If it is true, as the writer
Consider how readily our leaders, in justifying what cannot be justified, parse definitions down to microns of fineness or invent obfuscating euphemisms to hide behind. As in
To those acts of violence against clarity, we can add a new one. A
If you don't see why that should shiver your spine, perhaps you use a different dictionary than the government.
But in its memo, which surfaces as the
In other words, "imminent" doesn't mean "imminent." And if U.S. intelligence -- which we all know is infallible, right? -- determines you to be a member of al-Qaida, that determination, absent any evidence of a planned attack, gives the government the legal pretext to vaporize you. Worse, the government contends this may be done without oversight, judicial or otherwise. The president becomes, quite literally, your judge, jury and executioner.
That's what happened to
No one weeps for this man. Yet it is possible to be glad the planet is rid of him and yet, deeply concerned about the means used to achieve that goal. Not for his sake, or for the sake of any other plotter against this country but, rather, for the sake of the country itself.
So it was welcome to hear the president pledge greater transparency, in last week's State of the Union address. And administration officials say they have been pondering ways to create independent oversight of the counterterrorism program.
But it is time to stop pledging and pondering and just do. The idea of a secret killing program, answerable to no one, is jarringly inconsonant with who and what we are supposed to be. One fears that, in the name of expedience, we will become what we abhor. Indeed, the danger is imminent.
Whatever that means.
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