Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Is this what you call a democracy?

Greenwald explains the kill list memo better than pretty much anything else I've read so far. If this doesn't alarm a big chunk of slumbering America, then nothing will. Those who erroneously believe that "people like us don't have to worry", or as I read on a comment board today, "what's the problem?" are fooling themselves. It's scary that there are (many)citizens who don't understand why this is a problem, but what the memo represents is far scarier still.

As described by NBC News,  "the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida oran associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S."

Okay, what? "If they are believed to be..."  Believed by WHOM?? Based on WHAT EVIDENCE?? Who determines what "an associated force" means? Or is the concept of evidence just another quaint anachronism, like the Bill of Rights?  A hallmark of democracy is due process, and the rights afforded the accused. If we don't have that for American citizens - every citizen -  then we don't have a democracy. Read the following article carefully. Then, pass it on.

(Where the hell are the dems who howled when BushCo operated in secret with self-created authority??)

From  Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian UK:

The most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice. In September 2011, it killed US citizen Anwar Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen, along with US citizen Samir Khan, and then, in circumstances that are still unexplained, two weeks later killed Awlaki's 16-year-old American son Abdulrahman with a separate drone strike in Yemen.

Since then, senior Obama officials including Attorney General Eric Holder and John Brennan, Obama's top terrorism adviser and his current nominee to lead the CIA, have explicitly argued that the president is and should be vested with this power. Meanwhile, a Washington Post article from October reported that the administration is formally institutionalizing this president's power to decide who dies under the Orwellian title "disposition matrix".

 When the New York Times back in April, 2010 first confirmed the existence of Obama's hit list, it made clear just what an extremist power this is, noting: "It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing." The NYT quoted a Bush intelligence official as saying "he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president". When the existence of Obama's hit list was first reported several months earlier by the Washington Post's Dana Priest, she wrote that the "list includes three Americans".

What has made these actions all the more radical is the absolute secrecy with which Obama has draped all of this. Not only is the entire process carried out solely within the Executive branch - with no checks or oversight of any kind - but there is zero transparency and zero accountability. The president's underlings compile their proposed lists of who should be executed, and the president - at a charming weekly event dubbed by White House aides as "Terror Tuesday" - then chooses from "baseball cards" and decrees in total secrecy who should die. The power of accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner are all consolidated in this one man, and those powers are exercised in the dark... Read the rest.

2 Comments:

Blogger Father Tyme said...

Democracy? How quaint!

New word time!!

Politokrazy (pol-ih-tok-ray-see!)
Def: Politicians are in charge but answer to one higher authority who has power of "life, the universe and everything."

Greed, power, total submission to higher authority, total control over all others and unlimited corruption are prerequisites.

Sanity is not required.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

This country gets scarier by the DAY.
Seriously.

2:04 PM  

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