“A Murderer Is Less To Fear” Or How Barack Obama Is Driving Right-Wingers Crazy

We’ve all seen it since 2008. They hate this man. They hate the President of the United States. And there is no sign that the hate will abate. In fact, it may be getting worse.

I received today an email from a group called TheTeaParty.net. The subject line shouted:

You are going to WANT to listen to this!

“This” was an interview of Rep. Pete Olson from, where else, Texas. He is lately famous for introducing “articles of impeachment against Attorney General Eric Holder for high crimes and misdemeanors,” as his official government website proudly boasts. Texas Pete’s resolution has 22 co-sponsors, including Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert. So, you sort of get the idea. These Obama-haters can’t yet impeach President Obama, so they are trying to impeach his pigmented friend at the Justice Department.

I visited the website of TheTeaParty.net, which brags about having “well over 3 million members and a huge national social media presence.” Yeah, well, I don’t know about all that, but I did find this tweet, which was posted just yesterday:

obama the traitor

Sure, we’ve seen this stuff before. Obama is a traitor, blah, blah, blah. But this one seems particularly vicious. “He rots the soul of a nation and works secretly to undermine the pillars of the city…” Really? Just whose soul is rotting here? And just who is working, not so secretly, to undermine the pillars of our civilization? Huh? In any case, you know what is left out of that Cicero quote? This:

A murderer is less to fear.

That’s right. The next line in that Cicero citation is “A murderer is less to fear.” Why did they leave that line out? Is it even too much for these Tea Party folks to say the President of the United States is worse than a murderer? Well, let’s see.

If you go to TheTeaParty.net website, you will find the usual nutjob fare: a “DEFUND Obamacare NOW” petition, a “Demand Full Benghazi Investigation” petition, and, yes, an “Impeach Obama & Remove Him From Office” petition (“President Obama is the most corrupt president in U.S. history”). These things are all designed to entice the haters among us and, more important, to separate the haters from their money. Conveniently you can donate to the cause.

But there was one petition that is more disturbing than the rest, even by the pitifully low standards of Tea Party groups out to make a buck. It’s called:

Show President Obama That He Is Not A King!

Now, again, we’ve all seen this sort of thing before. It’s the everyday kind of stuff on, say, the Rush Limbaugh Show. But this one goes a little deeper. While the Obama-is-a-traitor tweet left out the “A murderer is less to fear” line, this petition begins:

Untouchable. That is what President Obama believes that he is. If you’ve seen the movie “The Untouchables” that chronicles the days of Al Capone in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, then you will totally get this. Capone broke every law in the book, yet still viewed himself as untouchable. After all, he had law enforcement agents, attorneys, even judges bought and paid for. They towed the line and Capone beat the rap over and over again for crime after crime. Until, that is, a certain tax agent named Elliot Ness entered the picture. He was relentless in his pursuit of Capone and, when one of his men was murdered, the killer scrawled the word “Touchable” in blood on the wall.

Forget for a moment the fact that it was not Al Capone who was considered “untouchable.” It was the small group of feds trying to bring him down who were called the Untouchables. How could these Tea Party nuts muck that up? And forget for a moment the irony of having an anti-big-government Tea Party group extol the virtues of “a certain tax agent named Elliot [sic] Ness.” Ness wasn’t just a tax agent, he was first an agent for the Bureau of Prohibition, and if there ever was an intrusive government agency, it was that one. Besides that, the hero of this Tea Party story never did get Al Capone. It was really the IRS that brought him down. And Eliot Ness, according to one source, had a heart attack at age 54 and died “depressed, disillusioned and deeply in debt.” Oh, yeah, Al Capone allegedly found Jesus in prison. Yikes.

Anyway, forget all that. Look at the Tea Party image created so far: President Obama is a gangster who will not only kill his enemies, but taunt them with blood-scrawled writing on the wall. To these Tea Party-crazed people, “a murderer is less to fear” than our president.

