Pirates, Privateers and the Defense Industry

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posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 09:32 AM
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Article I, Section VIII of the Constitution declares that by the, "Powers Granted to Congress," paragraph 11, permits Congress "To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water." Who in this modern age wonders about that clause or knows what it means? Its in the Constitution so it must be good because those guys didn’t make any mistakes. Right?

Definition of Letter of marque: Noun. An official commission from a government authorizing someone to seize the property or people of another nation; especially to attack merchant shipping of another nation ¹ Noun. A license to a private citizen to seize property of another nation.

In other words a letter of marque is a constitutionally legal authorization granted by government to private individuals and/or corporations to steal from other individuals/corporations/governments for a percentage of the value of the goods seized (stolen).

And since the definition includes “People”, it appears that this clause may have even legitimized the slave trade in the eyes of colonial leaders because although privateers often work in tandem with a military for mutually desired goals (to destroy a designated enemy), privateers have looser boundaries and rules of engagement than do government military forces. So if the letter of marque didn’t specifically forbid slave trading, well that’s about as good as an open African hunting license with no bag limit.

“About 1,700 Letters of Marque were issued on a per-voyage basis during the American Revolution. Nearly 800 vessels were commissioned as privateers and are credited with capturing or destroying about 600 British ships.” www.jcs-group.com... The only state that kept accurate records of the vessels, voyages and credits was Connecticut. No one seems to know what the rest of them were doing, or at least they left no record.

Generations of Americans have graduated from public schools and institutions of higher learning not understanding that obscure clause or having any inkling as to why its there. Rather, they have been led to believe the American Revolution was fought and won almost single handedly by a barefooted and heroic George Washington. So who will disabuse the misinformed among us and tell them that it was actually wealthy shipping moguls turned privateer, along with their hired soldiers of fortune, buccaneers and mercenaries who did most of the damage to America’s declared enemies ~ for a piece of each captured pie, of course.

When people ask how and when private corporations and wealthy individuals took control of the US and became filthy rich by attacking, stealing from and destroying those who may have something of value, they tend to only think as far back as the last administration. Maybe they should take a harder look at the days before nationhood. In fact, state sponsored piracy goes all the way back to the 13th century so the founding fathers didn’t start something new and fresh in America, they imported a centuries-old policy that had destroyed nations and peoples throughout history. In their defense, the colonies used mercenaries against England because England was using mercenaries against the colonies and sometimes you have to fight fire with fire, even if you burn everything to the ground in the process leaving nothing but illusions of independence to your posterity.

The fact that letters of marque were codified into the supreme law of the land speaks to the intent of the founders to allow privateers to operate by government fiat in perpetuity and they have done so. It is no surprise then that no people have ever been more dependent upon government and its crony privateers for their every need than the American people.

The recent attempt to elect Ron Paul was probably as close as we’ll ever get to slowing down the fascist regime (collusion between government and corporations for mutual gain and control) that has grown up around us like kudzu since before the actual founding of this nation and which the current leadership still depends upon for its power. But even Paul could not have changed that clause and all I can say is that its depressing when people talk about the need to restore the Constitution without knowing all of the implications.

The hairline separating pirates from privateers is based solely on whether the organization is pre-sanctioned by a government as opposed to the example of the unsanctioned and hotly decried ingenuity and entrepreneurship of brash Somali pirates defending their shoreline in speedboats against foreign government sanctioned privateers and their military protectors in warships. The credo on either side is the same: “protect your interests and don’t come home empty handed.” The difference lies in the rationale of the parties involved ~ whether their actions are defensive or offensive in nature. IOW, how many thousands of miles must a military or privateer travel to undermine, harass, goad and preemptively attack a sovereign country before it can no longer be claimed to be a legitimate defense tactic and cannot cry foul when they are retaliated against, even violently if peaceful protests are ignored, for doing harm to that country and people?

So who are today’s privateers with letters of marque and reprisal who work clandestinely to keep the middle east and the world in constant turmoil in the name of empire and plunder? Halliburton maybe? DynCorp (now Cerberus)? feraljundi.com... Is it the school of the Americas (later Blackwater and now Xe)? How about the alphabet soup company spooks and black ops specialists with their phony front companies and bottomless bags of dirty tricks? Maybe it includes weapons manufacturers whose ownership and back room deals are never spoken of by MSM but whose no bid contracts are always a foregone conclusion no matter how many times they’ve bilked their client (govt). Maybe it’s the thousands of NGOs and public private partnerships, each with its own hidden agenda to alter people’s lives to better suit their cocked up think tank models. Maybe that ignored clause explains the deafening silence surrounding the mystery of Iraq’s heisted gold dinars and priceless antiquities. Maybe it would also explain the mystery of the gold bullion missing from the WTC basement after the hasty “clean up” was completed.

Whatever. It all sounds like plunder writ large and amazingly, it IS 100% constitutional. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that we might need a new plan, Stan. PDQ.

