I’m too busy to post a bunch of stuff, but I just want to say that I’m kind of floored by the staggering hypocrisy in the al-Awlaki thread from last night. I almost can not believe what I am reading. And before we go any farther, let me state on the record I think he is scum. But he is American scum, and he has rights.
It seems like a good number of you, who completely and totally lost your shit (and deservedly so) when the Bush administration waterboarded foreigners, now seem to either blithely look the other way or even endorse the concept of assassinating American citizens.
It was funny, and sad, watching many of you become shithouse lawyers, justifying the unjustifiable. Some of you are ok with the assassination if it is signed off by the courts- because then it would be A-OK! Sarah Palin- I just found your death panels.
Some of you say “I’m ok with it if it is done legally.” You know what else was deemed legal- the torture you screamed about for the last eight years. The law in Arizona that you all abhor is “legal.” Segregation was “legal.” The reason you all had a sad face because Dawn Johnsen was not confirmed was because what the OLC and the last administration did to sanitize the morally indefensible and call it “legal.”
If al-Awlaki is killed as a result of a military mission, I won’t lose any sleep. If he is killed in the process of trying to apprehend him, I won’t lose any sleep. If he were to drop dead of a stroke this very minute, I would not lose any sleep.
But I’ll be god damned if I’m going to pretend it is ok to start ordering the assassination of American citizens, even if it is done “legally” and ordered by politicians I generally like. This really is not a tough call at all. This is not because I am some crazy civil liberties absolutist. This is just basic common sense, and this kind of thing would set an absolutely horrible precedent. It is beyond me how anyone could get upset about Gitmo and Abu Gharaib and then think assassination of citizens is ok. Personally, I’ll take terrorized by guard dogs and waterboarded over a bullet to the brain pan.
But you know me. I’m just a wild-eyed crazy liberal.