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IPFS News Link • Constitution

America's Constitutional State of Emergency

•,by Dennis J. Kucinich

More than 23 years ago, George W. Bush, Jr. signed Presidential Proclamation 7463 declaring that a "national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States."  

The White House has demonstrated, in several administrations, both Democrat and Republican, "threat inflation" for the sake of spending endless money on wars, and manipulating fears to hold on to power to continue to spend endless money on even more wars in the ultimate protection racket.

As a result, the constitutional system of checks and balances is being obliterated in favor of an Imperial Presidency, and, as the Constitution is eroded, so too, are our liberties.  

The recent chipping away at our First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights can be traced directly to the psychology of a "State of Emergency," which licenses shredding of freedom. 

Presidents no longer ask Congress for explicit permission to go to war, as the Constitution requires, under Article 1, Section 8.  Courts have held that once Congress appropriates money for wars, that is  tantamount to congressional approval.

The increased spending for war has militarized our culture, proliferates enemies, creates violence at home and abroad.

We must break this cycle of fear, the endless wars and the emergency powers for Presidents who are not accountable to the Congress, which is directly elected by the people. 

Those of us who witnessed the events of 9/11, up close, or from a distance, will never forget the imminent danger, the fear, the grief, the loss, the uncertainty that gripped us in those days. Nor will we forget those whose lives were sacrificed, or those who gave their lives in service to humanity on that day, or those who died following long-term illnesses which began during and after the attacks 23 years ago.