Archive from July, 2019
Jul 21, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Defining Insurrection and Enemies

Defining Insurrection and Enemies

Congress was not in session when Lincoln launched his war against the South and raised his own army with the help of Republican governors. When Congress was called into session in July of 1861, Lincoln had already suspended habeas corpus and arrested those he considered disloyal citizens, which included elected legislators.

Lincoln’s familiar opponent Chief Justice Roger B. Taney stated “that the president had the power to handle the insurrection, but he could not himself declare a civil war, establish a blockade, or confiscate ships of foreign neutrals.

Power was exercised by the chief executive under the municipal laws of the country “and not under the law of nations.” Only Congress could declare war, a US president is not a monarch whose word is law, and treason as defined in the Constitution “shall consist only in waging war against them,” the States.

Defining Insurrection and Enemies

“The Union hunted down more than privateers on the ocean; its navy also captured merchant ships – blockade runners or neutral carriers of contraband for the Confederacy. From the start of the war, the handling of these cases in district courts piqued public interest for what the rulings said about the enemy and confiscation of property.

By 1863 [the Supreme Court Prize Cases] rulings . . . revealed a shift in thinking taking place throughout the Union toward treating everyone as enemies in an area considered in insurrection, regardless of individually professed loyalties.

Lincoln acted with somewhat debatable constitutional authority . . . Capturing vessels and declaring blockades typically involve a war between nations. Only the Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war. But the legislative branch was not in session when war commenced and was not scheduled to gather until December 1861, so there was no congressional action on these issues until the president convened a special session in July.

Congress on July 13 passed what became recognized by the judiciary as the nearest thing to a declaration of war that could be found. The legislation allowed the president to collect duties on imports in the States mounting insurrection, to interdict all trade, and to seize vessels judged to be in violation of the statute. The language was incredibly turgid and legalistic: it was hardly an act designed to inspire a public, but it did concede to the president the ability to define an insurrection and decide on the measures to take against the Confederacy.

[Pennsylvanian and Democrat Supreme Court Justice Robert C.] Grier provided the administration with a victory. Writing the majority opinion . . . he reasoned that the president had the authority to act without legislative authority. It was his duty to defend the country against insurrection or invasion. “The President was bound to meet it in the shape it presented itself without waiting for Congress to baptize it with a name; and no name given to it by him or them could change the fact.”

[Grier further declared that] As long as people lived within regions considered by the president in rebellion against the government, they were enemies, although not foreigners. Grier reserved for the government the ability to prosecute traitors after the war.

Especially after Lincoln appointed Republican justices, the Supreme Court stood ready to support the president on issues concerning secession and war powers . . . and as far as the courts were concerned, no Unionists live in the Confederate States. Grier had made that clear, indicating that treason had become identified with individual persons than with territory.”

(With Malice Toward Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era, William A. Blair, UNC Press, 2014, excerpts pp. 77-78)

Jul 20, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Virginian’s Against New England’s Accursed Practice

Virginian’s Against New England’s Accursed Practice

New England’s nefarious trade in West Indies molasses and slaves brought on the Navigation Acts from the British Crown, as well as the Revolution itself. After Rhode Island had become the center of the transatlantic trade in Africans by 1750, the traffic should be known simply as “New England’s Slave Trade.”

To demonstrate the anti-slavery resolve of Virginia’s representatives at the first Continental Congress meeting, they stated:

“The abolition of slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies, where it was unhappily introduced, in their infant state. But, previous to the enfranchisement of the slaves we have, it is necessary to exclude all future importations of slaves.”

Virginians Against New England’s Accursed Practice

“Though Brazil, by statute, prohibited the African slave trade in 1831, yet the traffic continued and in this trade citizens of the United States as ship owners, or crew, were engaged despite Federal statutes against such a practice. Henry A. Wise of Virginia, Consul at Rio [de] Janeiro, made frequent and earnest reports to the State Department calling the attention of the authorities to these violations. Under the date of February 18, 1845, he writes to the Secretary of State at Washington:

“I beseech, I implore the President of the United States to take a decided stand on this subject. You have no conception of the bold effrontery and the flagrant outrages of the African slave trade, and of the shameless manner in which its worst crimes are licensed here, and every patriot in our land would blush for our country did he know and see, as I do, how our citizens sail and sell our flag to the uses and abuses of that accursed practice.”

