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President Jordan Lyman: “So you, ah, you stand with the Constitution, Jiggs?”
Marine Colonel Martin “Jiggs” Casey: “I never thought of it just like that, Mr. President, but, well, that’s what we got and I guess it’s worked pretty well so far. I sure don’t want to be the one to say we ought to change it.”
~ Seven Days in May, Seven Arts Productions (1964)
By Mr. Curmudgeon:
Last November, The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point issued a document titled Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right. The long excerpt that follows is worth reading carefully:
“In the context of violation of constitutional rights, militia members in particular tend to point out the steady increase in gun control and environmental legislation and the over regulation of the economic and social realms, especially in regard to immigration and education issues. The opposition to gun control legislation has been driven mainly by the perception of many that this represents a breach of the Second Amendment and a direct violation of a constitutional right, having direct impact on the ability of many to preserve their common practices and way of life … Finally, many of the militias also legitimize their ideological tendencies by referring to the strong role of civilian activism, civilian paramilitary groups, individual freedoms, and self-government and frontier culture in America’s history and ethos, especially during the Revolutionary War and the expansion to the West. Hence, members of these groups see themselves as the successors of the nation’s Founding Fathers, and as part of the struggle to restore or preserve what they regard as America’s true identity, values and way of life … the glue binding their membership and driving their activism has been and remains hostility, fear and the need to challenge or restrict the sovereignty of the federal government.”
To summarize: if you believe in the constitutional right to bear arms, a strong role for civilian activism in America’s pluralistic political system, a kinship with the Founders and their Natural Law principles, and that Washington’s growing authoritarian power threatens to swamp our individual liberties, you are a racist, right-wing member of a violent militia … that threatens to “restrict the sovereignty of the federal government.”
That last statement summarizes the ancient, despotic notion that all “sovereignty” resides in the ruler – a.k.a., the “divine right of kings.” Natural Law stipulates that sovereignty resides in the individual. That he or she imparts a portion of that sovereignty by their consent to form a representative government that may “assume among the powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” To abandon its function as a collective expression and defender of individual liberty delegitimizes that government’s instituted power. That leaves delegitimized government no alternative but to delegitimize threats to its usurpation of power.
So, it’s more than a little disconcerting that a 2012 anti-terrorism policy paper emanating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point mirrors the Department of Homeland Securities’ 2009 right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, which warns, “Proposed imposition of firearms restriction and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of right-wing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government.”
With this in mind, author and historian Jim Garrow posted the following on his Facebook page, and it is causing a stir in the blogosphere, “I have just been informed by a former senior military leader that Obama is using a new ‘litmus test’ in determining who will stay and who must go in his military leaders. Get ready to explode folks. ‘The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on U.S. citizens or not.’ Those who will not are being removed.”
That is a serious charge that warrants further investigation. However, with the press unlikely to investigate this serious allegation than they were (and to a great degree still are) to probe the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious, it falls to alternative media to follow up.
More importantly, if President Obama is indeed transforming our military officer corps into a federal Praetorian Guard, it is incumbent on the cashiered officers to step forward and inform the American people, concerned though they may be over their military pensions. Though retired, their oath to preserve and protect the Constitution against “all enemies foreign and domestic” continues to bind them to all who cherish the Natural Law principles of liberty enshrined in the founding document.