Listen to the drums beating the Dead March as the American Empire chugs into totalitarianism’s next terminus: execution of citizens without trial.
"The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen," the New York Times reports. And yes, those are cheers you hear over the drums, erupting from the same neocons who applauded torture and Gitmo. That’s because the intended victim is "the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki…who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam" but who is now "hiding in Yemen."
"Extraordinary," indeed. Once upon a time we required a trial; in fact, the Constitution still does. The State must present and prove its charges to an "impartial jury" before it takes a man’s life. True, politicians and bureaucrats often rig those trials, while cops and prosecutors tamper with evidence, but what else would we expect from government? Yet Leviathan now dispenses with that pretense, too, as it has with search warrants, habeas corpus, presumption of innocence, motive, and other such quaint necessities.
Even the Times, which leads the pack of "mainstream" (sic for "considerably to the left of Pravda") media in its animosity to liberty, is appalled enough to quote anonymous "officials" who admit that this is "extremely rare, if not unprecedented."
What has our fellow-citizen done to merit such attention? The Feds allege a great many foul deeds, though I’m hard-pressed to find one that threatens us nearly as much as the average Congressional act. Our Rulers "[believe]" Anwar is now "participating directly" in attacks on Americans rather than simply "encouraging" them. They’ve "linked" him to bad guys like the Underwear Bomber and the Ft. Hood Shooter. "Counterterrorism officials" who, curiously enough, battle those inept bad guys instead of the horrifically successful ones in Congress, claim he’s a member of al Qaeda.
“u2018Awlaki is a proven threat,’ a US official told Reuters news agency" — just not in court. Far be it from the Feds to convict their suspect at trial, however easy it would be given Anwar’s patronage of prostitutes and a system that punishes vice as crime. No, we’re simply supposed to trust Our Rulers. After all, paranoid nuts who add motherly doctoral students from Stanford University, famous singers, and 4-year-old boys to their silly blacklists couldn’t possibly make another mistake, could they?
For all his sleaze, Anwar eschews the secrecy our supposedly open government craves. He’s outspoken and honest about why he left his native country. “I lived in the U.S. for 21 years,” he says on a tape CNN "obtained" but could not "authenticate" last month. “America was my home. I was a preacher of Islam involved in non-violent Islamic activism. However with the American invasion of Iraq and continued U.S. aggression against Muslims, I could not reconcile between living in the U.S. and being a Muslim.”
Anwar isn’t the only "terrorist" to sing this song. Indeed, it’s become the usual refrain. Over and over, Moslems that the Feds dismiss as terrorists blame American foreign policy for reactions the Feds dismiss as extremism. "Any state that does not mess with our security, has naturally guaranteed its own security," Osama himself advised us in 2004. "…We fought you because we are free … and want to regain freedom for our nation. As you undermine our security we undermine yours…While I was looking at these destroyed towers in Lebanon [during the Israeli invasion American busybodies encouraged in 1982], it sparked in my mind that the tyrant should be punished with the same and that we should destroy towers in America, so that it tastes what we taste and would be deterred from killing our children and women…God knows that it had not occurred to our mind to attack the towers, but after our patience ran out and we saw the injustice and inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance toward our people in Palestine and Lebanon, this came to my mind."
You might think the sense of this so self-evident that even the Feds would listen. After all, lex talionis, tit-for-tat, what-goes-around-comes-around has reigned internationally for millennia; that’s one reason George Washington recommended "extending our commercial relations" with "foreign nations" while forming "as little political connection as possible." Attack a country by outright invasion (even when euphemized as "liberation") or by meddling in its affairs, and sooner or later, its residents will defend themselves. Nevertheless, Our Rulers play checkers with the Middle East, manipulating peoples, governments, and whole countries to satisfy American politicians, special interests, or corporations.
DC’s thugs will see us all die in more 9/11’s rather than admit their culpability and cease their anti-Constitutional forays overseas. That’s because ending the War on Terror would cancel all those lucrative, cozy contracts belligerent bureaucracies from the Pentagon to the Transportation Security Administration hand out; "targeting" Anwar instead funnels billions of our taxes into corporations’ coffers and from thence to politicians’ campaign chests. No wonder yet another nameless "official" sniffed to the New York Times, "The United States works, exactly as the American people expect, to overcome threats to their security, and this individual — through his own actions — has become one. … None of this should surprise anyone." Especially those who understand corporatism and the transformation of a republic into a fascist empire.
Meanwhile, there’s this from Rep[ulsive] Jane Harman (D-Israel — whoops, I mean CA), neoconservative chair of "a House subcommittee on homeland security": Anwar is "probably the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us."
Don’t you hate false modesty?
Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.