Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“It will require many long years of self-education until the subject can turn himself into the citizen. A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper. He must free himself from the habit, just as soon as something does not please him, of calling for the police.”     Ludwig von Mises,    Liberalism

September 30, 2011

Quote of the Day: Americans Cheer the Assassination of the Fifth Amendment Edition

by Stephen Littau

Glenn Greenwald writes in response to the overall positive reaction of the drone assassination of American born Anwar al-Awlaki:

What’s most amazing is that its citizens will not merely refrain from objecting, but will stand and cheer the U.S. Government’s new power to assassinate their fellow citizens, far from any battlefield, literally without a shred of due process from the U.S. Government. Many will celebrate the strong, decisive, Tough President’s ability to eradicate the life of Anwar al-Awlaki — including many who just so righteously condemned those Republican audience members as so terribly barbaric and crass for cheering Governor Perry’s execution of scores of serial murderers and rapists — criminals who were at least given a trial and appeals and the other trappings of due process before being killed.

From an authoritarian perspective, that’s the genius of America’s political culture. It not only finds way to obliterate the most basic individual liberties designed to safeguard citizens from consummate abuses of power (such as extinguishing the lives of citizens without due process). It actually gets its citizens to stand up and clap and even celebrate the destruction of those safeguards.

Sadly, among those that cheered this assassination of an American citizen are none other than pro war on terror libertarians Neal Boortz and Larry Elder. When Boortz heard that Ron Paul and Gary Johnson condemned the assassination, he called that notion “a bunch of horse squeeze.” After playing Ron Paul’s very well reasoned response explaining his objections, Larry Elder said that Paul “doesn’t get it” and “we are at war.”

I’m sorry gentlemen, I wasn’t aware that there was a “war on terror” exception to due process. But hey you guys are both attorneys who claim to hold the Constitution in high regard so what the hell do I know?

If there is anything our government does well its convicting people, putting them in prison, and/or executing them. If the government really had the goods on this guy, there’s virtually no chance he would have been found not guilty.

President Obama not only ordered the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki but the Fifth Amendment as well.

Related: Obama: Judge, Jury, and Executioner in Chief

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3 Comments

  1. Sad, but predictable.

    Of course, I’m not at all sad to see al-Awlaki get what is most likely coming to him. But government precedent expands. al-Awlaki was probably a “slam-dunk” case of known terrorist who was making war on the US. But the suspension of due process doesn’t just remain on the slam-dunk cases, it eventually expands to the marginal case. And that’s a bad precedent to even entertain.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — September 30, 2011 @ 12:43 pm
  2. Agreed. It’s my understanding that there was a second American that was assassinated but I haven’t heard too much about that.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — September 30, 2011 @ 1:54 pm
  3. I am not sorry that al-Awlaki is dead. I believe many people will be safer because of it. But assassination of an American citizen by the government is unlawful, unconstitutional. Those who believe in the rule of law cannot accept this deed as being lawful.

    Comment by Phil — October 1, 2011 @ 4:14 am

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