So I’ve been watching with amusement the rights outrage (and glee) over the leaked DOJ memo regarding drones and the killing of “americans”.
So- some observations:
One of their claims is that the liberal media is ignoring it (per usual in their opinion). But it seems to me it was that bastion of liberal mainstream media- NBC, that broke the story. As has happened time and again under Obama- with the evil leftist Obama loving New York Times and th eWashington Post leading the way in breaking stories on the Obama administrations actions.
Another favorite claim is “if this had happened under Bush, the liberals would be making it a story… Well, see above. And the left is indeed not only reporting but analyzing and raising questions. And of course- we can flip this arguement on its head. Because these proud defenders of america and it’s constiution were bloody silent during the 8 years of abuses under Bush. As they were under the Reagan/Bush empire.
And of course mnay of these people are so far right they seem to have lost perspective. They, in their own words, tend to think of themselves as the “true conservatives” so by definition everyone else in america is a liberal, or a communist, or a socialist. They seem to have lost touch with the reality that the vast majority of americans hover around a center, often crossing lineson this issue or that. That they are, indeed, not the “true conservatives” but extremists- and a small but vocal minority.
And of course there have been calls of hypocrisy- Obama condemning waterboarding and other tortures of detainees and wanting them to have due process.
Which is beyond idiotic- as we are talking of people in custody and no longer posing a threat. So yes- due process IS warranted. But the reality is we are talking of individuals for whom apprehension is at best and extremely unlikely possibility.
So here, I’ll give them an opinion from someone who is probably as far to the left as they are to the right:
The memo doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies. But, in an odd way, it makes me respect Obama more. Because as on many issues- he’s been forced to make impossible choices, and I would argue, has largely done well.
The real world examples where this has applied have been what- one or two depending on your perspective and interpretation of the facts. So let’s dissect a bit.
American citizenship is not only a birth or given right, but carries responsibilities. And we are talking of people, who regardless of not officially denouncing their american citizenship, in pratice did by calling for war and bloodshed on americans. For fomenting violence. For acts that would clearly be treason and call for the death penalty.
And let’s be real. We are talking of individuals who moved to yemen. Not a case of a criminal on the run who would, eventually, be picked up by interpol on warrants at an airport or durig a traffic stop. We are talking someone who despite any warrants for their arrest would likely never be apprehended. Yes, we could send in the fabled “seal team six” – likely with the exact same results- death. And quite possibly with far greater american casualties.
So yes. The whole situation is a bit of a bitter pill. But more so because of it highlighting a new modern reality then because of some injustice.
So no. I don’t particularly see any hypocrisy. Any double standard.
What I DO see is a potentially dangerous precedent being set. And one that will ultimately have to be hammered out in the courts- and ultimately falling to the supreme court. I don’t forsee congress taking any meaningful action because ultimately, despite their protests, the right wants these powers to. Though ultimately I think they should act- not in blind fervor but to add checks and balances to the system. Because frankly, this is a modern problem of the new global world we live in.
And as a final note- I have neither the time nor the resources to fully research this. But I have a very hard time believing this is the first time such a thing has happened. Beyond the countless Rachel Corries in this world, peace activists whose murder our nation turned a blind eye to, or the Judi Barri’s of the world (The non-violent Earth First leader whose car was bombed) I find it hard to believe that from WWII to the countless Reagan/Bush dirty little wars throughout south and central america that no other american was not targetted, or at the very least considdered as a legitimate target among other more high profile targets.