"...Nowhere in the Constitution is any branch except Congress given the power to declare war. For an individual in any other branch to do so is (1) unimaginable in the context of constitutional law, and (2) a violation of our Constitution's "separation of powers". The declaration of war is a legislative-branch function, not an executive-branch function. ..."
-------------The Code: Media mouthpieces are forbidden to bring legal fact to the Bush Usurpation. The legal realm must be suppressed. All emphasis must be placed on everything being politics-as-usual -- including uncontitutional, felonious, and treasonous acts such as the invasion of Iraq. American soldiers killed in Iraq are not felony murders for the money-power benefits of the superrich, they're only politics as usual. Stick to the Code.
--------------------------------The short and tight federal statute 18 USC 241 -- criminal conspiracy against rights -- is a widely suppressed law.
It is a Pandora's Box for the governing elites, the military elites, the financial elites, the corporate predators, all lawyers who keep their mouths shut about the game, and those elite-class judges who are legal whores. Players in the dual-political-system game described by Michael Parenti (in his 2001 book, Democracy For The Few) don't want the public, out-front accountability that goes with their behind-the-scenes lawbreaking, but they still must rely on the use of criminal conspiracies against rights so that obscenely excessive profits and power can be had.
Profits and power would be unacceptably limited if the superrich, their lawyers and judges, their corporate guys in the trenches, their bought-and-paid-for politicians, and their adequately rewarded military guys in the posh command posts and on the ships had to honor the Constitution, laws, and citizen rights.
In fact, criminal conspiracies against rights are double-bit axes, chopping two ways. They violate rights to expand profits and power, and they prompt collusions among the players to obstruct justice -- especially the collusions between govt branches and govt agencies that cripple constitutional checks and balances -- so that very few players ever get caught up in accountability. An absurd ten-year prison sentence for taking the initiative to make a few million dollars can ruin your whole portfolio.
Here's the Pandora's Box that must be kept suppressed so that the American political-financial system as we know it can go on and on and on.
Title 18, US Code, Section 241
"If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
"If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
"They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death."
That last bit, life imprisonment or the death sentence, defines a death as a result of a 18 USC 241 violation as felony murder.
So far, the Pandora's Box of 18 USC 241 has been very cost-effective for the predators. The powerful cronies in all three branches of the national govt have been able to keep collusions against the rule of law, preventing any criminal prosecution for the many blatant crimes done by the players. There has been so much money and power made in the process of criminal conspiracies against rights that even if we prosecute and convict thousands of its felons-in-waiting, the 18 USC 241 violations will still have been extremely cost effective for the players.
Among the biggest money-power conspiracies against rights -- 'biggest' in terms of both money-power made and the raw numbers of co-conspirators involved -- is the unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous invasion of Iraq.
The scope here does not include the many national and international crimes that Bush-Cheney and their cronies have committed since the invasion. Those are covered by our federal statute called the War Crimes Act -- 18 USC 2441. Felony murder is a part of the 18 USC 2441 picture, too. No statute of limitations on felony murder. We can nail the co-conspirators any time in the future that circumstances allow us to mete out justice.
Here, we are concerned only with the unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous invasion of Iraq.
When war is involved, the failure to protect citizen rights under our Constitution and laws, by those sworn to uphold our Constitution, is treason. It's a precedent set by the prosecution and conviction of the secessionist state legislators for treaon in the aftermath of the Civil War. Their secession votes deprived their citizens of Constitutional rights that the state legislators were sworn to uphold, and the secession votes became part of a conspiracy that led to war. In violation of the Constitution's definition of treason (Art. 3, section 3), the indicted state legislators gave aid and comfort to the enemies of the US. The co-conspirators of the Iraq invasion gave aid and comfort to the nation's enemies, the co-conspirators themselves.
The unconstitutionality of the Iraq invasion is streaightforward. Nowhere in the Constitution is any branch except Congress given the power to declare war. For an individual in any other branch to do so is (1) unimaginable in the context of constitutional law, and (2) a violation of our Constitution's "separation of powers". The declaration of war is a legislative-branch function, not an executive-branch function. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution mandates that Congress "shall have the power to declare war."
Congress violated the "separation of powers" under the Constitution when they gave the war powers decision for Iraq to Bush. It was done in HJR 114, "Authorization For The Use Of Military Force In Iraq", October 2002, 2nd session, 107th Congress.
What Congress did here was not a declaration of war. They said to the president, "You decide when we should go to war, and keep us posted."
HJR 114 was an unconstitutional delegation of a power specifically given only to Congress in the Constitution. And it's not as if this issue has never been visited before. In 1935, SCOTUS established the "nondelegation doctrine" in its ruling on Schechter Poultry, 295 US 495. SCOTUS branded as unconstitutional any delegation of the core powers given to Congress in the Constitution.
