April 8th, 2010

A Dictatorial Decree of Death


photo credit: the pragmatic

Authoritarians around the world and throughout history have, despite their power, often been restrained to some degree by the established laws in their countries in regards to ending the lives of their subjects. Based on his Chicago-flavored approach to politics, Barack Obama is the very definition of an authoritarian—one who disregards public sentiment, constitutional restraint, and campaign promises that conflict with his policy goals, and trudges onward to implement an aggressive stack of mandates, regulations, and executive orders.

Obama, like many tyrants before him, has taken it upon himself to disregard the clear laws of the land in order to be able to kill citizens of his own country. In doing so, he has modeled himself as supreme dictator—the man who, on his command alone, can end the life of a fellow countryman. This is a power not even King George could boast.

The event in question is the authorization by Mr. Obama to kill one Anwar al-Awlaki on the spot, whenever and wherever found, no matter how far away from any battlefield. This man was born in New Mexico, has now “radicalized” (whatever that means), and is accused of, and believed to be participating in, attacks on the united States.

The reader should pay special attention to the italicized words above, for this individual—an American citizen—has been summarily denied any due process by a simple dictatorial decree. No court, no jury of peers, no display of evidence by a government making its case against one of its own. Instead, on conjecture and supposition alone, or even with good intelligence, one man has assumed the authority to deny another man his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is not life under a Republic—it’s existence under the good graces and at the mercy of his majesty, the supreme ruler of our nation.

To get around the quandary of such a denial of God-given rights, Obama’s team of cronies are exploring ways to strip Americans of their citizenship. If successful in this unprecedented and tyrannical action, we will be living under a form of government where justice is a farce and freedom is an illusion. For, if one man has the unchecked authority to strip another man of his rights, and then snuff out his life, every line of our founding documents becomes completely irrelevant and worthy only of display in the Smithsonian as an antiquated historical document relevant only to a bygone era.

Note that Obama’s predecessor was the first to implement this authority, when he (Bush) gave the CIA permission to kill U.S. citizens in foreign lands if “strong evidence” existed that they were in any way involved in organizing or carrying out “terrorist” actions against the country or “U.S. interests”. 9/11 changed everything, we’re told, and so we have collectively and willingly surrendered our liberty for a semblance of security.

So strongly (and hypocritically) did presidential candidate Barack Obama object to President Bush’s denial of due process for detainees, that he penned an article in Foreign Affairs in the summer of 2007 where he wrote:

To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people. This means ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law.

Two years ago, Obama objected to detaining an American citizen without being formally charged or allowed to face his accusers in a trial. Now, as president, Obama has ordered the CIA to kill an American citizen without either of these deferences to his alleged rights.

The magnitude of this political development cannot be understated; it should be shouted from every rooftop around this nation. Yet while Americans carry on with their entertainment-soaked lives, a dictatorship has been quietly established with precedent and power being put in place by George Bush, and execution being implemented by Barack Obama.

Words written long ago by J. Reuben Clark find a pitiful relevance to our own day:

So one constitutional right after another yielded without any real contest, our backs getting nearer to the wall with each retreat. It is now proposed we retreat still further. Is not this suicide? Is there anyone so naive as to think that things will right themselves without a fight? There has been no more fight in us than there is in a bunch of sheep, and we have been much like sheep. Freedom was never brought to a people on a silver platter, nor maintained with whisk brooms and lavender sprays…. The whole course is deliberately planned and carried out, its purpose is to destroy the Constitution and our constitutional government; then to bring chaos out of which the new Statism, with its Slavery, is to arise, with a cruel, relentless, selfish, ambitious crew in the saddle, riding hard with whip and spur, a red-shrouded band of night riders for despotism.

The man occupying the White House has declared himself a dictator, and decreed the death of an American citizen. He has asserted for himself executive, legislative, and judicial powers in making such an order, adding his name to the short list of rulers throughout history who have claimed the power to summarily execute another individual.

