garded as the guideline for applyingrnthe Fourth Amendment, that probablerncause must exist and a warrant be obtainedrnfor the government to invade ourrnpersons, homes, possessions, and effects.rnThe exclusionary rule says that evidencernobtained in violation of the FourthrnAmendment cannot be used in trial.rnOpponents of the rule, primarily butrnnot exclusively law-and-order, pro-gunrnRepublicans, claim that the exclusionaryrnrule enables guilty persons to escape convictionrnby throwing out incriminatingrnevidence because it was obtained illegally.rnIn truth, this problem arises less thanrnone percent of the time. But to hear opponentsrnof the exclusionary rule, onernwould think that the rule is the cause ofrnthe crime plaguing America’s citiesrntoday. In fact, these advocates of law andrnorder tend to view the Bill of Rights as arnmere set of loopholes foisted upon anrnunsuspecting republic by a clique of proto-rnACLU conspirators.rnThe Founders had another view.rnTheir idea of the Bill of Rights derivedrnfrom a search for effective obstacles torngovernment tyranny. They rememberedrnhow the king’s troops, using the unconstitutionalrnpower of Writs of Assistance,rnhad violated the English common lawrntradition of “a man’s home is his castle.”rnThey realized that warrantless searchesrnwere the order of the day in the yearsrnleading up to the Revolutionary War.rnSpecifically, H.R. 666 is designedrnto give legislative approval to the currentrnjudicial chipping away of the exclusionaryrnrule. As long as a police officerrn”thought” his warrant was valid—evenrnif it was not—the evidence so obtainedrncould be used in a trial. But what are wernto do under this doctrine if one policernofficer knowingly gets a warrant on falserngrounds? As long as the evidence isrngained by other officers unaware of thisrndeception (wink, wink) the evidencernmust be admissible against an accused.rnIt also establishes the “objective” standardrnA an officer’s good faith in gatheringrnevidence without a warrant as long asrnhe “thought” he had probable cause.rnHow is a defendant ever to prove a staternof mind? Among the attacks on our libertiesrnthat we could expect from the passagernof H.R. 666 is an expansion of warrantlessrnsearches of homes and randomrnstops of cars in an effort to find guns.rnConfiscate now, ask questions later.rnSuch actions have surfaced, mostrnprominently, in the war on drugs. Therndoctrine of forfeiture is simply a euphemismrnfor confiscation, or governmentrntheft. Over 50,000 confiscationsrnoccur annually, but in 80 percent of therncases, no charges are ever filed againstrnthe citizens whose property was confiscated.rnOf course, all of this is unconstitutional,rnbut a detail like this carries litriernweight today.rnWe should not imagine that this licensernto steal gets used only against drugrnkingpins. It gets used against ordinaryrnAmericans who, following an illegalrnsearch, have “too much money” onrnthem. Or guns. Or whatever target is attractivernto a rogue officer or department.rnThe 1994 Crime Bill extended this conceptrnto include multijurisdictional taskrnforces of local, state, and federal policernagencies. Moreover, that Crime Bill alsornensures prosecutors a cut of the loot,rnwhich means hardly anyone in the criminalrnjustice system will be looking out forrnthe interests of the citizens and the Constitution.rnWhy should they? They havernall been bought off with fenced merchandise.rnAt the Waco hearings in July, one ofrnthe few worthwhile panels provided twornTexas Rangers an opportunity to testify.rnThey made it clear that rather thanrnlaunch a military assault on the Davidians,rnthey would have taken Koresh up onrnhis invitation to the BATF to come andrninspect his premises—something thernBATF did not want to do, since they hadrnother plans. The Rangers also said thatrnthey would have walked up to the doorrnand knocked to serve a warrant.rnRanger Captain David Byrnes madernan eloquent plea at the hearing to warnrnagainst a federal police force. Byrnesrnpointed out that “We federalize everything.rnRight now, everything from carjackingrnto evading child support is a federalrncrime in this country, and that reallyrnworries me.” “For law enforcement to berneffective,” Byrnes continued, “it has tornbe accountable, and to be accountable itrnhas to be controlled at the lowest possiblernlevel… . [W]e seem to be vesting arntremendous amount of authority in thernFBI to take over every aspect of civil lawrnenforcement…. I think it’s detrimentalrnto our continued freedom in this country.”rnWe should not lull ourselves intornthinking that the Waco slaughter andrnthe Ruby Ridge murders were aberrations.rnSeveral years ago. Gun Owners ofrnAmerica produced a video. Breaking thernLaw in the Name of the Law, in an effortrnto get Congress to take a look at the Bureaurnof Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.rnEven then the BATF had a reputation forrnlying to get search warrants and tamperingrnwith evidence to get convictions.rnBut the BATF is not alone in runningrnroughshod over the Bill of Rights. Inrn1992, 31 agents from eight federal andrnlocal law enforcement agencies raidedrnthe Malibu home of Donald Scott, thernScott paper heir. The agents of the multijurisdictionalrntask force claimed to bernlooking for marijuana. They shot Scottrndead. No marijuana was found. A 1993rnreport on the incident by Ventura CountyrnDistrict Attorney Michael Bradburyrnsaid a “primary purpose of the raid was arnland grab” by the Forest Service, whichrncoveted Scott’s land.rnJust last year, another multijurisdictionalrntask force comprised of agentsrnfrom the FBI, Environmental ProtectionrnAgency, Coast Guard, Army Corps ofrnEngineers, and California Fish andrnGame Agency raided an herb farm inrnSouthern California. Paul Friedman,rnowner of Greenhouse Fine Herbs, is arnmember of the Self-Realization Fellowship.rnDuring the raid, supposedly overrncharges of river pollution and threats tornan endangered species, agents asked thernemployees if they were a member ofrnFriedman’s church and where they hidrnthe guns. Workers at the farm laterrncharged that the agents were more interestedrnin their religious beliefs than in thernenvironmental complaint.rnUnited States Attorney Alan Bersinrnviewed the pollution indictments againstrnthe herb farm as “a significant step in therngovernment’s commitment to improvingrnthe quality of life.” Mr. Friedmanrndenies polluting the river, which herncalled a “sacred place,” and claims therngarbage washed there during heavy rainsrnwas dumped by local residents. But evenrnif Friedman were guilty, one can see thernproblem that Captain Byrnes had highlightedrnat the Waco hearings. Does litteringrna local river really justify 70 agentsrnstanding ready to shoot the suspects?rnSheriff Tim Nettleton of OwyheernCounty, Idaho, is asking similar questions.rnAs the Washington Times reportedrnthis summer, Nettleton has declared hisrncounty off-limits to federal law enforcementrnofficials, serving notice in particularrnto Bureau of Land Management personnelrnthat they would no longer bernpermitted to act as armed peace officers.rn”What authority do [BLM agents] havernto act as peace officers in the State ofrnIdaho?” he asks. He especially objects torn44/CHRONICLESrnrnrn