on little Obama-cat feet.
It sits looking
from sea to shining sea
on liberty-murdering haunches.
It won’t move on.
The sham of Obama as the "lesser evil" is over.
Glen Ford in “Eric Holder Tortures the Constitution” in Black Agenda Report writes:
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder this week attempted to explain how the U.S. Constitution allows the American president to be a law unto himself – to be judge, jury and executioner. Those are the powers that President Obama claims are inherent in his office: the right to kill at will, based on evidence only he is fit to examine and assess. This is a system of law without courts, without evidence that either the public or the condemned person has a right to see, or to contest. One man, with the power of life and death over any inhabitant of the planet, including citizens of the United States.
They used to call such people kings. But even the English kings of old – at least since the signing of the Magna Carta 800 years ago – were compelled to recognize the principle that free men could only be punished based on the law of the land. The United States Constitution is rooted in the principle of due process of law, with the courts as final arbiters of whether the law has been served.
With the passage of preventive detention without trail or charge, and President Obama’s claim to have sole power to target any human being for death, the rule of law has been eviscerated, abolished by presidential decree and congressional acquiescence. A pillar of civilization has been toppled, but most people in the United States appear not to have noticed.
The Attorney General ultimately justifies the trashing of the Constitution on national security grounds. We have reached our national “hour of danger,” he says.
Holder is right about that. The danger is upon us, and it emanates from the White House. There’s a name for the danger: it's called fascism, which happens when militarists and the worst capitalists get together and abolish due process and the rule of law – which the First Black President of the United States has already done.
Washington Blog quoting Columbia law school professor Scott Horton:
A lot of this seems to have been put in place under the tutelage of Dick Cheney. So here we see one of Dick Cheney’s ideas being ratified by Barack Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder.
Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley:
... Democrats are largely silent in the face of a president claiming the right to unilaterally kill citizens.
Again Jonathan Turley in his “Obama’s Kill Doctrine”:
Where due process once resided, Holder offered only an assurance that the president would kill citizens with care.
Holder’s new definition of “due process” was perfectly Orwellian. ... Three citizens have been given their due during the Obama administration and vaporized by presidential order. Frankly, few of us mourn their passing, However, due process appears to have been vaporized in the same moment -- something many U.S. citizens may come to miss.
What Holder is describing is a model of an imperial presidency that would have made Richard Nixon blush. If the president can kill a citizen, there are a host of other powers that fall short of killing that the president might claim, including indefinite detention of citizens -- another recent controversy. Thus, by asserting the right to kill citizens without charge or judicial review, Holder has effectively made all of the constitution’s individual protections of accused persons a matter of presidential discretion.
However, that entire system [court] can be circumvented at the whim or will of the president. The president then becomes effectively the lawgiver or lifetaker for all citizens. The rest becomes a mere pretense of the rule of law.
Former constitutional trial lawyer and salon commentator Glenn Greenwald:
... whether someone is actually a Terrorist can be determined only when the evidence of their guilt is presented and they have an opportunity to respond, just as Holder and Obama said during the Bush years. Government assurances that they’re only targeting Terrorists -- whether those assurances issue from Bush or Obama -- should reassure nobody: this is always what those who abuse power claim, and it’s precisely why we don’t trust government officials to punish people based on unproven accusations.
“This is an indicator of our times,” Holder said, “not a departure from our laws and our values”
....is a monumental pile of crap that should embarrass every Democrat who ever said an unkind word about John Yoo. This policy is a vast departure from our laws and an interplanetary probe away from our values.
Democratic officials justifying it, means that it’s much easier to normalize: very few of the Party’s followers, especially in an election year, are willing to make much of a fuss about it at all.
And thus will presidential assassination powers be entrenched as bipartisan consensus for at least a generation. That will undoubtedly be one of the most significant aspects of the Obama legacy. Let no Democrat who is now supportive or even silent be heard to object when the next Republican President exerts this power in ways that they dislike.
...the government is not free to simply go around murdering fugitives who have been convicted of nothing.
Margaret Kimberley in "Liberal Whores":
At the same time that these angry and outraged citizens were claiming victory against a radio personality they ought to be ignoring, the attorney general of the United States publicly claimed that the president of the United States has the right to kill at will whenever he feels like it.
Eric Holder traveled to an august educational institution, Northwestern University, and told a group of law students that they should get any crazy ideas about civil liberties out of their little heads. Holder asserts that the president can in fact decide to kill anyone he wants, as long as he claims that person is a terrorist. He doesn’t have to bother with indictments, charges, court rooms and other such old fashioned notions. Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son were both American citizens and were both killed by their president because he and a secret panel said they should die.
Obama hasn’t just jumped the shark of lesser evilism. He is the shark -- of fascism!
[cross-posted at correntewire and sacramento for democracy]