In the fashion of Caesar thrice refusing the crown even as he assumed dictatorial powers, tyrants will occasionally engage in self-aggrandizement disguised as self-deprecation. Barack Obama offered a moment of that kind last week when, in reply to a question about the budget sequester posed by a media sycophant, he said, “I’m not a dictator.”
Obama wasn’t serious, of course. He does consider himself a dictator, albeit one whose term in office is limited, at least for now.
Obama might not lock the doors of the Oval Office and force Republican congressional leaders to carry out budget negotiations, but – as his Attorney General made clear in a letter to Senator Rand Paul – he considers himself duly empowered to carry out the summary execution of U.S. citizens on American soil if he deems such action necessary.
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Holder made it clear that the president he serves answers to nobody, and is bound by no laws, in carrying out extra-judicial killings, either within U.S. borders or beyond them. Expressing a point of view familiar to students of Soviet Russia under the reign of Stalin, Holder maintained that the purpose of the law is to prevent anybody – whether an individual citizen, a judge, or a legislative body – from restraining the exercise of presidential will.
“Do you believe Congress can pass a law prohibiting [the President] to use lethal force on U.S. soil?” Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa asked Holder. If we still resided in something resembling a constitutional republic, that question itself would be perverse: Congress wouldn’t need to pass a law to prevent something that the law doesn’t authorize the president to do.
Furthermore, as civil liberties activist Marcy Wheeler points out, Grassley’s question wasn’t intended to suggest a general prohibition against “targeted killings,” but rather one that “would apply only where a person did not present an imminent threat.” In other words, Grassley was willing to concede that the president could order summary executions after addressing some trivial formalities about the dire necessity of such action.
But even this would be too restrictive, according to Holder.
“I’m not sure that such a bill would be constitutional,” he told Grassley. “It might run contrary to the Article II powers that the President has.” In other words, Holder is claiming that the President, as Commander-in-Chief of the military, can order the military (or, presumably, the CIA) to carry out an extra-judicial execution of a U.S. citizen on American soil – and Congress would be forbidden by the Constitution (whatever that word means to Holder and his ilk) from preventing such action.
Domestic use of the military as a law enforcement agency is forbidden by the Third Amendment and the Posse Comitatus Act. This means nothing to the budding Stalinist occupying the Oval Office.
For the Obama-centric Left, as it was for the Bush-centric Right, the U.S. President is the “Living Constitution.” His power is limited only by the resources at his command, and the extent of his sadistic imagination. Thomas Jefferson – in an essay promoting what we are told is the subversive and un-American doctrine of “interposition” – warned that “confidence in men” is a “dangerous delusion” that is fatal to liberty. Today, collectivists of the Right and Left insist that this is true only on those occasions when power is exercised by people associated with the other faction.
Perhaps this is an unfair and overbroad characterization. There are some prominent figures who can abandon partisan attachments in defense of principle. Regrettably, this usually means that party labels are discarded in favor of an unabashed embrace of the non-partisan Warfare State, and the principles being applied are entirely depraved. Witness the fact that many conservative commentators, rather than condemning Obama for assuming the powers of a literal dictator, have actually applauded him. Among them is John Bolton, who represented the Bush administration in the United Nations, who admits that Obama’s drone strike program “is consistent with, and derived from, the Bush administration approach to the war on terror.” In Bolton’s opinion, the drone-killing program is “entirely sensible.”
|Barack Obama murdered this young man.|
Channeling the spirit of a Stalin-era Communist Party apparatchik, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay Graham has proposed a resolution applauding the administration’s drone-killing program and urging all of his Republican colleagues to express their support. Graham has explicitly commended the administration for the summary execution of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who was murdered (no other word is suitable) by a drone strike in Yemen without ever being charged with a crime. Graham hasn’t said whether he considers the murder of Anwar’s 16-year-old son Abdelrahman to be a similar triumph of statecraft.
More remarkable still was the reaction of John Yoo, a former Bush-era Justice Department functionary who now teaches law at the University of California-Berkeley. Seven years before Eric Holder claimed that Congress has no authority to rein in Obama’s power of discretionary killing, Yoo breezily claimed that no law or treaty could prevent President Bush from ordering the sexual mutilation of a child in order to extract information from the victim’s parents.
