"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The United States Needs a Concentration Camp Board

If we're going to keep sending American men, women, and children to concentration camps, we need a better form of due process for it.

This is essentially what David Medine and Eliza Sweren-Becker stated in a recent article they wrote in a publication produced by Government Executive Media Group.  Except they weren't talking about sending Americans to concentration camps, which the United States Army and President Roosevelt did to 70,000 American citizens while the Supreme Court of the United States justified the camps, and while Americans cheered the camps, and while the ACLU tacitly approved of them through silence.

No, these authors were instead talking about assassinating Americans.  Putting names on a list.  Hunting them.  Finding them.  And killing them.  They weren't talking about taking liberty without due process of law.  The subject of their article concerns taking American life without due process of law.

The article pawns itself off as concern for the rights and safety of Americans, much as tyrannical American laws often are deceptively named in order to appear at first glance to be the opposite of what they actually are.  Medine and Sweren-Becker could not have written a more tyrannical justification for outright fascism in America.  Their recent article is just one more development in a narrative that has been crafted for years now, and which will have the result (if not the goal) of institutionalizing war on the American people.

They do this by employing two key government fallacies in this manufactured debate. 

First is the fallacy that the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution does not require judicial process before the government can assassinate an American.  This staggering claim was offered up by Attorney General Eric Holder during his campaign covering law school campuses, where he attempted to defend his agency's utterly embarrassing defense of government assassination of United States citizens.

The second fallacy is the calculated decision to avoid using the word "treason" in any legal context, to describe the reasoning behind assassinating Americans.  This second fallacy, as I will demonstrate below, is the vital component of the dishonest narrative that has led to the Alice-In-Wonderland claim that Americans can be killed by their government without being sentenced by a jury of their peers, even when they are not actively and imminently presenting a threat to anybody.

Based on these two falacious and un-American points in a manufactured narrative, the authors of the article state:

We must seize the opportunity to institutionalize a more transparent and dispassionate process, defend the hallmarks of due process, and affirm that neither the executive branch nor U.S.-born terrorists are outside the law. We recommend a fine-tuned version of the second approach raised by President Obama: an independent, executive branch review panel designated to assess the evidence against proposed targets and make non-binding recommendations to the President as to whether the targeting is appropriate before efforts are made to kill the targets.

The authors recommend that we institutionalize the practice of putting Americans on a list much more consequential than the No Fly list, then hunt them down, locate them, and then kill them on the spot without a single day in court or a jury of peers.

David Medine and Eliza Sweren-Becker advocate an institutionalized No Life list for Americans.  They claim that their recommendation seeks to "affirm that neither the executive branch nor U.S.-born terrorists are outside the law" but, in truth, they seeks to institutionalize the executive branch as outside the law in the most terrifying way possible.

Let's turn to the first fallacy.  That the Fifth Amendment, which states that the government cannot deprive a person of "life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," does not guarantee judicial process.  We do not need to show the errors of Holder's claim here in order to demonstrate the absolute illegality of the American assassination program.  It's not essential to point out that the Sixth Amendment, right after the Fifth Amendment, continued with "[In] all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury..."  Perhaps that was simply a coincidence?  Perhaps taxpayers can abolish the judicial third branch of government's role altogether if Holder's assertion is correct that due process does not mean judicial process.  If he is correct, there is no need for time consuming court proceedings.  All that government need do is have a process, put somebody on a list, and then deprive them of life, liberty, or property.  No need for lawyers to argue two sides to convince an impartial jury.

Of course Holder's first fallacy is disgustingly wrong on its face.  It is also a false equivalency as "due process of law" does not mean a choice between, a) a President unilaterally choosing which Americans he's going to kill, or b) mere "judicial process."  The judiciary having a process does not itself equate to due process of law.  What is required is the open trial and jury of peers guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.  Carefully selected judges in a secret court rubber stamping kill orders might equate to "judicial process" but such "oversight" most certainly would not equate to due process of law.

But let's assume Holder is correct that due process of law does not mean judicial process with an open jury trial.  Let's assume the two Government Executive Media Group authors are actually on to something with their recommendation that we come up with some "better form of due process" before picking off American men, women, and children from the sky utterly unbeknownst to them or their families.

Wherever would we find some clue as to the due process of law required before government can take the life of Americans through aerial assassination?  This brings us to the second fallacy of the DefenseOne propaganda piece, and it is the most important fallacy.

The second fallacy is refusing, indeed intellectually bending over backwards, to honestly define the accused crime the government is talking about institutionalizing new "due process of law" for.  The crime they will not label in any actual legal context or even in an embarrassing secret memo written by a legally educated sell out, is the crime of treason.

There are only three crimes listed in our Constitution.  Of those three crimes, the Constitution details the due process required within its own text, for only one singular crime.  That crime is treason.

