Falguni A. Sheth writes: Since the reelection of President Obama, liberals have made some bold admissions. Commentators like Touré Neblett of MSNBC’s The Cycle have enthusiastically and repeatedly defended the president’s authority to launch drones against anyone, including American citizens, if he suspects that they are “trying to kill us.”
At no point in his several defenses did Touré reconcile his position with once-popular Constitutional precepts that every person should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and know the charges and evidence against him, and have the right to a fair trial. Neither did he explain why ordinary Americans should suspend their longstanding skepticism of politicians in power or withdraw the demand that the president and Congress be accountable for their actions, especially the taking of someone’s life.
Sadly, Touré isn’t alone in trusting the president’s complete discretion to decide which individuals are threats to American safety. Other liberals, from Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, to Touré’s MSNBC colleague Krystal Ball, to liberal bloggers also admit to a higher level of comfort with President Obama’s overseeing of otherwise troubling policies such as secret kill lists, targeted killings, and preemptive detentions of suspected terrorists. They are joined by 54% of Americans, who agree that the Obama Administration should have the discretion to kill anyone alleged to be senior al-Qaeda members.
The hoopla has been described by other pundits, liberal and conservative, as hypocrisy or, more accurately, shameless political double standards. Why exculpate a Democratic president for the same troubling, and extrajudicial, policies once engaged in by a Republican president? They’re right, of course. But there’s another double standard to worry about: one that assumes brown/black foreigners shouldn’t receive the same benefit of the doubt about their guilt that is regularly given to other Americans. It can only be ascribed to a racial double standard, one consistent with an aggressive jingoism. [Continue reading...]