In 1787, Alexander Hamilton got his wish. For seven years he harangued people claiming the government of the United States was too weak. The US government under our first constitution was too weak even though it was powerful enough to defeat the world's greatest power of the time (Great Britain). In May 1787, Hamilton got his wish. A constitutional convention was called
to make minor amendments to the then current constitution, The Articles of Confederation
. Once convened, Hamilton unveiled his true intentions. He proposed a President elected for life, who in turn would appoint state governors. The governors would have un-reviewable veto power over any state legislation (i.e. no voting to override gubernatorial vetoes). Hamilton’s plan was for "an energetic Executive"
in order to make the United States a "great" nation like Britain instead of a country like Switzerland which had no influence on European affairs. His plan was dismissed with the first hour. If you would like to read more on Hamilton's plans for a "Great America" see the books at the end of this article.
The minor amendment proposed by Hamilton's Convention was an amendment by substitution
. That substitution was our second and current Constitution (without a bill of rights).
The resulting debate on abandoning a successful government organized as a Swiss/Iroquois confederacy or adopting a nationalized, central government was spirited, vigorous, wide ranging, and many times bitterly personal.
For those interested in this point counter point exchange of pamphlets, editorials, letters, and ratification debates, there is no better source than The Debate on the Constitution
When I first read this book, I was struck by three things:
- These men were prescient. With two hundred years on my side, I was able to judge the merits of the arguments offered and the fears articulated.
- The opponents of the new Constitution (the anti-federalists) were almost always right
- The proponents of the new Constitution (the Federalists Jay, Madison, and Hamilton) were almost always wrong
Every dire consequence predicted by the opponents of the Constitution has come to pass.
These predictions include:
Every rationale offered by the Hamilton and his comrades as to why these dire consequences were phantoms of over heated imaginations has been rebuked by actual history.With the passage of the FISA renewal yesterday, the constitutional opponent, Centinel, has been proved correct.
On October 5, 1787, in Anti-Federalist paper 47
, CENTINEL of Philadelphia, predicted: And from his [the President's] power of granting pardons, he might skreen [sic] from punishment the most treasonable attempts on liberties of the people.
This argument was gaining enough traction (and derailing ratification), that Hamilton penned Federalist No. 74
in March 25, 1788 to specifically counter the arguments advanced by Centinel.
The warrantless wiretapping program begun by Bill Clinton in 1995 and completed by George Bush in February 2001
is laid out in this time line
. Bill Clinton's program to have the telecoms perform wireless wiretaps was a continuation of his 1993 Clipper Chip
program designed to make all private telephone conversations illegal within the US. It is clear that when the Clipper Chip initiative failed, Bill Clinton proceeded to plan B; Warrantless wiretapping via telecommunication companies.
The most effective propaganda on this subject is the LIE
that the warrantless wiretapping program begun by President Clinton in the 90's and completed
by President Bush in February 2001 is a post-September 11, 2001
anti-terrorism program. God, we are gullible
Since December, 1999
, the Telecoms were assured by the NSA and the White House that they would be "taken care of" and "protected" should the program be discovered. Exactly as Centinel predicted two hundred years ago, the President and the Senate have colluded to use pardoning powers in order to skreen from punishment the most treasonable attempts on liberties of the people
Not all Telecoms though participated in this treasonable attempt on liberties of the people
. In February 2001
, one Telecomm company, Qwest, refused and demanded the US Government produce one of those pesky warrant things
. Given the Government reaction, Qwest may have even been so bold as to demand the warrant actually be signed and in an act of utter imputence may have further demanded the warrant be signed by an actual Judge. We are told that Qwest's inability to get government contracts for the next two years was unconnected to their refusal to participate. The official story is that the prosecution of Qwest CEO, Joseph Nacchio, for securities fraud (begun on or before March 2003 and was brought to court in March 2006
) was unconnected to Qwest's refusal to participate in a treasonable attempt on liberties of the people
. The official stories here may even be true, but we will never know. The fact remains that Nacchio was denied the opportunity present this evidence to a jury during his trial. The discussion of the 2001 NSA upgrade contract
and its financial impact on the company was central to his defense.
The opponents of the second and current Constitution (the Anti-Federalist) are proven correct yet again and Hamilton and the Federalist are proven wrong yet again. Exactly as Centinel predicted two hundred years ago, the President and the Congress have and will collude to use pardoning powers in order to entice to action and then to screen from punishment private agents willing to execute their treasonable attempts on liberties of the people.
Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, Centinel, Brutus, An Old Whig, A Federal Farmer, and the other other opponents of our second and current constitution held the view that Government Power and Individual Liberty were a zero-sum game. To the extent one waxes, the other wanes. With the star chambers of FISA and with the introduction of retroactive immunity, Government Power waxes hard and we, the gullible, modernist sheep, reject the the deep wisdom of our forefathers to think that Individual Liberty has not waned
Long Live Hamilton's
Book's on Hamilton:
Hamilton and the Constitution