Quote For The Day II

Jan 3 2013 @ 11:07am

"I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret," – Judge Colleen McMahon, ruling on the Obama administration's indefensible secrecy regarding its methods of deciding when or how to assassinate a US citizen waging war on the US.

I've defended the drone program as the least worst way of fighting a real enemy, as long as it is restrained and takes extraordinary pains to avoid civilian casualties. But I can see no rationale for the citizenry to be forbidden from knowing the terms on which the president can assassinate one of them. One would think that is a pretty basic principle for the American polity. Was this country founded on resistance to a monarch only to give the power to assassinate an American citizen to one person – with no transparency at all?

(Update: the original final sentence in the quote above, "The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me," has been removed because that line comes from elsewhere in the order, which can be read in full here (pdf).)