03 Sep 2010

Glenn Greenwald Describes Obama’s America

Big Brother 6 Comments

It’s even worse than what American liberals thought under George W. Bush’s America:

The lawsuit — captioned Al-Aulaqi v. Obama — was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia, and names Barack Obama, Leon Panetta and Robert Gates as defendants. Among other relief, the Complaint asks the court to (a) “declare that the Constitution [along with ‘treaty and customary international law’] prohibits Defendants from carrying out the targeted killing of U.S. citizens, including Plaintiff’s son, except in circumstances in which they present concrete, specific, and imminent threats to life or physical safety, and there are no means other than lethal force that could reasonably be employed to neutralize the threats”; (b) “enjoin Defendants from intentionally killing U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulaqi” unless they demonstrate the applicability of those narrow circumstances; and (c) “order Defendants to disclose the criteria that are used in determining whether the government will carry out the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen”…

Just how perverse is the Obama administration’s assassination program is reflected in the rights Awlaki is forced to assert. He alleges — as the Complaint puts it — that the Government is violating his “Fifth Amendment Right Not to be Deprived of Life Without Due Process.” Just re-read that and contemplate that in Barack Obama’s America, that right even needs to be contested. The Complaint also alleges that using lethal force against a U.S. citizen in these circumstances violates the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizure, and also violates the Alien Tort Statute, which bars “extrajudicial killings.” Reading Awlaki’s Brief in support of his request for injunctive relief is almost surreal, as one witnesses an American citizen try to convince a federal court to stop the Government from trying — far away from a battlefield and without any violence used to resist apprehension — to murder him without due process…[Bold by RPM]

But it gets even crazier. Can you believe that the following is in a lawsuit against the U.S. federal government? Ten years ago, if you read this in a dystopian novel titled 2010 (like 1984, not like the Roy Scheider movie), wouldn’t you have thought it was ridiculous? Yet here is a portion of the lawsuit:

That the government has kept secret the standards under which it targets U.S. citizens for death independently violates the Constitution: U.S. citizens have a right to know what conduct may subject them to execution at the hands of their own government. Due process requires, at a minimum, that citizens be put on notice of what may cause them to be put to death by the state.

Is that so much to ask? President Obama, after you pay for my mortgage and avert global warming, can you please let me know the list of things I have to avoid, so that you don’t order me assassinated? Thanks.

6 Responses to “Glenn Greenwald Describes Obama’s America”

  1. Aristos says:

    When the Russian government does this type of thing, we know that it is evil, and we thank the heavens that our Constitution prevents such tyranny in our own country. Yet it’s happening right here, right now. Is it fear of terrorists that allows us to accept it? Is it utter ignorance? Is it the apathetic belief that we, as individuals or even as a people, cannot do anything about it? Or do we simply trust that the government will only go after truly bad guys?

    • bobmurphy says:

      I’m not making a joke, I think this is true: A lot of people right now don’t care because their name isn’t Abdullah.

  2. Aristos says:

    I agree. It reminds me of the “First they came…” saying .

  3. LiquidOC says:

    Just because Obama is the one that had the lawsuit filed against him doesn’t make him the starter or the “carry-outter” of the law. Bush had targeted killings under him too, as well as several presidents before him, I’m sure. Remember the big joke about “why don’t we just shoot saddam in the head?” It was because he was working for us.

    Thanks for playing, though.

    • bobmurphy says:

      The difference (I believe) is that Bush didn’t have official “kill lists” of American citizens. And I sense that you are really concerned with defending Obama vis-a-vis Bush. For what it’s worth, I was a huge critic of Bush as well, when he was in office.

      My point was that many people who went ballistic over the “police state” of George Bush, are not nearly as concerned when it is Obama doing things that are objectively worse.

      (By the same token, many of the current Tea Partiers weren’t so concerned about government deficits under Bush either. I’m not making this a partisan thing.)

    • bobmurphy says:

      Oh one other thing: Of course the President is the executor of the law. He is the head of the Executive Branch of government. If Obama had a problem with targeting US citizens for assassination, far from a battlefield and without any due process, he could put a stop to it. He chooses not to.

      Don’t take my word for it; read Glenn Greenwald’s many posts on this topic. That’s why I love GG; he was an Obama supporter but now speaks the obvious truth.