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by Sharon Rondeau

(Dec. 22, 2015) — On July 2, 1776, a group of 56 men meeting in Philadelphia in the colony of Pennsylvania declared the 13 British colonies, founded on the principle of religious liberty, independent of the British Crown.

All who were present at the Philadelphia convention knew that if they were captured by the British, they would surely hang for treason.  The document memorializing their severance with England was signed first by former British loyalist John Hancock of Boston.

Finalized on July 4, the document begins:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

By that time, blood had already been shed in what would become the American Revolution in which a loosely-organized band of largely untrained and under-supplied colonials overcame the odds to throw off what they perceived as the yoke of tyranny under King George III and his “Redcoats.”

The new nation had assembled a Continental Congress in its birthplace of Philadelphia to represent the people. On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress called upon a Virginian, George Washington, to lead the Continental Army against the British, whose forces occupied the northern colonies, particularly in Massachusetts, where 18 months before, a group of upstart colonials disguised as Indians had disposed of 342 crates of tea from Britain to protest the tax levied on it by the king.

Washington was a delegate to the Congress and a plantation owner, residing at an estate known as Mt. Vernon.  According to today’s Mt. Vernon website, Washington was selected to lead the army because of his previous command of the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War and his position as an “outsider” to the North.

Washington did not ask for the job, and he was away from his beloved home for six years, from 1775 to 1781.

The prospect of the American army achieving victory over the British was considered “unlikely” given Washington’s 9,000-man force and the exponentially-larger British regiments whose weapons and supplies far surpassed those of the colonists.

On Christmas Day 1776, Washington effected his famous “Crossing of the Delaware River” to Trenton, NJ to launch a surprise attack on General William Howe and Lord Charles Cornwallis‘s troops with the help of Trentonian John Cadwalader.  As a result of the ambush, the British abandoned New Jersey to the colonials in one of the most stunning American victories of the revolution.

Prior to launching the attack, Washington’s officers were instructed to read to their troops Thomas Paine’s “The Crisis,” which begins:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Despite his success at Trenton, within days, Washington’s entire regiment faced extinction as their commissions were about to expire.  Ultimately General Washington convinced approximately half of the men to re-enlist for 1777.

Although Washington enjoyed a series of victories in 1777 aided by the French, Ft. Ticonderoga was taken by the British on July 6, and the Continental Congress was forced to leave Philadelphia as a result of successful British maneuverings at the Battle of Brandywine Creek on September 11.

On December 19, 1777, Washington led a group of freezing, demoralized and starving soldiers through the snow-covered woods to Valley Forge, PA, where they planned to rest and partake of better rations before resuming the battle in the spring.  Some soldiers had deserted, while others suffered from injuries and the horrendous effects of over-exposure to the cold.

Despite the extreme hardships under which they served, army deserters were normally executed.

According to history.com:

Things could hardly have looked bleaker for Washington and the Continental Army as 1777 came to a close. The British had successfully occupied Philadelphia, leading some members of Congress to question Washington’s leadership abilities. No one knew better than Washington that the army was on the brink of collapse–in fact, he had defied Congress’ demand that he launch a mid-winter attack against the British at Philadelphia and instead fell back to Valley Forge to rest and refit his troops. Though he had hoped to provide his weary men with more nutritious food and badly needed winter clothing, Congress had been unable to provide money for fresh supplies. That Christmas Eve, the troops dined on a meal of rice and vinegar, and were forced to bind their bleeding frost-bitten feet with rags. “We have experienced little less than a famine in camp,” Washington wrote to Patrick Henry the following February.

Under the Second Articles of Confederation, Congress ran the affairs of the new nation without a president as we know it today.  In regard to the abysmal situation he faced that winter, Washington was quoted as having said that Congress possessed “little feeling for the naked and distressed soldiers. I feel superabundantly for them, and from my soul pity those miseries, which it is neither in my power to relieve or prevent.”

When in late January 1778, five individuals from the 18-member Congress traveled to Valley Forge to admonish Washington for the dire straits in which his troops and he had fallen, they indicated that they were losing faith in his ability to command the army to win the war.

A plot in Congress arose to replace Washington, who they had begun to openly criticize and ridicule.  Mt. Vernon states of the time: “Military ignoramuses all, the congressman and their political counterparts in Lancaster, the keystone state’s temporary state capital, had turned on the man who had rescued the expiring Revolution with electrifying victories at Trenton and Princeton in the closing days of 1776. They used the praise that had been showered on Washington to declare him an idol with feet of clay. Their new hero became devious, ambitious Horatio Gates, the victor in the battle of Saratoga. Soon the congressmen and their allies, including promotion-hungry soldiers such as the French volunteer, Brigadier General Thomas Conway, were sneering at Washington in letters and conversations in taverns all over Pennsylvania.”

On June 14, 1777, the nation’s flag abandoned its British roots, adopting the design of 13 stars and the same number of stripes depicting the 13 colonies.

On December 31, 1777, Washington wrote to his ally, the Marquis de Lafayette, who had joined the Americans’ effort against the British, to say that he planned to “observe one steady and uniform conduct, which I shall invariably pursue, while I have the honour to command, regardless of the Tongue of slander or the powers of detraction.”  However, he said that if Congress chose to replace him as general, “he would be more than happy to resign and return to private life at his Mount Vernon estate.”

Washington ultimately prevailed as general.  Between 1778 and 1781, the war expanded to the southern colonies, Benedict Arnold betrayed the American cause, and mass mutiny from the colonial forces ensued.  However, in late September 1781, a strengthened American army defeated the British at Yorktown, after which a surrender was negotiated.

The war did not officially end until 1783, when the Treaty of Paris was signed.

On February 4, 1789, Washington was elected to the newly-created position of president unanimously by the then-69-member Electoral College created by the new Constitution.  Not having sought the office of chief executive, Washington has been termed “the reluctant president.”

In contrast to his life as a general, in his public position as president, Washington was said to have been left with “no place to hide” in a situation which would “expose him to public censure as nothing before.”

222 Years Later

After years of an unresponsive Congress and a chief executive whose past was obscured, a successful businessman named Donald Trump began to demand that the White House occupant “release his records,” specifically, his detailed birth certificate proving where he was born.

The Constitution which the Founders and states ratified in 1789 requires that the president and commander-in-chief be a “natural born Citizen.”

Trump’s birthday is June 14; he was born in New York City in 1946.

After months of pressure from Trump, on April 27, 2011, the White House released what it said was a scan of a certified copy of the long-form birth certificate of Barack Hussein Obama, the sitting president and commander-in-chief.  The image appeared to contain inconsistencies, even to the layperson, and within 24 hours was denounced by graphics professionals as an amateurish forgery.

In September of that year, a sheriff in a western state thousands of miles from Washington, DC commissioned one of his task forces, the Cold Case Posse, to investigate the authenticity of the image at the request of 250 of his constituents. The posse consisted of five individuals with previous legal and law enforcement experience and worked as volunteers.

Having been nominated by the sheriff, Joseph M. Arpaio, to lead the investigation, former New Jersey police officer Mike Zullo reluctantly assumed the responsibility for what would become a journey now having entered its fifth year.

On March 1, 2012, Arpaio and Zullo held a press conference during which they stated that the investigation had found that probable cause existed that the long-form birth certificate image is a “computer-generated forgery.”  Obama’s Selective Service registration form was also declared to be fraudulent.

A Selective Service form is used to register for military service should the need arise, a requirement for males aged 18 and over unless they possess disqualifying factors.  To obtain federal employment, an eligible male must have properly registered with the Selective Service.

A second press conference on July 17, 2012 revealed that the standard of probable cause in the forgery of the birth certificate had been overcome.

Instead of launching its own investigation, the media vilified the messengers by ridiculing their conclusions.  Congress also declined to investigate, even as constitutional order and citizens’ rights were increasingly eviscerated by the occupant of the White House.

Arpaio was born on June 14, 1932, in Springfield, MA.  He and Trump are acquainted. On December 16, Arpaio introduced Trump, now a 2016 presidential contender, at a campaign rally, where he told the audience that he continues to investigate the birth certificate forgery.

June 14 is now known as “Flag Day.”

Trump is the only presidential candidate who has openly questioned Obama’s origins, although he has avoided the topic in recent media interviews.

The job of Cold Case Posse lead investigator came with no pay, 18-hour days, extensive travel, significant personal risk, and a certain degree of “torture.”  It brought unwarranted harassment, slander, libel, and accusations.  It engendered not only ridicule from a hostile and biased media, but also from among those who appeared to have shared a common desire to learn the truth about the man occupying the White House.

As the investigation quietly continued, “allies” revealed themselves as turncoats; saboteurs hacked websites, personal computers, and email accounts; phone lines were tapped and banking information breached; and egos became bigger and more important than the search for the truth.

As thanks for his unpaid labor, Zullo was castigated, marginalized, maligned, labeled a “liar,” excoriated, harassed, and second-guessed.  “If you have something, just put it out there!” “Just tell us what you have!” “Arpaio and Zullo have nothing;” “If they had something, they would have released it by now” are just a few of the comments frequently expressed in online forums, where a war of words is now waged.

For his participation in a second investigation of bank account breaches at Arpaio’s request, Zullo was threatened with criminal prosecution by one of the White House occupant’s judges and forced to testify without representation in a case aimed at leveling criminal charges at Arpaio.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

The media continued to shirk its First Amendment duty by refusing to ask questions about the criminal activity Zullo had been tasked to investigate.  Arpaio was condemned for “racial profiling” while trying to enforce federal law pertaining to illegal aliens and national security as large numbers of unvetted foreigners were brought in to the nation by the White House occupant without notifying the governors of the sovereign states.

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

Rather than uniting, the people scattered and hid as the chief executive’s “Department of Justice” applied its full weight to the only two men in the nation with the courage to investigate what could be the most significant crime in U.S. history involving the image created “with the intent to deceive.”

Zullo can stop his work at any time if he wishes.

During this time, as in Washington’s, members of Congress continued to be “ignoramuses” as the Republic, for which Washington and his men fought, suffered and died, devolved into chaos by means of unprecedented debt, foreign invasion, terrorism, unending war, treason, corruption, collusion, and party politics.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

In Washington’s Farewell Address delivered at the end of his second term, he warned the people against the “frightful despotism” of political party leaders which he said would lead to their “own elevation” at the expense of “Public Liberty.”

Today, the people are arguably seeking a savior.

The fraudulent birth certificate image, Zullo has said, “is the foundational lie of this presidency.”

Still, the people will not come together in large, visible numbers to support the cause and defeat the enemy.  Have Americans reached a point where they care more for themselves than for their country?

“The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. … The Nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the Government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The Government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of Nations has been the victim.” — George Washington’s Farewell Address


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