Here’s a little detail from the petition:

The self perceived ‘untouchable’ Obama Regime has blood on their hands. They have the blood of the four men, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, on their hands since they sat back and did nothing while the torturous massacre at Benghazi occurred. They have the blood of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the hundreds of Mexican citizens killed by individuals wielding guns from the botched gun running Operation Fast and Furious on their hands. They have the blood of all those who were killed during the shooting initiated by the Muslim serviceman Nidal Malik Hasan who is still not prosecuted under Eric Holder’s Department of (In) Justice. The fact that the Obama Regime refuses to answer questions surrounding these avoidable, tragic situations is an insult to the American people and those victims who died in these incidents…

Add in his thuggish threatening of journalists Bob Woodward, Lanny Davis, and a reporter with the National Journal and we have a presidency ripe for the investigation of a special prosecutor!

You can see now why Attorney General Eric Holder is under attack by at least 23 Republicans in the House and, if the impeachment resolution ever came to a vote, likely many more. If you read the press release introducing the articles of impeachment drawn up by Texas congressman Pete Olson, you will find some of the same references as in the Obama-is-Capone petition:

During his tenure, Mr. Holder refused to cooperate with a congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious and the resulting death of a Border Patrol agent, refused to prosecute IRS officials who unlawfully disclosed private tax records to third party groups, and misled Congress about his involvement in the investigation of a journalist…

At least Rep. Olson had the decency to leave out not only the “A murderer is less to fear” quote, but also the Al Capone reference. I guess these days that’s saying something. But there is no mistaking one thing. These teapartiers are full of hate for this president and most everyone around him. Congressman Olson and his House friends, Michele Bachmann and Louis Gohmert and the others who co-sponsored that Eric Holder impeachment resolution, may have dressed it up in slightly kinder legislative language, but at its base it is still “Show President Obama That He Is Not A King!”

And do it all in the name of Cicero and, uh, Elliot [sic] Ness.

Darrell Issa, Arsonist And Insurance Swindler, Should Resign

Yesterday, former senior adviser to President Obama, David Plouffe, took to the tweeting machine in order to chastise Darrell Issa, the Obama-hating chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:

plouffe on issa
Forget for a moment the “arsonist/insurance swindler” reference. The “loose ethically” link was to an article on The Hill reporting on Issa’s outrageous but revealing comments on Sunday about Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney.

In case you missed it, Issa called Carney a “paid liar” who is “still making up things” about the IRS non-scandal. Issa also made it clear that, as a good Tea Party conservative, he is following the rules of Republican logic in the Era of the Scary Negro: first reach a conclusion and then find the premises. Here is the context of his statement about Carney:

…the administration is still — their paid liar, their spokesperson…he’s still making up things about what happened and calling this a local rogue. There’s no indication — the reason that Lois Lerner tried to take the Fifth is not because there is a rogue in Cincinnati, it’s because this is a problem that was coordinated, in all likelihood, right out of Washington headquarters and we’re getting to proving it…

Yes. The conclusion comes before the evidence and it is this kind of reasoning that is governing all of the so-called scandals going on, scandals created by GOP extremists and propagated by a willing and illiberal press.

But Issa wasn’t just aiming at Jay Carney or practicing the art of Republican reasoning regarding the IRS drama. He had some arrows in his quiver of shame for Attorney General Eric Holder, yet another Scary Negro. Issa said Holder was lying “by most people’s standards” and then said, “Don’t use perjury lightly” as he was, well, using perjury lightly. He helpfully added,

Perjury is a criminal charge that has to be proven.

Yes, that’s right. Perjury is a specific crime that requires evidence and courts and all that icky proof stuff. It’s much easier just to call someone a liar or to call ill-advised screening techniques used by IRS employees a “scandal” because one doesn’t need evidence for those things, only the charges and accusations, which the press, hot on a juicy scandal story, will report again and again.

As an example of how this stuff gets reported, Mika Brzezinski opened a segment this morning on Morning Joe with this intro,

After weeks of scandal and controversy…

See?  All you have to do is generate controversy and talk incessantly about scandal and, voilà, you’ve got yourself “scandal and controversy” that will be reported as such.

