I did a post tuesday on my discomfort and alarm at the Obama administration setting the precedent of killing an American citizen, terrorist Anwar al-Alawki, without any attempt at due process. Today we get this story. As expected, it’s all bad.
The report states that ‘mid-level’ government officials will (and have) list Americans for targeting. The list is then forwarded to the White House. Reuters reports this is the process by which Anwar al-Awlaki was killed.
Oh, I can’t see how this could POSSIBLY go wrong! What a great idea! Instead of abiding by the law, or some of the suggestions we layed out in the previous post, we are just going to have the President make a hit list! Brilliant!
The report also points out other troubling aspects (as if we needed more): there is no legislative authorization or approval of any kind (duh!), no public record of the process or proceedings, or any internal process standard. Translated, the Administration, without authority to do so, meets in secret, without any evidence of the meeting, to make hit lists of Americans as they see fit that day.
I cannot imagine, in a sane world, this being allowed to stand by the courts. My goodness, if the same waterboarding techniques used on our own service members in SERE Schools are torture by court definitions, then surely the arbitrary killing of American citizens by the chief executive is outside the bounds of the Constitution. Right? Right?!
Does there need to be a process by which we have a practical way of dealing with a terrorist similar to the al-Awlaki situation? You betcha. However, allow me to be the first to say that this isn’t it. I’m shocked and alarmed that nobody in the Administration has raised a series of red flags during the development of this non-procedure. If this doesn’t make you sit up and take note, I’m not sure anything will.
I’m praying this does not stand. This may be the most significant step our government has taken towards tyranny in our history. Whatever the positive intentions were, the end result is leaving in place a system that can empower the government to kill whomever they want, whenever they want.
Keep an eye on this, folks. Get ahold of your representatives. I implore you to do SOMETHING.