07 March 2013

fifth

What Rand Paul accomplished with his near-thirteen-hour filibuster is no small matter.  Lines are being drawn in very public ways that call out this administration for its repeated unconstitutional activity.  One point that has been made in the wake of this event is that it is a symbolic act that goes beyond words, since it has become clear that words can be quickly swept under the rug.  When such lines are made with big, bold strokes, it becomes quite clear where people stand.  The old guard of the GOP are emphasizing their own irrelevance and impotence in conducting the business of this nation.  All because one man refused to back down on an issue which has every sensible American greatly concerned about their own federal government.

It is a simple question, on a simple issue, requiring a simple response.  Does the President (and his AG) understand warrantless attacks on non-combative United States citizens who are on United States soil unconstitutional?  Without political roundabouts or double-speak ... without legalize or political-correctness ... without leaving trap doors in your response ... Can we get a simple 'yes' or 'no' on this one, please?  The childish silence coming from the White House again highlights the contempt that this administration has for anyone who would dare question the President.  Further, it demonstrates a disrespect for the United States Senate, which is established as a governing body with equal authority as the Presidency.  Even further still, the President's refusal to issue a straightforward response shows a contempt for the American people and their established Constitution.

There are many issues which are connected to the matter of drone strikes on innocent Americans.  Those of us who watched the filibuster found a number of angles which were presented as Constitutional ramifications surrounding this executive issue.  Let us consider for a moment, the protection against such laws that is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

There is no interpretation of the President's motives of having the option to authorize an attack on non-combative United States citizens on United States soil without a warrant that can lead us to the conclusion that such power is not contrary to this Fifth Amendment.  That any one person in our system of government can be judge, jury and executioner is well beyond the scope of our Constitutional Republic.  Americans are guaranteed the right to due process, which is intended to topple any tyrannical tendencies of a sitting United States President and give rights of liberty to the People.  (So far, this childish President has constructed a childish list of enemies that are simply those who do not agree with his point of view ... all in the name of bipartisanship and diversity, of course.)

The President has said that he does not plan on using this power.  If that is the case, then why guarantee its option?  If our President has no expectation of issuing an attack on innocent American citizens, then why is there such a battle to keep from publicly confirming that fact?  Senator Paul's principled stand was meant to cast light upon this dark situation, and it has created quite the stir in doing so.  The principles which are emerging from the White House are just as clear - they want to secure the right to authorize attacks on United States citizens at their own discretion.  Our great Republic is being forcibly transformed into a terrorist state itself, with a President endowed with dictatorial powers that usurp the government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Senator Paul very poignantly asked: "Is this country a battlefield?"  Although we are currently involved in a silent (but growing louder) civil war for the heart an soul of our nation, this country is not a battlefield.  This country is our homeland, and we are the very citizens that secure its survival and prosperity.  We are the ones who work so that the federal government can have nation to govern.  We are the People who provide our Representative, Senators and Presidents the privilege of serving the greatest Republic which has ever crossed the horizon of this world.  We are not subjects who owe our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to the whims of a President (who has shown a complete lack of tolerance for any who would disagree with him).  We owe our lives and our freedom to that which we have been endowed with by our Creator.  The Constitution serves his desire of life and liberty, and the American Patriot will not bow our nation to any other authority.

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