Archive for category Bill of Rights
Ben Swann recently interviewed the Oath Keeper team leader on the ground in Ferguson. Sam Andrews is an articulate, careful and knowledgeable man, who has been doing a fantastic job protecting those businesses in Ferguson. Our thanks go to Sam and all of his team, for a great job. You are true Oath Keepers.
This article was written by Pamella Geller and originally published at Freedom Outpost
Obama’s war on our fundamental rights is devastating. The enemedia performs like state-run media and covers for this incredible rout. It is shocking. And in all of these grotesque anti-American maneuvers, Obama and his thugs are always using Orwellian language. ‘Operation Vigilant Eagle’ criminalizes free speech and targets our nation’s best — our vets.
Veterans are being singled out and arrested and labelled as mentally sick for criticizing Obama. Obama created this to stop criticism of him and his administration.
Operation Vigilant Eagle: Is This Really How We Honor Our Nation’s Veterans?
OpEd News (thanks to Laura)
Despite the fact that the U.S. boasts more than 23 million veterans who have served in World War II through Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the plight of veterans today, while often overlooked, is common knowledge: impoverished, unemployed, lacking any decent health benefits, homeless, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, marital stress.
Making matters worse, thanks to Operation Vigilant Eagle, a program launched by the Department of Homeland Security in 2009, military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are also being characterized as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.” As a result, these servicemen and women–many of whom are decorated–are finding themselves under surveillance, threatened with incarceration or involuntary commitment, or arrested, all for daring to voice their concerns about the alarming state of our union and the erosion of our freedoms.
“Jailed for Facebook comments, Marine sues” WND.com
‘Case exposes government system that is targeting military veterans’
It happens in China routinely. It frequently happened in the old Soviet Union. Undoubtedly in North Korea, although generally there’s no one around to witness it. But in the United States? It happens here, too, apparently.
A lawsuit has been filed by officials with the Rutherford Institute on behalf of a Marine who was jailed and held for the comments he made on Facebook – comments that expressed a dissatisfaction with the present direction of the U.S. government.
According to officials at Rutherford, the civil rights action names as defendants members of law enforcement and the government who were involved in last year’s episode where Marine veteran Brandon Raub, 27, was arrested by a swarm of FBI and Secret Service and forcibly detained in a psychiatric ward for a week.
His crime was posting controversial song lyrics and political views on Facebook, the institute reported.
In one of his postings, he cited the evil in the world.
“The United States was meant to lead the charge against injustice, but through our example not our force. People do not respond to having liberty and freedom forced on them,” he wrote.
He was released later when a judge stepped in and concluded the prosecution’s case against Raub was “so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.”
The lawsuit asks for damages for Raub for the attack he endured. It was filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., and claims Raub’s seizure and detention were part of a plan executed by the Obama administration called “Operation Vigilant Eagle.”
That, the institute explains, was a federal program to do surveillance on military veterans who express views critical of the government.
Institute attorneys claim the attempt to label Raub as “mentally ill” and authorities’ efforts to involuntarily commit him into custody was intended to silence his criticism of the government. However, they explain the strategy also violated Raub’s First and Fourth Amendment rights.
“Since coming to Raub’s defense, The Rutherford Institute has been contacted by military veterans across the country recounting similar incidents. In filing a civil suit against government officials, Rutherford Institute attorneys plan to take issue with the manner in which Virginia’s civil commitment statutes are being used to silence individuals engaged in lawfully exercising their free speech rights,” the organization said.
“Brandon Raub’s case exposed the seedy underbelly of a governmental system that is targeting military veterans for expressing their discontent over America’s rapid transition to a police state,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.
“Brandon Raub is not the first veteran to be targeted for speaking out against the government. Hopefully, by holding officials accountable, we can ensure that Brandon is the last to suffer in this way.”
It was last Aug, 16 when Chesterfield police, Secret Service and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s home and asked to talk with him about his Facebook posts.
