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  •  You're being pretty smug about this. (3+ / 0-)
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    Alexandre, 420 forever, ffour

    Speaking as someone who has hitherto not thought much of Sen. Paul, he has my respect for what he did last night.

    Plenty of progressives, including myself, take seriously the fact that the Obama administration takes a very expansive view of its authority, and uses elastic definitions to allow itself as much latitude as possible. A truly Constitutional administration would welcome, for larger reasons, limits on its own authority, including the limit of not employing armed drones to execute its own citizens on American soil under any circumstances. What part of "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law", do you not understand?

    Yes, I know that the probability is slim of dissidents being droned in their beds. But this is not about probabilities; it's about the principles of what powers the executive can assert over its people. If the probability is so remote, why not end the debate by ruling it out?

    •  If you aren't dabbling in terror against Americans (1+ / 0-)
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      Progressif have nothing to fear from this administration.

      If you are, well, take your complaints elsewhere. They will find you and kill you, no matter where you try to hide.

      They can't be more clear than that, my friend. Dabbling in terror is a bad career move under this President...

      •  No-one would ever define "terror" ambiguously!!! (2+ / 0-)
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        Helpless, devis1

        Are you aware that, running out of other targets, the Obama administration is now seeking authority to target not just terrorists (which they were doing already) and the friends, family and neighbors of terrorists whether involved in terrorism or not (which they were doing already), but also the friends of that second set of people?

        Are you aware that many of the people imprisoned in Guantanamo and at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan are not just legally but also factually innocent of any crime?

        Are you aware that the FBI makes a regular practice of using informants to find mentally unstable people associated with disfavored groups, encourage them step by step and supply them with fake materials for terrorist attacks, so that they can then score an arrest of "terrorists"?

        Are you aware that every previous anti-terrorism power granted to the government has ended up being used mostly against non-terrorists, such as drug criminals, peaceful activists, and so on, simply because there are so few actual terrorists to go round?

        So no, I don't trust this President with these powers. But even beyond that, I don't trust the precedent this sets for other Presidents to use this power; Presidents who may be a deal less smart and engaged than this one is.

      •  I can't believe this "just trust the government" (1+ / 0-)
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        line keeps on being repeated at what's supposed to be a progressive blog.

        Your clannish attitude is exactly what David Sirota criticizes here.

        American exceptionalism is America's road to perdition.

        by Alexandre on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 03:01:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ah (2+ / 0-)
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        devis1, Alexandre

        The old - "you shouldn't be worried about privacy unless you have something to hide" kind of logic. Excellent.

        This is what democrats have come to in the course of defending our 'Dear Leader'.

        I think we should remove 'due process' for all kinds of crimes and show that dabbling in crime is a bad career move under this President. And who decides you are dabbling in crime - a secret council of the President.

    •  You're biting the bait (2+ / 0-)
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      ffour, Moravan

      What do you mean by "expansive?" This is just a big huge strawman, slippery-slope fallacy.

      What part of "foreign and domestic" is hard to understand.

      No one is talking about replacing the tth amendment with drone strikes, but don't be naive. If there is someone plotting to kill thousands of Americans and the only way to stop them and save lives is a drone strike why the heck not?

      And yes, we ARE talking about principles here. What about the principle of being able to defend the nation against domestic terrorists?

      If they could have stopped Timothy McVeigh with a bullet would you have been against that? What's he difference?

      Discourse is better served if we can stick to the rules of logic.

      by backell on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 02:58:24 PM PST

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      •  Let me explain. (1+ / 0-)
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        By "expansive", I mean that the Obama administration has taken the unprecedented theories of executive power first advanced by the Bush administration, and has both defended them in court and in some respects built upon them. This "universal battlefield" stuff that he's advancing is pure Bush; he's still relying on the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force as a legal defense for waging war, without Congressional approval, anywhere in the world, against any group that has even the most tangential link to al-Qaeda.

        The Congressional (not Presidential) oath of office that you quote, to protect "against all enemies, foreign and domestic", is an oath to protect "the Constitution", not "America". You don't protect the Constitution by violating it.

        What domestic terrorists are there? Seriously, what situation is going to arise where a drone strike would be a better way of dealing with domestic terrorists than good police work? If you're going to construct elaborate contingencies, then you're behaving no better than the Bush apologists for torture.

        Explain your situation where McVeigh, having not yet committed any crime, ought to have been unilaterally shot by a police officer. I'd be interested.

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