This is bound to have a few words the NSA will find of interest…
In recent news two scandals have caused a certain degree of embarrassment for the Obama administration and also caused some people to begin questioning some of the things our government is doing; specifically the fact that the IRS has targeted certain conservative groups who applied for tax exempt status, and the fact that the government is data mining all our phone calls and other electronic signals such as e mail and Facebook posts. These scandals, while disturbing, are nothing new, our government, to some extent, has been doing these kinds of things for a long time now.
Some of you may, while others may not, remember back in 2009 when it was leaked that the Missouri Information Analysis Center, or MIAC, had issued a report which was used by local police to keep an eye upon certain groups, or individuals; including those who had Ron Paul bumper stickers, or belonged to local militias. Supposedly these people were considered as potential threats because of their political views and it was therefore decided to keep a closer eye upon them.
If you think the MIAC report was an isolated incident then you are much more naive than I thought. Since the passage of the Patriot Act many groups, or individuals who believe in limited government and individual liberty have been added to a continuously growing list of people who MAY be considered as domestic terrorists. I’m certain that I’m on a few of those lists myself. After all, what do you think the no-fly list is, it is merely a list of names of people which the government has targeted based upon data collected by some analyst in Homeland Security or the NSA.
And the fact that Edward Snowden leaked the fact that the NSA has been monitoring our phone calls and electronic messages should come as no surprise either. But then again I suppose that had this not come to light then people would have shrugged off the mention of ECHELON as just the wild ravings of another conspiracy theorist. But the truth is that since the 1960’s, at least, the government has been monitoring phone calls and other messages such as faxes sent via phone lines and satellites.
Since the 60’s, SIGINT, or Signals Intelligence has been collected via ECHELON, which, according to James Bamford, author of numerous books on the NSA, “… the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.”
So again, this is nothing new, it is just the fact that you are just now finding out about it which is causing you to question what the hell your government is doing to your right to privacy. What both angers and humors me is the fact that those on one side of the political spectrum will cry foul when the other side is caught doing this, then when their side does it, they find it to be perfectly acceptable. That kind of hypocrisy infuriates me.
I had a conversation with someone about this the other day. That person said something along the lines of, “Well when Bush did it they ONLY listened to calls to overseas locations. But now Obama is listening in to everyone’s calls.” Even if that were true, which it isn’t, two wrongs don’t make a right. The fact that one president only violated the Fourth Amendment on outgoing calls, while another president violates it for all calls is irrelevant. They both have violated the Fourth Amendment and they both should be held accountable for their actions.
I know some people don’t like when I use too many quotes from our Founding Fathers, or the Supreme Court, but these quotes help support my position that these things being done by our government are AGAINST THE LAW! After all, the Constitution IS the Supreme Law of the land, a fact upheld by the Supreme Court in Ex Parte Milligan. In their ruling, Justice David Davis clearly stated, “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government.”
This is not an isolated ruling by the Court, there is a long history of their having ruled against encroachments upon our rights by the government. In the 1934 case of Home Building & Loan Assn. v. Blairsdell, the Court ruled, “Emergency does not create power. Emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions imposed upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the federal government and its limitations of the power of the States were determined in the light of emergency, and they are not altered by emergency.”
More specifically, in Bartkus v. Illinois the Court ruled, “The 4th Amendment and the personal rights it secures have a long history. At the very core stands the right of a man to retreat into his home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.”
And according to the Court, in U.S. v Robel, “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties…which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.”
For some these scandals are the very first time that they have found out about their government’s abuse of power and violations of their rights. For others, it is just another instance of the same old story, and we are growing weary of it. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (administrators) too plainly proves a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery.”
You may question my use of that quote, but it is not just these recent ‘scandals’ that cause me to believe that our government is intentionally, systematically, depriving us of our rights, it is, as Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, a long train of abuses and usurpations which cause me to say that. These TSA searches to board planes are violations of the 4th Amendment, as are the warrantless wiretaps authorized by the Patriot Act. Our Second Amendment is hanging together by threads as are the First, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Does this not even worry any of you in the slightest?
I have been told, and no offense to the people that have told me this, that if I come across as sounding harsh, angry, and critical of people, that I stand the chance of turning them off and they will ignore my message. You know what, TOUGH SHIT! I have been doing this for quite some time, not as long as some, but longer than others. I have YET to have ONE PERSON say to me that I opened their eyes to anything, that it was something I wrote that caused them to rethink their positions and begin seeking out the truth. So I don’t think sugar coating what I have to say is going to make a damn bit of difference. People are going to believe what they want to believe, and if that means they believe the lies they see on the news, or the lies they hear from their elected officials, then there isn’t much I can do to change their minds.
What concerns me now is this, have we waited too long to be able to restore our Republic? Or, have we been like a chain smoker who does not wait to quit until their doctor tells them they have Stage 4 lung cancer which has metastasized into their lymph nodes? James Madison once wrote, “We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.”
