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.
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 located on Clinton’s private server (in addition to

And slight correction to below [redacted] account was not on, 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.




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.


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.





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.

The Framers’ and Founders’ Perspective on Freedom

The Framers’ and Founders’ Perspective on Freedom

    The book Set My People Free, published in January this year, looks at the Framers’ and Founders’ intention for the government they structured in the Constitution of the United States, and compares it to where we are now.
    Following The Attack on America, written before 911, the 2nd Edition revised after it, and Beyond Reason, discussing the how and the why America is where it is today, Set My People Free extrapolates that original intention to offer remedies, solutions and alternatives to the financial, social, and political disaster confronting our Nation which are consistent with and abide by that intention. We do not need to amend or alter the Constitution, we need to obey it and put in office only those who do likewise.
    Enabled by an electorate embracing the many manifestations of the various religions of humanism trusting politicians who continue to violate their oath of office to protect and defend that original intention, Congressional failure is the ongoing cause of the crises confronting us. Like those who empower them, those whom we elect to represent us ignore the truths and reality validated by science and history choosing instead to believe the lies and deceptions of our enemies, foreign and domestic.
    Spewing from the media cesspool disseminating untruths and the corrupted education system is the false propaganda motivating a misguided public.
    Set My People Free describes the Framers’ fear of a public majority subject to the leading of those who would destroy all that is good and righteous in America. Their next preeminent fear, repeatedly warned against in their voluminous writings in the process of framing and ratifying the Constitution, is their overwhelming fear of government, particularly the Federal government. With all their fears, not just the two described previously, now playing out in the political circuses, the call to arms reclaiming, protecting, and defending that original intention has never been more important.
    As but one example, Set My People Free examines all the negative consequences of the national debt that are reiterated in the following article by Cal Thomas. World recognized authorities on economics and public policy on this Committee as well as the author of Set My People Free all agree that any government debt always translates into taxpayer liability. The Framers’ and Founders’ conclusions based on immutable Truth never change with time, human desire or invention.
    America is embroiled in a “great new civil war” where freedom and justice for all are threatened and attacked as never before. What we believe and hold to be truths are what direct our political paths and motivate our agendas. We are responsible for open borders, judicial activism, the administrative state, and all the problems addressed in Set My People Free, as well overcoming those problems and defeating our enemies.

What the Founders Had to Say About National Debt

When you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.” – Benjamin Franklin. (Photo: Pleasureofart/Getty Images

   The Founders of the United States of America warned against massive federal debt, but, to our detriment, their political descendants are not paying attention.

    The Founders speak to us from their graves to condemn and warn of the consequences now that President Trump and Congress have come to an agreement about lifting the meaningless “debt ceiling” and increasing already massive federal spending and the debt, which is at $22 trillion and growing rapidly.

    First to speak is Thomas Jefferson: “We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.”

    Next is Alexander Hamilton: “Nothing can more affect national prosperity than a constant and systematic attention to extinguish the present debt and to avoid as much as possibl(e) the incurring of any new debt.”

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values.

     I’m not sure if that line made it into “Hamilton,” the Broadway musical, but if it didn’t, it should have to teach a new generation about fiscal responsibility.

    Then we have this from George Washington: “Avoid occasions of expense . . . and avoid likewise the accumulation of debt not only by shunning occasions of expense but by vigorous exertions to discharge the debts, not throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.”

    If that’s not enough, how about this from James Madison: “I go on the principle that a public debt is a public curse, and in a Republican Government a greater curse than any other.”

    John Adams said: “The consequences arising from the continual accumulation of public debts in other countries ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in our own.”

    Are you getting the picture?

    One more and perhaps the most profound of all comes from Benjamin Franklin: “When you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.” Franklin is establishing a direct connection between debt and liberty–the more debt, the less liberty.

    Is anyone in the present Congress and administration listening?

    President Trump tried to put a gloss on the tentative agreement by saying it will strengthen the military and help veterans. In fact, it is little more than an invitation to unrestrained spending for the next two years. With Congress demonstrating no spending restraint, this is like removing speed limits and radar traps, hoping people will drive responsibly.

    Even in Washington’s current hyper-partisan environment, Democrats will likely agree with a Republican president who allows them to spend more money, much of which must be borrowed from other countries.

