The Tea Party is looking at the wrong place for Obama’s shadowy death panels. They do not exist in the Affordable Care Act but do exist in the way that individuals are selected for summary execution by drones and other means. We now learn that John Brennan, Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chief counterterrorism advisor to president Barack Obama, and a person who brazenly lies, is the person who has been put in charge of recommending to Obama who should live and who should die.
As Scott Horton says:
Brennan has emerged as the White House’s drone czar—though Gilbert and Sullivan provide us with the more appropriate title of Lord High Executioner. Dozier tells us that Brennan will consolidate agency recommendations and present final analyses to the president—bureaucratic euphemisms for what is in fact a program of death penalties to be handed down by the government’s growing assassinations bureau.
It is quite extraordinary what is happening in the US. On the surface, all the constitutional protections of civil liberties are still there. Habeas corpus? Check. No cruel and unusual punishment? Check. Access to a lawyer? Check. The right to a prompt trial by a jury of one’s peers? Check. Protection from warrantless invasions of one’s privacy and property? Check.
All these things still exist in the law. They have not been repealed. But the Obama administration feels it has the right to simply ignore them whenever they want to.
The sole purpose of those protections on paper is to be dutifully pointed out and ritualistically genuflected to in order to show how superior we are to those barbaric countries that do not observe them. They serve as a convenient façade, like those constructed for film sets that show a city street when there is nothing behind the front of the buildings.
America: A nation where the law is impartially and equally applied to everyone. Except when the president decides not to.