U.S. kill lists for future generations?
An explosive Oct. 23 investigative report by The Washington Post's Greg Miller explains how President Barack Obama's administration may sharply upend our laws and values for years ahead:
“Over the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the ‘disposition matrix.'”
Though it is a program of the Obama administration, former Gov. Mitt Romney agrees with a vital part of its essence.
A number of substantial news analysts, led by columnist Glenn Greenwald, are following up on Miller's revelation. For example, Greenwald points out that Miller, after interviewing “current and former officials from the White House and the Pentagon, as well as intelligence and counterterrorism agencies,” comes to the significant conclusion that as “the United States' conventional wars are winding down,” the Obama administration “expects to continue adding names to kill or capture lists for years.”
But Greenwald digs deeper: “The ‘capture' part of that list is little more than symbolic, as the U.S. focus is overwhelmingly on the ‘kill' part.”
Keep in mind the ever-increasing use of CIA pilotless drone killings of suspected terrorists and their families.
The Post's Miller writes of a further sign of the deaths to come (without any of the corpses having first appeared in our courts): “CIA Director David H. Petraeus is pushing for an expansion of the agency's fleet of armed drones.”
And what does Romney think about this approach to terminally disposing of purported terrorists by ignoring our Constitution's due process, presumption of innocence and insistence on justice?
As I have reported, Romney is on the record as supporting, among other suspensions of our Constitution, the National Defense Authorization Act, championed by Obama, which empowers the military to imprison, without a warrant and probable cause, American citizens somehow alleged to be partnered with terrorists.
Whether these will be Obama's or Romney's “kill lists,” how many Americans will be sufficiently moved — now that the secret is out — to assemble and act against this international genocide by their country?
On Oct. 24, Greenwald gave an additional update of where we are now on the Guardian's website: “Today, reports CNN, ‘missiles blew up part of a compound Wednesday in northwest Pakistan, killing three people — including one woman' and added: ‘the latest suspected U.S. drone strike also injured two children.'
“Meanwhile, former Obama press secretary and current campaign adviser Robert Gibbs ... justified the U.S. killing of 16-year-old American Abdulrahman Awlaki, killed by a U.S. drone in Yemen two weeks after his father was, on the ground(s) that he ‘should have (had) a far more responsible father.'”
Just a prelude to countless “due-process-free assassinations — something the U.S. government clearly intends to convert into a permanent fixture of American political life” (Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, Oct. 24).
Don't you think you ought to warn your grandchildren about the kind of country they'll be part of?
Nat Hentoff is an authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LaBar: Best next opponent for Brock Lesnar
- Steelers remain confident in defense
- Berry wins Steelers’ puntingjob; Wing traded to Giants
- Penn State offense confident it can have better season
- Trimmer Pilot belies more room, power
- Tree falls into house in Hempfield, injuring 1
- Philly DA won’t fire Fina, two others for porn emails
- With no end in sight, Clinton will address emails
- 4-year-old transplant recipient Angelo Giorno dies, hospital says
- State lawmaker proposes increasing cost of state fishing licenses
- With most starters resting, Steelers turn in lackluster loss at Heinz