Zero Powers wrote:
> >>A possible scenario in a transparent society.
> >>What do the police officers
> >>do now, take my word that I intend no harm and hope that I am not
> >>them. Confiscate the "Bomb" making material depriving me of its use for
> >>harmless purposes, or maybe they ought to !
> >>arrest me as a potential threat to public safety.
> As you have (presumably) committed no crime, there is nothing the police can
> legally do to you, other than watch you to see if you actually commit a
> crime. It is not illegal to purchase legal items, no matter how dangerous
> they may be. A transparent society, in and of itself wouldn't change that.
> Right now you can buy tons of fertilizer and fuel (presuming there hasn't
> been some legal limit imposed following OK. City), you can also buy hundreds
> of semi-auto weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. The police
> can't do anything to you but observe unless and until you break a law.
> It would be against the law to arrest you as a "potential threat" to public
> safety. If that were the law, there wouldn't be a single "gang-banger" left
> on the streets. Public surveillance would admittedly be uncomfortable at
> first, but I continue to maintain that for most law abiding-citizens it
> would eventually become as acceptable a nuisance as traffic signals.
This is completely untrue. There have been numerous cases of people
convicted of mere posession of items that posess the potential to be
used in crimina actvities, even activites far less dangerous than a
bombing. Kevin Mitnick, for example, was once arrested and convicted, as
have numerous other hackers, for the mere posession of a pocket
autodialer, an item you can buy at Radio Shack for $10. They were
convicted for the sole reason that they knew how to alter these
autodialers, or had altered the autodialers, to make them capable of
being used to get phone services on payphones for free. None was ever
actually caught in the act of using an altered autodialer in making a
phone call on a payphone.
Now, take the Oklahoma City bombing. Very few people don't think McVeigh
did it. Its pretty much assumed he is guilty. But why do people assume
that? Every bit of evidence is completely circumstantial. I'm even
pretty sure he did it, though I don't think he and Nichols were alone,
and there is evidence just as strong as that they were convicted on that
they were dupes in a government staged event.
Now, lets assume that another bombing has occured. Mr. Powers happens to
a) have a deisel tractor (and a fuel tank to keep it fuelled), b) be a
farmer, so he has a lot of fertilizer, c) be an electronics hobbyist,
and enjoy making remote control devices, d) be known to have made up
explosives in the past and used them on his private property simply for
the purpose of clearing stumps (as is the case with thousands of farmers
and other property owners all over the country), e) have in the past
written letters to the editor of his local paper decrying the activities
of an organization or government agency that happened to have had
offices or facilities at the site of the bombing, f) have been stopped
for a traffic violation on the day of the bombing within 20 miles of the
bombing location. Under the rules of evidence and the prosecutorial
procedure used in the Oklahoma case, its is pretty much an open and shut
case that Mr. Powers is the bomber in this event. No eyewitnesses are
needed to place him on the scene at the time of the bombing, no
eyewitnesses are needed to prove that he actually made the bomb.
This IS how justice gets done today in America.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:11:10 MDT