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Domestic Terrorism: Homeland Security
Paving the Way for Our Constitutional Dictatorship

It is not only the "PATRIOT Act" that threatens the United States Bill of Rights and on which the liberties this nation-state was founded. Attorney General Ashcroft, the leading law enforcement officer in the land, is singularly engaged in an unprecedented assault on constitutional liberties. Although General Ashcroft's TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System) domestic spy system -- which would have had more spies at the start of operations than Joseph Stalin or the Nazi SS dreamed about -- appears to be dead, there are a number of indications that he is involved with preparations that could lead to the declaration of martial law and the implementation of internment camps for "enemy citizens."

John Dean, former Counsel to President Nixon, considered the potential for martial law in his 7 June 2002 column, "PRESIDENTIAL POWERS IN TIMES OF EMERGENCY: Could Terrorism Result In A Constitutional Dictator?"

"Congress has the power to determine whether it wants the American equivalent of a constitutional dictator in the White House. The only way to be certain that we don't make that decision during a crisis, is to revise and codify our emergency laws now -- before fear and anger in the aftermath of a possible attack might cause us to make bad decisions, and too easily trade liberty for security in numerous areas.

"As I write this column, President Bush has announced that he will address the nation about his plans for restructuring the government for fighting the war on terrorism. None of Professor Rossiter's observations about our history is more chilling than his finding that each national crisis has left the nation a little less democratic than before. With the President's announcement, it is not too soon to consider whether, in fighting terrorism, we really want a constitutional dictator to lead us. I certainly don't, nor do I know anyone who does, but if a future attack comes, and is devastating, the pressure to resort to constitutional dictatorship may be irresistible." [39]

An essential component of any move to suspend the constitution is the creation of a new Executive branch Department of Homeland Security which, as Representative Ron Paul (Texas) has observed, "represents the biggest government reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense in the 1940s, and potentially the single biggest expansion of the federal government in our history."

With the coming of the Department of Homeland Security, Bush II has stepped up its onslaught on constitutional liberties with increasing focus on changing the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which for more than a century has kept the U.S. military out of local law enforcement.[40] The history of this law, and how "Congress has deliberately eroded this principle by involving the military in drug interdiction at our borders" is presented in an extensive 1997 paper by the Washington University Law Quarterly.[41]

"The Posse Comitatus Act [Latin for `power of the county'] criminalizes, effectively prohibiting, the use of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus[+] to execute the laws of the United States. It reads:

Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.[++]

"Though a criminal law, the PCA has a more important role as a statement of policy that embodies `the traditional Anglo-American principle of separation of military and civilian spheres of authority, one of the fundamental precepts of our form of government.'" [+++]

In July, Congress established the Office and Department of Homeland Security, a new Executive Branch cabinet position that mimics the National Security Council. This is something that has been in the works for a number of years. One of the first recommendations of Tom Ridge, the new head of this mammoth organization, has been to call for a re-examination of the Posse Comitatus Act.[42] Representative Ron Paul wrote about "The Homeland Security Non-Debate" in his July 27th weekly column:

"Late Friday evening, after only a few short hours of debate, Congress passed legislation creating a new Department of Homeland Security. The new department represents the biggest government reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense in the 1940s, and potentially the single biggest expansion of the federal government in our history. Over 175,000 federal employees will be part of the new DHS, and if history is any guide, it will take decades to get all of them working together even marginally. In fact, some estimate that the process of buying and leasing new offices, moving existing offices, and getting all of the new DHS personnel using the same computer and phone systems could take twenty years. So much for streamlining the intelligence gathering process.

"Every American should know how quickly and thoughtlessly this massive new bureaucracy is being created. A special House committee made up of just a handful of members began writing the bill only one week before the vote. In that short time they managed to transform the President's 50 page proposal for consolidation of certain agencies into a 250 page spending spree filled with unnecessary provisions to satisfy scores of special interests. Most members did not see the final bill until Wednesday, nor did they see many of the 100+ amendments to the bill until Friday. The House debated the body of the bill itself late Thursday night for only two hours! This may serve the interests of members looking to highlight their `accomplishments' at election time, but the American people deserve far more serious consideration of possibly the most important legislation passed during their lifetimes. Without question, the new DHS will have a profound impact on the freedom, prosperity, and safety of every American and their grandchildren for decades to come.

"I did vote for several amendments to the bill that would maintain the strength and independence of federal agencies that are vitally important to the 14th congressional district in Texas. However, I voted a resounding NO on final passage. This legislation will have an even greater negative impact than the terrible "PATRIOT Act" passed shortly after September 11th."[43]

Thus, possibly the most important legislation passed during our lifetimes with even greater negative impact than the "PATRIOT Act" is being adopted for the expediency of winning re-election. And just who are the people assuming positions of authority in the chain-of-command hierarchy of this appointed-by-the President Department? John Stanton, a Virginia-based writer on national security affairs, wrote this month about "Homeland Security Department - Another Production from the Real Shadow Government" and how it has "its genesis in defense and security study `think tanks' in Washington, DC."

"These groups wield enormous influence on local, state and national policy and arguably constitute the real shadow government of the United States. Eliminate the US Congress, Presidency and Supreme Court, and the three branches of government could just as well be the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security and the Center for Security Policy. Add the Institute for Defense Analysis as a place for the "nonprofit" government to hold "classified" meetings and most Americans would probably not notice any substantial difference. . . .

"As reported by CounterPunch, Tom Ridge, apparently one of the folks fitting the above description, and current Homeland Security Czar (with an unsettling resemblance to Fox's Simpson cartoon character Chief Wiggam) -- recently telegraphed what Homeland Security's more sinister functions may become. One of them is union busting. Ridge made a telephone call to the International Longshoremen Workers Union warning them that any large scale strike contemplated against Pacific Maritime will be viewed as a threat to national security. A veiled threat of police action and subsequent arrest if there ever was one. Finally, CounterPunch reported that a Phoenix Project (an assassination program in Vietnam) operative, Major General Bruce Lawlor (USA), will play a key role in US Homeland Security prevention and protection.

"And so it's just these types of folks who will be recruited for and make up the US Department of Homeland Security and its affiliates at the state and local levels. The prospect of a national internal security agency staffed by such people should be the stuff of a national debate." [44]

The tide is rising in the quest by some to replace liberty with security. Benjamin Franklin's maxim, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" [45] is being played out in such a grand scale today, it is difficult to believe the promise of this nation-state's basis of constitutional liberties founded on the individual can survive and be resurrected rather than defaulting to the police state being pursued by Bush II. As long as there are those who endeavor to renew this government of and by and for the people, it is our obligation to join them and continue using our wits and gifts to contribute to this work. A selection of other articles on this brand new, highly significant national internal security agency is included in the footnotes.[46]

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