Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Barack Obama trying to assassinate Americans overseas

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says:
No person deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law
Apparently Barack Obama, the constitutional scholar, never read that part.

President Obama has less respect for civil liberties than George W. Bush. While President Bush happily imprisoned and tortured American citizens in violation of their constitutional rights, he never tried to kill them. President Obama is trying to kill them.

Glenn Greenwald writes:
One policy where Obama has gone further than Bush/Cheney in terms of unfettered executive authority and radical war powers is the attempt to target American citizens for assassination without a whiff of due process. ...

That Obama was compiling a hit list of American citizens was first revealed in January of last year when The Washington Post's Dana Priest mentioned in passing at the end of a long article that at least four American citizens had been approved for assassinations; several months later, the Obama administration anonymously confirmed to both the NYT and the Post that American-born, U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki was one of the Americans on the hit list.

Yesterday, riding a wave of adulation and military-reverence, the Obama administration tried to end the life of this American citizen — never charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime — with a drone strike in Yemen, but missed and killed two other people instead. ...

If someone is willing to vest in the President the power to assassinate American citizens without a trial far from any battlefield — if someone believes that the President has that power: the power of unilaterally imposing the death penalty and literally acting as judge, jury and executioner — what possible limits would they ever impose on the President's power?
It's amazing how much more raw power presidents wield than the U.S. Constitution grants them. Only Congress has the power to declare war, yet President Obama has apparently made Yemen a war zone without congressional authority. Only the courts have the power to judge someone guilty of a crime, yet President Obama has decided to unilaterally impose the death penalty on four American citizens. Our anti-war, Nobel Peace Prize-winning president is Bush in sheep's clothing.

The really troubling thing is that presidential power grows unabated from one president to the next and no one tries to stop it.

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