Subtracting The 4th Amendment 

Subtracting The 4th Amendment 
Posted by FoM on September 11, 2000 at 07:53:22 PT
By Joel Miller, Managing Editor WND
Source: WorldNetDaily
Got a marijuana-leaf T-shirt? An issue of High Times sitting in your backseat? A Grateful Dead bumper sticker on your car? You're under arrest. Searched at the least. Think I'm exaggerating? Better talk to the woman in Davidson, N.C., who, after being pulled over the morning of Aug. 17, was asked to let the officer search her vehicle for dope because he saw a marijuana plant pictured on a periodical in her car. 
The officer thought the rag was High Times, a magazine dedicated to pot, which he has found in the possession of others he has busted for drugs. Never, the cliché goes, judge a book by its cover -- unless, apparently, that book is a drug suspect. While no drugs were found in the search, the Davidson police maintain that the ganja graphic was probable cause for a rummage and rumple session through the woman's car. "He acted properly," said Assistant Police Chief Butch Parker about the officer. "He thinks he had reasonable suspicion, and we do too." Yeah. The American founders went to great lengths to secure the citizenry from the arbitrary use of power by government. While living under the English Crown, Americans were subject to wanton and capricious searches by government officers who operated with about as much accountability as high school bullies -- and there was little or no recourse. Back in 1761, the great American attorney James Otis argued against this arbitrary authority, noting that if the officer broke into a man's house in search of contraband, even if motivated by "malice or revenge, no man, no court can inquire." Having enough of such abuses, our forebears decided to give John Bull the boot and set up a government constituted with the preservation of life, liberty and property as its chief aim. Part of that vision included a Bill of Rights, crafted specifically to put a leash on government abuse. The Fourth Amendment in that Bill of Rights speaks directly to the issue at hand: 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 of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized. Except, of course, for some notable exceptions: First class mail may be opened without a warrant on less than probable cause. ... Automotive travelers may be stopped ... near the border without individualized suspicion even if the stop is based largely on ethnicity ... and boats on inland waters with ready access to the sea may be hailed and boarded with no suspicion whatsoever. What, you say you never read that in the collected writings of James Otis, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson or George Washington? Probably not -- the part about the automotive searches was a dead give-away. The horse from whose mouth those words actually sprung answers to the name of William H. Rehnquist, chief justice of the Supreme Court -- deciding the unfortunate 1985 case, United States v. Montoya De Hernandez. As it happened, De Hernandez, a suspected "balloon swallower," was nabbed by drug enforcement police at an airport, stripped of her clothing, searched and held naked under detention until she could "relieve" herself over a wastebasket. It wasn't much relief, I'm sure. Not only was she held without warrant or probable cause, but she was forced to endure the humiliation of sitting -- with two overlooking matrons -- naked until she could defecate in a garbage can. Amazingly, the Supreme Court has even sanctioned such detention, humiliation and invasion of privacy for up to 18 hours. The primary reason De Hernandez found herself sitting in the buck over a basket is something called a drug-courier profile -- an informal compilation of characteristics (e.g., mannerisms, appearances, locality and locomotion) that form a stereotype of someone who traffics illegal drugs -- or leaves a copy of High Times sitting in her car. Someone like De Hernandez, for instance, flying on a long-distance flight, who does not eat anything while on board, displays mannerisms like that of someone who had a lunch of 50 heroin-stuffed condoms before boarding the plane; if you're bagging dope in your belly, taking an early trip to the restroom because of light snack might make you lose your hidden cargo. Imagine trying to explain that to your boss. Sounds like a Maalox moment to me. Such being the case, it is not uncommon, as David Boaz of the Cato Institute notes, for long-distance flight attendants to radio ahead and inform drug agents on the ground about someone who didn't eat or drink while aboard. On that basis, the court has ruled that the traveler may be seized on arrival at the airport without warrant or probable cause, be strip-searched and ordered to remain in solitary confinement (save for two onlookers to ensure proper care of any evidence). The peculiarity here is that anyone suffering a stomachache might well qualify for the same High Court sanctioned treatment received by De Hernandez. I'm not a major flyer myself, but it seems to me that no matter how sick you might feel, popping a few peanuts seems incredibly prudent. Other profiles based on mannerisms are even less rational. For instance, driving over posted speed limits in many states will fit a drug-courier profile, while at the same time, as Daniel K. Benjamin and Roger Leroy Miller note in their book, "Undoing Drugs," in New Mexico a driver can be detained for showing "scrupulous obedience to traffic laws." Furthermore, in New Mexico simply having Florida license tags is enough to qualify for a profile. How's that for interstate relations? In New Hampshire, one policeman