It was nice knowing you! You never quite managed Independence (even though you may have thought you did but then you know how immensely deceptive these people are now and have always been) but you were the closest thing to freedom – note I do not use that disgusting, deceptive term “democracy” – that the planet ever had. However, even all the way back to George Washington, you were never quite free. But that detail, perhaps, is for another time, another blog and will take a long, arduous explanation.
How America was founded – the principles in a nutshell:
A Republic, If You Can Keep It
Jacob G. Hornberger, November 2001
AT THE CLOSE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution was bringing into existence. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Regardless of one’s judgment concerning the type of government that the Constitution brought into existence in 1787, no one can deny that it was truly the most unusual and radical in history.
Consider: With the tragic exception of slavery, the United States was a society in which people could, by and large, engage in any occupation or economic enterprise without a government license, permit, or regulation.
Where people could travel anywhere in the world without restriction (no passports) and trade with whomever they pleased without the permission of their government officials.
Where people could accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth without government interference, because the Constitution did not permit the government to levy taxes on income.
Where people were free to do whatever they wanted with their own money — save, spend, donate, invest, hoard, or even destroy it.
Where government was not permitted to take care of people — no Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, education grants, or foreign aid.
With a few exceptions (e.g., 1850s Massachusetts), there were no compulsory public (i.e., government) school systems.
No wars on drugs, poverty, or wealth.
And open borders for the free immigration of people from anywhere in the world.
Like I say, regardless of how you might feel about the political and economic philosophy of the Founders of our country, no one can deny that the political and economic system that they brought into existence was the most unusual and radical in history.
Our Founders’ philosophy toward foreign affairs was also an unusual one. A primary responsibility of the U.S. government, they believed, was to protect the nation from invasion or attack and not involve itself in the affairs or conflicts of other nations.
The Founders clearly understood that horrible things would be seen all over the world, such as brutal tyrannies and cruel dictatorships — after all, they themselves had only recently been the victims of the brutality and cruelty of the British Empire.
But they believed that the best gift that America could give to the world would be a model for a free, peaceful, harmonious, and prosperous society — a beacon for the rest of the world to follow. And they believed that that goal would be not be served if their government had the imperial power to straighten out messes all over the world.
Here’s what George Washington counseled to all succeeding generations of Americans in his Farewell Address:
“The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible…. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns…. Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?”
Celebrating American freedom on July 4, 1821, U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams delivered a speech to the U.S. House of Representatives setting forth the vision of the American republic:
She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart…. She goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own…. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence … the fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world.
Thus, when our 18th- and 19th-century ancestors celebrated the Fourth of July each year, the concept of freedom that they were celebrating was totally different from the concept of freedom that Americans today celebrate on the Fourth. The freedom they celebrated involved a way of life in which government had little power to take their money, regulate their peaceful activities, or take care of them. It was also a freedom arising out of their government’s noninterference in the conflicts of foreign nations.
No one can deny that somewhere along the way, America changed direction, both domestically and internationally. How about a national debate as to which vision — the vision of Washington, Adams, Franklin, and Madison, or that of Wilson, Roosevelt, Johnson, and Nixon — should guide our nation into its third century of existence?
Meanwhile, let’s look at the reality behind what is termed an “Executive Order” by your President:
Executive Orders: The authority to use Executive Orders isn’t even provided for in the US Constitution! It’s clear that when a President is sworn in he is the Executive and has the power to ensure the law is faithfully/properly executed but the following is essentially all that refers to the Executive power of the President within your Constitution….
“The President shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…”
But that does not, in any way, suggest that he has any power to create laws and yet that is what all these EOs do!
The Constitution clearly means that he ensures law (as created by the CONSTITUTION not him!) is executed properly! They have seriously gone way beyond their powers and remit!
Washington himself was the first to issue an Executive Order. Unfortunately, however – and rather ironically, it was he who created the precedent so early into this Republic governed by the rule of law NOT Executive Order!
