Did Lincoln “usurp” his war powers?

Did Lincoln “usurp” his war powers?

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In a previous question I made the statement that Lincoln "usurped" his war powers during the civil war. This statement was controversial and elicited thoughtful comments. I thought I would open up a new question to ask, Did Lincoln "usurp" his war powers? Did he use the military to take these powers and maintain these powers from the checks and balances built into the Constitution by use of the Military?

Here is my research.

What does usurp mean

Merriam Webster's Definition of Usurp - to seize and hold (office, place, functions, powers, etc.) in possession by force or without right.

Background - Extraordinary Times

The previous government of President James Buchanan was frozen in the face of insurrection. Before Lincoln James Buchanan believed the union had no legal right to stop succession and even publicly sided with the Southern secessionists in an address to Congress.

James Buchanan
Buchanan denied the legal right of states to secede but held that the federal government legally could not prevent them. He placed the blame for the crisis solely on "intemperate interference of the Northern people with the question of slavery in the Southern States", and suggested that if they did not "repeal their unconstitutional and obnoxious enactments… the injured States, after having first used all peaceful and constitutional means to obtain redress, would be justified in revolutionary resistance to the Government of the Union.

Buchanan's administration was rife with southern sympathizers.

The James Buchanan's secretary of war John B. Floyd, was a former Governor of Virginia, and future Confederate General, who used his time as the Nation's Secretary of War to prepare the South for secession. Floyd transferred arms to southern armories in order to facilitate their capture and use by the south.

The Memoirs of General Ulysses S. Grant:
chaptrer XVI: The Coming Crisis

Meanwhile the Administration of President Buchanan looked helplessly on and proclaimed that the general government had no power to interfere; that the Nation had no power to save its own life. Mr. Buchanan had in his cabinet two members at least, who were as earnest-to use a mild term-in the cause of secession as Mr. Davis or any Southern statesman. One of them, Floyd, the Secretary of War, scattered the army so that much of it could be captured when hostilities should commence, and distributed the cannon and small arms from Northern arsenals throughout the South so as to be on hand when treason wanted them. The navy was scattered in like manner. The President did not prevent his cabinet preparing for war upon their government, either by destroying its resources or storing them in the South until a de facto government was established with Jefferson Davis as its President, and Montgomery, Alabama, as the Capital. The secessionists had then to leave the cabinet. In their own estimation they were aliens in the country which had given them birth. Loyal men were put into their places. Treason in the executive branch of the government was estopped. But the harm had already been done. The stable door was locked after the horse had been stolen.

Between the time President Lincoln is elected and he takes office the first seven states seced.

Lincoln is elected November 6, 1860

1 South Carolina: December 20, 1860 2 Mississippi: January 9, 1861 3 Florida: January 10, 1861 4 Alabama: January 11, 1861 5 Georgia: January 19, 1861 6 Louisiana: January 26, 1861 7 Texas: February 1, 1861

Lincoln takes oath of office March 4, 1861 Battle of Fort Sumpter April 11, 1861 John Merryman is arrested in Md May 25, 1861 Constitutional Crisis between Lincoln and Supreme Court May 28, 1861

What Powers are we calling Lincoln's War Powers?


( removed Right to Declare war, as Lincoln was arguable empowered to call up State Militia's to put down insurrections by the Militia Act of 1795 see page 163 )

  • the right to borrow, budget and spend money without Congressional Approval
  • to ignore the judiciary including the Supreme Court
  • suspension of freedom of speech in boarder states (Maryland)
  • suspension of freedom of press in boarder states (Maryland)
  • the imprisonment of rebel sympathizers
  • the imprisonment of northern dissidents
  • banish / deport citizens over speech offenses

    Civil Liberties in Crisis
    Public affirmation of the Confederacy and its leaders could lead to arrest. After William Kelley toasted Jefferson Davis, he was arrested for “treasonable language,” while Richard Warner, of Liberty, met the same fate for giving a cheer for the president of the Confederacy. Three young ladies were arrested in Frederick for singing secessionist songs. Thomas John Claggett, also of Frederick, was arrested and imprisoned for singing “Dixie.”

  • Military arresting enough of Maryland's legislature that neither the Md House nor Senate could form a quorum to debate sucession.

    Civil Liberties in Crisis
    By the time the (Maryland) Legislature reconvened in September, with many of its members arrested and troops from Wisconsin stationed in the city, neither the House of Delegate nor the Senate could assemble a quorum. No further debate occurred on the issue of secession. Efforts to secede thus ended in the city of Frederick, successfully subverted and silenced by the Lincoln administration.

  • the suspension of habeas corpus

  • the use of military tribunals instead civilan courts to try civilians
  • the confiscation of rebels' property
  • the emancipation of the slaves

What does the Constitution Say

The Constitution splits the responsibility for war: Article I, gives Congress the power to:

  • declare war
  • to authorize an army and a navy,
  • to supervise the state militias
  • to "provide for calling out those militias

Article II gives the President the responsibility to using those forces.

The Constitution doesn't mention "War Powers" at all.

Lincoln's use of Military Power to enforce his War Powers

Lincoln and Tanners great writ showdown

In the United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 9, of the Constitution states that “the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” Habeas Corpus origins go back to the signing of the Magna Carta in England in 1215 and compels the government to show cause to a judge for the arrest or detention of a person.

On May 25, 1861, federal troops arrested a Maryland plantation owner, John Merryman, on suspicion that he was involved in a secessionist group. Mr. Merryman was not given a trial, no courts warrant was issued for his arrest, and he confronted no witnesses against him. On May 27, 1861 the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger Taney issued a writ of habeas corpus for John Merryman, ordering General George Cadwalader, Fort McHenry's commander to produce Merryman and explain to the court why the man is being held without a warrent.

General Cadwalader did not comply with Justice Taney's writ, did not appear in court, but instead sent a letter back to Jutice Taney explaining President Lincoln had authorized the military officers to suspend the writ in order to facility public safety. Justice Taney then finds Cadwalader in contempt of court, but the solders at Fort McHenry refused to accept the notice.

Lincoln and Tanners great writ showdown
On May 28, Taney issued an oral opinion, which was followed by a written opinion a few days later. He stated that the Constitution clearly intended for Congress, and not the President, to have to power to suspend the writ during emergencies.

“The clause in the Constitution which authorizes the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is in the ninth section of the first article. This article is devoted to the Legislative Department of the United States, and has not the slightest reference to the Executive Department,” Taney argued.

Justice Taney finding is also ignored, to which Taney writes…

Lincoln and Tanners great writ showdown
“I have exercised all the power which the Constitution and laws confer on me, but that power has been resisted by a force too strong for me to overcome,”

Precedent of War Powers in the United States before Lincoln

War Powers is an ancient concept. The Roman Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus in a time when Rome was a Republic, was granted Emperor Powers and Authority to deal with a marshal crisis. Cincunnatus was very influential with George Washington who envisioned himself from the same mold. Washington even named the society of Revolutionary War officers which he founded the society of Cincunatus.

Washington as Cincinnatus
Depictions of Washington as Cincinnatus abounded in the Revolutionary and Early Republican periods. Philip Freneau evoked Cincinnatus in a poem written on the occasion of Washington's resignation in December 1783. Remarking on Washington's decision to return to retirement at Mount Vernon, Freneau wrote: "Thus He, whom Rome's proud legions sway'd/Beturn'd, and sought his sylvan shade."5 Thirty years later, in his "Ode to Napoleon," Lord Byron eulogized Washington as "the Cincinnatus of the West."6 In one of the most famous contemporary images of Washington, Jean-Antoine Houdon's statue (1785-1791) in the rotunda of the state capitol in Richmond, Virginia, the retired general is portrayed in civilian dress as "a modern Cincinnatus," standing in front of his plow.7


Abraham Lincoln a man of Ideas page 195 President Lincoln's Secretary of State Charles Sumner argued that
the war power of the President is above the Constitution, because, when set in motion, it knows no other law… The civil power, in mass and in detail, is superseded, and all rights are held subordinate to this military magistracy. All other agencies, small and great, executive, legislative, and even judicial, are absorbed in this transcendent triune power, which, for the time, declares its absolute will, while it holds alike the scales of justice and the sword of the executioner.


Only there is no mention of "War Powers" for the executive written into the Constitution.

Lincoln justified his assuming his special War Powers on the grounds of his Oath of Office. His Presidential Oath calls for hims to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States", and that was his justification.

Abraham Lincoln and the Development of the " War Powers" of the Presidency

By conferring on the President the title of "commander in chief," the Constitution created an awkward and unde ned area of presidential prerogative. e rst President to have to confront this ambiguity was Abraham Lincoln, who developed a presidential "war powers" doctrine based on his presidential oath, the Constitution's "republican guarantee," and the necessity imposed by the novelty of a civil war. is doctrine was seriously contested in Lincoln's time by both Congress and the judiciary, and it continues to be an unresolved constitutional question in the present. But Lincoln's use of such war powers is one demonstration of how a doctrine aimed at awarding the President unilateral powers to override civil liberties safeguards need not create a lethal threat to democratic and constitutional government.

More Modern War Powers

War Powers while first pioneered by Abraham Lincoln as an American manifestation has been assumed by subsequent Presidents. They were also the name of a Congressional act passed into law in the 1973's (War Powers Resolution) which overcame a Presidential Veto, and tried to check the President from committing Forces to War without a Congressional declaration. That law has been violated by subsequent presidents, and those violations have never been prosecuted. War Powers remain a controversial subject today.

Modern Use of War Powers

  • Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt's seizures of German property during both world wars
  • President Roosevelt's detention of the Nisei in 1942
  • President Truman's nationalization of the steel industry
  • Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon and the Vietnam War
  • President Jimmy Carter's failed Iranian hostage rescue
  • President Ronald Reagan's committing US Marines to Lebanon
  • President Ronald Reagan's invasion of Grenada
  • President Bill Clinton in 1999, during the bombing campaign in Kosovo.
  • President George W Bush's use of Guantanamo Bay as a prison camp
  • President Barak Obama's use of Military Force in Syria

Related Question:

  • What did the Emancipation Proclamation do Exactly?


  • Merriam Webster's Dictionary: Usurp
  • Lincoln's War Powers: Part Constitution, Part Trust
  • John B. Floyd, President Buchanan's Sec of War
  • Wikipedia: John B. Floyd
  • Society of the Cincinnatus
  • The Memoirs of General Ulysses S. Grant
  • War Powers Resolution
  • Lincoln and Tanners great writ showdown
  • Abraham Lincoln and the Development of the " War Powers" of the Presidency
  • Civil Liberties in Crisis
  • Abraham Lincoln a man of Ideas
  • Obama's move in Syria reignites war powers debate


Mark C. Wallace Just curious. "Usurp" is not a neutral word, and is also a transitive verb.

To my mind "usurp" is descriptive of the events as they occurred and not negative. To my mind what makes the question interesting is the fact that the founding fathers WERE paranoid of instilling in the Presidency dictatorial Powers. Paranoid the Presidency would become a de-facto monarchy. It was one of their most consistent fears and why in the original Articles of Confederation there was no office of the President. Dictator was also the charge continuously made against George Washington by Thomas Jefferson and his supporters. That Lincoln did so much that the founding fathers were most afraid of, and did it in defense of the constitution makes this question interesting. That Lincoln took these actions, unilaterally and "cloaked himself in immense power", at a time when the nation needed such a leader bold enough to take such actions, to my mind saved the union. Perhaps negative if you were one of the founding fathers who was debating "war powers" hypothetically in 1790. Perhaps negative if you were a contemporary of Lincoln's in 1862. But certainly this is one of the reasons Abraham Lincoln goes down in history as one of the greatest American Presidents. Literally cloaking himself in immense power to save the union.

Mark C. Wallace From whom are the powers usurped?

The rights usurped from Congress

  • to suspend habeas corpus
  • to declare war
  • the right to borrow, budget and spend money

The rights usurped from the Supreme Court

  • to check Presidential Power and ensure constitutionality of Federal action was usurped

The right to legislate at the state of Maryland level was usurped from the Maryland Legislature. The rights to freely assemble, free speech and free press were usurped from the citizens who were arrested and or deported for exercising those rights.

Mark C. Wallace How would the question change if it asked whether Lincoln "created" his war powers? -

If Lincoln had merely created these war powers perhaps he would still go down a great president. But that he usurped them in the service of protecting the constitution, stood for re-election in 1864 and allowed the people to judge his actions, and was ultimately successful at preserving the union; are all what set Lincoln apart as one of the greatest.

First off, lets dispense with one disagreement:

  • the right to declare war without Congress

This did not happen. No declaration of war was ever made for the US Civil war. I haven't looked into the Confederate side of this, but from the Union perspective such a declaration would not have made any sense. A DoW is delivered to a foreign government, and issuing one on the Confederacy would have required recognizing them as a legal government.

This is entirely consistent with previous actions by the US military under previous presidents. There was no declaration of war when Washington put down the Whiskey Rebellion, nor when Adams used federal troops to put down Fries's Rebellion. The only thing that was really new and different here was the scale, (or if you prefer, the seriousness of the threat).

As for the rest, there's a bit more fairness there. However, your timeline is conspicuously lacking in mentions of Congress, considering the argument centers on their exercise of their powers. So lets add some bullets:

  • March 28, 1861 - Congress adjourns (Special Session)
  • July 4, 1861 - Congress convenes for its first session.

All the stuff you are talking about happened between these first two bullets, and I believe it was all (retroactively) approved by Congress once it reconvened.

Now if it was felt necessary and productive to do so, Congress could have stayed in session to authorize all of these actions as they came up. The new Congress was overwhelmingly Republican, so there really wasn't much chance they weren't going to approve, and there was a military necessity for quick action. Congress (once it reconvened) certainly wasn't behaving like it felt any of its power had been "usurped".

Now for the next obvious question: Why on earth would Congress adjourn at a time like this? It wasn't normal. Typical Congresses of the era ran their first session from early December to some time in August. This set of dates more resembled a typical second session. I can't find any reference to the exact reason for this, but it seems quite likely there were a sizeable amount of members on March 28th who represented states that were preparing to secede, and thus would likely have been working to actively sabotage the body if they remained in Washington as former Secretary of War Floyd had been doing. Being more generous, the adjournment gave individual Congressmen time to go home and verify that their states actually wanted them to come back to DC. It was really up in the air if there was even going to be a Congress to come back to.

The Supreme Court was arguably even in a worse condition, as all but 2 of its members were either southerners or slavery sympathizers. It very well could also have contained Floyd-style saboteurs, willing to make decisions specifically to militarily help the Confederates.* Obeying its decisions about Congressional authority while Congress was out of session to have its say could be argued as suicidally foolish.

Realize that a lot of the actions in question were in service of preventing Maryland from leaving the union. A quick look at a map will show you that if that had happened, the entire position of Washington DC would likely have been untenable, and the "union" would have been faced with the prospect of trying to run a government and raise troops to protect itself from the Confederate Army without a capitol.

In short, this was a super unusual situation, and one in which strict adherence to the letter rather than the spirit of the Constitution would likely have done nothing but doom it.

* - In the event, only one SCOTUS member actually resigned (on April 30th, 2 and a half months after his state seceded) and joined the Confederacy. Sadly for him, his state didn't trust him either, and he had to spend the rest of the war in New Orleans.

It is really good idea to use definition of USURP - “to seize and hold (office, place, functions, powers, etc.) in possession by force or without right”, AND to answer the question “From whom are the powers usurped?”.

So in order to usurp the power, one should: a)Use the power he does not have rights to use; AND
b)Prevent the party which has the right to use this power from exercising it.

The rights usurped from Congress: Lincoln used some rights reserved for Congress at the time when a) Congress physically could not exercise these rights (because was not in session) and b)immediate exercising these rights was necessary in order the President to fulfill his constitutional duty “to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”. However, at no point Lincoln prevented Congress to exercise legislative powers; on the contrary, after Confederacy open hostilities against US army, Lincoln called Congress into extraordinary session on July 4, 1861 (normally, Congress session would not happened until the same year December).

The right to legislate at the state of Maryland level: Lincoln prevented some members of Maryland legislature to exercise their legislative power, but he did not legislate at the state of Maryland level.

In both Congress and Maryland legislature cases, Lincoln's actions legality and constitutionality could be questioned and discussed, but they don't constitute usurpation by Merriam Webster's Definition.

Speaking about the rights usurped from the Supreme Court - what specific Supreme Court cases and decisions you are talking about? Supreme court justices also acted as a federal circuit court judges for different districts, but their individual actions in these roles don't constitute Supreme Court powers.

Lincoln said in his First Inaugural Address, that the only recourse of minority-states was revolution.

So if one is to concur, then technically Lincoln could not have usurped anything, because the majority of state officials supported him; and their combined discretion would determine the final judge of their own powers.

Objectively speaking, however, the Constitution was not to be defined by the combined state officials in state and federal governments; but by the unanimous people of the individual states respectively, otherwise the Constitution would be meaningless in limiting the federal government against such a majority. Which was precisely the objective under Union politicians and their respective benefactors. As Lincoln said in his first inaugural address:

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.1

And of course, an amendment requires more numbers than any federal law that the people could possibly oppose, thus presenting a Catch-22, by which the minority-states had only revolution against a majority in both states and numbers, claiming that "The States have their status in the Union, and they have no other legal status. If they break from this, they can only do so against law and by revolution."2

So if one is to concur that the Union was indeed a single nation, and that the federal government therefore held supreme national authority over the individual states, then technically the federal action was not an act of war, and thus would not fall under the war-powers act. However if they concur with this, then facts are not really important: just agenda-driven narratives.

Did Lincoln &ldquousurp&rdquo his war powers? - History

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Exodus 22:18 Leviticus 20:26-27 Leviticus 24:11-16, 23 Numbers 15:30-36 Numbers 31:1-18 Deuteronomy 13:1-16 Deuteronomy 17:3-5 I Samuel 15

Islamic–Jewish relations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic–Jewish_relations

"I have been made victorious through terror." Muhammad, Founder of Islam Bukhari :: Book 4 :: Volume 52 :: Hadith 220

“Slavery is a part of Islam. Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam. Muslims who contend Islam is against slavery are ignorant, not scholars. They are merely writers. Whoever says such things is an infidel.” Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan – Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body – Al-Fawzan’s best-known textbook, “Al-Tawheed – Monotheism,” says most Muslims are polytheists, and their blood and money are therefore free for the taking by “true Muslims.”

"Islam is the religion of fighting. No one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims. It is the war of Muslims against infidels." Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

"We [Muslims] take the Jizya, which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar [non-Muslim]. They give us the money. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar. We take the money." Anjem Choudary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery_in_the_Muslim_world https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_views_on_slavery https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_views_on_slavery http://www.rense.com/general69/invo.htm http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/01/29/here-is-no-god-and-karl-marx-is-his-prophet-the-links-between-communism-islam-and-slavery/ http://davidduke.com/jewish-role-african-slave-trade-highlighted-new-dutch-jewish-book/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGBkR-ygwhQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52qakhOYMwo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ-CsYTPfbw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NXC4Q_4JVg http://www.arabslavetrade.com/ http://survincity.com/2010/11/the-slave-trade-and-neutering-of-slavs-in-the/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1dk7s1glhc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ov9GFPmoOPg http://www.inthenameofallah.org/Islam%20&%20African%20Slave%20Trade.html http://africanhistory.about.com/od/slavery/a/IslamRoleSlavery01.htm http://takimag.com/article/islams_role_in_slavery_jim_goad/print#axzz42oNRrvn2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ-CsYTPfbw

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Revenue Act of 1862 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revenue_Act_of_1862 Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution Federal Reserve System http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_System Executive Order 6102 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_6102 US National Debt, US Total Debt, US Unfunded Liabilities http://www.usdebtclock.org/ Gift Contributions to Reduce Debt Held by the Public http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/gift/gift.htm Welcome to Trade Ticker - the web's only up-to-the-second counter for the U.S. Trade Deficit. http://americaneconomicalert.org/ticker_home.asp CPI Inflation Calculator http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm http://beta.foreignassistance.gov/explore http://beta.foreignassistance.gov/

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current http://www.treasurydirect.gov/ http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysis-documentation/federal-employment-reports/historical-tables/total-government-employment-since-1962/ http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysis-documentation/federal-employment-reports/#url=Historical-Tables www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/hist01z1.xls http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/hist.pdf www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/hist.zip http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals/ http://www.census.gov/econ/currentdata/dbsearch?program=FTD&startYear=1992&endYear=2014&categories=BOPGS&dataType=BAL&geoLevel=US&adjusted=1&submit=GET+DATA http://www.census.gov/econ/ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

Operation Ajax Operation Northwoods "Freedom Fighter" Mujahideen USS Liberty US Military Items Exported or Transferred to Iraq in the 1980s GAO/NSIAD-94-98 http://www.gao.gov/assets/220/219171.pdf Assistance to the State of Israel - Archive ID-83-51 U.S. http://archive.gao.gov/f0102/121769.pdf Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance Order Code IB85066 https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/IB85066.pdf http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2015/june/11/us-joint-chief-dempsey-to-israel-we-will-defend-you/ http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/13/politics/obama-saudi-gcc/ US defends sale of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/05/03/409322/US-Saudi-Arabia-Yemen-cluster-bombs Obama proclaims: 'We are not at war with Islam' http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/18/politics/obama-speech-extremism-terror-summit/index.html Obama's "Many-ways Jesus" points to Universalism http://standupforthetruth.com/2012/09/obamas-many-ways-jesus-points-to-universalism/ Barack Obama: The God Factor Interview (EXCLUSIVE) http://cathleenfalsani.com/2004/03/28/barack-obama-the-god-factor-interview-exclusive/ Bush: All religions pray to 'same God' http://www.wnd.com/2007/10/43906/ Do Christians and Muslims worship the same god? http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/baldwin/071023

Ben Swann Truth in Media: What The Media Isn't Telling You About Syria https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCBhyzRELLw

Ben Swann https://www.facebook.com/BenSwannRealityCheck/videos/vl.410401892503111/970632976334986/?type=1&theater Petraeus Wants to us Al Qaeda to fight ISIS? Is this plan crazy? Fmr. General David Petraeus wants to use Al Qaeda fighters to take on ISIS. Haven't we tried this type of thing before? Oh yeah, but that time it was AGAINST Al Qaeda

Ben Swann Truth in Media: What The Media Isn't Telling You About Syria https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCBhyzRELLw http://truthinmedia.com/tag/al-nusra-front/ http://truthinmedia.com/tag/al-qaeda http://truthinmedia.com/tag/syria/ https://www.facebook.com/BenSwannFullDisclosure

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Tribal Court Decisions Search and Citation FAQs http://www.tribal-institute.org/lists/citation_help.htm American Indian Sovereignty and Law (Native American Bibliography Series) Mar 16, 2009 by Wade Davies and Richmond L. Clow http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=9780810862364

"It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it."

James Madison, 20 June 1785

Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents. - letter to Thomas Jefferson (17 October 1788) Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations but, on a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power, by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority, have produced factions and commotions, which, in republics, have, more frequently than any other cause, produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction to have generally resulted from those causes. - Speech at the Virginia Convention to ratify the Federal Constitution A pure Democracy, by which I mean a Society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the Government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole a communication and concert result from the form of Government itself and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of Government, have erroneously supposed, that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions. - Federalist No. 10

With respect to the words "general welfare," I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. - Letter to James Robertson Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies from these proceed debts and taxes and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. - "Political Observations" (1795-04-20) also in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions. It is to be remarked that the phrase out of which this doctrine is elaborated, is copied from the old articles of Confederation, where it was always understood as nothing more than a general caption to the specified powers, and it is a fact that it was preferred in the new instrument for that very reason as less liable than any other to misconstruction. - Letter to w:Edmund Pendleton If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads. In short, every thing, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare. - Remarks on the House floor, debates on Cod Fishery bill (February 1792) The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. - Speech, House of Representatives, during the debate "On the Memorial of the Relief Committee of Baltimore, for the Relief of St. Domingo Refugees" (1794-01-10)

Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it. The argument under the present head may be put into a very concise form, which appears altogether conclusive. Either the mode in which the federal government is to be constructed will render it sufficiently dependent on the people, or it will not. On the first supposition, it will be restrained by that dependence from forming schemes obnoxious to their constituents. On the other supposition, it will not possess the confidence of the people, and its schemes of usurpation will be easily defeated by the State governments, who will be supported by the people. On summing up the considerations stated in this and the last paper, they seem to amount to the most convincing evidence, that the powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government are as little formidable to those reserved to the individual States, as they are indispensably necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Union and that all those alarms which have been sounded, of a meditated and consequential annihilation of the State governments, must, on the most favorable interpretation, be ascribed to the chimerical fears of the authors of them. James Madison The Federalist No. 46 The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared New York Packet Tuesday, January 29, 1788

United States Constitution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution United States Bill of Rights https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights

"The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code or morality that essentially states either of the following: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (directive form). One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (cautionary form, also known as the Silver Rule)." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Rule "In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth, we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility. To do as one would be done by, and to love one's neighbour as oneself, constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality." -John Stuart Mill

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. ―Matthew 7

Jesus declared, YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. ―Matthew 22

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  1. Len

    Sorry to interfere, I would also like to express my opinion.

  2. Finneen

    And I liked it…

  3. Janneth

    I recommend searching on google.com

  4. Xenos

    Bravo, this thought will come in handy

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