As more details COME TO light on the Department of Justice White Paper, the memo on the legality of drone strikes against American citizens, the little publicized nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director has become a major issue.
Sen. Rand Paul, R.-Ky., has taken a stand against this encroachment of constitutional rights, along with five other senators.
Sen. Paul filibustered the nomination of Mr. Brennan to proclaim his disagreement with the Obama Administration’s position that drone assassinations of American citizens, while on American soil, are legal. Our Constitution requires that no citizen can be “deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” Does the presidential oath of office state that the president is to “preserve, protect, and defend the constitution as long as it is convenient…”? No, the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land and does not allow for exceptions to broaden the power of the government to ignore our basic rights to kill American citizens without due process.
No president or bureaucrat, regardless of party, can ignore our fundamental rights and kill an American citizen without the constitutionally mandated due process of law guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment. The Constitution was written to protect citizens from government. The Eighth Amendment also protects us from “cruel and unusual punishments.” The Supreme Court ruled in Kennedy v. Louisiana that the death penalty for tried and convicted child rapists violates the Eighth Amendment. Does not that protection apply to the assassination of an American citizen via drone on the mere suspicion of terrorism? If the court would consider something of that order to be “cruel and unusual punishment”, one would think it would surely consider a policy as egregious as this to be in violation of the Eighth Amendment. I believe so, and I believe that most of my fellow Americans do as well. This policy is in violation of at least two amendments of the Constitution, and thus I applaud Sen. Paul for his courage on this issue.
Tex Fischer, Youngstown
The writer is chairman of the Teen Conservatives organization in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.