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The Real Reason Mitt Romney Lost the Election. He looked too much like Obama.

By Dr. Harold Pease

In driving to and from Utah late July and spending a couple of weeks in what are known as “Mormon” communities, I expected to find Nevada and Utah littered with pro-Romney signs and didn’t. In fact, I was hard pressed to find any bumper stickers or yard signs favoring either major presidential candidate. There were Ron Paul signs, however. As a political scientist I have studied elections for many years so this omission was glaring. Why the lack of enthusiasm?

America, a right of center country, had no candidate right of center—hence no “real” choice. Except for the “handout” vote, that increased substantially during the Barack Obama Administration and of course went to him, the people were not that excited about either major candidate. They looked too much alike. The third and final debate, focused on foreign policy, clearly showed Mitt Romney as a white Barack Obama. For Romney the whole evening was, “I would have done the same thing, only better.” Both supported tougher sanctions against Iran. Both supported drone warfare in foreign lands without the permission of the invaded country and without even a hint of a trial to prove the quilt of the accused, even if American. Both believe that the President can start a war without a declaration of war by Congress as required in the Constitution and both believe that they can charge the expense of such to our children without approval of the House as is also constitutionally required. Finally, both drew their advisors from the same Wall Street special interest group, the Council on Foreign Relations.

On Civil Rights both supported the Patriot Reauthorization Act, Obama arguing that civil right violations were far more serious under President George W. Bush, because of his executive orders and Obama mentioned violations with respect to Guantanamo Bay, warrantless wire taping, and the suspension of habeas corpus. These candidate Obama promised to reverse “by a stroke of a pen,” when elected. Four years later he still has not done so.

But how much solace can we have from a President Romney on civil rights when he was asked if he was in favor of wiretapping mosques? His answer frightened civil libertarians and constitutionalists. He suggested not only wiretapping the mosques but also Islamic schools and play grounds if needed as well. “We (the government) need to know what is going on… Track them, follow them, and make sure that in every way we can we know what they are doing and where they are doing it. And if it means that we have to go into a mosque to wiretap, or a church, that’s exactly where we are going to go. And I hear from time to time people who say, now wait a second. We have civil liberties that we have to worry about.” Obviously, the violation of civil liberties was not a problem for the last two presidents, nor would it be for a President Romney. Romney, of course, would have no problem if his church or temple were wiretapped by the government.

On this same subject President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act just last New Years Eve. A Bill that the left and right both believed gutted major sections of the Bill of Rights. A U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist, without witnesses, testimony, or defense, could now find himself kidnapped by his own government and shipped out of the country to Guantanamo Bay and held indefinitely without any protection from the Bill of Rights; all this on the say so of the military and president alone. When asked, in one of the Presidential debates, whether he would have signed the Act, candidate Romney answered, “Yes, I would have. And I do believe that it is appropriate,” this to the loud accompaniment of boo’s from the audience which understood that in this country that is never to happen.

A close examination of virtually every issue reveals the Obama / Romney likeness in statements made by each the last five years. Both extolled the virtues of Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury; and both favored retaining Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Both favored extending the payroll tax cut, the line item veto, and each planned to create new government funded jobs rebuilding Americas roads and bridges, a power never delegated by the Constitution to the federal government. Energy independence was a major goal of both, each extolling the virtues of wind, solar, and coal at one time or another. Both listed Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup as major funders. Both favored TARP and stimulus programs. Even on national health care there were far more similarities than differences. The biggest common denominator was their love of big government.

The Tea Party Patriots did what they could to make Americas’ core values: fiscal responsibility, limited constitutional government, and the free market fit for a Mitt Romney, but it was like putting a square peg in a round hole and Barack Obama, who has demonstrated over and over again that these values are not shared by him, remains in office. They chose a Tory, bypassing their own Patriots Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, or even Ron Paul, and have undermined the movement by doing so.

Most pundits of the election argue that the Republican Party, to survive, needs to get on board and look more like the Democratic Party. I disagree. The Republican Party already looks too much like the opposing party and instead needs to distinguish itself more from it. It cost them the election by having done too much of that already.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

Straight Thinking on Iran

By Dr. Harold Pease

Three of the four remaining Republican presidential candidates and the present occupant of the White House appear to be, or are favorable to, provoking Iran for a response worthy of a preemptive strike. Only Ron Paul, of our options for president, is decidedly against.

