Ralph Nader: President Obama, Where Are Your Lawyers? (Re: ‘Kill List’ Meetings)

Ralph Nader

Photo: Ragesoss (CC)

It’s been widely reported that President Obama’s top political adviser, David Axelrod, attended the Obama adminstration’s “kill list” meetings. Imagine if the names in this recent news report instead were President George W. Bush and Karl Rove … Ralph Nader writes on Nader.org:

The rule of law is rapidly breaking down at the top levels of our government. As officers of the court, we have sworn to “support the Constitution,” which clearly implies an affirmative commitment on our part.

Take the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The conservative American Bar Association sent three white papers to President Bush describing his continual unconstitutional policies. Then and now civil liberties groups and a few law professors, such as the stalwart David Cole of Georgetown University and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, have distinguished themselves in calling out both presidents for such violations and the necessity for enforcing the rule of law.

Sadly, the bulk of our profession, as individuals and through their bar associations, has remained quietly on the sidelines. They have turned away from their role as “first-responders” to protect the Constitution from its official violators…

34 Comments on "Ralph Nader: President Obama, Where Are Your Lawyers? (Re: ‘Kill List’ Meetings)"

  1. charlieprimero | Jun 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm |

    “Rule of Law”  and “constitutionality” being supported by leftists.  The world has indeed changed.

  2. zombieslapper | Jun 2, 2012 at 8:03 am |

    Indeed, had it been the Bush Mafia, my favorite progressive radio talkers would have been all over it. But since it’s Obama, they brush it off and point out that he’s ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and now supports same sex marriage. It’s disappointing really. Looking at you Big Ed, Stephanie Miller…

    • AmericanIdiots | Jun 2, 2012 at 9:58 am |

      I agree with everything you said, though I would argue that is not just the media. There are Democratic voters out there who are just as ignorant/idiotic as their Republican counterpoints. Case in point: the other day, my co-worker told me about how DOMA had been ruled unconstitutional and how excited she was about it. And I said: “Sure, that is great news. But do you know what is even more significant and exciting? The NDAA was also ruled unconstitutional…you know, the part about indefinitely detaining anyone, including US citizens. Of course, if Obama chooses to appeal the decision…” 

      Before I could finish, she cut me off and literally started screaming: “You want Romney to win?? He is barely human!” And I just stared at her, utterly dumbfounded by her blazing sincerity. And in that moment, I realized something: this woman is a complete fucking idiot…any criticism of Obama, in her mind, automatically equals support for Romney. It took ALL of my self-control not to slap her as hard as I could…

      Idiots like her are just as dangerous at the polls and just as much to blame for the appallingly dismal state of our political climate as are their uninformed Republican counterparts. Fuck Obama and fuck Romney. You don’t have to vote for either one of them. I said that, instead of slapping her, and she looked at me like I had two heads. And this is why the US is doomed. Because there are too many people like her on both sides who refuse to acknowledge the possibility that there could ever be more than two sides. 

  3. Ralph Nader is pretty much the only sign among US politicians that hope and change actually truly exist.

    • Ummm, Ron Paul? Hello?? 

      • Jin The Ninja | Jun 2, 2012 at 11:04 am |

         ummm no. nader is a third party candidate- you can’t compare him to a player in the most visibly corrupt of the two virulent parties of one.

        • Get over yourself, Jin. Whether you like him or not, you have to acknowledge that Paul’s ideas represent true change from the status quo, regardless of which “team” he claims to be batting for.     

          • Jin The Ninja | Jun 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

            I don’t care about RP. his platform or his campaign. It’s not a question of dislike. I DISLIKE the ‘true change’ agenda his internet trolls seem to think is some kind of cultural meme- the fact remains- Paul is a republican- no ‘true’ systemic change stems from someone so entrenched in the very system they are posited to deconstruct.

          • Auditing the Federal Reserve

            Bringing home all of the troops, asap
            Ending the “war on drugs”

            Freeing all of the prisoners whose only convictions were non-violent drug offenses

            Outlawing the Patriot Act and the NDAA 

            No true systematic change, eh? 

          • Jin The Ninja | Jun 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm |

            does the president have the power to enact that legislation? i may have been misinformed that the US is a bicameral governement.

          • Hadrian999 | Jun 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

            look up the unitary executive theory, in the US the president can pretty much do anything, that congress isn’t willing to oppose

          • Jin The Ninja | Jun 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm |

            but i do think many members of congress would be opposed.

          • Hadrian999 | Jun 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm |

            not really, look how many people say they are against military actions taken by a president but refuse to defund the wars, in the senate if you dont have 60 of the 100 members willing to vote with u you don’t matter

          • Jin The Ninja | Jun 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm |

            that’s what i’m saying- that the prez has limited legislative powers (except when it comes to military matters)- and that the congress and the senate would be opposed to deconstruction of the military-industrial complex by means of ending the drug war/foreign invasions.

          • Hadrian999 | Jun 2, 2012 at 5:39 pm |

            it’s only limited in theory, he can tell the executive branch to do what ever he wants and as long as concrete action isn’t taken to stop him it will stand, the supreme court has no enforcement power written to the constitution, the idea of judicial review isn’t even explicitly given in the constitution, any president who has an ineffectual congress and a cowed citizenry has unlimited power

          • Jin The Ninja | Jun 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm |

            but then that would be opposed to a strictly `paleo-con`reading of the constitution (a constitutionalist PoV)- where executive power is much more explicitly defined. And the dismantling of so many agencies would theoretically require ascent in congress no?

