The Talking Dog

June 13, 2018, A chink in the armor?

For various reasons, I haven't been blogging much since You Know Who took the oath of office, replacing my college classmate Barack. I've also spent a lot of time with my good friend Donald J. Putin, laughing at You Know Who 280 characters at a time.

In our usual theme, Candace observes things are taking a depressing turn as the Pentagon is seeking funding to turn GTMO into an old folks home and hospice, i.e. removing any pretense that the thing will not hold its occupants for the rest of their natural lives. Certainly, You Know Who promised not to release anyone and to "fill up the place with bad dudes." He has only released one man (as a result of the completion of a commissions sentence) and has otherwise kept that awful promise of not releasing anyone (40 left), but so far at least, he hasn't added anyone to the census.

A big reason for this of course is the drone program, a means for the United States intelligence and military services to target "terrorists" or "insurgents" or "enemies" or whatever they would like to call people that are targeted for death at the hands of killer robots operated by remote control. How many have died in the drone program? Kind of hard to say, but it's fairly safe to say, a lot more than the 800 or so men who cycled through Guantanamo over the years.

It had seemed that just as declaring someone an enemy could justify holding them in a dungeon for life, that it could also justify targeting them for death. A prior litigation brought by the family of Yemeni-American dual national Anwar al-Awlaki was thrown out by the courts before it got anywhere (the court finding that al-Awlaki's family and the ACLUlacked standing to bring it, among other issues).

Fast forward to today, where U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer, an appointee of George W. Bush, held that a suit by American citizen Bilal Kareem, could proceed, finding that, as an American citizen (wait for it) he is entitled to due process of law before the government targets him for death. Judge Collyer did dismiss the complaint of former Al Jazeera Islamabad bureau chief Ahmad Zaidan, a Syrian/Pakistani dual national, and dismissed President You Know Who as a defendant, though she left, among others, the CIA and DOD as defendants.

It is a significant restriction on governmental power, at least as it has been practiced under the last three presidents, to restrict the government's right to liquidate enemies of the state even when U.S. citizens. This possible chink in the armor of the unitary executive absolute war powers to kill us all at the whim of government officials is pretty, pretty big, all things told.

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