October 4, 2011
[Editor’s note: This letter was sent in from Dr. John Cobin from Santiago, Chile.]
Here is yet another good reason to leave “the land of the free” and get to a free country as soon as possible (like Chile). Just how many more government encroachments of liberty are you willing to put up with?
The rule of law is one of the most important achievements in Western history, and its demise heralds the end of civilisation. The U.S. Constitution guarantees the rule of law in its Fifth Amendment, which states in pertinent part: “No person…shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”
However, this rule was violated on September 30, 2011 when President Obama ordered the killing of two Muslim citizens of the United States: Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan. While Bush tortured prisoners suspected of terror crimes, Obama has surpassed his predecessor by killing people who are “on his list of potentially problematic people” without complying with the “due process” clause of the Constitution. In addition, the United States government had the audacity to publicly boast of killing these people.
According to a report from September 30, 2011, Awlaki was not convicted of any crime and President Obama has had a difficult time justifying the killing.
Quoting from the report, “He [Awlaki] directed the failed attempt to blow up an aeroplane on Christmas Day in 2009. He directed the failed attempt to blow up U.S. cargo planes in 2010,” Mr. Obama said. “And he repeatedly called on individuals in the United States and around the globe to kill innocent men, women and children to advance a murderous agenda.”
One should point out that he was merely suspected of doing such things but he never had his day in court in order to be proven innocent or guilty. Lots of accused people are found innocent.
Moreover, Awlaki was never charged with any crime. He was killed without even being formally accused or being stripped of his American citizenship.
The report also notes that the American Civil Liberties Union has condemned the drone attack on Awlaki. The ACLU believes that “it is a mistake to invest the President–any President–with the unreviewable power to kill any American whom he deems to present a threat to the country.”
What about Kahn? He just wrote a radical Islamic, hateful magazine. So what? For doing that the government has the right to kill him? So what if Awlaki and Kahn’s words “inspired” others to do evil? Do we use capital punishment now to combat hate speech? How can we be in favour of killing people that are merely accused and not convicted of any crime?
I’m not Muslim, I am a Christian. But I do not favour killing disagreeable people, whether they are citizens or foreigners, because of their religious convictions or their threatening words.
Sure, you can execute any person convicted of a capital crime. However, I cannot condone executing a person merely because the government has charged or blacklisted him. We in Western civilisation supposedly have the rule of law to protect people from the omnipotent state. Or rather, we had it.
This notorious act of the executive branch of the United States has shown a frightening and sad reality: that the rule of law has died in the USA. Paul Craig Roberts just wrote a profound article about this watershed event that everyone should read, “The Day America Died.”
This action is not the only incursion which has led to abrogate the rule of law. Can you recall some other examples? In Kelo vs. City of New London(2005), for instance, the Supreme Court undermined strong individual property rights.
We might also mention common drug seizures or government services handled primarily through legislative acts like the RICO Act (1970) and the Patriot Act (2001) which have had the same effect. Furthermore, we must not forget the legal annual slaughter of about 1.3 million unborn children since 1973, or the tortures of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo in the past decade.
This malicious trend shows that the demise of the rule of law has been gradual, a kind of death with agony, but undertaking deprivation of the life of American citizens without due process of law has now put the final nail in the coffin.
Where I live in Chile is not perfect by any means… but I have no fear of the government here. I feel more free here than I ever did living in the United States.
Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost ever topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service, where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc.
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