October of 1995 I signed and made an oath of enlistment into the
United States Marine Corps Reserve. I swore as follows:
Casey Khan, do solemnly swear that I will support and
defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies,
foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance
to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President
of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed
over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military
Justice. So help me God.”
a part of the delayed entry program I spent my first months in inactive
service until I went to boot camp at MCRD San Diego in May of 1996.
Three months later on August the 16th, I was proud to
earn the title of United States Marine and excited to perform my
duties as a protector of the Constitution and People of the United
my six years of active reserve service there were many things I
enjoyed and respected: Time in the field. Weapons Company 2nd
BN 24th Marines. 81mm Mortars. Good tough NCO's. Mustangs.
Good Battalion Commanders. Call for fire missions. ALICE packs.
CAX (combined arms exercise in 29 Palms). Playing spades. Platoon
3113. Quantico. Amphibious assaults. Forward Observation. Hovercraft.
Sea stories. Former Drill Instructors. Helicopter assaults. Being
an NCO. Dress Blues. Marine Corps History. PFT. Gun Drills. A good
15–20 mile hump. Throwing grenades. Combat hits. Pugil Sticks.
Bayonets. MRE Bombs. Marine Corps push-ups. Marine Corps Birthday
course no grunt spends time in the Marine Corps without complaints.
I certainly had my share of gripes: Time in garrison. Bulk fuel
operations. Inefficiency. Supply (something
that never meets demand). Admin. Meaningless paperwork. Meaningless
work. Many Staff NCO's. Officers who don't know land navigation.
Officers who don't listen to their NCO's. WM's. Fort McCoy, WI.
Wearing Alpha, Bravo, or Charlie uniforms. Digital cammies. M16A2
these nuisances, I loved the Marine Corps and the spirit of its
founding in 1775 as a defense against tyranny. As I began to understand
the true nature of liberty, I began to question just what kind of
that this organization has really morphed into. No longer a shield
against tyranny, it has become the abused tip of a spear to a racket
for politicians and their special interests du
jour. In approaching reenlistment there were two realizations
that kept me from signing for a second term. First, was the realization
that the U.S. Constitution is a dead and meaningless document. Second,
was the realization of a heresy that has permeated modern American
society for some time.
Constitution Is Dead
first enlisted as a patriot believing in liberty and the principles
of limited republican government espoused by the Constitution. Unfortunately,
US Constitution has gone the way of the USS Constitution, decommissioned
and put away like a museum piece on display as a reminder of America's
gloried past. Considered no longer useful to our modern times, the
document is given some lip service but only in reverence and never
in use. Like the cannon and sail in modern combat, the Bill of Rights
and enumeration of Federal power are ineffective against the intentions
of corrupt and ambitious men who seek power at the expense of liberty.
no longer even have to goad an enemy into striking first, like FDR
or Lincoln, to get a Congressional war declaration. These days Presidents
ask Congress for the power to decide whether war is appropriate.
Rather than taking orders from Congress as the document enumerates,
he seeks to have discretion to wage war when he feels like it. Actually,
more often than not, modern Presidents assume they are automatically
the Commander in Chief as soon as they take their oath. Forgotten
is the fact that the enumerated and delegated power of declaring
war lies with Congress and only Congress. Until such a declaration,
officers should not be bound to orders of the President. Why? Orders
given without the proper consent of Congress are unconstitutional
and unlawful. Officers are not lawfully bound to unlawful orders.
Looking to the spirit of liberty and the founding of this country,
we know the founders did not want such force of power to lie in
the hands of just one man. They knew if the threat was real and
eminent, a proper declaration would come from the legislature. Today,
however, the Congress has relinquished its delegated powers, giving
the President license to do whatever he and his office determine
that they can get away with. Consequentially, the presidential and
legislative oaths to the Constitution have just turned into a great
photo op on inauguration day.
the President and Congress cannot honestly vow to uphold and protect
the Constitution, how can one in good conscience, who understands
the spirit and letter of the Constitution, enlist or take a commission
in any branch of the United States military? This is a problem I
had to wrestle with in my mind between 9/11/01 and the run up to
the Iraq war. Would I go and support my buddies in the field, or
would I stay and fight the good fight in the spirit of liberty against
the usurpers of the Constitution? Fortunately, I finished my obligation
to the active reserve before my unit was sent to the Persian Gulf,
and I could be put to a great test. Even still, I was put to the
test of continuing to take an oath that no longer had any meaning.
I was put to the test of whether I wanted to support machinery used
in the antithesis of freedom. I said, no more.
is a sad and hard realization for a grunt who loves the Marine Corps
to admit that the organization is not used in the preservation of
liberty, and has not been used toward that end for a very long time.
In fact, although the U.S. is a wealthy country, it is not the free
country it once was. Marines need to understand that with every
act of war since 1860, the country has seen overt actions by the
Federal government against freedom. The Civil War brought the Morrill
Act, Legal Tender, and the Secret Service. In World War I, along
with the introduction of the "Teufelhunden,"
came the income tax and the Federal Reserve. In World War II, with
the great island hopping campaign, came a seven-headed monster known
as the WPA, SEC, FBI, FCC, CIA, FDA, and social security. In Vietnam,
with the patrols of Hue City, came Medicare, Medicaid, and military
micro-management from the Pentagon. In Beirut, while Marines were
killed, an unconstitutional war on drug commodities was ratcheted
up. Finally, while Marines called a fire for effect on Iraqi forces,
came the final nail in the coffin of the Constitution. Known as
the Patriot Act, a piece of legislation approved so diametrically
opposed to the Constitution, tyrants like Napoleon and George III
would be covetous. Each time Marines have come home from each of
these fronts, politicians at home sought powers irreconcilable to
any of the principles defined in the Constitution, the Declaration
of Independence, or the basic ideals of classical liberalism. The
founding Marine, Samuel Nicholas, would have nothing to do with
the Marine Corps as it is used today to the detriment of the liberty
he held dear. Unlike Samuel Nicholas, modern Marines come home to
tyranny rather than the liberty they hoped to protect.
leads us to the heresy, which permeates the modern American mind.
The heresy is the contention that liberty is provided for by the
soldier. No longer protectors in service with deference to the sovereign
civilians, soldiers are now the masters who give license to the
"freedoms" Americans have. The heresy is best summed up
by Marine, Father
Davis O'Brien when he iterated:
is the Soldier not the reporter, who has given us Freedom of
the press. It is the Soldier not the poet, who has given us
Freedom of speech. It is the Soldier not the campus organizer,
who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate. It is the Soldier
not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier, who salutes the Flag, who serves beneath
the Flag and whose coffin is draped by the Flag, who allows
the protester to burn the Flag.
thinking about the ramifications of such a statement, many Americans
would nod agreement to such an assertion. Do I hear a damn right
out there? From Lee Greenwood's "God
Bless the USA" to Toby Keith's "American
Soldier," the thesis remains that the rights and freedoms
in America are given by soldiers. This thesis is reinforced when
civilians approach soldiers with a "thank you." Soldiers
of society, now ration out rights like MRE's
at chow time in a garrison state. The free exercise of individuals
and in particular the endowment by God is not considered. Without
soldiers and their actions, there is no freedom to speak, organize,
transact, or exercise property rights. All deference should be given
to soldiers; their will be done.
is the necessary result when individuals in society subvert their
freedom to the will of other men, in particular the will of the
soldier. It is interesting to hear a Catholic priest who speaks
so eloquently about inalienable rights and absolutely fails to attribute
their endowment to God. As such this is a heresy in failing to recognize
God's dominion over man ruled absolutely by a mechanism of natural
rights. To assume that rights are given by soldiers is to assume
that soldiers predicate God. To assume such is to assume Godhead,
a violation of the Commandments.
me correct Father O'Brien by saying: It is God, not the soldier
Who has given us the freedom of speech. It is God, not the soldier
Who has given us the right to demonstrate. It is God, not the soldier
Who has given us the right to due process. It is God the Father,
Who has given us the Commandments, Who forgives us for breaking
one believes in God or not, all men instinctively know of their
rights and their thirst for freedom. They exercise it every day,
in all countries, regardless of what soldiers and states do. Freedom
knows no bounds or political party. Freedom is endowed in the spirit
of man. Right now someone in China is starting a business. Someone
in Iran is praying to the Christian God. Someone in Iceland is speaking
truth. Are these people able to do these things because of soldier's
actions? They do these things because they are exercising the freedom
that God has given them, the freedom to choose what to do with their
choose to no longer take part in this heresy. I'm trading in my
General Orders for Seven Sacraments and my pocket Constitution
for a Catechism.
Semper Fidelis in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
Khan [send him mail] works
as a risk analyst in Phoenix, AZ, where he lives with his wife.
He was Honorably Discharged from the United States Marine Corps
Reserve in October 2003.