This morning former Obama press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said that the notion Darrell Issa was in charge of government oversight is becoming a joke in Washington, D.C.  I wish that were true. But it isn’t. As long as Issa sits in that chairman’s chair, as long as CNN or CBS or ABC or NBC report on his antics as if they were serious investigations, then he is no joke. He is deliberately attacking the legitimacy of the Obama government in particular, as well as the federal government in general, and he is contributing to the dysfunction—no, paralysis—in Washington.

And with all the problems out there in the country, from chronic unemployment to falling bridges, a paralyzed government is no joke.

Candy Crowley asked Issa whether Eric Holder should resign and Issa smiled and said,

That’s up to the President.

The last thing Darrell Issa wants is for Eric Holder to resign. As long as Holder stays in office, Issa will stay in the headlines and on the Sunday talk circuit. And he will thus enhance his career as a folk hero to right-wing fanatics who hate Democrats, especially that pigmented Democrat in the White’s House and his pigmented Attorney General.

Finally, back to David Plouffe’s reference to Darrell Issa as being a “suspected arsonist/insurance swindler.” Politico reported on Plouffe’s comments with this nice little summary of the matter:

Issa is a successful businessman whose is [sic] the nation’s largest manufacturer of anti-theft devices in vehicles. Though he and his brother were charged with stealing a car in the 1970s, prosecutors later dropped charges, and Issa said he was a victim in the incident, according to a New Yorker profile of Issa from 2011. After a suspicious fire at his business’s factory, the company’s former owner said he suspected Issa set the fire for insurance, but a cause of the fire was never determined and no charges were filed, according to the profile.

Talk about your scandal and controversy. Now, normally I would give Mr. Issa the benefit of the doubt here and say that while it is true that someone suspected him of being an arsonist and insurance swindler, no one ever actually proved he was.

But as a tribute to Republican logic, as a paean to the kind of stuff that Issa has been doing since he became chairman of that House oversight committee, I will go one better than David Plouffe and say that Darrell Issa is an arsonist and an insurance swindler simply because a) someone accused him of these crimes and b) there is, therefore, a controversy about it, which means there is a scandal.

All of which means that this arsonist and swindler should resign immediately.

I’m From Missouri, So Show Me How Nutty You Can Be

The Guardian is a newspaper and now news website published a long way from Missouri, namely, the United Kingdom. One would think that nothing much happens in Missouri that would interest the average reader of a British newspaper.

Yet, I found this headline yesterday on The Guardian site:

guardian and missouri

Thus, the insanity in the Missouri legislature makes it all the way around the world.

Now, I want to note first of all that the Attorney General of the United States, Another Scary Negro named Eric Holder, has already instructed the state of Kansas that its recent nullification legislation regarding guns is unconstitutional:

Among its other provisions, S.B. 102 criminalizes the enforcement of federal law with respect to the types of firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition described in the statute. The law purports to nullify certain federal firearms requirements and to authorize the State of Kansas to charge and convict federal officers for performing their law enforcement duties.

No one, except the maniacs who believe that possessing and toting around a firearm of any shape or size or capacity is a right granted directly from the throne of God Himself, believes that Kansas or Missouri, or other states with similar notions dancing in the heads of their gun-crazed legislators, will get away with this nonsense.

But it does make good politics, if by politics one means appealing to the Tea Party crowd, many of whom are itching for a shootin’ war with the feds. I can honestly say that I was permanently embarrassed, as one born in Kansas, when that state passed SB 102. I was further embarrassed when the pale-faced Kansas Attorney General and Tea Party hero, Kris Kobach, responded to the Other Scary Negro’s letter with utter contempt, including this ridiculous and delusional statement:

The Obama Administration has repeatedly violated the United States Constitution for the past four-and-a-half-years. That abuse cannot continue. The State of Kansas is determined to restore the Constitution and to protect the right of its citizens to keep and bear arms.

