Summary execution? Not in our names

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"Just think about this for a minute.  Barack Obama, like George Bush before him, has claimed the authority to order American citizens murdered based solely on the unverified, uncharged, unchecked claim that they are associated with Terrorism and pose 'a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests.'  They're entitled to no charges, no trial, no ability to contest the accusations." - Glenn Greenwald

Crimes Are Crimes - No Matter Who Commits Them.

The time has come to finally say loud and clear: the same things that were crimes under Bush are crimes under Obama. Outrages under Bush are outrages under Obama.  All this MUST STOP.  And all this MUST BE RESISTED by anyone who claims a shred of conscience or integrity...

Add your name to this online statement and donate money to have it published in major publications.

In the past few weeks, it has become common knowledge that Barack Obama has openly ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, because he is suspected of participating in plots by Al Qaeda. Al-Awlaki denies these charges. But he will be killed without trial.

During this same period, a video leaked by whistleblowers in the military showing U.S. troops firing on an unarmed party of Iraqis in 2007, including two journalists, and then firing on those who attempted to rescue them - including two children - became public. As ugly as this video of the killing of 12 Iraqis was, the chatter recorded from the helicopter cockpit was even more chilling and monstrous. Yet the Pentagon said that there would be no charges against these soldiers; and the media focused on absolving them of blame - "they were under stress," the story went, "and after all our brave men and women must be supported." Meanwhile, those who leaked and publicized the video came under government surveillance and are targeted as "national security" threats.

Also during this period, the Pentagon acknowledged that a massacre near the city of Gardez, Afghanistan, on February 12, 2010, in which 5 people were killed, including three women, two of them mothers. These killings, which the U.S. originally blamed on others, were indeed, as Afghanis had charged, the work of U.S. soldiers. The Afghan government has accepted the eyewitness reports that U.S. Special Forces dug their own bullets out of the women's bodies, a cover-up supported for nearly two months by the U.S. command.

Just weeks earlier, in a story broken in Harper's by Scott Horton, the news came out that three supposed suicides of detainees in Guantánamo in 2006 were not actual suicides, but homicides carried out by American personnel. This passed almost without comment.

And throughout this period, the Obama administration claimed even more than the prerogatives originally claimed by Bush in regard to: wiretapping, the use of the "state secrets" defense to prevent those who suffer abuse and injustice from getting relief in the courts, the supposed right of the executive to detain without trial all those whom it deems to be enemy combatants, the pursuit of aggressive war and occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, the increased use of unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and numerous other measures which, under Bush, were widely considered by liberals and progressives to be outrages and which were roundly, and correctly, protested.

And - unsurprisingly - the same Obama administration has refused to prosecute any members of the Bush regime who are culpable of war crimes - including some who admitted waterboarding and other forms of torture and murder.

In some respects, this is worse than what Bush did. First, because Obama has claimed the right to assassinate American citizens whom he suspects of "terrorism," merely on the grounds of his own suspicion or that of the CIA, something Bush never dared do. Second, Obama has dared to say that the government can hold you indefinitely, even if you have been exonerated in a trial. Third, because those acts which could be construed (wishfully or not) as anomalies under Bush, have now been consecrated into "standard operating procedure" by Obama.

The time has come to finally say loud and clear: the same things that were crimes under Bush are crimes under Obama. Outrages under Bush are outrages under Obama. All this MUST STOP. And all this MUST BE RESISTED by anyone who claims a shred of conscience or integrity.

The complicity of silence must be ended. It is up to the people to stop these crimes through visible resistance.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on April 16, 2010 3:11 PM.

accommodating Torture, part III: Obama's commitment to lawlessness was the previous entry in this blog.

Torture continues: BBC documents stories of "Black Hole" at Bagram is the next entry in this blog.

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