Since the passing of the Patriot Acts, Military Commissions Act, and all of the other laws passed in defiance of the Constitution, the United States has lost its way as a republic and has become an empire instead. Its currency continues to be debased, and its population has become more dependent upon government for its survival.
In an attempt to reverse this trend, Congressman Ron Paul, republican candidate for president, placed a challenge before his fellow congressmen and senators to re-establish the United States Constitution by introducing H.R. Bill 3835 entitled, “American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007.” Its purpose is to restore the United States Constitution’s checks and balances among the three branches of government and the protection of individuals from government abuse of power as envisioned by the founding fathers.
Since the 9/11 attacks, the Constitution’s checks and balances have been emaciated allowing for the accumulation of concentrated power in the hands of the presidency based upon hyper-inflated fears of international terrorism and a desire to permanently alter the equilibrium of power between the three branches of government.
Checks and balances were enshrined in the Constitution by the founders to protect Americans from government abuse of power, to derail ill-conceived domestic and foreign endeavors, and prevent a consolidation of decision making by one branch of government. As noted by James Madison, "The essence of government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." James Madison also noted in Federalist Number 47, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
The unprecedented constitutional powers claimed by the president through the Military Commissions Act and the Patriot Acts have made the country more susceptible to terrorist attacks, not less, by allowing the executive to involve itself in nation building abroad and abusive use of spying at home.
Global terrorism can be thwarted, deterred, and punished better through the use of law enforcement measures and prosecutions in federal civilian courts as opposed to military action. The Constitution actually provides for such activity through the use of Letters of Marque and Reprisal.
Since the war on terrorism has no end and no one can know if it is ever won, the post 9/11 challenges to the checks and balances found in the Constitution go unchecked and make all Americans vulnerable to the abuse of power by an overpowering executive.
The American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007, if passed by congress, repeals the Military Commissions Act of 2006. It creates a mechanism for challenging presidential signing statements. It prohibits the president from detaining any individual indefinitely as an unlawful combatant without proof by substantial evidence that the individual so charged is directly engaged in active hostile activity against the United States. The bill also states that any person detained as an enemy combatant by the United States government shall be entitled to petition for a writ of habeas corpus without which the liberties of individuals cease to exist. The bill prohibits government officials from kidnapping and using torture abroad to obtain information and insures that secret evidence cannot be used to designate individuals and organizations with a presence in the United States as foreign terrorists.
Under this bill, all federal agencies are prohibited from gathering foreign intelligence in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which outlines procedures the executive must follow when using electronic surveillance in order to obtain evidence.
In other words the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 restores the restrictions placed upon government officials by the Constitution. It is truly a shame that such action must be taken, but as Thomas Jefferson noted, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Congress will be put to the test to see if its members have the fortitude to really preserve, protect, and defend the United States Constitution when the vote comes up on this bill.
Three cheers for Ron Paul for supporting the United States Constitution. Hopefully, there are others in congress who also support this great document, otherwise, in November 2008 the electorate needs to replace them with those who will or submit themselves to tyranny. Once again, James Madison warned, “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
“Ben Franklin” will be at the Booth Machinery conference hall November 1 at 7 PM to provide an electrifying evening for the Yuma community to visit with the sage of America.
Dr. Earl Taylor, president of the National Center for Constitutional Studies, will discuss the applicability of the Constitution to many of today’s situations December 4 also at the Booth Machinery conference hall at 6:30 PM.