so unconflicted about this — he’s already accepted the end state, so why sweat the individual incremental steps?'
And, that's just for starters...

'Nobody said anything to me when I said that you can’t burn the flag. People say that is free speech, but I don’t agree. What I was saying is, if I could hold people accountable, I would. But I know that we can’t. I just don’t like the idea of free speech being used as a reason to put our troops at risk.'

- Senator Lindsey Graham, interview with National Review, 3 April 2011

In other words, you must surrender to censorship for national security.  Democrats say, 'Do it for the children!'  If you refuse to cede more of your liberty and fruit of your labour, you want children to suffer.  Republicans say, 'Do it for the troops!'  In other words, if you refuse to give up your civil liberties, you - quite obviously, apparently - you want the terrorists to win.  Both are risible.

'If you start talking about individual acts of religious intolerance, the amendment doesn’t make any sense. It does make sense, to me, to focus on the symbol of the country, the flag. I’m not proposing that we propose a ban on religious disagreement. I am saying that you can disagree with America; you can disagree with me, but don’t burn the one symbol that holds us together. That’s not an act of speech. They say that is symbolic speech, but I think that is a destructive act. It’s the one thing that unites us.

Yet when it comes to regulating what individual churches may do, or what individual citizens may do under the guise under religion, you are not going to be able to write a constitutional amendment to ban those practices. There is no way to do that. I wish we could hold people accountable for their actions, but under free speech, you can’t.'

- Senator Lindsey Graham, interview with National Review, 3 April 2011

He almost sounds like Obama when the latter muses about being a dictator, who can do whatever he wants.  Undoubtedly, if Obama told Graham that only martial law would save the Constitution ('We have to abandon Constitutional principles in order to save the Constitution' or something) and the country, Lindz would be one of the first to say, 'Can the man get another 'AMEN!'?'

Only last week, Senator Graham said:

'I’m a Verizon customer. I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States. I don’t think you’re talking to the terrorists. I know you’re not. I know I’m not. So we don’t have anything to worry about.'

- Senator Lindsey Graham, Politico, 6 June 2013

He sounds exactly like one of King George III's minions in the colonies.  'Look, we have a Warrant of Assistance.  We can go door-to-door and search the premises whenever we like, whether we have probable cause or even a reasonable suspicion of wrong-doing.  If you aren't doing or storing anything wrong, then you have nothing about which to worry!'  General warrants were universally condemned by the Founders, which is why the Fourth Amendment reads thusly:

'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.'

Also, from last week:

'Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves.  Is any blogger out there saying anything — do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.  You can sit in your mother’s basement and chat away, I don’t care. But when you start talking about classified programs, that’s when it gets to be important.  So, if classified information is leaked out on a personal website or [by] some blogger, do they have the same First Amendments rights as somebody who gets paid [in] traditional journalism?'

- Senator Lindsey Graham, Lindsey Graham Isn't Sure If Bloggers Deserve 'First Amendment Protection,' National Journal, 5 June 2013

OF COURSE bloggers have First Amendment protections.   Graham later attempted to clear the wreckage of his one-Clown Car Crack-Up by saying:  'Just to be clear, every blogger is entitled to constitutionally-protected Freedom of Speech.'  But, even so, he continues to confuse the issue.  Yes, like everyone else, bloggers have constitutionally-protected freedom of speech, but they likewise have protection under the First Amendment's freedom of the press clause.

'The Bill of Rights changed the original Constitution into a new charter under which no branch of government could abridge the people's freedoms of press, speech, religion, and assembly. Yet the Solicitor General argues and some members of the Court appear to agree that the general powers of the Government adopted in the original Constitution should be interpreted to limit and restrict the specific and emphatic guarantees of the Bill of Rights adopted later. I can imagine no greater perversion of history. Madison and the other Framers of the First Amendment, able men that they were, wrote in language they earnestly believed could never be misunderstood: 'Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom . . . of the press. . .' Both the history and language of the First Amendment support the view that the press must be left free to publish news, whatever the source, without censorship, injunctions, or prior restraints...In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.  In other words, we are asked to hold that, despite the First Amendment's emphatic command, the Executive Branch, the Congress, and the Judiciary can make laws enjoining publication of current news and abridging freedom of the press in the name of 'national security.' The Government does not even attempt to rely on any act of Congress. Instead, it makes the bold and dangerously far-reaching contention that the courts should take it upon themselves to 'make' a law abridging freedom of the press in the name of equity, presidential power and national security, even when the representatives of the people in Congress have adhered to the command of the First Amendment and refused to make such a law.  The Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have [to] bare the secrets of government and inform the people.'