Forgive me for not believing that the world is flat, as did virtually everyone before Columbus and that Iraq had something to do with 9 /11, or that the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction as President George W. Bush told us. Once again, I feel drawn into another Middle East black hole of lies, no end wars, death of our young men and women, loss of our treasure, and yet another Patriot Act which only limits the liberties of American citizens. History repeats itself, but why so soon?

It seems to hinge on whether Iran is that close to getting a deployable nuclear weapon and if it really matters if it does? In a compelling article by Charles Scaliger, “Is it Nuts to Let Iran Go Nuclear?” recently published in The New American, Scaliger argues that our interests in the Middle East “boil down to oil and Israel.”

Oil should not be a major concern to us as we have a plentiful supply on “Alaska’s North Slope and the east and west coasts of the United States.” Presently, and strangely, these resources are made off-limits to drilling by our own government resulting in prices at the pump soaring to $4.40 per gallon; so inept are we in utilizing our natural resources. The price of gasoline per gallon when Barack Obama took office was $1.87. Moreover, we have access to the “Athabasca tar sands of northern Alberta (the world’s second largest oil reserves)” but instead our president vetoes the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would relieve our price pain by bringing crude oil into the United States. Instead, we prefer the “added costs (political and military as well as economic) of continuing to ship in our oil from hostile countries on the other side of the world.” All this brings meaning to the old adage, “We looked and the enemy was us.”

The second reason for caring about the Middle East is Israel. But Israel has demonstrated for over 40 years that it is quite capable of defending herself. As a young boy, I remember well when six nations in 1967, each larger than Israel, attacked this tiny nation and she defeated them all in just six days. It was called the Six Day War. I was envious of her strength and valor as the U.S. at the time was mired down in Vietnam, fighting an enemy equal to the population of New York State and geographically the size of Missouri. We lost that war. They met similar odds against Israel with similar results in 1948 and in 1973. Scaliger reminds us that in 1981 the Israeli Air Force destroyed a nuclear reactor in Iraq and in 2007 a nuclear facility in Syria. If Iran attacked Israel, there is little doubt who would win. Israel does not need our onsite protection.

But what if Iran did get a nuclear weapon as feared? Scaliger reminds us that China had one in 1964 but did not have the delivery system to put it on American soil for thirty years. India took 25 years “to go from its first nuclear test to the actual production of nuclear weapons….” and it took their Pakistani neighbors 26 years. Why the long delay? “Developing nuclear weapons requires mastery of a number of intricate technologies, among them engineering centrifuge cascades….” Scaliger notes, “There is a very big difference between having a nuclear ‘device’ and having nuclear weapons.” Iran is “many years away from creating a deliverable nuclear weapon that could threaten Saudi Arabia or Israel and probably decades away from creating an ICBM or submarine-launched missile that could menace the American mainland.”

Don’t forget that all Middle Eastern countries know that a nuke on Israel means nukes on them from us, and we do not need to be present to deliver. Mutual Assure Destruction (MAD) kept the peace during the “Cold War,” it will in the Middle East for the same reason.

So why is there all the hype? I cannot answer fully but suggest that we look to who benefits from perpetual war—The Council on Foreign Relations in its bid for world dominance and the industries that make the weapons of war. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first to warn us of the military industrial complex; perhaps it is time to take his warning seriously.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org

Republican Presidential Candidates Divide on Freedom Issue

By Dr. Harold Pease

The Republican Presidential Debate held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina finally brought to light a real divide, other than on Iran, between the candidates. The issue was The National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama December 31, 2011, with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum viewing it as a threat to civil liberty and unconstitutional and Mitt Romney decidedly supporting it. Neither Rick Perry nor Newt Gingrich was asked to give their view. I could find nothing in print revealing a position for either on the extremely controversial law. This is very unfortunate as Sections 1031 and 1032 authorize the military to arrest and indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or trial—even on U.S. soil. Since either could be the one exercising this power we should know where they stand.

Popularly referred to as the “indefinite detention act” the new law authorizes the military to arrest citizens suspected of being terrorists on the say-so of the president or the military alone. No real proof needed. It voids the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prohibiting the military any law enforcement authority on U.S. soil and voids much of the Bill of Rights as well. Americans now can be extradited to Guantanamo without benefit of trial, judge, or jury and held indefinitely—even tortured (see Section 1068). Activists on both the left and right vehemently oppose it, the one believing that it could eventually be twisted to apply to Occupy Wall Street participants and the other Tea Party participants. Each group has been referred to as terrorists by their enemies.

As mentioned the strongest support for The National Defense Authorization Act came from Mitt Romney. When asked if he would have signed the bill into law as had President Obama, Romney answered emphatically, “Yes, I would have.” He continued. “I do believe it is appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country, who are members of al Qaeda. Look, you have every right in this country to protest and to express your views on a wide range of issues, but you don’t have a right to join a group that has challenged America and has threatened killing Americans, has killed Americans, and has declared war against America. That’s treason. In this country we have a right to take those people and put them in jail.” That may be Governor, but only after they have been tried and convicted in accordance with the Bill of Rights with the assumption that they are innocent until proven guilty.

Romney recognized that such power exercised by one man could be abused “but I don’t think he (President Obama) will abuse this power, and if I were president I would not abuse this power,” he said. How naïve! This reminds me of the famous Richard Nixon statement with respect to his authorization to break into Watergate. “If the President does it, it is not a crime.” Therein lies the problem. President Obama may never abuse such power, nor may a “President” Romney, but somewhere down the line some president will have his enemies defined as terrorists and removed. The Constitution is written to protect us from that person. With opposition destroyed so would be liberty. No president should have such power. The Founding Fathers never allowed such trust in one person in the Constitution.

Such naivety is dangerous as is candidate Romney’s understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Both flaws should cast doubt on his ability to protect these documents and lead a free people. Moreover, on the subject of treason, which a civil trial would determine, the Constitution requires the “witness of two or more to an overt act;” clearly not the voice of just one man who could benefit personally by the action.

Fortunately to his credit, Rick Santorum chimed in. “A U.S. citizen who is detained as an enemy combatant should have the right to a lawyer and to appeal their case before a federal court.” Unfortunately, no other candidate was invited to respond to this important question, but it was obvious that Ron Paul was not going to be ignored on the subject. Although not asked, he was able to get into the debate that holding American citizens indefinitely is a breach of the U.S. judicial system. An Internet search revealed much public discourse from him, and only him, in opposition to this law.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

Just Signed Law Obliterates Large Portions of The Bill of Rights

Dr. Harold Pease

The Republican Presidential Primaries have obscured the President’s late December signing of the most damaging law to the Bill of Rights in my lifetime. Known as the National Defense Authorization Act the over 600 page, $662 billion law “would require the military to hold suspected terrorists linked to Al Qaeda or its affiliates, even those captured on U. S. soil, indefinitely” and without trial, on the say so of the military through the President alone. Moreover, even U.S. citizens could be removed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba against their will and deprived of their constitutional rights. In my commentary on this law in early December (see “New Bill Damages Bill of Rights and Could Target Americans for Military Detention,” LibertyUnderFire.org), I noted that the law gave no protection from a revolving definition of terrorism to anti-government, perhaps even Tea Partiers or Occupy Wall Street folks.

The threat of potential incarceration without recourse to a lawyer, judge and trial is very serious. The military performing police duty, heretofore rendered by civil authorities, is unconscionable in a free society. Our only hope was a promised Presidential veto which did not happen. Therefore, what follows are details on how the new law emasculates the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the U.S. Constitution and Amendments 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the Bill of Rights.

The Writ of Habeas Corpus found in Article I, Section 9 recognized that some day war might exist on our soil and that the accused had rights that might have to be momentarily delayed until recognized civilian authority could reasonably attend to them. It allowed this delay in only two circumstances “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Section 9 is a list of powers specifically denied Congress; nor were they given to the President in Article II. This strongly suggests no federal role outside these two parameters in the delay of justice—certainly no military role. The removal of any civilian role and the carting off of U.S. citizens to a foreign country without benefit of judge or jury obliterates this right.

Amendment 4 deals with searches and seizures and reads in part “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation…” Warrants give civil authority the power to arrest only when the reason for the search (probable cause) has been reviewed and authorized, normally by an elected judge, who has given an oath to uphold the Constitution. He stands between the plaintiff and the defendant as the protector of Constitutional law. There is no role for the military even with a President’s authorization. Tell this to the young soldiers just following orders. Freedom dies when this amendment dies.

Amendment 5 has several parts that are affected by the new law but space limits my coverage to just a couple. Infamous or serious crimes mandate a grand jury, twelve or more citizens to evaluate the evidence before proceeding, which will not exist in a military arrest and extradition to Guantanamo Bay process. Moreover, one cannot “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Due process is the civilian judicial system. The amendment does have a short-term exclusion “when in actual service in time of war or public danger” but the National Defense Authorization Act is a permanent exclusion rather than a temporary one and this brief exclusion should only hold when the enemy has brought war to our soil.

