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Exposition and Statement of Mission

Fellow Eagle Scouts and Americans:

America at the dawn of this new century is not the same place in which we worked and rose through the ranks of Scouting and regularly affirmed our patriotic devotion on the path to Eagle and into adulthood.

America today is barely recognizable from our studies for the Citizenship in the Nation and World merit badges. The separation of powers has been subjugated to the principle of the unitary executive. Our federal government leaps past Constitutional mandates for declaration of war and orders our faithful soldiers into harm's way, and compels them to harm others, where there is no harm or threat to American life, property, or security. It colludes with the telecommunications industry to access the telephone records and e-mail of nearly every American, not just those suspected of illegal activity. The right to be secure in one's home from warantless search and seizure has been suspended. Unknown numbers of unknown captives are held in secret detention at foreign locations where human rights abuses are expected. Freedoms of Speech and Assembly have been replaced by what is institutionally referred to as "Free Speech Zones" where public expression is set at a remote distance from its intended recipients and outside of which the most minimal assertion of First Amendment rights provokes arrest. In cases where assembly is protected by judicial intervention, police departments have routinely engaged in "preventive detention" of attendees who have neither violated nor expressed any intention of violating any law, most egregiously manifested in the thousands of false arrests and habeas corpus violations in New York City on August 31st, 2004. The Executive has acquired the power to detain without charge, to try in secret and without provision for reasonable defense, to withhold evidence, to apply information derived from coercion and abuse, including coerced self-incrimination, and even to deny judicial review of the legality of the proceedings or the laws which propel them. Duly ratified international treaties, equal in status to the Constitution itself as the supreme law of the land, are routinely abrogated by the Executive. In such rare cases as the Judiciary asserts its authority to intervene, a compliant Congress exceeds its own authority by revoking judicial review, and granting and even back-dating blanket immunity for domestic and international criminal violations. American citizens who exercise their remaining freedoms of independent thought and rightful expression are denounced as saboteurs and traitors.

American commitment to Citizenship in the Nation and World has been reduced to the point where our unique position as a beacon to humanity has been replaced by images of violent domination. The grievous acts, orders and events that have brought us to this position bear such a striking resemblance to those outlined in our own Declaration of Independence as the definition of tyrannical abrogation of the social contract as to inspire a modern patriotic movement in defense of our national principles. As Eagle Scouts, we feel called upon to act according to the principles of our lifetime rank in this time of need.

The first years of this new century have been marked by the most significant governmentally sanctioned assaults upon the environment in history. These include, but are not limited to: "blowtop" coal mining in which entire mountains are blown apart and toxic slurry scattered across wide regions; relaxed toxic emissions and dumping standards; increased greenhouse gas emissions; road construction and mass felling of timber in national parklands; elimination of inspections of chemical pipelines and storage facilities that has led to increased spills; elimination of funding and enforcement for toxic waste remediation; and open hostility towards global efforts to assure a geologically and biologically stable world for posterity. The size and scope of these assaults put the entire planet at risk and detract dramatically from American contributions to the health and well being of humanity and nature. The environment serves as our habitat and natural infrastructure, and during our lifetimes we serve as its stewards. As Scouts we learned and applied the Outdoor Code, which requires that as Americans, we will do our best to be clean in our outdoor manners, treat the outdoors as a heritage, take care of it for ourselves and others, be conservation minded, learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy, and to urge others to do the same. As Eagles we are under oath to advocate the observance of The Outdoor Code by America as a nation, both for its tangible benefits and as an example to the world.

The hypocritical and cynical manipulation and exploitation of spiritual faith and religious convictions in the service of political and commercial ambition have become a constant barrage in contemporary American life. Our national discourse on the struggles with poverty and disease, for democracy and justice, and of war and peace have become clouded in the rhetoric of fear and bigotry. As Eagles sharing a duty to God and Country and obeying the Scout Law, we reject the political and commercial exploitation of individual and collective faith and assert that the separation of church and state as outlined in Article 6 and Amendment 1 of the United States Constitution is an essential component of democracy, free religious practice, and the American way of life.

