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View Diary: Come clean on deadly drone activities (69 comments)

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  •  Last I checked... (8+ / 0-)

    The DoD and all the Intelligence Agencies were part of the Executive Branch and the President is Commander in Chief.

    •  Ouch. nt (4+ / 0-)

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 12:21:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, but congress sets the policies and (1+ / 0-)
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      Liberal Thinking

      implements them by paying to have them carried out.
      Congress got lazy and frivolous under Republican executives who could be counted on not to follow Congressional directives when they didn't suit the over-riding purpose of rewarding friends and inflicting hurt on their enemies.

      Power, to be felt, has to hurt.

      One of the consequences of the preconceived notion that government is designed to wield power is the constant need to insure that the power gets directed elsewhere. "We fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them here at home," is a justification for overseas military adventure to serve as a deterrent model within the U.S. so force doesn't have to be turned against our own.

      In addition to indirection, the thing to keep in mind with the Cons is that they exist in a sea of alternatives. If it's not one thing, it's another. Which is why they can talk about one thing while plotting for its alternative to be accomplished. Which is why, when it comes to elections, since they don't actually want the work, the Cons' electoral agenda is to lose. More often than not, if Republicans "win" it's because the Democrats gave up before the contest got started.

      http://hannah.smith-family.com

      by hannah on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 12:40:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's an Excellent Point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hannah

        And Democrats can win. We just need to pick the right ones and fight for them. When we get someone like Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown (and Grayson, of course) who has solidly Democratic views they are worth fighting for and getting elected.

        It's fine for Grayson to call out the administration on drone strikes. But I want to be clear that Congress has not been taking on its responsibility here, which is why Bush and now Obama have gotten away with wielding all this power in ways I find abhorrent morally and problematic in a practical sense.

        There are clear moral guidelines about this. We have laws so that the use of force has legitimacy. When you kill people with drones absent any trial or war you don't achieve legitimacy. We have a process of determining guilt intended to legitimize government use of force and taking away the rights of an individual. When our government doesn't follow that process it de-legitimizes our government. Not only that, but it makes it far more unlikely that they'll get it right, which is costly in any number of ways.

        Congress has allowed the President to just wing it on all these matters. They criticize if there are any problems, but they don't take any responsibility. And, I doubt if any of them have any clear idea how to handle this issue.

        So, I'm giving them clear guidance.

        That's not going to help unless an awful lot of other Americans amplify it and focus it on Congress.

      •  Great quote: (0+ / 0-)
        "We fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them here at home," is a justification for overseas military adventure to serve as a deterrent model within the U.S. so force doesn't have to be turned against our own.
        But I find it a false dichotomy, or a qualified dichotomy - "to keep things as they are" we must fight them there so as not to fight them here.

        That threat is not coming from self government, it's coming from a captured government.

        I think that is a great distinction, on a salient point.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:11:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's Not the Point (1+ / 0-)
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      k9disc

      The intelligence agencies are not part of the military. If you're going to wage war with drones then they need to be transferred over.

      Intelligence agencies are there to gather intelligence. When you have them waging war they get the idea that they're a law unto themselves. That's how you get the kinds of massive abuses (torture, hidden prisons, and so on) that we've seen.

      Put the weaponized drones in the military.

      And, not to put too fine a point on it, but the President is commander in chief of the Army and the Navy. Look it up. That implies CINC of the military. But he isn't "my" commander in chief, and he isn't commander in chief of the intelligence agencies. That doesn't give him any power to kill anyone with a drone unless it's part of a military operation (done by the military).

      The President does not have the authority to just go out and kill people. That's either done pursuant to a criminal trial with a death sentence or as part of a legitimate military operation, which would be one where Congress has declared war. We don't have any declaration of war. For all areas where there's an actual foreign government operating, we need to declare war on them if we are going to be in their killing people.

      There's a gray area in lawless areas, but that's as far as I'm willing to go. I'm a citizen of the U.S. These people are operating on my behalf. They are misusing my legitimacy and my honor when they operate in these lawless ways. I want them back on the right side of the law.

      •  I was thinking about how privatized the drone (0+ / 0-)

        world must be, and how long before we have Xe/Blackwater type organizations selling their services.

        Or do we already have those services/contractors in operation?

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:14:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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