FOUNDERS v. BUSH:

a Comparison in Quotations of the Policies and Politics
of the Founding Fathers and George W. Bush


    V. PNAC, Cheney & Yoo -- Projecting U.S. Power


    The 9/11 attacks were used to justify an expansion of presidential power that had long been an item on the rightwing agenda. Dick Cheney played upon “fear of terrorism” as a rationale to promote pre-emptive war and U.S. hegemony, while Justice Department lawyer John Yoo (under both John Ashcorft and Alberto Gonzales) provided legal opinions that sufficiently distorted the Constitution, Geneva Conventions, International Treaties and Common Laws to give cover for arbitrary executive powers.

    The founders were well aware of forces that might favor such imperial malignancy; they worried about it, warned against it and tried to write a Constitution that would preclude it.


    Project for a New American Century (PNAC)


    PNAC announced its arrival on June 3, 1997 with a “Statement of Principles” asserting that, as the sole superpower, the United States should project its military and economic power in order to make the world more “favorable to American principles and interests.”

    Six months later, January 26, 1998, twenty-two PNAC members sent a letter to President Bill Clinton urging him, among other things, to pre-emptively attack Iraq.

    Three years later, nine days after the 9/11 attacks on September 20, 2001, forty-one PNAC members sent a letter to President Bush to congratulate him on his war talk against Iraq and to encourage him to develop a wider Middle East hegemony.

    [For these three documents, See Appendix B]

    What makes these documents especially striking is that among the list of 55 signers of these three documents are the President’s brother Jeb Bush, former Reagan administration headliners, and seventeen members of George W. Bush’s administration:

    Dick Cheney, Vice President

    I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, Cheney’s Chief of Staff

    Aaron Friedberg, Deputy Assistant for National Security in Office of the Vice President

    Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense,

    Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense; Chairman of the World Bank

    Peter W. Rodman, Assistant Secretary of Defense

    Richard Perle, Chairman of Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee

    Henry S. Rowen, Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee

    William Schneider, Jr., Chairman of Defense Science Board

    Gary Schmitt, Department of Defense consultant

    Randy Scheunemann, Advisor to Rumsfeld on Iraq; Trent Lott Nation Security Aide; President of Committee to Liberate Iraq

    Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State under Colin Powell

    Richard L. Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State

    Robert Zoellick, Deputy Secretary of State

    Elliott Abrams, Deputy National Security Advisor under Condoleezza Rice

    John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; United Nations Ambassador;

    Zalmay Khalilzad, Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq; United Nations Ambassador


    PNAC’s Iraq Position in 2001


    Gary Schmitt, Executive Director of PNAC (during the anthrax scare): “We know [Iraq] has stockpiled mass quantities of anthrax and has worked hard to make it as potent a weapon of terror as possible. . . . We know that Saddam’s Iraq continues to pursue development of weapons of mass destruction---nuclear, chemical, and biological---believing that these are the ultimate keys to overcoming America’s military dominance in the region. In short, Iraq is both equipped with dangerous weapons and out to get the United States.”

    --- Weekly Standard, 2001 (Weekly Standard publisher William Kristol is also a signer and one of PNAC’s founding members)


    Cheney’s One Percent Doctrine


    In "The One Percent Doctrine," Ron Suskind writes that Vice President Dick Cheney propounded that the war on terror empowered the Bush administration to act without the need for evidence or extensive analysis. Suskind describes the Cheney doctrine: "Even if there's just a 1 percent chance of the unimaginable coming due, act as if it is a certainty. It's not about 'our analysis,' as Cheney said. It's about 'our response.' . . . Justified or not, fact-based or not, 'our response' is what matters. As to 'evidence,' the bar was set so low that the word itself almost didn't apply."

    DICK CHENEY: “We have to deal with this new type of threat in a way we haven’t yet defined. . . . With a low-probability, high-impact event like this. . . . If there’s a one percent chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certain in terms of our response.”

    ---Ron Suskind, The One Percent Doctrine

    “Bush outlined a new doctrine in June warning he will take ‘pre-emptive action, when necessary, to defend our liberty and to defend our lives.’ He mentioned no specific nations at the time. On Sunday, Cheney pointed a finger directly at Iraq.”

