Defeatism Insures Defeat

Conservatives must stop complaining about their weaknesses and start taking an inventory of their strengths.

If any combination of words sounds as a leitmotif throughout the political tone-poems being played in “the alternative media” today, it is that America is inevitably, inexorably, irretrievably, and even already “doomed”: “The Constitution is dead.” “Martial law and the confiscation of firearms is just around the corner.” “Surveillance cameras…”; “constant NSA, CIA, and FBI surveillance…”; “FEMA camps…”; “drone strikes…”; “blah, blah, blah…” ad nauseum. And worst of all: “There is nothing common Americans can do to stop it.”

This discordant theme is being performed with such overdone fortissimo in “the alternative media” that, on the subject of America’s imminent demise, “the alternative media” are no longer “alternative” at all, but merely a set of echo-chambers for the big “mainstream” media’s dirge that even those patriots who are not half-witted “extremists” and rustic buffoons are still helpless, hapless, and hopeless in their opposition to the fascistic police state now being erected at breakneck speed in the Disgrace of Columbia. It is not enough that the “mainstream” media are overrun with well-coiffed reincarnations of Josef Goebbels, in the viewers’ choice of sexes. The likes of Lord Haw-Haw, Axis Sally, and Tokyo Rose are over-represented in “the alternative media”, too.

This is just too much. But what can American patriots who refuse to resign themselves to unconditional surrender do about this situation? First and foremost, they can recall that “God helps those who help themselves”. They can stop complaining about their weaknesses and start taking an inventory of their strengths. They can stop whining that nothing can be done to save this country and what used to be called “the American way of life”, and instead figure out what they can accomplish with the moral, political, and especially legal resources at hand.

As regular readers of my commentaries at are aware, for many years I have repetitively drawn Americans’ attention to the absolute and pressing need to revitalize the institutions which the Constitution itself declares to be “necessary to the security of a free State”: namely, “the Militia of the several States”. But apparently these many years of effort have not been enough, because the message is not sinking in—indeed, water off a duck’s back seems to have more chance of being soaked up. Some within “the patriot community” advocate electing better “representatives” to public office; others promote petitioning the government for a redress of grievances; still others champion free speech and a truly free press; many harp on the supposedly “individual” “right of the people to keep and bear Arms”, guaranteed by the Second Amendment; increasing numbers of them urge enforcement of the Tenth Amendment and “States’ rights”; and a few go so far as to call for a new constitutional convention, or even outright “secession”. But next to none of them says anything at all about the Militia. After a while, I have come to wonder whether these people are wearing the mental equivalent of tin-foil (or perhaps lead-foil) hats, through which ideas of this kind simply cannot penetrate; or whether they have had a probe implanted in their brains by a certain “poverty” law center, so that whenever a synapse threatens to fire over the concept “militia” they receive a warning shock that short-circuits their thinking.

Nonetheless, being a firm believer in the principle that “it is a poor workman who blames his tools”, I intend to persevere, as irksome as it may be to me and to my readers. To that end, in addition to the two books on the Militia which I have already contributed to “the marketplace of ideas”—namely, Constitutional “Homeland Security”, Volume One, The Nation in Arms (2007) and Constitutional “Homeland Security”, Volume Two, The Sword and Sovereignty (2012)—I am preparing a further series which includes:

• Thirteen Words (2013)—a study of the most important thirteen words in the Constitution.
• Three Rights (almost ready to go to press)—an exposition which examines the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as a single, completely integrated and mutually coherent “Form of Government” based upon popular sovereignty, popular self-government, and the means to preserve them in the hands of WE THE PEOPLE themselves. And,
• The Bastardy of “Martial Law” (a work in progress)—a demolition of the current theory of “martial law” which is giving so many patriots sleepless nights.

As each of these books comes off the presses, it will be made available at Amazon (as well as whatever other outlets may choose to carry them).

These books are addressed to a general audience, and designed to render it impossible for anyone to contend with a straight face and even a soupçon of credibility that “the Militia of the several States” are not “necessary to the security of a free State”, today more than ever before.

One proof of this is to be found in what are probably the most glaring and palpable manifestations in common Americans’ lives of the national police state now being erected in this country: namely, the para-militarization of State and Local “law-enforcement agencies”.

