The New American | 12 Aug 2016
The Obama administration quietly released more information on its illegal mass-murder-via-drone program, in which the White House unilaterally creates a list of people around the world to assassinate without charges, trial, or even a semblance of due process. Thousands of victims have already been executed by Obama under the program. The latest disclosure was in response to a court order.
Among other points, the newly released documents give some insight into the illegal policy behind the murders. Essentially, according to the documents, any suspect Obama wants to eliminate can be executed if there is “near certainty” that he or she is present, that civilians will not be killed, and that the murder is supposedly needed to “achieve U.S. policy objectives.” It appears that even those minimal “standards” have been waived, as Obama has rained death and destruction down on thousands of people worldwide from unmanned drones. In short, if Obama does not like you, watch out — and there are a lot of people Obama does not like, though jihadists are apparently not among them.
Incredibly, the White House touted the disclosures as evidence of how supposedly careful and reasonable Obama is when deciding who to murder, and how and when to murder them. According to the administration, some 2,500 suspected “militants” have been murdered, along with more than 100 acknowledged civilians (aka “collateral damage”). Murder is, of course, the only appropriate term to describe the illegal executions, because the victims were never even charged with a crime — much less convicted in a court of law — before receiving the death penalty. None of the assassinations took place on a battlefield pursuant to a lawful declaration of war by Congress.
The release of the new information comes after years of leaks, news reports, comments from top officials, and other sources exposed Obama’s lawless reign of drone terror. Basically, with no checks or balances, and no semblance of constitutionally required due process, Obama has been massacring thousands of people, many of them children and some of them American citizens, using missiles raining down from the sky. People across Africa, Arabia, and Central Asia have been murdered in the program so far. Obama’s victims are often selected based on “metadata,” according to former NSA and CIA boss Michael Hayden, or other flimsy evidence that would never hold up in court.
Even Americans are subject to being extra-judicially assassinated by Obama and the CIA system, which one official described as “one hell of a killing machine.” Perhaps most infamously, Obama murdered a 16-year-old American boy in Yemen who was searching for his father. His father was also murdered by an Obama drone for allegedly abusing his free speech rights by making propaganda videos. Essentially, Obama has been serving as judge, jury, and executioner. Casting aside centuries of tradition holding that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the establishment media has dutifully parroted the Obama administration’s line that the murder victims are mostly “terrorists” and “militants,” with innocent civilians occasionally stuck in the crossfire. Even weddings have not been spared.
Unsurprisingly, other governments and dictatorships are watching closely — and getting dangerous ideas about executing people they dislike. Indeed, the ruthless Communist Chinese regime, which has murdered more human beings than any government in world history, has already cited lawless Obama policies as justification for launching similar schemes. How long until foreign dictators start murdering their political enemies with drones, citing Obama and Bush, remains unclear. But that time will come. If nothing changes, Americans in America are likely to be subjected to death-by-drone in the not-too-distant future.
The heavily redacted disclosures last week include “presidential policy guidance,” darkly dubbed the “Playbook,” on murdering people “suspected” of terrorism without trial or charges. Also released were a series of Department of Defense documents related to the program. The documents outline the “rules” Obama imposed on his own assassination program in 2013 — illegal rules for an illegal program that can apparently be “waived” whenever Obama feels like he really wants to murder a particular person.
The newly unveiled information was released in response to a court order stemming from a lawsuit by the far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), one of the few organizations, unfortunately, that have taken a serious interest in Obama’s murder spree. The ACLU’s response to the disclosures, though, was pitiful. “We welcome the release of these documents, and particularly the release of the Presidential Policy Guidance [PPG] that has supplied the policy framework for the drone campaign since May 2013,” ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said in a statement. “The PPG provides crucial information about policies that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including hundreds of non-combatants, and about the bureaucracy that the Obama administration has constructed to oversee and implement those policies.”
Instead of calling for an immediate end to officially sanctioned mass-murder, the ACLU barely dared to suggest that killing people without charges or trial might be immoral, illegal, and insane. “The PPG should have been released three years ago, but its release now will inform an ongoing debate about the lawfulness and wisdom of the government’s counterterrorism policies,” Jaffer continued, as if there could be an argument for the “lawfulness” or the “wisdom” of murdering people on Obama’s say so without charges, trial, or conviction. “The release of the PPG and related documents is also a timely reminder of the breadth of the powers that will soon be in the hands of another president.”
According to the ACLU, the document provides a “window” into the Obama administration’s process for deciding who will be executed. The files also describe the administration’s process for conducting “after action reports” examining the consequences of its missile launches — how many were killed, who were they, and so on. As The New American has reported previously, the administration has a bad habit of calling almost everybody blown to bits by Obama a “militant,” just because they happened to be bombed by Obama. The ACLU also noted that there are “questions” on how the supposed “standards” described in the documents “can be reconciled with the accounts of eye witnesses, journalists, and human rights researches who have documented large numbers of bystander casualties.”
By contrast, Obama’s propagandists in the media and on his staff vigorously defended the mass-murder program. “The president has emphasized that the U.S. Government should be as transparent as possible with the American people about our counter-terrorism operations, the manner in which they are conducted, and their results,” said Obama National Security Council spokesman Ned Price, apparently with a straight face. “Our counter-terrorism actions are effective and legal, and their legitimacy is best demonstrated by making public more information about these actions as well as setting clear standards for other nations to follow.” Of course, as established firmly at Nuremberg after World War II, “just following orders” is not a valid justification for war crimes and other atrocities such as summarily executing people simply suspected of a crime.
Almost incredibly, the entire mass-murder program is justified under the guise of executing “al Qaeda” and “associated forces.” In the real world, though, official U.S. government documents and top U.S. officials have already exposed the fact that the Obama administration knowingly supported self-declared al-Qaeda forces in both Libya and Syria. Former U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency chief Michael Flynn, apparently in an effort to distance himself from the policy, told the world in a TV interview that Obama’s support for al-Qaeda was “willful.” More than a few former generals and intelligence officials have even concluded that Obama “switched sides” in the terror war.
Instead of actually pursuing jihadists and al-Qaeda, who have received crucial support from the Obama administration, numerous Obama bureaucracies have spent their time demonizing hundreds of millions of everyday Americans as potential terrorists. Among those described as possible terrorists and extremists by the administration are returning veterans, Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, pro-life activists, Ron Paul supporters, constitutionalists, environmentalists, animal rights activists, opponents of illegal immigration, and dozens of other categories of mainstream Americans.
Unless Congress or the courts act to stop it, the usurped unconstitutional power to murder people will soon be handed to either Donald Trump of Hillary Clinton. After that, it might go to somebody even more dangerous. The American people need to wake up. Even Hitler and Stalin never openly claimed to have the lawful power to execute people without so much as a hearing. This is Brave New World stuff, and if it does not stop, all of humanity is facing massive danger from psychopaths with drones and missiles. These grotesque crimes should be immediately stopped and severely punished.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.