U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution will be front and center tomorrow evening, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at 7 at the Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s public library*.

“You’ll be amazed at the foresight of our forefathers,” the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum say in an email about the event, “Constitutional Insights.” See announcement HERE.

James Arpante, adjunct professor of government, history, and business at Berkshire Community College, is the featured speaker and will lead discussion about the Constitution, its historical significance and why it matters so much today.

The presentation and discussion tomorrow night present an opportunity to be brought up to date on the U.S. Constitution and how much of it is still in effect.

Among the consequences of the mass murder and mayhem of Sept. 11, 2001, most of it at the World Trade Center in New York City, was the stripping away of U.S. citizens’ liberties by the USA PATRIOT Act** passed by a nearly unanimous United States Congress and signed into law by President George Walker Bush on Oct. 26, 2001.

Last year, the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry successfully petitioned the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York to empanel a Special Grand Jury to examine evidence the Committee assembled pertinent to as-yet unprosecuted federal crimes in connection with the murder and destruction at the World Trade Center.

On its website, the Committee has posted a list of more than a dozen “Consequences of 9/11,” including loss of civil liberties under the USA PATRIOT Act; bulk data collection in a “surveillance state,” failure of government to uphold the United States Constitution, immunity of high-level officials from war crimes, and a constant fear campaign.  See the list HERE.

Does the Committee’s work have anything to do with reality? The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post think not. Either that or those four newspapers based within blocks of the World Trade Center are not free to express any interest by reporting on it.

Mr. Arpante or some attendees tomorrow night may have something to say about what has been called our post-Constitutional era.

— Bruce Riblet Henry and Mark Channing Miller

* Located at 1 Wendell Ave., Pittsfield, MA.

** The Act’s acronym stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.

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