Pubdate: Fri, 4 June 1999
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register
Author: Paul Fredrick-Capistrano Beach


I would like to thank the Register for printing "Seizing the initiative"
[Opinion, May 20]. Little has been written about property seizures and the
abuses of our government, not to mention the complete violation of the
Fourth Amendment.

But when has the federal government ever cared about obeying the law? The
Bill of Rights was specifically written to appease the individual states
after the Revolutionary War. At that time the United States was not the
United States at all, but a loose collection of separate entities. It seems
the states were fearful of a strong central government after a long and
bloody war to separate from one. And so the Bill of Rights was adopted and,
with some reluctance, ratified by each state.

This part of the Constitution was a specific and absolute guarantee that
what is happening, as the Register put it, "in an alarming number of cases"
cannot happen. Asset forfeiture and property seizures have long been touted
as "tools of the drug war." They really are paths to circumvent the Bill of
Rights and make sure Big Brother can take from us whatever it wants whenever
it wants without fear of retribution.

I believe the Supreme Court has been grossly negligent in its duty to
protect the American people's rights and liberties, and the mainstream news
media have, for the most part, chosen not to report the widespread abuse of
power that violating the Constitution creates. I also believe agencies such
as the IRS and the DEA cannot be reformed. How many Wacos, Ruby Ridges and
Oklahoma City bombings must we endure before the government is made to obey
the law?

Paul Fredirick Capistrano Beach

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