In this country, the judicial branch of government has a vital role to play in reviewing the actions of the other two. With the Congress retreating from its investigative and oversight role, courts are often the only means left of checking the urges of an encroaching executive. Increasingly, courts are absent too.
Earlier this month, a new Obama administration policy of the “state secret” was implemented to throw out the lawsuit of someone who was abducted by U.S. government and hauled off to torture chambers without a trial, without criminal charges, without even a legal arrest. The lawsuit wasn’t thrown out on the merits of evidence; it was thrown out because “when the very subject matter of a lawsuit is a matter of state secret, the action must be dismissed without reaching the question of evidence.”
This month, the Obama administration policy is pushing to extend the state secret policy to cases in which the U.S. government determines it would like to assassinate its own citizens, again without trial, without criminal charges, and without arrest. The government would just like to kill some of its own citizens. The father of one of the people the U.S. government wants to kill has filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of such action. Traditionally, the court system is where citizens can challenge the actions of the government. But the Obama administration is demanding that this court case be thrown out — not on the merits, but because the U.S. government policy of assassinating its own citizens is a “state secret” that must be protected above all.
Is this the Change You Can Believe In?