To the Journal editor:
Should our executive branch be prosecutor, defender, judge, jury and executioner and use drones for targeted killings?
The Obama Administration has conducted over 700 strikes with over 2,000 killed, according to The New York Times.
Proponents state these killings are legal because our executive branch has broad war powers and are done without risks to U.S. forces.
This position assumes justice for self.
Opponents state these killings, 1. violate universal, interrelated and equal human rights for presumption of innocence, due process, separation of powers, rule of law, transparency and accountability, 2. must be justified to our United Nations International Court of Justice and to the public in our U.S. and in our world, 3. are illegal because there is no war against suspected individual terrorists, 4. reveal our U.S. is a terrorist nation, and 5. reduce our ability to criticize terrorist nations.
The position assumes justice for all. Which position should we support?
To answer this we use our basic right? Is our basic right justice for all or justice for self?
Aspects of our basic right are revealed in our Constitution, laws and regulations, including those related to our Revolution, New Deal (worker rights movements), civil rights movements, feminist rights movements and environmental rights movements.
Our clearest proclamation is in our Pledge of Allegiance that declares "justice for all."
These statements reveal our progression from a minimalist federal government promoting justice for the few wealthy white men, to an activist national government promoting justice for all.
Based on justice for all, our executive branch should stop using drones for targeted killings.
Editor's note: Gordon C. Peterson is not to be confused with Marquette resident Gordon J. "Gordy" Peterson of the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home.