Tuesday, October 04, 2011

R.I.P: Constitutional Protections

Paul Craig Roberts discusses the implications of the disturbing reality that our government now claims the power to assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world without so much as a charge being brought or a warrant issued. He notes that any American citizen who is moved into the threat category has no rights and can be executed without trial or evidence, and that "Terrorist" and "giving aid to terrorists" are increasingly elastic concepts.
In other words, now a "terrorist" may be labeled as such solely on the basis of "because I said so." Is that authoritarian enough for you? If this doesn't creep you out, then you are definitely not paying attention. Excerpts:

September 30, 2011 was the day America was assassinated.

Some of us have watched this day approach and have warned of its coming, only to be greeted with boos and hisses from "patriots" who have come to regard the US Constitution as a device that coddles criminals and terrorists and gets in the way of the President who needs to act to keep us safe.

In our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, Lawrence Stratton and I showed that long before 9/11, US law had ceased to be a shield of the people and had been turned into a weapon in the hands of the government. The event known as 9/11 was used to raise the executive branch above the law. As long as the President sanctions an illegal act, executive branch employees are no longer accountable to the law that prohibits the illegal act. On the president's authority, the executive branch can violate US laws against spying on Americans without warrants, indefinite detention, and torture -- and suffer no consequences.

Many expected President Obama to re-establish the accountability of government to law. Instead, he went further than Bush/Cheney and asserted the unconstitutional power not only to hold American citizens indefinitely in prison without bringing charges, but also to take their lives without convicting them in a court of law. Obama asserts that the US Constitution notwithstanding, he has the authority to assassinate US citizens he deems to be a "threat," without due process of law.

In other words, any American citizen who is moved into the threat category has no rights and can be executed without trial or evidence.

On September 30 Obama used this asserted new power of the president and had two American citizens, Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan, murdered. Khan was a wacky character associated with Inspire Magazine and does not readily come to mind as a serious threat.

Awlaki was a moderate American Muslim cleric who served as an adviser to the US government after 9/11 on ways to counter Muslim extremism. Awlaki was gradually radicalized by Washington's use of lies to justify military attacks on Muslim countries. He became a critic of the US government and told Muslims that they did not have to passively accept American aggression and had the right to resist and to fight back. As a result Awlaki was demonized and became a threat.

All we know that Awlaki did was to give sermons critical of Washington's indiscriminate assaults on Muslim peoples. Washington's argument is that his sermons might have had an influence on some who are accused of attempting terrorist acts, thus making Awlaki responsible for the attempts.

Obama's assertion that Awlaki was some kind of high-level Al Qaeda operative is merely an assertion. Jason Ditz concluded that the reason Awlaki was murdered rather than brought to trial is that the US government had no real evidence that Awlaki was an Al Qaeda operative.

Having murdered its critic, the Obama Regime is working hard to posthumously promote Awlaki to a leadership position in Al Qaeda. The presstitutes and the worshippers of America's First Black President have fallen in line and regurgitated the assertions that Awlaki was a high-level, dangerous Al Qaeda terrorist. If Al Qaeda sees value in Awlaki as a martyr, the organization will give credence to these claims. However, so far no one has provided any evidence. Keep in mind that all we know about Awlaki is what Washington claims, and that the US has been at war for a decade based on false claims.

But what Awlaki did or might have done is beside the point. The US Constitution requires that even the worst murderer cannot be punished until he is convicted in a court of law. When the American Civil Liberties Union challenged in federal court Obama's assertion that he had the power to order assassinations of American citizens, the Obama Justice (sic) Department argued that Obama's decision to have Americans murdered was an executive power beyond the reach of the judiciary.

In a decision that sealed America's fate, federal district court judge John Bates ignored the Constitution's requirement that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law and dismissed the case, saying that it was up to Congress to decide. Obama acted before an appeal could be heard, thus using Judge Bates' acquiescence to establish the power and advance the transformation of the president into a Caesar that began under George W. Bush....

...Illegal and unconstitutional actions also require a silencing of critics and punishment of those who reveal government crimes. Thus Bradley Manning has been held for a year, mainly in solitary confinement under abusive conditions, without any charges being presented against him. A federal grand jury is at work concocting spy charges against Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange. Another federal grand jury is at work concocting terrorists charges against antiwar activists.

"Terrorist" and "giving aid to terrorists" are increasingly elastic concepts. Homeland Security has declared that the vast federal police bureaucracy has shifted its focus from terrorists to "domestic extremists."

It is possible that Awlaki was assassinated because he was an effective critic of the US government. Police states do not originate fully fledged. Initially, they justify their illegal acts by demonizing their targets, and in this way create the precedents for unaccountable power. Once the government equates critics with giving "aid and comfort" to terrorists, as they are doing with antiwar activists and Assange, or with terrorism itself, as Obama did with Awlaki, it will only be a short step to bringing accusations against Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU.

The Obama Regime, like the Bush/Cheney Regime, is a regime that does not want to be constrained by law. And neither will its successor. Those fighting to uphold the rule of law, humanity's greatest achievement, will find themselves lumped together with the regime's opponents and be treated as such.

This great danger that hovers over America is unrecognized by the majority of the people. When Obama announced before a military gathering his success in assassinating an American citizen, cheers erupted. The Obama regime and the media played the event as a repeat of the (claimed) killing of Osama bin Laden. Two "enemies of the people" have been triumphantly dispatched. That the President of the United States was proudly proclaiming to a cheering audience sworn to defend the Constitution that he was a murderer and that he had also assassinated the US Constitution is extraordinary evidence that Americans are incapable of recognizing the threat to their liberty.... See entire piece.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jon said...

To paraphrase Churchill:

From Maine on the Atlantic to Hawaii in the Pacific an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.

Of all the Constitutional abuses of the last 11 years, history (when it's allowed to be read) will definitively show this to be America's Reichstag!!

All that's needed now is his declaration that he has become the chancellor. Peace in our lifetime!

This marks the birth of America's Kingdoms, each controlled by corporate factions. Each with their own coterie of Dukes and Barons and most assuredly,serfs.



Hail the stupid American Public!

The King is dead...long live the King!

FT

10:44 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Will the last (fre)e-mailer please turn off the internet?

FT

10:46 PM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Father Thyme, we're standing at the precipice of this country's future. We either back away, or go over the edge.

How's your BASE jumping?

3:45 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

JG,
Looks as though the only way to get to the other side is down then up.
Been over 40 years since I had to "jump."
I'm hoping I have enough rope left to rappel the whole way to the bottom. But it's beginning to look too short!
And climbing gear is getting way too expensive!
Isn't it great that we're worrying about how to safely get to the bottom rather than finish the climb to the top?
Of course, the 1 percenters are holding the rope at the top for us!
Can you say trust?

FT

7:33 PM  

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