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View Diary: U.S. Admits to Killing Four American Citizens in Drone Strikes (128 comments)

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  •  I guess it pays to pick your friends wisely (7+ / 0-)

    Nothing about this is an ideal situation.  I'm not at all comfortable with anyone, not even the President, having this sort of power, but I'm also not at all comfortable with not using every available tool to prevent maniacs from killing people.  Quite a pickle.

    No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

    by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 02:38:07 PM PDT

    •  I imagine that (11+ / 0-)

      the families of Samer Khan, Anwar al-Awaki, Abdulrahman al-Awaki and Jude Mohammed think those in our government who killed them are the maniacs. And they wouldn't be wrong. Sounds to me like you are just fine with using targeted assassination as a "tool" to kill American citizens and you are also fine with non targeted innocents being killed by American drones. Killing those people, one of whom was a 16 year boy eating barbeque in a restaurant at the time, was a crime. Labeling them as maniacs is convenient if you want to invent a pickle that doesn't exist.

      •  we are breeding the next generation of terrorists (5+ / 0-)

        I note that the Russians claim to have taken out a top terrorist in their ongoing war against a Muslim insurgency on their own borders (second time they killed this guy)

        It seems neither our leadership nor Putin understand where terrorists come from

        •  or worse (4+ / 0-)

          they understand perfectly well, and are deliberately ensuring the next generation of terrorists, thus ensuring the continued flow of public cash to private armaments interests.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Wed May 22, 2013 at 07:13:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How can they not understand? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Paolo, allenjo, barleystraw

          They understand very well.

          If we are planning on at least another couple of decades of world-wide war on a tactic we'll need all the enemies we can find in order to justify it.

          Look at what has happened in the past few years. Imagine what they can do The Bill of Rights in twenty more years.

          Consider who benefits, where the money is going, and think for a moment about the huge amount of wealth which will have been transferred to the favored ones, the MIC, the huge banks, the oil giants and others in twenty more years.

          Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

          by truong son traveler on Thu May 23, 2013 at 12:05:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most important comment here (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MetalGod65, truong son traveler

            Yes, Bush and now Obama are calling for endless War On Terror™ so the arms dealers and bomb makers and drone makers can profit endlessly. Meanwhile the bridges, streets and tunnels in the US are in complete disrepair, the schools are broke, and 20% of Americans need food stamps.

            As many have pointed out, imagine if a foreign country were inflicting food and medical sanctions (killing 100s of thousands of children) or raining down bombs by drones in the skies over the US?

            Obama is just sickening at this stage. Some Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

            She said that she was working for the ABC News
            It was as much of the alphabet as she knew how to use

            by Paolo on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:01:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You know what? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jdsnebraska, Satya1

        It would be really nice if you could extend me - a fellow kossack - the courtesy of not assuming I am indifferent to death and destruction, even among our sworn enemies.  This self-righteous crap gets really old.  How about we discuss the issue instead of scoring perceived points?

        There are people dedicated to striking "Jews and crusaders" - that's bin Laden's phrase - wherever they have the opportunity to do so, in furtherance of an ideology that is anything but liberal and tolerant.  These people also murder Pakistanis, Afghans, et al, for ugly sectarian reasons.  I consider this maniacal behavior.  Whatever else we consider the drone program (extra-Constitutional, problematic, under-scrutinized), I don't think the POTUS is a bloodthirsty person.  I would not consider him a maniac by the usual use of the term.  Do you disagree?

        No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

        by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:41:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well fucking great, we gotta sane killer Prez (9+ / 0-)

          See, he doesn't use the courts to kill, but he's sane, he tries hard.

          [slight sneer] We gotta killer, he's a nice guy with kids, no maniac at all.  I'm so reassured.

          Shut this joke down now.

        •  who are they? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, chuckvw, corvo, barleystraw

          frankly it sounds like you're profiling.

          •  Excuse me? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Satya1

            I'm obviously referring to AQ and it's affiliates - that's why I quoted the former leader of same.  I strongly reject your implied accusation of bigotry.

