You know those constitutionally protected rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness? Apparently the White House has some pretty loose rules on how to take those away without due process. But don’t worry, the White House has promised the drone strikes are wise and ethical. Glenn wasn’t so sure and reacted to the story on radio this morning.
“This is so much worse than wiretaps,” Glenn said. “I don’t want the President of the United States to fly a drone over and kill us. You know, let’s just say this: If the President of the United States says that they can fly a drone over anywhere, and fly it, because the President deems that this person is trouble – can China fly a drone over the United States and kill somebody here in the United States that they say is a danger? ”
Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “This president takes his responsibilities very seriously…And first and foremost that’s his responsibility to protect the United States and American citizens.”
Carney said The President “takes his responsibility in conducting the war against al-Qaeda as authorized by Congress in a way that is fully consistent with our Constitution and all the applicable laws.”
“These strikes are legal. They are ethical and they are wise. The U.S. government takes great care in deciding to pursue an al-Qaeda terrorist to insure precision and to avoid loss of innocent life,” Carney added.
Glenn didn’t buy Jay Carney’s explanation, and noted that if President Bush was in office the liberals would be up in arms over the violation of rights.
“I don’t remember the execution part of the Constitution where the President or some informed officials can just sign off on the execution of an American citizen without any judicial review. None. Zero. Where is that in the Constitution?” he said.
Glenn said his biggest concern with this story was the loose definition in the memo legally justifying the drone strikes and outlining the criteria for how they are used. Because the War on Terror creates a very different kind of battlefield than traditional wars, the memo gives broad power to unnamed high-ranking officials to determine who can be targeted and where the battlefield is. For example, the American terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki was eating breakfast in Yemen when he was killed by a drone strike.
“How far out of touch are we? How lost is our Constitution? How lost is our country when we’re not even debating it? And people are saying we don’t even need debates,” Glenn said.