Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Secrets of the Founders

War creates special needs for secrecy. Along with the secrecy comes espionage, spies, leaks, and 'friendlies' with an axe to grind. Every government everywhere has had to deal with infidelity, perfidy, treachery, and sometimes even treason. So it has always been, and so it shall always be.

The United States of America has not been immune to acts of disloyalty. Benedict Arnold became the most famous traitor in US history and his name is synonymous with 'traitor' in the US as is Quisling in Europe. During the Revolutionary War, General Arnold arranged to betray West Point to the Redcoats for a commission in the English Army and a large sum of money. His leaking of secrets to the British nearly cost the Continentals the war.

It did cost Major Andre his life. Andre was captured with the plans on his person when transporting them to the British General, Sir Henry Clinton in New York City. Although Andre was beloved and admired by many in the Continental Army, including Gen. Washington, the General ordered Major Andre to be hanged. When his officers begged Washington to spare the life of Andre, Washington replied, "Then bring me Arnold."

Early in the war, our nation's Founders recognized the absolute need for absolute secrecy. The Second Continental Congress felt so strongly about confidentiality they had all lawmakers sign a pledge stipulating that any Congressman caught in violation would be expelled from Congress and dealt with as an enemy.



That every member of this Congress considers himself under the ties of virtue, honour, and love of his country, not to divulge, directly or indirectly, any matter or thing agitated or debated in Congress, before the same shall have been determined, without leave of the Congress; nor any matter or thing determined in Congress, which a majority of the Congress shall order to be kept secret. And if any member shall violate this agreement, he shall be expelled [from] this Congress, and deemed an enemy to the liberties of America, and liable to be treated as such; and that every member signify his consent to this agreement by signing the same.

In 1775, WE, the people, were at war; at war for our lives, our liberty, our sacred honor, and our future happiness. Today, 231 years later, WE, the people, are at war for our very survival as individuals and as a nation. Yet, we have no Resolution of Secrecy that the Founders saw as self-evident. We have no longer even a viable punishment for sedition; indeed, sedition as a crime is seen as archaic and laughable. The practicioners of sedition are now esteemed whistleblowers honored, praised, and rewarded for their 'heroic' acts that may well destroy the nation that has provided freedom, liberty, prosperity, and a safe haven for millions of persecuted souls since that fateful "shot heard 'round the world".

We were at war then and leakers of secrets were rewarded with a hemp noose and a stout tree. Hanging was a good idea then, and it's a good idea now. The founding principles of our nation were tolerant, but not without limit. Tolerating seditionists, whistleblowers, and leakers is unacceptable when the survival of the nation is at stake. It's high time WE, the people, return to the founding principles that created America in 1775, and secured the Union in 1865 so that this nation shall not perish from the earth.

Hat tip and my thanks to Dr. J. Michael Waller at Fourth World War for his research [Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1927), p. 18, Quoted from Secret Journals of the Acts and Proceedings of U.S. Congress, Vol. I, p. 34] and his post that hit a raw nerve.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Don said...

That is an interesting photo to start the commentary. Is that the gallows for the Lincoln assassination plotters?

Tom said...

Excellent article! I wonder if members of Congress and the main stream media would like to sign such a document...

Didn't think so.