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

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  •  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:

          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

   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 ]

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