Brett Hildabrand of Kansas’ 17th district has introduced HB 2161 (House Bill 2161) as a means to nullify the federal NDAA or the National Defense Authorization Act. As you may or may not know, the National Defense Authorization Act is a highly controversial and some would claim highly unconstitutional effort to fight “domestic terrorism” right here at home. Co-sponsors of HB2161 include Bradford, Claeys, Garber, Grosserode, Hedke, Houser, Howell, Montgomery, O’Brien, Peck, Petty, Read and Rothlisberg and provide severe penalties under the full force of the law for any federal agents who made any attempt to implement or enforce any portion of the NDAA within the state of Kansas.
There are similar movements at the state and local level currently going in state and local governments around the nation. Obviously, if even state and local governments are concerned about this newly found federal power, we the people need to at least be aware of it and preferably look into reading the actual NDAA act itself … in full and in detail. Still, the State of Kansas is going one step further than many other local governments by tacking on kidnapping charges for any federal officials attempting to detain a lawful resident of the State of Kansas under the terms of the NDAA.
While explaining the decision to include penalties for kidnapping, the explanation, in my humble opinion at least, was much more profound than they may have intended. Representative Hildebrand was asked specifically about the Kidnapping Clause and explained that if another citizen were to detain someone against their will without any sort of representation, they would be charged with and likely prosecuted for a kidnapping offense. Why should it be any different if an agent working on behalf of the federal government does any different? And therein lies the rub … and as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.
While this is certainly a very important issue, it is not by any means the only one that the people of Kansas and indeed, the people around the nation need to be concerned with. We need more legislation like this not only in defense of state’s rights but the rights of the people against federal intrusions. It is very important to note the subtle nuances of words. Many people mistakenly believe that the Constitution grants rights to the people and some people believe it grants rights to the government. Such is not the case at all and wording is very important here. The Constitution GUARANTEES the GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS of the people. Our rights are not bestowed upon us by some benevolent government; they are God-Given and guaranteed not to be infringed by the Constitution. Furthermore, to paraphrase, and despite popular opinion, there is no historical reference that Patrick Henry was the one to utter these words, it is still true, the Constitution is an instrument to restrain the government from infringing upon the rights of her citizens.
The States and the people need to hold government, government agencies and most especially, government agents accountable to the very same laws that apply to the people. To do anything less is to deny the very principles that the Constitution is there to uphold and relinquish the government of any and all accountability save for the fact that it is merely above the law. This is the only possible way to explain how an agent working on behalf of the government would not be held accountable to the law which they are sworn to uphold and defend. I am going to take the discussion a step further however. I think similar recognition and similar accountability must be held when it comes to state and local officials as well.
My reasoning is full of numerous and devastating examples of individuals who, while under the pretense of working for government in one capacity or another, have committed what can only be described as great and unforgivable atrocities against the citizenry of this great nation. The latest examples of such egregious behavior are probably best noted in regards to the search for Dorner. During this search, innocent citizens who bear no physical resemblance to the perpetrator, driving vehicles much different than the one owned by this criminal have been viciously attacked, shot and otherwise injured. At least in these cases, no innocent citizens have been killed by the police to date. Still, we hold the citizenry to account for its actions with good cause. The argument is made that these police officers are under duress and as such, we are supposed to give them a free pass. Not only do they not receive any criminal penalty for their actions, they remain on the payroll and on the street where they are free to commit more atrocities simply because they are “stressed”.
Are our brave fighting men and women not under much greater stress than the average law enforcement official? Are they not directly in harms way with many known and unknown enemies surrounding them both day and night? Yet do we hear any calls to give our brave fighting men and women any benefit of the doubt when they commit atrocities? One of our brave men was given a general courts martial for merely striking an enemy combatant dressed in civilian clothing after that enemy combatant had been doing his best to kill American Soldiers. Oddly enough, in cases like that, people cry out against the very same Geneva Convention that they so often seek to use as a weapon against the fighting soldier.
Why? Because according to the Geneva Convention, enemy combatants who do not wear a uniform or identify themselves clearly as combatants, are to be taken out and shot as spies. Yet we spend money, time and effort trying to jail one of our brave fighting men for striking a man who had moments before been firing at him in an effort to kill him. How can we justify absolutely no penalties or consequences for American citizens working on behalf of the government when we attempt to prosecute our soldiers in war zones for circumstances not nearly so egregious or deadly? To say that there is a double standard here is being kind to say the very least.
I laud the efforts of Kansas State Representative Brett Hildabrand and HB2162 I am appalled that such legislation is needed but sadly, such are the times that we live in. If I could change anything at all in regards to this bill however, I would make every effort to introduce legislation that would hold every government agent in the nation to the exact same penalty of law as that we the people and even the American Soldier must abide by. I understand that a great many of these people do a very dangerous job on a daily basis but they did volunteer to stand on the front lines. If America is ever to return to its status as a nation of Law, we need to return to the rule of Law itself, for everybody both fairly and equally.