For Love of God and Country
Nullification: What Is It Good For? Absolutely Everything ! Part II
June 03, 2012Groups across the political spectrum are supporting the nullification and/or repeal of the NDAA, such as the ACLU, Demand Progress, Downsize DC, Gun Owners of America, Japanese American Citizens League, the Tenth Amendment Center, Oath Keepers, Amnesty International, the Patriot Coalition, PANDA – People Against the National Defense Act, Rhode Island Liberty Coalition, the John Birch Society, Tea Party groups, Reclaim Democracy, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, People's Campaign for the Constitution, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, Physicians for Human Rights, Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness, Rabbis for Human Rights –North America, and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Ron Paul supports nullification as an American, a constitutionalist, and a Congressman, and he supported it publicly as a presidential candidate.
On May 16th, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) held a press conference about the Smith-Amash Amendment to the NDAA, which would repeal the indefinite detention provisions. Unfortunately, that amendment failed in the US House by a vote of 182-236. On the same day as the press conference, US District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan ruled to temporarily block Section 1021 of the NDAA pending the result of the Hedges v. Obama case. This will be a case to watch.
The type of collaboration that took place in Virginia - between conservatives and progressives - is clearly what secured H.B. 1160's success. This might be the key to defeating the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA in other states. It is certainly the way to pique the interest of state representatives who otherwise would choose not to take a position.
How Will North Carolina Respond?
My state of North Carolina is now one of about 11 states to address the NDAA. Luckily, it is home to the founder and director of the Patriot Coalition, a devoted organization which serves as a watchdog over the legislation and conduct of the federal government. The Patriot Coalition and Oath Keepers have classified the NDAA as an "Intolerable Act," referencing the time in our early history when England enacted a series of oppressive legislation on the colonies, denying them their rights as British subjects, and ultimately pushing them towards our independence.
According to the Patriot Coalition and Oath Keepers, the Intolerable Acts embrace two time periods in American history. The first such acts were implemented by the British Parliament and the King of England against the American Colonies just prior to the American Revolution, and were also known as the "Coercive Acts." The second such period of tyrannical oppression on the God-given Rights of the People began shortly after the attacks of 9/11/2001, and included several Acts of Congress that were signed into law by Presidents G.W. Bush and Barack Obama.
NC Rep. Glen Bradley introduced an anti-NDAA Resolution - H.R. 982 - in the general assembly a few weeks ago. Rep. Bradley is a strict constitutionalist which apparently has made him fairly unpopular with the establishment in Raleigh. The Patriot Coalition, which co-wrote the Resolution with Oath Keepers, along with many concerned citizens, have tried to convince legislators to take the resolution seriously and to push it through the Rules Committee so it can have its day on the legislature floor.
Apparently, there are certain members of the NC Assembly that don't want to support the resolution simply because they don't care for Rep. Bradley. What a slap in the face for the people of North Carolina who care about how closely Big Brother is watching over them. The "litmus" test for whether to support legislation should NOT be whether the sponsoring representative wins a personality contest but rather whether the legislation is good for the citizens of North Carolina. H.R. 982 stands up for the Bill of Rights which protects each citizen from a government which may try to take away his rights to life and liberty. Every citizen deserves to be charged with a crime before being detained, have the opportunity to challenge his detention, have his day in court, confront his accuser, and have access to the information and evidence used to bring charges against him.
And so the Patriot Coalition arranged a series of briefings for the benefit of educating the NC legislators and the public on the evils contained in the NDAA. The briefings took place all day on May 30th and again on the afternoon of May 31st.
Mr. Stewart Rhodes, founder and president of Oath Keepers, volunteered his time and drove to North Carolina to offer a presentation to the NC General Assembly to educate them as to our history of applying the laws of war to American citizens, how that relates to the NDAA, and what the implications are in this slippery slope which now has the federal government spying on American citizens and taking away their liberty interests and in Obama's case, their lives.
