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I wrote yesterday about Obama administration assassination czar John O. Brennan's "disposition matrix," the targeting list allowing President Obama - and presumably all future presidents - to be prosecutor, judge, jury and executor.  

Also yesterday, reports emerged about a New York City police officer arrested in connection with plots to abduct and cook innocent women:

A city police officer dreamed up plots to kidnap, torture, cook and eat at least 100 women whose photos, names and addresses he pulled from a confidential law enforcement database
Everyone agrees the police officer's is a deeply twisted individual, whose conduct is a repugnant abuse of authority. The creep factor is off the charts, and law enforcement authorities deserve credit for capturing him before he was able to act on any of his sick and diabolical plots. It's particularly unsettling that the police officer used his position of power to help execute his plot. But, the police officer was a rogue agent, acting outside the law without endorsement from government.

On a global scale, and from a legal precedent perspective, a President serving as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner, unilaterally and in secret, to obliterate anyone on the planet--based on admittedly "evolving" standards and imperfect information--is just as disturbing a plot. Worse, the assassination program is operated under the color of law and with the authority from the U.S. government.

Giving any President the power to execute people without any judicial process undermines basic constitutional principles - "Life, Liberty & Due Process."  

While the Obama administration has made hay out of its "terror Tuesday" meetings, the ultimate power to decide who lives and who dies lies with one person - the President - who receives recommendations from one person - Brennan, who no one even elected.

. . . Brennan wields enormous power in shaping decisions on “kill” lists and the allocation of armed drones, the war’s signature weapon.

When operations are proposed in Yemen, Somalia or elsewhere, it is Brennan alone who takes the recommendations to Obama for a final sign-off.

The "final sign-off" means death for unsuspecting "targets" abroad - including American citizens - who have not been even been charged with a crime, much less tried and convicted in a judicial process as required by the Constitution. It also means death for anyone sitting near the targets, as an Obama administration official revealed is what got Anwar al-Awlaki's teenage American son killed:
Two administration officials said that CIA drones were responsible for two of the most controversial attacks in Yemen in 2011 — one that killed American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a prominent figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and a second a few days later that killed his 16-year-old son, also an American citizen. One of the officials called the second attack “an outrageous mistake. . . . They were going after the guy sitting next to him.”
We can easily see the sick and twisted nature of the NY Police Officer who uses his position of power to stalk and plan to murder innocent women in New York. We should not be so blinded to disturbing precedent of allowing the President to unilaterally make the decision in secret to wipe people from the face of the earth.

The sad irony is that the New York "abduct and cook" police officer will receive more due process than drone victims like al-Awlaki's 16-year old son, who was not suspected of any crime.

Originally posted to Jesselyn Radack on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 06:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

    by Jesselyn Radack on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 06:06:08 AM PDT

  •  At the moment, I suppose one could make the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    argument that we are at war and Presidents have traditionally had more leeway to order the deaths of people using military weapons.

    But what if a time comes when we are always at war, and what if the battle lines are then so hazy that a number of enemy actions start to occur within the borders of the U.S.? Oh, wait...

    We have the mother of all slippery slopes forming here.

    Now for a sick joke- I wonder if the cop was planning to just eat the rich?

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 06:17:43 AM PDT

  •  That's right. You have already diaries your (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, angry marmot

    opinion that the President is a psychopathic killer. So it only stands to reason that you see the drone program the same as the bizzare mentally ill planning of a man who plans to capture, rape, kill and then eat women. You did however forget the part that you usually include in these formulaic diaries..."I am a supporter of the President...but..."

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 06:50:07 AM PDT

    •  Why do you support... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      420 forever, aliasalias, gerrilea

      ...bureaucratized, extra-judicial murder?

    •  "it only stands to reason"...okayyyy... (0+ / 0-)

      Whose "reason" are we speaking of here?

      Your opinion of Jesselyn's reasoned logic? Or your inflammatory misdirection from the facts presented?

      I've been reading her diaries for a very long time and I do not believe it is the President she may be implying is the "bizarre mentally ill" here.

      Brennan wields enormous power in shaping decisions on “kill” lists
      This quote does seem to sum it up for all of us... 1 man, specifically Brennan, has the power to put people on (and off) the kill list.  A man, that is unelected using governmental resources at his disposal, compiles a list of people he wants dead, for whatever reasons or motives.

      So, the bizarre mentally ill would be this man, Brennan, if that's what you wish to call someone whom plans out in detail the murder of innocent people.

      Isn't the bigger point that has been made here one of letting "the president" (or ANY president) the unbridled power to kill anyone he so desires, just on a "signature"???

      Isn't this specifically against the rules we gave our created government to follow, ie, the Constitution? Isn't it???

      Wait, we can't talk about that, we must talk about how your failed "reason" misdirects the reader here into believing Jesselyn said the president is a "bizarre mentally ill" person.

      So, engaging in misdirection tells me that you must implicitly accept and condone the murder of innocent people.


      Qui tacet, consentit

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 03:40:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I really wanted to post as soon as this appeared (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stellaluna

    this morning, but I've just now managed to contain my laughter enough to type. This is perhaps the most ridiculous analogy you've yet proposed. Nicely done, and keep 'em coming...

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 09:41:03 AM PDT

    •  My favorite was when the President was responsible (0+ / 0-)

      For the levies failing during the last hurricane in LA. Except they didn't. And he wasn't. And there was a fake person stuck in the attic fearing drowning. All because of the President.

      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

      by stellaluna on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 01:25:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I take it back... (0+ / 0-)

      You are right. Flesh eating zombie Obama is better.

      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

      by stellaluna on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 01:27:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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