Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A royal prerogative

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John Cole states it well:

I’m at a loss to describe how truly radical, wrong, and evil this is:

At this point, I didn’t believe it was possible, but the Obama administration has just reached an all-new low in its abysmal civil liberties record. In response to the lawsuit filed by Anwar Awlaki’s father asking a court to enjoin the President from assassinating his son, a U.S. citizen, without any due process, the administration late last night, according to The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing the merits of the claims. That’s not surprising: both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality. But what’s most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is “state secrets”: in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.

This is a horrifying development, and there simply is no way to excuse it. This smacks of the Stalin or the Ton Ton Macoute- targeting someone for death, and then refusing to offer any evidence why. I’m sure that someone is going to offer some limp legal defense for this behavior, but even if something is technically legal, it can still be evil and wrong. Just a horrible precedent.

From a practical matter, though, how different is it from what we do every single day? Every single day, some unaccountable political apparatchik and team of military advisors signs off on a “secret” drone strike that kills someone, usually a bunch of poor bastards who had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time or being born the child of an “alleged terrorist.” And mind you- it is only a “secret” to the American people. The folks on the receiving end are very aware of our “secret” drone strikes. And should someone have the audacity to try to inform the American public of what we are doing, our response is to accuse him of treason and smear him as a rapist.

We’ve lost our way as a nation, and Obama really is trying to be worse than Bush in some areas. I guess when they said they were going to bring back accountability and transparency, they meant in other areas.

I recommend your read the entire column that Cole quotes.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 September 2010 at 7:12 am

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