« September 2010 »

Memo to Barack Obama: THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

Unacceptable. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"The Obama administration will urge a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit over its targeting of a U.S. citizen for killing overseas, senior Justice Department officials said late Friday, arguing that the case would reveal state secrets." - The Washington Post.

This was always the greatest danger of Dubya's insane "Great War On Terror". The normalizing of behavior previously considered abhorrent. The entrenching of attitudes and activities long thought unspeakable, so that no matter who the President was, the new powers, claimed powers, and just plain ability to get away with shit would remain unchecked. And so we have Anwar al-Awlaki.

al-Awlaki is a dual citizen of America and Yemen, currently in Yemen. He's a radical Muslim cleric. If all the accusations against him are true, he's incited terrorism, and is working with al-Qaeda on things like target selection. Which is some fairly heinous shit, again, if true.

al-Awlaki has not been indicted on any crime. No evidence has been presented against him in a court of law. Yet the Obama government has decided that if they get the shot, they will take him out. They will assassinate an American citizen.

If that gives you a Jack Bauer boner, you should probably stop reading now, because there's really no place for your phony yeehaw bravery-by-proxy here. Because that's not bravery. That's begging the government to do illegal shit to lower the already tiny chance you'll get blowed up by a microscopic amount. But we really can't do this.

I don't care if he's in another country, I don't care if he's also a Yemeni citizen, he's an American citizen, and that means he gets rights. Whether he deserves those rights is irrelevant. Whether you don't like him is irrelevant. If the Obama administration thinks he's done shit that warrants revoking his citizenship, then bring some damn charges and do it already.

I've said this before. I'm not naive. I'm aware that throughout history, some nasty-ass shit has been done behind the scenes. Some of it may even have been necessary. But what chaps my ass is the brazen attempt to get away with it. If you think you have to do these things in secret to keep the country safe, that's one thing. If, however, when you get caught doing it, hiding behind "state secrets" just verifies that you're pulling some shady shit.

Also, frankly, if I were Obama, I wouldn't DARE pull anything like this. The Democrats held off from prosecuting Bush's legendary abuses of power for a variety of reasons, some of which I can't even fathom. Some of it was not wanting to seem "weak on terror", some of it was that many of them were fine with it, and some of it was probably just a courtesy between members of the ruling elite. None of which, along with the obvious hypocrisy, will stop Republicans if they think they have a shot at taking out the President.

You don't think they could reform al-Awlaki's image enough to make his attempted assassination an issue? Really? David Vitter's still in office and Newt Gingrich is still on my television. That won't be a problem. And beyond that, they'll actually have the fucking law on their side.

And then, of course, there's the bitter medicine of having to cross "respect for the rule of law" off the "reasons to vote for a Democratic president in 2012" list. A list which never seems to get longer.