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L. Neil Smith's
Number 657, February 12, 2012

"The goal is nothing less than totalitarian control
over the thoughts and the actions of every human being"

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Criminal Justice
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Hardly a week goes by these days that we don't hear some vile Washington chair-warmer issuing a proclamation to the effect that any man, woman, or child who exercises a given unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, or human right (the particulars change from moment to moment) should be looked upon by local police as a potential terrorist.

The round-heeled mass-media lick it all up and vomit it back at us.

If you happen to own a gun (or guns, which is even worse), or speak out in support of the Second Amendment, you just might be a terrorist.

If you happen to home-school your children, or try to pass your religious beliefs and moral values on to them, you just might be a terrorist.

If you grow fruit or vegetables in your garden, eat them yourself, or give them or sell them to somebody else to eat, you just might be a terrorist.

If you milk your own cows, drink the milk without spoiling it in some government-approved manner, or sell it, you just might be a terrorist.

If you criticize this nation's increasingly worthless paper currency and prefer silver and gold coins, you just might be a terrorist.

If you stock food or other emergency supplies up against the possibility of some natural or political disaster, you just might be a terrorist.

If you apply an adhesive sticker for the politically incorrect Presidential candidate to your car bumper, you just might be a terrorist.

You're right: it's like a Jeff Foxworthy routine straight out of hell.

What's more, it's exactly the kind of phenomenon that causes the nervous cop who's stopped you for a burned-out taillight to unsnap the safety strap of his holster as he approaches your driver's-side door, infinitely increasing the likelihood that he's going to shoot you to gory pieces if you happen to twitch at the wrong moment, or he doesn't like the color of your nose-hairs, and then lie about what happened afterward.

If he arrests you, and charges you over and over for the same act, and you bring a lawyer into it, that's taken as a confession of your guilt. We can thank those fascinating police procedural shows for that one.

And for their part, the police didn't just spontaneously start getting more brutal and malicious overnight, beating up and sometimes killing people for bad behavior like taking out a pocket handkerchief, for having obtained a license to carry a concealed weapon and telling them about it, or for photographing the cops violating other people's rights.

When I was young, the sight of a hand engulfing the lens of a reporter's camera was something—like being required to show your papers—typical of Third World uniformed goons, or fat-assed Southern sheriffs in mirrored sunglasses, resisting black civil rights.

But I digress.

No, somebody told the cops they could be that way, told them they should be that way, probably told them that they must be that way.

Judges, as well, at all levels, are becoming more malicious and brutal, ruling, for example, in the face of both written statute and plain common sense, that a powerful politician who refuses to prove his citizenship, and has been caught in one transparent lie after another about it, must appear on the ballot when he illegally runs for re-election. As columnist Vin Suprynowicz points out, judges now think they're part of the prosecution team. Juries are now carefully chosen, not at random or for neutrality, but for the likelihood they'll convict.

But the worst part, the rotten heart and blackened soul of this disease our country has contracted, is the business, noted above, of turning the perfectly ordinary behavior of everyday decent Americans into "crimes", declaring them to be potential terrorists, providing excuses for which they may now be abducted by the police or the military, smuggled away and made to vanish without a word to friends or family, hidden in secret prisons somewhere, anywhere in the world, tortured, and executed, utterly without reference to due process of law.

Four out of five Presidential candidates, including the incumbent, all think that this is perfectly peachy. The round-heeled mass-media are getting hernias striving to make the one who doesn't into an un-person.

But wait. What's this?

"This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same).

"It further makes it unlawful for two or more persons to go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another with the intent to prevent or hinder his/her free exercise or enjoyment of any rights so secured.

"Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both; and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, [the perpetrator] shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years, or for life, or may be sentenced to death."

Where the hell did that come from?

What the hell is it?

And there's this, as well:

"This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

"This law further prohibits a person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation or custom to willfully subject or cause to be subjected any person to different punishments, pains, or penalties, than those prescribed for punishment of citizens on account of such person being an alien or by reason of his/her color or race.

"Acts under 'color of any law' include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the bounds or limits of their lawful authority, but also acts done without and beyond the bounds of their lawful authority; provided that, in order for unlawful acts of any official to be done under 'color of any law,' the unlawful acts must be done while such official is purporting or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. This definition includes, in addition to law enforcement officials, individuals such as Mayors, Council persons, Judges, Nursing Home Proprietors, Security Guards, etc., persons who are bound by laws, statutes ordinances, or customs.

"Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and if bodily injury results or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined or imprisoned up to ten years or both, and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death."

What a bunch of magnificent ideas! Naturally, the round-heeled mass media, and four out of five Presidential candidates would call them crazy, but these statutes would outlaw practically everything the Obama administration has ever done to us, or plans to do. And they would send countless minions of previous administrations to prison or to the chopping block. If only these ideas could be enacted into law everything could go back to the way it was when this was still a free country!

And a restored and remodeled Alcatraz would have thousands of new residents.

But hold on for just a nanosecond. In all of the excitement, I sort of forgot to tell you that these paragraphs are already the law! They are, respectively, Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 241, "Conspiracy Against Rights" and Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 242, "Deprivation of Rights 'Under Color of Law'".

I used to quote these statutes all the time, back before there was an Internet (or "B.I.", as we call it), but they kinda slipped away from my consciousness until just recently. And I'm not the only one thinking about them. When I went out to research this article, I found someone on The Daily Paul demanding to know why they aren't being enforced.

You should be asking, too, everywhere and every chance you get.

You should be especially asking the round-heeled mass media and four out of five Presidential candidates.

L. Neil Smith is the Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE, as well as the author of 33 freedom-oriented books, the most recent of which is DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis.

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