Treason has throughout history been the favored justification of despots and kings to murder and oppress their own countrymen, and so our students-of-history Founders wisely defined treason and then stated the due process required for it, within the very text of the Constitution itself where it could not as easily be meddled with.  Of course that does not mean that text can't simply be ignored.

Treason is defined in Article Three, Section Three of our Constitution, stating "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

Every American targeted for assassination, we are told once the operation is made public, is a person who is suspected of making war on the United States and presenting a threat to America.  Plotting the shoe bomber attack, or being linked to others who are thought to want to attack America.  Why then are they not labeled suspected traitors?  Their suspected actions most certainly fall squarely into the definition of treason.  But instead of labeling them appropriately, they are referred to as "enemy combatants" rather than as accused traitors.  The reason is because it is crystal clear what the required due process of law is for suspected American traitors.  Not surprisingly, it includes an open trial but it additionally (beyond the due process of law the Sixth Amendment already requires before life can be taken by the government) places an increased burden of proof hurdle on the government not required for other crimes.

Article Three continues after defining treason, stating: "No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed - See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment6.html#sthash.7cK5Tdjj.dpuf
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed - See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment6.html#sthash.7cK5Tdjj.dpuf

Not only does the due process of law include an open court and jury, as is required by our Sixth Amendment before life or liberty can be taken from Americans by their government, but it requires a confession or testimony from two witnesses to the act of treason.  That's a high hurdle of due process of law.  It is no wonder why some in government do not like this inconvenient protection of the rights of Americans found in our Constitution.

No drone oversight board, as easily corruptible as any other part of government, will change the fact that 1) Americans believed to be plotting violence on the United States are believed to be committing the crime of treason, 2) the life, liberty, and property of Americans cannot be taken by our government without the due process of law, 3) the due process of law required for taking life is an open trial and an impartial jury, and 4) even if you disagree with the third point, the due process of law required for suspected traitors means an open jury trial with the even higher burden of proof of the testimony of two witnesses to a treason act or confession.

So no drone oversight board will ever lawfully justify assassinating Americans.  Ever.

Neither will any secret FISA court-like rubber-stamp judicial machine be able to lawfully impose death on Americans without the say so of a jury, even though the nightmare scene of sycophants in black robes issuing secret orders in a secret place might be providing the "judicial process" of Holder's false equivalency.  Not even that judicial process can even remotely pass constitutional muster.

What is required to punish treason, and to provide the due process of law, is an impartial jury to make this pronouncement once there has been a confession or the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act of treason.

There is no debate, other than a manufactured one by those who wish to completely and irrevocably destroy the very essence of America and the rule of law over the rule of men.

Those like David Medine and Eliza Sweren-Becker who, by wanting to institutionalize the killing of innocent Americans (innocent until proven guilty) using the machinery of war (drones carrying bombs and missiles) are guilty of adhering to the enemies of America.

It is no wonder that they are uncomfortable bringing up treason.  Because they are enemies of America, and a case can certainly be made that their article is itself treasonous, as it adheres to those who wish to use military weapons to kill innocent Americans, and their propaganda no doubt provides them aid and comfort.

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

That these two individuals would seek to institutionalize the unconstitutional murder of innocent Americans through an institutionalized fascism on par with any in history, while yet claiming they are are championing the rights of Americans, is not surprising given a brief introduction to their backgrounds.  In their propaganda piece they offer up the Privacy & Civil Liberties Board (PCLOB) as a role model for the "oversight" they seek, and yet that executive agency board is not without controversy.

The Government Executive Media Group has this to say about one of the article writers:

David Medine started full-time as Chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on May 27, 2013. Previously, Mr. Medine was an Attorney Fellow for the Security and Exchange Commission and a Special Counsel at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The PCLOB the article lobbies should be providing "oversight" to the murder of Americans has so far failed to reign in NSA abuse (to include getting top NSA officials to be reprimanded for committing felonies by lying to Congress), and the track record of the SEC is probably not quite the greatest given the rampant abuses of the financial sector in recent history and today.

The Government Executive Media Group also has this to say about the other writer:

Eliza Sweren-Becker is an intern at PCLOB and a student at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government.

Of course Tony Carr, who has offered up this treasonous article on his blog and also feigns concern over constitutional violations (while refusing to debate me publicly on his previous claim that he thinks government can violate constitutional rights without amendment if it thinks it is acting in accordance with the will of 51% of Americans), is also a student at Harvard Law School with an obviously insatiable desire to build political power and get a seat at the power table.  It is no wonder he chose this article to buttress his "concern" over violation and to express his desire for "oversight."

Smoke and mirrors, deep financial and government connections, a track record of failing Americans and lying about it despite a for-public-consumption charge of seeking oversight and accountability.  Propaganda for a political purpose.

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