    ---Washington (AP), September 9, 2002

    DICK CHENEY: ‘‘If we have reason to believe someone is preparing an attack against the U.S., has developed that capability, harbors those aspirations, then I think the U.S. is justified in dealing with that, if necessary, by military force.’’

    ---Washington (AP), September 9, 2002

    [For more on Cheney’s One Percent Doctrine, See Appendix B.]


    The John Yoo Legal Opinions


    John Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Bush Department of Justice, wrote defining opinions and rationalizations for Bush’s claim to unlimited Presidential Power. On September 14, 2001, only three days after the 9/11 attacks, John Yoo already had the following opinion prepared:

    JOHN YOO: “The President has broad constitutional power to take military action in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Congress has acknowledged this inherent executive power in both the War Powers Resolution and the Joint Resolution passed by Congress on September 14, 2001.” [emphasis added; for more See Appendix B]

    On September 25, 2001, Yoo issued an opinion asserting even greater presidential war-making powers:

    JOHN YOO: “The President has the constitutional power not only to retaliate against any person, organization, or State suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks on the United States, but also against foreign States suspected of harboring or supporting such organizations. Finally, the President may deploy military force pre-emptively against terrorist organization or the states that harbor or support them, whether or not they can be linked to the specific terrorist incidents of September 11. . . .

    “In the exercise of his plenary power to use military force, the President's decisions are for him alone and are unreviewable. . . .

    “We conclude that the Constitution vests the President with the plenary authority, as commander and Chief and the sole organ of the nation in its foreign affairs, to use military force abroad. . . .

    “These powers give the President broad constitutional authority to use military force in response to threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. . . .

    “In both the War Powers Resolution and the Joint Resolution, Congress has recognized the President's authority to use force in circumstances such as those created by the September 11 incidents. Neither statute, however, can place any limits on the President's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the President alone to make.” [emphasis added]

    ---Justice Department Opinion, Office of Legal Counsel, September 25, 2001

    In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed, Yoo goes even further:

    JOHN YOO: “[The] president has broader goals than even fighting terrorism--- he has long intended to make reinvigorating the presidency a priority. Vice President Dick Cheney has rightly deplored the ‘erosion of the powers and the ability of the president of the United states to do his job’ and noted that ‘we are weaker today as an institution because of the unwise compromises that have been made over the last 30 to 35 years.’”

    ---New York Times Op-ed, September 17, 2006

    LAWRENCE WILKERSON (Department of State Assistant assigned by Secretary of State Colin Powell to monitor Bush Administration policy-making decisions in 2005):

    “I saw what was discussed. I saw it in spades. From Addington [Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington] to the other lawyers at the White House. They said the President of the United States can do whatever he damn pleases. People were arguing for a new interpretation of the Constitution. It negates Article One, Section Eight, that lays out all the powers of Congress, including the right to declare war, raise militias, make laws, and oversee the common defense of the nation.”

    ---Interview with Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, February 27, 2006

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: "The Constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure."

    ---Letter to William Moultrie, August 28, 1793

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the constitution which at any time exists till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

    ---Farewell Address, 1796

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “We have already given . . . one effectual check to the Dog of war, by transferring the power of letting him loose from the Executive to the Legislative body.”

    ---Letter to Madison, September 6, 1789

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “We had relied with great security on that provision which requires two-thirds of the Legislature to declare war.

    ---Letter to James Madison, March 21, 1798

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war."

    --- Message to Congress, December 6, 1805

    JAMES MADISON: “Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm."

    --- Federalist No. 10, 1787

    JAMES MADISON: “Thesimple, the received and the fundamental doctrine of the constitution, that the power to declare war . . . is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature . . . the executive has no right, in any case to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war."

    ---"Helvidius" No. 4, September 14, 1793

    JAMES MADISON: “Powers of making war and treaty being substantially of a legislative, not an executive nature, the rule of interpreting exceptions strictly must narrow instead of enlarging executive pretensions on those subjects. . . .

