by R.F. Goggin /PPJ Gazette New World Reporter
(NWR) – After reading only a few excerpts of a recent speech by the U.S. Attorney General at Northwestern University law school in Chicago, I find myself at odds with his justifications of the murder of Anwar al-Awlaki (an American citizen), five months ago – via a drone strike by the U.S. Government.
What struck me as being most outrageous and uncomfortable about Holder, was his stating:
“The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process..”
The problem for me with the above statement, even if one doesn’t consider how the Attorney General chose to hair-split the words of the U.S. Constitution, is that ‘due process’ or any legal process for that matter, was not in fact exercised in this case by the Obama administration. And since it is that Congress has not yet to my knowledge declared war on the country of Yemen, then what any fair-minded American must conclude actually took place in this instance was the absolute assassination of an individual of which the Constitution of United States had undoubtedly granted protection to.
According to Webster’s dictionary, ‘due process’ is defined:
: a course of formal proceedings (as legal proceedings) carried out regularly and in accordance with established rules and principles —called also procedural due process
: a judicial requirement that enacted laws may not contain provisions that result in the unfair, arbitrary, or unreasonable treatment of an individual —called also substantive due process
Of course, without the three words which the Obama administration has hitherto been so reluctant to utter: ‘War On Terror’, which for all intents and purposes – gives carte blanche these days to the U.S. Government to commit terrorist attacks itself by virtue drone strikes anywhere it sees fit, then Holder’s entire presentation before a throng of law students would not have had a leg to stand on. So, while in my view, even as the Attorney General nonsensically rejected the idea that the Constitution’s due process protections require the President to get permission from a federal court before taking lethal action upon an American citizen, he nonetheless went on to say:
“When such individuals take up arms against this country and join al-Qaida in plotting attacks designed to kill their fellow Americans, there may be only one realistic and appropriate response. We must take steps to stop them in full accordance with the Constitution.”
Although I am admittedly blue-collar and as far as can be from an aspiring lawyer; such as those eagerly in attendance to the patronizing travesty of Holder’s words, at the heart of the man’s argument, I must nonetheless, sadly enough, poignantly arrive at an American legal conundrum for me. That being, how one can both reject the applicability of the Constitution and claim to be in accordance with it at the same time? As far as I can determine at least, the words ‘legally or not’, seem to have been profoundly omitted from such a frighteningly simplistic assessment of the deed in question.
If the U.S. Federal Government does not consider the Constitution (ratified and adopted by 50 American States) to be a binding legal document, as it clearly did not in the case of al-Awlaki, then what if anything is to stop its military drones from also seeking out supposed terrorist targets in the hills of Idaho someday?
Shouldn’t it stand to reason that assassinations of American citizens anywhere, might only serve to perpetuate the inevitably of future American born terrorists; or the eventual elimination of suspected American citizen terrorists – on U.S. soil?
What I find equally disturbing as possible drone attacks on American citizens within the U.S. itself, is why it is that the bulk of the American people are content to condone or simply ignore the fact that because of a more than decade-old terrorist attack on our homeland in 2001 (as tragic as it obviously was), that we seemingly have become a nation forever freed from any manner of accountability to commit cowardly acts of murder upon those opposed to our geopolitical policies, or who may be unhappy with our very existence (even before they have committed any crime) to this day? If as Americans, we choose not to hold our government responsible to the very the law of the land, and require our leaders to present evidence for their offenses upon individuals in a separate but equal court of law, then why will the citizens whom they are supposed to represent be inclined to themselves act within the law?
According to Holder: “Some have called such operations ‘assassinations.’ They are not, and the use of that loaded term is misplaced. Assassinations are unlawful killings..”
Despite any public servant whomsoever asserting that there was no assassination which took place under President Obama, once it is that a person (or a country) starts to secretly go after people by name in order to eliminate them, could there be possibly be some other word in the whole of the English language to better define such an act?