For an administration that claims to be the most “transparent” their officials are anything but. In the latest example of this lack of transparency is the nominee to lead the CIA, John Brennan on the use of drones to kill American citizens during Senate Intelligence Committee hearings.
Answer: “The Administration has not carried out drone strikes inside the United States and has no intention of doing so.”
That is not an answer to the question of “could” the Administration do it. But then in a more direct question: “Could you describe the geographical limits on the Administration’s conduct drone strikes?”
As reported in The Guardian Brennan’s answer was, in essence, there are no geographic limits to this power: “we do not view our authority to use military force against al-Qa’ida and associated forces as being limited to ‘hot’ battlefields like Afghanistan.” He then quoted Attorney General Eric Holder as saying: “neither Congress nor our federal courts has limited the geographic scope of our ability to use force to the current conflict in Afghanistan” (see Brennan’s full answer here).
In a similar question posed to President Obama he replied “that there ‘has never been a drone used on an American citizen on American soil’ – which, obviously, doesn’t remotely answer the question of whether he believes he has the legal power to do so. He added that ‘the rules outside of the United States are going to be different than the rules inside the United States’, but these ‘rules’ are simply political choices the administration has made which can be changed at any time, not legal constraints. The question – do you as president believe you have the legal authority to execute US citizens on US soil on the grounds of suspicions of Terrorism if you choose to do so? – was one that Obama, like Brennan, simply did not answer.”
With the Administrations “assassination by drone” of two American citizens (Anwar al-Aulaqi and his 16 year son) who were nowhere near a battlefield on the mere suspicion of being a possible threats to US interests, is there any wonder these questions are being asked.
Couple this with Congress authorizing indefinite detention without charges and the Bill of Rights guarantee of habeas corpus by the military under the NDAA of those that the Administration feels are a threat you will see why the distrust of the government is growing exponentially.
A federal government that was formed under a Constitution of limited powers has grown into the government that our founders feared and warned us about. It is now more likely that the government will take “our lives, liberty and property” than it is to protect them.
Those in state government that oppose all options our founders gave to us for “arresting the progress evil” are enabling these threats by the federal government by their willful ignorance or their lies and they are no less of a threat to We the People than the statist in the federal government.
When that line in the sand was drawn at Concord and Lexington and sides were chosen those on one side supported a central government violating the people’s rights while on the other side patriots stood in the defense of Liberty. In the modern day equivalent of that line in the sand which side does your state legislator and governor stand?
Are they modern day Tories whose loyalties rest with an ever growing unconstitutional government or are they following in the footsteps of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and North Carolina’s own James Iredell?
If they sound more like those that supported the King regardless of his actions then why would you even listen to them?
What side of that line in the sand will you make your stand? Will you be like the man Thomas Paine wrote about in Common Sense when questioned about the approaching conflict with a tyrannical government who said, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace”?
Please take a moment and visit the Legislative Tracking Page and see what others around the country are doing then look at the Model Legislation Page to download bills that you know should be introduced in our state legislature.
William Kennedy [send him email] is the State Director for the North Carolina Tenth Amendment Center. A strong supporter of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights with special emphasis on State Sovereignty protected by the Tenth Amendment.
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