Volume 2, Issue 2, February,  2000

Clinton Takes Steps to become Dictator
© 1999 Discerning the Times Digest and NewsBytes

Here we go again. President Clinton continues to circumvent Congress, trampling on Constitutional checks and balances. This is no lame duck president. He can hear the clock winding down, and sensing his imminent departure, he is spending his last months in office ensuring his legacy through the use and abuse of the Executive Order (EO).

With the stroke of his executive pen, Bill Clinton’s EO’s have affected everything from a war against Yugoslavia, to patients’ rights, to immunity from lawsuit for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which spawned the Wildlands Project, which seeks to protect half of the land in the U.S. from human use of any kind.

The President’s Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt wants to set aside two million acres in the West, establishing them as National Monuments. Another 50 million acres could be set aside as roadless areas. The restrictions on use that would ensue would effectively implement the agenda of the Wildlands Project in the designated areas, without the approval of Congress.

"We’ve switched the rules of the game. We’re not trying to do anything legislatively." Secretary of Interior,

Bruce Babbitt

Secretary Babbitt knows that using Constitutional means to achieve his goals is impossible with a Republican Congress. He has said that if Congress does not cooperate with his agenda regarding these two million acres, he will consider asking the President to exert his power to get it done. In fact, apparently Secretary Babbitt has no intention of waiting for Congress to achieve his goals. The June 14th edition of the Washington Times quoted Babbitt saying, "We’ve switched the rules of the game. We’re not trying to do anything legislatively."

The Antiquities Act passed in 1908 to protect the Grand Canyon, outlines the criteria for national monument designation as being reserved for lands having "scientific, historic or archaeological significance." Clinton’s administration is hard pressed to justify many of the designations it has made, and is attempting to make. A critical review quickly establishes these efforts as nothing more than elaborate land grabs by the federal government. Although future presidents can overturn EOs, that is little comfort to citizens who depend on these lands to make a living, or private property owners whose land and homes are expropriated by heavy handed bureaucrats who make it impossible to live on their own land.

Clinton’s abuses are getting deeper and are becoming more and more sinister. Already under fire for political abuse of FBI and IRS files, Clinton has quietly issued another EO that will afford him access to even more sensitive documents. This Executive Order is an amendment to EO 12958 signed in November, 1999 concerning classified security information. The amendment establishes a new bureaucracy, the Information Security Oversight Office within the National Archives and Records Administration. The order has the potential to allow this newly created office access to federal files, even classified files, on anyone for any reason. This will catapult invasion of privacy to gargantuan proportions.

The power grab never ends. Another priority of the Clinton administration is gun control. The Washington Post reported December 15, 1999 that the administration plans, "an all-out offensive on guns in the coming year." White House domestic policy chief Bruce D. Reed said, "the country is tired of waiting for Congress to respond to the tragedy in Littleton. The administration is going to do every thing in its power to make progress on guns." Research shows that gun control legislation does very little to reduce crime rates. (See this months commentary.)

Unfortunately, these moves by Clinton are only the tip of the iceberg. It is obvious that he will use the remainder of the this year to push through as much of his agenda as he possibly can without going through Congress. Congress has passed so much loosely written laws that the body of precedent to which the President can now turn to justify his actions is incredibly broad. It has been built upon the skirting of law rather than defensible redistribution of lawmaking power. The legitimate body of law to which we are duty bound must be the United States Constitution. The Constitution is effectively being ignored, interpreted and reinterpreted into oblivion. Without strict adherence to this proven document, tyranny is inevitable. V ks