Barack Obama's administration has authorised the assassination of the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a rare move against an American citizen.
I am reminded of what I wrote on the day of Obama's inauguration:
I will be suitably thrilled if the Obama administration renounces some of the creeping executive power grabs of the last 16 years, but he has been oddly silent about this. It seems that creeping executive power is a lot more worrisome when someone else is in power.
But don't worry, separation of powers has been respected:
The decision to add him to the US hit list required a National Security Council review because of his citizenship.
You see, before Obama can unilaterally order an American citizen killed, he has to review the decision with, uh, a group of people he appointed and that work directly for him. From Bruce McQuain:
But who the hell is Barack Obama to arbitrarily and unilaterally waive Constitutional due process (oh, that's right, he's a Constitutional law professor, isn't he?) and order the assassination of a US citizen? And as an aside "“ where are all the liberal voices who spent every waking hour worrying about George Bush's eavesdropping and loudly denouncing it, forever and ever, amen? Why are they, for the most part, silent on the subject of assassinating a US citizen?