Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged citizenship

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The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality

After several unsuccessful efforts to assassinate its own citizen, the U.S. succeeded today (and it was the U.S.). It almost certainly was able to find and kill Anwar al-Awlaki with the help of its long-time close friend President Saleh, who took a little time off from murdering his own citizens to help the U.S. murder its. The U.S. thus transformed someone who was, at best, a marginal figure into a martyr, and again showed its true face to the world. The government and media search for The Next bin Laden has undoubtedly already commenced.

What’s most striking about this is not that the U.S. Government has seized and exercised exactly the power the Fifth Amendment was designed to bar (“No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”), and did so in a way that almost certainly violates core First Amendment protections (questions that will now never be decided in a court of law). What’s most amazing is that its citizens will not merely refrain from objecting, but will stand and cheer the U.S. Government’s new power to assassinate their fellow citizens, far from any battlefield, literally without a shred of due process from the U.S. Government. Many will celebrate the strong, decisive, Tough President’s ability to eradicate the life of Anwar al-Awlaki - including many who just so righteously condemned those Republican audience members as so terribly barbaric and crass for cheering Governor Perry’s execution of scores of serial murderers and rapists - criminals who were at least given a trial and appeals and the other trappings of due process before being killed.

This. Every single word of this. I condemn this fully. Don’t give me any of this “But he was a terrorist!” bullshit. So was Timothy McVeigh. We had boxes upon boxes of evidence against McVeigh. He killed Americans on American soil. And he still received a full trial and appeals under the law. 

And what about “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh? He was an American citizen, captured as an enemy combatant who admitted to fighting alongside the Taliban and aiding Al-Qaeda. He was given a plea deal, partially to avoid the controversy of his confession being suppressed in court due to it being obtained “under duress”. However, he was granted the right to a trial, after being indicted, and was given the right to accept or reject a plea deal.

The Obama administration was considering indicting Anwar al-Awlaki. I suppose assassination was the easier route. Note he was “believed” to have shifted his focus from “encouraging attacks” to “directly participating” - but it’s not like any of that evidence will ever be presented in a court of law.

I condemn the Obama administration’s actions. If you condemn the actions of the Bush administration in regards to warrantless wire-tapping and other violations of due process and civil rights, then you must condemn the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. It doesn’t matter that he may have been guilty of everything he was suspected of and more. He was an American citizen, deserving of due process before being deprived of his liberty, and there isn’t a deprivation of liberty more permanent than assassination.

Filed under Anwar al-Awlaki assassination politics terrorism civil rights due process Obama President Obama George W. Bush citizenship Yemen law due process of law

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Republicans block youth immigration bill

Senate Republicans on Saturday doomed an effort that would have given hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military.

Sponsors of the Dream Act fell five votes short of the 60 they needed to break through largely GOP opposition and win its enactment before Republicans take over the House and narrow Democrats’ majority in the Senate next month.
Dozens of immigrants wearing graduation mortarboards watched from the Senate’s visitors gallery, disappointment on their faces, as the 55-41 vote was announced.

"This is a dark day in America," said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles. "The Senate has … thrown under the bus the lives and hard work of thousands and thousands of students who love this country like their own home, and, in fact, they have no other home."
It targeted the most sympathetic of the millions of illegal immigrants — those brought to the United States as children, who in many cases consider themselves American, speak English and have no ties to or family living in their native countries.

"They stand in the classrooms and pledge allegiance to our flag," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the bill’s chief sponsor. "This is the only country they have ever known. All they’re asking for is a chance to serve this nation."

Critics called the bill a backdoor grant of amnesty that would encourage more foreigners to sneak into the United States in hopes of being legalized eventually.

My response:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

Never mind that children brought by their parents have NO CHOICE. Got that? And in exchange for citizenship, they are willing to serve our country, get educated, and become your picture of a productive, tax-paying citizen. Nope, just block EVERYTHING.

Filed under Immigration DREAM Act GOP Republican republicans Conservative conservatives STFU STFU Citizenship