publicly announced that he stopped and searched any car with a Grateful Dead bumper sticker as a matter of routine. The profile that De Hernandez ran afoul of is not the only one for which airplane passengers should be on guard, and many of them are ridiculously confusing. "Some profiles reveal that the first person off the plane is a likely drug suspect," observes "Lost Rights" author James Bovard. "Other profiles insist that the last person off is the likely drug dealer, and some profiles assert that the people who try to blend into the middle are the ones to suspect." Bovard's journalist calculator counts all the way to Catch 22 on this one. "In federal court cases, drug courier profiles have justified government agents' accosting plane passengers who had nonstop flights -- and those who changed planes; persons traveling alone -- and persons traveling with a companion; people who appeared nervous -- and people who appeared too calm." Still another profile asserts that landing in a city known as a major source for drugs is enough to supply an officer with reasonable suspicion of illicit goings-on. Never mind, as Steven B. Duke and Albert C. Gross point out in a 1994 Reason magazine article, that every city with a major airport is considered by the authorities to be a major source for drugs. Again quoting Bovard, "When the Founding Fathers created the Fourth Amendment, they were not thinking of 'going to Detroit' as 'reasonable suspicion.'" Nor were they thinking of race, but many drug-courier profiles are often based on ethnicity or group membership. Hispanics and hippies are often stopped near the America-Mexico border based on profiles. If driving a rented car or a vehicle with out-of-state tags so much the worse. As Benjamin and Miller note, policemen will commonly pull the vehicle over and ask if they can search it, merely because the driver looks Hispanic -- ditto for blacks. In fact, after examining 121 cases of travelers being stopped, searched, and found clean of any illicit drugs, the Pittsburgh Press reported that 77 percent were minorities. Racist? Sure. But it's legal. Recall Rehnquist's words: "Automotive travelers may be stopped ... near the border without individualized suspicion even if the stop is based largely on ethnicity." Maybe Justice Rehnquist's ink blotter was sitting on top of his copy of the 14th Amendment, too. American jurisprudence has had from the get-go the desire to rule out this sort of arbitrariness. Yet drug-courier profiles permit and implicitly -- if not explicitly -- condone random enforcement. Currently, a citizen can be stopped under almost any circumstance and be subject to detention and questioning, based not on reasonable suspicion that a crime has actually been committed, but on the fallacious and unconstitutional notion that a character abstraction based on criminal behavior is a reliable standard by which to test the rest of society. Obviously, many drug traffickers and users will fit the profiles -- if for no other reason than the fact that they're based on drug-law offenders in the first place. Too often, however, law abiding citizens fit the same template, simply because they're too broad and ambiguous. Drug users and dealers are not amazingly distinct from the rest of us; anybody can have perfectly harmless characteristics that overlap with those of drug dealers. Utterly abandoning any semblance of sanity, the gung-ho drug warriors, however, assume that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a crack dealer. The result is that a tremendous number of citizens who have done no wrong are hassled by drug enforcement agents: they were too nervous, or too calm; the first, middle, or last passengers off the plane; had a wrong bumper sticker on their car, or magazine on the passenger seat. All of these citizens have had their constitutional rights violated in the name of law and order. By comparison, it would be like the ACLU promoting book burning -- or Pat Robertson promoting the ACLU. Supporters of drug profiles attempt to justify these wrongs by singing the wondrous praises of profiling. A large number of criminals are nabbed with profiles, they say. Well and good, but how many were detained because of a profile match and found to be innocent of an agent's claim of lawbreaking? As Duke and Gross document, a commander of Denver's vice bureau estimated that out of 2,000 airport searches his officers conducted in 1990, only 49 actual arrests were made. Hooray! That's only 1,951 American citizens subjected to unnecessary detention. Similarly, in 1989 at Buffalo's airport, 600 people were detained and only 10 actually arrested. "It appears," observed Second U.S. Court of Appeals Judge George Pratt, "that they have sacrificed the Fourth Amendment by detaining 590 innocent people in order to arrest 10 who are not -- all in the name of the 'war on drugs.'" Then again, I suppose 10 out of 600 isn't too bad for a government operation. The question is, should the drug war be a government operation? If we truly value the Constitution -- and, in particular, the Fourth Amendment -- I think the answer is a resounding "No." Direct Link To: Subtracting the 4th Amendment Joel MillerManaging EditorWorldNetDaily Publishinghttp://www.WND.comPublished: September 11, 2000Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)Copyright: 2000,, Inc.Contact: letters worldnetdaily.comAddress: PO Box 409, Cave Junction, OR 97523-0409Fax: (541) 597-1700Website: Articles By Joel Miller:
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Comment #17 posted by Ken on November 11, 2000 at 17:25:44 PT:
Marijuana Laws
What are the marijuana laws on the island of Roatan?
