03 August 2010

Obama Administration Goes Full Eric Blair*

Or maybe Franz Kafka.

You see, last month, the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights were retained by Nasser al-Awlaki, "the father of Obama assassination target (and U.S. citizen) Anwar al-Awlaki," to get a court injunction to keep him from being killed by the U.S. government..

The government's response was declare Anwar al-Awlaki a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist," which meant that lawyers could not represent him without a special license from the government.

George W. Bush never asserted a right to assassinate American citizens, and they never used Treasury Department anti money laundering legislation to prevent lawyers from representing someone pro bono in a case to prevent their assassination:
Left with no choice, the ACLU and CCR this morning filed a lawsuit on their own behalf against Timothy Geithner and the Treasury Department. The suit argues that Treasury has no statutory authority under the law it invokes -- The International Emergency Economic Powers Act -- to bar American lawyers from representing American citizens on an uncompensated basis. It further argues what ought to be a completely uncontroversial point: that even if Congress had vested Treasury with this authority, it is blatantly unconstitutional to deny American citizens the right to have a lawyer, and to deny American lawyers the right to represent clients, without first obtaining a permission slip from Executive Branch officials (the Complaint is here). As the ACLU/CCR Brief puts it: "The notion that the government can compel a citizen to seek its permission before challenging the constitutionality of its actions in court is wholly foreign to our constitutional system" and "[a]s non-profit organizations dedicated to protecting civil liberties and human rights, Plaintiffs have a First Amendment right to represent clients in litigation consistent with their organizational missions." The Brief also argues that it is a violation of Separation of Powers to allow the Executive Branch to determine in its sole discretion who can and cannot appear in and have access to a federal court.
Obama's positions on national defense and surveillance indisputably worse than those of George W. Bush's.

After stonewalling for weeks, the Treasury Department granted a license once the ACLU and CCR filed a separate lawsuit against the denial of such a license, probably because they want to assert the right again, even if it is just for a few weeks to f%$# with the ability of some guy to get proper legal counsel.

I am so writing in "Howard Dean," in the 2012 general.

*George Orwell's real name.


John Sundman said...

I will join you in writing in Howard Dean. For the reasons you give, and many similar.

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