If you’ve read here over the last year, you’ll know that I’ve pretty much lost all hope that Obama is going to fix things–I’m willing to live with “won’t make it worse”, and clearly he was a better choice than the alternative, but I am labouring under no illusion now that he’s going to actually undo all the evils of the previous administration.
But it still kind of breaks my heart when he not just fails to fix a problem, but actually goes out and does wrong.
Let me quote:
At this point, I didn’t believe it was possible, but the Obama administration has just reached an all-new low in its abysmal civil liberties record. In response to the lawsuit filed by Anwar Awlaki’s father asking a court to enjoin the President from assassinating his son, a U.S. citizen, without any due process, the administration late last night, according to The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing the merits of the claims. That’s not surprising: both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality. But what’s most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is “state secrets”: in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.
This is particularly egregious because Obama is a smart guy, so he doesn’t get the Bush-pass of “he doesn’t understand the ramifications”–hell, dude was a professor of constitutional law: he SHOULD KNOW BETTER. If anyone should understand “checks and balances” and the limits of government power… (Not to mention the specific constitutional issues around the requirement for treason to be proven via due process, and that nobody gets killed without it–see Greenwald’s article.)
I also find this argument especially bitterly ironic in light of Obama’s stated position on transparency.
Let me quote Glen again:
If the President has the power to order American citizens killed with no due process, and to do so in such complete secrecy that no courts can even review his decisions, then what doesn’t he have the power to do?
I’m just disgusted. With Obama. With the advisors who are telling him this is the right way to go. With the people who support it. With anyone who doesn’t understand just what allowing this means about a society.