“Like many Facebook users, Raub, a Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, uses his Facebook page to post song lyrics and air his political opinions. Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law enforcement officials handcuffed Raub and transported him to police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will,” the Institute reported.
“In a hearing on Aug. 20, government officials pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the reason for his incarceration. While Raub stated that the Facebook posts were being read out of context, a Special Justice ordered Raub be held up to 30 more days for psychological evaluation and treatment.”
When Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett, however, found out about the case, he ordered it dismissed and Raub released, because there was no evidence of a case.
by Mac Slavo
In America today there are some people who believe themselves to be above the law, and it’s unfortunate that in many cases the very individuals and organizations tasked with ensuring the legitimacy of our justice system are the ones who fail to understand or abide by the law of the land.
In Cotati, California police officers showed up at the doorstep of one family after they were reportedly called because of an alleged domestic violence dispute, much to the surprise of the homeowners. As Cotati PD massed on the couple’s front lawn, the homeowner began documenting the encounter.
Law enforcement officers indicated they would be entering the home because of “domestic violence,” at which point both homeowners responded by advising them that they had merely had an argument and no domestic violence had taken place.
Baffled that the residents of the home refused to exit, one officer asked why they wouldn’t respond to their order.
The homeowner, who had previously cited his fourth Amendment right to be safe and secure on his property unless a warrant had been presented by officials, responds with what undoubtedly left police bewildered.
“Because we don’t live in a police state, sir.
Martial law has not been established in this country. “
What happens next is textbook jackbooted police state behavior, as cops kick in the family’s door unlawfully, without cause, and without a warrant.
In the war for the continued existence of our Nation’s Constitutional principles, I had long wondered whether statists were simply confounded by the Bill of Rights and ignorant of its function or whether they were maliciously inclined, knowing exactly what it means but seeking its destruction anyway. In recent years, I have decided it is a combination of both faults.
Statists are people who view every aspect of society through the lens of government power. If you want to know the primary difference between Constitutionalists and anti-Constitutionalists, you have to understand that some people in this world only want control over their own lives, while other people desperately clamor for control over other people’s lives. Why do they do this? Usually, it’s fear. Fear of the persistent unknowns in life. Fear that they do not have the intelligence or the will to take responsibility for their own futures. Fear that they will be forced to take care of themselves. Fear that their ideologies will be found lacking. Fear that if others are allowed freedom, they will one day indirectly suffer for it.
This fear makes statists easy to manipulate by the establishment and easy to use as a tool for the expansion of government dominance. Because statists are so weak-minded and fainthearted, they become very comfortable with the idea of other people making their decisions for them; and they will always attempt to answer every perceived problem with more government control.
When confronted with a proponent of liberty, the statist typically reels in horror. He has so invested himself in bureaucracy that he sees himself as a part of it. To attack the bureaucracy is to attack him. To deny the validity of the bureaucracy is to deny the validity of his existence. His very personality and ego are tied to the machine, so he will spit and rage against anyone who refuses to conform. This is why it is not uncommon at all to find a wild collection of logical fallacies within the tirades of the average statist. Statists act as though they are driven by reason; but in reality, they are driven by seething bias.
A perfect example of this insanity is the article “There Are No Absolute Rights,” published by The Daily Beast.
Let’s first be clear about the kind of rag we are dealing with. The Daily Beast was launched by Tina Brown, a former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker who was also a British citizen until 2005. I would say she’s a kind of female Piers Morgan. For anyone who might take that as a compliment, trust me; it isn’t. Brown and Morgan are European collectivists who immigrated to America just to tell us how our Constitutionally conservative heritage of independence is outdated; meanwhile, the EU is in the shambles of failed socialism. We used to drive such people into the ocean, and now they breathe our oxygen while telling us what is politically “fashionable.”
