Saturday, January 07, 2006

Are You Doing Your Constitutional Duty For "Homeland Security"? Pt 1

Are You Doing Your Constitutional Duty For "Homeland Security"? Pt 1


What is the fundamental constitutional institution for "homeland security"? On the answer to this question may depend the continued independence and freedom of the United States.

Obviously, such an institution must exist, because, as the Preamble states, one important goal of the Constitution is to "provide for the common defence". Just as obviously, however, this institution is not the recently birthed Department of Homeland Security or even the more pedigreed Department of Defense. For the Constitution mentions neither of them.

The fundamental constitutional institution for "homeland security" is not even the Army or Navy. America's Founding Fathers profoundly distrusted standing armed forces under the control of any government as potential enemies of liberty, not least of all because of their own experiences with the British Army's attempts to suppress freedom in the Colonies and independent States. So, in the Constitution, the Founders refused to adopt any preexisting army or navy, or to create new ones, as permanent establishments for the United States.



A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

By definition, "the security of a free State" is "homeland security" (the "homeland" being, not simply a geographical area, but a special political conception rooted in freedom). The Amendment describes "[a] well regulated Militia" as "necessary" (not simply useful) for such "security". And the Amendment singles out "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" as so important to the existence of such a "Militia" that "the right... shall not be infringed". Therefore, the fundamental constitutional institution of "homeland security" must be "[a] well regulated Militia" based upon "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms".



...in the case of a criminal conspiracy among public officials to deprive Americans of their lives, liberties, or property, the overarching principle of the Declaration of Independence, that "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce the[ people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security".


Concomitant with this right and power, furthermore, is the personal constitutional duty of every American to serve in the Militia in some capacity, unless excused by immaturity, senility, physical disability, or other proper legal exemption or disqualification. If Congress and the States fail or refuse to exercise their powers and to fulfill their duties with respect to the Militia, each and every American must fill the gap by exercising his own duties within the boundaries of the law. This cannot be emphasized too strongly, because constitutional duties typically apply only to public officials or public offices. “[T]he Militia of the several States”, though, are critically important components of constitutional government; and every American (not properly excused) is a working constituent of the Militia.

And because usurpation and tyranny by public officials constitute the gravest possible violations of the Constitution, the Militia are empowered by the Constitution to suppress them--and, in extremis, may even "call[ themselves] forth" for that purpose, as they did at Lexington and Concord in 1775. For, as a constitutional institution, "the Militia of the several States" are a governmental institution. So, the true "federal government" of this country consists of six parts: We the People (the political body, empowered to vote), Congress, the President, the Judiciary, the States, and the Militia (the armed body, empowered to fight).

Yet when and where, in all the strident propaganda and agitation, hubble-bubble, hoopla, and orchestrated paranoia about the need for "homeland security" to defend America against "terrorism", has anyone in political prominence pointed this out? Or suggested that "homeland security" be based on it? Or proposed a comprehensive revitalization of "the Militia of the several States" as the central focus, or at least a very important part, of "homeland security"? Why, instead, is "homeland security" being used as a cover-story to rationalize the construction of a centralized national police state, for which the Constitution provides no justification whatsoever, but disallows in every particular?

Why have all the worldly wise and powerful, the self-styled "best and brightest", in Washington, D.C., as well as in State capitals throughout the country, ignored the point that stands out on the face of the Constitution with as much prominence and character as Karl Malden's nose? Can they not read the Constitution? If they can read it, can they not understand it? If they can understand it, can they not speak out?

Or is their silence the very best evidence that Americans could have of the need to revitalize "the Militia of the several States"?

To read article in full, click here.

Edwin Vieira, Jr., holds four degrees from Harvard: A.B. (Harvard College), A.M. and Ph.D. (Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), and J.D. (Harvard Law School). His latest book is: How To Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary.

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