Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What John Cole Said

"My response is that the government targeting someone for death and refusing to explain why is so broadly offensive to me that I don’t give a shit about the legal arguments."

Unfortunately, I can't resist amateur constitutional scholarship. Don't try this at home kids. Look below and see just how humiliating a little knowledge can be.

Which are also very simple. This was in response to someone who argued that "he’s been designated by the US and the UN ..." See the US has designated what body can decide that someone is to die, and that would be a jury of his peers. The US has done something if each and every US citizen agrees or if the people have designated some other body to speak for us and it does. The Executive branch does not have any authority to speak on behalf of the USA on the question of who should live and who should die (except for the power of the President to grant pardons and commute sentences).

Now one might argue that my interpretation of the 5th amendment is inconsistent with the body of the constitution which contemplates war. I respond that the 5th amendment is very brief and clear, and that my interpretation of the 13th amendment is inconsistent with the body of the constitution, which said that escaped slaves must be returned to their owners.

If plain English means what plain English plainly means, the power of the Senate to declare war was cancelled by the 5th amendment. War involves killing people without giving them a trial. The 5th amendment forbids killing people (including non citizens) without a trial. The 5th amendment clearly forbids the US to wage war.

I think that war is sometimes necessary and would support partial repeal of the 5th amendment. But while it's there in the constitution, it's there in the constitution.

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