In 2010, The Daily Beast merged with Newsweek, a magazine notorious for its statist crush on the Federal government (and now out of print). To say that The Daily Beast is a socialist platform and a mouthpiece for the Administration of President Barack Obama is an understatement, but I would point out that the website also tends to agree with politicians and judges on the right that also promote a “living document” interpretation of the Constitution. Whether right or left, if you believe that the Bill of Rights is up for constant interpretation and revision or outright destruction, then you are the bee’s knees in the eyes of The Beast.
The article focuses on gun rights and how silly conservatives foolishly cling to the idea that some lines in the sand should never be crossed in terms of personal freedom. In a rather mediocre and rambling analysis, The Beast uses two primary arguments to qualify this stance, essentially asserting that:
1) Compromises have already been made to the Bill of Rights; therefore, nothing is sacred.
2) Even some Republicans agree with compromises to the Bill of Rights when it comes to other Amendments, so why are we being so childish about “reinterpreting” the 2nd Amendment?
First, the revisionist methodology of the Bill of Rights consistently ignores the history of its writing. The colonists and Founding Fathers of our Nation, having successfully triumphed in a bloody revolution against what many then considered the most advanced elitist military empire on Earth, had absolutely no trust whatsoever in the concept of centralized government. Many of the colonials were anti-Federalists who believed that an overly powerful central government was a threat to future liberty. They felt that an immovable and unchangeable legal shield had to be created in order to ensure that a tyrannical system never prevailed again.
Thomas Jefferson said:
“[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”
This statement includes modern governments as well. Technological advancement does not change the rules surrounding timeless inherent moral principles, as much as statists would like to argue otherwise.
The colonials demanded the inclusion of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution as a prerequisite for the establishment of the Federal government. This means that the Federal government owes its entire existence to a very strict agreement made on the Bill of Rights. By extension, if the Bill of Rights is politically diluted or denied, then the legitimacy of the Federal government must also be denied, for it has violated the very charter that gave it life.
The writer of the article, Michael Tomasky, lists numerous transgressions against our Constitutional protections; but he does not do so in the spirit of activism. Rather, he lists them as examples of how “compromise” on our freedoms is necessary (or somehow inevitable) in the name of the collective good. He claims Republicans are perfectly willing to sacrifice certain liberties, like freedom of speech, privacy or even Miranda rights, in the name of political expediency.
I wholeheartedly agree that our civil liberties have been whittled away by the establishment. I also agree that many so-called Republicans have betrayed the founding values of our culture and even voted to diminish or destroy the 2nd Amendment. But let’s think hard about the faulty logic behind Tomansky’s position. Do two wrongs or hundreds of wrongs really make a right? Tomansky is saying that because we have failed as a society to fully protect our freedoms and because our government has been successful in criminally neglecting them, we should simply give in and relinquish all freedom.
He would respond to this accusation by claiming that he is not calling for the relinquishment of all liberties, only the liberties he thinks are dangerous to society. The problem is, that is not how the Constitution was designed. Amendments can be made, yes. But amendments contrary to the Bill of Rights are not Constitutional as per the original agreement made after the revolution. The Bill of Rights was meant to be sacrosanct, untouchable — period. No Federal law, no State law and no Amendment can be enforced that violates those protections. The Bill of Rights was not created as a rule book for what the people can do; it was created as a rule book for what government cannot do. Once you remove hard fast restrictions like the Bill of Rights from the picture, you give the government license to make its own rules. That is how tyranny is born.
As far as Republican attacks on the Constitution are concerned, Tomasky has obviously never heard of the false left/right paradigm. He finds solace in the totalitarian actions of neocons because neocons are not conservative; they are statists, just like him. Ultimately, there is no right or left. Only freedom and decentralization, or slavery and collectivism. There are those who revel in control, and those who rebel against control. The rest of the debate is nonsense and distraction.
