Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Forget Due Process?

Reader Larry E. writes in with this regarding the leaked memo detailing the Obama administration's justification of targeted killings of Americans:
This is a sad, scary thing.

Seems all it takes to have you killed in the US is for some official to say you might be dangerous.

How we got to this point, from constitutional protections from unwarranted search, innocent until proven guilty, to no knock search warrants, secret courts, CIA prisons, actively mining all data flowing in the US for any evidence of wrong doing, to justifying murdering US citizens on US soil. Amazing.
Here's the actual memo.

This is disturbing, no doubt about it.  The opportunities for abuse are obvious, and if there's any lesson from history it is that any possible abuse will become an actual abuse. 

Also disturbing is the obvious alternative: American Taliban (or the equivalent) untouchable by U.S. military action because of legal restrictions.

I much prefer to err on the same side that our jury system errs on: I'll gladly take a small risk to my country (an American Taliban run amok) to keep the due process protection afforded (or so I thought) by our Constitution.

But little by little, bit by bit, our Constitutional protections have been eroded over the years.  This is not a recent phenomenon; it started a long, long time ago.  The examples are everywhere: illegal drugs and building codes are two noxious examples that are long-standing and have widespread public support.  With this memo, Obama is just participating in an old and well-practiced political sport...

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