View Full Version : Legal horrendous federal abuse of rights in the US.

2nd Jul 2001, 02:23
Ok, we whinge that our rights are being abused in the UK occasionally by the police and government. However the worst that we suffer in the UK doesn't seem to be a fraction as bad as what happens in the US.

Your property can be guilty of crime. As a person you need to be proven guilty of crime, but property can be seized for NO reason and it's up to you to prove it innocent before you get it back. This includes cash, bank accounts, cars houses etc. These stands even when you personally are not charged with a crime.

More than $1 billion in property is now seized without trial each year from innocent Americans, according to the national forfeiture defense organization FEAR (Forfeiture Endangers American Rights fear.org)

I won't copy the article in here because of copyright, but the link is below.


[This message has been edited by Release (edited 01 July 2001).]

Squawk 8888
2nd Jul 2001, 03:19
It's an uphill battle but the good guys are fighting back. The asset forfeiture laws violate the property rights guaranteed by the US constitution, which states that one can only be deprived of one's property by due process of law. Right now the biggest offender has been Amtrak- whenever a passenger pays cash for a long trip, the railway calls the cops who then seize the passenger's money on the spot. There have been several court victories but there's still a long way to go- the Institute for Justice (http://ij.org) is very active in property rights litigation.

If you think you're better off in the UK, think again- none of your rights are protected in writing, and if you're arrested you don't even have the right to keep your mouth shut. As soon as the pols see the cash flow potential you better believe they're going to go for it. Here in Canada, Ontario has introduced legislation to allow the seizure of property that is "suspected" of being the proceeds of crime, and we're screwed here because property was deliberately excluded from the Charter.

Per dementia ad astra

2nd Jul 2001, 07:00
And furthermore;
Due to a "wondeful" thing known as the zero tolerance law, if you loan your car, boat, house, etc. to someone who is then caught with illegal drugs the police can seize that property even if you had absolutely nothing to do with the incident!?!?

In addition, I know of a small midwest town where if you are a visitor and a property owner commits a crime (short of assault, ie. harassment, threats, etc)against you the local police dept will not investigate!!!!!

And that is not even mentioning the abuse of power in Washington D.C.

Squawk 8888
2nd Jul 2001, 09:00
Yeah, that's been going on in Canada for years. If you're caught hunting or fishing without a licence, everything you have on you (vehicle, boat, etc.) is seized without warrant or trial. If that property happens to be borrowed then the owner is out of luck.

Per dementia ad astra

2nd Jul 2001, 09:47
Too many people are confused about "freedom" falsely believing they are free to do as they wish as long as they mind their own business. The government exists to mind your own business for you. This is called democracy or, according to the ancient Greek philosophers who strongly opposed it, "the tyranny of the majority." Individuals are unfortunately, always in a minority of one.
There are two main types of Law in the European tradition: Common Law, as in England, Wales and the United States as well as much of the old British Empire. Then Civil or Roman Law pretty much everywhere else.

Under Common Law, people don't have rights they have responsibilities.

Civil Law is based upon the Law of the Roman Empire, where Cicero interestingly declared that the state didn't exist for the benefit of the people. People existed for the benefit of the State, and for the purpose of receiving just government.

In either case everything belongs to the state. If you're an Englishman who has paid off his mortgage you might really believe you own the land your house stands on. Wrong! All you have is the freehold, usually "in fee simple" or in other words you have purchased the right to occupy the land indefinitely until such time that the state wants it back.

So the government cannot really confiscate your property because it isn't actually yours in the first place. Individuals only hold property by the permission of "The State" Now it may be time for a revolution, but until its over, in the meantime we'd better stop whingeing about our rights. We've never had any.

Through difficulties to the cinema

Winston Smith
2nd Jul 2001, 14:05

not only that: "Property Taxes" mean you are merely renting something from the State.

Squawk 8888,

is that really true about Amtrak? What's wrong with cash?

In the long run, I fear they'll be trying to stop the circulation of cash completely. Credit cards are not only a simple way for the "elite" to reap billions, but to place you entirely in their hands. When you "own" nothing more than a simple number they won't even have to confiscate anything physically. And what's more important, anything you do can easily be traced (I can hear some of our "liberals" ask why any law-abiding citizen should be upset about this...).

It may be a stupid question, but I remember reading on several occasions that possession of gold is actually illegal in the States. That true?

2nd Jul 2001, 15:16
You may well be right about that Winston. In 1934, during the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt forbade private possession of gold bullion and artificially devalued the dollar per ounce of gold, hoping to make American exports cheaper and more competitive. I wonder if this rule has never been reversed since.