Towards the end of his most excellent presentation at the General Assembly on May 31st, Mr. Rhodes offered these words:
"Obama is claiming, like Bush before him, that he has plenary (complete; broad) inherent power to detain American citizens, but even if that is not so, he is claiming, as a fall-back, that Congress authorized that power under the 2001 AUMF. What Congress did with the NDAA of 2012 was to affirm this interpretation. Congress affirmed that the Executive Branch has the right, during wartime, to declare people who fight against the United States 'enemy combatants' and thus restrict their access to the court system (ie, suspend their rights under the Bill of Rights). What Congress said with the NDAA is to say that 'Yes, when we voted to give authorization, we intended to allow for detentions and military trials.' Pursuant to the laws of war, the president is authorized to use any and all necessary and appropriate force to detain covered persons [see Section 1021(b)(2)] pending the settlement of hostilities and these include: (1) detention until the end of such hostilities; (2) military trials; (3) transfer to any other competent tribunal; and (4) repatriation or transfer to any other country.How many legislators do you think attended this presentation, which took all of about 40 minutes and which was offered conveniently in one of the large, comfortable committee rooms of their office building? Only four legislators attended. There were far more organizations and ordinary citizens who attended. [See reference section for the video of that presentation]
The AUMF has been interpreted by two administrations and by the Supreme Court in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004) as applying to the detention of American citizens. 'Covered persons' under the bill includes 'any person.' It doesn't say 'a person other than a US citizen.' Lawyers use language for a reason.
So where are we now? We are in a direct parallel to the abuses of the Crown and Parliament that were perpetrated on our forefathers. The exact kind of violations of our traditional rights is going on right now by our own government. It doesn't matter a hill of beans if only one or two Americans are affected or if the NDAA is ultimately used to catch a few terrorists. It's the principle that we must oppose before our government gets as bad as the English Crown in the years prior to the Revolutionary War. I refuse to wait for a concentration camp full of Americans or a fellow veteran to be targeted and killed by a predator drone.
We are leaving life and death decisions in the hands of one man - the President. It's not about electing a man who won't use such powers; it's about making sure than no president can use those powers. Concentrated power in a president and the power to indefinitely suspend habeas corpus were not part of the constitutional design that our forefathers fought for. That is precisely what they fought against. Even King George never claimed a power that extreme. Our fathers and grandfathers fought in World War II and in the Cold War era to liberate people all over the world from rulers who claim the same power that our current leaders have assumed for themselves. Yet we the people are silent.
One of the charges against King George is that 'He has placed us outside of his protection and has waged war against us with his actions.' I believe our current government is going down that same path. They are claiming to have the power to apply the laws of war against us as if we were al Queda or the Taliban. There is no difference between you or a goat herder in Afghanistan, according to Obama (or Bush before him, unfortunately). What can be done to a goat herder in Afghanistan? Well, US military doesn't have to go to an Afghan judge and get a warrant to arrest him for suspicion of being part of the insurgency. They can just go get him. The US military also doesn't have to put him on trial and convict him before they shoot him. They can just kill, capture, or try such an Afghani goat herder in a military tribunal somewhere, simply on the suspicion of being part of the insurgency.
And now they claim the same can be done to us.
There is no distinction between the power being claimed by the Obama administration under this law and the power assumed by every dictator throughout the course of world history. Every dictator, whether it was Mussolini or Stalin or Pol Pot or Hitler, or some tin-hat dictator in South America - like Chavez. Every one of them had (or has) the power to just point a finger at someone and say 'He's an internal enemy.' Despots like Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, or Pol Pot didn't have to go to a judge for a warrant or provide those they rounded up a jury trial. They just took them out back and shot them.
Stalin used to have show trials. He would torture someone until he confessed to conspiracy over something or another, and if that person were really tough and wouldn't confess, Stalin would threaten to kill his family. Sometimes, Stalin would bring in family members and force the suspected conspirator to watch them being tortured or killed. This is the power of a dictator. This is not the power of a president under a limited government constitution with a Bill of Rights. This is not the power of a president in this Republic. This is an alien form to our system. This claimed authority to apply the laws of war to us as citizens, as if we were foreign enemies, wipes away our constitutional rights and protections. It destroys our constitutional or federal compact. It is a deal-breaker. It puts us in the same position as our forefathers leading up to the American Revolution.
