“The time has come to change hope”

Mark Fiore at Daily Kos has a devastating animation about President Obama’s decision to assassinate American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without any due process or public evidence of his guilt. Glenn Greenwald notes a report that says al-Awlaki’s assassination was decided by a secret group within the White House, whose proceedings were not recorded. Greenwald writes:

What’s crucial to keep in mind is that nobody can see this “evidence” which these anonymous government officials are claiming exists. It’s in their exclusive possession. As a result, they’re able to characterize it however they want, to present it in the best possible light to support their pro-assassination position, and to prevent any detection of its flaws. As any lawyer will tell you, anyone can make a case for anything when they’re in exclusive possession of all the relevant evidence are are the only side from whom one is hearing; all evidence becomes less compelling when it’s subjected to adversarial scrutiny. Yet even given all those highly favorable pro-government conditions here, it’s obvious — even these officials admit — that the evidence is “partial,” “patchy,” based on “suspicions” rather than knowledge.

Greenwald points out that this is exactly the sort of action that caused Democrats, both in the grassroots and in elected office, to rage against the Bush presidency. To protest the destruction of due process, of the Constitution, of who we are as a nation. But with the exception of Glenn and a few other very liberal bloggers, there is essentially silence when President Obama not only does what Bush did, but goes steps farther in actually assassinating American citizens without due process.

President Obama campaigned on rolling back the surveillance and torture state that President Bush built in the so-called war on terrorism. For the powers Bush and Cheney grabbed during their tenure to be taken away from the office of the presidency, President Obama would have to consciously and deliberately act to reduce the power of his own office. Maybe that wasn’t a reasonable expectation, but it is something that he told us he would do. Not only has he not done that, but he has expanded the rights he believes an American president has to act beyond the view of the public and beyond the rule of law. In so doing, not only is he treading on even more dangerous ground than his predecessor, but he is making everything done by President Bush a locked-in right for future presidents.

I can’t decide if I’m more outraged by the President thinking he can just kill Americans without due process or all the Democrats who won’t say a damned thing against him because, after all, he is a Democrat and not to be criticized.

2 thoughts on ““The time has come to change hope”

  1. There actually seem to be a nontrivial number of loyalist Dems who are actively supporting and acting as apologists for Obama on this front as well (it’s perfectly legal, it’s narrowly targeted, terrahists are really bad mmkay and this guy was a terrahist).

    Why, it’s almost as if Democrats don’t really stand for anything except “not as batshit crazy as the evil clowns that the Republicans field.”


  2. this is a terrying precedent. It apes some dystopian science fiction thriller where the gov’t can execute citizens at will, with no more explanation than to label the victim as a terrorist. Do we really think that there will never be another Republican president? Do we really think that that president will be more restarined than Obama and Bush? For a careful cautious Mr Three Dimensional Chess player, Obama has taken us to a very dangerous and dark realm with precious little to give comfort that we will a way back. This also only increases my admiration of the WWII generation who actually gave trials to the Nazi and Japanese regimes. They were moral giants and we are surrounded by moral midgets (with all due respect to the vertically challenged).


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