President Rutherford Hayes once warned that although American chief executives had to that point been conservative men wedded both to precedent and to modesty in the exercise of presidential power, a future president committed to concentrating power in his hands could make of the office what he wished.
Attorney William J. Olson spoke to those gathered for Y2K and the Presidency, the May 8 conference sponsored by The Conservative Caucus, concerning the unconstitutional use of Executive Orders. Excerpts from his talk follow:
“President Washington issued the first Proclamation; it was…to declare a Day of National Thanksgiving. It was…pursuant to some Congressional action… certainly that’s a Proclamation that’s perfectly legitimate. …
“Even his Whiskey Rebellion Proclamation…was pursuant to a 1792 statute.”
“But then we get to the Neutrality Proclamation, which did not cite any Congressional or statutory authority. It sought to impose penalties on U.S. citizens who would deal with European powers at war. …it was viewed by others in government as an abuse of Executive authority.
“And, when prosecutions were begun under that statute, the
court said, ‘No, that does not have the force of law, Mr. President. That is your opinion. You do not have the Congress’s concurrence. …’ The Congress then passed the law, and the prosecutions continued. But in any event, it was very instructive time because people had then read the Constitution. …”
[Note this last proclamation forbade any dealings with European powers at war. A GOOD call actually considering the fact that the Bush patriarch and so many other so called "Americans" (actually all globalists no matter whether they hold an American passport) funded the Nazi war machine even after war was declared and so many of the Allied Powers troops were slaughtered by the "machine" - well oiled let's say - which these so called "patriots" funded. Why is America (and yes Britain too) so stupid an sleepy-headed to acknowledge the facts that our governments and their Corporate/Banking paymasters play both sides and kill our own?]
Before leaving George Washington however, it is immensely enlightening to read incredibly prophetic words from the man regarding the introduction of political parties – Republican and Democrat not existing until after Washington’s Presidency (although there had been Federalists and Anti Federalists there were no specific parties):
The Dangers of Political Parties
While Washington accepts the fact that it is natural for people to organize and operate within groups like political parties, he also argues that every government has recognized political parties as an enemy and has sought to repress them because of their tendency to seek more power than other groups and take revenge on political opponents.
Moreover, Washington makes the case that “the alternate domination” of one party over another and coinciding efforts to exact revenge upon their opponents have led to horrible atrocities, and “is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.” From Washington’s perspective and judgment, the tendency of political parties toward permanent despotism is because they eventually and “gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual.”
Washington goes on to acknowledge the fact that parties are sometimes beneficial in promoting liberty in monarchies, but argues that political parties must be restrained in a popularly elected government because of their tendency to distract the government from their duties, create unfounded jealousies among groups and regions, raise false alarms amongst the people, promote riots and insurrection, and provide foreign nations and interests access to the government where they can impose their will upon the country.
Back to Executive Orders:
“Presidential executive orders are a particular type of presidential document that has the force of law founded on his authority derived from the Constitution or a federal statute. There is no law defining “executive order”, the meaning of the term has varied over the years. Prior to 1936, a document was an “executive order” because the president himself designated it as such. On February 18, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 7298 prescribing a uniform manner of preparing executive orders”.
Isn’t it interesting to read how the University of Oregon puts this? “has the force of law founded on his authority derived from the Constitution or a federal statute”.
The reality is nothing of the kind. There is NO authority derived from the Constitution or a Federal Statute whatsoever as we saw earlier. They even indicate this when they say “There is no law defining “executive order”". We have to then assume that American law students just accept this on face value! Not very prudent of them then and indicates a concerning lack of diligence on their part!
Can Executive Orders be Overridden or Withdrawn?
The president can amend or retract an executive at any time. The president may also issue an executive order superseding an existing one. New incoming presidents may choose to retain the executive orders issued by their predecessors, replace them with new ones of their own, or revoke the old ones completely. In extreme cases, Congress may pass a law that alters an executive order, and they can be declared unconstitutional and vacated by the Supreme Court.
Therefore, let’s be clear here: Executive Orders are NOT “Law” at all in ANY shape or form. They are purely the wishes of the incumbent President. Period! That is purely and simply a dictator’s dream!
Theodore Roosevelt did not merely extend executive prerogative here or there; he put forth a full-fledged philosophy of the presidency that attempted to justify his dramatic expansion of that office. He contended that the president, by virtue of his election by the nation as a whole, possessed a unique claim to be the representative of the entire American people – a position taken by Andrew Jackson during the 1830s and for which he was sharply rebuked by John C. Calhoun. Each member of the executive branch, but especially the president, “was a steward of the people bound actively and affirmatively to do all he could for the people.” He could, therefore, “do anything that the needs of the nation demanded” unless expressly prohibited in the Constitution. “Under this interpretation of executive power,” TR later reflected, “I did and caused to be done many things not previously done. … I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power.”
Since TR believed himself to be doing the people’s will, and since he believed his own rhetoric that portrayed the president as the people’s unique representative in American government, his need to fulfill this special mission overrode concerns about the separation of powers. He remarked privately that in the United States, “as in any nation which amounts to anything, those in the end must govern who are willing actually to do the work of governing; and in so far as the Senate becomes a merely obstructionist body it will run the risk of seeing its power pass into other hands.”
It was TR who pioneered rule by executive order as a governing style among American presidents. Many Americans rightly howled during the 1990s when Bill Clinton’s aide Paul Begala famously said of executive orders, “Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool.” But Clinton, who once called Theodore Roosevelt his favorite Republican president, was only exercising a power that TR had made a major feature of the presidential office early in the century.
To appreciate the transformation that occurred in American government under TR, consider the number of executive orders issued by the presidents of the late 19th century. Presidents Hayes and Garfield each issued none. Arthur issued three, Grover Cleveland (first term) six, Benjamin Harrison four, Cleveland (second term) 71, and McKinley 51. TR issued 1,006.
Now, it is true that TR served nearly two terms. But that figure is so much higher than that of his predecessors that it reveals a vastly different philosophy of the presidency from that held by those who preceded him.
To take just one domestic example, TR intervened in the United Mine Workers strike in 1902, ordering the mine owners to agree to arbitration. Should they instead remain obstinate, he threatened to order the Army to take over and operate the coalmines. When informed that no constitutional authorization existed for such a brazen act of confiscation, he replied, “To hell with the Constitution when the people want coal!”
Vice President Dick Cheney recently told the Washington Post that when the Bush administration entered office, it was determined to reinvigorate the presidency and reverse the steady reduction in executive power and prerogative that had persisted since Watergate. But what reduction could the vice president have had in mind? “The vice president,” noted Sen. John E. Sununu (R-N.H.), “may be the only person I know of that believes the executive has somehow lost power over the last 30 years.”
Whether or not the vice president was correct in his analysis of the state of the presidency in the year 2000, there can be no question that since then George W. Bush has dramatically expanded the powers of the president – primarily though not exclusively in matters pertaining to the war on terror.
One of the most notorious examples involved the torture of prisoners, a power the administration claimed in the face of law and international agreements to the contrary. “The assertion in the various legal memoranda that the President can order the torture of prisoners despite statutes and treaties forbidding it was another reach for presidential hegemony,” wrote Anthony Lewis in the New York Review of Books. “The basic premise of the American constitutional system is that those who hold power are subject to the law…Bush’s lawyers seem ready to substitute something like the divine right of kings.”
The Limits of Presidential Power: Domestic Surveillance
Arguably the greatest controversy of all was the revelation at the end of 2005 that the Bush administration had engaged in domestic surveillance without the necessary warrants. James Bamford, author of two books on the National Security Agency, points out the pertinent aspects of what would appear to be the relevant law: the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), passed in 1978. According to Bamford, then-Attorney General Griffin Bell testified before the intelligence committee that FISA acknowledged no “inherent power of the President to conduct electronic surveillance.”
