Monday, May 09, 2011

try'na tell you - Double "O" don't play!!!

Salon | That Barack Obama has continued the essence of the Bush/Cheney Terrorism architecture was once a provocative proposition but is now so self-evident that few dispute it (watch here as arch-neoconservative David Frum -- Richard Perle's co-author for the supreme 2004 neocon treatise -- waxes admiringly about Obama's Terrorism and foreign policies in the Muslim world and specifically its "continuity" with Bush/Cheney). But one policy where Obama has gone further than Bush/Cheney in terms of unfettered executive authority and radical war powers is the attempt to target American citizens for assassination without a whiff of due process. As The New York Times put it last April:
It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president. . . .
That Obama was compiling a hit list of American citizens was first revealed in January of last year when The Washington Post's Dana Priest mentioned in passing at the end of a long article that at least four American citizens had been approved for assassinations; several months later, the Obama administration anonymously confirmed to both the NYT and the Post that American-born, U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki was one of the Americans on the hit list.

Yesterday, riding a wave of adulation and military-reverence, the Obama administration tried to end the life of this American citizen -- never charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime -- with a drone strike in Yemen, but missed and killed two other people instead:
A missile strike from an American military drone in a remote region of Yemen on Thursday was aimed at killing Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric believed to be hiding in the country, American officials said Friday.

The attack does not appear to have killed Mr. Awlaki, the officials said, but may have killed operatives of Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen.
The other people killed "may have" been Al Qaeda operatives. Or they "may not have" been. Who cares? They're mere collateral damage on the glorious road to ending the life of this American citizen without due process (and pointing out that the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution expressly guarantees that "no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law" -- and provides no exception for war -- is the sort of tedious legalism that shouldn't interfere with the excitement of drone strikes).

There are certain civil liberties debates where, even though I hold strong opinions, I can at least understand the reasoning and impulses of those who disagree; the killing of bin Laden was one such instance. But the notion that the President has the power to order American citizens assassinated without an iota of due process -- far from any battlefield, not during combat -- is an idea so utterly foreign to me, so far beyond the bounds of what is reasonable, that it's hard to convey in words or treat with civility.

6 comments:

nanakwame said...

It is quite an interesting, this open development; it is nothing that has not happen in America before, as the Black Power or the Lakota Sioux movement can tell us, or, our hated Castro and the Sandinistas. The problem with some liberals is they have white washed our history for too long and are always complicit with the move towards tyranny. That the benevolent white folks granted the freedom, where it is the blood, sweat, and tears that force change. Obama is saying you are an American, you attack America, ergo; you are a person w/o a country and an open target. Oh btw The Mob place JFK in power and earned their in role, and even if Robert went after the barbaric, the Black Hand came a long way baby. That my best conspiracy, of why we honor the mob icons over the Civil Right icons.
It is still going to be interesting, the stance the government takes as real problems stay unresolved up into 2016.

Big Don said...

Wouldn't hurt to clean out all the Death Rows and Lifers-Without-Parole by executive order after, say, 5 years of due-process appeals with no luck.
We don't need no more Mumia's...

Princess said...

What?

nanakwame said...

@Big Don - Mumia is a clear example of wanting to take a human out, especailly in Philly.
No Death penalty for self-defense that now can't not be proven. Remember this is the second State where a bomb was dropped on black folks. American so-called Naiveté has hurt us badly, even in our education of so-called history.

DF said...

I had to laugh at the picture alone as I need some of those Double O-Bama action figures! I was ready to call him the DC sniper but I knew that wouldn't go over too well!

Makheru Bradley said...

He is judge, jury, executioner, and funeral director.