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It is not a small thing that President Obama has claimed he has the right to murder anyone, anywhere, anytime for any reason or without providing any reason at all. A more pressing issue is that Obama has exercised this “right of kings” to murder innocent Americans who committed no crime. And trump has climbed on board this legal fiction.
Why is this OK?
“House Democrat leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California is under fire from across the political spectrum after admitting in an interview, among a host of other controversial positions, that she was not opposed to President Obama’s secret executions of U.S. citizens without a trial or even charges.
She also claimed that, depending on the timing and situation, it was acceptable for the executive branch to simply “disappear” Americans and keep it secret — a wildly unconstitutional notion that even most Third World dictators would never dare support publicly.”
“President Obama is again asserting his right to act unilaterally and without congressional approval in going to war. In what has become a mantra for this Administration, Obama reportedly told members of Congress that he does not need congressional approval to unleash a comprehensive military campaign against the Islamic State. The President informed a few members at a dinner — a striking image of how low congressional authority has become in our tripartite system of government.”
“Can the president kill you? The short answer is: Yes, but not legally. Yet, President Obama has established a secret process that involves officials from the Departments of Justice and Defense, the CIA, and the White House senior staff whereby candidates are proposed for execution and the collective wisdom of the officials then recommends execution to the president, who then accepts or rejects the recommendation. Sounds like a dictatorship, rather than an accountable system of jurisprudence.
…In 2011, Obama ordered the CIA to murder Anwar al-Awlaki, an American born in New Mexico. When the CIA’s drones murdered Awlaki, he was within eyesight in Yemen of about 12 Yemeni intelligence agents and four CIA agents, all of whom collectively could have arrested him. He was not engaged in any unlawful behavior. He was unarmed and sitting at an outdoor cafe with a friend and his teenage son and the son’s friend. All four—Americans all—were murdered by the drones dispatched from Virginia.
...When the president acts like a king and Congress looks the other way, congress is as culpable as the president.
Targeting U.S. citizens for killing
“… Lawyers for the Obama administration defended the administration’s decision to target radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, for killing.
Awlawki, who was born in New Mexico, was killed in an American missile strike in September; the ACLU has criticized the targeted killing program as blatantly violating the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees that no American citizen shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
At a national security conference last week, the lawyers for the Obama administration, CIA counsel Stephen Preston and Pentagon counsel Jeh Johnson, said American citizens are legitimate targets for killing when they take up arms against the U.S., according to the Associated Press. Jameel Jaffer, a deputy legal director for the ACLU, said in an interview in September that the targeted killing program sets up a precedent in which “U.S. citizens far from any battlefield can be executed by their own government.”
These abrogations of civil rights and murders of Americans are bad enough, but this is not where it ends. Now, not only does our president reserve the right to murder Americans, congress has passed a law making protest a federal crime. We are in serious trouble.
“President Obama claimed the “right” to declare anyone a ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorist sympathizer’ based on nothing more than presidential opinion, and order their assassination. No evidence is required — at least that the public can see. We are told to blissfully ‘trust’ our public officials even when they are unworthy of such trust. Now our right to protest, to be disruptive — has been criminalized as a federal felony.”
Obama headed an administration with a Murder, Inc. agenda. Obama appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. He targeted anyone, anywhere for any reason or none at all. US citizens are vulnerable like foreign nationals.
And now Donald John Trump the chump has assumed this power.
Murdering people in cold blood was one Obama signature away. Drones were his weapon of choice. These are instruments of state terror. They target alleged enemies half a world away or nearby. Without any rule of law.
Rule of law principles don’t matter. Obama made up his own rules. Despots govern in this this way. Obama operated like the worst of them. He does so with technological ease.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) says Obama’s kill list mocks due process and habeas rights.
It circumvents judicial review. It gives presidents diktat power. It permits cold-blooded murder on their say. CCR executive director Vince Warren said earlier:
“The law prohibits the government from killing without trial or conviction other than in the face of an imminent threat that leaves no time for deliberation or due process.”
“That the government adds people to kill lists after a bureaucratic process and leaves them on the lists for months at a time flies in the face of the Constitution and international law.”
...Killing noncombatants “raises the issue of war crimes accountability.” Drones murder nameless, faceless people.
US citizens are as vulnerable as foreign nationals. US-style democracy subverts its own principles. Imagine a nation calling itself civilized operating extrajudicially.
Imagine calling it the right thing to do. Imagine getting away with murder with impunity. Imagine authorizing it as official US policy.
Imagine a swastika replacing the stars and stripes. Imagine it already there.
Except that now we have Trump in charge of Murder, Inc.
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― Oscar Wilde