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The Greatest Casualty of "The War on Terror"; Our Constitutional Rights

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Sometimes I feel as if there is nothing left to write. Countless times I have sat at my keyboard and thought “Hey, this is amazing, when I write this, people will realize what’s happening. They’ll have to.” So I write the piece in a way that I believe will get people angry and prod them to get involved, and the article gets published. It might make a small stir in the Liberal/Progressive community, the mainstream media won’t touch it, and I’m back at the keyboards again, trying to hit that magic “hot button”.

It is so easy to write about this criminal “unitary executive” administration. They beg to be outed. They actually hide very little. They urinate on the Constitution and the public media does nothing. When you read a book or see a movie about the Holocaust, just think about what our country has done in the name of “democracy” in the last decade. We can no longer point at the German people and feel superior. In fact, even the Israeli’s can’t point to the Holocaust and criticize the German people now, without three fingers coming right back at them for their Zionist policies and their subjugation of the Palestinians that try to survive on the West Bank.

This planet seems to have accepted wholesale slaughter and distorted lies as “business as usual”. The things that my parent’s generation fought for in World War II seem to have fallen by the wayside. Morality in government, the rights of individuals, the freedom to be free of tyranny have all been pushed aside for temporal interests. We have great thinkers amongst us that have repeatedly pointed out how this country has become the pariah of nations and the majority of people just change the TV channel to watch the game. There is so much that is wrong that I believe people feel helpless in their ability do anything about it.

Unfortunately, it’s true. One person can’t do a thing to stop the ravenous cowards that are leading what used to be the pinnacle of civilization down a rathole, stealing everything that they can get their hands on including the freedoms that our forefathers worked and sacrificed so hard to achieve. That has always been the case throughout history, one man or woman can’t do a thing alone. It’s when people band together and become a movement that things get accomplished. The situation has deteriorated to such a point in this country’s history, that change must be effected now or everything that America has strived to achieve will be lost. We are that close to falling under authoritarian rule. If we fail to act, it will be on our watch that the American experiment has failed.

This means that in order to effect change, we have to look at the larger picture and not just our own political beliefs. We might be Progressives, Liberals, Conservative, Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Socialists, Communists, but one thing we all have in common is that we are Americans and our American way of life is being destroyed from without and within by the regime that has gained power though fraudulent means. It is no longer an issue that the this war was wrong and that we are fighting in a civil war for oil. We know what the score is. This “War on Terror” has become a war on the way we operate politically in this country and this regime is desperately trying to usurp this nations freedoms to institute a dictatorship of the neo-conservative right. Call it what you will, but our nation is in serious trouble. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Either we hang together or we hang separately”. He also said that “Those who will give up their freedom for a little security, will have neither freedom or security”. These are words that are as true today as they were back in the days when we started this “American Experiment” in representative democracy. We have managed to be the envy of the world for the freedoms that we have and the way that we live. We do not fight amongst ourselves and engage in dissension to the point where progress can’t proceed. Not until now. We are at a point in our history where we must act or surrender. That means not just the left, the right have a place in this country too. It is theirs as well as ours. Their understanding of a representative democracy is also at risk. I can not believe that anyone wants a dictatorship of any kind.

For all our differences, we must unite in demanding that our Constitutional Rights be restored. We must rebuild our military. We must curtail the excesses of the radical right. We must negate the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that destroys Habeas Corpus. The other is the Insurrection Act of 1807, which provides the major exemptions to posse comitatus. It essentially limits a president's use of the military in law enforcement to putting down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion, where a state is violating federal law or depriving people of constitutional rights. The changes to the Insurrection Act that have recently been passed will allow the President to use the military, including the National Guard, to carry out law enforcement activities without the consent of a governor. When the Insurrection Act is invoked, posse comitatus does not apply. Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy, and it is for that reason that the Insurrection Act has only been invoked on three--three–occasions in recent history. The implications of changing the act are enormous, but this change was just slipped in the defense bill as a rider with little study. Other congressional committees with jurisdiction over these matters had no chance to comment, let alone hold hearings on these proposals.

This effectively kills ‘Posse Comitatus”. Why would the executive branch, through it’s party members in the 109th Congress, slip a law such as this into a spending bill, and where is the uproar from the Democrats, then AND today? Where are the Republicans that claim to be defenders of states rights today? What is the reason for killing posse comitatus unless the President is intending to control the National Guard and take that power away from the Governors of the State? What purpose would that serve?

These amendments and changes to FEMA, which effectively make it a “black ops” operation, along with the building of internment camps inside of The United States should start ringing alarm bells in people’s minds. This is not a Liberal/Progressive problem, this is an American problem. The loss of our representative democracy affects all Americans, not just the left. Republicans from the right should be just as concerned as progressives on the left. This is no longer a partisan issue. This is an American issue.

The “signing statements” that the President has made have effectively put him “above” the laws that he signs. He has passed so many laws that give him power over the States and the people, that it is almost impossible to put them into one article. He has made himself the most powerful executive in American history. Is this what we wanted? Is this the price we must pay for a little security? Are we so afraid of terrorists that we give up our individual freedoms to the Federal Government? Is this what The Republicans believe in? I don’t think so.

We have to start thinking of ourselves as Americans. Red States, blue states, they don’t matter anymore. Soon we could have no political parties. We already have a Congress that has lost many of it’s powers to the executive branch. If Congress has any intention of keeping the checks and balances that our founders wrote into the Constitution from being negated, then they must work together to provide the power to overturn the President’s veto. The laws that have been enacted in the dark of the night must be repealed. The powers that have been freely given to the executive branch must be taken back. This can only happen if we have a bipartisan Congress. This is just about the most serious threat to our way of life that has ever been faced in the history of our nation.

This is not just a good option, it is the only option. To allow this administration to keep those bills that have been passed in the past few years to remain, just begs for a dictatorship. Whether it’s Bush or his successors, we must take the power that we have haphazardly thrown at the executive branch back. To let things stand as they are is to invite disaster. To do nothing is to turn our backs on this “American Experiment”, and the work of everyone that made this nation what it is. This is our country and our obligation .

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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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