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Thread: Suspending the Constitution: Police State Uses Crises to Expand Its Lockdown Powers

  1. #1

    Suspending the Constitution: Police State Uses Crises to Expand Its Lockdown Powers

    Suspending the Constitution: Police State Uses Crises to Expand Its Lockdown Powers
    written by john w. whitehead - march 25, 2020

    “That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.”― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

    You can always count on the government to take advantage of a crisis, legitimate or manufactured.

    This coronavirus pandemic is no exception.
    ...
    Deploying the same strategy it used with 9/11 to acquire greater powers under the USA Patriot Act, the police state—a.k.a. the shadow government, a.k.a. the Deep State—has been anticipating this moment for years, quietly assembling a wish list of lockdown powers that could be trotted out and approved at a moment’s notice.

    It should surprise no one, then, that the Trump Administration has asked Congress to allow it to suspend parts of the Constitution whenever it deems it necessary during this coronavirus pandemic and “other” emergencies.

    It’s that “other” emergencies part that should particularly give you pause, if not spur you to immediate action (by action, I mean a loud and vocal, apolitical, nonpartisan outcry and sustained, apolitical, nonpartisan resistance).

    In fact, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been quietly trotting out and testing a long laundry list of terrifying powers that override the Constitution.

    We’re talking about lockdown powers (at both the federal and state level): the ability to suspend the Constitution, indefinitely detain American citizens, bypass the courts, quarantine whole communities or segments of the population, override the First Amendment by outlawing religious gatherings and assemblies of more than a few people, shut down entire industries and manipulate the economy, muzzle dissidents, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease,” reshape financial markets, create a digital currency (and thus further restrict the use of cash), determine who should live or die…

    You’re getting the picture now, right?

    These are powers the police state would desperately like to make permanent.

    Specifically, the DOJ wants to be able to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial. The DOJ also wants to be able to pause court proceedings and suspend the statute of limitations on criminal and civil cases.

    Both signify a clear violation of every right espoused in the Constitution, including habeas corpus.

    Habeas corpus, a fundamental tenet of English common law that guards against arbitrary and lawless state action, does not appear anywhere in the Bill of Rights. Its importance was such that it was enshrined in the Constitution itself. And it is of such magnitude that all other rights, including those in the Bill of Rights, are dependent upon it. Without habeas corpus, the significance of all other rights crumbles.

    The right of habeas corpus was important to the Framers of the Constitution because they knew from personal experience what it was like to be labeled enemy combatants, imprisoned indefinitely and not given the opportunity to appear before a neutral judge. Believing that such arbitrary imprisonment is “in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instrument of tyranny,” the Founders were all the more determined to protect Americans from such government abuses.
    ...
    Unofficially, the police state has been riding roughshod over the rule of law for years now without any pretense of being reined in or restricted in its power grabs by Congress, the courts or the citizenry.

    As David C. Unger, observes in The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute Security at All Costs:
    For seven decades we have been yielding our most basic liberties to a secretive, unaccountable emergency state – a vast but increasingly misdirected complex of national security institutions, reflexes, and beliefs that so define our present world that we forget that there was ever a different America. ... Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have given way to permanent crisis management: to policing the planet and fighting preventative wars of ideological containment, usually on terrain chosen by, and favorable to, our enemies. Limited government and constitutional accountability have been shouldered aside by the kind of imperial presidency our constitutional system was explicitly designed to prevent.

    This rise of an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security is all happening according to schedule.
    ...
    Whether or not this particular crisis is of the government’s own making is not the point: to those for whom power and profit are everything, the end always justifies the means.

    The seeds of this present madness were sown several decades ago when George W. Bush stealthily issued two presidential directives that granted the president the power to unilaterally declare a national emergency, which is loosely defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the US population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.“

    Comprising the country’s Continuity of Government (COG) plan, these directives (National Security Presidential Directive 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20), which do not need congressional approval, provide a skeletal outline of the actions the president will take in the event of a “national emergency.”

    Mind you, that national emergency can take any form, can be manipulated for any purpose and can be used to justify any end goal—all on the say so of the president.
    ...
    What is the bottom line here?

    We are, for all intents and purposes, one crisis away from having a full-fledged authoritarian state emerge from the shadows, at which time democratic government will be dissolved and the country will be ruled by an unelected bureaucracy.

    This is exactly the kind of mischief that Thomas Jefferson warned against when he cautioned, “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

    Power corrupts.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    ...
    The powers amassed by each successive president through the negligence of Congress and the courts—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whomever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability.

    As law professor William P. Marshall explains, “every extraordinary use of power by one President expands the availability of executive branch power for use by future Presidents.” Moreover, it doesn’t even matter whether other presidents have chosen not to take advantage of any particular power, because “it is a President’s action in using power, rather than forsaking its use, that has the precedential significance.”

    In other words, each successive president continues to add to his office’s list of extraordinary orders and directives, expanding the reach and power of the presidency and granting him- or herself near dictatorial powers.

    This abuse of presidential powers has been going on for so long that it has become the norm, the Constitution be damned.

    We no longer have a system of checks and balances.

    “The system of checks and balances that the Framers envisioned now lacks effective checks and is no longer in balance,” concludes Marshall. “The implications of this are serious. The Framers designed a system of separation of powers to combat government excess and abuse and to curb incompetence. They also believed that, in the absence of an effective separation-of-powers structure, such ills would inevitably follow. Unfortunately, however, power once taken is not easily surrendered.”

    All of the imperial powers amassed by Barack Obama and George W. Bush and now Trump—to kill American citizens without due process, to detain suspects (including American citizens) indefinitely, to strip Americans of their citizenship rights, to carry out mass surveillance on Americans without probable cause, to wage wars without congressional authorization, to suspend laws during wartime, to disregard laws with which he might disagree, to conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, to sanction torture, to sidestep the legislatures and courts with executive orders and signing statements, to direct the military to operate beyond the reach of the law, to establish a standing army on American soil, to operate a shadow government, to declare national emergencies for any manipulated reason, and to act as a dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond any real accountability—have become a permanent part of the president’s toolbox of terror.

    These presidential powers—acquired through the use of executive orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations, national security directives and legislative signing statements and which can be activated by any sitting president—enable past, president and future presidents to operate above the law and beyond the reach of the Constitution.
    ...
    Be warned, however: once you surrender your freedoms to the government—no matter how compelling the reason might be for doing so—you can never get them back.

    As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, no government willingly relinquishes power.
    ...
    More: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives...ckdown-powers/
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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  3. #2
    Last edited by Aratus; 03-25-2020 at 11:46 PM. Reason: this article is an Op-Ed about what Barr may do....

  4. #3
    Theres no such thing as "suspending the constitution".

    Although they violate the constitution daily, any kind of "suspension" would instantly trigger Article 2 Section 4.
    "An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government" - Ron Paul.

    "To learn who rules over you simply find out who you arent allowed to criticize."

  5. #4
    Its a continuation of Rex 84.

    "An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government" - Ron Paul.

    "To learn who rules over you simply find out who you arent allowed to criticize."



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