Anybody with a knowledge of the history of people whose power went to their heads should shudder at this piece of Hope & Change on steroids:
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.
It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.
But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in February that such a step was possible. â€œWe take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community,â€ he said. â€œIf we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.â€
Glenn Greenwald at Salon analyzes it this way:
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.
The juxtaposition is highly confusing. President Obama’s Justice Department is bending over backwards to apply constitutional protections to non-citizens while at the same time stripping a US citizen of his constitutional protections? Obama must think constitutional rights are a zero-sum game (to give them to one person means another has to lose them).
The confusing message being sent to Anwar al-Awlaki is this: If you want to live, not to mention be provided with taxpayer-supplied legal assistance, a laptop computer, and be afforded constitutional protections reserved for US citizens, then renounce your US citizenship now. Dizzying, but true.
As one who has heard Obama-supporting Democrats in Washington describe Tea Partiers as “terrorists,” finding out that, from time to time, it’s okay to kill American citizen “terrorists” without due process tends to be a tad troubling.