Can you hear the humming of a lawnmower in the sky? It is a government drone. Your mission is to prevent this unmanned aircraft from droning out your freedom.
Last week, NBC News turned the White House upside-down by revealing a confidential 16-page Department of Justice white paper titled “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qa’ida or An Associated Force.” (A better title: “Justification for Stripping U.S. Citizens of their Natural Rights and Crowning the President King.”)
I read this white paper and I encourage you to read it too. But if you simply do not want to read a treatise justifying murder, I will give you the CliffsNotes version. This paper validates what conservatives and libertarians have been warning the public about for years: The Obama Administration’s international and domestic drone policies are unconstitutional and unethical.
President Obama has used and will continue to use (per this white paper) drones against American citizens unless we speak out and defend our rights.
In September of 2011, the U.S. government used a drone to kill an innocent 16-year-old American boy, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, and his 17-year-old cousin who left their village in Yemen to look for Abdulrahman’s missing father. (And besides American citizens, Obama’s drones have killed scores of innocent civilians abroad compared to single digits of terrorism suspects.)
Setting the Stage: Our President Is Not a King
The founders made the executive branch (President) weak compared to the legislative branch (Congress). The founders wanted checks and balances in the Constitution so that the United States would not collapse like Rome did when greedy emperors began encroaching on individual liberties, inflating the currency and over-expanding the military. The founders understood that one man with absolute power is likely to become a dictator.
The Constitution explicitly gives Congress (not the President) the power to control the purse strings and make all laws. The President’s role is to enforce the budget and laws that Congress creates. Additionally, Congress has the power to determine or “declare” war and the President simply serves as Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy.