09-10-2011

 “Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.”

-George Bernard Shaw-

 

Today I started my day like most: Coffee, cigarette and my e-mail. I subscribe to the electronic newsletter of many mayor newspapers in many different languages. The story that jumped out at me to day was a story from the New York Times newsletter:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/world/middleeast/secret-us-memo-made-legal-case-to-kill-a-citizen.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2

Now please understand that I like and dislike the United States of America as much as the next guy but here is one of those things I can simply not wrap my head around: Why does the american public react so outraged about the assassination of american citizens? I understand that it might seem strange but secret services the world over assassinate foreign citizens on a weekly bases. Law enforcement in america kills american citizens too. A hostage taker, as american as it gets, gets shot by a police officer and no one screams and shouts about that.

The secret memo clearly states that American citizens would only be killed if there is no chance of “taking them alive”. This would be exactly the same for any criminal, foreign or domestic. I understand enough about american law and politics that the fact that the president agreed might make the situation slightly murky. But I don’t suddenly see President Obama as a murderer.

I would prefer if no person is ever murdered, by a government or a citizen, but if there is ever justification it would be: If there is no other option. I think that the american government, along with a lot of other governments, should have a great moral look at the way they see “options”. But I believe any other head of state or even person would have agreed to the same thing.

There is a silver lining to the story, in my opinion: We (the people) heard about a secret memo. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to governmental transparency. But still, I remain a fan of freedom to all and any information within a democracy, or in this case: a republic.

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