Remember back in Obama’s 2008 campaign when it was generally believed that his background in lawwould render him an effective leader — at the very least — with respect to the rule of law? It’s hard to imagine that was ever believed in retrospect, as we’ve seen the former “anti-war” state senator not only completely betray various campaign promises, but personally make targeted drone killing a priority.
We saw just a few weeks ago Attorney General Eric Holder’s cavalier dismissal regarding the killing of American citizens overseas, complete with his weightless distinction that, “‘Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same.” In the last few days, however, Obama-era regression is really coming to the surface. “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” an article that appeared yesterday in the New York Times, could have justifiably also been titled “Secret Kill List Proves Chilling: Where Are Our Principles? What is Our Will?”
Does the president’s explicitly deceitful decision to redefine ‘militant’ as, “all military-age males in a strike zone,” really reflect our values? Is that the America we want to live in? Is that the America we’ve so long considered ‘the land of the free, home of the brave?’
Barack Obama — the candidate who promised to close GitMo — has merely circumvented the process. Instead of detaining anyone, he sentences them to death by drone. A draconian compromise of fundamental American values? Not strong enough — in fact, I’m unable to even construct a sentence that describes just how egregious Obama’s foreign policy has become.
So who are these ‘military-aged males?’ Do we know they’re terrorists? Does Obama consider background checks of each of these Government-sanctioned murders? The New York Times article sheds some light, “Counterterrorism officials insist this approach [the approach that counts all military-aged males in a strike zone as combatants] is one of simple logic: people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good.”
Are you a ‘militant,’ according to this definition? Can you imagine having a family member killed by a drone — while the government responsible drops an official response of mere proximity? Is that how we determine guilt? Is that how we build democracy and strengthen our international relationships with others — labeling “terrorists” with qualifiers like ‘probably’?
Can you imagine what activists would be saying were it Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield hand-picking their drone-murders, with a record of killing innocent farmers and children? Where will you draw the line? When will you stand up against the disturbing reality of our bi-partisan, neo-con military intervention, destroying what is quintessentially American — freedom, justice, and liberty for all?
It starts with you. Stand with a candidate who stands with you.
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