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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Idolizing Absolute Power: The Pro-Assassination Crowd

by James Bovard

The Christian Science Monitor published a piece I wrote last month in opposition to allowing the U.S. government to kill Americans without a warrant, trial, or any judicial niceties. The article, ?Assassination Nation: Are There Any Limits on President Obama's License to Kill?,? spurred a torrent of feedback on that vividly illustrates how some Americans now view absolute power.

Some folks believed that opposing ?extrajudicial killings? should be a capital offense. My article mentioned an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit pressuring the Obama administration ?to disclose the legal standard it uses to place U.S. citizens on government kill lists.? ?Will R.? was indignant: ?We need to send Bovard and the ACLU to Iran. You shoot traders and the ACLU are a bunch of traders.? (I?m not aware that the ACLU is engaged in either interstate or international commerce.) ?Jeff? took the high ground: "Hopefully there will soon be enough to add James Bovard to the [targeted killing] list." Another commenter ? self-labeled as ?Idiot Savant? ? saw a grand opportunity: "Now if we can only convince [Obama] to use this [assassination] authority on the media, who have done more harm than any single terror target could ever dream of...."

Many folks feared that any restrictions on U.S. government killing could be fatal. As ?Rogmac? groused: ?You guys who are against killing these guys are going to be the death of all of us.? Other commentators started from the self-evident truth that, as ?Bert? declared, ?In the best interest of the United Sates and it's citizen's, someone has to be the judge, jury and executioner.? This theory of government differs significantly from that proffered in the Federalist Papers. ?Rich? was sure everything had been done properly: ?The warrants have already been signed, the execution orders have all been approved now we just need to find them and eradicate them.? Having a president approve his own execution orders is more efficient than the procedures used by the U.S. government in earlier times. ?Coder Cable? joined the pro-power parade: ?In a time of war, the military (ie: President) is allowed to execute anyone for the crime of treason, assuming there is strong evidence to backup the claim.?

This was practically the only pro-assassination comment that referred to a standard of evidence. The question of whether government officials can be trusted to arbitrarily label Americans as enemies did not arise. Instead, most commentators favored ?faith-based killings,? blindly accepting the assertions of any political appointee as the ultimate evidence. ?Dark Ruby Moon? wrote: ?I won't loose a minutes sleep over these people being eliminated.... One of the reasons presidential elections are so important is we are picking someone who must make such difficult decisions and who is in the end accountable for those decisions.? Perhaps future presidential races will feature campaign promises such as ?Vote for Smith ? he won?t have you killed unless all his top advisers agree you deserve to die.?

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The conditioning processes we are relentlessly subjected to seem to be working on the majority as evidence by the sentiments of the "pro assinators"
The quote from Winston Chuchill on the bottom of your pages is so scaringly accurate. Many just cannot "see it" and to me , thats the scariest thing. Even when you put many of the jig-saw pieces to-gether for them...they still cannot see or comprehend what is happening.

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