Skip to main content

Hat tip Washington's Blog

Noted constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley was on C-SPAN yesterday, and he had some pretty scary things to say about the current state of civil liberties under President Obama:

President Obama has just stated a policy that he can have any American citizen killed without any charge, without any review, except his own. If he’s satisfied that you are a terrorist, he says that he can kill you anywhere in the world including in the United States.

Two of his aides just … reaffirmed they believe that American citizens can be killed on the order of the President anywhere including the United States.

You’ve now got a president who says that he can kill you on his own discretion. He can jail you indefinitely on his own discretion


I don’t think the the Framers ever anticipated that [the American people would be so apathetic]. They assumed that people would hold their liberties close, and that they wouldn’t relax …

Quoted text at 15:50:

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (144+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, rb608, Mindmover, asym, cybrestrike, PhilJD, marina, joe shikspack, strangedemocracy, praenomen, LaEscapee, ZhenRen, Marie, Agathena, poligirl, Obama Amabo, temptxan, Robobagpiper, rasfrome, sunny skies, ColoTim, scorpiorising, 0wn, flitedocnm, priceman, pfiore8, Teiresias70, Hayate Yagami, drnononono, Kurt Sperry, jlynne, Alice Venturi, UncleCharlie, DorothyT, Ginger1, kurious, leftykook, dull knife, lastlegslaststand, bobdevo, WisePiper, vacantlook, bluicebank, denise b, pgm 01, AntKat, gustynpip, limpidglass, sb, TheMeansAreTheEnd, triv33, monkeybrainpolitics, UtopianPablo, importer, Eric Blair, aliasalias, LamontCranston, albrt, 4kedtongue, esquimaux, Kingsmeg, mujr, elziax, Johnny Q, hangingchad, Trotskyrepublican, Dem Beans, blueoasis, RFK Lives, lotlizard, ItsaMathJoke, hester, NearlyNormal, Shelley99, HCKAD, enhydra lutris, petulans, JVolvo, rogerdaddy, paytheline, CentralMass, muddy boots, geomoo, SoulCatcher, Jackson L Haveck, hubcap, Dallasdoc, Shockwave, eztempo, doingbusinessas, lunachickie, TheMomCat, miningcityguy, inclusiveheart, Mathazar, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, NonnyO, Flying Goat, Orange County Liberal, myboo, gooderservice, Knucklehead, Celtic Merlin, Fe, Randolph the red nosed reindeer, LSmith, IndieGuy, pot, BYw, LucyandByron, No one gets out alive, Sagebrush Bob, frandor55, Williston Barrett, bnasley, brown and blue all over, Athena, PrometheusUnbound, Involuntary Exile, reveric, One Pissed Off Liberal, NBBooks, CanyonWren, Nada Lemming, Justina, salmo, businessdem, Nisi Prius, Executive Odor, Seamus D, dewtx, shaharazade, DixieDishrag, deepsouthdoug, h bridges, Sunspots, Nemagaiq, ladyjames, Situational Lefty, Simplify, GainesT1958, itsbenj, allenjo, BusyinCA
  •  "On his" or "at his?" (29+ / 0-)

    Turley has this ability to take a complex legal matter and distil it to its essence. I had one prof like him, sitting through his class was a eye opening joy.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 12:51:38 PM PST

    •  Since Democrats are by definition traitors ... (24+ / 0-)

      I think we can imagine.

      With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

      by jrooth on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 12:55:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like Bush already had the authority. (18+ / 0-)
      Under domestic law, the administration considers [assassinations] to be covered by the Authorization for Use of Military Force that Congress passed days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In two key sentences that have no expiration date, the AUMF gives the president sole power to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against nations, groups or persons who committed or aided the attacks, and to prevent future attacks. [But the government just broadened the authorization for use of military force from those who attacked us on 9/11 to include the Taliban and the vague category of "associated forces".]

      The revolution will not be privatized.

      by Bush Bites on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 01:38:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And candidate Obama promised to change that. (65+ / 0-)

        The fact that he is now part of the chorus for unlimited and unaccountable executive authority in defiance of our Constitution is simply astounding, and is completely unacceptable, even more so if his conversion is solely for what he sees as political expedience.

        This overshadows everything good that Obama has accomplished, and will come back to haunt us.

        "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

        by flitedocnm on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 02:03:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Overshadows? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Only if you will also agree that the Roosevelts' imperious and racially bigoted actions, their civil liberties abuses, overshadow their own accomplishments.  I don't know about the word "overshadows" but I would not find it objectionable if it is applied consistently.

          American history is in fact often written by elite men who were able to push us past the legal boundaries in such a way that they could get away with it without instigating a coup or impeachment.

          Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

          by Nulwee on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:02:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I partially disagree. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dRefractor, LEP

            FDR's actions in putting Japanese citizens in camps were indeed egregious and inexcusable, even in the context of the times. And in fact those actions I think were a major flaw in FDR's presidency. But there are two essential differences:

            The detentions ended when the war was over. Of course I wasn't there at the time, but my understanding of history is that those actions were never intended to be permanent.

            And FDR's accomplishments in the Neal Deal were truly transformative for this nation. So far at least, I am not seeing too many people characterize Obama's presidency as transformative, although I'd be in line to rejoice if it evolved in that direction.

            The current policy, and soon to be law, that supports indefinite detention without legal recourse and even assassination by executive decision is far more chilling in its global reach and the damage it does to our moral standing at home and abroad, the severe erosion of our basic democratic principles with untold potential for authoritarian abuse, and in the fact that there is no contemplated or definable end date. The "War on Terror" will never be over.

            "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

            by flitedocnm on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:15:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Were it not for the spineless courts (29+ / 0-)

        neither would have the authority.  They're just blindly accepting the assertion that  their assassination program is a state secret that the courts can't examine.

        President as judge, jury and executioner.  Let's hear it for "freedom".

        Reality has a liberal bias.

        by Hayate Yagami on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 02:15:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is doubt about this claim by Bush and Obama (24+ / 0-)

        that they already had this power.  This is likely the reason they asked a complicit Congress to codify this fundamental insult to the most basic principles of law.

        I don't have the training to speak to its accuracy, but assuming he knows what he's talking about, I still find this comment by Into The Woods to be the most complete analysis anywhere.  I post it here in its entirety.

        NDAA Will Enshrine and Expand Detention of US (19+ / 0-)
        Citizens as a power of the Executive by 'clarifying its application to a broader category of acts even if taken while on US soil by a person who is captured on US soil.

        The Congressional Research Service did a report on

        Detention of American Citizensas Enemy Combatants Updated February 25, 2005 (after many of the SCOTUS decisions referred to in the debate on this issue).

        This report provides background information regarding the cases of two U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants,” Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been returned to Saudi Arabia, and Jose Padilla, who remains in military custody. A brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals is offered, followed by brief analyses of the main legal precedents invoked to support the President’s actions, as well as Ex parte Milligan, which some argue supports the opposite conclusion. A discussion of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security follows, including legislative history that may help to shed light on Congress’ intent in authorizing the use of force to fight terrorism. The report concludes that historically, even during declared wars, additional statutory authority has been seen as necessary to validate the detention of citizens not members of any armed forces, casting in some doubt the argument that the power to detain persons arrested in a context other than actual hostilities is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force.

        This bill is a an attempt to remove that "doubt".  

        Those who pretend we are exempt (the American Exceptionalsim argument)  must realize that the specific exemption language only applies to Section 1022 which requires the military to detain individuals. (This was Section 1032 in the Senate version.)

        Section 1021 (1031 in the Senate version) which authorizes the military to detain individuals at the direction of the Presient does not specifically exempt US Citizens and an amendment that would have done so was defeated in the Senate.  Both that failure of the amendment and the clear exemption language present in one section but absent in the other will be used to argue that no limitation on existing powers was meant to apply to 1021.

        To reach the conclusion that US Citizens captured on US soil are exempt from the permissive authority of Section 1021 requires three assumptions to be true:

        1)  Current law (as interpreted by the SCOTUS) exempts US Citizens from indefinite detention without trial.

        2)  The language of 1021 does not add or subtract anything of substance from existing definitive interpretations of existing law.

        3)  The Executive Branch will construe and implement all powers under Section 1021 very, very narrowly and will deem that to the extent any language of Section 1021 expands or deviates from that of the orginal source of similar powers (AUMF) that Section 1021 is 'subordinate' to AUMF and therefore void to the extent of the difference.

        Assumption 1:  False.
        Assumption 2:  False.
        Assumption 3:  I would refer you to the expansive and aggressive interpretation of all existing 'anti-terror' laws since 9-11, including those of both the Bush and Obama administration and then ask whether this assumption is so solid that we're willing to rely on it to preserve what before was a right protected by the Constitution.

        There is fairly broad consensus that under the Hamdi decision (more detail in links below), an American citizen can be detained without trial under AUMF.  The key issues are "under what circumstances" may them be detained and what if any rights do they have to contest or challenge that detention.  

        That case limited that power by requiring some level of due process.

        But the facts of that case dealt with someone who was at least stated by the Govt to have been actively involved in combat against US forces and did so in Afghanistan.  

        Combat.  Carrying an AK-47.  In Afghanistan.

        The sponsors of the bill, including McCain and Graham have stated their intent very specifically to 'clarify' the law by expanding it.

        They intend to treat the entire world, including the US homeland, as the battleground. (This concept of treating the US as part of the battleground was widely reported by those that did any reporting when the Senate was debating their bill.)

        1)  The language of the Conference Committee report also expands who can be deemed (by the President) as a 'covered person' (covered by Section 1021) by 'clarifying' the level of involvement so that if this bill is passed an "enemy combatant" can be someone providing noncombatant "support" that is either "substantial" but not necessarily "direct" or that is "direct" but not necessarily substantial.  

        2)  The language of the Conference Committee report expands who can be deemed (by the President) as a "covered person" by expanding the groups they must be connected to (previously by combat, now by mere "support") from al Qeda and the Taliban to organizations "associated" with al Qeada or the Taliban. No definition is provided of what the threshold for "associated" is, but I recall that even the lone-wolf terrorists, who were only 'inspired' by al Qeda have often been referred to as "associated".  The lack of specificity allows for a very broad and loose definition to be employed - placing the burden on the individual to them somehow rebut that definition.  Not the ususal way we apply Constitutional protections to US citizens in the United States and in their relations with the US Government.

        3)  The language o0f the Conference Committee report expands who can be deemed (by the President) as a "covered person" by expanding the incident to which they somehow must be alleged to have 'supported', beyond the "attacks on September 11" stated in the original authorizing law to "engaging in hostilities" (without a date) against either the US or any of the "coalition partners".  

        I've provided comparative text of the Senate bill and Feinstein amendment, the Conference Committee Report language (final to be voted on by House and Senate) and the AUMF in the following:

        Senate Version final debate and amendments
        National Defense Authorization Act - Detention of US Citizens - Feinstein Amd Text & Debate

        Relating to the Conference Committee Report
         Concerning the specific language that expands the criteria for "enemy combatant"

        In the introduction, it highlights what I believe is the real crux of the issue and the real intent behind this "clarification".

        Excerpts and Links to the Conference Committee Report language, summary, and comparison of House/Senate versions.

        I have attempted to duplicate the bold, links, and italics precisely as in the original.  Any deviation is a result of unintentional error and I offer an apology if there is any such error.

        The Congress exists primarily to ensure the reelection of members of Congress. - Bacevich

        by geomoo on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:56:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So Dumbya and Dickie claimed.... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladyjames, aliasalias, Pilkington, allenjo

        These are precisely the things Jonathan Turley and others were talking about with Keith Olbermann multiple different times (and Keith did a number of Commentaries regarding the topic) and the unconstitutional assertions of power when Dumbya and Dickie were in office, particularly after the Patriot Act & revisions and MCA '06 (now added on to since Obama took office) and the FISA fiasco of '08 (which candidate Senator Obama voted FOR, remember; three days later he said if he were elected he'd expand Dumbya's unconstitutional 'office of faith-based initiatives' - a branch of the president's office - even Dumbya wasn't stupid enough to go to Congress and ask for the office to be created as a governmental department since it violates the separation of church and state no matter who oversees it).

        On 13 July 2007, Bill Moyers interviewed John Nichols and Bruce Fein about impeachment and the "preposterous assertions of power."  The first two videos cover impeachment and presidential assertions of power (the third video is a commentary by Moyers).

        Pay attention to Nichols' allegory about the cherry wood box and the presidential powers that have been put in that box and taken out in the years since Washington took office.  Then pay attention to the fact that Dumbya and Dickie claimed more executive power than ever before, put those claims of power in the cherry wood box, powers not covered by the constitution, and that whoever took office after they left would inherit the powers Dumbya and Dickie claimed as executive powers....

        Well, it's come to pass, hasn't it?  Obama is claiming the same powers as Dumbya and Dickie claimed (remember, Dickie said before the 2000 election that he saw his job as VP to 'strengthen the office of the president' - he did precisely that, even though the unitary executive powers he was talking about are unconstitutional).  Dickie is a true believer who has always thought US presidents should have more power than what the constitution gives a president; he's a product of many failed Republican presidencies.

        What Obama is claiming is what Dumbya and Dickie claimed..., and I, for one, don't think ANY president should have because it amounts to having an executive branch that has serial dictatorial power that makes us a fascist state in all but name.

        Bookmark the link to this interview, and listen to it over, and over, and over and over until you have it memorized.  Executive powers they were talking about as so wrong and unconstitutional and illegal for Dumbya and Dickie has been passed to Obama, all with the hearty support of our spineless Congress and a Judiciary that gives all power to corporations (as people, not artificial business entities) and our Fourth Estate is useless or have developed a cult of personality in favor of Obama when they should be writing articles about powers Obama is claiming he has inherited from Dumbya and Dickie....

        Congress is just as supine now as it was under Dumbya and Dickie and they keep extending these unconstitutional and illegal powers that we screamed about when Dumbya and Dickie were in office, adding more and more corporate powers (which the corporations write and expect our cretinous Congress Critters to pass in exchange for financial 'campaign contributions').

        I foresee nothing good coming from any of this, and I don't foresee a time when anything will change and revert to a constitutional balance of power in the next quarter of a century unless we get a whole LOT of new Congress Critters who go back to constitutional mandates.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:47:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This (64+ / 0-)

      is the question.

      I find it amazing when I hear anyone defend these moves because there is a Democratic President in office. The naivete to believe that any power will be relinquished by any future "leader of the free world", especially a republican is unfathomable. is possible in America to govern entirely on the appearance of principle--while changing absolutely nothing~Matt Taibbi

      by LaEscapee on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 01:42:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If the future Pres. happened to be someone... (13+ / 0-)

      like Gingrich--he (or she) might decide to arrest and then indefinitely detain judges who dared to rule contrary to the POTUS' wishes...  

      Nah...even Gingrich wouldn't be so arrogant as to even think  about arresting judges, would he...?

      •  the current Pres. exercises what he sees as a (18+ / 0-)

        right to kill anyone anywhere, without any judicial process, and all under reasons that are State Secrets.

        That person obviously need not be charged with a crime first, and when the ACLU (when representing his father in Civil Court) tried to stop the killing of his son, Anwar al-Awlaki, it was shut down because of State Secrets.
         No reason for killing him could be divulged because of State Secrets, and no excuse was even offered for killing his son right afterwards.
        Yeah, I really fear a different President, maybe more so if they are Repug, but to the families of the victims of our  'all war, all the time, and everywhere (including the USA now) at all times, it won't matter which President ordered the bombs.

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:29:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had a problem (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Situational Lefty, aliasalias

          from the get go with this countries killings of civilians in other countries. Same with renditions, kidnapping and torturing them.
          The CIA is in over 80 countries doing this right now.
          What gives the US government the goddamn right to do this.
          How many coups has this country done?  
          Why do they think they are so fucking special?  
          Is one person from another country did that here, they would rightly be labeled a terrorist.
          Why isn't the US?  
          We have how many bases all around the world?
          While we are cutting heating assistance to the poor and elderly?  
          What the fuck is wrong with these people?  
          From the A bombs to the DU in Iraq, to now the drones.
          People freely gave up their 4th amendment right to the TSA.
           Some people had no problem with the wire taps. They cheered the torture and Gitmo.
          Obama opposed ALL of these things as a candidate.
          What happened to that man?  
          I am beyond disgusted with his lies.

          Easter has been canceled. They found the Body

          by snoopydawg on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:47:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  If Bush/Cheney Is Any Indication, Further Than (10+ / 0-)

      even we might imagine.

      The worst I thought they were doing paled besides what we learned they actually had done.  

      The same reasons the military attorneys argued against the torture memos and obscuring the line between what was permitted and what was not applies here.

      In the heat of battle, there is a human tendency to over-react, to let fear or anger or other passions of the moment dictate actions that endanger a larger value.  

      This bill (and those who made it law) will be viewed by history much more severely than it is viewed currently by most of the public.  

      Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

      by Into The Woods on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:36:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly, it depends on who writes the history (8+ / 0-)

        and I'm beginning to think it will be a long time before official histories register the point of view being expressed by the minority who come here and other blogs to register opinion at odds with the official narrative.

        As an example, here is a quote from a John Pilger talk, as transcribed by me:

        Not long ago I visited the American Museum of History in the celebrated Smithsonian Institute in Washington.  One of the most popular exhibitions was called “The Price of Freedom:  Americans at War.”  It was holiday time, and lines of happy people, including many children, shuffled through a Santa’s grotto of war and conquest.  When messages about their nation’s great mission were lit up, these included tributes to the “exceptional Americans who saved a million lives” in Vietnam, where they were “determined to stop Communist expansion.”  In Iraq, other brave Americans “employed air strikes of unprecedented precision.”  What was shocking was not so much the revisionism of two of the epic crimes of modern times, but the sheer scale of omission.

        In contrast to this view, for one example, Iraqis say, ironically, "They liberated us with bombs on our houses."

        I hope you don't mind that I have twice now reposted your excellent analysis of the situation, including just upthread.

        The Congress exists primarily to ensure the reelection of members of Congress. - Bacevich

        by geomoo on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 05:16:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  where will future republican presidents take it? (0+ / 0-)

      Where will the present democratic president take it, might also be a very important question to ask.

      Rhetoric has to be matched with actions. "Only actions don't lie."

      by allenjo on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:36:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I could make a list of right-wing extremists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, geomoo

    I'd like to see on the indefinite detention list - but killing them would be taking it a bit too far.

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. – John F. Kennedy,1962

    by moose67 on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 12:57:48 PM PST

  •  I am completely opposed to the National Defense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo, Nulwee
  •  I am completely opposed to the National Defense (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, Robobagpiper, hooper, Rich in PA, leevank

    Authorization Act. I believe it unconstitutional and I believe those in power who voted for or signed this bill to be traitors to this country and ideals.
    That being said, I read Mr. Turley's Blog and he continues to use the word 'say' or 'says'; as in Obama says, etc..... Statements like this are usually followed by a very important punctuation mark, known as a quotation mark. It looks like this: ".
    When you state someone says something, it is usually followed up by a quote, so readers have a chance to read what was actually said and the context in which it was said. This article does not.
    Lacking a quote to back up the statement that someone said something makes your statement worthless. Unless you can provide the quote and the context in which it was uttered, then your argument has no merit and is essentially worthless. It is especially important when addressing a problem as serious as this.
    I can see why Professor Turley is one of the most cited people on the planet, because he will write and make nonsensical statements and present them as fact. Pretty much what the Mainstream Media feeds upon.

  •  The Framers Didn't Anticipate That Press Freedom (35+ / 0-)

    would cede the public square to global realtime-information warlords and create a public whose mainstream couldn't know what was going on.

    But they did.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 01:19:04 PM PST

    •  Nobody could have imagined... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, Shockwave, salmo

      the desperation for power that the Republicans and oligarchy are showing these days.  Certainly not the founders who were so quaint 225 years ago.

      •  Bullshit. The framers absolutely did so (5+ / 0-)

        imagine and indeed LIVED through the desperation for power and the tyranny.

        Read the Declaration of Independence.

        What they did not anticipate or imagine was that the American people would bow down to such abuse again -- and that is because The Framers and the majority of Americans at that time were BRAVE enough to stand up and reject the greed, corruption, abuses of power and tyranny that they were subjected to during their era.

        People forget that this country was founded because of the kind of abuse of power and rife corruption that we are witnessing now.  People forget that what the Founding Fathers and Colonial Americans endured until they undertook the American Revolution was quite horrible, oppressive and outrageous.  People forget that the American Revolution was one that was tough, brutal and extremely difficult on a multitude of levels.

        The fact that we as a nation in the early 21st Century are so willing to piss it all away because of some lunatic terrorist called Osama Bin Laden, a fucked up Faux Cowboy, and a Hopey Changey kind of President is DISGRACEFUL.

        If there were like two people in this country in elected office with as much of the brilliance, insight and goddamned guts as the Framers and their contemporaries had, we MIGHT have a fucking chance.

    •  The framers pretty much warned precisely (5+ / 0-)

      against the usurpations we are seeing today.  Perhaps there are specifics such as you mention, but the tactics being applied were delineated clearly and often by the founders in serious warning after serious warning.   It is not absurd to describe what is happening as reverse engineering of the warnings of the founders, including the dangers of a standing army, the problems with incessant warfare, the destructive effects of party on democratic functioning and more.  George Washington's Farewell Address warns quite eloquently against "any innovations of [the constitution's] principles," which is precisely what this is.

      The press in the 18th century was filled with alarmism, factionalism, character assassination, petty rivalry and such.  It is a mistake to imagine a golden era of objective journalism, most especially one during the founding of the nation.

      The Congress exists primarily to ensure the reelection of members of Congress. - Bacevich

      by geomoo on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 05:25:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The press has always sucked. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geomoo, shaharazade

        The people and the politicians they elect -- their mileage has varied from era to era.

        •  Yep. One difference today is the effectiveness (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          splintersawry, Justina

          of 24/7 multimedia propaganda made effective by decades of research on how to control human behavior and consumed willingly and in large quantities.  The problem is less the misinformation, which has always been around, than the emotional manipulation which accompanies it.

          The Congress exists primarily to ensure the reelection of members of Congress. - Bacevich

          by geomoo on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 05:49:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No that's not even true. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leevank, ladyjames

            The newspapers have always been full of saccharine emotionality and manipulation.  The pamphlets were too.  And let's not forget the common gossip which was always fraught with vitriol and misinformation.

            None of this is really as new as people would like to think it is.

            What is newer is the desire to be duped or to totally ignore reality which seems to have hit an all time high in recent decades.

            •  I agree with what you say, but (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              splintersawry, Justina, dRefractor

              it remains true that Madison Avenue and a television in every home is a relatively recent phenomenon.  A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, and skillfully manipulated video must be worth a million.  It is thought by many that a 30-second television spot run only once, during prime time, by Lyndon Johnson won him the election against Goldwater.  Compare that to the famous Lincoln-Douglass debates, which went for hours.  Things have become even more sophisticated in the intervening decades.  There is a reason 30 seconds during the Super Bowl is so expensive--it's because it's worth it.  There is no comparison with a tract or even a relentless campaign by an 18th century newspaper.

              The Congress exists primarily to ensure the reelection of members of Congress. - Bacevich

              by geomoo on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:22:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  The "rule of law" is not all it's cranked (11+ / 0-)

    up to be.  It is certainly no guarantee of justice.  When the law is suborned to insure subordination, the rule of law is a more implacable tyrant than any human, if only because its head can't be offed.

    We cannot rely on the rule of law for our human rights.  After all, the Constitution made slavery legal. Much more recently, the Congress deprived homosexuals of their rights to associate and speak freely.  Involuntary servitude is still legal in accordance with the military draft and children are the property of their parents.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 01:19:37 PM PST

      •  You can get the law to say anything... (6+ / 0-) want it to say.

        The current SCOTUS has shown us that.

        The revolution will not be privatized.

        by Bush Bites on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 01:39:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who determines rule of law? Turley or the SCOTUS? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, Pozzo

        If the SCOTUS sides with the President on something, then the President's action is within rule of law.  If the SCOTUS decides against the President on something, then the President ceases doing that something, and that's rule of law too.

        There is no evidence that "rule of law" is not in effect on that matter of this diary.  Turley's rhetoric is certainly not evidence of anything, it's jut his opinion  (just as it was his opinion that Clinton should be impeached for lying about a blowjob, and Turley went on to go on Fox News nearly every day to provide "intellectual" basis to the witch hunt he was backing).

        •  If the Congress passed a law doing away with (0+ / 0-)

          the right to a jury trial in criminal offenses, would you be content to sit back and wait to see if the Supreme Court declared the obvious--that the law was patently unconstitutional?  

          Turley is merely stating what is obvious to any honest person with even a smattering of training in constitutional law.

      •  The rule of consensus (0+ / 0-)

        as OWS is evolving.

        •  That is the rule of law (0+ / 0-)

          What do you think a set of rules for how decisions get made are?

          •  The rule of law (0+ / 0-)

            is the consensus of the 1%

            •  That's the complete opposite of the rule of law (0+ / 0-)

              Seriously, give this some thought. The rule of law as opposed to what? The opposite of the rule of law is the rule of men (and yes, 99.9% of the time it's men), i.e. those in power arbitrarily decide everything. The rule of law means that laws apply equally to the richest and the poorest, to the President and to the homeless guy on the street. The rule of men means that there are some who exempt from the rules that they enforce against others. Rule of the 1% is the rule of men.

              OWS demonstrated its commitment to the rule of law perfectly when they couldn't even accommodate John Lewis to speak out of turn at the General Assembly. That was a statement that the group was committed to the rule of law as against the rule of men at all costs.

              •  You are working with a metaphysical (0+ / 0-)

                definition for something that has never existed in history (except as Platonic theory).

                The first patriarchal "laws" were decreed by absolute monarchs such as Hammurabi, and while the size of the group of elite men decreeing the "laws" has waxed and waned, they has always been an elite, even when they are costumed as "representatives".

                The new information technologies offer ways to create a more direct democracy, but the elites don't want that. Hence their plans to destroy the Internet via SOPA.

                •  It exists to relative degrees (0+ / 0-)

                  Look, I'm a legal aid lawyer. I probably know as much as anyone else out exactly how weighted the law is in favor of the rich and powerful. But it's not total. My organization alone handles about 15,000 cases a year, and when we walk into court on behalf of our clients, who are uniformly poor, if we have the better arguments, we win. I've been reviewing cases for the year, and my cases are about low-wage workers suing wealthy employers for various abuses of their rights, and we win about 95% of the cases that we take to court.

                  Look at John Edwards' legal career. He made a fortune representing poor people against the rich, and winning. Are there plenty of other poor people with good cases out there who weren't fortunate enough to get a lawyer? Of course, but it's not total, and the rule of law means that when they do get to court, and they are right, then they win.

                  •  I'll accept that it is a Platonistic ideal (0+ / 0-)

                    believed in by many lawyers.

                    My own background is informatics and biology, so I tend to analyze systems in terms of their processes and regulation. I see "law" as a (very, very crude and maladaptive) regulatory system which functions primarily to maintain social hierarchy and inequality.It evolved in early patriarchal state societies to maintain the military hierarchy and the serfdom of the conquered chthonic agriculturalists.

                    "Law" -- in this imposed & non-organic conception -- and its twin brother money, are things humanity must evolve beyond if we are to survive on this planet.

    •  The Nazis followed the laws (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Nazi legislative scheme existed along a spectrum, with quasi-constitutional laws like the Nuremburg laws existing on one side, and laws dealing with minutia such as the prohibition of purchasing milk from a cow owned by a Jew on the other. Laws are always created with an underlying political ideology, and the Nazi’s laws were no different.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 05:15:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It sure beats the alternative. nt (0+ / 0-)

      The Congress exists primarily to ensure the reelection of members of Congress. - Bacevich

      by geomoo on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 05:26:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah well the (0+ / 0-)

      rule of Law, has been tweaked. It's kind of like the bible, the current powers that be, interpret it to suit their POV and consolidate their warped vision of what it means. Seriously humanistic/democratic progress is not confined to what some dudes with the right core and principles worked out politically and economically.

      How strange that hundreds of years later we are rehashing slavery of workers, basic rights like habeaus corpus and posse comitatus.The Law the Great Writ lives beyond our puny political insanity it's a living breathing thing that humans have struggled and developed forever. It is not what what recently the congress or the supremes declared as human it's inalienable and alive.  I love your posts but please, the law has been cranked to where it is a farce a delusion and not even the Law.    

  •  Thank you Jonathan Turley.... (12+ / 0-)

    your sane voice in this insanity is inspiring.....

    please continue to speak sanely in this insane world, you are like a.....


    in a sea of irrationality......

    The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by Mindmover on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 01:49:31 PM PST

  •  All Presidents are alike.. (5+ / 0-)

    All presidents want power and the more the better. It doesn't seem to matter if the power is beyond the constitutions guidelines. All that matters is keeping as much as they can get.

  •  The Framers had slaves.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gustynpip, OnlyWords, Larsstephens I'm not too impressed with whatever they thought or didn't think.

    The revolution will not be privatized.

    by Bush Bites on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 01:55:31 PM PST

    •  I have to say that is one of the most idiotic (23+ / 0-)

      statements I've ever read here. Slavery was legal in every part of the world at the time of the signing of the Constitution, and had been so since the beginning of time. Even so, they built into the Constitution a mechanism by which slavery would be gradually eliminated from the United States, and they in fact set in motion the set of processes by which it was actually elimnated. Their words on the subject of human equality as expressed in the Declaration have inspired millions all over the world to claim their freedom, from other British colonies, to the abolitionists, to the civil rights movement, to Tiananmen Square. But because some of them (not all mind you) had slaves, you have no interest in what any of them might have said about anything else? Wow.

      •  I only wish it was even close to being the most (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OnlyWords, Johnny Q, Nulwee, itsbenj, Pozzo

        idiotic statements I've ever read here.  Doesn't come close.

        So what if slavery was legal in every part of the world?  Legality doesn't make it right.  There were quite a few decent human beings who refused to own slaves, regardless of the legality of it.

        And no, the framers of the Constitution did not build into it a mechanism for the gradual elimination of slavery.  Remember, it took a war to do that?  

        Bush Bites didn't state s/he had no interest in anything the framers had to say - s/he stated s/he wasn't too impressed by what they thought or didn't think.  And I have to agree to an extent.  I don't care what they thought or didn't think, and this idea of always trying to figure out what their secret intent was is pointless.  The Constitution says what it says, regardless of what the framers thought or intended that it say.  

        I'm really rather perplexed over your reaction to this pretty mild and rather meaningless post.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:02:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well we're into two different concepts here (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, AoT, Nada Lemming, Nulwee

          I'd like cites to "decent people" who refused to own slaves in the 18th century. You might have forgotten this little tidbit in the Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution:

          "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person."

          Guess which year the importation of slaves was banned by Congress in the United States. Yup, 1808. The framers were clearly aware that they were setting in motion a process that would gradually bring an end to slavery.

          And yes we fought a Civil War, but the side that wanted to preserve the Union and the Constitution was anti-slavery, and the side that wanted to dissolve the Union and write their own Constitution was pro-slavery. So you do the math on that one.

          With respect to constitutional interpretation, it's standard practice in legal analysis to look not only to the words on the paper, but to the intent of those who wrote them. It's only controversial in the context of the big issues of the Constitution.

        •  right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There's nothing in the Constitution as originally drafted the provides for the elimination of slavery, gradual or otherwise. The document had to be amended to abolish it, after a long, bloody war.

      •  If You're Going to Argue That Slavery was WOKAY (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, Nulwee

        because it was legal, then you cannot argue against Obama's statement regarding his legal right, granted to him by Congress, to assassinate whoever.

        The fact that your comment received so many recs is indicative of the white-mindedness of this site; besides, it includes lies to defend the hypocrisy of the founding fascists fathers such as:

        they built into the Constitution a mechanism by which slavery would be gradually eliminated from the United States, and they in fact set in motion the set of processes by which it was actually eliminated.

        Oh yea. Cite chapter and verse. What's that...

        The only processes that ended slavery in the USA was the defeat of the Confederacy and the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. The "founders", the 1%'ers of their day, incorporated slavery into their constitution w/o any endgame, except for an end-date to the importation of slaves directly from Africa

        Some of them had slaves? Most of them had slaves. The fact that you so easily discount the "founders" hypocrisy only goes to expose your limited concept of freedom - that is, limited to what the ruling class decides.

        Your sophistry is worthy of a great big FUCK YOU!; however, given the demographics and mindset of most kossacks, it'll get raves, instead.

        I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

        60% of White-Americans voted for the TeaBigots in 2010. Yet, some Kossacks think Obama is the problem. I guess it's easier to blame Obama than it is to blame your momma

        by OnlyWords on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:05:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also, Pilkington, Your BS Sophistry Excusing (0+ / 0-)

          Slavery contains the fallacious "ends justifies means" argument.

          I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

          60% of White-Americans voted for the TeaBigots in 2010. Yet, some Kossacks think Obama is the problem. I guess it's easier to blame Obama than it is to blame your momma

          by OnlyWords on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:14:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The irony of your ridiculous position is (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nada Lemming, h bridges, aliasalias

            that under the current legal trend slavery will be legalized again and you haven't the slightest clue that that is a very real possibility.  I would even argue that where it comes to the dangerous deference being given to corporations whereby they are afforded great power over the people of this country and given the fact that the government of The People seems to be turning on its people, we are much closer to slavery and indentured servitude than we have been since the goddamned Civil War.  You want your fucking freedom?  Then go fight for it because you are in a position of losing it now and you're going to doom the generations that come after us to suffering if you do not.

        •  That wasn't what he was arguing at all (9+ / 0-)

          He was arguing that ignoring what the Founding Fathers said simply because they owned slaves is stupid.  I mean, if you take virtually any writer from more than around 300 years ago there is a good chance that person had slaves, or the functional equivalent.  Are you going to ignore what all those people said because of it?

          No one is saying slavery is OK.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:23:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Pipe down man (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pot, penguins4peace, aliasalias

          Article I Section 9 implicitly provided for the abolition of the slave trade in 1808, which is exactly what happened: pursuant to that provision of the Constitution, Congress prohibited the importation of slaves into the United States in 1808.

          Furthermore, if you remember correctly, the Civil War was fought between anti-slavery forces fighting to preserve the Union founded under the Constitution, and the pro-slavery forces were fighting to dissolve the Union, and (presumably) write their own Constitution. The fact that slavery was indeed abolished while the Constitution remained in effects should tell you all that you need to know about the effect that this document had long term on the question of slavery.

          I did not argue that slavery was right because it was legal; I argued that it was legal because it was nearly universally considered right. People in the 1500's when slavery was brought to America would've looked at someone declaring slavery wrong as we would look at someone declaring property ownership wrong.

    •  Opinions based on incomplete facts are (11+ / 0-)


      Twelve owned or managed slave-operated plantations or large farms: Bassett, Blair, Blount, Butler, Carroll, Jenifer, Jefferson, Mason, Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Rutledge, Spaight, and Washington. Madison also owned slaves, as did Franklin, who later freed his slaves and was a key founder of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Alexander Hamilton was opposed to slavery and, with John Jay and other anti-slavery advocates, helped to found the first African free school in New York City. Jay helped to found the New York Manumission Society, Hamilton was an officer, and when Jay was governor of New York in 1798 he signed into law the state statute ending slavery as of 1821.
    •  Aint that cute n/t (0+ / 0-) is possible in America to govern entirely on the appearance of principle--while changing absolutely nothing~Matt Taibbi

      by LaEscapee on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 02:45:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So did the anti-Federalists. (7+ / 0-)

      Thus by your logic those arguing against the Constitution were just as not worth listening to as those in favor.

      But of course your position is untenable in more ways than one. Chief of them is that a good idea stands or falls on its own. One doesn't reject a scientific theory, for instance, simply because the author is an asshole.

    •  What do you think about the Constitution? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:40:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  totalitarianism should be opposed no (17+ / 0-)

    matter the personalities pushing it.

  •  the framers? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, OnlyWords, NearlyNormal, Pozzo

    I don’t think the the Framers ever anticipated that [the American people would be so apathetic]. They assumed that people would hold their liberties close, and that they wouldn’t relax

    the same framers that gave us the alien and sedition acts? those framers?

    anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

    by chopper on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 02:01:40 PM PST

  •  Turley is grossly exaggerating (16+ / 0-)
    Two of his aides just … reaffirmed they believe that American citizens can be killed on the order of the President anywhere including the United States.

