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How the Government Treats a Political Prisoner

by Shari Dovale

A political prisoner is someone imprisoned because they have opposed or criticized the government responsible for their imprisonment. In English law, imprisonment is the restraint of a person’s liberty.

The book Termes de la Ley (Terms of the law) includes the following definition:

Imprisonment is no other thing than the restraint of a man’s liberty, whether it be in the open field, or in the stocks, or in the cage in the streets or in a man’s own house.

History records the imprisonment of political prisoners, with some of the most well known being Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. In the United States, there have been many political prisoners, including Jeremy Hammond and Barrett Brown.

More recently, you will hear names like KC Massey, Cliven Bundy, Dwight Hammond, and more that have been targeted by the Federal government for their outspoken support of the US Constitution in it’s original form.

Believing that the Constitution should be adhered to in it’s strictest form is not a popular concept by elected and appointed officials in Washington DC. The current climate leans to the liberal stance of the Constitution being a ‘living, breathing’ document that should be changed and updated with the times.

How the Government Treats a Political Prisoner
Justice Scalia

‘Originalists’, like Justice Antonin Scalia, are unpopular in the current political environment. It does not fit with the progressive stances of abortion, same-sex marriage, and public land policies.

The question then surfaces, should those beliefs be imprisonable offenses? Does questioning the government, the elected officials and their policies, warrant the taking of liberty?

The questions further erode to the treatment of these political demonstrators. Do they deserve better or worse than hardened convicted criminals? Does the constitution allow for the mistreatment of anyone, much less those not yet convicted of a crime?

The Bill of Rights is specific to the rights of US citizens. They have the right to peaceably assemble. (1A) They have the right to bear arms. (2A) They have the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (1A)

The Bill of Rights also lays out specific details in the rights of the accused. They have the right to a speedy trial. (6A) They have the right against unreasonable searches. (4A) They have the right not to be a witness against themself. (5A)

Additional rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights include the right of trial by jury. (7A) The right to have the assistance of Counsel for his defense. (6A) And they shall not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. (5A)

The 8th Amendment states (in full) “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

It is very clear that everyone is to be treated with respect and fairness. It does not differentiate between gender, race, financial standing, or political parties.

Not, however, in the United States. We have the right to Freedom of Speech, as guaranteed by our First Amendment.Many countries around the world, including “Democratic” countries, have very strict penalties for insulting the heads of state, or disagreeing with the government. Penalties range from hefty fines to long imprisonments.

So, why is it that a political prisoner can be treated worse by the government powers that be? Criminals are released to offend again. Violent offenders are offered bail. Yet, anyone the government sees as political radicals, such as the Bundy’s and those that agree with them, have been continuously imprisoned for their public disagreements with the federal authorities.

After the well-documented standoff in Bunkerville, in which no shots were fired and the only people harmed were done so by the federal agents, the government did not consider the Bundy family a threat. They were left to continue their life as they saw fit.

Two years later, after son Ammon Bundy called for a protest at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon, federal authorities arrested all of the Bundy men and many of their supporters. Several of them have been incarcerated, as of this writing, for over 15 months.

They have been denied bail. They have been beaten and abused while in jail. They are still awaiting trial.

It has recently come to light that these men are withstanding even more abuse.

They are stripped searched every time they attend court, both before entering the courtroom and before returning to their cells. They endure this even when they are being visited in the jail by their attorneys.

Body cavity searches are commonplace. They are being kept in Solitary Confinement without cause. They are housed in filth, with no sanitation. Toilets do not operate. Hygiene is denied. And so much more.

Again, The 8th Amendment states “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

These men are being subjected to cruel and unusual punishments all because they disagree with their government.

Innocent until proven guilty is a doctrine that used to rule this country’s justice system. It no longer applies… unless you are willing to roll over and allow your country, and it’s founding principles, to be discarded at the whim of those that are supposed to be representing you.

We are a nation of laws, and a Constitutional Republic.

As long as you do not question your government.


How the Government Treats a Political Prisoner
(Pictured: Cliven Bundy walks by a first amendment area set up by the Bureau of Land Management near Bunkerville, Nev.)

From Redoubt News

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  1. These men deserve a presidential pardon! We need to start a concerted writing campaign demanding pardon for these patriots who are enduring torture in protection of our personal liberties!

    Write to President Trump! I am doing this immediately – we all should if we truly stand by the Oath Keepers ideals.

    May God Save America From Tyranny!

  2. “Additional rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights…”

    Love Redoubt News, but the US Constitution does NOT guarantee our Rights, it guarantees that those who serve within our governments will NOT destroy, modify, etc them; and that they recognize and support/protect those Rights we retained for ourselves instead of delegating them.

    Since the US Constitution is the supreme Law of our land, the compact that the state’s created, is also the CONTRACT that those who serve within our governments must follow and take an Oath to support and defend, and defines our governments. Those that break those laws – causing them to no longer meet the requirements of the position they occupy at any level of government – but they are also committing crimes when they do so.

    CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. A [common] right guaranteed to the citizens by the Constitution and so guaranteed as to prevent legislative interference therewith. Delaney v. Plunkett, 146 Ga. 547, 91 S. E. 561, L. R. A. 1917D 926, Ann. Cas. 1917E 685.” Black’s Law Dictionary, supra, p. 385.

    “What is a constitution? It is the form of government, delineated by the mighty hand of the people, in which certain first principles of fundamental laws are established.” Van Horne v. Dorrance, 2 Dall. 304.

    “A constitution is designated as a supreme enactment, a fundamental act of legislation by the people of the state. A constitution is legislation direct from the people acting in their sovereign capacity, while a statute is legislation from their representatives, subject to limitations prescribed by the superior authority.” Ellingham v. Dye, 231 U. S. 250.

    “The basic purpose of a written constitution has a two-fold aspect, first securing [not granting] to the people of certain unchangeable rights and remedies, and second, the curtailment of unrestricted governmental activity within certain defined spheres.” Du Pont v. Du Pont, 85 A 724.

    “The constitution of a state is stable and permanent, not to be worked upon the temper of the times, not to rise and fall with the tide of events. Notwithstanding the competition of opposing interests, and the violence of contending parties, it remains firm and immoveable, as a mountain amidst the strife and storms, or a rock in the ocean amidst the raging of the waves.” Vanhorne v. Dorrance, supra.

    1. Very well written. May I print and distribute to my friends, and a couple of liberals I am trying to educate?

      1. Absolutely! Both Redoubt News and Oath Keepers would like to have this information out there. Please link or credit both organizations in whatever you share. Thank you!

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