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Friday, August 06, 2004

The Constitution is still the Supreme Law of The Land

There are many laws and regulations that control our daily activities. However, we should not forget that there is a document upon which they are based and to which they must conform,- namely, the US Constitution.

Apparently, the FBI has recently circulated a flier designed to aid the law enforcement officers in recognizing potential terrorists. Among other things it lists a person's proclivity to "make numerous references to US Constitution" as an indication that the person may be inclined towards terrorism. That is a very troubling assertion.

One one hand, there are extremists who wrap their hateful agenda in the US Constitution. However, every imaginable ideology, secular or religious, has also been used for the same purpose. But we do not see the flier advising police officers that Christians, Muslims, Judaists or Buddhists must automatically be viewed as terrorist suspects. Nor does the flier suggest that everyone wearing jeans must be viewed with suspicion,- even though terrorists have been known to so dress.

I believe that knowing the Constitution is a right,- no, scratch that, a responsibility of every citizen. Referencing it, especially when dealing with a law enforcement officer, is also an inalienable right. That officer does have a certain authority, but he is merely a citizens' servant,- and there is nothing wrong with reminding him of his status in this relationship.

I believe this flier is an outrage, it needs to be immediately revised, and those who authored it need to be given a refresher course on the US history and the role of Constitution.

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