June 7, 2010
Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Link to this article at LewRockwell.com
It seems that our representatives in Washington want Americans to know that, instead of studying the ideas of the Founding Fathers on the appropriate way governments should treat people, the DC ignoramuses have taken on the wisdom of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. And, ironically, many people in the Tea Party movement who have been supporting Bush war policies may be the ones regretting such support.
The most recent examples of our leaders rushing to violate our liberty in the name of fighting terrorism or other government-caused problems include Senator Joe Lieberman’s legislation to remove citizenship from suspected terrorists or terrorism abettors, and a proposal from Sen. Lindsay Graham and Sen. Charles Schumer to force all Americans to have a biometric ID card that would include embedded information such as fingerprints, etc. Because of the short-sightedness that has been common in Washington for over a century, the Founders’ belief in the Presumption of Innocence and Due Process now seems to be an anachronism.
This past decade’s war on terrorism has become an unwitting invitation for the government’s camel to completely barge in the tent, as the policies that the Bush Administration put in place can be used by subsequent administrations for dubious purposes, the prevention of which is why the American Founders wrote the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
The Bush war policies have given President Obama too much unchecked power. This includes a perversion of the rule of law that is supposed to restrict the State from curtailing individual rights. Consequently, the artificial notion of “battlefield rules,” in which rights may be curtailed by agents of the State in the name of war, combined with the globalizing of the war on terrorism, in which the battlefield has extended to include all territories, have disintegrated the concept of national sovereignty as well as erased the protection of individuals from State aggression.
For example, the Bush policies including the Patriot Act, warrantless surveillance, denial of due process, assassinations of suspected terrorists including Americans, extraordinary rendition, and indefinite detention, were short-sighted policies and may in fact be used to suppress opposition to the U.S. government, rather than to prevent actual terrorism.
Most worrisome is that so many people in the government and the media have been referring to the apprehension or execution of “terrorists,” when really referring to those our government has accused of engaging in or supporting terrorism, without evidence brought forth. That is troubling because in many cases officials knowingly had apprehended and held totally innocent terrorism suspects, some of whose apprehension and detention were based on false confessions by others as a result of torture or financial payments.
And Lieberman’s proposal to remove citizenship from terrorism suspects would mean an individual’s fate would be in the hands of Obama, CIA agents, career bureaucrats, and foreign governments. But should we really trust the judgment of someone as creepy as President Obama? And do we really want CIA agents to have the power to decide who should live or die, without trial?
200 years after the American Founders wrote a Constitution with rules for what the agents of the State may or may not do, Americans have been supporting policies with too much blind faith in the judgment of government and military officials.
Another problem is the false notion that the inalienable rights of the individual only apply to “American citizens.” The Declaration of Independence, however, is quite clear. It does not mention “only Americans.” Those rights to life and liberty are inherent in all human beings. The rights of each individual to one’s own life and liberty are inherent rights, and include the right to be free from the aggression of others and the right to be presumed innocent and left alone. We just have those rights as human beings, and the Declaration of Independence merely recognizes that.
We must be concerned about these war policies, because the history of the past century has consisted of suppression of individual rights by regimes of fascist and Marxist ideologies, to which Obama clearly subscribes. Such regimes would not tolerate a “Tea Party” movement.
It is ironic that ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis, who stands for the Obama agenda of socialist redistribution of wealth and fascist takeovers of entire industries, as well as one intrusion after another into the private lives of all Americans, expressed her irrational concern of her fellow “young, Democratic socialists” being rounded up into “internment camps.” Lewis is frightened by the Tea Party movement, people who have been peacefully expressing their legitimate protestations of an out-of-control, overreaching and invasive government – people merely trying to protect themselves from the aggression of the State.
Rational Americans should be much more concerned about federal administration officials such as regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, who proposes to “infiltrate” Internet sites and chat rooms as a means of controlling public opinion, and Solicitor General Elena Kagan who has said that freedom of speech “depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs” (i.e. government-approved speech), and who has been supportive of President Obama’s ever-expanding executive powers including detaining or assassinating individuals without trial.
Conservatives and Tea Partiers need to be cautious in supporting policies such as detaining indefinitely or assassinating Americans suspected – not convicted, but suspected – of participating in “terrorist” or other criminal activities, in the name of fighting terrorism or any other societal threat, especially when we have public officials such as Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano and her DHS explicitly declaring “right-wing extremists,” “anti-government” types, and people opposed to ObamaCare as a threat to national security. Beware of people like Speaker Pelosi and others who have referred to Tea Party protesters as acting seditiously against the government. These officials are literally viewing Tea Partiers and conservatives as the “terrorists.”
The Obama Left may use such Bush-imposed policies based on presumption of guilt and without due process to serve their own political agenda, which could result in very negative consequences for members of the Tea Party movement, and all Americans. And if there will be an economic crisis even worse than the Great Depression as some people predict, and if the Obama Administration calls for martial law, then you will see greater abuse of government and police power, especially if law enforcement duties are shared by members of AmeriCorps, ACORN, S.E.I.U. and other pro-Obama unions and flunkies.
The Bush anti-terrorism policies were policies of short-sightedness and expediency that did not take into account their long-term consequential effects on liberty. Given monopolistic control over protecting the country from terrorism, officials do not have a competitive incentive to provide actual quality service of protection. Because of this, decisions are political, rather than practical and moral. Americans need to recognize this, and see how the compulsory nature of having to use this one government-run service is impractical and dangerous. It would be wise to reject the Big Government socialism and internationalism of our current Homeland Security police and military bureaucracy and consider more practical alternatives that don’t violate liberty, and that would be accountable to law and to markets rather than to political interests.
Eventually, thanks to the Bush Administration and the Obama extremists, we may discover how a more severe threat to our liberty and our security is not Islamic terrorism, but our own government.
Americans may very well learn the hard way that the Rule of Law is absolute, and applies to all people, private citizens and military personnel, businessmen and public officials, with no exceptions, war or not.