One week ago, US Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a speech asserting the right of the president to secretly order the assassination of American citizens. Citing the so-called “war on terror,” he claimed that this never-before-asserted authority was lawful under the president’s war-making powers and was not subject to judicial review.
Holder stressed that the president’s power to order extra-judicial killings was part of a range of powers including the abduction of suspected terrorists and their indefinite internment, without trial, either in civilian or military prisons. Having noted that terrorists “reside within our own borders,” he insisted that the government’s authority to use lethal force was “not limited to the battlefields of Afghanistan.”
In an attempt to give a constitutional gloss to this assertion of police-state powers, Holder made the astonishing assertion that “due process and judicial process are not one and the same… The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”
The speech was in response to pressure on the administration to provide a legal rationale for the targeted killing of three US citizens in Yemen last fall. Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged Al Qaeda leader, was killed in a drone attack along with another US citizen, Samir Khan. Two weeks later, Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman Awlaki, was killed in a separate drone attack.
A reader e-mailed to complain that we have ignored this issue. We have not. C.I. weighed in on it last week and many of the rest of us followed. It's not even Iraq related but C.I. opened last Monday's snapshot with it. In addition:
"The press looks the other way for Killer Barry," "Obama the Executioner" "The two of a kind," "Awful?" and "Martin Sheen's an ass who will rot in hell"
That is only some of the coverage, there is more in the community.
What the reader was upset about, it turns out, was Third Estate Sunday Review:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: Leave the Emo youth alone
- TV: Exploring offensive
- Who's cartoony? Who's pulling it off?
- From the TESR Test Kitchen
- The week in funny
- Political Prisoner Lynne
- Radio Moment of the Week
- Anna May Wong film pioneer (Edward Yudelovich)
- Who's destroying public education and how
- Veterans burials and graves
The issue is addressed in both of last week's Truests. We do not have time to cover everything at Third. If you read Ava and C.I.'s TV piece, you will note they have grabbed topics that were not covered elsewhere in the addition.
We also addressed Lynne Stewart, WikiLeaks and Iraqi youth as our big topics.
Third is an online magazine and we need to provide a mix. (Though that may got out the window for next Sunday.)
The TESR Test Kitchen pieces have become very popular. The Week In Funny is one I think might become a regular piece (Jim told me it was huge in the e-mails, with everyone noting it). We provide a mix and that is nothing new.
There were some statements by others -- such as Cindy Sheehan -- that we considered for truest but we went with those two precisely because of their topic and because we did not cover that topic elsewhere.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"