    He omits the fact that you have to be a member or associate of al Qaeda, the Taliban, or someone who harbors them, or any organization plotting or attempting attacks against the United States.  This is codified in the NDAA as well as the 2001 AUMF.  Just killing any American citizen anywhere for any reason is clearly illegal.
    You’ve now got a president who says that he can kill you on his own discretion. He can jail you indefinitely on his own discretion

    Again, the president is not going to kill or detain "you."  If "you" associate with al Qaeda or the Taliban or another group the United States is legally in combat with, then you make yourself eligible.  Also, it's not just Obama and Bush that the government can detain American citizens indefinitely--the SCOTUS thinks so too.  The NDAA writes into law powers the SCOTUS allows the government to have.

    This law sucks; I would much prefer to reverse the practice of indefinite detention altogether, and what we have now is writing into law a practice I don't approve of.  But some of this talk about the President just coming after anyone, anywhere is sharply hyperbolic in my view.

    •  But how is it determined whether or not (25+ / 0-)

      you fit into that definition? Who makes that determination? On what basis?

      •  On the basis (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OnlyWords, ballerina X

        that you're an agent or associate of al Qaeda, or the Taliban, or anyone plotting attacks against the United States.  That's not a trivial standard in my view.  In the case of detention, SCOTUS ruled in favor of habeus rights for detainees, and the government has to prove that he/she is being detained legally.

        Killing American citizens involved with terrorist organizations is also something that's legal under the same laws.  I'm not sure, but I would imagine that the recourse for victims would be to file a federal tort claim, and if someone (the President or whoever) broke federal law by ordering the death of an American citizen not involved with terrorist organizations, there would probably be legal consequences for that person as well.

        My basic point is that there's a significant amount of accountability here through the current justice system.

        •  One step (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q, ladyjames

          toward any destination puts you that much closer to the end point.

 is possible in America to govern entirely on the appearance of principle--while changing absolutely nothing~Matt Taibbi

          by LaEscapee on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 02:47:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's the very definition of circular reasoning (21+ / 0-)

          You can only be killed if you are an agent of al-Q, or the Taliban, or an associate organization. How is it determined whether or not you are an agent of alQ, T or associated org?"On the basis that you're an agent or associate of Al Qaeda, or the Taliban, or anyone plotting attacks against the United States." Do you understand how ridiculous that sounds.

          Only people who rape and murder innocent children will get the death penalty. How do we know whether someone has raped and murdered innocent children. On the basis that the raped and murdered innocent children. Pshaw.

          Habeas corpus is appreciated, but you do realize that habeaus corpus predates the Constitution, right? So, we are essentially back to where we were as subjects of the British Crown. Not really something to right home about.

          And tort law is irrelevant to this discussion. We're talking about a person's life or liberty, not whether their family will be adequately compensated for their loss.

          •  I know it's circular. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, penguins4peace, Nulwee

            It was a poor attempt at being snarky and now I look foolish. ;_;  So I apologize for that.

            My basic thoughts are that if the government identifies someone as al-Qaeda, they ought to be able to prove it in court.

            I acknowledge the potential for abuse.  I don't like the policy of indefinite detention for the very reasons argued here.  But the system is not totally without accountability.  And that's my response to those who argue that anyone anywhere can be killed for any reason.

            •  Sorry for not picking that up (6+ / 0-)

              But when you say "ought to be able to", does that mean the same thing is "should be required to"? It would be my position that the U.S. government not deprive any "person" of their life, liberty or property without due process of law, with the exception being unnamed individuals on the field of battle, or people who are killed in the course of an honest attempt at capture. But putting someone's name on a list, and then dropping a bomb on their head, to me, doesn't come close to meeting either of those definitions.

              And while I'm glad that we still have habeas corpus, again that only puts us where we were vis-a-vis King George.

              •   emptywheel on Predator Drone attacks (9+ / 0-)


                a long read from the Washington Post on how secrecy defines Obama’s drone wars:

                The administration has said that its covert, targeted killings with remote-controlled aircraft in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and potentially beyond are proper under both domestic and international law. It has said that the targets are chosen under strict criteria, with rigorous internal oversight.

                They’ve based it on the personal legitimacy of [President] Obama — the ‘trust me’ concept,” Anderson said. “That’s not a viable concept for a president going forward.”

                The article goes on to state how the CIA, and the majority of voices in the White House, are fighting tooth and nail for continued utmost secrecy lest any of our enemies somehow discover we are blowing them to bits with our drones. This is, of course, entirely predictable, especially now that the former head of the CIA leads the military and the former military chief for the greater Af/Pak theater which has long been ground zero for the drone kill program, Petraeus, is the head of the CIA


                without the ants the rainforest dies

                by aliasalias on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:55:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  You should go read Kafka's Trial. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nada Lemming

              Then let's talk.

        •  Jesus fiucking christ (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q, aliasalias
          On the basis (0+ / 0-)
          that you're an agent or associate of al Qaeda, or the Taliban, or anyone plotting attacks against the United States.  That's not a trivial standard in my view.

          You gave that as an answer to "how is it determined whether or not you fit into that definition"? You may as well have said "because shut up is how!" This is a really, really too fucking much so for you, apparently, important fucking point. I tis almost the WHOLE fucking point.

        •  How does a dead person file a tort claim? (10+ / 0-)

          How do legal consequences make a dead person undead?
          The death penalty, the ultimate consequence, hasn't stopped people from murdering each other.

          That there would "probably" be legal consequences is not a strong enough deterrent for someone in the position of President with a room full of lawyers making the case that he or she followed some bent aspect of a law. Just like Bush did.
          And this is what we feared. That even a Dem would use the same powers that Bush used that we detested and protested.

          So here it is, and you defend it?

          Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act. - Al Gore

          by Burned on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:09:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  But who decides whether you're an agent or (7+ / 0-)

          an associate of anyone plotting an attack against the US?  What are the standards for making that determination?  Particularly since you'll never know the charge is being made and you'll have no opportunity to defend against the charge.

          It's pretty hard for someone who's dead to file a tort action, wouldn't you say?  And since all facts surrounding the decision will, I'm sure, be a security secret, good luck in that lawsuit.

          I believe Turley's basic point was that there is no level of accountability, period.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:11:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  the key point (8+ / 0-)

          The standard is that you have to actually be a member of one of those organizations, but rather you just have to be declared to be by the president.  Since that determination appears to be unreviewable a priori, any innocent person so declared has no opportunity to show that the declaration is incorrect.

          Also, there is no bar to the President making such a delcaration on no evidence whatsoever.  Thus, "you" absolutely could be so declared if someone doesn't like your dress that day.

          This structure is wide open to abuse.

        •  jdsnebraska ya' got a terrist soundin' name sez (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the Prez. ./s

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:37:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  And just as importantly, what constitutes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q, blueoasis, PhilJD

        an attack.  There have already been people calling occupiers domestic terrorists.  Obama isn't going to use this to kill people who protest, but it sets the stage for a president who might.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:58:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Even bright lines have fuzzy edges (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, penguins4peace

        Scenario 1:

        Police have been hunting for a suspect (an American citizen) for some time. He is wanted on serious charges and has a long history of violence. He holes up in a clock tower and is seen loading a rifle. No one else is visible. He knows he is being sought and refuses to come down. Several people nearby reported that shots were fired at them. The bullets barely missed, knocking some paint off a wall nearby. The apparent targets were certain, and forensics seem to bear them out, that the shots came from the direction of the clock tower.

        Police can't rush the suspect in the clock tower without becoming sitting ducks.

        Police commissioner authorizes a police sniper to fire on the suspect from a helicopter and kill him.

        Scenario 2:

        American authorities have been hunting for American Al Qaeda member for some time. He knows he is being sought. He is even on the FBI most wanted list.

        He holes up in Yemen and is seen directing potentially lethal plots in America. One plot involves a man who tries to detonate a bomb in Times Square. The Al Qaeda operative publicly boasts of the plot and promises future lethal plots.

        American military locates him but they cannot go in to arrest him without taking extraordinary personal risks.

        President authorizes military to use a missile-equipped drone to kill him.

        My thoughts:

        I don't see why we should give a person who has sworn to kill Americans and has a track record of making good on his threats  more leeway than we would give a citizen who is brandishing a gun in a public place.

        If we can feasibly arrest him, then we clearly have an obligation to do so. But we shouldn't ask our soldiers to risk their lives to do it.  


        Regardless, Jonathan Turley has done his usual crappy job of analysis.

        Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

        by grapes on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:44:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  These thoughts: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nada Lemming, Justina

          The laws of every state and of the United States permit any person to use deadly force to prevent a murder.  To that extent the scenarios you present would be functionally identical, as each actor was engaged in actions immediate to a murder which, but for the use of deadly force against him, would have been accomplished.

          In each case, the police chief and the President command the action based upon their own determination of circumstances.

          Here is the difference:  the police chief will in every jurisdiction be later compelled to give a public account of his or her reasons justifying the action taken; in probably every jurisdiction a grand jury would be empaneled to investigate even the most obviously justified killing by a law enforcement officer.

          But who will review the President's determination?  What legal standards will be applied to that determination, and by whom?

          That, then, in the nub.  Law ends when an action is unreviewable, and the end of law is tyranny.

          Scisne me e terra ea naso tolere posse?

          by penguins4peace on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:32:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fair enough (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I think you make a very reasonable point. The President is not reviewed - except at the next election and that will likely have little to do with a specific action. So that is a clear and valid distinction.

            Nonetheless, the issue is balanced on a much finer point than the diarist (or J. Turley) suggests.

            Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

            by grapes on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 07:41:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  scenario 1 other Countries start doing the same (0+ / 0-)

          thing, flying bombing missions over the USA to protect themselves from people that their home Country feels are terrorists and have fled to the USA.
          No problem, right?
          American exceptionalism/AKA hypocrisy, only THIS Country can do those things... otherwise it's terrorism.

          That aside, our Predator Drone attacks are second only to our (militarily)occupying other's Countries as a recruitment tool for terrorists.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 11:28:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is that the determination of who is a (21+ / 0-)

      member of al Qaeda or associate of al Qaeda is made solely by the Executive Branch, without any quantum of proof and without any judicial review.

      That's a power I wouldn't want any Democrat to have, much less the Rethuglicans who will inhabit the White House in the future.

      •  There is judicial review. (0+ / 0-)

        If a detainee invokes his/her Habeas rights, he/she gets the opportunity to challenge the detention.

        •  You can't invoke habeous corpus when (12+ / 0-)

          the decision has already made that you are a member of a terrorist group and a drone just dropped a bomb on your corpus.

        •  there was no judicial review (17+ / 0-)

          for al-Awlaki. The president just zapped him.

          His father even sought an injunction against the government to prevent them from killing his son.

          The government's response? It's a state secret. al-Awlaki's father's lawsuit should be dismissed because hearing the case would jeopardize national security.

          So let's recap: the government can summarily execute American citizens, and when challenged to justify their actions in court, they can nullify the challenge by claiming it's too secret for the courts to hear about.

          If that's not tyranny, what is?

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:08:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Awlaki made videotaped statements... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sviscusi, Pozzo

            that stipulated to everything claimed by the US government in killing him.  It's a profoundly uninteresting case from that perspective.

            But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

            by Rich in PA on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:54:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, the president didn't "just zap him". (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The current law says that before American citizen members of Al Queda are targetted, certain steps must be followed.  For example, the President must put the target on the hit list, explictly and publicly.  This was done wrt al-Awlaki.  All steps prescribed by the law were followed, and the SCOTUS has not ruled the law to be unconstitutional.

            This was not a secret killing, as "just zapped him" suggests.  This was done in the open, in full public view, and was publicly declared as policy in many months before the action took place.  It was "transparent" government in action, and followed the letter of the law.

            •  Wow, that's some real bullshit you've got there. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              limpidglass, drnononono

              Not only is the list secret, the legal memo justifying Mr Awlaki's killing is secret. And the entire panel that decides the list functions in secret.

              The government tried to keep Anwar's father from filing a case on the grounds that the entire matter was a state secret.

              Even if some aspect of the underlying facts at issue had previously been officially disclosed, the Government’s privilege assertions demonstrate that properly protected state secrets would remain intertwined in every step of the case, starting with an adjudication of the threshold issue of plaintiff’s standing (i.e., whether or not there is an alleged “target list” which includes plaintiff’s son, and whether he is being subjected to the threat of lethal force absent an imminent threat or a reasonable alternative to force), and the inherent risk of disclosures that would harm national security should be apparent from the outset.
              - From the Government's own fucking brief (pdf) in the Awlaki case.

              Oh hey! Look at that! Eric Holder's DOJ just called you on your bullshit!

