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By Chuck Baldwin
August 23, 2002

The original vision of the Founding Fathers for these United States was one of limited power for the centralized or federal government. Instead, they envisioned a country comprised of strong state governments and much personal freedom. The limited nature of the federal government can be readily observed in the brevity of described duties in the U.S. Constitution and in the strong prohibitions against federal power contained in the Bill of Rights.

For years, people have labored and voted under the assumption that liberals alone wanted to create a giant federal system, while conservatives believed in less federal authority and increased personal freedom. However, the Bush administration is fast dispelling such a misconceived notion. It is creating a behemoth federal system not even attempted by past Democratic administrations. Examples of this thirst for federal power by the Bush administration are manifold.

Earlier this month, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the administration's desire to build internment camps for U.S. citizens that the government would declare to be "enemy combatants." According to the plan, U.S. citizens could be held indefinitely without any constitutional protections or rights.

Jonathan Turley, a professor of constitutional law at George Washington University said, "Whereas Al Qaeda is a threat to the lives of our citizens, Ashcroft has become a clear and present threat to our liberties."

I would dare say if former Attorney General Janet Reno had proposed such a plan, congressional Republicans would have immediately called emergency hearings and would have demanded her swift resignation. As it is, there is zero concern from Congress or the media, for that matter.

Another indication of the Bush administration's thirst for power is the way in which it seems willing to stifle lawful dissent. In a manner reminiscent of Bill Clinton's misuse of federal power, the Bush White House has apparently hired a Clinton law firm, Williams & Connolly, to investigate the personal life of Judicial Watch founder, Larry Klayman. broke the Klayman story on August 16. The report further stated, "In another indication that the Bush-Cheney legal operation may be borrowing a page from its White House predecessors, the State Department has hired Clinton impeachment lawyer Greg Craig to defend against a Judicial Watch lawsuit brought by United Nations whistle-blower Linda Shenwick."

Coupled with Bush's gargantuan Homeland Security Department, the Draconian USA Patriot Act, Ashcroft's proposed "pre-crimes" policy, and dozens of other dictatorial promulgations, these actions make it very clear that Republicans are capable of even trumping Democrats in their thirst for federal power.

©-2002 - Chuck Baldwin Live commentaries may not be reprinted or republished without permission.  All Rights Reserved.

Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence. 

Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet   and newspapers.  

To learn more about his radio talk show please visit his web site at: When responding, please include your name, city and state    E-mail: