We see in the United States government’s “targeted killings” program carried out by drones and other means a perversion of the law so extreme that it brings to mind the introductory paragraph of Frederic Bastiat’s classic book The Law:
The law perverted! The law — and, in its wake, all the collective forces of the nation — the law, I say, not only diverted from its proper direction, but made to pursue one entirely contrary! The law become the tool of every kind of avarice, instead of being its check! The law guilty of that very iniquity which it was its mission to punish! Truly, this is a serious fact, if it exists, and one to which I feel bound to call the attention of my fellow citizens.
As individuals we possess the, hopefully, rarely exercisable right to use lethal force to defend ourselves and others against people who threaten us with death or serious injury. Even then, in a court case regarding such a killing we are further called upon to prove that the killing is justified and rebut the presumption that the killing is wrongful.
Governments may rely on this individual defensive right as a justification for their exercise of killing power, terming the government’s right to kill as an extension of individuals’ right to kill in defense of themselves or others. In the targeted killings program, the Obama administration has perverted this reasoning beyond recognition so that in Bastiat’s phrasing an “entirely contrary” direction — unjustified homicides — is pursued.
Continue reading at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.