    The president and many Republicans in Congress argued that cutting taxes would stimulate economic growth. It has, but the spending never stops and that’s why economic growth is never enough; neither are tax and spending increases proposed by most of the Democratic presidential candidates.

    If spending cannot be controlled, no amount of economic growth will reduce the debt.

    In a 2017 article for the fiscally conservative Forbes magazine, budget expert Stan Collender wrote: “Let it be shouted from every mountaintop in the United States: Today’s Republican Party is a federal budget deficit and national debt fraud.”

    Collender then invokes a definition of fraud and ties it to the GOP: “Intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value,” and “a person who is not what he or she pretends to be.”

    As long as an entitlement mentality prevails and Republicans fear backlash from the media and Democrats should they try to cut even an increase in the rate of spending, much less substantive reforms and reductions, this spending spree will continue unabated with serious consequences to the future of the country.

    So it has been for other nations that have failed to live within their means.

    Just ask the Founders.

    Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist, author, broadcaster, and speaker with access to world leaders, U.S. presidents, celebrities, educators, and countless other notables. He has authored 12 books, including his latest, “What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America.” Readers can email him at

(c) 2019 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Valley Forge: The Crucible of Freedom

Valley Forge: The Crucible of Freedom

Stephen McDowell

    The winter of 1777-1778 was one of the most important in our nation’s history, for that winter was the turning point of the American Revolution. During that winter the American Army faced as great an ordeal as any army in history.

    Before the American Army moved into Valley Forge in December of 1777, it consisted of undisciplined men who had obtained few victories in their war with Britain, but the next spring they marched out as a well-disciplined band, committed more than ever to their General and the cause of liberty. They were now prepared to see victory through their efforts.

What was the ordeal this Army faced? How did such a change occur during the stay at Valley Forge? What was the cause behind this change?

As the American Army, under the command of George Washington, moved toward their wintering spot at Valley Forge, army troops had no clothes to cover their nakedness, nor blankets to lie on, nor tents to sleep under. Washington stated: “For the want of shoes their marches through frost and snow might be traced by the blood from their feet, and they were almost as often without provisions as with them.”1

Their situation even worsened after their arrival at Valley Forge on December 19th. Lack of food and provisions for his men was central to Washington’s appeals to Congress. In a letter to Congress dated December 23, 1777 Washington wrote, “Men are confined to hospitals, or in farmers’ houses for want of shoes. We have this day no less than two thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine men in camp unfit for duty, because they are barefoot and otherwise naked.”2

About one third of all his troops were unfit for service, and this number increased as winter progressed. “The unfortunate soldiers were in want of everything. They had neither coats, hats, shirts, nor shoes,” wrote Lafayette. “The men,” said Baron Von Steuben, “were literally naked, some of them in the fullest extent of the word.”3

Hunger was even a greater danger. “The army frequently remained whole days without provisions,” said Lafayette. “One soldier’s meal on a Thanksgiving Day declared by Congress was a ‘half a gill of rice and a tablespoonful of vinegar!’ In mid-February there was more than a week when the men received no provisions at all.”4

Dr. Waldo gives this description:

    There comes a soldier, his bare feet are seen through his worn out shoes, his legs nearly naked from the tattered remains of an only pair of stockings; his breeches are not sufficient to cover his nakedness, his shirt hanging in strings, his hair dishevelled, his face meagre. His whole appearance pictures a person forsaken and discouraged. He comes and cries with an air of wretchedness and despair, “I am sick, my feet lame, my legs are sore, my body covered with this tormenting itch.”5

    Due to this lack of food and clothing, hundreds of the troops fell sick. Many men’s “feet and legs froze till they became black, and it was often necessary to amputate them.”6 During most of January and February there were “constantly more than 4,000 soldiers who were incapacitated as a result of exposure, disease, and undernourishment.”7

And in the midst of all of this they persevered! Beyond this, the patient attitude with which they endured this misery was no less than supernatural. Washington wrote April 21, 1778 to a congressional delegate:

    For, without arrogance or the smallest deviation from the truth, it may be said that no history now extant can furnish an instance of an army’s suffering such uncommon hardships as ours has done, and bearing them with the same patience and fortitude. Their submitting without a murmur is a proof of patience and obedience which in my opinion can scarce be paralleled. 8

    What could possibly have held this army together through this ordeal? Baron Von Steuben said no European army could have held together in such circumstances. How then could an inexperienced American Army stick together? Was it due to good discipline? “With regard to military discipline,” Von Steuben states, “no such thing existed.”9 Could it have been the financial reward they would receive? Not hardly, for their meager pay was already four to five months past due, and complete payment would never come. What was it then?

