In the February 2010 and March 2010 issues of Liberty Tree, the analyses of compelled testimony, the federal immunity statute (18 U.S.C. § 6002) and their relationship to the exercise of one’s Fifth Amendment right centered on the 1972 Supreme Court case Kastigar v. United States (406 U.S. 441). The question decided in that case was “whether the United States Government may compel testimony from an unwilling witness, who invokes the Fifth Amendment privilege against compulsory self-incrimination, by conferring on the witness immunity from use of the compelled testimony in subsequent criminal proceedings as well as immunity from use of evidence derived from the testimony.”
(or, Why don’t we just bring back the Inquisition?)
by Dick Greb
“No person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, …”
Article V, Bill of Rights, Constitution of the United States
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, …”
Article VI, Bill of Rights, Constitution of the United States
In a criminal case, there are two parties—the prosecutor, and the defendant. The two rights enumerated above frame two distinct classes of witnesses with respect to an accused defendant—those whom he has the right to obtain, by compulsory process, to testify for him, in his defense; and those whom the prosecution has the authority to obtain, by compulsory process, to testify against him. Or, more simply, witnesses for, and witnesses against, the defendant.
The idea that government officers and employees are our public servants is pretty much accepted by everyone. Everyone, it seems, except government officers and employees. Their typical overbearing manners and arrogant intrusion into our personal lives clearly show they believe that we are the servants. To be sure, that is the ultimate destination of the course we are traveling, and we are on that course because of our own failure to recognize and prevent the mutiny of our ship of state.
Part of the problem is due to a lack of understanding about the real nature of the public servant which is our government. Perhaps because the term servant is not the most accurate one for the relationship. It evokes ideas of servitude, such as with a maid, a butler, or a chauffeur—someone to do your bidding. This leads to the idea of superiority over your servants. But this is a two-edged sword. Once the idea of having superiority over your servants is entrenched, the servants set to work subverting the order of things, so that they might become master, with the superiority that comes with such status. It is only natural that a person whose interests are subverted by some advantage working against him, will (once he is aware of it) work to secure that advantage to himself. So we shouldn’t be surprised.
This article will explore the true relationship between the government and the people, and in turn, how that relationship is embodied in the Constitution. With that as a foundation, concepts of sovereign and delegated powers, sovereign immunity, and general welfare can be understood in their proper context. If more of the population really understood these things, the government’s claims of authority—to regulate firearm ownership or mandate toilet flow rates, for example—would be seen as the absurdities they are. And perhaps then, we can turn our ship of state around, and return to the kind of Constitutional government that free people can enjoy.
With only ten percent of the 21st century under our belts, it’s still too early to give the appellation of ‘Crime of the Century’ to the hijacking and kamikaze crashing of airliners into the twin towers of the World Trade Center complex and into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, but it most certainly was a crime of gigantic proportions. And despite the ridicule heaped upon any explanation — ignominiously called conspiracy theories — other than the official one, there can be no doubt that there was indeed a conspiracy at work on that day. Unless you believe that the separate hijackings were unrelated, the very fact that four different planes were hijacked is proof that a criminal conspiracy existed. The extent of that conspiracy is the real question, and unfortunately for those who want to see truth prevail, that question is just one of many for which we will likely never be given satisfactory answers.
The Constitution established a federal government of limited powers, limited not only by their explicit and full enumeration in Article 1, § 8, but also by the enumeration (but by no means an exhaustive one) in the Bill of Rights of certain important rights upon which the government must not trespass. Any power exercised by the government which does not fall within the list given in § 8 has been usurped, either from the people themselves or from the states, and being extra-Constitutional, is therefore illegitimate. Now the Bill of Rights is not so much a limit on the powers per se, but rather a limit on the means by which such powers may be exercised.