Saturday, May 7, 2011

Obama Issues Presidential Assassination Orders - Revisited

Glenn Greenwald is among the very, very few columnists who address this issue: on what possible constitutional basis is the President granted the unilateral power to issue an assassination order against an American citizen, omitting due process altogether and playing the roles of judge, jury and executioner, as he has done in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki? Isn't this the sort of thing, among many others, that led to the original American Revolution? Isn't this the sort of tyrannical, arbitrary punishment without due process of law that caused our Founders to craft the Bill of Rights in the first place?

Greenwald points out that the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution "expressly guarantees that 'no person shall be deprived of life[, liberty, or property,] without due process of law' -- and provides no exception for war." The U.S. has managed to survive numerous terrible wars and one extended, ideologically driven Cold War without sacrificing that guarantee to the degree Obama seems willing to sacrifice it. When a president begins ditching constitutionally guaranteed liberties as easily as he would pour out yesterday's coffee, I have a problem with that... and you should, too.

I will not be voting for Mr. Obama in 2012. I will not be voting for his Republan opponent, either, but on the matter of fundamental civil liberties, I see very little difference between President Obama and his predecessor... except that Obama has actually issued assassination orders against American citizens far from any battlefield context, something that even the deplorable GeeDubya Bush never did. How could I vote for someone who illegitimately claims the power to assassinate American citizens without due process?

We are nothing without our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Without those guarantees, none of us... not one solitary American... has anything that can reasonably be called "security." I do not have an easy answer to Obama's behavior, but I know with certainty that if he is not confronted and the behavior addressed concretely, we can kiss our freedoms goodbye, no matter what terrorists Mr. Hopey-Changey manages to kill.


  1. Exactly so! If we say nothing else during the show election to come, we can drone this one home.

  2. PS. We have been posting about the truth of the Obama Administration threat for over a year and still, his most vociferous defenders are bourgeoisie progressives, which I imagine will turn Vichy when their 'property' comes before rights.

  3. mandt, y'all have been steadfast and relentless in confronting the facts of the Obama crew's avoidance of the Constitution. (Constitutional scholar, MFA!) We do what we can, and repeat ourselves a lot, but most bourgeoisie progressives (as was the case with me) will see the light about Obama only when they are ready to see it. Keep the focus; there's still hope.



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