Killing Them Softly

Even liberal wackos are whacking Obama over whacking Americans [hat tip Yerushalimey]:

The most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice. In September 2011, it killed US citizen Anwar Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen, along with US citizen Samir Khan, and then, in circumstances that are still unexplained, two weeks later killed Awlaki’s 16-year-old American son Abdulrahman with a separate drone strike in Yemen.

Since then, senior Obama officials including Attorney General Eric Holder and John Brennan, Obama’s top terrorism adviser and his current nominee to lead the CIA, have explicitly argued that the president is and should be vested with this power. Meanwhile, a Washington Post article from October reported that the administration is formally institutionalizing this president’s power to decide who dies under the Orwellian title “disposition matrix”.

When the New York Times back in April, 2010 first confirmed the existence of Obama’s hit list, it made clear just what an extremist power this is, noting: “It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.” The NYT quoted a Bush intelligence official as saying “he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president”. When the existence of Obama’s hit list was first reported several months earlier by the Washington Post’s Dana Priest, she wrote that the “list includes three Americans”.

What has made these actions all the more radical is the absolute secrecy with which Obama has draped all of this. Not only is the entire process carried out solely within the Executive branch – with no checks or oversight of any kind – but there is zero transparency and zero accountability. The president’s underlings compile their proposed lists of who should be executed, and the president – at a charming weekly event dubbed by White House aides as “Terror Tuesday” – then chooses from “baseball cards” and decrees in total secrecy who should die. The power of accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner are all consolidated in this one man, and those powers are exercised in the dark.

That’s Glenn Greenwald, no racist ‘Bama-basher he.

Speaking of whom:

RUSH: This is from NBC News: “A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the US government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be ‘senior operational leaders’ of al-Qaida or ‘an associated force’ — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the US.”

Does that mean Nixon coulda killed Bill Ayers? It does mean that. Bill Ayers or the Weathermen. He had an active plot against the US, bombed the Pentagon. If Nixon had assumed the kind of power that Obama’s assuming, he could have sent a commando team out to wipe out Bill Ayers.

Remember all of the anger that the left had over waterboarding. And look at this now. I think I have this right. Constitutional scholar Barack Obama is demanding the right to kill American citizens without making his case to a judge, as long as he thinks the American in question is in an upper tier of operations of Al-Qaeda or a related group. But he can’t waterboard the guy. You can kill him, but we can’t waterboard him. We can kill the son of a…, but we can’t torture him. Have I got this right? I think I do. I thought you should know.

In a related story:

Lawmakers in at least 11 states are proposing various restrictions on the use of drones over their skies amid concerns the unmanned aerial vehicles could be exploited by local authorities to spy on Americans.

Concerns mounted after the Federal Aviation Administration began establishing safety standards for civilian drones, which are becoming increasingly affordable and small in size.

Some police agencies have said the drones could be used for surveillance of suspects, search-and-rescue operations, and gathering details on damage caused by natural disasters.

Virginia lawmakers on Tuesday approved a two-year moratorium on the use of drones by police and government agencies.

Proponents of the legislation say the unfettered use of drones could infringe on Virginians’ privacy rights. The legislation was supported by the ACLU, the Tea Party Federation and agriculture groups, while several law enforcement organizations opposed the moratorium.

Glenn Greenwald and Rush Limbaugh. The ACLU and the Tea Party. Way to bring us together, Bama!


  1. Buck O'Fama said,

    February 6, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

    I saw this comment in the Guardian story:

    “I think the vast majority of American media are racist. They never condemn the black man, but any white President or candidate for President they get their teeth stuck into absolutely anything.

    If that’s not racism I don’t know what is.”

    He might have a point but I wonder if the journ0listic establishment would be zipping their lips if Slick Willie were doing this as well?

  2. Bloodthirsty Liberal said,

    February 6, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

    I think that they’d be deferential to any democrat, but the fact that he is black makes him off-limits in certain circles. Any criticism of Obama is racism. We live in ugly times politically.

    - Aggie

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