“We The People of The United States of America, do hereby request the immediate assistance and intervention by President Donald J Trump, the U S Congress, and the U.S. AG, to join together in stopping the injustices befalling numerous Americans, who are now in prison as a result of out-of-control federal regulations. These good people have not committed any crimes and have harmed no other human beings.”
The preceding is a request by a coalition of constitutionally minded Americans who have joined together to offer a petition calling upon President Trump and members of his administration, as well as the U.S. Congress, to use their constitutionally enumerated authority to eradicate the injustices being suffered by many citizens of our country.
The U.S. government has grown so large, so grasping, that like a sprawling Leviathan “there is nothing valuable to human nature, nothing dear to freemen, but what is within its power. It has the authority to make laws which will affect the lives, the liberty, and property of every man in the United States.” So wrote an unknown anti-Federalist author, regarding unchecked government power, in “Brutus 1” in 1787 during the debate over whether to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Though Federalists such as James Madison argued persuasively that the Constitution did limit the powers of the national government, there is no doubt that the “Brutus 1” description of unlimited governmental power rings familiar to what we are witnessing in our own times, owing to our failure to insist that those entrusted with power actually abide by the document they swear allegiance to.
Men and women throughout the country are having their lives, their liberty, and their property threatened by agents of the very government whose only legitimate purpose is the protection of those very things. Enter the petition effort launched under the umbrella of the Freedom Coalition, which describes itself as “a nationwide group of professionals and average Americans who have united to call for the release of many people who are currently in prison or who have been victimized by federal bureaucracies for violating unlawful regulations and rules that have not been passed by Congress.”
The coalition was formed by former Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. Other coalition members include Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Ted Nugent, Tom Woods, Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, and John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute.
Through its petition effort, the Freedom Coalition hopes to draw attention to and stop
the injustices befalling numerous Americans, who are now in prison as a result of out-of-control federal regulations. These victimized Americans have not committed any crimes, have harmed no other human being, and are good honest people. It appears that their only offense has been to offend federal bureaucrats, who have in turn done all in their power to make examples of otherwise law-abiding citizens.
Sadly, the tragic plights of these victimized citizens show that the Constitution’s limits on power are looked upon with absolute disregard by, to quote the Declaration of Independence, “swarms of officers” who “harass our people and eat out their substance.” The coalition’s website (www.thefreedomcoalition.com) provides a number of examples of the tyrannical abuse of power that make the despotism of George III pale in comparison. We briefly summarize these examples below, drawing information from the coalition website as well as other sources. Readers are encouraged to further research each of these cases and learn how they are undeniable evidence of “a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinc[ing] a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism.”
Steve and Dwight Hammond from Burns, Oregon, were charged with “Domestic Terrorism” for burning debris and foliage on their family ranch. They were convicted, spent about a year in prison, paid a $400,000 fine (raised by their neighbors, fellow ranchers, and friends), and were then released.
What was the outrageous crime for which they were subjected to such an extreme sentence?
Here’s the description as written by The New American in February 2016:
They were prosecuted as “terrorists” under the federal Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 for controlled burns on their own property in 2001 and 2006 that got out of control and spread to around 150 acres of federal Bureau of Land Management land (on which the Hammonds own/have grazing rights). The fires caused no real damage and no threat to lives, homes, or property of other citizens. In fact, the BLM acknowledged that the 2001 fire for which the Hammonds were prosecuted had actually “improved range conditions” on the public lands.
That’s the “crime” that cost the Hammonds their freedom.
The charges against them were so egregious, so cruel, that the judge said they “shocked the conscience of this court.”
With their lust for power left unsated, the federal government appealed the Hammonds’ “light” sentences, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sent these good people back to prison, essentially giving Dwight Hammond, now 76 years old, a life sentence. These men have now been imprisoned twice for the same offense!
That is a direct, hostile, and open violation of the protection against double jeopardy provided by the Fifth Amendment. To the federal government, such “parchment barriers” are no match for their tyrannical talons.
Sam Girod, an Amish farmer in Kentucky, has been fending off the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for five years. For nearly 20 years, Sam and his family have been making and selling his herbal salves. He was recently arrested and now sits in a federal prison.
What was his prison-worthy offense?
According to the FDA, Sam’s labels were misleading. Specifically, the FDA classified his salves as “drugs,” gave themselves jurisdiction over the products, and began criminal proceedings against Sam resulting in an injunction they accused him of violating. Accordingly, Sam was sentenced to six years in federal prison, where he sits today, some seven hours from his wife, 11 children, and 25 grandchildren.
It is worth noting that the FDA tested Sam’s products in an independent lab and agreed that there were no drugs in his products and that they were indeed manufactured using “all-natural plant-based materials.” No matter. The FDA classified the salves as drugs and prosecuted Sam for selling them as such, a claim they knew was untrue.
Unless the president pardons Girod, he will spend the next six years in federal prison for failing to get the federal government’s permission to make an herbal cream.
Sheriff Mack was in the courtroom the day Girod was sentenced. In a letter published at the Freedom Coalition website, Mack describes the aftermath of the assault on the farmer’s freedom:
On this day, Federal District Judge Danny Reeves, sentenced Amish farmer Samuel Girod to 72 months in prison for “not registering with the FDA” and for engaging in “interstate commerce” without a license. The most egregious reasons for this harsh and ruthless sentencing by this tyrant of a judge was that “the defendant has not given me any reason not to impose the recommended sentencing guidelines.”
In other words, Girod did not bow and kiss the king’s ring. Girod did not act remorseful and did not apologize. Thus, the judge determined to teach him a lesson and send a message to all Amish farmers; do what the bureaucrats command or go to jail!
I was in tears as I apologized after the hearing to the Girod family, Sam’s father, his wife, and his children. On behalf of “We the People” I profoundly apologized for this horrible injustice! I also asked the crowd and reporters, “Where is Rand Paul?”
The judge basically admitted that he rendered the sentence because of Girod’s lack of humility and poor attitude. The Judge is supposed to promote justice and be fair, the mental state of the defendant notwithstanding! Furthermore, it is the primary duty of all government officials to prevent all injustices. This judge and the prosecutors did just the opposite. They created injustice and manufactured a criminal.
Manufacturing criminals seems to be the business of the bureaucrats, and business is booming. Consider the nearly unbelievable case of Kenneth Wright.
Kenneth Wright had his home raided and ransacked in Stockton, California, by a SWAT team commanded by the Department of Education. Wright’s home was invaded because his estranged wife failed to pay back her student loan. Wright was not imprisoned, but he was placed in a hot patrol cruiser for six hours while the SWAT team ransacked his home to “search for evidence.”
This article appears in the May 7, 2018, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.