Here’s how Barack Obama’s Defense Secretary (and former CIA chief) Leon Panetta attempts to justify secret American executions of American citizens without any judicial proceedings. You will never hear more circular reasoning. Here’s my take-home on Panetta’s “explanation”: In these modern times, all you need to do is convince the President to mutter the code word “terrorist” and then you start the killing.
The President of the United States has become judge and jury, but you won’t find permission for this conduct anywhere in the United States Constitution. This approach is part of the modern “terrorism” exception large swaths of federal and state law. Declaring someone a “terrorist,” despite the incredible vagueness of the term, trumps all other laws. “Terrorism” is a term that is waved around to justify anything at all and to simultaneously compel anyone who questions its use to shut up lest they be accused of also being “terrorists.” It is the battle-cry for the modern witch hunt that seeks to muzzle journalists and concerned citizens, in order to facilitate intoxicated U.S. warmongering. “Terrorism” is also a code-word for pretending to explain why we are ignoring most of our domestic needs. The unbridled use of the word “terrorism” is supported by a cottage industry of absurdly unqualified “terrorism” experts.
The Obama Administration’s reprehensible approach to lawless enforcement is a dangerous power grab that knows no bounds. Who will be declared a “terrorist” next? Someone who vigorously protests U.S. warmongering? A journalist who is working to expose U.S. military abuses and cover-ups? How wide is this circle? Does it include those who might be accused of “sympathizing” with “terrorists” in that they publicizing why it is that some groups who have been labeled “terrorists” are undeniable victims of the actions and policies of the United States and its surrogates?
Glenn Greenwald dissects this incredibly disingenuous statement. As he so aptly points out, where is the outcry from Democrats? When George W. Bush was pulling less-reprehensible stunts, there was intense criticism.
This is one of the towering, unanswerable hypocrisies of Democratic Party politics. The very same faction that pretended for years to be so distraught by Bush’s mere eavesdropping on and detention of accused Terrorists without due process . . . The way the process normally works, as Reuters described it, is that targeted Americans are selected “by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions”; moreover, “there is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel” nor “any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.” So, absent a fortuitous leak (acts for which the Obama administration is vindictively doling out the most severe punishment), it would be impossible for American citizens to know that they’ve been selected for execution by President Obama (and thus obviously impossible to assert one’s due process rights to stop it).