Dismiss the Impeachment Trial

Dismiss the Impeachment Trial

    Without any evidence admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence indicating a crime or misdemeanor, and no crime or misdemeanor defined by the U.S. Code included in any count of the Articles of Impeachment of President Trump, the Senate trial should be dismissed for the lack of grounds.

     Whether by a Senate vote to dismiss or by an action before the Supreme Court, this blatant attack on the Constitution by members of Congress must not be tolerated. If dismissed by Senate vote, any Senator may still pursue a ruling / writ of certiorari by the Supreme Court determining whether any impeachment can be brought without any evidence of a crime or misdemeanor, itself violating the Constitution.

Secondly, this action by some members of the House advanced by some members of the Senate is a violation of those members oath of office, and they must be held accountable.

     The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.

     Worse, this egregious action by those we elect to offices of honor and trust is another in the ongoing attacks of these domestic enemies on the very heart of Constitution. The structure and language of the Constitution are framed to carry out and enable the Framers’ intention. That intention is ideologically declared, in part, in the Declaration of Independence, and is further expanded upon in the voluminous writings of the Framers and Founders such as are found in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. Records of the Constitutional Convention and the first Congresses confirm the Framers’ intention that there be justice for all! Additionally, those same public records emphasize the Framers’ fear of the public majority, and their intention to limit the Federal government.

     “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

     Reflected in those writings are intentions that may not be displaced by those seeking to destroy all that made America great. Most important for any law and particularly the “supreme law of the land” is the reality that without holding to the intention of the makers of the law, the opinions and interpretations of those holding the reins of political power result in injustice and tyranny. In the instance before us, members of the House attempt to violate the Constitution on multiple counts to institute their own laws and deprive us of the freedoms the Bill of Rights is intended to protect.

Most threatening to liberty and justice for all is the fact that these traitors are also members of the same party that championed the slavery that led to the Civil War. Now they attempt to enslave voters succumbing to their bribes soliciting their votes seeking election to public office. They seek to eliminate the checks and balances on governments the Framers put in place to protect minorities from the injustice of majorities. They seek to make government a god eliminating the “one Nation under God” intended and paid for in blood and sacrifice by the men and women who gave birth to America. Instead of relying on the Laws of “divine Providence” whose Author provided the countless miracles which enabled a segment of the colonists who had no army, no navy, and no unified military organization to defeat the mightiest army and navy of their time, they call to the religions of humanism to reject and ignore the truths of science and history.

It is these ideologic enemies who ignore, reject, and seek to replace the structure of government protecting us from unjust government power with three separate and equal branches. Already succeeding in abrogating and removing many states’ rights and taxing us with indirect taxes, Congress makes laws and privileges for itself that remain unavailable to the common citizen. Running amuck over civil rights, the tyranny of the administrative state they fund and institute operates without reasonable and appropriate Congressional oversight. These same enemies suggest and promote doing away with the Electoral College; enslaving Americans with a socialist agenda; tolerating unbridled capitalism; and burdening our “posterity” with unconscionable debt.

These public enemies would have us forget the lessons of the past. Not having enough workers with a work ethic and skills necessary to succeed in a free and just environment nearly brought disaster to the Jamestown colony. Governor Bradford of the Plymouth Colony writes of the failures of socialism. President Washington warns of the failures of government currently afflicting our Nation. President Lincoln lived and died fighting the party now still seeking to divide us. Bonhoeffer warned us of the toleration of unjust government. Truman showed us the cost of just resolve. Rev. Dr. M.L. King, Jr. showed us the success of just dedication and sacrifice. President Reagan orchestrated the downfall of the Soviet Union. Mother Theresa showed us grace and compassion.

The Senate must confront and defeat this attack on the Constitution by dismissing the impeachment trial, and seek judgment on those attacking this one Nation under God.

CftC


Carol Swain

 

When you think about racial equality and civil rights, which political party comes to mind? The Republicans? Or, the Democrats? Most people would probably say the Democrats. But this answer is incorrect.

Since its founding in 1829, the Democratic Party has fought against every major civil rights initiative, and has a long history of discrimination.

The Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, opposed Reconstruction, founded the Ku Klux Klan, imposed segregation, perpetrated lynchings, and fought against the civil rights acts of the 1950s and 1960s.

In contrast, the Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an anti-slavery party. Its mission was to stop the spread of slaver y into the new western territories with the aim of abolishing it entirely. This effort, however, was dealt a major blow by the Supreme Court. In the 1857 case Dred Scott v. Sandford, the court ruled that slaves aren’t citizens; they’re property. The seven justices who voted in favor of slavery? All Democrats. The two justices who dissented? Both Republicans.

The slavery question was, of course, ultimately resolved by a bloody civil war. The commander-in-chief during that war was the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln – the man who freed the slaves.

Six days after the Confederate army surrendered, John Wilkes Booth, a Democrat, assassinated President Lincoln. Lincoln’s vice president, a Democrat named Andrew Johnson, assumed the presidency. But Johnson adamantly opposed Lincoln’s plan to integrate the newly freed slaves into the South’s economic and social order.

Johnson and the Democratic Party were unified in their opposition to the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery; the 14th Amendment, which gave blacks citizenship; and the 15th Amendment, which gave blacks the vote. All three passed only because of universal Republican support.

During the era of Reconstruction, federal troops stationed in the south helped secure rights for the newly freed slaves. Hundreds of black men were elected to southern state legislatures as Republicans, and 22 black Republicans served in the US Congress by 1900. The Democrats did not elect a black man to Congress until 1935.

But after Reconstruction ended, when the federal troops went home, Democrats roared back into power in the South. They quickly reestablished white supremacy across the region with measures like black codes – laws that restricted the ability of blacks to own property and run businesses. And they imposed poll taxes and literacy tests, used to subvert the black citizen’s right to vote.

And how was all of this enforced? By terror — much of it instigated by the Ku Klux Klan, founded by a Democrat, Nathan Bedford Forrest.

As historian Eric Foner – himself a Democrat – notes: “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.”

President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, shared many views with the Klan. He re-segregated many federal agencies, and even screened the first movie ever played at the White House – the racist film “The Birth of a Nation,” originally entitled “The Clansman.”

A few decades later, the only serious congressional opposition to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 came from Democrats. Eighty percent of Republicans in Congress supported the bill. Less than 70 percent of Democrats did. Democratic senators filibustered the bill for 75 days, until Republicans mustered the few extra votes needed to break the logjam.

And when all of their efforts to enslave blacks, keep them enslaved, and then keep them from voting had failed, the Democrats came up with a new strategy: If black people are going to vote, they might as well vote for Democrats. As President Lyndon Johnson was purported to have said about the Civil Rights Act, “I’ll have them n*****s voting Democrat for two hundred years.”

So now, the Democratic Party prospers on the votes of the very people it has spent much of its history oppressing.

Democrats falsely claim that the Republican Party is the villain, when in reality it’s the failed policies of the Democratic Party that have kept blacks down. Massive government welfare has decimated the black family. Opposition to school choice has kept them trapped in failing schools. Politically correct policing has left black neighborhoods defenseless against violent crime.

So, when you think about racial equality and civil rights, which political party should come to mind?

Carol Swain, former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University.

The Left’s Attack on America – Obama’s Benghazi in Baghdad

The Left’s ATTACK ON AMERICA

     This Committee wrote in Impeachment, All Smoke and Mirrors – An Attempt to Cover Up the Truth, suggesting that as in all their ongoing attacks on America, liberals and their media allies not only disseminate lies and deceptions, they egregiously violate the original intention of the Constitution attempting to obscure and distract from the indelible truths of history.

    As a case in point, their Articles of Impeachment of President Trump brought in violation of the Federal Rules of Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence contained no count of the violation of any crime or misdemeanor described in the U.S. Code. Now with the drone attack taking out the Iranian general proven to be responsible for the deaths of literally hundreds of Americans, they fail to even address the most obvious questions regarding the truth of Major General Qassim Soleimani’s attacks on America. Why was a general of the long standing enemy of Iraq in Baghdad in the first place?
CftC

Obama’s Benghazi in Baghdad

Daniel Greenfield

Sunday, 5 January, 2020

When Shiite members of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) attacked the American embassy in Baghdad, in a deliberate recreation of the attack on our embassy in Tehran that had ushered in a new age of Shiite terror, the media was quick to label it ‘Trump’s Benghazi’.

The parallels are certainly there.

In both Benghazi and Baghdad, Islamist terror militias who we thought were our allies turned on the United States. In both cases, there was nothing surprising or unexpected about this inevitable development to anyone except foreign policy experts and the media.

And, in both Benghazi and Baghdad, the Obama administration’s policy of cultivating Islamic terrorists had come home to roost.

The Islamists who attacked the embassy were not Trump’s allies, but Obama’s allies.

When Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Brigade, the former military wing of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, came to the White House, it was in 2011, not 2017.

The close IRGC ally was welcomed by Barack Obama, and played a role in the embassy attack. The IRGC, Iran’s global terror hub, had been listed as a terror group by President Trump, a move resisted by Barack Obama dating back to his time in the Senate.

Once in the White House, Obama’s policies so empowered and enabled the IRGC that in one of the most infamous incidents in American history, members of the Islamic terror group captured and humiliated American sailors. There is little doubt that the IRGC was the hidden hand behind the embassy attack in Baghdad through its PMF proxies.

The rise of ISIS and the attack on our embassy in Baghdad had their roots in Obama’s backing for Iraq’s Shiite dominated government in Baghdad. The Bush administration had tried to unite Sunni and Shiite Muslims into a political system that would sideline Al Qaeda on the Sunni side and Iran on the Shiite side. Iraqi civil society was probably always doomed, but Obama’s Iraq policy was to turn the country over to the terrorists.

Obama wanted to pull out of Iraq as soon as possible. His plan for a quick pullout was to allow Iran a free hand in Baghdad. Iraq’s central government dominated by Shiite Islamists loyal to Iran allowed Islamic militias backed and trained by Iran to execute gays and impose Islamic law in the streets. The Sunni tribal leaders who had made the ‘awakening’ against Al Qaeda possible were ignored when they came to D.C. seeking support against Iran.

While the media went on touting Obama’s incredible successes in Iraq, the country split into two terror camps. While the Popular Mobilization Forces rolled up Shiite areas, Al Qaeda in Iraq reinvented itself as ISIS.

Unlike President Trump, Obama chose not to hit ISIS hard. Instead, after Iraq’s military collapsed, his administration’s anti-ISIS strategy relied heavily on supporting the Shiite PMF militias which included embedded Iranian forces.

Obama had helped birth the Islamic State by backing Iran’s takeover of Iraq. Forced to fight ISIS, he doubled down on the same strategy. And that completed the takeover.

The marginalization of the Kurds, whose attempts at creating an independent state were crushed by the Shiite regime in Baghdad, and the Sunnis, who had been caught between Iran and ISIS, ended military opposition to the Iranian takeover of Iraq.

But political protests against the Iranian puppet regime broke out, leading to violent clashes between protesters and PMF thugs, PMF attacks on Americans, American retaliation against PMFs, and the attack on the United States embassy by the PMFs.

Iran’s takeover of Iraq, like its involvement in Yemen’s civil war, in Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza, had been funded by the wages of Obama’s nuclear sellout. The billions that the Obama administration had directly and indirectly handed to the terrorists of Tehran were used to fund soft and hard influence across the region.

The Iran deal didn’t just mean that the terror regime was able to continue building up its nuclear program, but that it could increase its financial commitments to Hamas, help build up Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and the PMFs in Iraq.

Iran had four things to offer its Shiite (and occasional Sunni fellow travelers ranging from Hamas to Al Qaeda) Islamist allies. These were weapons, training, a global network, and money. Of these money was the most generic, but also the most important.

Islamic terrorism is only partly built on the suicidal fanatics willing to die for Allah. It’s mostly built on amateur and professional killers who want to get paid.

Choke off the money and recruitment drops

Under Obama, billions in foreign currency were illegally flown into Iran on unmarked cargo planes, but Trump cut off the cash.

The cash crunch not only weakened Iran’s regime, where fresh protests arose, but its terror networks, including in Iraq, began facing their own cash shortages. And so Iran’s rulers, their IRGC hidden hand, and their Islamist PMF proxies decided to send America and the protesters a message.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration had sanctioned the South Wealth Resources Company (SWRC), allegedly a key conduit for the IRGC’s ability to smuggle weapons and money in and through Iraq.

The sanctioning of the IRGC itself had met with anger from the Badr Brigade and Hadi al-Amiri. The conflict escalated with Kataeb Hezbollah, a PMF, attacking Americans. The death of an American contractor in a Kataeb Hezbollah rocket attack raised the stakes. President Trump struck back with airstrikes against Kataeb Hezbollah. And Kataeb Hezbollah attacked the embassy.

Kataeb Hezbollah is another project of the IRGC and is led by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who was part of the attack on the embassy. Muhandis is the Deputy Commander of PMF who is linked to the 1983 truck bombing of the US embassy in Kuwait which, had it been better planned, could have destroyed the facility.

After the airstrikes, Al-Muhandis warned, that “the response to the Americans will be harsh.”

But who helped build up this terrorist infrastructure? The Obama administration did. Beyond its illegal foreign cash shipments to Iran and the sanctions relief, the PMFs benefited from US foreign aid directed through Iraq’s Interior Ministry.

