Contrary to popular belief, we criminal defense lawyers support the war on terror. Seriously. We don't want bombs blowing up our buildings and airplanes, and killing our people.
But the problem is that our government has found a way to relate every crime known to man, to terrorism. As an example, we, the criminal defense bar, know that warrantless wiretapping can lead to the capture of terrorists and thwarting of terror plots, but it's also being used to aid in the war on drugs, which is part of the war on terror, of course. The sale of drugs aids terrorists.
The FBI defines terrorism as "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
What's also part of the war on terror - the sale of fake purses.
And then there's the Indictment of actor Wesley Snipes yesterday for tax fraud. (Review the tax return in issue) The U.S Attorney said this: Those who intentionally and unlawfully harass the IRS through deceit, trickery and fraud undermine the collection of revenue that is vital to every aspect of the operation of our government, including defense, the war on terror, health care, law enforcement and education,"
And so therin lies the rub, our government's attempt to define every single criminal act as aiding terrorism.
You see, the definition of terrorism is broad, and allows tactics used to find terrorists, to be used in our everyday enforcement of criminal law.
Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com.
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