Kurt Nimmo Infowars.com February 11, 2013
In response to Obama’s imperial killing machines – his fleet of roaming drones – a gaggle of senators, led by the gun-grabber Dianne Feinstein, is poised to kill off Sir William Blackstone’s “palladium of English liberty,” the Sixth Amendment.
Feinstein has proposed “legislation to ensure that drone strikes are carried out in a manner consistent with our values, and the proposal to create an analogue of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review the conduct of such strikes,” in other words a secret tribunal that will hand down kill orders for Americans the government believes are “suspected militants.”
Maine independent Senator Angus King imagined a scenario where Obama’s imperial courtiers would go behind the closed doors of a drone court and “in a confidential and top-secret way, make the case that this American citizen is an enemy combatant, and at least that would be … some check on the activities of the executive.”
The Constitution spells out the right to trial by jury numerous times – in the Sixth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the Seventh Amendment and in the original Constitution in Article 3, Section 2. English common law and the Magna Carta of 1215 (Article 39) did away with trials by ordeal and by the 1600s the idea that juries served as a protection against the unrestrained power of kings was universally accepted. All 13 of the original states included in their constitutions the Right to Trial by Jury clauses. The Virginia Bill of Rights of 1788 held “ancient trial by jury” to be “one of the greatest securities to the rights of the people.”
“I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Thomas Paine. “By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus,” he told Alexander Donald in 1788. He wrote to James Madison the previous year that “trials by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land and not by the law of nations.”