The Trump administration’s story on the Soleimani assassination keep shifting and changing, which is often an indication that the story-shifter is lying. From Andrew Napolitano at antiwar.com:
When witnesses testify in a courtroom and offer varying, contradictory or even unlawful explanations of the events under scrutiny, juries tend not to believe them. The same is now happening with the Trump administration’s defense of its killing Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani by the use of an unmanned drone while he was being driven peacefully along a public highway in Iraq two weeks ago. Why the shifting justifications?
Here is the backstory.
The general was the commander of Iran’s elite military and intelligence forces. He was a fierce opponent of ISIS and the American military presence in Iraq. Iraq and Iran were belligerents for generations owing to, among other factors, ancient disputes between the two main branches of Islam, Shiite and Sunni. For generations, Iran’s elites were predominantly Shiite and Iraq’s were predominantly Sunni.
When the U.S., under President George W. Bush, invaded Iraq in 2002, pursuant to a congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force, the government did so by deceiving the American public and Congress into believing it was searching for weapons of mass destruction. Since none was there, none was found.
Put the worst construction on what Trump did regarding Ukraine and there is still no crime or impeachable offense. From Alan Dershowitz at gatestoneinstitute.org:
- The Constitution allocates to the president sole authority over foreign policy (short of declaring war or signing a treaty). It does not permit Congress to substitute its foreign policy preferences for those of the president.
- To the extent that the statute at issue constrains the power of the president to conduct foreign policy, it is unconstitutional.
- Even if the GAO were correct in its legal conclusion — which it is not — the alleged violation would be neither a crime nor an impeachable offense. It would be a civil violation subject to a civil remedy, as were the numerous violations alleged by the GAO with regard to other presidents.
- If Congress and its GAO truly believe that President Trump violated the law, let them go to court and seek the civil remedy provided by the law.
|The Constitution allocates to the president sole authority over foreign policy… It does not permit Congress to substitute its foreign policy preferences for those of the president. (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Wikipedia Commons)
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has gotten the constitutional law exactly backwards. It said that the “faithful execution of the law” — the Impoundment Control Act—”does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those congress has enacted into law .” Yes, it does — when it comes to foreign policy. The Constitution allocates to the president sole authority over foreign policy (short of declaring war or signing a treaty). It does not permit Congress to substitute its foreign policy preferences for those of the president.
What we have now is the exact opposite of what the founders had in mind. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
The worst mistake that the American people have made in the entire history of the United States was to permit the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state. That conversion has played a major role in the destruction of our liberty, privacy, and economic well-being.
What is a national-security state? It is a totalitarian-like governmental structure that consists of an enormous military-intelligence establishment with extraordinary powers, such as indefinite detention, torture, secret surveillance, and even assassination of both citizens and foreigners.
To put the matter into a larger context, North Korea is a national-security state. So are Egypt, China, Cuba, and Russia. And the United States. All of the regimes in those countries wield totalitarian-like powers.
It wasn’t always that way in the United States. Our nation was founded as a limited-government republic and remained that way for nearly 150 years. No Pentagon, no CIA, and no NSA. There was an army but it was relatively small — big enough to win battles against Indian tribes or a neighboring weak and impoverished country such as Mexico, but nowhere big enough to engage in wars around the world.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Collapse, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Intelligence, Law, Military, Morality, Philosophy, Privacy, Surveillance, War
Tagged Bill of Rights, Constitution, Founding Fathers, National-security state
Fiat currency is a much bigger crime than Trump, Clinton, Nixon, and Andrew Johnson together ever committed. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:
Christmas is no time to be given the old heave-ho. This is a time of celebration, redemption, and excess libation. A time to shop ‘til you drop; the economy depends on it.
Don’t get us wrong. There really is no best time to receive the dreaded pink slip. But Christmas is the absolute worst. Has this ever happened to you?
Well, believe it or not, this is precisely what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat degenerates in the House did this week with their partisan impeachment of President Trump. Not even Ebenezer Scrooge had a cold enough heart to fire Bob Cratchit on Christmas. In fact, Scrooge gave Cratchit Christmas day off – with pay.
For the record, Trump is a repulsive fellow. He chows Big Macs in bed and bloviates sulfurous gas back at the boob tube. After that, he feeds his resentments over a phone call with Sean Hannity. Then he uncorks on twitter. The sequence repeats every night and rolls into the morning like clockwork.
Perhaps this sort of behavior is beneath the stature of an esteemable President. But so what? It’s remarkably entertaining.
Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are not even grounds for impeachment, which presents some novel and interesting legal questions. From Alan M. Dershowitz at gatestoneinstitute.org:
- These two grounds [of impeachment] — abuse of power and obstruction of congress — are not among the criteria specified for impeachment. Neither one is a high crime and misdemeanor. Neither is mentioned in the constitution. Both are the sort of vague, open-ended criteria rejected by the framers. They were rejected precisely to avoid the situation in which our nation currently finds itself.
- So, what options would the senate have if the House voted to impeach on two unconstitutional grounds? Would it be required to conduct a trial based on “void” articles of impeachment? Could it simply refuse to consider unconstitutional articles? Could the president’s lawyer make a motion to the Chief Justice — who presides over the trial of an impeached president — to dismiss the articles of impeachment on constitutional grounds?
- Regardless of the outcome, the damage will have been done by the House majority that will have abused its power by weaponizing the House’s authority over impeachment for partisan purposes — exactly as Hamilton feared.
|Pictured: Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaks on December 10, 2019 in Washington, DC at a news conference, in which House Democrats announced two articles for the next steps in the House impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
If the House of Representatives were to impeach President Trump on the two grounds now before it, the senate would be presented with a constitutional dilemma. These two grounds— abuse of power and obstruction of Congress— are not among the criteria specified for impeachment. Neither one is a high crime and misdemeanor. Neither is mentioned in the constitution. Both are the sort of vague, open-ended criteria rejected by the framers. They were rejected precisely to avoid the situation in which our nation currently finds itself. Abuse of power can be charged against virtually every controversial president by the opposing party. And obstruction of Congress — whatever else it may mean — cannot extend to a president invoking privileges and then leave it to the courts to referee conflicts between the legislative and executive branches.
If you want honest money, you have to get government completely out of the money business. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
The U.S. Constitution states:
Article 1, Section 8
1. The Congress shall have Power …
5. To coin Money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin….
6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting … current coin of the United States.
Article 1, Section 10
- No state shall … emit Bills of Credit and make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.
The intent of the Framers could not have been clearer. The Constitution clearly and unequivocally brought into existence a monetary system based on gold coins and silver coins being the official money of the United States.
If blatant disregard of the Constitution were an impeachable offense, then virtually everyone in government for the past century would be impeached. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:
“When a man unprincipled in private life[,] desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper . . . despotic in his ordinary demeanour — known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty — when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity — to join in the cry of danger to liberty — to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion — to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day — It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.’”—Alexander Hamilton
By all means, let’s talk about impeachment.
To allow the President or any rogue government agency or individual to disregard the rule of law whenever, wherever and however it chooses and operate “above the law” is exactly how a nation of sheep gives rise to a government of wolves.
To be clear: this is not about Donald Trump. Or at least it shouldn’t be just about Trump.
This is a condemnation of every government toady at every point along the political spectrum—right, left and center—who has conspired to expand the federal government’s powers at the expense of the citizenry.
For too long now, the American people have played politics with their principles and turned a blind eye to all manner of wrongdoing when it was politically expedient, allowing Congress, the White House and the Judiciary to wreak havoc with their freedoms and act in violation of the rule of law.