Ron Paul: Restore Due Process and the Rule of Law

Uploaded by RonPaul2008dotcom on 22.03.2012

This is Ron Paul with your weekly update for March 19th. It is ironic but perhaps sadly
appropriate that Attorney General Eric Holder would choose a law school, Northwestern University,
to deliver a speech earlier this month in which he demolished what was left of the rule
of law in America. In what history likely will record as a turning point, Attorney General
Holder bluntly explained that this administration believes it has the authority to use lethal
force against Americans if the President determines them to be a threat to the nation. He tells
us that this is not a violation of the due process requirements of our Constitution because
the President himself embodies "due proces"” as he unilaterally determines who is to be
targeted. As Holder said, "a careful and thorough executive branch review of the facts in a
case amounts to 'due process.'" That means that the administration believes it is the
President himself who is to be the judge, jury, and executioner. As George Washington
University Law Professor Jonathan Turley wrote of the Holder speech: "All the Administration
has said is that they closely and faithfully follow their own guidelines — even if their
decisions are not subject to judicial review. The fact that they say those guidelines are
based on notions of due process is meaningless. They are not a constitutional process of review."
It is particularly bizarre to hear the logic of the administration claiming the right to
target its citizens according to some secret selection process, when we justified our attacks
against Iraq and Libya because their leaders supposedly were targeting their own citizens!
We also now plan a covert war against Syria for the same reason. I should make it perfectly
clear that I believe any individual who is engaging in violence against this country
or its citizens should be brought to justice. But as Attorney General Holder himself points
out in the same speech, our civilian courts have a very good track record of trying and
convicting individuals involved with terrorism against the United States. Our civilian court
system, with the guarantee of real due process, judicial review, and a fair trial, is our
strength, not a weakness. It is not an impediment to be sidestepped in the push for convictions
or assassinations, but rather a process that guarantees that fundamental right to be considered
innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I am encouraged, however that there appears
to be the beginning of a backlash against the administration’s authoritarian claims.
Just recently I did an interview with conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham who expressed
grave concern over using these sorts of tactics against Americans using the supposed war on
terror as justification. Sadly, many conservative leaders were silent when Republican President
George W. Bush laid the groundwork for this administration’s lawlessness with the PATRIOT
Act, warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention without trial, and other violations. Similarly,
as Professor Turley points out, "Democrats previously demanded the 'torture memos' of
the Bush administration that revealed poor legal analysis by Judge Jay Bybee and Professor
John Yoo to justify torture. Now, however, Democrats are largely silent in the face of
a president claiming the right to unilaterally kill citizens." The misuse of and disregard
for our Constitution for partisan political gain is likely one reason the American public
holds Congress in such low esteem. Now the stakes are much higher. Congress and the people
should finally wake up! Thanks for calling. A new update is placed on this number 888-322-1414
every Monday morning. The written text can be found on my website
under the heading "Texas Straight Talk". Thanks for calling.