Ashton Lundeby (age 16)

On September 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States of America was signed and agreed upon. Therein, laid the Bill of Rights, believed by America's Founding Fathers to be the inalienable human rights granted by God for men to be free from tyrannical governments that would endeavor to destroy their spirits. Two hundred and fourteen years later, The Patriot Act was signed into law by George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. It was just over a month past the tragic events at the World Trade Center, and the people of America had been leaning on the government to protect them from another attack. Their trust was betrayed on so many levels.

Under the P.A.T.R.I.O.T act (Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism), anybody who is a potential terrorist, (which is everyone) loses these constitutionally-guaranteed rights. Never before has the government prosecuted citizens as criminals for crimes that they might commit in the future, and never before has the Bill of Rights been ignored. The individual does not have to be proven as a terrorist, and homes can be searched without warrants, and people may be detained without trial, or even the right to a defense. While many parts of the patriot act have been struck down, it still stands as blatantly unconstitutional.

In a recent case, this 16-year old home schooler from North Carolina was grabbed by the F.B.I. and held for two months over an alleged prank call. You read that right: a prank call. The F.B.I. alleged that Ashton Lundeby made a bomb threat from his computer, but this has been vehemently denied by his family. Regardless, under what circumstances would it be okay to grab a 16-year-old in the middle of the night, take him to another state half-way across the country, hold him there without any legal representation (except an approved lawyer), and allow him to have very little contact with his family?

Adding to the evidence of something foully corrupt having occurred in this case, the federal judge has disgustingly issued a gag order preventing the media from reporting or obtaining real information about it. That too, by the way, is also illegal by the Constitution's Bill of Rights. It is publicly known that the search of Ashton's home revealed no bomb-making materials whatsoever, and yet there is no sign of his release. The North Carolina Highway Patrol shamelessly admitted assisting with the F.B.I. operation on March the 5th. Ashton's bedroom is still patriotically covered with American flags, but they may not stay for long when he returns home, and who could blame him?

"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," said his mother, Annette Lundeby. "This is the United States, and I feel like I live in a third world country now." She is currently fighting for her son's due process rights, because God-given rights cannot be removed by anyone.

How did the American people become so afraid, and unwilling to stand up for something as dear and important as their Constitution? It was not long ago that this sort of behavior on the part of the U.S. Government would not have been tolerated.

"Those who sacrifice freedom for security shall have neither".

-- Benjamin Franklin