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.