"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Defending our Constitution, Before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

I, _____,...do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same... So help me God.

As a military officer, I took the oath above, an oath required by Article Six of our Constitution for both military officers and judges.  I took the oath without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.  Still, I can't honestly say that I fully appreciated how solemn that oath was the day I first uttered it.  Like so many who took the same path I did, I was mostly focused on learning the tools of lethality and wielding them to kill our enemies around the world when called to do so.

And I mostly certainly did so.  I relish the opportunity I was given to slaughter our enemies overseas and protect braver Americans on the ground.

But the oath is a great deal more than simply participation in combat.  A strong military or police power is worse-than-worthless, if not leveraged to actually support and defend our Constitution and our liberty, and it's far worse than even that, when used to betray that document.  We can be the strongest and most lethal nation on the planet, and we should be, but if that power is not used to protect the rights of our citizens, then powerful nation or not, that nation is simply not America.

Fortunately, next week I will have the opportunity to again truly support and defend our Constitution against domestic enemies, those who violate it without concern, without hesitation, and without accountability and who do so while thumbing their noses at our judiciary that has ruled to protect our supreme law of the land. 

I will argue against those who refuse to obey OUR law, before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The monstrous growth of unchecked and unconstitutional practice that has emerged from a court-shackled and limited exception to our Fourth Amendment (an exception that was mandated by our judiciary to require a minimal intrusion in exchange for straying from the rule that suspicionless seizures are a constitutional violation) has become anything but a limited, brief, and minimal intrusion for many Americans each and every day.

I will argue before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this Tuesday, that our Constitution must be adhered to, that government agents must restrain themselves in accordance with our judiciary's case law, and that federal government that refuses to do so must be held accountable.  As Senator Mike Lee discussed in a topic (very near to my heart) with Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, there must be teeth to our laws.  There must be a standard. 

A system where judicial case law can be ignored, has no teeth.  I will argue the law, and I have a strong case.  The real question, however, is whether the law will matter in the end, whether the law has teeth, when applied to the federal government.

When people are not accountable to law, there is anarchy.  When government is not accountable to law, there is tyranny.

It won't be the first time I've been in the ring in defense of our Constitution in a very real way, against the same tyrannical forces, risking my financial well being to make good on my oath.  To this nation I have not only pledged, but actually risked, my life, fortune and sacred honor.

While I won my previous engagement, sadly our Constitution still lost in a very real, and historically significant, shameful manner.

This engagement is also important, because the same principle is at stake - the principle that Americans have rights, that our government we created must respect those rights, and that our law applies just as equally to our servant government as it does to us.  We are citizens who own this government, we are not subjects to be ruled by government.  We rule government through our law that it must follow.  When it does not, just as we would be, it must be held accountable.

Our law must have teeth.

I hope in this engagement I can count on other government servants to do the right thing, to make good on their oaths, as an anonymous public servant did in my previous battle.  These days we have no overage of success stories in America, and we need those who truly care about our supreme law and our nation, to do right by God and taxpayer as they swore they would do.  Without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.

To support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  For me, in a very real way, I echo my brother Ben Franklin's words in the video above:

May this American experiment continue, with God's blessing.

America is important and must be defended.  The time is long overdue for Americans to remember their heritage, and to fulfill their responsibilities as American citizens.  As Franklin tells us, deeds are the measure, not words.  The same idea of "Deeds Not Words" forms the motto of a Special Operations squadron I flew with.   Beliefs, professions, opinions, desires, hope-tos, and oaths... those are all well and good.  But deeds define us.  Deeds matter.  In combat, and at home.  Foreign and domestic.  A symmetry upon which our public service foundation relies.

I hope more of us who raised our right hands, will be up to the solemn task.  For America.

So mote it be.