Pubdate: Fri, 04 Jun 1999
Date: 06/04/1999
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Author: Paul Fredrick

I would like to thank the Register for printing "Seizing the
initiative" [Opinion, May 20]. Little has been written about property
seizures and the abuses of our government, not to mention the complete
violation of the Fourth Amendment.

But when has the federal government ever cared about obeying the law?
The Bill of Rights was specifically written to appease the individual
states after the Revolutionary War. At that time the United States was
not the United States at all, but a loose collection of separate
entities. It seems the states were fearful of a strong central
government after a long and bloody war to separate from one. And so
the Bill of Rights was adopted and, with some reluctance, ratified by
each state.

This part of the Constitution was a specific and absolute guarantee
that what is happening, as the Register put it, "in an alarming number
of cases" cannot happen. Asset forfeiture and property seizures have
long been touted as "tools of the drug war." They really are paths to
circumvent the Bill of Rights and make sure Big Brother can take from
us whatever it wants whenever it wants without fear of

I believe the Supreme Court has been grossly negligent in its duty to
protect the American people's rights and liberties, and the mainstream
news media have, for the most part, chosen not to report the
widespread abuse of power that violating the Constitution creates. I
also believe agencies such as the IRS and the DEA cannot be reformed.
How many Wacos, Ruby Ridges and Oklahoma City bombings must we endure
before the government is made to obey the law?

Paul Fredirick
Capistrano Beach