The militia or minute-men as they came to be called knew if the British were able to seize their stockpile of weapons and ammunition, any flicker of hope for reversing the trend of tyranny would be extinguished.
There is a place for debate and even open criticism under the First Amendment. However, unruly crowds that destroy property and create a public menace does more to aide and abet our nation’s enemies than it does to strengthen the power of the republic to represent all the people.
While traveling through the Southern USA, in an area a comedian once dubbed as (imitating a televangelist voice) The Gold Buckle of the Bible Belt, I stopped for lunch at a small specialty shop. The town was the site of the meeting of the First Provincial Congress August 25-27, 1774 (1) for discussion of what steps to take next against the oppression by the English. It is also a place that was important to the efforts of George Washington’s Continental Army and vital to General Burnside’s Union advance. Today it is a unique tourist destination.(1)
The proprietor of this small establishment was, to my pleasant surprise, a Bosnian; a fact which opened the door to continuing our conversation because of this director’s long relationship with many dear young men and some others in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was the day after President Trump’s interview with Bill O’Reilly when the President affirmed that he would work with Russian President Putin to defeat ISIS. The gentleman asked me if I felt President Trump’s statement was appropriate. When confronted with O’Reilly’s retort that Putin is a killer, the President said “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers … You think our country’s so innocent?”(1) This business owner, a naturalized citizen, felt it was absolutely inappropriate for the President of the United States to say such a thing.
A short time later, a person with years of counter-terrorism experience asked me the exact same question. The attitude, it seems, on both sides of the aisle, is incredulity at the President’s remarks. Once again, I think that we will find that the President is crazy like a fox. Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, is often attributed to the following statement which is more accurately credited to Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo (2) that expresses well what the President’s strategy may entail: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Make no mistake, he has a strategy. If he pushes back against Putin, then the term Cold War will be newly named after the Disney movie featuring Anna, Elsa and Olaf… Frozen. Information on what Russia is planning would become much more difficult to get than it will be as pseudo-allies. President Trump knows that what information he gets will be filtered and sanitized… even manipulated; but, it won’t be locked down completely. Not so dissimilar to President Roosevelt’s take on Josef Stalin.
It is true that, in many respects, such a strategy carries an ends justifies the means qualifier. It is not unlike the U.S. working closely with Saudi Arabia whose regime is a lessor degree of diabolical than Putin. Is it an issue of ethics versus political reality? When does a national leader have the option to compromise national ethics (if such a thing exists)? If national ethics do exist and if it is possible; then, is the use of that option a matter of presidential authority or is it his right to do so? The difference being that, the first can be reviewed and over-ridden by Congress. The latter is sacrosanct. Of course, then, if such a national code of ethics does exist, the question becomes “Who defines it?”. For now, we’ll leave those questions for another discussion. The question now before us is: “To what degree do we, the people, have a duty to support our president?”
As Director and President of Security Consulting Investigations, LLC, I am stating unequivocally that, even though we certainly will disagree with our President on tactics for terrorist interdiction and strategies for developing and maintaining necessary intelligence information, SCI will support and defend the Office of the President of the United States of America and we will do everything within our capabilities to support our President. We do believe that any Secret Service agent who openly proclaims that he or she will defy the requirements of their job and refuse to protect the president with their life should be immediately dismissed and lose all opportunities for work within the federal government. Also, any other agency, state, local or private shall have the right to, and be encouraged to, refuse to consider that person for employment for their flagrant disregard of their job responsibilities.
Security Consulting Investigations, LLC is proud to be a private business registered in Ohio. We are licensed through the Ohio Department of Public Safety/Homeland Security with offices also in Los Angeles, California and Washington, D.C. We are thankful for the international work we have had to build security protocols and to learn from others who have survived decades of combating terrorism on their home front. From those diverse sources, Dr. Riggs wrote his most recent work, ‘Stretching the Thin Blue Line: Policing America in a Time of Heightened Threat, due out form Motivational Press soon!