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:56:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  They're "these people". (5+ / 0-)

            You know.

            Them.

            "The thing about smart motherfuckers is that they sound like crazy motherfuckers to dumb motherfuckers." Robert Kirkman

            by JesseCW on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:20:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're behaving like a child (0+ / 0-)

              And the same goes for those who uprated.  I don't deserve that sort of ugly accusation - check my history if you like.  Y'all should should be ashamed of yourselves.  

              No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

              by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 07:47:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  some children are killed by USA drones (3+ / 0-)

                behaving like children.

                Let's admit this and let's condemn it.

                •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

                  And there can be little more revolting than the murder of a child anywhere and for any reason.  I don't know if it is any consolation, but I am for one grateful that we are at least no longer murdering children on the scale of Hiroshima, Dresden, Vietnam, etc.  War is evil, the enemy of all mankind (not to mention womankind and childkind), and God Damn those who start them.  

                  No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                  by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:01:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I have seen your comment history. It consists (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BradyB

                of pretending that very simple issues are "very complicated", in an effort to pretend there's actually a difficult choice for decent people to make here.

                There isn't.  

                The only questions at hand are whether you value human life and the basic concept of the right to a trial, and whether you believe that brown dudes also have value and basic rights.

                In pretending that these are difficult choices you're showing us exactly who you are and what you do and do not value.

                "The thing about smart motherfuckers is that they sound like crazy motherfuckers to dumb motherfuckers." Robert Kirkman

                by JesseCW on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:18:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Talk about self righteous- look in the mirror, (9+ / 0-)

          "fellow kossack."

          You used the term "maniacs" and in my response I pointed out that those people we killed were American citizens none of whom had been afforded due process of law. Since you don't want to address those individuals specifically you jump to global al queda beliefs as a justification to do what we do. You say "These people also murder Pakistanis, Afghan for ugly sectarian reasons". Well, we murder Pakistanis and Afghans too every single day with our drones that you want to avoid talking about. And we murder American citizens. That's what you don't want to acknowledge. As to whether the POTUS is a bloodthirsty person, history will be the judge of that, not me.

          •  Look (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Satya1, Chitownliberal7, Ray Blake

            I don't want to recapitulate the whole thing, but there was nothing self-righteous or angry in my original comment.  It's a tough situation, one with which I wrestle; I clearly acknowledged that.  You replied accusing me of being indifferent to killing a teenager.  I don't think that was intended to win me over, it seemed more like an abusive, ad hominem attack, and I interpreted it as such.  I'd be only too happy to discuss the issue with you or anyone.  Believe it or not, I'm glad there are Americans who feel strongly about this, even if I disagree.

            Far from avoiding talking about drones, I weighed in on that very topic.  I don't like them, but I also don't like the murderers on the other side.  What should we do instead?      

               

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:20:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did you express any concern for the victims in (9+ / 0-)

              your comment? Did I miss that?

              What  should we do? How about following the rule of law for starters? How about following the Constitution? How about not becoming lawless outlaws in the world community inserting ourselves and our military might wherever we see an opening to do so?

              Yes, I feel strongly about it. I've lived a long time and I am deeply saddened about the things we are doing in the world and the stories we tell ourselves about why we need to do them.

              •  I probably feel more concern (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Chitownliberal7, Ray Blake

                for the victims of terrorists than I do those who would associate with them, and I feel more concern for those who associate with them than I do the terrorists themselves.  I also feel more concern for the terrorist pawns - often brainwashed kids - of the ones who sent them like this al-Awaki.  I'm a pretty empathic person actually; on a different day I might even be arguing your side.  That said, I could ask you the same: where have you expressed concern for the dead in New York or London or Mumbai?

                But I don't want to play that game, I'd rather discuss what we can do besides what we are doing now.  Saying "just follow the Constitution" doesn't provide much guidance.  We all know the oath of office for the POTUS is about defending the Constitution, but I think we also all know that the real job of the President is to defend the American people.  You fail to do the latter, few are going to give you points for the former.  

