Rule of law

by Fred Nagel

Most US citizens don’t know whether to cheer the assassination of US citizen and cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, or not. Apart from the fact that he was a Muslim and wore religious garb, we just don’t know too much about him.

What did he say or write that brought on the death penalty? There was a time in our nation’s history when free speech was protected. In fact, it says in the First Amendment of our Constitution that our government will never “abridge the freedom of speech.” But Awlaki got blown up for what he said. When did things change?

The Fifth Amendment talks about something else, due process. That means charges, trails and legal proceedings before the state can murder its own. The Sixth Amendment guarantees a citizen’s right to a “public trial by an impartial jury.” Muslims don’t get these rights now?

The US media credits President Obama with “authorizing the request” to kill Awlaki. Who requested this murder? Where in our Constitution does it allow some agency or committee to “request” the assassination of a US citizen? Does that secret request go straight to our Commander in Chief? And what would our founding fathers have had to say about a President who gives his OK to cold blooded murder without charges, without a trail, without anything really.

Was there a law passed making our President a judge, jury and executioner all in one? And is there anything left of our Constitutional rule of law?