Thomas Jefferson and the Burr in Obama’s Kill ListPosted: February 11, 2014
Mike Church writes: President Obama’s kill-list memo, detailing the legal rationale for the extrajudicial killing of American citizens, reveals a world of tyrannical political power that used to be the sort of thing Jack Ryan would be dispatched to deal with, but usually to some Baltic republic ruled by an evil tyrant with only one name. The memo is so brazen in its own declaration of universal supremacy I have to wonder if the unnamed authors used a computer for the composition or just let God etch the words on the screen with lightning bolts.
This is what our empire has evolved to: a messianic state with all the fine ornaments of a cult including temples, ministers, and now a prosecutor, judge, and executioner masquerading as an executive branch. Viewing this perversion of a formerly federal system, a citizen of the old republic now stands at a similar vantage point to where Edmund Burke saw the mobs of the French General Assembly. ”That assembly, since the destruction of the orders, has no fundamental law, no strict convention, no respected usage to restrain it. Instead of finding themselves obliged to conform to a fixed constitution, they have a power to make a constitution which shall conform to their designs. Nothing in heaven or upon earth can serve as a control on them.”
The kill list’s unofficial title (the actual memo remains classified) tells us all we need to know of its intent: “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who Is a Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qa’ida or An Associated Force.” The memo’s first page carries this ominous statement of the president’s new “007ish” security clearance, “As detailed in this white paper, in defined circumstances, a targeted killing of a U.S. citizen who has joined al-Qa’ida or its associated forces would be lawful under U.S. and international law.”
Save for Glenn Greenwald, few in the media or the Congress have questioned this new, authoritarian power and few have investigated whether there is any historical and constitutional provision for it. The conclusion will be an inconvenient truth to most of our democracy’s political class and the industrial media complex that derives its existence from imperial hubris.
The operative question is this: If an American citizen is accused of committing treason by making or instigating war against these United States and is doing so while outside her geographical jurisdiction, can the president order an execution? To discover the answer to the query one need look no further than the 1807 treason trial of former vice president and Founding Father Aaron Burr. Burr had committed acts (called “The Burr Conspiracy”) that if they were performed in our modern era, would amount to conspiring with an “associate of Al-Qa’ida.” He organized his army outside of the United States, sought the aid of at least two foreign countries and even planned to anoint himself leader of the newly independent territories of Louisiana and Texas.
After resigning as Jefferson’s Vice President in 1805, Burr began to hatch his conspiracy with his long-time friend and accomplice General James Wilkinson. Burr’s first step was to enlist the aid of a foreign nation and its navy. For this he turned to the British Minister to the United States, Anthony Merry. Merry conveyed the Burr plot to his superior in London, Lord Harrowby in March, 1805…
- Talk:Thomas Jefferson (en.wikipedia.org)
- A Founder of Nothing Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr by Nancy Isenberg (nomocracyinpolitics.com)
- History of Public Administration (aspanational.wordpress.com)
- Burr slays Hamilton in duel – History.com This Day in History – 7/11/1804 (worldhistoryreview.org)
- Looking back at the last presidential election settled by the House (constitutioncenter.org)
- Today in White History (whitenewsnow.com)
- 3.) Big Tom (Thomas Jefferson) (chanelleariel.wordpress.com)