I received an insightful email in response to my blog post yesterday, where I pointed out how people lost trust in the Supreme Court a long time ago. I pointed out the judicial deference to the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s program of state-sponsored assassinations as an example. Notwithstanding the express prohibition against assassinations in the Fifth Amendment, the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary have made it clear from the beginning that they would not interfere, owing, no doubt, to the overwhelming power of the national-security branch of the federal government.
The email I received pointed out another example of the federal judiciary’s acquiescence to the national-security establishment: the Vietnam War. The Constitution requires a congressional declaration of war before the president can legally wage war. Yet, in an act of passivity and abrogation of duty, the federal judiciary refused to get involved and declare the U.S. invasion of Vietnam unconstitutional. Knowing full well that the intervention violated the Constitution and knowing full well that it was their duty to enforce the Constitution, the federal judiciary just let it happen. The result was the senseless deaths of some 58,000 American men, not to mention the countless Vietnamese people who were killed by American forces.
That’s not all. There was also conscription to consider. In the name of “fighting for freedom,” federal officials forced thousands of American men to go to Vietnam to kill or be killed. With conscription, a draftee is being forced to serve the Pentagon. It would be difficult to find a better example of involuntary servitude than that, something that the 13th Amendment expressly forbids. Yet, the federal judiciary, once again, passively deferred to the overwhelming power of the Pentagon and refused to declare the draft unconstitutional.
This particular issue goes back even further — to the early 1950s, when the U.S. government intervened in Korea’s civil war. As with Vietnam, there was no congressional declaration of war. Moreover, as with Vietnam, there was conscription. Nonetheless, the federal judiciary just let it happen. More than 36,000 American soldiers killed, along with countless Koreans.
As I have repeatedly emphasized, most recently in my new book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, the worst mistake the American people have ever made was to permit the conversion of the federal government from our founding system of a limited-government republic to a national-security state, which is form of omnipotent government. If we are to regain the rights and liberties we lost in that conversion, it is necessary to restore our founding governmental system of a limited-government republic. If we are able to accomplish that, maybe that will be when the federal judiciary formally apologizes to the American people, just as the Chilean judiciary apologized to the Chilean people for doing the same thing to them, as I detailed in yesterday’s blog post.
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