A real death panel


Glenn Greenwald:

So a panel operating out of the White House — that meets in total secrecy, with no known law or rules governing what it can do or how it operates — is empowered to place American citizens on a list to be killed by the CIA, which (by some process nobody knows) eventually makes its way to the President, who is the final Decider. It is difficult to describe the level of warped authoritarianism necessary to cause someone to lend their support to a twisted Star Chamber like that; I genuinely wonder whether the Good Democrats doing so actually first convince themselves that if this were the Bush White House’s hit list, or if it becomes Rick Perry’s, they would be supportive just the same. Seriously: if you’re willing to endorse having White House functionaries meet in secret — with no known guidelines, no oversight, no transparency — and compile lists of American citizens to be killed by the CIA without due process, what aren’t you willing to support?


No trial. No due process. No appeal.

No protests.


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28 Responses to A real death panel

  1. HT says:

    Well that’s rather unsettling if true – wait, why am I doubting it’s true. So much of what this white house does is mindboggling.

  2. yttik says:

    What’s really chilling is that there are a lot more US citizens on that list.
    One problem with not having due process is that none of us know what any of them have done, what danger they pose or even who they are.

    We went after Saddam based on faulty intelligence, invisible WMD. A dozen high ranking people stood up and made a false allegation against him. Maybe he really was a bad guy, but guess what? We still gave him his due process. We didn’t shoot him in the head, we went through a whole trial. Was that because Saddam deserved due process? Not really, it was because the Iraqi people did.

    The American people deserve their due process too. I can’t believe we’re ignoring the execution of two us citizens, while protesting new fees on debit cards. Geesh.

  3. Three Wickets says:

    Glenn would have more credibility if he mentioned the Fort Hood shooter even once in his piece. Of course habeaus corpus, but without the partisan political agenda. In the NYTimes, U.S. Knew of Suspect’s Tie to Radical Cleric.

    Intelligence agencies intercepted communications last year and this year between the military psychiatrist accused of shooting to death 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., and a radical cleric in Yemen known for his incendiary anti-American teachings.

    • myiq2xu says:

      He’s talked about it before.

      What if the government presented the evidence to a grand jury, secured an indictment, then publicly announced a warrant for Awlaki’s (or any suspected terrorist’s) arrest, giving that person the opportunity to surrender and face the charges in a court of law?

      At least then you could argue that the person was a fugitive from justice.

      • Three Wickets says:

        Makes all kinds of sense to me.

      • Three Wickets says:

        I have much respect for Glenn when he’s doing the legal stuff without being so weighted by the political stuff. But maybe it’s naive to think that’s even possible. Too often for me, it’s difficult to separate Glenn from J Street, and it’s difficult to separate J Street from Journo-listers.

      • Three Wickets says:

        And it’s a nit, but I do think Glenn would have helped the piece by citing the possible connection to Fort Hood, since he cites and pooh-poohs relevant connections to a few other more minor cases.

  4. angienc says:

    The “good democrats” are too busy screaming about all the people Perry “killed” by declining to use his pardon power (never mind the whole convicted by a jury in a fair trial part of the process).

    People like that — who don’t have the first fucking clue how the criminal justice system works — apparently have no problem with Star Chambers either.

  5. Mimi says:

    We are all serfs. No rights, no redress, no freedom to travel, no right to criticize the One without being screamed down, no contract rights which will be enforced against political cronies, etc. Now a bunch of functionaries can meet in secret with no rules and determine our murder. Thumbs up. Thumbs down from Caesar.

  6. The Penguin says:

    If we could send a SEAL team after Osama why not Alwaki?

    Try to take him alive, kill him only if he resists arrest.

    • angienc says:

      What part of “US citizen” don’t you understand? Osama wasn’t one; Alwaki was.

      • angienc says:

        For that matter, what part of “evidence” don’t you understand?

        Hell, lets keep it easy: what do you understand?

        • Three Wickets says:

          If it had been a wartime deserter who turned against his home country…hatched and executed a plan to kill home country troops, the military would take him out with or without hard evidence or trial, and they wouldn’t share evidence with the public even if it existed. War on terror, that’s what we get. Glenn should be telling Obama to end the war on terror, rather than making a case for military rules of engagement which is how he’s read by anyone is government with any power to change things. Just my non-lawyerly two cents.

        • angienc says:

          This guy wasn’t a wartime deserted either, though. Once you enlist, the Army (or whatever corp you are in) owns you & can kill you for deserting or fail to obey orders in the middle of a conflict (if no conflict at the moment of desertion, then court martial). You know the rules when you sign up. Totally distinguishable scenario IMO

      • votermom says:

        So ironic that Osama actually had a chance of surrendering alive than Awlaki. How do you say “don’t shoot!” to a predator drone?

  7. votermom says:

    Ironically(?) I just saw a tweet earlier today from a right winger saying the same thing.

    More proof that left & right populists are natural allies?

    • angienc says:

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say “natural” allies — but they’ve got a hella lot more in common than TPTB in both parties want them to know. And they sure as hell have a lot more in common with each other than they do with the elites in either party.

    • Three Wickets says:

      I despise Obama, but I don’t think we live under a “tyranny” in this country, no matter how politically useful or motivating it may be for some to believe that. To them I say, go live under a real tyranny for a decade or two in Myanmar, Zimbabwe, North Korea or Sudan. Then come back, and you’ll have earned the right and perspective to whine about tyranny in the United States.

  8. DeniseVB says:

    Yet we send murdering Somali pirates to serve life in US jails which by Somali standards, are high class digs. I say, send ’em to Texas 😉

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