Continuous War

Well, it looks like we can add the Fifth Amendment to the list of rights that are being ignored by the U.S. government these days. That puts it in company with the Fourth (Patriot Act), Sixth (indefinite detention), and Eighth (torture). Is there anything even left of the Bill of Rights?

I refer, in particular, to the assassination of one Anwar al-Awlaki, a member of al-Qaeda who was originally born in New Mexico and thus held U.S. citizenship. He was officially targeted by the U.S. government under Obama despite that U.S. citizenship, and the Predator drones finally caught up with him earlier today.

Needless to say, Obama defended the strike as a strike against al-Qaeda. Which it certainly was. How does the justification go...? Oh yes, we're at war, we can't afford to drop our guard, do you want another 9-11, all the usual "tough on terrorism" arguments.

Am I the only one tired of this continuous damned war against an enemy that cannot be defeated by conventional means? The point of wartime restrictions is that they are temporary. Things like Abraham Lincoln's denial of habeas corpus during the Civil War were permissible and understandable in the midst of a bloody civil war where restricting those rights until the war was over might mean the difference between victory and defeat. And if we were currently engaged in a war of annihilation against a clearly defined enemy, perhaps some restriction of civil liberties would be likewise understandable.

We're not. We're in the same situation we've been in for decades on end, with non-state actors interested in our downfall. Attempting to carry out a job that they flat-out do not have the capability to do, no less. For anything short of an existential threat, this ridiculous, effectively permanent restriction of civil liberties is completely uncalled for. It's long past time for it to end.

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