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Thursday, April 30, 2009

PATRIOT Act denied son Constitutional rights, says North Carolina mom

This early on in the reporting of the story, I'll admit to wondering if there's more to this. But knowing what I do about how damned abusive and corrupt our own government has become, I'm also inclined to take this family at their word.

Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lundeby, of Oxford in Granville County, North Carolina (not far from Raleigh) was the subject of a raid by federal agents who handcuffed him and took a LOT of his personal possessions. The feds claim that Lundeby made a bomb threat, but the family denies the charge, saying that someone hacked into their IP address and made crank calls through the Internet.

And now...

Ashton now sits in a juvenile facility in South Bend, Ind. His mother has had little access to him since his arrest. She has gone to her state representatives as well as attorneys, seeking assistance, but, she said, there is nothing she can do.

Lundeby said the USA Patriot Act stripped her son of his due process rights.

"We have no rights under the Patriot Act to even defend them, because the Patriot Act basically supersedes the Constitution," she said. "It wasn't intended to drag your barely 16-year-old, 120-pound son out in the middle of the night on a charge that we can't even defend."

Passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., the Patriot Act allows federal agents to investigate suspected cases of terrorism swiftly to better protect the country. In part, it gives the federal government more latitude to search telephone records, e-mails and other records.

"They're saying that 'We feel this individual is a terrorist or an enemy combatant against the United States, and we're going to suspend all of those due process rights because this person is an enemy of the United States," said Dan Boyce, a defense attorney and former U.S. attorney not connected to the Lundeby case.

Critics of the statute say it threatens the most basic of liberties.

"There's nothing a matter of public record," Boyce said "All those normal rights are just suspended in the air."

According to the story, Ashton Lundeby sounds like a pretty good kid. He's got American flags all around his room (he's probably more patriotic than the assholes who passed the PATRIOT Act) and he was away at church when the raid went down.

If the Lundebys' story is true, I will once again be led to yield to the lesser angels of my nature, go against all sense of polity and Christ-like bearing that I do strive to uphold, and repeat with great exuberance what I posted here a little less than a month and a half ago on another story about law enforcement abuse...


(I won't post the exact word until we know more about the situation. But you get the gist of it.)