Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 8, 2013/ 28 Shevat, 5773

Cheney's revenge

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Will the author of the Obama administration white paper on killing U.S. citizens please report for his war-crimes trial right away?

If he served in the George W. Bush administration, someone would already be agitating for his extraordinary rendition to The Hague. The white paper outlines why the Obama administration believes that it can kill U.S. citizens involved in al-Qaida without due process. This is not a merely theoretical question, as Anwar al-Awlaki found out from the business end of a Hellfire missile a couple of years ago in Yemen.

The left is still furious that the Bush administration waterboarded three captured terrorists after Sept. 11, 2001. Yet, with a few exceptions, it has blithely accepted the Obama administration's extrajudicial assassination policy that has killed about 1,000 times as many people.

During the Bush years, a small army of former Democratic officials, law professors, op-ed writers and bloggers blasted the Bush administration as dangerous and un-American for asserting the executive branch's war powers, aka "trampling the Constitution."

Barack Obama was going to be different. We had this on the highest possible authority: Barack Obama. As a senator in 2007, he set out his contrasting vision: "We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary."

In a speech as president in 2009, he said we must fight al-Qaida. "But," he added, pointedly, "we must do so with an abiding confidence in the rule of law and due process; in checks and balances and accountability."

The white paper outlines how that looks like in practice. If an "informed, high-level official" of the Obama administration determines that a U.S. citizen is one of the "senior operational leaders" of al-Qaida and "recently" involved in "activities" related to a violent attack against the United States, well then, he can be terminated with extreme prejudice.

Note that the high-level official has to be "informed." This must be what Obama meant when he insisted his policies would respect "due process" and "checks and balances."

The white paper has ignited not quite a firestorm (again, this isn't the Bush administration), but at least a smoldering ember of brow-furrowed consternation among the president's supporters and journalistic sympathizers.

They rarely say what their alternative would be. Does a U.S. citizen get an exemption from targeting if he becomes a high-level al-Qaida operative? Should his status be litigated before he can be targeted, and if so, by whom, for how long and on the basis of what evidence? Can he show up in court to confront his accusers, a basic element of the Anglo-American system?

It is self-evidently absurd. Civil libertarians lament that the argument of the white paper parallels the reasoning of the Bush administration. No kidding.

It's not for nothing that the author sounds like he could have worked for Dick Cheney. The Obama administration's approach reflects the logic of the laws of war, the structure of American government and the exigencies of the fight against al-Qaida.

It is well-established by the courts that an American citizen who is an enemy combatant can be treated as an enemy combatant. It is also well-established by the courts that it is not the role of the judiciary to interfere in the executive branch's conduct of a war. When an American citizen joins a shadowy band at war with America and operating in areas beyond the reach of law enforcement, he is a legitimate target.

This is not to say that the white paper is beyond reproach, or that it should have been kept secret for so long, but the basic point would seem obvious.

Democratic partisans might be confused. They considered Bush a threat to America's liberty because of his defense of his war powers, yet their hero now stands on similar ground. How to resolve the contradiction? Easy. Conclude that they were wrong the first time.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Rich Lowry Archives

© 2012 King Features Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles