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<nettime> [UE] READ THIS!! - The Neocon Case for Imprisoning and Executi
Rob van Kranenburg on Sun, 18 Jan 2004 16:37:51 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> [UE] READ THIS!! - The Neocon Case for Imprisoning and Executing Congressional War Opponents

From: "Liz Michael" <liz {AT} lizmichael.org>
To: Underground_Economy {AT} yahoogroups.com

The Neocon Case for Imprisoning and Executing Congressional War Opponents

by<mailto:TDilo {AT} aol.com> Thomas J. DiLorenzo

The neocon cabal is beginning to make the case for imprisoning "or 
possibly executing" members of Congress who oppose the war in Iraq. 
An example of this development is a December 23 Insight magazine 
article by senior editor J. Michael Waller entitled 
Does Politics Become Treason?" (Insight is an appendage of the 
Washington Times, the voice of the Washington, D.C. neocon 
establishment. Just before our May 2002 Independent Institute debate 
on Lincoln, Straussian neocon high priest Harry Jaffa made it a point 
to tell me that he is the chairman of the academic advisory committee 
of the Washington Times, where his colleague MacKubin Thomas Owens 
had just published an intemperate and apoplectic hatchet job on my 
The Real Lincoln, only a few weeks after all but comparing Jaffa's 
latest book on Lincoln to the Bible in the same book review section.)

Naturally, the totalitarian/neocon case for imprisoning or executing 
the Bush administration's political opponents is based on precedents 
established by Abraham Lincoln. "Lincoln's policy was to have 
treasonous federal lawmakers arrested and tried before military 
tribunals, and exiled or hanged if convicted," Waller announces. He 
quotes Lincoln as saying that "Congressmen who willfully take actions 
during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are 
saboteurs who should be arrested, exiled or hanged." Lincoln "spoke 
forcefully of the need to arrest, convict and, if necessary, execute 
congressmen who by word or deed undermined the war effort."

Of course, Lincoln defined a "saboteur" as virtually anyone who 
disagreed with his politics and policies and subsequently ordered the 
military to arrest literally tens of thousands of Northern political 
opponents, including dozens of opposition newspaper editors.
Both "Lincoln scholars" and neocon political activists typically take 
Lincoln at his word and seek no other definitions of treason or 
sabotage. To Lincoln, criticizing him or his administration amounted 
to "warring upon the military." And according to Waller, these words 
"apply to some lawmakers today," even though these lawmakers insist 
that they are opposing the Bush war policy "to support the troops."

Exhibit A in the neocon case for imprisoning political opponents is 
Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio, who was forcefully taken 
from his Dayton, Ohio home in the middle of the night by 67 armed 
federal soldiers, thrown into a military prison without due process, 
convicted by a military tribunal, and deported. One place to read 
about Vallandigham is in Lincoln's Critics: The Copperheads of the 
North, by historian Frank L. Klement. On the back cover James 
McPherson says that "Klement's essays on the Democratic opposition to 
the Lincoln administration offers a vigorous defense of the 
legitimacy and value of that opposition." Interesting: Since when 
does political opposition in America require "legitimizing"?

While a newspaper editor in Ohio and, later, as a congressman, 
Vallandigham ridiculed the Whig and Republican Party political agenda 
of protectionism, corporate welfare for the railroad corporations, 
and inflationary finance through fiat money. He was a states' rights 
Jeffersonian and a strict constructionist on the Constitution who 
once stated bluntly that he was "inexorably hostile to Puritan [i.e., 
New England and upper Midwest] domination in religion or morals or 
literature or politics." He and thousands of other Midwesterners 
where known as "Peace Democrats" who favored working toward a 
peaceful resolution of the sectional differences that existed. 
Vallandigham even became known as the "apostle of peace" throughout 
the Midwest.

Vallandigham was appalled and outraged at Lincoln's suspension of 
habeas corpus and his arrest of thousands of Northern political 
opponents; the trial of civilians by military tribunals even though 
the civil courts were operating; arbitrary arrests without warrants 
or charges; military edicts that prohibited criticism of the Lincoln 
administration; the arrest of all of the editors of opposition 
newspapers in Ohio; and the mobbing and demolition of opposition 
newspapers by Republican Party activists or federal soldiers.

Vallandigham's "act of treason" was to make a speech on the floor of 
the House of Representatives (which was repeated to his home 
constituents) in which he condemned the Lincoln administration's 
"persistent infractions of the Constitution" and its "high-minded 
usurpations of power," which were designed as "a deliberate 
conspiracy to overthrow the present form of Federal-republican 
government, and to establish a strong centralized government in its 
stead." (See The Record of Hon. C. L. Vallandigham: Abolition, the 
Union, and the Civil War, Wiggins, MS: Crown Rights Publishers, 1998).

Starting a war without the consent of Congress, Vallandigham said, 
was the kind of dictatorial act "that would have cost any English 
sovereign his head at any time within the last two hundred years." 
Echoing Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, he railed 
against the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the 
consent of the owners; the subversion of the Maryland government by 
arresting some twenty legislators, the Mayor of Baltimore, and 
Congressman Henry May; censorship of the telegraph; and the 
confiscation of firearms from private citizens.

All of these things, said Vallandigham, were done not "to save the 
union" but to advance the cause of "national banks . . . and 
permanent public debt, high tariffs, heavy direct taxation, enormous 
expenditure, gigantic and stupendous peculation . . . and strong 
government . . . no more State lines . . . and a consolidated 
monarchy or vast centralized military despotism."
Such speech was said (by Lincoln) to discourage young Ohio boys from 
enrolling in the military and, through a Clintonian twist of logic, 
was therefore treasonous. The Republican Party made a big scene of 
handing the aged Vallandigham over to Confederate authorities in 
Tennessee in order to spread the myth that all political dissenters 
were spies or traitors. But the Confederates wanted nothing to do 
with Vallandigham, so he fled to Canada for he remainder of the war.

But Lincoln was not yet finished with Vallandigham. The political 
propaganda arm of the Republican Party was a secret society started 
in 1862 that became known as the Union League. The League spread 
hateful and false propaganda about any and all opponents of the 
Lincoln administration while lionizing the party and its leader. 
=46rank Klement documents several huge lies that were effectively 
spread about Vallandigham by the Union League that served to 
"justify" Lincoln's totalitarian act of deporting an outspoken 
political opponent.

=46irst, the Union League forged a letter that implicated Vallandigham 
as one of the planners (from Ontario, Canada) of the July 1863 New 
York City draft riots. This was a complete forgery, as Klement 
proves. Nevertheless, it is still repeated to this day as "the 
truth." One Richard Ferrier of the Straussian neocon Declaration 
=46oundation did so on a WorldNetDaily radio interview in April of 2002 
in response to a previous appearance on the same program by myself.

The Union League forged other documents that claimed that it was 
Vallandigham who persuaded Robert E. Lee to head north into 
Pennsylvania in June of 1863, and that he was somehow involved in 
Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan=E2*=99s abortive raids into Indiana 
and Ohio. These were all lies, as Klement proves.

The Union League continued to spread false history for years after 
the war, so that much of what Americans think they "know" today about 
the war is not so much fact as it is old, Union League propaganda. 
The worst of this propaganda is the notion that Democratic opponents 
of Lincoln were all traitors or snakes in the grass, i.e., 

Interestingly, in his Insight article Waller noted that "given the 
recent controversy about the authenticity of quotations attributed to 
President Abraham Lincoln (See my article, 
"<http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo25.html>Abeloney" in 
the<http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig2/lincoln-arch.html> LRC "King 
Lincoln" archives), Insight went directly to the primary source for 
the presidential statements about how to deal with congressmen who 
sabotage the war effort." And what is this "primary source"? It is an 
1863 publication entitled "The Truth from an Honest Man: The Letter 
of the President," published and "distributed by the Union League"!

Lincoln completely intimidated Congress by boldly deporting his chief 
critic. The message was clear: criticize the administration and this 
could happen to you. He also thumbed his nose at the Supreme Court by 
literally issuing an arrest warrant for Chief Justice Roger B. Taney 
after he issued an opinion that only Congress could constitutionally 
suspend habeas corpus. Lincoln simply ignored the Court and 
effectively destroyed the doctrine of separation of powers during his 
entire administration.
It wasn't until after the war, and after Lincoln's passing, that the 
Supreme Court regained the courage and integrity to state the obvious 
and declare, in Ex Parte Milligan (1866), that: "The constitution of 
the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and 
peace, and covers with its shield of protection all classes of men, 
at all times and under all circumstances. No doctrine involving more 
pernicious consequences was ever invented by the wit of men that any 
of its great provisions can be suspended during any of the great 
exigencies of Government."

Believers in limited constitutional government would say "Amen!" to 
this, but the Straussian neocon Lincoln idolater cabal ignores it as 
much as possible. Instead, they go on and on endlessly about what a 
great "statesman" Lincoln supposedly was by trampling on the 
Constitution to such an extent that his imprisoning of dissenters 
even included opposition members of Congress. So, don't be surprised 
to see articles in the near future from the Claremont Institute, AEI, 
National Review, The Weekly Standard, and other neocon organs urging 
President Bush to be more "Lincolnesque" in his treatment of the war 
opponents in Congress.

January 15, 2004

Thomas J. DiLorenzo [<mailto:TDilo {AT} aol.com>send him mail] is the 
The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an 
Unnecessary War, which was just re-released in paperback with a new 
chapter by Three Rivers Press/Random House.
Copyright =A9 2004 LewRockwell.com

web: http://simsim.rug.ac.be/staff/rob
mail: kranenbu {AT} xs4all.nl
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