I heard noted conservatives Charles Krauthammer and Steve Hayes endorsing the targeted drone killings of the Obama administration. I have to disagree, and I’ll explain why.
As a staunch conservative and foreign policy hawk, I must admit a slight amount of discomfort taking the side of the ACLU against other conservatives. But it’s not the first time I’ve done something like this.
Waterboarding, indefinite detention, and other tactics? I’m okay with that. I’m not even completely against targeted drone killings. But not against American citizens.
Charles Krauthammer cited the Civil War as a precedent for killing American citizens without due process of law. This, he said, is a war just like that was. These American citizens are making war against the United States.
Kind of. Not exactly the same, though. This is not a battlefield and the soldiers are not marching into Gettysburg. I think when it comes to American citizens, unless there is an armed, shooting insurrection that simply has to be met with an armed, shooting government, they should be captured and put up for trial. Non-citizens have no such rights.
They’re ignoring human nature. Power is intoxicating. Why does Obama like being able to target American citizens when he was so against Bush simply detaining enemy combatants who are citizens of other countries? Because he likes power. It’s no more complicated than that.
You conservatives who like this – imagine one day the government targeting a future Rush Limbaugh as an enemy combatant. Then what are you going to say? Oh, you say, that will never happen. Not at once, of course. But baby step by baby step we give the government more and more power and we give the President more and more independent discretion without being checked by legislatures or courts – then what? It’s what has been happening for the last 100 years.
And all you liberals who are upset at this? Don’t you see the connection between the concept of giving the government increasing power over our property, increasing restrictions on our liberty, and then giving it power over life? The logical extension of the line of thinking that lets Obama make immigration law without Congress allows him to deprive citizens of life without due process of law.
Maybe you’d like to reconsider this concept of a “living, breathing constitution” that bends to the popular notions of the day. This is a slippery slope. Where are you going to draw the line?
I draw the line a little further back than Krauthammer and Hayes, I guess.
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