The Extrajudicial Killing of American Citizens

Seriously, it’s well-worth listening to Rand Paul’s speech in opposition to the nomination of David Barron for U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, which is basically one step below the Supreme Court of the United States. Paul opposed his nomination since Barron was the man that authored memos explaining how the United States government had the legal authority to assassinate American citizens abroad, even if they were not on a battlefield.

The two main points, if I were to distill it down to such:

1. Due process has been abandoned in the name of accusations and a distortion of what imminent attack means. All done in secrecy. And due process is meant for the worst among us. It’s easy to say we need due process for the popular people or the people that look like us and believe the things that we believe, but it’s much harder to do so for those lepers in society.

2. As a candidate, Barack Obama opposed the illegal detention of American citizens without trial or due process, along with his fellow Democrats, under the Bush years.

Now that he is president, he not only still favors the illegal detention of American citizens (and their torture, I would add), but he actually took it a step further and said that we can extrajudicially kill American citizens. And Democrats are right there with him.

How did such a leap happen? How was it supported? If you supported the illegal detention of American citizens and the extrajudicial killing of American citizens under the Bush years and now under the Obama years, then we have a different discussion to have. However, if you opposed it under Bush, but now support it under Obama, what’s wrong with you?

Are you seriously going to let partisanship and the mentality behind “my guy” define and guide you? Or have you jumped through enough mental hoops and rationalizations to not even see this as a problem?

I’m very troubled by everything surrounding this. The concentration of power in the executive branch — that is, one person — is alarming.

Unfortunately, all of this is moot in terms of stopping his nomination, as he was passed through the Senate along party lines. Yay!

Rand Paul

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