Tag Archives: Glenn Greenwald

Can we kill our own just because they’re bad guys?

I guess we killed an important terrorist yesterday. Another clean, targeted hit. And we did it without invasion, always a good thing. Gotta tone down that invasion thing.

But there are concerns. AnWar al-Awlaki was a bad guy for sure. He was also an American citizen.

I just stumbled upon Spatial Orientation, a blog new to me and one I’ll visit again, where they’ve posted some commentary on the subject including a statement from Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson and a post from professional liberal Glenn Greenwald, two fellows who are hardly ideological bedfellows but appear to be equally fond of the Constitution.

Johnson said that while he applauds vigilance in the WoT:

. . . we cannot allow the War on Terror to diminish our steadfast adherence to the notion of due process for American citizens.  The protections under the Constitution for those accused of crimes do not just apply to people we like — they apply to everyone, including a terrorist like al-Awlaki.  It is a question of due process for American citizens.

If we allow our fervor to eliminate terrorist threats to cause us to cut corners with the Constitution and the fundamental rights of American citizens, whether it be invasions of privacy or the killing of someone born on U.S. soil, I could argue that the terrorists will have ultimately won.

Greenwald added:

What’s most striking about this is not that the U.S. Government has seized and exercised exactly the power the Fifth Amendment was designed to bar . . . [but] that its citizens will not merely refrain from objecting, but will stand and cheer the U.S. Government’s new power to assassinate their fellow citizens, far from any battlefield, literally without a shred of due process from the U.S.

Awlaki has been linked to suspects in the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas shooting spree and the attempted Christmas bombing of a passenger jet, but he has neither been charged nor tried. It appears he was targeted because he preached jihad and recruited for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Like I said, a bad guy, but we have rules that say we can’t kill citizens because they don’t like the government.

(The killing was carried out by an unmanned drone,  another conversation we should be having.)

UPDATE: Johnson just appeared on FOX News. That’s an audience who need  a challenge to cherished beliefs. He did a good job.  The video is here.

Man up, grow a spine

POSTED BY ORHAN

Today Glenn Greenwald explained why Obama continually folds on tax cuts to the rich and cuts in social services  — it’s not because the President and his advisers are weak, incompetent negotiators unable to stand up to crafty, intransigent Republicans — things turn out the way they do because Obama and the Democrats, with few exceptions, want them to turn out that way:

Conventional D.C. wisdom — that which Obama vowed to subvert but has done as much as any President to bolster — has held for decades that Democratic Presidents succeed politically by being as “centrist” or even as conservative as possible. That attracts independents, diffuses GOP enthusiasm, casts the President as a triangulating conciliator, and generates raves from the DC press corps — all while keeping more than enough Democrats and progressives in line through a combination of anti-GOP fear-mongering and partisan loyalty.

Isn’t that exactly the winning combination that will maximize the President’s re-election chances? Just consider the polling data on last week’s budget cuts, which most liberal commentators scorned. Americans support the “compromise” by a margin of 58-38%; that support includes a majority of independents, substantial GOP factions, and 2/3 of Democrats.

And yes, the President “got tough” in today’s budget speech and swore he wouldn’t cave in to the Republicans: “we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in. And as long as I’m President, we won’t.”

We’ll see.

It’s official: Bush was right all along

POSTED BY ORHAN

President Obama’s executive order signed Monday that sets up a system of indefinite detention for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay contains tons of verbiage defining initial reviews, triennial reviews, file reviews, Review Committees, and giving detainees rights to government representatives and private counsel.

Nevertheless, close reading shows there will be a single test used to determine whether a prisoner is deserving of our everlasting hospitality: “if it is necessary to protect against a significant threat to the security of the United States.

Who decides? A Periodic Review Board comprised of one rep each from “the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security, as well as the Offices of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff”.

Glenn Greenwald exhaustively lays out the case against Obama’s continuation of the Bush/Cheney policies.

More about missing the point

Glenn Greenwald at Salon has a series of terrific posts about government and corporate overreaction re wikileaks and especially about Julian Assange. And about the dangers inherent in what constitutes an attack on free speech.

Greenwald is a constitutional lawyer, a long time blogger before his Salon gig, a tad verbose (but he does have a lot of good stuff to say!) and prolific. He’s always worth checking in with.

He’s here.