Posts Tagged ‘Select Committee on 1/6’

The 1/6 committee’s threat to civil liberties

October 17, 2021

Glenn Greenwald wrote an excellent post questioning the constitutionality of the Select Committee on 1/6’s investigation.  All the abuses of power of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in an earlier are being repeated, this time with the support of self-described liberals. 

The committee’s mandate was to investigate why the Capitol Police were so unprepared to defend the Capitol against rioters, which is a proper and important matter to investigate.  

So is the role of the FBI, which had heavily infiltrated three of the major right-wing organizations, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.  To what degree did the FBI hold back its knowledge, or even possibly help instigate the riots?

What is not a proper topic for investigation is the activities and beliefs of private citizens.  Law enforcement is the function of the executive and judicial branches, not the legislative.  

The executive branch is responsible for investigating and prosecuting federal crimes.  The judicial branch is responsible for judging criminal charges and sentencing convicted criminals.

The investigative powers of Congress are limited to oversight of the executive branch and to research in connection with legislation.  It has no constitutional authority to investigate the activities of individuals just our of curiosity, or the desire to humiliate and punish.

Greenwald points out the extensive legal precedent for this, much of it dating from the McCarthy era.

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