Even as Iraq’s Interior Ministry was headed by a Badr leader trained by Iranian forces who had been arrested for smuggling explosives used to attack American soldiers, our foreign aid kept flowing through an Iraqi ministry run by terrorists.

The Obama administration was funding terrorists to fight terrorism. It was the same disastrous scenario that had led to the massacre in Benghazi.

The only difference was that the blowback took longer to arrive in Baghdad than it did in Benghazi.

Obama’s foreign policy operatives and the media have blamed the embassy attack on Trump’s pressure on Iran, rather than on Obama’s appeasement of Iran.

This is a variation of the same cynical Obama administration strategy which manufactured a fake intelligence community consensus blaming Benghazi on a protest over a Mohammed YouTube video, instead of a coordinated transnational wave of Islamist attacks coordinated well ahead of time to coincide with September 11.

The Obama administration may be history, but the damage it did still revebrates through the region as the Islamist forces it unleashed continue to tear apart nations and to threaten American lives.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center’s Front Page Magazine

The Attack On America – Here and Now

The Attack On America – Here and Now

    Prior to the attack on America on September 11, 2001, the first edition of The Attack on America described the constant presence in societies throughout the ages of those emanating evil and injustice who perpetrate the attacks on those seeking to live, according to the words of the Declaration of Independence, availing themselves of those “unalienable Rights” “endowed by our Creator’.

It looks at the progressions from the Framers’ and Founders’ intentions described in the ideologic preamble to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, to governments arising from and motivated by the rejection of truth and justice as defined by immutable Law. From studying history to five hundred before Christ, those who gave birth to America saw that the immutable Law displayed in “the laws of Nature, and of Nature’s God” translated into the unchanging reality of human behavior. “Before matter, energy, time, space, and all abstract reality, there was first Law giving everything order.” – The Attack on America

Focusing on the history of the American political tradition, it follows the ideologic changes in America from colonists in the first Great Awakening, through the Revolution, the great Civil War, etc. to the present.

The 2nd edition of The Attack on America discusses and validates what the First Edition forecasts. Not a prediction, it highlights the consequences of failed human behavior throughout history magnified and accentuated in political action.

Beyond Reason examines, in detail, the how and the why humanity has constantly and repetitively rejected Truth and Justice to embrace the failed ideologies of its own invention. Studying history in the American political tradition, it is abundantly apparent and vividly displayed that the crises we exist in are a result of following the lies and deceptions unrelentingly tempting our species in every environment and political organization over time.

Set My People Free examines how individual error and failure, when translated by choice to the political organizations we empower and authorize, result in governments that never succeed or endure. “True freedom is found within the bounds of God’s intention.” – Set My People Free

Attorney General Barr’s comments below reiterate and emphasize the messages and truths expressed in The Attack on America, Beyond Reason, and Set My People Free. Liberty and justice for all as defined by immutable Law evinced in the indelible reality of true science and history uncontaminated by lies, deceptions, discrimination, and prejudice are the prime requisites of any successful enduring government. Called by any name, in any belief system, whether acknowledging or denying the one true God, the Ten Commandments control all human relationships.

The attack on America is here and now! Those “domestic” enemies in our midst, some would call traitors, were and are recognized by those who paid and pay for our freedom.

The Committee for the Constitution

 

Attorney General William P. Barr’s Remarks to the Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame

South Bend, IN | Friday, October 11, 2019

    Thank you to the Notre Dame Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture for graciously extending an invitation to address you today. I’d also like to express gratitude to Tony de Nicola, whose generous support has shaped – and continues to shape – countless minds through examination of the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition.

    Today, I would like to share some thoughts with you about religious liberty in America. It’s an important priority in this Administration and for this Department of Justice.

We have set up a task force within the Department with different components that have equities in this area, including the Solicitor General’s Office, the Civil Division, the Office of Legal Counsel, and other offices. We have regular meetings. We keep an eye out for cases or events around the country where states are misapplying the Establishment Clause in a way that discriminates against people of faith, or cases where states adopt laws that impinge upon the free exercise of religion.

From the Founding Era onward, there was strong consensus about the centrality of religious liberty in the United States.

The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety. It reflects the Framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.

In his renowned 1785 pamphlet, “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” James Madison described religious liberty as “a right towards men” but “a duty towards the Creator,” and a “duty….precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”

It has been over 230 years since that small group of colonial lawyers led a revolution and launched what they viewed as a great experiment, establishing a society fundamentally different than those that had gone before.

They crafted a magnificent charter of freedom – the United States Constitution – which provides for limited government, while leaving “the People” broadly at liberty to pursue our lives both as individuals and through free associations.

This quantum leap in liberty has been the mainspring of unprecedented human progress, not only for Americans, but for people around the world.

In the 20th century, our form of free society faced a severe test.

There had always been the question whether a democracy so solicitous of individual freedom could stand up against a regimented totalitarian state.

That question was answered with a resounding “yes” as the United States stood up against and defeated, first fascism, and then communism.

But in the 21st century, we face an entirely different kind of challenge.

The challenge we face is precisely what the Founding Fathers foresaw would be our supreme test as a free society.

They never thought the main danger to the republic came from external foes. The central question was whether, over the long haul, we could handle freedom. The question was whether the citizens in such a free society could maintain the moral discipline and virtue necessary for the survival of free institutions.

By and large, the Founding generation’s view of human nature was drawn from the classical Christian tradition.

These practical statesmen understood that individuals, while having the potential for great good, also had the capacity for great evil.

Men are subject to powerful passions and appetites, and, if unrestrained, are capable of ruthlessly riding roughshod over their neighbors and the community at large.

No society can exist without some means for restraining individual rapacity.

But, if you rely on the coercive power of government to impose restraints, this will inevitably lead to a government that is too controlling, and you will end up with no liberty, just tyranny.

On the other hand, unless you have some effective restraint, you end up with something equally dangerous – licentiousness – the unbridled pursuit of personal appetites at the expense of the common good. This is just another form of tyranny – where the individual is enslaved by his appetites, and the possibility of any healthy community life crumbles.

Edmund Burke summed up this point in his typically colorful language:

    “Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put chains upon their appetites…. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

    So the Founders decided to take a gamble. They called it a great experiment.

They would leave “the People” broad liberty, limit the coercive power of the government, and place their trust in self-discipline and the virtue of the American people.

In the words of Madison, “We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves…”

This is really what was meant by “self-government.” It did not mean primarily the mechanics by which we select a representative legislative body. It referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.

But what was the source of this internal controlling power? In a free republic, those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings.

Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves – freely obeying the dictates of inwardly-possessed and commonly-shared moral values. And to control willful human beings, with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s will – they must flow from a transcendent Supreme Being.

In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people – a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and man-made law and who had the discipline to control themselves according to those enduring principles.

As John Adams put it, “We have no government armed with the power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

As Father John Courtney Murray observed, the American tenet was not that:

    “Free government is inevitable, only that it is possible, and that its possibility can be realized only when the people as a whole are inwardly governed by the recognized imperatives of the universal moral order.”

    How does religion promote the moral discipline and virtue needed to support free government?

First, it gives us the right rules to live by. The Founding generation were Christians. They believed that the Judeo-Christian moral system corresponds to the true nature of man. Those moral precepts start with the two great commandments – to Love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind; and to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.

But they also include the guidance of natural law – a real, transcendent moral order which flows from God’s eternal law – the divine wisdom by which the whole of creation is ordered. The eternal law is impressed upon, and reflected in, all created things.

From the nature of things we can, through reason, experience, discern standards of right and wrong that exist independent of human will.

Modern secularists dismiss this idea of morality as other-worldly superstition imposed by a kill-joy clergy. In fact, Judeo-Christian moral standards are the ultimate utilitarian rules for human conduct.

They reflect the rules that are best for man, not in the by and by, but in the here and now. They are like God’s instruction manual for the best running of man and human society.

By the same token, violations of these moral laws have bad, real-world consequences for man and society. We may not pay the price immediately, but over time the harm is real.

Religion helps promote moral discipline within society. Because man is fallen, we don’t automatically conform ourselves to moral rules even when we know they are good for us.

But religion helps teach, train, and habituate people to want what is good. It does not do this primarily by formal laws – that is, through coercion. It does this through moral education and by informing society’s informal rules – its customs and traditions which reflect the wisdom and experience of the ages.

In other words, religion helps frame moral culture within society that instills and reinforces moral discipline.

I think we all recognize that over the past 50 years religion has been under increasing attack.

On the one hand, we have seen the steady erosion of our traditional Judeo-Christian moral system and a comprehensive effort to drive it from the public square.

On the other hand, we see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism.

By any honest assessment, the consequences of this moral upheaval have been grim.

Virtually every measure of social pathology continues to gain ground.

In 1965, the illegitimacy rate was eight percent. In 1992, when I was last Attorney General, it was 25 percent. Today it is over 40 percent. In many of our large urban areas, it is around 70 percent.

Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence, and a deadly drug epidemic.

As you all know, over 70,000 people die a year from drug overdoses. That is more causalities in a year than we experienced during the entire Vietnam War.

I will not dwell on all the bitter results of the new secular age. Suffice it to say that the campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has brought with it immense suffering, wreckage, and misery. And yet, the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.

Among these militant secularists are many so-called “progressives.” But where is the progress?

We are told we are living in a post-Christian era. But what has replaced the Judeo-Christian moral system? What is it that can fill the spiritual void in the hearts of the individual person? And what is a system of values that can sustain human social life?

The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion.

Scholarship suggests that religion has been integral to the development and thriving of Homo sapiens since we emerged roughly 50,000 years ago. It is just for the past few hundred years we have experimented in living without religion.

We hear much today about our humane values. But, in the final analysis, what undergirds these values? What commands our adherence to them?

What we call “values” today are really nothing more than mere sentimentality, still drawing on the vapor trails of Christianity.

Now, there have been times and places where the traditional moral order has been shaken.

In the past, societies – like the human body – seem to have a self-healing mechanism – a self-correcting mechanism that gets things back on course if things go too far.

The consequences of moral chaos become too pressing. The opinion of decent people rebels. They coalesce and rally against obvious excess. Periods of moral entrenchment follow periods of excess.

This is the idea of the pendulum. We have all thought that after a while the “pendulum will swing back.”

But today we face something different that may mean that we cannot count on the pendulum swinging back.

First is the force, fervor, and comprehensiveness of the assault on religion we are experiencing today. This is not decay; it is organized destruction. Secularists, and their allies among the “progressives,” have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.

These instruments are used not only to affirmatively promote secular orthodoxy, but also drown out and silence opposing voices, and to attack viciously and hold up to ridicule any dissenters.

One of the ironies, as some have observed, is that the secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor. It is taking on all the trappings of a religion, including inquisitions and excommunication.

Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake – social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns.

The pervasiveness and power of our high-tech popular culture fuels apostasy in another way. It provides an unprecedented degree of distraction.

Part of the human condition is that there are big questions that should stare us in the face. Are we created or are we purely material accidents? Does our life have any meaning or purpose? But, as Blaise Pascal observed, instead of grappling with these questions, humans can be easily distracted from thinking about the “final things.”

Indeed, we now live in the age of distraction where we can envelop ourselves in a world of digital stimulation and universal connectivity. And we have almost limitless ways of indulging all our physical appetites.

There is another modern phenomenon that suppresses society’s self-corrective mechanisms – that makes it harder for society to restore itself.

In the past, when societies are threatened by moral chaos, the overall social costs of licentiousness and irresponsible personal conduct becomes so high that society ultimately recoils and reevaluates the path that it is on.

But today – in the face of all the increasing pathologies – instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have the State in the role of alleviator of bad consequences. We call on the State to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility.

So the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion.

The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites.

The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the State to set itself up as the ersatz husband for single mothers and the ersatz father to their children.

The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with the wreckage. While we think we are solving problems, we are underwriting them.

We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on which we depend.

Interestingly, this idea of the State as the alleviator of bad consequences has given rise to a new moral system that goes hand-in-hand with the secularization of society.  It can be called the system of “macro-morality.”  It is in some ways an inversion of Christian morality.

Christianity teaches a micro-morality. We transform the world by focusing on our own personal morality and transformation.

The new secular religion teaches macro-morality. One’s morality is not gauged by their private conduct, but rather on their commitment to political causes and collective action to address social problems.

This system allows us to not worry so much about the strictures on our private lives, while we find salvation on the picket-line. We can signal our finely-tuned moral sensibilities by demonstrating for this cause or that.

Something happened recently that crystalized the difference between these moral systems. I was attending Mass at a parish I did not usually go to in Washington, D.C.  At the end of Mass, the Chairman of the Social Justice Committee got up to give his report to the parish. He pointed to the growing homeless problem in D.C. and explained that more mobile soup kitchens were needed to feed them. This being a Catholic church, I expected him to call for volunteers to go out and provide this need. Instead, he recounted all the visits that the Committee had made to the D.C. government to lobby for higher taxes and more spending to fund mobile soup kitchen.

A third phenomenon which makes it difficult for the pendulum to swing back is the way law is being used as a battering ram to break down traditional moral values and to establish moral relativism as a new orthodoxy.

Law is being used as weapon in a couple of ways.

First, either through legislation but more frequently through judicial interpretation, secularists have been continually seeking to eliminate laws that reflect traditional moral norms.

