Which comes first: Freedom or Security?
In the matter of Apple Inc being commanded to create a product.
The framers of the Constitution got it right. They weighed the compulsions for security against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty. Not so did the FBI seeking to command Apple to Create, Write and Execute computer code to defeat the encryption, ….the privacy, of iphones. The FBI petitioned and received a warrant from a Federal Court Judge that commands Apple Inc to devise, invent and execute a way to defeat the security of an iphone recovered by the FBI from the San Bernardino terrorists. Two candidates for the 8th Congressional district, Andy Warren and Marc Duome oppose the order saying: “it’s a slippery slope.” A third candidate, Brian Fitzpatrick who actually worked on the San Bernardino case with the FBI before leaving the FBI to run for congress, said he supports the government’s position. “Without security, we don’t have freedom”, he said, as reported in the Bucks County Courier 3/2/16 on page A2.
But the case against Apple was wrongly decided. The judge isn’t the first judge to make a wrong decision. In Dred Scott v Sanford the Supreme Court made it’s worst decision. They ruled black people were not entitled to the same right of citizenship as white people. The U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong in Plessy v. Ferguson when they ruled separate accommodations for African-Americans were OK. Their ruling in Plessy upheld separate but equal accommodations and established “apartheid” as the law of the land. Turned out to be a big mistake.
Pace v. Alabama forbade interracial marriage. Koromatsu v The United States approved the Internment of innocent Japanese Americans. In words that sound similar to the current case of the FBI v Apple, Chief Justice Hugo Black wrote that the need to protect American from espionage outweighed the individual rights of Fred Korematsu and the civil rights of all Americans of Japanese descent.
The Court refused to address all the other civil rights violations that marked the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Korematsu also lost a later ruling that established that individual rights are not absolute and could be suspended during wartime.
That Supreme Court case is a poignant reminder to anyone who is not concerned with the extent which the last two administrations have scaled back civil liberties as a reaction to the war on terrorism. The Authorization for Use of Military Force grants the president the right to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against any person or country that was involved with the attack on September 11, 2001, including American citizens.
The National Defense Authorization Act allows the military to detain United States citizens indefinitely without charge or trial for mere suspicions of ties to terrorism. The Patriot Act allows for warrantless wiretapping and electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. the FBI case condemns Apple to something worse that simple manual Involuntary Servitude. It has commanded Apple to use it’s think as the government has ordered.
Government is not the friend of the people but it’s commander. Government is the combination of the Czar, the police and the judges against the people and the weapon given to the people by the founders, the Constitution with it’s prohibitions against government has been horribly disfigured right up to 2016. Too bad for the people. Most people don’t follow these issues nor do they connect them to the Constitution because it’s more the territory of lawyers and politicians. The people however can sense the change in the air. “As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” Justice Willian O. Douglas.