Shredding the Constitution

American Thinker

The  U.S. Constitution, which has guided American society for over two centuries,  inspiring nations worldwide and serving as a model for governance, is under  serious threat today.  Ironically, that threat comes from the very  individuals charged with protecting the Constitution — federal, state, and  local government officials.

All  these public officials take an oath to support the Constitution and to refrain  from actions or laws that interfere with individual rights and liberties specified in the Constitution.  Yet  President Obama and officials all along the way down to local police chiefs are  today actively engaged in the daily shredding of the U.S.  Constitution.

The  Obama administration has expanded its executive branch powers under a  comprehensive czar system and myriad executive orders.  Meanwhile, Congress  quietly passes questionable legislation with the potential to limit personal  freedoms — and U.S. agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  and the Department of Justice (DOJ), engage in activities that raise serious  concerns about constitutional violations.  Even local law enforcement  officials have become increasingly intrusive and hostile to civil  liberties.

Several  dramatic examples illustrate this growing problem and highlight the need for  increased vigilance and public scrutiny if we are to remain a constitutional  republic with our individual rights intact.

Obama  Administration

Obama  has established a precedent of not working with legislators from both parties to  pass congressional bills, instead resorting to changing laws and policies  through executive fiat.  With over  40 czars controlling various functions, he has structured a second tier of  unaccountable government officials that operate behind the scenes away from the  glare of public scrutiny.  This shadow government undermines Congress, the  people’s representatives, and the Cabinet secretaries who undergo a Senate  vetting process.  It subverts the foundational principle of government by  representation for government by proxy.

A  dramatic example is the Council of Governors, established in January 2010 when  Obama signed Executive Order 13528.  The stated intent was to solidify the  relationship between the federal and state governments and protect the  nation.  State governors representing ten FEMA regions in the United States  were appointed and serve at the pleasure of the president to “represent the  Nation as a whole.”  Their duties include “reviewing matters related to the  National Guard of the various states, homeland defense, synchronization and  integration of State and Federal military activities in the United  States[.]”

Also  on board are the secretaries of defense and homeland security, the U.S. Northern  Command commander, the commandant of the  Coast Guard, the chief of the National Guard, and other federal officials.   The secretary of defense designates an executive  director.

One  small problem: the Council in effect ignores the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, a law  that bars the military from exercising domestic police powers.  The  Council’s existence also erodes the power of the states and their ability to  control their militias.

Meanwhile,  on Friday afternoon, March 16, with little fanfare, Obama issued another  executive order, the National Defense Resources Preparedness Order.  In  this one, he granted himself absolute power over all American resources during  times of peace and national emergency, including food, water, livestock, plants,  energy, health resources, transportation, and construction material — all  without the consent of Congress and the American people.  Although this  represented an amendment to an existing order, the new phrase, “under both  emergency and non-emergency conditions,” fueled speculation that the new order  could allow peacetime martial law.

As  for who has the authority to declare war, the Obama administration apparently  believes that it has no need to consult Congress, although the power to declare  war is clearly enumerated to Congress in the U.S. Constitution.  In March,  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta denied any need for Congressional involvement and  explained that the administration would instead seek permission from NATO and  the U.N. for an “international legal basis” to commit U.S. troops abroad.   This, despite the fact that our country’s founders clearly specified that only  Congress shall declare war so that the People could be closely involved in a  decision that could gravely impact their lives.


Congress,  meanwhile, in February passed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds  Improvement Act of 2011.  Signed into law by President Obama in March, the  act empowers the Secret Service to designate areas in which free speech,  association, and redress of government grievances are prohibited, even  temporarily for specific events or if individuals are attending who are  protected by Secret Service.  Under the Act, anyone who congregates in a  restricted area may be prosecuted and, if found guilty, imprisoned for up to ten  years.  In other words, Secret Service agents may decide where to create  “no free speech zones” in which protests may be banned and protestors subject to  arrest.  This constitutes blatant government suppression of  speech.

Also  in February, Congress passed a $63-billion FAA appropriations bill, H.R. 658,  that could result in up to 30,000 unmanned aerial vehicles surveilling the  United States by the end of the decade.  The bill authorizes the government  to fly across the country conducting warrantless aerial searches but fails to  address serious privacy issues raised by the drones.  These unmanned  aircraft have sensitive surveillance technology to see, hear and record,  including GPS, high-power zooming, infrared, ultraviolet, and see-through  capabilities.