We are thankful for being in a country where we can explain to prospective clients that we are a faith-based business and everything we do is bathed in prayer. Our country is an exceptional place to live, work and raise a family. SCI has many international resources but even so, we are Americans and proud of it. Even as Security Consulting Investigations, LLC supports the Office of President of the United States of America and the person who occupies that office, we do not blindly follow; but we do respect and give deference to both the office and the person. If a change of the person who sits in the Oval Office is necessary, the place to do so is at the ballot box every four years, unless Congress takes action to impeach. It is true that, as President Thomas Jefferson declared, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”(4) Jefferson was correct; but, he was not declaring the right to remove a president by assassination or violent overthrow when there are peaceful and effective means available. There is a place for debate and even open criticism under the First Amendment. However, unruly crowds that destroy property and create a public menace does more to aide and abet our nation’s enemies than it does to strengthen the power of the republic to represent all the people.
Those who want to chant that Mr. Trump is not their president are as free to leave this country as are all the Hollywood loud-mouths that declared that, if he won they would renounce their citizenship and leave the United States. As far as SCI is aware, not one single U-Haul has been backed up to any of the multi-million dollar homes in Beverly Hills and elsewhere to help those fulfill their promise to relocate. We encourage those who have no true plan or methodology to improve the conditions for which they demand a response, other than to scream vile slogans and disrupt the public peace, to grow-up, accept the legal transition of power, and get involved with your congressman to work to improve conditions for which you have a heart. Then, if you remain dissatisfied, help to seek a qualified candidate for the 2020 election. Until then, respect the Office of the President and pray for President Trump. He has one of the most difficult jobs in the world and he needs our prayerful support.
May God bless America and may America bless God.
(1) http://www.carolana.com/NC/Revolution/nc_revolution_government_1775.html(2) https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2017/02/07/bill-oreilly-seems-fine-with-trumps-excusing-putin/?utm_term=.1801a0930799 (3) Character Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II (1974) (4) http://tjrs.monticello.org/letter/100
“God forbid that we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion.” – Thomas Jefferson[i]
To what was Thomas Jefferson referring? A dozen years following the Declaration of Independence, a dispute exacerbated by poor economic conditions led some folks, particularly of Massachusetts, to rebel. The outbreak of violence, known as Shay’s Rebellion, stirred leaders to call a convention to establish a Constitution rather than the Articles of Confederation and to promote inter-state trade. The rebellion was quickly quelled and only a few lives were lost; eventually President Washington pardoned those convicted of treason citing that it was ignorance not malevolence that encouraged them to action.
Still, one wonders how a man like Jefferson who sought always after a peaceful life surrounded by nature and his love of architecture could promote rebellion within the U.S.
Thomas Jefferson feared the lethargy of the people over a rebellion conspired by discontent. He believed that usually the discontent will be from the ignorance of some, they being misinformed of the propriety of certain government actions. He writes:
“The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.”[ii]
Lethargy of the citizenry should be feared more than insurrection. How lethargic is the population of the U.S. in 2013? (Notice, I did not ask if they are lethargic.) In today’s modern world, men often believe themselves well informed if only they drink of the pablum of mainstream media. It is possible however, with some effort to be accurately informed on the issues of state. If they are well-informed and thereby discontented, assured of the legitimacy under the Constitution of their stand; would Jefferson still be inclined to give them a free pass for rebellion? I believe he would based on his own writings wherein he has questions himself on the legitimacy of the actions of some and even questions concerning the Constitution. (Contrary to popular understanding, Jefferson was not involved in the writing of the Constitution directly though his thoughts on limited federal government and power in the hands of the people is certainly part and parcel of the document.) His strongest argument in support of revolution, however, is not a desire for anarchy but his fear of the lethargy of the people. That would be America’s death sentence.
Jefferson is often quoted from this same letter about the tree of liberty and it needing to be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants. A realist, Jefferson saw that revolt was more critical than peace if that peace is promoted by the people’s lethargy. He reasoned that if an uprising of the people cost a few lives then a few in consideration of the greater citizenry was not critical. Few quote the next sentence from the ‘tree of liberty’ portion of the letter. Please, allow me:
“It is its natural manure.” [iii]