" ... 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:
The other people killed "may have" been Al Qaeda operatives. Or they "may not have" been. Who cares?
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.
Glenn Greenwald puts up a compelling argument against President Obama's singularly unique disregard for the Fifth Amendment (and he being a "constitutional scholar," at that) and his "shoot to kill" orders of American citizens abroad without having been charged with any crime, without having been arrested for any crime, and without the right to American due process.
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.I, too, find it hard to convey in words that are civil how horribly wrong this is and why it is just one of many reasons (but a primary one) I do not support the man in the White House. I like him even less than I did Bush, and that really says something.
Read the entire piece here, and feel free to comment.