Yoo employed a Wall Street Journal op-ed column to criticize the Obama “white paper” that sets out the guidelines for drone attacks – not because it gives unaccountable discretionary killing power to the president and his subordinates, but because it supposedly extends due process to “enemy combatants.” Yoo complains that the paper “suggests” that U.S. citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki “enjoy due process rights. By doing so, it dissipates the rights of the law-abiding at home.”
Presumably, Yoo’s concerns have been placated by Holder’s unflinching assertion that the president has unqualified authority to murder Americans anywhere, for any reason he deems suitable.
Senator Angus King of Maine has proposed the institutionalization of the drone program through creation of a special court that would be modeled after the tribunal that issues warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (or FISA). The FISA court, significantly, issues warrants after surveillance has begun. In similar fashion, Senator Young’s proposed court would review decisions to carry out drone strikes after the missiles had flown and the targeted individual had been killed. This proposal has been criticized by some congressional Republicans – once again, not because it represents a concession to tyrannical power, but rather because it supposedly inhibits the exercise of that power, if only by acknowledging that the power is subject to some form of independent scrutiny.
Until the filibuster staged by Senator Paul – who, despite his plentiful shortcomings, has proven that he has learned much from his heroic father – no Senate Republican had rejected the Stalinist premise that the President can order the summary execution of U.S. citizens. What about the Professional Left – the people who, like then-Senator Obama, were so agitated over the Bush administration’s crimes against the Bill of Rights? They’re too busy debating such weighty matters as the proper honorific by which to address the Dear Leader, or helping the Southern Poverty Law Center draw up “kill lists” of domestic “extremists.”
About a week ago, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland insisted that Washington would maintain its embargo of Cuba because the regime ruling that island continues to be a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Unlike the Regime for which Nuland speaks, the Cuban government doesn’t occupy a foot of foreign territory, nor does it use robot aircraft to rain death from the skies on neighborhoods halfway around the world.
In its 2011 human rights report on Cuba, the agency that issues Nuland’s paycheck described its government as a “totalitarian state” ruled by a military hierarchy that routinely commits criminal violence against the innocent. All of that is true, of course. Interestingly, the document admitted that in 2011, “There were no reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings.” The same cannot be said of the Regime that employs Nuland, which in the same year murdered hundreds of people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Among those “arbitrary [and] unlawful killings” were the summary executions of at least three U.S. citizens, including a 16-year-old boy. And now the chief law enforcement officer of the Obama Regime insists that the “law” would forbid Congress to restrain the Dear Leader from carrying out the extra-judicial killings of U.S. citizens.
While it’s true that Cuba remains mired in poverty and still lives under the reign of a thoroughly despicable ruling clique, we really must confront this question:
By what standard is the government of Cuba totalitarian, if the Regime in Washington is not?
Notes and Asides
For the past few months I have been writing the daily newscast for the Next News Network. This is a job that occupies anywhere from 20-30 hours each week, and -- to be blunt -- it pays about what I earned as a teenager working at JB's Big Boy. I think it's a very worthwhile undertaking, but it doesn't provide anywhere near enough to support a family of eight. As things stand right now, I'm having a difficult time keeping the lights on and my telephone connected. We are deeply thankful for all of the generous help we've received -- and would very much appreciate any help we can get. Thanks again -- and God bless!
Dum spiro, pugno!
Will 'My People' Holder send drones out to correct wayward comrades who don't subscribe to happytalk and the glorious socialist utopia rainbow pipedream kool-aid? (rhetorical)
DOJ detained me for 5 months with no evidentiary hearing, no bail hearing, no government prosecutor, and no claim I broke a law. I sued DOJ and they claimed that was totally legal.
If you want to be raped, go to a country where guns are banned.
There were a great many of us on the right who were protesting the excessive government largesse of the Bush family in office. Unfortunately, since it did not fit the editorial narrative of the time, we were all largely ignored. The deafening silence from the left is broken only by their shouts of support for their dearly beloved leader and justification for his criminal actions!
I was going to post a link in response to Robert In Arabia's links,
showing a recent scandal of British cops pressuring women to drop complaints of sexual assaults - so the cops could massage their crime figures down _ ie, the official figures for rape and sex assault in Britain are artificially low:
here's that link http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/26/police-failed-investigate-sex-attacks
but searching for it, I found a story and an eyewash report to calm the gullible - of a British sex predator in blue costume
and .pdf of the eyewash
Thanks again for another fine article. Sure wish you would do radio shows again.