And now, thanks to the Republicans in Missouri’s Tea Party-dominated legislature, besides being a permanently embarrassed Kansas native, as a resident of Missouri I have to live with the embarrassment that not only do other normal people, in more civilized parts of the United States, think we’re a bunch of yahoos here in Missouri, now the whole world does.

Finally, for those of you not familiar with what happened on Wednesday regarding the gun legislation in Missouri, here is the AP summary:

In addition to declaring federal gun laws unenforceable, the bill would allow concealed weapons to be carried by designated school personnel in school buildings. It would allow appointed “protection officers” to carry concealed weapons as long as they have a valid permit and register with the state Department of Public Safety. The officers would also be required to complete a training course.

The bill would also allow people with a firearms permit to openly carry weapons less than 16 inches in length even in localities that prohibit open-carry of firearms…

The legislation passed Wednesday would prevent people from publishing any identifying information on gun owners. A person who publishes such information would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. It also would prevent doctors or nurses from being required to ask patients about firearm ownership.

The Huffington Post summarized a portion of the law this way:

Under the gun measure, lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to nullify all federal gun laws in the state, while allowing some teachers to carry guns in schools. The bill also says some teachers who do not carry guns can be fired, while providing them with limited arrest powers.

Yes. Read that last sentence again. So, besides getting your education degree, you aspiring teachers out there had better start practicing your quick draw.

It’s insane, every bit of it, and it’s all coming from people who claim, falsely, of course, that they are the party of limited government.

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot about the really good and embarrassing stuff the Missouri legislature has done to protect us from the United Nations’ black helicopter contingent and the Muslims:

Legislature sends bills barring Agenda 21, Sharia Law to governor

I urge you—no, I beg you—to follow that link and read what Missouri’s Republicans have been doing. The best comment I have read so far:

House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, D-St. Louis, compared the bill to legislation that would regulate “space aliens.”

The more I think about it, I would be less embarrassed if these right-wing freaks had decided to regulate space aliens. Because, as we all know, those outer space folks do have black helicopters with cloaking devices that render them invisible to the untrained eye, and they want to impose their alien beliefs on all the Christians in Missouri.


Even A Blind Rand Paul Finds A Nut Now And Then

Senator Rand Paul, as you all have seen or heard by now, is, as I write this, conducting an honest-to-goodness filibuster in the U.S. Senate over the nomination of John Brennan for Director of the CIA. Paul started his filibuster at 10:47am Central Standard Time this Wednesday.

Despite the fact that I dislike, rather strongly, Rand Paul, and despite the fact that he has said some dumb things during the time he has been speaking, I have exactly no problem with what he is doing, for a couple of reasons:

1) The filibuster should be conducted in the way Rand Paul is conducting it; that is, he is actually doing the (relatively) hard work of standing up and speaking, and speaking, and speaking, as opposed to just technically initiating a filibuster without the accompanying necessity of standing on the floor and paying the price—in terms of the sheer physical strain, as well as the public exposure—of his convictions.

2) His point for conducting the filibuster, as far as I can tell in the time I have listened to him, is a valid one. I admire anyone who is willing to stand up for hours upon hours in defense of a recognizably legitimate principle.

I will summarize his objection, the ostensible reason for his filibuster, by quoting something he said at 6:37 pm Central time—almost exactly eight hours after he began:

If you have a war that has no end, if you have a war that has no geographic limit, and then if you have strikes that have no constitutional bounds, basically what you have is an unlimited, imperial presidency.

I cannot and will not argue with that.

Now, I confess that a year ago to the day, I wrote about drone strikes on Americans in foreign lands (Can The Government Kill Citizens Overseas?), and I haven’t seen or read anything that would make me change my mind (reluctantly, I said “yes”).

But what Rand Paul is arguing, again, as far as I can tell between the bouts of nuttiness, is something different. He seems to be mostly concerned with a president’s authority to use drones, or presumably any other method, to kill Americans here, on American soil. And I can say that there is no way, under any set of normal circumstances, I would support using drones to kill Americans on American soil, without an independent due process of law. No way.

