Friday, March 9, 2007

In Freedom We Trust

In The Late, Great American Nation, John Whitehead, a constitutional attorney and founder of The Rutherford Institute, discusses two "stealth provisions" that were included in the massive defense bill passed prior to the mid-term elections.

The provisions weaken two important tenets of Americans' consitutional rights: the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which safeguards citizens against military law; the Insurrection Act of 1807, which limits a president’s domestic use of the military.

"The president can now use the military as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any other condition," Whitehead writes. The president "doesn’t even have to notify Congress of his intent to use military force against the American people—he just has to notify them once he has done so."

"A fundamental principle of American government is to not trust public officials. But modern Americans, primed by television pablum and ignorant of their history, have a tendency to trust people in office simply because they appear to share a common faith, say the right things or come from a certain region of the country. But lest we forget, power has a tendency to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." World history is bursting with very sorry examples.
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