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Assassination is Immoral and Illegal Under US Law

2011 September 30
by admin

Well, another fanatic is dead. While I will cry no tears for him and expect The Lord will deal with him justly, I do cry for my countryman who seem to think it is OK to ignore the rule of law when it suits their purposes. This is a slippery slope to hell and I hope my fellow Americans take the time to honestly look at the big picture.

First, lets look at the immoral aspect.

In the 10 Commandments is, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. While it is fairly obvious that this would not apply in terms of self defense, one could question why Jesus directed his followers to put down their swords when the temple guards came to arrest him saying, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

While I do not expect any human to have the strength of character of Jesus and will not condemn any act of self defense, I still think this is relevant because the killing of this fanatic was not during a battle. It was the execution of a US Citizen without due process and, as expressed after the killing of Osama, there is a fear that “vengeance will become synonymised with justice, and that revenge will supplant ‘due process’.”

A slippery slope.

There is a longstanding ban on assassination as a matter of stated US foreign policy. Any argument that this was an act of self defense does not hold water and US citizens have protections under the US Constitution, specifically the 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments:

5th – No person shall be … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

6th – …the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury…

8th – …nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Assassination is an unusual punishment, otherwise there would be no ban on it. There was no trial and no jury. And the wartime exemption of the 5th cannot ignore the phrase “due process of law”. This was an extrajudicial killing. Plain and simple. The only way this layman can see it being sanctioned under the rule of law is if it was during a firefight.

While treason can be a capitol offense, it is only applicable after due process. From the US Constitution:

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.

Here I repeat the title of this post:

Assassination is Immoral and Illegal Under US Law

Now, I have seen some say that this fanatic was no longer a US Citizen due to The Nationality Act of 1940 and credible reports of him waging war against the US. But a close reading of this act sees the relevant parts to be in Sec 401, specifically part (h):

committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, United States Code, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, United States Code, or violating section 2384 of said title by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.

That last bit I bolded reiterates the need for due process, according to the rule of law. It is relevant that this same language is repeated in the later Immigration and Naturalization Act in Sec 349 (7)

This is the law.

Again, while I will not mourn any enemy of this great country. I will mourn the loss of the liberty that makes this country great. The loss of adherence to the rule of law.

The moral high ground.

Finally, I’d like people to consider the slippery slope and where it may lead. Many people are not aware of the MIAC Report (and subsequent leaks from DHS) that revealed the Federal Government is labeling peaceful freedom loving Americans (and returning military troops) as “rightwing extremists”

Does the following apply to you?

First they came for the racists, but I did not speak up because I am not a racist
Then they came for the muslims, but I did not speak up because I am not a muslim
Then they went after libertarians, but I did not speak up because I am not a libertarian.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up.

Onward

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