The secret text of the GOP's border bill reveals plan to dramatically increase surveillance of Americans and visitors

Their even more secret desire that it fail, as with the last ‘secret’ health care bill.

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This is where the interests of Il Douche and the GOP establishment co-incide: to give most Americans who dare to live on a coast or who travel abroad a taste of the low-level fear and dread of the authorities that minorities experience on a constant basis. If you want to see the kind of Constitutional grey zone that conservative politicians would like to see in regard to American law enforcement, look no further than what they’re implementing at the border.

See also, subdivisions named after what used to be there (Whispering Pines, Martin’s Farm Lane). It’s the last vestiges of Manifest Destiny (and the doublespeak used to relocate the natives, and identify the uppity ones).

Well time to look up countries that don’t entirely screw over their people and see if I can apply for at least permanent residency with an eye on changing citizenships.

America already has a disproportionate number of citizens behind bars.

Welcome to America Max®!

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I don’t know at a procedural level how it is supposed to work, but there are certainly limits on what a secret law can legally do.

The closest historical example I can find is the “Born classified” concept form the Atomic Energy Act ( The law itself wasn’t secret, but declared whole classes of information classified even if civilians without security clearances discovered it independently. Turned out you can’t legally hold a public trial when you’re not allowed to tell the defendant specifically what he’s being charged with, and you can’t force him to accept a security clearance that would let him egually know it. I would think the analogous situation of a secret law would make it impossible to bring criminal or civil cases against anyone literally not allowed to know what the law is. OTOH, if the law only applied to people allowed to know about it (maybe regulating government employees with appropriate clearance), it might be legal, and maybe even sometimes justified?

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All those companies that make drones, cameras, facial recognition software and all the other goodies the state wants to buy.

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All of which depend on a state power caring about those limits.


Which is exactly why it only takes one judge or panel of judges, and one level of the many-leveled judicial system, to throw out a case.

Still seems feeble though, doesn’t it?

Yes, especially since under a secret law, you may well not get to have a judge decide on your fate.

Your imprisonment may be secret.

Your trial (if the state deigns to allow you one) may be secret.

Your lawyer (if the state deigns to allow you one) may not be allowed to know the details of the law you are charged with or the evidence against you.

Yay, what a happy world we live in. :frowning:


Kind of like being expected to comply with laws that reference copyrighted standards or codes that are extremely expensive to acquire from the group that wrote them.

Being a law abiding citizen seems to requires more and more effort/money/privilege all the time.

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Or you need secret courts.

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