I truly, truly don't know where to begin with this. Wish I did but I find it so profoundly frightening.
From Glenn Greenwald at Salon:
At this point, I didn't believe it was possible, but the Obama administration has just reached an all-new low in its abysmal civil liberties record. In response to the lawsuit filed by Anwar Awlaki's father asking a court to enjoin the President from assassinating his son, a U.S. citizen, without any due process, the administration late last night, according to The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing the merits of the claims. That's not surprising: both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality. But what's most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is "state secrets": in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are "state secrets," and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.
Radley Balko, more eloquently than I, expresses his opinion as follows:
There are no mitigating factors, here. Obama is arguing the executive has the power to execute American citizens without a trial, without even so much as an airing of the charges against them, and that it can do so in complete secrecy, with no oversight from any court, and that the families of the executed have no legal recourse.
I voted for Obama. Anything to keep that insane Palin creature safely away from nuclear weapons made sense. Frankly, the democrats could have run a dog or a twig or a picture of a kitty sitting by a window. Anything but Sarah Palin.
And I have given the man the benefit of the doubt. Because I believe that he is a decent guy. A guy that I believe really cares about this country and really wants it to be safe and prosperous.
Our President has just asserted that he can kill an American citizen without due process. Not just that, he has asserted that there is simply no legal redress. You can't go to the courts and ask that they stop the President from having you killed. Your family can't ask the courts to demand an explanation.
Because it's a state secret. 'Nuff said.
This is monstrous.
It's not that I don't think that there are probably pretty good reasons why people might end up on this list. But who makes the list? Obama may very well be the very fountain of goodness but this is a precedent. will you trust this power in the next President? Or the next? Is this a power to entrust in anyone?
Wow. That's really all I can say. My mind has been positively blanked by a spin cycle of WTFs.