Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Westfall Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District has finally released their decision on the Saleh v. Bush case, and I was sorry to see the judges decided for the Bush administration. I had hoped this court case would open the debate in our country that the Iraq War was illegal, just as the Chilcot Report has in the UK. 

The judges based their decision primarily on the Westfall Act. Basically, the Westfall Act gives government employees immunity from prosecution if they are doing their job. It originated with the idea that "the king can do no wrong," that the president and other government employees must be able to act without fear of being prosecuted for any errors he or she makes. My thought was, whoever believed this never read the Declaration of Independence. 

I am not an attorney, but as I read the document, I started to see major glitches in that law, and decided this is a good place to start looking at how laws have the potential to create chaos in the U.S. legal system.

The idea of an infallable king goes against the presumption of innocence, which is a basic premise of our legal system, included in it because you cannot defend yourself from prejudice and ulterior motives. George W. Bush, justifying the preemptive strike on Iraq, declared  "after all, he tried to kill my father." The Iraq War was a personal issue, an act of revenge.  

My next thought was that the Westfall Act is not constitutional. It goes against the rights we have to redress our government for grievances. Can we expect to have our grievances respected? 

The Westfall Act goes against Universal Law, which guarantees our inalienable rights to be able to create our life without interference, and to be treated fairly and equally, and to have a voice in our government. Universal Law fixes our legal system at a very high level, and it is unchanging. Constitutional law can evolve or devolve based on our choices, and to declare the Westfall Act as Constitutional is to choose to go down into the power games. That leads to the next glitch. 

By granting government employees--including the president--immunity from prosecution, this has the capacity to swing the proverbial pendulum out and to trigger acts of aggression, which is what Sundus Saleh's complaint is against George W. Bush. The pendulum starts swinging because of power games, which are oppressive to the people. As the pendulum swings, it will eventually reach its ultimate conclusion. The exact opposite effect is reached, and an innocent person is sacrificed.

The Westfall Act is now reaching its ultimate conclusion. During his first speech to the CIA, President Trump hinted that he intends to go back into Iraq to take their oil. That is the ultimate conclusion of U.S. foreign policy related to Iraq. How many innocent people will be sacrificed in order to gain control of a sovereign nation's natural resources? Does President Trump have the right, under the Westfall Act, to wage war with impunity in Iraq? 

As Donald Trump assumes responsibility as president of the United States, I have heard many times that the most important role the president has is to defend our country. I disagree with that. He is now the Commander in Chief of the military, but his most important role as defined by the Constitution is to decide whether laws written by Congress are executable. He is the head of the Executive Branch, and each of the branches of our government is considered equal, and the Constitution includes Checks and Balances to ensure they stay balanced. 

The presidents of the international government will not have the power to wage war. There won't be any wars. Disputes will be resolved in court rather than the battlefield, and the Department of Defense will also facilitate disputes so no blood is shed before it makes it to court. 

If your plan stands on all seven principles--Equality, Liberty, Freedom, Compassion, Abundance, Capacity and Tolerance, you are unbeatable. That is how to defend your country. These seven principles return the pendulum to the straight and narrow. 

I welcome honest debate on this. I am not an attorney, and my perspectives on this law are entirely my own. During our sessions, I will channel the past kings, queens and presidents, including Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and James Madison, and it will be interesting to hear what they have to say about how laws can be purified.