Newt's Letter

Column by Jim Davies.

Government tries to justify its ubiquitous spying on private correspondence on the back of 9/11. It's just another government lie. The events below took place four years earlier.
 
Back in 1997, Mr Gingrich was a powerful figure in DC – Speaker of the House. Soon afterwards he swapped wives and was cast into outer darkness for a decade, but recently he ran against Ron Paul and others for the R-nomination. He didn't last too long. When he was at the zenith of his power, however, I wrote to him – and reported the details in my local newspaper, as follows.
 
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Seven weeks ago, I wrote a short letter to Speaker Gingrich, up there in Washington DC, with a copy to our Congressman, Charles Bass. So far, neither has replied. I expect they will, eventually, when they get around to it, and that the replies will be the usual platitudinous placebos that some staffer pulls out of their word processor's compendium of Paragraphs Suitable for those Outside the Beltway (PSOBs). You know the sort: they will say how warmly they agree, then explain why, regretfully, they will do nothing anyway.
 
Meantime, they are no doubt busy men . . . but I too am busy, and in my business, I have a rule that if I don't reply to a customer's letter the same day it comes, there has to be a powerful reason why not. I really don't see why these grossly overpaid "public servants" should be held to any lower standard, do you?
 
So I'm going to compose a reply on behalf of Speaker Gingrich, and I'll try to make it honest and truthful. That's not the way he'll reply in real life, of course, when he does get around to it, but it will (to the best of my ability) be the way he would reply, if someone were to shoot him up with a Truth Drug a few moments before he called in one of his secretaries for dictation.
 
What I Asked
 
First, the background: the note to which Newt's reply is needed. I had just been surfing the channels, and happened upon a talking-head show run by Paul Weyrich, who comes (I understand) from Gingrich's very own section of the Demopublican Party. I caught just a snippet, but it reported that shortly, Congress was going to debate how far We the People shall be allowed to use unbreakable code on our computers when communicating with each other.
 
Now, as Speaker of the House, Gingrich controls what gets debated, so that had to be his doing. So my note drew his attention to Amendment #1, which forbids Congress to make any law abridging the freedom of speech, and asked him:
 
Which part of that absolute prohibition don't you understand?”
 
He's a bright guy, so cannot have failed to see my simple point: If no law can be written to fetter our communications, there is no point at all in debating the subject; the debate time would be a total waste. And one day's worth of 435 Representatives earning $130,000 a year each amounts to pouring over $150,000 of your money and mine down the sewer, all on the say-so of Speaker Newt.
 
So much for what I asked. Now let's see how a truth-struck Speaker would reply.
 
"Dear Mr. Davies,"
 
he would start. All letters start that way, even to one's deadliest enemy; and I doubt if I yet have that honor, despite my best efforts in this column.
 
"You ask which part of Amendment #1 I don't understand, and the answer is, of course, none; I understand it perfectly. Yes, it's the supreme law of the land, and yes, it says that my organization is absolutely forbidden to interfere at all with anything anyone wants to say to his neighbor or business associate and yes, I fully intend to pay that prohibition no heed or attention whatsoever.
 
"Come now, Mr. Davies, you too are a student of history; who do you think you're kidding? You, too, have read Macchiavelli, you too know the meaning of that delightful German word, Realpolitik. So you can't possibly be serious, in supposing that a mere scrap of 200 year old paper is going to stand between the United States Government and our enjoyment of power? Surely not?
 
"Thanks to the efforts of our school system over seven generations, nine tenths of You the People have never even read Amendment #1, and if You have heard of it at all, You imagine it's a right that government has graciously granted You, and so can repeal at will. So don't try to intimidate me into imagining that if Congress forbids encrypted speech, there's going to be any kind of outraged public protest. The 'public' hasn't even gotten its mind together, so will do just what our TV counsellors tell them to do. Protest? Fat chance.
 
"Lawsuit? Again, don't be silly. In the unlikely event you ever get near to the Supreme Court, we've had that 'independent' body mostly in our pocket since 1803, when Marbury vs. Madison established that the Constitution says only what the Supreme Court says it says, regardless of the opinion of jurors. We pay these guys, remember? So if we need them to say we can forbid the use of any code we cannot break, we don't have to go through the tedium of getting a Constitutional Amendment, we just snap our fingers and they will say it. You have read Orwell, have you not? Of course you have. So you know full well that black is white, war is peace, slavery is freedom, just whenever we want it so.
 
"Harmless, you imply; you seriously want me to suppose that it would do us no harm, if You the People were to write each other in a language we cannot interpret? Again, believe me, I wasn't born yesterday. Real freedom of speech would destroy us: unbreakably encrypted communication would put paid to our power position permanently. The harm would be immense; everything we have worked for, these 221 years, would be lost; this government would collapse, and I think you know that, and that's why I'll see we have a special cell reserved for you, my friend, in one of the mega-prisons You people say we're building.
 
"Why, if You peasants could communicate freely and privately, You would break our money and banking monopoly, avoid our taxes, spread sedition, even have some of us assassinated, all undetectable by our swarms of officers! And that revenue loss would terminate our power, for it rests solely on our magnificent, well-crafted ability to buy votes, to play off one group of You against another--even as that idiot Steve Forbes started to say, before we ended his campaign.
 
"So don't fool with me. Uncrackably coded conversations will be crushed, at ANY cost. We have the guns, we have the police, we have the technology, we have the media, we have the courts, and we are absolutely not, no way, going to let go of Power. See you across the barricades!
 
