all state and local law enforcement personnel
You took an oath
"... to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of
the United States [and of your state] against all enemies, foreign or domestic."
But what does that oath really mean in your personal and professional life?
More than you may realize. And that oath may, in the months and years ahead, be
put to a test that you neither expect or want. This paper is to help you prepare
for that test.
Who are the enemies?
Foreign enemies are easy to understand, and require little discussion. What
about domestic? Spies? Terrorists? Criminals? How about corrupt officials? Or
overzealous officials who ride roughshod over the Constitution and the rights of
citizens in pursuit of a mission they think outweighs all other concerns? What
about corrupt or overzealous officials in your chain of command, who may try to
use you for their criminal purposes? What about top civilian leaders, who may
decide to overthrow the Constitution and establish a new regime in which there
are no limits on governmental powers or guaranteed rights, and use you to carry
out their plans?
At this point you may be thinking "Nonsense. Nothing like that will
ever happen in the United States of America. The people running our government
are nice guys who can be trusted to try to do the right thing. They would never
try to do anything like that. This is just some kind of paranoid anti-government
Don't be too sure. A lot of people thought the same thing a few years ago
who became aware of evidence that is extremely alarming, evidence that would be
incredible if it didn't come from people inside government who are extremely
troubled by what they are seeing or being asked to do.
One of those things is making preparations for a general warrantless search
of every site in the United States, using military and law enforcement
personnel, to confiscate all firearms and shoot anyone who resists. A clear
violation of almost all of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. Don't rely
on this flyer. Check it out for yourself through channels. Then think about what
No more elections. Not for some time. The people would be outraged. They'd
vote all the incumbents out if elections were held. The government might offer
some justification for their action, something that might seem convincing to
many, but not to everyone.
In the meantime citizens throughout the country are organizing independent
local militias, to resist assaults on the Constitution. At some point, you may
be called upon to choose sides.
Assaults on the Constitution
The Framers of the Constitution made it very clear: Government was not to
exercise any power not delegated to it by the Constitution. But for many decades
now, it has been assuming more and more powers for which there is no
constitutional basis, often in response to demands from the public to "do
something" about some problem or another, without bothering to adopt
amendments that would make such powers legitimate. Courts have, for the most
part, gone along with this, often resorting to imaginative sophistry to try to
make it seem legitimate.
If this weren't bad enough, these new powers are increasingly being abused
to serve purposes and interests that were never intended by the original
legislation. The result is an increasing crisis of legitimacy, and increasing
alienation from government on the part of an ever growing part of the
Any order which you may receive that is contrary to the Constitution of the
U.S. or of your State, or to a constitutional law, is illegal. Compliance with
such an order is not only not required of you, but may be and probably is
illegal, and the issuance of such an order may be a crime, which obligates you
to make an arrest of the person issuing it.
Under federal law, 18 USC 242, it is illegal for anyone under the color of
law to deprive any person of the rights, privileges or immunities secured by the
U.S. Constitution, and under 18 USC 241 it is illegal to conspire to violate
such rights. It is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. This could
be applied to local, state, or federal law enforcement or military personnel who
abuse the rights of citizens. Every state has a similar law.
The key point is this: You not only have the right to disobey an illegal
order, but you may also have the duty to apprehend the parties issuing such an
order if such issuance is part of the commission of a crime.
The Principle of Nuremberg
After World War II, Nazi war crimes were prosecuted at Nuremberg, and those
trials established an important principle: that is the responsibility of every
individual to make an independent determination of the legality of any law or
official act. No one may delegate that duty to others, not to superiors, not to
legal advisers, and not even to judges. It is no defense that you were "just
Some Constitutional Limitations
Be aware of what are the constitutional limits on federal powers. The
Constitution allows criminal prosecution under federal laws on state territory
only for (1) treason, (2) counterfeiting, (3) piracy or felonies on the high
seas, (4) crimes against the laws of nations, or (5) violations of civil rights
by officials. It does not allow criminal prosecution for violations of any
regulations, such as those passed under the interstate commerce clause, or for
failure to pay taxes. Therefore, most such federal criminal laws apply only to
acts committed on federal territory, including the District of Columbia, Puerto
Rico, the Virgin Islands, several other islands in the Pacific, land ceded to
the federal government by a state legislature for military bases and public
works, coastal waters, U.S. flag vessels on the high seas, and the grounds of
U.S. embassies abroad.
Furthermore, the Framers intended that "interstate commerce"
include only transactions that cross a state border, not all the things that it
has been extended to cover, such as anything that has ever crossed a state
border, or anything that ever might cross a state border, or anything done by
someone who does business some of which crosses a state border, or anything
that is "part of an aggregate" of activities that cross a state
border, or anything that may "affect" interstate commerce.
During the last several decades Congress has been "federalizing"
many crimes committed on State territory, and State and local authorities have
been going along with this. But except for the four categories of offenses
listed above, all of these extensions of federal authority are unconstitutional.
Now, any citizen may investigate and enforce the law, and that includes
federal agents. Under our system of government, all citizens are policemen.
You as a regular law enforcement officer may outrank ordinary civilians,
but they have the same authority to enforce the law against felonies and more
serious misdemeanors that you do, and that authority should be respected. When
the offense is one of those four that the federal government has jurisdiction
over on state territory, federal agents have the prior authority. However, in
all other cases, your authority is superior to theirs. They may assist you,
conduct investigations, and make arrests, with your consent, but then they are
obligated to turn over the evidence and the suspect to you for prosecution under
state or local law.
Lately several situations have arisen in which federal agents were seen by
local or state law enforcement to be abusing the rights of citizens, and the
federal officials attempted to prevent those local or state law enforcement
officials from doing their duty to protect those citizens by "deputizing"
them as "federal marshals", thus supposedly putting them under federal
authority. This is illegal. First, you cannot be appointed to any office
without your consent. Second, in most states it would be illegal to serve as
both a federal and state or local officer at the same time. Check the law. If an
attempt is made to "deputize" you, refuse.
Some law enforcement officers say that if they are put in the position of
having to obey an illegal order or law, they will resign. That is wrong. Once
you take an oath to uphold the law, you are obligated to resist all efforts to
turn law enforcement organizations into criminal enterprises. Don't resign.
Arrest the offender, just as you would arrest any other offender. Make him
What you can do
Investigate what is going on within your organization and in other law
enforcement and military organizations operating in your area, regarding
violations of the Constitution and laws pursuant to it. Then contact local
patriot groups. You can find them through gun shops, American Legion or VFW
posts, radio talk show hosts, alternative newspapers and bookstores, or your
local militia unit. If you find yourself in conflict with federal authorities on
a matter of constitutional principle, you may have no alternative but to call up
the militia in your area to assist you in upholding the Constitution. You have
the authority to do that. Any citizen may call up the militia, including you.
But they are not going to respond effectively unless they have been previously
organized, armed, and trained. You need to work with them to get them into a
high state of readiness.