Note that Schechter Poultry applies to both (1) the unconstitutional and illegal "Authorization For The Use Of Military Force In Iraq" resolution of 2002, and (2) the unconstitutional and illegal "War Powers" resolution of 1973, which unconstitutionally gave war powers to Nixon, and which Congress cited as justification for their unconstitutionally giving Iraq war powers to Bush.
In the prima facie case we're building here, all Members and Senators in Congress who voted to give Bush his very own war powers for Iraq -- all 373 of them -- are guilty of violating the Constitution and of violating his/her oath to uphold the Constitution. As already said, with future war a part of the unconstitutional action, the violation of the oath to protect Constitutional citizen rights is treason.
Additionally, the 373 Members and Senators are the beginning of the felony conspiracy against citizen rights to send our soldiers to war without a declaration of war by Congress. They are guilty of violating 18 USC 241. Felony forfeits all immunities -- legislative, judicial, and executive.
HJR-114 is not a one-dimensional Congressional crime. When Bush signed it into law -- "contrary to his oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States, and, to the best of his ability, to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed" (quoted from all three of Nixon's articles of impeachment, July 1974) -- it became Public Law 107-243. It became an unconstitutional anti-law regime under the Constitution and a felony conspiracy under 18 USC 241.
The legislative history of Public Law 107-243 claims that it is based on Public Law 93-148, the War Powers Act of 1973, which gave war powers to another favorite son of corporate fascism, Richard Nixon. It is another trick of constitutional criminals in Congress -- use one unconstitutionality to justify another unconstitutionality. PL 93-148 is as unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous as is PL 107-243, for the same reasons. And they are both anti-law regimes, not law.
That is, Congress and this president used an unconstitutional federal statute -- Public Law 107-243 -- to violate and override the Constitution's supreme law of the land, so that a felony conspiracy to commit felony murder of US soldiers in Iraq, in violation of 18 USC 241, could be set in place.
Congress' "separation of powers" violation with HJR-114, and Bush signing it into law, were both significant, high crimes before the invasion. Together they are a felony conspiracy threatening to send soldiers to war without the Constitutional right of a direct order from Congress. By themselves, they are both criminally prosecutable and impeachable offenses.
However, Bush went far beyond impeachable offense by ordering the invasion of Iraq. He could have chosen not to commit felony murder under our laws. The moment that the first soldier was killed because of that order, the law locked felony murder into the felony conspiracy. At that moment, the only proportional response of the nation to the murderous co-conspirators became prosecute, convict, imprison, and/or put to death.
Under our rule of law, Bush can be criminally prosecuted today for his felony violation of 18 USC 241, and the thousands of felony murders involved, regardless of his being a sitting president.
And there is no statute of limitations on felony murder. We can prosecute, convict, and sentence him to death -- per 18 USC 241 -- at any time in the future. Of course, for now, as demonstrated by unconstitutional inter-agency and inter-branch collusions, Bush lives above the law.
US military officers take their loyalty oath to the Constitution -- not to the president, or even to Congress. We must hold those officers responsible for knowing that orders to invade Iraq in the 2002-2003 circumstances were unconstitutional.
Every officer who participated in giving the invasion orders is guilty of oath violation and of 18 USC 241 violation -- regardless of rank. All such officers are co-conspirators in the felony murders of thousands of US soldiers.
Nobody is excused from felony murder because he/she holds a high station in life. Delivering the co-conspirators into the legal realm is the best, perhaps the only, way in which we can honor our war dead.
All co-conspirators in this heinous crime are felons-in-waiting. Their only proper place is in federal prison, or the grave.
That's the law. Dura lex, sed lex -- the law is harsh, but it is the law. The Iraq War is not politics as usual, to be settled by the results of any election. The Iraq War is a set of law violations that belongs in the federal court system.
Of course, we need to reform the federal bench before taking legal action against these murderous co-conspirators. We need a Constitutional amendment that fires the entire federal bench in preparation for nonpartisan, clean-money-only, direct election by the people in each Court's jurisdiction. That amendment should also specify that any federal judge is vulnerable to citizen recall -- by the citizens of the Court's jurisdiction or by the national civil society. There's no other way to end the protection of those most-powerful representatives by a bigoted local majority.
The use of unconstitutional stature law to violate and override constitutions is older than our country. In our 200-plus year history, the violation of our Constitution by government officials and judges is our single largest political problem. Witness Bush's usurpation of the presidency, January 2001. Witness the "USA Patriot Act". Witness SCOTUS with its purely unconstitutional and felonious "eminent domain" decision in Kelo v. New London. And witness the unconstitutional, felonious, and treasonous invasion of Iraq.
It's way past time for the national constitutional renewal that will bring these criminals to justice and establish the people as the final authority in this country. We must be careful of how we attempt the renewal. But it is do-able.
© 2007 by Stephen Neitzke
Modified Thu 02 Aug 2007, at 3:30pm CDT