The following was submitted by guest author Priscilla Galstaun-Khader.
It’s my birthday and I’m not celebrating. Not only because I’m not much into birthdays to begin with but also because any motivation to celebrate something as trivial as my existence on this planet was reduced to cinders when exactly 3 years ago our rights to due process (the only requirement of government mentioned twice in the Constitution) as a citizen of this country, was targeted for assassination and snuffed out in a drone attack.
The Bill of Rights was murdered in the form of one Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who, without being issued an arrest warrant and based purely on a mere assertion of threat and connections to Al Qaeda, and exclusively on the executive orders of the president of the United States, was murdered via a drone strike, in Yemen, a country outside of a war zone and making it an extrajudicial killing.
If you’re reading this and thinking how this gross violation of the Constitution escaped your attention, then it’s probably because like many, you were caught up in the celebratory missives of our Commander-in-chief who, beaming with hubristic pride claimed, “…..another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates” and attributing his success, “to our intelligence community”, thereby mitigating his subterfuge all while reading out the burial rites to our right to a free and fair trial by a jury of our peers and protections from a governmental power grab.
When a sitting president of the United States assumes the mantle of judge, jury and executioner and declares an American citizen to be outside the auspices of the law and in secrecy orders the targeted assassination of the individual without so much as indicting him for a crime, it is time to reconsider celebrating anything at that point.
When the Executive branch goes to great lengths to redefine the true meaning of the term “due process” as codified in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution in the clause, “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” by claiming that, “a White House review was due process enough when it came to an American citizen with al-Qaeda sympathies”, thereby emanating the stench of a gross overreach, it is beyond time to pause celebrations and start paying close attention to the slow and steady demise of our liberties and how our servile silence serves only to accelerate this duplicitous process.
On September 30, 2011, following the burial service of our rights to due process, then GOP presidential contender, Dr.Ron Paul elicited a bone-chilling, and prophetic but altruistic eulogy when he said, “if the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it’s sad.”
It is due to this sadness that I no longer care to celebrate my birthday because this day not only marks the establishment of a terrifying precedent in American history but also highlights how the American people have accepted this precedent in puerile accordance with that intuitive premonition portended only three years to the day.