                This tension is what creates these situations where administrations do what they believe is needed, and let the historians debate the rest.  It has happened innumerable times in our history.  If limiting oneself to what is established precedent regarding the Constitution is always the right answer, then Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, Wilson, both Roosevelts, Truman, Johnson, and many others should have been driven from office too.  But then the nation might not have survived.

                So, what would you do - specifically - about a character like al-Awaiki?  He won't surrender, he's beyond the reach of the law, and he sends his cultists out to murder other human beings.  In this real world situation, what do you do?    

                No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:33:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How do you know... (3+ / 0-)

                  al Awaki was guilty of anything?

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:10:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Whatithink

                    And if it is not clear by now, I would like to see transparency and judicial review of the drone program to the maximum extent compatible with not ignoring dangerous people.  I don't like the drone program, I'm looking for an alternative.  Do you have one?  Nobody here thus far has offered one up.  I've been accused now of being bloodthirsty, indifferent to the murder of children, a racial profiler, ignorant of the Constitution, but not one person has offered me an answer to my question of what they would do about someone like al-Awlaki (the spelling of whose name I have now bungled in several ways in this diary).  

                    No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                    by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:29:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "Do nothing" (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      truong son traveler, Paolo, BradyB

                      ...is a perfectly acceptable response if you have no acceptable options.

                      We didn't have drones for hundreds of years before now and got along ok.

                      If our government seriously can't think of a way to deal with issues like this one that don't involve heavy collateral damage and extra-constitutional activity, they should all be fired.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:41:22 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I would suggest that is a distinctly minority view (0+ / 0-)

                        And one I applaud you for making.  But the only people who can "fire" a democratic administration are the governed and they are far more likely to fire leadership that puts Constitutional protections ahead of aggressive self-defense.  I appreciate the answer that you would do nothing, it's honest, but I don't think that would fly with most people, however wrong that makes them.  Sometimes there really are real and present dangers.  

                        Extra-Constitutional?  That's as always up for debate.  All of our wartime Presidents were objectively unindicted war criminals and serial violators of the Constitution.  I mean, the Alien and Sedition Act was passed before the Constitution was even 15 years old, and that was done by our hallowed founders.  The Constitution tends to function as an aspirational document.

                        And, not to put too fine a point on it, but the drone program does not involve "heavy collateral damage" by Team USA standards.  We've committed genocide many times, and what we did to civilians in the 20th Century is a horror show.  Drones, however despicable a tool, are not remotely as bad as what we would do with a few B52s.

                         

                        No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                        by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 10:01:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Your crocodile tears are not interesting. (4+ / 0-)

          This is not a complex issue.

          "The thing about smart motherfuckers is that they sound like crazy motherfuckers to dumb motherfuckers." Robert Kirkman

          by JesseCW on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:20:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't patronize me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Blake

            And I won't patronize you.  In my opinion, a character like al-Awaiki, situated beyond the rule of law, but who is eager to recruit disciples who will murder on his behalf, represents a complex issue.  Since it is apparently a simple matter to you, perhaps I am wasting my time when I could just ask, JesseCW, what is your solution?

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:37:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I also do not think BHO is bloodthirsty. (0+ / 0-)

          I think his problem runs rather in the other direction, in terms of passionate emotional engagement in the human reality on the ground where these drones strike.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:08:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            barleystraw

            He certainly does keep his emotions under wraps.  That said, I don't think this is something the POTUS would take lightly.  Christ, he looks old.  I don't even think Shrub was immune to the suffering he caused.  I don't like the habit of assuming people with whom we disagree are unfeeling monsters.  Except for Cheney; he is an unfeeling monster.

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:31:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  wherever a drone flies (4+ / 0-)

            a negotiation could have occurred instead.

            These drones are like big USA advertisments.

            They are like flying our flag over these territories.

            They are like hi-tech mob hits.

            DRONE: Look at Me! I'm Made in the USA! I represent the USA!

            [BOOOM...sound of screams and dying children]

            DRONE: SEE what the USA stands for?

            •  I don't think that is any more true (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Blake

              than saying that every time a terrorist bomb goes off that that is what Islam (or Chechnya, or Ireland or whatever) stands for.  People are a bit more complex than that, huh?  

              I don't know what negotiation with Al Qaeda would even look like.  What AQ wants has little to do with us, and much to do with a nasty sectarian agenda in their own countries.  We are just the most logical targets to rile up their co-religionists (who thankfully for the most part think they are nuts).  Until they stop involving us in their grotesque acts of performance art, we are perfectly justified in considering ourselves in a state of war with those who swear allegiance to AQ.  

              Please note that I am not advocating relying on violence exclusively in every terrorist scenario.  You may notice I don't include the IP thing in any of my examples.  That's because I do believe that negotiation is the solution there, and that the Palestinians have a right to govern themselves and until they do they are justified in attacking military and symbolic (but not civilian) targets.  

              No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

              by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:19:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Baltasar Gracian once said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          truong son traveler

          It is better to have too much courtesy than too little, provided you are not equally courteous to all, for that would be injustice.

          Let me extend you my deepest affection and courtesy while pointing out that it would cheapen the act of extending this courtesy if it were granted gratuitously- for instance, if it were granted to individuals that passively sit by while fundamental  human rights, constitutional checks and balances, and common decency are dismantled.

          Killing American citizens without trials is outrageous.

          Killing children with fire bombs from heaven is outrageous too.

          Let us celebrate your and my indifference!

          Let us put a stop to this!

          Hip Hip Hurray!

          •  I do not not require your affection (0+ / 0-)

            I do always appreciate courtesy.  It makes communication an awful lot easier.  Many people feel strongly about this, including yourself.  However, I would submit that if it is that difficult to be courteous to me - someone who is only a few degrees off from your own point of view - then imagine how unproductive it will be when you show similar discourtesy to the 75% of your fellow Americans who don't give even the faintest fuck about the rights of "evil terrorists."  You have a long and steep hill to climb to persuade them, and I suggest you smile.  A lot.    

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 10:18:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  courtesy is not a pretense to deny injustice (0+ / 0-)

              courtesy is not a license to prevaricate
              courtesy is not a rug to sweep one's responsibility under
              courtesy is not a means to muzzle a discussion
              courtesy is not a technique for enabling an impasse
              courtesy is not a fig leaf to hide the indefensible behind

              •  While we are on the subject of metaphors... (0+ / 0-)

                Having your head lopped off by a bloody fanatic isn't a picnic.  And war isn't a tea party.  And the Constitution isn't a suicide pact.  And dying ain't much of a living, to hear Josey Wales tell it.    

                As for muzzling a discussion, you can't in good faith accuse me of that.  It seems I encouraged a pretty sprawling discussion, even if mostly I got accused of nasty things for my trouble.

                Have a good night, barleystraw, I honestly am glad we have Americans who are troubled by the war machine.  

                   

                You come at the king, you best not miss. -- Omar Little

                by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 11:11:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  dying in a fireball without a trial aint no picnic (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  truong son traveler

                  either

                  these crimes against humanity will live on and on- like the witch burnings, the lynchings Wounded Knee and other atrocities.

                  We may not hear about it in the USA, but the people underneath the drones will remember.

                  People down south here still resent Sherman's march to the sea.

                •  Dear Gator (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Gator Keyfitz

                  My Courtesy Manifesto, flawed as it is, is not so much pointed at you as at our President, who I and my whole family voted for twice.

                  I drink two cups of tea or coffee when I make it.

                  One cup says, "i Love my Wife"

                  The other one is an Obama souvenir cup.

                  anyway, you were not muzzling- you were stimulating discussion.

                  keep it up.

    •  I think one thing that has happened is that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gator Keyfitz

      we are in times under threat with types of organizations (eg. al quaeda) that bring on totally new situations.  The law on the books was drafted within the context of those times and I doubt anyone had foreseen the kind of non-state paramilitary organization that was bin Laden's group could do the kind of damage it did.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:37:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We still have a Constitution the last I heard (9+ / 0-)

        and we don't get to bypass it and make up stuff to address the challenges we face.

        •  We've bypassed it many times actually (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Satya1, Ray Blake

          Not that any of them were great precedents, but fortunately they mostly have gone unused once the crisis at hand had passed.

          I'm originally from Southern Indiana, which could be characterized as Kentucky without worthwhile BBQ.  It was placed under martial law by President Lincoln, habeous corpus was suspended, etc.  That's obviously a terrible precedent, but fortunately it has since mostly gone unused since.  OTOH, the union was preserved.  Tough call whether it was justified or not, but my point is that not all extra-Constitutional actions are slippery slopes.  Some are necessary evils.  Thoughts?

          No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

          by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:03:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's exactly right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Satya1, Ray Blake

        I've actually been reading Ghost Wars by Steve Coll about the Afghan War, Al Qaeda, etc.  And this would certainly be part of his thesis, that AQ didn't really fit well into the previously existing approach to terrorism.  For one thing, these really aren't people with demands that could be met.  We are not his audience (well, most of us aren't), the Muslim world is (and fortunately they are mostly indifferent).  

        No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

        by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:49:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are not quite civilians or military (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gator Keyfitz, Satya1

          The Bush administration decided that meant they could treat terrorists however they wanted.  I don't think that treating them foreign terrorists like civilians works.  I don't think that treating domestic terrorists like enemy soldiers works.

          I think treating terrorists on domestic soil under existing civilian criminal law and treating terrorists on foreign soil (even if they are US citizens) more like enemy soldiers is a pragmatic approach to terrorism until legislation is passed coming up with a better framework.

        •  That book looks interesting and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gator Keyfitz

          I'll be sure to read it.

          I was also looking for WaPo article from many years ago that addressed this.  Policy folks, international law pros have been analyzing and writing about this for years.  I'm looking forward to any mention Coll gives of this.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:41:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is an interesting if deeply depressing work (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Satya1

            Understand that it was published in 2004, and is conceived as a history of the period that ended on 9/10/01, and so doesn't technically discuss the modern drone program (although the early, pre-weaponized drone era is discussed).  And, as one might expect from a book written in that faraway year, it's a tad "Go Team!" (ie, Bush had yet to be revealed as an incompetent fool) but I think it does a good job of bringing to life the bureaucratic inertia and indifference to what was happening in Afghanistan after the Russians left that led to the world we live in today.  

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:00:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  These are not "totally new situations". (4+ / 0-)

        Our founders were well acquainted with pirates, non state actors who sometimes killed hundreds of civilians and burned whole towns to the ground.

        "The thing about smart motherfuckers is that they sound like crazy motherfuckers to dumb motherfuckers." Robert Kirkman

        by JesseCW on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:24:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The "law on the books" goes back about as (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        barleystraw

        far as any common western understanding of what "law" might mean, if you are interested in going beyond the question of whether we "can legally" assassinate Americans, and into the question of whether we "can legally" kill people who are standing around in other countries with which we are not at war, and who have not granted us the authority or jurisdiction to exercise violence.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:12:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  what about Indian wars from 1622 onward... (0+ / 0-)

        there is nothing new here

        •  Legally speaking (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Satya1

          Native American tribes were nations with which we were sometimes at war.  They are in this sense more analogous to Germany or Japan.  That's not to excuse in any way the grotesquely unequal terms of these wars or the frankly evil actions of our government, but that's the legal basis.  The pirate example is more apt, and I have little doubt Thomas Jefferson would have used drones against the Barbary Pirates had he had them at his disposal.

          No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

          by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:39:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would be interested to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gator Keyfitz

            read which towns of the 13 colonies were "burned to the ground", but I think the pirate analogy is also likely poor.  Pirates targeted trade.  That made them even helpful to the colonies prior to independence because the black market they established in goods was useful.

            I do not know what laws and case law was present when pirates began to substantially hurt US trade and the US Navy responded.  It seems unlikely to me that the Navy or any other Americans cared about that but were happy to have the pirates hunted down.