Very truly yours,
 

Newt Gingrich." 

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Jim Davies's picture
Columns on STR: 243

Jim Davies is a retired businessman in New Hampshire who led the development of an on-line school of liberty in 2006, and who wrote A Vision of Liberty" , "Transition to Liberty" and, in 2010, "Denial of Liberty" and "To FREEDOM from Fascism, America!" He started The Zero Government Blog in the same year.
In 2012 Jim launched http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov , to help lead government workers to an honest life.
In 2013 he wrote his fifth book, a concise and rational introduction to the Christian religion called "Which Church (if any)?"

Comments

John deLaubenfels's picture

I'm sure you're right in saying that congressional bozos want to forbid mere citizens from communicating in any way that they (the bozos) can't intercept and comprehend. In the late 1990's, Newt was smarting about the fact that the government had failed to indict Phil Zimmermann, the author of PGP, for "exporting munitions". The issue died down some between then and now, but I have no doubt whatever that government thugs still want to have a back door into everything we do, and that a law mandating such access will be passed in the next few years. When that happens, I'll probably start giving away the steganography programs I've written. Let the bozos prove there's data hidden in the photo or music file I send you!

Glock27's picture

For years I have hammered at my federal and state legislators over issues which concern me and unfortunately I am addicted to do so up to this moment and Jim, you are absolutely, 100% accurate regarding the canned replys. At first you get this first blush of "A-h-h-h! I have done something. When you receive about the 30th response it clicks. They say the same thing about everything you write. Hayek is late, Surfdom is pretty much here already.

I can't break the habit of writing to them, only my letters are not as polite as they once were, These letters I get little to no response from and I have to believe that my name appears on some subversive list, they probably know I have orderd books on how to make bombs, improvized explosives, resistance, sabatoge and a sundry of other texts formable for guerilla conflict. Little do they know I have these texts for 1) curiosity and 2) to assist myself in learning skills to use in the coming storm to assist in protecting my properties and life.

The current progrom of the U.S. government is to enslave the populace. My greatest dispair is that the citizens have not awaken and when or if they do it will be too late. Right now the nation is captured by Patriotism. I am a patriot of the Constitution if and only if it is followed as prescribed. I have read it and pondered parts and try to study it. To me it seems to be a rather reasonable document to use and follow for a mass of people. There are parts which may be questionable, but I don't know what they are. I read some history, trying to get the best possible true renditions.

Anyway. Great article. The problem with it is, if it were nationally publicized more than half the country or better would think "Kook", "Nut case". "radical". or some other deragatory term.

I try to teach my grandkids that the U.S. government is an enemy to them, and that their legislatures will ignore them but they are too young to care. All they are interested in are friends and getting laid, having girlfriends. It is so sad.

If anyone can share the bad parts of the Consstitution I would be very happy to hear. There is so much reading and so little time to accumulate the knowledge necessary.

Suverans2's picture

G'day Glock27,

Gave you the following on July 31, 2012.

    "...you want to be bound by a Constitution that said something like this, "...ALL TREATIES MADE or WHICH SHALL BE MADE, under the authority of the United States, SHALL BE THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND...
    Supremacy clause [of your Constitution]. ...all treaties made under the authority of the United States shall be the “supreme law of the land” and shall enjoy legal superiority over any conflicting provisions of a State constitution or law." ~ Black’s Law Dictionary, Abridged Sixth Edition, page 1005

Aside from that, I believe Lysander Spooner may have said it best. And, keep in mind, this essay, No Treason ,was written in 1869, ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-THREE YEARS AGO; it has only gotten worse since then.

    "Inasmuch as the Constitution was never signed, nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never bound anybody, and is now binding upon nobody; and is, moreover, such an one as no people can ever hereafter be expected to consent to, except as they may be forced to do so at the point of the bayonet, it is perhaps of no importance what its true legal meaning, as a contract, is. Nevertheless, the writer thinks it proper to say that, in his opinion, the Constitution is no such instrument as it has generally been assumed to be; but that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the government has been made in practice a very widely, and almost wholly, different thing from what the Constitution itself purports to authorize. He has heretofore written much, and could write much more, to prove that such is the truth. But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
Suverans2's picture

"Inasmuch as the Constitution was never signed, nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never bound anybody..."

I may have to disagree with that.

    CONSTITUTION.
    In American Law. The written instrument agreed upon by the people [by those who choose to be members] of the Union or of a particular state, as the absolute rule of action and decision for all departments and officers of the government in respect to all the points covered by it, which must control until it shall be changed by the authority which established it, and in opposition to which any act or ordinance of any such department or officer is null and void. Cooley, Const. Lim. 3. ~ A Dictionary of Law [Black's 1st (c.1891)], page 259

It is, at least believed, by the majority of individuals belonging to this political association, to be binding on those swearing to "support" it.

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

    The Military Oaths
    The Commissioning Oath

    "I, _____ , having been appointed an officer in the (Service) of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

    The Enlistment Oath

    "I, _____, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

Note, however, that these individuals DO NOT swear to "obey" it, which is good, because virtually none of them ever have or ever do.

Glock27's picture

Left a P.M. Sauverans2. I can only handly one thought exploding on me at a time. Remember. I am a neophite here. Error, Error! Grunts (slaves, surfs), obey. Interesting. I was never aware of that. Ha! How about that.