In a case of "catch your breath" breathless reporting....

Homeland Security Openning Private Email

"WASHINGTON - In the 50 years that Grant Goodman has known and corresponded with a colleague in the Philippines he never had any reason to suspect that their friendship was anything but spectacularly ordinary.

But now he believes that the relationship has somehow sparked the interest of the Department of Homeland Security and led the agency to place him under surveillance.

Last month Goodman, an 81-year-old retired University of Kansas history professor, received a letter from his friend in the Philippines that had been opened and resealed with a strip of dark green tape bearing the words “by Border Protection” and carrying the official Homeland Security seal."


Oh My Goodness! Impeach Bush! Those rat bastards!

That is untill you read further....

"A spokesman for the Customs and Border Protection division said he couldn’t speak directly to Goodman’s case but acknowledged that the agency can, will and does open mail coming to U.S. citizens that originates from a foreign country whenever it’s deemed necessary.

“All mail originating outside the United States Customs territory that is to be delivered inside the U.S. Customs territory is subject to Customs examination,” says the CBP Web site. That includes personal correspondence. “All mail means ‘all mail,’” said John Mohan, a CBP spokesman, emphasizing the point.

“This process isn’t something we’re trying to hide,” Mohan said, noting the wording on the agency’s Web site. “We’ve had this authority since before the Department of Homeland Security was created,” Mohan said. "


In fact, they have had the authority for years, and that autority has been held up in court: United States v. Ramsey, 431 U.S. 606, 616 (1977) (sustaining search of incoming mail), to wit:

"1. Under the circumstances, the customs inspector had "reasonable cause to suspect" that there was merchandise or contraband in the envelopes, and therefore the search was plainly authorized by the statute. Pp. 611-616.
2. The Fourth Amendment does not interdict the actions taken by the inspector in opening and searching the envelopes. Pp. 616-625.

(a) Border searches without probable cause and without a warrant are nonetheless "reasonable" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Pp. 616-619.

(b) The inclusion of international mail within the border-search exception does not represent any "extension" of that exception. The exception is grounded in the recognized right of the sovereign to control, subject to substantive limitations imposed by the Constitution, who and what may enter the country, and no different constitutional standards should apply simply because the envelopes were mailed, not [431 U.S. 606, 607] carried - the critical fact being that the envelopes cross the border and enter the country, not that they are brought in by one mode of transportation rather than another. It is their entry into the country from without it that makes a resulting search "reasonable." Pp. 619-621.


So, if they think you're up to no good, in the interest of the United States and our security you're letter from Osama can get openned. The court has ruled it to be a "reasonable search".

Of course reporting that would screw up the basis of the story - that would be to screw over the Administration, just another manufactured story designed for "effect" without "substance".




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