Friday, September 30, 2011
US democracy shamed as American citizen is targeted and killed by Obama without due process of law
by Larry Geller
If the US President doesn’t like what an American citizen says, First Amendment notwithstanding, he can target and kill that person without trial or any other due process. As of today, this is a clear reality.
Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen, was killed in a US air strike today.
No effort was made to indict him for any crimes (despite a report last October that the Obama administration was "considering" indicting him). Despite substantial doubt among Yemen experts about whether he even has any operational role in Al Qaeda, no evidence (as opposed to unverified government accusations) was presented of his guilt. When Awlaki's father sought a court order barring Obama from killing his son, the DOJ argued, among other things, that such decisions were "state secrets" and thus beyond the scrutiny of the courts. He was simply ordered killed by the President: his judge, jury and executioner. When Awlaki's inclusion on President Obama's hit list was confirmed, The New York Times noted that "it is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing."
[Salon.com – Glenn Greenwald, The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality, 9/20/2011]
From this morning’s Democracy Now (click thingy at lower right for full screen):
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License
Back to Glenn Greenwald:
What's most striking about this is not that the U.S. Government has seized and exercised exactly the power the Fifth Amendment was designed to bar ("No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law"), and did so in a way that almost certainly violates core First Amendment protections (questions that will now never be decided in a court of law).
Following the rule of law is complicated and messy. Who has time for stuff like that with an election looming next year.