The 'Criminalization of Existence' - Every American is now viewed as a criminal by the government
by: J. D. Heyes
If you thought that the day would come when simply taking a breath in America would make you a potential criminal in the eyes of federal, state or local law enforcement, that day has arrived.
As reported at Sovereign Man recently, a man by the name of John Anderson, "an American tourist from San Clemente, California, was driving down a poorly-maintained highway" when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a police vehicle with flashing lights appeared behind him.
After exchanging greetings with the local officer, Anderson lapsed into disbelief when the cop began searching his vehicle. No warrant, no stated probable cause -- just an arbitrary search.
During his search, the officer found a stash of $25,180 in Anderson's possession, which was not a crime according to local laws. But when the officer found it, he told Anderson that he was going to confiscate it and then threatened to arrest him if he protested.
"Anderson couldn't believe it," wrote Simon Black, editor of the website, from a dateline of Santiago, Chile. "This is the sort of stuff you always hear about in these third world countries--corrupt cops and state robbery."
'Civil Asset Forfeiture'
Sensing that he had little choice, Anderson gave in, and the officer let him go without charging him with a crime. Yet he had confiscated every last cent in the car.
That was about two years ago. Since then, Simon notes, Anderson has been battling in the courts -- unsuccessfully -- to get his money back. The country in question, it seems, has a sort of kangaroo court system that sanctions and protects official theft of private property.
"Clearly we should all avoid going to such dangerously corrupt third world countries.
"Except in this case, Anderson was in the United States of America. And he is far from being the only victim of this highway robbery known as Civil Asset Forfeiture," Simon revealed.
Oh, yes. It's true. Since the 9/11 attacks, police in the "Land of the Free" have made more than 62,000 seizures of private property -- cash, mostly -- without ever charging anyone with a crime. In all, they have essentially stolen more than $2.5 billion just in cash; that amount doesn't count all the property (cars, trucks, etc.) that has been taken.
Worse, the cost of fighting such seizures in court is exceptionally high; so much so that fewer than one in five people (17%) who have had their property taken challenge the seizures. And of those challenges, fewer then half (41%) have gotten their private property back, Simon noted.
"This means that the government has a better than 93% success rate in outright theft," he said. "This is worse than mafia--it's blatant theft with impunity from the people that are sworn to protect and serve. It's the kind of thing that is thought to only occur in heinously corrupt countries."
But it doesn't just happen in those places. It happens in America too -- all the time.
As Natural News has reported, Civil Asset Forfeiture laws have been abused by police agencies all around the country to essentially fleece unsuspecting Americans for the "crime" of traveling through their jurisdictions.
'The criminalization of existence'
Writing in The New Yorker magazine a year ago, Sarah Stillman described the effects of the law:
In general, you needn't be found guilty to have your assets claimed by law enforcement; in some states, suspicion on a par with "probable cause" is sufficient. Nor must you be charged with a crime, or even be accused of one. Unlike criminal forfeiture, which requires that a person be convicted of an offense before his or her property is confiscated, civil forfeiture amounts to a lawsuit filed directly against a possession, regardless of its owner's guilt or innocence.
"The protections our Constitution usually affords are out the window," Louis Rulli, a clinical law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a leading forfeiture expert, said.
Black says there is some good news in all of this: "people are waking up to the reality that they're not living in a free country" any longer. He says they are beginning to realize that they are living in a system that perpetuates what he calls "the criminalization of existence."
But there is irony too.
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/047523_criminalization_civil_forfeiture_government_corruption.html#ixzz3IDzgvSzE