This legislature has an obligation and a duty to stand up to the actions of the federal government. As James Madison put it in the Virginia Resolutions - the legislature has a duty to interpose itself between the people of that state and an unconstitutional action by the federal government. He wrote that in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, which were gross violations of the First Amendment. Newspaper editors and publishers were being imprisoned simply for criticizing the actions of the administration. Both Jefferson and Madison understood that such a serious and dangerous usurpation of power and violation of the rights enshrined in the First Amendment by the federal government had to be opposed by the state legislatures.
You should listen to Madison. He's the Father of our Constitution.
We're pretty much in the same situation today. The indefinite detention provision of the NDAA as against American citizens is just as serious and dangerous a usurpation of power and as egregious a violation of basic and treasured civil rights. We need to put the proverbial genie back in the bottle because we're in dangerous territory. Now the Bill of Rights has essentially been reduced to the mere status of a statute rather than supreme law because Congress, enacting a bill such as the NDAA authorizing military force, is seen by the courts as setting aside the Bill of Rights for you and me and our children. Very dangerous territory for sure.
We hope Congress will fix the problem, although it just had the chance to do so with the 2013 NDAA, but they failed us. So we're going to have to fix it. The States are going to have to fix it. We have to rollback the power of the federal government, and in this case, the power of the Executive. At the very least, we have to put them on notice.
Consider what Montana did in the wake of the Heller decision - the historic 2nd Amendment case. [District of Columbia v. Heller, 2008]. As the Supreme Court was deliberating the case (whether Mr. Heller had an individual right under the 2nd Amendment to own and possess a gun in Washington DC), the Montana state legislature ruled that if the Court did not uphold the 2nd Amendment as an individual right but rather interpret it as a collective right (only applying when individuals are organized in a militia), they would consider it a violation of the compact, or agreement, under which Montana agreed to enter and be part of the Union.
This is not a Right or Left issue. It's a Bill of Rights issue. It's an American issue. Hitler held an arbitrary power to detain and execute the German people. I don't understand why people don't get that.
We've all heard people ask the question: 'How could people as smart and cultured as the Germans allow someone like Adolf Hitler to come to power and do what he did?' --- Well, now we know. We are watching the same thing happen right here in the United States."
How can citizens expect liberty to last when this is the kind of response we get from that those entrusted with preserving the system provided to us by our Founders. How can citizens help but become apathetic and cynical with respect to government?
As brilliant constitutionalists such as Judge Andrew Napolitano wonder: If we allow the government to target American citizens who might be hostile to the United States (as the NDAA allows), how long do you think it will be before the government uses the same power to go after those who are political opponents? Will we see the day when Americans are entitled to their protections under the Bill of Rights so long as they are citizens "in good standing"? Will the government determine (such as what Homeland Security is currently doing) what it means to be "in good standing"?
North Carolina was the first state to urge the Continental Congress to adopt a formal declaration of independence from England. On May 20, 1775, Mecklenburg County adopted a resolution (the Mecklenburg Resolution) declaring that the British Parliament was an enemy of America and its people and violates the rights of man, and therefore the citizens of that county dissolve the political bands which connect them with the Crown. The Halifax Resolves, which were passed on April 12, 1776 by the Fourth Provincial Congress of North Carolina that met at Halifax County, were the very first instructions by any colony that authorized its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence from Great Britain. 83 members voted unanimously to authorize North Carolina's delegates to vote for independence. Finally, North Carolina wouldn't ratify the US Constitution until a Bill of Rights was added; it wouldn't even consider joining the Union until individual rights were sufficiently protected from the reaches of a federal government. It ratified the Constitution on November 21, 1789 and was the second to last state to do so. Rhode Island was the last state to ratify and only did so by 2 votes.
North Carolina seems to have a legacy to live up to. INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY COMES FIRST !! North Carolinians have always been patriots and not nationalists. We've pledged our loyalty to our country (and what it stands for) and not to our government. We've been beaten down since the Civil War and coerced by a government determined to weaken the states so that boundaries can become blurred, but my hope is that the spirit of 1775 and 1776 and 1789 isn't dead.
During the question-and-answer period following Mr. Rhodes' presentation, a young man in the audience posed the following to Mr. Rhodes: "I'm a father of 4 young children and I'm a member of a Tea Party. I'm fairly vocal in opposing my opinions of what Obama is doing. We all know that Homeland Security has targeted right-leaning groups such as veterans, gun-rights activists, Christian groups, and Tea Party folks as domestic terrorists. We all heard about what happened to that Tea Party guy out in Asheville. How do I know that some night when I'm driving home and a police officer stops me for a 'traffic violation,' I won't be hauled off to some detention center or shipped to Guantanamo Bay, never to see my wife and kids again, and maybe tortured for what I believe?" [I've done my best to recall how he posed this question]
Rhodes' response was quite a shock to me. He said that we couldn't imagine how many people have asked him the very same thing all over the country when he travels and speaks.
Guess what? The people fear their government. That's tyranny.
It is said that NC House Majority Leader Paul "Skip" Stam opposes nullification. He sees it as a racist doctrine. And yet he is an attorney. According to Stam's position, if our current president was Hitler and he just passed a bill suspending the civil rights of all those who did not vote for him and enacted legislation announcing that Jews were no longer citizens and could not own property or own a business, then North Carolinians would be have to help build concentration camps and simply hope that the next election votes him out of office and ushers in a new Congress which would repeal the laws. Yet as we saw under Hitler, so much can happen once civil rights are denied the people.
The success of H.R. 982 will have much to do with Rep. Stam's character as a public official. Will he honor his oath and defend the Constitution of the United States and the NC constitution as well? Or will he kill a bill simply because he doesn't like Rep. Bradley. Will he take the notion of dual sovereignty seriously or continue to believe that states have no right to question the authority of the federal government?
The first duty of a person who has taken an oath to the Constitution is to support and protect the Constitution of the United States - from enemies foreign and domestic. The primarily purpose of the Constitution is to confine and constraint the federal government, define limits of government with respect to individuals, and protect those fundamental rights to Life, Liberty, and Property. It does not give "We the People" our fundamental rights, because our rights, under Natural Law, predate the Constitution and derive from our relationship with the Creator.
Never in the history of the United States have our citizens pledged their allegiance to the federal government. If a public servant determines a law or proposed law to be unconstitutional, he has an affirmative and active duty to enlighten his fellow representatives as well as citizenry. First, he is obligated to not support or enforce such law. Second, he is obligated to sound a public alarm regarding any such legislation or law and to rally public action against it. The duty under the Constitution is to keep the federal government in check. The ultimate goal of Nullification, of course, is to safeguard individual liberty and to preserve our Republic. We don't ever want to be in the situation of ancient Rome, as depicted in the greatest movie of all time, Gladiator, where the Senate, the voice of the people, was losing significance and the Republic itself was in its last days. Emperor Marcus Aurelius summed up what had become of Rome: "There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish... it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter." Our republic is also perilously frail.
The National Defense Authorization Act is a perfect example of when nullification and interposition should be used in current times, or as Thomas Woods' would say - "to resist federal tyranny in the 21st century." The post 9/11 government has put this country on a dangerous slippery slope that Germany knows all too well. When Hitler became Chancellor of the Reich on January 30, 1933, a fire broke out "suspiciously" during the night of February 27, which destroyed the Reichstag and set in motion a series of actions which took the civil liberties away from political dissidents, then certain undesirables, and finally the Jews. (The "suspicious" fire was set on Hitler's own orders, in order to set his agenda in motion).
James Madison spoke before the Virginia Ratifying Convention on June 16, 1788 and warned: "There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
Justice Jackson warned about the responsibility the Supreme Court holds with respect to the protections afforded the Bill of Rights when he wrote his stirring dissent in Korematsu v. United States, the 1944 case which challenged the internment of Japanese citizens during World War II:
"Much is said of the danger to liberty from the Army program for deporting and detaining these citizens of Japanese extraction. But a judicial construction of the due process clause that will sustain this order is a far more subtle blow to liberty than the promulgation of the order itself. A military order, however unconstitutional, is not apt to last longer than the military emergency. Even during that period, a succeeding commander may revoke it all. But once a judicial opinion rationalizes such an order to show that it conforms to the Constitution, or rather rationalizes the Constitution to show that the Constitution sanctions such an order, the Court for all time has validated the principle of racial discrimination in criminal procedure and of transplanting American citizens. The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need. Every repetition imbeds that principle more deeply in our law and thinking and expands it to new purposes. All who observe the work of courts are familiar with what Judge Cardozo described as "the tendency of a principle to expand itself to the limit of its logic." A military commander may overstep the bounds of constitutionality, and it is an incident. But if we review and approve, that passing incident becomes the doctrine of the Constitution. There it has a generative power of its own, and all that it creates will be in its own image. Nothing better illustrates this danger than does the Court's opinion in this case."We can't allow the erosion of our most important constitutional protections just so that the government can catch one or two bad guys.
Thomas Woods, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, 2010; Regnery Publishing; pg. 3.
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers (1788; New York: Mentor Books, 1961), No. 45, p. 292-93.
Thomas Jefferson, "Draft Kentucky Resolves of 1798," The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors ME 17:387.
Letter to Major John Cartwright, 5 June 1824; in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson , ed. Albert Ellery Bergh, 20 vols. (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1907), 16:47. See also ibid., 15:328; The Federalist Papers, No. 39, p.245.
United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716, 733 (1931).
Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004)
Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2 (1866).
Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942).
Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944). [Jackson's dissent at pp. 245-246]
Remarks in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 6, 1788. Referenced at: http://www.constitution.org/rc/rat_va_05.htm
Reference: H. D. Hazeltine, M.A., Litt.D., "Magna Carta and the US Constitution," The Forum. Referenced at: http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=604&Itemid=284
Stewart Rhodes, "Understanding Enemy Combatant Status and the Military Commissions Act, Part I. Enemy Combatant Status: No More Pernicious Doctrine, Dirt Rhodes Scholar, October 28, 2006. Referenced at: http://stewart-rhodes.blogspot.com/2006/10/enemy-combatant-status-no-more.html
Stewart Rhodes, "Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status," 2004. Referenced at: http://jpfo.org/pdf/sr-enemy.pdf
Stewart Rhodes, founder and president of Oath Keepers, talks about the danger of applying military law (law of war) to American citizens (May 31, 2012) - http://www.livestream.com/theintolerableacts
Glenn Greenwald, "Obama Takes Bush's Secrecy Games One Step Further," Salon, May 26, 2012. Referenced at: http://www.salon.com/2012/03/26/obama_takes_bushs_secrecy_games_one_step_further/
Michael Boldin, "NDAA Nullification Becomes Law in Virginia. Effective July 1st," The Tenth Amendment Center, April 18, 2012. Referenced at: http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2012/04/ndaa-nullification-passes-in-virginia-governors-signature-expected-shortly/
"Pennsylvania Constable to Nullify NDAA and Patriot Act," Before It's News, May 21, 2012. Referenced at: http://beforeitsnews.com/story/2162/657/Pennsylvania_Constable_to_Nullify_NDAA_and_Patriot_Act.html
H.B. 1160. http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+sum+HB1160
The Patriot Coalition - http://patriotcoalition.com/
The Intolerable Acts Action Center - http://www.theintolerableacts.org/
The Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775 - http://www.hartslog.org/declar/1775.htm
1. Judge Spencer Roane would have been appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by Thomas Jefferson had President John Adams not appointed John Marshall in the waning hours of his presidency].
