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View Diary: War is hell: A defense of the Obama Administration's policy regarding drones (1255 comments)

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  •  armando has never been (12+ / 0-)

    an obama cheerleader, so i don't think that is true.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:24:13 AM PST

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    •  But he was (1+ / 0-)
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      outspoken in his criticism of bush actions that defends Obama for.

      •  Did we get such reasoned analysis of the Yoo memo? (6+ / 0-)

        I think not..

          •  Maybe from you.. (0+ / 0-)

            and if so, I apologize.

            But most of the progressive blogosphere was too busy going apeshit.

          •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
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            May we see it again?

              •  Thanks for the shortcut (1+ / 0-)
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                Sven Boogie

                And the difference between this and the drone whit paper (in principle) is?

                What's more disturbing is the question Josh poses about whether the President thought that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (the post-9/11 legislation)  trumped any statutory prohibition.  First, I don't know why their legal reasoning regarding how they got to this position should be classified.  Did the Administration believe the AUMF trumped statutory authority?  If yes, how? If no, did they find their legal authority in the Commander in Chief clause? And, in any event, can't we at least know how many other statutes have been trumped by interpreting the AUMF or the CiC clause so expansively?  None of this would tip the terrorists off, but it would help in understanding how we got to this stage and, more importantly, what the heck else might be going on.
                One final thing.  The AUMF authorizes action against those responsible for 9/11.  In fact, there was a huge debate at that time. . . .the White House's original language covered "terrorists", and Congress brought them back, forcing them to link "military force" with 9/11.  Even if one buys the argument that surveillance against U.S. persons or communications is part of "military force" or active combat, the President better hope that every person actually targetted was linked to Al Qaeda (and not just any terrorist organization).  Bush today gave some hint that the surveillance was targetted against those with  "a clear link" to al-Qaida, but then he added "or related terrorist organizations."  That's not exactly in the language of the AUMF.  So maybe they are finding their legal justification somewhere else?  Or maybe they just thought they would never get exposed.
                or this administration's use of domestic spying?
                •  Crickets. (0+ / 0-)

                  Because he can not apply his previous arguments to the white paper and retain any consistancy with what he has presented here.

                  For one thing, NOW he argues the killing of someone who was 5 when 9/11 occured is legal... as long as they're a member of a group or citizen of a nation (hard to avoid this at 16, yes?) involved in 9/11

                  Hard to see how that WAS his argument at the time he contended congress forced the constraint of the use of military force to be linked to 9/11.

                  I'm starting to feel I shouldn't just be calling this a joke anymore, it does no service to how abhorrent it is.

                  •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
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                    and as i stated in my first response to the diary. it isn't that these issues aren't thorny, difficult problems to contend with in this era of non traditional combatants (an aside- i thought back in the previous admin that developing a parallel "terrorist court" of some sort consistent with but identical to US courts would have saved the bush and future admins a lot of headaches).

                    But the hypocrisy of the diarist (as well as the majority of people at kos) is simply breathtaking.

                    •  You simply do not udnerstand (0+ / 0-)

                      that this is a different issue.

                      I'm sorry that you can;t but there is nothing I can do about that.

                      •  Maybe you can explain why? (1+ / 0-)
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                        I read your piece, but you simply say "this is OK" and "that was not".

                        Without explaining why the former administration's polices such as detainment and enhanced interrogation were not legal?

                        I happen to agree that killing an American citizen, acting as a combatant is constitutional- under certain guidelines. the Constitution calls for due process within prevailing circumstances (not only a judicial process under all circumstances). When hostilities rage, we operate under the laws of war. Hence enemy combatants may lawfully be killed, captured, and detained without trial, or tried by military commission.

                        But 2 things are remarkable un your defense. 1) As I have stated the definition of 'imminent as one criteria of those circumstances is simply Orwellian and absurd.

                        2) I simply cannot understand why similar bush era polices warranted a trip to the Hague while Obama's drone policy is defensible.

                        •  I think the problem is you wish to judge (0+ / 0-)

                          the policues and my LEGAL critiques of them through your moral prism as opposed to the law.

                          You ask "I simply cannot understand why similar bush era polices warranted a trip to the Hague while Obama's drone policy is defensible."

                          Bush's torture policy was a war crime.

                          Obama's drone policy is NOT a war crime. It is in fact compliant with the laws of war (a good pint made is whether the CIA is covered by the laws of war. )

                          Bush's detention policy violated the constitution and the Geneva Conventions.

                          That is the LEGAL differences.

