The Killing of al-Awlaki and the Death of the Fifth Amendment
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is unequivocal: no American shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” No amount of ducking and diving will evade the inescapable fact that, for the first time, U.S. military officials in an aggressive overreach of constitutional authority deliberately targeted an American citizen for killing. And no amount of legalistic wordplay will alter the reality that al-Awlaki was denied due process.
Al-Awlaki was an acknowledged “bad guy” who incited, trained, and prepared others to commit heinous terrorist crimes designed to inflict death and injury upon his fellow countrymen. He was, assuredly, our self-confessed enemy, and he fully deserved to die — but not without due process. We don’t sanction the use of government hit squads to assassinate U.S. citizens who are responsible for the most unspeakable crimes. We don’t do it even when they admit to those crimes. Instead we invoke the moral authority of Constitution to insist on their right to due process, even in cases where the accused is unwilling to offer any defense. Only when due process has been exhausted and the accused is found guilty do we have the moral authority to invoke the ultimate punishment.
The government’s power to use lethal force against its own citizens should be strictly limited to circumstances in which the threat of life is concrete and specific, and also imminent.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com …