Mar 07 2013
I do believe there are many opportunities where left and right can agree that DC and the Federal Government is out of control and run amok. And government usually runs amok when one side force feeds the rest of us their power hungry delusions (e.g., Obamacare, Outlawing all Abortions). Don’t get me wrong, I am all for private sector, market-driven health care and I am against abortions for convenience. But those principled stands are based on the premise most people are good, welling meaning and able to make good decisions on their own. Government control seems to always be about protecting Americans from ourselves – like somehow government is not filled with error prone and biased people. I won’t even mention to the power and greed components.
This week some common ground arose out of the rejection of the idea that due process is not required when assassinating American Citizens that some government bureaucrats decide are a threat to America. I have been opposed to this Dictatorial madness from day one:
While the death of a blood thirsty Islamo Fascist is on par with the death of a blood thirsty Nazi who slaughtered innocent Jews in a concentration camp, the fact is Nazi mass murderers still received due process – even during the war.
Did an American president just assassinate a US Citizen without any due process, without any court case or verdict of guilty?
The problem I had with this criminal act a few years back is the same problem Rand Paul and other Senators of conscience are filibustering about in the Senate:
“When I asked the president can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer — an unequivocal no.
“But his answer was, ‘I haven’t killed anyone yet and I have no intention of killing Americans, but I might.’”
What if, Paul wondered, someone had dropped a Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda or college students at the time who were raising money for the Viet Cong? Would the same Democrats who are sitting on the sidelines now have protested such tactics at the time? After all, raising money for the enemy is arguably treason, and Paul said he’d have called it that — but those students would have deserved to get their day in court.
The problem with the current thinking is it is so damn lazy, as well as cold (not to mention unconstitutional). The big deal here is most Americans believe an American citizen is guaranteed due process. Hell, all those jerks in asylum overseas for lesser crimes get their day in court (in absentia). Why couldn’t the evidence against Anwar al Awlaki have been presented in a court, to a jury of US citizens, and a guilty verdict handed down before the hit? Its not like in that case we did not have plenty of time – after all we had to find the guy to target him and that did take years.
And what about collateral damage? Drone strikes ALWAYS kill people nearby the target. There are usually some innocents hurt, maimed or killed. I said it back when Awlaki was assassinated – we are well down a really bad slippery slope.
Update (Ed): Ted Cruz has just joined in to ask questions of Paul, in what looks like a pretty smart strategy. Paul has specifically stated that he will take questions without relinquishing control of the floor, and both Cruz and Lee are asking oddly lengthy questions.
Update (AP): This thing just turned bipartisan:
Heading to the floor to speak on Congressional oversight of executive branch & rules for targeted killings. Watch: http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/ …
I salute Rand Paul (R), Ted Cruz (R) and Ron Wyden (D) for not only bringing this subject up to be debated in public, but for standing their ground and hold DC’s feet to the fire.