We're from the government, and we're here to save you...
A report from the Justice Dept Inspector General, in pdf, on how well the department is working to prevent terrorism. Let's see...
1) ATFE and FBI are engaged in turf wars over explosives cases. They retain two separate labs for investigation, and race each other to crime scenes in the belief that the agency who gets there first becomes lead agency.
2) FBI has a backlog of untranslated terror-related audio files. They can even say how big it is, but it's somewhere between 4,700 and 47,000 hours of audio. That's not counting other untranslated files and documents. "Our audit concluded that not translating or reviewing counterterrorism and counterintelligence materials can increase the risk that the FBI will not detect information that may be important to its counterterrorism and counterintelligence efforts."
3) Justice has a National Gang Information Center. It has no operating budget, and receives about three requests a year from local law enforcement.
Why would local law enforcement request help from someone who is busy trying to duke it out with the batf.
Posted by: John Smith at April 13, 2010 07:07 AM
Even worse. The Constitution only allows Congress to pass criminal laws (punish) in about 5 areas. These are counterfeiting, piracies and felonies on the high seas, offenses against the Law of Nations, and treason.
The "all laws necessary and proper" does not imply any power to punish for other criminal activities. As Justice Story and the others stated the police power, except for the 5 areas above, was left to the states. IF there were any "implied" power to make criminal sactions, then the granted powers over punishment are unnecessary verbiage in the Constitution.
The feds don't even have the power to punish treason without an explicit grant (Article III, Section 3).
Spend some time. Get out of your box. Read the damn thing. Stand up for what is right even when you stand alone. All this federal criminal law is not authorized.
The Framers were smart. Give Congress the power to make certain laws. BUT put the power to enforce those laws in the hands of the States. And the States can then control Congress' proclivity to pass unconstitutional laws because of the true separation of powers.
Think about all the citizens who have been punished under federal criminal law that is/was unconstitutional.
Posted by: fwb at April 13, 2010 09:39 AM
On top of the laws being unconstitutional, many citizens are incarcerated for made up offenses. They are coerced into plea bargaining a guilty plea for nonexistent offenses that they didn't commit because they are scared not to.
They are threatened with extremely lengthy prison terms. Their families and friends are threatened. They actually waive jury trial and perjure themselves with encouragement from prosecutors and defense attorneys before a judge who well knows what's going on.
Posted by: W W Woodward at April 13, 2010 09:16 PM