Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/6/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Obama memo eliminates due process for some Americans.

This week's Constitutional infringement by the Obama administration comes in the form of a memo that permits him to use lethal force against American citizens overseas without charges, warrants, trials, or any other due process. Although the memo is intended to refer to terrorist targets, the precedent it sets could later include any American, anywhere.

The terrorists aren't using their Constitutional rights anyway...

The terrorists aren't using their Constitutional rights anyway...

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/6/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obama, memo, due process, imminence, drone, strikes, justice department


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - There few Americans who would defend the right of a terrorist to due process, but the memo sets a precedent that could later be expanded to include anyone. That's what's giving Constitutional scholars so much pause.

The memo says that Americans who have affiliated with known terrorist organizations, are planning an imminent attacks on Americans, and who cannot be arrested primarily because doing so would not be feasible, are subject to lethal justice from the air in the form of drone strikes. Such strikes can be conducted at the word of the president or even an unelected justice department official.

This is a violation of the fundamental rights secured by the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. One of the memories of the founding fathers was that of King Charles I, who was executed for treason in 1649 following a bloody civil war in England. Charles made use of a secret court, called the "star chamber" for the room in which it was seated. Charles arrested personal enemies and placed them on secret trials where they were condemned to death, all without public knowledge.

30 years and a century later, the founding fathers added legal protections into the Bill of Rights to guard specifically against such persecutions. Among those rights are speedy public trials, the right to face your accuser, the counsel of an attorney, the right to be judged by a jury of your peers, and finally the burden of proof which is placed on the prosecution.

However, the Obama memo conveniently omits all of that. Obama or an official of his designation may simply make a determination based on scant evidence, or even none at all, and pull the trigger.

Admittedly, few people are going to shed tears for terrorists, particularly those embedded in the ranks of al Qaeda, but the worrisome problem is that the memo leaves open possibility of more strikes against more people, without any due process.

As difficult as it is to like, even those American al-Qaeda who have already been killed were technically entitled to more due process than they received.

Beyond that, there is the precedent this memo sets. For example, the president could label another organization as a terrorist group. Just what it takes to be labeled as such is unclear. Does the proposal mean that a group must be legally ruled a terrorist organization by Congress, or can the president simply declare a group of people to be terrorists?

The next question has to do with imminence, a chiefly military concept that deals with whether or not an enemy is about to attack. An enemy that is poised to strike is legally subject to preemptive attack. However, how can we know that an American who is drinking tea and praying with al Qaeda associates in the deserts of Yemen, is also planning an attack at that very moment?

What constitutes planning? Merely daydreaming about jihad against the Great Satan of America? Purchasing weapons? Forging travel documents to places where Americans are? The memo does not make clear what constitutes imminence.

Finally, the capture of the target must not be feasible, according to the criteria set forth by the memo. Again, how is feasible defined? Is feasible a matter of finances, international cooperation, logistics, or what? Arresting someone who lives down the street from the president can be labeled "infeasible" if the desire is to say as much.

Detractors who are alarmed by the memo are plenty, and not one of them is shedding tears for American terrorists such as Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan who were both killed under these criteria in drone strikes. However, the rights we deny these citizens because we find their affiliations repugnant, can later be denied to those whose offense against their country is less obvious.

What if one day Obama, or a future president decides that a group to which you belong is worthy of such justice? While that's a highly improbable scenario, such things can happen, if not today, certainly in decades. The world changes and groups fall into and out of favor. Today's activists could be considered tomorrow's terrorists. One need only recall that a few decades ago, Osama bin Laden was a close American ally.

The White House has a lot of explaining to do with regards to the memo and it must take steps to ensure appropriate safeguards are developed to protect the right of due process for all Americans, not matter how much we may fear and despise them.

Then again, Obama is a master when it comes to "interpreting" the Constitution.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Houston: First Amendment Does not apply to Christian ministers? Interview with Keith Fournier Watch

Image of As at the tower of Babel, the confusion spreads until no progress is possible.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Houston officials fired a shot across the bow of Christian ministers, pastors and priests who they think may be encouraging their congregations to oppose the city's controversial "bathroom bill." The request is chilling and violates the First Amendment, but it also ... continue reading


167,000 convicted criminal immigrants walk free within the United States Watch

Image of Deportations from the interior of the United States declined 34 percent this year from last.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With both Islamic State and Ebola posing an imminent threat to the United States through people entering the country illegally, it's distressing to note just how lax the nation's deportation laws have become. According to Breitbart, there remain nearly 167,000 ... continue reading


Obama is advancing 'brutal program' of forced abortions in China, lawmaker says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama and his administration are not only ignoring China's totalitarian edict of "one family, one child" policy but are advancing the "brutal program." That's the words of Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J., who) spoke at the Heritage ... continue reading


Four Kurdish terrorists slipped across Obama's open Mexican border, Homeland Security chief admits Watch

Image of Four members the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK, were arrested in September trying to enter the United States illegally from Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The bad news: Four known Kurdish terrorists crossed into the United States. This has been confirmed by Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. The good news: Johnson says that the four were not affiliated with Islamic States. Which is good news, of a sort. ... continue reading


Evangelical tells faithful not to vote for politicians who support homosexual marriage, abortion Watch

Image of An outspoken evangelical, Pastor Jim Garlow played a major role in organizing Christian groups in support of California's anti-gay marriage Proposition 8.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in California stood before his congregation of more than 2,000 and warned his audience against voting for a candidate in who supports gay marriage and abortion. This includes candidates who are republican, including Carl ... continue reading


Obama aides knew more than they let on in 2012 Colombian prostitution scandal Watch

Image of White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Wednesday that President Obama and his advisers did not interfere with the inspector general's investigation.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Obama aides were given information that suggested that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member. The 2012 incident was quickly swept under the rug - but more details have since come to light. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


One in five Americans now on food stamps Watch

Image of For more than two years, the number of Americans receiving food stamps has remained above 46 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

More than a sixth of all Americans are on food stamps for the 35 straight month in a row, data from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Since September of 2011 through July 2014, more than 46 million Americans have ... continue reading


Report reveals Federal drones are already engaged in domestic surveillance Watch

Image of More spying, on you, by your government.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has logged nearly 2,000 hours of drone flights over the continental U.S. on operations unrelated to immigration enforcement since 2011. This means the DHS is spying on Americans with drones, although they are not reporting ... continue reading


Fifth circuit court defends the rights and sanctity of life in Texas! Watch

Image of Governor Rick Perry signed in a law to protect the lives of those who couldn't protect themselves back in July 2013.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The incredible Texas law that shut down nearly all abortion clinics in that state will go into full effect after an October 2 decision by the fifth U.S. circuit court of appeals. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The fifth U.S. circuit court stayed a federal ... continue reading


'No force on Earth can stop us,' President Obama says to immigration activists Watch

Image of The president's speech was heckled at least twice - indicating that the president's strong support among Hispanics may be slipping.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's annual gala, U.S. President Barack Obama had a message to immigration activists in Washington, D.C.: "no force on earth can stop us." The president's speech was heckled at least twice - indicating that ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter