Obama repeals Magna Carta, asserting powers our forefathers denied to Kings

Summary:  The Republic is at war against an adaptive foe that seeks its destruction. Not al Qaeda, which might no longer exist in meaningful form, but internal foes seeking its overthrow. That they’re moving incrementally, small steps slowly growing larger with each success, only masks the boldness of their goals. It’s the quiet coup. Here we look at the latest chapter in the war, the most recent rip torn in the Constitution.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
— Written by Benjamin Franklin for the Pennsylvania Assembly in its “Reply to the Governor” (11 November 1755).


As the America-that-Once-Was evolves into the quite different New America, the identity of those responsible becomes increasingly clear.  It’s us. Our disinterest in working the Founders’ machinery of self-government. Our passive acceptance of Empire and plutocracy. Saddest of all is our abandonment of America’s ideals, the end point of a thousand year-long struggle.

These things are all seen in our reaction to President Obama’s white paper granting himself powers not seen in Anglo-American history since the Stuart Kings. Limiting the Monarchs’ right of arbitrary arrest and punishment of their subjects took 450 years, from the first tentative agreement in Magna Carta (1215) to its achievement in the English Civil War (1641-1662).  Now, with our complaisance, Presidents Bush Jr and Obama have erased much of that progress.

Two provisions of Magna Carta deserve our attention today, a gift to us from the Barons of 13th century England.

38.  No bailiff for the future shall, upon his own unsupported complaint, put anyone to his “law”, without credible witnesses brought for this purposes.  {This was replaced by improved legislation in 1863}

39.  No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised {deprived of land} or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.  {This remains in force for the people of England, but no longer in the USA}

Our ancestors spent much blood, sweat, and tears between that day at Runnymede and the meeting in 1878 at Philadelphia.  The liberties provided by the Constitution were won over those 30 generations, by the unruly Saxons and Normans of Medieval England — and the Founders, jealous of their liberties and willing to fight for them.  In the decade since 9-11 we’ve thoughtlessly thrown away political structures that took centuries to build.

The Constitution is just a “paper bullet of the brain”, with no power except to the degree it lives in our hearts.  That love appears to have died.



We allow our rights to slip away while trembling in fear before threats far smaller than those our forefathers defeated during the past 200 years. We’ve become weak cowards.

There are no reforms that can prevent this evolution, no magical legal incantations or tricks of technology. The problem lies within us, as does the solution. Change, even redemption, remains a potential of every person and every society.  We need the will to fight for our liberties, and ignore the siren song of those urging passivity as they’re stripped away.

Here are two samples of the vast chorus working to keep us asleep:

These people are the most dangerous enemies of the Republic. Far more so than Iran’s conjectural atomic bomb project or the threadbare insurgents fighting to gain control of third world nations in Africa and Asia.  We will continue to grow weaker, slowly and steadily, until we recognize our major foes.  Liberties are more easily lost than regained.

Get angry. Speak to those around you. Organize.  At this point we can only start the basic steps eventually leading to reform. Conditions in America seem likely to worsen before many Americans can be persuaded to protest — let alone win back what we have lost.

For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about How can we stop the quiet coup now in progress? See these posts about our most fearsome enemies…

  1. Conservatives tells us not to worry about the Constitution’s death, 23 March 2011
  2. Fear the enemies within America more than those without, 21 December 2011
  3. “Lawfare” – using the law to undermine the Constitution (a powerful tool in the quiet coup now in progress), 22 December 2011
  4. Some foes of the Republic revealed themselves by sponsoring the Enemy Expatriation Act, 30 January 2012

What would the delegates in 1787 think of today’s America?

By Junius Brutus Stearns (1856)
By Junius Brutus Stearns (1856)



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