Tomsky opines: “Imagine what conservatives would think of a group of liberals who insisted, while threatening an insurrection, on a pure and absolute interpretation of the Fourth or Sixth Amendment–and imagine how ridiculous they would look to average Americans.”
Actually, any true conservative would be standing right beside those liberals, as many of us in the liberty movement have done in the past in activism against the transgressions of fake conservatives like George W. Bush or Mitt Romney, with his dismal anti-Constitution voting record. Frankly, who cares what “average Americans” think about our battle for what is right? Does Tomasky base all of his personal convictions on what happens to be popular at the moment? I think so.
What statists also don’t seem to comprehend is that there is a factor in the fight over Constitutional law that goes far beyond the Constitution itself.
The Constitution, as a document, is not what we as Americans and human beings obtain our rights from. The Constitution is only a written representation of the inborn freedoms derived from natural law and inherent conscience. We are born with a sense of liberty and that includes a right to self-defense from any enemy, foreign or domestic. No amount of political gaming, twisted rationalizations or intellectual idiocy is ever going to change these pre-existing rights.
Tomasky insists that: “[T]he idea that any right is unrestricted is totally at odds with history, the law, and reality.”
He uses the tired argument that some restrictions on personal liberty, including restrictions on gun rights, are “reasonable” given the circumstances of the times. And, it only follows that he and other statists should be the ones to decide what is reasonable.
I disagree, along with millions of other Americans; and believe me, this is a serious problem for statists. If Tomasky and The Daily Beast want to impose their collective worldview on the rest of us and dismantle our individual freedoms guaranteed in natural law and the Bill of Rights, then I’m afraid they’ll have to fight us for them. In the end, legal precedence is irrelevant. Political precedence is irrelevant. Political party is irrelevant. Historical precedence is irrelevant. The theater of words is irrelevant. Statists need to understand that there is no alternative. There is no “silver bullet” argument that will make us forget what is fundamentally true. There is no juxtaposition of logic that will muddle our resolve or confuse our principles. Some rights are indeed absolute; and we will not yield them, ever. The statist “reality” is a far cry from what actually is; and soon, I’m afraid, they will learn this lesson the hard way.
Posted by ocoathkeepers in A Night of Resistance, Alt-Market, Bill of Rights, Brandon Smith, CA Oath Keepers, Constitution, Constitutional Sheriff, Day of Resistance, Oath Keepers, Oath Keepers Billboard Campaign, OATH KEEPERS MOLON LABE PLEDGE, Oath of Office, Old World Village, Orange County CA Oath Keepers, Paul Schrader, Stewart Rhodes on March 1, 2013
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Posted by ocoathkeepers in 10 Orders We Will Not Obey, 2nd Amendment, Bill of Rights, CA Oath Keepers, California Sheriffs’ Posse Call & Fundraiser, Constitution, County Sheriff, County Sheriff Project, CSPOA, Declaration of Orders We Will Not Obey, Gun Laws, gun-control laws, Guns, Honor Your Oath, Martial Law, NDAA, NDAA 2013, Nullification, Nullify Now, OATH BREAKERS, Oath Keepers, Oath Keepers Billboard Campaign, Oath Keepers of San Diego, Oath of Office, OathKeepers, Operation Sleeping Giant, Orange County, Orange County CA Oath Keepers, Politics, Rallys/Protests, Shall Not Be Infringed, Sheriff, Sheriff Mack, Stewart Rhodes, Traitors, TSA, UN’s Agenda 21, Unconstitutional, Unconstitutional Patriot Act, United States military, US firearms, US History, Veterans, War on Terror, World’s Largest Private Army on February 9, 2013
Stewart Rhodes, Chuck Shea, and John Oetken will be gathering with the Oath Keepers in the area to formalize a Northern California Chapter. Please get the word out and spread this information and share the picture.
We will also be fundraising for the Oath Keeper Billboards to put up near Beale AFB California.
Oath Keepers Assisting in Legal Defense of Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, Founder of Armed Forces Tea Party
Oath Keepers is assisting in the legal defense of Marine Corps Sgt. Gary Stein, who is facing military administrative proceedings to separate him from the Marine Corps, with his commanding officer requesting that he be separated with an other than honorable conditions discharge. This is all because Sgt. Stein dared to found the Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook page, and because, on a separate Facebook page run by someone else, in a discussion thread conversation with other Marines, Sgt. Stein strongly expressed his opposition to some of Obama’s unconstitutional policies and expressed his intent to refuse unlawful orders.
You can learn more background information about this case here.
We consider this attempt to kick a nine-year career Marine Sergeant out of the Marine Corps, for the “crime” of using modern social media tools to have a conversation with other Marines about serious concerns that impact his oath, and for the “offense” of daring to participate in the Tea Party movement, to be a travesty.
I (Stewart Rhodes) and Oath Keepers General Counsel David Rivers (a Marine Vietnam combat veteran), have volunteered our services as attorneys to assist Sgt. Stein pro bono and we have helped to assemble an excellent civilian legal defense team to work with and assist Sgt. Stein’s military JAG lawyer team.
Sgt. Stein was given written notification of administrative separation proceedings last Wednesday, March 21, 2012, but because all of the JAG officers were at a previously scheduled conference, he was not able to attain JAG counsel till last Friday, March 23. With the separation hearing scheduled for this coming Saturday, March 31, 2012, that hardly provides time to prepare a defense, but unless we can secure a continuance, we will have to soldier on and be as ready as we can by this Saturday. I am planning on being there for the hearing.
Once Sgt. Stein made it clear he wanted civilian counsel to work with his JAG attorneys, we arranged a conference call with the JAG attorneys last Friday. I invited the well regarded constitutional attorneys William J. Olson and Herb Titus to join that call. Olson and Titus were part of the defense team for Specialist Michael New in his historic stand against serving under U.N. command, and they are top notch lawyers. On that conference call it became readily apparent that Sgt. Stein has an excellent military JAG defense team. They are sharp, competent, and very dedicated to defending Sgt. Stein, as part of keeping their oaths to defend the Constitution. They are also very willing to work with civilian counsel as part of a combined legal team. Sgt. Stein is in good hands.
Yesterday, March 26, Mr. Olson brought in Houston, Texas attorney Mark Brewer, who is a former JAG officer. As a former JAG, Mr. Brewer will be the lead civilian defense counsel with the rest of us assisting, with our civilian legal team working closely with the Marine Corps JAG defense team. Also on the civilian team will be attorney Gary Kreep, Executive Director of the United States Justice Foundation.
Mr. Kreep will help set up a tax deductible legal defense fund for Sgt. Stein’s legal defense. Once that legal defense fund is established, we will email the details on how you can contribute directly to his legal defense, if you want to.
As noted above, whatever work I or Oath Keepers General Counsel David Rivers may do on this case will be pro bono (no charge) but Sgt. Stein will have to pay for Mr. Brewer’s services (at a reduced rate) and likewise may have to pay for other civilian counsel and of-counsel attorneys on this case, as well as court costs and travel expenses, so he will certainly need donations to help him cover those fees and costs. So, once Sgt. Stein and Mr. Kreep have the tax deductible legal defense fund established, I would encourage you all to donate to it if you can. Just to be clear, that fund will not be run by Oath Keepers, so if you want to donate to Sgt. Stein’s legal defense in particular, please wait until he establishes his own defense fund. Our legal defense fund for Oath Keepers will remain separate.
I will send another update soon, and we will be posting additional articles and documents on the Oath Keepers website, along with our own original research and writing, over the coming days and weeks. I do encourage you to spread the word about this case, and to put public pressure on the Marine Corps to do the right thing by retaining this fine young Marine. Especially useful would be letters of support from leaders of veterans’ organizations, as well as from individuals. We will post an example letter for your use, in case you want to send one in, and we will email that example to our list, once it is finished.
