Ed. note: This post is by “The Gobbler,” one of the two writers under consideration to join Morning Dockette as a Morning Docket writer. As always, we welcome your thoughts in the comments.
I was asked to cover the lawsuit filed yesterday by the ACLU against the Obama administration regarding its policy of keeping a “kill list” and, to a larger extent, following up on it. Ashby Jones does a workmanlike summary of the basics here, providing links to background, discussion, and the complaint. Rather than rehash the facts, or lead a discussion of the latest embarrassingly naked moment in America’s long history of civil-rights-shrinkage during dips in the wartime pool, I thought I’d get creative. Sorry.
What follows is a screenplay depicting the rocky relationship between Mr. Anwar al-Aulaqi (pictured), the first American citizen added to the CIA’s naughty list; the ACLU, which, on Anwar’s behalf, alleges that the list and any action thereon violates several sections of the Constitution and international law; and the American Government. As the title suggests, it’s based on the plot and dialogue from Wedding Crashers. Christopher Walken will play the role of America, with Keir O’Donnell (a/k/a “Todd”) playing the role of Anwar. The supporting cast, in order of appearance: Vince Vaughn as ACLU, Owen Wilson as Center for Constitutional Rights, Ellen Dow (think “Rapper’s Delight” in The Wedding Singer) as Righty Conservative, Isla Fisher as Treasury, Bradley Cooper as District Court and Rachel McAdams as Court of Appeals.
[Relations between America and Anwar have been strained at best for some time. America harbors rancor toward Anwar based on his outward appearance as a radical Islamist cleric, whereas Anwar claims he is…well, just being Anwar. Amid this feud, CCR and ACLU have invited themselves to America’s backyard in Martha’s Vineyard. The pair was granted access based on a one-time pass from Treasury, and now seeks to impart their charm on America and its fellow residents. We open to a scene of touch football on America’s picturesque lawn. America calls to Anwar, who is sitting on the sidelines, disassociated from the Americanisms happening in front of him.]
America: Anwar, why don’t you come on in for the next play?
Anwar: You must be joking.
America: Would it kill you to play some competitive sports once and a while?
Anwar: Would that make you love me?!
[Cut to a group dinner later that evening, where Anwar has just revealed another hint of anti-Americanism, explaining sheepishly to the table that he doesn’t eat meat or fish.]
Righty Conservative (matter-of-factly, to whoever’s listening): He’s a terrorist.
[ACLU and CCR, friends of the forlorn, step in to offer words of encouragement, but more importantly, to reframe the issue.]
CCR: Wow, that’s great! (insinuating a change in the table’s collective attitude is in order).
[Treasury looks at ACLU affectionately, feeling she did the proper thing in granting the pass that allowed him into America’s home. In the wake of Righty’s terrorist comment, America is now explaining to ACLU/CCR how it views the Anwar “situation” playing out.]
America: Ultimately, polling shows a majority of voters would empathize with our situation.
Anwar (visibly upset): What is our situation?!
Righty Conservative: You’re a terrorist.
Anwar (storming off): I’ll be in my room! Painting…terrorist things.
[Anwar shares a glance with ACLU and exits. Cut to the middle of the night in ACLU’s bedroom. ACLU gets caught in the rather awkward position of being tied down at the same time that Anwar chooses to make a more aggressive showing of his terrorist tendencies. As Anwar is pushing ACLU to the limit, footsteps approach – it’s America. Anwar is banished to the closet so ACLU can save face in front of its powerful host.]
[Cut to the light of morning where the truth of ACLU/CCR wanting only its own agenda furthered is revealed. Circuit Court emerges as the protector of the status quo, and punches ACLU/CCR in the gut.]
Circuit Court (to everyone watching): They’re con artists. They have no right to be here. They sneak into parties with their charm and try to push their agenda. [America, annoyed to waste time with such frivolity, is pleased with the turn of events.]
ACLU/CCR (turning toward Court of Appeals): Tell me you feel like we do.
Court of Appeals (sympathetic and emotional, but strong): Sorry.
[As ACLU/CCR turn to leave, Anwar asks ACLU/CCR to return the free publicity poster he painted for his benefactor the previous night during the height of their passion.]
ACLU/CCR: The publicity was a gift Anwar. We’re keeping it.
[ACLU/CCR turn and walk into the sunset with nothing but elapsed time in their tracks. Anwar still hates America and America is still extremely uncomfortable with him.]
Rights Groups Sue U.S. on Effort to Kill Cleric [New York Times]
ACLU Sues Obama Administration Over Alleged Assassination Plot [WSJ Law Blog]