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No Wonder Americas Founders Distrusted Standing Armies

It is well documented that many of Americas Founding Fathers had a very real and deep-seated distrust of standing armiesand f or good reason. T hey had just f ought a costly and bloody war f or independence, which had been largely predicated upon the propensities f or the abuse and misuse of individual liberties by a pervasive and powerf ul standing army (belonging to Great Britain) amongst them. Listen to T homas Jef f erson: I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Note that Jef f erson identif ied both banking institutions and standing armies as being dangerous to our liberties. James Madison said, A standing army is one of the greatest mischief that can possibly happen. Elbridge Gerry (Vice President under James Madison) called standing armies the bane of liberty. For the most part, the sentiments of our f ounders ring hollow to modern Americans who, ever since World War II, have glorif ied, idolized, and practically even worshipped the standing US military. But of course, with only isolated instances (which were almost always completely covered up by the mainstream news media) of the abuse of military power being committed against US citizens, the American people, as a whole, have no point of ref erence directing them to the sagacity of Americas f ounders on the subject. Indeed, who could even imagine that US military f orces would ever be used against the US citizenry? Af ter all, the media did a masterf ul job of covering up the most f lagrant example of US military f orces being used against US citizens when US military f orces assisted f ederal law enf orcement agencies in slaughtering the Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993. So, most Americans simply shut their eyes against that painf ul truth and chose to ignore the f act that it even happened. Yes, there have been isolated instances of military personnel abusing their authority against American citizens (i.e., Waco in 1993, Kent State University in 1970), but overall the f ounders deep-seated distrust of standing armies has been replaced with deepseated trust. But were our f ounders right to be distrusting of standing armies? And are we wrong to be so trusting of standing armies? Consider the f ollowing report by Dr. Andrew Bosworth. T here is a shocking piece of legislation working its way through Congress. A Def ense Authorization bill f or 2012 allows f or military detentions of American citizens on American soil. T hese can be indef inite detentions, with no trial. Bosworth quotes an ACLU (an organization whose ef f orts regarding the so-called separation of church and state issues I strongly oppose, but whose ef f orts regarding issues that can only be identif ied as an emerging police state I strongly support) statement as saying, T he U.S. Senate is considering the unthinkable: changing detention laws to imprison peopleincluding Americans living in the United States itself indef initely and without charge. T he Def ense Authorization billa must-pass piece of legislationis headed to the Senate f loor with troubling provisions that would give the Presidentand all f uture presidentsthe authority to indef initely imprison people, without charge or trial, both abroad and inside the United States. Especially egregious are sections 1031 and 1032. T hey: (1) Explicitly authorize the f ederal government to indef initely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States; (2) Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself ; and (3) Transf er to the Department of Def ense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enf orcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice. Bosworth also notes that, T he bill was draf ted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing. Bosworth goes on to say, Even mainstream, apolitical Americans would be concerned about such a provision that, on its f ace, is unconstitutional. Ordinary Americans are already waking up to the specter of tyranny, and the NDAA f or 2012 would accelerate that process. Near the conclusion of Bosworths report, he states, As many Americans know, f or over a decade there have been dozens of pieces of legislation and executive orders that have chipped away at the US Constitution, specif ically at its Bill of Rights. T he war on terror was originally to be waged against f oreigners in f ar-away lands, but Rep. Ron Paul was right, the anti-terror inf rastructure is swinging around to be used against

American citizens. See Bosworths report here. I well remember when my f riend LT CDR Ernest Guy Cunningham conducted his Combat Arms Survey to 300 active-duty Marines at the USMCs Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif ornia, back on May 10, 1994. A couple of questions in this survey were especially revealing (and startling). John McManus picks up the story at this point: One of the questions asked the Marines if they would be willing to be assigned to a national emergency police f orce within the U.S. under U.S. command. T he survey showed that 6.0 percent strongly disagreed, 6.3 percent disagreed, 42.3 percent agreed, 43.0 percent strongly agreed, and 2.3 percent had no opinion. Commenting on these results, Cunningham said, Do you realize that 85.3 percent agreed with assigning troops to a mission that violates the Posse Comitatus Act? Remember, these were active duty Marines back in 1994. Responses to another question were even more startling. Cunninghams question: Consider the f ollowing statement: I would f ire upon U.S. citizens who ref use or resist conf iscation of f irearms banned by the U.S. government. T he result: 42.3 percent strongly disagreed with this statement; 19.3 percent disagreed; 18.6 percent agreed; 7.6 percent strongly agreed; and 12.0 percent had no opinion. T his equates to approximately 61% of Marines saying they would def y orders to turn their weapons on US citizens in order to disarm them; 26% saying they would not disobey such orders; and 12% ref using to say one way or the other, which means you could probably add them to the 26% who would not disobey orders to turn their weapons on American citizens. See McManus report here. Not too long ago, I asked a retired US Army Major General what he thought the results would be today if CDR Cunningham gave that same survey to US Marines? He said he thought that the number of those ref using such orders would be much higher and the number of those complying with such orders would be much lower. Given the Levin/McCain bill currently working its way through the US Congress, I sure hope hes right! And I also hope that we modern Americans were not wrong to discard our f ounders distrust of standing armies. *If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link. 2011 Chuck Baldwin All Rights Reserved