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To Support and Defend: A Message to US Senators and Representatives

January 24, 2009
Phillip Butler, Ph.D.

“I, Phillip Neal Butler, having been appointed a Midshipman in the United States Navy, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, so help me God.” (Oath of Office, July 1, 1957.)

This Oath of Office, the same one sworn to by all officers, government officials, presidential cabinet members, senators and representatives of our nation, has had a powerful effect on me. It has given me an over-arching purpose in life: to serve the greatest and most influential legal document ever written. The only different oath is specified for the president of the United States in Constitution Article II, Section 1 (8.) It mandates that he or she will “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”

So, what in the world has happened during the past eight years of the George W. Bush administration? The only defensible answer is that he and his subordinates have trampled our precious Constitution and the rule of law into the ground, while our elected members of Congress have stood idly and complicitly by. Our highest elected officials have utterly failed in their duty of greatest responsibility.

For the rest of the story …..

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