              •  Nothing in your post indicates that Alwaki's (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                removal from the field was not done in accordance with the law.  Nothing you wrote indicates that the steps prescribed by the law weren't followed.  And nothing you write indicates that the SCOTUS ruled the law unconstitutional.
                Since the law was followed, the President did not "just zap him".  He took him out as prescribed by the law.  That's something you can't get around, no matter how hard you try.  Must sting like hell, huh?  lol

                As for how transparent this all was, I'll allow that maybe I was wrong about there being an official target list (I couldve sworn I read that that was the case, as such was talked of when the President publicly signed off on the targetting of Awlaki; you do remember your crowd damning the President for that, right?  You can't now claim you didn't know Awlaki was being targetted).  Are you really going to sit there and claim that you didn't know Awlaki was an official target?  Are you really going to sit there and claim that when he was taken out, it wasn't announced?  Are you really going to fucking pretend that this was a "secret killing", even though everyone knew of it?  Come off it.

                Hell, the guy's father filed his case because he knew that Awlaki was a target.  Why file a case otherwise?

                •  How could the Supreme Court rule the "law" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  unconstitutional, when (a) there was no "law" in accord with which the assassination was done (other than executive fiat); and (b) if there is such a "law," the government refuses to disclose its existence and contents?

                  What "law" was "followed"?  What "steps" were "prescribed" and followed?  Give me a cite to the United States Code section you claim was "followed," or retract your statement.

                •  So much horseshit. What law? He wasn't... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  on any battlefield, shooting at any Americans. What made-up law (that you admit they didn't follow) says Officially putting Escamillo's name on a List makes it cool to kill you?

          •  A bad law, giving the president too much authority (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

   not tyranny in itself.

            Tyranny is defined as "arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority."  If the bad law is never used, there is no tyranny, because the power has not been exercised  If only bona fide terrorists are executed, then that is not tyranny, because the exercise of power is neither arbitrary nor unrestrained.  Even if the law were misapplied once or twice against non-terrorists by mistake, that is not tyranny, because there is still no arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power.  

            Killing al-Awlaki, for example, was not tyranny, even if it should not have been done; the exercise of power certainly was not arbitrary, as al Awlaki's has well-documented ties to a number of terrrorist attacks exceeded only by bin Laden and a few others, and this made him unique.  It was also not an unrestrained exercise of power but rather a limited exercise of power, reserved only for al Awlaki to date as far as targeted killings of American citizens.

            •  Well documented? Horse shit. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The White House has yet to publicly release jack shit about any operational role Mr Awlaki had with AQ. Further, it's not not tyranny just because the Government says it's only killing terrorists. Every country claims they're only killing thugs, terrorists, whatever. Do we let Syria off the hook because they claim to have boxes full of evidence that they're only murdering defectors and thugs? No, they can't release it in Court or to the UN! There are State Secrets in play here!

        •  Which would be true if there was (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pgm 01, aliasalias

          a stipulation that the government disclose that they have detained someone, which to my knowledge is not the case.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:38:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Trouble is... (15+ / 0-)

      since there is no requirement that the person be detained and tried, the president can pretty much say what he wishes about anyone to justify killing them with trial, without have to present proof in a court of law. If domestic dissent continues to rise, as I suspect it will, this is gonna get interesting...particularly the indefinite detention aspect. Remember the president already claimed the  power of indefinite detention before this law.

    •  Who determines (13+ / 0-)

      that people are "associated" with terrorists in order to detain or kill them?

      People are entitled to due process so that the decision made in which they are declared enemies are determined based on facts.

      When the executive branch can make such decisions without adhering to the rights to due process, errors could happen, or worse, a future president could abuse such powers.

      Considering the ease in which civilian casualties occur at the hand of the executive branch all the time with careless bombing and other military actions, how can we be sure that won't occur in determining without due process the "association" of citizens with terrorists?

      The truth is, we can't be sure. Thus, this is wrong. Yes, potentially anyone could be marked as associated with terrorists.

      •  SCOTUS upheld due process for detainees. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, Pozzo

        If the president orders the death of a target not covered under the AUMF, he's breaking the law.  And there are legal recourses for that.  Someone would file a lawsuit on behalf of the victims and the government would have to prove that the targeting was legitimate.  I agree that there is potential for abuse, but these kinds of federal powers are not unprecedented in this nation's history.

        Considering the ease in which civilian casualties occur at the hand of the executive branch all the time with careless bombing and other military actions, how can we be sure that won't occur in determining without due process the "association" of citizens with terrorists?

        You think we're going to send a drone to Indianapolis or something? I don't get it.
    •  You don't HAVE to be a member of Al Qaeda or assoc (16+ / 0-)

      You just need to have the President say you are. That's a critical difference.

      And should you disagree, good  luck finding a way to challenge that designation in court. In fact, good luck even finding out whether you've been designated a terrorist at all.

      This is so unbelievably fucked up. No American should be truste with this kind of authority, let alone a politician.

    •  No, god damn it, you have to be "accused" of (6+ / 0-)

      being a member. Big fucking difference.

  •  I read the "Use of Force" authorization from 2001 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lastlegslaststand, high uintas another diary this morning, and it seems to me that document might have already given the Executive Branch pretty much these same "powers", for better or worse, mebbe not a new thing Obama is asserting, rather more of the Administration continuing to assert Bush-era authority...certainly a disappointment and surprise for me, that's for sure.

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 02:32:11 PM PST

  •  Lots of shifting arguments. (17+ / 0-)

    First the president's defenders claimed he would veto the bill, and that he didn't want these powers. Now, the arguments are that granting these powers to the president aren't really such a big deal, and nothing has changed.

  •  Turley is just doing his thing. I've heard him (7+ / 0-)

    dozens of times - on MSNBC, i think - and not once has he not taken an anti-Obama stance.  In this case he's exaggerating wildly.  No surprise.

    That said, there should be due process no matter what, imo.  I think we're all against the part of the NDAA that violates this.

    I have not been following this issue close enough to know every detail.  Is Obama's role in it mainly that he isn't going to veto it, after saying he intended to do so?

    If that's so it's hardly the direct administration attack on civil liberties that's being portrayed.  

    Again, what are the facts?  (No way I'm gonna watch 41 minutes of Turley)  Does anyone here know?

    •  Your evidence that Turley is exaggerating? nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, pgm 01
    •  Not just refuse to veto (13+ / 0-)

      He claims these powers. He's used them. Is that not enough of an attack on civil liberties?

      The fact that we're establishing these powers legislatively, more than 10 years after 9/11, with Osama Bin Laden dead, with fewer than 100 Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, and without any recent terrorist attacks is an outrage. That it's happening with a former constitutional law professor who pledged to re-affirm the rule of law and roll back previous abuses as President is a serious issue.

      One thing I can ensure you, these powers will never shrink, they'll always expand.

      •  Obama has put zero (0) suspects into mil detention (6+ / 0-)

        Every single terror suspect captured since he came into office has been processed through civilian law enforcement and the federal courts (except for the Ft. Hood shooter, who was court martialled because he's an Army officer).

        The reason this is so is because the Obama administration has pushed back against Congress' attempts to re-impose military detention.

        Framing this as Obama's problem, when he is in fact the good guy in this story, working to prevent Congress from bringing back the practice, is deeply misguided.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:03:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He Just Assassinates Them Instead (8+ / 0-)

          Rather than arrest people and put them into millitary detention, Obama sends either Seal Teams or Predator drones to assassinate them.

          This is Turley's entire point.  

        •  Not so sure. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Justina, ladyjames

          In addition to, as TimmyB points out, assassinating Anwar al-Awlaki without charge, trial, or oversight, he hasn't given most detainees held at Guantanamo access to civilian trials. Nor I do I recall hearing of any terrorists held at Bagram receiving access to due process, or any way to challenge their status. Lord only knows who we're holding in all of the secret prisons we operate in places like Somalia.

          I'm not framing this solely as Obama's problem... Lord knows Bush was guilty of many, many horrific abuses, and I'm furious with Democrats in congress for not fighting this shit harder (or at all, in some cases). But nor am I willing to consider Obama a good guy in this story. We also have the escalation in Afghanistan where Panetta estimates fewer than 50-100 Al Qaeda operatives exist and where we're engaged in talks with the Taliban even as our soldiers risk life and limb fighting them, and the covert actions in Somalia, Yemen, etc., where the administration refuses to even bother with making a case to the American people or allowing any type of civilian or congressional oversight.

          •  The Gitmo detainees were there when he arrived. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pozzo, Escamillo

            Congress blocked his efforts to transfer Gitmo detainees to civilian courts.  You must remember the proposed NYC trial for KSM.

            Gitmo is a giant, sucking wound on our body politic, but it is because of Obama and Holder that the infection has not spread.  We've got a problem with Bush's old detainees, but that problem has not spread.  No one else has been sent there under Obama; he's tried to clean up the mess but Congress won't let him; and new arrests are treated the way criminal terrorists in this country should have been treated all along.  This is all because of the change in policy brought about, against intense political opposition including from his own party, by Obama.

            Come on, you're sitting here fretting about military detention, and you can't even give the guy credit for abandoning the military detention policy and actually doing what you want with terror suspects?

            Battlefield captures of enemy fighters are not arrests, and people held at Baghram are not criminal suspects.  They're POWs.

            Because you disagree with the entirely-different subject of how to wind down the Afghan War?

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 07:39:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Guantanamo isn't the only detainee site. (0+ / 0-)

              Congress blocked funds from being used for the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to U.S. prisons, and construction of any new facilities. I'm not entirely sure why Obama couldn't use the already massive DOJ budget and prison infrastructure to do it anyway. Or he could have threatened to release the detainees unless the provision was struck. Bottom line, I think he would have preferred to close it, but given the political opposition, he wasn't going to go to the mat for it so early in his term.

              You call Guantanamo a "giant, sucking wound," but what is the difference between the detainees held there and those held in Bagram or the secret sites our military operates? Under Obama, we're still snatching people off the streets or in raids based on undisclosed evidence of ties with terrorist and insurgent groups, holding them indefinitely without access to any type of oversight or review. They're not all "battlefield captures" and none of them are being given POW status.

              All of these things matter, and are a reflection of Obama's preferred way of handing military and national security matters, which is secretly, and with as little judicial oversight as possible.

              •  Obama closed the black sites. It's just Gitmo. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You're making claims without anything to back them up, depending on "It's all being done in secret" as a excuse not to back them up.

                And if your  (completely baseless, unevidenced) claims about Obama's practices are true, then why has EVERY SINGLE PERSON arrested for terrorism offenses or al Qaeda connections in the United States since he came to office been processed through the criminal justice system?

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 02:37:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Not criminal suspects. Battlefield captures. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Afghanistan is a war zone, in which hostile forces are taken prisoner.  The fact that an enemy soldier, fighting in a war, is using terroristic tactics doesn't eliminate his status as an enemy soldier.  Even if such a prisoner is charged with a crime, the Geneva Conventions and US law still treat him as a wartime prisoner, not a civilian.

            Holding enemy soldiers in military camps is not the issue.  We didn't charge enemy soldiers captured in Korea, Germany, or Iraq in our civilian courts, either.

            Blurring the line between military action and law enforcement is exactly the problem with military detention; don't you start doing it, too!

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 07:45:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Are 41 minutes worth your time to learn just what (6+ / 0-)

      this is all about and why Jonathan Turley, as well as many others are very concerned about?  Have you tried to learn for yourself by researching the topic?

      I personally think it's that important:  But that's just me.

      "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution, inevitable." - President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)

      by LamontCranston on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:23:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The destruction of due process isn't worth 41 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justina, ladyjames

      minutes of your time?  I think that should be written on America's tombstone.  

    •  Heh glad you at least admit this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I have not been following this issue close enough to know every detail.

      Yet you seem to know enough about the issue to discount someone that has, someone that has even, gasp studied the constitution.

      I would argue, that this isn't an "anti-Obama" argument as much as it is a pro constitutional argument. Unless you agree that the president is on the opposite side of this argument. is possible in America to govern entirely on the appearance of principle--while changing absolutely nothing~Matt Taibbi

      by LaEscapee on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:17:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The SCOTUS decides what's "pro-constitutional", (0+ / 0-)

        not Turley.  This is what I don't get: When did "progressives" get it in their heads that their particular interpretation of the Constitution on any given matter is the final say?  That anyone that disagrees with them isn't pro-constitutional?  THose that disagree would say that they are pro-constitutional because their interpretation is in keeping wiht the Constitution.

