Friday, 8 February 2013
Protecting American lives
A thought experiment: what would happen under our current criminal justice system to someone who did the following:
-conspired with people in Saudi Arabia to target U.S. citizens;
-helped them launch a surprise, airborne attack against said U.S. citizens resulting in their deaths?
Why, we’d throw the book at them, or better yet, throw out the book and just put them in a dungeon on Guantánamo forever. Right?
Wrong. The individual in question is about to be made head of the CIA. John Brennan, it has now been revealed, responded to pressure from his Saudi friends to target U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in a drone attack BEFORE he was linked to the notorious Christmas bomber who tried to blow up a plane headed for Detroit.
When that succeeded, Brennan & Co. targeted Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, also a U.S. citizen, and killed him, too. We’re not sure for what—hey, who needs charges, much less trials? Combining the roles of judge, jury and executioner is so much more efficient.
But Brennan didn’t get time for these Saudi-inspired murders, nor an army of security types bursting into his home at 4 a.m. to wrap him in chains and an orange jumpsuit. He got a promotion.
Obama insists he has the right to target and assassinate Americans, essentially revoking the Magna Carta and 1000 years of Anglo-Saxon law. His press secretary, Mr Gibbs, taunted journalists who asked what the basis for the Awlaki actions was and mocked the dead kid for having the wrong dad.
It’s modestly encouraging to see that the drone business is drawing a little more heat, but it’s probably too late to reverse course on the steady stripping of our civilian protections from the repressive arm of the state. We will come to regret this lapse sorely.
Posted by Tim Frasca at 05:40