To whom is the application of this power restricted? If today it is reserved only for alleged terrorists, under what circumstances will it find broader application? Should supporters of certain political candidates, participants in militias, advocates of limiting the federal government’s power, and other similar opponents of federal tyranny now be in fear of being placed on a hit list to be targeted by a CIA strike force? These questions are not only fodder for fiction novels and screenplays, but legitimate possibilities that arise from the concentration of unchecked power in a single individual.

Those who do not rise up in opposition to this unchecked and self-granted power to murder American citizens will one day be held accountable for their complicity in watching the foundations of America give way before their eyes. Silence gives consent.

27 Responses to “A Dictatorial Decree of Death”

  1. Greg
    April 8, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    An all-powerful executive branch has been in the making for a number of years, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s Imperial Presidency notwithstanding. The consequences of such acts are chilling.

  2. rmwarnick
    April 9, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    I was waiting for someone who saw “The Untouchables” too many times to compare President Obama to Al Capone.

    The Constitution actually does not allow the extra-judicial killing of American citizens by their own government. Something we can all agree on, apparently with the exceptions of the President, the CIA and JSOC.

  3. carissa
    April 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    Any word from the ACLU on this?

  4. rmwarnick
    April 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    ACLU statement here.

  5. Mazal
    April 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    Isn’t it nice the ACLU just wants to collect more information of the killing program? This just gives me warm fuzzies all over.

  6. Chris
    April 11, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    The point of the article is well taken, but I think a few things have been taken way to far.

    Supporters of certain political candidates and advocates of limited government might be placed on CIA hit lists? This is really a legitimate concern? You’re implying that this is where Obama wants to take us.

    Obama is a tyrant and a dictator? How many of the true tyrants and dictators of history have had so much trouble passing their legislation? He’s on the “short list” of rulers who have claimed the power of summary execution? Really, how short is that list? Is every other American president of late not on that list?

    I think someone’s been watching a little too much Glenn Beck.

  7. M
    May 2, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    Chris,

    Over the past 100 years the federal government has accumulated too much power or more accurately it has accumulated more power than allowed it by the constitution. We must place our trust in God and not in men. “In questions of power then let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson.

    In response to your questions:

    Q: Supporters of certain political candidates and advocates of limited government might be placed on CIA hit lists? This is really a legitimate concern?

    A: Yes, this is a legitimate concern. If you believe power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely you should be very concerned. Obama may not be the one, but what about the next president or the one after that? “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

    Q: Obama is a tyrant and a dictator? How many of the true tyrants and dictators of history have had so much trouble passing their legislation?

    A: Hitler, Mao, Lennon, Mussolini, Castro, Chavez, etc. were not offered their dictatorship on a silver platter. They fought to build and establish their regimes. However once established the difficulty level changes and then the real tyranny begins. Any student of history knows this.

    Nothing wrong with Glenn Beck’s approach and in fact I would rather error on the side of being extremely cautious and vigilant because “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” – Thomas Jefferson

    Please read Either Chapter 8 – It’s time to wake up…

  8. Clumpy
    May 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    What really gets me, frankly, is that the so-called “mainstream media” (including Fox!) has paid little attention to these abuses of power, both at the hands of Obama and our previous president. Both of our last two presidents have done something literally every week which ought to have concerned citizens up in arms, but we seem intent to focus on the wrong things and get outraged over trivialities.

  9. Chris
    May 4, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    @M –

    A: Hitler, Mao, Lennon, Mussolini, Castro, Chavez, etc. were not offered their dictatorship on a silver platter. They fought to build and establish their regimes. However once established the difficulty level changes and then the real tyranny begins. Any student of history knows this.

    Um, that didn’t answer the question at all. I don’t care how they got there. I’ll rephrase it – you really think Obama is deserving of being lumped into the same category as those guys?

    Nothing wrong with Glenn Beck’s approach…

    You’re kidding right? Glenn Beck’s approach is to use fear, emotion, sarcasm, and snide remarks instead of evidence, respect, and rational arguments. I’m utterly embarrassed that he belongs to the same church as I.

