HomeCommentaryFreedom WireTip-Toeing Down the Trail of Tyranny

Tip-Toeing Down the Trail of Tyranny

My radar has been especially sensitive to government shenanigans since having the opportunity to interact with so many other freedom loving patriots at the NICHE conference last weekend. As a result, one story in the news caught a particularly large portion of my attention over the past few days.

There has been much coverage this week of United States action in Libya and the President's authority (or lack of it) to continue those operations past 90 days. The thing that struck me particularly hard wasn't the fact that the topic in general was being debated, but that neither of the two most publicized sides of the debate is getting it right.

Being the curious sort that I am, I read through the Constitution yet again, looking for the magic loophole or any vague language pointing to this mysterious window of time in which the President can unilaterally, or even worse at the behest of some foreign multinational organization as in this specific case, deploy our military forces against another nation. I found nothing. My curiosity then led me to seek out more information on the War Powers Resolution from 1973.

An odd thing happened on the way to my research of the 1973 war powers act. I found a document on the Department of Justice's web site which was a memorandum opinion for the deputy counsel to the President (you can read it for yourself at http://www.justice.gov/olc/warpowers925.htm). This document specifically called out the War Powers Resolution as well as the Joint Resolution passed by Congress on September 14th, 2001 as acknowledgement of this kind of authority resting with the office of the President. Some of the logic that follows that first paragraph throughout the rest of the document is staggering. The document even puts forward the "everyone else was waging undeclared war" argument, specifically calling out the practice as implemented by Great Britain in the eight major wars fought by them prior to the ratification of the Constitution. I highly doubt the words "it must be OK if Britain's doing it" frequently crossed the founding fathers' lips. I would encourage you to read it for yourself as well.

I then read through the much discussed War Powers Resolution. You can access a copy online at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode50/usc_sup_01_50_10_33.html as well. It would appear that at the time of the passage of this resolution, Richard Nixon was strongly opposed to any restriction of Presidential authority to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, and as long as he wanted with the military. Instead of standing up and refusing to budge on the clear wording of the Constitution, it would appear our representatives of that time were tripping over themselves (to the tune of 284 to 135 in the House and 75 to 18 in the Senate) to grant the President at least 60 days to do anything they want.

Being born after 1973, this brought me to realize I haven't been recently dropped into the simmering teapot of tyranny we find ourselves in today, but rather I was actually born into it.

But how far back could this kind of Congressional backpedaling on our freedoms go? Surely the general public couldn't have been asleep to what has been going on for a longer period of time than that... or could they?

As it turns out, this kind of thing wasn't new in 1973. That same year, Senate Report 93-549 was released. This report outlined a series of declarations of emergencies and dramatic expansion of the powers of the executive branch all the way back to 1917 and the World War I era. Following the Allied victory in World War I, Woodrow Wilson actually relinquished his wartime authority and asked Congress to repeal the emergency statutes. After that, in 1933 President Roosevelt declared a state of national emergency which has in fact never been repealed. As a result, there are hundreds, and by now possibly thousands, of provisions of Federal law which circumvented the normal Constitutional operation of government as it was intended by our founding fathers. You can read more at http://www.freedomsite.net/93-549.htm regarding that Senate report, and I would encourage you to do so.

So, now facing down around a century of our nation's freedoms eroding in the text on the screen in front of my very eyes, what will I do? I'll do exactly what I did last weekend at NICHE. I'll do everything I can to spread the word about the Constitution Party of Iowa, the national Constitution Party, and the principles of limited government that we stand for by taking that information to every public forum that I can find. Please reach out today to any of the contacts you find on www.cpiowa.org and get involved, as we need your help to awaken the rest of the American people, and restore the form of government that so many brave and proud Americans gave their very lives for. Join our effort to restoring our rightful constitutional freedoms today!
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