Are We Really Awake? (update: link to further discussion)

Okay, so I’ve mostly avoided reading what my fellow conservatives are saying about the death of al whatz’its.  Mostly because we all agree that it’s a good thing that the terrorist is dead, American or not.  And partly because I don’t agree with most people and find, to my shock, that I actually agree with . . . ugh . . . Ron Paul and *double ugh* the ACLU.  There I said it.  Anyway, so I dropped a couple comments here and there, and no one seemed to really understand what I was saying or why, so I just shrugged it off until I read our dear Silverfiddle’s post that had a quick comment on it.  We went back and forth, and then he declared a ceasefire, suggesting via email that we each post on the topic so we could have a good-natured inter-blog debate (link to his post).

First, let me repeat that our guys (or girls, let that be understood throughout) killing a terrorist, American citizen or not, is always a good thing.  Let me also say, because I’ve not posted on this in a long time, that I don’t really want to know what our guys do when it comes to keeping us safe.  I can “handle the truth,” but I’m not one of those “transparency” freaks who salivates every time the hack rags publish our national security secrets.  I don’t care what our guys do on foreign battlefields for the flag; the military has its own code, disciplinary structure, etc.  Waving our dirty laundry around for the world to sniff is just not my thing (thus my anger surrounding the Abu Ghraib idiocy was directed more at the moron who took photos and the one who leaked them than at our troops).  People who worry about whether prisoners of war have internet access and can watch Dancing with the Stars obviously have no family members who’ve been to war, been held captive, been tortured (really tortured, not just made to look silly).  I have no time for those people.  In other words, I could care less about the “rights” of anyone, American or not, who joins the ranks of our nation’s declared enemy, who is a traitor to America.  That person, those persons, are exactly the same as the rest of the radical Islamist terrorists.  Exactly.

The rights I care about are ours, those granted us in our Constitution.  Those deliberately withheld in that glorious document of “negative liberties” from the federal government, in this case, from the executive branch.  If you read the Constitution (and I know anyone reading this has done so, more than once. And recently), you know that nowhere in that document is the executive branch granted the right to issue death warrants on American citizens.  No where.  It’s not there.  There’s no if the citizen is really evil clause, no if the citizen has killed “x” number of people exemption, not in any circumstance.  And the founders knew a thing or two about traitors.  Yet they still didn’t vest in one person, not even the president, the power to try, convict, sentence, and hang (or otherwise execute).

We know why they didn’t.  They didn’t trust one person, they trusted the people.  They knew from personal experience what tyranny looked like, how it manifested . . . and how to keep it at bay.  And we know something that even they didn’t, we know about progressivism, about the insidious baby steps toward tyranny.  We pride ourselves in having awakened, and rightly so, we have.

But suddenly, when it comes to terrorism, we . . . what? forget? Fall back asleep?  We’ve spent decades, personally, letting this go and that.  Not seeing or not wanting to see where it will lead.  Oh dear, you really find the word “God” offensive?  Well, okay, I won’t say that.  Oh my, I didn’t know my American flag offended you, I’ll not fly it.  And don’t get indignant here, that’s exactly, exactly, what we did before we’d finally had enough.  How do you think we’ve gotten here?  It’s been bit by bit, progressively.  Little things we’d concede so we didn’t make a fuss or upset someone or infringe on their rights.  That we were willingly giving up ours didn’t occur to us until recently, when we finally woke up and looked around in horror at what was happening to our beloved country, to our flag, to our God, to our society and culture, to ourselves.

This didn’t happen overnight, it happened slowly, over time.  Give this up, get used to it.  Okay, good, that worked.  Push more.  We are seeing the same thing happen already with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  Now, actually more quickly than I imagined, we are seeing that military chaplains will be marrying same sex couples.  How long does anyone really think it will be before this is used to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act?  Whether you support gay marriage or not, the process is the same as always.  Build a starter home (as with that health care monstrosity, which is nothing more than a “starter home” on the way to socialized medicine), then keep creeping until . . . . well, until.  This is how the people who have taken over our nation work.  We know this.

Usually.

