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The Power Claimed by Kings and Tyrants

President Obama has claimed that the president of the United States has the authority to kill U.S. citizens without trial or due process if it thinks that they are an imminent danger to United States national security.

The president stonewalled a federal judge’s order to release its so-called secret research for over a year, claiming that it was so sensitive that if it was released it would cause serious consequences. Recently a summary of its research was leaked to news agencies.

According to Andrew Napolitano, legal consultant for Fox News, says that the leaked memo’s “logic is flawed, its premises are bereft of any appreciation for the values of the Declaration of Independence and the supremacy of the Constitution, and its rationale could be used to justify any breaking of any law by any ‘informed, high-level official of the U.S. government.’”

It’s not just the president who claims the authority for himself, but he claims it for any “high-level” government official who is supposedly “informed.” These officials can “suspend constitutional protections guaranteed to all and kill them without due process whatsoever.”

“This is the power claimed by kings and tyrants,” said Napolitano. “It is the power most repugnant to American values. It is the power we have arguably fought countless wars to prevent from arriving here.”

President Obama now claims this power for the U.S. President and other government officials. It all started when President Obama ordered a drone to fire a missile to kill an American Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, who was affiliated with Al Qaeda. Another drone missile killed al-Awlaki’s young teenage son.

The leaked memo “claims that if an American is likely to trigger the use of force 10,000 miles from here, and he can’t easily be arrested, he can be murdered with impunity,” in order to keep the nation safe.

What is to limit the president’s violation of the U.S. Constitution, which is supposed to guarantee the right to due process and a trial by jury? President Obama is undermining the very constitution he was sworn to uphold and protect? Nothing. The President ignores federal laws against murder, which apply to him also, and just asks the American people to trust him.

The U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has argued that the president’s careful consideration of each target and the narrow use of deadly force are an adequate and constitutional substitute for due process. Even if that were a valid argument, how long would it be before use of extra-judicial killing of alleged terrorists would be expanded to other types of targets? How long will it be before presidential drone killings will be carried out on U.S. soil?

John Adams said in 1792 “There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public.”

Throughout most of history kings and tyrants have claimed the power to summarily execute citizens for any reason. America is pushing aside its supreme law in the name of making the nation safer. Is the United States United States preparing to expand extra-judicial killings?

“As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand will make them objects of universal execration. It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness… This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts.”
The Great Controversy, page 615

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