This is not about politics. This is about the utter trashing of the US Constitution and a dangerous new development that gravely threatens the liberty of the United States. I care nothing for any of the political parties vying for power, but do care about our fundamental liberty, which is essential for our religion to flourish or survive. And that liberty is facing a critical new assault in the form of a May 9 National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive that essentially bypasses the entire US Constitution, allowing sole power to be placed in the hands of the Executive Branch if there should happen to be some big emergency. And who decides when it’s an emergency and how long it lasts? Guess for yourself.
Did you hear that great flushing sound echoing across this nation? It was the sound of the US Constitution going down the toilet. Maybe that’s putting it too dramatically. You probably didn’t notice, you probably won’t hear any debate about it from Presidential candidates from either of the two major parties, you probably won’t lose any sleep over this silent development, but we are one emergency away from dictatorship, in my opinion. The thread that holds the US Constitution in place is frayed and about to break.
A small handful of sources have picked up on this story. The conservative World Net Daily has an article: “Bush grants presidency extraordinary powers: Directive for emergencies apparently gives authority without congressional oversight.” (Also see a related column by Jerome Corsi.) A search of news on Google using the terms National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive May 9 returns only a few hits, and it appears that only 3 minor US news sources mention the directive. But the directive is there, at www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html.
According to the May 9 Presidential Directive, dictatorship, or rather, a nation under the sole power of the Executive branch of government, can be implemented if there is a “Catastrophic Emergency.” What’s that? It is explicitly defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.” So, could we face an emergency in the form of “disruption” of the economy – perhaps a speech by Al Greenspan? Or could it be an environmental disaster, or even a government building burning to the ground (an emergency that helped justify dictatorship in Germany several decades ago)?
There is lip service to the continued existence of other branches of government. But direction will come from the top:
This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. This policy establishes “National Essential Functions,” prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program. . . .
Dictatorship is often justified by its architects as being “necessary for the good of the people.” And if a once-free people will buy that, then they will quickly sell their freedom and almost else they once had. Today, in May of 2007, the American people are being asked (without any discussion) to sit back and trust their President, and all future Presidents, with power to bypass the Constitution and assume sole power if they feel it’s justified by some kind of “emergency.” Perhaps President Bush is our modern Captain Moroni who may need to impose martial law to put down the King Men and execute those who won’t be loyal (watch your head, Michael Moore). But Captain Moroni is about to leave office (unless there’s another Presidential Directive I missed), so are you prepared to trust Captain Hillary with the same power?? Many of my friends have a lot of confidence in President Bush and think he’s a sincere man trying to do good. But even if that’s correct, this directive doesn’t expire in 2008. There’s no hint that it ever expires. Can we trust all future Presidencies as well with the opportunity to seize unlimited power?
If you think I’m crazy, then just ignore my plea here and comfort yourself with these words: “Absolute power doesn’t corrupt. It doesn’t tempt. It doesn’t hurt a thing.” Put it into rap form and chant it over and over – while you’re still free to chant.
Joseph Smith once prophesied that the US Constitution would hang by a thread. I say this to remind you that when there is grave peril to the Constitution, as he hinted, there will be a duty for us to rise up in its defense. We need to do more than just sit on our thrones while our freedoms are at stake.
One doesn’t need to be into conspiracy theories to worry about this. It’s a public document that you can read for yourself. There is a plan, a directive already signed and put into effect that, if not opposed now, could easily be used at some point in the future to transform a single branch of government into the sole ruling branch. Isn’t that radically contrary to anything in the Constitution? Shouldn’t we be concerned, even if we are confident that our leaders are trustworthy and honorable saints with no ambition for power?
I called the offices of my Senators today and asked them to oppose this directive. I hope you’ll also speak up on this issue. I know there are some big advantages to dictatorship, so maybe this request isn’t right for all of you. But if you agree, speak out and ask your elected officials in Congress to do their duty to preserve the checks and balances of the Constitution. There is no need for sole power in the hands of one mortal man, no matter how serious a disaster we face.