Now, it is clear to me why Pres. Barack Obama and his administration have not made good on the promise to address due process at Guantanamo and to bring war crimes to bear upon the Bush Administration. He wanted the liberty to engage in similar acts himself. Such explains the killing of Osama bin Laden and, more recently, Anwar al-Awlaki. The frustrating things about the latter murder are the fact that al-Awlaki is an American and that Obama, through the mouth of Attorney General Eric Holder, is not allowing the paperwork leading up to the murder to be released to the public.
The excuses being made by Holder sounds a lot like the justification of water-boarding and other extreme torture methods during the former president’s reign. To hold people in perpetuity without appearing in court, to torture them, and to find individuals who are deemed to be threats and murder them are antithetical to the guiding principles and values of a democratic republic—which are to be in force regardless of our maritime or peacetime circumstances. Certainly, Holder would not want his president to be the target of a hit because it is in the security interests of a nation or group to remove him. Another entity’s intention, it must be understood, is just as good as our own; the United States is not to be placed on some moral pedestal where all our scapegoats can be murdered while none of our citizens could be—save for when we choose to kill our own.
This is the kind of executive power we should make illegitimate. When citizens are not allowed to know that someone is being targeted and then dismissed when inquiries are made concerning the reasons, they are taken away from representation and not allowed to make their own analysis of what happened because the facts are not at their disposal. This is oligarchic in nature and smacks of cronyism, jingoism, and dominionism wrapped together.
Holder does not like the use of the term “assassination” to describe the murder of al-Awlaki. Since assassination would be against U.S. principles and legal recourse, he does not want, of course, to call it what it is! It is the old trick of questioning what a term really means. The goal is to engage in subterfuge by getting paralyzed in semantics and definitions, thus diverting attention from the issue at hand. It is shameful that the leading attorney in the country engages in this puerile tomfoolery in order to justify unauthorized killing! It is chicanery at its worst.
There will come a time when the person we characterize as the most powerful in the world is persistently followed and targeted by foreign entities. When a successful attempt is made on that person’s life, what appeals can we make to avenge it since we have breached international justice countless times over the years? What sympathy should we command when we have rationalized killing leaders around the globe?
We would do well to read Stephen L. Carter’s book, The Violence of Peace: America’s Wars in the Age of Obama. Carter convincingly demonstrates that the foreign policy of Obama has jibed well with that of George W. Obama no longer seems as an antagonist of Bush, but oddly as the latter’s protagonist. It is hugely ironic and disturbingly prosaic that the hopeful, change-oriented, talk-with-our-enemies, cerebral candidate has morphed into a status-quo, lukewarm, centrist, Step ’n’ Fetchit-like demagogic president who is taking for granted that he will be returned to the White House because of the fortuitous ineptitude of the Republican contenders. Lucky for him, he has a hatchet person in the form of Eric Holder. Apparently, they both have taken lessons from their respective predecessor!