    •  So you disagree with Turley (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, pgm 01, ladyjames

      even though you can't be bothered to even listen to what he said that you say you disagree with. And why again should we take you seriously?

      You people self-refute. It's quite amusing, actually.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 07:00:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What, and you don't think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bush & Cheny Inc. didn't disappear a bunch of Americans illegally and just not tell us about it?  I'd be shocked if they didn't, frankly...

    New favorite put-down: S/he's as dumb as a flock of Sarah Palins

    by sleipner on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:16:31 PM PST

  •  It's a lie even if Turley says it. (8+ / 0-)

    I really don't know what Turley's problem is.  Obama has sought some pretty broad authority to detain and kill people, but he hasn't said, or implied, or supported proposals, that permit the government to kill people in the US beyond what the government can already do in an imminent-threat SWAT-team way.  

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:53:08 PM PST

    •  Well, Turley is obviously extrapolating (8+ / 0-)

      as a law professor from the authority that President Obama is seeking for himself. The President has already "said" that he has a right to kill American citizens abroad based on nothing more than his own determination of guilt through his actions, and by signing into a law that formalizes his right to do the same thing here, he is essentially saying what Turley has said he has.

    •  Not a Big Step From Killing People Outside the (4+ / 0-)

      U.S. to killing people inside the U.S.  

      The justifiaction that some use for Obama assassinating people in countries we are not at war with is that the entire World is the battlefield in the "War on Terror."

      Well if that is true, then the U.S. is part of that battlefield.  So why can't Obama have someone he claims is a "terrorist" killed in the U.S.?        

    •  What? This comment makes absolutely no sense. (0+ / 0-)

      Is this snark?

    •  Your comment makes no sense (0+ / 0-)

      If Obama can't kill anyone "beyond what the government can already do in an imminent-threat SWAT-team way", then by definition he can kill anyone in ANY way, by claiming that it was "an imminent-threat SWAT-team way", and not having to explain it, due to the lack of due process.

      It's like saying that you can't do X, except when you have good reason to believe that you can do X, and not be required to explain or justify it. That means that you can ALWAYS do X, in the real world. That's what this is.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:56:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Self Appointed Tyrant NT (0+ / 0-)

    "Obama, the change that leads to indefinite detention and the abrogation of the Constitution! Yes He Can!"

    by hangingchad on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 03:55:56 PM PST

    •  Self Appointed by the 80% of Congress (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kingfishstew, sviscusi

      who voted for this? Oh noes, facts in the way of the weird fantasy world you inhabit?

      There are only 2 things in life I believe about religion: There could be a God and I'm sure as heck not him.

      by Irixsh on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 05:15:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not self-appointed, but a clearly tyrannical power (0+ / 0-)

        How is being able to kill anyone without due process not that?

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:53:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your response here is full of errors (0+ / 0-)

          People are killed in war all the time without due process.  I do not particularly agree with this bill, but calling it tyranny when it was passed with a vast mandate by duly elected folks of both political parties is more than a little silly. Calling it a mistake, calling it illegal, calling it an unjust power grab, all intelligent responses, but please learn to use appropriate words when responding with vitriol. That's the mistake about this, and blaming any individual when some of the most liberal of reps passed it with some of the most conservative of reps makes the whole argument sound coarse.

          There are only 2 things in life I believe about religion: There could be a God and I'm sure as heck not him.

          by Irixsh on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 08:19:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The definition of unchecked power is tyranny (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            This law places no check on the president's power to kill anyone, other than the presumption that he has good judgement and knows what he's doing. It empowers him to unilaterally decide when this power is justifiably used. That is tyranny. Even in war you can't just kill anyone for any reason. Not legally at least, although all sorts of illegal killings (i.e. murders) happen that are then made to look like lawful ones (e.g. self-defense, friendly fire). And it doesn't matter how big a majority passed it. That doesn't make a power untyrannical.

            Admit it, you are engaging in Mars retrograde-like pretzel logic to defend a man you like and admire. Any way you slice it, he will always be the good guy in your view, because for whatever reason, you NEED to believe that.

            This is a de facto tyrannical power, because it's uncheckable. That Obama isn't as bad as Bush or that he might not abuse it or that it was passed by a large majority is utterly irrelevant to that. A thing is a thing is a thing, according to its attributes, not according to how it's used or made. Logic 101.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:05:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you because I did look up the word before (0+ / 0-)

              I used it. :) You understand why I wrote that..  I am just sick over this whole affair.

              "Obama, the change that leads to indefinite detention and the abrogation of the Constitution! Yes He Can!"

              by hangingchad on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:28:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It seems that when some people here (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                hear the word "tyrant" or "tyranny", they immediately assume that we're accusing Obama of being no better than Stalin or Assad, which we're obviously not. Obama has not killed or jailed, and I assume will never kill or jail, hundreds of thousands let alone millions of political opponents. In fact as far as I can tell he hasn't done this to a single one, at least not unlawfully, and I seriously doubt that he'll do this in the future (he has, though, arguably unlawfully killed non-Americans abroad, e.g. drone strikes, and a handful of Americans, e.g. Awlaki).

                None of which changes the fact that by definition this power is clearly tyrannical, because it's unchecked and uncheckable. Not to mention unconstitutional IMO. But I've learned that there's a small subset of people here who either cannot, or will not, accept this, because it speaks ill of Obama, and they simply will have none of that. Truth is always bent to accomodate their a priori view of Obama (which is why I like to compare it to the medieval church's tortured explanation of Mars retrograde as it continued to insist that the sun and planets revolved around the earth even though it had been proved to be wrong beyond reasonable doubt).

                Btw, Obama wouldn't be the first presidential "tyrant". Washington raised a huge army to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion. Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts. Jefferson waged undeclared war on the Barbary pirates. Jackson ignored a SCOTUS ruling. Polk started a war on false pretenses. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus unconstitutionally. And so on. This has been going on since the founding. But that doesn't make it any less so, or any more acceptable.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 01:11:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I compleatly agree abou tour historical (0+ / 0-)

                  fore into unchecked power. My fear is a less principled potus could use this power in a less than honorable way. Hopefully law professors in institutions of higher learning are instructing thier students about privacy and checks of this kind of power and one day they will be the judges on the SCOTUS. And if we are luck these laws will end up stricken from our use.

                  "Obama, the change that leads to indefinite detention and the abrogation of the Constitution! Yes He Can!"

                  by hangingchad on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 02:41:32 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Every unconstitutional power, tyrannical and otherwise, however seemingly benign to those who are inclined to see things that way, however unused by the president who claims or gets it during their term in office, weakens our republican form of government, and renders democracy less meaningful. It's less about whether or not such powers are used when claimed or obtained, or even how they're used, as that they are illegitimate and, being unchecked and uncheckable, dangerous, setting a precedent for eventual abuse.

                    It's one thing to assert and believe that such powers are constitutiuonal, but another thing entirely to assert that even if they're not constitutional, they're no big deal because the current president would never abuse them, and that to suggest that future presidents might abuse them in ways that could turn the country into a true tyranny is paranoid and insane. Anyone who defends such powers on the latter basis is naive, living in a uniquely American bubble in which bad things only happen to other people, or in other, lesser countries.

                    Anyone who thinks that granting a president sweeping and uncheckable unconstitutional powers is ok because one, he's a good guy, and two, they'd never be used to turn the US into a tyranny because it could never happen HERE, is living in a fantasy world, still stuck in the Schoolhouse Rock version of how government works. I believe that it's less likely to happen here than elsewhere, but it could certainly happen here, under certain very forseeable circumstances. To believe otherwise is wishful thinking.

                    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                    by kovie on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 04:47:09 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If only I could rec this a 100000 times. NT (0+ / 0-)

                      "Obama, the change that leads to indefinite detention and the abrogation of the Constitution! Yes He Can!"

                      by hangingchad on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 05:10:17 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  And yet they keep mocking people (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        hangingchad, ladyjames

                        who assert such things for the reasons I mentioned above. The idea that the US is so exceptional that this could never happen here, and that Obama is so morally pure that it's crazy to suspect him of ill action, is something that only a child, or someone who thinks like one, could believe.

                        No, I don't believe we're about to all be thrown into gulags, or will any time soon. And no, I don't believe that Obama has a secret plan to declare martial law and become dictator for life. That is a straw man these people put up to make our criticisms seem nutty and comical. But this is a really, really, really dangerous power and precedent that could and I believe eventually will come back to haunt us, if not tomorrow or next year, then in 5, 10, 20 years.

                        You know what? Here's what is crazy. A part of me still holds onto a thin shred of hope that Obama is doing all this in the hopes that eventually a more liberal court (Scalia and Kennedy are in their mid-70's and aren't going to be around forever) will strike down all these laws and claimed powers, and finally put an end to the Nixon/Reagan/Cheney era.

                        But even if this is his plan, and even if it does happen, enough damage has been done to our republic during this era to make even SCOTUS striking down its legal framework insufficient to truly end this era, because both political leaders and the public have become conditioned to be more accepting of such tyranny (e.g. the crackdowns on OWS). What will be needed is a drawn-out period in which we're not just legally but ideologically weaned off of this authoritarianism. And that will take decades. This law will make that much harder and longer, unnecessarily.

                        Sometimes you do need to break a bone to heal it properly. I do not believe that this is such a situation. Perhaps Obama believes otherwise. And if he does, that's the most optimistic take I have on this law.

                        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                        by kovie on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 07:25:32 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

  •  We all still voting for him? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just asking how you can do that and sleep at night. Because one day some ass Republican will be coming for you. Thanks Obama..

    "Obama, the change that leads to indefinite detention and the abrogation of the Constitution! Yes He Can!"

    by hangingchad on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:00:01 PM PST

    •  So don't vote for him (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, Pozzo

      so some 'ass Republican' won't be coming for me?  


      "I have known Herman a long time. He's a very attractive, very articulate person." -Newt

      by Sun dog on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:29:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you're looking forward to the Republican (0+ / 0-)

      coming for you earlier based on this post? I guess we're not dealing with a brain surgeon with you?

      There are only 2 things in life I believe about religion: There could be a God and I'm sure as heck not him.

      by Irixsh on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 05:16:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  vote however you want, I alrady wrote off your (0+ / 0-)

      vote long ago, so don't give a shit.

    •  Not the point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We can--and should--vote for him--and urge everyone we know to--not because this law is ok, which it's not, but because the alternative would be even worse.

      We don't have to like everything about a pol to vote for them. At least on this side of the aisle, we believe in harshly criticizing someone even if you intend to vote for them, when called for. And it's obviously called for here. This law is immoral and unconstitutional. Not to mention utterly unnecessary and counterproductive.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:53:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll sleep pretty well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      With my upcoming vote for Obama. For starters, his view towards economic policy makes it more likely that I'll have a both housing and a bed. If Ron Paul becomes president, I can't be too sure of either of those things.

  •  Turley jumped the shark a long time ago. (8+ / 0-)

    He spins the most implausible positions out of the thinnest facts.  He takes the most extreme reading he can think of to create a doctrine, then takes the  most extreme case he can imagine under that doctrine, does that couple of times, and then proclaims that the most implausible worst-case-scenario is the logical outcome and intended purpose of the policy he's talking about.

    I stopped listening to him as a reliable source on these matters quite some time ago.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:09:07 PM PST

  •  Turley: Lying about a bj demands impeachment. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, Pozzo

    If one wants to deploy the "appeal to authority" fallacy, he/she could find better "authorities" to which to appeal than Turley.

    Turley is an arrogant ass (I can think of no tie where he ever even considered the possibility that his opinion was wrong or even imperfect) and his opinions are not the be-all and end-all of anything.

    •  What does YOUR lying demand? (9+ / 0-)

      Turley NEVER said, "Lying about a BJ demands impeachment." He said quite the opposite, in fact:

      Turley said he has looked at the history and facts, and said he feels it is not clear-cut whether Clinton's actions can be considered impeachable offenses.

      "In my view there is no clear, original intent of the (Framers of the Constitution) when it comes to impeachment," Turley said. "In my view, it is an evolutionary phrase that was intended to change with time. As our values change, so too does the meaning."

      But unlike the bias you wear on your sleeve, he was called in to talk about the Constitution's "high crimes and misdemeanors" standard, not as a partisan, but as a scholar. And he felt that if too narrow a standard was set in Clinton's case, it would weaken both the powers of Congress and the standing of the Constitution.

      To put it in his words:

      But the most important outcome of the impeachment inquiry is not the removal of Bill Clinton from office, Turley said. "I believe it's more important how we decide this issue than what we decide."

      And by the way...?

      Turley said he finds laughable the accusations of Clinton supporters that he has a partisan bias.

      "I don't know where the idea came from that I am some kind of a right-wing extremist," Turley said. "I have always been a liberal Democrat and I voted for Bill Clinton."

      Corporate Dog

      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 07:10:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Corporate Dog: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Corporate Dog

        THANK YOU!  Turley (IIRC) argued that the "perjury" (sp) was the issue.  Lying under oath is a CRIME, no matter what the lie was.  It had NOTHING to do with the bj.  I can't believe all the Turley bashing going on here.  I've watched Turley, listened to Turley as well as read his blog and I've found him to be honest and fair.  Doesn't mean I always agree with him, BUT then again I'm not a constitutional law professor.  As far as fair goes as long as I've been a fan of his he goes after BOTH sides of the aisle when they are WRONG.  Corporate Dog I saw him make the statement about voting for Clinton on Olbermann.  Again thanks for bringing facts to the arguement.

        •  And Turley is NEVER wrong, right? LOL (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Oh, and when it comes to impeachment of the president, the nature of the perjury does indeed matter.  That's why 2/3rds of the country were against the impeachment.  Impeachment isn't just about "innocence" or "guilt", it's about "guilty of something WORTHY of impeachment".  It's political as much as it is legal.   In fact, it's entirely political and not about legalisms whatsoever.  Which means that Turley had no grounds to make his analysis.

           BUt, being the self-righteous a-hole he is, he went ahead and threw his lot in wiht the RW that were after Clinton, not because he lied, even under oath, about a blow job, but because they hated his guts.  It's sad that 2011 true progressives, putting Turley's protection ahead of the nation, now support that impeachment just to keep Turley's white robes unsoiled. lol

          •  If a Republican President lied under oath... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ... about attending a cocktail party, would that warrant impeachment? Seems a petty thing, doesn't it? I mean, you're arguing that WHY he perjured himself is what's important here.

            What if the lie was offered by that President to help obscure the fact that he met a foreign operative at that cocktail party, who was bribing him?

            What if the likelihood of ever convicting this Republican President, even if he HADN'T lied about attending the cocktail party was next to nil? There was little to no proof  that he accepted a bribe. There's no bank trail. All we know for sure is that he talked to this foreign operative, and in the next month, that country got a sizable loan, and a favorable trade deal.

            Maybe there's some sort of hazy evidence that points to a high likelihood of wrongdoing (a credible witness who kinda/sorta went on record but then disappeared). Nothing that a court would be willing to accept, but enough to suggest that President engaged in extremely unethical, if not illegal, behavior.

            Wouldn't you still want him to suffer some form of political punishment, at the very least, for his willingness to sell out America, even if the courts didn't have enough to convict him?

            It's a bit of a double-edged sword, certainly. We're trusting Congress to assign a political punishment based on THEIR standards of behavior and whatever weak standard of proof they're willing to accept that a President engaged in unacceptable behavior.

            But in the event that Democrats ever needed to use it, I'd want that power to be there, and furthermore, I wouldn't want there to be such stringent requirements for them to be able to leverage it. THAT'S where you're falling on your face in your efforts to villainize Turley. He was arguing to preserve that power for future Congresses.

            You're going to argue that lying about bribery and lying about a blowjob are apples and oranges. But here's the important part: under the law, they're EXACTLY the same.

            If you apply a standard that perjury doesn't count as an impeachable offense, then Democrats wouldn't be able to use it when it was needed.

            On the other hand, if you apply a standard that impeachment for perjury is valid only when Congress deems that the perjury was to cover up something IMPORTANT, then that's EXACTLY the same argumet that Turley was putting forth.

            Congress, unfortunately, deemed a blowjob to be IMPORTANT.

            Corporate Dog

            We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

            by Corporate Dog on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 04:32:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Corporate Dog

            Please google impeachment history -- (sorry not sure how to make a link).  Perjury is considered a high crime.  Since when is a "high crime" not grounds for impeachment.  LYING UNDER OATH is a crime.

            Impeachment isn't just about "innocence" or "guilt", it's about "guilty of something WORTHY of impeachment".  
            Again "impeachment" means being accused of a crime. Since lying under oath is a crime I would say that Clinton did commit a crime.  BUT That is up to the house of reps.  Being guilty is another thing.  The senate is the "jury" if you will to determine whether a crime was committed.  Was it "politcal" of course it was BUT again what Clinton did was illegal Turley did have grounds to make his analysis.  A quick google told me that Turley wasn't alone in his analysis.  Look I thought it was stupid too, But then again I thought Clinton was stupid too.
            It's sad that 2011 true progressives, putting Turley's protection ahead of the nation, now support that impeachment just to keep Turley's white robes unsoiled. lol

            This isn't about protecting "Turley" it's about protecting the rule of law.

            •  Turley was not alone (0+ / 0-)

              He had plenty of company, the overwhelming majority of it on the right. The overhwelming opinion in among legal academics who spoke out during this saga was that what Clinton did was not impeachable.

      •  So "true progs" now SUPPORT Clinton's impeachment. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That's truly and utterly pathetic.  You suggest that Clintons impeachment was justified just to protect Turley.  Are you for fucking real??

        Turley: "Lying under oath about a blowjob demands impeachment."  Sounds just as stupid even with the "under oath" qualifier.

        •  No. I don't support Clinton's impeachment. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I support the fact that our Constitution provides for impeachment, and that Congress can leverage that power against a sitting President, if they determine that it's required.

          It'd be nice if they used that power for, say, the prosecution of war crimes rather than for a President lying under oath about a blowjob. But that was a failure of that particular Congress (and more recent Congresses) and not the system itself.

          Likewise, Turley was arguing on behalf of the system, and not against Clinton or for the Republican Congress.

          It's a very complex thing to understand if you're a petulant dipshit who rah-rahs for a political party like he's watching Monday Night Football. But I forgive you.

          Corporate Dog

          We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

          by Corporate Dog on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 03:53:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Turley was arguing against Clinton (0+ / 0-)

            He testified under oath in favor of Clinton's removal from office in an adversarial proceeding and he was called by the Republican Congress. You could not be more wrong here.

            •  Find me a quote then. His testimony. Anything. (0+ / 0-)

              His entire argument, both in his written testimony AND in the articles I quoted, was that it was Congress' right to determine when impeachment was appropriate.

              His opinion, like most of us on this side of the aisle, is that the Constitution is a living, breathing, evolving document. Even the definition of 'high crimes and misdemeanors' can morph with the times.

              I'm hearing an awful lot of revisionist history from you people, with nothing at all to back it up. So put up or shut up.

              Corporate Dog

              We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

              by Corporate Dog on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 07:20:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You know what? I'll even help you. (0+ / 0-)

              HIS testimony...


              ... reflecting MY point:

              While I clearly come to this question with some prior conclusions as to the basis for impeachment, my views on the standards for impeachment are entirely independent of this crisis or its underlying allegations.


              I raise this issue because there has been a tendency in this crisis to define fundamental questions in terms of personalities. This has created an unfortunate tendency to judge impeachment standards depending on one’s view of the President or the Independent Counsel. This is precisely why this hearing is so important. Long after this President, this Independent Counsel, and this crisis have faded into history, we will live with the standards that we articulate in the coming weeks.

              His testimony wasn't political, as much you want to make it so. It had nothing to do with Clinton, nothing to do with the Republican witch hunt, and EVERYTHING to do with how Turley interprets the Constitution as a scholar.

              Corporate Dog

              We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

              by Corporate Dog on Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 07:33:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  And you're still fucking up what Turley said. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Here. I'll give you the remedial breakdown, since you're still too dense to get it:

          Turley: "Congress should be able to define the standard for 'high crimes and misdemeanors' as written in the Constitution."

          Corporate Dog

          We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

          by Corporate Dog on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 04:47:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          Please see my comment right above this one.

  •  He should just veto it...oh wait, it passed with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, Drewid, Pozzo

    well over 2/3rds majority in both parts of Congress...Go read a Civics book as to what that means...

    There are only 2 things in life I believe about religion: There could be a God and I'm sure as heck not him.

    by Irixsh on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 05:14:45 PM PST

    •  So anything that passes congress is morally (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Situational Lefty

      and constitutionally ok, according to you?

      Someone does need to read a civics book, but it's not the diarist.

      American Government 101 FAIL.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:47:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, but usually when blaming 1 person, like (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the diarist does here, you should probably realize it was becoming law with or without that one guy. If you're too stupid to realize that basic math and civics, maybe you'd be better off reading more and posting less.

        Your response: Epic fail at imitating functionally intelligent life.

        There are only 2 things in life I believe about religion: There could be a God and I'm sure as heck not him.

        by Irixsh on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 08:11:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Does that mean water boarding is ok as long as (3+ / 0-)

    the subject dies?

    It is amazing what Democrats accept from Democrats in power and what Republicans accept from Republicans in power.

    We need the courage to publicly oppose terrible policies from the leaders we otherwise support.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 05:15:08 PM PST

  •  Fuck Turley (0+ / 0-)

    If the Professor thinks this President would actually do this kind of thing, he should first go fuck himself then vote for Ron Paul as a 3rd Party candidate next November.

  •  "I think that denigrates the very foundations... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LucyandByron, Justina, aliasalias

    of this country. It denigrates the Bill of Rights..." (Sen. Franken explaining why he voted against the final version of the NDAA):  (emphasis mine).

    ...It denigrates what our Founders intended when they created a civilian, non-military justice system for trying and punishing people for crimes committed on U.S. soil. Our Founders were fearful of the military--and they purposely created a system of checks and balances to ensure we did not become a country under military rule. This bill undermines that core principle, which is why I could not support it...

    It's disturbing that the majority of congress members, and the POTUS don't have the same determination to protect the Constitution and the liberties that so many Americans have shed their very blood to protect.  

    It's disturbing that the exaggerated fear of "terrorists" has prompted the Congress and the Administration to do what the terrorists themselves could never do:  To arbitrarily weaken, ignore and/or nullify Constitutional protections.

  •  Turley (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Noted Clinton impeachment promoter. Maybe he'll want to see Obama impeached now? Republican troll.

    •  Don't think due process should be a partisan issue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justina, aliasalias

      There are many people who have grave concerns about, not just the NDAA bill, but the President's record on civil liberties in general. Citizens of all political beliefs should be concerned, because nobody stays in power forever.

    •  Yeah! Those Republican Trolls who wanted Bush... (6+ / 0-)

      ... tried for war crimes are the WORST!!!!

      Corporate Dog

      PS: Turley never "promoted" Clinton's impeachment. He was called by the House Judiciary Committee in his capacity as a Constitutional scholar, to parse the Constitutional meaning of "high crimes and misdemeanors".

      He was obviously excited to be working on such a historical case in this article...

      ... but I'll let his final few sentences speak for themselves:

      In light of the recent resignation of House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), Turley said he thinks President Clinton's impeachment is unlikely.

      "I think it simply added a bit of a chaotic element," he said. "I have faith that the right thing will be done."

      Corporate Dog

      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:56:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gingrich disappointed him (0+ / 0-)

        Be that as it may, check out this tripe from the same article:

        As debate spilled over into the halls of Congress, Turley said the scene conjured up images that virtually made the framers come to life.

        "People got so engrossed in their arguments that they almost seemed to be taking on the persona of particular framers," Turley said. "In fact, at one point I thought I actually saw James Madison and George Mason duking it out in the Rayburn House Office Building."

        Because of the vague and brief nature of the impeachment clause, much of the debate focused on small, seemingly insignificant details of the clause, Turley said.

        "We spent a great deal of time arguing over James Madison's state of mind on Sept. 8, 1787," Turley said.

        Oh, puh-lease!

        •  What are you 'Oh, puh-leasing'? (0+ / 0-)

          That a Constitution and history wonk, when put in a room with a bunch of other Constitution and history wonks (there were many of them called to testify before the committee) wouldn't have a geekgasm over the notion of getting into the framer's heads on an official basis?

          He helped define what the tools were that Congress had at its disposal. That's it. It's not his responsibility if Congress decided to take those tools, and jam them into their ear canal.

          His writing errs on the side of Cheddar and Mozzarella, but it still doesn't make him the "Republican Troll" you're so desperately trying to paint him as.

          Corporate Dog

          We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

          by Corporate Dog on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 06:15:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is some serious shit. Too bad for America. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scorpiorising, aliasalias

    You see, he's already been doing it to non-Americans all over the fucking world. But that really didn't piss people off that much because, well, you know, that's their problem and we're fucking Americans and we fucking RULE!

    Whoa! What's that? You said he can jail me, indefinitely, with out a trial? You're shitting me? No fucking way! He can kill me too, after he tortures my ass?

    Holy shit! I think I'd better find a safe place to live! Like fucking North Korea!

  •  Not with a bang, but a whimper (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or maybe not even that.

    RIP USA.

    Almost no one even noticed.

    Into the box cars quietly.

    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

    by No one gets out alive on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:48:24 PM PST

  •  What about exigent circumstances? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I imagine if I saw an american citizen about to set off a bomb in such a fashion as it'd kill others, I'd be within my rights to kill him or her. Why not the president. Of course, the decision should be reviewed, up and until the point of a trial. (Although, if I was right and the police found the bomb on the dead person, I doubt it'd go that far.)

    Frankly, I have a greater problem if the President was claiming the right to kill people without judicial review. Maybe he is. But frankly, the U.S. government kills people / americans every day. Actively and passively. (Passively, by not forcing hospitals to keep brain dead people alive.) And actively every time a cop kills a suspect (unconvicted of any crime) in the field.

    Does the president have less authority that some 25 year old unelected police officer to use deadly force on Americans?

    •  That's the whole issue (0+ / 0-)

      There is no judicial review. When Awlaki's father asked for evidence that landed his son on the hit list, President Obama claimed it was a State Secret. There's no requirement for judicial review of who constitutes a legitimate target under these new provisions. That's Turley's point: it's up to the President.

      The comparison to the use of deadly force by police is not appropriate. There's no question that if the police identified a suspect in a crime, and apprehended that person, and then took them behind a building and put a bullet in their head, we would all be shocked by that, even if it was Jeffrey Dahmer. We would be shocked if the police shot up a suspect's house from a helicopter.

      Of course, people sometimes get killed in the process of being apprehended, and I have no problem with the fact that people get killed in the process of military operations, certainly not with respect to those who are actively fighting against our military, and even innocents, I feel bad about, but it's a legitimate part of war so long as they weren't deliberately targeted.

      The question we are dealing with here though is for the President to put your name on a list targeted for assassination, without judicial review, and then that killing is done in cold blood, not in the process of an attempted apprehension. That's what happened to Awlaki, and that's what Turley is saying could theoretically happen to anyone, anywhere, including within the United States, under the new law.

  •  Obama has authorized murdering 2 American Citizens (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justina, aliasalias, ladyjames, Pilkington

    without any American court review, just his own say-so.  And it's legalized murder.  Nobel Peace Prize?

    80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP! Japanese's 40 million subsidy to whale hunting is nuts. Newt wants to isolate, crush, and replace the secular socialist left!

    by Churchill on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 07:24:11 PM PST

    •  If you want to solve this problem.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Study engineering and develop a missle that can incapacitate a person from several hundred miles away and bring their corpus back to the us securely for trial.

      •  military could have landed & took al alawkli into (0+ / 0-)

        custody.  But of course that would have given him the right to confront his accusers in court.  you know, a COURT OF LAW.

        80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP! Japanese's 40 million subsidy to whale hunting is nuts. Newt wants to isolate, crush, and replace the secular socialist left!

        by Churchill on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:05:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps... (0+ / 0-)

          I don't know the tactical specifics of Al-Alawkli's operations, as they aren't publically available. Maybe that'd be the right thing to do. As I get older though, and everyone in the military is much younger than me, I do question the willingness to throw life away.

          In general, I'm anti-war. Anti-Death penalty, and probably a 90% liberal. On the other hand, I'm not president. And I DO think presidents (of the U.S.A., at least) are bound by something higher than Morality, Christian / Humanist / Or Wherever you or I think ultimate Cosmic morality is derived from.

          My 'Cosmic' morality is one thing. And the reason I have a problem with 'Southern' Christians is precisely this, since we all have different 'cosmic' moralities, the only chance for a reasonable level of peace is to embrace civic morality. And under civic morality, I don't think we have a right to expect our Civic Body to react peacefully towards those who declare and take action against the peace of our civic body.

          Admittedly, I am not a student of the Al-Alwaki case. If you can provide to me information suggesting the man was not promiting violence against innocent american not only in rehtoric, but also not in action, I'll codemn Obama. But if he was somehow helping people who were actively trying to kill civilians in an effort to make their point, then I can't protest his death either civicall or cosmically. Now, if he differentiated between combatants and non-combatants, then I could probably express some dissonence.

          But beyond all the philosophying, I still wonder how Alawki is different from a criminal holding a hostage besides the size of the stage he is playing on.

          •  execution without a trial? no due process (0+ / 0-)

            and he can't defend himself because he's dead.  

            80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP! Japanese's 40 million subsidy to whale hunting is nuts. Newt wants to isolate, crush, and replace the secular socialist left!

            by Churchill on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:56:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't trust feds; should they murder me? (0+ / 0-)

            I haven't did anything, and I haven't even said anything, but I don't like the feds, and they are incompetent.  I don't want to overthrow the government, just reign in into compliance with our constitution.

            80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP! Japanese's 40 million subsidy to whale hunting is nuts. Newt wants to isolate, crush, and replace the secular socialist left!

            by Churchill on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 01:00:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  guy who knows mission said they could have (0+ / 0-)

            landed the air vehicle and just arrested al alawki and put him on the vehicel and took him away to stand trial.

            80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP! Japanese's 40 million subsidy to whale hunting is nuts. Newt wants to isolate, crush, and replace the secular socialist left!

            by Churchill on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 01:01:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  P.S. I also wonder why (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          In a word where there are many arguments as to the guilt or innocence of a person, a Mr. Alwaki, whose guilt or innocence hasn''t really been in question as far as I know, elictis such emmotion.

          It'd seem to me the world has been, is, and will continue to be imperfect. Wouldn't our efforts be more significant, if they were directed towards uncovering the murders of the innocent, rather than debating the process by which the guilty are condemned?

          •  #1 he wasn't found "guilty",he wasn't even charged (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            with a crime, and I hope you think that much is needed before any person is put to death.
            You are aware are you not that the ACLU was representing his father in court seeking an injuction against killing his son (his father said"he's got a big mouth") without any charges filed. (Other comments above have addressed in more detail)
            Consider the fact that a kangaroo court style trial in absentia wouldn't have taken much effort.

            All that aside, the issue is granting that power to any individual and to me what's happening is, as geomoo mentioned above, like a reverse engineering of the Constitution.

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:20:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  you believe the Feds? WMD was in Iraq? BULL#>P$ (0+ / 0-)

            I believe in the rule of law.  I have a right to a trial before they sentence and then execute me.  

            80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP! Japanese's 40 million subsidy to whale hunting is nuts. Newt wants to isolate, crush, and replace the secular socialist left!

            by Churchill on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:58:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  and of course all the people gnashing their teeth (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and tugging at their forelocks over this would have supported this, right? Had we done that I am sure we'd have diaries and comments, many by the same people in this diary, bemoaning "another Obama war" "Endless war"  "violating a sovereign nation's territory" etc.  This guy had a right to confront his accusers had he so chose. He could have turned himself into the U.S. embassy and surrendered.  It is so obvious that Al Awlaki didn't want "Due process" in a court of law. If he did, he'd never have gone to Yemen in the first place.

  •  It’s all about abolishing human rights. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justina, ladyjames

    If "fightin’ terror" had been the real national agenda, our ‘government’ would have been enforcing VISA violations (the lack of which is how the 911 hijackers were able to stay in the country long enough to pull off 911, or so the story goes), getting serious about securing ports/borders etc., yet they're not fucked up at all about doing stuff that had nothing to do with 911 (like circumventing the rights of law-abiding US citizens).
    We can follow the money to find the real motivations for the anti-"terror" agenda. Human rights are "costly" (human rights standards have always been the biggest impediment to international trade negotiations) to multinational-corporate elites who control all world governments. As long as we’re dumb enough to fall for it, ‘governments’ will continue to abolish human rights standards (Habeas Corpus etc.) worldwide using whatever means possible, to lower living standards, reduce the cost of doing business and to promote and enable even more multinational-corporate greed, the real agenda of globalism (and counter-terrorism).
    This power structure (of both parties) has chosen to justify/apologize for these human rights violations, because it's for our own good etc.
    Counter-terrorism is obviously just another part of the globalist agenda, otherwise our 'government' would be doing what it would've taken to actually prevent 911, i.e. VISA law enforcement etc.
    The World's greatest mysteries can be solved by following the money; these inconsistencies (mysteries) concerning the counter-terrorism agenda are no exceptions.

    •  That's part of it, but... (0+ / 0-)

      It's mostly about the fact that only 42% of registered voters, a smaller percent of the American population, even bothered to vote in 2010. And we haven't had a constitutional convention to really hash out issues in the last 225+ years, piled on top of the fact that our political class has created fiefdoms for itself and an impenatrable money flow.

      I don't have all or any of the answers. But I do believe until some of the anger (and shaming power) of the collective is aimed at the abysmal rates of participation by the average joe in our democracy itself is made a principle much of an issue as growing wealth inequality...we will just keep walking in circles.

  •  spoke with a friend in the UK (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladyjames, Pilkington

    the other day.  He can't understand why all US  citizens aren't in the streets over this.

    Me either.

    The global government has no democratic legitimacy and exists solely to impose on the people of the world to pay for an economic and financial crisis they are not responsible for." Les Alternatifs.

    by ggwoman55 on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 10:02:56 PM PST

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe a bit off topic.  I kept reading about "impeachment" and wasn't clear that some people here know the actual meaning of it.  I admit I wasn't clear on it either until the Clinton thing.  I also have friends that were confusing the term themselves.  Here:

    According to my Legal Terms dictionary:

    To charge a public official with wrongdoing while in office.

    According to my Oxford English Dictionary:

    chiefly US charge (the holder of a public office) with misconduct.

    Clinton was charged with perjury (+other things I think) by the House, BUT found Not Guilty by the Senate.

    Sorry if I misunderstood some of the posts.

paradox, Athena, Mogolori, itsbenj, hester, Jackson L Haveck, slinkerwink, Marie, importer, Shockwave, CleverNickName, hyperstation, LEP, RFK Lives, hubcap, niemann, TheMomCat, Agathena, Fe, Nate Roberts, scorpiorising, Eric Blair, hangingchad, danthrax, Dallasdoc, jlynne, businessdem, Nemagaiq, inclusiveheart, vacantlook, eztempo, sb, Into The Woods, marina, denise b, UncleCharlie, paytheline, Alice Venturi, Irons33, frandor55, dewtx, Dem Beans, lotlizard, LucyandByron, WisePiper, deepsouthdoug, CentralMass, Indiana Bob, CJnyc, SoulCatcher, Knucklehead, tommymet, myboo, blueoasis, NBBooks, triv33, praenomen, philipmerrill, gooderservice, JVolvo, joe shikspack, Sagebrush Bob, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, frostbite, shaharazade, kurious, bstotts, Little, NonnyO, pale cold, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, out of left field, bluicebank, DorothyT, hooper, pfiore8, ColoTim, Unbozo, aliasalias, Strabo, bnasley, HCKAD, Zydekos, rmonroe, rogerdaddy, poligirl, Involuntary Exile, monkeybrainpolitics, geomoo, petulans, LaEscapee, MarkVA71, DixieDishrag, Executive Odor, priceman, Robobagpiper, Mike Taylor, ZhenRen, Celtic Merlin, cybrestrike, CanyonWren, Gorilla in the room, h bridges, Obama Amabo, dRefractor, elziax, asym, Mindmover, Shelley99, histOries Marko, strangedemocracy, nancat357, Christy1947, flitedocnm, sunny skies, TimmyB, albrt, Johnny Q, Nada Lemming, rasfrome, allenjo, Situational Lefty, muddy boots, enhydra lutris, PhilJD, Hayate Yagami, Sunspots, PrometheusUnbound, No one gets out alive, brown and blue all over, gnostradamus, Flying Goat, Williston Barrett, IndieGuy, Trotskyrepublican, Ginger1, drnononono, the Don, BusyinCA, lunachickie, miningcityguy, lastlegslaststand, Kurt Sperry, One Little Victory, TheMeansAreTheEnd, LiberalSage, Markoff Chaney, gypsytoo, SixSixSix

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site