US Continues to violate Constitution in Permanent World War on Terror

Eric Blair

activistpost.com

5/17/13

Two disturbing developments have occurred in the last couple of days that have gone relatively unnoticed compared to the recent IRS, AP, and Benghazi scandals.

First, the senate is debating an expansion of the already broad powers of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) so the U.S. can essentially engage any area in the world in the war on terror, including America. Which brings us to the second development: the Pentagon has recently granted itself police powers on American soil.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Sheehan told Congress yesterday that the AUMF authorized the US military to operate on a worldwide battlefield from Boston to Pakistan.  Sheehan emphasized that the Administration is authorized to put boots on the ground wherever the enemy chooses to base themselves, essentially ignoring the declaration of war clause in the US Constitution.

Senator Angus King said this interpretation of the AUMF is a “nullity” to the Constitution because it ignores Congress’ role to declare war.  King called it the “most astoundingly disturbing hearing” he’s been to in the Senate.

Even ultra-hawk John McCain agreed that the AUMF has gone way beyond its authority.

“This authority … has grown way out of proportion and is no longer applicable to the conditions that prevailed, that motivated the United States Congress to pass the authorization for the use of military force that we did in 2001,” McCain said.

Glenn Greenwald wrote an excellent piece describing how this hearing reveals the not-so-secret plan to make the war on terror a permanent fixture in Western society.

Greenwald writes:

It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. Not only is it the end itself, but it is also its own fuel: it is precisely this endless war – justified in the name of stopping the threat of terrorism – that is the single greatest cause of that threat.

A self-perpetuating permanent war against a shadowy undefinable enemy appears to be the future of American foreign policy.  How convenient for the war machine and tyrants who claim surveillance is safety.

But perhaps most disturbing of all of this is the military’s authority to police American streets as if it was in civil war. For all those still in denial that America is a militarized police state, this should be the ultimate cure to your delusion.

Jeff Morey of AlterNet writes:

By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule: “Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.”

A law from 1878 called the Posse Comitatus Act was put in place to prevent the Department of Defense from interfering with local law enforcement.  But now, the DoD claims they’ve had this authority for over 100 years.

“The authorization has been around over 100 years; it’s not a new authority. It’s been there but it hasn’t been exercised. This is a carryover of domestic policy,” said an unnamed defense official who also emphasized that all soldiers take an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies “foreign and domestic” indicating that citizens are a threat to the Constitution.

Yet, the Constitution is a document that polices the government, not the people. In other words, the only people who can be “enemies” of the Constitution are those who took an oath to defend it. Therefore, only government officials can be an enemy the Constitution.

This follows a recent West Point study that sought to define the American people as “domestic enemies” in order to justify soldiers breaking their oath to corral pesky citizens.

The West Point Terrorism Center wrote that “conspiracy theorists” who worry that local law enforcement will be steadily replaced by federally-controlled law enforcement could potentially be a domestic enemy:

Some groups are driven by a strong conviction that the American political system and its proxies were hijacked by external forces interested in promoting a “New World Order,” (NWO) in which the United States will be embedded in the UN or another version of global government. The NWO will be advanced, they believe, via steady transition of powers from local to federal law-enforcement agencies, i.e., the transformation of local police and law-enforcement agencies into a federally controlled “National Police” agency that will in turn merge with a “Multi-National Peace Keeping Force.” The latter deployment on US soil will be justified via a domestic campaign implemented by interested parties that will emphasize American society’s deficiencies and US government incompetency.

So, as the US military claims to have the authority to be a “National Police” force, researchers who claim there is an agenda to do just that are now labeled as domestic terrorists?

Does this make any sense? Will oath takers see through these ridiculous interpretations and engage the real domestic enemy to the Constitution? Or will they just follow orders when the time comes to crack down on Americans?

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Military Quietly Grants Itself the Power to Police the Streets Without Local or State Consent

The lines between the military and law enforcement have blurred even further

May 15, 2013 

alternet.org

By Jed Morey

The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefitted from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training,  incentives offered in the ongoing “war on drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it would be difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.

The lines blurred even further  Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled  “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule: “Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.”

Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military.” He says, “It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control.”

A defense official who declined to be named takes a different view of the rule, claiming, “The authorization has been around over 100 years; it’s not a new authority. It’s been there but it hasn’t been exercised. This is a carryover of domestic policy.” Moreover, he insists the Pentagon doesn’t “want to get involved in civilian law enforcement. It’s one of those red lines that the military hasn’t signed up for.” Nevertheless, he says, “every person in the military swears an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States to defend that Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

One of the more disturbing aspects of the new procedures that govern military command on the ground in the event of a civil disturbance relates to authority. Not only does it fail to define what circumstances would be so severe that the president’s authorization is “impossible,” it grants full presidential authority to “Federal military commanders.” According to the defense official, a commander is defined as follows: “Somebody who’s in the position of command, has the title commander. And most of the time they are centrally selected by a board, they’ve gone through additional schooling to exercise command authority.”

As it is written, this “commander” has the same power to authorize military force as the president in the event the president is somehow unable to access a telephone. (The rule doesn’t address the statutory chain of authority that already exists in the event a sitting president is unavailable.) In doing so, this commander must exercise judgment in determining what constitutes, “wanton destruction of property,” “adequate protection for Federal property,” “domestic violence,” or “conspiracy that hinders the execution of State or Federal law,” as these are the circumstances that might be considered an “emergency.”

“These phrases don’t have any legal meaning,” says Afran. “It’s no different than the emergency powers clause in the Weimar constitution [of the German Reich]. It’s a grant of emergency power to the military to rule over parts of the country at their own discretion.”

KS Gov. Brownback Signs Watered-down Second Amendment Protection Act

originally posted 4/18/13

thenewamerican.com

Written by 

On Tuesday, April 16, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas (shown) signed a bill purporting to safeguard the constitutionally protected right of Kansans to keep and bear arms.

Titled the Second Amendment Protection Act, SB 102 declares:

The second amendment to the constitution of the United States reserves to the people, individually, the right to keep and bear arms as that right was understood at the time that Kansas was admitted to statehood in 1861, and the guaranty of that right is a matter of contract between the state and people of Kansas and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Kansas in 1859 and the United States in 1861.

Praise for the measure has come from many in the liberty community who view the act as a forceful counterattack to the federal assault on the Second Amendment.

Admittedly, several sections of the act use very strong and unequivocal language to defend the right of citizens of the Sunflower State to own firearms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. For example, Section 6(a) of the bill declares:

“Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.”

That is undeniably a very firm and constitutionally sound rejection of recent attempts by the federal government (both those planned and those already perpetrated) to unlawfully infringe on the right of Americans to own weapons. For this, the Kansas legislature and Governor Brownback deserve the praise they have received.

However, the next section of the new law, Section 6(b), seems to sap some of the strength from this otherwise potent statute. As amended by the state House of Representatives, Section 6(b) reads:

No official, agent or employee of the state of Kansas, or any political subdivision thereof, shall enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States regarding any personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the state of Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas. [Emphasis added.]

For comparison, consider the original text of the same section of the bill prior to the changes affected by the committee:

No official, agent or employee of the state of Kansas, nor any dealer selling any firearm in the state of Kansas, or any political subdivision thereof, shall enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States regarding any personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in the state of Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas. [Emphasis added.]

Although the difference seems slight — it is only the shifting of a couple of words a few places to the right — the legal implications are substantial.

As enacted by the governor, Kansas’s Second Amendment Preservation Act would, by using “and” in place of “or,” apply only to that very small range of firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition that are both manufactured and owned in Kansas. That leaves those citizens who own firearms manufactured in other states (or countries, for that matter) outside the zone of this law’s protections. Furthermore, the original bill stated that firearms dealers operating in Kansas were prohibited from enforcing federal gun control laws, while the amended version essentially restricts the prohibition to state officials and employees.

Another less than exemplary section of the Kansas law — Section 4 — intimates that those guns owned by Kansans that were manufactured outside of the state are subject to federal restrictions under the authority of the interstate commerce clause of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

While Congress may possess a certain level of regulatory power over the interstate trade of weapons, parts, and ammunition, these regulations cannot infringe on the right to keep and bear arms without violating the express prohibitions set out in the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment permits no exceptions to its prohibitions on any federal infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. Section 4 of the Kansas law would seem to permit such an unconstitutional exercise of power.

To its credit, Section 7 of the law declares:

It is unlawful for any official, agent or employee of the government of the United States, or employee of a corporation providing services to the government of the United States to enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States regarding a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the state of Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas. Violation of this section is a severity level 10 nonperson felony.

State laws that impose criminal penalties on attempts to confiscate or otherwise control the unalienable right of Americans to keep and bear arms are preferable to other toothless, non-binding resolutions that are simply symbolic defenses of that right. So, for that, again, Kansas is to be congratulated.

However, that section, too, severely limits the application of the criminal penalties to firearms both manufactured and owned in Kansas, rather than a broader, more encompassing (and constitutionally sound) provision that would cover firearms, accessories, and ammunition manufactured or owned, as was originally written in the bill.

Another deficiency in Section 7 of the law provides that any federal official or agent of the federal official facing trial for violating the state’s Second Amendment Protection Act “shall not be arrested or otherwise detained prior to, or during the pendency of, any trial for a violation of this section.” Again, an unfortunate dilution of an otherwise potent state law.

The watering down of this law is understandable given the fact that nearly 33 percent of the Kansas state budget comes from federal funds. It is difficult for governors and state lawmakers to bite the hand that feeds them, although a little nip now and then is tolerated.

In light of recent movements by the president, Congress, and the United Nations to effectively repeal the Second Amendment, there is an urgent need for states to stand up and assert their constitutional authority to resist any federal act not specifically permitted in the “few and defined” powers delegated to it in the Constitution. States must nullify all such attempts to deny citizens of their God-given rights, including the right to keep and bear arms. Nullification, not capitulation, is the way to defeat the powerful forces combined against the continued enjoyment of freedom.

Regarding the rightful role of nullification and the private ownership of weapons, lawmakers and citizens alike should remember the words of imminent jurist Joseph Story, who wrote in 1833: “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

Photo of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback: AP Images

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. 

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On a very positive note Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach issued a letter on May 2, 2013 in response to Eric Holder’s direct threat against the state for its new law, the 2nd Amendment Protection Act.  It reads, in part:With respect to his concern that federal officials be allowed to enforce federal laws, Mr. Holder’s statement is a curious one. He was evidently not concerned that ATFE officials be allowed to enforce federal law when his agency oversaw the “fast and furious” operation to walk guns into the hands of Mexican cartels.

The State of Kansas is determined to restore the Constitution and to protect the right of its citizens to keep and bear arms.

The letter from KS Secretary of State Kobach may be found here.

The Response of the Governemnt to Terrorism is the Loss of our Liberties

Rocco J. Piserchia

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 the federal government instituted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and passed the Patriot Act.  No one in the military or any of the US intelligence agencies was arrested or even demoted for criminal negligence.  Instead the federal government has continued to implement a domestic police state.  For those who question this much evidence exists.  Two points should suffice.  1.)The 2012 National defense Authorization Act violated the US Constitution  by claiming that any US citizen anywhere in the world who is declared an enemy combatant loses his right to due process and may be indefinitely detained or executed without a jury trial.  The President currently has a hit list of alleged terrorists that may include US citizens – anyone of this list is subject to execution based upon secret evidence held by the US President. Anwar al-Awlaki and  his 16 year old son were US citizens who were executed by separate drone attacks in Yemen.  2.) In 2008 The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was amended to enable the federal government to record any digital communication without a warrant. Every phone call made by a land line or cell as well as every email or any other digital communication is subject to being recorded by the government without a warrant. Obama voted for this bill as a Senator and has continued to support it as President.

After the Boston Marathon terror attack we saw martial law declared for Boston and surrounding towns – random illegal searches at gun point occurred. Both the FBI and the CIA have admitted that the alleged terrorists were under their surveillanceHowever there will be no investigation into criminal negligence of the FBI and CIA.  Neither will anyone in the FBI or CIA be charged with any type of criminal negligence.  Instead the result be to further erode what’s left of our liberties.  Case in point – Rep. Peter King (R-NY) wants more cameras for surveillance of the public.  The solution of the government is for the corrupt power of the state to grow and the liberties of the individual to be diminished.  The colossal hoax of the illegal “War on Terror” is being used to create the pretext for perpetual war and to incrementally construct a domestic police state.  Our Founding Fathers knew that perpetual war can not coexist with individual liberty.

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.  War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

James Madison (1751 – 1836)

Eric Holder Threatens Kansas in Letter on Gun Control Nullification Law

tenthamendmentcenter.com

5/1/13

On Thursday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback received a letter from Federal Attorney General Eric Holder threatening action against the state should it enforce SB102 which Brownback signed into law last month.

The new law states, in part:

Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas

The bill also provides for criminal penalties against federal agents who attempt to enforce specific federal laws on guns manufactured in the state of Kansas and sold within the state – as the state takes the position under the new law that the federal government does not “interstate commerce” authority over such items.

In his letter, Holder didn’t take too kindly to such a proposition.  He wrote:

“In purporting to override federal law and to criminalize the official acts of federal officers, SB102 directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional.”  

He continued, “Under the Supremacy Clause…Kansas may not prevent federal employees and officials from carrying out their official responsibilities.  And a state certainly may not criminalize the exercise of federal responsibilities.  Because SB102 conflicts with federal firearms laws and regulations, federal law supercedes this new statute; all provisions of federal laws and their implementing regulations therefore continue to apply.”