At first, this involved rolling back laws that prohibited certain kinds of conduct. Thus, the watershed decision legalizing abortion. And since then, the legalization of euthanasia. The list goes on.

More recently, we have seen the law used aggressively to force religious people and entities to subscribe to practices and policies that are antithetical to their faith.

The problem is not that religion is being forced on others. The problem is that irreligion and secular values are being forced on people of faith.

This reminds me of how some Roman emperors could not leave their loyal Christian subjects in peace but would mandate that they violate their conscience by offering religious sacrifice to the emperor as a god.

Similarly, militant secularists today do not have a live and let live spirit – they are not content to leave religious people alone to practice their faith. Instead, they seem to take a delight in compelling people to violate their conscience.

For example, the last Administration sought to force religious employers, including Catholic religious orders, to violate their sincerely held religious views by funding contraceptive and abortifacient coverage in their health plans. Similarly, California has sought to require pro-life pregnancy centers to provide notices of abortion rights.

This refusal to accommodate the free exercise of religion is relatively recent. Just 25 years ago, there was broad consensus in our society that our laws should accommodate religious belief.

In 1993, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – RFRA. The purpose of the statute was to promote maximum accommodation to religion when the government adopted broad policies that could impinge on religious practice.

At the time, RFRA was not controversial. It was introduced by Chuck Schumer with 170 cosponsors in the House, and was introduced by Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch with 59 additional cosponsors in the Senate. It passed by voice vote in the House and by a vote of 97-3 in the Senate.

Recently, as the process of secularization has accelerated, RFRA has come under assault, and the idea of religious accommodation has fallen out of favor.

Because this Administration firmly supports accommodation of religion, the battleground has shifted to the states. Some state governments are now attempting to compel religious individuals and entities to subscribe to practices, or to espouse viewpoints, that are incompatible with their religion.

Ground zero for these attacks on religion are the schools. To me, this is the most serious challenge to religious liberty.

For anyone who has a religious faith, by far the most important part of exercising that faith is the teaching of that religion to our children. The passing on of the faith. There is no greater gift we can give our children and no greater expression of love.

For the government to interfere in that process is a monstrous invasion of religious liberty.

Yet here is where the battle is being joined, and I see the secularists are attacking on three fronts.

The first front relates to the content of public school curriculum. Many states are adopting curriculum that is incompatible with traditional religious principles according to which parents are attempting to raise their children. They often do so without any opt out for religious families.

Thus, for example, New Jersey recently passed a law requiring public schools to adopt an LGBT curriculum that many feel is inconsistent with traditional Christian teaching. Similar laws have been passed in California and Illinois. And the Orange County Board of Education in California issued an opinion that “parents who disagree with the instructional materials related to gender, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation may not excuse their children from this instruction.”

Indeed, in some cases, the schools may not even warn parents about lessons they plan to teach on controversial subjects relating to sexual behavior and relationships.

This puts parents who dissent from the secular orthodoxy to a difficult choice: Try to scrape together the money for private school or home schooling, or allow their children to be inculcated with messages that they fundamentally reject.

A second axis of attack in the realm of education are state policies designed to starve religious schools of generally-available funds and encouraging students to choose secular options.  Montana, for example, created a program that provided tax credits to those who donated to a scholarship program that underprivileged students could use to attend private school.  The point of the program was to provide greater parental and student choice in education and to provide better educations to needy youth.

But Montana expressly excluded religiously-affiliated private schools from the program.  And when that exclusion was challenged in court by parents who wanted to use the scholarships to attend a nondenominational Christian school, the Montana Supreme Court required the state to eliminate the program rather than allow parents to use scholarships for religious schools.

It justified this action by pointing to a provision in Montana’s State Constitution commonly referred to as a “Blaine Amendment.”  Blaine Amendments were passed at a time of rampant anti-Catholic animus in this country, and typically disqualify religious institutions from receiving any direct or indirect payments from a state’s funds.

The case is now in the Supreme Court, and we filed a brief explaining why Montana’s Blaine Amendment violates the First Amendment.

A third kind of assault on religious freedom in education have been recent efforts to use state laws to force religious schools to adhere to secular orthodoxy. For example, right here in Indiana, a teacher sued the Catholic Archbishop of Indianapolis for directing the Catholic schools within his diocese that they could not employ teachers in same-sex marriages because the example of those same-sex marriages would undermine the schools’ teaching on the Catholic view of marriage and complementarity between the sexes.

This lawsuit clearly infringes the First Amendment rights of the Archdiocese by interfering both with its expressive association and with its church autonomy. The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the state court making these points, and we hope that the state court will soon dismiss the case.

Taken together, these cases paint a disturbing picture. We see the State requiring local public schools to insert themselves into contentious social debates, without regard for the religious views of their students or parents. In effect, these states are requiring local communities to make their public schools inhospitable to families with traditional religious values; those families are implicitly told that they should conform or leave.

At the same time, pressure is placed on religious schools to abandon their religious convictions. Simply because of their religious character, they are starved of funds – students who would otherwise choose to attend them are told they may only receive scholarships if they turn their sights elsewhere.

Simultaneously, they are threatened in tort and, eventually, will undoubtedly be threatened with denial of accreditation if they adhere to their religious character.  If these measures are successful, those with religious convictions will become still more marginalized.

I do not mean to suggest that there is no hope for moral renewal in our country.

But we cannot sit back and just hope the pendulum is going to swing back toward sanity.

As Catholics, we are committed to the Judeo-Christian values that have made this country great.

And we know that the first thing we have to do to promote renewal is to ensure that we are putting our principles into practice in our own personal private lives.

We understand that only by transforming ourselves can we transform the world beyond ourselves.

This is tough work. It is hard to resist the constant seductions of our contemporary society. This is where we need grace, prayer, and the help of our church.

Beyond this, we must place greater emphasis on the moral education of our children.

Education is not vocational training. It is leading our children to the recognition that there is truth and helping them develop the faculties to discern and love the truth and the discipline to live by it.

We cannot have a moral renaissance unless we succeed in passing to the next generation our faith and values in full vigor.

The times are hostile to this. Public agencies, including public schools, are becoming secularized and increasingly are actively promoting moral relativism.

If ever there was a need for a resurgence of Catholic education – and more generally religiously-affiliated schools – it is today.

I think we should do all we can to promote and support authentic Catholic education at all levels.

Finally, as lawyers, we should be particularly active in the struggle that is being waged against religion on the legal plane.

We must be vigilant to resist efforts by the forces of secularization to drive religious viewpoints from the public square and to impinge upon the free exercise of our faith.

I can assure you that, as long as I am Attorney General, the Department of Justice will be at the forefront of this effort, ready to fight for the most cherished of our liberties: the freedom to live according to our faith.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you today. And God bless you and Notre Dame.

Protecting and Defending the Constitution Means Obeying It

Protecting and Defending the Constitution Means Obeying It

            The book, Set My People Free describes the failures of Congress to constitutionally address the changing political and economic circumstances of our times. It suggests constitutional remedies and solutions available for Congress to correct those failures. Only by obeying the original intention of the Constitution can those we elect to represent us protect and defend it.

With the House unconstitutionally passing Articles of Impeachment against President Trump, a whole new dimension of members of that body violating their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution has been entered. Their actions have moved the attack on America on to a battlefield as real as any in our great Civil War. These “domestic” enemies have, with lies and deceptions, insidiously escalated the attack on America to a level surpassing that of those “foreign” enemies on September 11, 2001. They threaten the very structure of government intended and ratified in “the supreme law of the land”.

The Constitution is very clear. Impeachment shall occur for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”. Under constitutional authority, Article I, Section 8, Congress may make laws defining such crimes and misdemeanors. Upon passage by both the House and Senate, signing by the President or override of a veto, Congress enacts law which is still subject to judicial scrutiny. The three branches have separate and equal constitutionally defined authority. Grounds for impeachment are to be found in the rule and order of law as enacted by both the Senate and House concurring.

The House and the Senate alone may only each make rules for their own conduct and administration. Nowhere in the U.S. Code is there any law unicamerally enacted or defined.

The House is without constitutional grounds to impeach except under the rule and order of law enacted under constitutionally defined due process. Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress as interpreted by the House are not found in the U.S. Code as a crime, let alone a “high” crime, or misdemeanor.

     A member of the Senate should move for the Chief Justice to constitutionally dismiss the impeachment!

Alternately, Constitutional scholars can argue that the Senate with a two thirds vote could override the dismissal.

Any member of the House of Representatives voting for impeachment on the grounds of abuse of power or obstruction of Congress should be removed from office with due process for violation of their oath of office. Unfortunately, due process will not take place until after the next Congressional election assuming that those elected would uphold their oath of office.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights afford protections and safeguards against a failed Congress, as well as against judicial activism, socialism, unbridled capitalism, and all the failed political “isms” rejected by true science and uncorrupted uncontaminated history.

But, freedom and justice for all are not free. Every loyal American must fight in this great new civil war against those “enemies, foreign and domestic” who attack the original intention of the Constitution.

Remember that without calling to the greed and avarice of the public majority, the 16th Amendment; fueling and enabling the unconstitutional tyranny of the administrative state, and responsible for the unconstitutional unconscionable national debt; would have never been ratified. Also recall that this Committee stated that if for no other reason than to confront judicial activism, President Trump should be elected. Now, those we elected betray our trust and unconstitutionally impeach a duly elected President who has sought only to fulfill his campaign promises to the American people.

The Committee for the Constitution

Impeachment, All Smoke and Mirrors – An Attempt to Cover Up the Truth

IMPEACHMENT

Smoke and Mirrors – An Attempt to Cover Up the Truth

Darrell Smallwood

November 6

    Here’s a summary for those of you who care to know the REAL reason why the House of Representatives are calling for impeachment of President Trump.

    Hunter Biden is former Vice-President Joe Biden’s son. He is 45 years old with a long history of drug abuse. Hunter Biden was kicked out of the military in 2014 for testing positive for cocaine. Shortly after that he was appointed to the board of directors of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest private producer of gas.

    Two weeks before he was appointed, his father the Vice President of the United States encouraged Ukrainian leaders to place him on their board. Hunter Biden has ZERO experience or knowledge in the gas industry or in the Ukraine. He was paid $50,000 a month for his position on the board and a money transfer of 3 MILLION dollars was made from the Ukraine through Latvia, Cyprus, and finally to the US into accounts owned by Hunter Biden.

    The top prosecutor in the Ukraine was investigating corruption and was getting ready to interview Hunter Biden regarding his dealings with Burisma and the apparent money laundering of the 3 million dollars. Before Hunter Biden could be interviewed Joe Biden leaned on the Ukrainian government and threatened to withhold over 250 MILLION in US foreign aid unless the prosecutor was fired. The prosecutor was fired. The investigation into Hunter Biden and Burisma ended, the Ukraine got the financial aid.

    Hunter Biden was also involved in a deal with China where his father the Vice President was working on US business. This deal netted Hunter Biden over 1.5 BILLION dollars! That story will bust wide open next. I mean what would cause China to hand over 1.5 BILLION dollars to a known drug addict who just happens to be the son of the Vice-President? Think that through America. It gets worse!!

    The Vice-President Joe Biden took his son Hunter on Air Force Two with him to China in 2013. Ten DAYS after that trip, the Bank of China signed this deal with Hunter Biden’s company for over a 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS!! Some of this money went to a company called Henniges who makes very sensitive military equipment for the US military.

    Do you want to know who else was involved in the China deal as Hunter Biden’s partners? You can’t make this stuff up people! While John Kerry was Secretary of State his stepson Chris Heinz and mob boss Whitey Bulger’s nephew Billy Bulger we’re partners in the company along with Hunter Biden. Wow right? The sons of the two most prominent decision makers in America!! How did that escape scrutiny!!

    Amazing how the media isn’t even a tiny bit interested in this, and how as soon as it starts getting reported, they start impeachment proceedings against President Trump! They are hoping no one is paying attention, that the American people are too stupid, lazy, indifferent, and apathetic to pay attention. Don’t be one of those Americans. For goodness sake wake up and start actually thinking again instead of letting the media tell you what and when to be outraged about. Good grief what has happened to critical thinking?? Do most people even know they are merely pawns?


    Could it be that President Trump was trying to prevent American taxpayer dollars from being diverted by Ukrainian corruption? Or, how does an investigation of Ukrainian corruption illegally interfere in U.S. elections?  Speaking and knowing the truth and should always direct every decision, personal or public!

CftC 

Dr. Gorka Stunned By Biden-China Deal: ‘Potentially One Of The Biggest Pay-For-Play Scandals Outside Of Uranium One’

Author Peter Schweizer’s new book, Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, reveals how Hunter Biden secured a billion-dollar deal with Chinese investors ten days after his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, visited China in 2013.

Breitbart News reported:

    According to an exclusive New York Post excerpt from the book, the Biden billion-dollar China deal occurred as follows. In 2013, Hunter Biden was managing partner in the private equity firm Rosemont Seneca Partners. The Chinese funds were managed by Rosemont Seneca Bohai,  which did not involve Chris Heinz.

In December of that year, Vice President Biden and his son Hunter flew aboard Air Force Two to China. Ten days after the trip, a subsidiary of the Bank of China named Bohai Capital signed an exclusive deal with Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz’s Rosemont to form a $1 billion joint-investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST. The deal was later increased to $1.5 billion.

“The Chinese government was literally funding a business that they co-owned along with the sons of two of America’s most powerful decision makers,” writes Schweizer in Secret Empires.

    Appearing on Fox News Thursday evening, former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, said he believes the agreement is a massive scandal.

Gorka: “The stepson of John Kerry, the son of Joseph Biden, when they were cabinet members of the Obama administration, create a new investment fund… then inked a billion-dollar deal with the Chinese government — the Bank of China. Then, together they proceeded… to buy a U.S. manufacturing company called Henniges, making very sensitive equipment — crucial to our American military here at home. This, look, I am very rarely at a loss for words Stuart, but this is potentially one of the biggest pay-for-play scandals we have ever seen outside of Uranium One.”

The Attack On America

    The Democrats’ impeachment charade indelibly stains American political history, and validates the Framers’ and Founders’ fear of the public majority.

    Meeting in secret in the sweltering summer heat from May 25 to September 17, 1787, in the old Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, their only greater fear was unlimited government, primarily the Federal government.

    Studying history to 500 years before Christ, they saw how majority opinion driven by the ever present failings of humanity led to the failure and ultimate destruction of government. Verified by the the legislative history of the Convention, confirmed in writings such as the Federalist Papers; the Anti-Federalist Papers; Justice Joseph Story’s “A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States”; the voluminous writings of those representing their states at the Convention; the legislative histories of the ratifying conventions for the Constitution and the separate later ones for the Bill of Rights; the Constitution and the Bill of Rights address their concerns.

    The Constitution establishes a structure for our government with the checks, balances, and safeguards framed to protect the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” spelled out in the ideologic preamble to the Constitution – the Declaration of Independence. Experiencing the reality of the magnitude of the many miracles that permitted colonists with no standing army or navy to defeat the mightiest army and navy in the world at the time, led them to ground this “supreme law of the land” on the immutable Law from the Source of those “unalienable Rights” indelibly incorporated in the Bill of Rights which specifically limit governments.

    From a legal perspective, “high crimes and misdemeanors” as would specify impeachment are defined by the rule and order of law. The House of Representatives alone has no authority to institute any law other than as relates to its own conduct, procedures, etc. Constitutionally, any law originating in the House must pass the Senate in some agreed upon construction, then it must be signed by the President, and is still subject to judicial oversight. “Abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” as defined by the House alone hold no legal weight!

    From a constitutional view, Congress has no power or oversight over the executive branch except a prescribed by the Constitution. By original intention, the separate branches are checks and balances on the political power of each other. Article II, Sections 2 and 3, describe the President’s authority in foreign relations. Congress has no constitutional authority in foreign relations except for the Senate’s advise and consent role.

    Apart from the fact that the House Democrats have no legal standing to impeach without evidence of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as determined by the rule and order of law, they violate their oath of office by failing to protect and defend the original intention of the Constitution. Worse, on multiple counts they specifically violate multiple sections and provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights without being held accountable to the prime requisite for successful and enduring government  – justice for all. The crimes of Benghazi, Uranium One, the compromises of national security by Hillary, Comey and FBI criminals, etc. need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Joining the liberal media, they attack the America envisioned by those who paid in blood for our freedom. Any public official voting to impeach President Trump or supporting impeachment on the grounds currently presented; voting for or supporting partial birth abortion; who votes to or hinders our border protections; who gives taxpayer money to the undeserving; who in any way obstructs the Bill of Rights; etc. must be removed from office!

CftC

The Attack on America, Here and Now

    Joining the failure of the Senate to convict W.J. Clinton of perjury effectively trashing our fundamental order of law demanding justice for all; the egregious vilification of Justice Kavanaugh rejecting the standard of innocent until proven guilty; the failure to prosecute Hillary for her criminal handling of classified information; the endless list of corruption ignored by our domestic enemies continues to grow. The corrupted case for impeachment against a president simply trying to fulfill his campaign promises to the American people with no direct, or indirect evidence, of any misconduct is the latest attempt to distract him from that agenda.  In fact, the testimony this past week confirms that the Obama State Department was also concerned about the Biden-Burisma-Ukraine scandal. By itself, that revelation makes the President’s concern for not throwing taxpayer dollars into funding Ukrainian corruption even more plausible. In addition, the double standards employed, again contrary to “justice for all”, would deny President Trump his God-given and constitutional right to defend himself and confront his accusers.
    In light of decades of corruption, discrimination, lies, deceptions, and, some would say, treason attacking the Constitution, the criminals who have betrayed us, violating their oath of office need to prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As suggested in the Preamble to the Constitution, without “justice for all”, there cannot be “domestic tranquility”.
    The following article from the non-partisan Judicial Watch fuels the call for justice. Is there any question that freedom and justice for all are being assaulted and denied by those we elect to represent us? One read no more than the evidence presented by Tom Fitton to be outraged at the lies and innuendo leveled against those trying to “drain the swamp”, stand for Americans against the Establishment and the Deep State, and a Congress populated by those bent on destroying all that made America great.

FBI Emails Dispute Clinton’s Claim about Sending Classified Information

When it comes to Hillary’s email scandal, the lies and evasions of top Obama administration officials, as well as top State Department and FBI executives, were no more than a flimsy house of cards, which, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, we continue to pull down.

Here’s the latest.

After former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement denying the transmission of classified information over her unsecure email system, former FBI official Peter Strzok sent an email to FBI officials citing “three [Clinton email] chains” containing (C) [classified confidential] portion marks in front of paragraphs.”

We learned this in 119 pages of records we obtained from the Justice Department through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The records containing emails from Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page also reveal senior FBI officials’ concerns over articles written about the “tarmac meeting” between former President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Strzok specifically cited a CBS News report terming the meeting “shocking, absolutely shocking,” and adding that, “the appearance of impropriety is just stunning.”

We received these documents in response to the January 24, 2018, lawsuit we filed after the Department of Justice failed to respond to a December 4, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)). Judicial Watch seeks:

  • All records of communications, including but not limited to, emails, text messages and instant chats, between FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page;
  • All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Peter Strzok;
  • All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Lisa Page.
In a July 4, 2016, email exchange with FBI Assistant Director William Priestap, FBI Counterintelligence official Jonathan Moffa, and unidentified Office of the General Counsel officials, a Daily Beast article titled “Is Hillary Clinton Telling the Truth About Emails?” is discussed. In it Clinton is quoted saying that she never sent or received emails with material marked classified.
Strzok: There are three chains totaling 8 or 9 emails which have (C) [classified confidential] portion marks in front of paragraphs. Some have both (C) and (SBU) [sensitive but unclassified] in front of different paragraphs in the same email. During a brief a few weeks ago Jon provided a copy of the emails in question.
All were released in the 30,000 FOIA production. One of the chains contains multiple B1 [national defense or foreign policy] redactions, indicating it is currently classified Confidential; the other two chains were released in full. We do not yet have determinations from State about their classification at the time of writing.

On June 29, 2016, Strzok forwards to Page a story about the meeting between Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the Phoenix airport tarmac just days before Clinton’s criminal investigation interview. Strzok highlights an excerpt in which CBS News’s Justice Reporter Paul Reid called the meeting, “shocking, absolutely shocking” also that, “the appearance of impropriety is just stunning.” The excerpt ends with Reid saying: “[Lynch] stood up to El Chapo, she has taken on FIFA – she is not incapable to telling someone, ‘Look, you can’t come on my plane’ or ‘Look, I don’t want to talk to you.’”

The documents also show that on May 23, 2016, Strzok; FBI Office of Congressional Affairs’ official Elizabeth Beers; Principal Deputy General Counsel for the FBI Trisha Anderson; FBI Counterintelligence Division official Jonathan Moffa; and another redacted senior FBI official have an email exchange about how to respond to a letter sent from Senator Chuck Grassley to then-FBI Director Comey asking a series of pointed questions focusing on why FBI personnel working on Clinton’s email server case (Midyear Exam/MYE) were required to sign a special non-disclosure agreement (NDA) above and beyond the normal rules in place that govern disclosure of sensitive information by FBI personnel.

Grassley asked for copies of the special NDA and if any agents refused to sign.

Beers notes that some of her communications about the matter were on the “redside” (the Top Secret FBI computer system). Beers also noted that she ran their proposed response to Grassley by the DOJ, which provided “edits.”

On June 3, 2016, Peter Strzok organized an “MYE Scrub” meeting with Page, Moffa and an unidentified official from the FBI General Counsel’s Office.

On June 3, 2016, following the “MYE Scrub” meeting, Strzok emailed then Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, Asst. Dir. for Counterintelligence Bill Priestap and other redacted officials, advising them that “PSEU [Policy and Statutory Enforcement Unit] approved memo about 45 minutes ago. They (Toscas, CES [George Toscas, Dep. Asst. Atty. Gen. for National Security Div., Counterespionage Section], and EDVA [US Attorney for Eastern District of Virginia] are having a conference call tonight …”

(The PSEU, among other tasks, advises senior department leadership about “investigative tools and prosecutorial actions” to obtain information “from or about members of the news media.” The PSEU can “close otherwise public judicial proceedings to the public in federal criminal cases; seek court-ordered use immunity for federal witnesses; subpoena attorneys in federal criminal as well as civil proceedings for information relating to their representation of clients; [provide] authorization to apply for search warrants for the premises or electronic storage devices of attorneys who are the subjects or targets of federal investigations; and obtain authorization to conduct a dual or successive federal prosecution of an individual under the Department’s Petite policy. The PSEU also provides advice when Department of Justice employees have been subpoenaed to provide testimony or to produce evidence in state or federal judicial proceedings.)

On June 6, 2016, Strzok organized a “MYE comment walk thru” meeting for himself, then-FBI Director James Comey’s Chief of Staff James Rybicki, Lisa Page, Moffa and an unidentified General Counsel’s office official.

On June 7, 2016, Strzok emails his boss, Bill Priestap, saying that that the FBI’s Counterespionage Section “engaged in multiple conversations with Beth Wilkinson [an attorney for several top Clinton aides during the server investigation] concerning the scope and wording of the consent to search the Samuelson and Mills laptops.”

In a June 9, 2016, email exchange, FBI Public Affairs Official Richard Quinn sends a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article titled “Clinton Emails in Probe Dealt with Planned Drone Strikes” to Strzok and FBI Asst. Dir. for Public Affairs Michael Kortan. The article cites unidentified “law enforcement sources” by saying, “Several law enforcement officials said they don’t expect any criminal charges to be filed as a result of the investigation [of Clinton’s transmission of classified information on an unsecure server], although a final review of the evidence will be made only after an expected FBI interview with Mrs. Clinton this summer.”

Kortan writes to Strzok: “Whatta you think?”
Strzok replies: “Not bad at all. I think we’ll be OK. Thanks for all your work on this.” 

Also on June 9, 2016, Strzok emailed redacted FBI officials, cc’ing Moffa about a phrase in the WSJ article that concerned him, asking whom they had interviewed that said something similar: “Some [State Department] officials chafed at pressure to send internal deliberations through intelligence channels, since they were discussing whether to push back against the CIA, congressional officials said.”

Moffa replied that he remembered an interviewee saying something like that at a 9AM briefing. Strzok then emails Page privately about it, asking her to “Call me.”

In a June 10, 2016 email exchange between top FBI and DOJ officials that included Strzok, Page, Moffa, McCabe, Priestap, General Counsel James Baker, and Toscas, they discuss scheduling the FBI’s interview of Clinton in the MYE investigation, keeping in mind “the Boss’s strong desire to get this wrapped up in June.”. The exchange has the subject line “Kendall DOJ contact:”

Strzok: Bill, I’m driving and can provide more detail on the phone, but DOJ is telling Toscas. Without DOJ asking, Kendall [Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall] threw out a date of 2 July in NY for the Interview. [Redacted] said that he could not commit to a date and we need to look at the laptops first. Kendall said he would keep the date blocked anyway because it is getting very hard to get on her calendar, even for him.
Thanks,
Pete
***
Baker: I guesss I’m OK with it so long as we clearly state in writing that the date is tentative and subject to our finishing our review of the laptops [of Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson]
McCabe: Keep in mind the Boss’s [presuambly James Comey] strong desire to get this wrapped up in June.
***
McCabe: So if July 2 is the first thing she has free now, we should grab it.

The exchange concludes with Strzok telling Page, “Also Phase I [redacted] of Samuelson is done. CES (Counterespionage Section) notifying Wilkinson per terms of consent – that we are moving to Phase 2 [redacted]. Mills laptop still processing, was about twice as large. OTD [Technical Division] thinks that will be done tonight as well.”

On June 21, 2016, Strzok emails to Page a Congressional Research Service (CRS) article about the McDade-Murtha Amendment relating to “Ethical Standards for Justice Department Attorneys.” He highlights in bold a section about the DOJ’s concerns relating to the “No Contact Rule” in many state laws that says a lawyer representing a client cannot discuss his representation of that client with another person involved in the same matter, without approval of the lawyer representing the other person in the same matter.

In a June 21, 2016 email, Strzok informs Priestap that there was a different email domain other than clintonemail.com located on Clinton’s private server (in addition to clintonemail.com):

And slight correction to below [redacted] account was not on clintonemail.com, but a different domain on the same server. We saw the login from the server logs.
In the early morning of July 5, 2016, (the day of Comey’s press conference) there is an email exchange among McCabe, Strzok, Comey’s Chief of Staff James Rybicki and Priestap:
McCabe: Jim will email us once the D [Director Comey] has made contact with [redacted]. That will be the green light. If you are not able to make contact, you can send him a brief, non-detailed email. Please confirm.
Strzok replies: OK, will do.
Rybicki writes: DAG [Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates] and Axelrod [Principal Deputy AG Matthew Axelrod] notified. Go ahead with the others.
Strzok replies: Laufman notified [DOJ’s Chief of Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, David Laufman].
McCabe writes: Toscas emailed.

In a July 5, 2016, email marked “Importance: High,” with the subject line “Read this,” Strzok sends Page a New York Times article titled, “James Comey’s Rebuke of Hillary Clinton Fits a 3-Decade Pattern.” The article discusses Comey’s press conference and claims it demonstrated his “willingness to ‘take the hit’ on a controversial decision.”

Here’s my take on all of this. These emails show that neither the corrupt ‘tarmac’ meeting nor Hillary Clinton’s falsehoods about her emails nor anything else would get in the way of the Obama-Comey FBI letting Clinton skate. The FBI continues to slow roll the release of Strzok-Page materials and we may not see them all until at least 2021. What other documents are the FBI sitting on?

Here are some important background points.

Strzok and Page were key investigators in the Clinton email and Russia collusion investigations. Strzok was removed from the Mueller investigative team in July 2017 and reassigned to a human resources position after it was discovered that he and Page, who worked for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and with whom Strzok was carrying on an extramarital affair, exchanged pro-Clinton and anti-Trump text messages. Page resigned in May 2018. Strzok was dismissed from the FBI in August 2018.

In July 2019, Judge Walton ordered a hearing regarding the rate of production of emails, text messages, and other communications between Strzok and Page. The court scheduled the hearing to discuss: “Upon further consideration, the Court is concerned that the processing rate adopted by the Court may be inadequate.” The court’s July 24 order followed a joint status report by the FBI and Judicial Watch that disclosed that only 6,000 of almost 20,000 responsive records had been processed since May 2018.

In June 2019, we announced that we received documents showing FBI top officials scrambling to write a letter to Congress to supplement then-Director James Comey’s Senate testimony in an apparent attempt to muddle his message.

In June 2019, we uncovered documents in this case including emails showing the FBI’s attempts to muddle former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on the Clinton email investigation and collusion between the FBI and the media. Other documents revealed then-FBI General Counsel James Baker instructing FBI officials to expedite the release of FBI investigative material to Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, in August 2016. Kendall and the FBI’s top lawyer discussed specifically quickly obtaining the FBI’s “302” report of the interview of Clinton.

In February 2019, we uncovered documents showing an evident cover-up of a chart of potential violations of law by Clinton. In May 2019, we filed a related lawsuit for that secret chart of potential violations, as well as Comey’s talking points for the press conference.

Also in February 2019, we made public 215 pages of records from the DOJ revealing former FBI General Counsel James Baker discussed the investigation of Clinton-related emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop with Clinton’s lawyer David Kendall. Baker then forwarded the conversation to his FBI colleagues. The documents also describe a previously reported quid pro quo from the Obama State Department offering the FBI more legal attaché positions if it would downgrade a redaction in an email found during the Clinton email investigation “from classified to something else.”

In September 2018, we uncovered documents showing email exchanges between fired FBI official Strzok and FBI attorney Page revealing that FBI officials used unsecure devices in discussing how the U.S. could improve the sharing of sensitive data with the European Union top executive governing commission. The documents also reveal that high-ranking FBI officials were not properly read-in to top secret programs.

In July 2018, we received documents from the Department of Justice revealing Strzok and Page’s profanity-laced disdain for FBI hierarchy and policies. The DOJ, meanwhile, was resisting our request for a court order to preserve all responsive Page-Strzok communications. In May 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered the FBI to begin processing thousands of pages of previously undisclosed records between FBI officials Strzok and Page.

There’s a lesson here: Lies and evasions can endure only in the darkness of secrecy, and whither in the light of FOIA. “If it is not right, do not do it,” the Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius said. “If it is not true do not say it.” There are some in Washington who need to read this.

Obama and the UN Undermined Elected Government in Guatemala

Wonder why Central America is so unstable and creating so much trouble for the United States?

Here’s one huge piece of the problem: the Obama administration, the Deep State, Soros’ organizations and UN bureaucrats worked together to attack conservative governance in Central America in support of hardcore leftist policies. The ripple effect is damaging the United States by destabilizing the region and encouraging mass migrations that are overwhelming our borders.

We continue to explore this activity.

We recently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department for communications among U.S. and Guatemalan officials regarding the of International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG, its acronym in Spanish).

We sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the State Department failed to comply with May and August 2018 FOIA requests for records of communications and meetings between the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and CICIG’s Commissioner Iván Velásquez Gómez; any representative of CICIG; as well as other Guatemalan officials. We also seek communications of State Department officials, including Ambassador Todd Robinson, with Velásquez and others related to CICIG (Judicial Watch Inc. v U.S. Department of State (No.1:19-cv-00968)).

The U.N.’s CICIG was formed in December 2006 and given the mission of strengthening the rule of law in Guatemala but has been embroiled in controversy and was reportedly politicizing the judiciary:

CICIG says it is in Guatemala merely to “support” the attorney general in her work “identifying and dismantling” criminal networks and is not involved in politics. But an academic analysis of CICIG by Jonatán Lemus, a Francisco Marroquín University political science professor, suggests otherwise. Mr. Lemus observes that “CICIG has also been criticized for the very same reasons others have praised it: becoming a player in judicial appointments, proposing some controversial reforms to the Guatemalan constitution, and the use of televised conferences to shift the public in its favor. From this perspective, instead of strengthening Guatemalan institutions, the Commission is making national institutions dependent on its assistance.”
Todd Robinson, Obama’s former ambassador to Guatemala, who is now a senior advisor for the State Department, reportedly worked with Velásquez, a Colombian attorney and former judge with powerful leftist alliances who ran the CICIG, to depose President Otto Pérez Molina and wanted to cancel the 2015 elections to put leftists in power. Robinson is said to be aggressively working against President Donald Trump’s foreign-policy agenda:
To continue the Obama policy, Robinson had to subdue [President] Morales, an anti-establishment outsider. A local news outlet funded by George Soros’s Open Society Foundations has bragged that Robinson vetoed Morales’s choices for interior minister and finally named Robinson’s candidate. The same happened with other ministries, including foreign relations.

In April 2018, the CICIG came to the attention of the Helsinki Commission for alleged abuse of power and was also asked to answer questions at a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee. The invitation was declined.

In May 2018, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) placed a hold on the State Department’s release of $6 million to the CICIG, saying: “I am concerned that CICIG, a commission mostly funded by the United States, has been manipulated and used by radical elements.”

More recently, a complaint was filed by the Morales government to the UN about witness tampering by CICIG, as well as illegal negotiations with convicted criminals and other matters went unanswered. Morales asked the UN to replace Velásquez. The UN neglected to act on the complaint or replace Velásquez. But in January 2019, the Morales government allowed the commission to wind down by not renewing its two-year mandate.

Velásquez appears to be part of a broader effort launched under Barack Obama to destabilize moderate and conservative governments abroad. We uncovered details of a similar initiative in Macedonia, where the Obama administration spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government by working with groups funded by leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

The Obama administration reportedly “embraced Castro-supported allies throughout Latin America, including in Guatemala,” and is believed to have led to the growth of transnational criminal activity. During the Obama administration, In 2016, Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, commander of SOUTHCOM, spoke of transnational drug, weapons and human smuggling, to include people with known terrorist ties from the Middle East, that are moved up through south and then Central America and over the U.S. border.

After a special investigation, we reported in 2018:

Guatemala has found itself increasingly targeted by the Soros network. In 2016, Soros’ Open Society Foundations [OSFs] provided more than $1,000,000 to organizations there, and hundreds of thousands more to U.S.-based organizations supporting his agenda in the country. Relative to GDP, OSFs spend more than twice as much in grant and program funding in Guatemala than in the United States.

Our investigation found that the OSF’s close alignment with the United Nations, which maintains a massive footprint in the nation, enables the Soros network to exert tremendous influence.

Until next week …

Tom Fitton
Judicial Watch

Our Enemies – Double Standards, Lies,  and Deceptions

Our Enemies – Double Standards, Lies,  and Deceptions

 

    False propaganda exuding from our enemies, foreign and domestic, asks us to reject Truth and accept their double standards, lies, and deceptions. To the contrary, justice for all demands that truth be the indelible standard. Truth is defined by immutable Law, and is inaccessible to human desire and invention. The Framers and Founders, studying history in secret to five hundred years before Christ and relying on science as they understood it at the time, made Truth the foundation of our “supreme” order of law to which all judges and public officials, Federal and state, are bound.

 

By attacking the original intention of the Constitution, our domestic enemies threaten to destroy all that made America great. Whether threatening our homeland security by their bankrupt immigration agenda; subverting the fundamental judicial principle of innocence until proven guilty; calling to identity politics vilifying the righteous who have moved from past mistakes; instituting an unconstitutional unjust administrative state compromising our public health, crippling our industry and free enterprise; taxing us with uncontrolled debt; making the impossible control of global warming a mantra of their false religions; and the list seems endless; America is under attack as never before.

 

Liberal / progressive politics that move beyond reason have crippled a partisan divided Congress, so that needed oversight and legislation is abandoned. Congress is failing in ways unprecedented. Aided by a media that promulgates and advocates their double standards, lies, and deceptions; the enemies in our midst elect politicians who accept their bribery.

 

To make the point, the following video looks at but one of the many double standards contaminating the political circus.

With errors and failures not isolated to one party, the recent abandonment of our Kurdish allies highlights how lies and deceptions from whatever source(s) compromise and threaten freedom and justice for all. The following article displays with undeniable clarity that only truth is the ally of freedom and justice for all.

 

CftC

 

Turkey Is No Ally of the United States

Turkey says it is acting to defend itself from terror. But what Turkish officials tell their American counterparts is one thing; what they tell regional extremists is another.

Michael Rubin

October 23, 2019

 

    On October 22, U.S. Special Envoy Jim Jeffrey testified in Congress to discuss the Trump administration’s decision to abandon support for Syrian Kurds. While both Democrats and Republicans criticized Jeffrey’s policy and its disastrous results for the Kurds, nothing Jeffrey said should surprise. After all, when he spoke to reporters last December after a U.S.-Turkey Working Group Jeffrey reportedly said that U.S. cooperation with the Kurds was tactical and temporary, but that it was bilateral ties with Turkey that mattered. “We want to have cooperation with Turkey across the board on all Syrian issues.” This is a logic that Trump supporters in the foreign policy community embraced. Bush administration alum Michael Doran explained at a Hudson Institute panel, “We borrowed a Russian and Iranian proxy, and it was strategically stupid,” Doran added. “Everyone knows we’re leaving sooner or later. Turkey is going to be there forever, and the Turks know this as well. So we have to work through them, largely on their terms.”

There is a fundamental problem with this argument, however. Turkey may once have been an important ally and partner, but if Jeffrey, Doran, and supporters of Trump’s strategy believe Turkey is an ally, then the word simply has no meaning at all.

Turkey says it is acting to defend itself from terror. But what Turkish officials tell their American counterparts is one thing; what they tell regional extremists is another. As Turkish forces poured across the border, Erdoğan tweeted in Arabic, “I kiss the foreheads of all the hero members of the Muhammadian army” entering Syria, not a statement typical NATO leaders say. He was not alone. Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu then told CNN Türk that Turkey would “make a deal with ISIS.” This may not be bluster. The only reason why the United States began its alliance with Syrian Kurds in the first place was because of overwhelming evidence that Turkey was passively if not actively support the Islamic State (ISIS). A Wikileaks dump of personal emails from Berat Albayrak, Erdoğan’s son-in-law and, at the time, Energy Minister, showed efforts to profit off of ISIS oil. At the battle for Kobane, Turkey allowed ISIS fighters to attempt to outflank Kurdish defenders and to attack from the Turkish side of the border. Captured passports and identity cards from ISIS fighters show most openly traversed Turkey’s territory. ISIS even maintained a de facto ambassador in Turkey to liaise with Turkey’s intelligence services. Turkey has incorporated Islamic State veterans into its proxy Free Syrian Army.

Turkey’s past actions in Syria raise serious concerns about its commitment to its neighbor’s territorial integrity. On January 20, 2018, Turkish forces entered Syria’s northwestern Afrin district, supposedly to combat terrorism. They forced tens of thousands of Kurds and Christians to flee. Those who remained had to exchange their Syrian identity cards for Turkish-issued ones. Kurds say women who remain cannot get an ID unless they wear conservative head coverings. Maps shown on Turkish television show northern Syria (and parts of Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, and Armenia) incorporated into Turkey. Again, this is not just bluster. In the northern Syrian town of Jarabulus, Turkey opened a civilian post office sporting a Turkish flag.

The most tragic element in Turkey’s operation has been, despite Trump’s assurances, the impact on religious freedom and the local civilian population. Among Turkey’s first targets was Bisheriya, the largest Christian neighborhood in Qamishli city, setting houses alight and killing several civilians, even though there were no apparent Kurdish military positions in the area. Turkey also assaulted Amudeh, one of the few towns left in Syria with a Jewish population. This was no surprise: Since the Turkish assault began, more than 100,000 fled their homes. Many experts believe that figure will skyrocket.

No one should be surprised by Turkey’s actions in northern Syria. Its casus belli—to fight terrorism—was contrived. For all Turkish authorities speak about Kurdish terrorist groups in northern Syria, they and their supporters have been unable to show any recent attacks planned or executed from the towns and villages they now bombard.

Nor should Turkish behavior surprise since it has all been seen before. In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, ostensibly to protect the island’s Turkish minority from a Greek junta seeking to annex Cyprus. Greeks overthrew that junta within weeks of Turkey’s invasion and yet, 45 years later, Turkey continues not only to occupy the northern third of the country, but now seeks to extract gas from its territorial water. When U.S. and European diplomats previously raised objections to Turkey’s behavior off Cyprus, Egemen Bağış—a top Erdoğan advisor—threatened to use the Turkish navy against American gas exploration ships operating under Cypriot contract. “This is what we have the navy for. We have trained our marines for this; we have equipped the navy for this. All options are on the table; anything can be done,” he said. As Turkey grows more aggressive, Cyprus has become perhaps the most dangerous flashpoint in Europe. As for Bağış, Erdoğan just rewarded him with an ambassadorship to the Czech Republic.

Nor should Turkey’s willingness to side with violent extremists over secularists and democrats be a surprise. As an Al Qaeda affiliate overran Mali in 2013 precipitating French intervention, Ahmet Kavaş, a theology professor whom Erdoğans appointed to be Turkey’s ambassador to Chad, tweeted that Al Qaeda was not actually a terrorist group. Erdoğan helped a man at the time designated by the UN as an Al Qaeda financer—a man with whom his son did business—evade Western sanctions.

Indeed, when it comes to terrorism, Erdoğan is at constant odds with Western countries. In 2006, it was Erdoğan who welcomed not only Hamas but also one of its most militant leaders to the Turkish parliament at a time when the United States and European Union demanded Hamas first foreswear terrorism before it could gain international diplomatic legitimacy. Erdoğan followed that meeting up by visiting Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Syria. Two months before Boko Haram horrified the world by abducting 300 Nigerian school girls, leaked tapes exposed a conversation between Mustafa Varank, an advisor to Erdoğan, and Mehmet Karataş, the private secretary of the CEO of Turkish Airlines, in which the airline official allegedly said that he did not feel comfortable shipping weapons to Nigeria since it was unclear whether those weapons “are to kill Muslims or Christians.” Then, of course, there was Erdoğan’s reaction to Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir whose indictment on genocide charges for his actions in Darfur Erdoğan dismissed. “No Muslim could perpetrate a genocide,” Erdoğan declared.

Then there are Erdoğan’s efforts to help Iran to bypass international sanctions, Erdoğan’s diplomatic and military turn toward Russia, and Turkey’s threats to hold international organization (and therefore NATO) decision-making hostage over its 2010 flotilla spat with Israel. That Erdoğan action highlighted the danger poses to NATO. As a consensus-driven organization, Turkey can be Russia’s Trojan Horse—stymying any decision-making to paralyze the organization. And while Turkey critics argue that, in such a case, NATO can simply expel it, they are wrong: There is no formal mechanism within NATO to expel members.

Trump defends his greenlighting of Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria by attesting to the importance of Turkey as an ally. It is time he join the increasingly rare bipartisan consensus in Congress to ask whether if Turkey is an ally, then how would its actions be different if it were an adversary?

    Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). You can follow him on Twitter: @mrubin1971.


What Impeachment Really Reveals About Ukraine

Ukraine is playing footsie with China even as Adam Schiff and William Taylor depict it as a staunch American ally.

Hunter DeRensis

November 13, 2019

    There was something more than a little troubling about the initial day of the first public impeachment hearing since the 1990s. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) is filling the same role he performed under the previous Mueller investigation: convict at all costs. Already the third word out of the chairman’s mouth during his opening statement was none other than—what else?—Russia.”

 

With Schiff as impresario, a sickly miasma of unreality thus quickly enveloped the hearing. It came to resemble a morality play more than an impartial examination of President Donald Trump and Ukraine. On the one side was the virtuous Ukraine, an ally of America that had been wantonly abandoned by President Trump. On other side was a malignant Russia out to extirpate freedom not only in Europe, but potentially the rest of the free world. Or so at least both Schiff’s and William B. Taylor’s opening statements would appear to suggest. Schiff declared that in invading Crimea, Russia was trying to “fulfill Vladimir Putin’s desire to rebuild a Russian empire.” Was it? Or was it reacting to the sudden toppling of the Yanukovych regime in Kiev in February 2014 and trying to show that it would not take it lying down?

Then there was Taylor. According to Taylor, “the security assistance we provide is crucial to Ukraine’s defense and to the protection of the soldiers I met last week. It demonstrates to Ukrainians—and Russians—that we are Ukraine’s reliable strategic partner. It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression.”

Maybe so, but how is that best accomplished? Is it better to pursue a modern-day version of détente with Russia, as Trump seems inclined to do, or is it better to engage in a standoff with Moscow? Taylor seems to believe that it’s not even permissible to debate this issue. What’s more, Taylor puts the onus on Washington to prove its bona fides to Kiev rather than the reverse. It’s quite remarkable that Trump should have to display his credibility to Ukraine instead of it showing him that there is a benefit to America assisting a country that has been riven by blatant corruption, infighting and intrigue for decades.

The ostensible focus of the congressional inquiry is a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the president’s withholding of aid to elicit an investigation into the Biden family’s business connections. The facts are known; there’s no smoking gun waiting to be uncovered. The forthcoming testimonies from diplomatic officials were already provided last month, and their substance ceremoniously leaked to sympathetic media outlets. There will be no surprise witness or shocking revelation to be had during the public testimony.

“The main performance, the Russia hoax, has ended. You’ve been cast in the low-rent, Ukrainian sequel,” Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) told Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George P. Kent.

“While the founders did not intend that impeachment be employed for mere differences over policy, they also made impeachment a constitutional process that the Congress must utilize as necessary,” said Schiff. If today didn’t add anything, it did prove something: much of the case for impeachment is built on policy, not personal action.

Kent testified that it’s not in the “national interest” of the United States to promote “political investigations.” What the national interest of the United States is in Eastern Europe, or what the benefits to the American people are from restructuring foreign societies, went unsaid (a norm for congressional testimonies).

For his part, Taylor devoted a significant portion of his testimony to reiterating the putative duty the United States has to support Ukraine. In Taylor’s narrative, the February 2014 coup against the democratically elected government was wholly organic, with no outside support or organization. He referred to the vote after Crimea’s occupation as a “sham referendum at the point of Russian army rifles.” A new, free vote ought to be held following the requirements of internationally recognized observers, but this is not a hostage situation. Finally, Taylor said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “[generating] illegal armed formations” and forming “puppet governments” in the Donbass. In fact, there is a significant minority of Ukrainians unhappy with the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych who wish for closer relations to Russia than the west. In fact, the self-declared eastern republics requested a union with Russia similar to Crimea’s, and Putin refused.

“Candidate Trump had made a statement saying it was possible that he would allow Crimea to go back to Russia. He expressed the sentiment, or the opinion, that it was possible Crimea wanted to go back to Russia. What I can tell you Mr. Nunes, that sentiment is amazingly inflammatory to all Ukrainians,” Taylor said later. Is it verboten to suggest a majority of a predominantly Russian area wants to remain a part of the Russian state?

As it happens, western Ukrainians don’t always seem as desperate for Western support as Taylor and Kent make it appear. As the trade war between the United States and China has intensified in the past year, Ukraine has made it a priority, as Dimitri Alexander Simes, Jr. reports, to court “multibillion-dollar investments from China as part of its effort to join Beijing’s One Belt One Road Initiative.” This includes aiding the modernization of the Chinese military, which is hardly in America’s national interest. But when it comes to assessing Ukraine, somehow that doesn’t seem to figure into the calculations of Schiff and Taylor. Expect more of the same as the hearings continue.

Hunter DeRensis is a reporter at The National Interest.

Justice For All

Justice For All Lost

      The liberal attack on America carried out by the Democratic Party has subverted and destroyed the original intention of the Constitution to an unprecedented extent. Manifest in judicial activism, identity politics, corruption, the abandonment of the fundamental standard of justice calling for innocence until proven guilty, etc., justice for all – the prime requisite for successful enduring government, is threatened.

    Politicians of every persuasion, party, and ideology, when elected isolate themselves from their constituents in ways where their failure to limit government rejects and opposes government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. The Framers’, Founders’, and patriots loyal to the original intention of the Constitution paid by their sacrifices for our freedom – the freedom that these politicians squander to their political ambitions. In the Declaration of Independence, they view the failure of government as a call to arms (“[our] duty, to throw off such Government”).

This Committee has repeatedly and continually exposed the tyranny of socialism, unbridled capitalism, judicial activism, and all the false ideologies attempting to segregate justice unto the politically franchised.

This Committee has attempted to communicate with the President, his staff, senators, representatives in Congress, congressional committee staffers, state and local officials at every level, etc. regarding specific examples of the failure of government to abide by the constitutional (state and Federal) intention. Even though reaching thousands with our articles, not being recognized as a media like those spewing the lies and deceptions of those betraying our trust and their oath of office, matters affecting even the public health, direct violations of constitutions, the tyranny of the administrative state, and on and on, go unaddressed and ignored.

The vast majority of Americans without wealth to support political campaigns, without access to the communications media that falsely propagandizes voters, or lacking organized political power, go unheard.

CftC

October 02, 2019 | Judicial Watch

DOJ Docs Show Rosenstein Advising Mueller ‘the Boss’ Doesn’t Know About Their Communications — Judicial Watch

Rosenstein docs also show ‘off the record’ leaks to 60 Minutes, The New York Times and The Washington Post around and on the date of Mueller’s appointment.

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch released 145 pages of Rod Rosenstein’s communications that include a one-line email from Rod Rosenstein to Robert Mueller stating, “The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions” and “off the record” emails with major media outlets around the date of Mueller’s appointment.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the DOJ failed to respond to a September 21, 2018, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00481)). Judicial Watch seeks:

Any and all e-mails, text messages, or other records of communication addressed to or received by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein between May 8, 2017, and May 22, 2017.

The time period referred to in this suit is critical. On May 9, 2017, Rosenstein wrote a memo to President Trump recommending that FBI Director James Comey be fired. That day, President Trump fired Comey. Just three days later, on May 12, Rosenstein sent an email assuring Robert Mueller that “The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions.”

In a May 16, 2017 email, sent the day before Mueller’s appointment, Rosenstein emailed former Bush administration Deputy Attorney General and current Kirkland & Ellis Partner, Mark Filip stating, “I am with Mueller. He shares my views. Duty Calls.  Sometimes the moment chooses us.”

And on May 17 Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Also, during the same time period, between May 8 and May 17, Rosenstein met with then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other senior Justice Department FBI officials to discuss wearing a wire and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump.

The documents also show that, again during the same time period, Rod Rosenstein was in direct communication with reporters from 60 Minutes, The New York Times and The Washington Post. In an email exchange dated May 2017, Rosenstein communicated with New York Times reporter Rebecca Ruiz to provide background for this article about himself. Ruiz emailed Rosenstein a draft of the article, and he responded with off-the-record comments and clarifications.

  • In an email exchange on May 17, 2017, the day of Mueller’s appointment, Rosenstein exchanged emails with 60 Minutes producer Katherine Davis in which he answered off-the-record questions about Mueller’s scope of authority and chain of command:

Rosenstein: “Off the record: This special counsel is a DOJ employee. His status is similar to a US Attorney.”

Davis: “Good call on Mueller. Although I obviously thought you’d be great at leading the investigation too.”

  • On May 17, 2017, in an email exchange with Washington Post journalist Sari Horwitz and the subject line “Special Counsel” Rosenstein and Horwitz exchanged:

 Rosenstein: “At some point, I owe you a long story. But this is not the right time for me to talk to anybody.”

Horwitz: “Now, I see why you couldn’t talk today! Obviously, we’re writing a big story about this. Is there any chance I could talk to you on background about your decision?”

“These astonishing emails further confirm the corruption behind Rosenstein’s appointment of Robert Mueller,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The emails also show a shockingly cozy relationship between Mr. Rosenstein and anti-Trump media reporters.”

On September 11, Judicial Watch released 14 pages of records from the Department of Justice showing officials’ efforts in responding to media inquiries about DOJ/FBI talks allegedly invoking the 25th Amendment to “remove” President Donald Trump from office and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offering to wear a “wire” to record his conversations with the president.

On September 23, Judicial Watch released a two-page memo, dated May 16, 2017, by then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe detailing how then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein proposed wearing a wire into the Oval Office “to collect additional evidence on the president’s true intentions.” McCabe writes that Rosenstein said he thought it was possible because “he was not searched when he entered the White House.”

Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution

Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution

September 2019 • Volume 48, Number 9 • Myron Magnet

Myron Magnet
Author, Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution

Myron Magnet is editor-at-large of City Journal, where he served as editor from 1994 to 2007. He earned an M.A. from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, where he also taught for several years. A 2008 recipient of the National Humanities Medal, he has written for numerous publications, including Commentary, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He is the author of several books, including The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735-1817 and, most recently, Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on September 17, 2019, at Hillsdale College’s Constitution Day Celebration in Washington, D.C.

Clarence Thomas is our era’s most consequential jurist, as radical as he is brave. During his almost three decades on the bench, he has been laying out a blueprint for remaking Supreme Court jurisprudence. His template is the Constitution as the Framers wrote it during that hot summer in Philadelphia 232 years ago, when they aimed to design “good government from reflection and choice,” as Alexander Hamilton put it in the first Federalist, rather than settle for a regime formed, as are most in history, by “accident and force.” In Thomas’s view, what the Framers achieved remains as modern and up-to-date—as avant-garde, even—as it was in 1787.

What the Framers envisioned was a self-governing republic. Citizens would no longer be ruled. Under laws made by their elected representatives, they would be free to work out their own happiness in their own way, in their families and local communities. But since those elected representatives are born with the same selfish impulses as everyone else—the same all-too-human nature that makes government necessary in the first place—the Framers took care to limit their powers and to hedge them with checks and balances, to prevent the servants of the sovereign people from becoming their masters. The Framers strove to avoid at all costs what they called an “elective despotism,” understanding that elections alone don’t ensure liberty.

Did they achieve their goal perfectly, even with the first ten amendments that form the Bill of Rights? No—and they recognized that. It took the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments—following a fearsome war—to end the evil of slavery that marred the Framers’ creation, but that they couldn’t abolish summarily if they wanted to get the document adopted. Thereafter, it took the Nineteenth Amendment to give women the vote, a measure that followed inexorably from the principles of the American Revolution.

During the ratification debates, one gloomy critic prophesied that if citizens ratified the Constitution, “the forms of republican government” would soon exist “in appearance only” in America, as had occurred in ancient Rome. American republicanism would indeed eventually decline, but the decline took a century to begin and unfolded with much less malice than it did at the end of the Roman Republic. Nor was it due to some defect in the Constitution, but rather to repeated undermining by the Supreme Court, the president, and the Congress.

The result today is a crisis of legitimacy, fueling the anger with which Americans now glare at one another. Half of us believe we live under the old Constitution, with its guarantee of liberty and its expectation of self-reliance. The other half believe in a “living constitution”—a regime that empowers the Supreme Court to sit as a permanent constitutional convention, issuing decrees that keep our government evolving with modernity’s changing conditions. The living constitution also permits countless supposedly expert administrative agencies, like the SEC and the EPA, to make rules like a legislature, administer them like an executive, and adjudicate and punish infractions of them like a judiciary.

To the Old Constitutionalists, this government of decrees issued by bureaucrats and judges is not democratic self-government but something more like tyranny—hard or soft, depending on whether or not you are caught in the unelected rulers’ clutches. To the Living Constitutionalists, on the other hand, government by agency experts and Ivy League-trained judges—making rules for a progressive society (to use their language) and guided by enlightened principles of social justice that favor the “disadvantaged” and other victim groups—constitutes real democracy. So today we have the Freedom Party versus the Fairness Party, with unelected bureaucrats and judges saying what fairness is.

This is the constitutional deformation that Justice Thomas, an Old Constitutionalist in capital letters, has striven to repair. If the Framers had wanted a constitution that evolved by judicial ruling, Thomas says, they could have stuck with the unwritten British constitution that governed the American colonists in just that way for 150 years before the Revolution. But Americans chose a written constitution, whose meaning, as the Framers and the state ratifying conventions understood it, does not change—and whose purpose remains, as the Preamble states, to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

In Thomas’s view, there is no nobler or more just purpose for any government. If the Framers failed to realize that ideal fully because of slavery, the Civil War amendments proved that their design was, in Thomas’s word, “perfectible.” Similarly, if later developments fell away from that ideal, it is still perfectible, and Thomas takes it as his job—his calling, he says—to perfect it. And that can mean that where earlier Supreme Court decisions have deviated from what the document and its amendments say, it is the duty of today’s justices to overrule them. Consequently, while the hallowed doctrine of stare decisis—the rule that judges are bound to respect precedent—certainly applies to the lower courts, Supreme Court justices owe fidelity to the Constitution alone, and if their predecessors have construed it erroneously, today’s justices must say so and overturn their decisions.

To contemporary lawyers and law professors, this idea of annulling so-called settled law is shockingly radical. It explains why most of Thomas’s opinions are either dissents from the Court’s ruling or concurrences in the Court’s ruling but not its reasoning, often because Thomas rejects the precedent on which the majority relies. Content with frequently being a minority of one, he points to Justice John Marshall Harlan’s lone dissent in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case as his model. The majority held in Plessy that separate but equal facilities for blacks in public accommodation were constitutional. Harlan countered: “Our Constitution is color-blind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. . . . The law regards man as man.” “Do we quote from the majority or the dissent?” Thomas asks. Like Harlan, he is drawing a map for future justices, and he will let history judge his achievement.

***

Thomas’s opinion in the 2010 McDonald v. Chicago case takes us back to the first of three acts in the drama of constitutional subversion. In that opinion, Thomas agrees with the majority that Chicago’s ban on owning handguns violates the Fourteenth Amendment, but disagrees on why. The Fourteenth Amendment deems everybody born or naturalized in this country, and subject to its jurisdiction, to be a citizen of the United States and of the state where he lives, and declares that no state may “abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” What the drafters meant by that language was that former slaves were full American citizens, and that no state could interfere with their federally-protected rights—including, said one senator in framing the amendment, “the personal rights guaranteed and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution.” The rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, observed a typical commentator of the time, “which had been construed to apply only to the national government, are thus imposed upon the States.” And the feds, the amendment’s chief draftsman declared, have the power to enforce them.

Perfectly clear, right? Well, no—not once the Supreme Court got hold of it. As Thomas recounts in McDonald, the Court’s first pronouncement on the Fourteenth Amendment came in its 1873 Slaughter-House Cases ruling, which drew a distinction between the privileges and immunities conferred by state citizenship and those conferred by national citizenship. The latter, the Court held, include only such things as the right to travel on interstate waterways and not to be subject to bills of attainder. All the rights having to do with life, liberty, and property attach only to state citizenship, not national, so they aren’t protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. One of the four dissenting justices correctly noted that the majority opinion “turns . . . what was meant for bread into a stone.”

The day before the Court handed down its bizarre Slaughter-House decision, the worst atrocity of the terrorist campaign in the South to nullify Reconstruction had occurred. Black Louisianans, aiming to safeguard Republican victories in contentious recent elections, occupied the courthouse in the county-seat hamlet of Colfax. Mounted White Liners—an anti-black militia like the KKK—massed in the surrounding woods, prompting more frightened blacks to crowd into the courthouse. On Easter Sunday, the White Liners set the courthouse ablaze and shot those who ran out the door or jumped out of the windows. That evening, they shot the captive survivors.

No Louisiana district attorney was going to charge the murderers, so a federal prosecutor convicted three of them of violating a congressional enforcement act that made it a crime to conspire to deprive someone of the privileges or immunities of U.S. citizenship. But in its 1876 Cruikshank decision, the Supreme Court overturned the convictions. The rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights aren’t the privileges or immunities conferred by U.S. citizenship, the Court held, citing Slaughter-House as precedent. They come from the Creator, and the first eight amendments merely forbid Congress from abridging them. Moreover, the murderers were individuals, and the Fourteenth Amendment refers only to states. That was the end of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause.

In time, the Court rigged a workaround. The Fourteenth Amendment forbids states from taking away a citizen’s life, liberty, or property without “due process of law”—which really means, the Supreme Court asserted out of the blue during the New Deal, that some liberties are so basic that no state can invade them, a doctrine dubbed “substantive due process.” Thomas calls this smoke and mirrors in his McDonald opinion. Even worse, the “substantive due process” doctrine allows judges to conjure up imaginary rights out of thin air, making law instead of interpreting the Constitution. Why, Thomas asks, is the Court treating Slaughter-House and Cruikshank as sacrosanct? It doesn’t hesitate to overturn laws passed by Congress and signed by the president when it thinks the Constitution doesn’t allow them. Why should it treat the errors of previous Courts with any more respect? Yes, the Chicago handgun ban is unconstitutional, Thomas writes. But that’s because it abridges citizens’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Why not junk the mumbo-jumbo of “substantive due process,” on which the majority of his colleagues are relying in this case, and return to the original text?

Act Two of the great constitutional subversion stars Franklin Roosevelt, who wrongly diagnosed the cause of the Great Depression as a crisis of overproduction and thus wanted to seize control of the whole U.S. economy to regulate output. For years the Court resisted this power-grab, but it buckled under Roosevelt’s threat to enlarge its membership and pack it with judges who would go along. The “Court’s dramatic departure in the 1930s from a century and a half of precedent,” Thomas says, was a fatal “wrong turn” that marks the start of illegitimate judicial constitution-making.

In his 2005 dissent in Gonzales v. Raich, Thomas cites the New Deal Court’s zaniest decision: Wickard v. Filburn, a 1942 ruling in which the Court abjectly capitulated to the federal government’s takeover of the economy under the pretext of the Constitution’s commerce power. Wickard held that Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce could even forbid a farmer from growing grain only to feed to his own livestock. In his Gonzales dissent, Thomas hints that the Court should overturn the whole tangle of Commerce Clause cases related to Wickard.

The majority ruling in Gonzales held that federal agents had the authority, under the interstate commerce power—and despite California’s legalization of medical marijuana—to punish two ill Californians who grew and used pot to control their pain. Interstate commerce? Hardly, Thomas demurs. Like farmer Filburn’s grain, the pot was never bought or sold, never crossed state lines, and did not affect any national market. “Not only does this case not concern commerce,” Thomas writes, “it doesn’t even concern economic activity.” Next thing you know, the feds will be raiding potluck suppers.

Thomas understands that the New Deal gave rise to an even more powerful device for constitutional demolition than the engorged commerce power—a whole set of administrative agencies like the NLRB and the SEC. The Supreme Court, Thomas grumbled in the first of a series of 2015 administrative state opinions, has “overseen and sanctioned the growth of an administrative system that concentrates the power to make laws and the power to enforce them in the hands of a vast and unaccountable administrative apparatus that finds no comfortable home in our constitutional structure.”

For starters, the Constitution vests all legislative powers in Congress, which means that they cannot be delegated elsewhere. As the Framers’ tutelary philosopher John Locke wrote, the legislature can make laws but it cannot make legislators—which is what Congress does when it invests bureaucrats with the power to make rules that bind citizens. Nor can the courts delegate judicial power to bureaucrats, as the Supreme Court began doing in a World War II case when it ruled that courts must defer to agencies’ interpretations of their own regulations. The Court’s rationale was that agencies have technical expertise that judges lack. That’s not the relevant issue, Thomas contends: “The proper question faced by courts in interpreting a regulation is not what the best policy choice might be, but what the regulation means.” And who better to interpret the meaning of words, Thomas asks in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, than a judge?

Worsening this problem, Thomas argues in Michigan v. EPA, is the deference doctrine that the Court hatched in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council in 1984. This doctrine requires courts to assume that Congress intended that any ambiguity it left in a statute under which an agency operates should be resolved by the agency, not by the courts. Consequently, Thomas exasperatedly observes, not only do we have bureaucrats making rules like a legislature and interpreting them like a judge, but also the interpretations amount to a further lawmaking power, with no checks or balances whatever.

A not untypical result of all this administrative might, to cite an example recently in the news, was an EPA ruling that a Montana rancher polluted the navigable waterways of the United States by digging two ponds to be filled by a tiny trickle on his land, 40 miles from anything resembling a navigable waterway. For providing reservoirs to fight potential forest fires, the rancher was fined $130,000 and sentenced to 18 months in prison. (The rancher served his time in prison but continued his legal fight until he died at age 80. A month after his death, the Supreme Court vacated the ruling against him. The Trump administration recently revoked the regulation under which he was convicted.)

In a virtuoso dissent last year in Carpenter v. U.S., Thomas takes on the third and last act of the Court’s attack on the Framers’ Constitution—the license with which the Court presumes to make up law out of whole cloth, with no prompting from either Congress or the president. The best recognized example of this is the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision. Carpenter is less incendiary, but it is deliciously instructive.

A career armed robber, Carpenter claimed that police use of cell phone location data in convicting him violated his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The Framers, of course, had no cell phones. But, Thomas notes, Chief Justice William Howard Taft had shown as early as 1928 how to adapt to new circumstances, in a case concerning a telephone wiretap. The phone lines were outside the convicted bootleggers’ premises, and conversations aren’t papers, so federal agents had not invaded their Fourth Amendment-protected “persons, houses, papers, [or] effects.” Thus, Taft held, no Fourth Amendment-banned search had occurred.

But in a 1967 wiretapping case, the Supreme Court decreed that what the Fourth Amendment really protects is a person’s “reasonable expectation of privacy.” With this “reasonable expectation,” on which the Carpenter majority rests, Thomas has a field day. Dictionaries from 1770 to 1828 define a “search” as a looking into suspected places, he notes; transferring Fourth Amendment protection from places to people reads that word out of the text. And “their . . . papers,” he points out, can’t mean someone else’s records, so what does the Fourth Amendment have to do with a subpoena for the phone company’s files? And finally, Thomas asks, who’s to decide what a “reasonable” expectation is? That is a policy determination, not a judicial one—so shouldn’t Congress decide? Nevertheless, Chief Justice Roberts cast the deciding vote to uphold this nonsense, in line with half a century of Court-created rights that subverted the authority of the police to fight crime and of teachers and principals to discipline disruptive students.

