That the incumbent of the Presidency makes no difference to US foreign policy has been shown beyond reasonable doubt the last 4 years. However earnest Obama may have been about closing Guantanamo, it simply has not happened.
And other abuses of traditional principles of law apparently continues – not only on the scale of Bush junior, but increased. One addition to the catalogue is that not only foreigners but also US citizens are liable to be assassinated on suspicion of participating in terrorism against the United States and that it is considered lawful.
assassinations by US forces to nationals of their own country does not bother me very much, simply because I am not an US citizen. And while I do not wish to see people killed, this may act as a wake-up call to the American public. Hopefully they will begin to understand how much of their own inherited freedoms are being sacrificed. Furthermore, since "all men are born equal" I see little reason to be more concerned about the death of somebody belonging to one nation, race or religion than about the death of another man. They are both humans.
What really concerns me is, whether it could happen here. Perhaps I’m just nuts, but consider the following situation:
An individual is certified by US authorities of being a senior operative of al-Qa’ida posing an immediate threat to the United States and, consequently, a heavy pressure will be put upon the state where he resides to render him over to the US for "safe keeping". I have very little doubt that most states would have serious difficulties in resisting the full force of American diplomacy, but it might happen. It is not a situation which can be dismissed with the sentence "of course it is possible, but not in the least probable".
The most likely way for it to happen is that some obstinate local judge refuses to extradite because he finds there is no case to answer. That might happen if some or all of the evidence provided has been obtained through the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, i.e. common thuggery or torture.
The result would be that the suspect would be beyond the reach of US jurisdiction and capture infeasible (as it apparently is termed).
And suddenly the use of drones becomes acceptable!
Of course one would fail to protect the community if fanciful possibilities were allowed to deflect the course of counter-terrorism. Or would you?
I begin to harbour the thought that the United States are reserving for themselves rights that they certainly would not accept other nations exercised against Americans. The United States do in many cases consider themselves outside the ordinary rules of international law, e.g. the jurisdiction of the International court of Justice in The Hague is not recognized by the US. Foreign companies trading lawfully with Cuba from places outside the US may be subject to reprisals in the US. Et cetera.
But there is a limit as to how far you may go down that road without serious repercussions. In the long run the US cannot bear the opprobrium of acting like a gun slinger from the wild west. And this is how even intelligent and friendly observers are beginning to see the Obama administration.
For their own sake they ought to stop it. And for our own sake we must implore them to do so.