2. Note that in the 1790's, the Twelfth Amendment had not yet been added to the Constitution and so the candidate who received the greatest number of electoral votes became president and the second highest vote-getter became the vice-president].
3. Unfortunately, the Kentucky Resolutions of 1799, as important a political document as it was, was largely overlooked by the rest of the country because George Washington, the Father of our County, passed away just weeks after they were ratified and his death dominated national news and national publications].
4. Notice how our Founders viewed our new nation, after the ratification of the Constitution - by looking at their writings: (just 2 examples are given below, but there are countless others)
On November 26, 1787, James Wilson gave the following remarks in Pennsylvania's ratifying convention: "Governments, in general, have been the result of force, of fraud, and accident. After a period of six thousand years has elapsed since the creation, the United States exhibit to the world the first instance, as far as we can learn, of a nation, unattacked by external force, unconvulsed by domestic insurrections, assembling voluntarily, deliberating fully, and deciding calmly concerning that system of government under which they would wish that they and their prosperity should live."
On July 19, 1791, George Washington wrote these words in a letter to Catherine Macaulay Graham: "The United States enjoy a scene of prosperity and tranquility under the new government that could hardly have been hoped for."
In both quotes, notice how the verb following "United States" denotes a 'plural' subject... that is "united" states. The term "united" describes the status of the states. The verb following "United States" doesn't end with an "s" and therefore does NOT indicate a singular unit; it does not indicate a singular subject. The term "United States" refers to the status of states and not the name of the country.
5. Read how a Tea Party member in Ashville (NC) had a surprise visit by the Feds and a local police officer because he wrote to get an EPA administrators contact info. The account is unbelievable and appalling. The interrogation of Mr. Keller is beyond anything a reasonable citizen should expect from government. Decent, law-abiding citizens have the fundamental right to "be left alone" by government, as Supreme Court Justice Brandeis once announced.
This concept of the "right to be left alone" dates back to a 1928 Supreme Court wiretapping decision (Olmstead v. United states), in which Justice Brandeis wrote: "The protection guaranteed by the amendments of the Constitution is much broader in scope. The makers of our Constitution understood to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man's spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions, and their sensations. They conferred as against the government the right to be left alone - the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men."
Please pass on and let everyone know that "Big Brother is Watching."
"Larry Keller's visit with Special Agents from the EPA," Posted May 10, 2012. http://ashevilleteaparty.org/?p=3690
Larry Keller of Buncombe, GOP member and part of the WNC Objectivist group had a horrible encounter with Big Brother feds. Below is the story. [Western North Carolina Objectivists; objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand -"I swear, by my life and my love of it,that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."]
Our Government at Work --
On Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at about 1:45 pm two Special Agents from the EPA and an armed police officer who stood 6'6" tall visited our house in Asheville, NC. Their visit was a total surprise as we had not received any communications requesting an appointment. The agents presented very official looking badges and asked if we could sit and chat awhile. We moved to the back porch and took our seats with the exception of the armed officer who stood by the door to the house the entire time.
Special Agent Michael Woods, who acted as the leader, then asked if I ran a business out of our house and if, what kind of business. What does that have to do with the EPA I thought. I answered yes – I own and run a consulting business focused on data visualization and analysis. After explaining my business to them, he then asked if I had ever sent any emails to anyone in the EPA. I answered no initially and then recalled that I had tried to reach Dr. Al Armendariz, the then EPA Regional Administrator who had made comments about crucifying big oil companies last week. Further, using Google, I had searched for his contact information and landed on his domain which was a subset of Southern Methodist University. There Dr. Armendariz tells visitors to email Dr. David Gray, Director of External Affairs for the EPA. I sent an email to Dr. Gray and stated the following:
"Hello Mr. Gray-Do you have Mr. Armendariz's contact information so we can say hello?"