After much vilification by the local sheriff and slimestream media everywhere, here's something I'm sure you will find very, very interesting. Given the nature of the charges originally brought, I say this amounts to a colossal loss of face for the sheriff and and other lawless jack-booted thugs. I hope you will follow up as it is almost imposible to find anything about this in the very same sleazy media who leapt at the opportunity to slander:
January 24, 2013, 02:53 PM
Brossart Family Reaches Plea Deal with Prosecutors Over Standoff Charges
The Lakota, N.D., farmer involved in a months-long stand-off with law enforcement in 2011 has struck a plea deal that would keep him and four of his children from serving any time behind bars or having a felony on their record.
"It's very odd how for some progressives and liberals in this country wars, secret detentions and bailouts and violations of habeas corpus, that were heinous and terrible and hideous when an inarticulate white Republican from West Texas does it, becomes curiously okay when a sophisticated black lawyer does it." - Paul Street, - journalist and author
The Tenacious Tyrant
Nelson Co. sheriff: "will seek grand jury petitions on Brossart plea deal"
Nelson Co. sheriff: Nelson County (N.D.) Sheriff Kelly Janke has promised to push for a citizen-initiated grand jury as part of his protest of a plea agreement in the Rodney Brossart terrorizing case. That led to a change of prosecutors in the case.
By Stephen J. Lee , February 09, 2013
Bill requiring warrant for drone use passes House
Published 02/23/2013, Forum News Service
North Dakota law enforcement may soon be required to obtain a search warrant in order to use an unmanned aircraft system, or drone, for civilian surveillance purposes.
Grand Forks County sheriff gets drone license from FAA
Published 12/06/2012, Grand Forks Herald
With an FAA license in hand, the Sheriff's Department will be able to fly up to 400 feet high in 16 northeast North Dakota counties. Officials emphasize search and rescue, and flood fighting.
[Yep, drones will be very effective fighting floods, not to mention curbing cow tipping.]
see there folks it's possible to compose an essay both pleasing to God AND patriotic . . . quite a feat in babylon!
a clear light from the roots of potatoland
ps pls donate to mr grigg
unless it's going to homeless guys it's hard to imagine a better cause
The war on terror is the final implosion of U.S. federalism.
Paranoia feeding on hostility feeding on paranoia.
It is an escalating meltdown that cannot be stopped.
Look around, the nation-state has reached its end.
The only thing it has to offer us is fear and violence.
But the Spirit is free, and it always will be.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Thank God, not your congressman.
Thanks for pointing out the hypocrisy of the right leaning who were quite happy with the imperial executive as long as it was their guy. Also the fake anti-war left who are only anti-war when a republicrat is making the war. Fun rhetorical question-where has the anti-war left been the last five years? Ohh drones and overthrowing dictators with a bad fashion sense make it ok because a demopublican is launching them. I see.
@WNG sorry if off topic of his imperial majesty El Presidente and the fading banana republic but just read an article about a man in New Mexico held in solitary confinement for two years in the glorious people's republik of New Mexico:
It is getting pretty weird out there comrades.
Man faces five years in prison for releasing heart shaped balloons on the beach with sweetheart:
donna from North Dakota
Unfortunately, even with a population of substantially less than 1 million, we retain a majority of idiots in state government.
The bill requiring a warrant prior to drone surveillance is in danger. Why?
"Representative Curt Kreun of Grand Forks says the bill sends the wrong message to the FAA.
" The FAA wants to study how manned and unmanned aircraft can co-mingle in airspace.
"North Dakota is vying to be one of six sites for testing, training and maintaining unmanned aircraft.
"The FAA is expected to make their selection by the end of the year.
"Negative publicity can hurt this application, it's very sensitive. FAA wants to test UAS integration in national airspace where it's embraced, not hindered. This bill could cost ND opportunity and jobs," says Kreun."
I'm not sure why they bother showing up at the capitol every two years, anyway.
I became aware of use of drone technology by USDA 11 years ago. They are a constant fixture in the night sky over our farms - even farms not on any government programs.
"...This bill could cost ND opportunity and jobs," says Kreun."
Oh, well then, jobs, or the supposed lies about their creation, should trump all concerns about Leviathan poking their noses into every aspect of your life. Notice how they automatically gravitate towards "flood warning" or other rot-gut excuses while ignoring the civil liberties aspect entirely. Mustn't let your freedoms get in the way of planting sand bags at the river.
Where do you get all the photos of oBammer?
Every one I've seen shows him poking his chin up to the sky and smiling that damned smirk.
Are any of those doctored? If not,
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