Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Obama and Co. Make Up the Law as They Kill

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford | February 6, 2013

Unlike the bombast that characterized the Bush administration’s assaults on U.S. and international law, the Obama regime tends to dribble out its rationales for gutting the Bill of Rights and every notion of global legality. This president prefers to create a fog – let’s call it the fog of his war against human rights – as he arrogates to himself the power to perpetually imprison or to summarily execute anyone, at any time, anywhere in the world. Obama assures us such authority is constitutionally rooted – it’s in there, believe me, he tells us – but he never produces legal chapter and verse to prove that presidential dictatorship is lawful. Instead, we get dribs and drabs of the administration’s position from lawyers defending Obama’s preventive detention law in the courts, or from informal statements by the attorney general, or even little tidbits gleaned from an Obama conversation with comedian Jon Stewart.

obama_yes_we_can_murderThe latest hors d’oeuvre to be dished out comes in the form of a leak. I say “dished out” because leaked documents are commonly placed in public view by the administration in power, to test the political waters. This leaked Justice Department “white paper” appears to have been drawn up after the execution-by-drone of U.S. citizen Anwar Awlaki, in Yemen. It justifies the killing of anyone occupying a position of status in al-Qaida, or with the ever-changing universe of groups said to be “associated” with al-Qaida. The document stretches the definition of “imminent threat” to cover anyone engaged in activities directed against the U.S., whether or not an actual operation is planned or in progress. Most interestingly, the white paper empowers Obama to delegate the kill-at-will authority to “an informed, high-level official of the U.S. government.” Which has a certain logic, since dictators certainly have the power to delegate the carrying out of their unjust acts to whomever they choose.

Eleven U.S. senators are asking for further clarification of the administration’s legal position. But that is just more fog, since the Congress overwhelmingly passed Obama’s preventive detention law – twice!! – a law based on the same assumption that due process of law does not apply when the president says it’s wartime. Therefore, the commander-in-chief can lock up any American, without charge or trial, forever, or until he declares peace. The U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder, has made the administration’s position clear enough. Due process, he says, does not necessarily mean access to the judicial process – meaning, a trial. The process is whatever the president or the nearest “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government” says it is. Obama had redefined war, itself. The president told the Congress, after bombing Libya for eight months, that by his definition – which is the only one that counts – no state of war exists unless Americans become casualties, even if the U.S. kills tens of thousands, or millions. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was fond of saying that the arc of history bends towards justice. In the long term, that may be true. But Martin’s arc is not bending towards justice under this administration. It bends towards fascism, with a Black presidential face.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

February 6, 2013 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , ,

2 Comments

  1. Obama denounced enhanced interrogation; now he’s Judge, Jury and Executioner.

    Comment by B. Benhamid | February 6, 2013

  2. Obama must be impeached for treason, war crimes, Crimes against humanity, and face the death penalty as provided by the US War Crimes Act of 1996. The federal means of execution is the electric chair. Of course he should not go it alone. The National Security Council and staff are prime candidates for execution too. As is many Members of Congress and disinformation specialist who helped propagandize for the initiation and continuation of wars of aggression, assassination, and denial of basic Constitutional Protections against governmental authoritarianism. In the case of the US, since it is about private/corporate profiteering, it is by definition; fascism.:

    ‘1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism’ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fascism

    Comment by puredemocracyrevolution | February 7, 2013


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.