Quote of the day: Obama’s lethal gift to Trump

From New Zealand journalist Bruno Marcetic, writing in Jacobin:

Trump will inherit Obama’s drone program, something which Obama himself inherited from Bush, then set about dramatically expanding. Trump will be able to sit in the oval office, flip through “baseball cards” of various allegedly unsavory individuals, then without any due process, order them to be zapped from the sky.

The targets for assassination appear to be currently determined through a process of intelligence gathering, then sent up the chain to be approved for killing. However, with no real oversight or legal limits on the program, it’s hard to see what would legally prevent President Trump from ordering the assassination of anyone he chooses.

Not only that, but Trump will conceivably be able to order the “targeted killing” without trial of even American citizens. Despite the unconstitional nature of this power, the Justice Department under the Obama administration issued a memo in 2010 that gave legal justification for skipping a trial for US citizens when targeted under the broad scope of the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) law, passed in 2001 as part of the “War on Terror.” (The memo only came to light in 2014, because the administration refused for years to reveal its reasoning to the public).

The administration then used this legal justification to assassinate at least four US citizens with no due process, including — in a completely separate drone strike — one suspected terrorist’s innocent, sixteen-year old son. When challenged on the administration’s right to do such a thing, Obama’s press secretary at the time replied that the boy “should have a far more responsible father.”

And in 2013, Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder declared that this power of extra-judicial assassination even extended to US soil. While “entirely hypothetical” and “unlikely to occur,” he wrote in a letter to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, “it is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate … for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”

Think of it.

A bombastic, arrogant, egotistic narcissist who takes every slight with vehemence, empowered to kill anyone, most notably American citizens, without due process and with legal immunity.

Sweet dreams. . .


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