Police State Justice Under Obama – Stephen Lendman
Lawlessness, injustice, and contempt for democratic values define his administration. He delivered change all right – for the worst, and nothing ahead looks promising.
Obama-style “rules of engagement” include bullets, bombs, slit throats, knives in the back, or drone attacks justice.
Targeted victims are declared guilty by accusation. Due process and judicial fairness are discarded artifacts. US citizens are as vulnerable as global enemies.
No one is safe anywhere in a world ruled by rogue leaders, taking the law into their own hands with impunity.
As a result, freedom and security were jettisoned to memory hole oblivion. Let’s count the ways.
Muslims are targeted for their faith, ethnicity, and at times prominence and charity.
Torture remains official US policy.
America’s domestic and overseas gulags match the worst anywhere. Out of sight and mind, inmates are dehumanized and brutalized.
America’s business is war and grand theft globally. Countries are raped and pillaged on the pretext of humanitarian intervention.
Everyone except corporate favorites and complicit elites suffer.
Ten Muslim Southern California students were convicted for exercising their First Amendment rights. Others are hunted down and prosecuted ruthlessly for political advantage.
Thousands of political prisoners suffer unjustly, including undocumented Latinos here because destructive trade pacts destroyed their livelihoods.
State-sponsored murder is official policy. Innocent victims include Troy Anthony Davis. Others wait their turn on death row. Federal, state and local authorities call it justice. Human rights activists call it crimes against humanity.
Murdering Anwar Al-Awlaki
CIA operatives and Special Forces death squads are authorized to kill US citizens abroad. For any reason or none at all without evidence, they’re hunted down and murdered in cold blood.
Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was a US citizen living in Yemen, targeted for opposing US belligerency, not alleged or committed crimes.
His murder and others put Americans and everyone at risk globally if outspoken against imperial Washington lawlessness, including waging permanent global wars against humanity to profit handsomely from wreckage spoils.
After him, who’s next? Maybe writers expressing outraged criticism. Maybe media hosts on air, and speakers justifiably denouncing rogue crimes.
Under Obama-style justice, they’re potential targets, putting everyone at risk for speaking publicly against rampaging government criminality. Administration and congressional officials are recklessly out-of-control and unhinged, without morals or ethics. They fail to distinguish between right and wrong.
In September 2009, it was learned that then Central Command head (now CIA boss) General David Petraeus issued secret orders to covertly deploy US Special Operations forces to 75 or more Middle East, Central Asia, and Horn of Africa countries.
By implication, it meant anywhere in the world to “penetrate, disrupt, defeat or destroy” terror threats and “prepare the environment” for planned military attacks.
In other words, to make the world safe for Wall Street banks, war profiteers, and other Western capitalist predators.
Previous attempts to kill Al-Awaki failed, even though international human rights law permits lethal force in peacetime only when imminent deadly attack threats exist. Even then, killing is a last resort after other exhausting other measures.
Under international or US law, designating US citizens or anyone terrorists based on suspicions without proof is egregious by any standard. Moreover, no one should be denied due process and judicial fairness.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) condemned Al-Awlaki’s killing, saying:
“The assassination of Anwar Al-Awlaki by American drone attacks is the latest of many affronts to domestic and international law, said Vince Warren,” CCR Executive Director.
“The targeted assassination program that started under (Bush) and expanded under Obama essentially grants the executive” extralegal judge, jury, and executioner power.
“If we allow such gross overreaches of power to continue, we are setting the stage for increasing erosions of civil liberties and the rule of law.”
Post-9/11, in fact, rule of law justice was trashed for political expediency. It no longer applies when unchallenged under presidential supremacy authority.
Obama elevated Bush era lawlessness to a higher level. As a result, no one anywhere targeted can hide or get justice.
Political Washington praised Al-Awlaki’s murder. Falsely accusing him of crimes, Obama called it a “major blow” against Al Qaeda, vowing to target anyone America (without evidence) calls part of a global terrorist network.
US major media scoundrels approved, including a Washington Post editorial headlined, “Killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi was clearly justified,” saying:
Doing so “was clearly justified, both legally and morally. (He) was dangerous, (and) Obama was right to place him on a target list. Considerable evidence supports the administration’s contention that (he) played a direct role in attempted attacks on the United States, including the failed bombing of an airplane on Christmas day 2009…”
Killing Al-Awlaki was morally indefensible extralegal murder. No evidence whatever connected him to crimes. He had nothing to do with the alleged Amsterdam-Detroit bound Christmas day incident.
The alleged culprit, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian citizen, was set up. Denied a UK entrance visa, he avoided a no fly list. He paid cash for a one-way ticket, checked no luggage, had a US visa but no passport, and was helped on board by a well-dressed Indian gentleman, facilitating Washington’s false flag plot. Abdulmutallab was used as a convenient dupe.
Moreover, his so-called (PETN) explosive was so weak and technically deficient it failed to go off properly, and its fire cracker strength assured no possibility of damaging the aircraft, let alone down it.
“Perhaps more significant, (Awlaki), a charismatic teacher and fluent English speaker was instrumental in inspiring would-be jihadists in the United States and other Western countries….”
No evidence proves he inspired violence anywhere. Moreover, whether in or out of the country, America’s Constitution protects First Amendment rights without which all others are at risk – including Washington Post editorial writers’ freedom to wrongfully slander Al-Awlaki and call murder justified.
Calling him dangerous, however, “(h)e was consequently a legal and justified target of American forces, acting under the international principle of self-defense….”
Unproved accusations have no legal validity. A serial aggressor, America never acts in self-defense. Moreover, individuals or groups defending themselves against US attacks are called “terrorists,” including by major media op-ed and editorial writers, lying to support wealth and power.
On September 30, ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer explained what media scoundrels won’t say: namely that:
Targeted killing “violates both US and international law.”
ACLU National Security Project Litigation Director Ben Wizner added:
“If the Constitution means anything, it surely means that the President does not have unreviewable authority to summarily execute any American (or anyone else) whom he concludes is an enemy of the state.”
Doing so makes him a war criminal – an enemy of rule of law justice.
A Final Comment
Obama’s lawlessness also embraces Military Commissions justice. It includes sweeping unconstitutional powers to detain, interrogate, and prosecute alleged suspects and collaborators (including US citizens), hold them (without evidence) indefinitely in military prisons, and deny them habeas and other constitutional protections.
The Military Commissions Act also authorized torture to extract confessions and other extralegal police state powers, including denying speedy trials or any at all.
In May 2009, Obama also authorized preventive detentions of anyone “who cannot be prosecuted yet who pose a clear danger to the American people,” even with no evidence proving it.
Whether short, long-term or indefinite, preventive detentions violate core legal principles, including the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, stating:
“No person….shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law….”
Indefinite detentions, military tribunals, targeted assassinations, and other extralegal policies are indefensible in democratic civil societies.
Under Obama, however, they’re official policy.
As a result, out-of-control executive power threatens everyone, especially when cheerled by media scoundrels.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Police State Justice Under Obama – Stephen Lendman