Innocent until Proven Guilty? – Not in the U.S.A. – Not if you Dissent

See the news story: Retired Army Colonel Says Her Social Security Checks Were Garnished to ’Curtail Dissent’

Gist: She protested killer drones at a U.S. drone base. Was arrested on charges of ‘failure to disperse’ (later dropped) and released 5 hours later. Some unspeakable excuse for a human being sent false information to the SSA, falsely claiming she had been held as a convict ever since. The SSA stopped her retirement payments and insisted she return payments received “while in jail.”

Commentary

I don’t know about you, but it is quite a mystery to me how the SSA (Social Security Association) justifies denying the elderly the very old age insurance they paid into all their lives (in other words, withholds the money that belongs to them!) when they are so unfortunate to have been placed in the for-profit prisons which are now almost the only kind of prisons we have (people emerge with debt “owed” to these prisons!!!). The same bafflement applies when it collects for our predatory banks on the sometimes still unpaid student debt of our retirees. Yeah, indeed, we have quite a fine economy when some of us can’t pay back their student loans in a whole life spent working or seeking jobs, and quite a government tasked to secure the rights of the governed when it works as debt collector for our predatory banks stealing from our elderly!

Likewise, where does the SSA get off punishing alleged lawbreakers when their “guilt” has never been established (when it is just a nefarious rumor) and they should be considered innocent until proven guilty, not the other way round?

When she victim of this travesty of justice sought to rectify the situation at her SSA office, the staff said their supervisor would have to call Las Vegas and get documents that she had not been convicted of a crime, nor that I was in jail, nor had been in jail for 30 days or more. Until then, the monthly social security checks would continue to be stopped.

This creeping injustice in all our institutions is how liberty and democracy are lost. As long as our Constitution oh-so-inconveniently applies the innocent-until-proven-guilty principle to our courts, simply use the guilty-until-proven-innocent approach as means of intimidation through those institutions on which the Constitution is silent because they did not yet exist when our Constitution was written. Tadah! Problem solved. Mission accomplished. The people cowed on behalf of the robber billionaires.

Just as the enemies of the people are attacking us on all fronts, we must fight back on all fronts, inconvenient though it may seem. And, above all, we must strive for systemic change towards a vision of the free and just America we were brought up to believe in.

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