In, The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn recounts his first-hand experiences of life under the iron fist of a 20th Century government. His story records the thoroughly modernized tactics of a small, centralized group of authoritarians whose goal was total control of its own citizens. As Solzhenitsyn describes the lay of the land, we see it isn’t only about calling for tanks, guns and ground troops but it also included the bureaucratic masses. As his story progresses, the bureaucratic regulators turn out to be some of the most unprincipled and perfidious weapons.
Under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, the administrative system of the state was enriched with resources and empowered with the facade of legality. The result was a multi-tentacled Russian monster that grew from its simple task of administrative enforcement to a full-fledged police state complete with surveillance and population management.
The political similarities embedded in our own nation’s growing surveillance state cannot be missed. Common-place jurisdictional overreach, strangling regulatory regimes and unrelenting administrative takings all bear witness to unbalanced authoritarian rule.
Solzhenitsyn discloses one illustration of the supreme accuser, or Prosecutor General, who, “had the right to intervene in any judicial proceeding.” He characterizes the nature of this office as having the power to “pardon[s] and punish[es], at its own discretion without any limitation, whatever.”
This invokes a chilling reflection of the recent re-sentencing that Dwight and Steven Hammond received. A jury of the Hammond’s peers in Harney County, suggested reducing the original minimum sentencing requirement. The judge, the defense and prosecution teams were all convinced that a reduced sentence was justified.
Federal Judge Hogan, also in Harney Co., explained that sentencing the Hammonds to the mandatory minimum, “would shock the conscience.” He further thought that it would violate the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, because five years behind bars is “grossly disproportionate to the severity of the offenses here.” In fact, both “the judge and jury found the fire had arguably increased the value of the land for grazing.”
Then, why the re-sentencing? Maybe, there is a “supreme accuser,” or someone who can fix the problem posed by a jury who supported individuals over bureaucrats.
Small details like needing a “fixer” can be arranged with a quick phone call because our Congress has so thoroughly debauched the Constitutional standards that were created for our protection.
On Oct. 7, President Obama appointed a new U.S Attorney for the State of Oregon, based in Portland, 300 miles from Harney County, Ms. Amanda Marshall. Although she had no experience with the federal system, she showed the gumption necessary to accomplish the goal. It was her duty to use the color of law as a disguise for politically motivated appellate action, calling Judge Hogan’s punishments “unlawful.”
Notice, the claim wasn’t that the sentence was “unjust,” “inappropriate” or “inequitable.” The local community understood the true relevancy of any monetary damages and they knew government intrusions when they occurred. The Hammond’s peers proved best at harmonizing the defendant's acceptance of responsibility, criminality, and/or misconduct. This is why our US Constitution requires, “The Trial of all Crimes … shall be by Jury.” Local community sentencing provides for truly just criminal punishment, criminal deterrence, and rehabilitation.
So, the “unlawful” nature of the penalties simply means that the Hammonds were not yet crushed. Solzhenitsyn reminds us, the “meat grinder of political interrogation” was designed too crush – body and soul. Over and over, the law is used to demonstrate that the defendant is wrong – in his views, his conduct, his life, and his relationships.
Solzhenitsyn forges a perspective where, “the engine room of the law,” spews out a “scrunched- up wad” that was once a man. The goal was, “To crush him once and for all and to cut him off from all others, once and for all.”
Now you have some insight into why the Bundys and so many good hearted Americans are in Harney Co. They are fighting the unconstitutional use of administrative law. Law, which by nature, ensures the illegitimate power of the federal bureaucracy.
U.S Attorney, Amanda Marshall has shown us her allegiance. Her allegiance isn’t to securing our liberty, our rights, or our communities protection and justice. Her allegiance is to power and power alone.
Unfortunately, there are thousands in the regulatory state who serve the naked interests of an all-powerful bureaucracy. These warped statist ideas slowly alienate every American, regardless of one’s race, gender, religion, country-of-origin or walk-of-life. This includes people across the political spectrum, both the left and the right, because absurd regulations negatively impact everyone.
Unless “we the, still free, people” step forward and challenge the illegal power that pretends legitimacy, it will continue to metastasize and thereby destroy our freedoms. Thomas Jefferson fought against this authoritarian tendency throughout his life. He wrote, “To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power…”
This boundless enrichment by the ruling class was why our founders established the strict separation of power, the Bill of Rights, and our Representative from of consensual government.
Rev. Samuel Williams, summarized it well, in 1774:
"In a despotic government, the only principle by which the tyrant is to move the whole machine … is fear, by the servile dread of his power.”
The men and women in Harney County are standing together with those who oppose administrative tyranny. They are standing for our founder’s vision where men have inalienable rights and governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.