Monday, October 3, 2011

President Obama: The New Watchmen Vigilante


No, this isn’t another George Lucas video game inspired by Star Wars.  Unfortunately, this is about yet another power grab by the executive branch under the Obama administration.  President Obama began, without legislative approval, to grant the executive additional powers through the open and sanctioned non enforcement of laws, such as the defense of marriage act and various immigration laws.  He has gone against the precedent he railed about during his campaign, regarding congressional approval for military action when the country is not facing an imminent threat.  Not to mention the overly aggressive use of the umbrella of congressional approval to use various regulatory agencies to circumvent congress in enacting tougher restrictions, as seen through the EPA.  Those acts of extending power are scary enough, but now the President has taken it upon himself to become the judge, jury and executioner of an American Citizen.  How did he do it.
You see, if you are going to do something bad and try to get by with it, you want people to get used to the idea first.   I believe he took his inspiration from “the Watchmen” movie.  In the Watchmen, you have a group of just regular folks that get sick of the crime, so they decide to take matters into their own hands, kind of like batman.  Because they are targeting what society views as the slime of the earth, they are able to get by with their blatant disregard for due process.    Instead of arresting people and offering lawyers, they can beat or even kill suspects.  In the court of public opinion, they had it coming to them.  The problem is that with this implied power, came abuse.  It was an ends justifies the means method of justice whereas our country is based on a means justifies the ends standard of law.  As you saw in the Watchmen, the Comedian took full advantage of his implied mandate.  If it meant innocent people were harmed, who cared.  He delivered results.   The people became angry and the watchmen were eventually outlawed, but only after almost 60 years of being above the law. 
So now Obama, sitting in the White House after having just screened this movie, thought he could do the same and hopefully sway an election.  He dawns his costume alter-ego, the agitator, and got down to work.   Who could he kill first with his new power, just to see if the people would flinch.  Then it came to him, why not kill an well-known terrorist, that happens to be an American Citizen.   Using the technology at his disposal, he launches a drone strike and kills the Citizen in Yemen.   Everyone cheers.  On the surface, it is just another victory for the President that got the number one enemy just months earlier.   
My own knee jerk reaction was to be excited.  If fighting the war on terror alone was the ends to justify all means, then I would say way to go Obama.  But, ours is a country of liberty and freedom, from each other, and our government.  Indeed, our governments true function is to secure those liberties.  While we may want to conduct a war on terror, it cannot come at the cost of our liberties, such as intrusive airport screenings, or domestic surveillance. 
Before I became too knee jerk in my reaction to criticize the President, I had to take a good amount of time and digest what just happened.  I had to remove the individual holding the office and think about whether I would want anyone in that office to have such power.   I set aside my disgust with the blatant hypocrisy demonstrated by Obama in his elimination of due process for a citizen while advocating for it for non-citizens and I came to my conclusion.
I believe that Obama’s decision to unilaterally kill a US citizen is gross abuse of power and must be stopped.  Such an offense my even rise to a high crime and misdemeanor.  Today, the target is a despicable terrorist linked to thousands of deaths, but who will be his ‘terrorist” be tomorrow.  Early in his administration, he put out a memo that said returning vets are a great security to the US.  If he killed one person without due process, why not kill more.  As a citizen, we are innocent until proven guilty.  We have a right to our day in court and to face our accuser.   We have the right to legal counsel and we have the right against cruel and unusual punishment.  What did this terrorist do.  Did he physically, kill all of the people or did he incite people to do it.   Really, he can only be said he was suspected of being a terrorist.    Do you realize how grave of an act this is.  One man, President Obama, has set aside our entire judicial system and the rights granted under the constitution to kill a person he felt was a threat.  While I do not mourn the terrorist death, I do mourn the death  blow to liberty that was delivered through this decision. 
In the name of transparency, the Obama administration drafted a memo stating their legal justification for the strike.  They consulted one another and drafted this memo, but the memo has been classified and will not be released.  Think about that.  Imagine you’re at your next tea party event and you get clipped by a drone.  Your family asks on what authority was this done and all you get was a “that’s classified” response from the administration, and the sound of crickets from the media.  Is this the path you want your country to go down for the death of one terrorist, we all now have targets on our back.     

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

I see you as the passionate Rorschach in this scenario. Unfortunately you are no match for Dr Manhattan. :(