What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
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.