    Most historians agree that the reason for their perseverance at Valley Forge can be attributed to their love of liberty and to their General George Washington, and his amazing quality of leadership. George Bancroft states that “love of country and attachment to their General sustained them under their unparalleled hardships; with any other leader, the army would have dissolved and vanished.”10

His character and encouragement inspired the army to follow his example. From the beginning he tirelessly traveled throughout the camp, his very presence bringing strength to the men. His heart was for his men as well as for his country. As Washington observed his naked and distressed soldiers, he said: “I feel superabundantly for them, and from my soul I pity those miseries which it is neither in my power to relieve or prevent.”11

Washington knew that the cause for which they fought was well worth any price — even the suffering at Valley Forge — for they purchased liberty, not only for them, but for the generations to come. While at Valley Forge, blood was not shed in battle, yet the American Army shed much blood. Henry Brown writes,

    The blood that stained this ground did not rush forth in the joyous frenzy of the fight; it fell drop by drop from the heart of a suffering people. They who once encamped here in the snow fought not for conquest, not for power, not for glory, not for their country only, not for themselves alone. They served here for Posterity; they suffered here for the Human Race; they bore here the cross of all the peoples; they died here that freedom might be the heritage of all.12

    It was Washington’s character that helped sustain the army, but what sustained Washington? This question could easily be answered by Washington’s troops or officers, for they knew his trust was completely in God. The army had frequently seen Washington order his men to attend church and to observe days of prayer and fasting and days of Thanksgiving.

Washington was also very instrumental in securing chaplains for the army. Rev. Henry Muhlenberg relates how General Washington “rode around among his army … and admonished each and every one to fear God, to put away the wickedness that has set in and become so general, and to practice the Christian virtues.”13

    It was said of Washington, in a sketch written by an American gentleman in London in 1779 that “he regularly attends divine service in his tent every morning and evening, and seems very fervent in his prayers.”14 General Knox was one among many who gave testimony of Washington frequently visiting secluded groves to lay the cause of his bleeding country at the throne of grace.

A number of people have recorded the story of how a Tory Quaker, Isaac Potts, came upon Washington while he was on his knees in prayer in the woods. Benson J. Lossing relates that Potts later made the following remarks to his wife:

    If there is anyone on this earth whom the Lord will listen to, it is George Washington; and I feel a presentiment that under such a commander there can be no doubt of our eventually establishing our independence, and that God in his providence has willed it so.15

   On May 6, 1982, President Reagan remarked on this event in his National Day of Prayer Proclamation:

    The most sublime picture in American history is of George Washington on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge. That image personifies a people who know that it is not enough to depend on our own courage and goodness; we must also seek help from God, our Father and Preserver.

    In this most difficult of times, General Washington constantly relied upon God and trusted in Him for success. God was faithful to answer his prayers, and through Washington He eventually established our independence and secured the beginning of the most free and prosperous nation the world has ever seen.

How did God answer Washington’s prayer? One miracle occurred that winter which helped eliminate their near-starving situation. Bruce Lancaster relates the event as follows:

One foggy morning the soldiers noticed the Schuylkill River seemed to be boiling. The disturbance was caused by thousands and thousands of shad which were making their way upstream in an unusually early migration. With pitchforks and shovels, the men plunged into the water, throwing the fish onto the banks. Lee’s dragoons rode their horses into the stream to keep the shad from swimming on out of reach. Suddenly and wonderfully, there was plenty of food for the army.16

God’s providence can again be seen as Baron Von Steuben, a veteran Prussian soldier, came to Valley Forge on February 23 and offered his services to the American Army. No one could have been more valuable at the time, for he trained the men to move together as a well-disciplined army.

