Friday, January 17, 2014

Donald Silberger Says Eliminating Unjust Laws Is The Only Protection Against An Increasingly Empowered Surveillance State

Dr. Donald Silberger, the current Chair of the Hudson Valley Libertarian Party who twice ran as the Libertarian Party's candidate for New York State Lt. Governor and once ran as the Libertarian Party's candidate for United States Senate, is certain that improvements in technology will only empower and expand the reach of the surveillance state. In the below article, he proposes that the only solution is to repeal unjust laws.

"Edward J. Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the excesses and has shown us the extent of the surveillance state, has allowed us a look into an open Pandora's Box, and has reminded us how little privacy we have left in this modern age. Surveillance by government and its corporate cronies will not diminish and will only get worse. The constant improvements in technology will empower and expand its reach. Our every action is observable and recordable. We have become fish in a barrel.

The law books are so fat that every citizen routinely breaks absurd laws that have been enacted by legislatures over the decades. It has thus become imperative that our entire criminal law system be reviewed with the plan of repealing many of those laws.

Unjust laws define us as criminals, and police discretion allows each of us to be targeted for arrest and detention at will. We are vulnerable to police whimsy. Our very liberty is at stake.

We free citizens of a democratic constitutional republic must diminish the list of "crimes" on whose basis we are plundered, limited, and imprisoned.

In order to put flesh upon the sometimes nebulous abstractions to which political oratory is given - rights, freedoms, liberty, patriotism, etc. - I offer the following partial list of criminal laws of which we citizens should demand immediate repeal. I emphasize the list is partial. It offers paradigms for the sort of intrusions upon private life that should be obliterated from the law books.

End The Drug War completely. End the imprisonment of drug users. Repeal the drug laws. Offer detoxification aid for addicts requesting it.

Legalize Prostitution. Protect prostitutes and clients from violence. Cease harassing them. Arrange for voluntary medical certification.

Legalize Private Gambling. Protect gamblers from physical assault, but do not "protect" them against their own impulses towards risk taking.

Cease "civil" asset forfeiture at all levels: federal, state, and local.

If an act neither damages the commons, nor violates the person or the property of another individual, then the act is not legitimately criminal. Laws defining such actions as criminal should be repealed.

Everyone currently imprisoned for "victimless crimes" needs to be immediately released. We need to assist them to re-establish themselves in society as citizens with all their individual rights, including the freedom to vote, hold public office, travel without restriction, work, own property, and to keep and bear arms. Where feasible, those convicted of "victimless crimes" need to be compensated for the losses incurred during their agonizing years of wasted opportunity stolen via morally unjustifiable incarceration.

America's enemies engage in surveillance all the time and they may have been aware that the United States did so also. Snowden enlightened America's citizenry regarding the extent of the existing surveillance state. He did not tell our foes something they did not know, or did not already suspect.

Edward Joseph Snowden brought us knowledge. Such knowledge empowers us."

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