Don't believe it? Ask his Attorney General, Eric Holder. "The President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland," Holder said. "It's legal and justified in an extraordinary circumstance," he added. (He later excluded "non-combatants" after embarrassing public scrutiny).
So far, only three U.S. citizens have been killed using drones, and they were all in Yemen and suspected terrorists. Our point is not that the government is going to start droning law-abiding citizens and we're not crying over dead terrorists. Our point is this: Why does this administration keep trying to sneak end-runs around the Constitution?
Some see the constantly-widening powers being claimed by the Executive branch as a threat to civil liberties. What happened to our constitutional due process rights?
A leaked Justice Department memo last month was an alarming wake-up call. It set out the legal framework under which the Executive branch can order the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen outside a battleground area.
Many experts agree the reasoning in this memo was so broad and so vague it virtually gave our government unchecked powers to kill.
According to the white paper (a white paper is an authoritative report or guide to help readers understand an issue): "The government has the authority to carry out targeted killings of U.S. citizens without presenting evidence to a judge before the fact or after, and indeed without even acknowledging to the courts or to the public that the authority has been exercised. Without saying so explicitly, the government claims the authority to kill American terrorism suspects in secret."
Eric Holder emphasized that it is unlikely that they would ever use this authority. "The U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so," he said. "As a policy matter, moreover, we reject the use of military force where well-established law enforcement authorities in this country provide the best means for incapacitating a terrorist threat."
But...Holder reserved the right to use drones if deemed necessary.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY., blasted the White House policy as "more than frightening, it is an affront on the constitutional due process rights of all Americans."
We find this latest power grab the most disturbing of all. It's both secretive and suspicious, just like the NDDA Act which allows for the indefinite military detention, without trial, of American citizens. Of course, the President promised he would never actually use that law either.
So why have them? Maybe Obama wouldn't use them, but who knows what the next president might do--or the one after that.
If we, the people, don't safe-guard our constitutional rights while we still have them, they will erode and disappear before our very eyes.
A wise man once said: "...I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people, by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations." --James Madison
"Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you. He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun" (Psalm 37:5-6).
- Fox News Channel: U.S. sends an additional 250 million dollars to Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood amid U.S. military cuts.
- NBC News: North Korea threat of nuclear attack against U.S. not easily dismissed.
- BBC: UN officials say "Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster with 1 million refugees and 90,000 dead.