Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Planned Assassination Foiled

As I'm sure many of you have already heard, two Neo-Nazis were recently arrested, accused of planning a gun store robbery, the planned murder of a number of black students at a school, and the planned assassination of Barack Obama. Some questions surrounding the case don't add up though.

First, let me say that in no way do I support the assassination of Barack Obama or any other political figures. I also suggest that Christians especially should have no involvement in plotting or carrying out assassinations, ever. Assassination shows a lack of trust in God to change situations for the better. Only those who are enemies of God use those means. So, if it is true that these men were going to do this, it is good that they will be locked up.

Now, we come to the rant via a question. How were these men's plans discovered? The Associated Press article describes how the accused "stated" their intentions. Yet it does not sound as though the statements were from admissions to investigators. Rather it sounds as though the men's internet correspondence was being monitored. "The two men met about a month ago on the Internet and found common ground in their shared 'white power' and 'skinhead' philosophy." If this is the case, the monitoring was part of the increased role of wiretapping and eavesdropping on the war on terror, which was legalized by the Patriot Act in 2001, and was recently bolstered by Congress. If I am right, it means all our e-mails are being read. It is likely that our phone conversations are also screened.

Not many years ago, the American populace would not have put up with our government snooping through citizens' mail. Now it is considered a legitimate action to disuade terror. While I certainly do not support terror, murder, or racially motivated profiling or hate crimes, I also definitely do not support the idea that the government can read my emails and make arrests based on what they find there.

That last concept raises another question. Is it, or should it be, legal to arrest someone based on what they say? What about free speech laws? If these men said they planned to kill Obama, until they start acting on the plan, they are in the same category as the man who hanged Palin in effigy and placed a McCain mannequin in faux hell flames. Those effigies could also be seen as hate speech and possible threats to the lives of John McCain and Sarah Palin. Yet is that not still only free speech?

I would not like anyone to die because two evil men go on a rampage, but to arrest them without having done anything further than showing motivation is not just either. Our nation is loosing the rights and protections that it long enjoyed and we are moving toward a society controlled by the iron grip of a tyrannical police state, and there are no signs that this trend will let up in the near future. Just one more question to provoke you to thought; when will the war on terror be over?

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