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on September 12, 2000 at 16:42:45 PT
Me Again!
I guess what I mean about Hippies in general is they are a part of our culture. I don't want them to go away. I look like everyone's next door neighbor and always have but I envied those who were able to break free from stereo types and be themselves. We owe alot to all the free spirits that dared to be different. They opened the door for us I think. CongressmanSuet, it is also fine in my book to do what is best for each one of us. Only we walk in our shoes and only we know how it has to be. Hope this makes sense.Peace, FoM!Flow it, show it, long as God can grow it, my hair.I let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees,Give a home to the fleas in my hair,A home for fleas (yeah)A hive for bees (yeah)A nest for birds,There ain't no words for the beauty, the splendor, The wonder of myHair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair.
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Comment #15 posted by zion on September 12, 2000 at 16:17:18 PT
Profiling and freedom
Can't win....if you cut them flaxen waxen dread locks, then they urine test everyone because it's become durn hard to flush out those subversive hippie pot heads.What I dislike is living in the straight world and having all my colleagues look at me funny because I suggest that the Bill of Rights is being seriously compromised and that we're losing our freedom in this country at an alarming rate. They cast stares like I'm a waco from Waco who has been reading Lyndon LaRouche's Federalist newpaper way too much and am ready to join a Montana militia.How do you break through the passive indifference of your comfortable friends and neighbors?- zP.S. Good luck dddd, may the Lord keep you safe on your journey
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Comment #14 posted by CongressmanSuet on September 12, 2000 at 15:59:26 PT:
One other thing that is important to know...
about me is that Im a medical user. I was recreational for many years and have found that my blood pressure soars if I dont use. My doctor prescribed medications work in a minor way, only cannabis brings me to the normal level.I also have advanced COPD and emphysema, and Cannabis works better than my inhalers to stop attacks. So, I kinda have a less "I like to get high" attitude than most people here. I seriously will be thrilled if they ever come out with an inhaler. My point being, I cannot ever take a chance of being busted and having my supply cut off, It would be quite deleterious to my health.And for myself, if it means I have to comprimise myself in ways, well, I feel like I have no choice. Sorry for being as contrary as I was in my post, but I see things differently I guess. 
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on September 12, 2000 at 15:54:17 PT
CongressmanSuet check this out!
Hi CongressmanSuet! Check out this political cartoon! You gotta watch those bumper stickers for sure!Peace, FoM!Just Vote YES For Drugs - Political Cartoon
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Comment #12 posted by CongressmanSuet on September 12, 2000 at 15:39:13 PT:
I used to have alot of hair too..
guys, but since cutting the tail and getting rid of the politically incorrect bumper stickers[ except for the "There should be limits on freedom" George Bush sticker] I havent been pulled over once, went thru the drug checkpoint with flying colors even with an oz of some of the most obnoxious smelling skunk I have ever laid my hands on. I guess its just my idea of "harm reduction" Thanks for not tearing me up, cause I guess I kinda deserve it. You are right, 100%, but I would rather kiss some ass, I guess thats what it is, and live to fight another day! [ dont ask me why...]
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on September 12, 2000 at 12:16:02 PT
Have a good time too!
Hi dddd, Glad you liked hair and I understand how hard it is too leave the ones including animals that we love. Have a safe trip. Please drop in if you get near a computer and tell us how things are going. I don't know if libraries have C News blocked or not. I also have very long hair. I kept it short and business like for many years but now I can just about sit on it when it's down. I got a lot of hair too! LOL!Peace and Be Safe! FoM!