    Please read this statement – it’s time to wake up…

  10. M
    May 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Chris,

    Consider the hypocrisy. You questioned Connor’s views on Obama and then closed those questions and comments with “I think someone’s been watching a little too much Glenn Beck.” I would interpret that as an attempted slam on Connor. And you referred me to an article about the Mormon ethic of civility? Further, you wrote about how you are embarrassed of a fellow church member as if what he says and does is a reflection of you (How did you develop your opinion of Glenn Beck – Reading the Huffington Post or watching MSNBC?). Forgive me for not understanding where you are coming from, but perhaps it’s because you do not consider me to be on the same moral vantage point as you.

    Dear brother or sister Chirs (whatever the case may be, I don’t want to assume), I disagree with you. That’s all. You may want big government. You may think that all of this federal intrusion and control is benign. I question it and I will debate and fight to keep government small and unobtrusive and a servant of the people.

    I will say to you again with love in my heart, please wake up and consider what is at stake.

  11. AL
    May 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Chris – Fixed this for you:
    Barack Obama’s approach is to use fear, emotion, sarcasm, and snide remarks instead of evidence, respect, and rational arguments. I’m utterly embarrassed that he is my President.

  12. oldmama
    May 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    whew–

    I have no great love for Barak Obama, beyond that he is a child of God–

    I don’t despise him any more than either of the Bushes before him–

    they are all in the same camp.

    What makes me feel dismay is how so many, many of our good “Republican” LDS . . . winked and blinked at the atrocities committed under Republican presidents and now are in an uproar over Obama!

    I am not a Democrat; I have not been one ever. I used to be a Republican; I am now a big, solid zeroic (new word?) NOTHING–

    I am just an observer at this point–

    I am so repulsed by the workings of the shadow government and so troubled over the fact that LDS listen to Beck and his ilk and get squeemish if someone mentions the word “conspiracy” as if it is not found in the Book of Mormon–

    . . .

    but, to be honest, Bushes and Clintons and many others paved the way for Obama to take this trip . . . they made the path nice and smooth for him–

    the man, whoever he is and whatever he stands for (besides his rulers of darkness in the banking world, etc.)–

    has only been in office a little over a year–

    and EVERYTHING that has gone wrong in the last year is being blamed on him.

    Just for the principle of the thing, just because it MIGHT show that things aren’t being comprehended in an orderly and intelligent fashion . . .

    might *we* not admit that it can’t be ALL this one man.

    I feel sorry for what he (and the Bushes and Clintons and others, ad infinitum) might have been; he is a child of God; he could have done something worthy with his talents–

    but so could the Bushes, ad nauseum–

    so . . .

    yes, this is horrific, but people were being slain (good Americans) under other presidents, even some Republicans; this time–

    we are being ‘allowed’ to know about it–

    leaving myself vulnerable as one who, *gasp*, believes that evil and conspiring men exist beyond and outside of the mafia . . .

  13. Chris
    May 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    @M –

    First, are you going to attack my personal ethics or are we going to discuss the issue? I wasn’t attempting to “slam” Connor – I usually quite enjoy his posts – but for someone who has recognized Glenn Beck’s “opportunistic journalism”, this post seemed a little too Beck-like for me.

    Second, you didn’t answer my question. May I assume you have no answer?

    To answer your questions…

    (How did you develop your opinion of Glenn Beck – Reading the Huffington Post or watching MSNBC?).

    I developed my opinion of Glenn Beck from watching his show. I rarely read the Huffington Post, and I don’t watch MSNBC.

    Forgive me for not understanding where you are coming from, but perhaps it’s because you do not consider me to be on the same moral vantage point as you.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    I disagree with you. That’s all. You may want big government.

    Of course I don’t want big government. Does disliking Glenn Beck equate to disagreeing with everything he says? Don’t assume I’m a liberal.

