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View Diary: McCain hates Rand Paul's real filibuster (146 comments)

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  •  I agree that Congress should take up drones (7+ / 0-)

    but filibustering Brennan was not the vehicle that Democrats should join. They need to take it up as a bill to ban the use of armed drones anywhere and the use of any drones Domestically. That might be a program to sequester, even. Or at least an amendment to the next Pentagon budget.
    And take THAT to the floor.
    I believe that, if they listen to their constituents (yeah, right), they will have a hard time voting against such a ban.
    Filibustering nominees is a practice that should go back to being rare-to-unheard-of.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 10:33:45 AM PST

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    •  I respect that opinion (30+ / 0-)

      but this is indeeed an extraordinary circumstance given the White House's repeated refusal to release information about the targeted killing program and the fact that these issues are directly relevant to Brennan's former role in the White House and his future role as CIA head.

      [Not to mention the fact that Brennan, who under Bush tacitly approved the torture program and still refuses to say that waterboarding is torture, should be disqualified from the heading the CIA.]

      •  The WhiteHouse released the drone memos (5+ / 0-)

        to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.
        And I'm not a big fan of Brennan for the reasons you mention. This is one of the few places that I have real problems with the Obama administration is that they didn't immediately repudiate all of BushCheney's War on Trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr overreaches and prosecute the war crimes the thugs committed.
        Unfortunately, I understand the political impossibility of making a sharp change in direction in Foreign policy. There's a huge amount of institutional inertia that no one President can move. Ask Jimmy Carter what happens when you try. The fact that he has followed through on ending the war in Iraq and is winding down Afghanistan, that he ended extraordinary renditions, closed the black sites and works to reduce the GITMO population are a little leavening.
        But no Executive will willingly surrender power. The established precedent that BushCheney left him is a power that will have to be taken away by either Congress, the Courts or both.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 11:02:47 AM PST

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        •  I don't buy it (9+ / 0-)

          So the President released the secret memos that explain why he can remotely kill American citizens, in America, who are not posing an imminent threat, in secret, to the Senate Intelligence Committee?  And this is supposed to be sufficient?  

          The President has done good things, and bad things.  Let's not puff up the good things list unnecessarily.  He followed the George W. Bush timeline in winding up Iraq.  He called for a surge in Afghanistan - the opposite of winding it down.  I have no idea if he closed the black sites or not - that's the whole advantage of being a black sites.  I guess the President says he did.  Then again, he also said he was going to run the most transparent administration ever and not have secret Presidential memos.  Oops.  

        •  sure, they were released to them, sort of. (5+ / 0-)

          a limited amount of information was made available to them. They can look at them, but only for a limited time, and they are not allowed to make copies. That's kind of weasily BS, in my opinion.

          "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

          by solesse413 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 11:45:30 AM PST

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        •  The release of which you speak... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...only came on the heels of a leaked White Paper outlining certain aspects of the OLC memos, not to mention the 'release' was limited to the committee members, not their legal staffs.

          Keeping aspects of the administration's policies secret because to release the information would jeopardize national security is understandable.  But keeping the legal opinions which supply the administration with the authority to undertake these policies is just plain bullshit.  The Law can not be secret.

        •  The public hasn't seen one memo (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask, 4kedtongue

          There are 11 of them, to the best of our knowledge. Some of them, maybe half, have been released to one committee, for a limited period of time. The Senators were allowed to read them. Their staff was not allowed.  No copies.

          There are still many that have not been seen.

          20 times they were requested from members of Congress responsible for making laws, from members of the Senate responsible for oversight.  20 requests were denied.   Not just Republicans, Democrats too, including the chair of the Senate Intel Committee. This was over a period of 2 years.  

          The existence of the program was denied while leaks were made to the press.  Brennan flat out lied about civilian casualties.  The admin is still denying the existence of the program in the courts.

          With Bob Goodlatte’s — and several other members of the House Judiciary Committee — renewed requests on Wednesday for the Office of Legal Counsel memos authorizing the targeted killing of American citizens, we have reached a milestone.


          Members of Congress have asked for the targeted killing memos more than 20 times. And with the exception of the 35 members of the intelligence committees getting a quick peek without staff assistance and (presumably) a more substantial review by members of the Gang of Eight, the Administration has blown off every single one of those 20 requests.

          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 10:11:35 PM PST

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          •  Thanks for bringing this stuff out (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            There are a lot of facts that go unreported in the media and are largely unknown - this is good stuff.

            You know what I'd like to see?  US Senators have absolute immunity for things they say in Congressional debate.  I'd love for just once a US Senator to take one of those legal memos, get up, walk to the well of the Senate, and read it into the public record.  

            What the hell would they do?  Is the OLC going to physically restrain a United States Senator?

    •  For once I can be happy at something (14+ / 0-)

      a republican has done. I think filibustering Brennan is exactly what was needed and I am shamed that it took a tea party republican to do it. If Brennan wasn't acceptable in 2008 due to his stances on torture..what in hell makes him acceptable in 2013? Have we suddenly run out of qualified people in our intelligence community that we have to be subjected to the same failed cast of characters? Brennan's appointment is a disgrace and not worthy of democrats.

      President Obama would have been a republican in the 1980's & 1990's. Go figure.

      by Tool on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 12:23:03 PM PST

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    •  Ah, if they listen to their constituents... (0+ / 0-)

      then there's no way they would stop the drone program.  Because 83% of Americans APPROVE of using drones to kill suspected terrorists.  Yes, we can talk about the issues of targeting American citizens and using them on American soil, but on the overall concept of using drones to fight terrorism, like it or not, almost all Americans are fine with it.

      The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza pointed out Wednesday that all the polling data on drones (of which there is surprisingly little) shows that Americans really love their flying autonomous death robots. A whopping 83 percent of Americans approve of the Obama administration’s use of the aircraft to kill terrorists, according to the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll on the subject, from February 2012. The same poll found that 65 percent of Americans favor the use of drones against American citizens suspected of terrorism overseas.

      But it gets worse. Among self-described liberal Democrats, fully 77 percent endorse the use of drones against terrorist targets. On the question of killing Americans in drone strikes, Democrats approved of the use 58-33 percent, as did liberals, 55-35 percent, as the Post’s Greg Sargent pointed out last year.

      And it’s not just the Post/ABC News poll. Pew conducted a global survey in June of last year that asked a more controversial question, since it mentioned places far from the battlefield of Afghanistan and broadened the targets to “extremists.” “Do you approve or disapprove of the United States conducting missile strikes from pilotless aircraft called drones to target extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia?”

      Americans were the only nationality to approve of the use of drones, with 62 supporting them and just 28 percent in opposition. And while support was especially high among Republicans (74 percent), most Democrats (58 percent) also approved.

      A separate Pew study from October 2011 found that 87 percent of Americans support “increasing the use of unmanned drones,” including a majority of Democrats who said it was a “good thing.”

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