I don't know about you, but claiming to have the authority to assassinate any citizen at any place on earth, for any reason, without due process, is pretty high up on my list. Since day one in office, that fascist power is exactly what Barack Obama has claimed to have. Not only has he claimed to have it, but he has acted on it. Numerous times.
Let's talk about Abdulrahman al-Alwaki for a second.
Abdulrahman could've been that dorky kid you sat next to in high school. He was just that for somebody, because he was born and raised in Denver, and was just as much of an American as you or me. In 2011, he was visiting family in Yemen. On October 11, as he and his friends were barbecuing outside, a missile shot from a drone blew his body apart into a bloody mess. I'm being descriptive because "strike" doesn't do justice to what actually happens when a missile hits you. Pieces and bones of Abdulrahman were blown across the sand in a bloody mess. He wasn't "struck."
He was 16.
A number of Abdulrahman's friends -- also innocent teenagers -- were killed as well. But they don't get the spotlight, because they weren't born within our borders and therefore have no basic human rights.
Abdulrahman's father was Anwar al-Awlaki, another American who was assassinated without due process. He was likely an al-Qaeda propagandist, but he did preach nonviolence in the past. He was certainly not a "mastermind" and he was never involved in the actual "plotting" of terrorist attacks. We'll never know what exactly he was up to, because the Obama administration felt the need to murder him without charging him with any crimes. Cowards who defend this policy often make comparisons to police work. If a dangerous lunatic is running around in public waving a gun at people, or even taking hostages, the police certainly have a right to use deadly force against that person. However, that doesn't apply to any of these situations, because of none of the four known Americans who have been assassinated by drones so far were an imminent threat to anyone at the time of their deaths. If they committed any crimes, then bring them to trial and try them. There was this thing called the "Magna Carta," written about 800 years ago, which is the basis for all Anglo-American law. It made the wild assertion that a government can't just fucking murder you whenever it wants.
When Abdulrahman was first killed, the Obama administration initially lied and said he was 21. His family had to present a birth certificate to prove his real age. A few months back, an independent journalist cornered former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and asked him about Abdulrahman. Asked about the murder of a child, Gibbs instead talks about how evil his father was, and avoids the question entirely. It's fucking disgusting. This is literally the only comment anyone close to the Obama administration has ever made on the death of this boy. No one knows to this day whether Abdulrahman himself was the target of the missile.
Last night, NBC released a leaked 16-page memo from the Department of Justice that attempts to legally justify why the Obama administration thinks it can do this. It had to be leaked, because the administration refuses to publicly say how it legally justifies murdering Americans without due process. You can read it here.
I'm not going to get much into it actual contents, because you can read if yourself and the kinds of things I'd have to say about it are pretty obvious. And Glenn Greenwald does a much better job at it than I could, anyway. Democracy Now also talked about it this morning. Summed up -- George Bush's legacy was the Bush Doctrine, which made the entire planet a battlefield. All countries and all borders are fair game for the "war on terror" -- even inside the United States. Obama has continued the Bush Doctrine. With the NDAA, he has the authority to lock up any American at any place (including within our own borders) without charges, indefinitely. With his "disposition matrix," he can assassinate Americans on American soil, not just overseas. And the memo's vague wording, "al-Qaeda" or "associated forces", means that literally anything can justify your assassination. It really is the absolute worst-case scenario. Even if you trust Obama with this kind of power (in which case you're an absolute lunatic), he just handed this to literally every future president we will ever have. Think about the implications of this. Julian Assange of Wikileaks is classified as an enemy of the state. That's the same status given to al-Qaeda. The executive branch has the legal authority to assassinate journalists and whistleblowers in their homes on American soil.
This is not new or even remotely surprising. Civil libertarians on both the right and the left have been screaming our heads off about this shit for the last couple years. After being continuously dismissed and berated as Alex Jones conspiracy theorists (literally), the truth has finally hit mainstream with the release of this memo. It's the top story on MSNBC's web site right now. Rachel Maddow was talking about it. Drudge Report -- fucking Drudge Report -- mentioned Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.
I. Am. Elated.
That's a pretty horrible reaction to a topic like this, but I really can't describe it any other way. I am in such an arrogant I-FUCKING-TOLD-YOU-SO mood right now. And I fucking deserve it, dammit. This is finally breaking through into mainstream press. A lot of Obama supporters were often annoyed with me if I dared bring it up during the election, and many didn't even believe me at all. So, seriously -- fuck all of you.
One of the saddest and most predictable things about mainstream politics is that the "left" and "right" (those words are essentially meaningless) always descend into their little partisan dickwaving over every fucking issue. This won't be any different. In the coming days, Republicans will pretend to be outraged without seeing the slightest bit of hypocrisy about advocating torture. Many Obama supporters will do the same, in reverse, defending this policy without seeing the hypocrisy in opposing George Bush at some other obscure point in their sad lives. Then there will be the racist right-wing conspiracy theorists who will whine some more about being victims, moving beyond "Obama orchestrated Sandy Hook to take away guns" into "Obama wants to assassinate Republicans." I doubt there will be much serious discussion, and Obama will continue to assassinate Americans whether we like it or not.
I'm actually extremely happy, because I'm seeing a lot more outrage on the left than I expected. But there are still idiots. The propaganda wing of the Democratic party on MSNBC has been especially hilarious.
This is the face of America's establishment "left." They have become so disillusioned and seduced that they are defending the most terrifying claim to power that any president has made in our entire history -- extrajudicially murdering any person, for any reason, at any place. America's "left" is to the right of Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush, slightly to the left of Augusto Pinochet. Congratulations, lesser-of-two-evil voters. You got everything you voted for: evil.