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Tom Tomorrow cartoon about Obama's Kill List as reported in The New York times

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Originally posted to Comics on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Yeah, the U.S. killed (45+ / 0-)

      mourners at a funeral.

      I ask this sincerely: what kind of country targets rescuers, funeral attendees, and people gathered to mourn? If a Hollywood film featured a villainous King ordering lethal attacks on rescuers, funerals and mourners — those medically attending to or grieving his initial victims — any decent audience member would, by design, seethe with contempt for such an inhumane tyrant. But this is the standard policy and practice under President Obama and it continues through today. Recall the outrage that was sparked when WikiLeaks released its Collateral Murder video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter during the Bush era firing on unarmed rescuers, who had arrived to retrieve the initial victims who had been shot and were laying wounded on the ground. That tactic continues under President Obama, although it is now expanded to include the targeting of grieving rituals.
      Big thanks to Tom Tomorrow and to the other cartoonists for keeping up the focus on these abuses, and for doing so even as some here claim that such 'toons violate the purpose of this site, which I suppose is now to defend the slaughter of brown people.
      •  My understanding (35+ / 0-)

        is that drone strikes on funerals are a deliberate tactic, not any kind of mistake.

        We will be hated for this.  This kind of policy does not make us safer or increase national security.  It will have the opposite effect.  It will create generations of people who want to harm us.  More every day.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:22:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the purpose of this site has never been clear (33+ / 0-)

        On the one hand, we claim it's to forward a progressive agenda.

        On the other hand, we claim it's to elect and support Democrats.

        Those two purposes are fine as long as Democrats are progressives. But when they are not (as they are not now), then those two purposes become contradictory and inherently incompatible. As they are now.

        Hence we have the eternal war between the party pragmatists and the dirty fucking hippies.

        •  And STILL Obama is my choice over Romney (7+ / 0-)

          Despite the eternal war within myself, Inner Party Pragmatist vs. Inner DFH. I rather expect Barack Obama has the same war within himself.

          •  That's simply because you have only 2 choices (13+ / 0-)

            and Rmoney is unacceptable.

            Ergo, we vote for Obama.

            The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

            by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:03:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, that, and the fact that I think (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MarcKyle64

              Obama, while he has serious faults, has performed very well in incredibly difficult circumstances.

            •  And thus, the batshit crazy teahadist wing (0+ / 0-)

              of the Rethuglican Party -- i.e., about 90% of the Rethuglican Party at this point, especially if you include those pandering to it -- enables and supports the corporate, Constitution-shredding so-called "moderate" wing of the Democratic Party (a wing well to the left of the mainstream Republican Party of 40 years ago).

              And thus, we have no good choices.  Only bad ones, and worse ones.

          •  that's not the issue (8+ / 0-)

            I don't see ANYONE here advocating that we elect Rmoney.  Do you?

          •  For a long time, I agreed with this: (21+ / 0-)
            I rather expect Barack Obama has the same war within himself.
            I dearly wish I still could believe that.

            I can't.

            Kill lists and massive escalation of drone warfare leave me no choice but to conclude that the President has no "inner conflict" such as you describe. This isn't pragmatism or bipartisanship; no one was demanding this stuff.

            He's chosen this policy because it's what he's comfortable with.

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:50:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not like he even tries to hide it... (10+ / 0-)

              killing a US citizen with no charge.... an "easy one" says the Nobel Peace Laureate.

              •  That's what Truman said about the decision to (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PhilJD, TimmyB, efraker, cruz

                drop the atomic bomb, that he lost no sleep over it.

                The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

                by lysias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 11:54:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The comparison is certainly possible (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cruz, joe wobblie, HairyTrueMan, blueoasis

                  But didn't Truman stop after two?

                  To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

                  by glitterscale on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:32:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Truman dropped two because he only had two (4+ / 0-)

                    ...or such is my recollection. That, and the Japanese surrendered soon after. They were able to surrender, because we used a little bit of intelligence and didn't assassinate the people who needed to be alive to surrender.

                    Of course, Al Qaeda can't meaningfully surrender. We've killed every notable spokesman they have, and we've demonized them as insane religious fanatics who will stop at nothing to wipe us all out - completely ignoring their stated grievances.

                    I'm not exactly sure why we're still fighting AQ. They probably don't have enough trained, combat-ready personnel to fill out a basketball team.

                    "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                    by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:01:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The third bomb (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      efraker, PhilJD, glitterscale, kurt

                      would have been ready to drop on August 20.

                      You know what's scary?  Folks left Hiroshima by train after August 6 and went home to Nagasaki.  One man says he saw 'Bock's Car' diving away after the drop, remembered Enola Gay doing the same thing over Hiroshima and had enough warning to find shelter and survived.  I wonder if there is a japanese word for a double hibakusha?

                  •  Harry S. Truman's collaborations (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blueoasis

                    with Stalin and French Imperialism were also responsible for millions of deaths
                    in the Korean, Indo-China and Vietnam wars!
                    ANYONE, whether he renounces his American citizenship or not, who ingages
                    in plotting, conspires to plot, and/or the carrying out of terrorist attacks against America or any of Her Citizens here or abroad, is a Traitor and guilty of
                    High Treason!  Such a person(s) is a legitimate prime target for termination
                    with all possible haste and extreme prejudice!

                    ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

                    by joe wobblie on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:37:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Um, actually, no, sorry. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      douc66, PhilJD

                      That person is a legitimate prime target for something called a "criminal prosecution".  That's because High Treason is something called a crime, and being convicted of it involves that prosecution thingy.  It involves charges and the right to be informed of the nature of those charges, the right to legal counsel, an adversarial process, the right to be confronted in public with the evidence against you, the right to rebut that evidence including the right to call witnesses in your favor through compulsory process, and so on.  It does not involve becoming an instant target for "termination with all possible haste and extreme prejudice" by unilateral decision of one branch of government.  At least, not in a republic of laws.  (In a monarchy or a dictatorship, yes.)  That person becomes a Traitor and guilty of High Treason! after that thingy (that's a technical term) called a "conviction".  Look it up.  It's in this quaint piece of paper called the United States Constitution, which, at least formally, has not yet been repealed.  The Google Machine can get you a copy if you don't already happen to have one.  To save time and mental effort, I'd suggest beginning your reading with Amendment Number IV and continuing from there.  If you're bored you can stop after Amendment Number VI, with perhaps a brief skim of Amendment Number VIII.  And since you have invoked the crime of High Treason!, you might also take a little side trip over to Article III, section 3, which specifically identifies the nature of acts and the nature of evidence required for a conviction of that crime. But no matter, such things would probably bore you, and apparently "due process of law" is not a concept with which you are familiar.  Which was the point of Tom's cartoon.  

                      Have a nice day.

            •  I think this is a man who has known from Day 1 (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              efraker, PhilJD, sidnora, JonBarleycorn

              that Democratic Party electability would not survive a domestic radiological dispersal device detonation or other major incident of domestic or foreign terrorism. And I think he has been drawn into the enormous, alarming power that now resides with the Executive branch, a devil's bargain if ever there was one. Perhaps -- PERHAPS -- a leader such as Jimmy Carter would be made of the stuff required to cede some of that power, but I'm not so certain.

              I cannot vouchsafe David Sanger's sources, but in his interview today on Fresh Air, he asserted that Obama wanted our Stuxnet people to be very sure the program would not cause unintended power failures in towns, hospitals, etc., adjacent to the Iranian centrifuge facility. If that's true, I take it as an indication that his moral compass has not completely gone kaput. But I do think he has taken a disastrous turn with targeted assassinations of American citizens, and considering his background in Constitutional law, he has done so deliberately and knowingly. How the hell are we going to put that genie back in the goddamned bottle?????

              I want to get him re-elected, then I intend to fight him hammer and tong over this, such as I can.

              •  Obama's Moral Compass? (9+ / 0-)

                Two points:

                First, we are not slaughtering tribesmen in Yemen, Afganistan and Pakistan on a daily basis because they are building "radiological dispersal" devices that they plan on detonating inside the United States.  There may be other reasons we are killing these people, but the bald faced lie "we do it to keep you safe" is not a justifiaction.  Obama isn't so stupid that he believes this bullshit.  

                Second, be releasing a computer virus to destroy Iran's computers and other physical assets, Obama has committed an act of war against yet another country.  The fact that he was concerned that the Stuxnet weapon didn't destroy hospitals means nothing.  Destroying hospitals is in itself a war crime.  

                Thus, Obama's moral compass, as you call it, lets him kill  people and commit acts of war against countries we are not at war with, but prevent him from commiting war crimes.  Sorry, but that doesn't make me feel better about Obama.          

                •  its not like Iran doesn't hit back... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  raincrow

                  The US and Iran have been regularly committing acts of war against each other since they captured our embassy during their revolution against the tyrannical government we helped to impose on them. I have a pretty low opinion of the Iranian government, and am just fine with President Obama doing a little industrial sabotage in their nuclear facilities to increase the time it'll take for them to reach 'break-out' nuclear weapons capability.

                  I think Stuxnet is way more ethically justifiable than the embargo, which in itself is an act of war.

                  It is a good thing that President Obama was specific that Stuxnet shouldn't accidentally commit war crimes. I think the last ~3 years Obama has been rational, calm, and calculating - I'd hate to see what would happen if he actually lost his cool.

                  "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                  by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 02:02:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You seem not to have noticed that Stuxnet (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TimmyB

                    spun out of control.  We just don't know how much damage it ended up doing (and how much damage it has yet to do).

                    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

                    by lysias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 03:41:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Iran claims no injuries or deaths (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      raincrow

                      If Stuxnet had killed anyone, Iran would have been talking about it in the media and at the UN for as long as they could.

                      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                      by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 04:47:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, the Financial Times doesn't think Stuxnet (0+ / 0-)

                        did much good either.  Financial Times: Cyberattack clouds US-Iran nuclear talks:

                        However, Iranian anger over the attack has been tempered by the fact that Stuxnet largely failed in its efforts and the Iranian nuclear programme has quickly made up lost ground.
                        So how was it worth even the risks, never mind any harm that it may have done (and Stuxnet spread far beyond Iran, according to reports, for example infecting at least hundreds of computers in Japan, where the Fukushima nuclear power plant used exactly the kind of Siemens control unit that Stuxnet targetted)?

                        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

                        by lysias on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 10:37:55 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  what is the goal of sabotage? (0+ / 0-)

                          I wish they'd note the source that said they've "quickly made up lost ground". Its hard to know what that means when Natanz, the largest refining facility in Iran, hasn't been visited by an outside inspector since 2006 (link is to the PDF of the last third-party report on the Natanz facility).

                          Given that - the claim that they've quickly made up lost ground either came from the Iranians or an intelligence agency. Right?

                          Ultimately, I don't think anyone who commits industrial sabotage, whether they're whipping clogs into gears or loosening the stiffening cables on cellphone towers, expects that they're doing anything more than making their target spend more time and money to accomplish the same task.

                          During the US Civil War, General Sherman melted and bent hundreds of miles of railroad leading into Atlanta, yet the Confederacy was still able to restore railroad service within a few weeks... yet I don't think anyone in Atlanta would have said it wasn't terribly effective.

                          If you estimate the value of sabotage based on whether or not the target ever restores their destroyed infrastructure, then all sabotage is doomed to failure.

                          So how was it worth even the risks?
                          In my opinion, it wasn't - all acts of war are ultimately self-defeating and wasteful.

                          From the perspective of the Commander in Chief of the US military, I suspect that anything that can buy a little time has value.

                          the Fukushima nuclear power plant used exactly the kind of Siemens control unit that Stuxnet targetted
                          This is true, but the cause of the Fukushima meltdown is well understood - it was caused by a tsunami breaking the physical connection to the necessary generators.

                          Pointing out that Fukushima was infected with Stuxnet is like pointing out that a crashed car with the hydraulic brake fluid line cut also had faulty windshield wipers. True, but irrelevant to the tragedy.

                          "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                          by efraker on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 12:50:37 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Iran Hostage Crisis Was 32 Years Ago (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BradyB, Foreign Devil, CT Hank

                    The fact that Iranian students took over our embassy in Tehran 32 years ago cannot be used as an excuse for our country commiting acts of war against Iran today.  

                    Furthermore, the United States overthrew Iran's elected prime minister and installed the Shah of Iran, who, as we now say about our enemies, murdered and tortured his own people.  The Shah killed thousands, but because we installed him and he did as we told him to, it, we didn't care.  This was years before the hostage crisis.

