Assassinating US Citizens
September 30th, 2011 marks a new low in our country's history, for it marks the 1st time our President acted as judge, jury and executioner in green-lighting the assassination of a US Citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki. That in of itself is bad enough, but to hear the President pat himself on the back, and the media, minus what appears to be only Jake Tapper from ABC, to be apathetic at best and supportive at worst makes me sick, and should trouble every American who values the Constitution and the limitations it's supposed to place on the government.
As US Citizens, we have a protected right under the US Constitution to due process. That means we have a right to a trial by a jury of our peers, and a right to face our accuser. We are assumed innocent until proven guilty, and place the burden of proof on the prosecutor. All of those rights were violated in this case (once it became known that al-Awlaki was on a hit-list, a problem in itself, the ACLU's request to represent him was denied), and yet the media's silence on this matter is deafening.
Anwar al-Awlaki was a Yemini-American imam. The government alleges that he was a senior recruiter for Al-Qaeda and that he was behind some of the recent failed terrorist attacks, including the underwear bomber and the attempted car bombs in NYC. It would seem by all accounts this guy was a bad person. However, that doesn't give our government, and the President no less, carte blanche to order the murder of a US Citizen, and the on top of that, refuse to provide any proof as to the guilt of the target. We somehow managed to arrest, try and convict Timothy McVeigh and his accomplices, so there's no reason to believe we shouldn't have here.
Why are people so accepting and supportive? Perhaps it's because the assassination occurred overseas in Yemen, almost 7000 miles away, and maybe because he "looked like a terrorist"? Would the public be so supportive if he was a white guy named Bob Smith or if a government agent shot and killed a guy in the middle of Times Square and then refused to explain why it was done other than their claim that "he was a bad guy"? Hopefully people wake up before "first they came..." reaches its conclusion.