How Obama Learned to Stop Worrying (about the Constitution) and Love the Drones

The president has taken to pretending that amendments 2, 5 and 10 do not exist. I think I should expect to start quartering soldiers any day now.

Not only that, but Obama and Al Gore have both been whining so much about people exercising their 1st amendment rights, that even CNN has taken a notice and asked them to please shut up.

Also Obama thought that we would just roll over and play dead just because he asked us not to photoshop a picture of him.

Let me think about that.

Nope, not gonna happen.

I have the sinking feeling that all of Obama’s whining about the “right wing media” is just his way of putting the 1st amendment on notice.

Ronald Reagan once said “Man is not free unless government is limited” and this has never been shown more easily than by this memo from the Justice Department (the same one that sold guns to Mexican drug cartels, yay!), uncovered by NBC news.

[T]he confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described  by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches.  It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.

Michael Isikoff, national investigative correspondent for NBC News, talks with Rachel Maddow about a newly obtained, confidential Department of Justice white paper that hints at the details of a secret White House memo that explains the legal justifications for targeted drone strikes that kill Americans without trial in the name of national security.

“The condition that an operational  leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states.

Instead, it says,  an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American  has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is  no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”

NBC News

Everyone, EVERYONE, whether conservative, liberal, Republican, or Democrat needs to be outraged and uncomfortable with this news.

We have this thing called “due process” that is guaranteed to us by the 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.

I know most liberals have very little respect for those amendments when it has anything to do with the free speech of people they don’t like or the ownership of guns, but you need to listen and listen good on this issue.

These are not the actions of a government or administration that are looking to preserve our freedoms.

These are the actions of a government and an administration that are seeking to control us and insure that the only life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that we have are the ones that fit into the government’s standards of “for the greater good”.

Think about this issue in another way. How would you feel if George W. Bush had this sort of power during his term of office? Neither I nor you would have been comfortable with that. This shows blatant disregard for due process and the liberty of American citizens, who deserve to be tried in a court of law before being sentenced, rather than having an “operational leader” playing judge, jury, and executioner.

I was outraged when Anwar al-Awlaki was killed via drone strike, with no trial and no due process. At the very least he should have been tried in absentia before being sentenced to death. I knew at that time that this was not a slope we wanted to start slipping down and I was right to be worried.

That silly pesky constitution thing, why should we care what it says about Americans having a guarantee of due process of law before being deprived of life, liberty or property. Why should we have to prove that someone is guilty before we send out a drone to blow them up? That’s just ridiculous.

You think I’m being facetious? I’m just extropolating from what Toure, of The Cycle on MSNBC, said yesterday.

Strangely he never got back to me when I asked this question of him:

We should all feel incredibly uncomfortable that an administration that is already responsible for the deaths of innocent Americans, on foreign soil now has the authority to decide (based on vague and loosely defined terms) that they have the right to take you out using any means they deem fit…including drone attacks.

Can someone please warn Obama that all of these 180 shifts in his views are going to give him a nasty case of whiplash? In 2007 he said “We have to have enough troops that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians” and now the administration’s view is that “These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise”.

Yup, because it’s totally legal and ethical to execute American citizens without a trial.

It’s totally wise to throw out yet another part of our constitution, as if it was a used tissue.

No Mr. President, this is neither legal, ethical, nor wise.

But I guess we have one piece of good news today, as NakedDC put it:

Fortunately for America, the author of this memo is not an underling in a Republican administration, so the public will be spared the trouble of hearing about it, at least until they wear the wrong government-issued underwear on the wrong day and hear a strange noise over their house.