          • Hadrian999 | Jun 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm |

            actually shutting them down, probably…..totally ignoring them probably not

          • If Congress disagrees, he can just have them all killed.

          • Corporations don’t let this guy to be taken seriously by the US population, you actually think they are going to let him dismantle the corporate-military-industrial complex? Change to the US is not coming through vote, it will only come through direct democracy, not the pretense of it.

          • Hadrian999 | Jun 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm |

            nobody gets to the oval office without corporate sanction, wallstreet is our guardian council

          • I like slogans..just do it!

          • Misinformation | Jun 3, 2012 at 2:52 am |

             Are you not contradicting yourself by saying, “vote third party for president” while at the same time saying that, “no systemic change stems from someone entrenched in the system”?

            Isn’t the Presidential selection (notice that word), “the very system”, which you speak of? Voting is the bone thrown to you so that every few years you can pretend to have a voice. No voters, no mandates.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jun 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm |

            I do not outrightly advocate voting third party (and never did in my above); however, i do recognise that to be able to stand as the head of a third party (green, libertarian, CPUSA, marijuana, etc etc) in the american political system takes fortitude and integrity- wherein standing in front of either one of the two major parties takes very little of either- since they basically have already secured 99% of the vote between them. I have no faith in representative politics or leaders other than democracy or horizontal organisation. My faith even in reformist parties, social democratic parties is limited. The system is limited on purpose. I never contended voting for a third party would bring about grand awe-inspiring change, rather it at least (symbolically) stands for a reformation of the status quo. So no contradiction in saying my above.

          • Fortegrity | Jun 4, 2012 at 9:49 am |

            “standing in front of either one of the two major parties takes very little of either [fortitude and integrity]” It would appear that you did not bother watching any of the debates. If you had done so, you would have seen huge swaths of those redneck crowds vehemently booing Ron Paul for standing on that stage and regaling them with Inconvenient Truths without him so much as blinking or missing a beat (aka: fortitude). And the man does not flip-flop or apologize or back down…he just tells it like he sees it, regardless of how many agree or disagree with him (aka: integrity). So I would say that you are wrong on both accounts…  

          • Jin The Ninja | Jun 4, 2012 at 10:19 am |

            I am wrong to say he is a republican? I would say that if his truths (many of which i do agree with) are so opposed to his party- why would he remain within a party- who seems outwardly at least to reject his rhetoric? it seems to me that the most obvious and most courageous course of action, would be to rebuke the republicans most of whom hold to the opposite of what RP says, and certainly practice a different style of politics than him.

          • Fortegrity | Jun 4, 2012 at 11:51 am |


            You should read this. Every single word. But in the meantime, here are a few chocie quotes:

            “I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman. It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party.”

            “In some states, one can be on the ballots of two parties, as they can in New York.  This is good and attacks the monopoly control of politics by Republicans and Democrats.”

          • Jin The Ninja | Jun 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

            Actually it further confuses the issue. If he is a libertarian party member, then he SHOULD renounce the republicans who really share very different political concerns then he purportedly does. Either he is a dyed in wool red republican or he isn’t. So?

          • Fortegrity | Jun 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm |

            I find it fascinating that you are unable/unwilling to acknowledge the possibility that he could be attempting to fight for change from within. Why is that such a difficult concept for you to grasp?  

          • Jin The Ninja | Jun 4, 2012 at 1:08 pm |

            Because systemic corruption is inherent in the system.
            I also find it fascinating you refuse to engage the practicalities and logic of maintaining a political affiliation wherein he holds very little in common with its membership or suay with the party heads.

          • Fortegrity | Jun 4, 2012 at 3:32 pm |

            As far as I can tell, there are three options: do nothing
            and keep the corrupt system we already have; attempt to infiltrate the current
            system and change it from within; or completely do away with the old system and
            replace it with one which is brand-new and shiny. Would I love to see the third
            option implemented? Obviously, yes, but barring a revolutionary uprising of
            epic proportions, the chances of that happening seem slim to none. The second
            option is the most practical. But just for the sake of argument: even if you
            could implement an entirely new system, how do you keep it from becoming just
            as corrupt as its predecessor? It would need to be a system which is completely
            transparent on every level – from the biggest decisions right down to the very smallest
            – and which would affect everyone, everywhere, equally. Sounds great! Where do
            I sign up? In the meantime, I see no hypocrisy in Paul’s willingness to run as
            a GOP candidate while holding true to his Libertarian ideals because he
            acknowledges that – until the Electoral College is eliminated – a third party
            candidate has little to no hope of ever winning a Presidential nomination. 

          • Jin The Ninja | Jun 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm |

            “I see no hypocrisy in Paul’s willingness to run as
            a GOP candidate while holding true to his Libertarian ideals because he
            acknowledges that – until the Electoral College is eliminated – a third party
            candidate has little to no hope of ever winning a Presidential nomination. ”

            I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree, because the intial point was that Nader and RP are unique in their integrity. In the example you gave above- i find that to be the DEFINITION of hypocrisy. Not to mention it makes a convienient counter narrative for the RP camp.

  4. You know, there were some people who warned that when Obama got in it would just be more of the same, but from a slightly different angle and the Democrats would go along with what they were so opposed to Bush doing.

    But as far as this “kill list” shit goes, I will absolutely savor the looks on their faces when they realize that by killing American Citizens without due process they have accordingly give up the due process protections of their own lives.

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