A friend and colleague who for some reason wishes to remain nameless offers some thoughts on the uses and abuses of unmanned aerial vehicles. -Jeffrey
If we’ve learned anything from Sen. Rand Paul’s Senate-floor soliloquy, it’s that equal parts bluster and bladder are the makings of modern cultural heroism.
Actually, we’ve learned that the Obama Administration doesn’t plan to kill Americans at random on the street. Jane Fonda, don’t sweat the Hellfire missiles. Who knew?
As for you, Green Card holders, you are on your own. I am sorry.
Meanwhile, the story has emerged in New York Times of how the Administration decided it could whack a blogger who happened not to be on home soil. Tough call, because, you know, citizenship and stuff.
(As it says in Sen. Paul’s beloved Fifth Amendment, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, besides a foreigner, who doubtless has it coming.”)
To make a long story short — you don’t think I actually read this stuff, do you? — the deliberative process did not involve some irregular scheme in which an Administration lawyer like Attorney General Eric Holder dashes off a snotty little note to Capitol Hill’s current speechifyin’ champeen. No, no, no. Goodness me, no! It involved two Administration lawyers swapping drafts of a memo, which no one else is allowed to read.
Well, I know what you are going to say. Wasn’t there supposed to be something over and above even that? Funny you ask. Art. I of the U.S. Constitution provides for a body that, faced with novel or ambiguous circumstances — law enforcement? warfare? floor wax? dessert topping? — has the power to address them. This “Congress,” or the “legislative branch,” as it is also known, once was accustomed to making “legislation” concerning, inter alia, the “common defense and general welfare of the United States.” But that may have been before its members discovered the advantages of focusing more on creative forms of blackmail. Olden times.
Someday, perhaps, Sen. Paul and his ilk will see fit to resume their former practices, and we’ll have our “checks” and “balances” back. Or, if that’s too much like work, they could make some more 13-hour speeches instead. If it’s ever necessary to get the Attorney General to say what the law is, I know just the man for the job.
Jeffrey adds: There’s a free tutorial online.