Its hard not to love the country of one’s birth, but that doesn’t preclude wondering about how it would have turned out if the anti-federalists had written our rules of law.




posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 09:51 AM
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Great post, lots of good points and stuff most do not consider. Another thing most do not consider is throughout history, mercenary forces have been the norm. An Army of the state is expensive, a threat to the governing body, and is burdened with all kinds of laws regarding its use.

The Pirate/Privateer is a great example.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by ABNARTY
Great post, lots of good points and stuff most do not consider. Another thing most do not consider is throughout history, mercenary forces have been the norm. An Army of the state is expensive, a threat to the governing body, and is burdened with all kinds of laws regarding its use.

The Pirate/Privateer is a great example.


Thanks. I think the reason most people don't consider these points is because of the stigma attached, like they're afraid they'll be accused of blasphemy or something.

But yes, mercenaries have always been the norm and I suppose that's because there's no peaceful way for greedy folks to take what others have that they want for themselves. Armies are intended to be defensive, mercenaries are in it for the loot. To put the rights of mercenaries into the rule of law using obscure language is deceptive and there's just no nice way to say that.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 12:16 PM
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reply to post by frazzle
 


Agreed.

I like the line on the greedy folks. Makes sense to me.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by frazzle

Originally posted by ABNARTY
Great post, lots of good points and stuff most do not consider. Another thing most do not consider is throughout history, mercenary forces have been the norm. An Army of the state is expensive, a threat to the governing body, and is burdened with all kinds of laws regarding its use.

The Pirate/Privateer is a great example.


Thanks. I think the reason most people don't consider these points is because of the stigma attached, like they're afraid they'll be accused of blasphemy or something.

But yes, mercenaries have always been the norm and I suppose that's because there's no peaceful way for greedy folks to take what others have that they want for themselves. Armies are intended to be defensive, mercenaries are in it for the loot. To put the rights of mercenaries into the rule of law using obscure language is deceptive and there's just no nice way to say that.


No deception involved here.
At the time of writing this was not obscure language and isn't now to the "educated", but then the educated don't usually go back and reread the constitution with adult eyes and knowledge.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 03:28 PM
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Wow



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by RedmoonMWC
 



No deception involved here.
At the time of writing this was not obscure language and isn't now to the "educated", but then the educated don't usually go back and reread the constitution with adult eyes and knowledge.


No deception? Shoot, I only claimed one word was obscure and deceptive, Patrick Henry wasn't quite so selective in his complaints:


"The advocates of this plan have artfully attempted to veil over the true nature and principles of it with the names of those respectable characters that by consummate cunning and address they have prevailed upon to sign it; and what ought to convince the people of the deception and excite their apprehensions, is that with every advantage which education, the science of government and of law, the knowledge of history and superior talents and endowments, furnish the authors and advocates of this plan with, they have from its publication exerted all their power and influence to prevent all discussion of the subject, and when this could not be prevented they have constantly avoided the ground of argument and recurred to declamation, sophistry and personal abuse, but principally relied upon the magic of names. . . . Emboldened by the sanction of the august name of a Washington, that they have prostituted to their purpose, they have presumed to overleap the usual gradations to absolute power, and have attempted to seize at once upon the supremacy of dominion."

www.wepin.com...

You remember Patrick Henry, right? He's the guy who said "Give me Liberty or Give me Death". Here is part of his speech at the second constitutional conventionn in1775 :


"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."

www.history.org...

As for obscurity, here's another statement that can be found at the wepin link by another person who was up close and personal with the process but opted to remain anonymous for some unexplained reason:


"They well know that open force will not succeed at this time, and have chosen a safer method, by offering you a plan of a new Federal Government, contrived with great art, and shaded with obscurity, and recommended to you to adopt; which if you do, their scheme is completed, the yoke is -fixed on your necks, and you will be undone, perhaps for ever, and your boasted liberty is but a sound, Farewell! Be wise, be watchful, guard yourselves against the dangers that are concealed in this plan of a new Federal Government."


We're still closing our eyes to painful truths.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 09:17 PM
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Amazing...

A great thread and no responses. This astounds me. Good subject, relevant, pretty much uncharted territory for ATS anyway, well referenced....

I know: no aliens! Dude, you need to work reptilian shape shifters into this somehow. That and make some controversial statement about 'fill in the blank'.



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by ABNARTY
 


yeah i was expecting more responses to this. I am pretty much speechless and it has made me re evaluate a few things.
edit on 18-9-2012 by votan because: (no reason given)
edit on 18-9-2012 by votan because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 09:28 AM
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reply to post by votan

Well i admit i knew what the words meant but have never seen the clause in my life. I also have a prelaw degree and have taken multiple supreme court interpretation classes and not once has it been brought up. Learned something new today...yay!! S&F for you and a cookie for me



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by ABNARTY
Amazing...

A great thread and no responses. This astounds me. Good subject, relevant, pretty much uncharted territory for ATS anyway, well referenced....

I know: no aliens! Dude, you need to work reptilian shape shifters into this somehow. That and make some controversial statement about 'fill in the blank'.


Who knows what will capture people's imagination or bore them to tears. I'm not even sure why those old dead guys fascinate me so much, they just do. But I'm very glad you've found this informative and interesting enough to participate.


