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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/11/13

Will the Right to a Trial of Our Peers Be Usurped?

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This nation seems to be in a state of flux. The old constitutional protections guaranteed by the Constitution under The Bill of Rights have been replaced by Executive Orders and various bills approved by the House and Senate and signed into law by various Presidents. It is not one political party, nor one President that is responsible for disposing with the troubling Bill of Rights that impedes the Federal and State governments handling of "dissidents". It is an economic class, the richest people in the land.

The reason I maintain this is because either it is the wealthiest people that hold office, according to The Center for Responsive Politics Open Secrets' website;

"About 47 percent of Congress, or 249 current members are millionaires. " In 2010, the estimated median net worth of a current U.S. senator stood at an average of $2.56 million," according to the Center's research.

"Despite the global   economic meltdown   in 2008 and the sluggish recovery that followed, that's up about 7.6 percent   from an estimated median net worth of $2.38 million   in 2009 " and up 13 percent from a median net worth of $2.27 million in 2008. " Fully 36 Senate Democrats, and 30 Senate Republicans reported an average net worth in excess of $1 million   in 2010.   The same was true for 110 House Republicans and 73 House Democrats." ( ABC News )


The reason for this is because our election process in this nation is fundamentally flawed. There has been no effective Campaign Finance Reform since 2002, and the Citizen's United   ruling from the Supreme Court has devastated the election process. Money controls our government, the people be damned. When the only viable candidates are from the two parties that rule this nation, voting becomes little more than an afterthought.

Americans are now witnessing the aftershock from failing to address this situation. We as a people must ask this one overriding question that has plagued us since the beginning of time; Cui bono? (who benefits?). Let me answer that question, it sure isn't us.

Witness the passage of the NDAA and the subsequent court battles of those principled individuals that are trying to stop it. The NDAA is an infringement on our liberties yet only a handful of Americans realize how important it is to overturn this terribly offensive and liberty-robbing provision. We hear of no challengers to this provision in the U.S. House of Representatives or in the U.S. Senate. While the vote in the Senate was 67 for and 29 against, and the vote in the House was 283 to 136, only Rand Paul stood up against the Act and tried to put in a provision excluding US citizens. He said this about the provision;

"When you're accused of a crime in our country you get a trial, you get a trial by a jury of your peers, no matter how heinous your crime is, no matter how awful you are , we give you a trial."

Apparently, Congress doesn't think so, as his amendment was ignored. We hear almost nothing from the Congressmen and Senators that voted against this provision slipped into the National Defense Authorization Act in 2012.

How does this affect ordinary Americans? Well, when the government grabs the authority to have the military pick you up and hold you without trial or legal representation if you support al Qaeda or (vaguely) "associated forces" until this charade called "The War on Terror" is over, it can cause one to take pause. I for one, curtailed most of what I wanted to write until my wife and I got our passports. I imagine that many people in this nation also thought twice about the increase of governmental power.

At this time in our history we are witnessing another governmental creep toward total control. The use of drone strikes against American citizens without due process is being debated, not in Congress, but on the internet, on left wing and right wing sites alike. This situation, along with the President's authority to blast anyone he deems to be an "enemy" to kingdom come, is against everything this nation has stood for it its history. The order to execute an American, without due process, is a travesty of justice. The sad fact is that this has already been done!  

The extra-judicial killing of On September 30, 2011 a drone strike in Yemen killed American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both individuals resided in Yemen at the time of their deaths. The executive order approving al-Awlaki's death was issued by the Obama administration in 2010 and challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights in that year. The U.S. President issued an order, approved by the National Security Council that al-Awlaki's normal legal rights as a civilian should be suspended and his death should be imposed, as he was a threat to the United States. The reasons provided to the public for approval of the order was Al-Awlaki's links to the 2009 Fort Hood Massacre and the 2009 Christmas Day bomb plot, the attempted destruction of a Detroit-bound passenger-plane. Telegraph UK


While it can be argued that Anwar al-Awlaki was a "terrorist" and a traitor, his sixteen-year old son (Abdulrahman al-Awlaki), who was blown to pieces by an American drone a week later, could not be justified. In fact both killings (the father and the son) can't be justified! Killing Americans (no matter what the government claims they have done) is not only against the Constitution, but against everything this nation was founded on!

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Timothy Gatto Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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