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Posts tagged with "Obama administration"

Feb 5

Targeting Americans

A newly-released Justice Department “white paper” laying out the legal argument by the Obama administration for the targeted killing of Americans has come under scrutiny by alarmed members of Congress.

The undated and unsigned document asserts that it would be lawful to kill a U.S. citizen who poses an “imminent threat” to the United States. To date only one American, Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric, has been killed under the authority claimed in the memo.

"That may be true so far," said a member of the United States Senate, who refused to be identified, "but the administration seems to be claiming unprecedented authority to act against American citizens. Under certain circumstances, you could see how the broad powers they’re asserting might include the right to shoot members of Congress.

"Heck, we’ve done more to endanger the American people than Al Qaeda ever did."

When informed of the senator’s comments, Attorney General Eric Holder reportedly replied, “Hmmm. Interesting.”

"I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t deeply concerned," said a ranking member of the House minority, who also asked that his identity be kept secret. "The way this body handled the debt crisis, our constant attempts to destroy the safety net, our refusal to deal with global warming or gun control, our continued opposition to health care reform—if all that doesn’t qualify as an imminent threat to the safety of Americans, I don’t know what would."

His remarks were echoed by a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.

"We do not believe the Obama administration can just claim the authority to kill Americans without due process of law."

"There’s no telling where this could lead," he added. "It might start with Al Qaeda, but there’s a dangerous slippery slope here. Under the broad language of that memo, you could make a pretty darn good argument for blowing up the entire House.

"Then again, if something unfortunate happened to that weasel Eric Cantor, I doubt the Speaker would shed too many tears."

Feb 2

Whodunnit

Frustrated administration officials admitted today that they were no closer to identifying those responsible for recent attacks on Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense.

A spokesman for the Defense Department said, “shadowy organizations calling themselves “Use Your Mandate,” “Americans for a Strong Defense” and “Secure America Now” have launched brazen assaults on Mr. Hagel’s character, but we have no way of knowing who’s really behind them.

"These groups hide out in the wild border regions between Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, where they often operate with total impunity, given the lack of any real government oversight. Apparently they are extremely well-financed, and they’re careful not to reveal their funding sources. Identifying who’s bankrolling them is a real problem for us.

"We think they’re probably a loose confederation of determined ideologues with their own agendas, but who share a common hatred of the president. They come together briefly to plan an attack, place an ad buy and then disappear back into their clandestine caves on K Street. One day it may be Sheldon Adelson, defense contractors and drug manufacturers, and the next it’s Karl Rove and energy companies."

An administration spokesman added, “we have convincing evidence that they sometimes coordinate their activities with certain members of Congress, but they’re careful not to leave any fingerprints.

"It’s pretty annoying, but we’re doing what we can with what we have to work with. We can wish all we want that America was better able to control its rogue elements and that its political system was more transparent, but when you’re dealing with a country in  which wealthy oligarchs wield enormous power and the where the legislature and the courts don’t really value democratic principles, that’s what you get."