By lambert strether
It’s amazing, or not, that Obama whacking U.S. citizens without any sort of due process is getting only the most cursory coverage — imagine the pearl-clutching if Bush had done this — so I thought I’d run this fine Real News Network interview with CIA whistleblower Ray McGovern, before the whole issue goes down the memory hole and the idea that the Chief Magistrate of the United States can wake up in the morning and order you or me hit because he thinks that would be a good idea becomes completely normalized. I mean, putting the “execute” in “executive,” or what?
Here’s the transcript. The word “extraordinary” occurs rather a lot.
So far as I know — readers? — there’s exactly one organized effort to bring a little accountability on this issue to what, back in the day, we used to call “the executive branch of the United States government”: Hilariously, the effort uses the online petition mechanism at whitehouse.gov. Here’s a lightly re-versioned copy of a note I sent trying to get the effort some coverage:
Not to spam you, but I think this is important:
Create a Do Not Kill List
The New York Times reports that President Obama has created an official “kill list” that he uses to personally order the assassination of American citizens. Considering that the government already has a “Do Not Call” list and a “No Fly” list, we hereby request that the White House create a “Do Not Kill” list in which American citizens can sign up to avoid being put on the president’s “kill list” and therefore avoid being executed without indictment, judge, jury, trial or due process of law.
Total signatures so far:
37514213* of 25,000 needed to get the White House to respond. Not bad, since one must have a whitehouse.gov account to sign the petition.
* * *
I view the petition as a magnificent piece of irony-drenched japery, a virtual entartisme — a Good Thing, since authoritarian regimes find laughter and ridicule difficult to withstand. For that reason alone, the link merits consideration for exposure in _______.
However, if one looks at the petition without irony — and, after all, Obama has “nominated” US citizens — one could view the
37514213* signers as having both identified themselves, by creating their account, and then as having moved themselves to the top of next year’s “kill list,” by signing. They have, in other words, made themselves into targets, for all our sakes, through this act of virtual civil resistance. There being safety in numbers, 25,000 signers are more likely to avoid “disposition” than 37514213.
Finally, one might take the simple view that a government ruling with the consent of the governed does not kill its citizens arbitrarily, without due process, by decisions made in secret; see under lettre de cachet. A White House response to the petition might bring clarity to those who are concerned that the White House might be giving consideration to broader, domestic applications of the “kill list” process, under NDAAA, for example, and some comfort to those who have been unsettled by the existence and application of the list.
For those two additional reasons, the link merits consideration by _____, so that the 25,000 threshold for a White House response is reached.
I signed (in RL). Will you?
Thanks for your time!
Nixon famously kept an “enemies list.” Happy, innocent times!