It’s not bad enough that President Obama and AG Holder think nothing of holding show trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his gang before executing them. (I support the executions, not the perversion of justice.)
No, that was plenty bad, but evidently not bad enough.
Because they’re at it again—and this time Americans are in their (drone) sites:
In a Bloomberg commentary, Noah Feldman, a Harvard constitutional law professor, points to an additional complication: the possibility that in partly yielding to its civil-libertarian instincts, the Obama administration may actually endanger civil liberties.
Feldman argues that in justifying drone strikes against U.S. citizens, the administration undertook a “revolutionary and shocking transformation of the meaning of due process”:
Despite claiming that the Awlaki killing was justified because he was an operational leader of al-Qaeda, and thus in some sense an enemy on the battlefield, the white paper still assumes that due process applies to U.S. citizens abroad who adhere to the enemy. . . .
Applying due process analysis to Awlaki produces a legal disaster. The problem is, once you consider due process, you have to give it some meaning–and the meaning you choose will cast a long shadow over what the term means everywhere else.
Feldman argues that Awlaki received “none of the components of traditional due process.” That isn’t the problem, in Feldman’s view (or ours): The administration “should have said that due process doesn’t apply on the battlefield.”
By instead conceding that Awlaki was entitled to due process, then construing due process as “a rubber stamp,” the administration is “subverting the idea of the rule of law.” By pretending to treat terrorists as if they were ordinary criminal suspects, the government makes it more likely that ordinary suspects will be treated as if they were terrorists.
It’s the same argument! Because of their asinine refusal to treat the war on terror as a, you know, war, they pervert our system of justice by trying to prosecute it as a criminal case.
A criminal case in which they can pronounce not only the guilt but the sentence in advance. And a criminal case in which they can launch a preemptive hit from the skies. You can do that in war. You can’t do that in court. By their perverse mangling of justice they have revealed themselves as the monsters they are. Ugly, nasty, vile, pus-encrusted monsters.