This post is part of the Favorite Founders’ Quote Friday meme. Go to Meet the Founding Fathers to see who else has participated.
[Note: Last week, I was unable to continue my FFQF examination of the Declaration of Independence. I'm detouring this week, also, but hope to get back to it next week.]
I’m actually excited by this opportunity …So said Hillary Clinton on March 6th to the European Parliament in Brussels, in reference to the economic meltdown. She was quoting “her old friend,” Rahm Emanuel, who was part of her husband’s White House, and is now Obama’s chief of staff. In truth, she was speaking for power-hungry tyrants throughout history.
Never waste a good crisis.
With every war, with every famine or depression, with every natural disaster, those in power have taken more power, portions of which are retained when the crisis has past. In recent American history, this process has accelerated.
Military Abuse of Power
When the Twin Towers fell on 9/11, Bush used the opportunity to invade a sovereign nation that was completely unrelated to the attack. He declared a “war on terror” and claimed the power to invade any country in the world to find terrorists, then kidnap and torture them without any charges being filed, in clear violation of habeus corpus standards. Here at home, he violated most of the Bill of Rights, much of the Constitution, and completely undermined our system of justice, all in the name of “protecting” us.
This is not a new concept. It was documented by Étienne de La Boétie in the 1500′s:
[I]f the inhabitants of a country have found some great personage who has shown rare foresight in protecting them in an emergency, rare boldness in defending them, rare solicitude in governing them, and if, from that point on, they contract the habit of obeying him and depending on him to such an extent that they grant him certain prerogatives, I fear that such a procedure is not prudent, inasmuch as they remove him from a position in which he was doing good and advance him to a dignity in which he may do evil. [p.41]
Hurricane Katrina was another opportunity to martial the military to “help,” by illegally disarming citizens.
Then, in clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, which was intended to severely limit the ability of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement, last fall Bush assigned the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team “as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters” who may also “help with civil unrest and crowd control.”
More recently, the Army dispatched troops to the streets of Samson, Alabama in response to a killing spree by a former cop. While an investigation is supposedly underway to determine if this violated any laws, rest assured that this will become the norm in America.
J. D. Tuccille explains why this is a bad idea, and why Posse Comitatus was passed:
Military personnel are trained and equipped to wage war against an enemy. Police are trained to maintain order and keep the peace among their neighbors. The two roles don’t interchange very well — as has been amply demonstrated by the carnage resulting in recent years from increased police use of military tactics.
In 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke to this issue shortly before he retired from public service:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.
We have quite obviously ignored his warning.
The Economic Meltdown
When the economy started visibly crumbling, Bush bullied Congress into bailing out Wall Street to the tune of $700 billion, even threatening them with martial law. Obama has expanded this power shift with his “stimulus” package of $787 billion.
Make no mistake: this rape of American pocketbooks, which will create a deficit of almost $10 trillion, will also create unprecedented inflation. As South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has stated, “the United States faces a Zimbabwe-style economic collapse if it keeps ‘spending a bunch of money we don’t have.’” In case you haven’t kept up, two rolls of toilet paper in Zimbabwe will cost you $10 million.
Add to that Obama’s plans for national service and wealth re-distribution, and all of our labor will go to support the state … and the bankers who run it.
When Andrew Jackson revoked the charter of the Second Bank of the U.S. in 1836, which served as a type for the Federal Reserve, he had this to say:
Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves.
While I applaud Ron Paul and his efforts to control the Federal Reserve, (tell your rep to support HR 1207!) in my heart I believe it’s too little, too late. As Hillary so generously pointed out, these government power grabs are not accidental. They are the result of deliberate, long-term plans to acquire power – which leads (finally) to my quote for this week’s FFQF. That the fault for all of this lies with the American people is for another post.
That thus we have hastened through the reigns which preceded his majesty’s during which the violations of our rights were less alarming, because repeated at more distant intervals than that rapid and bold succession of injuries which is likely to distinguish the present from all other periods of American story. Scarcely have our minds been able to emerge from the astonishment into which one stroke of parliamentary thunder had involved us, before another more heavy, and more alarming, is fallen on us. Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions begun at a distinguished period, and pursued, unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate and systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 2 (Correspondence 1771-1779, Summary View, Declaration of Independence) > A SUMMARY VIEW OF THE RIGHTS OF BRITISH AMERICA. SET FORTH IN SOME RESOLUTIONS > paragraph 141