While our banks go unregulated and our deficits and national debt climb to record highs, while money is cut for infrastructure, education, research and the poor, while millions of Americans are without health care, President Barack Obama meets every Tuesday with two dozen officials to determine whom our drones will kill that week then reportedly "signs off on every strike."
Obama has not only signed into law indefinite detention, allowing the military to arrest anyone in the United States without a trial or charges, but now he claims the right to assassinate so-called enemies, including American citizens, outside any battlefield, purely on the basis of secret meetings in the White House.
The president also claims the right to kill anyone in the vicinity of a so-called enemy. As a result, hundreds of innocent women and children in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia have been killed. Males of a certain age are considered targets in what are called "signature strikes" for merely looking like terrorists, meaning any male fit for the military. This is done from thousands of miles away.
Our killing campaign alienates people around the world. Pakistan wants us to stop, but we continue, claiming we are keeping America safe, though almost every major threat in the United States — whether it be the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber or the Cleveland bridge bombers — has been by entrapment. The FBI supplies the idea, the plan and the materials.
Fighting terrorism has become big business, with yearly expenditures on national security at $1.2 trillion. It is hard to believe any American can vote for a president who every week picks people to die. We have always prided ourselves on our judicial system, but it has been scrapped. The slippery slope started with Guantanamo when prisoners, many sold by warlords for $5,000 a head, were held without trial.
The door was opened to indefinite detention without charges. Some in Congress tried to exempt U.S. citizens from the provision, but all Kentucky representatives, except Rep. John Yarmuth, defeated the amendment.
So now we have assassination of Americans by the prresident of the United States. The slope has hit bottom.
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader asks, "Where are the lawyers?" The silence of most of the legal system is deafening.
Foreign Policy magazine recently called Obama "George Bush on steroids." Obama indeed said the decision to kill New Mexico born cleric al-Awlaki was "an easy one," though he did not mention his feelings after a CIA drone killed al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son and his friend two weeks later while sitting in a cafe.
Decent people would not agree with such killing. Surely we are not so frightened that we want innocent people executed just so there will not be another 9/11. This manipulation of our fears has drained our resources for domestic programs, and has corrupted our values. The chicken bone in our throat is the continuing lies about 9/11 that have shredded the Constitution and turned us into a nation of assassins.