President Palin Deals with Her Enemies
It is January 27th, 2013. Newly inaugurated President Sarah Palin’s Press Secretary, Andrew Breitbart, is asked if the White House is aware that the following people have died under mysterious circumstances during the preceding 24 hours:
a couple of bloggers in Germany, from the blog Politicalgates
Press Secretary Breitbart, begins his answer by referring to the date September 30, 2011. He notes that the White House understands that, as in the case of Anwar al-`Awlaqi, there will be no comment from the White House on this matter past noting that “any matters related to these events are classified.” He defers further questioning, referring reporters to The Department of Justice, and Attorney General Joe Arpaio.
Breitbart then leaves the podium, barely bothering to hide his smirk.
I can only quote Clarence Darrow here, “All men have an emotion to kill; when they strongly dislike some one they involuntarily wish he was dead. I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.” Personal satisfaction apart, one is still left with the question of law raised by Paul and the ACLU.
Here’s a troubling thought: do you really think it would be a good idea to give a President Michele Bachmann or a President Rick Perry the authority to kill American citizens at will and with no due process? [emphasis added]
Being a historian, I try to understand these issues by looking at how we got where we are. As a civil libertarian, I am concerned that whatever is done be done within the law.
[D]uring the Bush years, civil libertarians who tried to convince conservatives to oppose that administration’s radical excesses would often ask things like this: would you be comfortable having Hillary Clinton wield the power to spy on your calls or imprison you with no judicial reivew or oversight? So for you good progressives out there justifying this, I would ask this: how would the power to assassinate U.S. citizens without due process look to you in the hands of, say, Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann?
The dire implications of this killing should not be lost on any of us. There appears to be no limit to the president’s power to kill anywhere in the world, even if it involves killing a citizen of his own country. Today, it’s in Yemen; tomorrow, it could be in the UK or even in the United States. [emphasis added]
The Administration very specifically and deliberately told a court that precisely the things needed to prove the operation was legal–whether Yemen was cooperating and precisely what Awlaki had done to amount to operational activity, not to mention what the CIA’s role in this assassination was–were state secrets. Particularly given the growing number of times (with Reynolds, Arar, Horn, al-Haramain, and Jeppesen) when the government has demonstrably invoked state secrets to hide illegal activity, the fact that the government has claimed precisely these critical details to be secret in this case only make its claims the killing was legal that much more dubious.
Critical thinkers must assume, given the government’s use of state secrets in recent years, that it invoked state secrets precisely because its legal case was suspect, at best.
Aside from John Brennan spreading state secrets, the Administration has tried to sustain the fiction that these details are secret in on the record statements, resulting in this kind of buffoonery.
Jake Tapper: You said that Awlaki was demonstrably and provably involved in operations. Do you plan on demonstrating –
MR. CARNEY: I should step back. He is clearly — I mean “provably” may be a legal term. I think it has been well established, and it has certainly been the position of this administration and the previous administration that he is a leader in — was a leader in AQAP; that AQAP was a definite threat, was operational, planned and carried out terrorist attacks that, fortunately, did not succeed, but were extremely serious — including the ones specifically that I mentioned, in terms of the would-be Christmas Day bombing in 2009 and the attempt to bomb numerous cargo planes headed for the United States. And he was obviously also an active recruiter of al Qaeda terrorists. So I don’t think anybody in the field would dispute any of those assertions.
Q You don’t think anybody else in the government would dispute that?
MR. CARNEY: Well, I wouldn’t know of any credible terrorist expert who would dispute the fact that he was a leader in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and that he was operationally involved in terrorist attacks against American interests and citizens.
Q Do you plan on bringing before the public any proof of these charges?
MR. CARNEY: Again, the question makes us — has embedded within it assumptions about the circumstances of his death that I’m just not going to address.
Q How on earth does it have — I really don’t understand. How does — he’s dead. You are asserting that he had operational control of the cargo plot and the Abdulmutallab plot. He’s now dead. Can you tell us, or the American people — or has a judge been shown –
MR. CARNEY: Well, again, Jake, I’m not going to go any further than what I’ve said about the circumstances of his death and –
Q I don’t even understand how they’re tied.
MR. CARNEY: — the case against him, which, again, you’re linking. And I think that –
Q You said that he was responsible for these things.
MR. CARNEY: Yes, but again –
Q Is there going to be any evidence presented?
MR. CARNEY: I don’t have anything for you on that.
Q Do you not see at all — does the administration not see at all how a President asserting that he has the right to kill an American citizen without due process, and that he’s not going to even explain why he thinks he has that right is troublesome to some people?
MR. CARNEY: I wasn’t aware of any of those things that you said actually happening. And again, I’m not going to address the circumstances of Awlaki’s death. I think, again, it is an important fact that this terrorist, who was actively plotting — had plotted in the past, and was actively plotting to attack Americans and American interests, is dead. But I’m not going to — from any angle — discuss the circumstances of his death.
I can imagine a Press Secretary Andrew Breitbart gleefully taking this same line on January 27, 2013.
Sadly, here in Alaska, one of the people listed as having had an unfortunate event a week after somebody like Palin takes office, wrote the following this morning about the demise of al-`Awlaqi. Here’s Jesse Griffin at The Immoral Minority, doing the snoopy dance:
If you click on the link at the top you can read all of the details of Obama’s “palling around,” which in Obama-speak means “bust a cap in their ass.”
Apparently being his “pal “can be quite dangerous.
Under Obama, the United States, particularly the Executive Branch, is drifting further and further from the rule of law.
(During the second week of the Palin presidency, more mysterious demises continue to occur.)