I came across this bit of Obama obstructionism and lack of transparency. How is that hope and change working out for you?
President Obama feels your Constitutional right to “due process” can be what ever secret process he makes up.
Yesterday, US Attorney General Eric Holder reiterated the administration’s support for their controversial program of secretly targeting US citizens for execution without notifying them of the accusations against them, officially charging them with a crime or offering them the opportunity to respond. Since the whole world is a battlefield in the vague ‘war on terror,’ the only due process afforded to someone who has been targeted for extrajudicial execution is a secret ‘review’ by the executive branch.
Just as the public demanded the release of the Bush Administration’s Torture Memos to expose the ludicrous rationale behind their secret torture program, we too must demand to know the legal rationale for a program that allows our president to unilaterally choose to deprive someone of life and liberty – without the victim even being charged with a crime.
Holder’s speech was a cheap attempt to feign transparency without actually releasing the legal memos that define the administration’s execution policy.1 We need your help to demand the Obama administration release these memos immediately. Can you please sign our petition demanding the Obama administration release the Execution Memos?
The administration’s refusal to even outline this non-judicial ‘due process’ that allows US citizens to be secretly put on a kill list is beyond troubling to say the least.
As Salon writer Glenn Greenwald put it: “the ‘process’ which Eric Holder yesterday argued constitutes “due process” as required by the Fifth Amendment before the government can deprive of someone of their life: the President and his underlings are your accuser, your judge, your jury and your executioner all wrapped up in one, acting in total secrecy and without your even knowing that he’s accused you and sentenced you to death, and you have no opportunity even to know about, let alone confront and address, his accusations; is that not enough due process for you?”2
The ACLU, New York Times and others have been suing the Obama administration for months in hopes of securing the release of the Execution Memos, but as one of the least-transparent administrations in recent history, they have repeatedly blocked their release.3
If left unchallenged, this secretive program could continue to expand under Obama and future presidents, and further erode America’s most basic principles of justice. Without the memos we do not know exactly how far the Obama administration believes this unprecedented power extends. We need your help to build a groundswell of pressure to force the release of any and all legal justification for the targeted killings program so there can be an open debate in this country about our president’s unilateral authority to kill.
This is a serious and dangerous precedent, and anyone who took issue with the Bush Torture Memos should be even more concerned about this latest power grab by the president. I hope you’ll join us in fighting to release these memos.
Director of Online Activism,
1. Holder’s Regressive Defense of Targeted Killings, Kevin Gosztola, FDL’s Dissenter, 3/6/2012.
2. Attorney General Holder defends execution without charges, Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, 3/6/2012.
3. The Worst Administration on FOIA, Kevin Gosztola, FDL’s Dissenter, 3/5/2012.