All these issues that have been raised in the current debate over Iraq are old issues. These are the issues that caused Article I and Article II as well as the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 14th Amendments to be written. Taken as a whole there is no way a reasoning individual could possibly see these activities of the government as legal.
I say legal because the constitution is the codified or "made into law" will of the people. We can change our minds, but when the government does something that we have told them explicitly they cannot do or if they don't do something we have explicitly commanded them to do, they forfeit their legitimacy and become felons.
It's not some magic rite that makes them felons and it doesn't require a court to declare it. Courts are needed to sort out the issues and mete out the penalties, but convicted or not the objective reality of guilt remains. A person who has sworn to uphold the constitution and doesn't is forsworn, a traitor to the United States, and a felon. The fact will affect them even if they are exonerated or pardoned. Nothing can really ever rehabilitate such a person.
But the latest bout in the dialogue has been the issue of the fourth amendment. This is a simple one and written in simple language.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Now the word warrants is capitalized so it has been seen to mean a legal document. This needn't be the case though as the word warranted means justified. The likely meaning at the time it was written was a court order, but one that simply affirmed the inherent authority in the peace officer or other persons. Why does that matter? Simply because there is no such thing as a legal but warrantless search. If the search is legal then it is warranted, if not it isn't.
What this means when reduced, is that NO search OR seizure is legal when performed by agents of any branch of the US Government at any level unless:
1) a finding of fact by a court demonstrates a crime has been committed
2) an oath has been sworn (or affirmation by those who do not take oaths on religious grounds) by the searchers certifying on penalty of perjury that there is reasonable cause to believe that the persons who control the property to be searched are probably guilty of that crime
3) that the places to be searched are limited in scope and probative locations
4) that the things or persons to be seized are explicitly named prior to the search or arrest
The "warrantless" searches being conducted are illegal and unconstitutional by virtue of the fact the authorities engaging in the searches and directing the agents have admitted to their warrantless nature. To declare ANY search as warrantless and then conduct that search shows a guilty mind. It is a felony confession.
Another tack commonly taken is the "reasonableness" issue. The text says no unreasonable searches, therefore the agency insists it is reasonable to search financial transactions and simple purchases and rented properties and the list goes on interminably.
The constant wheedling away at the constitution is disastrous. But don't me duck that question. Reasonableness is vague. It was intentionally vague because the framers were afraid they might be creating a guarantee that would prevent law enforcement. They left it to the people to decide what was reasonable. Reasonableness can drift from generation to generation. And while it offends most of us to think it, it is culturally and historically bound.
This is why the oversight by a court has been mandated. Judges in most areas are elected. For this reason, they must be sensitive to the cultural and historical context that determines reasonableness. Ergo the vagaries are eliminated when the legislation by congress and the executive orders of the president are curtailed by constitutional constraints.
Much of the body of law allowing hot pursuit is illegal law, because it defies the constitutionally mandated oversight in favor of expediency. The Supreme Court has often erroneously held that unconstitutional activities are constitutional because political agendas have swayed them to interpret the constitution instead of interpreting the laws as is mandated by the constitution.
This sort of bending the constitution to fit the statute instead of bending the statute to fit the constitution is born out of the desperate expediency of trying avoid protracted exchanges where bills are passed only to be overturned by the court. This dialogue is seen as too time consuming when vital issues of crime and national security weigh in the balance.
Expeditious and efficient governance is tyranny. We do live in a high speed society. We do have sophisticated people committing crime. But it was never the intention that the federal, state or local government have the power to prevent crime. The tools they should be limited to are catching the perpetrator AFTER the fact or in the act. Crime prevention is the sole purview of the potential victim. Security guards and defense of property against trespass, robbery, theft or vandalism are the right of the people.
The US Government has long been in the process of disarming the public in the name of public safety. In fact, a disarmed public has no security from predatory persons. But more importantly they have no security such as that named in the 4th amendment, namely security in the face of tyranny. Security from arrest, or the seizure of property or business, medical and financial records is the Security that the president is mandated to protect. Yet our current president and his token legislature are the greatest threat to this security that we have faced since the Victorian policy state invaded us and burned the white house.
I'm not advocating a particular course of action, other than legal reform which reverts these powers to the people as they were intended and which leads to the incarceration and/or execution of those persons who have been engaged in illegally circumventing fully half the articles and amendments to the constitution.
In Denmark, every able bodied man owns an assault rifle and amazingly they don't have a lot of murder and violent crime. If the criminal has to concern himself with the fact that he may be justifiably killed by his intended victim for illegal entry, or attempted robbery, crime drops. Criminals are first and foremost, risk management specialists. If the risk is too high in relation to the potential gain they back off.
This is the reason the first amendment guarantees the inherent right to bear arms. The intention was that a rogue agency of the government or a violent criminal on the prowl would be forced to consider the possibility that any given citizen might be better armed and trained. Both types of security threat are equally deleterious to the peace and public safety and should rightly be at risk at all times from the ordinary citizen.
The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference. They deserve a place of honor with all that is good.