If, twenty years ago, someone would had told you that this government would someday grant itself the right to deliberately target and kill American citizens, would you have believed them?

Does the Constitution, anywhere, sanction the deliberate murder of American citizens, without a trial, by the government for any reason at all?

If this government can kill citizens without first trying and convicting them, who or what is to stop it from doing the same to you?

Does the government exist at our pleasure, or do we exist at the pleasure of the government?

According to Reuters:

Secret panel can put Americans on “kill list’

(Reuters) – American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

The panel was behind the decision to add Awlaki, a U.S.-born militant preacher with alleged al Qaeda connections, to the target list. He was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen late last month.

The role of the president in ordering or ratifying a decision to target a citizen is fuzzy. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to discuss anything about the process.

Who is the terrorist now?