So why don’t we see it when it’s the same process, the same creep, in “national security”?  We laugh, heartily, when MO babbles about how obesity is really a national security “threat” because that’s absurd.  That’s groping pandering, hoping to hit a nerve they can’t possibly understand.  But we do nothing about the TSA’s clearly unconstitutional insistence on humiliating Americans, literally sliding their thug hands under our breasts, into our vaginal area (and they are thorough according to Miss USA ).  Molesting our children, while we try to teach them never to let anyone touch them “there.”  You know the stories.  But we comply.  We know this will be rolled out to malls, trains, subways, sporting arenas, etc., and we don’t like it, but we comply.

I know I seem to be rambling off topic, but it’s all one. Here’s what we know for a fact: we give up our freedoms, no one can take them from us.  Yet.

So our founding fathers could have made any form of government they wanted, could have given any, and yes all, power to the head of state.  They didn’t.  Indeed, they worked hard to make sure that there are three branches of government, three equal branches.  They could have created a monarchy, a dictatorship, a democracy, a theocracy, anything at all.  But they made a democratic republic, they rested as much power as they could in the people, and what they couldn’t rest with us, they made damn sure was checked, rechecked, balanced, and rebalanced amongst the three branches.

That wasn’t an accident.  It was a guard against tyranny.

Our Constitution is under constant assault by progressives and has been for a hundred years, but that’s ramped up in the past ten or twenty and is in hyper-drive over the past three years.  We know this.

Until it’s a matter of national security and terrorism.

What do you think our founding fathers would say if they knew we had given (and we did give it) an American president the power–completely unchecked and on his own authority, by his own guidelines–to issue death warrants on American citizens?  Do you think they’d look at the evil that is Islamofascism and make “an exception”?  I don’t.  In fact, I suspect that they would say this is precisely the time that we hold our freedoms most dear, that this is the time when we are most susceptible to tyranny.  I suspect that if they knew, too, what has happened with progressives, how they work, how they’ve damaged our society and culture and the sound republic they gave us, that they would tell us to stand firm, hold fast, and not relinquish our rights and freedoms–and with them ourselves–to the hand of an increasingly tyrannical government.

We in the TEA Party like the quote:  “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.”  What about a president, one man (or woman, one day), with the power to issue death warrants on his (or her) citizens?  Does anyone really believe this won’t be used, if not in the near-term then one day, against anyone that president deems an “enemy”?

This isn’t about terrorism.  It isn’t about Islamofascism.  This is about America, our Constitution, our republic.  Our freedom, and one day, our very lives.

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.Update:  Just a Conservative Girl has posted on this topic, as well.  She makes an excellent case.  She’s also posted at Potluck a comprehensive summary of both “sides” and added more insightful commentary.  Check it out.

Also read BBCW’s important post on this issue; he discusses the MIAC report’s definition of domestic “extremists” (hint: it’s you. And me.). 

RightHandMan over at Sentry Journal has also chimed in: read it here.

Another blogger buddy has chimed in, too.  Check it out over at Race Relations.

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25 thoughts on “Are We Really Awake? (update: link to further discussion)

  1. you're right. you're completely right. after everything that has happened in our country in the last three years, we need to be even more vigilant than before.

    remember that blog post from, i think, last year, where i said i worried whether we'd even have elections in 2012? and how you-know-who practically skewered me and told me i was the same as a truther or a birther, or whatever, because i didn't provide any proof. you know, for a fear, which isn't rational in the first place, but, that's beside the point. well, looky here now! the president has bypassed congress how many times? he's expressed a desire to be a dictator, in a joking tone, to be sure, but he still said it. just last week north carolina's governor “joked” that maybe we should postpone elections. am i really that crazy for my comment last year?

  2. Let me be candid … this was an American Citizen (like it or not). Under any other circumstances we would label this an assassination, would we not?

    Dirt bag or not, this Citizen should have been brought to U.S. soil to stand trial (unlike the Gitmo detainees). Why kill the man on foreign soil? What I find astonishing is that some of the same people who approve of this action are aghast at the concept of water-boarding someone. Ironic, isn't it?

    Who's next? If you are labeled a terrorist by anyone in this country, do you now have to be looking over your shoulder? Or do you have to be listening for helicopters over your house?

    Thanx, Fuzzy Logic for allowing me this outlet for my comments. Your posts always provide food for thought.