His rigorous drilling and training of the troops gave them confidence in themselves as soldiers, even as Washington had given them confidence as men. Not only had godly character and strength been forged and tempered within the army, but military skill had also been imparted to them at last.

Another providential event occurred that winter when France became an ally to America. This meant much needed French money and troops would begin to pour into the new nation. The Continental Congress acknowledged this as the hand of God as they declared a National Day of Thanksgiving on May 7.

In Washington’s orders issued at Valley Forge, May 5, 1778, he proclaimed:

    It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the Universe propitiously to defend the cause of the United American States, and finally by raising up a powerful friend among the Princes of the earth, to establish our Liberty and Independence upon a lasting foundation; it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the Divine Goodness, and celebrating the event, which we owe to His benign interposition.17

    The troops’ survival, the molding of a disciplined army, Washington’s amazing leadership, and all the miraculous occurrences during the winter at Valley Forge can only be attributed to Almighty God. George Washington said following all this: “The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligation.”18

End Notes

  1. George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol. 6, Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1878, pp. 40-41.
    2. Henry Armit Brown, “Centenial Oration of Valley Forge,” in The Christian History of the American Revolution, Consider and Ponder, Verna Hall, compiler, San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1976, p. 61.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Bart McDowell, The Revolutionary War, Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1970, p. 128.
    5. William Wilbur, The Making of George Washington, Alexandria, VA: Patriotic Education, Inc., 1973, p. 196.
    6. Brown, in Consider and Ponder, p. 61.
    7. Wilbur, p. 195.
    8. Bancroft, p. 50.
    9. McDowell, p. 131.
    10. Bancroft, p. 41.
    11. Bancroft, p. 42.
    12. Brown, p. 66.
    13. Ibid., p. 68.
    14. William J. Johnson, George Washington the Christian, reprinted by Mott Media, Milford, MI., 1976, pp. 120-121.
    15. Ibid., p. 104.
    16. Bruce Lancaster, The American Revolution, Garden City, NY: Garden City Books, 1957, p. 42.
    17. Johnson, p. 113.
    18. Johnson, pp. 119-120.

Christianity and the Constitution

Christianity and the Constitution

Stephen McDowell

     The United States Constitution is perhaps the most important document ever written for the benefit of mankind other than the Bible. A prestigious literary journal reveals the reason why, declaring in 1867: “The American government and Constitution is the most precious possession which the world holds, or which the future can inherit. This is true – true because the American system is the political expression of Christian ideas.”,[1]

     The Constitution went into effect in 1789, thirteen years after the United States separated from Great Britain and became a nation. The ideological foundation of the Constitution rests in the biblical roots of the nation expressed in the Declaration of Independence, which acknowledges Creator-endowed rights, embraces the laws of nature’s God as the highest authority, appeals “to the Supreme Judge of the World,” and expresses “a firm reliance upon the protection of divine Providence.”

     The Framers of the Constitution declared that its formation and ratification were a miracle of God. Shortly after the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the Father of the Constitution James Madison said: “It is impossible to conceive the degree of concord which ultimately prevailed, as less than a miracle.”[2] The President of the Convention George Washington wrote that the “adoption of the proposed General Government” disposed him to be of the opinion “that miracles have not ceased.” For, he said, one could “trace the finger of Providence through those dark and mysterious events, which first induced the States to appoint a general Convention and then led them one after another…into an adoption of the system recommended by that general Convention.”[3] Even the non-Christian Benjamin Franklin wrote: “Our General Convention…when it formed the new Federal Constitution, [was] …influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent and beneficent Ruler in whom all…live, and move, and have their being.[4]

     The Founders believed that God was involved in America adopting the Constitution because it contains many biblical principles of good governance. It was the foundation for the advancement of liberty, justice, and prosperity in America and became an example to the world. Washington wrote that the U.S. Constitution and system of government is “in my opinion the fairest prospect of happiness and prosperity that ever was presented to man.”[5] Its purpose, power, premise, and form are Christian.

     The Preamble of the Constitution reveals the biblical purpose of government as expressed by the Apostles Paul and Peter: “to establish justice” (1 Pet. 2:14); “to insure domestic tranquility (1 Tim. 2:1-2); “to provide for the common defense” and “promote the general welfare” (Rom. 13:4); and to “secure the blessings of liberty.”

