ABA's Atomic Assertion: A Half-Life of Honesty?

Dive into the ABA's atomic assertion and see if it holds up under scrutiny or simply implodes.

June 28, 2023

The American Bar Association (ABA) made a claim about the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 that warrants closer examination. In an article published on 10/24/22, following the FBI's raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence, the ABA stated: "Some secrets, such as information related to nuclear weapons, are handled separately under a specific statutory scheme that Congress has adopted under the Atomic Energy Act. Those secrets cannot be automatically declassified by the president alone and require, by law, extensive consultation with executive branch agencies."

The ABA's claim lacks direct quotes from the Atomic Energy Act to support their assertion. This omission raises questions about the accuracy of their interpretation. The ABA suggests that in 1954, the legislative branch granted departments under the executive branch the power to nullify executive declassification. The article does not specify which departments, but one could infer it refers to the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and possibly the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Before we delve into the critique of the ABA's claim, let's first understand the President's power to declassify information. The President has the power to declassify anything they want without a procedure. The Department of Energy, along with other departments, operates under the President's authority. The President holds the highest authority within the executive branch. The balance of power is maintained by the legislative branch's ability to impeach the President if they engage in actions deemed worthy of impeachment.

The chief executive, out of sheer discretion, may choose to adhere to a declassification process, a process that only exists because they allowed it to. However, they are under no obligation to kowtow to some faceless, unelected bureaucrats from the administrative state.

Now, let's examine the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, a significant piece of legislation governing the use of nuclear energy in the United States. Section 2162 of the Act states: "The Commission shall remove from the Restricted Data category such data as the Commission and the Department of Defense jointly determine relates primarily to the military utilization of atomic weapons and which the Commission and Department of Defense jointly determine can be adequately safeguarded as defense information." However, this provision does not explicitly restrict the President's power to declassify information or mandate extensive consultation with executive branch agencies for declassification.

The ABA article also references the New York Times v. CIA case from 2020, stating that "declassification cannot occur unless designated officials follow specified procedures." This case does not contradict the President's power to declassify information, but rather underscores the need for a formal process to ensure proper communication and record-keeping. This process would likely involve designated officials within the relevant agencies, but the ultimate authority to declassify the information would still rest with the President.

It almost seems as if the American Bar Association is on a mission to 'save democracy', a phrase which is often a thinly veiled attempt to dismantle our republic, especially if the people dare to elect a president bold enough to reveal the truth that lies behind the green curtain. The judicial branch also has the power to overrule the president, as we saw recently when the Supreme Court blocked President Biden’s obviously unconstitutional COVID vaccine mandate for businesses.

Even if there exists legislation that seemingly supports the ABA's stance - which has yet to be presented, the concept remains ludicrous. It's peculiar that a group of lawyers would choose to overlook how such legislation would be a stark affront to the average citizen. The American Bar Association doesn't expect us to scrutinize their claims while we're busy managing our daily lives - shuttling kids to soccer practice, attending swimming lessons, and trying to find joy amidst the struggle to make ends meet.

Our founding fathers intentionally designated an elected official as the head of the executive branch.

This was done to ensure that citizens have a direct influence when it comes to matters such as managing sensitive information, executive military use, and federal health positions. The electorate has entrusted the president with the responsibility of overseeing all classifications, regardless of whether the incumbent is Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

The ABA's claim about the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 appears to be a misinterpretation or, at worst, a misrepresentation of the Act's provisions. The Act does not explicitly restrict the President's power to declassify information. The timing of the ABA's article, a couple of months after the Mar-a-Lago raid, raises questions about their intent. It seems like an attempt to sell our already battered nation another lie that our corrupt state sponsored media would never challenge. The ABA should revisit their interpretation of the Atomic Energy Act and correct their claim. Accuracy and integrity are as important in law as they are in any other field. The ABA is invited to respond and clarify their position.


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