Let’s take Eric apart here.

1. Kansas is NOT purporting to criminalize the exercise of constitutional federal responsibilities.  On the contrary, the bill criminalizes what the state has determined is unconstitutional.   It is the position that such federal acts are indeed a violation of the Constitution.  No matter how much Eric might believe it to be otherwise, his view is obviously not universal – especially in Kansas.

2. The Supremacy Clause.  Holder takes the position that all tyrants do – that everything they do is authorized, anything to the contrary – worthless.  But Holder is wrong.  The Supremacy Clause doesn’t say that “any law in conflict with federal law” is void.  It says that only those laws “in pursuance” of the constitution are supreme.  The new Kansas legislation, again, takes the position that such federal acts are not constitutional, and therefore not supreme.

3. Historical Precedent.  The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act was a federal law that basically required all states in the north to act as slave catchers for black people claimed as property in the South.  It’s one of the most disgusting acts in American history.  A number of northern states passed laws similar to the new Kansas law, criminalizing federal agents for attempting to kidnap people in their states.    Although the feds still claimed the same kind of authority that Eric Holder has claimed today, they didn’t have the manpower to enforce.  Read more about that here.    As an aside, if Holder would like to take the position that such resistance to federal slave laws was wrong, he’s welcome to publicly state that.

Eric capped off his letter by assuring the People of Kansas that the federal government will continue to enforce all federal gun laws.  He wrote:

“I am writing to inform you that federal law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Attorney’s Office…will continue to execute their duties to enforce all federal firearms laws and regulations.”

4.  Manpower.   That brings us to the most important fact, the federal government simply does not have the manpower to enforce all its laws already.  The new Kansas law doesn’t just deal with firearms made within the state.  It also bans all state and local agents from enforcing federal gun control measures.  (learn about the bill in detail here).  As Judge Andrew Napolitano has affirmed recently, such widespread noncompliance makes federal gun control laws “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here).  So Eric can promise to enforce these federal acts all he wants.  But if Kansas doesn’t help him, he might be able to get a 2% enforcement rate.  Or, he’ll have to pull resources from other states.

WHAT SHOULD THE RESPONSE BE?

1.  Hold the Line, and Tell Holder to buzz off.  Seriously.  This guy has been sending threatening letters to states around the country on medical marijuana laws for years (and so did his predecessors).  In fact, those letters are often even more aggressive, threatening taking property or even criminal sanctions against state or local politicians.   A letter last year threatened just that against the San Diego city council.  (read it here) That community knows full well the threats that are constantly made against their liberties by Holder and his DOJ team. But they push on and keep doing what they believe is right.  The People of Kansas need to stand strong in support of the 2nd Amendment and reject these threats from the DOJ.

2. Local resistance.  Recognizing that manpower is a VERY serious problem for the feds, people in Kansas should be constantly reaching out to county, city and town elected officials to respectfully press them into passing local ordinances to ensure that no assets will be used to enforce federal gun control.   Covering the states in ordinances that provide backup to the new federal law will ensure that federal gun control will be “nearly impossible to enforce.”
LEARN MORE AND GET ACTION ITEMS HERE

3. Call Sam Brownback.  Flood his phone line with messages of encouragement and support.  Let him know that the people have his back – that’s how governors show courage.  Brownback has a chance to act like a hero to the entire country.  In fact, people all over the country should send him letters in support – he’s going to need all the help he can get.

CALLS (for Kansans only)  785-296-3232

Mail (rest of the country)

Office of the Governor
Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Ste. 241S
Topeka, KS 66612-1590

(or email here)

4.  Support efforts in other states.  Kansas can’t do it alone.  A similar bill is up for a signature in Alaska.  Bills are moving forward in Missouri, Alabama and elsewhere.  Every state and local community that does the same will make federal enforcement even more difficult, and eventually, the feds can pass all the “laws” they want, but they won’t have any effect.

Track and model legislation here:  http://tracking.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2nd

JUST SAY NO!

The bad guys always talk tough, and they want to scare you into compliance .  But the fact remains – they don’t have the manpower to carry out all their threats.  Even with almost full state and local cooperation, there are now 18 states defying DC on marijuana prohibition.  As two states – Washington and Colorado – legalize what the feds say is illegal, we’re watching the beginning of the end of federal dominance over the states.

On the right to keep and bear arms, people should follow the same path.  Just say NO to Washington DC, and YES to liberty.

Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on twitter – @michaelboldin, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook.

Actual letter from Holder