Attorney general Anthony Holder finally came out yesterday with a speech that ‘justified’ the Obama administration’s claim that it can summarily murder American citizens. And, no surprise, it reveals an administration that has nothing but contempt for the rule of law and fundamental constitutional protections of life and liberty, provided for by the right to due process.
The ACLU has condemned the speech. Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, said:
Few things are as dangerous to American liberty as the proposition that the government should be able to kill citizens anywhere in the world on the basis of legal standards and evidence that are never submitted to a court, either before or after the fact. Anyone willing to trust President Obama with the power to secretly declare an American citizen an enemy of the state and order his extrajudicial killing should ask whether they would be willing to trust the next president with that dangerous power.
Jonathan Turley has a good summary of what Holder said and why it is an abomination. He says:
Obama has replaced the constitutional protections afforded to citizens with a “trust me” pledge.
[Holder] was more clear in establishing that due process itself is now defined differently than it has been defined by courts since the start of this Republic. He declared that “a careful and thorough executive branch review of the facts in a case amounts to ‘due process.’” Of course, from any objective standpoint, that statement is absurd and Orwellian. It is basically saying that “we will give the process that we consider due to a target.”
If George W. Bush’s attorney general Anthony Gonzalez had said what Holder said, liberals and Democrats would have been outraged at such an extraordinary assertion of power, tantamount to the divine right of kings. Glenn Greenwald is of course all over this story, documenting the total reversal and utter hypocrisy of Barack Obama and Eric Holder on this issue. All those Democrats who chortle over Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping are overlooking the proverbial beam in their own eye.
Turley points out the one bright side: “The good news is that Holder promised not to hunt citizens for sport.”