Thursday, July 26, 2007
Phillies: Inconvenient Rights are Still Rights
“Suspending portions of the fifth amendment, no matter the reason, is unacceptable to every loyal American,” said George Phillies, Libertarian candidate for President. “Especially for someone whose oath of office is to uphold the constitution.”
In an executive order dated July 17*, President Bush provided for the seizure and blockage of property belonging to any person or entity whom the Secretary of the Treasury determines to have committed or “pose a significant risk of committing” an act of violence with the goal of “undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people” or to have aided or funded such persons directly or indirectly.
Critics of this executive order have pointed out the lack of due process. The decision is left to the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense. Of equal concern is the vague language defining those whose property can be seized. The definition stretches to include any person who publicly expresses disagreement with the current administration’s policies in Iraq
“This executive order stands as a threat, not only to a citizen’s fifth amendment right not to have his property seized without due process,” Phillies said, “but as an imminent threat to our first amendment rights to freedom of expression and freedom to petition our government for redress of grievances.”
The Libertarian hopeful reminded Americans that law enforcement is required to uphold the Law of the Land, the constitution and the Bill of Rights. He urged his fellow citizens to hold the federal government to just as high a standard. “As Americans, we cannot suspend our Bill of Rights for the sake of expediency or convenience. Inconvenient rights are still rights and must be protected. ”
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