Anyone who searches the Internet under the rubrics “police brutality”, “rogue cops”, and so on will find literally hundreds of videos documenting in the most graphic, disturbing, disgraceful, and disgusting fashion that the personnel in State and Local “law-enforcement agencies” are, both literally and legally, themselves out of control as well as out of WE THE PEOPLE’S control. The “law-enforcement offenders” (for that is a far more accurate description than “law-enforcement officers”) who appear as the villains in these videos expose themselves as thoroughly conscienceless barbarians.

As individuals, they are apparently constantly looking to set up situations of traumatic stress and disorder so that they can act out their personal pathologies on the claim that somehow “they feared for their safety”—as if their own safety, rather than the safety of the members of the community with whom they interact and whom they are sworn to protect even at the risk of their own lives, were the paramount consideration. They expect each and every citizen to comply without demur with whatever arbitrary commands they choose to give, simply because they have given them; and to non-compliance, even in the face of an obviously illegal order, they regularly respond with threats, violence, and false arrest on even falser charges. They demand “respect”, when what they deserve in every one of these cases is resistance on the ground, followed by at least a serious reprimand from their superiors, and in most of these incidents removal from the force sine die. Sometimes their arrogance extends even to claiming a right to be addressed as “Sir”, forgetting that, inasmuch as “[n]o State shall * * * grant any Title of Nobility” and “[n]o Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States” [see U.S. Const. art. I, § 10, cl. 1 and § 9, cl. 8], no American could possibly labor under any such supposed duty towards any public official. (Actually, the appropriate “s” word descriptive of these individuals, or at least the one fit for public consumption, would be “savages”—and if a layman may venture a psychological diagnosis, “sociopaths”.)

Taken collectively, their misbehavior reflects an institutional culture—or perhaps “cult” is the more descriptive term—which has taken hold in “police forces” throughout this country, and which not only tolerates, but even encourages and rewards: (i) open defiance of and contempt for the law, public officials’ duties towards society, and the basic humanity of others; (ii) individual and collective violence, quite often gratuitously brutal and pitiless, and all too often carried to a homicidal conclusion; (iii) routine and systematic falsification of official documents and perjury, as if truth counted for nothing in comparison to a misbegotten “loyalty” to “the force”; and (iv) a stubborn refusal on the part of the offenders and their superiors to accept responsibility for their actions, or to show remorse, no matter how much utterly damning evidence is marshaled against them.

Apologists for “law-enforcement agencies” assure whomever they can cajole into listening to them that the uniformed barbarians these videos have caught red-handed are simply a few “bad apples”, and that “the good cops” doubtlessly outnumber them. However, the very notoriety of the video record, exposing as it does shocking and inexcusable incidents which have occurred all across this country, from rustic village to mighty city, proves the contrary: namely, that very, very few “good cops” actually exist, because “the good cops” would know even more about these events than the ordinary Americans who watch them on the Internet—“the good cops” would (or should) be even more incensed over these occurrences than the average American, inasmuch as such goings-on besmirch the honor of “law-enforcement agencies” everywhere—and therefore “the good cops” would demand that “the bad cops” be systematically and ruthlessly weeded out of their departments, would not stand by and watch “the bad cops” perpetrate their outrages, would not cover up for them, would not abide by the code of omertà and refuse to speak out, and would not persecute the few officers with consciences (such as Serpico and Schoolcraft) who at great cost to themselves sometimes do “blow the whistle” on criminality, corruption, careerism, and incompetence within the ranks of “law enforcement”.

Moreover, to rebut in a decisive manner the “most-cops-are-good-cops” defense, Americans need only review the best-publicized of the mass deployments of “law-enforcement agencies” in recent years, during which numerous episodes of police brutality and similar Gestapo tactics occurred, without any significant number of “good cops” standing up for the public against the misbehavior of their co-workers. For example, almost everyone is familiar with how, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, squads of storm troopers descended on the region to confiscate firearms from innocent citizens, in one horrific instance even invading a little old woman’s own kitchen, brutally assaulting her, and confiscating her small-caliber revolver. To be sure, in an excess of charity some observers might excuse or explain away this misbehavior as stimulated by the severe stresses the situation imposed on all public officials—although the hurricane had been expected, the extent of the damage it caused had been anticipated, the social dislocations in its aftermath had or should have been predicted, and “law-enforcement personnel” (including members of the National Guard) in particular were supposedly properly trained to deal with those conditions in conformity with constitutional requirements.

What occurred in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, however, cannot be so easily whitewashed. The immediate environs of Boston were put on “lockdown”. Thousands of para-military foot-soldiers, each better equipped than the infantry of both sides which fought the battle of Stalingrad, were deployed in the streets. Innocent and peaceful citizens were rousted from their residences at gunpoint, with their hands up, as if they were common criminals or prisoners of war. Houses were invaded without reasonable suspicion, let alone “Warrants * ** issue[d] * * * upon probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” (as the Fourth Amendment requires). And, as far as the present author has been able to determine, no one among the ranks of “law enforcement” remonstrated, no one refused to participate, no one evidenced reluctance to lend his hand to these outrages, no one resigned after the fact, no one later recanted the propriety of his involvement, and no one even expressed remorse, let alone offered to make restitution, for his contribution to this gargantuan and grotesque affront to the Constitution. They all simply followed orders, in the manner of SS Sturmmänner.

In the light of this sorry parade of excesses by “law enforcement”, now what? What remedies can common Americans invoke against the repetition of these assaults on their freedoms? To be sure, with the advent of the Internet and the ubiquity of video-recording devices in the hands of common citizens, episodes of these kinds can be fully documented as they occur, and then exposed to a huge audience—which is surely a signal advantage, as years ago no foolproof way existed to secure evidence that could prove exactly what had transpired over the contrary assertions of the perpetrators. Nonetheless, even with the benefit of such technological tools, the question remains: “So what?” When these videos surface, what actually happens to the thugs depicted in them? A claim of police brutality may be filed with the department’s office of “internal affairs”—which investigates the charge while the offending officers relax on paid “administrative leave”; and which all too often then “finds” the episode to “fully justified” within the department’s “procedures” and “guidelines”. Local prosecutors refuse to bring the matter to the attention of a grand jury. And civil-rights lawsuits consume years to complete—and if they eventually succeed simply impose the cost of police misconduct on the innocent taxpayers, hardly ever applying the full weight of damages to the guilty parties and their protectors in public office.

This is why revitalization of the Militia is so important. Revitalization of the Militia will provide for: (i) direct control of State and Local “law-enforcement personnel” by WE THE PEOPLE themselves; and (ii) no control of such personnel by the national police-state apparatus abuilding in the Disgrace of Columbia. Specifically—

(i) When the Militia are fully revitalized, every able-bodied adult citizen, from (say) sixteen to sixty years of age, will be enrolled in a Militia Company in the locality in which he resides. Typically, these Companies will include somewhere between (say) fifty to one hundred individuals who live in immediate proximity to one another, so that they can easily be equipped, trained, and called forth in an emergency. A member of one of these Companies with particular skills could be transferred by higher authority to a specialized Company; or he could choose to join an Independent Company with its own peculiar duties; or he could opt for service in an “élite” Company, such as one delegated responsibilities for “law enforcement” or “emergency response”. (Upon revitalization of the Militia, all “police forces”, Sheriffs’ departments, and other “law-enforcement” and “emergency-response” agencies will become subsets of the Militia, akin to the Rangers, Minutemen, and like units during the pre-constitutional era.) In any such case, that individual would be granted an exemption from his duty to serve in the ordinary Militia Company to which he had been automatically assigned. So, for example, Bob Smith might originally have been enrolled in Militia Company No. 43 in Front Royal, Virginia. Smith might then volunteer for Militia Police Company No. 1 in that Town. If accepted, he might receive an exemption from MC-43 for as long as he fully and faithfully performed his duties in MPC-1. (Smith might also be denied an exemption, if his service were necessary in MC-43.) Performance of his duties in MPC-1 would be the condition sine qua non for Smith’s exemption from MC-43. If Smith resigned from MPC-1 for personal reasons, or was discharged (perhaps because some physical injury disqualified him for that service), or was expelled for misconduct, he would immediately revert to full membership in MC-43. And at all times MC-43 could monitor, and when necessary inquire into, Smith’s performance of duty in MPC-1, because his exemption from MC-43 would always depend upon his timely and proper performance that duty to the satisfaction of MC-43, which would always retain the original claim to his service (unless he moved out of the jurisdiction, at which point the original claim would be transferred to another ordinary Militia Company in his new area of residence).

Suppose, then, that Smith committed an alleged act of police brutality under color of his authority in MPC-1. Depending upon the procedures established by the Militia Code, the victim could file a charge with MPC-1, or with MC-43, the latter being the preferred venue if the victim believed that some “good old boy” network in MPC-1 were likely to cover up for Smith. Because of his exemption, Smith’s alleged misbehavior in MPC-1 would simultaneously constitute alleged misconduct with respect to MC-43. Not being members of MPC-1, the members of MC-43 would have no reason to whitewash Smith’s misconduct, and every incentive to investigate his alleged wrongdoing, as part of their supervision of the terms of his exemption from their own Company. Under these circumstances, THE PEOPLE themselves in MC-43, not a possibly tight-knit and corrupt group in MPC-1, would supervise MPC-1 (in the person of Smith), thus providing an independent “check and balance” against wrongdoing in that unit. And so for all of the other members of MPC-1 with respect to the several ordinary Militia Companies which had granted them exemptions. So, in Smith’s case, the alleged misconduct in MPC-1 would occur on Monday, the charge would be filed with MC-43 on Tuesday, the court-martial would be held on Wednesday, an appeal (if any) would be allowed on Thursday, and punishment would be inflicted on Friday. True enough, perhaps not that quickly—but surely more quickly, and with more certainty of a just result, than what typically transpires under present conditions.

(ii) A nationwide para-military police-state apparatus controlled from the District of Columbia can never be constructed unless State and Local “law-enforcement” and “emergency-response” agencies are somehow brought under the control of the Department of Homeland Security. To be brought under true control, however, the personnel in these agencies must come under the actual command of officials of the General Government who are authorized to give them orders which must be obeyed. Other than the President of the United States as “Commander in Chief * * * of the Militia of the several States”, and then only when the Militia are “call[ed] forth” “in the actual Service of the United States” “to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”, though, no member of the Militia can come under the command of any official of the General Government, because “the Appointment of the Officers” in the Militia is constitutionally “reserv[ed] to the States respectively”. [See U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cls. 15 and 16, and art. II, § 2, cl. 1.] No officials in the Department of Homeland Security, the Armed Forces, or any other Department, branch, agency, or bureau of the General Government can ever be appointed by the States to positions of command in their Militia, because to do so would effectively transfer control over the Militia from the States to the General Government, in direct contradiction of the States’ explicitly reserved constitutional authority in that particular, as well as making such appointees simultaneously officials of the States as well as of the General Government, which would contradict the first principle of the federal system, and inevitably lead to chaos if the States issued one set of directives to such officers while the General Government issued another. Note that no appeal to the Supremacy Clause [U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2] can preclude this result (because that clause does not override the specific reservation of State authority in the body of the Constitution), and that the Second and the Tenth Amendments need not be invoked in order to achieve that result (although, of course, their authority confirms and amplifies it). This is a matter neither of “nullification”, nor even of “interposition”, but simply of the constitutional irrelevance of the General Government to the Militia when the Militia are performing duties for their States, such as State and Local “police” functions, as opposed to one or more of the three specific duties which can be required of the Militia “in the actual Service of the United States”.

This is all so obvious—as a matter of American history, of constitutional law, and of the precepts and operating principles of popular sovereignty, popular self-government, and what the Second Amendment denotes as “a free State”—that to explain it again and again becomes tiresome in the extreme. The Constitution was not written in such abstruse terms that only graduates of Harvard Law School can parse and understand it. It does require, however, that Americans actually take the time to read it. The question then arises: “For what are WE THE PEOPLE waiting? Until it is too late to do anything effective? Be forewarned. That day will dawn only too soon.

Dr. Edwin VieiraDr. Edwin Vieira is IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Jurisprudence and Constitutional and Monetary Law.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published on September 14, 2012, on NewsWithViews.


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