I feel like I’m in Bizarro World when the Democratic President and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize authorizes the assassination of an American citizen, without trial — something that not even George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and John Yoo had the temerity to do. Glenn Greenwald’s analysis of how outrageous this is is a must-read. Greenwald documents all the ways and places both Obama and renowned liberal jurists like Antonin Scalia and Yoo say that actions short of assassination of an American citizen are not allowable. Obama himself opposed the detention of Americans without habeas corpus as fundamentally beyond a President’s power.
There are plenty of places where the Obama administration have continued on the path of the Bush administration when it comes to protecting a very expansive view of executive powers. This is one of the rare instances where Obama is actually going substantially further than Bush. Sadly, this most appalling assertion of executive power is also infinitely more offensive than warrantless wiretapping or detention without habeas corpus of Americans. The President just said he can assassinate an American without trial. What a sad day for our country and for the rule of law.