Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/6/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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...


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

2/6/2013 (2 years 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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Politics & Policy

'We cannot succumb to fear': U.S. joins France in fight against ISIS Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack obama has decided to join forces with France in eliminating ISIS.


Following a meeting with French President François Hollande, United States President Barack Obama has proclaimed "total solidarity" with France. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama believes the declaration of solidarity, alongside his trip to Paris for ... continue reading

U.S. throws doors open to Syrian refugees - despite identity of Paris terrorist suspect as disguised refugee Watch

Image of It's not yet known how many more additional refugees the U.S. may take in beyond the originally state 10,000. Two senior administration officials say they are seeking ways to take in even more.


Even after it was learned that a key terrorist in the recent attacks in Paris, 25-year-old Ahmed Almuhamed, snuck into France after he was rescued from a sinking shop off the coast of Greece posing as a Syrian refugee, the Obama administration continues to ... continue reading

Supreme Court to hear arguments over Texas abortion clinic ruling Watch

Image of Lawmakers have put major restrictions of abortion since 2010, but none as far-reaching and strict as Texas' HB2.


A measure passed in the State of Texas, HB2 in 2013 has led to the closure of half of that state's abortion clinics. Now, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over the Texas law that has been among the most crucial in the ongoing national dialogue regarding ... continue reading

PUT TERRORISTS IN COLORADO? Law enforcement officials question Guantanamo Bay closure Watch

Image of Obama's Defense Secretary recently said that around half of the remaining 112 prisoners at Gitmo must be locked up


United States President Barack Obama has long promised to close Guantanamo Bay, a holding facility for suspected terrorists at a U.S. naval facility in Cuba. The question, as posed by dozens of law enforcement officials in a letter to the president . where do ... continue reading

What has the United States Government done with $5.9 billion? Watch

Image of American taxpayers gave the United States government $5.9 billion in foreign military financing last how was it distributed?


Each year Americans complain about paying taxes, much of which is distributed to foreign military aid. So where have all the funds gone? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the United States government's Foreign Assistance report, $5.9 billion was directed ... continue reading

You won't believe how Trump and Carson have become a disrupting force in the Republican Party! Watch

Image of Donald Trump and Ben Carson's popularity has other Republican presidential candidates sweating.


Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson and Donald Trump have disrupted Republican politicians and have many questioning where the United States is headed should either become the next American President. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Members of the ... continue reading

Fourth Presidential debate asks the hard questions Watch

Image of The Fourth Republican Debate gave presidential candidates several opportunities to shine -but who took advantage of the spotlight?

By Kenya Sinclair (California Network)

The fourth Republican presidential debate took place at the Milwaukee Theater Tuesday night. Candidates were asked the big questions ranging from how they felt about protester demands for a $15 minimum wage to the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants in the ... continue reading

Court halts Obama's executive orders with Obama's own words! What were they? Watch

Image of Obama's own words were used to stop him from changing the law as he pleased.

By David Drudge (California Network)

A federal appeals court has used Obama's own words to halt his growing use of executive orders that allow him to rule by edict. Their decision specifically halts his edict that shields 5 million illegal immigrants from imminent deportation and that he does not have the ... continue reading

Social Security administration hits unbelievably new record in spending - You won't believe the numbers! Watch

Image of This latest figure represents a substantial increase from the $910,394,720,000 the Social Security Administration spent in fiscal 2014.


Hitting a record $944,143,000,000 in fiscal 2015, the Social Security Administration reached an all-time in spending. The inclusive payments for this bureau include payments for Social Security and disability benefits in addition to Supplemental Security Income ... continue reading

Obama's executive order gets blocked and why that's a disaster for thousands of Catholic families Watch

Image of President Barack Obama's plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants falls flat.


On Monday night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a lower court did not "abuse its discretion" when it claimed President Barack Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration were unlawful. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obama's executive ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • St. John Berchmans: Saint of the Day for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, November 26, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 6:12-28
12 These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
68 Bless the Lord, dew and snow-storm, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must realise ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2015 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at ... Read More