I certainly don’t agree with everything he says, but I have to hand independent Senator Bernie Sanders this: he has forcefully, and repeatedly, condemned President Obama’s expansion of the war on terror and his recent authorization of the assassination of two American citizens without charge or trial.
Oh, wait, I’m thinking of Ron Paul.
Well, then. What does American’s only elected self-styled socialist from the People’s Republic of Vermont think about the due-process free killing of Americans? It’s kind of dumb question, really: Obviously a man who “values the rule of law” and opposed the use of torture under the Bush administration would oppose the lawless, extrajudicial — and immoral — killing of his fellow countrymen. I mean, if you think waterboarding is unacceptable and un-American, then you surely can’t be cool with a president unilaterally assassinating anyone in the world he chooses based on secret and admittedly patchy evidence.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer recently tried to figure that out:
Blitzer: Did President Obama do the right thing in ordering the killing of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki?
Sanders: Uh, that’s a long discussion. Probably longer than the amount of time we now have.
Blitzer: Go ahead, give me 30 seconds.
Sanders: Well, the answer is that I, you know, that when you have an American citizen killed by the United States government, it raises some real questions. On the other hand, when you have somebody who’s a terrorist at war with the United States, that’s the other side of that equation.
Stirring. On the one hand, Bernie Sanders casts himself as tough, no-nonsense socialist fightin’ for the average American. On the other hand, he caucuses with the Democrats and campaigned for his seat in the Senate alongside “one of the great leaders” of that august institution, Barack Obama.