The Death of Rights Enshrined on Bill of Rights Day
By Aaron Dykes
Today is December 15. 220 years ago, a coalition of founding fathers concerned about the over-centralization of power under the United States Constitution as written succeeded at last in adding a Bill of Rightsthat would protect individual freedoms and limit the reach of the federal government. Thus, ten critical amendments to the Constitution were ratified by the states and entered into law in 1791.
These guaranteed rights, including that of free speech, arms, privacy and due process– among others, have not only been violated by the modern State but trampled upon and trashed through arrogant and unconstitutional legislation, executive orders & statements and a lack of common sense protection in the courts.
But today was the crossing of the Rubicon– in time for the anniversary of the Bill of Rights. The Senate has now passed the reconciled version of the NDAA, earlier passed by the House, putting into law for the first time the asserted “right” of government to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial. Nothing could be more un-American or against the Bill of Rights. The President, reversing his previous ‘threat’ to veto the bill, is now expected to sign the bill. RT appropriately writes:
Exactly 220 years to the date after the Bill of Rights was ratified, the US Senate today voted 86 to 13 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, allowing the indefinite detention and torture of Americans.
Paul Joseph Watson has already written on how the ACLU and Human Rights Watch organization blasted Obama for his “u-turn” on the vetoing the NDAA bill which contains the provision allowing the indefinite detention of American citizens. He notes that: HRW describes Obama’s about-face as a “historic tragedy for rights”. Indeed. HRW’s executive director Kenneth Roth further stated:
“By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law… In the past, Obama has lauded the importance of being on the right side of history, but today he is definitely on the wrong side.”
But more significantly, Paul Joseph Watson highlights the fact that the Obama Administration was never concerned with rights in the consideration of this bill. He writes, “Obama’s veto threat was never about stopping detention without trial of American citizens, it was about ensuring that the federal government didn’t completely hand such powers over to the U.S. military, and enshrining into law Obama’s unconstitutional policy of targeting Americans as terrorists without the legal requirement to offer any proof.”
Like other presidents who’ve moved the football of executive overreach down the field, President Obama and his administration advisors wanted to maintain the appearance of the president’s prerogative to selectively detain Americans without trial. What George W. Bush controversially did to accused and/or potential terrorists via the War on Terror by denying them any pretense of due process, Obama has now brought to the homeland.
It is indeed a dark day for America.
The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
[Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the “Bill of Rights.”]
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.