Friday, May 24, 2013

Restoring What Constitution?

Obama will, in the future, assassinate American citizens without due process of law only if they present a “continuing and imminent threat.” No more killing them by accident, apparently, but still no actual evidence required, merely a departure from American soil and the decision by Well, he doesn’t say who makes that decision. We knew before his speech that he was the “decider” of who would be executed by drones, but his speech sort of muddied those waters.

The constitution says that conviction of treason (although he never used that word) requires “the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act,” which seems to require a trial in a court of law, and Obama sort of acknowledges that while dismissing it at the same time by saying that, “Of course, the targeting of any Americans raises constitutional issues that are not present in other strikes – which is why my Administration submitted information about Awlaki to the Department of Justice months before Awlaki was killed,” Apparently he shares Holder’s rather loose definition of “due process.” Due process means we tell a bunch of lawyers about it before we do it.

He also seems to think that citizenship is conditional on good behavior, using his common tactic of saying something that sounds really good unless you actually think about it, in which case it makes no sense.

But when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America – and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens; and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot – his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a swat team.

Really? A sniper in the act of firing on a crowd is a “clear and present danger” against whom lethal force is justified. However, Obama’s “swat team” can only use lethal force to meet lethal force. They cannot use lethal force unless their lives or the lives of others are endangered by the present actions of the person they are engaging.

Nor, if the police know that a person is planning to act as a “sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd” can they preemptively kill him, or even arrest him simply for his intention. They go to the place where he is planning to commit the crime, prevent him from doing so and arrest him in the act. We do not arrest people for thought crimes in this country, but Obama does execute people for them. In Obama’s world, planning to do something bad is a capital offense.

He has a vastly different definition of “justice” than I do.

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