    “The President shall be commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia when called into the actual service of the United States. . . .

    “There can be no relation worth examining between this power and the general power of making treaties. And instead of being analogous to the power of declaring war, it affords a striking illustration of the incompatibility of the two powers in the same hands. Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things be proper or safe judges whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded. They are barred from the latter functions by a great principle in free government, analogous to that which separates the sword from the purse or the power of executing from the power of enacting laws. . . .

    “Thus it appears that by whatever standard we try this doctrine it must be condemned as no less vicious in theory than it would be dangerous in practice. It is countenanced neither by the writers on law, nor by the nature of the powers themselves, nor by any general arrangements or particular expressions or plausible analogies to be found in the Constitution.”

    --- “Helvidius” No. 1, August 24, 1793

    JAMES MADISON: “The Constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it.”

    ---Letter to Jefferson, April 2, 1798

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “A fondness for power is implanted in most men, and it is natural to abuse it when acquired. This maxim, drawn from the experience of all ages, makes it the height of folly to intrust any set of men with power which is not under every possible control.”

    ---”The Farmer Refuted,” February 5, 1775

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “The origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact between the rulers and the ruled, and must be liable to such limitations as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have to govern others except their own consent? To usurp dominion over a people . . . or to grasp at a more extensive power than they are willing to intrust is to violate that law of nature which gives every man a right to his personal liberty, and can therefore confer no obligation to obedience.”

    ---The Farmer Refuted, 1775

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON: "The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States.... It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces; . . . while [the power] of the British king extends to the declaring of war and the raising and regulating of fleets and armies, -- all of which by the [U.S.] Constitution under consideration would appertain to the legislature."

    ---Federalist, 69, 1788

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “No legislative act . . . contrary to the Constitution can be valid.”

    ---Federalist No. 78, 1788

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “If I were disposed to promote monarchy and overthrow State governments, I would mount the hobbyhorse of popularity; I would cry out ‘usurpation,’ ‘danger to liberty,’ etc., etc.; I would endeavor to prostrate the national government, raise a ferment, and then ride in the whirlwind and direct the storm."

    ----Letter to Edward Carrington, May 26, 1792

    WILLIAM PATERSON: "It is the exclusive province of congress to change a state of peace into a state of war."

    ---United States v. Smith, 1806

    [William Paterson was a signer of the Constitution, Governor of New Jersey, and one of the six original justices appointed by George Washington to the United States Supreme Court.]

    CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN MARSHALL: "The whole powers of war being, by the constitution of the United States, vested in congress, the acts of that body can alone be resorted to as our guides in this inquiry [of whether 'war' existed]."

    ---Talbot v. Seeman, 1801


    Axis of Evil


    GEORGE W. BUSH: “[Our goal] is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction. Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the 11th. But we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens. Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror. . . . Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens—leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections—then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world. . . .

    “States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an Axis of Evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred.”

    ---First State of the Union Address, January, 2002

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “Against the insidious wile of foreign influence . . . the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial, else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they activate to seed anger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other.

    ---Farewell Address, 1796

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “Nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.”

    ---Farewell Address, 1796

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.”

    ---Farewell Address, 1796


    Axis of Oil


    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Well, if it's in our vital national interests. And that means whether or not our territory -- our territory is threatened, our people could be harmed, whether or not our alliances -- our defense alliances are threatened, whether or not our friends in the Middle East are threatened. That would be a time to seriously consider the use of force.”

    ---Presidential Debate in Boston, October 3, 2000

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “I truly believe that out of this will come more order in the world---real progress to peace in the Middle East, stability with oil-producing regions.”

    ---To business leaders at Ground Zero, September 2001 after 9/11

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war. Were the money which it has cost to gain, at the close of a long war, a little town or a little territory, the right to cut wood here or to catch fish there, expended in improving what they already possess, in making roads, opening rivers, building ports, improving the arts and finding employment for their idle poor, it would render them much stronger, much wealthier and happier. This I hope will be our wisdom."

    ---Notes on Virginia Q. XXII, 1782

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "It cannot be permitted that all the inhabitants of the United States shall be involved in the calamities of war and the blood of thousands of them be poured out, merely that a few adventurers may possess themselves of lands."

    ---Letter to the Attorney of the District of Kentucky, 1791

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "The sound principles of national integrity . . . forbade us to take what was a neighbor's merely because it suited us and especially from a neighbor under circumstances of peculiar affliction."

    ---Letter to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, November 29, 1813


    Imposing Democracy


    GEORGE W. BUSH: “American foreign policy must be more than the management of crisis. It must have a great and guiding goal: to turn this time of American influence into generations of democratic peace.”

    ---Speech, November 19, 1999

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Yes, if you heard the bombs falling, you'll know that democracy is on the march in the Middle East. “

    ---Outside the White House, March 25, 2003

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “The advance of freedom is the calling of our time; it is the calling of our country.”

    ---Address to National Endowment for Democracy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, November 6, 2003

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “For too long, many nations, including my own, tolerated, even excused, oppression in the Middle East in the name of stability. Oppression became common, but stability never arrived. We must take a different approach. We must help the reformers of the Middle East as they work for freedom, and strive to build a community of peaceful, democratic nations.”

    ---Speech to UN General Assembly, September 21, 2004

    Q: “Can I just go in another direction? There was a lot of praise on Capitol Hill yesterday for Powell's presentation. But one of the criticisms that a couple of people talked about was the aftermath -- in the event of war, what happens in Iraq afterwards in terms of rebuilding, how we pay for it, who participates in that kind of thing. The President talked a lot during the campaign about he never wanted to use U.S. troops for, in his words, nation-building. We have troops now in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia. Presumably, we would have them in Iraq afterwards. Has the President changed his position about nation-building?”

    PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN ARI FLEISCHER: “No, the President continues to believe that the purpose of using the military should be to fight and win wars. Our government, broadly speaking, has a variety, however, of agencies that are well-situated, whose mission is to help protect the peace after a war is fought. And by that, I mean, in the event that there is a war with Iraq, the President has made very plain in numerous conversations with foreign leaders, that immediately upon military action, if it comes to military action, plans are in place to provide humanitarian aid and relief to the people of Iraq. It is a fundamentally important part of how the United States and democracies around the world do their business as liberators, not conquerors. . . .

    “And what the President refers to, specifically, the number of food distribution points that are in Iraq that the oil-for-food program has already identified, as a means of getting food to the Iraqi people, getting supplies to the Iraqi people, making sure that medical care is provided to the Iraqi people. And I think, again, this is one reason that the interesting reality of events around the world is often [that] the United States is viewed as the liberator.”

    ---Press Conference, February 6, 2003

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "For us to attempt by war to reform all Europe, and bring them back to principles of morality and a respect for the equal rights of nations, would show us to be only maniacs of another character."

    ---Letter to William Wirt, May 3, 1811

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Instead of that liberty which takes root and growth in the progress of reason, if recovered by mere force or accident, it becomes with an unprepared people a tyranny still of the many, the few, or the one.”

    ---Letter to Marquis de Lafayette, February 4, 1815

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “[The American Revolution succeeded because it was] a free, regular and deliberate act of the nation, and with such spirit of justice and humainty as ought to silence all scruples about [its] validity.”

    ---Cabinet Paper to Washington, April 1793

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “Though it be lawful and meritorious to assist a people in a virtuous and rational struggle for liberty . . . it is not justifiable in any government or nation to hold out to the world a general invitation and encouragement to revolution and insurrection, under a promise of fraternity and assistance. . . . Such a step is of a nature to disturb the repose of mankind, to excite fermentation in every country, to endanger government everywhere.”

    ---Letter to Washington, May 2, 1793


    Pre-emptive War


    GEORGE W. BUSH: "America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."

    ---October 7, 2002

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities.”

    ---September 7, 2003

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Delay is preferable to error.”

    ---Letter to George Washington, May 16, 1792

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “When an instrument admits two constructions, the one safe, the other dangerous, the one precise, the other indefinite, I prefer that which is safe & precise. I had rather ask an enlargement of power from the nation, where it is found necessary, than to assume it by a construction which would make our powers boundless. Our peculiar security is in possession of a written constitution. . . . Let us go on then perfecting it, by adding, by way of amendment to the Constitution, those powers which time & trial show are still wanting.”

