I'M READING A NOVEL from my local lending library - my tax dollars at work at least for a useful cause.
The book, Steve Martini's's Guardian of Lies is, according to my library, a blue dot "Who done it." (The library started putting color "bullets" on the books spines to ID the type book. Got'ta love the librarians.)
ANYWAY, as we get past the 3/4 mark - around page 460 of the no-squint version, Martini has his hero, attorney Paul Madriani, caught between the Feds and the local DA, with any civil rights he may have thought he had ignored like yesterday's newspaper - OK, yesterday's 15 second tv spot.
THE PROBLEM IS, Martini (the author) practiced law before both California and Federal benches before taking up the quill. I suspect he knows about what he writes.
And it's scary.
The abuse of power goes back BEFORE 9-11-2001, AND before THE SO-CALLED "Patriot Act" that stripped away most American's protection from snooping into our private affairs by cops of all varieties: municipal, county, state, and of course the multitude of Federal alphabet soup agencies.
Joe Biden drafted - and bragged about - the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995 with the support of liberals in Congress including Senators Alfonse D'Amato, Dianne Feinstein, Robert J. Kerrey, Herb Kohl, Jon Kyl, Barbara A. Mikulski and Arlen Specter. Representative Chuck Schumer sponsored the bill (H.R. 896) in the US House of Representatives. Following closely on the heels of (Clinton's) Executive Order 12947, prohibiting transactions with terrorists, President Clinton described the bill as a "comprehensive effort to strengthen the ability of the United States to deter terrorist acts and punish those who aid or abet any international terrorist activity in the United States" and requested "the prompt and favorable consideration of this legislative proposal by the Congress". (Wikipedia)
The Patriot Act permits the government to eavesdrop on conversations, open mail, go through personal and business records, tap phones and intercept mobile phone conversations, and review emails, all on the whim of a bureaucrat claiming the purpose is to derail a terrorist.
Frequently, the person being spied upon is not a terrorist and has no connection with terrorists, but the spied upon has no knowledge of the spying and it he did, there is no way to find out who authorized the spying or what was discovered.
This Martini's book frighteningly sets forth.
Not only is his hero a victim of federal violation of his civil rights, he is caught in the middle of a territorial war between Washington and the local DA.
Guardian of Lies is, I hope, an author's imagination run amok, but I suspect given the mentality of some of the people - law enforcement types and officers of the court - that running roughshod over the Constitution and its several Amendments is a fact of life in America.
Not all cops or DAs are "bad." I know many who jealously guard the constitution.
The funny thing is, I would have thought that the Patriot Act and its predecessor, the "Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995" (OCA) would have been authored and supported by right-wing extremists, a/k/a Republican conservatives. I was more than a little surprised to learn that Joe Biden, Obama's VP, authored the OCA and that so many flag-waving liberals signed on as cosponsors of the bill approved during the term of Hillary's husband, Bill.
Of course, those same liberals blame Bush 2; just read Did We Forget What Led to the Patriot Act in the First Place? Bush’s Incompetence Before 9/11 to be "enlightened."
No matter, Martini's Guardian of Lies is a good yarn, but it IS scary to see how little privacy we have in this day and age. I think maybe we have allowed the governments to overstep their Constitutional restrictions. But then, as we are repeatedly told in school, "we" are the government. As Abe Lincoln stated: "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth" and then he crushed the people who wanted freedom from Federal tyranny.
*Harper-Collins Publishers, ISBN978-0-06-188140-4