After praising Obama’s kill order on Sunni cleric, and US citizen, Anwar Al-Alawki as “a very good strike” and “justified,” Dick Cheney wants Obama to apologize to him for his phony condemnations of Bush’s torture regime.
“The thing I am waiting for is for the administration to go back and correct something they said two years ago, when they criticized us for quote overreacting to the events of 9/11,” Cheney said. “They in effect said we had walked away from our ideals, taking policy contrary to our ideals when we had enhanced interrogation techniques. They have clearly moved in the direction of taking robust action when they feel it is justified. In this case, it was. They need to go back and reconsider what the president said in Cairo.”
Never mind that Obama has his own torture dungeons in Somalia or that he is recklessly waging war in a way that Cheney could only dream of. Cheney, the career federal parasite, knows how to fork his tongue and play politics. Focus on Obama’s rhetoric, not on policy. Demand an apology, not accountability.
This is precisely why libertarians (and a few principled conservatives) opposed Bush’s expansion of government power and law-breaking in the name of “national security.” Even if they are used for supposedly good ends (keeping us safe), the powers that accumulated are eventually passed on to the next President. If spying, the TSA, multiple wars, torture, and a shredding of the Bill of Rights are needed to “protect us,” then surely killing an American citizen without a trial is okay right? Anything in the name of national security.
The fact that Cheney and Obama agree that the President is Caesar who’s power is above the law, yet will squabble about the few inches of difference between their miles long delusions of imperial grandeur and bloodlust, is extremely troubling and evidence of the bipartisan support that exists for the empire and the military-industrial-complex that feeds it.
Cheney and the Republicans may criticize Obama, but it is their fault for cementing in a vast expansion of federal power. And the liberals and Democrats, who are falling all over themselves to justify anything Dear Leader does, will only have themselves to blame when a Republican (not named Ron Paul) acquires the reins of the most powerful government in history and expands on the powers Obama has asserted for himself.
The problem, of course, is the idea that any man should have the powers that the President currently weilds. Because Republican spending tends to look a lot like Democrat spending, and conservative bombs vaporize limbs, private property, and tax money just like liberal bombs do.
Governments grow. They always do. As parasitic and inefficient institutions, they have to in order to survive, no matter who’s in charge. All Presidents make you eventually miss the previous one, because each new suit that gets ushered in is a better plunderer and asserts more power than their predecessor.
And as Wes Messamore writes in The Humble Libertarian blog, there is very little chance that Obama, or any future Presidents, will be held accountable for their actions.
The president’s reasons for summary execution without trial will be hidden away, inscrutable, unimpeachable. He will not have to give reasons. He will not have to justify his actions. He will not be held to account for them. There can be no such thing in a free society as an unchecked, unaccountable power to kill. A free nation is a nation of laws, not a playground for politicians and bureaucrats above the law.
The President has absolutely no legal, constitutional, or moral authority to simply accuse an American citizen of terrorism and then order his execution. In the same way even a very small claim to your labor (the income tax) in 1916 evolved into the extortion we see today, a President with the power to kill at will sets a very dangerous precedent.