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.