Constable Clipcock
2nd Jul 2001, 16:54
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">"It may be a stupid question, but I remember reading on several occasions that possession of gold is actually illegal in the States. That true?"</font>

It was true, Winston during the Great Depression and WW2, however this is no longer the case and hasn't been in decades. Americans can and do own gold occasionally — it's just that most of us can't afford it!

Your observation wrt property tax is precisely the way I've viewed it (I've never owned real estate, btw).

As for "property forfeiture", Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 3 of the US Constitution specifically states: "No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed" — in practice however, the manner in which these seizures are conducted amounts precisely to the execution of a bill of attainder, hence violates the intent of this paragraph.

Don't even get me started on the privatization of jails and prisons in the US! Suffice it to say that, IMO, no private corporation has any damned business operating a penitentiary, let along turning a profit from one. One would think that slavery had been declared unconstitutional, but no....

2nd Jul 2001, 21:05

You may or not be aware that our Dear Leader's government has already proposed a similar law in this country and intend to bring it into force during the course of this next parliament.

As things stand money laundering legislation requires banks and financial institutions to inform the authorities if they suspect that their customer's transactions involve the proceeds of drug trafficking.

As to the seizure of cars boats etc it already applies in the UK - items can be siezed under s27 of the Misuse of Drugs Act or any vessel etc (includes cars, whatever) used to smuggle dutiable goods (fags, booze, drugs etc)of whatever quantity is subject to condemnation (confiscation) under the Customs and Excise Management Acts.

Air Canada lost a Tristar a few years ago when it was found to have carried a package from I think Bombay to Heathrow containing cannabis. The Appeal Courts said it didn't matter that the Airline was unaware of the contents of the package.

There is already legislation in force that enables the state to seize the property of drug traffickers or those convicted of offences of dishonesty. The laws include a presumption that any property coming into the possession of the person during the preceding 7 years is the proceeds of similar crime unless he can prove to the contrary.

[This message has been edited by Legalapproach (edited 02 July 2001).]

Gash Handlin
2nd Jul 2001, 23:09
I got a loan last year to buy a car, when I had chosen the car I wanted I phoned my bank to arrange collecting the cash.

When I turned up at the appointed time I was shown into a private room. In walks the deputy manager and a cashier, deputy manager asks me why I want to withdraw xThousand pounds? I asked him what business it was of his and he told me he was required to ask by law in case I was using the money for illegal acts. I asked him whether he had ever managed to catch out a drug dealer with his cunning ruse and he looked at me blankly, he still didn't seem to get it when I explained that most criminal masterminds generally don't give away their plans like in a Bond film and would probably say they were buying a car or something, he still seemed a bit confused and asked again why I wanted the money, I told him I was "buying a car &lt;wink,wink&gt;, know what I mean?" and you could see the coggs whirring away.

3rd Jul 2001, 07:49
Gash, I like your style!

Tartan Gannet
3rd Jul 2001, 12:13
Robert Burns summed this up beautifully in his lines on Democracy

"A fig for those by Law protected, for Liberty's a Glorious Feast,
Courts for Cowards were erected,
Churches built to plrase the Priest"

In the UK and USA we are RELATIVELY free compared to some African dictatorships such as Rhodesia, the Taleban's Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq etc, but are still heavily restricted by our Establishment both Government and its Bureaucracy. Also some non governmental organisations have the "right" to bring prosecutions here in the UK, a power which in my opinion should rest soley with the Police, Customs, Revenue with such other Non Government bodies only being allowed to lay evidence of an offence with the Police etc.

As regular readers will know I am strongly against criminals, especially violent ones, but deplore the State and more especially NON State bodies having undue interference in how the Law Abiding Majority run their lives and this general supposition that if you own or spend a large amount of actual cash it has been obtained by dishonest means.

I also dislike the "spot fine" policies of the Train Companies here in the UK. What happens is that an Inspector will come on the train and if the passenger hasnt a ticket he is required to pay the full single fare and a 10 penalty. Now why they cannot simply have a conductor guard on the train who would sell the appropriate ticket to passengers thus allowing faster boarding I do not know. On the Heathrow Express from LHR to London Paddington station they have the best solution, 12 for a single ticket purchased at the terminal and 14 if bought from the Conductor on the train once boarded.

Im afraid there is nothing we can do about this trend as all the viable political parties here in the UK, especially Phoney Tony's New Labour, are control freaks.

Winston Smith
3rd Jul 2001, 13:41
I wonder if they are going to abuse the introduction of the Euro as an opportunity to register what amounts of cash people possess. Going to be a lot of work for bank robbers...

(Do they really charge 12 Pound for a SINGLE ticket LHR - Paddington Station?)