            I think my initial comment was misunderstood by a number of folks.  There are several factors combining in our times that make this situation new, some of which I didn't think I needed to mention:

            * non-state paramilitaries sheltered by "allied" or neutral nations.
            * terrorist motive - not profit (pirates) or survival (indians)
            * access to modern technology for global communication
            * access to powerful weapons (eg. jet planes, explosives) and maybe even WMD

            It's a complex and dangerous mix.

            I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

            by Satya1 on Thu May 23, 2013 at 08:49:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  "prevent maniacs from killing people" = a fantasy (8+ / 0-)

      Since when did this country take it upon itself to be the preventive force of evil in this world?  Well good fucking luck with that one, it can't be done.

      Far better to take a stance of waiting for the possible worst and then dealing with it then, if it happens.  With the idiotic rationale we have for being the Global Force of Good we get trillions of dollars for instruments of death, and then we have the gullibility to be shocked when violence is inflicted upon us.  Jesus Christ.

      Completely shut down this fucking drone disgrace now--I don't which is worse, Executive or the sycophants like Dianne Feinstein in Congress for allowing it to fester so.  It's a horrifying joke, the President is fucking God unto himself, the constitution has vanished.

      All to keep us "safe." How utterly disgusting to live life in a crouch of fear.  'n I've got some very bad news for you, home, the scary people aren't outside, they're right here among us. If you're so fucking scared then take a good look at our people, the more you take care of them the safer you'll be.  No aircraft carriers required.

      •  You're not my "home" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Satya1

        And you're addressing a straw man, not me.  What I pointed out was that there really are shitty people out there, and how we defend ourselves is an important discussion, one probably not well served by being an ass to those with whom we disagree (but who are otherwise probably pretty close to us in outlook).

        No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

        by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:53:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Is it your opinion that the U.S. should not fight (0+ / 0-)

        terrorist organizations? I'm really curious as to if this is your opinion....

        •  Speaking for myself, it's my view that the US (5+ / 0-)

          should stop engaging in actions that create terrorist organizations.

          "The thing about smart motherfuckers is that they sound like crazy motherfuckers to dumb motherfuckers." Robert Kirkman

          by JesseCW on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:27:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see, does that mean that the U.S. should stop (0+ / 0-)

            fighting against terrorist organizations, or attack them militarily?

            •  I suspect it means (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, BradyB, PhilJD, barleystraw

              for example the US shouldn't use drones over Pakistan, Yemen, and other countries where we are not officially at war (what a quaint concept!) to target "terrorists" (a definition which includes basically "any adult male") and accidentally killing women, children, infants, and at times firing on those who attempt to rescue them or document the crime.

              Are people really so dense as not to understand how the drone attacks are creating new generations of "terrorists"?

              She said that she was working for the ABC News
              It was as much of the alphabet as she knew how to use

              by Paolo on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:07:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It means we should stop funding tyrants who (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              barleystraw

              run torture chambers.

              It means that when transnational corporations which use us for a base of operations get themselves into a jam, they ought to be left to twist in the wind.

              It means that we should withdraw all of our military forces from areas in which the local inhabitants and rightful rulers do not want them stationed.

              If we made even token efforts to live up to the true meaning of our creed, there would never have been a 9/11.

              There are no tactical answers to a problem created by our foreign policy.

              "The thing about smart motherfuckers is that they sound like crazy motherfuckers to dumb motherfuckers." Robert Kirkman

              by JesseCW on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:23:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  paradox (3+ / 0-)

