The president cannot order the assassination of a citizen

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2010-11-03

(A response to a person who said that this "issue doesn't rate very high" with him. "That if we as citizens attempt to micro-manage war is can become very tedious" That the "terrorist" Al Awlaki (a US citizen) is "by most accounts plotting terrorism" and he doesn't see Obama's order to assassinate him as a critical problem.)

Hi, Bill,

Well, I hope what I'm saying doesn't sound maudlin, but it seems to me the issue is basic to our democracy -- hence basic to everything we purportedly hold dear as a nation and our way of life.

I don't think my or anyone's concern about the constitutionally-mandated due process being violated in what Obama has done -- with his Alice-in-Wonderland-red-queen edict: fearful allegations to the media with no accurate corroboration, unproven accusations, no due process, but just an order for carrying out the final verdict of assassination of a US citizen -- not in a theater of war but wherever he is found and whatever he may be doing at the time -- I don't think my deep concern about it is "trying to micro-manage" the war.

Because first of all, Obama has no legal right to order any US citizen's assassination. (Forgive me for sounding pedantic, but he is not a king nor even a constitutional monarch.) He is merely the head of a third of three various equal branches of our government, with the sovereign duty to carry out the strictures of the Constitution, as stated in the Bill of Rights, amendment 5 -- No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." (I didn't memorize it -- I have the copy on my bulletin board.)

So far, what I see is that this Muslim US citizen, Mr. Al Awaki is a vocal deep critic of US foreign policy and an advocate of active resistance to its military in Afghanistan, where he resides presumably. According to reporting by investigative journalists, the allegations of his connections to terrorist training centers or schools are just that, allegations. Some material facts about him have been even discarded as non-existent. His father, a US citizen claims the allegations are false and has brought a suit against the government to stop the threats to his son.

(Referencing Jane Harman as a back-up for corroboration is a problem itself -- though a Democrat, Harman has always been closely aligned with former president George W. Bush's policies on domestic eavesdropping -- and has also been caught red handed on tape doing the bidding of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). It was also reported that then Attorney Gen. Alberto Gonzales quashed an investigation of Harman in exchange for her support for Bush's warrantless wiretap program -- reported on Huffington Post by Sam Stein.) Of course, this doesn't mean much -- but my point is that Harman -- and her subcommittee -- are not necessarily credible back-up of proof.

But there are others in congress and also in major news editorials who are appalled by this latest assassination policy. But outside of the illegality and unconstitutionality (and monstrousness) of a presidential assassination order of a citizen, the very exploitative policy of fear and anxiety that the government is purveying with this case and others is being used, I feel, to fuel the public's acceptance of its ongoing policy of expanding the war into new areas. And because there will always be the blow-back of terrorist activity which our wars with their violence incite in these areas, and possibly all over, also a coming rationale for permanent war. (It's almost that way now.)

We citizens are not trying to "micro-manage" the war. It's the government, the military and now Obama, who are micro-managing us.

All for now. Talk later.

Annette