Habeus Corpus and Posse Comitatus: Safeguards of Liberty Threatened by the Government

Two of America’s invaluable safeguards of liberty have been abused throughout history and now threaten to destroy the constitutional freedoms guaranteed to citizens. Habeus Corpus and Posse Comitatus are powerful tools to protect private citizens from an all-powerful government.

The easiest way to navigate this site is to visit the TABLE OF CONTENTS. There you will find brief descriptions and links to all my writings. OLDTIMEYMAN

The Latin phrase, Habeus Corpus, literally means show the body (the physical presence) of the accused, ensuring his day in court. A writ of Habeus Corpus requires law enforcement to bring the arrested person before a magistrate or judge to be informed of any criminal charges against him. Habeus Corpus prevents unlawful imprisonment.

The right of writs of Habeas Corpus are guaranteed in Article I, Section 9, clause 2 of the Constitution, which states, “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.”

The Latin phrase, Posse Comitatus, means the power of county and forbids the central (federal) government from using military forces to engage in police-type activities against the civilian population. Posse Comitatus reminds the federal government (and even state government) that true law enforcement power resides with the sheriff at the local level.

So, how are these safeguards being abused? Let’s take a look at each individually, both historically and in the current sense.

The constitutionally protected right to writs of Habeus Corpus was literally kicked to the curb by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861, shortly after the start of the Civil War. At the time, the suspension applied only in Maryland and parts of the Midwestern states. Lincoln’s goal was to illegally arrest and imprison those who favored the Confederate cause.

In response to the arrest of Maryland secessionist John Merryman by Union troops, then-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger B. Taney defied Lincoln ‘s order and issued a writ of Habeas Corpus demanding that the U.S. military bring Merryman before the Supreme Court. When Lincoln and the military refused to honor the writ, Chief Justice Taney in Ex-parte MERRYMAN declared Lincoln’s suspension of Habeas Corpus unconstitutional. Lincoln and the military arrogantly ignored Taney’s ruling. SOURCE

On Sept. 24, 1862, President Lincoln declared martial law and issued a proclamation suspending the right to writs of Habeas Corpus nationwide. In his zeal to stifle the rebellion, Lincoln effectively created a presidential monarchy enforced by the full weight of the Union Army.

In 1866, after the end of the Civil War, the Supreme Court officially restored Habeas Corpus throughout the nation and declared military trials illegal in areas where civilian courts were again able to function. The military occupation of the South led directly to passage of the Posse Comitatus Act, which was championed by far-sighted Southern lawmakers in 1878. “They had experienced a fifteen-year military occupation by the US Army in post-Civil War law enforcement. They understood the heel of a jackboot.”

Political reality practically forces politicians to declare some sort of emergency before they would dare impose the suspension of either Habeus Corpus or Posse Comitatus.

The mood in America today is strongly anti-federal government. The government, however, doesn’t plan on relinquishing power easily. It has, in fact, carefully laid plans to stifle any attempt to re-claim the Constitution or weaken the federal beast.

As I said in an earlier article, the trigger to set in motion the presidential suspension of Habeus Corpus, Posse Comitatus, the lawfully elected Congress and the Constitution is a presidential declaration of a national emergency and the implementation of martial law.

What few Americans realize is that our country has been in a constant state of emergency since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared a bank holiday in 1933, during the Great Depression, in the form of The Emergency Banking Relief Act.

Four major things happened with the passage of the Act:

* Only Federal Reserve-approved banks would be allowed to operate in the United States;

* The president would be allowed to declare a national emergency and use dictatorial powers over national finances;

* FDR was allowed to seize all gold in private hands and substitute worthless Federal Reserve notes for the gold; and

* The United States Treasury and the president were firmly placed in the grip of international bankers in the form of the Federal Reserve. The Emergency Banking Relief Act has never expired and remains on the books to this day, 78 years later.

As if to hammer home its grip on our nation, subsequent presidents have extended the so-called national emergency and added others as a matter of routine. There are now in effect four presidentially proclaimed states of national emergency. “In addition to the national emergency declared by President Roosevelt in 1933, there are also the national emergency proclaimed by President Truman on December 16, 1950, during the Korean conflict, and the states of national emergency declared by President Nixon on March 23, 1970, and August 15, 1971. SOURCE

“These proclamations give force to 470 provisions of Federal law. These hundreds of statutes delegate to the President extraordinary powers, ordinarily exercised by Congress, which affect the lives of American citizens in a host of all-encompassing manners.