At this point Agent Woods reach into a file and from it he pulled out a copy of my email to Dr. Gray. He handed it to me and I asked what was there about the content that justified their driving across the state of NC to visit me with no prior warning. The other agent then stated that my choice of words in the email could be interpreted in many ways. At that point I asked them to be specific as they were wasting my time. I stated that I pay for agents' salaries and that of the police officer and they have bigger fish to fry. Special Agent Woods then asked if I had ever been arrested – the answer was a swift no. I then asked for a copy of the email they presented and they said that was impossible as the investigation was not yet complete.
At this point I asked for business cards which they said they had when the first entered. Both agents suddenly discovered they were out of business cards. They left via the back staircase and to my shock the agents had parked their car almost blocking my driveway and the police officer parked in my neighbor's driveway.
Welcome to the new America.
The Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775:
(1). Resolved . . . That whosoever directly or indirectly abets, or in any way, form, or manner countenances the invasion of our rights, as attempted by the Parliament of Great Britain, is an enemy to his country, to America, and the rights of man.
(2). Resolved . . . That we the citizens of Mecklenburg County, do hereby dissolve the political bands which have connected us with the mother country, and absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British Crown, abjuring all political connection with a nation that has wantonly trampled on our rights and liberties and inhumanly shed innocent blood of Americans in Lexington.
(3). Resolved . . . That we do hereby Declare ourselves free and independent people; that we are, and of a right ought to be, a sovereign and self-governing people under the power of God and the*General Congress; to the maintenance which independence we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual co-operation, our lives, our fortunes and our scared honor. *(Reference here was to the Provincial Congress of North Carolina.)
(4). Resolved . . . That we hereby ordain and adopt as rules of conduct all each of our former laws, and that the crown of Great Britain cannot be considered hereafter as holding any rights, privileges, or immunities among us.
(5). Resolved . . . That all officers, both civil and military, in the country, be entitled to exercise the same powers and authorities as heretofore; that every member of this delegation shall henceforth be civil officer and exercise the powers of a justice of the peace, issue process, hear and determine controversies according to law, preserve peace, union and harmony in the country, and use every exertion to spread the love of liberty and of country until a more general and better organized system of government be established.
(6). Resolved . . . That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by express to the President of the Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia to be laid before that body.
Model Nullification Resolution for Local Governments:
WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States is the foundation of our nation's rights and freedom, and the basis of our representative democracy; AND
WHEREAS, on December 15, 2011, the US Senate passed the conference report to H.R. 1540, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012" (NDAA); and on December 31, 2011, President Barack Obama signed that conference 10 report into law;
WHEREAS, Section 1021 of the NDAA authorizes, before a military commission, the military trial of American citizens and lawful residents accused of levying war against the United States or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort;
WHEREAS, Section 1021(c)(1) of the NDAA directly violates the right of the people against unreasonable seizure by allowing them to be snatched up (kidnapped) by the United States military, by the authority of the military alone, and taken to a military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or to some other location, to be held in "(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force," or, under Section 1021(c)(4), to be turned over to the custody or control of "any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity"; AND
WHEREAS, under Section 1021(c), the American people can be treated exactly the same as any person captured on a foreign battlefield, such as Iraq or Afghanistan, where anyone who is suspected of being an unlawful belligerent in the war on terrorism, or of aiding belligerents, is simply picked up by the military and taken away to wherever the United States military sees fit, with no involvement by or access to civilian courts;
WHEREAS, Section 1021(b)(2) defines a person who can be targeted as "A person who was a part of or substantially supported Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces."
