Posts Tagged With: ACLU

And Another Right Bites The Dust.

Federal Judge Upholds Warrantless Search of Passengers’ Laptops and Other Devices.

Your rights to privacy, free speech and unreasonable searches and seizures have just taken a giant hit. A Federal District Judge in New York has just ripped the guts out of the 4th Amendment to the U S Constitution.

Warrantless searches without probable cause or even suspicion are now part of a broader pattern of aggressive government surveillance that collects information on the average presumed innocent American citizen, under lax standards, and without adequate oversight.

 

A federal judge in New York on December 31 upheld a government policy that permits officers at U.S. borders to inspect and copy the contents of travelers’ laptops and other devices without reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman dismissed a lawsuit by a university student and a group of criminal defense lawyers and press photographers challenging regulations adopted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that allow searches of passengers’ electronic equipment at the nation’s borders, including at airports and on trains.Full coverage: NSA Secrets

 

 

The plaintiffs, who were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, allege that the policy violates their rights to privacy and free speech.

Korma, a judge in the Eastern District of New York, said that the policy permits searches with or without suspicion, and cited case law that held that “searches at our borders without probable cause and without a warrant are nonetheless ‘reasonable.’”
He said that “there is about a 10 in a million chance” that a U.S. citizen or foreigner’s laptop will be searched. Two federal appeals courts have held that searches of electronic devices are routine border searches.
One federal appeals court has held that some searches may require reasonable suspicion.
One of the plaintiffs, university student Pascal Abidor, had his laptop inspected and taken by Customs and Border Protection officers while he was on an Amtrak train from Montreal to New York in May 2010. It was returned 11 days later.
Abidor could prove no injury from the laptop’s confiscation and in any case, Korman said, the officers had reasonable suspicion to inspect it.
Abidor, an Islamic studies scholar and a dual French-American citizen, had images of rallies by the militant Islamist groups Hamas and Hezbollah on his laptop.
Catherine Crump, the ACLU attorney who argued the case in July 2011, expressed disappointment at the ruling.
“Suspicionless searches of devices containing vast amounts of personal information cannot meet the standard set by the Fourth Amendment of the U s Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures,” Crump said in a statement. “Unfortunately, these searches are part of a broader pattern of aggressive government surveillance that collects information on too many innocent people, under lax standards, and without adequate oversight.”
The ACLU is considering an appeal.

(By Ellen Nakashima)

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Categories: Constitutional Law | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Women In Combat

One out of every three cadets at the Coast Guard Academy is a female.

 

Under feminist pressure, the military academies have relaxed their physical requirements.

At the Air Force Academy at the base of the ramp leading to the parade grounds was inscribed the words ’’Bring me men… ’’ taken from the poem, “The Coming American,” by Samuel Walter Foss. In a controversial move following the 2003 sexual assault scandal, the words “Bring me men…” were taken down and replaced with the Academy’s core values: “Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do”. 

 

Like virtually all other major institutions in America today, the armed forces are operating under the tyrannical fist of political correctness, with truth sacrificed to ideology. Back in October 1992, when the George H.W. Bush administration’s Justice Department went to war with the Virginia Military Institute over VMI’s exclusion of women, the PC veil was lifted for a moment.

Col. Patrick Toffler, head of West Point’s Office of Institutional Research, testified as to whether the U.S. Military Academy had lowered its training standards to accommodate female cadets. After much resistance, Col. Toffler admitted under cross-examination that women were taught self-defense while men were taught boxing and wrestling. Pull-ups, peer ratings, rifle runs and certain obstacle-course elements were scrapped.

The point here is not so much about physical allowances made for women but about the military’s denial of the truth. Smart military men and women learn to pretend or kiss their careers goodbye.

 

Oblivious to important differences between men and women, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the Department of Defense to lift all combat exemptions for women.

Not putting women into combat deprives them of their constitutional rights, the ACLU is arguing on behalf of four servicewomen in a complaint filed in a federal court in San Francisco.

 

In the ACLU’s parallel universe, women are just as aggressive, strong, fast and warlike as men. You know, like in the National Football League, where female linebackers strike terror in the hearts of Los Angeles Rams‘ Fearsome Foursome and the Pittsburg Steelers‘ Steele Curtain.

Much of the pressure for this march toward barbarism is coming from career feminist military personnel, who argue that lack of combat experience hurts their chances for advancement. In other words, because a few women want to climb the ladder of rank, all women in the military should be put at risk for combat duty, whether they want it or not.

Hundreds of thousands of women have served and do serve honorably in the military and perform crucial jobs. They deserve every American’s gratitude and respect. Some have been killed or wounded while serving bravely in very difficult conditions.

The military has kept women out of direct ground combat for a moral reason: Deliberately putting women in harm’s way is not right; and for practical reasons: Women are not as physically strong, and they have an impact on the men around them. In a civilized society, men are raised to protect women. Now some of America’s elite warrior units train men to be indifferent to women’s screams. That’s what passes for “progress” in a “progressive” military.

 

It’s not primarily about individual capability but military necessity. Anything that detracts from the military’s mission to win wars and bring troops back alive is not worth it, no matter how fashionable.

In a summary of 30 years of research on women’s suitability for combat and heavy work duty, professor William J. Gregor of the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., concludes, “Few if any women possess the physical capacity to perform in combat or heavy military occupational specialties and none will outperform well-trained men. Training women with men to the same physical occupational standards dramatically increases the skeletal-muscular injury rate among women.”

Even conservative lawmakers seem too terrified to ask such questions as:

What happens to women who are captured? Should we care?

If women achieve equal opportunity (and exposure) on the battlefield, do they have an equal ability to survive?

Why is there an alarming increase in sexual assaults against women in the armed services?

Do people realize that their daughters almost certainly will be subject to any future draft if combat exemptions are lifted?

Is it really no more harmful for servicewomen who are mothers to be separated from their infants than when fathers are sent overseas? Should we care?

(See Robert Knight: Deceitful Debate Over Women In Combat)

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