Welcome to the new 1984
Published: Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Last week it was revealed that the Obama administration would not rule out the use of a drone strike on American citizens on American soil and there was nary a peep out of the liberal media in this country.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was responding in a letter to Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, when he said, “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”
Holder was replying to a question posed by Paul about whether Obama “has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial.” Holder said Paul’s question was “entirely hypothetical” and not likely to occur, but cited the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as the type of incidents that could call for such a response.
The attorney general further said if such an emergency should arise, he would look at the particular facts and circumstances before advising the president on the scope of his authority. Considering Holder’s and the president’s penchant for skirting the law, it would seem this administration would not hesitate to employ drones to strike U.S. citizens for any reason. Obama seems to have a fascination with the unmanned aerial aircraft and has not hesitated to use them in the past on foreign soil.
Paul was not satisfied with Holder’s response and decided on an impromptu 13-hour filibuster over this issue. He pressed Holder to answer the question, “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?” Holder said the answer to that question is “no.” Paul said this answer was satisfactory and then allowed a vote on the nomination of John Brennan to be the new CIA director. You have to hand it to Paul. He did the right thing when many others stood silently on the sidelines. Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, an attorney and Judiciary Committee member, is another senator questioning the administration’s drone program. He told the Washington Examiner last month that the drone policy outlined by the administration is too vague and that the government’s assessment of a situation isn’t always correct. Imagine that. The government makes mistakes.
“If you’re going to regard somebody as presenting an imminent threat of an attack on the U.S. simply because you have concluded that they are an ‘operational leader’ or they are involved in planning an attack in one way or another, you find yourself giving way too much discretion to the government,” Lee said.
The Utah senator further said the administration should release the formal legal analysis that supports its drone program. “We know that in some instances where the government has released its legal analysis, it gets it wrong,” Lee said. Keep the questions coming, Sens. Rand and Lee.
What about the “innocent until proven guilty” part of our rule of law in America? Are we now fast becoming a dictatorship with emphasis on the executive branch of government and judicial be damned?
We believe the fact that we are even having a conversation about armed drones being used to kill American citizens in America is alarming. It’s bad enough they are now being used to spy on us. Welcome to the new 1984.
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