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Comment #10 posted by dddd on September 12, 2000 at 12:02:13 PT
Thank you FoM. You're the nicest and best. I'm looking forward to a hopefully pleasant adventure,and I will have access to get on line,and hopefully send you a posting. I kinda hate to admit it,but the worst thing about doing this job,is that I have to leave my little white dog,"Bill" behind.He's 11 years old,and he goes everywhere with me.I've had him since he was a pup. I guess if that's one of the worst things in my life,things aint that bad. When things get bad in life,and the end of the rope is near,,,I have a favorite simple saying that applies to almost any and all situations,and it helps to bring things into focus. The simplistic saying is;"Things could be worse".JAH shine on you.......dddd
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 12, 2000 at 07:42:00 PT
Hair: For You dddd! Have a safe trip!
She asks me why,I'm just a hairy guy.I'm hairy noon and night,Hair that's a fright.I'm hairy high and low,Don't ask me why, don't know.It's not for lack of bread, like the Grateful Dead, darlin',Give me a head with hair,Long beautiful hair,Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen,Give me down to there hair,Shoulder length or longer,Here, baby, there, momma, ev'rywhere, daddy, daddy,Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair.Flow it,   show it,   long  as God can grow it, my hair.I let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees,Give a home to the fleas in my hair,A home for fleas (yeah)A hive for bees (yeah)A nest for birds,There ain't no words for the beauty, the splendor,  The wonder of myHair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair.Flow it,   show it,   long   as God can grow it, my hair.I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy,Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty,Oily, greasy, fleecy, shining,Gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen,Knotted, polka dotted, twisted, beaded, braided,Powdered, flowered and confettied,Bangled, tangled, spangled and spaghettied.Oh say, can you see my eyes?If you can then my hair's too short.Down to here, down to there,Down to there, down to where it stops by itself.They'll be ga ga at the go go when they see me in my toga,My toga made of blond, brilliantined, biblical hair.My hair like Jesus wore it,Hallelujah, I adore it,Hallelujah; Mary loved her son, why don't my mother love me?Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair.Flow it,   show it,  long  as God can grow it, myHair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair.Flow it,   show it,  long  as God can grow it, myHair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair.Flow it,   show it,  long  as God can grow it, my hair.
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Comment #8 posted by dddd on September 12, 2000 at 07:10:05 PT
 No way....I would probably fit into some other profile with a haircut.I dont wear an earring,and I dont have any tattoos,that probably makes me look suspect under another profile. I'll just let them hassle me however they want.I'll remain polite,with an attitude.I think I'll wear a tie-died shirt,just to mess with them.......dddd
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Comment #7 posted by CongressmanSuet on September 11, 2000 at 22:22:06 PT:
dddd, please,,,,
  cut the Goddamn pony tail, only wear the nice diamond earing, and maybe begin to understand that you need to give a little to get alot.Its a sad situation brother, but, it is what it is.As it is now, you need to expect to be harrased if you standout like you do, just the ponytail says Yeah, talk to him. Go against your princples? No, just make yourself a more effective ambassador. Infiltrate, its what they do best, dont you think we should fight back just as dirty?
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Comment #6 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on September 11, 2000 at 20:20:42 PT:
Clarification for D4
Dear D4,   When I talked about screaming bloody murder, I did not mean for people to do it in custody. What I meant to say is that we all need to let our political leaders know that we still believe in the Bill of Rights and will not allow them to gut it in the false belief that the War on Drugs will finally succeed and all God's children will content themselves with wholesome government sanctioned addictive substances like alcohol and tobacco.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on September 11, 2000 at 19:50:42 PT
Have a safe trip this time dddd! LOL!
Thanks for sharing your experience. Please be careful and if you get on line while you are gone make sure you stop in here and say high! Please be careful really!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #4 posted by observer on September 11, 2000 at 19:50:16 PT
Joel Miller
does it again! Another excellent piece! Shows how freedoms are eroded using the pretext of saving The Children, or saving adults from themselves, or saving "society" from crazed reefer-smoking axe-murderers. Now we all fit the profile (i.e. any excuse will do), though, the profilers sock it to some people lots more than others. dddd: Thanks for telling us about that profiling experiences! Hope you have it easier returning this time! 
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Comment #3 posted by dddd on September 11, 2000 at 19:14:59 PT
Ethan....I like the concept of screaming bloody murder,and loudly protesting,,but at LAX,I would have been immediatly,unceremoniously handcuffed,or if I really screamed,,hogtied,,and whisked away by people who enjoy removing obstinate hippie protest screamers.I'll bet that if you were in the airport,waiting to catch a flight,and you saw jackbooted paramilitary swat guys,dragging me away,while I'm screaming,"Help Me!!!I cant believe this!,,,,HELP!!",,you would probably do what I would do,and everyone does,, It's accepted as normal,standard police activity...I think almost everyone assumes that law enforcement is staffed by all normal,honest,well balanced people. I think modern day law enforcement is a breeding ground for mental instability,,superiority complexes,,and often leads to the type of obscene corruption and evil that we got a glimpse of here in LA/Rampart. I agree with you..we have to speak out loudly,but in this new police state day and age,it seems like alot of the people who scream bloody murder get clubbed,and locked up. I know there are many honorable people law enforcement,but nowdays it's pretty spooky in the big city.The cops just keep getting scarier and scarier..............dddd
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Comment #2 posted by dddd on September 11, 2000 at 18:26:44 PT
Prime Suspect!
 I am a long haired hippie,,getting close to the age of 50. Two years ago,I joined my friend in a trip to Roatan,which is a Honduran island in the Carribean.My friend had bought some property,and we had drawn up plans for a house,and we went down to locate it in the lot,,etc...It just happened to be the same time hurricane Mitch struck,,,.anyway,,I flew home a couple of days ahead of my friend.I arrived at LAX two days later,due to the damage the hurricane had caused. Upon leaving the plane,all passengers are channeled into a single file line,and must pass through the narrow corridor,where three agents,with drug sniffing dogs persue everyone down the hall,sniffing about all the passengers.(This is a true story.I'm not making this up...this is not one of my cheap satires). Now if I was gonna try to smuggle drugs,I would certainly not do it disguised as an old hippie,on a flight from Central America. It became immediatly obvious,that I was a profile right out of the training manual.I was stopped 4 times,by four different agents before I even got close to going through customs.These agents who stopped me,were in plain clothes,they looked like college students or something. Each one gave me the same "third degree",formula.Again,it must have been right out of the training manual.The drill went something like this; "Where you coming from?" "How long were you there for?" "Why were you there?" "Where do you live?" "What do you do for a living?" I'm not kidding!..These people would just appear out of nowhere,and stopped me,and confronted me.When I asked,they would identify themselves as dea,and flash a badge. By the time the fourth agent stopped me,I was beginning to nurture somewhat of an attitude.I made the mistake of saying something like; "Hey,,I have nothing to hide,you're welcome to search me." After I made this statement to this girl who looked like a young Mrs Hathaway,from the Beverly Hillbillies,,,,her eyes widened,and she started giving me this real serious stare of suspicion.It was once again obvious,that I had scored more profile points. She said;"Come with me". She led me over to this sort of seperate area,where she proceeded to make me empty out my briefcase,pockets,,,she fidgeted around with everything.She left several times,leaving me under the watchful eye of an armed agent in uniform.She called him over and said,"watch this guy for me". She returned 10 or 15 minutes later,and started picking at my old Samsonite briefcase.She noticed a hole in one of the outside corners,,,she said stuff like; "What's that?....How'd that get there?,,,,how long ago did that happen?".....etc.. I'm basically standing there shrugging,mildly grinning the good natured smirk of an old hippie,who had just returned from a hurricane. Next,,she takes my briefcase,and puts it in some huge X-ray machine unit,that had this hi-tech screen on the front of it,and they spent about five minutes rotating,,enlarging,,studying....Basically,,they gave my briefcase a "cat(cap?) scan",or an MRI. Meanwhile,I'm thinking that next,I will be on my way to the Office of Orifice Probing and Further Humiliation,(OOPFH),,I began to wonder about what sort of qualifications one needs,to be in the "butt probe"division?,,,and how I pity the poor bastard who has to look up my old,funky ass. The girl brings back my briefcase,and all of a sudden,everyone dissappears.I am left standing in front all the contents of my briefcase,and luggage,strewn about in piles. No one said;"you can go now",,or,"sorry we tore ya apart".....they had vanished. I started to gingerly pick up my belongings,,,,I imagined that perhaps they had been called to assist on a major probe bust,where they had dug 1.3 million dollars worth of coke,weed,and heroin,out of some poor guys ass. I sauntered out of the airport,,in the twilight zone.I was still glad to be home. Here's the best part. After I returned from this oddysey,,I said;"I'll never do that again"...............I'm leaving tomorrow to oversee the completion of the project.I'll be gone over a month........May JAH shine on you all.............dddd
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on September 11, 2000 at 12:29:42 PT:
Well documented complaints such as this mean nothing unless people will exercise their rights, and scream bloody murder about their abrogation. 
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