The Day America Died
Sept. 30, 2011, was the day America was assassinated.
Some of us have watched this day approach and have warned of its coming, only to be greeted with boos and hisses from “patriots” who have come to regard the U.S. Constitution as a device that coddles criminals and terrorists and gets in the way of the president, who needs to act to keep us safe.
Many expected President Obama to re-establish the accountability of government to law. Instead, he went further than Bush/Cheney and asserted the unconstitutional power not only to hold American citizens indefinitely in prison without bringing charges, but also to take their lives without convicting them in a court of law. Obama asserts that the U.S. Constitution notwithstanding, he has the authority to assassinate U.S. citizens, whom he deems to be “threats,” without due process of law.
In other words, any American citizen who is moved into the threat category has no rights and can be executed without trial or evidence.
Awlaki was a moderate American Muslim cleric who served as an advisor to the U.S. government after Sept. 11 on ways to counter Muslim extremism. Awlaki was gradually radicalized by Washington’s use of lies to justify military attacks on Muslim countries. He became a critic of the U.S. government and told Muslims that they did not have to passively accept American aggression and had the right to resist and to fight back. As a result, Awlaki was demonized and became a threat.
All we know that Awlaki did was to give sermons critical of Washington’s indiscriminate assaults on Muslim peoples. Washington’s argument is that his sermons might have had an influence on some who are accused of attempting terrorist acts, thus, making Awlaki responsible for the attempts.
Obama’s assertion that Awlaki was some kind of high-level al-Qaida operative is merely an assertion. Jason Ditz concluded that the reason Awlaki was murdered, rather than brought to trial, was that the U.S. government had no real evidence that Awlaki was an al-Qaida operative.
Having murdered its critic, the Obama regime is working hard to posthumously promote Awlaki to a leadership position in al-Qaida. The presstitutes and the worshippers of America’s first black president have fallen in line and regurgitated the assertions that Awlaki was a high-level, dangerous al-Qaida terrorist.
Attorneys Glenn Greenwald and Jonathan Turley point out that Awlaki’s assassination terminated the Constitution’s restraint on the power of government. Now the U.S. government not only can seize a U.S. citizen and confine him in prison for the rest of his life without ever presenting evidence and obtaining a conviction, but also can have him shot down in the street or blown up by a drone.
Over the last 20 years, the United States has had its own Mein Kampf transformation.
Indeed, as the neoconservative Project for the New American Century makes clear, the war on terror is only an opening for the neoconservative, imperial ambition to establish U.S. hegemony over the world.
As wars of aggression or imperial ambition are war crimes under international law, such wars require doctrines that elevate the leader above the law and the Geneva Conventions, as Bush was elevated by his Justice (sic) Department with minimal judicial and legislative interference.
Illegal and unconstitutional actions also require a silencing of critics and punishment of those who reveal government crimes. Thus, Bradley Manning has been held for a year, mainly in solitary confinement under abusive conditions, without any charges being presented against him. A federal grand jury is at work concocting spy charges against WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange. Another federal grand jury is at work concocting terrorist charges against anti-war activists.
“Terrorist” and “giving aid to terrorists” are increasingly elastic concepts. Homeland Security has declared that the vast federal police bureaucracy has shifted its focus from terrorists to “domestic extremists.”
It is possible that Awlaki was assassinated because he was an effective critic of the U.S. government. Police states do not originate fully fledged. Initially, they justify their illegal acts by demonizing their targets and, in this way, create the precedents for unaccountable power. Once the government equates critics with giving “aid and comfort” to terrorists, as they are doing with anti-war activists and Assange, or with terrorism itself, as Obama did with Awlaki, it will only be a short step to bringing accusations against Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU.
The Obama regime, like the Bush/Cheney regime, is a regime that does not want to be constrained by law. And neither will its successor. Those fighting to uphold the rule of law, humanity’s greatest achievement, will find themselves lumped together with the regime’s opponents and be treated as such.
This great danger that hovers over America is unrecognized by the majority of the people. When Obama announced, before a military gathering, his success in assassinating an American citizen, cheers erupted. The Obama regime and the media played the event as a repeat of the (claimed) killing of Osama bin Laden. Two “enemies of the people” have been triumphantly dispatched. That the president of the United States was proudly proclaiming to a cheering audience sworn to defend the Constitution that he was a murderer and that he had also assassinated the U.S. Constitution is extraordinary evidence that Americans are incapable of recognizing the threat to their liberty.
Emotionally, the people have accepted the new powers of the president. If the president can have American citizens assassinated, there is no big deal about torturing them. Amnesty International has sent out an alert that the U.S. Senate is poised to pass legislation that would keep Guantanamo prison open indefinitely, and that Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) might introduce a provision that would legalize “enhanced interrogation techniques,” an euphemism for torture.
Instead of seeing the danger, most Americans will merely conclude that the government is getting tough on terrorists, and it will meet with their approval. Smiling with satisfaction over the demise of their enemies, Americans are being led down the garden path to rule by government unrestrained by law and armed with the weapons of the medieval dungeon.
Paul Craig Roberts