This is not to be explained by the "war on terror" and the campaign against Al Qaeda. Behind these ideological pretexts lie profound and political and social processes.
The policy of extra-judicial assassination of American citizens underscores the inextricable connection between militarism abroad and the destruction of democracy within the United States. In response to its declining economic position, the American ruling elite has sought to leverage its overriding military power to maintain its position of global domination. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in particular, the US has launched one war after another, now accompanied by a campaign of drone assassinations.
The decline of American capitalism has at the same time been accompanied by a further concentration of wealth in the hands of an increasingly parasitic financial aristocracy, a process that has only accelerated since the onset of the world economic crisis in 2008.
The ruling class is well aware that the unending attack on jobs, wages and social programs is generating mass opposition. The erection of the framework of a police state is directed against the inevitable eruption of mass social struggles.
There is no genuine constituency for democracy within the American ruling class and its political representatives in the Democratic and Republican parties. Democratic rights are increasingly incompatible with the financial aristocracy and the social system upon which it rests--capitalism.
The defense of democratic rights, as with all social and political rights, depends on the independent political organization and mobilization of the working class in the struggle for socialism.
Crossposted at wsws.org
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).