Obama: Drones and Change

[Obama] didn’t just embrace the Bush policies he kissed them on the lips and ran with them.

— Ret. United States Air Force Colonel, Morris Davis

The buck stops here!

— Harry S. Truman

The Washington Post looks like it decided to do a bit of actual journalism recently — penning an extensive and informative article on the Obama infatuation with the mass-killing aerial drone. This former constitutional scholar does not seem to feel impeded — by either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights — in his love affair with and, indeed, his use and misuse of this harbinger (and indeed harvester) of death.

Obama is at present, in fact, leading the way in the history of United States presidents in his extensive reliance on the secret killing of individuals ostensibly in the interest of securing national security goals. Attorney Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor of the military commissions at Guantanamo, has raised serious doubts about the entire nature of the multi-fold and various drone assassination program.

Davis finds it astounding that an American civilian organization (the CIA), would be going into a foreign country, and launching offensive military attacks; attacks that are unilaterally “justified” — by the whim, fiat or fancy — of a sitting United States president and commander-in-chief. And, in particular, the specific drone attack that successfully targeted the so-called Al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki; Davis says that he is unaware of any legal justification for that and calls it simply murder.

The Washington Post opines that the Obama drone program may have been eluding massive scrutiny because of the killing of so many Al-Qaeda operatives, without any risk to actual physical pilots, or genuine human military cost. They, of course, fail to mention that we are told that Al-Qaeda terrorists are the ones being murdered; which is a narrative that many have questioned. In fact, is the United States government actually killing “evildoers” and terrorists, or are they just exterminating average, ordinary, and everyday work-a-day folks? Like Vietnam, the Obama administration could probably care less — just so long as the bodies pile up!

As “Al-Qaeda” is eviscerated, the Obama regime can undoubtedly look all the more forceful, “tough”, “macho”, “resolute” and emboldened! And Obama will undeniably be facing an election versus an ultra-militarist Republican challenger, so he probably doesn’t want to be taken for a wussy! Dead innocents are just a form of collateral damage for the Obama (2012) re-election campaign! Just as bona fide progressives were for the hope and change campaign of only four short years ago!

Not only is Obama shredding and flouting the Constitution with his ardor and affection for the mass immolating drone, but in his recent signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, he’s also doing the same! The United States government is now capable of indefinitely detaining citizens, and without ever having to give them a (previously) necessary trial! In addition, Obama broke still yet another campaign promise by attaching a signing statement to that particular piece of abominable legislation!

The spindly and futile statement purports that his administration will not allow the indefinite detention of United States citizens without a speedy trial. A future Bushian administration, of course, would be unlikely to have any such qualms (of which Obama purports to lay claim to). But Obama has already extra-judicially killed American citizens without trials — not to mention serially and perennially lied on a panoply of other considerable issues — so his word is about as good as space garbage!

The hopes of the Obama campaign have turned to drones; the change of the Obama campaign has turned to a setting back of American law prior to the signing of the Magna Carta. The Obama campaign, perhaps fearing the ever invigorating, awakening, and enlivening 99%, perhaps feeling it has no alternative to being Bush II, should no longer have any credence with civil libertarians; in fact, it should no longer have any credence with any of those who hold true to the bedrock principles that are taught — growing up — to the vast majority of American youth.

Sean Fenley is an independent progressive who would like to see the end of the dictatorial duopoly of the so-called two party adversarial system. He would also like to see some sanity brought to the creation and implementation of current and future U.S. military, economic, foreign and domestic policies.

Read other articles by Sean.