Amendment 6 deals with criminal court procedures where “the accused shall enjoy the right to … a public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed … to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel in his defense.” The new law destroys the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. There will be no “impartial jury,” no “obtaining witnesses in his favor,” no “counsel in his defense,” and Cuba is hardly within “the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.”

Finally, the new law will obliterate Amendment 8 for those the President and his military define as terrorists. The protection against cruel and unusual punishment for them ends and torture is justified. Does anyone really think that the military will care about excessive fines or bail either?

Sadly both parties, despite their oath to preserve the Constitution, are responsible for this bill. There was bipartisan support for it. Unbelievably, Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate from either party to speak out against it.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

The Unelectable Presidential Candidate??

By Dr. Harold Pease

The day before the Iowa primary the Des Moines Register reported that 41% of Iowans still remained undecided with respect to their choice for president which strongly indicates that no one has yet “touched” a majority of the Republican Party—far from it! Nor did Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum together, each with 25% of the vote, capture even a simple majority. Third place went to Ron Paul with 22%, who was short only 4,000 votes from taking first place. So, it appears the Republicans are not enthused by anyone. This aside, let us look at the race from another perspective, what I call the negative index. Who was the most negatively targeted presidential candidate, but still had good numbers, perhaps the “real” winner?

To the question, “Who is least likely to win the Republican Party nomination and defeat President Barack Obama? The answer was, and is, always Congressman Ron Paul. “Ron Paul is OK but he is not electable.” Who said so! Virtually every radio or television commentator or pundit from MSNBC to Fox News has so said. The chorus includes virtually every columnist and major newspaper in the country as well. Probably no presidential candidate in our history has had more organized opposition. Whether you like Ron Paul or not the fact remains that despite the intensity of this opposition, over one in five Iowans voted for him. Moreover, a vast majority of the funding from Super PACs was targeted against Paul and Newt Gingrich. Newt tumbled to fourth place and Paul to third but one wonders what might have happened if Romney or Santorum had received similar negative—even hostile—coverage.

As a presidential candidate four years ago Paul was treated dismissively, ignored or undermined. Such is still so, supporters maintain, but his ranks increased and showed themselves to be exceptionally loyal none-the-less and less tolerant of this treatment. Still victories, like coming in second to Michele Bachmann by less than a hundred votes in the Iowa Straw Vote several months ago, were ignored by the establishment press. More recently others noticed that he received only 90 seconds out of an hour and a half debate several weeks ago and began to ask why. Such slights were subtle but numerous. Prior to the Caucus it was indeed difficult to find any favorable commentary by any major news source outside Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch on the Fox Business Channel.

Recently when polls showed the possibility of a Ron Paul victory in Iowa fellow candidates and political pundits collectively intensified their negative treatment, all accused him of being out of step with Republican foreign policy. One commentator went so far as to say that if Paul won the Iowa Caucus, the Caucus should not be treated as seriously in the future. Newt Gingrich took time to call Ron Paul “a dangerous man” in a speech attempting to explain his poor showing of only 13% in the Caucus, nine percentage points under that of Paul.

Why the almost universal opposition? Perhaps in part it comes from the Council on Foreign Relations, the most influential special interest group in the United States. It’s magazine Foreign Affairs, advertised as “the most influential periodical in print,” is considered direction for its over 2100 members and thousands more readers. What suggestions are published in this publication become U.S. foreign policy. The April 2011 edition housed an article “The Tea Party and American Foreign Policy: What Populism Means for Globalism” an article essentially defining The Tea Party movement as dangerous and a threat to world governance. In that article it acknowledged having to deal with the movement but concluded that, at the time it had two arms, one represented by Sara Palin, the other by Ron Paul. Of the two they felt that the “Palinites” could be molded properly in foreign policy, which they dominate regardless of which party comes to power, but under the “Paulites” they would have no voice thus he had to be resisted at all costs. In other words, they could not control Ron Paul. With a majority of the key media players being CFR members and falling in line, opposition to Presidential Candidate Paul is more understandable.

Whether one loves or hates Paul, probably no presidential candidate in our history has had more long term organized opposition than he and with such he still was able to garner 22% of the Iowa vote with no one receiving more than 3 percentage points higher than he. Given the negative index it is amazing that he is still a viable candidate (probably anyone else would have been crushed into nonexistence) and perhaps with such opposition factored in, the actual winner of the Iowa Caucus.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.