Spurious existential threats are claimed. Fundamental values are discarded, including due process, habeas, equity, and justice, as well as other inviolable international and US law.
Illegal wars, targeted assassinations, other lawless killing, unconstitutional military tribunals, torture, and indefinite military detentions replaced them.
From inception, Guantanamo "was a laboratory for unlawful military interrogation, detention, and trials." All US torture prisons symbolize imperial lawlessness.
Candidate Obama said Bush officials "compromised our most precious values." As president, he exceeded the worst of his predecessor. Rule of law principles no longer apply. Freedom hangs by a thread. Anyone considered threatening is guilty by accusation. So are nations earmarked for regime change.
"No national security policy raises a graver threat to human rights," international law, and peace, "than targeted killing, because the government claims the unchecked authority to impose an extrajudicial death sentence on" anyone anywhere for any reason or none at all.
Bush officials initiated target killings. Obama expanded them exponentially. Secret "kill lists" were compiled. Legal criteria aren't disclosed. None, in fact, exist. People are spuriously called terrorists. Lethal force is policy. So is unchecked militarization and war on humanity.
Claiming national security concerns, in fact, undermines it. Pursuing permanent war and targeted killings subvert fundamental democratic values. Today they hang by a thread.
Undermining Rule of Law Principles
Post-9/11, Dick Cheney announced "us(ing) any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective(s)." War, mass killing, illegal detentions, torture, and cold-blooded murder followed.
So did total abandonment of international and US law. Promising a new course, Obama exceeded the worst Bush policies.
"How could this have happened in America? The answer....involves secrets and lies, moral cowardice and legal sophistry."
"Dark side" lawlessness was instituted. Prisoner abuse depravity became policy. Torture prisons proliferated. Guantanamo is one of many. Innocent victims are called "bad apples" or "ticking time bombs." Public debate is absent. So are legal considerations, morality, and other right and wrong issues.
Conspiracy is invented to "create an impenetrable circle of impunity." Everyone involved is culpable, but no one's accountable. Congress, the administration and courts share blame. So do media scoundrels through silence, misreporting, or supporting lawless policies.
"Today, we have a state of affairs" that shames the nation. No victim of America's torture policy had his or her day in court. "And not a single court" handling torture suits "addressed the core question of whether the victims' legal rights were violated."
Under Obama's indefinite detention law, everyone's at risk. Dark side justice threatens them. Congress overwhelmingly agrees. Criminal accountability no longer matters. Neither do constitution rights, including Fifth Amendment protections, stating no one shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."
Post-9/11, America had a choice. It embraced lawlessness, not rule of law principles and justice.