So the Obama administration has decided that it can kill American citizens that it thinks are terrorists without any due process or any outside hearing to determine if the citizen really is a terrorist.*
The US actually has killed at least two American citizens by drone strikes in accordance with this policy.
Al Awlaki, who allegedly is a member of al qaeda, is merely the most prominent victim of this policy. His son, a 16 year old US citizen, was also killed by a US drone strike without any due process.
Al Awlaki’s family has tried to stop this process through the courts, without any success.
When I rant to my liberal friends about this, they don’t seem nearly as upset about it as I am, and certainly don’t think it alone might be a reason to vote against Obama.
It doesn’t even seem to be a slippery slope to me-it seems like Obama is jumping right off a cliff. If Obama can kill US citizens without any form of due process, then the Fourth Amendment is certainly meaningless (why would the police bother with a warrant when they can just shoot you on orders of the executive) as is the First Amendment (what is free speech if the executive can just kill you without having to answer to the courts) and really every other constitutional amendment. All of our rights can only be enforced by going through the court system, but if the president can kill a US citizen without having to get the court’s approval, then those rights are meaningless.
Yes, I know Obama is only using this power to kill brown US citizens outside of the United States who seem to be aligned with al qaeda anyways. Does that mean we don’t care? Our constitutional rights disappear once you leave the US border, aren’t Anglo, and are suspected of being a member of al qaeda? Keep in mind there’s no legal or principled reason why Obama or a future president couldn’t use this power to kill a US citizen within our borders-it just so happens that Al Awlaki is outside of the US, but the prez could have him killed just as easily if he happened to be inside the United States.
Liberals, keep in mind that President Bachmann would have this exact same power.
To me, the logical extent of this power means the end of a constitutional democracy. Perhaps I’m being a bit hyperbolic (again, I don’t think our democracy is actually going to collapse or turn into a dictatorship), but I do think this is a really big deal. Am I wrong?
*I use the word kill because I don’t want to be inflammatory, but really the accurate term is murder.