  3. I see it the same way. Today it is this thug, tomorrow it will be drug runners, eventually it will be anyone who opposes them. Allowing the government the power to act as judge, jury, and executioner; is very dangerous.

  4. One of the things that makes America “exceptional” is that we follow the rule of law and due process. When we don't do that, we become just like every other nation, most of which have had kangaroo courts and the like sometime in the past 100 years.

    The powers that be are definitely getting us ready for “domestic terrorists”. They can so easily turn their drones and such on the American people and it will be all in the name of “keeping us safe”.

    While they say peace and safety (I Thes 5:3)destruction will suddenly come upon them

  5. I understand your point of view, Fuzzy, but that terrorist was an enemy combatant in the service of Al Qaeda and thus a legitimate military target.

    My Sunday morning blog post (5 am Mountain Time) will expand upon this, along with evidence that under US law he had renounced his citizenship in word and in deed.

    I do want to make clear that I do not criticize you or any of my fellow conservatives who disagree with me nor will I be hurling “soft on terrorism” charges.

    Your opinion is well stated and I respect it.

  6. This is indeed a slippery slope. Once we allow killing of Americans labeled terrorists, next we will find bloggers names on the terror list, or some such nonsense. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

  7. I want an answer of why they never indicited him. they clearly had the time. We have been hearing about him for many years now.

    I am with you, he was an American citizen who desserved due process. The fact that he is scum is irelevent.

  8. Indicting him would have muddied the issue since he is nominally an American citizen (who I believe renounced his citizenship in word and in deed, as described in US law). It is clear they wanted to treat him as a combatant (which he was by his own admission), and therefor a legitimate military target.

    I understand the concern, but due process doesn't apply here.

    Now, if we schwacked him as he freely walked the streets of London, I could see your point.

    But he was operating with AQ in Yemen, a country AQ is using military force against. Yemen is also a country that has invited us in.

    Can we not engage in military action against any military group that contains an American traitor?

  9. I'm of the opinion he repositioned himself on the enemy's battlefield, and was a valid target as a result.

    How is that different than an American soldier who runs across the road, joining up with the Germans and begins shooting at American soldiers?

  10. @Kerry, no you weren't crazy, and yes, that is becoming an increasingly alarming possibility. Look at what's going on and growing across the country: commies, unions, socialists, assorted useful idiots are working themselves into a frenzy, freely talking about a “revolution.” The president does and says nothing about it. Now, imagine if this were to escalate, be used as an excuse to “suspend” next year's election. What do you think the reaction to that little announcement would be from TEA Party and other concerned patriots? Let's just say that it wouldn't be pretty, but I'm beginning to think that's the way this admin wants it. Time, of course, will tell.

    @Mrs. AL, exactly my thoughts on this. I'm so glad to have you here and commenting πŸ™‚

    @Trestin, very dangerous, indeed.

    @republicanmother, yes, tyranny is always achieved in the name of either public safety or the greater good. Sometimes both.

    @Silverfiddle, thanks.

    @Opus, yay! nice to “see” you. And yes, this is indeed a slippery slope.

    @DS, thanks πŸ™‚

    @JACG, your post on this is excellent, thanks for adding to the discussion. It's an important one to have.

    @Silverfiddle, no problem! πŸ™‚ And I've come to the point where I have so much to say that I end up saying little. If that makes any sense?

    @Kid, the difference is that American soldier would be killed in the field of battle by our troops. His death would not be decided by one man acting as a demigod judge/jury/executioner, a man who does not have the constitutional authority to make that decision. What do you think America has done with traitors like this in the past? Traitors who've sworn allegiance to, spied for, and killed Americans for a foreign power? They are killed, not by presidential order (the real issue here), or they are arrested, brought back, tried, sentenced, and if found guilty by either a civilian or military court, sentenced to death. This is not the first traitor in our history. This is just the first time an American president has anointed himself tinpot dictator with the power to sign death warrants on his own citizens. It's a rather striking and very worrying difference, I feel.

  11. Awlaki was on a field of battle as defined by the congressional approval to wage war against AQ.

    He was in Yemen serving AQ, an organization that is waging war on that country and the US.

  12. Do you remember all the legal wrangling Bush and Cheney went through with the dems in congress and the squishy Euros?

    This is the fallout from not getting the legal specifics nailed down.

    So we have two ways to deal with terrorists: Treat them as combatants or treat them as criminals.

    Bush was accused of selectively picking based upon whichever circumstance favored the US government.

    So I understand (I really do!) that you are basically making the same argument.

    Had he been incidentally killed in a drone strike I assume you would have no problem with his death.

    It is the fact that so much review went into this, including presidential, that makes you smell a rat?

    Obama could have indeed deliberately decided he needed to kill this man, and decided on a drone strike versus a snatch and grab.

    However immoral or venal, because of the congressional authorization, perfectly legal.

    Look at it this way. If I shoot a person on the street, I am a murderer.

    If I shoot that same man in my home in the dark of night after he has broken in, it is a righteous shoot (here in Colorado anyway).

    Awlaki put himself in the wrong place and he paid for it with his life.

  13. @Silverfiddle. You've decided he's guilty of treason, I happen to agree with you. I'm pretty sure we both thought OJ was (and is) guilty, too. But we don't have vigilante justice in the United States of America, and we certainly don't have one man act as judge, jury, and executioner.

    What is difficult to understand about this? Are you just wrapped up in the emotion and outrage at what he did? You seem fixed on him, like he's even the point or the issue here. It's odd.

    You are arguing that BO can and should have the power to declare anyone a traitor, on whatever grounds he deems fit, and then to order their death. That doesn't strike you as . . . troubling in any way?

    If not, that's fine, but I don't see the point in going back on this any further. We're just going to have to agree to disagree. I hope you can do that.

  14. I'm not fixated, and this is not a case of Obama declaring him a traitor and summarily executing him. Indeed, that would be unconstitutional.

    This is a case of a man joining a military organization we are at war with and getting killed in a military operation.

    That's what my analogy above is about.

  15. Silverfiddle – consider these queries: why wasn't the order given to capture UBL since they were in such close proximity to his person? Why shoot him on the spot and loose all that opportunity to gather some great intelligence?

    Same for the the dude just taken out. Why Drone him when they knew where he was and could have mounted an operation to take him alive and, again, get some superb intelligence?

    Just askin'.

  16. Mrs AL:
    By all means, keep askin'

    As citizens we must demand a full accounting of our government.

    You are in the realm of supposition. I have confined my comments to the information available to us.

  17. Suppose an American soldier in battle defected to the other side, put on their uniform, took up their weapons, and started shooting at his former comrades. What would you have us do then? Could we shoot back? Or do we have to risk out lives trying to arrest him and give him due process of law?

    That’s the old type of warfare. The new model of war-making is terrorist acts by enemies that blend into our population. They are supported by groups that are not connected to any state, but take refuge where they can find it to prepare and plan their diabolical schemes.

    What are we to do? You want us to go to the ends of the earth to arrest an al-Awaki and give him due process?

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact. I think it was a great American who first said that.

  18. Arresting him isn't even necessarily the point. If as Fiddle says is true (and I have no reason to believe that it is not), it should have been determined by a court that he denouced his citizenship and became an enemy of the state. They clearly had the time to do it.

    The fact is that we have not put into place firm, concrete, and constitional laws in place to handle this more than 10 years after 9/11.

    People are looking at this as one person instead of the what the act means for the future.

    We need to demand that congress put into place laws on how to handle American citizens who join al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations. The rules of war do not really apply since it is not a state we are fighting. This has to be addressed and it needs to be addressed now.

  19. @JACG, no, you're right. This was completely outside the bounds of both the law and the Constitution. The president has no authority to keep an enemies list of American citizens he wants assassinated. Well, not until now, but even now, he doesn't have that authority. He grabbed it.

  20. teejaw, you said, “Suppose an American soldier in battle defected to the other side, put on their uniform, took up their weapons, and started shooting at his former comrades. What would you have us do then? Could we shoot back? Or do we have to risk out lives trying to arrest him and give him due process of law?”

    If shooting at me, I would shoot back. Period.

    That said, I don't see this as an analogous situation. Maybe I am missing something. What we have here is a U.S. citizen who used his mouth and some technology to “inspire” others.

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