Monday, May 04, 2009

Patriot Act Imprisons Teen

Ashton Lundeby, of Granville, County North Carolina is being held under the USA Patriot Act on a criminal complaint that a bomb threat was made from his Oxford home the night of Feb. 15.

Lundeby has been incarcerated for two months in a juvenile facility in Southbend, Indiana; because he has been labeled a terrorist and arrested under the Patriot Act, due process has been suspended.

According to an article at

The family was at a church function that night (March 5), his mother, Annette Lundeby, said.

"Undoubtedly, they were given false information, or they would not have had 12 agents in my house with a widow and two children and three cats," Lundeby said.

Around 10 p.m. on March 5, Lundeby said, armed FBI agents along with three local law enforcement officers stormed her home looking for her son. They handcuffed him and presented her with a search warrant.

"I was terrified," Lundeby's mother said. "There were guns, and I don't allow guns around my children. I don't believe in guns."

Lundeby told the officers that someone had hacked into her son's IP address and was using it to make crank calls connected through the Internet, making it look like the calls had originated from her home when they did not.

Her argument was ignored, she said. Agents seized a computer, a cell phone, gaming console, routers, bank statements and school records, according to federal search warrants.

"There were no bomb-making materials, not even a blasting cap, not even a wire," Lundeby said.

Lundeby said the USA Patriot Act stripped her son of his due process rights.

"We have no rights under the Patriot Act to even defend them, because the Patriot Act basically supersedes the Constitution," she said. "It wasn't intended to drag your barely 16-year-old, 120-pound son out in the middle of the night on a charge that we can't even defend."

Because a federal judge issued a gag order in the case, the U.S. attorney in Indiana cannot comment on the case, nor can the FBI. The North Carolina Highway Patrol did confirm that officers assisted with the FBI operation at the Lundeby home on March 5.

"Never in my worst nightmare did I ever think that it would be my own government that I would have to protect my children from," Lundeby said. "This is the United States, and I feel like I live in a third world country now."

What is the PATRIOT Act?

The voting of the current president, Barack Obama, traces his complete 2005, 2006, and 2007 voting on the PATRIOT Act (Cf. the information is publicly available from the standard source of U.S. legislation: the site).

2/2/06: Obama voted to extend the USA-PATRIOT's proposal for five weeks to allow Congress time to put together the support to adopt the renewal of USA-PATRIOT. Roll call 11

2/16/06: Obama voted for cloture on "USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006," S2271. The act continued the most objectionable provisions from 2001 and had a new provision allowing the government to collect lists of people and kids suffering from colds and allergies. It could still obtain library records. This cloture vote guaranteed passage. Roll call 22

3/1/06: Obama voted to pass S2271, the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006, which strengthened the provisions of the original USA-PATRIOT Act. Roll call 25

3/1/06: Obama voted for cloture on the USA-PATRIOT Act (HR 3199), Conference Report. This was the last real chance to stop the Act. It was known that there would not be enough votes to stop the act, so stopping cloture was the most important issue. Obama voted for this. Roll call 28

3/2/06: Obama voted for the conference report on USA-PATRIOT, itself, that gave more power to agencies depriving Americans of their Constitutional Rights and making almost all of the most intrusive provisions permanent. This was the last chance to stop USA-PATRIOT. Roll call 29.

After viewing the video, does the teen imprisoned appear to fit your understanding of a "terrorist?"

Do you agree with the teen's mother who states that the Patriot Act seems to override protections guaranteed in the Constitution?

Write your reaction to this case. Does the Patriot Act, and those who advocate it, seem "American" to you?

The Great Pandemic: 1918-1919

The Great Pandemic: 1918-1919 relates the background of one of this nation's biggest pandemics.

Obama Says No to Vouchers