When will I learn to shut down the computer without looking at Drudge or checking my Twitter timeline before I go to bed? The New York Times seems to have published this just yesterday, but the discussion has been rattling among my friends and myself for more than a couple of days. The article entitled Secret U.S. Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen begins this way:
The Obama administration’s secret legal memorandum that opened the door to the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical Muslim cleric hiding in Yemen, found that it would be lawful only if it were not feasible to take him alive, according to people who have read the document.The question is this:
Does any President have the rightI have close friends. Patriots. Tea Party people, who believe American born Anwar al-Awlaki should have been killed because he was attacking - or aiding the enemy in attacking our United States of America.
to kill an American citizen?
to kill an American citizen?
I am the first to get on board air mailing the missile that will vaporize anyone who attacks our country with an intent to kill or injure us. And this character did much worse. He grew up with the privileges of US Citizenship and then recruited and embolden treasonists like the Fort Hood serviceman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to kill our servicemen and servicewomen while yelling "Mohammad is great." I can't think of a torture that's painful enough for this traitor.
But there is one thing we need to make sure we are especially clear on.
Is it Constitutional?
Now, before you think I've gone all "ACLU" on you, I think we should slow down a bit and make sure this is as simple as we think it is. ESPECIALLY with you-know-who in charge and you-know-who-who reporting to him at the Department of Justice.
Was Weird Al (Awlaki) an American?
Weird Al's father thought so. He also adamantly denied he was a terrorist. Now I'll admit, the evidence was pretty overwhelming. Although he had unclear ties to two of the 9-11 terrorists, it was abundantly clear he was involved with the Nigerian man who tried to blow up the Detroit airliner in December of 2010 and the Times Square bomber. That guy said he was "inspired" by the teachings of Weird Al.
So just like Tony Soprano, we decided to take Weird Al out behind the Italian restaurant in Yemen to introduce him to some really spicy 10 kiloton meatballs. Just one small thing. As much as we WANT to do that, we truly love this country. What it stands for and the ideals upon which it was founded. What sets us apart from every hummus-making hegemony horror is that we have a rule of law. This little "due process" deal that all the kids have gone nuts over. And Weird Al's papa filed a lawsuit to prohibit his son from being included on a list of terrorists.
So we're ok now right? A jury of his peers looked at his citizenship criteria and the evidence and pronounced him either no longer a US Citizen or guilty of treason right? Wrong. You are not going to believe this.
A Federal judge dismissed the lawsuit on December 7th, 2010 saying that the father had no authority to stop the US Government from deciding to kill his son. No peers, no trial, no process. And I'll quote the New York Times background here and even make it larger so you don't miss it:
In addition, the judge held that decisions to mount targeted killings overseas are a “political question” for executive officials to make — not judges. (emphasis mine)WTH!?? A FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS IT IS NOT UP TO THE JUDICIARY TO DECIDE WHETHER AN AMERICAN CITIZEN SHOULD BE KILLED? I'm sorry people. DO YOU REALIZE EXACTLY WHO THE "EXECUTIVE" IN CHARGE IS? Did we decide to simply to do away with the entire "balance of power" concept which was put in place EXACTLY for the purpose to decide what is LEGAL and what isn't? (Sorry for all the SHOUTING. This is getting me really worked up. And that's not the half of it.)
Judge John Bates of the District of Columbia district court acknowledged that the case raised “stark, and perplexing, questions” — including whether the president could “order the assassination of a U.S. citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization." (again, emphasis mine)So Norman Bates here, pardon me... John Bates admits himself that there might be a bit of a problem in suspending 200+ years of Constitutional law and the fundamental structure to prohibit an EXECUTIVE to take the life of whomever he feels like ... but what the hell. That Obama guy went to Harvard. I'm sure he'll make the right decision. (And this from a BUSH appointee no less.)
Well maybe I'm missing something here. Maybe the "Executive branch" had already decided Weird Al Wackadoo had forfeited his citizenship and wasn't an American citizen, right? Let's look at the conditions that can cause your citizenship can be revoked:
- Being naturalized in a foreign country; - Nope. He didn't.
- Making an oath or other declaration of allegiance to a foreign country; - No.
- Serving in the armed forces of a foreign country if those armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the US, You would think he did, but Yemen actually imprisoned him in 2006 and 2007 so there was no "country" at war with the US.
- Making a formal renunciation of US citizenship before a US consular officer or diplomat in a foreign country; No record of this or the administration would have argued it.
- Making a formal written statement of renunciation during a state of war, if the Attorney General approves the renunciation as not contrary to US national defense; No and no.
- Committing an act of treason against the US, or attempting by force or the use of arms to overthrow the government of the US. Ahhhh! It would seem we have a winner except for the fact that "Renunciation by this means can be accomplished only after a court has found the person guilty."
Pardon me while I spit on your 8X10 personally signed GOP donor gift picture of Ronald Reagan. Either we have a Constitution that gives protections to make sure we get it "right" on using the power of government against the very worst of us - or we have no Constitution at all. I agree with Rush and any number of other commentators on this "suspending elections" business. The idea floated by some crazy liberal Governor in North Carolina wasn't isolated. Former White House Budget Director, Peter Orszag wrote an article in the New Republic recently as well. And let's not forget the Executive Orders passed within Obama's first year to suspend the internet and take over private businesses in case of an "emergency." Wasn't there MORE of a threat directly after 9-11?
Go back to when Scott Brown was elected and we thought the ObamaCare coffin was nailed shut. Or when the "blue dog" Democrats would never abide by the pro-abortion provisions. Or when we thought, surely, the White House couldn't NOT prosecute a racist with a club threatening voters at a Philadelphia voting booth. J. Christian Adams new book showed up just in time for Halloween. And Freddie Krueger IS in the White House. It is not just enough to vote these people out of office. Reform is needed to (legally) tear down and rebuild EVERY major governmental operation from the FDA, the EPA, the Department of Justice to the continually expanding Executive powers of the President. If not, these people will continue to infiltrate and nibble away at the fundamental spirit of the Constitution until some court WILL find it "legal" to suspend elections. Judges like Bates need to be impeached. The corruption is too deep, too ingrained. And it's not going to be done without a strong, principled Constitutional Executive who has proven they have done it before and aren't afraid to educate American voters to root out this cancer. A pretty looking President may even repeal ObamaCare, but there has to be a "fire in the belly" to not care about anything other than re-educating America on why our Constitution is so precious and in leading an effort to reform every aspect of governmental abuse and tyranny. Did Anwar al-Awlaki deserve to die? NO. In fact, HELL NO - if his Constitutional rights as a US Citizen were suspended. Let's pray 20 years or 20 months from now this line isn't famous:
I didn't speak up for the Islamic Jihadist Americans when they were killed, because I wasn't one.