I would think this topic is controversial enough all by itself. Maybe that's the problem~ its too controversial. We've been brought up to believe the founders were larger than life and everything we should aspire to be. Meh, putting anybody on a pedestal isn't good planning because when they fall off it can smash everybody who's looking up to them.
edit on 18-9-2012 by frazzle because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 09:40 AM
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so OP how has this information changed the way you think about our country
?
edit on 18-9-2012 by votan because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by votan
so OP how has this information changed the way you think about our country
?
edit on 18-9-2012 by votan because: (no reason given)


To be honest I was just a kid when I read my first very old books about George Washington and "The Little General" (Alexander Hamilton) and neither one was painted in a very favorable light by the authors.It made me curious, so from there it was just a hop skip and a jump to finding more "stuff" at the libraries and used book stores. Questioning the heroic stories taught in school kept me in hot water with the teachers for years but I can't say any of it "changed" the way I think about America. I started out pretty young rebelling against the "holy word of historians" and my thoughts are still changing as more obscure information finds its way to me. But IMO the people who really mattered through it all are the "little" people who struggled to keep things real despite the obstacles thrown in their way from the top.



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 10:39 AM
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The nation was founded by taking what was needed to survive.

They took the land from the Indians and gave it for free to white folk for them to make a living on. The country later kept that going with the Land Grant process giving free land to men so they could try and make a living off of it.

Fast forward to today. You can't get land nor a home, its impossible to survive in America. Which is why Obama has to give 60 million Americans free food every month, food stamps.

Nobody can afford 2 million dollars to get 20 acres to try and survive on.......Because that's not how America was created. America was created by free men getting the land for free and making something of themselves on it.

There currently still are landowners who's daddy's or Grandpa's got free land and they were passed on that land and they are able to survive off of it.

And there's the rest of us.....no hope......wishing we had a country to call our own.....a piece of land to call our own but we can't afford it. America.......only belongs to a few select families today. And they've put in place a police State to ensure THEIR quality of life will continue....on that land they got for free.



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by Pervius
 


And all the rules are set up to make sure it stays that way.



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by Pervius
The nation was founded by taking what was needed to survive.

They took the land from the Indians and gave it for free to white folk for them to make a living on. The country later kept that going with the Land Grant process giving free land to men so they could try and make a living off of it.

Fast forward to today. You can't get land nor a home, its impossible to survive in America. Which is why Obama has to give 60 million Americans free food every month, food stamps.

Nobody can afford 2 million dollars to get 20 acres to try and survive on.......Because that's not how America was created. America was created by free men getting the land for free and making something of themselves on it.

There currently still are landowners who's daddy's or Grandpa's got free land and they were passed on that land and they are able to survive off of it.

And there's the rest of us.....no hope......wishing we had a country to call our own.....a piece of land to call our own but we can't afford it. America.......only belongs to a few select families today. And they've put in place a police State to ensure THEIR quality of life will continue....on that land they got for free.


If by land grants you're talking about the Homestead Act, that's another really good example of how its always been done to keep the people scrambling for a share of the 'good life'. Speculators jumped in ahead of the settlers and grabbed up the choicest cuts before the ink was dry on the Act and as much as was deeded to the settlers (with terrible stipulations and qualifiers) was given outright to the railroad barons.
www.enotes.com...

Its never been any different and it won't ever be any different as long as we keep trying to function under rules that are always preferential to the already wealthy.



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 12:16 PM
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sorry couldn't help it.



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 12:22 PM
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reply to post by votan
 


That was PERFECT!!! Thanks



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by RABiam
reply to post by votan

Well i admit i knew what the words meant but have never seen the clause in my life. I also have a prelaw degree and have taken multiple supreme court interpretation classes and not once has it been brought up. Learned something new today...yay!! S&F for you and a cookie for me



Sorry, I meant to respond to your post before now but got sidetracked. Nothing new in that.


What you point out is just how much of the rule of law is NOT studied, even in law schools or constitutional courses.

That's about the same as when the convention was originally called, it was said that the delegates were only meeting to amend the Articles of Confederation to fill in some gaps and many state leaders didn't find out there was a whole new document until after the actual publication. A lot of the people in the states didn't even know what was in it until after ratification, or maybe they never did know. So much for of/by/for the people. That alone should have raised more red flags than it did at the time.

Shades of the Pelosi "we've gotta pass it so we can read it" mantra.



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by frazzle
 


I have been working on that idea for a thread for sometime. Why some ideas/threads succeed and why some fail. The sad part is the good stuff (like this one) gets sidelined for garbage.

My thoughts so far are:

1. Perhaps some folks are simply soooo uninformed, the leaps required for them to track with substance are a bridge too far.

2. Maybe my understanding of ATS is off the mark. I thought it was a place share knowledge and learn, not dance in the echo chamber with the choir.

3. Kinda' like watching the NFL, maybe folks just need a place to unwind and NOT think. Ergo, they shun content too thought provoking.

4. Maybe my idea of substance is so far of center, I do not recognize I am no longer on the pavement.





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