Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair on Wednesday confirmed that President Obama can and does authorize assassinations of U.S. citizens, if those citizens are overseas. Are we all OK with this? Why no protest from progressive leaders within the Democratic Party? Progressives, leaders, within the Democratic Party? How can anyone still sane and moral in this country not agree with Glenn Greenwald (emphasis added):
Barack Obama, like George Bush before him, has claimed the authority to order American citizens murdered based solely on the unverified, uncharged, unchecked claim that they are associated with Terrorism and pose "a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests." They're entitled to no charges, no trial, no ability to contest the accusations. Amazingly, the Bush administration's policy of merely imprisoning foreign nationals (along with a couple of American citizens) without charges -- based solely on the President's claim that they were Terrorists -- produced intense controversy for years. That, one will recall, was a grave assault on the Constitution. Shouldn't Obama's policy of ordering American citizens assassinated without any due process or checks of any kind -- not imprisoned, but killed -- produce at least as much controversy?
And yet, the fact is, there is complete silence, by Democrats, Republicans, and the mainstream media (in fact the first exposure of the policy was buried deep inside an article on something else). Well, not complete silence. Apparently one representative at that Blair Congressional hearing, embarrassing as it is for Democrats a Republican, Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), sort of maybe 'criticized' the 'Citizen Assassinations ROK' policy, specifically over CIA involvement in the 2001 assassination of Christian missionaries (mistaken for drug exporters) in Peru:
"The targeting of Americans -- it's a very sensitive issue, but again there's been more information in the public domain than what has been shared with this committee. There is no clarity...what is the legal framework?"
To explain Hoekstra's concern dismissively, apparently FOX is going large on the wholesome, white Christian Bowers family, and how tragic it was that two of them were assassinated (*and it certainly was*), but of course the general policy of assassinations, well, FOX hit show '24' okays that if 'swarthy' actors play the bad guys.
I won't recap the case Glenn Greenwald has ably presented, the argument (obviously true) that assassinations of U.S. citizens, whether at home or abroad, solely on the President's authority violates U.S. law, the Constitution, international law, and just about everything legally progressive since 1215.
My focus is on the lack of any discernable left or progressive concrete reaction to this revelation. Is it even okay, on this up front 'elect more Democrats' blog, to suggest we should not support a political party that sanctions assassination of U.S. citizens? That we should protest, do civil disobedience against, this policy's people and symbols?
Uh, is there any place I can go on the net that is organizing any protests and resistance? What does it say about us and our 'democracy' that the answer is 'NO, not really'?
P.S. & BTW -- Jonathan Turley asks a couple of good questions:
If a president can kill U.S. citizens abroad, why not within the United States? What is the limiting principle beyond the practicalities?
Answers: Sure, go for it. There ain't one.
P.S. 2 -- H/T to Stu Piddy.