In his message to Congress, under date of December 4th, 1849, President [Zachary] Taylor writes:

“Your attention is earnestly invited to an amendment of our existing laws relating to the African slave trade with a view to the eventual suppression of that barbarous traffic. It is not to be denied that this trade is still in part carried on by means of vessels built in the United States and owned or navigated by some of our citizens.”

The foregoing recitals will serve to illustrate the uncompromising attitude of hostility on the part of leading Virginians toward the African slave trade. They sought by Federal statutes and concerted action with foreign nations to drive t pernicious traffic from the seas. They denounced the trade as inhuman, because it stimulated men to reduce free men to slavery and then entailed upon slaves the horrors and dangers of the “middle passage.”

They resolutely opposed any addition to the slave population of America because [they were] profoundly convinced that every such importation was fraught with menace to the social, economic and moral well-being of the nation and rendered more difficult the emancipation of those who had already been brought to her shores.”

(Virginia’s Attitude Toward Slavery and Secession, Beverly Munford, L.H. Jenkins Publishing, 1909, excerpts pp. 38-40)

Jul 20, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Lincoln’s Great Task

Lincoln’s Great Task

The Republican party of Lincoln was not “anti-slavery,” but rather firmly against the expansion of African laborers into the new territories of the West and confining them to the South.  Immigrants were unfamiliar with Africans, did not want to compete with them for work, and formed an important nucleus of Republican political power. 

Lincoln’s true motivation with early property confiscation efforts was to deem Africans within the lines of his armies free, and then colonizing them “at some place or places in a climate congenial to them.”

He added that “it might be well to consider too whether the free colored people already in the United States could not, so far as individuals may desire, be included in such colonization.”

Lincoln’s Great Task

“The biographers of Abraham Lincoln, Nicolay and Hay, declare: “The political creed of Abraham Lincoln embraced among other tenets, a belief in the value and promise of colonization as one means of solving the great race problem involved in the existence of slavery in the United States . . . Without being an enthusiast, Lincoln was a firm believer in colonization.”

Speaking at Springfield, Illinois, June 26, 1857, Mr. Lincoln said: “I have said that the separation of the races is the only perfect prevention of amalgamation . . . I can say a very large proportion of [Republican party] members are for it and that the chief plank in their platform – opposition to the spread of slavery – is most favorable to that separation. Such separation, if ever effected at all, must be effected by colonization . . . Let us be brought to believe it is morally right, and at the same time favorable to, or at least, not against our interests, to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task will be.”

Upon his assumption of the office of President Mr. Lincoln sought to carry into effect his colonization views. [Congress, at its] session of 1862, placed at the disposal of the President the sum of $600,000 to be expended at his discretion in colonizing with their consent free persons of African descent in some country adapted to their condition and necessities.

Mr. Lincoln, with a view of carrying out this act of Congress, invited a number of prominent colored men to meet him at the White House on the 11th of August 1862, and then urged upon them the wisdom of availing themselves of the opportunity thus offered to make for themselves a home beyond the borders of this country.

[As the] action of Congress in placing at his disposal a sum of money for the purpose of aiding the colonization of the people of African descent made it his duty, as it had for a long time been his inclination, to favor that cause.

Continuing, he said:

“And why should the people of your race be colonized, and where? Why should you leave this country? This is perhaps the first question for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss; but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both I think. Your race suffer very greatly . . . while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side.

The aspiration of men is to enjoy equality with the best when free, but on this broad continent not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of ours. Go where you are treated the best, and the ban is upon you. I do not propose to discuss this, but to present it as a fact with which we have to deal. I cannot alter it if I would.

I ask you then to consider seriously not pertaining to yourselves merely, nor for your race or ours for the present time but as one of the things successfully managed, for the good of mankind – not confined to the present generation.”

(Virginia’s Attitude Toward Slavery and Secession, Beverly Munford, L.H. Jenkins 1909, excerpts pp. 77-81)

Jul 19, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Fears of Beguiled Posterity

Fears of Beguiled Posterity

The writer below, knowingly suspicious of the muse of written history, reminds the reader that “The best schools of history are around the hearth-stone. The best lessons of patriotism, of veneration for the past, of true and laudable appreciation of noble deeds, are received at the lips of a mother. Her unerring instincts teach her to select with wonderful skill the best exemplars to kindle the aspirations of youth. They keep alive the traditions of a land and suffer nothing of enduring value to perish.”

