Why America's Founders Distrusted Standing Armies

Chuck Baldwin It is well documented that many of America’s Founding Fathers had a very real and deep-seated distrust of standing armies–and for good reason. They had just fought a costly and bloody war for independence, which had been largely predicated upon the propensities for the abuse and misuse of individual liberties by a pervasive and powerful standing army (belonging to Great Britain) amongst them. Listen to Thomas Jefferson: “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” Note that Jefferson identified 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 founders ring hollow to modern Americans who, ever since World War II, have glorified, 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 reference directing them to the sagacity of America’s founders on the subject. Indeed, who could even imagine that US military forces would ever be used against the US citizenry? After all, the media did a masterful job of covering up the most flagrant example of US military forces being used against US citizens when US military forces assisted federal law enforcement agencies in slaughtering the Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993. So, most Americans simply shut their eyes against that “painful truth” and chose to ignore the fact 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 founders’ deep-seated distrust of standing armies has been replaced with deep-seated trust. But were our founders right to be distrusting of standing armies? And are we wrong to be so trusting of standing armies? Consider the following report by Dr. Andrew Bosworth.

“There is a shocking piece of legislation working its way through Congress. A Defense Authorization bill for 2012 allows for military detentions of American citizens on American soil. These can be indefinite detentions, with no trial.”

Bosworth quotes an ACLU (an organization whose efforts regarding the so-called “separation of church and state” issues I strongly oppose, but whose efforts regarding issues that can only be identified as an emerging police state I strongly support) statement as saying, “The U.S. Senate is considering the unthinkable: changing detention laws to imprison people–including Americans living in the United States itself–indefinitely and without charge.

“The Defense Authorization bill–a “must-pass” piece of legislation–is headed to the Senate floor with troubling provisions that would give the President–and all future presidents–the authority to indefinitely imprison people, without charge or trial, both abroad and inside the United States.”

Especially egregious are sections 1031 and 1032. They:

1) Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely 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) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.

Bosworth also notes that, “The bill was drafted 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 face, is unconstitutional. Ordinary Americans are already waking up to the specter of tyranny, and the NDAA for 2012 would accelerate that process.”

Read More: http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/home/?p=4213