And I would expect Barack Obama, as our leader and as a Democrat, to feel the same way. I think he does, even if, just to protect his executive turf, he is somewhat reluctant to say so. And I think his Attorney General, Eric Holder, feels the same way. I believe Holder’s letter to Rand Paul, which you can see here, comes close to satisfying my concerns, since he writes:

It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.

I say it comes close to satisfying my concerns because I think it could have been worded more clearly and more directly, sort of like this:

Senator Paul,

Unless there is a rare circumstance of an imminent catastrophic attack, such as happened on December 7, 1941, or on September 11, 2001, there is no way the Constitution permits the authorization or use of lethal military force on terrorist suspects on United States soil. None.

Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General of the United States

The problem with what Rand Paul is doing is not his message. It is the fact that such an otherwise silly man is delivering a message that merits our attention. And the fact that Senator Ted Cruz, a most disgusting and calculating opportunist from Texas—who does a mean impression of Joe McCarthy—is supporting Paul makes it all the worse.

But at the end of it all, what remains is a legitimate demand, by at least one member of the legislative branch, that its executive branch counterpart recognize the supremacy of the Constitution in its treatment of American citizens here at home.

And, as much as it pains me to say so, Rand Paul is doing a good thing in this case.

Strange Fruit

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

—”Strange Fruit

o, Barack Obama and Eric Holder refuse to quietly and obediently stick their heads into the Republican noose and get politically lynched. Hmm.  Good for them. This isn’t exactly the 19th and early 20th century—at least not yet. (We still have an election ahead that will decide that.)

Normally, I’m all for the legislative branch holding the executive branch accountable for doing dumb things, but in the case of Eric Holder and Fast and Furious, the accountability should first have started with the Bush administration and then-Attorneys General Alberto Gonzalez and Michael Mukasey.

It was under their leadership that the idea of “gun-walking”—the ATF allowing the criminals in the Mexican drug cartels to obtain guns in the U.S. in the hope of landing the big fish—first began and continued with or without their knowledge.

You see, we don’t really know whether Gonzalez or Mukasey—or George W. Bush for that matter—knew about what was then called Operation Wide Receiver because neither former Attorney General has been called to testify before Darrell Issa’s Committee to Get The President Or That Other Uppity Negro In The Justice Department.

All we really know is that, sadly, whatever it was that began under Bush ended under Obama with a U.S. Border Patrol Agent named Brian Terry being shot and killed with a gun that the good guys deliberately put in the hands of the bad guys.

Talking about Darrell Issa and noose-crazed Republicans in the House, Sen. Chuck Schumer said:

…there’s been a selective way in which this investigation has been pursued so far. It’s sort of one-sided outrage about whole issue when we know now that it began or its progenitor began before you took office – before President Obama took office.

The House committee chair has said he would look at both sides – wrongdoing on both sides. That hasn’t happened. It appears…It’s a pretty good bet that top officials at the Bush Justice Department, perhaps the Attorney General himself, learned of this operation in its early stages. We know a memo was prepared; we don’t know what he knew. At the very least, they let it continue. For all we know, they’ve endorsed it. And so I think it’s important that we look at both sides.

Agent Brian Terry’s family, whose totally understandable disgust with what happened has been exploited by Republicans (the documents at the center of the dispute with Holder and the White House have nothing to do with how his death happened), are naturally upset that Mr. Obama has invoked executive privilege to keep some documents out of the hands of the legislative branch:

Our son lost his life protecting this nation, and it is very disappointing that we are now faced with an administration that seems more concerned with protecting themselves rather than revealing the truth behind Operation Fast and Furious.

That same sentiment has been expressed by many right-wing pundits and politicians, including the Speaker of the House, whose spokesman charged:

The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation or the cover-up that followed. The Administration has always insisted that wasn’t the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?

For what I will call the “official” Fox “News” reaction to this development, I will turn to “senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano“:

Executive privilege protects communications with the president, the human being of the president, not with people that work for him and the Justice Department. … If the attorney general sat down and discussed it with the president, he probably doesn’t want the Congress and the public to know that, because we know of the awful events that occurred as a result of the Fast and Furious escapade.

