Thursday, May 7, 2009

16 Year Old Victim Of The Patriot Act?

Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lundeby is being held under the USA Patriot Act on a criminal complaint that a bomb threat was made from his Oxford home the night of Feb. 15

Yes, he is a homeschooler.
But again, this is not a homeschool issue.
This is an issue of a citizen of this country - stripped of his due process rights.
But according to the United States government, the tenth-grade home-schooler is being held on a criminal complaint that he made a bomb threat from his home on the night of Feb. 15.

The family was at a church function that night, his mother, Annette Lundeby, said.

"Undoubtedly, they were given false information, or they would not have had 12 agents in my house with a widow and two children and three cats," Lundeby said.

Around 10 p.m. on March 5, Lundeby said, armed FBI agents along with three local law enforcement officers stormed her home looking for her son. They handcuffed him and presented her with a search warrant.

"I was terrified," Lundeby's mother said. "There were guns, and I don't allow guns around my children. I don't believe in guns."

Lundeby told the officers that someone had hacked into her son's IP address and was using it to make crank calls connected through the Internet, making it look like the calls had originated from her home when they did not.
See the video

Seems to me that this is a warning to the homeschooling community - who have already been subtly placed under suspicion by the various levels of government. It is ridiculous that this 16 year old is being held in prison as a "terrorist." He is seemingly being used as a scapegoat to scare other kids and their families.

The mere fact that the government can barge into your home and seize whatever they want without due process is astounding. No longer are we innocent until proven guilty.

Agents seized a computer, a cell phone, gaming console, routers, bank statements and school records. They found NO bomb-making materials, not even a blasting cap, not even a wire.

This 16 year old now sits in a juvenile facility in South Bend, Ind. on charges that he cannot defend, since obviously the Patriot Act basically supersedes the Constitution. The Patriot Act ignores due process rights presumably to allow federal agents to investigate suspected cases of terrorism swiftly. It gives the federal government "latitude to search telephone records, e-mails and other records". There's not even a public record, like one sees in a court of law, to examine. Gag orders have been adopted in this case as well, so the U.S. attorney in Indiana cannot even comment on the case, nor can the FBI.
"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.
The Patriot Act allows incredible abuse of power by federal law enforcement officers.
"Never in my worst nightmare did I ever think that it would be my own government that I would have to protect my children from," Lundeby said. "This is the United States, and I feel like I live in a third world country now."
I have to say, that I do not feel any safer - and in fact I feel more threatened - that a 16 year old was hauled out of his home in the night - his house ran-sacked by agents of the government, and the boy's due process rights trampled.

This truly is not the America I grew up in. In fact, it is more like the stories I heard from my grandparents who lived in Eastern Europe around the time of pogroms.

There is nothing Patriotic about the Patriot Act - this UnConstitutional law must be repealed, along with all the other UnConstitutional Laws on the books.

UPDATE: As details of this case unfold, time will tell what the truth of the matter is - the Feds are now claiming that this was not a case being made under the Patriot Act - but that the boy is being held under violation of bomb threat statutes. Was Lundeby's crime one of a stupid 16 year old's prank? or was it the result of a hacker stealing his online identity? Did the Feds over-react in their barging into this family's home? Did they use unnecessary force? Did they initially come in under the auspices of the Patriot Act and then rescind that when the public complained? We'll have to see what transpires. The fact is the Patriot Act violates 4th amendment rights, as well as 1st amendment rights - and it is unconstitutional.


Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with the Patriot Act:

"The claim that the boy is a victim of USA PATRIOT, though, appears to have been cut from whole cloth. While there’s plenty to criticize in that post-9/11 law, it doesn’t contain any provision that abrogates a defendant’s right to a trial. It’s also not responsible for making it illegal to phone in a bomb threat. That’s been a federal crime since 1939.

The boy’s mother, Annette Lundeby, has even acknowledged in interviews that her son has been formally charged, has a court-appointed attorney, and has already made appearances in front of a judge. No military tribunals here. On Alex Jones, Lundeby seemed to more-or-less admit that the USA PATRIOT connection was something she dreamed up on her own."

But don't let the facts get in the way of your conviction that the feds are out to get you homsechoolers.

Judy Aron said...

I said this wasn't a homeschool issue. The press is making it one though.

Right - I see you are a fan of the Feds barging in and ransacking your house.

No one has claimed there is a "military tribunal" - so what are YOU talking about?

And there is proof that he, the boy himself, phoned in a bomb threat, right?

Sorry no - his due process rights have been trampled and they found nothing in his home to even hint at him being a terrorist. The boy ought to be released.

But the thrust of this post in case you missed it - is that the Patriot Act is an UnConstitutional Law. But don't let that get in the way of your zeal to arrest 16 year olds.

Anonymous said...

"Right - I see you are a fan of the Feds barging in and ransacking your house."

