Thursday, May 23, 2013
Assassinating Americans & Memorial Day
The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently admitted that the U.S. government has targeted and killed an American citizen using a drone strike, and has killed three other Americans, to include a sixteen year old boy, in similar drone strikes. While President Obama has made comments and allusions to the drone program on different occasions over the years, some hail this White House approved admission as the first official admission by the government (it should be noted that the former Secretary of Defense previously admitted to targeting and killing an American citizen absent charge, trial, or due process). The DOJ's legal rationale for the claimed power of the executive to kill American citizens who present no imminent threat (as in an actual imminent threat, and not the morally-bankrupt "imminent threat" concept that the DOJ has peddled), remains completely and utterly flawed to the point where its seriousness and honesty must be questioned.
The "official" news of the claimed power to assassinate Americans without charge or trial, on the President's say so alone, comes as we approach Memorial Day weekend. A day when we honor the sacrifices of those Americans who gave everything to defend America, and gave all that they were able to give on behalf of their nation. That certainly includes many who never served in the military, yet who risked greatly and also gave their last breaths to defend the greatest nation ever conceived, from those given the political and military power to make or deny its reality; great Americans like Dr. Martin Luther King, and other activists who took to the streets to demand their rights in the face of a violent government. Yet more traditionally, this day of remembrance is reserved to honor those in the profession of arms. Soldiers have died since man first inhabited this world, and those who have laid down their lives in the struggles of combat have been remembered and honored by every culture and nation that has ever existed on our planet. Warriors have served for a variety of reasons, some forced to by a ruling class after being kidnapped, some out of ideological belief, others out of fear, and some simply for a paycheck or the hope of plunder.
Some very few have laid down their lives to defend liberty, and the rights of their neighbors, against the power-hungry immoral who would endeavor to enslave them from outside their borders, and even from within them. The earliest American fighting men, and truly the greatest generation in all of American history, fought their own tyrannical government on American soil. A government that wielded military violence against the colonial Americans and which was headed by a king who, as all kings do, claimed the power to execute his countrymen by his own decree, unshackled with any need for "due process" or evidence or a court of law. A king gifted in politics, who would work to shape the opinions and justify his actions through the use of priests and other officials, but who ultimately chose to kill, or allowed to live by his "benevolent" grace, those beneath him who he ruled and taxed.
In World War II, another great generation of American fighting men took action in bloody operations against fascists in Germany and Italy. Fascists who, as all fascists do, justified their wielding of military violence against their own countrymen with secular justifications, rather than a reference to the Divine Right of Kings. King or fascist, of course, the result is the same; all power controlled by one man, with no greater power than the ability to execute your own countrymen on your whim alone. The so called Greatest Generation of U.S. fighting men, bled the ground of Europe to restore the liberty of an immoral German population who shamefully allowed their own constitution to be desecrated in broad daylight in front of them, all the while claiming ignorance despite knowing the evil they were committing against their neighbors. Brave American fighting men rescued this undeserving population from Adolf Hitler; a man who used the constitutional processes of Germany to slowly reduce the power of its version of Congress, and to funnel those powers into the executive office (while having the vision to do so even before he occupied that office himself), and finally to steer the parliament to "vote" to give up all of its power to the executive office in the name of emergency and national security risk. As the population of the once lively Germany, with its debates and civil rights organizations and differing journals and lively discourse and free press began to turn, and eventually solidify, into a fascist dictatorship through constitutional means, it was brave American soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen armed with their oaths to the Constitution and the liberty it enshrined, who rescued the German people from its fascist government.
Sadly, the noble who defend liberty and the rights of man against the violent oppressions of government, are few in the history of warfare. Often those who choose the martial profession, do so simply for a paycheck, or out of some unintelligent and unexamined notion of being one of the good guys. These pathetic creatures who often wrongly pass as noble fighting men in the public eye, do not deserve to be honored in the same breath as the one exhaled to recognize the courage and intelligence of warrior scholars who fought tyrannical kingly government during the American Revolution, and who fought tyrannical fascist government during World War II. These military men, making up a great majority of our military today in my experience, deserve no honor this Memorial Day. They are simply pawns collecting a paycheck, making career moves, thinking of themselves rather than their nation, who are unknowingly waiting to be used by a fascist government. Like a ball at the top of a set of stairs offers potential energy to be converted into kinetic energy by any crown-wearing king who would give it a nudge, they stand ready to harm their nation and disgrace their uniforms like never before in American history. They are unready. They do not take our Constitution or their oaths seriously, and they do not have the character that our military places on posters and in recruiting commercials. My experiences make me draw that uncomfortable conclusion. I would love to be wrong, and perhaps I am. Unfortunately I don't think that I am.
For those very few of you great Americans out there proudly serving America, ready to slaughter any enemy who would attack our nation, who took your oath seriously by studying our Constitution and who stand ready to refuse any unlawful order from those within our own borders, please enjoy this Memorial Day with your families. You few are heroes and faithful public servants, and I'm proud to serve with you.