A Liberal President is making being a Liberal tougher than any other President in the history of America
Tomas Mega, U.S. correspondent
In October 2007, then U.S. Senator Barack Obama stated, “We must do whatever it takes to track down and capture or kill terrorists, but torture is not part of the answer.” Obama was referring to the notorious interrogation technique of ‘waterboarding,’ which we now know the Bush Administration utilised.
President Obama has clearly ‘made good’ on the first part of his statement. In early February this year, in a secret Justice Department paper obtained by NBC News, a legal argument was made that the President, without oversight, may order a ‘lethal operation’ against an American citizen who is known to be a ‘senior operational leader’ of al-Qaida or an affiliated group.
I could be wrong, but I have this odd feeling that if the Bush Administration told the American people that the war on terror gave them the right to execute American citizens overseas with drone aircraft, and that execution came at the cost of Due Process of Law, as guaranteed by the Constitution, Liberals would have screamed murder.
There wasn’t much Liberal dissent when Anwar al-Aulaqi made Obama’s kill list. A U.S. citizen by birth and an alleged leading figure in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, he was killed in 2011 by a drone attack in Yemen. Two weeks later, his 16 year old son was also killed in another drone attack.
There is little debate that al-Aulaqi was a very bad man. The more difficult debate facing Liberals is whether their President, or any President, can decide when the rights of U.S. citizens no longer apply. Apparently, according to the Justice Department, he/she can.
The issue also puts Conservatives in a bit of a spot too. They certainly cannot say that Obama is soft on terrorism, any more than they can say he is soft on illegal immigration. President Obama’s administration has deported more illegal immigrants than any other President in history.
But it’s Liberals who are really caught between a rock and a hard place. The man who took George Bush and Dick Cheney to task for waterboarding is now the President who can kill fellow citizens without any judicial due process or oversight. It’s not the first time Liberals have found themselves in such a sticky situation regarding due process of law. Franklin Roosevelt was President when Japanese-Americans were unconstitutionally imprisoned after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. And Liberals who question the wording and meaning of the Second Amendment, guaranteeing the people the right to bear arms, must also be questioning the wording of meaning of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment, each containing a due process clause.
With the popularity and use of drones appealing to United States law enforcement it’s not likely to get any better for Liberals. Police in the U.S. see great potential for drone deployment. U. S. Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio has admitted “this agency has been at the forefront of domestic use of drones for law enforcement.” The hunt for alleged murderer and former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner employed drones. While American law enforcement hasn’t utilised drones with lethal effect, it is not unreasonable to think that, if the situation is deemed ‘right,’ they may. If that happens on Obama’s watch, it will be a nightmare for Liberals. And the ability of a drone to spy on a citizenry has few boundaries. That makes the Liberal uproar over Republican efforts at voter I.D. registration look feeble.
In the world of political hypocrisy, ideology tends to eventually give way to “what’s good for us remains good for us, because it’s us doing it, and not them.” If the other side is doing it, then it’s bad. It is the Liberal mind at work. It is the Conservative mind at work. It is why Conservatives believe what Liberals really want is to gut the Second Amendment and eventually confiscate all the guns in the hands of citizenry. It is why Liberals believe what Conservatives really want is to not only end a women’s right to abortion, but to restrict and legislate her entire reproductive life.
While Republicans squabble about what is and is not conservative ideology, and how to appeal to a broader segment of the American population, there is little doubt that, under President Obama, it isn’t easy being a Liberal these days.
(Photo – AFP/Getty Image)