This letter was sent over the weekend by New Hampshire State Representative (and state RLC Secretary) Andrew Manuse to his representatives in Congress. It sums up very effectively what many in the Republican party feel about the failure of our elected leaders on the issue of indefinite military detention in the National Defense Authorization Act. We can hope that even if they don’t listen to the thousands of grassroots Republicans who are calling and writing them they might listen to our compatriots like Rep. Manuse, Rep. Justin Amash and many others who hold elective office.
Dear Sens. Ayotte and Shaheen and Rep. Guinta:
I understand how form e-mails to representatives and senators are not taken seriously, because they indicate a lack of effort on the part of a constituent to even read into an issue and think about it on his or her own. I typically give such e-mails less attention when I receive them, so I wanted to make sure to type an original message to you before the form letter text, which is below my first signature. This letter is being sent to Sens. Ayotte and Shaheen as well as Rep. Guinta, as a grievance against the federal government and the Congress, as written by a state representative for his constituents.
I’m sure you know by now that I am disappointed with the direction of our Congress, particularly the House (I expect the wrong direction from a Senate controlled by Sen. Reid). To be clear, I am opposed to what all three of you are doing in Washington for the most part, with a few minor exceptions. I am also certain that the American people and the people of New Hampshire share my views. We expected more from you. I understand your job is to use your own judgment and not bend to the whim of a handful of constituents, like me; however, I would hope that you would at least take my grievance against you into deep consideration.
Specifically, I would expect each of you as my representative and senators from New Hampshire, a state that treasures the Live Free or Die attitude of our founders, to make a lot more noise against the usurpation of authority in the several bills that have come before you this session, particularly sections 1031 and 1032 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011. Your leadership has been quite unsatisfactory, to say the least, on this matter.
Besides the Patriot Act reauthorization bill, no bill would be more damaging to our way of life and liberties as Americans than sections 1031 and 1032 of the National Defense Authorization Act as adopted in the Senate. If this bill passes and the federal government acts to indefinitely detain a U.S. citizen without allowing that citizen to face his or her accusers and without allowing that citizen to be judged by a jury of his or her peers–inalienable rights under our Constitution–this government will be in breech of contract and I fear it will no longer have the consent of the governed, if it hasn’t lost that consent already. I do not want to think about what might come next, but I can tell you definitively that I very much want to avoid it. I have a wife and children, currently, and we just want to live at peace, without the government interfering in our lives. I know many of my constituents share this view.
To avoid the end to the path we’re currently on, I am pleading with you to fight against these two provisions, sections 1031 and 1032 of the National Defense Authorization Act as adopted in the Senate, with every ounce of energy that you have. This may just be the last shot we have at restoring a sense of honor to the Congress and our federal government.
The U.S. government was created to protect the life, liberty and property of all citizens, equally under the law. Yet, with laws like the Patriot Act and the provisions within the National Defense Authorization Act, we now have a government that is making war with the very citizens it was formed to protect. We have a government that is making it impossible for citizens to be lawful, and thus, they will become increasingly lawless and I fear even greater conflict between the government and the citizens, who are the rulers of themselves, will result. Such anarchy was what our government was created to prevent. But when the government passes laws that are unconscionable, let alone unenforceable under the Constitution, it leaves the citizens with no other avenue than anarchy. This would be an anarchy created by the government, and it is an anarchy that I do not want to live under, let alone subject my family to live under. What else would be the result than a government crackdown against its own citizens, even more horrific than the one perpetrated in these provisions. What kind of nation would we be?
I am asking you, no pleading with you, to heed my words and please, respect the rule of law and the constitution. Please do everything within your power to remove sections 1031 and 1032 of the National Defense Authorization Act (Senate version) during the reconciliation process. Our Republic is standing on such tenuous ground right now. We cannot afford anything else like these provisions that will weaken the Republic further, and put the very spirit of lawlessness, within our law.
Rep. Andrew J. Manuse, R-Derry