Since the tea party burst onto the scene, conservatives have talked a great limited government game and rejected much of the anti-Constitutional rhetoric of the Bush years with the exception of one crucial issue: war.Details
I was several blocks away at a bar when the bombs exploded, having finished my fourth Boston Marathon about an hour earlier. I was fatigued but enjoying the table fellowship of my fellow runners, telling stories, drinking Guinness and thinking all was right in the world. The bombs, by all accounts cowardly planted by two Chechen brothers, tore through that serenity and replaced it with tears, anger and fear.
Two days have now passed since the brothers were neutralized, one dead, the other hospitalized in serious condition. The media gave us a morbidly fascinating window to the action, a real life Running Man, where the bad guys were pursued in house-to-house searches with military precision courtesy of the billions in tax dollars that perfected the security-surveillance state we call America. Michel Foucalt was presciently right; we are living in a Panopticon.Details
In a published FOIA request, an Airman stationed in the UK was investigated after a mental breakdown caused by conflicting values of US military’s mission and her own political beliefs. She was found to sympathize with Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Wikileaks. She had admitted to communicating her political ideas with various organizations known for anti-war/anti-military sentiments on Twitter and to a UK journalist. She also attended the Julian Assange Trial. However, her own admission and tweets revealed that she was never asked to release any intelligence to these groups and denied volunteering any intelligence to any journalist or group. The US Airforce Office of Special Investigations filed a complaint report on matters alleging “Communicating with the Enemy.”
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article 104: Communicating with the Enemy states:
“Any person who–
(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or
(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly;
shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.”
Who is the enemy in this document? Is it Julian Assange? Wikileaks? Journalists? Bloggers? Social media users? Those opposed to an unconstitutional and failed foreign policy? Anti-war organizations? The leaked document does not directly point to any person or organization but acknowledges who the Airman was in contact with and her activities surrounding her political beliefs. But, constitutionally speaking, who gets to determine the enemy?
The Constitution does not provide any structure to determine an enemy. An enemy could be those the US is at war with. Congress has the power to declare war but there is no framework as to what constitutes a declaration of war. In Federalist Paper number 3, it states, “The just causes of war, for the most part, arise either from violation of treaties or from direct violence.”Details
“Time to Take Down TSA” was the Heritage Foundation’s headline. The author, James Carafano, was commenting on a recent study he coauthored for the D.C.-based think-tank. But in typical establishment, inside-the-beltway fashion, his prescription for the Transportation Security Administration would take down nothing. Nor would it restore to the states a constitutional level of federal aviation oversight – which is zero.
Just like politicians who throw buzzwords like “reform” around to pander to constituents, these groups who advocate “rethinking” the TSA have nothing profound to contribute to the discourse. Under such a plan, which involved “redefining” the TSA’s role, no fundamental change would take place in transportation security.
What Carafano and the Heritage Foundation call for is changing the role of the TSA from providing “security” directly, to “making aviation security policy and regulations.” He goes on to suggest that: “Screening responsibility would devolve to the airports, whose security operations would be supervised by a federal security director.”
This is really no different than the various federal agencies charged with waging the war on drugs shifting their focus from direct action to merely writing policy and regulations. In the same way that airports would be responsible to implement the government’s central plan, drug enforcement would be turned over to semi-private agencies which, under the direct supervision of the feds, would continue the very same assault on our civil liberties. At least the current system allows the tyranny and incompetence to be directly associated with government, whereas a more “privatized” system would tend to shift the blame away from the feds and onto others.Details
The AP is reporting that the FBI has arrested a California man for making threatening phone calls to Nancy Pelosi. Several federal officials say the man made dozens of calls to Pelosi’s homes in California and Washington, as well as to her husband’s business office, reciting her home address and saying if she wanted to…Details
Newsweek has put together a “Tax Attacks” propaganda piece. The gist of this piece is that Joseph Stack was one of many violent protesters who “believed taxes are unjustified,” and thus reacted with violent actions. Of course, anyone who believes that taxes are unjustified necessarily gets lumped in with all of the mad bombers, shooters,…Details
A provocative piece, as usual, from Glenn Greenwald. Definitely worth looking at… (h/t Lew Rockwell) Here’s an excerpt: Just think about this for a minute. Barack Obama, like George Bush before him, has claimed the authority to order American citizens murdered based solely on the unverified, uncharged, unchecked claim that they are associated with Terrorism…Details
Writes Lew Rockwell: The Anti-Federalists predicted that a “Supreme” Court would help pave the way towards tyranny. Now the Nine Creeps have agreed with the Dictator that if he or any of his army of highly paid dependents declares a person to be a suspected enemy combatant (i.e., an enemy of the people), anything can…Details
For the last 8 years, the American people have been told they must sacrifice certain liberties in order that the federal government might protect them. And for the most part, the American people have been happy to accommodate this incessant intrusion into their personal liberties.Details
Judge Napolitano does an excellent job in this op-ed explaining the numerous ways in which using military tribunals on foreign soil to try alleged terrorists violates the Constitution. The casual use of the word “war” has lead to a mentality among the public and even in the government that the rules of war could apply…Details