        with all due respect, most of the US wars were not to be the preventative force of evil.
        Most wars are resource wars for the corporations.
        How many countries are we now droning or building bases in that have vast qualities of natural resources?  
        I can't rec your comment enough.
        And for those that defend this cowardly, brutal use of of drones, reverse the situation.
        If this president can have a kill list to take out'enemy combatants' whatever the hell that means, then other countries should be able to do the same in the name of 'defense'.
        My god!  Haven't you seen the pics of the children who were killed by our drones?  
        It is 100 times worse the Sandy Hook.
        9/11 did not happen because 'they hate us for our Freedoms'.
        Most of them are gone now since the GWOT started.
        They hate us for our goreign policies.
        Invading soverign lands.
        Commiting coups and installing puppet dictators who brutalize their citizens.
        As long as they are friendly to US interests.
        Meaning corporations.
        Obama said in this order when he bombed Libya.
        "we have an obligation to protect US interests and lives".
        I can not believe people here are defending the drone program.
        That disgusts me.
        I agree with paradox.
        Bring the troops home.
        Close the bases and spend money on defense and let the forporations foot the bills for these wars of agression.
        The president's job is not to defend the US.
        It is to defend the Constitution and Obama has treated it worse then Bush.
        Ask yourself why they hate us, then Google the pics of 20 children killed by drones.

        Gitmo is a Concentration Camp. Not a Detention Center. Torture happens at Concentration Camps. Torture happens at Gitmo. How much further will US values fall? Where is YOUR outrage at what the United States does in OUR names?

        by snoopydawg on Wed May 22, 2013 at 10:59:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You know what we do to "maniacs?" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suejazz, JesseCW, corvo, barleystraw

      We have hearings, with witnesses and the possibility of counterargument, to determine whether and to what extent they might be maniacs and how to treat them.  Even for homicidal maniacs, though that was not exactly verified in these specific cases, was it?

      •  What if - as in this case - the maniac (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Satya1

        could not be brought into custody, while continuing to plot mayhem?  I could see an argument that the drone strike is something like the police shooting an armed suspected felon.  When the police do so, most would not say that the suspected felon's Constitutional rights had been violated.

        No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

        by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:06:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What if anyone allegedly posing a danger . . . (5+ / 0-)

          . . . could not be brought into custody?  You fuckin' wait until you can bring them into custody, so you can establish whether they really do pose a danger.

          The police are not supposed to just go out and gun down suspected felons.  They are supposed to find out if they are, in fact, felons.  With evidence and stuff.  And a fuckin' trial.

          •  But that's not how it happens every day (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Satya1

            No, ideally the police don't gun down anyone.  But every day they do, often while the suspect is committing a felony.  Obviously the deceased did not get his day in court.  Hence why I suggested it as an analogy to the drone program.  Can we discuss it in a civil fashion?  

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:24:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So the instances where an officer... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, corvo, Sparhawk

              ...kills a suspect rather than apprehend him/her should become our metric to establish what we should do in the future?  If one officer guns someone down, it's a-okay for every officer thereafter to do so?  There's no chance that first officer fucked up?  Or even committed a prosecutable murder if there was no danger of the victims imminently inflicting bodily harm?

              You say,

              ideally the police don't gun down anyone.

              And yet you advocate that that gunning down be allowed with your every comment in this thread.  Just because someone has done it before in some instance.

              You clearly have adopted a laissez-faire attitude toward extrajudicial killing, and I doubt that you want to be dissuaded of that opinion.

              •  C'mon Monster (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Satya1

                What if instead of trying to engage with you I just said "You're obviously a terrorist lover who cares more about the tender fee fees of terrorists than the lives of your fellow Americans?"  That would be a dick move, and I would clearly be uninterested in having a real discussion.  That's kinda what you are doing to me here.  I'll try again.

                Your original comment suggested it was always unconstitutional to punish someone without due process.  My point was that the police punish people, sometimes fatally, every day, and that has generally been found to not violate the Constitution where the suspect was violently resisting being taken into custody.  I asked for your opinion about this as an analogy, and what that meant to your argument.

                You reply as if I am calling for more killing, when I clearly above expressed my ambivalence about the drone program as a solution.  I'm not sure if you don't understand the Socratic method, or you are just venting or what.  I'm probably not the person you think you are arguing with.

                No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:46:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Violently resisting," you say. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JesseCW, corvo, barleystraw, Sparhawk

                  Just how is someone violently resisting a person who guides a missile from the other side of the world?

                  Oh, and if a felon is "violently resisting" with his fists, a police officer might get into some trouble if he countered with a bullet.

                  More to the point, there appears to be in your analogy an assumption that anyone who is killed by a drone is necessarily guilty of something.  While I know that is the position of some in this Administration, is it the position you want to espouse?  Would it be the same to you if any other figure of authority made this argument for doing away with any opponents without the nuisance of a hearing?

                  •  I know you must have at least seen my original (0+ / 0-)

                    comment because you replied to it.  Maybe give it another read.  I clearly said I was uncomfortable with anyone having that power.  I'm also not comfortable with ignoring someone like al-Awaki, hiding out beyond the reach of any judicial authority in Yemen while sending poor dupe after poor dupe to kill other human beings.  

                    Given my declared ambivalence, what would you say to convince me that there is an alternative?  Saying, well, we should just wait and grab him if he ever shows up at an international border isn't very convincing.  There is no law where he was, and he had no intention of giving himself up.  Real world situation: you're the President, what would you do?

                    Perhaps if you stopped imputing authoritarian/bloodthirsty motivations to those who wrestle with the same question but come up with a different answer, you would be able to formulate an argument that would be convincing to those who don't already agree with you.  

                     

                    No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                    by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:13:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  not really in Awlaki's case (5+ / 0-)

          http://www.cbsnews.com/...

          The Obama administration is considering filing the first criminal charges against radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in case the CIA fails to kill him and he's is captured alive in Yemen.
          We chose killing him over trying to take him into custody because the domestic politics were easier.

          It would be one thing if we'd given him a chance to surrender, but we didn't. The US embassy in Yemen sent him letters about his passport being suspended while he was on the kill list, so it's not like we couldn't ask him to give up. We just didn't want him to. Even if he'd actively tried to get himself captured there was no indictment or arrest warrant. You can't just turn yourself in to the FBI because "I think the president wants to kill me even though officially he doesn't!"

          •  Thank you for a serious reply (0+ / 0-)

            And that is food for serious thought.  Where the drone program takes the place of any legal proceedings is exactly where I have the greatest problem with it.  I can see cases where in real time there might be an argument to dispense with this, but I agree that no one should be on a kill list without some form of judicial review, preferably an actual indictment.  

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 07:56:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  If you really think this is a "pickle", I suggest (4+ / 0-)

      you perform exactly one thought experiment: The very same "logic" used to justify these actions could have been used back in 1980 or 1981, by the British government, to blow up houses in Boston where aiders and abettors of the IRA were plotting, organizing, and recruiting.

      No.

      Seriously.

      Think about that.

      Just try to really, really imagine for one tiny moment, that the UK had done such a thing.

      Because there is not one damned bit of difference between that case, and the cases in which we are raining extralegal death on people in countries where we have no jurisdiction and no authority to act, on our behalf or on anyone else's.

      America has gone mad. Completely. Fucking. Mad.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:06:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for a reasoned response (0+ / 0-)

        I guess I would say the main difference between these two situations would be that it was well within the power of the UK to request extradition of IRA terrorist suspects.  The United States would generally comply with such a request.  That would remove the need to bomb anyone.  I do vaguely remember there was a case in which an IRA escapee was not extradited upon request, but IIRC he was a lowly member who had left that life behind and was not an ongoing plotter.

        That dynamic doesn't hold true in Yemen or parts of Pakistan, let alone Somalia.  Nobody is going to extradite these malefactors, even if they are active plotters.

        Given that, I don't know what the solution is besides the ancient and universal law of self-defense.  Please don't interpret that to mean that I don't support making the process as transparent and judicious as possible, but I don't think we - or anyone - is obligated to stand by while our murder is being planned.
         

        No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

        by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:48:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  American disinclination to do anything about (0+ / 0-)

          US-based IRA fundraising and recruiting operations was a significant source of diplomatic tension during the Troubles.

          We will never know whether Pakistan or Yemen would have extradited any of these individuals, because we declined to build a legal case against them, indict them, and then request extradition based on those indictments.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Thu May 23, 2013 at 08:06:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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