Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Slouching towards a 4th term


Let's see... "unilateralism", "going it alone", "rendition", "pre-emption", "shredding the constitution"... weren't all the above which were allegedly part and parcel to Bush's presidency some of the main causes of Bush Derangement Syndrome among liberals and particularly those who were most excited by the Hopenchange as promised by one Barack Hussein Obama?

No, it couldn't have been. It couldn't have been because...

The U.S. government has the right to order the killing of American citizens overseas if they are senior al-Qaeda leaders who pose an imminent terrorist threat and cannot reasonably be captured, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Monday.

“Any decision to use lethal force against a United States citizen — even one intent on murdering Americans and who has become an operational leader of al-Qaeda in a foreign land — is among the gravest that government leaders can face,” Holder said in a speech at Northwestern University’s law school in Chicago. “The American people can be — and deserve to be — assured that actions taken in their defense are consistent with their values and their laws.”

Holder’s discussion of lethal force against U.S. citizens did not mention any individual by name, but his address was clearly animated by the targeting of Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior figure in al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in September.

Since that operation, the Obama administration has faced calls to explain the legal framework behind its decision to target Awlaki and to release at least portions of a classified memorandum by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that contains its evidence, reasoning and conclusions.

Holder’s speech represented the administration’s most elaborate public explanation to date for targeted killings. And it followed a prolonged internal debate about how to inform the public about one of the most extraordinary decisions a government can take without explicitly acknowledging the ongoing classified drone program.

Among the most revealing parts of the speech was Holder’s discussion of some of the factors the administration reviews before deciding that an individual represents an “imminent threat.” He said the critical factors include the “relevant window of opportunity to act, the possible harm that missing the window would cause to civilians and the likelihood of heading off future disastrous attacks against the United States.”

He said the president is not required by the Constitution to delay action until some “theoretical end stage of planning — when the precise time, place and manner of an attack become clear.”
(italics, ours)

Holy smokes! It's the ticking time bomb theory as justified to use, ahem, enhanced interrogation techniques that was scorned by Bush-hating liberals.

And let's be perfectly clear about something: The Bush administration considered but never put together a program or "list" if you will of American citizens suspected of terrorist activities that would be targeted for killing let alone actually carrying out a kill job as the Obama administration has done.

The attorney general’s “flexible definition of ‘imminent threat’ is absolutely appropriate as applied to terrorist planners, but it may be unsettling to many in the international community who criticized President Bush for his principle of preemption,” said John B. Bellinger, who served as a legal adviser to the State Department in the George W. Bush administration.

Bellinger said he agreed with the attorney general’s statement of U.S. law for targeting an American, although he noted that the speech was less clear about how targeted killings comply with international legal rules.

We don't recall nearly as charitable treatment of Bush-era counter-terrorism policies from this nation's papers (the Washington Post, in this case)

And here's more from the miserable hack that runs the Justice Department:

Holder argued that a careful and thorough executive branch review of the facts in a case amounts to “due process” and that the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protection against depriving a citizen of his or her life without due process of law does not mandate a “judicial process.”

“Where national security operations are at stake, due process takes into account the realities of combat,” Holder said. “Some have argued that the president is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qaeda or associated forces. This is simply not accurate.”

Holder said that the question of “whether the capture of a U.S.-citizen terrorist is feasible is a fact-specific, and potentially time-sensitive, question.”

“Given the nature of how terrorists act and where they tend to hide,” he continued, “it may not always be feasible to capture a United States-citizen terrorist who presents an imminent threat of violent attack. In that case, our government has the clear authority to defend the United States with lethal force.”

That is indeed an interesting philosophical shift from a person who wanted to try KSM and other terrorists in our civilian courts.

Years ago, B-Daddy warned us against giving the Executive branch too much of a national security pass when it came to the accruing of and execution of extra-constitutional powers. His fear was that a subsequent president would use the Bush actions as precedent to gather even more power under the Presidency. We don't think even B-Daddy, however, expected such a power grab in the very next presidency be it with respect to health care, Bailout Nation and, of course, the War on Terror.

That any number of Obama supporters and a compliant 4th estate admit to the same thing.

We leave you with a video we ran a couple of months back that is a very nice little Bush-Obama civil liberties side-by-each comparison.

When you lose Noam Chomsky



drozz said...

obama's decision making process is now a definition of due process.


Road Dawg said...

Too bad there isn't a liberal candidate to holler, "foul"!

Negocios Loucos said...

Road Dawg, I say too bad there isn't a conservative candidate to holler "foul". We'll Ron Paul does but the rest of the candidates are bleeding liberals bent on the end of democracy. Romney, Obama, Santoruum, McCain, Bush, whatever - all members of the same party here to herd the sheep into socialistic poverty.

SarahB said...

Constitution = law...unless you joined Al Queda. Got it.

Anonymous said...

Negocios Loucos,

I agree, but I was not addressing the republican herd. I want liberals to stand for their moral pricipals and be heard.

I get it, but a candidate with a "R" after his name screaming foul for Obama breaking promises to "reverse Bush..isms" would not have the same effect, so I wasn't addressing this collective mess.

My 23 yr old son also sees Ron Paul as the only candidate, right or wrong, not wishy-washy or backtracking on statemtents. Despite my disagreements with a portion of his foreign policy, he has earned my respect with integrety not found in politics today.

Again, thanks for the comment,

Harrison said...

Drones are the new black helicopters but, this time, I wouldn't be surprised if some were flying around looking for people.