random friday, 1997 edition: sleater-kinney, "words and guitar"
what i watched last week

the last time i tried to talk about this with an obama supporter, she quit talking to me for, well, forever

From the Washington Post:

The Obama administration urged a federal judge early Saturday to dismiss a lawsuit over its targeting of a U.S. citizen for killing overseas, saying that the case would reveal state secrets. …

"The idea that courts should have no role whatsoever in determining the criteria by which the executive branch can kill its own citizens is unacceptable in a democracy," the American Civil Liberties Union and Center for Constitutional Rights said.

"In matters of life and death, no executive should have a blank check," they said. …

The Obama administration has cited the state-secrets argument in at least three cases since taking office - in defense of Bush-era warrantless wiretapping, surveillance of an Islamic charity, and the torture and rendition of CIA prisoners.

From the New York Times:

On Saturday, the A.C.L.U. attorney Jameel Jaffer added: “They're really asking for a blank check.  They want to set secret criteria under which Americans are added to government kill lists and to determine for themselves whether those criteria are satisfied in any particular instance.  It's a truly remarkable proposition, and one that surely would surely have been greeted with alarm had it been made by the last administration. [emphasis added]

The New York Times again, quoting David Rivkin, conservative commentator and lawyer who served in the Reagan and Bush I administrations:

I’m a huge fan of executive power, but if someone came up to you and said the government wants to target you and you can’t even talk about it in court to try to stop it, that’s too harsh even for me.

And the inevitable Glenn Greenwald:

I genuinely didn't think it was possible for any President to concoct an assertion of executive power and secrecy that would be excessive and alarming to David Rivkin, but Barack Obama managed to do that, too.  Obama's now asserting a power so radical -- the right to kill American citizens and do so in total secrecy, beyond even the reach of the courts -- that it's "too harsh even for" one of the most far-right War on Terror cheerleading-lawyers in the nation.  But that power is certainly not "too harsh" for the kind-hearted Constitutional scholar we elected as President, nor for his hordes of all-justifying supporters soon to place themselves to the right of David Rivkin as they explain why this is all perfectly justified. One other thing, as always:  vote Democrat, because the Republicans are scary!

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