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Treason

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The current President has decided his government can kill U.S. Citizens without trial:

The Obama administration has authorized operations to capture or kill a U.S.-born Muslim cleric based in Yemen, who is described by a key lawmaker as America's top terrorist threat, officials said on Tuesday.

The decision to add Anwar al-Awlaki, of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to the target list followed a National Security Council review prompted by his status as a U.S. citizen.

Officials said Awlaki directly threatened the United States. "Awlaki is a proven threat," said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "He's being targeted."

The 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution stipulates:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;…

The 6th Amendment directs:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

The Constitution makes no exceptions in its requirement of indictment and trial for capital crimes. Modern jurisprudence holds that those requirements apply to all persons. I think that view extends too far. I hold that Constitutional protections apply only to citizens.

Barack Obama believes those protections apply to no one.

Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution directs:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

It seems that al-Awlaki is engaged in Treason. But we cannot be certain under our law until he confesses in court, or we hold a trial where two others testify. Until one or the other happens, al-Awlaki is merely a suspect.

To assume office, the U.S. President must swear an oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Mr. Obama is more than a suspect. He has plainly broken his oath. Breaking that oath is not treason. But it seems al-Awlaki and Obama have the same enemy.

Us.

All available tactics and techniques must be brought to bear in defense of our lives and our national experiment. Against both of these enemies.

In 1765, Patrick Henry told the Virginia House of Burgesses:

Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.

Henry later apologized to King George. Virginians had not yet concluded that the King was an implicit enemy of the inalienable rights of free men. That took another eleven years.

Patrick Henry may have had an open mind, or weak convictions. He did not sign the Declaration. And he actively opposed ratification of the Constitution.

His thinking on that matter appears prescient:

An ardent supporter of state rights, Henry was an outspoken critic of the United States Constitution and led the Virginia opposition to its ratification arguing that it gave the federal government too much power and that the untested office of the presidency could devolve into a monarchy. As a leading Antifederalist, he was instrumental in forcing the adoption of the Bill of Rights to amend the new Constitution and became a leading opponent of James Madison.

We must install a President willing to uphold and abide by the Bill of Rights. If we do not, we acquiesce to a subtle coup. Without law above the will of men, this is no longer the United States as empowered by the Constitution.

Our various pledges and oaths as citizens are not made to any man. They are to ideals embodied in law. Opposing a mere de facto government cannot be treason.

And if it is not treason, let us make the most of it.