Obama is turning his back on the constitution by assassinating American citizens
As human civilization has evolved for thousands of years, so too has its capacity to wage war. In this day and age, the new hot weapon in town is the drone. For both the Bush and Obama administrations, the unmanned aerial drone has revolutionized the way the United States Military is able to project its power abroad. In recent years, the military’s predator drones have taken the lead in the war against radical Muslim insurgents in Afghanistan and has now spread to other parts of the world as well.
The predator drone is finding increased use in striking targets in Yemen, Somalia, and of course Pakistan. Now news has come that the US military plans to open a drone base in Saudi Arabia. This comes at a time when US drones have been used not just to target foreign insurgents, but American citizens as well.
For the first time, Barack Obama’s administration recently released its legal argument for why they believe it (and it alone) has the authority to authorize the execution of an American citizen without due process of law. For those unknowing, let me remind you the United States constitution is very clear when it comes to this issue.
The government cannot detain or hold people indefinitely, nor can it sentence you to death without a trial or without bringing personal charges against you. This is not an obscure hard to define passage buried deep within the notes somewhere, it is very clear in the 5th and 6th amendments.
5th Amendment: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
6th Amendment: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”
Despite the enormous clarity these two amendments in the US constitution have, the executive branch is still evolving into a branch that sees itself as above the constitution. Being able to merely pass statutes and laws (NDAA, Patriot Act) which allow it the personal power of detaining or killing anyone it wants. This now includes American citizens.
It should be appalling to people here in the United States that the presidency has seized so much personal political power, yet surprisingly it is not . The media has done a tremendous job of covering Obama’s (and Bush’s) back on the issue of executive power. When issues such as drone strikes on American citizens, or detention of American citizens without due process or trial (Bradley Manning, Jose Padilla), the media always defends the president’s actions usually by not reporting on them.
This new protocol isn’t about one man, or the three Americans executed so far without trial. It’s about the rights we are supposed to have under the constitution. If they wanted to execute them, they should of at least had a trial in absentia before the drones were sent out.
What happens when they start labeling protest groups as terrorist organizations (which they have). You can be murdered by the government simply by associating with one of them. Obviously I can’t picture Obama doing anything of the sort, but it opens the door for anyone else to do it down the road,
What many must understand about this issue is that, ultimately, no president is the one who decides this path. Neither Bush nor Obama, Republican or Democrat, are the ones who shape these policies and their outcomes. These policies are ultimately shaped by America’s towering military-industrial complex and the various companies, entities, and politicians that support them.
These groups are the ones who define the narratives and make the foreign policy choices the sheep in the media and Washington must follow. In order to understand why an issue passes or fails, just follow where the money’s going to and coming from. The reason the constitution is being shredded is because powerful men want to line their own pockets.
Neither Bush nor Obama, nor Congress, are the planners here. They are the front guys who are paid to do the bidding of those within the military industrial complex who fund them. As Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks often says, “It’s the money Lebowski”, and that is exactly what you must understand in order to change anything at all about the issue.
Those in power do not concern themselves with the effects these new precedents will have on the general public. the financial benefit they may gain outweighs whatever suffering the average person may experience. Anyone is now a potentially target, even US citizens. People once thought to have rights are now watching them slip away and the media, the people and politicians are keeping it quiet.
Gentlemen, I don’t think anyone has ever accused me of being a big “C” Conservative. I am indeed quite to the left of what is generally considered the “Left” in the United States. Having fought in a War, I am now, and forever will be, on the front line of any, and all, resistance to killing our fellow occupants of this Globe. War sucks, big time! But, seeing as the U.S. is engaged in such activities, there are a few tennents of waging war that really deserve to be adhered to. First, and foremost, you need to know just who your enemies are. Once established, these persons are to be considered “not friendly”, and are fair game for immediate dispatch. I feel that your collective reaction, here, is that of the “knee-jerk” type. Secondly, if one can gain an upper hand in fighting a War, then arming yourself with the latest, and greatest, armaments is the preferred way to go about it. And, seeing as the U.S. has, for a long time, been able to bring its technological prowess to the battle field, it logically follows that Robotic Warfare is a thing whose time time has come.
P.S.: I really don’t belive for a second that my Governemnt is coming to take my guns away.
P.P.S.: to be continued….I’m sure.
You make some good points Hutch,but you’re missing the overall point. Americans are supposed to cherish freedom more than any other country in the world, but for the last dozen years those rights and freedoms have slowly been taken away in the name of security. At what point should the populace put their foot down and say enough is enough?
When did it become OK to send missiles into another country without being at war with that country? Why are Pakistan and others allowing it?
Since Vietnam, at least, maybe sooner…
You know how those right-wing gun nuts keep saying they need to stockpile their weapons in case the government oversteps its authority or becomes tyrannical? Doesn’t Obama’s policy here give that argument a little bit of legitimacy? Just a thought…
Indeed it does, sadly…
Excellent…I really enjoyed reading this. My favorite point I have not heard anywhere else is:
“This new protocol isn’t about one man, or the three Americans executed so far without trial. It’s about the rights we are supposed to have under the constitution. If they wanted to execute them, they should of at least had a trial in absentia before the drones were sent out.”