“What lies at the nexus of Obama’s targeted drone killings, his self-serving leaks, and his aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers is a president who believes himself above the law, and seems convinced that he alone has a preternatural ability to determine right from wrong.”
~ Peter Van Buren, a 24-year veteran Foreign Service Officer at the State Department
Since the early days of our republic, we have operated under the principle that no one is above the law. As Thomas Paine observed in Common Sense, “in America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.” Several years later, John Adams, seeking to reinforce this important principle, declared in the Massachusetts Constitution that they were seeking to establish “a government of laws and not of men.”
The history of our nation over the past 200 years has been the history of a people engaged in a constant struggle to maintain that tenuous balance between the rule of law – in our case, the United States Constitution – and the government leaders entrusted with protecting it, upholding it and abiding by it. At various junctures, when that necessary balance has been thrown off by overreaching government bodies or overly ambitious individuals, we have found ourselves faced with a crisis of constitutional proportions. Each time, we have taken the painful steps needed to restore our constitutional equilibrium.