Medals for Murder
by Stephen Lendman
Extrajudicial killing is official US policy. Drone wars normalize it. Obama decides who lives or dies. He appointed himself judge, jury and executioner.
He's got final kill list authority. His secret memo authorized Anwar al-Awlaki's assassination. Anyone anywhere in the world can be murdered on his say.
His "white paper " inverted inviolable legal principles. It's titled "Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a US Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa'ida or An Associated Force."
It calls lawless killing without trial or evidence legal. Vague language substitutes for clear evidence and just cause. Rule of law principles don't apply.
Habeas rights and due process are spurned. The 1215 Magna Carta states:
"No free man shall be seized, or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed, or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals, or by the law of the land."
It means due process is inviolable. It's constitutionally guaranteed. Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments affirm it.
Doing so prohibits government from "depriv(ing anyone) of life, liberty, or property without due process of law."
Extrajudicial executive authority usurped fundamental freedoms. Courts have no say. Nor does Congress. Murder by diktat is policy.
Police states operate that way. America is by far the worst. It menaces humanity. It may not survive Obama's second term. He represents rogue leadership. He governs irresponsibly, lawlessly and recklessly.
Drones are instruments of state terror. They're America's weapon of choice. They're fast replacing manned aircraft. They sanitize killing on the cheap.
They reign death on helpless civilians. They kill by computer keyboards, monitors, infrared cameras, and other high-tech sensor devices.
Only 2% of victims are high-value targets. Others are innocent men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm.
Obama claims killing America's enemies anywhere in the world is legal. It's justified because he says so. International, constitutional, and US statute laws don't apply.
Obama defends the indefensible. Despots operate that way. He'll award medals for murder. Cowardly acts will be honored. Doing so elevates rogue leadership to a higher level.
Justice American-style is policy. Drone warriors will be rewarded for extrajudicial killing. Doing so creates a facade of meritorious service.
Post-9/11 operations alone qualify. Recipients don't have to set foot on battlefields. They can sleep comfortably in their own beds at night.
They'll get newly created Distinguished Warfare Medals. Critics call it the "Geek Cross." Some suggest it's close to awarding video-gamers Purple Hearts for animated wounds.
Awards will signify EXtinguishing targeted victims. Murder, Inc. honors its own.
Medals are brass pendants. They're nearly two vertical inches high. They're adorned with a laurel wreath. It circles a globe. There's an eagle in the center. It's attached to a red, white, and blue stripped ribbon.
DWMs be awarded for "extraordinary achievement related to a military operation." Doing so becomes part of Obama's rogue legacy. His rap sheet includes growing numbers of crimes. They're becoming too many to count.
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta  explained the new award. It'll provide "recognition for the extraordinary achievements that directly impact on combat operations, but that do not involve acts of valor or physical risk that combat entails."
"I’ve seen firsthand how modern tools like remotely piloted platforms and cybersystems have changed the way wars are fought," he added.
"And they’ve given our men and women the ability to engage the enemy and change the course of battle even from afar."
"Our military reserves its highest decorations, obviously, for those who display gallantry and valor in actions where their lives are on the line, and we will continue to do so."
"But we should also have the ability to honor the extraordinary actions that make a true difference in combat operation."
"They remove the enemy from the field of battle even if those actions are physically removed from the fight."
Defense officials said the medal will outrank the Bronze Star. It's America's fourth highest combat award. It was created in 1944. It was the last war related one established. Recipients are rewarded for meritorious battle service.
Silver Stars are for bravery. They're America's third highest combat award. They'll rank above the Distinguished Service Medal. DSM recipients don’t have to set foot on battlefields.
They're safe in remote locations. They kill nameless, faceless victims. They do so nearby or half a world away.
Virtual war kills like sport. Command centers operate worldwide. Many more are planned. America has lots more killing in mind. Perhaps mass extermination is planned.
Pentagon and CIA personnel operate drones. They're licensed to kill. They do so with impunity. They'll be honored for committing murder. Washington finds more ways of sinking to new depths.
Americans support what demands condemnation. Why they'll have to explain. New Pew Research  data show overall approval: 56% support drone killing. Only 26% oppose.
Men approve doing so by more than three to one (68% - 21%). Fewer women do: 44% accept what 31% reject.
Pew's data was obtained by telephone interviews. They were conducted from February 7 - 10. A national random sample of 1,004 US adults aged 18 or older were surveyed.
Princeton Survey Research Associates International contacted respondents. It expressed a 95% confidence level in results.
What's ahead who knows. Obama's waging war on humanity. It may not survive his second term.
Stopping him is a national imperative. Ousting him by impeachment is vital. Key is doing it now before it's too late.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.