Hope, Change, and Murdering American Citizens

I don’t think this is what the Obamatrons had in mind. And I’m not sure which is more appalling. The news that Barack Obama has just decided to start killing American citizens without granting them the benefit of an arrest, a trial, or a conviction, or the fact that writers at National Review are actually supporting his dictate:

The Obama administration has authorized operations to capture or kill a U.S.-born Muslim cleric based in Yemen, who is described by a key lawmaker as Americas’s top terrorist threat, officials said on Tuesday. The decision to add Anwar al-Awlaki, of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to the target list followed a National Security Council review prompted by his status as a U.S. citizen.

Officials said Awlaki directly threatened the United States. “Awlaki is a proven threat,” said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He’s being targeted.”

Rep. Jane Harman, chairwoman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, described Awlaki as “probably the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us. He is very much in the sights of the Yemenis, with us helping them,” said Harman, who recently visited Yemen to meet with U.S. and Yemeni officials. She told Reuters that Awlaki’s U.S. citizenship made going after him “certainly complicated.”

To his credit, Kevin D. Williamson is among the sane “conservatives” left at NRO:

I hate to play the squish, but am I the only one who is just a little bit queasy over the fact that the president of the United States is authorizing the assassination of American citizens? Andy writes that this is “obviously the right call.” I might be persuaded that this is, in fact, the right call. But obviously? No hesitation there? It seems to me that the fact of U.S. citizenship ought to be a bright line on the political map.

Surely there has to be some operational constraint on the executive when it comes to the killing of U.S. citizens. It is not impossible to imagine a president who, for instance, sincerely believes that Andy McCarthy is undermining the Justice Department’s ability to prosecute the war on terror on the legal front. A government that can kill its citizens can shut them up, no? I ask this not as a legal question, but as a moral and political question: How is it that a government that can assassinate Citizen Awlaki is unable to censor Citizen McCarthy, or drop him in an oubliette? Practically every journalist of any consequence in Washington has illegally handled a piece of classified information. Can the president have them assassinated in the name of national security? Under the Awlaki standard, why not?

Odious as Awlaki is, this seems to me to be setting an awful and reckless precedent. Consider how “interstate commerce” has been redefined over time to cover that which is neither interstate nor commerce, for the sake of political expediency. It is easy to imagine “national security” being treated the same way, particularly in an open-ended conflict against a loosely defined enemy.

No, this is not the right call. This is madness. And it is another step in the descent to open and unmitigated evil. There is no other way to describe it. The sickening thing is that without the ludicrous decision to grant citizenship to so many third worlders possessing zero loyalty to the nation, there would be no excuse for legally painting federal crosshairs on each and every U.S. citizen. This isn’t merely a direct assault on the Constitution, it is far more impeachment-worthy than anything Bill Clinton ever did.

If Citizen Awlaki is deemed worthy of government assassination today, you can be assured that other American citizens will deemed “a proven threat” in the future.

Supercritical

The Market Ticker notices that German banks are threatening the liquidity of the global financial markets as a result of the Greek situation:

The curve blowout this morning in Greek debt has been cataclysmic; of course CNBS is only mentioning it in passing, and so far the European market isn’t reacting “too badly.”

We’ll see about that – how much of their debt is now sitting on bank balance sheets with a mark-to-market loss of how many billions due to the coupon shift upward? Oh no, we better not talk about the black hole opening up on bank balance sheets (again)….. that might be a problem eh?

Just remember that right up until Lehman blew up the market, while it had its ups and downs, didn’t react “too badly” either.

42% worthless assets. Keep that number in mind. It’s going to blow up sooner or later; the market can’t be pumped far enough or fast enough to refloat those underwater properties.

Human evolution observed in the wild

After only 150 years, Man finally witnesses evolution from one distinct species into another:

A dragon-sized, fruit-eating lizard that lives in the trees on the northern Philippines island of Luzon has been confirmed as a new species, scientists reported on Tuesday. Hunted for its tasty flesh, the brightly colored forest monitor lizard can grow to more than six feet in length but weighs only about 22 pounds (10 kg), said Rafe Brown of the University of Kansas, whose team confirmed the find.

“It lives up in trees, so it can’t get as massive as the Komodo dragon, a huge thing that eats large amounts of fresh meat,” Brown said by telephone. “This thing is a fruit-eater and it’s only the third fruit-eating lizard in the world.”

I think it’s remarkable proof of the power of natural selection. And to think that it only takes three generations for homo sapiens to evolve into draco arboris! No doubt the families of those missing Japanese soldiers will not only be relieved to know the ultimate fate of their loved ones, but proud to know that both the Sakurakai and Shintaro Ishihara were right and the Japanese are, in fact, the most highly evolved form of Man on the planet.

Of course, we had better wipe these dragons out at once before the pressure placed upon them by quasi-cannibalistic Philippinos causes them to evolve the ability to breathe fire. And in other evolution news, the Missing Link was found again. What are the odds that it lasts longer than last year’s extraordinary fossil find, Ida?