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Tyranny of Singular Thought: Deciding Who to Kill

Posted By Hugo Estrada On May 15, 2010 @ 12:00 pm In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

America is entering a new era, subjugation to a tyranny of singular thought.

Let us heed the warnings preserved for us through History…

[N]o countries need associations more — to prevent either despotism of parties or the arbitrary rule of a prince — than those with a democratic social state. …if private people did not artificially and temporarily create something like them, I see no other dike to hold back tyranny of whatever sort, and a great nation might with impunity be oppressed by some tiny faction or by a single man.

–  Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America

…and occuring in our midst.

Yesterday, Scott Shane wrote in the New York Times about the Obama administration’s approval for “targeted killing” of suspected terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki (residing in Yemen), first US citizen on the CIA’s kill list.

President Obama’s administration views its application of deadly force as a legitimate right of self-defense, a decision based on Awlaki’s ideological hate speech and incitement of violence against the United States.

Administration officials take the view that no legal or constitutional rights can protect Mr. Awlaki, a charismatic preacher who has said it is a religious duty to attack the United States and who the C.I.A. believes is actively plotting violence. The attempted bombing of Times Square on May 1 is the latest of more than a dozen terrorist plots in the West that investigators believe were inspired in part by Mr. Awlaki’s rhetoric.

In the fullest administration statement to date, Harold Koh, the State Department’s legal adviser, said in a March 24 speech the drone strikes against Al Qaeda and its allies were lawful as part of the military action authorized by Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, as well as under the general principle of self-defense.

According to one counter-terrorism official, speaking on the condition of anonymity:

American citizenship doesn’t give you carte blanche to wage war against your own country… If you cast your lot with its enemies, you may well share their fate.

But to the New York Times,  Anwar al-Awlaki is still an American citizen “protected by the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee not to be ‘deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’”

And if there is no longer a War on Terror, why is the Obama Administration authorizing the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki?

Authorizing the killing of an American citizen lifts a veil from the American public’s perception about their president: there is no limit in sight to his power.

His application of authority borders on tyranny, because President Obama applies this power arbitrarily in choosing which method of force to wield:

He’s against the use of harsh interrogation techniques (defined as torture by President Obama), yet has placed Awlaki on the Kill List.

He’s against the use of nuclear weapons, even in the event of a potentially devastating chemical or biological attack, yet condones drone missile strikes that have killed “a few dozen nearby civilians.”

This calculated political posturing sets a precedence, revealing an aspiration to clearly demonstrate the semblance of global power, control and reach. All within the framework and sanctions of the international community.

Putting Awlaki on a marked list signals to ALL potential enemies of the State, both foreign AND domestic, betrayal will not be countenanced anywhere in the world.

And Awlaki is no Bin Laden or even a Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

We have to wonder, is President Obama trying to force the hand of the American public by inviting disdain of our own official policies against terrorism?

He knows we can barely tolerate the 24/7 worldwide broadcasts of combat deaths. How can we tolerate the political assassination of an American citizen without judicial review?

How could he possibly expect our reputation to survive international community scrutiny?

He desperately wants to end the ongoing War on Terror, and this may be his end game strategy.

His is beginning the official countdown to zero, the same way revealing our nuclear arsenal will inevitably invite endless scrutiny from the international community until our defensive weapons stockpile is fully depleted.

In pursuing an American citizen without the right of due process guaranteed by the Constitution, Awlaki is President Obama’s nuclear bomb, another calculated effort to achieve a swift and decisive end to a global conflict.


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