- Lawlessness, injustice, and contempt for democratic values
define his administration. He delivered change all right - for the worst,
and nothing ahead looks promising.
- Obama-style "rules of engagement" include bullets,
bombs, slit throats, knives in the back, or drone attacks justice.
- Targeted victims are declared guilty by accusation. Due
process and judicial fairness are discarded artifacts. US citizens are
as vulnerable as global enemies.
- No one is safe anywhere in a world ruled by rogue leaders,
taking the law into their own hands with impunity.
- As a result, freedom and security were jettisoned to
memory hole oblivion. Let's count the ways.
- Muslims are targeted for their faith, ethnicity, and
at times prominence and charity.
- Torture remains official US policy.
- America's domestic and overseas gulags match the worst
anywhere. Out of sight and mind, inmates are dehumanized and brutalized.
- America's business is war and grand theft globally. Countries
are raped and pillaged on the pretext of humanitarian intervention.
- Everyone except corporate favorites and complicit elites
- Ten Muslim Southern California students were convicted
for exercising their First Amendment rights. Others are hunted down and
prosecuted ruthlessly for political advantage.
- Thousands of political prisoners suffer unjustly, including
undocumented Latinos here because destructive trade pacts destroyed their
- State-sponsored murder is official policy. Innocent victims
include Troy Anthony Davis. Others wait their turn on death row. Federal,
state and local authorities call it justice. Human rights activists call
it crimes against humanity.
- Murdering Anwar Al-Awlaki
- CIA operatives and Special Forces death squads are authorized
to kill US citizens abroad. For any reason or none at all without evidence,
they're hunted down and murdered in cold blood.
- Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was a US citizen living
in Yemen, targeted for opposing US belligerency, not alleged or committed
- His murder and others put Americans and everyone at risk
globally if outspoken against imperial Washington lawlessness, including
waging permanent global wars against humanity to profit handsomely from
- After him, who's next? Maybe writers expressing outraged
criticism. Maybe media hosts on air, and speakers justifiably denouncing
- Under Obama-style justice, they're potential targets,
putting everyone at risk for speaking publicly against rampaging government
criminality. Administration and congressional officials are recklessly
out-of-control and unhinged, without morals or ethics. They fail to distinguish
between right and wrong.
- In September 2009, it was learned that then Central Command
head (now CIA boss) General David Petraeus issued secret orders to covertly
deploy US Special Operations forces to 75 or more Middle East, Central
Asia, and Horn of Africa countries.
- By implication, it meant anywhere in the world to "penetrate,
disrupt, defeat or destroy" terror threats and "prepare the environment"
for planned military attacks.
- In other words, to make the world safe for Wall Street
banks, war profiteers, and other Western capitalist predators.
- Previous attempts to kill Al-Awaki failed, even though
international human rights law permits lethal force in peacetime only when
imminent deadly attack threats exist. Even then, killing is a last resort
after other exhausting other measures.
- Under international or US law, designating US citizens
or anyone terrorists based on suspicions without proof is egregious by
any standard. Moreover, no one should be denied due process and judicial
- The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) condemned
Al-Awlaki's killing, saying:
- "The assassination of Anwar Al-Awlaki by American
drone attacks is the latest of many affronts to domestic and international
law, said Vince Warren," CCR Executive Director.
- "The targeted assassination program that started
under (Bush) and expanded under Obama essentially grants the executive"
extralegal judge, jury, and executioner power.
- "If we allow such gross overreaches of power to
continue, we are setting the stage for increasing erosions of civil liberties
and the rule of law."
- Post-9/11, in fact, rule of law justice was trashed for
political expediency. It no longer applies when unchallenged under presidential
- Obama elevated Bush era lawlessness to a higher level.
As a result, no one anywhere targeted can hide or get justice.
- Political Washington praised Al-Awlaki's murder. Falsely
accusing him of crimes, Obama called it a "major blow" against
Al Qaeda, vowing to target anyone America (without evidence) calls part
of a global terrorist network.
- US major media scoundrels approved, including a Washington
Post editorial headlined, "Killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi was clearly
- Doing so "was clearly justified, both legally and
morally. (He) was dangerous, (and) Obama was right to place him on a target
list. Considerable evidence supports the administration's contention that
(he) played a direct role in attempted attacks on the United States, including
the failed bombing of an airplane on Christmas day 2009..."
- Fact check
- Killing Al-Awlaki was morally indefensible extralegal
murder. No evidence whatever connected him to crimes. He had nothing to
do with the alleged Amsterdam-Detroit bound Christmas day incident.
- The alleged culprit, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian
citizen, was set up. Denied a UK entrance visa, he avoided a no fly list.
He paid cash for a one-way ticket, checked no luggage, had a US visa but
no passport, and was helped on board by a well-dressed Indian gentleman,
facilitating Washington's false flag plot. Abdulmutallab was used as a
- Moreover, his so-called (PETN) explosive was so weak
and technically deficient it failed to go off properly, and its fire cracker
strength assured no possibility of damaging the aircraft, let alone down
- "Perhaps more significant, (Awlaki), a charismatic
teacher and fluent English speaker was instrumental in inspiring would-be
jihadists in the United States and other Western countries...."
- Fact check
- No evidence proves he inspired violence anywhere. Moreover,
whether in or out of the country, America's Constitution protects First
Amendment rights without which all others are at risk - including Washington
Post editorial writers' freedom to wrongfully slander Al-Awlaki and call
- Calling him dangerous, however, "(h)e was consequently
a legal and justified target of American forces, acting under the international
principle of self-defense...."
- Fact check
- Unproved accusations have no legal validity. A serial
aggressor, America never acts in self-defense. Moreover, individuals or
groups defending themselves against US attacks are called "terrorists,"
including by major media op-ed and editorial writers, lying to support
wealth and power.
- On September 30, ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer
explained what media scoundrels won't say: namely that:
- Targeted killing "violates both US and international
- ACLU National Security Project Litigation Director Ben
- "If the Constitution means anything, it surely means
that the President does not have unreviewable authority to summarily execute
any American (or anyone else) whom he concludes is an enemy of the state."
- Doing so makes him a war criminal - an enemy of rule
of law justice.
- A Final Comment
- Obama's lawlessness also embraces Military Commissions
justice. It includes sweeping unconstitutional powers to detain, interrogate,
and prosecute alleged suspects and collaborators (including US citizens),
hold them (without evidence) indefinitely in military prisons, and deny
them habeas and other constitutional protections.
- The Military Commissions Act also authorized torture
to extract confessions and other extralegal police state powers, including
denying speedy trials or any at all.
- In May 2009, Obama also authorized preventive detentions
of anyone "who cannot be prosecuted yet who pose a clear danger to
the American people," even with no evidence proving it.
- Whether short, long-term or indefinite, preventive detentions
violate core legal principles, including the Constitution's Fifth Amendment,
- "No person....shall be deprived of life, liberty,
or property, without due process of law...."
- Indefinite detentions, military tribunals, targeted assassinations,
and other extralegal policies are indefensible in democratic civil societies.
- Under Obama, however, they're official policy.
- As a result, out-of-control executive power threatens
everyone, especially when cheerled by media scoundrels.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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