I like President Obama. I thought he was a viable and even American alternative to the excesses of the Bush presidency,which were rooted in lies and secrecy that I thought threatened the existence of America as we know it. However, close examination of Obama’s record, vis-a-vis foreign policy shows that at the least there is no difference between the two administrations or worse that Obama has surpassed Bush’s excesses.
Unfortunately President Obama has gone from an America where detention of American citizens was something hinted at or debated in foreign policy circles in the Bush administration to indefinite detention being codified with NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act. By widening the ‘war on terror’ or accepting as did Bush that it is an infinite conflict in both time and borders, and with the appropriate laws in place, Obama has made the federal government an usurper of the rights of American citizens to habeas corpus meaning any American anywhere in the world can be captured and held indefinitely for as long as the federal government wants. This also means, should the government wish it could act as executioner of those it wants to target for assassination without giving them a chance to turn themselves in or have access to the judicial system, so says this latest bit of news to come out of Washington
…the president can order the killing of a US citizen who is a member of al-Qaida…(without any specificity on) the “minimum legal requirements” for launching such an operation, (the Administration) insists that the killing would be constitutionally justified as the United States is engaged in an “armed conflict” as defined by international law and authorised by Congress, with al-Qaida and its affiliates. In a key passage in the document – which is unsigned – (the Administration) argues that for a US citizen who has rights under the due process clause and the fourth amendment, “that individual’s citizenship would not immunise from a lethal operation”.
The Administration also goes on to assert all of this can be done without any over sight from the judiciary…..it is considered too intrusive and burdensome and would get in the way of the President’s ability to act swiftly against citizens. Obama also says that such lethal and deadly force can be carried out against Americans even if they are not in the planning stages of an attack or if they are “associated” with terror organizations. Just what he means by associated with is left up to his discretion alone. Therefore, it is conceivable that an American citizen can be targeted for assassination by his government because he knows someone who is a member of a terrorist organization even though he may not share the views of his friend or the group to which he belongs. The prospect is frightening and horrifying.
If there is any doubt that these measures are designed for Muslims and Muslim Americans, that doubt should be erased just by a casual glimpse of those organizations deemed terrorist by the US government….an overwhelming majority of them are situated in the Middle East and most likely made of those who call themselves Muslim by faith. That does not mean that the organization is driven by any Islamic ideals or philosophy, however, because of the many different groups the one area of the Middle East which has the most groups designated as a terrorist organization is Palestine with 8 followed by Iraq with five. Clearly while these groups may be made up of Muslims they exist to drive out what their members consider invaders or occupiers of their territory, or violators of their sovereignty. Absent such a foreign influence it may be safe to assume these groups would blend into a normal political structure consistent with governments and politics the world over.
The other indication that Muslims have become targeted by this Administration in ways that exceed what Bush did is with the denial of return to American citizens living and working abroad, forced exile, or those who may want to travel from America to other countries. We’ve written extensively here at Miscellany101 about the pesky no-fly list since it was imposed on the American public. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has chosen to expand upon no fly lists and means of denying travel in ways that seem to point to it targeting specifically American Muslims. This from the president who spent most of his first term weathering rumors that he himself was Muslim, now seemingly oppressing Muslims in order to exorcise the label from him. Fix this America!
- Obama Adopts the Bush Doctrine (anirrationalviewoftheirrational.wordpress.com)
- Chilling legal memo from Obama DOJ justifies assassination of US citizens | Glenn Greenwald (guardian.co.uk)
- Memo justifies killing Americans abroad if tied to al-Qaida (news.yahoo.com)