Readers Write: Obama executions flout Constitution

Letters to the Editor for the March 3, 2014 weekly magazine: The US Constitution prohibits government from depriving a citizen of life, liberty, or property without due process. President Obama has demonstrated his indifference tow this protection by executing US citizens overseas.

Obama executions flout Constitution

The Jan. 27 cover story, "An imperial presidency?," focused primarily on President Obama's expansion of presidential powers. The issue of extrajudicial killings of US citizens received token mention in a single sentence.

The presidential oath of office is specific as to the obligations of a standing president. The oath is to uphold, enforce, and defend the Constitution. This provision was made to ensure that demands of current events did not distract a president from the codified ideals in the Constitution – ideals that transcend politics, geopolitical posturing, and the various states of war in which humankind seems to have an insatiable affinity to engage.

These targeted killings constitute more than a simple, executive power expansion; they are a blatant breach of the solemn oath of the president, an affront to the American people, and an insult to those who wrote the Constitution. And they spell disillusionment for peoples across the world as they risk their lives struggling to usher in democratic forms of government inspired by America's constitutional democracy.

This Constitution is extremely explicit in prohibiting the government from depriving a citizen of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Mr. Obama has demonstrated his apparent indifference toward this constitutional protection by effectively anointing himself as judge, jury, and executioner – initiating summary executions of American citizens overseas, with assurances that solid evidence exists. Unfortunately, this evidence is top secret, thus rendered unavailable for regular judicial, legislative, or citizen review.

With the pervasive impotence and ineptitude in the legislative and judicial branches, as evidenced by a lack of challenging this process, the only recourse the US citizenry has is the scrutiny of a free press. The Monitor does a disservice to the ever-dwindling free press by not focusing on the most egregious issue in Obama's overreach of executive power: the execution of citizens without even the pretense of judicial process.

Jack Gribble

Coupeville, Wash.

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