The following is excerpted from Rev. H. Melville Jackson’s address to the Richmond Howitzers banquet at Richmond, December 13, 1882.

Fears of Beguiled Posterity

“It has been said of General Robert E. Lee that he often expressed the fear lest posterity should not know the odds against which he fought.

No solicitude respecting his future fame disturbed the serenity of a mind lifted above the petty ambitions of personal reputation; but, the daily witness of incredible heroism, daily spectator of the dauntless courage with which a decimated army faced undismayed an overwhelming foe, [Lee] . . . feared lest the examples of knightly valor and splendid fortitude, which you have exhibited to the ages, might, through the incapacity or incredulity, or venal mendacity of the historian, be finally lost to the human race.

Soldiers, you cannot bear to think that your children’s children shall have forgotten the fields on which you have shed your blood. You cannot think with equanimity that a day will come when Virginia shall have suffered the fame of her heroes to be lost in obscurity, and the valorous achievements of her sons to fade from memory.

And if you thought, to-night, that the muse of history would turn traitor to your cause, misrepresent the principles for which you fought, and to deny to you those attributes of valor, fortitude and heroic devotion you have grandly won, your souls would rise up within you in immediate and bitter and protesting indignation.

The North, it is said, is making the literature of these times, has secured the ear of the age and will not fail to make the impression, unfavorable to you, which time will deepen rather than obliterate.

Diligent fingers are carving the statues of the heroes of the Northern armies, writing partisan and distorted versions of their achievements, altering, even in this generation, the perspective of history, until, at no distant day, they shall have succeeded in crowding out every other aspirant of fame and beguiled posterity into believing that the laurels of honor should rest, alone and undisturbed, upon the brows of your adversaries.”

(Our Cause in History, Rev. H. Melville Jackson, Southern Historical Society Papers, Rev. J. William Jones, editor, Volume XI, 1883excerpts pp. 27-28)

Jul 19, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Great Interrogation Marks to the Soul of the Beholder

Great Interrogation Marks to the Soul of the Beholder

The United Confederate Veterans (UCV) came into being in 1889 at New Orleans as delegates from nine separate veterans organizations formed into one. General Stephen D. Lee, born in Charleston, South Carolina and a West Point graduate, was an energetic organizer who wanted “to keep alive the sacred memories of the War.

The patriotic devotion to our beloved country . . . , the ardor with which we rallied around her flag, the indomitable heroism with which we followed it through danger and disaster: when we meet together all those memories come with a rush. We feel a thrill of pride that nothing can alter.”

Great Interrogation Marks to the Soul of the Beholder

“As a top leader in the UCV, Lee was a tireless and faithful worker. He cited three significant tasks to which he thought the veterans should apply themselves in the remaining to them. One was in the continued erection of monuments . . . The second was to ensure that each veteran lived the remainder of his life proudly, never bringing shame or regret to others who had been Confederate soldiers. The last was to help take care of the veterans who were hard-pressed financially.

He gave speeches wherever interested persons listened.

Always he added a word urging that more monuments be erected, “first, for the sake of the dead, but most for the sake of the living, for in this busy industrial age these tablets and stones to our soldiers may stand like great interrogation marks to the soul of the beholder.”

[In his inaugural address as president of the UCV in 1904, Lee said] the greatest loss of the South was not in burned houses and wasted fields, and ravaged cities, but in the men the South lost. “Yet,” “my comrades,” what “a comfort to know that the South had such men to lose . . . What a magnificent race of men! What a splendid type of humanity! What courage! What grandeur of spirit! What patriotism! What self-sacrifice! It was sublime.”

“A people who do not cherish their past,” he said in 1904, “will never have a future worth recording.”

(General Stephen D. Lee, Herman Hattaway, University Press of Mississippi, 1976, excerpts pp. 199-200; 206)

Jul 15, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on John Yeamans Did Not Foresee

John Yeamans Did Not Foresee

British colonial administrator John Yeamans (1611-1674) served as governor of the Province of Carolina and founded the first permanent settlement in April 1670. He imported 200 African slaves from the Barbados to work his plantation, thus inaugurating the slavery in North America which former Confederate Attorney-General George Davis lamented 200 years later.

