On January 6 2011, U.S. Representative Trent Franks participated in a show in the U.S. Capitol Building: the reading of the United States Constitution. Rep. Franks was assigned to read the Fifth Amendment:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
No person in America is supposed to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process. In America, you can’t just throw someone into jail forever. You’re supposed to accuse them of something, and you’re supposed to have to provide evidence, and a jury of the accused peers is supposed to decide whether the evidence proves what the government says it does, and it’s all supposed to be in public to make sure that the process is carried out fairly. That’s in the next clause of the Constitution, the Sixth Amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Trent Franks read the Constitution on January 6 of this year, but it seems he didn’t listen to the words. Less than a year later, Rep. Franks voted to pass H. 1540, a bill that allows the government to throw people into detention forever, without charges, without trial, without any of the constitutional guarantees that Trent Franks read but did not hear that day.
Trent Franks: pro-Constitution when the cameras are rolling, anti-Constitution when no one is paying attention.