Two early events in our US government's dismantling of due process and the rule of law stand out in my mind. First, the very public release by the US in January 2002 of the photos of detainees at Guantanamo. Could there have been a more brazen display of official US contempt for its international obligations for the humane treatment of prisoners? The second shocker for me occurred in June of 2002 with the seizure of an American citizen, Jose Padilla, on his arrival at O'Hare airport in Chicago and his subsequent transfer to incommunicado detention in a military brig. NPR's coverage of Padilla's kidnapping was presented by NPR with complete sympathy to the government's actions. Barbara Bradley reported the story for ATC on June 10, 2002, and pointedly noted that the "advantages" of moving Padilla's case to "military custody" included no right to a speedy trial, no need for evidence, and the fact that he could be held indefinitely.
Anyone who listens regularly to NPR news knows that - in deference to the US security state and its purposely amorphous "war on terror" - NPR has demonstrated nothing but a thinly veiled contempt for Constitutional protections required for detainees and suspects - whether US citizens or not. So when another big story recently broke regarding a significant US government assault on Constitutional guarantees, it's no surprise that NPR - by omission - again displays a disregard for our laws and basic constitutional principles. Though not a surprise, it is appalling.
I know it's quaint but the 5th Amendment seems pretty clear about the rights of any "person" (excepting members of the military in cases involving "actual service") not to be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." So shouldn't it be a BIG story when we find out that the previous and current US presidents have been ordering the assassinations of people - including US citizens(!)? Not on NPR; search NPR for "Dennis Blair" the US Director of National Intelligence who recently testified about "killing an American" and you will find nothing about the assassination program...absolutely nothing!
The assassination program also points toward another NPR-censored story. One of the targets of the US assassination program is apparently US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki who the US - and NPR - ties to the Christmas bombing attempt (and who apparently sympathizes with terrorist attacks on US civilian targets). The truly stunning news about the Christmas bombing attempt is the apparent role played by the US intelligence and law enforcement "community" in preventing the would-be bomber's visa from being revoked. Alex Lantier of the WSWS has an excellent write up of the story and you can watch for yourself the testimony of Patrick Kennedy before the US House here (the recording is 3 hours long, but the relevant material comes at the 34:28:00 point and also at the 2:55:25 mark). The testimony is not an airtight indictment, but its potential implications are disturbing at best, and at the worst imply that someone in the intelligence "community" wanted to have a major terrorist event occur during this period of the Obama administration. Like the rest of the mainstream media, NPR gives this story no coverage whatsoever - sticking with the original nonsense that it was a "failure to connect the dots.
One would think that given the large number of people who have been falsely seized in the fraudulent war on terror and Iraq (and even standout cases such as the Oregon lawyer arrested in the Madrid bombing case but then soon exonerated) would cause a news organization to treat all US government actions and pronouncements in the "war on terror" with great skepticism - unless that news organization is more interested in representing the viewpoint of the state, a position euphemistically known as being "mainstream."