Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The man with his finger on the button

Well so much for all that checks and balances nonsense. Not to mention all that talk of separation of powers. The Obama White House has decided to dispense with any semblance to due process (even lip service) when it comes to the extra-judicial killing of alleged terrorists.

And, while we're at it, who came up with the term "extra-judicial killing?" Why don't we just call it what it is - murder.

John Brennan is the man with his finger on the fire button of the drones. He is the man who decides who goes on the hit list and who is targeted to be murdered. Without having to go through the layers of bureaucracy at the Pentagon, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the killing machine can be operated much more efficiently - and with even fewer checks on its power.

In war the commanders in the field decide where to fire and with what force. If the leader of a supposed terrorist cell is in the way, then so be it. Not that killing people is ever going to engender the warm and fuzzy feelings that proponents of the counter-insurgency movement are looking for, but, killing is, after all, part of war.

What the Obama Administration is doing is not part and parcel of war. War can only be declared by Congress against another country or army. The drone attacks are being carried out against those that los federales have decided - absent a finding of guilt - are either terrorists or people providing material support for terrorists.

When did we cede the authority to decide who lives and who dies to an unelected bureaucrat in Washington? Where in the Constitution does it give an unelected official the authority to sentence a man to death without his ever being indicted?

President Obama wants you to think that he's tough on terrorism and will continue to fight the War on the Constitution Terrorism with passion so that you'll vote to return him to office this fall. But what the president is doing doesn't mean that he's going to be tough on the bad guys - it means that he will disregard the Constitution whenever it suits his purposes. And, in that regard, he's no different than the man who preceded him in the White House.

On January 20, 2009, President Obama took an oath to defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States; what he is doing with regard to the murder-by-drone program is a direct attack on that document.

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