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     Sometimes something goes on in Washington that is just so astounding it seems the folks there live on another planet.  Yesterday Chris Mathews replayed video of Mr. Holder unable to give a definitive answer to the question "Is the President authorized to assassinate a US citizen on U.S. Soil?"  Twenty years ago this would have been too simple a question to ask even a 9th grade civics student.  It would have been so outrageous that it would have been met with snickers.  But now with all the PATRIOT Act stuff even the Attorney General couldn't/wouldn't give an unequivocal answer.


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     The answer should have been "OF COURSE NOT".   Even Sen. Feinstein when asked the same question said the answer was "complicated".  Some of Mr. Mathews' talking heads seemed to think that this issue might have to be subject to some detailed legal analysis.
      How far we have come!  Not only US procedures, US Law, the Constitution, international law, and 500 years of the development of western values about the rights of rulers over the ruled have been swept away.
      Sadly, it's not the right or the left or the conventional political parties which have shown any concern but just a few (otherwise crackpot) Libertarians who seem outraged.
      But we should have seen this coming.  After 9/11 Cheney told Bush and the gutless lawyers who worked for them we were "taking off the gloves".  DOJ became a rubber stamp for whatever outrages the VP directed.  We should also not be surprised when Obama forgave all the torture and renditions that took place in that administration.  Admittedly, Obama forbade future torture but it seemed more as a matter that torture was no longer politically expedient than that it was morally indefensible.   The PATRIOT Act has been renewed and the technology of remote, immaculate assassination has been expanded.
   Forty years ago U.S. citizens were outraged at the revelation that the CIA had participated in planning the assassinations of foreign leaders and that practice was (supposedly) ended.  Where is the outrage now?      

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