                          •  I realize this is deep into the weeds (1+ / 0-)
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                            but I'll try to give my reasoning about why I think it is impossible to have the standard that waterboarding and detainment at gitmo were any more or less illegal than a the current targeted killing drone policy.
                             First, I agree that it is easy to conflate moral problems with legal ones. And sometimes very very difficult to untangle the two. However. You say the Drone policy is legal because it is based on the AUMF. Yet you yourself outline the flaws in bush policy regarding detainment based on that very document. Do we know that the American killed was a high up in AQ? Was he an imminent threat? No we do not know this ?

                            In 2005 Justice issued memos from OLC which specifically approved waterboarding and other interrogation techniques, concluded that these practices would not violate the pending Detainee Treatment Act. Later Congress adopted the Act, which prohibited the “cruel, inhumane, or degrading” treatment of prisoners. Now as far as I know the memos authorizing the use of waterboarding have not been made public, nor have they been withdrawn. In 2007 bush issued an executive order stating that the interrogation program conducted by the CIA “fully complies” with applicable law. Further, congress was informed of waterboarding. I am not aware of any information sharing about the drone policy?

                            Now look I think the water boarding should be considered illegal and it is shocking to my conscience (and certainly appears to be a violation of the McCain amendment) in almost all circumstances. But as far as we know it took place before it was specifically defined as illegal.

                            Now how is this any more “illegal” than the current administration claiming they can target and kill an American citizen based on criteria that they then proceed to define away as anything they desire. An unnamed official’s undocumented determination that one is an imminent danger, which is then defined as not necessarily being imminent, nor a danger? There isn't any due process involved when the threat isn’t imminent. To say that anonymous officials can decide, in secret ,with the vaguest of criteria what American citizens may killed and when without congressional oversight is not simply a moral problem it is a legal one as well.

                             I guess this where we disagree, You claim that this policy is legal. Perhaps it is. But you also claim that detainment at Gitmo was illegal and waterboarding was illegal. Both are today but before legal decisions were delivered that was an open question. An incorrect decision isn't a crime. An intentional incorrect decision may be.

                            It is an opinion(well informed as it might be) of yours that simply doesn’t square with your defense of the drone policy on very similar grounds: An administrations’ claim to the right as spelled out in either the CIC or AUMF.

                            Finally I'll say that of the Bush polices were war crimes, and that is a very serious matter, then why is he still riding bikes in Texas? The current administration and Democratic senate has had years to pursue charges.

                          •  A long comment (0+ / 0-)

                            I'll bullet point a few things:

                            The Yoo/Bybee Memo WAS withdrawn.

                            And for good reason, it was plainly wrong. Indeed they both were up on ethics charges as a result of it.

                            The grounds of my defense of the LEGALITY of the policy regarding targetted killings is based on the analysis of the question, which is entirely different from torture and FISA.

                            The AUMF authorized military action.

                            The AUMF did not repeal the laws against torture, the UCMJ, FISA and other laws that Bush violated.

                            The argument for violations in the targetted killings context is the Due Process Clause (I know others want to argue the Bill of Attainder and the 4th but I think those are specious arguments.)

                            There is a sound argument on the Due Process issue. But I don;t think the case law supports it in the end. For the reasons I detailed in my essay.

                            An issue I did not discuss and want to revisit is the CIA and the Laws of War coverage.

                            Why were War crimes not prosecuted? Because of political cowardice of the Obama Administration.

                          •  I'll agree (0+ / 0-)

                            to disagree. You can say FISA and Waterboarding were against the law, but that has no standing via any prosecution. The 2 memos I refer to were not withdrawn.And "up on ethics" charges is much different than convicted of ethics violations.

                            "That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."
                            Is every bit as convincing for water boarding as the drone policy to me.

                            as for FISA, Obama's DOJ as acknowledged that the NSA had engaged in "overcollection" of domestic communications in excess of the FISA court's authority too.

                            And you think the reason prosecutions were not pursued i because of "political cowardice"? I've got a bridge for sale I;d like to talk to you about. C'mon you obviously aren't that naive. There's nothing there that would stand up. No one was convicted on anything. No charges were brought. Holder doesn't strike me as a coward. Hypocritical, yes but not a coward.

                            My guess (just that) is that Obama et. al. found out just how tough it is once you are the CIC.  And was not going to let enemy combatants run free. So unlike the previous administration they opted to just kill them instead of capture, detain and interrogate. But both were not going to allow enemy combatants to survive in the field.

                            I'm out.


                •  Two points if you care to listen (0+ / 0-)

                  One, FISA has been amended. Wrongly in my view.

                  Two, the analysis you quote does not deal with the killing of enemy combatants.

                  You ask I take you seriously but you seem to not understand these distinctions.

      •  i don't think so (13+ / 0-)

        this post is very specific, so for that to be true you would have to find the reverse of these specific arguments, as applied to bush.

        i don't read this as armando defending obama policies, i read it as armando defending the legality of obama policies. i don't think armando has expressed his opinion here on the policies as policies.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:12:59 AM PST

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