But we also know that executive privilege only pertains to military, diplomatic, and sensitive national security matters. Now, was fighting the drug gangs at the border a sensitive national security matter? And, if so, was the President of the United States of America personally involved in making decisions as to how to conduct that fight? If that’s the case, this has reached a different level and we now know why the attorney general has ferociously defended these documents.

Napolitano’s hysterical speculation just isn’t backed up by the facts or how courts have ruled on executive privilege. As Ian Millhiser pointed out a couple of years ago:

The term “executive privilege” is often used as a blanket term to refer to any presidential assertion that an executive branch document should not be disclosed, but the courts have recognized both a stronger and a weaker form of executive privilege.

The stronger version is called “presidential communications privilege,” which,

applies to communications made directly to the president so long as those communications occur “in performance of [a president’s] responsibilities” and “in the process of shaping policies and making decisions.”

The weaker version is called “deliberative process privilege,” which applies in the present case.  Here is how Wikipedia explains it:

Deliberative process privilege is the common-law principle that the internal processes of the executive branch of a government are immune from normal disclosure or discovery in civil litigations, Freedom of Information Act requests, etc.

The theory behind the protection is that by guaranteeing confidentiality, the government will receive better or more candid advice, recommendations and opinions, resulting in better decisions for society as a whole. The deliberative process privilege is often in dynamic tension with the principle of maximal transparency in government.

You see, if Darrell Issa types (on both sides) are totally free  to snoop around in the internal deliberations of the executive branch, then folks around the president or his cabinet will not feel comfortable in expressing themselves.  

On the other hand, if the president is totally free to keep what he is doing secret, then he will become, uh, Richard Nixon.

In this case, until Republicans are willing to dig into the trash of the former Administration, their outrage over Obama’s use of executive privilege related to Fast and Furious will sound hollow, and the palefaced extremists in the House of Representatives, itching to string up the uppity Negro running the Justice Department, may end up hanging themselves if John Boehner gives them enough rope.

Given the zealots in the House these days, we could end up with the spectacle of the whole House finding Eric Holder in contempt of Congress and the Attorney General arrested and thrown in the U.S. Capitol hoosegow. The only question then would be how Boehner—who has failed time and again to control the zealots—would keep the angry mob of Tea Party legislators away from his cell.

Can The Government Kill Citizens Overseas?

I’m sorry to disappoint some of my fellow liberals, but I can’t go all the way with the ACLU on this one:

“Few things are as dangerous to American liberty as the proposition that the government should be able to kill citizens anywhere in the world on the basis of legal standards and evidence that are never submitted to a court, either before or after the fact,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project.

“Anyone willing to trust President Obama with the power to secretly declare an American citizen an enemy of the state and order his extrajudicial killing should ask whether they would be willing to trust the next president with that dangerous power,” she said.

The ACLU is suing the Obama administration, seeking to have documents regarding the targeted killing program made public.

It’s not that I “trust President Obama,” as much as it is that, as Eric Holder said,

The Constitution does not require the president to delay action until some theoretical end stage of planning, when the precise time, place, and manner of an attack become clear.

Look, the ACLU is right to raise questions and seek a public debate. And I admit that this whole thing makes me uncomfortable. But so too would the prospect of allowing someone like U.S. citizen Anwar al Awlaki—leader of Yemen’s al-Qaeda who was killed in a drone strike last September—to plot terrorist attacks with impunity in some faraway land and live to tell about his successes.  Al-Qaeda, after all, is at war with us and we with it.

NBC’s Pete Williams characterized Attorney General Eric Holder’s position this way:

The Fifth Amendment provides that no one can be “deprived of life” without due process of law.  But that due process, Holder said, doesn’t necessarily come from a court.

“Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security.  The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process,” the attorney general said.

Holder said a U.S. citizen can legally be targeted in a foreign country if that person is “a senior leader of al-Qaida or associated forces,” and is actively involved in planning to kill Americans.  Killing would be justified if the person poses an imminent threat of a violent attack against the U.S. and cannot easily be captured.

The key phrase here is “in a foreign country.” The expedient of obtaining a search warrant and the necessity of safeguarding other civil rights are not practical in such situations and the Constitution should not hamstring the government to such an extent that it cannot act to protect Americans from terrorists, even if the terrorists happen to be U.S. citizens living and plotting abroad.

Holder said,

Given the nature of how terrorists act and where they tend to hide, it may not always be feasible to capture a U.S. citizen terrorist who presents an imminent threat of violent attack. In that case, our government has the clear authority to defend the United States with lethal force.

The one caveat I would offer, I’m assuming in line with at least some civil libertarians, would be that the action should be reviewable after the fact by a special court that could examine classified documents, that court applying some rule of reason in determining if the authorities initiating the action acted prudently and judiciously and within the laws of war.

The Truth About The New Black Panthers Case That The Ku Fox Klan Won’t Report

Forget for a moment that the so-called whistleblower in the imaginary controversy over the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case against members of the New Black Panthers is none other than Bush hired hand and conservative activist, J. Christian Adams.  Adams hiring was part of a process that the Bush Justice Department’s own Inspector General determined was improperly politicized.

Forget for a moment that Adams had previously been a volunteer for the Republican National Committee’s “Republican National Lawyers Association,” which, according to Main Justice, “trains lawyers to fight on the often racially tinged frontlines of voting rights.”

Forget for a moment that the alleged intimidation occurred at 1221 Fairmount Street in Philadelphia, a majority black neighborhood (according to Main Justice, only 34 whites lived in the precinct, out of a total of 970) and forget that the incident was recorded by a “journalist” hired by the local Republican Party.

Forget for a moment that King Shamir Shabazz, one of the two men accused of voter intimidation in the almost all black precinct, was not an Obama supporter.  According to Politico, Shabazz said, “[Obama] is a puppet on a string. I don’t support no black man running for white politics. I will not vote for who will be the next slavemaster.”

Forget for a moment that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which conservatives point out is hot to trot over the phony controversy, is actually dominated by Republican appointees.

Forget for a moment that in terms of pure politics, the alleged motivation—protecting black activists—of the Justice Department is plain silly. The most politically prudent thing to do would be to prosecute the Panthers, even if the case was weak.

Forget for a moment that the guy holding the “deadly” weapon at the Philadelphia polling site—a baton—is now prohibited—through an injunction sought by the Obama Justice Department—from doing what he did in 2008, up to and including the election in 2012.

Forget for a moment that Bartle Bull, a civil rights attorney who worked for Bobby Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, and who Fox “News” conservatives trot out as “proof” that the charges against the Justice Department have merit, was a McCain supporter in 2008 and hated Barack Obama, saying,Obama’s notion of economic fairness is pure Karl Marx, plus a pocketful of Chicago-style ‘community organization.”  Sound familiar, Fox fans?*

Forget for a moment that as conservative writer Abigail Thernstrom pointed out, writing for National Review Online, where conservatives go for medication,  prosecution under the applicable provision in the Voting Rights Act—section 11 (b)—has only been successful three—(3)—times in the 45 years since the law was passed.  And forget, as she also pointed out, that, “after months of hearings, testimony and investigation—no one has produced actual evidence that any voters were too scared to cast their ballots.”

Forget for a moment that Fox “News” has been race-baiting, using the New Black Panthers to scare the bejesus out of its white viewers.

Forget all that (I bet you can’t) and then watch this video of Megyn Kelly, part of the Fox “News” lineup that claims to be real news and not conservative nuttery, as she goes completely berserk on one of Fox’s own contributors, who has the audacity to stray from the reservation of wing nuts:


*Also forget that Bartle Bull is part of a group itching to draft Rudy Giuliani for Governor of New York, which, if doesn’t call into question his Democratic bona fides, calls into question his aesthetic discernment.

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