Highway checkpoint asks drivers for blood, salivaSat Sep 22, 2007 14:41POLICE STATE, USA
Highway checkpoint asks drivers for blood, saliva
Travelers outraged by private research group's request
Posted: September 20, 2007 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Motorists in Colorado are expressing outrage over a weekend stunt in Gilpin County, about an hour's drive west of Denver, where highway checkpoints were set up so a private organization could ask for samples of blood and saliva.
"I don't think they're authorized to do what they're doing, and I view it as a gross violation of law-enforcement protocol," Roberto Sequeira, 51, told reporters for the Denver Post.
He said he and his wife were "detained" for about 15 minutes even after they protested they wanted to get home because of a sleepy child in their car.
Sheriff's officials were apologizing after they helped set up and run five separate checkpoints over the weekend.
They said workers for the Institute for Research and Evaluation were overly persistent in their demands of innocent travelers.
"It was like a telemarketer that you couldn't hang up on," Undersheriff John Bayne told the newspaper.
Sgt. Bob Enney said the deputies' assistance to the organization involved stopping motorists at the sites along Colorado Highway 119 for "surveys" on any drug or alcohol use. Surveyors also requested that motorists submit to breath, blood and saliva tests.
Enney said several hundred motorists were tested, and some later complained.
Sequeira said he repeatedly asked if the questioners were law enforcement officials and said he was not interested in participating in the study, but still was not given clearance to leave.
He told the newspaper that he and his family were approached by two researchers, and even after his repeated refusals, officials offered his wife, who was driving, $100 to get the couple to take part in a breath test.
"I think it's very dangerous," he told the newspaper. "Sometimes at checkpoints, unfortunate things happen."
PIRE spokeswoman Michelle Blackston told WND the deputies "did not stop" any drivers. "It was a voluntary survey. … Nobody approached them. There were signs saying that a survey was taking place. Nobody waved them down."
She said she was unaware whether the private organization reimbursed the county for the expense of having the deputies at the traffic sites. The organization's own researchers get the results of the work, she said.
Also to the newspaper, PIRE officials defended their actions. They said such statistics are important to gauge the impact of laws and enforcement policy. Their questions began over the summer and will continue at other locations around the nation through November, they said.
"We've been literally surveying thousands of people," John Lacey, of the Alcohol, Policy and Safety Research Center, said. It's through that organization PIRE is doing its research.
He said researchers push a few of those who initially refuse to participate to reconsider – even offering incentives.
"If we don't do that, the criticism will come out that we had so many who were refusers," Lacey told the newspaper.
Bayne said a similar study was done in the county several years ago, with no complaints, but he admitted last weekend's effort was aggressive.
"The people were too persistent," he told the Post. "Some people didn't feel it was voluntary."
Officials with the Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said the fact that sheriff's deputies were on the scene, and surveyors wore blue jumpsuits, could have confused drivers.
Sequeira said his family was directed by sheriff's officials to pull over and he and his wife were greeted by "youthful, college" surveyors.
"We had a 10-year-old in the back who's tired, we tell them thanks but no thanks, we have to get this child back home to bed," he told the paper. But the workers persisted, telling them they would be provided help driving home if needed. Then they offered the $100.
"We say, 'No thank you, we have to get our child home,'" he recalled. "At this point, both clones start chortling at us and ridiculing us."
On a newspaper forum, the opinion was running fairly close to unison:
"The very act of pulling a motorist over subjects him/her and their vehicle (at very least) to a visual search. This means if the motorist was pulled over without suspicion of violating a law, than (sic) they have been subjected to an unlawful search…," wrote Warren Gregory.
"For the record the proper response to ANY such incursion into privacy is to ask the question, Am I under Arrest? If the answer is no ask if you are free to go. If you are told no demand to be arrested or you will leave and then leave," added Frank Vicek.
Congressman Ron Paul
U.S. House of Representatives
June 27, 2002
(Is) America a Police State?
Most Americans believe we live in dangerous times, and I must agree. Today I want to talk about how I see those dangers and what Congress ought to do about them.
Of course, the Monday-morning quarterbacks are now explaining, with political overtones, what we should have done to prevent the 9/11 tragedy. Unfortunately, in doing so, foreign policy changes are never considered.
I have, for more than two decades, been severely critical of our post-World War II foreign policy. I have perceived it to be not in our best interest and have believed that it presented a serious danger to our security.
For the record, in January of 2000 I stated the following on this floor:
Our commercial interests and foreign policy are no longer separate...as bad as it is that average Americans are forced to subsidize such a system, we additionally are placed in greater danger because of our arrogant policy of bombing nations that do not submit to our wishes. This generates hatred directed toward America ...and exposes us to a greater threat of terrorism, since this is the only vehicle our victims can use to retaliate against a powerful military state...the cost in terms of lost liberties and unnecessary exposure to terrorism is difficult to assess, but in time, it will become apparent to all of us that foreign interventionism is of no benefit to American citizens, but instead is a threat to our liberties.
Again, let me remind you I made these statements on the House floor in January 2000. Unfortunately, my greatest fears and warnings have been borne out.
I believe my concerns are as relevant today as they were then. We should move with caution in this post-9/11 period so we do not make our problems worse overseas while further undermining our liberties at home.
So far our post-9/11 policies have challenged the rule of law here at home, and our efforts against the al Qaeda have essentially come up empty-handed. The best we can tell now, instead of being in one place, the members of the al Qaeda are scattered around the world, with more of them in allied Pakistan than in Afghanistan. Our efforts to find our enemies have put the CIA in 80 different countries. The question that we must answer some day is whether we can catch enemies faster than we make new ones. So far it appears we are losing.
