By Harriet Hageman, guest columnist
The recent elections showed that Americans are fed up with governmental overreach trampling our freedoms. From COVID-19 restrictions, to mandates, to lost liberties and forever wars, the scope and power of the federal government must be curtailed.
As a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Wyoming, I promise that, once elected, I will oppose government intrusions and fight to restore our freedoms.
Earlier this month, as Senior Litigation Counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance, I helped file a class action lawsuit against Joe Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate. The named plaintiffs and class representatives are federal employees who acquired natural immunity after contracting and recovering from COVID-19.
Biden’s vaccine mandate violates our constitutional rights to bodily integrity and to decline medical treatment. It also violates the federal Emergency Use Authorization law, which confirms patients’ rights to informed consent and to decline such a vaccine. Outside of the draconian response to the pandemic, our federal government has long been waging war on American citizens, asserting increasing authority over our everyday lives.
The progressive “Institute for Policy Studies” reports that, since September 11, 2001, taxpayers have funded $21 trillion worth of “militarization, surveillance, and repression.”
The passage of the Patriot Act after 9/11 was meant to protect our citizens. We now know that it instead gave the federal government the perfect tool, along with extraordinary powers, to spy on us, surveil us, and deny due process to American citizens.
The Patriot Act makes it much easier for the federal government to compile and stockpile information about citizens by forcing just about anyone to turn over documents, including doctors, libraries, bookstores, universities, and Internet providers. All the federal government must do is tell a judge that the request is related to an ongoing foreign intelligence or terrorism-related investigation. Neither probable cause nor reasonable suspicion of criminal activity is required.
Our experiences today prove the adage that the more government grows, the more liberty shrinks.
As the outrageous tale of the “Steele Dossier” demonstrates, federal abuses of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts have been rampant and lawless. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton and compiled by British spy Christopher Steele, who employed Russian citizen Igor Danchenko as a source. Even though the “dossier” was a lie, the FBI used it to launch an investigation under the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Danchenko has now been charged with five counts of lying to the FBI.
It is blatantly unconstitutional for a secret court to issue secret FISA warrants to secretly target American citizens, violating their Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, invasions of privacy, and denial of due process.
That the government might expand and abuse its own power should not be surprising, just as it should not be shocking that the military industrial complex keeps itself fed through so-called “forever wars.”
Biden will always be remembered for bungling the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, although most agree that it was past time to end that 20-year war. But Rep. Liz Cheney, my opponent in Wyoming, is a darling of the military contractors who keep the wheels greased in Congress. Her activities may help D.C. and northern Virginia, but they do nothing to protect our coal and oil and gas industries,
Congress votes on the National Defense Authorization Act to fund our military. It’s in that process that some of the unseemliest horse-trading goes on. Defenders of the bloated Pentagon budget, like Cheney, get what they want, and the liberals in Congress are tossed a few treats as well. This year the Armed Services Committee, of which Cheney is a member, voted on an amendment to draft girls and young women to serve in the military.
Cheney, along with all but one Democrat and four other Republicans, voted in favor of that amendment; Twenty-three Republicans voted against it, as I would have. No civilized society drafts young girls to fight wars. Period.
It is also telling that Cheney occupies a seat on the Armed Services Committee, rather than on Natural Resources, where Wyoming’s lone Representative historically sits. Wyoming cares more about our ability to responsibly use our own energy resources, land, and water than we do about fat government checks for defense contractors, so this reveals where Cheney’s priorities lie.
Wyoming has only one member of the House, so we must get it right. It’s time we had someone who put Americans – and Wyomingites – first.
Harriet Hageman is a Wyoming native, an attorney, a former Republican National Committeewoman from Wyoming, and a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Wyoming.