In the “Land of the Free” – you grow up hearing a lot about freedom.
You’re told you live in the best country on the planet. That other nations ‘hate’ you and your freedom. And you have the most open and fair justice system in the world. The justice system is allegedly founded on principles like…
- Innocent until proven guilty
- The right to due process
- The right to an impartial hearing
- The right to legal counsel
- Attorney-client privilege
In recent years, each of these core principles can now be questioned in its validity.
So it could operate without liability of the law, the federal government set up secret FISA courts to rubber stamp NSA surveillance.
According to data obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, 11 of nearly 34,000 surveillance requests made to FISA courts in the last 35 years have been rejected. Not surprising, when the FISA courts only hear a case from our government’s perspective. Impartial hearing?
The ‘innocent until proven guilty’ concept may exist in courts, but was thrown out of administrative processes long ago.
There are currently hundreds of local, state, and federal agencies that could – at any given time and for any given reason – confiscate your assets, levy your bank account, and freeze your life savings. No court order needed. And by the time your case gets to court, you’re deprived of any legal resources needed to defend yourself. You may be presumed innocent, but you’re treated and punished as a criminal.
Attorney-Client privilege is an enduring concept stating that any communication between attorney and client is confidential.
In Upjohn v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld attorney-client privilege as necessary “to encourage full and frank communication between attorneys and their clients and thereby promote broader public interests in the observance of law…” So, it really doesn’t matter what you’re accused of…
With limited exceptions, an attorney cannot be compelled to testify against a client, nor could any communications with them be subpoenaed for evidence. Yet in a United States Tax Court decision last week, attorney-client privilege was dismissed by the court, stating:
“When a person puts into issue his subjective intent in deciding how to comply with the law, he may forfeit the privilege afforded attorney-client communications.”
Basically, if a person uses legal counsel within the confines of tax code to minimize the amount of taxes owed, their communication with his or her attorney is no longer protected by attorney-client privilege. The ruling also states that if the persons do not submit required attorney-client documentation, the court will prohibit them from introducing any evidence to prove their innocence.
While attorney-client privilege has long been attacked in many court cases to-date (especially regarding tax cases), this decision has set the most dangerous precedent I’ve seen in years. Government now has free rein to set aside legal protections and even deny a person the chance to defend himself.
Naturally, you won’t hear this in the media.
But it begs the question, what’s the point of a trial? Or a constitution, even? When a citizen’s every right and protection you have can be disregarded by the government as needed, should anyone call this a ‘free country’ anymore?