The Orwellian “Bank Secrecy Act” of 1970 forces banks to report large financial transactions to federal agents. As with all “federal” laws, since its passage, requirements have gotten tougher, more expansive, and secretive. For example, the “Suspicious Activity Report” invokes a gag order, and nullifies the already-lowered dollar limit such that any financial activity at all may be secretly monitored by federal agents.
Some might think increasing secrecy, power and spying is good; that it keeps us safe.
But voters make decisions on information that is increasingly missing or proven false. It’s foolish to believe that politicians we claim we don’t trust are honest with us when it comes to programs that actually fund their cronyism; like “civil asset forfeiture” programs.
While few know it, police forces now take more money and property from USA citizens by “civil asset forfeiture” (as opposed to “criminal asset forfeiture,” which requires a conviction) than do all other criminals, combined.
This “forfeiture” at gun point doesn’t require charges of any crime, or any warrant. Increasingly, this is done with foreknowledge of money movement, and taken with devices like the “Electronic Recovery and Access to Data” or ERAD (as in eradicate?) machine.
It is literally armed highway robbery. This “policing for profit” must be stopped, not expanded.
ETATTA did not go through regular order, and was rushed to the floor under suspension of the rules. No amendments were considered, debate was limited, and, as usual, few representatives actually read the bill before voting on it.
This carelessness is apparent in the practical force of the law proposed – that in violation of the USA Constitution’s Article I Section I, Article II Section I, Article III Section I, and Amendment IV, bureaucrats in executive agencies are granted even more power to write rules, judge their efficacy and infractions, and at least recommend, and ultimately execute, new actions as already imposed upon Americans as by “civil asset forfeiture,” without warrant, probably cause, or conviction of any crime. Furthermore, ETATTA expands the role of the Treasury’s power of spying and enforcement to non-monetary assets – essentially encompassing all property.
Politicians have blurred the lines between good-guy and bad-guy, dividing us by class and race, imprisoning a higher percentage of citizens than any other nation, and making us less secure and prosperous to boot.
In other words, our government has become what it’s supposed to protect us from.
I have a plan to restore respect for the badge and restore faith in all our important institutions. It’s an already well-respected plan to not only police the police and govern government, but also to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
Liberty or Bust!
Libertarian for 8th District US House of Representatives