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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/3/11

Americas Descent Into Legal and Moral Degeneracy

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AP Photo, Anwar al-Awlaki



President Obama finally made good on his targeted assassination threat to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, the American born Islamic cleric.

Sometime around 10:00 A.M. Friday in northern Yemen, a CIA drone strike was unleashed and according to "authorities", Awlaki, another American and two others were killed instantly in that blast.

So ends this latest episode confirming the end of the rule of law and the desecration of the Constitution of the United States. Nowhere in that Constitution does it say anything about a president having the authority to target an American (or anyone else for that matter) for assassination.

There is no legal rationalization that can justify the official authorization of killing an American, outside a war zone and without due process.

If Awlaki committed criminal acts he needed to be arraigned, read his rights and prosecuted in a U.S. court of law.

  If he was connected with and/or authorized the would be underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab at Detroit's International airport, the would be Times Square bomber, Faisal Shazhad or the Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, as alleged by President Obama, he needed to be found, legally extradited to the U.S. and prosecuted, not targeted by the president and assassinated by the CIA.

If he was connected to these crimes, the evidence needed to be presented to a grand jury and if they considered him worthy of prosecution he should have been brought into a court of law and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. That of course didn't happen.

There are legal lines that when crossed define the legitimacy, or lack thereof, of a government. As with authorizing torture, extraordinary rendition, the indefinite detention of suspects and the denial of habeas corpus, warrantless wiretapping et al the announced targeting and authorization for the assassination of an American is criminal behavior by that government and the officials who authorized it.

There is no whitewashing;   these are crimes.

It is a travesty that some Congressmen "applauded" the targeted assassination of Awlaki or that many Americans may agree with Obama's decision to authorize such a course of action. That "applauding" is indicative of a certain moral degradation and how lost some of these people have become.

It is sheer hypocrisy that we condemn the likes of North Korea, Iran, Burma and other outlaw nations for their human rights violations and committing crimes against humanity while we are committing our own crimes.

Whatever moral pedestal the U.S. stood upon has been shattered and its moral standing in the world dissipated by committing these aforementioned acts.

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