By John Diaz
Sunday, August 5, 2007
THE FIFTH AMENDMENT WAS WRITTEN FOR GOOD REASON: It's dangerous to give the government unchecked authority to seize private property without judicial review.
The founding fathers knew that people in power were not always going to be reasonable or ethical - or competent.
It doesn't require a subpoena of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or a brave whistle-blower to find President Bush's latest affront to the U.S. Constitution. It's in plain view on the White House Web site: "Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq."
This far-reaching order of July 17 may be Bush's most brazen defiance of the Constitution, which is no small feat for an administration that thinks it can set its own rules on electronic surveillance, torture, kidnapping, rendition, and the designation of "enemy combatants" who can be arrested on U.S. soil and held indefinitely without judicial review.
This one is a frontal assault on the Fifth Amendment, which decrees that the government cannot seize an individual's property without due process.