Soon after the Al Quaeda attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, the Bush administration signed the Patriot Act into law in an effort to effect more expedient and efficient intelligence information about terrorist organizations working against the United States. One of the most controversial aspects of the legislation was the ability of the U.S. government to perform wiretaps on terror suspects without a warrant.
Even though Democrats in both the House and Senate voted to approve the Patriot Act (as they did the war in Iraq), it did not take long before outcries from the liberal base and the liberal media decried the wiretapping as being unconstitutional and a violation of their civil rights. That same complaint still goes on today in some liberal circles. Liberals still talk about how Bush took away their rights. So where are they now?
In the last year President Obama has given himself the authority to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone in America the government decides is a terrorist or supports terrorist activities. They need no proof and the victim gets no due process – they just disappear. Gee – that’s a little different than a wiretap, isn’t it?
On Monday, a confidential Justice Department memo obtained and released by NBC (a surprise in and of itself) concluded that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens overseas, and foreign nationals, if they are “believed to be senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. They can be killed with drone strikes if they are “believed to be” senior operational leaders.
Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”
But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than originally described by Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John Brennan, or Holder, in their public speeches. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.
“The condition that an operational leader presents an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states.
So according to the Attorney General, the President can legally order the arrest, indefinite detention of just about anyone here in this country and the arrest, indefinite detention and/or killing of just about anyone outside the country. And before people get indignant and say “No, he can’t do that” or “He wouldn’t do that” remember – he already is and has. Anwar Al-Awlaki was an American citizen.
In the case of Anwar Al-Awlaki – I have no problem with him being taken out. Not only had he left the United States but he was actively waging jihad against us. By his words and actions he had declared war on the United States. Taking him out was a good thing.
By contrast, the DOJ Memo says “even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.” So all the government has to do is declare someone an Al Quaeda member or suspect and he becomes a target for death. It also says “does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,”
And once again, it says “It refers to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.”
So in other words, the President and his administration not only get to decide who is or is not an Al Quaeda member and/or who represents a threat to the USA but they are judge, jury and executioner and that person will either disappear or be killed at the direction of the President.
Again I ask – where is the outrage from the left?? Why are they not screaming about civil rights and human rights violations by the President of the United States? At least the ACLU is questioning it. I’m not a huge fan of that particular organization but someone has to challenge this type of pronouncement!
When the GW Bush administration approved waterboarding the left went crazy. Even then-Senator Obama denounced waterboarding as torture. The Bush administration waterboarded a total of three people (and got information that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden – even though Obama will never, ever admit it.) All of them are still alive. President Obama skips capture, waterboarding, due process, formal charges and detention. He simply has them killed. Where is the outrage from the left??????
It is reported that the Department of Homeland Security has recently ordered 7000+ AR-15 “Personal Protection Weapons” (their words, not mine.) Personal protection from whom? In the last year the U.S. government has also purchased over 1 billion rounds of ammunition for everyone from the Department of the Interior to the Social Security Administration to the IRS. Are they gearing up for something major in this country? One can’t help but wonder.
It is also rumored that in picking his military leaders for his next term the President is asking them if they would fire on American citizens if so ordered. The rumor says those answering in the negative are being replaced by those who answer in the affirmative. Why would a President feel the need to ask that question unless he is seriously considering that possibility?
If people who oppose the President begin disappearing in this country in the next few years, how long do you think it will take to become public knowledge? Will federal agents raid homes in the middle of the night and haul everyone in the house away? Will they snatch individuals off the street? Will FOX News be silenced by the administration to keep it quiet? God knows the main stream, state run media won’t report it.
It’s a scary world we live in and unlike four years ago, it’s now more scary inside the USA than outside. When the government becomes the biggest threat to our freedom it’s time for a change. And President Obama has taken far more of our freedoms away (and continues to do so) than any other President in history. If he succeeds in taking away our guns, as was the case in Germany, China, Russia, etc., – the United States of America will cease to exist as we know it.