    ---Letter to Wilson Cary Nicholas, September 7, 1803

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "In one sentiment of [Edward Livingston's] speech I particularly concur. 'If we have a doubt relative to any power, we ought not to exercise it.'"

    ---Letter to Edward Livingston, April 4, 1824.

    JAMES WILSON: "This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress; for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large."

    ---To the Pennsylvania ratifying convention, 1787

    [James Wilson from Pennsylvania was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, twice elected to the Continental Congress, a major force in the drafting of the nation's Constitution, one of the six original justices appointed by George Washington to the United States Supreme Court.]


    Perpetual War


    GEORGE W. BUSH: “This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil, but good will prevail."

    ---September 12, 2001

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

    ---Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, September 20, 2001

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Once again, this nation and our friends are all that stand between a world at peace and a world of chaos and constant alarm. Once again, we are called to defend the safety of our people and the hopes of all mankind. And we accept this responsibility. . . and we go forward with confidence, because this call of history has come to the right country."

    ---State of the Union Address, January 28, 2003

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “We've got the terrorists on the run. We're keeping them on the run. One by one the terrorists are learning the meaning of American justice. “

    ---State of the Union Speech, January 28, 2003

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world. “

    ---In response to the question of whether we can win the war on terror, August 30, 2004

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “In this different kind of war, we may never sit down at a peace table. But make no mistake about it, we are winning, and we will win.”

    ---Speech at national convention of American Legion, August 31, 2004

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Now we have the historic chance to widen the circle even further, to fight radicalism and terror with justice and dignity, to achieve a true peace, founded on human freedom . . . That dignity is dishonored by oppression, corruption, tyranny, bigotry, terrorism and all violence against the innocent. . . . We know that dictators are quick to choose aggression, while free nations strive to resolve differences in peace.”

    ---Speech at the United Nations, Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal---we seek the end of tyranny in our world.”

    ---State of the Union, January 31, 2006

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “In this new war, we have set a clear doctrine. After the attacks of September the 11th, I told a joint session of Congress: America makes no distinction between the terrorists and the countries that harbor them. If you harbor a terrorist, you are just as guilty as the terrorists and you're an enemy of the United States of America. In the months that followed, I also made clear the principles that will guide us in this new war: America will not wait to be attacked again. We will confront threats before they fully materialize. We will stay on the offense against the terrorists, fighting them abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.

    ---Commencement Address at West Point, May 27, 2006

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Unlike the Soviet Union, the terrorist enemies we face today hide in caves and shadows---and emerge to attack free nations from within. The terrorists have no borders to protect, or capital to defend. They cannot be deterred---but they will be defeated. America will fight the terrorists on every battlefront, and we will not rest until this threat to our country has been removed. . . . Against such an enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, we will never give in, and we will never accept anything less than complete victory.”

    ---Commencement Address at West Point, May 27, 2006

    GEORGE W. BUSH: "We have made clear that the war on terror is an ideological struggle between tyranny and freedom,"

    ---Graduation Speech at West Point, 2006

    GEORGE W. BUSH: ”We're still in the early stages of this struggle for freedom.”

    ---Commencement Address at West Point, May 27, 2006

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "Nations of eternal war [expend] all their energies . . . in the destruction of the labor, property, and lives of their people."

    ---Letter to James Monroe, 1823

    JAMES MADISON: “A standing military force with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

    ---Constitutional Convention, June 29, 1787

    JAMES MADISON: "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

    ---”Political Observations,” April 20, 1795

    JAMES MADISON [also from “Political Observations”]:

    “War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, 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 i 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 manner and of morals, engendered in both. . . .

    War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it. . . .

    In war, the public treasuries are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. . . .

    In war, the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed; and it is the executive brow they are to encircle. . . .

    The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.”

    ---"Political Observations," April 20, 1795



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Author: Steve Coffman

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: One World Studios

Language: English

ISBN: 978-0979727207

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