Last week PBS aired twice (Friday and Sunday) a Bill Moyers discussion, "Are Drones Destroying Our Democracy?" Out of this predominantly liberal discussion on torture and the use of drones to kill American citizens came an offhand comment (twice) that reveals one of the fundamental misperceptions underlying liberal thinking.
Vincent Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, makes a startling remark beginning about the 9:30 mark (see also ~29:00ff):
"How transparent will - or should - a government be, in order for the rest of us, the fourth branch of government, the people, to make sure that this type of torture and these types of crimes don't happen in our name?"
WHAT??? In Joe Biden's words, that's a big f*in' deal! I couldn't believe it. Instead of "We the People" governing ourselves through our 3 branch government (Executive, Legislative, Judicial), Warren believes that the form or system of government is the primary entity, inside of which the people are placed on an equal footing with the other 3 branches.
Do you see where this leads? In his view, the people are not in a position to oversee the other 3 branches of government. The people are now subject to checks and balances built into the system, instead of the checks and balances being a mechanism for preserving the rights of the people.
If the Executive branch has equal power with the people rather than being subordinate to the people, then the people have no business meddling with executive powers, just as the executive has no business meddling in the judicial or the legislative, or vice-versa.
What is our standing to challenge Presidential actions or decisions? What part do we play vis-a-vis the law? (The legislative branch makes the law, the judicial interprets it, the executive enforces it, the people pay the price for it)...
Where do you think he learned this?
Tags: 4th branch of government, Vincent Warren, Bill Moyers, Liberal government, drones killing American citizens, torture. Please mention / link to the Conservative Observer AZ. Thanks!