-- Justice Hugo Black, writing for the majority, in New York Times Co. v United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)

The Free Press Clause protects the freedom to publish, not solely writers and commercial publishers. The Founders intended for the lowliest, volunteer pamphleteer have the same constitutional protections as the Publisher of the New York Times or ‘journalists,’ who are paid for their work. The protection is to the publication – IN ANY MANNER – not merely to whom is doing the publishing (just as lawmakers were not full-time and had other jobs in the ‘real world,’ the Founding Fathers recognised that one could be both a farmer and a member of the ‘press.’) In the first case the Supreme Court dealing with the Free Press Clause, Lovell v City of Griffin, 303 U.S. 444 (1938), Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes defined ‘press’ as ‘every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion’ based upon the writings of the Founding Fathers. 

The ‘press’ be it someone at the NYT or a blogger has First Amendment rights and CANNOT be prosecuted for seeking and publishing information.

The exceptions, which aren’t really exceptions, would be where a member of the press turns documents or other information over to a foreign country or foreign national acting on behalf of a foreign country OR where a journalist conspires with another to gain access and sell/publish it. In other words, if Greenwald had colluded with Snowden in a plot that would involve the latter getting a job for the sole purposes of stealing information to give to the former, then, that would probably be a crime. A journalist obtaining information from a source – even seeking it out – and publishing it is NOT a crime and is protected by the First Amendment.

What is so frightening about Lindsey Graham is how very easily and nonchalantly he is willing to destroy the entire Constitution.  Even if you are a 'security-over-liberty-and-privacy' person, surely, you must be uncomfortable with how little too many politicians have for your rights and the ease with which they claim 'national security' as an excuse for you to give up what the Founding Fathers would have rebelled, violently, against.  Right?

Would someone in South Carolina PLEASE PRIMARY this authoritarian asshole? Let him get his totalitarian-temptation freak flag on somewhere other than the United States Senate.

Senator Graham, in the unlikely event that you read this post, please pay close attention to the following words of wisdom:

‘Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.’ 

-- George Washington, 7 January 1790

'Guard with jealous attention liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.’ 

-- Patrick Henry, 5 June 1788

‘[W]hat country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that [the] people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms…The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.’ 

-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Col William S Smith, 1787

'Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety.'

-- Benjamin Franklin

'The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.'

-- Patrick Henry

'We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.' 

-- James Madison

'I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform them.' 

-- James Madison

'The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.'

-- Albert Camus

'A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purposes when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea.' 

-- Justice William O Douglas, Terminiello v Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949)

‘A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.’

 -– John Stuart Mill, writing on the Civil War, 1862

'Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? The constitutional theory is that we the people are the sovereigns, the state and federal officials only our agents. We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily. We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.' 

-- Justice William O Douglas, Colten v Kentucky, 407 U.S. 104 (1972)

‘Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent…The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.’ 

-- Justice Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928)

‘Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.’ 

-– Daniel Webster

‘The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of the people.’ 

-– Justice William O Douglas, The Court years, 1939-1975: The Autobiography of William O Douglas, 1980

'We are rapidly entering the age of no privacy, where everyone is open to surveillance at all times; where there are no secrets from government ... These examples and many others demonstrate an alarming trend whereby the privacy and dignity of our citizens is being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of man's life at will.' 

-- Justice William O Douglas, Osborn v United States, 385 U.S. 341 (1966)

‘Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?'

--  Thomas Jefferson, inaugural address, 1801

‘Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.’ 

-– Senator Barry Goldwater

‘Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.’ 

-– C. S. Lewis

'The progress of science in furnishing the government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wire tapping. Ways may some day be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home. Advances in the psychic and related sciences may bring means of exploring unexpressed beliefs, thoughts and emotions. 'That places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer' was said by James Otis of much lesser intrusions than these. To Lord Camden a far slighter intrusion seemed 'subversive of all the comforts of society.' Can it be that the Constitution affords no protection against such invasions of individual security?' 

-- Justice Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928)

'The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedoms.'

-- Justice William O Douglas, Public utilities Commission v Pollak, 343 U.S. 451, 467 (1952)

'We must realize that today's Establishment is the New George III. Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know. If it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution ... Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order, to efficiency of operation, to scientific advancement and the like.' 

-- Justice William O Douglas, Points of Rebellion (1969)

‘This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.’

--  Abraham Lincoln, 4 April 1861

'We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.' 

-- President Abraham Lincoln

‘The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.’ 

-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Abigail Adams, 1787

'If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.'

- James Madison

‘If I know every single phone call you made I’m able to determine every single person you talk to. I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. The real question here is what do they do with this information they collect that does not have anything to do with Al-Qaeda? And we’re going to trust the president and the vice president of the United States that they’re doing the right thing. Don’t count me in on that.

- Senator Joe Biden, 2006

'At the time of the Founding, Americans despised the British use of the so-called 'general warrants'—warrants not grounded upon a sworn oath of a specific infraction by a particular individual, and thus no limited in scope and application… Solving unsolved crimes is a noble objective, but it occupies a lower place in the American pantheon of noble objectives than the protection of our people from suspicionless law-enforcement searches. The Fourth Amendment must prevail.’

- Justice Antoin Scalia, dissent, Maryland v King, 2013

If such is true about unsolved crimes, it is more than true for crimes that have yet to take place.

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