Davis was an eminent mid-nineteenth-century Wilmington attorney and acclaimed orator. Edward Everett of Massachusetts considered Davis to have “no peer in eloquence and logic.”

John Yeamans Did Not Foresee

“[But] we recall the fact that it was not until after the slave traders of the North had received full value of their human merchandise from their Southern brethren that our neighbors [to the North] began to realize the enormity of the institution.

And yet our people who were impoverished by its downfall would not, if they could, deprive the Negro of his freedom.

With reference to the introduction of slavery into Carolina by the Colonial Governor, Yeamans, from Barbados in 1671, the late, lamented George Davis said:

“This seems to be an announcement of a very commonplace fact: but it was the little cloud no bigger than a man’s hand. It was the most portentous event of all our early history. For he carried with him from Barbados his Negro slaves; and that was the first introduction of African slavery into Carolina.

If, as he sat by the camp-fire in that lonely Southern wilderness, he could have gazed with prophetic vision down the vista a two hundred years, and seen the stormy and tragic end of that of which he was then so quietly inaugurating the beginning, must he not have exclaimed with Ophelia, as she beheld the wreck of her heart’s young love: “ ‘O, woe is me! To have seen what I have seen, see what I see’ “!

(Tales and Traditions of the Lower Cape Fear, James Sprunt, LeGwin Brothers Printers, 1896)

Jul 14, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on A Great Consolidation of Government

A Great Consolidation of Government

The Constitution’s ratification is said to be the result of a series of illegal acts, with some revolutionary in character. And it is difficult to imagine exactly who would have pressed charges against the framers for subverting the Articles of Confederation while circumventing their own State legislatures in the process.

The Federalists, who favored increased centralization of power, were well-aware of their inability to defend the abandonment of the Confederation legally – though James Madison weakly observed in Federalist 40 that “in all great changes in established governments, forms ought to give way to substance.”

A Great Consolidation of Government

“After June 25, 1788, three States remained outside the new Union: New York, whose convention came to order in Poughkeepsie on June 17; North Carolina, whose delegates would meet in late July; and Rhode Island, to whose fate most Federalists were indifferent.

[New York anti-Federalists searched] for a formula for conditional ratification that would keep the State in the Union while preserving the right to withdraw subsequently should its amendments not be adopted. So opposed were Federalists to any form of conditional ratification that [Alexander] Hamilton even wondered whether they should agree that New York could reserve a right to “recede” from the Union should its desired amendments not be adopted . . .

Anti-Federalists insisted that North Carolina was not rejecting the Constitution outright, and they further intimated that the State would somehow remain in the Union – if not its new government – because the compact of the [Articles of] Confederation could be dissolved only with the consent of ALL its parties. Remarkably, Anti-Federalists even challenged the right of the convention to abandon the Confederation, or to substitute “We the people” as the source of federal legitimacy for “we the States.”

[James Madison’s Federalist 39 described the Constitution]: “In its foundation it is federal, not national; in the sources from which the ordinary powers of government are drawn, it is party federal and partly national; in the operation of these powers, it is national, not federal; in the extent of them, again, it is federal, not national; and finally, in the authoritative mode of introducing amendments, it is neither wholly federal nor wholly national.”

Such distinctions hardly assured the anti-Federalists who knew that the Constitution would form the States into a new Leviathan. “We may be amused if we please, by a treatise of political anatomy,” Patrick Henry warned the Virginia ratifiers, rebutting a speech in which Madison restated this argument. “In the brain it is national: the stamina are federal – some limbs are federal – others are national.”

“But what signifies it to me, that you have the most curious anatomical description of it in its creation?” Henry asked. “To all the common purposes of Legislation it is a great consolidation of Government.”

(Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution, Jack N. Rakove, Alfred A. Knopf, 1997, excerpts pp. 125-126; 161-162)

Jul 14, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on The Opening Wedge of Revolution

The Opening Wedge of Revolution

Feeling that the Old South had been “engulfed by the great maelstrom of bourgeois liberalism and capitalism, Frederick A. Porcher (1809-1888) and other Charlestonian began rebuilding their sense of community and political order after the war. 

