Saturday, March 16, 2013


Lies you were told on the way to authoritarian government.

Charles Krauthammer's false statement about the US Constitution, by Glenn Greenwald.  Of course published abroad in The Guardian because while the Krauthammer's of the world are free to spread lies about America to Americans, real American journalists have to be published in Britain these days. 

The Constitution does not apply to Americans when they leave American soil.  That's one that we hear often these days.  Apparently all of Washington DC was ok with using drone strikes to kill people from other countries in their country, as well as with using drone strikes to kill Americans who've left the confines of America.  It was only when it became clear that the Obama administration views it as ok to kill Americans in America that there began to be an outcry.

But the, whole notion of it being ok for the US government to murder an American citizen abroad is fundamentally anti-American and is in direct violation of precedents long settled by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled in Reid v. Covert in 1957:

"At the beginning, we reject the idea that, when the United States acts against citizens abroad, it can do so free of the Bill of Rights. The United States is entirely a creature of the Constitution. Its power and authority have no other source. It can only act in accordance with all the limitations imposed by the Constitution. When the Government reaches out to punish a citizen who is abroad, the shield which the Bill of Rights and other parts of the Constitution provide to protect his life and liberty should not be stripped away just because he happens to be in another land."
Mr. Greenwald illustrates how absurd it would be to have the law be anything else.

... does anyone think it would be constitutionally permissible under the First Amendment for the US government to wait until an American critic of the Pentagon travels on vacation to London and then kill him, or to bomb a bureau of the New York Times located in Paris in retaliation for a news article it disliked, or to indefinitely detain with no trial an American who travels to Beijing or Lima or Oslo and who is suspected of committing a crime? Anyone who believes what Charles Krauthammer said this morning - "Outside American soil, the Constitution does not rule" - would have to take the patently ludicrous position that such acts would be perfectly constitutional
 What we see today in America is anti-American statements and beliefs being presented as 'truth' to a public who's education is the result of 40 years of politician attacks and budget cuts towards public schools and teachers.  I guess somehow it sounds logical to people who watch shows about the zombie apocalypse that the constitution might not apply to Americans abroad.  But that is not the case.

And taking that position is a fundamentally anti-American position.  The whole concept of the American constitution was to try to limit the powers of the government.  The American people never wanted an all-mighty central government with the power to detain or kill at will.  In fact, that's exactly what they rebelled against when they told crazy old King George III to go stuff himself.

People who can't deal with a free America with a limited government really aught to go somewhere else and live.  Because that's what America has always been. 

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