     The power of the Constitution flows from its underlying ideas which include: the reign of law, Creator-endowed rights, just trials, self-government, religious freedom, private property rights, Christian union, and right of defense. Each of these have their origin in biblical truth.

     The United States Constitution has been so successful because the Framers had a biblical view of man. They understood original sin, human depravity, and the temptation of power to corrupt. John Adams, quoting Jeremiah 17:9, reflects the premise of American government: “The Word of God … informs us, the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.”[6] This worldview affected the form of the Constitution. Legislative, executive, and judicial powers were divided among three branches of government with a number of checks and balances. The Constitution specified the limited powers of each branch, with the national government prohibited from being involved in religion, education, and media. The states retained most power, and everyone was subject to the written law. Frequent elections enabled the governed to hold those who govern accountable. In instituting these provisions, the Founders were following the example of the Hebrew Republic established by Moses.

     James Madison wrote in the Federalist: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”[7] However, the Bible teaches men are not angels, but fallen and fallible beings who have a sinful nature and, thus, cannot be entrusted with too much power. The U.S. Constitution presupposed this idea, and any nation desiring to live in liberty should seek to incorporate biblical structures of government. More importantly though, they should copy the principles.

    The Constitution has been an example to the world. When it went into effect 230 years ago, there was not one like it. Today, about 175 countries have a constitution, most inspired by and some directly copied from America’s. Most of the nations have not experienced the same blessings this document produced in America because, while copying the form, they neglected its power and premise.

    According to Washington, the establishment of the U.S. Constitution demonstrated “the finger of Providence in human affairs greater than any event in history.”[8] Yet, the Framers of the Constitution knew it was not a perfect document, and hence, they made provision to amend it. Nonetheless, it is the best form of government mankind has produced because “it is the political expression of Christian ideas.” Since these biblical ideas have brought great blessings to mankind, all effort must be taken to learn, teach, and preserve America’s great political charter of liberty.

[1] The North American Review, in The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America, Christian Self-Government with Union, Verna M. Hall, compiler, San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, p. 34.

[2] Robert A Rutland, ed., The Papers of James Madison, University of Chicago Press, 1962, 10:208.

[3] George Washington, The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, edited by John C. Fitzpatrick, 39 vols., Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1931, 29:525.

[4] Albert Henry Smyth, editor, Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Macmillan Co., 1905-07, 9:702.

[5] Washington to Thomas Jefferson, August 23, 1792, Writings, 32:131.

[6] John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1856), Vol. 6, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, “Chapter First. Marchamont Nedham. The Right Constitution of a Commonwealth Examined.”

[7] Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist, A Commentary on the Constitution of the United States, edited by Paul Leicester Ford, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1898, p. 344.

[8] George Bancroft, History of the United States of America, D. Appleton and Co., 1891, 6:414.

Freedom Versus Taxation: Overcoming Bondage on the Journey to Freedom

Freedom Versus Taxation
from Set My People Free: Overcoming Bondage on the Journey to Freedom
Easter Sunday, 21 April, 2019

    The Declaration of Independence is the ideologic preamble to the Constitution. From it, freedom is understood by the Framers and Founders to consist of those “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …. endowed by their Creator“. Taxation is, in the political realm, taking something, with or without the consent of the person or entity from which it is taken, usually according to some law or rule, and without regard to what is confiscated or the means by which it is extracted. Because the process of taxation is what steals our freedoms, it is a moot point as to whether the loss of freedom is legitimized politically or not. Call it what you may, taxation in any form or configuration, open or concealed, limits freedom in “the pursuit of Happiness“.

“With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence“, those same Framers and Founders “mutually pledge[d] to each other [their] Lives, [their] Fortunes and [their] sacred Honor“ as they fought for the freedoms many now take fore granted. A primary indictment that led to the sacrifices of the Revolution was taxation without representation. Now, those we elect to represent us betray our trust, violate the original intention of the Constitution, and enslave us with the taxes they impose.

The Framers intended only direct taxes. Without indirect taxes, whether concealed or hidden by politicians failing in their oath of office, or exposed as with income taxes, the cancer of government bureaucracy sucking the lifeblood of working Americans could not grow and thrive. Direct taxes fund and enable the goods or services the tax intends.