As Bell himself put it, “This bill specifically states that the procedures in the bill are the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance may be conducted.”
In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush administration officials spoke again and again of the president’s inherent powers. But the pertinent statute in this case disclaims any such powers and requires that the president proceed according to the guidelines set out by Congress, which involves securing warrants from a special court. As things stand, the president is claiming a right to engage in surveillance of any American, unrestrained by any institutional check, in the service of the war on terror – a war that by its very nature must go on indefinitely and, indeed, that we can never really know is truly over.
According to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the reason the administration did not seek to revise FISA to give the president the clear and unambiguous power to order these wiretaps was that even a Republican Congress would not have gone along. In a Dec. 19 press briefing, the attorney general said, “We have had discussions with Congress in the past – certain members of Congress – as to whether or not FISA could be amended to allow us to adequately deal with this kind of threat, and we were advised that that would be difficult, if not impossible.”
The administration’s claim, as set forth by the attorney general, is that Congress implicitly agreed to such wiretaps when in the days following Sept. 11 it authorized the use of force against the perpetrators and their allies. Of course, if Congress really had authorized them, it is not clear why it would be so difficult for the administration to persuade Congress to amend FISA accordingly in light of this permission.
The Limits of Presidential Power: The New Deal
Gonzales’s argument calls to mind H.L. Mencken’s 1937 “Constitution for the New Deal,” a satirical rewrite of the U.S Constitution, which says of the attorney general, “It shall be his duty to provide legal opinions certifying to the constitutionality of all measures undertaken by the President.”
As the controversy over the wiretapping developed, it was only a matter of time before the “even Lincoln did it” argument would be heard. GOP apologists did not disappoint, reminding Americans that Honest Abe engaged in massive violations of civil liberties while president. But Tom DiLorenzo raises the proper reply to such claims in the form of remarks by Supreme Court Justice David Davis – a personal friend of Lincoln – in the 1866 case Ex Parte Milligan: “The constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government.”
As DiLorenzo suggests, if the government were to be given carte blanche during wartime, all that would be necessary to whittle away the people’s liberties would be to concoct – or to provoke – an endless series of crises.
This is all deeply disturbing, to be sure. But to hear much of the Left tell it, the presidency of George W. Bush is a bizarre aberration in the history of the presidency and more or less sui generis. I have no objection to those who describe the Bush presidency as utterly disastrous, and I do not mean to excuse the president by recalling that the ideological and institutional roots of the imperial presidency extend back at least a century. My point, rather, is that a bit of history can enrich our understanding.
Now, with all that in mind, perhaps you would wish to read the following Executive Order (just one of MANY bad ones which has been formulated to destroy America) written by George H.W. Bush:
He put America on sale to the highest bidder. While REMEMBER, all of that infrastructure (and natural resources) was built by you, the American people and funded by your tax dollars! The important Executive Orders for the people truly in charge never get repealed and the ones that do not quite do the job, get amended.
With the passage of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the Anti-Federalist movement was exhausted. It was succeeded by the more broadly based Anti-Administration Party, which opposed the fiscal and foreign policies of U.S. President George Washington.
One can also argue that Thomas Jefferson expressed several anti-federalist thoughts throughout his life, but that his involvement in the discussion was limited, since he was stationed as Ambassador to France while the debate over federalism was going on in America in the Federalist papers and Anti-Federalist Papers.
And who is it, do you think, who demands all of these Executive Orders and for what purpose?
It’s VERY simple. When you wish to destroy the sovereignty of a nation which has a working Constitution based upon the rule of law, you ensure you can change the law.
My question is: How do you make a “Conspiracy Theory” out of a blatant confession?
Rockefeller’s 2002 autobiography “Memoirs” he wrote: “For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
A child could understand this and say “There you go dad! There’s the culprit! Well at least the main “American” one!”
NB: Portions of this blog have been taken from various sources including Wikipedia and The Daily Reckoning.