WHEREAS, "belligerency" is a term used in international law to indicate the status of two or more entities, generally sovereign states, being engaged in a war, yet the NDAA is purported to address the war on terror, which is a 'tactic' and not a sovereign state; AND
WHEREAS, the proper charge for American citizens and lawful residents accused of levying war against the United States or giving aid and/or comfort to the enemy is Treason, as defined in Article III, Section 3, which provides certain evidentiary and procedural protections to said American citizens and residents, including the requirement of presenting two witnesses to the same overt act or a confession in open court, before they can be found guilty by a jury of their peers;
WHEREAS, the indefinite military detention of any person without trial violates the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments of the Constitution of the United States, Article III of the Constitution of the United States, and the Posse Comitatus Act; AND
WHEREAS, the NDAA offends the ideals of presumed innocence and right to a fair trial with all its procedural safeguards, including the threshold right of first being charged with a crime before taken into custody, on which our nation was founded, and which generations of activists and military servicemen and women have fought to preserve; AND
WHEREAS, the NDAA's detention provisions could allow the recurrence of torture in military detention in violation of the 8th Amendment; AND
WHEREAS, the NDAA's detention provisions could, under Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder (2011) and Hedges v. Obama (2012), allow the targeted detention of activists, journalists and other Americans exercising their First Amendment rights despite the crucial role of Free Speech in preserving liberty; AND
WHEREAS, the language of the aforementioned sections of the NDAA is vague enough to also potentially chill the first amendment right of assembly and the second amendment right to have and bear arms; AND
WHEREAS, the detention provisions could force US military service members to serve as domestic jailers, a role for which they are neither trained nor equipped, nor is ever appropriate; AND
WHEREAS, a government that does what is permitted under Section 1021(c) to its own people is consistent with the behavior of every despotic and totalitarian regime in world history; and
WHEREAS, the very reason for the Bill of Rights is to prevent arbitrary and capricious conduct by the government against its own citizens;
WHEREAS, the very reason for the Article III Treason clause is to provide to those citizens and legal residents who have engaged in war against their country or provided aid and comfort to the enemy certain protections that were absent in such arbitrary, corrupt, and maligned courts as the Star Chamber Courts, which were notorious during the 17th century to prosecute the political enemies of James I and his son Charles I. The judges appointed to the Star Chamber were the King's own hand-picked men. The courts were known for their abuses, corruption, and misuse of authority because of such concentration power in an autonomous group, not subject to the checks and balances of common law and which held its proceedings in secret;
WHEREAS, a government that is permitted to apply law of war provisions to its citizens for being "belligerents" can easily take those powers to target citizens for political opposition; AND
WHEREAS the State (or City) of _________ re-affirms its allegiance to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, as intentioned by the States when they ratified them; AND
WHEREAS the State (or City) of _________ re-affirms its respect and gratitude for our Founding Fathers for their knowledge and command of history and government and for crafting our founding documents so brilliantly and so protective of individual liberty; AND
WHEREAS the State (or City) of _________ re-affirms its gratitude for the supreme sacrifice of those in the Armed Forces who have died in battle in the name of those same cherished rights and liberties; AND
WHEREAS, state governments and local governments have a right and a duty to its citizens to protect their sovereign and civil rights under the doctrine of federalism from federal legislation and policy that exceeds the power delegated to it under the US Constitution; AND
WHEREAS, the Article VI, clause 2 of the Constitution itself acknowledges that only laws made pursuant to the powers granted in the US Constitution are to be considered the supreme law of the land; all laws and policy enacted in excess or abuse of such powers are void from their inception and have no force of law, thereby need not be enforced; AND
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the State (or City Council) of _______________, acting in the spirit of the 1776, pursuant to intentions of the federal compact, and answering the call of history, does hereby declare that the aforementioned sections of the NDAA offend the Bill of Rights and therefore instruct all our public agencies to decline requests by federal agencies acting under detention powers granted by the NDAA that could infringe upon residents' freedom of speech, religion, assembly, privacy, or rights to counsel.
OPTIONAL: The Governor (or Mayor) of ___________________
shall send copies of this resolution to our US Congressman and Senators, the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the US Attorney General, and the President of the United States.
Diane Rufino lives in Greenville, NC. She is a wife, mother and current student. She has a law degree as well as a degree in science. She is now working on her teaching credential and expects to do her student teaching in the fall. She is active in both the Eastern NC Tea Party and the Beaufort Patriot Tea Party and is a true Patriot.