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"Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal." So said President Richard Nixon in his 1977 interview discussing presidential authority.

Fast-forward 30 years. "I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution." So said Obama about Bush for failing to respect the Constitution.

A constitutional scholar he may be, but you'd certainly never know it. Many have questioned the constitutionality of Obama's actions, especially Democrats, and some have even called directly for his impeachment. To wit, his actions against the Constitution aren't limited to attacking Libya: there are a whole slew of charges suggested. In criticizing intellectuals who support the government and the assassination of Osama bin Laden, especially the "liberal press," Noam Chomsky compared the lack of due process as worse than that afforded Nazi criminals. Putting aside his five-fold increase in detainees at his secret prison, Obama has sanctioned and continues almost all of the draconian domestic civil liberties violations started by Bush (here are twenty examples).

This isn't to suggest that Obama is more worthy of impeachment than the autocrat Bush was. The charges against Bush were rightfully significant, and Obama wanted nothing to do with the Bush administration's crimes. Even Human Rights Watch said that the "Obama administration has failed to meet US obligations under the Convention against Torture to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees." But the charges against Obama and Bush are clearly more appropriate than those against Clinton, and he WAS impeached.

Recently, Obama repealed the Fifth Amendment, "appointing himself judge, jury and executioner by presidential decree." If Obama's secret panels that put Americans on a "kill list" isn't out of Bush's playbook, then war is peace and ignorance is strength.

As one commentator described Obama's very real death panels: "Let that sink in. The U.S. presidency, supposed leader of the free world, has a clandestine committee that chooses American citizens to assassinate. This from the administration that promised unprecedented transparency and a ratcheting back of Bush-era civil liberties abuses. This from the president who vowed to restore habeas corpus and subject executive war powers to judicial scrutiny. This from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate."

The logic goes that very bad people deserved to be killed, and Obama already knows they are guilty. Even 16-year old teenagers who are US citizens. Additionally, the government is facing severe financial problems, so this decision also helps streamline the legal process in order to save money.

To add insult to injury, and before you jump to blame this all on Republicans, after Obama decided he could kill Americans that he solely decided are bad, it wasn't a very far stretch for the Democrat-controlled Senate to overwhelmingly authorize the military to raid the homes of US citizens and detain them indefinitely without charges, trial, rights to a lawyer, or habeus corpus. After all, if the president can kill them, the military most certainly can round them up for the slaughter. Indefinite detention in the land of the free. Somewhat ridiculous is Obama claiming he will veto the National Defense Authorization Act "because of the language." Know which language he rejected? Obama actually thinks the bill doesn't go far enough, and specifically asked for the removal of "language expressly precluding 'the detention of citizens or lawful resident aliens of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.'" Wow.

As Sheldon Richman recently commented, "Permit me to state the obvious: The government shouldn’t be allowed to imprison people indefinitely without charge or trial. It shouldn’t be necessary to say this nearly 800 years after Magna Carta was signed and over 200 years after the Fifth Amendment was ratified." Compare that with what Obama's spokesman Jay Carney said, "Any bill that challenges or constrains the president’s critical authority to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation will prompt his senior advisors to recommend a veto."

Do you think Obama should be impeached? What does it say about the legal system when Clinton can get impeached for lying about a blow job, while Bush and Obama remain unscathed? Have you ever sent a letter to your government representatives? Do you think sending this letter would make a difference? Is it appropriate to "expect others to adhere to the rules of law - and of common decency" when the US government doesn't? Was it morally proper to kill a US citizen without due process?

I'm asking you to impeach the President because I believe he is guilty of murder. The President ordered the military to kill an English-speaking, natural-born American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki (ah-law-key), using a drone missile.

This is illegal. No citizen can be harmed by any agent of the state except through the application of legal due process (Fifth Amendment). President Obama violated this requirement. This makes him a murderer.

The only legal redress available when the President becomes a criminal, is impeachment by Congress. Therefore, the rule of law requires that you make use of this procedure now.

You may think that the President deserves the benefit of the doubt in this case, just because he is the President. I believe the exact opposite.

With great power comes great responsibility. The President must be held to an even higher standard, precisely because he is the President, and exactly because he has so much power over the lives of others. No person with the power to order missile attacks on individuals can operate free from the strong constraints of legal due process.

Remember, the President, and every other agent of the state, including all members of the military, were required to presume that Awlaki was innocent. The President assumed otherwise, and took upon himself the powers of a vigilante, making himself the judge, jury, and executioner (Separation of Powers).

The President has failed to honor his legal and moral obligations, so now the responsibility falls on you. You must use the impeachment process to prosecute the President for murdering an American citizen.

I well understand that the thought of this action must make you squeamish. I understand that you operate in a hypocritical and lawless environment, where citizens are held to high legal standards, but politicians are allowed to get away with anything and everything (except perhaps posting naked pictures of themselves). I understand that nearly all members of Congress violate the law, especially the Constitution, nearly every day. But this situation is unique . . .

  • An American citizen has been murdered

  • Congress, for once, is not complicit in the crime

  • So this is Congress's chance to be on the right side of the law for a change

  • Democrats can show that they aren't partisan hypocrites by leading the charge

  • And Republicans can show that they're through excusing wanton criminality in the name of national security

I am waiting to see if the political class will hold itself to the same standards you constantly apply to "mere citizens." The President has confessed to murder. Impeach him.


NEW HERESY: Should Congress Impeach the President?


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Dec 14, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=673

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