Just when you think it’s safe to have hope in government they go and make a major bo0 boo when it comes to your rights as a citizen. For now, government is pretty safe in saying they will go after and even KILL Anwar al-Awlaki because as far as everyone is concerned he’s a bad guy and he’s not entitled to the same rights and privileges as the rest of us and that’s because the government said so. It doesn’t matter that not one shred of proof has been offered other than the government’s claim to Awlaki’s nefarious character, or that we haven’t given him a chance to defend himself against the accusation. Nor does it seem to matter that his rights as an American citizen are irrelevant as far as the government is concerned; perhaps there are many who assert he isn’t an American citizen, much like the teabaggers who say the same about Obama, and in that he and Obama, oddly enough, have something in common. What is telling is the government’s premise their position to extra-judiciously kill Awlaki is in ‘strict accordance with the law.‘ He’s no longer considered a ‘militant preacher’ now he’s an operative for al-Qaida based on the kind of evidence that was enough to allow others to stand trial or have access to the judicial system but for him is a death sentence without recourse to the rights guaranteed him by the US Constitution. However the incremental erosion of citizenship rights by Government means what’s here and allowed today can very easily be taken away tomorrow merely on the declaration of an un-named and in general civics terms unaccountable public servant.
What bothers this observer is how close the US response to perceived acts of terrorism mimics that of the Israelis who claimed the right to kill any of their enemies whenever and wherever they wanted at the beginning of the 21st century. Years later Israel is still an insecure, even by their own admission, country that continues to kill its opponents while at the same time further dimming hopes for peace and security. Simply put, assassinations of political foes does not engender security or peace nor the cessation of hostilities, but rather exacerbates them. That is a lesson the US, despite the Israeli model, has refused to learn.
What looms on the American horizon is the prospect that any one who resists the government and can be adequately portrayed as evil enough for his death to be accepted by a large segment of the US population stands the risk of having their rights casually dismissed and their life equally dispatched the way of a common criminal without the ability to prove or disprove a charge or legally defend himself. I know that’s enough to get tea baggers angry in this day and age; the existence of a black American as president sets them off. The polarization of American society has made it possible for people to turn a blind eye to the idea that one branch of government can unilaterally determine the rights it is willing to extend to a citizen with the citizen having no say in the matter especially when that citizen is not from one group or another. That can only mean the continued insurgency of the federal government on the rights of its citizen.