“Under the powers delegated by these statutes, the President may: seize property; organize and control the means of production; seize commodities; assign military forces abroad; institute martial law; seize and control all transportation and communication; regulate the operation of private enterprise; restrict travel; and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens.” SOURCE

On May 9, 2007, President George W. Bush signed legislation declaring that in the event of a “catastrophic event”, the president can take total control over the government and the country, bypassing all other levels of government at the state, federal, local, territorial and tribal levels, and thus ensuring total unprecedented dictatorial power.

As we can plainly see, the Constitution has been shredded by illegal laws and acts and enforced by illegal bureaucratic rules, regulations and illegal taxes in the form of fees and licenses. Executive Orders and at least one Presidential Decision Directive have given the president virtually unlimited powers, all aimed at destroying liberty and any attempt to re-establish true constitutional rule.

All Faux-President Obama did was continue the tradition. He issued an Executive Order that creates a council of state governors who will work with the feds to expand military involvement in domestic security. Together with Presidential Decision Directive (PDD 51), a Bush era executive order that gives the President dictatorial power in times of national emergency, eliminated one of the last roadblocks to declaring martial law in the United States.

The new executive order, which is entitled Establishment of the Council of Governors (PDF), creates a body of 10 non-permanent state governors directly appointed by Obama, who will work with the federal government to help advance the “synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States.

One of the important elements the Founders hoped to ensure through the Constitution was the separation of powers. By appointing state governors to “partner” with the federal government, an unconstitutional alliance between the states and federal beast was created. Instead of a separation of powers, Obama achieved a consolidation of powers, spearheaded by the federal government.

“In September 2010, President Barack Obama informed Congress that the State of Emergency in effect since September 14, 2001, will be extended another year. The National Emergencies Act grants various powers to the president during times of emergency, and was intended to prevent a president from declaring a state of emergency of indefinite duration,” PDD 51 says.

Many people today are questioning all the power grabs by the federal government, but as far as two decades ago, one man raised a red flag by asking a very serious question.

During the Iran-Contra hearing in 1987 (Reagan Administration) then-Congressman Jack Brooks (D-TX) said, “I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American Constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was an area in which he had worked? I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.”

Brooks’ request was denied by Committee Chair, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI). SOURCE

In the classic Sci-Fi movie, Independence Day, alien invaders carefully positioned huge spacecraft over key cities in preparation for an invasion. The attack was coordinated through our own satellites and an embedded code was counting down to zero. Harvey Fierstein’s character asked Jeff Goldblum’s character: “What happens when it reaches zero.” Goldblum’s character responded: “Checkmate.”

As in that scene, pieces have been carefully positioned. Only a few remain for a complete destruction of our Republic and the liberties and rights of all citizens by the federal government. Those are the destruction of the Second Amendment (the right to keep and bear arms) and the positioning of a huge standing army to enforce martial law.

The Federal Government took care of one of those two remaining hurdles in 2002 with the formation of Northern Command (NorthCom), a joint command established to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities. In September, 2008, Army Times newspaper announced the deployment of 20,000 battle-hardened U.S. combat troops to NorthCom. The Iraq war vets were to man checkpoints and deal with “civil unrest and crowd control,” a total disregard of Posse Comitatus.

“Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks,” Army Times reports. “It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas.

“But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom.”

I could go on for pages about these insidious plots. Instead, I will give you links to follow so you can read them for yourself.

Bush Heads To Colorado For Military Takeover Drill 


 Operation Garden Plot Documents Published


The governmentattic.org website

Frank Morales comments on Operation Garden Plot:

Download PDF documents:


Northern Command General Endorses Posse Comitatus Review

Newsmax 07/22/02

Washington Post

Top Secret Pentagon Operation “Granite Shadow” revealed.

Tue Sep 27, 2005 14:05 


 PDD 51 & New Executive Order Give Obama Dictator Power



 The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive

“Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right.”

Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR)


 Obama Extends Bush’s 9/11 State of Emergency

America to Enter Tenth Year of ‘Emergency’ Next Week

 letter issued to the heads of Congress today

Anti-federalist First Essay of Brutus, Anti-federalist Eighth Essay of Brutus




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One response to “Habeus Corpus and Posse Comitatus: Safeguards of Liberty Threatened by the Government

  1. Pingback: How much power and liberty have the feds and the courts stolen from the states and the people? | Dare call it Treason

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