Did you know that U.S. President Barack Obama can now order you killed? Read on.
Barack Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder recently raised himself on his hind legs to explain to the nation what process is used to pick targets of Barack Obama's Presidential Murder Program (my caps; Holder is lowercase-modest).
This on the heels of the fact that President Barack Obama has been doing just that. Holder presumes the power; he just wants to explain the process.
(Did I say "Barack Obama" enough? I hope so.)
To explain, I give you Jonathan Turley, writing in Foreign Policy (my emphasis and much reparagraphing):
On Monday, March 5, Northwestern University School of Law was the location of an extraordinary scene for a free nation. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder presented President Barack Obama's claim that he has the authority to kill any U.S. citizen he considers a threat.Turley's summary:
It served as a retroactive justification for the slaying of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki last September by a drone strike in northeastern Yemen, as well as the targeted killings of at least two other Americans during Obama's term.
What's even more extraordinary is that this claim, which would be viewed by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution as the very definition of authoritarian power, was met not with outcry but muted applause.
Where due process once resided, Holder offered only an assurance that the president would kill citizens with care. While that certainly relieved any concern that Obama, or his successor, would hunt citizens for sport, Holder offered no assurances on how this power would be used in the future beyond the now all-too-familiar "trust us" approach to civil liberties of this administration. ...
Holder's speech does not materially limit that claimed authority, but stressed that "our legal authority is not limited to the battlefields in Afghanistan." He might as well have stopped at "limited" because the administration has refused to accept any limitations on this claimed inherent power. ... [H]e insisted that "a careful and thorough executive branch review of the facts in a case amounts to 'due process.'"
What Holder is describing is a model of an imperial presidency that would have made Richard Nixon blush.Turley has more, as do others. Please read it through.
If the president can kill a citizen, there are a host of other powers that fall short of killing that the president might claim, including indefinite detention of citizens -- another recent controversy.
Thus, by asserting the right to kill citizens without charge or judicial review, Holder has effectively made all of the Constitution's individual protections of accused persons [into] matters of presidential discretion.
Let me reiterate: Obama (through Holder) has turned "all of the Constitution's individual protections" of due process before incarceration or execution (state murder) into "matters of presidential discretion."
In other words, Obama can kill you ... any time he wants to. How is that not a fair description? And don't forget to note the "muted applause" in Turley's description of the speech's reception.
Might this be one of those "lines of conscience" we talked about?
(To follow on Twitter: @Gaius_Publius)