As evidence mounts that we have achieved little in reducing the terrorist threat, more diversionary tactics will be used. The big one will be to blame Saddam Hussein for everything and initiate a major war against Iraq, which will only generate even more hatred toward America from the Muslim world.
But, Mr. Speaker, my subject today is whether America is a police state. I'm sure the large majority of Americans would answer this in the negative. Most would associate military patrols, martial law and summary executions with a police state, something obviously not present in our everyday activities. However, those with knowledge of Ruby Ridge, Mount Carmel and other such incidents may have a different opinion.
The principal tool for sustaining a police state, even the most militant, is always economic control and punishment by denying disobedient citizens such things as jobs or places to live, and by levying fines and imprisonment. The military is more often used in the transition phase to a totalitarian state. Maintenance for long periods is usually accomplished through economic controls on commercial transactions, the use of all property, and political dissent. Peaceful control through these efforts can be achieved without storm troopers on our street corners.
Terror and fear are used to achieve complacency and obedience, especially when citizens are deluded into believing they are still a free people. The changes, they are assured, will be minimal, short-lived, and necessary, such as those that occur in times of a declared war. Under these conditions, most citizens believe that once the war is won, the restrictions on their liberties will be reversed. For the most part, however, after a declared war is over, the return to normalcy is never complete. In an undeclared war, without a precise enemy and therefore no precise ending, returning to normalcy can prove illusory.
We have just concluded a century of wars, declared and undeclared, while at the same time responding to public outcries for more economic equity. The question, as a result of these policies, is: "Are we already living in a police state?" If we are, what are we going to do about it? If we are not, we need to know if there's any danger that we're moving in that direction.
Most police states, surprisingly, come about through the democratic process with majority support. During a crisis, the rights of individuals and the minority are more easily trampled, which is more likely to condition a nation to become a police state than a military coup. Promised benefits initially seem to exceed the cost in dollars or lost freedom. When people face terrorism or great fear- from whatever source- the tendency to demand economic and physical security over liberty and self-reliance proves irresistible. The masses are easily led to believe that security and liberty are mutually exclusive, and demand for security far exceeds that for liberty.
Once it's discovered that the desire for both economic and physical security that prompted the sacrifice of liberty inevitably led to the loss of prosperity and no real safety, it's too late. Reversing the trend from authoritarian rule toward a freer society becomes very difficult, takes a long time, and entails much suffering. Although dissolution of the Soviet empire was relatively non-violent at the end, millions suffered from police suppression and economic deprivation in the decades prior to 1989.
But what about here in the United States? With respect to a police state, where are we and where are we going?
Let me make a few observations:
Our government already keeps close tabs on just about everything we do and requires official permission for nearly all of our activities.
One might take a look at our Capitol for any evidence of a police state. We see: barricades, metal detectors, police, military soldiers at times, dogs, ID badges required for every move, vehicles checked at airports and throughout the Capitol. The people are totally disarmed, except for the police and the criminals. But worse yet, surveillance cameras in Washington are everywhere to ensure our safety.
The terrorist attacks only provided the cover for the do-gooders who have been planning for a long time before last September to monitor us "for our own good." Cameras are used to spy on our drug habits, on our kids at school, on subway travelers, and on visitors to every government building or park. There's not much evidence of an open society in Washington, DC, yet most folks do not complain- anything goes if it's for government-provided safety and security.
If this huge amount of information and technology is placed in the hands of the government to catch the bad guys, one naturally asks, What's the big deal? But it should be a big deal, because it eliminates the enjoyment of privacy that a free society holds dear. The personal information of law-abiding citizens can be used for reasons other than safety- including political reasons. Like gun control, people control hurts law-abiding citizens much more than the law-breakers.
Social Security numbers are used to monitor our daily activities. The numbers are given at birth, and then are needed when we die and for everything in between. This allows government record keeping of monstrous proportions, and accommodates the thugs who would steal others' identities for criminal purposes. This invasion of privacy has been compounded by the technology now available to those in government who enjoy monitoring and directing the activities of others. Loss of personal privacy was a major problem long before 9/11.
Centralized control and regulations are required in a police state. Community and individual state regulations are not as threatening as the monolith of rules and regulations written by Congress and the federal bureaucracy. Law and order has been federalized in many ways and we are moving inexorably in that direction.
Almost all of our economic activities depend upon receiving the proper permits from the federal government. Transactions involving guns, food, medicine, smoking, drinking, hiring, firing, wages, politically correct speech, land use, fishing, hunting, buying a house, business mergers and acquisitions, selling stocks and bonds, and farming all require approval and strict regulation from our federal government. If this is not done properly and in a timely fashion, economic penalties and even imprisonment are likely consequences.
Because government pays for much of our health care, it's conveniently argued that any habits or risk-taking that could harm one's health are the prerogative of the federal government, and are to be regulated by explicit rules to keep medical-care costs down. This same argument is used to require helmets for riding motorcycles and bikes.
Not only do we need a license to drive, but we also need special belts, bags, buzzers, seats and environmentally dictated speed limits- or a policemen will be pulling us over to levy a fine, and he will be toting a gun for sure.
The states do exactly as they're told by the federal government, because they are threatened with the loss of tax dollars being returned to their state- dollars that should have never been sent to DC in the first place, let alone used to extort obedience to a powerful federal government.
Over 80,000 federal bureaucrats now carry guns to make us toe the line and to enforce the thousands of laws and tens of thousands of regulations that no one can possibly understand. We don't see the guns, but we all know they're there, and we all know we can't fight "City Hall," especially if it's "Uncle Sam."
CLICK FOR FULL REPORT: http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2002/cr062702.htm
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