    You may think that all of this federal intrusion and control is benign. I question it and I will debate and fight to keep government small and unobtrusive and a servant of the people.

    I don’t think it’s benign; I’m talking about taking the rhetoric too far.

    And since you may have missed the point of the article I linked to, here are some highlights:

    The political world is astir. Economies are faltering. Public trust is waning. Individuals feel vulnerable. And social cohesion wears thin. Meanwhile, stories of rage and agitation fill our airwaves, streets and town halls. Where are the voices of balance and moderation in these extreme times?

    The fabric of civil society tears when stretched thin by its extremities.

    Furthermore, the Church views with concern the politics of fear and rhetorical extremism that render civil discussion impossible. As the Church begins to rise in prominence and its members achieve a higher public profile, a diversity of voices and opinions naturally follows. Some may even mistake these voices as being authoritative or representative of the Church. However, individual members think and speak for themselves.

    The Church hopes that our democratic system will facilitate kinder and more reasoned exchanges among fellow Americans than we are now seeing.

    And by the way, excuse me for being too stupid to “wake up” as you keep putting it.

  14. M
    May 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    Chris, can you judge a person by the company they keep? Who has Obama surrounded himself with? Answer your question for yourself. I don’t know if Obama is a Tyrant in embryo. I hope he is not. You don’t know if he is or is not either. One thing I do know is that his rhetoric and that of many other politicians and pundits does create divisions among Americans.

    You were the first to assume. Seeking to reprove me and assert that I am uncivil. Let’s end this nonsense and please don’t call yourself stupid.

  15. Chris
    May 5, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    M –

    Chris, can you judge a person by the company they keep? Who has Obama surrounded himself with? Answer your question for yourself.

    Fine point, but off-topic.

    I don’t know if Obama is a Tyrant in embryo. I hope he is not. You don’t know if he is or is not either.

    My point exactly. Which is why I’ve been saying that we need to keep the inflammatory comments down. There’s no need for name-calling.

    You were the first to assume. Seeking to reprove me and assert that I am uncivil.

    I’m very sorry if I gave the impression that I was accusing you of being uncivil. I can certainly see how that might have come across, but it’s not what I intended. I was accusing Glenn Beck of being uncivil.

    Let’s end this nonsense and please don’t call yourself stupid.

    When you keep telling me I need to “wake up” – it sure seems like that’s what you’re implying.

  16. M
    May 6, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    The company Obama keeps is not off topic. It’s an indication of the kind of person he is, which is relevant to the conversation. My view is that any president who uses executive orders starts heading down a path towards dictatorship. As bad as that is, it is not as perverse as the tyranny of congress led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Look at what they are doing to the constitution and the legislative process.

    It’s not name calling. I don’t believe in PC; it’s too Orwellian for me. They are words to describe my observations and opinions. To limit speech is to limit thought. We are engaged in free speech. If Connor wants to ban me from his blog then that is his choice. I will oblige and go elsewhere. If it were your blog then you would have the right to ban me for “inflammatory language”.

    Rhetorical Question: When the federal government now has as much power as it does, is it safe to give those elected to prostitutions of power the benefit of doubt when there is a large body of evidence indicating corruption and cause for concern?

    Back to Lincoln, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” How is Obama and Congress using the power (i.e. Healthcare)?

    The language coming out of the Obama regime (admin, congress, media, etc) indicates to me that they are inducing the American people to engage in not only class warfare (wealth redistribution) but also race warfare (calling only on people of color to support him and rhetoric around the AZ illegal immigration law).

    You can call it inflammatory. I don’t see it that way.

  17. jasonthe
    May 6, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    M, your “calling only on people of color” comment is pretty revealing. Too many are keeping themselves so poorly informed they saying something so patently ridiculous as this and don’t even see themselves doing it.

    If this keeps up, Democrats will be winning elections with the campaign slogan “OMG Read a Book!”

    You have a responsibility to educate yourself. No one will do it for you.

  18. Chris
    May 6, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    M-

    You can call it inflammatory. I don’t see it that way.

