With the recent murder of Anwar al-Awlaki by the U.S. government, courtesy of President Obama, you would think that such a blatant disregard for our Constitution would be controversial and widely opposed. Of course not. This is how you can tell we are becoming increasingly a police state. Few, if any, pundits, politicians, or people in the know even bother to publicly express that an accused terrorist, born and raised in the U.S., deserves the same right to a public trial (with presentment of evidence) that we afforded Charlie Manson and Jeffrey Dahmer.
Why? After all, al-Awlaki was a Muslim of Arab descent, so you know most people on the right have no qualms about disemboweling him. Because tomorrow it may likely be you, if you ever bother to dissent or oppose the actions of your government, that's why.
Credit to be given, because I do not pretend to be a fan of a person who thinks that the slaveholders were right in the Civil War, Rep. Ron Paul has been one of the few Congressional voices of reason on this issue.
The fact Paul would talk like that while running for President of the U.S. in the Republican Party, where candidates trip over themselves to love Jesus and hate Muslims more than the next person (just ask Herman Cain how many Muslims he plans on employing), that is no small thing. It takes guts, and if nothing else I give the man his due for saying the obvious: we are killing our own citizens without charge, based on a claim by an official without evidentiary offering, or public trial, on the notion that they deserve to die for being who they are. This is an assault on our Bill of Rights and every one of our rights as citizens of this country.
How can one say that al-Awlaki ever was a terrorist? What evidence does our federal government have? Even if we assume that al-Awlaki was a spiritual godfather of the Fort Hood shooter, and inspired al-Qaeda converts, and was genuinely an unrepentant terrorist, what evidence do we have that he is guilty of these crimes? Notice, you do not see too much offered by our government in that department. Assuming they have evidence, why do we accept that our government would keep secret evidence that it supposedly has that one of our own citizens (born and raised in this country no less) is who they say he is?
And who is to say that if it is acceptable to have our government kill our own citizens without charge of any crime, and if it is OK to have 'enhanced interrogation' techniques (which it would not surprise me to find out that we are still using, in spite of what President Obama says), why not extend this to other groups of people? Why not anti-Wall Street demonstrators? It is not like the same federal law enforcement agencies had any problems with engineering the murder of Fred Hampton through the Chicago Police Department. Why not just kill on sight anyone accused of being a violent criminal and just be done with the 4-6th Amendments altogether? If killing Anwar al-Awlaki without anything resembling a trial is OK, we can have that discussion now, because it seems unlikely that our government is going to stop committing these kinds of crimes, and is almost certain to expand them. Indeed, unless our courts step in and put a stop to it, this murder is just the beginning, the harbinger of only worse and even greater volume of abuses to come.
You think not? How many of you know that a good chunk of the employment pool for Google comes straight from the NSA in Fort Meade? How many of our citizens know that our president has a hit list with other Americans on it, to be killed on his orders alone, without charge, without trial, without any respect for the rule of law? How many of our citizens know that our government actually has a secret interpretation of the Patriot Act that allows the administration to do whatever it wants with regards to the law, and then not explain itself to us or even Congress? And how many of our citizens know that our government can come into your home, without warrant or cause, take your property without telling you and get away with it (on the condition that you are a suspected terrorist [not according to any legal standards, but the subjective opinion of a non-legally trained bureaucrat])?
And to those deluded white conservatives who continue to live the dream that Obama is a Marxist-Leninist, ask yourself: do you not find it odd that Dick Cheney and George Bush Jr. praise Obama for what he has done in assassinating bin Laden and al-Awlaki? That is hardly an accident. They understand that your supposedly Islamist president is no different than any of you. You just cannot own up to it. Well, maybe you should ask al-Awlaki's family. I am sure they could give you an earful.