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Barack Obama
"Lincoln Sells Out Slaves"
by: Rob Kailey - Sep 13
1 Comments
If You Haven't Seen This
by: Rob Kailey - Apr 28
5 Comments
Impeach the President?
by: Rob Kailey - Mar 16
15 Comments
It's the system, stupid!
by: Jay Stevens - Oct 24
7 Comments

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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.

Obama, the unitary executive, and you

by: Jay Stevens

Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 09:05:21 AM MST


The news:

The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

Glenn Greenwald:

No due process is accorded. No charges or trials are necessary. No evidence is offered, nor any opportunity for him to deny these accusations (which he has done vehemently through his family). None of that.

Instead, in Barack Obama's America, the way guilt is determined for American citizens -- and a death penalty imposed -- is that the President, like the King he thinks he is, secretly decrees someone's guilt as a Terrorist.  He then dispatches his aides to run to America's newspapers -- cowardly hiding behind the shield of anonymity which they're granted -- to proclaim that the Guilty One shall be killed on sight because the Leader has decreed him to be a Terrorist.

Greenwald also points out that the SCOTUS in its 2004 Hamdi case that American citizens have a right to challenge their detention by the government as "illegal enemy combatants." It seems obvious the Obama administration's policy to assassinate Americans suspected of "illegal combat" oversteps its constitutional powers - something that, as Greenwald points out, Obama the candidate acknowledged.

Jay Stevens :: Obama, the unitary executive, and you
As Reason's Eli Lake yesterday noted that, despite Obama's rhetoric backing away from Bush-era illegal terror policies, his administration is actually continuing them:

When it comes to the legal framework for confronting terrorism, President Obama is acting in no meaningful sense any different than President Bush after 2006, when the Supreme Court overturned the view that the president's war time powers were effectively unlimited. As the Obama administration itself is quick to point out, the Bush administration also tried terrorists apprehended on U.S. soil in criminal courts, most notably "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid. More important, President Obama has embraced and at times defended the same expansive view of a global war against Al Qaeda as President Bush.

The U.S. still reserves the right to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely without charge, try them via military tribunal, keep them imprisoned even if they are acquitted, and kill them in foreign countries with which America is not formally at war (including Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan). When Obama closed the secret CIA prisons known as "black sites," he specifically allowed for temporary detention facilities where a suspect could be taken before being sent to a foreign or domestic prison, a practice known as "rendition." And even where the Obama White House has made a show of how it has broken with the Bush administration, such as outlawing enhanced interrogation techniques, it has done so through executive order, which can be reversed at any time by the sitting president.

The font of this extraordinary authority is a congressional resolution passed just three days after the 9/11 attacks. It says, "The president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

Just as President Bush said the 9/14 resolution gave him the wartime powers to detain, interrogate, capture, and kill terrorists all over the world, so too does President Obama. On March 13, 2009 Justice Department lawyers said in a Habeas brief before the D.C. Federal Court that this resolution, known as the AUMF, or authorization of the use of military force, granted the administration detention authority.

But I can hardly blame the Obama administration for seizing power left to it by the Bush administration. And while I do think the Bush lackeys the scripted and justified these powers someday will inhabit inner circles of Hell established for the bureaucrats who put the banal into evil, the blame for this lies squarely on the shoulders of Congress and the mainstream media.

Congress failed to even consider impeachment for a president who so clearly overstepped his constitutional powers. The media treated any impeachment talk as either a kind of insincere partisan political gambit, or the deluded ravings of Bush-addled lefties. But once a president slips past impeachment, there's a precedent for using the extralegal powers. Even if Obama had eschewed the use of Bush's policies, that wouldn't mean other presidents would have to.

Paul Krugman:

I'm sorry, but if we don't have an inquest into what happened during the Bush years...this means that those who hold power are indeed above the law because they don't face any consequences if they abuse their power.

Congratulations, Congress and "serious" media types. You just handed the president authoritarian powers.

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The Policy is Outrageous (0.00 / 0)
It doesn't matter what Bush did or thought.  Or whether he's been pursued or not.  The question is whether this order comports with the Constitution.  It does not.  The Fifth Amendment applies to citizens abroad, and the laws of war do not allow killing in just any old way the government might want.

Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law.

Blasphemy! (0.00 / 1)

What a racist post! You must not criticize The Great Leader!

BRING BACK COWGIRL!!!!!!!! (0.00 / 0)
you guys have bumped good, entertaining and funny stuff off, not all these grey boxes. Where is Cowgirl???  We want cowgirl.  She writes about montana-centered topics including sex, hypocrisy, drunk congressmen, and their poaching staff. that's the good stuff. Please allow her back on the blog.

I'm glad you like her... (0.00 / 0)
...but she posts when she wants.

[ Parent ]
sounds good. she must be on a vacation. (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
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