    I’d call none of the things you just said inflammatory; I’d call them great questions that people need to be talking about. I said it was off-topic because it’s not what my original comment was about.

    What I am talking about – what I was talking about way up at the top of these comments – is calling Obama a “tyrant” and a “dictator”. You responded to that by listing off this group: “Hitler, Mao, Lennon, Mussolini, Castro, Chavez, etc.”

    My point was that I don’t think Obama – whatever else you may thing of him – deserves to be lumped into that group of tyrants and dictators. In my opinion – that’s what’s inflammatory.

  19. M
    May 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Chris, I hope you are right. Time will tell.

  20. M
    May 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    jasonthe,

    1st – please proof read your comments before submitting them. I make typos too, but your post (#17) was difficult to read because of some kind of typing error.

    2nd – Chris should be referring you to this web page on the Mormon Ethic of Civility

    3rd – It is you, who is ignorant. Please read this article and watch this Youtube video. At about 1 minute 58 seconds into the speech, President Teleprompter identifies who he considers to be his coalition. Ask yourself which demographic groups the president did not identify. He is the President of the United Sates, not just “young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women.”

    4th – I would also like to encourage you to follow your own advice and edge-a-ma-kate yours selves two.

  21. Chris
    May 8, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    M –

    I won’t refer him to that article unless he mentions Glenn Beck. :)

    President Teleprompter? Obama’s way better on his feet than Bush was. Did you see his Q&A with the GOP a few months ago? Oh yeah, Fox stopped the broadcast since he was doing so well.

    No one believes or claims Obama’s the President of “just young people, African Americans, Latinos, and women.” Both the article you referenced, and the video itself, make it pretty clear that Obama was referencing those groups as the ones who need to get out to vote if the Democrats want to do well.

    It’s pretty easy to read whatever you want into things if you’re only looking for one side of the argument.

  22. M
    May 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    Chris,

    I don’t like Bush. He is a member of a secret society and that does not sit well with me. I don’t like politicians in general. Rare is the statesman who is comparable to the founders.

    The President Teleprompter comment was to point out that Obama was not speaking off the cuff in the video. I’m not saying Obama is stupid. Perhaps Bush was not all that bright, but you have to admit that most of the time Obama is very much scripted. My concern is not about how good on his feet he is.

    If you put these words of Obama into the broader context you will reach the exact opposite conclusion of what you did. There are many things he has written and said (i.e. Grandmother as ‘typical white woman’ and calling police stupid because of the race issues while admitting he did not have the facts, etc. ). Additionally he and others on the left are flat out lying about some of the aspects of the Arizona immigration law calling it racist. My family, which is full of legal immigrants, supports the AZ law, but I digress.

    Listen, I don’t want to believe what I think I am observing, but what is being said and done – the continuation of Bush’s policies and even building upon what the Bush Regime did. It concerns me.

    If you want to give the politicians the benefit of the doubt, that is your choice. I think it is important to raise the level of vigilance because the federal government is getting too big and gaining too much power.

    As Mark Twain said, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” I would add, “and while the federal government continues to grow larger and larger.”

  23. Chris
    May 8, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    But who cares if he uses a teleprompter? He gives lots of speeches. You can’t expect him to memorize everything. Church leaders use them at general conference. Pretty scripted. What’s wrong with that? The point is that Obama can stand up and discuss policy for an hour without any help. So what if he uses a teleprompter for speeches? You would too if you gave so many.

    And all that jazz about ‘broader context’ and vigilance have nothing to do with the fact that you misrepresented Obama’s quote about “young people, African Americans, Latinos and women.” He specifically referenced them as the ones who were crucial to the vote (as did the article which you cited). That doesn’t make them his sole coalition. You’re twisting his words to prove the point you’re already set on.

