While many Americans have expressed a desire to elect outsiders to official government positions, there is the expectation that those who are elected to top positions in government to have, at the very least, a basic understanding of how our government and Constitution work.
So far, President Trump has displayed no understanding of this, and as time goes on, it is obvious that his knowledge is limited or possibly non-existent. One congressional representative took to Twitter to explain the concept of war crimes to the president, which is rather scary to see is necessary.
Responding to reports printed in The Washington Post, Lieu expressed his horror and disbelief that Trump would discuss his desire that the CIA begin killing innocent people.
‘When the agency’s head of drone operations explained that the CIA had developed special munitions to limit civilian casualties, the president seemed unimpressed. Watching a previously recorded strike in which the agency held off on firing until the target had wandered away from a house with his family inside, Trump asked, “Why did you wait?” one participant in the meeting recalled.’
As it turns out, Trump’s outlandish and alarming statements on the campaign trail were not made solely to excite his rabid fan base. He actually believes that murdering the families of terrorists, people who may not have known of the plans or crimes intended by their loved one or the crimes they have already committed. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) had to explain that this move would constitute a war crime, and it is terrifying that the president of the United States did not understand this before being elected.
The innocent family members of terrorists are not the only people Trump feels deserve death. He has also stated that response to the opioid crisis should include the death penalty for drug dealers. While existing laws do allow for the legal execution of drug traffickers, that law has not been exercised since it was reintroduced in 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. If a sentence such as this was imposed by any judge, the Supreme Court would most likely overturn it.
There is, however, no legal provision for executing the families of those who commit crimes, not even the crime of terrorism. Despite Trump’s absolute ignorance of the law and the limitations of his powers as president, he cannot order such killings.
Twitter responded to Lieu’s explanation with similar disbelief at Trump’s ignorance. See some of their responses below:
Featured image via Getty/NICHOLAS KAMM