Federal  Departments

Also  involved with drones is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), currently  building its drone fleet for deployment along U.S. borders, allegedly to curtail  the flow of human trafficking, weapons, and contraband.  This stated use  for DHS drones seems suspect in light of a recent DHS order for an unprecedented  450 million rounds of hollow-point ammunition.  As has been demonstrated in  Afghanistan and Pakistan, drones are capable of being weaponized and also hacked  and captured by opposition forces.  All of this deserves heightened concern  in light of the ill-fated Fast and Furious operation, in which the Bureau of  Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the supervision of the Holder  Justice Department, put weapons into the hands of Mexico’s narco-terrorists and  then lost track of the firearms.  The guns were linked to crimes, including  the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Further,  recent policies belie the stated purpose for employing drones.  The Justice  Department is suing Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, and Utah for  upholding immigration laws that are mirror-images of federal illegal immigration  statutes, and the DHS is blocking deportation of illegal immigrants.   Meanwhile, Obama signed an executive order to stop the automatic deportation of  illegal aliens.

Local  Government

On  the local government level, the New York police department is testing gun  detection technology with a scanner placed on police vehicles to reveal  concealed weapons.  This could constitute a violation of Second Amendment  rights to bear arms as well as a challenge to the 4th Amendment,  which prohibits illegal search and seizure.  Broad use of this new  technology represents a trespass on personal property for information-gathering  when a reasonable expectation of privacy exists and law enforcement lacks a  judicially sanctioned warrant, which would check police power.

Police  have also stepped up their attacks against the First Amendment right to  religious expression.  In May 2010, when junior high school students from  an Arizona Christian academy visited the U.S. Supreme Court on a field trip and  stopped to pray outside the building, a police officer abruptly interrupted  their prayers and ordered the group to stop.  The students were told they  were violating the law.  Later, a public information officer for the court  stated that no policy prohibits prayer.

In  Dearborn, Michigan, in June, 2010, a pastor and two lay Christians were arrested  outside an Arab festival, under the pretense that they were blocking a tent  entrance, creating a public danger, and “screaming into a crowd.”  Video  footage of the event clearly showed that this was untrue.  Last year, an  assistant evangelical pastor from a Southern California church and two church  members were arrested by the California Highway Patrol for reading the Bible  outside a DMV office to those waiting in line almost an hour before opening  time.  Although the Christians were 50 feet away from the entrance, they  were cited for “impeding an open business.”

On  an individual basis, any of the above orders, laws, and actions might seem  innocuous and make concerns over government usurpation and abuse of power seem  exaggerated and unsubstantiated.  However, taken collectively, they  represent an alarming trend of a small and steady overthrow of our  constitutional guarantees and liberties by elected representatives and unelected  government officials.

At  a time when the president is using the EPA to limit access to vital energy  resources and to impinge on private property rights and has instituted an  unpopular, unprecedented mandate to purchase government health care under threat  of legal action, the fight for constitutional restraint couldn’t be more  critical.  If Americans can be ordered to purchase health care and  prohibited from the free and clear use of their private property, where does it  end?  Are our rights, guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution and the Bill  of Rights, safe?

The  Constitution’s unprecedented fundamentals — separation of powers among the  three branches of government with its enumerated powers and checks and balances,  the principle of limited government and the concept of a government that exists  solely to represent the interests of the governed — were exquisitely designed  to protect the natural liberties of the people and prevent government  tyranny.  The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution,  guarantees specific personal freedoms, limits the government’s power in judicial  proceedings, and reserves all unspecified power for the states.  The time  to reaffirm and reinvigorate these constitutional principles, to limit  government power, and to preserve individual liberties is  now.

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2 thoughts on “Shredding the Constitution

  1. Unfortunately it’s going to get worse- alot worse. Obumma doesn’t want to give up his seat, and will do anything he can think of to keep it. As Americans, we have the right to keep & bare arms for the purpose of personal defense, home defense, and as a well armed Militia. As a well armed Militia, we are the last line of defense for our country in case of invasion or breakdown. Our Founding Fathers knew this and the importance of it, along with all of the rest of the Ammendments. Obumma knows it too. He is doing all he can in order to ensure his dominance over the citizens of his empire, and he won’t stop or allow silly things like the Constitution or the Bill of Rights to get in his way, much less proper legal processions required for anyone in the upper echelons of government. This is the most important election in the history of our country, and it’s going to get ugly. Things are going to happen , plans already in place for actions, and a vast illegal process will be utilized by obumma and party in order to make sure he stays in power. The biggest threat to him is TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOTS. We are his biggest obstical, and these actions are being performed in order to get us out of his way. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen.

  2. The LSM and an increasingly unprincipled GOP are also complicit in this constitutional meltdown–and they should both be constantly upbraided for this irresponsibility. Is it any wonder that the nullfication movement is growing in strength and that calls for secession are becoming louder? In fact, such constitutional remedies may be our last lines of defense against the clear and present dangers whcih beset us all.

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