An 1828 Yale graduate, he was a prewar planter who failed in that business and went to teaching at the College of Charleston. He served several terms in the South Carolina Legislature and counted among his many friends author William Gilmore Simms.

The Opening Wedge of Revolution

“Following the Civil War, Frederick Porcher continued to teach in Charleston, where it seemed that the Old South, his world, was unmistakably gone . . . “To the old Carolinian, everything was strange — he looked bewildered around him and about him, he felt he had become a stranger, that he had no home.”

Porcher’s fellow conservatives countered nascent black political organization with meetings and announcements of their own. A November 1867 convention of conservatives in Charleston outlined the postwar conservative beliefs. Local rule through States’ rights . . . and the fear of democracy all survived the war. The convention also gave hints of a developing industrial-age conservatism cherishing property rights and accepting as inevitable the labor/capital antagonism of a capitalist economy.

In its postwar defense of the States’ rights philosophy, the conservative convention granted that the emergency of war necessitated that the federal government reign “supreme.” But, as the Charleston Daily Courier reported, “Is this law, or is this usurpation? Is this good government, or is it revolution?”

A strong central government during a crisis of war was one thing. Conservatives asked if South Carolinians were now willing to endorse “so monstrous a proposition into our government polity.” Calhoun could not have stated any clearer the States’ rights view that conservative South Carolinians still held in 1867: To admit as a fact, as has been assumed to be the result of the war, that the Government of the United States is supreme, and that the States have no rights; or, if they have rights, that they are subordinate to the will of a majority having control of the Government, is to admit the abrogation of the Constitution, and to ignore the facts of history.”

Centralization of political power at the national level, especially with the inclusion of black voters, was the opening wedge leading to other revolutions. The Reconstruction Acts, conservatives argued, placed the power to tax “in the hands of those who own no property,” while it took power away from “those who hold the property and must pay the taxes.” To them, this was not just a bad idea, but a dangerous one.

Porcher used his history lectures to address the new political power of the black community. “A great experiment,” Porcher observed, “is now making in this country to commit the highest responsibilities of civilization to a race which in its native soil has never shown any capacity for improvement. You who hear me will be able to witness the result.”

[He] guided his young students with the strong suggestion that it too, would fail: “Civilization is an Innate Faculty, not an acquired Habit. It is a gift of God, not the result of human teaching.”

(In The Great Maelstrom: Conservatives in Post-Civil War South Carolina, Charles J. Holden, University of South Carolina Press, 2002, excerpts pp. 30-37) 

Jul 14, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Immaculate Patriots and Crude Partisans

Immaculate Patriots and Crude Partisans

The infamous Union League movement originated in the secret fraternities of mid-1850s anti-immigrant Know Nothing lodges, later becoming a political party and which merged with the Republicans. New members had to be voters and recite a pledge of allegiance in elaborate rituals of burning incense, US flags and the Bible. Each swore to “sustain the existing [Republican] administration in putting down the enemies of the government and to thwart the designs of “traitors and dis-loyalists.”

Prior to Lincoln’s reelection in 1864, the Republican party disguised itself as a “Union” party to paint Democratic opposition with disloyalty. The Union League later moved into the occupied and conquered South to organize freedmen into the League and Republican party.

That freedmen vote enabled Grant’s slim victory over Democrat Horatio Seymour in 1868, and helped maintain Republican political hegemony.

Immaculate Patriots and Crude Partisans

“The first Union League was founded in Pekin, Illinois by a Republican Party activist, George F. Harlow. As war weariness deepened, and the restraint that had held back dissenters in the early months of the war fell away, loyal Republicans became alarmed by the resurgence in support for the Democratic Party.

To combat this, they formed a secret society “whereby true Union men could be known and depended on in an emergency.” The new movement gained the support of Illinois Governor Richard Yates . . . Traveling agents administered the league’s oath to local political leaders and provided the new councils with league chapters. By the end of 1864 the Leagues claimed more than a million members.

In the face of what many [Lincoln] administration supporters saw as organized disloyalty from the Democratic Party and its allies, the leagues put into practice the exhortation from John Forney’s Philadelphia Press. In May 1863, the Press urged that the North unite “by any means” and called on Unionists to “silence any tongue that does not speak with respect of the cause and the flag.” The League’s existed, they proclaimed, “to bind together all Loyal men, of all trades and professions, in a common union to maintain the power, glory and integrity of the Nation.”

