Thursday, September 20, 2012

Federal Bases Are Alien Planets....

Some observations for spending a few days with my sister at Fort Carson.  The most staggering is how by entering the base, you basically check the Bill of Rights, I kid you not.  The thought that by virtue of coming on base, I shuck so much of my rights scares the poo out of me.  And realizing that that suspension of rights dates back to a court case during world war II, when we were under attack, startles me.

Did you know that an MP can search you without probable cause?  Oh yes, yes they can.  In fact, when you enter the gates it gives you a list of all the searches that you are subject to.

On the converse side of that, you could basically hide on base from state authorities.  So a few years ago, a state issued search and arrest warrants for a soldier who lived in the barracks of a base.  He was suspected of molesting a child.  The authorities believed that part of the crime was perpetrated in the car owned by the soldier and the state wanted to conduct DNA testing and a forensic search.  The base would not allow the state onto the base to collect the vehicle or to interrogate the soldier.  The state had to go through a long, complicated process to get a special warrant from the federal government that forced the bases hand.

When the soldier later pled guilty to the charges against him in state court and was sentenced, the base would not accept the guilty plea.  The powers that be on the base allowed for a court martialing practice that cleared the soldiers name of any and all charges as far as the military was concerned.  He was allowed an honorable discharge and when his time was served, he was later allowed to re-enlist at a lower rank, but still received credit for the previous time he had served.

So while a child's life was ruined, he got a short time out and when he was out a few short 14 months later, he was able to resume his life...... Including being transferred overseas where there are no sex offender reporting laws.

So while we civilians risk giving up our liberties, those soldiers are far better protected --- even when they shouldn't be.

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