Remember when the neo-liberals pretended to give a crap about civil liberties? Remember when they hated Bush and purported to have those feelings not because they were stolid shameless lackeys for the Democratic Party, but because they actually cared about liberty and freedom?
Yeah. That was funny. Good one, progressives. That routine was almost as hilarious as the one where you threaten and intimidate Christians and pretend you’re doing it in the name of “tolerance”, and not just for the sake of imposing your depraved will on others.
Today a Justice Department memo leaked to the press. The memo outlines the Obama Administration’s “legal justification” for assassinating US citizens without charge or trial. Bush said he had the right to tap your phones and the left exploded with indignant constitutional outrage. Obama says he has the right to drone bomb your mini van and the left apparently finds the assertion quite reasonable. “Kill me in the street if you like but DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT LOOKING AT MY TEXT MESSAGES!”
Bush was wrong. Very wrong. Obama is worse. Much worse.
I’ve read the “justification” the memo provides for killing US citizens without even glancing at the 4th Amendment. It’s bogus. It’s an insult to my intelligence. I guess the government is hoping that most of us don’t have much of an intelligence to insult in the first place. The memo says an American can be killed if he is “believed to be” in al-Qaeda or if he is “believed to be” an “associated force”. Here’s the kicker: there doesn’t have to be ANY EVIDENCE that he is currently engaged in an active plot to attack the US.
Hmmm. Holder originally rationalized this whole thing by saying that the government can kill an American only if he poses an “imminent threat of violent attack”. Riddle me this, Batman: how can one pose an “imminent threat of attack” if one is not actually engaged in a plot to… you know… attack?
Oh. Wait. Here it is. Apparently Uncle Sam, so says the memo, is working with a “broader concept of imminence”. That’s their actual phrase. A broader concept of imminence. Do you know what that means?
Nothing. It means absolutely nothing. Aside from sounding like the title of a Panic at the Disco album, it is total garbage. But it’s good enough to murder you and your family.
There are only two common defenses I hear for this Policy of Immediate Assassination. 1) “Obama is a Democrat and so am I so I’m OK with this. I am a zombie possessing neither a soul nor a mind of my own”. Nobody actually says that out loud, but that’s the implication. 2) “Well the government will only kill you if you’re dangerous. Don’t be dangerous and you won’t be killed.” Brilliant. First of all, many criminals are dangerous. It would be more efficient and effective to cut out the court system entirely and just outfit a bunch of Judge Dredds to roam through the streets and mow down bad guys like wild boars. But we have laws in this country. We are supposed to have freedom in this country. No matter how sure the State is of your guilt, they have to PROVE IT IN A COURT OF LAW. Are you really comfortable tossing that tenet out?
And here’s the other point. This is very, very important so pay attention. History lesson: every government and every dictator and every totalitarian despot throughout the course of human civilization has justified the murder of citizens by calling the victims “dangerous”. This is no different. It’s never different. The cycle repeats and many of us don’t notice because we haven’t read a book since grade school. Sometimes the victims were dangerous, many times they were not. That’s why we have a system to PROVE it, one way or another.
There is one interesting tidbit to note here. The White House and Pentagon, I expect, will soon be drone bombing the White House and Pentagon. After all, that’s the treatment you get if you “support” al-Qaeda, and the US government has been supporting al-Qaeda for years. Just go ask the terrorists in Libya and Syria where they got those fancy rocket propelled grenades and machine guns.
Wait. Actually don’t ask them. If you’re caught talking to them you might be assassinated. Remember, Obama can send them tanks but you can’t send them an e-mail. Got it?