A nonpartisan style colored every utterance of these organizations . . . [pledging] that their only object is to unite to support the National Government in its efforts to suppress the rebellion now being waged against its authority by a portion of the people of the Union, and not to create a political party.

Union Leagues institutionalized the denial of legitimate partisanship by conflating political opposition to the Union Party with disloyalty to the United States. [The] Leagues quickly established themselves as a powerful political force [to advance] a radical agenda. “The triumph of the Union League is complete,” concluded an editorial in the Chicago Tribune after the Union League of America persuaded Lincoln to remove a conservative general, John M. Schofield, from command of the western Department.

The League’s construction of a patriotic national community – the claim to be the “real” nation – alienated their opponents as surely as it enthused their supporters. Samuel J. Tilden, a wealthy New York railroad lawyer . . . complained to a correspondent in June 1863 that the Union League’s were creating a climate in which it was impossible for normal political campaigns to take place.

Another Democrat, David Turnure, also resented the administration’s demand that he should give “unhesitating fealty to and unquestioning endorsement of all their acts.” To him, the “immaculate patriots” who carped about loyalty were simply crude partisans, who had “abolitionized” the government and were now subverting the Constitution “under the sacred mantle of patriotism.”

Even stronger words came from Maryland Democrat, Severn Teackle Wallis . . . [who wrote to Republican] Senator John Sherman in early 1863. “You have . . . borrowed from the vocabulary of despotism the name “disloyalty,” he thundered. Such a word was “not known to free institutions” but had been created by Unionists to describe the activities of those who “question . . . the wisdom . . . or, if need be, resist the corruption and usurpation of those who temporarily hold and prostitute power.”

(No Party Now: Politics in the Civil War North, Adam I. P. Smith, Oxford University Press, 2006, excerpts pp. 68-71)

Jul 13, 2019 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Policing the Imperial Realm

Policing the Imperial Realm

After a successful revolt against the British Empire and its standing army, the former colonists recalled their experience with George III’s regulars, not to mention the known abuses of standing armies under Cromwell and James II. The latter’s corrupt army allowed him to “invade and destroy both” the constitution and interest of the public, and standing armies have been sources of trouble since the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome.

The Boston Massacre was fresh in the minds of the Founders as they wrestled with the question of a military force at the disposal of a president, and all knew they were “tangibly dangerous entities that could act against the liberties of innocent people.” So universally contemptible was a British standing army in the colonies that a grievance against universal standing armies was included in the Declaration of Independence, and question was roundly debated in the State ratifications that followed.

Only seventy two years later, the Founders’ republic ended when a newly-elected president raised his own army with the help of several State governors and waged war upon dissident States. At the end of that war, Robert E. Lee predicted that “the consolidation of the States into one vast empire, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of ruin which has overwhelmed all that preceded it”

Policing the Imperial Realm

“The US government has approximately 6,000 military bases and/or warehouses located within US territory, and another 737 military bases in 63 countries. Unofficially, the number of overseas bases is thought to exceed 1,000. This gives the US Defense Department control of a vast extent of territory – over 30 million acres of land worldwide conservatively estimated at $658.1 billion.

Its manpower consists of 1.4 million active-duty military personnel, another 1.1 million in the National Guard and Reserves, 718,000 civil service personnel, and approximately 200,000 local hires. Over 450,000 military personnel, their dependents, and Defense Department civilian officials are stationed in 156 countries.

Often they are exempt from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court by immunity agreements negotiated by Washington with host governments.

As Chalmers Johnson noted in Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic: “Interestingly enough, the thirty-eight large and medium-sized American facilities spread around the globe in 2005 – mostly air and naval bases for our bombers and fleets – almost exactly equals Britain’s thirty-six naval bases and army garrisons at it imperial zenith in 1898.

The Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD [sic] required thirty-seven major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispania to Armenia. Perhaps the optimum number of major citadels and fortresses for an imperialist aspiring to dominate the world is somewhere between thirty-eight and forty.”

(Imperial Dusk, Joseph E. Fallon, Chronicles, June 2012, excerpt pg. 45)