“[An] act of the Congress of the United States … which assumes powers … not delegated by the Constitution, is not law, but is altogether void and of no force.”
– Thomas Jefferson: Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. ME 17:383
Rita has now finished its deadly work in the Gulf of Mexico and FEMA, once again, operated only to bring everyone under federal control. Judge Carl Griffith of Jefferson County, Texas, threatened to take police and seize 50 generators from FEMA that were just left sitting. Quoting Judge Griffith: “Either by 8 o’clock, they better start deploying the generators, or I was going to have police seize them. At 8 o’clock, I told Judge Caraway to have a trailer there, and he did. And they did load two generators on, and they began deploying other generators today. …”
Due to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s brain meltdown regarding Katrina, the military was brought in to rescue the day. Before Rita even hit, the trial balloon was launched to condition the American people to beg for the military as “first responders” during times of natural disasters because of the gross incompetence of Nagin and Blanco. Within 72 hours after Rita hit, the chatter on all cable news channels was no longer “maybe” the military should be brought in at some point to a flat-out push to abolish Posse Comitatus all together.
Only a fool would want to see what’s left of the Posse Comitatus Act tossed out the window; it is beyond reckless to establish the military as “first responders” during natural disasters. Americans should remember Waco and the role of Gen. Wesley Clark and the military when Army tanks were used for insertion of a deadly gas, which started the conflagration killing almost 100 Americans. Seventeen of those gassed and burned to death were children. Every American should watch the video “Waco: The Rules of Engagement” to see what happens when the military personnel, who were “just following orders,” are used for domestic operations Before you hit the send button with a nasty retort about bashing our military, my husband is a retired U.S. Army colonel with 27 years of honorable service.
The president wants to further crush states’ rights, and he’s using the tragedy of Katrina to do it: “President Bush yesterday sought to federalize hurricane relief efforts, removing governors from the decision-making process.”
On Dec. 18, 2000, wearing his Clintonesque smirk, Bush said, “If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” I didn’t find it funny at all. We cannot allow the failure of one governor and one mayor to further erode states rights.
Under Posse Comitatus, the military’s assets can be used for assistance, but they cannot be used for search, seizure or arrests. I can still see the live news coverage of military combing areas of the Gulf Coast with rifles locked and loaded, searching and conducting other law enforcement type actions. Sure, they backed down – only to the extent the brass thought they could get away with it.
The military did a superb job saving thousands after Katrina, no question. This would not have been necessary had the state National Guard units been in place and ready to assist the constitutional state militias as mandated by the Second Amendment.
You want a three-star general to be around after a natural disaster? Then quit electing political animals and elect one as mayor of your city or town. Seek out and encourage veterans to run for mayor, city council, county board of supervisor and county sheriff. After they’re elected, work with them on making sure the state militias get reconstituted so that the best possible planning will be in place before another disaster strikes.
It’s unconstitutional for Congress to fund the clean-up of Katrina or Rita. Congress is not a bank or a loan company.
On Sept. 22, Bill O’Reilly, who wouldn’t know what the Constitution said if James Madison read it to him in person, had an exchange with Judge Andrew Napolitano, author of the outstanding book, “Constitutional Chaos,” on this very issue. O’Reilly’s intro: “Sometimes you’re a left-wing loon and sometimes you’re fascist dog. That’s why we like you. …” O’Reilly allowed Napolitano to state his position: “The federal government is not authorized under the Constitution to rebuild private property. Nowhere is the Congress authorized to take Bill O’Reilly’s tax dollars and give it to a private person.” Of course, O’Reilly immediately launched into another one of his bogus legal interpretations of the Constitution by disagreeing with Napolitano.
The U.S. Constitution is not an NFL playbook you can just alter, change or make up plays for to suit the next natural disaster or desired war. While this has been going on for decades, it is still unlawful, and it’s why I have been urging Americans to clean out Congress in ’06 (excepting Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo). We need warriors in Congress, not a stable of female featherheads or the men who now serve that lack the integrity and the courage to get the job done of saving this republic.