On Monday, March 5, Northwestern University School of Law was the location of an extraordinary scene for a free nation. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder presented President Barack Obama's claim that he has the authority to kill any U.S. citizen he considers a threat. It served as a retroactive justification for the slaying of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki last September by a drone strike in northeastern Yemen, as well as the targeted killings of at least two other Americans during Obama's term.What's even more extraordinary is that this claim, which would be viewed by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution as the very definition of authoritarian power, was met not with outcry but muted applause. Where due process once resided, Holder offered only an assurance that the president would kill citizens with care. While that certainly relieved any concern that Obama, or his successor, would hunt citizens for sport, Holder offered no assurances on how this power would be used in the future beyond the now all-too-familiar "trust us" approach to civil liberties of this administration.
In his speech, Holder was clear and unambiguous on only one point: "The president may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign terrorist organization with which the United States is at war -- even if that individual happens to be a U.S. citizen." The use of the word "abroad" is interesting because senior administration officials have previously asserted that the president may kill an American anywhere and anytime, including within the United States. Holder's speech does not materially limit that claimed authority, but stressed that "our legal authority is not limited to the battlefields in Afghanistan." He might as well have stopped at "limited" because the administration has refused to accept any limitations on this claimed inherent power.
Holder became highly cryptic in his assurance that caution would be used in exercising this power -- suggesting some limitation that is both indefinable and unreviewable. He promised that the administration would kill Americans only with "the consent of the nation involved or after a determination that the nation is unable or unwilling to deal effectively with a threat to the United States." He did not explain how the nation in question would consent or how a determination would be made that it is "unable or unwilling to deal" with the threat.
So how do we explain this to our kids?
Cokie Roberts (and others) used to obsess during the 90s over a blow job Bill Clinton received and how this could be explained to our children -- as if parents around the country were sitting at the dinner table saying, "Current events, boys and girls. Let's talk semen stains!"
But how do we explain Barack's latest nonsense to our kids?
I'm a mother of three.
How do I explain the American Revolution in light of Barack's claim to have powers lieke a king in ye olden times?
Didn't we part with England to become a democracy and lose the monarchy?
Well now there is King Barack and he can determine who should live and who should die. And Eric Holder wants us to know that the king never makes a mistake and certainly needs no review of his actions.
This is is garbage and why we wanted to run Bully Boy Bush out of the White House.
But America's Princess does it and suddenly most on the left no longer give a damn.
The hypocrisy is so thick, I can't believe we're all still breathing.
"Shadow Boxer" just came on. I was pregnant the first time I heard this song. I had an accident, slipping on a patch of ice. And for weeks after, I was so concerned because it was time for the baby to start kicking and nothing. And I had a friend who was two weeks ahead of me with her pregnancy and her baby had been kicking forever.
So this song came on and my oldest started kicking.
I always think of him when I hear that song and how I wanted to jump up and down (but didn't) because my baby was finally kicking. I could stop worrying and fearing that the slip on the patch of ice had hurt the pregnancy.
I fear for our country. I fear for my children. But right now, I'll just groove on Fiona's "Shadow Boxer."