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Freedom Lost
by Gary Steinweg
Jun 23 1993
misc.activism.progressive
This is one of my writings from late last year.  Note the
3rd and 4th paragraphs and the following posts.

FREEDOM LOST  1 of 2

Under the guise of the "war on drugs," innocent Americans
are losing their lives, liberty and Constitutional rights at an
alarming rate.  Under recently instituted state and federal for-
feiture laws, government agencies may seize property if a judge
(not a jury) determines that said property is associated with
drugs.  Doesn't matter how.  The government does not have to
charge the owner with a crime to take his property.

For example, a charter/instructor pilot was chartered to fly
an individual with a brief case from point A to B.  When the
airplane landed, it was surrounded by federal and local officers.
Turns out the passenger was a suspected drug dealer, and his
brief case was full of money.  Since drug dealers always carry
lots of money in brief cases, the money was seized AND SO WAS THE
INNOCENT INSTRUCTOR'S AIRPLANE.  The pilot had never met the
passenger before and had no idea what was in his brief case.  He
was never charged with anything, but he is now bankrupt and his
means of livelihood has been STOLEN from him.  This is but one
example of similar incidents being repeated at an ever increasing
rate across this country, and it gets worse.

A reclusive multimillionaire refused to sell his 200-acre
Malibu Canyon ranch to the government as part of an expansion to
an adjacent federal recreation area.  It wasn't long before 24
government agents stormed his home and shot him dead when he
attempted to investigate the commotion with a gun in his hand.
Their probable cause?  An air surveillance expert reported seeing
marijuana plants growing in pots on his property, and his younger
wife was observed spending a lot of his inherited fortune.  No
drugs were found.

Question!  Why were he and his wife under surveillance in
the first place?  Do I think the raiding officers went there
hoping to seize his property?  Absolutely.  It's free and easy
money for government agencies.  Officers participating in such
confiscation receive a lot of "brownie points."  Do I think the
raiding officers were part of the orchestrated plot?  Probably
not.  They were just doing what they like to do (kick butt), and
were following orders from higher up.

I was astounded when I first heard of property being confi-
scated PRIOR to and WITHOUT a trial by jury.  A couple years ago,
"Operation Zero Tolerance" was my first hint of this tyrannical
change in our government's behavior.  Here in San Diego, honest
and law abiding fishing boat operators had their vessels confi-
scated because one of their crew had a marijuana cigarette.  The
actual offenders were only fined $100 and given suspended
sentences.  But the innocent fishing vessel owners' lives were
disastrous disrupted.  The motive is clear for anyone to see.
Confiscated property worth a lot of money.

What CAN YOU do about this?  You can:  1) Wake up and pay
attention to what is going on regarding the elimination of your
basic rights.  2) After you've informed yourself, inform your
friends.  3) Write your congressional representatives regarding
your concern about your lost and threatened Constitutional rights.

What SHOULD YOU do about this?  Depends on how important you
consider the Bill of Rights.  Freedom is a lofty concept and a
fragile reality.  Once lost, it's difficult to regain.  You've
already lost a Constitutional and inalienable right and most of
you weren't even aware of it.  Ergo, it hasn't affected you (or
me) - at least not yet.  And besides, freedom can sometimes be a
difficult responsibility to manage.

We're on the verge of losing more of our Constitutional
rights.  Most of you don't care now, nor will you care after it
happens.  That's because ninety percent of the world's population
including U.S. citizens are sheep.  Sheep do just fine with or
without freedom - most of the time, anyway.  But every now and
then they do get slaughtered.