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U.S. Dictatorial Fangs at the World Cup

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In his Fourth of July address to Congress in 1821, entitled “In Search of Monsters to Destroy,” John Quincy Adams warned the American people that if the U.S. government ever became an imperial, interventionist government, it would inevitably become like a dictatorial regime.

A good example of how right Adams has proven to be has occurred during the World Cup matches. The dictatorial nature of the U.S. government came through loud and clear in the case of Rafael Martinez, a star soccer player on the Mexican team.

When his team flew on an American airliner to Russia for the World Cup matches, Martinez wasn’t with them. He had to take a different carrier. At the match, he wasn’t allowed to drink the same brand of water as his teammates. At practices, he had to wear a different uniform. He was disqualified from ever being named the Budweiser Man of the Match. His daily movements were closely tracked. He was subject to being placed in different hotels from his teammates. Unlike his teammates, he had to agree to play without pay.

Why all this unusual treatment?

The U.S. Treasury, that’s why. The U.S. Treasury has placed Martinez on its drug-war “blacklist,” accusing the soccer star of having connections to a Mexico drug lord.

When was Martinez tried, and convicted of violating U.S. drug laws? Never! He has never even been charged with violating U.S. drug laws, at least not in the traditional sense of a criminal indictment being returned against him.

No indictment, no due process of law, and no trial. Instead, the federal bureaucrats at the U.S. Treasury, acting as judge, jury, and executioner, simply added him to their drug-war “blacklist.” That’s all those bureaucrats had to do to alter the course of this man’s life.

So, why did Martinez have to fly on a different airline, wear a different uniform, drink different water, stay at different hotels, be closely monitored, and agree to play without pay?

Because those Treasury bureaucrats told everyone in the world that if they had any business relationship with Martinez, the U.S. drug-war bureaucrats would come after them with extreme viciousness, including the possibility of criminal charges and economic sanctions.

That was enough to strike deep fear in the hearts and minds of American companies and sponsors who were involved in the World Cup. U.S. airliners, Nike, Budweiser, McDonalds, Coca Cola, and others, including even the Mexican government, ran fearfully for cover, doing everything they could to avoid any business contact with Martinez. None of them wanted to experience the horrific wrath of the international dictator and its army of loyal bureaucrats.

Think about it: U.S. officials are not only punishing a man who has never been convicted of the crime they say he committed. They are also threatening to punish anyone who does business with him. That’s dictatorship 101.

If these federal bureaucrats think that Martinez has committed a crime, why don’t they charge him and prosecute him? Isn’t that supposed to be the American way? Under our system of government, isn’t a person considered innocent until the moment that federal prosecutors prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury of his peers in a court of law before an independent judge? Well, Martinez has never been proven guilty, which means he’s innocent under what our system  is supposed to be all about. Where are the justice, fairness, and morality in inflicting punishment on an innocent man?

Of course, this isn’t the only instance in which the world’s dictator punishes innocent people. The federal government, especially the DEA, prides itself on stealing people’s money, homes, cars, and businesses without ever charging them with a crime. They call their program “asset forfeiture.” It entails punishing innocent people by simply typing their name on their drug-war blacklist and then seizing their property. No arrest. No indictment. No trial. No appeals. Just call a person

 

add the person’s name to their drug-war “blacklist,” and that’s enough for the drug-war bureaucrats to justify stealing people’s property and appropriating it their own use.

This is not the type of government that our American ancestors envisioned when they called the federal government into existence with the Constitution. How long will the American people of today tolerate this extreme dictatorial conduct?

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.