You can count on Oath Keepers to do all we can to help Sgt. Stein in his stand for the Constitution. Doing so is part of keeping our own oaths. This case is about the rights of free speech, assembly, and association, the right to comment on candidates for office and current issues, about the citizen’s duty of civic involvement, and about the duty of service members to defend the Constitution by refusing unlawful orders that violate the Constitution (which is the reason Oath Keepers exists). This is not about partisan politics or any one candidate. The ACLU, to their credit, stood up for Sgt. Stein in the past and is likely to do so now as well. We certainly hope they do, because this is not a partisan issue. This is about being Americans and defending our Constitution, and especially the First Amendment, for all Americans, in the military and outside the military, regardless of their political orientation. It’s not about the left or right, but about our Bill of Rights.
Let’s take a firm stand in defense of this young Marine.
For the Republic,
Founder and President of Oath Keepers
Army Airborne veteran
Yale Law Graduate, 04
Kelly Thomas / Fullerton PD Case: Recap & Invalid / Fraudulent Oaths of Office of Police Chief & Officers and City Officials
Posted by ocoathkeepers in Bill of Rights, CA Oath Keepers, Constitution, Fullerton Police Department, Kelly Thomas Beating and Death, Oath Keepers, Oath of Office, Orange County, Orange County CA Oath Keepers, Orange County District Attorney, Police Brutality, Rallys/Protests, Rights, Ron Thomas, Unconstitutional on March 1, 2012
Fullerton CA Police Beat and Kill Homeless Man, Kelly Thomas
Recap: On July 5th, 2011 Kelly Thomas was brutally beaten into a coma by six Fullerton Police officers.
He never regained consciousness. After several days in intensive care, his family was forced to make the awful decision to remove him from life support and he passed away.
Reason.TV documentary short:
Cops Vs. Cameras: The Killing of Kelly Thomas & The Power of New Media
Oath Keepers of Orange County, CA, Oath Keepers and people from all over Southern California, were present to show support for the Thomas family and to stand up peacefully to protest against the unconstitutional behavior of the 6 Fullerton police officers who beat Kelly Thomas to death:
From previous posts on ocoathkeepers.wordpress.com: Update on the Kelly Thomas Beating and Death
From this PDF file: Kelly-Thomas-Charges.PDF
SANTA ANA – Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas filed charges this morning against two police officers from the Fullerton Police Department (FPD) for their criminal participation in the beating-death of a homeless man, 37-year-old Kelly Thomas.
Officer Manuel Ramos is charged with one felony count of second degree murder and one felony count of involuntary manslaughter. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted. Corporal Jay Cicinelli is chargedwith one felony count of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of the use of excessive force. He faces a maximum
sentence of four years in state prison if convicted.
The defendants surrendered this morning to OCDA Investigators and will be arraigned today, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. Per the statutory bail amounts, the People will request $1 million bail for Ramos and $25,000 bail for Cicinelli.
Due to a lack of evidence, as described below, criminal charges were not filed against the remaining four officers involved in the incident including Officer Joseph Wolfe, Officer Kenton Hampton, Sergeant Kevin Craig, and Corporal James Blatney.
The decision regarding the filing of criminal charges was made by District Attorney Rackauckas following an extensive investigation and thorough legal review by the OCDA. The District Attorney will be announcing the trial team at a later date.
….Please read the rest of the PDF file from the above link which includes the DA’s remarks.
Invalid and Fraudulent Oaths of Office of Police Chief & Officers and City Officials
An Interview on Republic Broadcasting Network:
Common Sense Revisited Archive Interview by Todd McGreevy with guest Corey Eib on Third Rail Blog
Corey explains how the infamous “Fullerton Six” police officers embroiled in the murder of a homeless man have invalid and fraudulent oaths of office and brings us up to speed on their status. His research is at the link directly below: