Inside our insular little lives we would like to believe many naive things about our government that fall a far distance from the truth. We would like to believe that our elected officials “care” about American citizens and what’s in our best interests. Above all else we would like to believe that the selfless pursuit of our interests guides their actions. Long ago our founding fathers determined that their government fell far short of promoting and protecting their interests and they risked all to free us from the chains of monarchical rule and in the process devised our Constitutional Republic, which they felt offered the best hope for securing the blessings of liberty. They knew that power corrupts, so a system of checks and balances was carefully fitted into their work, ending with the The Constitution of the United States
Americans receive much ribbing and derogatory press about our reverence for The Constitution, because many in the free world function well without a written constitution. Yet for many Americans, myself included, The Constitution stands as the keystone providing the center stone support in our arch of freedom. It’s importance lies so central to our belief system that the very first act passed by the US Senate on May5, 1789 was the Oath Act, requiring members and civil servants to swear to support The Constitution. We require elected officials, judges and every member of our armed forces to swear an oath that they will defend The Constitution.
The Constitution lies at the center of this alarming acceptance of expanding executive branch power. In recent days the press buzzes with stories about the Obama Justice Department’s memo (here), which lays out broad power for the executive branch to target American citizens to be summarily executed, based on their “intelligence” (no one has to even double check that info by the way). So, we accept the premise that one man (it need not even be the President according to this memo) can arbitrarily decide a particular American citizen poses such a threat to the Republic that he/she can be executed without needing to prove his/her guilt. Keep in mind too that in 2011 the Obama administration not only executed alleged terrorist, Anwar al Awlaki, but in a separate attack a couple weeks later they executed his 16 year-old son, Abdulrahman al Awlaki too, who was also an American citizen. The Huffington Post link: here. Sure many people will just shrug their shoulders and brush off any concern about this by glibly asserting something along the lines, “oh what the hell, little terrorists grow up to be big terrorists.” However how you can square that with our reverence for the law and our bedrock principle that every citizen has equal protection under the law and a right to a jury trial if accused of a crime with targeted assassinations carried out on flimsy grounds by an executive branch without any checks or balances, nor even Congressional oversight, well, it completely escapes me, because I don’t believe you can in good faith assert both things
Now couple this power to assassinate our fellow citizens at will with a government that accepts “spin” as an acceptable political tool to be used brazenly and without any concern for the law to secure political advantage and you are placing this power into the hands of people who lack character and truly aren’t trustworthy (do you trust liars in your life). And then this can be pushed one step further because in the Clinton years the press glowed on about getting two for one, so the American people elected Bill Clinton, but by virtue of her supposed greatness, they cloaked Hillary with executive power too. So, we had a wife, who was not elected and not legally accountable, wielding the power of the presidency. I, for one, am thankful drone technology was not in our arsenal back then, when the “smartest woman in the world” was running amok without any checks on her power and so far Michelle Obama has remained in a more traditional First Lady role, urging us to exercise more and eat healthier food.
The US Army embarked on this crazy path too, encouraging what they dubbed the “command team” concept. They wanted commanders’ spouses (almost always wives) to run the family support activities, thus giving them a quasi-official status and allowing many of them to run amok wearing their husband’s rank to push their weight around all volunteer activities and also to stick their noses in personal family problems, where they had no training, no accountability and yet often these very situations could have resulted in UCMJ action against the solider. Enlisted wives were allowed entry into volunteer activities if the commanders wives allowed it. Granted most commanders wives weren’t tyrants, but as we moved around the Army I met a few and boy, one time dealing with that type of officer’s wife was more than enough. I’ve read so much press about Holly Petraeus, champion of the lowly soldiers, and I’ve often wondered which type of commander’s wife she was, because her Daddy was a general and GEN Petraeus moved through the political channels, not the tough command route, to get to the top.
Do you believe an administration that embraced sleazy players like James Carville to propagate lies and slander on political opponents would hesitate to create a file of lies to attack an American citizen they deemed a “threat” to their political survival? Someday we may get the answers to that question. I remain ever hopeful that truth will triumph. And I also remain hopeful that Americans will wake up and realize that just a cursory glance at the morally bankrupt types we elect to Washington should have us demanding more checks and balances and definitely more definitive proof that an American citizen is a terrorist other than a file compiled by nebulous government flunkies who have predetermined that the “terrorist” is guilty just by association and no clear cut proof is required of what terrorist activities the person plotted or participated in – only that they believe the person is ideologically aligned with that cause. Keep in mind this President, when a senator, called US soldiers terrorists and has made other unsettling stereotyping type remarks about various groups of American citizens, while refusing to call actual acts of terrorism as such. Yet he shows no hesitation at secretly assassinating people from his hit list, compiled by our oh so efficient intelligence services or political operatives or actually we don’t know how that hit list is arrived at, but who cares, right? In the meantime we’re supposed to accept their word that this 16 year old deserved to be assassinated and in the words of former Obama press secretary, Robert Gibbs, “he should have [had] a more responsible father” (quote from the above Huffington post article) . No other explanation or justification seemed necessary and we never questioned the Obama administration further. Scary times we live in where lies now serve as well as the truth and no one even murmurs a protest.