***

In conclusion, let me shift my focus from constitutional law to ethics. It takes a certain kind of character to be capable of liberty, and Clarence Thomas embodies that character. Indeed, his character is bound up with his jurisprudence in an exemplary way.

Born in a shanty in a swampy Georgia hamlet founded by freed slaves, Thomas enjoyed a few Huck Finn-like years, until his divorced mother moved him and his younger brother to a Savannah slum tenement. On her meager maid’s wages, her children knew “hunger without the prospect of eating and cold without the prospect of warmth,” the Justice recalls. After a year of this, Thomas’s mother sent her two little boys a few blocks away, to live with her father and step-mother, a magical, Oliver Twist-like transformation.

Thomas’s grandfather, Myers Anderson, the self-made if semi-literate proprietor of a modest fuel oil business, lived in a sparkling clean cinderblock house with porcelain plumbing, a full fridge, and a no-excuses childrearing code that bred self-discipline and self-reliance. A convert to Catholicism, Anderson sent his grandsons to a strict parochial school—segregated like everything else in mid-century Savannah, but teaching that all men are created equal—and he put them to work delivering oil after school and on weekends. Summer vacation was no holiday for the boys: with their grandfather, they built a house on 60 rural acres. Thereafter they tilled the fields every summer, harvested the crops, and butchered livestock for winter food. Anderson urged them on with his rich stock of moral maxims, including, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” There wasn’t a spare minute in the year for the boys to fall into street culture, which Anderson feared.

These lessons in self-reliance formed the bedrock of Thomas’s worldview. He temporarily flouted them, he recounts, during his student black-radical phase, when he and his college comrades spouted off about how they were “oppressed and victimized” by “a culture irretrievably tainted by racism.” Visits home became “quite strained,” he recalls. “My grandfather was no victim, and he didn’t send me to school to become one.”

By Thomas’s senior year, he had snapped out of it. His old self-reliance expanded from a personal creed to a political one, as he reflected upon how much his college stance of victimhood had threatened to diminish and impede him, especially compared to his grandfather’s heroic independence. He also pondered deeply the harms that affirmative action—purportedly America’s atonement for its historic sins—had done to his black classmates at Holy Cross and Yale Law. Thomas saw that it led to failure and grievance by placing smart but ill-prepared kids in out-of-their-league institutions and branding successes like him with the imputation of inferiority. His nine years as a federal civil rights panjandrum, running the civil rights division of President Reagan’s Department of Education and then the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, confirmed his impression that “there is no governmental solution” to black America’s problems—a conclusion underlying the anti-affirmative action opinions he has written on the Court. In this equal opportunity nation, black citizens must forge their own fate, like all other Americans. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Regardless of race, everybody faces adversity and must choose whether to buckle down and surmount it, shaping his own fate, or to blame the outcome on powerful forces that make him ineluctably a victim—forces that only a mighty government can master. The Framers’ Constitution presupposes citizens of the first kind. Without them, and a culture that nurtures them, no free nation can long endure.

Copyright © 2019 Hillsdale College. All rights reserved.

How Our Enemies’ Attack on History Evinces Their Flawed Ideology

How Our Enemies’ Attack on History Evinces Their Flawed Ideology

 

    We have written extensively about how the Framers and Founders grounded the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution on the reality demonstrated indelibly in the “Laws of Nature” and in history directed and controlled by “Nature’s God”. Experiencing the incomprehensible miracles of the Revolution, a few colonists on the eastern shores of North America, succeeding against the mightiest military power in the world, carved truth on tablets of stone.

 

This was a victory over an empire that at its peak politically controlled 458 million people, one-quarter of the world’s population, and covered more than 33,700,000 km2, almost a quarter of the Earth’s total land area. In 1776, Britain had the most formidable army and navy of the time, against which stood those who, at the start, had no unified military organization – no army and no navy. Just as those giving birth to this “one Nation under God” lit the torch of liberty for all to see, others throughout history have exemplified what service and sacrifice bring to humanity. It is that dedication that is wrongfully rejected by our enemies. They would have us succumb to their lies and deceptions without challenge or resistance. Vilifying those willing to give even their lives for a cause, whether right or wrong, they call for surrender to a tyranny just a real that of King George or the British Parliament. Socialism, unbridled capitalism, all the isms of the false religions and ideologies seeking to enslave humanity motivate those whose mission is to destroy all that made America great.

 

We are engaged in a great new civil war to determine whether Truth and “justice for all” “shall have a new birth of freedom”.

 

After the devastation and tragedy of World War II, former President Hoover advocated irrigating and reclaiming unused unpopulated land in the “Fertile Crescent” for a home for the those displaced by the war. After political intervention made refugees of Jewish settlers in Gaza, they moved into the desert and reclaimed land that is now a bread basket for Europe and the Mid-East. Men and women in covered wagons enduring the hardships of nature and unfriendly natives settled and farmed America. Our immigration policies encourage those willing to work, and those bringing their needed talents and work ethic to America. Rejecting drug dealers, criminals, those unwilling to work seeking the largess of working Americans, terrorists, and other enemies is not only common sense but our duty to those coming after us. A burgeoning national debt most certainly does not “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”. An educational system indoctrinating our students with lies and deceptions contrary to science and history stands directly opposed to the expressed intention of the Framers and Founders spelled out in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Just as the men and women giving birth to America rightly determined how states were to be admitted, so we must prescribe who and under what conditions people are permitted to cross our borders.

 

Truth and reality are not determined by what we choose to believe or established by humanity’s desires. Truth is defined by God’s intention.

 

CftC

 

HOW THE LEFT GETS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY POEM WRONG

Daniel Greenfield

    Being a writer means never knowing what you might be remembered for. Or how badly.

That poem that Emma Lazarus became famous for was forgotten, remembered again, and has been misused, quoted out of context and transformed into a battle cry for open borders and a disastrous immigration policy. Its lines about “wretched refuse” and “poor” immigrants have been taken literally.

And yet the vocal advocates for the poem imprinted on the Statue of Liberty would have loathed the Confederate socialite and the Zionist writer who are responsible for the words they claim to love.

At the age of 34, Emma, a New York poetess with a bad case of writer’s block, was asked to submit a poem for a fundraiser to build a pedestal for a statue that most people hadn’t seen yet.

That included Emma.

Her first response was to turn down the request. Though she didn’t know it yet, her life was nearing its end. Five years after she wrote what would become her most famous poem, she would be dead.

But the request came from Constance Cary Harrison, a New York socialite, whose family story was a tapestry of American history, from John Randolph to Thomas Jefferson to Jefferson Davis. Her father was descended from Jefferson, her great-uncle’s godparents had been George and Martha Washington, her grandfather had been the 9th Lord Fairfax, and she had sewn one of the first Confederate flags.

Mark Twain had mockingly replied to her request with, “What has liberty done for us? Nothing in particular that I know of. What have we done for her? Everything. We’ve given her a home.”

Harrison was a prolific author, both in her days as a Confederate activist, writing as Refugitta, and a New York grande dame, and she didn’t accept rejections, either from Twain, or from Lazarus. As a teenager, she had lost her family home, her brothers, and her way of life. In many ways, she was also an exile.

And so, Harrison had encouraged Emma to think of the Jewish refugees she had been working with.

Twain’s sardonic comments had gotten at the problem with the Statue of Liberty. Its theme was Liberty Enlightening the World, but what did that mean? Did it mean that Americans were meant to export freedom to the world: a notion that would eventually drive American foreign policy in the 20th century?

That was the vision of some of the French activists involved with gifting the Statue of Liberty to America.

Emma Lazarus hadn’t seen the giant woman who would become the Statue of Liberty, but the obvious reference point for a giant statue in a more classical age was the Colossus of Rhodes. Unlike the ancient Greek statue, the American colossus would match it size for size, but would be female. It would not stand to celebrate a military victory, but to welcome visitors, many of them immigrants, to New York.

By welcoming in people from foreign dictatorships, American liberty would enlighten the world. Not by invading and conquering other countries, but by allowing oppressed people to live freely in America.

The central image of The New Colossus welcoming immigrants though didn’t come from Emma though, but from Harrison, the wife of the private secretary of Jefferson Davis, who as a teenager had lost most of her family, and had spied for the Confederacy in Washington D.C.

“Think of that Goddess standing on her pedestal down yonder in the bay, and holding her torch out to those Russian refugees of yours you are so fond of visiting at Ward’s Island,” Harrison had told her.

It was Emma Lazarus who dramatized it, harnessing the romantic vision, mingling classic Greek references with a modern American take into, “A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.”

The woman embodied the contrast between America and Europe. The Statue of Liberty had been a message from France to America about our place in the world. Emma’s poem, The New Colossus, continued the dialogue, with a response from America to Europe about our idea of liberty.

Emma’s poem has since become a foundational text of liberals, but its origin was with a woman who had sewn one of the first Confederate flags and was first known for her writings for its cause. Harrison, like Lazarus, like the resulting poem though, was more complicated than fans of the poem might like.

Harrison had been as firm an opponent of slavery, as she was a partisan of the Confederacy.

Emma Lazarus was a Zionist, long before the term was common currency, and her preferred solution for Russian Jews wasn’t emigration to America, but to Israel. The New Colossus was not a significant part of her life’s work. It was a favor for a friend. When the poem was read at the fundraiser, it wasn’t by Emma, but by F. Hopkinson Smith, an engineer associated with the Statue of Liberty project.

The poem was written in two days, and made a splash at the time, but was then forgotten, only to be revived generations later when Americans needed a symbol to counteract Nazi Germany. Emma Lazarus would have been deeply disappointed had she known that she would only be remembered for a poem that she had written in two days for a friend’s fundraiser and wasn’t even mentioned in her obituary.

Its revival has focused heavily not on its opening lines, but a few lines before its conclusion, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.” The most obvious error they make is to remove the context and read The New Colossus with the painfully literal-minded didacticism of the idiot.

When the poem speaks of “wretched refuse”, they ignore the ironic tone and assume that the ideal immigrant is wretched refuse. Since the poem speaks of “poor” immigrants, they insist that the United States is obligated to take in not just immigrants who are currently poor, but intend to stay that way.

They believe (often without reading it) that the poem speaks of America’s obligation to the world.

But the poem isn’t an idealistic address to the world, but an ironic one to backward tyrannies. By cutting away the opening, “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp”, the context and contrast between the “storied pomp” and “wretched refuse” is lost. Only “yearning to breathe free” still suggests that the poem is a dialogue between two different ways of life that is meant to demonstrate how liberty works.

America, The New Colossus is saying, was built by people who came here because they had no place in their old societies. Emma’s message was not that America was an evil imperialistic nation obligated to take in every migrant to atone for its sins, but that it was a free nation built by people who had escaped the “ancient lands” with their “storied pomp” and thrived in a land where they could “breathe free”.

Its point was not that America was obligated to take in “wretched refuse”, but that the people who were considered “wretched refuse” by the ruling classes of Europe, had made America into a great nation. The “wretched refuse” is Europe’s view of the waves of migration by English tenant farmers, Scotch and Irish laborers, German and Jewish refugees, Italian workers, and many others considered of no worth in their home ports. Because Europe considered its people “wretched refuse” and the other unflattering descriptors, its nations lacked the liberty that America had.

The Statue of Liberty had been a gift from France to America. But the French idea of liberty was different than the American one. The French had wanted to make a political point with the Statue of Liberty. Their liberty was an idealized figure enlightening the world. A secular goddess of political revolution.

Emma Lazarus instead humanized her into an American figure, a welcoming statue, not an ideal of political terror. Perversely, her poem has been embraced by the advocates of political revolution who see immigration as a means of transforming and overturning the United States of America.

That was the French vision, but it was not the American one. And it was not Emma’s vision.

The New Colossus instead suggests that free societies succeed and tyrannies fail. Like Mark Twain, Emma Lazarus challenged the French presumptuousness of gifting America the Statue of Liberty.

America did not need the statue; it had the reality.

The French had meant for the Statue of Liberty to be a towering ideal, but The New Colossus is more of a sympathetic lighthouse, highlighting America as a place where Europeans can breathe free.

Her Statue of Liberty has no interest in the “storied pomp” of “ancient lands”. American liberty would not be an ideal, but a working reality. It couldn’t be exported because what was truly required was for people to “breathe free”. To be able to live without compulsion and tyranny of one kind or another.

American superiority lay not in abstract ideals about liberty, but in the reality of breathing free. We might take in French immigrants, but we could not teach the French to be free. Only they could do that.

The advocates for open borders don’t believe in people being able to “breathe free”. They take the part about “wretched refuse” seriously because they envision a world in which everyone is reduced to refuse. Likewise, they don’t think of being “poor” as a temporary condition, but as a permanent one.

The New Colossus was an ironic dialogue between America and Europe. Its biggest fans today take the European side, ignore the irony, and want to use immigration to stamp out freedom in America.

Their new colossus of immigration is a conquering giant. It does not stand for liberty, but tyranny.

    Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared in the Center’s Front Page magazine.