Glenn Greenwald asks a question

President Obama has ordered the assassination of Anwar Awlaki, a Muslim cleric in Yemen who reportedly supports, and recruits for, al-Qaeda.  He is a U.S. citizen, he has not been charged with any crime and his father has filed a lawsuit asking for a court injunction against his son being summarily killed.  The Washington Post reported that the Department of Justice asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit without a hearing, on the grounds of “state secrets.”

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?

via Glenn Greenwald –

What doesn’t the President have the power to do?  He doesn’t have the power to take action on global climate change.  He doesn’t have the power to enact a stimulus program sufficient to make a dent in 9 percent unemployment.  He doesn’t have the power to carry on the routine business of government.  He doesn’t have the power to get confirmation of appointments to key governmental positions or federal judgeships.  The Federal Reserve Board lacks a quorum, key positions such as director of Office of Management and Budget are unfilled, and vacancies in federal judgeships go unfilled because the Republican minority in the Senate obstructs votes on confirmations.

The Republican Party leadership and the Tea Party faction say that requiring all Americans to buy health insurance is tyranny.  But the Obama administration, even more than the Bush administration before it, gets a pass on actual acts of tyranny – torture, assassination, universal Big Brother-type surveillance of private citizens.

Click on Obama argues his assassination program is a “state secret” and  The Obama administration’s war on privacy for more Glenn Greenwald comment.

Click on  Federal Reserve Nominees Still Stuck in Limbo and Now vacant: A confirmation crisis in our courts for President Obama’s difficulties in carrying out the real duties of his office.

What we have is an illustration of Goyette’s Second Law.

[Added 10/6/10]  Click on Anwar al-Awlaki Wiki for a Wikipedia biography of al-Awlaki and reports of his connection to al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.  He probably is as bad as the Wikipedia article says; I don’t have any information to the contrary.  Nevertheless, I question whether it is a good idea to give the President authority to sign death warrants without any justification or accountability.

Click on Law as an M.C. Escher painting for something I couldn’t have said better myself.  Particularly the penultimate sentence: “A law that applies only to nice folks isn’t a law, it’s a suggestion.”

Tags: , , , , , ,

One Response to “Glenn Greenwald asks a question”

  1. Obama, the Midterms, and Civil Liberties North Capitol Street Says:

    […] Glenn Greenwald asks a question « Phil Ebersole's Blog […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: