Master of Assassins

Master of Assassins

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House counterterror chief John Brennan has seized the lead in choosing which terrorists will be targeted for drone attacks or raids, establishing a new procedure for both military and CIA targets.

Move over, Thufir Hawat (from Frank Herbert’s Dune). The title of Master of Assassins now applies to a real person. In the United States Government.

Glenn Greenwald:

Needless to say, all of this takes place in total secrecy, with no legal framework and no oversight of any kind. Indeed, even after they had Brennan publicly defend the CIA drone program, the Obama administration continue to insist in federal court that the program is too secretive even to confirm its existence. It’s just a tiny cadre of National Security State officials who decide, in the dark, whom they want dead, and then — once the President signs off — it is done. This is the Change with which the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate has gifted us: ”some of the officials carrying out the policy are equally leery of ‘how easy it has become to kill someone.’

Reuters previously described the secret process used to determine which human beings, including American citizens, would be targeted for due-process-free death-by-CIA: they “are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials” with “no public record” nor “any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules” — an actual death panel, though one invented by the White House rather than established by law. And now John Brennan has even more control over the process, and fewer checks, when issuing these death sentence decrees.

Remember in the Bush era when little things like the Patriot Act and warrantless eavesdropping and military commissions were the Radical and Lawless Assaults Trampling on Our Constitution and Our Values? Now, all those things are completely normalized — controversies over those policies are like quaint and obsolete relics of a more innocent era — and we now have things like unelected Death Sentence Czars instead.

Really, once the Executive seizes power like this, there’s no going back to the Constitution. Which, as George W. Bush famously remarked, is “just a goddamned piece of paper.”

  1. #1 by brewski on May 24, 2012 - 4:14 pm

    “I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution.”
    Barack Obama
    March 27, 2007

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on May 24, 2012 - 5:49 pm

    Apparently, Obama respects the sci-fi masterpiece Dune more than the Constitution. 😉

  3. #3 by Titus V on May 24, 2012 - 9:43 pm

    These revelations should really be cutting into obama support, I mean can all of this mean anything else than what it appears to be?

    We have a puppet controlled by some diabolical people, or a willing violator of constitutional principles, and a traitor.

    Christ on a stick..what shall we do?

  4. #4 by Richard Warnick on May 25, 2012 - 8:47 am

    The vast majority of Americans care only about what happens to themselves, and the Obama administration has promised that the newly-established extra-judicial execution power will only be used against alleged terrorists.

  5. #5 by Titus V on May 25, 2012 - 12:54 pm

    Too late! the American people well understand that this man is utterly full of shit, and no one believes him.

    Americans are intelligent enough to realize that what our government has done to others, in their own countries, will be well enough what they will do to us if we allow it and they( the wayward US federal government) can create the opportunity.

    Don’t be fooled, obama is a tyrant, and our Republic is on its knees. Americans need to remain vigilant against obama and those who harbor his “ideas”.

  6. #6 by Titus V on May 25, 2012 - 1:00 pm

    I predict a projectile vomiting of this man (doh!!bama) out of office and the Democrat party in November.

    There will be no new revenue plans.

    It will be cut, cut, cut, til the federal forest is cleared of deadwood.

    We will hopefully be too bankrupt to pursue war, but as this is the elites greatest priority, I tend to doubt that it will end without a fight.

  7. #7 by Richard Warnick on May 25, 2012 - 1:03 pm

    No, they really believe Obama won’t kill us. He wants us to vote for him! Also they believe that the extension of warrantless surveillance of Americans will only be used for good purposes.

    Obama’s a shoo-in for re-election.

  8. #8 by Titus V on May 25, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    You need to get out more.

    No, he is not going to be not eat your own re-feed. These articles you post do not represent reality.

    Whatever anyone thinks, he’s over, the elites would like to get a bit more mileage out of him, but for all intents and purposes, he’s done.

    As stated, it will be a landslide loss for obama, no matter who his opponent is.

  9. #9 by Richard Warnick on May 25, 2012 - 2:29 pm

    USA Today/Gallup Poll. May 10-13, 2012. N=1,012 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 4.

    “Regardless of whom you support, and trying to be as objective as possible, who do you think will win the election in November: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?”

    Obama 56%
    Romney 36%
    Unsure 8%

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