We now have generations of Americans who have not been taught the founding principles of this country. These people actually believe with all their heart and soul that the things their government is doing is permitted by the Constitution, they have no clue as to the truth, and when someone does try to tell them they refuse to accept it because it is too radical an idea. If you don’t believe me just try to convince a Democrat that government subsidies are not authorized by the Constitution, or tell a die-hard Republican that these national security measures implemented to fight terror violate the Bill of Rights. It won’t matter how many quotes you use to argue your case, they will simply ignore you and stick to their beliefs.
Yet aside from superficial differences between the two parties, both of them continue to pass laws which lead us further into debt, and deprive us of more of our rights.
Now before anyone gets the wrong idea and thinks that I am calling for an armed revolution, let me clearly state that what I am about to say is just what I THINK the Founders would have said were they alive today. In fact, most of what I’m about to say will be quotes from them, and backed up by Court rulings.
One of the major influences upon our Founding Fathers was the British Political Philosopher John Locke. From his Second Treatise on Civil Government Locke states, “Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.”
Former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas once said, “When a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen’s constitutional rights it acts lawlessly and the citizen can take matters into his own hands and proceed on the basis that such a law is no law at all.”
The American Jurisprudence is an encyclopedia of American law. It is full of legal concepts and precedents. In the Sixteenth edition we find the following, “The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it’s enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. NO ONE IS BOUND TO OBEY AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW, AND NO COURTS ARE BOUND TO ENFORCE IT.” (my emphasis)
You may ask what if the courts DO enforce these laws? Well, in State v. Sutton, the Court ruled, “When any court violates the clean and unambiguous language of the Constitution, a fraud is perpetrated and no one is bound to obey it.”
That may sound radical, even dangerous to some, civil disobedience like this, but what do you think our Founders did when they dumped all that tea into Boston Harbor, or tarred and feathered those tax collectors? Yes, standing up for your rights means that you may have to place yourself in danger, but the alternative is much worse don’t you think?
And if you think these ideas are radical, wait till you hear what Jon Roland had to say. Jon Roland is founder of the Constitution Society and he once said, “Strictly speaking, an unconstitutional statute is not a “law”, and should not be called a “law”, even if it is sustained by a court, for a finding that a statute or other official act is constitutional does not make it so, or confer any authority to anyone to enforce it.
All citizens and legal residents of the United States, by their presence on the territory of the United States, are subject to the militia duty, the duty of the social compact that creates the society, which requires that each, alone and in concert with others, not only obey the Constitution and constitutional official acts, but help enforce them, if necessary, at the risk of one’s life.
Any unconstitutional act of an official will at least be a violation of the oath of that official to execute the duties of his office, and therefore grounds for his removal from office. No official immunity or privileges of rank or position survive the commission of unlawful acts. If it violates the rights of individuals, it is also likely to be a crime, and the militia duty obligates anyone aware of such a violation to investigate it, gather evidence for a prosecution, make an arrest, and if necessary, seek an indictment from a grand jury, and if one is obtained, prosecute the offender in a court of law.”
Why should we not hold our elected representatives accountable for their treason? In the 1921case of Burdeau v. McDowell, Justice Louis Brandeis ruled, “At the foundation of our civil liberties lies the principle that denies to government officials an exceptional position before the law and which subjects them to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.” If WE cannot arrest and indict them, who can? Do you honestly expect them to police themselves for violations of their oaths of office? If so, you are a fool.
In 1967 Justice Potter Stewart ruled, “The right to defy an unconstitutional statute is basic in our scheme. Even when an ordinance requires a permit to make a speech, to deliver a sermon, to picket, to parade, or to assemble, it need not be honored when it’s invalid on its face.”
These are all quotes that prove that it is our right, OUR DUTY, to resist violations of the Constitution, and to arrest and prosecute those responsible for them. If we don’t do this NOW, then we may be left with the last resort as Jefferson declared, “And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Winston Churchill, although not an American leader, once said something very powerful and true, “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
I know some may consider these ideas to be treasonous. I consider the actions of my government, and those who refuse to hold them accountable, or even worse, support them, to be treasonous. I am not a huge fan of Martin Luther King, but he did occasionally say something that was worthwhile. This was one instance in which I agree with what Dr. King said, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
This is one of those times for me. I feel that our country is at a point where, if we want to survive, we cannot afford to simply slow down on the infringement of our rights, we must SLAM ON THE BRAKES!
I don’t care if what I say is unpopular, offends, or makes enemies. I believe what I say to be true, and as Samuel Adams once said, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our DUTY to defend them against all attacks.” But that duty can ONLY be acted upon if you know what your rights are AND have the courage to stand up to defend them. And that right there is why I have so little hope for our country. Far too many do not know their rights, while others may but are content to write a few letters or attend a few protests, but nothing more. We need to show our government who is boss, and that any infringements upon our rights will no longer be tolerated. But, I don’t see that happening. In fact, someone may actually turn me in as a possible terrorist threat for merely stating something that, had they been alive today, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, or Samuel Adams would have said.
It just goes to show you that we are losing the war for our nation’s soul, and our rights. But I for one will not go out peacefully. For as Revolutionary War General John Stark once said, “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.”