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mcgrew's Journal: Your papers, please, comrade! (7/19/2002) 8

Journal by mcgrew

John Ashcroft: Your papers, please!!!
John Gilmore: Uh, like, I only got a pipe, man...

        John Gilmore, founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is suing US Attorney General John Ashcroft for Ashcroft's unwritten but enforced law that says an airline can't sell you a ticket without identification.

        From the legal filing:

On July 4, 2002, Plaintiff tried to fly to Washington, DC to petition the government for redress of grievances and to associate with others for that purpose. He was stopped because he refused to identify himself before boarding the flight. Photo of John Ashcroft, hosted on Google's servers
                When he asked the airline officials why, they told him the government required that the airlines ask for ID, but they could point him to no law or regulation to support their demand. That is because no such regulation has been published. For the first time in this Nation's history, the US government is using secret regulations to restrict First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.
                Plaintiff contends that any regulation that limits his ability to travel anonymously within the United States is unconstitutional. Similarly, any regulation that impacts his ability to associate and petition for redress anonymously is unconstitutional. Any regulation that requires that he be subjected to a more intrusive search than other travelers - based solely upon his request for anonymity - is unconstitutional.
                The unconstitutionality is compounded because the law is secret. Despite the secret nature of the law, plaintiff has been informed and believes that the airlines have been mandated by the federal government to inform air travelers that the law requires them to show identification - a statement which is not true.
                Another aspect of this secret law is that when faced with air travelers without ID who insist on their right to travel anonymously, the federal government has instructed the airlines to either refuse to allow said traveler to board the airplane, or to label the traveler as a "selectee" and to conduct a more intrusive search.
                Plaintiff objects to any requirement that he produce any government-issued document, whether it contains his identity or not, as a precondition of exercising his constitutional right to live or travel within the United States. Such "internal passports" are anathema to a free society.

          Gilmore is quoted by Reason Online as saying "I want to avoid, 'May I see your papers, comrade?'"
        Right before Bush appointed him to his Attorney General post, Ashcroft was beaten in his bid to retain his seat as Senator from Missouri by a man who had been dead for a month; the dead man's wife is now Missouri's Senator.
        Will Ashcroft's losing streak continue? Tune in next year...
7/19/2002 Springfield Fragfest

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Your papers, please, comrade! (7/19/2002)

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  • by cffrost (885375)

    How come you're posting this ten years later, mcgrew? Though you've given me new-found respect for EFF and Gilmore for filing suit against that evil motherfucker, the mere sight of his name brings back a flood of bad memories and heartburns-past. Do you remember the things he did and attempted?

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/John_Ashcroft#US_Attorney_General [wikimedia.org]

    I don't think I can name any government figure that held office in my lifetime that treated the Americans' freedoms with such overt conte

    • How about Holder and Obama. They are continuing on the identical spectrum, deeper into the same.

      The rhetoric is different, and "nobler".

      Thus even more corrupt and dastardly.

      Follow the Glen Greenwald columns on Salon.com - the details are sickening.

      • by cffrost (885375)

        You're right, Jeremiah.

        While I was watching Jon Stewart's segment on Fast & Furious a few hours ago, I reflected on what I wrote above earlier... I remembered Eric Holder's nauseating remarks on due process [talkingpointsmemo.com].

        It's worse when a candidate sells himself as a socialist liberal that respects the Constitution, turns around breaks his word and the law in order to drag us deeper into a far-right authoritarian dystopia. The thing that boggles my mind, though, are the vast numbers on the right and (phony?) left tha

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      How come you're posting this ten years later, mcgrew?

      Writer's block. I do that sometimes.

      Do you remember the things he did and attempted?

      Yeah, I lived across the river from Missouru when he was Governor of that state. IMO he's just plain evil.

  • When the Republicans were only as bad as today's Democrats and the latest threat to your rights was not being able to fly anonymously...things are double plus bad now compared to then, you can't fly without letting airport security get intimately familiar with your genitals, and giving the TSA all your details and potentially all the data on any devices you're carrying.

After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.

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