Obama’s speech contained a major error
Barack Obama’s inaugural speech contained at least one significant historical error, and he seems to have used the error to justify his first executive decision, Professor David Flint, national convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy writes today.
“The part of his speech which contains the historical error states:
“‘Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.’”
He used this to justify the suspension of action on the prosecutions at Guantanamo, Professor Flint said.
“The suggestion is that during the War of Independence, the Founding Fathers developed the Bill of Rights. That at least is how talk back radio interpreted this sentence.
“What else could he have meant about the Founding Fathers being ‘faced with perils we can scarcely imagine’?
“Apart from unjustly maligning the British – the thirteen colonies were the freest colonies the world had ever seen – this is just not so. The Founding Fathers did nothing of the sort.
“The War of Independence ended in 1783. The draft of the Bill of Rights was not introduced until 1789, six years after the coBaranclusion of the war.
“Surely the vast team of advisors who wrote the speech were aware of this?
“When it became clear that a union of all the thirteen colonies could not be achieved because of suspicions about the power of the new federal entity, the Constitution was amended by what is now called the Bill of Rights. This is made up of the first ten amendments to the American Constitution.
“The amendments were introduced in 1789, six years after the War of Independence ended. They were finally ratified in 1791.
“… Based on the British Bill of Rights, the American Bill of Rights was not even intended to bind the thirteen colonies, now the thirteen states, or to create individual rights. It was only intended to restrain the new federal entity.
“The Bill of Rights was certainly not intended to play the role the courts have subsequently given it. But that is another issue,” Professor Flint said.