There are practically no known cases in the last 20 years of American Flags being ripped, burned, or otherwise desecrated by Americans at American demonstrations as a form of protest against US policies. However, the following take place thousands of times per day throughout America, with not a peep of objection in Congress or from other traditional guardians of the Flag Code: banks use the American Flag on ATM deposit envelopes, which requires that the flag be ripped in half and thrown in the garbage by the clerk in order for the bank to retrieve the deposit and receipts; disposable hand wipes used at restaurants have the flag printed on the wrappers, again, requiring that the user tear and discard the flag in order to use the product; bandages for sale to ambulance corps are imprinted with the flag with the expectation of being soaked in blood and tossed as biohazards; Presidents autograph flags as souvenirs for admirers or tread upon them as floor mats. All of these are considered desecration and are forbidden under sections 8 (g) and (i) of the Flag Code. We as Eagles stand by the Flag Code in defense of our national symbol and deplore these shameless exploitations of American patriotism for personal, political, and commercial gain for the desecrations that they are.

It is unbearable to hear Donald Rumsfeld refer to his National Eagle Scout Association Distinguished Eagle lifetime achievement award, and that the BSA gave Rumsfeld its own highest achievement award, the Silver Buffalo. Mr. Rumsfeld, amongst other offenses, personally transferred chemical weapon ingredients to Saddam Hussein, boasted of his order for the massive aerial bombardment of a major residential city rather than military targets in initiating war against a nation that had neither harmed nor threatened the United States, approved the use of torture against detainees despite the inherent immorality of such acts and the increased risk they engender to American service members, advocated for legal immunity for violators of American and international prohibitions against prisoner abuse, and is directly and indirectly responsible for the unprovoked deaths and injuries of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children. In each of these instances, Donald Rumsfeld violated the Eagle Scout ethic to remain morally straight, and contributed to crimes against humanity. As honorable and duty-bound Eagles, we call for the rescinding of these terribly misplaced awards.

As Eagle Scouts, we recognize that the work we did, and the assistance of our families, communities and nation we received in achieving our rank has rendered us charged with a lifetime commitment to, and expectation of, leadership and duty to service to the principles to which we were sworn at our Eagle Courts of Honor. In keeping with that charge and duty we may not remain silent at this critical and potentially dangerous juncture in American history. Towards these ends we commit and constitute ourselves as the National Council of American Eagles, and affirm that we will dedicate ourselves to the restoration and preservation Freedom, Justice, Honor, and the American way of life.
Statement of Mission

The National Council of American Eagles is dedicated to the purpose of leading the United States back to its essential national character and Constitutional foundations of Democracy, Freedom, and Justice. We advocate the following:

1) End the United States military presence in Iraq at the most rapid possible pace, such pace determined only by requirements for provision of means to protect the troops themselves during their orderly withdrawal.

2) Repeal Public Law 107-56, aka the "USA PATRIOT Act" and its subsequent renewals, expansions, and Executive Orders, and restore Constitutional safeguards for the conduct of criminal investigations.

3) Repeal Public Law 109-366, aka the Military Commissions Act. Repudiate torture and prisoner abuse in any form and for any reason. Restore the 700-year established "Great Writ" of Habeas Corpus, as well as all Constitutionally guaranteed protections for full and fair defense in all criminal proceedings. Affirm the letter and intent of the US-ratified Geneva Conventions and other international treaties as they prescribe the proper treatment of war captives.

4) Repeal all legislation and executive orders that transfer or negate any of the powers Constitutionally delegated to the three traditional branches of government -- executive, legislative, and judicial. As all such acts are superseded by Constitutional demarcations that are established as the core principles of democracy, they are properly null and void, and to any degree that such legislation and orders are adopted and observed, American democracy is substantially threatened.

5) Restore confidence in the American democratic principle of "one person, one vote" through effective safeguards for voting systems, from free and unencumbered registration to full recording and accounting of ballots.

6) Affirm our observance of the Outdoor Code and advocate its incorporation as national policy.

7) Assert the separation of church and state as an essential component and safeguard of democracy, free religious practice, and the American way of life.

8) Use education and advocacy to restore honor and dignity to the display and treatment of the American Flag.

We will live each day by the pledge we renewed for our whole lifetimes at our Eagle Courts of Honor, that we will do our duty to God and our Country, obey the Scout Law, help other people at all times, and keep ourselves physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. As befits our character, training, dedication, and standing in our communities and nation as Eagle Scouts, to these goals we mutually dedicate our lives, our service, and our honor.

The National Council of American Eagles is an independent national organization created and managed by Eagle Scouts. It has no official affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America or the National Eagle Scout Association. For further information, contact Steve Greenfield at bicyclesax@earthlink.net