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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/11/20

This Is a Test: How Will the Constitution Fare During a Nation-Wide Lock Down?

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This is a test.

This is not a test of our commitment to basic hygiene or disaster preparedness or our ability to come together as a nation in times of crisis, although we're not doing so well on any of those fronts.

No, what is about to unfold over the next few weeks is a test to see how well we have assimilated the government's lessons in compliance, fear and police-state tactics; a test to see how quickly we'll march in lockstep with the government's dictates, no questions asked; and a test to see how little resistance we offer up to the government's power grabs when made in the name of national security.

Most critically of all, this is a test to see whether the Constitution--and our commitment to the principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights--can survive a national crisis and true state of emergency.

Here's what we know: whatever the so-called threat to the nation--whether it's civil unrest, school shootings, alleged acts of terrorism, or the threat of a global pandemic in the case of COVID-19--the government has a tendency to capitalize on the nation's heightened emotions, confusion and fear as a means of extending the reach of the police state.

This coronavirus epidemic, which has brought China's Orwellian surveillance out of the shadows and caused Italy to declare a nationwide lock-down, threatens to bring the American Police State out into the open on a scale we've not seen before.

If and when a nationwide lock-down finally hits--if and when we are forced to shelter in place, if and when militarized police are patrolling the streets, if and when security checkpoints have been established, if and when the media's ability to broadcast the news has been curtailed by government censors, if and when public systems of communication (phone lines, internet, text messaging, etc.) have been restricted, if and when those FEMA camps the government has been surreptitiously building finally get used as quarantine detention centers for American citizens, if and when military "snatch and grab" teams are deployed on local, state, and federal levels as part of the activated Continuity of Government plans to isolate anyone suspected of being infected with COVID-19, and if and when martial law is enacted with little real outcry or resistance from the public--then we will truly understand the extent to which the government has fully succeeded in recalibrating our general distaste for anything that smacks too overtly of tyranny.

This is how it begins.

The coronavirus epidemic may well be a legitimate health concern, but it's the government's response to it that worries me more in the long term.

Based on the government's track record and its long-anticipated plans for instituting martial law (using armed forces to solve domestic political and social problems) in response to a future crisis, there's good reason to worry.

This is not a government with a rosy view of the future.

To the contrary, the government's vision of the future is particularly ominous if a Pentagon training video created by the Army for U.S. Special Operations Command is anything to go by.

The training video, which provides a chilling glimpse of what the government expects the world to look like in 2030, says a lot about the government's mindset and the way it views the citizenry. Even more troubling, however, is what this military video doesn't say about the Constitution and the rights of the citizenry: nothing at all.

In typical fashion, the government seems to consider the Constitution only when forced to do so. It complies with the dictates of the Constitution even less frequently. Indeed, the government's efforts to systematically lock down the nation and shift us into martial law have not been stymied one iota by the restraints imposed upon it by the Constitution: when it's not bulldozing its way through the Fourth Amendment, the government just sidesteps it (with the help of the courts).

So what should you expect if the government decides to declare a national state of emergency and institute a nationwide lock-down?

More of the same of what we've been seeing in recent years.

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John Whitehead Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead's aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties has earned him numerous accolades and (more...)
 

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4 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments


Jill Herendeen

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"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." --Wm. Pitt, 1783

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 11, 2020 at 1:40:35 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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Yes, apparently the Constitution 'took a big hit' with Trump's Senate Impeachment Trial 'acquittal'. The Executive has assumed total power ("he wants to be all-powerful") over the Legislative and Judicial branches of government and we no longer have the co-equal branches of government as prescribed for by the Constitution. Trump, no longer subject to any congressional or judicial oversight by any congressional committees and there are no longer any checks and balances for the president and no impeachment and removal from office. #ClosingArgument #MakeBelieveTrial.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 11, 2020 at 3:30:35 PM

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Private Citizen

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Old men who smoke get sick and die every day. 5G frequencies can literally take their breath away by vibrating oxygen molecules apart and not binding with hemoglobin. All we have to fear is growing old. And becoming a burden on DONALD J. TRUMP

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 11, 2020 at 10:50:38 PM

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Helen Carpenter

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5G was recenly switched on in Italy, not just Wuhan:

https://www.vodafone.com/business/news-and-insights/company-news/vodafone-italia-switches-on-5g-in-5-cities?fbclid=IwAR2-pRWais-zYorSL_K7n2SUe0I_v_u87ZZWBe4WAlJPYNOkBfcaWzYEywM

Patriots' Captain Has Never Seen So Much Illness Among Players. Could It Be from Verizon Operating 5G at Their Stadium?

" Verizon has installed 5G in 12 NFL stadiums including the home of the New England Patriots. So is it just a coincidence that there is now a "mystery illness" that is assumed to be "The Flu" causing players to be sent home from practice?"

https://www.activistpost.com/2019/11/patriots-captain-has-never-seen-so-much-illness-among-players-could-it-be-from-verizon-operating-5g-at-their-stadium.html

Submitted on Thursday, Mar 12, 2020 at 1:58:20 PM

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Helen Carpenter

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From the Guardian:

'Fake, Fake': senior Chinese leader heckled by residents on visit to coronavirus city

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/06/fake-fake-senior-chinese-leader-heckled-by-residents-on-visit-to-coronavirus-epicentre

"A top Chinese official visiting Wuhan has been heckled by residents who yelled "fake, fake, everything is fake" as she inspected the work of a neighbourhood committee charged with taking care of quarantined residents.Vice-premier Sun Chunlan, one of the most senior government officials to visit the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, toured a residential community in Wuhan's Qingshan district on Thursday.

According to state media, Sun was inspecting the operations of the neighbourhood committee, meant to make checks on residents each day and distribute necessities like medicine, food and fresh vegetables.Videos posted online showed Sun and a delegation walking along the grounds while residents appeared to shout from their apartment windows, "fake, fake," "it's all fake," as well as "we protest". Some could be heard yelling, "formalism," a term that has employed frequently recently to criticise ineffective measures taken by government representatives for the sake of appearances."

Submitted on Thursday, Mar 12, 2020 at 2:23:00 PM

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