  24. M
    May 9, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Chris,

    What you are saying is not true. It is not ‘jazz’ and I am not ‘misrepresenting’ anything. I am not ‘twisting’ words. Those are Obama’s words. He is engaging in racial politics. It will only lead to disunity in America. Why else would black members of the tea party movement be called ‘traitors to their race’ and ‘Uncle Toms’? It’s hurtful and not true. We are Americans. That’s not my vision for America nor is it the dream Martin Luther King Jr. had.

    You wrote, “[Obama] specifically referenced them as the ones who were crucial to the vote (as did the article which you cited).” That’s the whole point. Why do you think I chose that article? We are Americans! To get votes, politicians and statesman should make appeals to a person’s political ideology and beliefs, not to a person’s gender or race or religious affiliation. Let politics be about ideas and not about race. Don’t you see how wrong it is, what Obama is doing whether it is intentional or not? Do you get what I am saying?

    You need to read some Thomas Sowell.

    Race and Politics I

    Race and Politics II

    Race and Politics III

    Race and Politics IV

  25. Chris
    May 10, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    M,

    It is not ‘jazz’ …

    “All that jazz” is a phrase. It just means “all that stuff you said.”

    It’s not about race. It’s simple demographics. You said that Obama considered “young people, African Americans, Latinos and women” to be his coalition. That’s not true. Saying that those groups are his sole coalition is indeed twisting his words. These are simply the groups that he needs to encourage come out to vote. Only two of them are about race anyhow; the other two – women and young people – make up a majority of the population on their own.

    And sure, I’d agree politics should be about ideas and not about race (or demographics). But every politician and president utilizes demographic data to promote their agenda – why is it only now that a black man is president that people have started to complain?

    And most importantly – Obama never said that black tea party members were traitors to their race. You’re seriously going to pull up some random, terrible, anonymous quote and use it to argue that Obama’s engaging in racial politics? That’s pretty disingenuous and underhanded. I have no reason to trust anything you say.

  26. M
    May 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    Chris,

    At first I was ‘misrepresenting’ Obama’s words and now you say its ‘simple demographics’. When did you become a demographer? How do you know it is simple demographics?

    Why does the argument ‘other politicians do it’ make right? Your arguments do not persuade me nor do you have any evidence that counters my arguments. You merely say that you disagree. Fine, disagree.

    You wrote, “why is it only now that a black man is president that people have started to complain?” This is a bogus non-argument. Timing is not a part of the issue. If you persist in this point then you only contradict yourself and agree with my point that people are engaging in racial politics. Racism, prejudice and discrimination are not one-way streets. Race-based politics is happening both ways and it’s dangerous.

    You wrote, “Obama never said that black tea party members were traitors to their race.” When did I make that claim? As far as it’s being random, how do you know it’s random? Racism is not random. It targets specific ethic groups.

    Chris, you don’t have to trust me. You can ignore the facts. However, you cannot ignore or avoid the consequences of your choices. Believe whatever you want. It is your right. I will not argue with you anymore. I stand by my comments.

  27. Chris
    May 10, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    At first I was ‘misrepresenting’ Obama’s words and now you say its ‘simple demographics’.

    You did misrepresent his words. You said that Obama identified that group as “his coalition.” Way out of context.

    When did you become a demographer? How do you know it is simple demographics?

    I’m not a demographer. What I was saying is that there’s a difference between racism or “racial politics” and using demographics. Obama points out four demographic groups, two of which were races – and you say it’s “racial politics.”

    You wrote, “Obama never said that black tea party members were traitors to their race.” When did I make that claim?

    Here is what you said:

    Those are Obama’s words. He is engaging in racial politics. It will only lead to disunity in America. Why else would black members of the tea party movement be called ‘traitors to their race’ and ‘Uncle Toms’?

    You were in the middle of talking about Obama. If Obama didn’t say it, why did you bring it up?

    As far as it’s being random, how do you know it’s random?

    Your referencing of ‘traitors to their race’ was random.

    Chris, you don’t have to trust me. You can ignore the facts.

    You have ignored far more of my questions on this page than I have of yours. The “you need to wake up, moron” mentality is getting annoying.

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