Today we have a post from Peace Tree contributing author, Chris Wilcox.
Good question, Chris.
The link to the complete video of the brutal and repeated use of a taser upon Mostafa Tabatabainejad - a 23-year old UCLA senior that was taped by a fellow student follows this post.
What'cha Gonna Do When They Come For You?
By Chris Wilcox
Scary news was all around over the weekend. I am trying to understand what the hell is going on in this country when we witness things like the tazzering of an Iranian-American UCLA student for objecting to being profiled for an id check in the UCLA library. Or, when we see helpless women janitors trampled by jack-booted police mounted on horseback in
These were not situations where people were belligerently threatening or causing real or potential harm to anybody. In the first example, the student at UCLA objected to a random request to show his student ID to “Community Service Officers” (CSO) because he was singled out for his Middle Eastern appearance. The second example involves Service Employees International Workers (SEIU) in
The University student was sitting in the library finishing up an assignment which was due this coming Wednesday. He objected to being requested to present his student ID while the numerous white students around him were not approached. The CSO’s left and later returned with police officers. When they arrived the student had already packed his computer and was heading out of the library. The police officers grabbed him by the arm and the student, already disturbed that he had been racially profiled, demanded that the police get their hands off of him. When a second officer approached the student fell limply to the ground as an act of civil disobedience. He was then tazzered five separate times as the police attempted to remove him from the library. It is highly probable, from watching the video, that the young man was incapacitated by the initial tazer shock and unable to leave the library.
Tom Balanoff, the
While examples of excessive force are not new in
Proponents of warrantless spying on Americans living inside the
Provision is already in place to protect our national security as provided in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. (FISA) Under the provisions of FISA the President may authorize, through the Attorney General, electronic surveillance without a court order for the period of one year provided it is only for foreign intelligence information. The act also provides for the interception of communications between foreign nationals and American citizens but probable cause must be demonstrated and a warrant must be acquired. In practice the reality is that the requirement of a warrant has not been a hindrance in gathering intelligence. Between the years of 1979 and 1999 FISC courts granted 11,833 warrants and rejected none. Furthermore there is no obstruction to the gathering of such information because the intelligence agency, with probable cause, can put their surveillance in place and has up to 30 days to obtain the warrant to make the surveillance admissible.
The idea that the government needs an ability to circumvent the Fourth Amendment and deny our protection of unreasonable searches and seizures in light of an increasing occurrence of strong armed police actions should be alarming to every citizen in