Through judicial activism, the tyrants robed in black impose taxes that fund their judgments and findings bypassing the legislative process. Whether right or just, school busing, prison requirements, housing and building code fines, and on and on, are passed on to the taxpayer. There is no service or provision of government that is not taken from the taxpayer. Indeed, except for the blessings afforded by the natural order, nothing is free, and even those endowments require work and sacrifice.

Legislatures pass minimum wage laws that increase the cost of living for every taxpayer, eventually relegating those that have their wages temporarily increased to the same compensation they had previously. Bailing out failed corporations, increasing the national debt, etc., Congress taxes the American worker.

County assessors and the departments of revenue have replaced the slave master’s whip with property taxes funding public education unjustly draining the meager incomes of retired senior citizens and the earnings of those without children.

Manipulating interest rates, printing money, permitting the unconstitutional administrative state to reign on the throne of the Federal Register, as but a few examples, all tax working Americans.

Looking at the Constitutional intention to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”; the unconscionable national debt and unbalanced budget, the failure to protect Social Security making it fiscally sound, among other government failures; all diametrically oppose freedom and justice.

Subsidies, tariffs, and unbridled capitalism insidiously exact their tribute from every worker. Witnessed when legislators fail to uphold their oath of office and represent us according to the original intention of the Constitution, when judicial tyranny is tolerated, or when the administrative state imposes its injustice under the unauthorized color of law; taxes are the parasites of government.

Yet, beyond all these material things lost and time conscripted after being in the possession or control of those justly earning or holding them, where taxation equates to involuntary servitude, slavery if you will; all humanity deals with two additional classes of enslavement.

Politically, whether by force or bullying in the form of the majority subjugating dissent or resistance, we are enslaved by political power. This slavery confiscates irretrievable time. Unable to even pursue happiness, the enslaved are forced to work to satisfy the desires and agendas of those holding the reins of political power. Our great Civil War loosed the shackles forcing anyone to do the bidding of another without due compensation for the sacrifice of time and body. Persisting after emancipation were the Jim Crow laws, and social and economic discriminations denying those freed by the sacrifices and blood of brother fighting brother the equal opportunity to freely and justly follow their dreams.

Unique to our species, endowed with our awareness of time, every person has the potential to succumb to the enslavement arising from freedom itself. Manifest as we seek pleasure, on one hand, while attempting to avoid pain, anxiety, and sacrifice on the other; all are tempted to relinquish freedom to the satisfaction of the self. Motivations unguided by justice, discipline, and sacrifice are, and always will be, consumed by human failure. Yielding to addictions and self indulgence; greed, avarice, and covetousness join with other human failures to ignore and reject responsibility for ourselves and our posterity.

The self is never satisfied. Only when we turn our focus from ourselves to others, caring for others as we do ourselves, can true liberty, as the Framers and Founders intended, be found. This is freedom to be found in the heart, not in the laws ordained by mankind. This was not, and is not, a religious expression. It was a reality understood and addressed in the sweltering heat of the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia. This was an understanding of Truth based on their Christian Biblical worldview as they confirmed it in studying history to 500 years before Christ. Recognizing and ever fearful of the constant repetitive failing of the public majority witnessed to this day, they deliberated in secret before framing the Constitution. This was a “supreme” order of law to which all “legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound”.

Over two millennia ago, during the Passover season in Jerusalem, one Man, Jesus of Nazareth forever changed history when He disrupted and challenged the political order turning over the tables of the money changers taxing the worshipers in the Temple. Isn’t it time for Americans to educate themselves about the tyranny of the governments that we “tolerate”, and reclaim the heritage the Framers and Founders intended?


   This Committee for the Constitution extracted and compiled this message from Set My People Free: Overcoming Bondage on the Journey to Freedom. Discussing the social, political, and economic problems now faced around the world, this seminal treatise on freedom offers solutions to those problems based on the Framers’ original intention. It should be read by every public official from judges, to the legislatures, political executives, public servants, and the voters who wish to be informed as to why and how we got to the circumstances we find ourselves in, and what may be done to reclaim our freedom. Like the Constitution on which it is based, it should be considered in establishing successful and enduring government.

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