You are such a sleazy debater. Yes, that's right, I'm a big fan of the feds barging in and ransacking my house. Fed lurkers: come in but please leave the toilet seat DOWN.

Yeah, you said this wasn't about homeschooling, but then you said:

"Seems to me that this is a warning to the homeschooling community - who have already been subtly placed under suspicion by the various levels of government. It is ridiculous that this 16 year old is being held in prison as a 'terrorist.' He is seemingly being used as a scapegoat to scare other kids and their families."

So which is it?

You said:

"This 16 year old now sits in a juvenile facility in South Bend, Ind. on charges that he cannot defend, since obviously the Patriot Act basically supersedes the Constitution."

But the point of the article I linked to is that this situation is NOT due the Patriot Act.

Judy Aron said...

Oh name calling - typical response.
You don't deserve a reply - especially since you continue to hide behind anonymity.

wmrourke said...

You're the one who linked the whole thing to homeschooling, Judy:

"Seems to me that this is a warning to the homeschooling community - who have already been subtly placed under suspicion by the various levels of government."

Who says the kid was arrested under the Patriot Act? Are you sure he wasn't arrested under the law that makes it illegal to make bomb threats. As "Anonymous" pointed out, that law has been on the books over 50 years.

When I was in high school many moons ago, a group of kids were phoning in bomb threats to the school on a regular basis. The calls were traced -- yeah, a good 25 years before there was a Patriot Act, go figure! One morning they got up, got on the bus, rode to school, and were met by Federal agents who grabbed them and brought them to their homes, which were thoroughly searched. And then they went to jail.

Oh yeah. Their mothers said they didn't do it. Until the moms learned what we knew all along -- yeah, they did.

Phoning in a bomb threat is against federal law, whether you're actually making bombs or not. The call was made from his IP address. We'll see how it turns out. Maybe his mom really does have ninja hacker tracking skills. Or maybe she'll find out that when you're too quick to say, "Not MY son" you often end up embarrassed.

Judy Aron said...

So you are condemning this kid - making assumptions that he did it - before knowing any of the facts. You should work for the government.

Yes, I guess for you, 16 year olds are always suspect. We'll just have to see where this case goes. However, I do believe that the government's response here was unduly harsh.

Honestly - The mother and her children were held hostage in their own home until 1:30 in the morning. The 12-year-old daughter was dragged from her bed by an armed stranger -- an act that left the girl traumatized and the mother insisted (and rightly so) that Ashton not answer any questions without an attorney present, but she wasn't permitted to call one. And you are telling me that this kind of treatment by Federal Agents is o.k.? I hope it never happens to you. Pardon me, but I personally know people who have been terrorized by agents of the State. And you wonder why I am wary?

Who knows what statute Ashton was really arrested under? His mother and the lawyer say that he was being held under the auspices of the Patriot Act. How convenient now after public outcry that the US Attorney's Office is now saying that he is NOT being held under the Patriot Act, however the Feds are also NOT denying that they are applying the Patriot Act in this case either!

At this point, the use of the Patriot Act is moot. That doesn't mean that the Patriot Act is not Unconstitutional. It is.

As for my bringing up homeschooling - I did not bring it up - the article did. or can't you read?

Anonymous said...

I'm confused: is it about home-schooling or not? You haven't answered those above who've pointed out your seeming contradiction (though you seem quite eager to ramp up the rhetoric--why to touchy?).

The report says the FBI had a search warrant. So where's the absence of due process?

I'm no fan of the Patriot Act either, but it doesn't seem relevant here.

Judy Aron said...

I said this was not a homeschool issue but the newspaper made it a point to say he was a homeschooler in their story. The media made it a homeschool issue. Why should how he is being educated be a relevant part of this story?
Absence of due process...why is everyone being gagged? Why couldn't the mother call a lawyer when agents barged in? Why was the kid arrested without proof being found in his home? First they claim the Patriot Act and now they say it is because of simply being a bomb threat.
There is much that is fishy about this incident. Time will tell what the real story is.

wmrourke said...

Judy -- it's illegal to make a bomb THREAT whether you actually have a bomb or are making a bomb. It's making the threat that is illegal. He was arrested for making bomb threats, not for making bombs. Is that so hard for you to understand?

Simply a sixteen year old playing a prank? By making bomb threats?? You're kidding? If he thought making bomb threats was a prank, I don't care where the kid was educated -- someone failed to educate him properly, socially, morally and legally.

Bomb threats were made. They were investigated. The investigation showed the threats originated from the kid's IP address. The authorities went to the home where that IP address is located and confiscated that equipment. I assume they had a warrant -- you don't seem to have addressed that. The person owning the IP address was arrested. I'd say the law worked.

Unless of course you think it should be perfectly legal to make bomb threats. Do you?

I don't recall that you were very agitated about the Patriot Act back when it was being debated and enacted.

Judy Aron said...

Oh you mean the Patriot Act was debated? was that before or after it was passed in the middle of the night?