                    Any fair reading of the complete history of Iran and the U.S. would lead to the conclusion we are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Iranians.  This ledger leaves off the milion Iranians killed in the war with Saddam's Iraq, when we supported Saddam.  Funny how we didn't care about Saddam using poison gas (we supplied him with the chemicals to make it when he was using it) against Iran.  

                    Furthermore, without our installing the Shah, Iran would have never been ruled by Islamic clerics as it is today, so we are responsible for that horror too.

                    Finally, Obama's attack against Iran is unjustified.  Iran has every right to enrich uranium.  There is no evidence Iran is building a nuke bomb.  Iran's uranium enrichment program is just another excuse for our bullying, same as claims about Saddams' weapons of mass distruction were.  Its all just warmongers' propaganda.

                    But, because Obama's moral compass so far hasn't allowed him to commit war crimes against Iran, we are supposed to cheer.  Sorry, but I don't agree.  

                    •  Are any acts of war justified? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      raincrow

                      I know the moral education I received in my youth was that you never, ever hurt someone, even if they hurt you first. Killing people being right out.

                      I don't think any act of war is or can be justified. They're all wrong, though maybe not equally so - I know I'd rather be killed than tortured, personally.

                      That said - the same journalists presently reporting on Stuxnet were reporting a few years ago that Iran was supplying EFP IEDs to the Iraqi insurgency which, in the first month the DoD tracked them separately from other IEDs, killed 23 US citizens, and injured 89 more.

                      Both sides have bloody hands, and show no apparent interest in stepping back from the ongoing and systematic violence they are engaged in.

                      I think its beyond question that the US has killed more Iranians than the Iranians have killed Americans... even if you add in US allies killed by Iranians, we still probably take the cake. I don't think there is moral weight to that statistic though.

                      When two groups are regularly killing each other's members,  I think its a sort of moral laziness to point to the one that has been more 'successful' and say that they're the worse party. They're not worse - they're just bigger. They're both killers and they both should stop.

                      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                      by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 04:33:47 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Both Stories--U.S. Government Propaganda (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        efraker

                        In both instances, this reporter is merely repeating what he was told by official U.S. government sources.  

                        I have no reason to believe the U.S. government stories about Iran supplying IEDs.  These stories were based upon U.S. government claims that Iraqis did not have the know how to make the concave copper plates needed to focus the blast energy of the explosive devices.  Thus, according to our government, these plates were being supplied by Iran.

                        However, our government's claims were unbelievable.  In all seriousness, the manufacture of copper plates is pre-Bronze Age technology.  Tons of copper wire were stolen in Iraq when the electricity grid was looted.  Once you have the copper wire, a cave man could make a concave plate out of it.

                        Our government's conclusion that Iran was needed to make the plates is silly.

                        Concerning Stuxnet, I have no reason to believe that our government is lying.  Why would it take credit for something it didn't do?  The whole purpose of the disclosure was to make Obama look like a strong leader, same as the earlier drone reporting.  

                        So, I believe our government is telling the truth about what it did.  However, I don't believe our government when it makes claims about supposed enemies.

                        Without our government's silly claims, there is no evidence that Iran had any responsibility for IEDs.  Thus, there is no evidence that Iran and the U.S. are regularly killing each other's members.  There is certainly no evidence, other than silly U.S. claims about the difficulty of manufacturing copper plates, that Iran is killing Americans.

                        So I am not making a moral equivilency argument, which you seem to do by bringing up the 32 year old hostage crisis.  Iran isn't killing Americans, while the U.S. is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Iranians for the last 60 years.  Plus, we are trying to gin up a war today by making false claims about Iran's nuke program.  The fact that Iran held a number of Americans hostage 32 years ago doesn't even the scale, as you imply.          

                               

                        •  making an EFP lens isn't that simple... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          raincrow

                          You have to cast and machine it. The international standard for copper wire is a temper of either 060, H00, or H01 whereas copper is so ductile its only appropriate for plate casting at H02+. Its not quite bronze age technology.

                          A captured member of the Iranian Quds Brigade has acknowledged that they supplied EFPs and trained local resistance groups in their production in Lebanon and Iraq.

                          The UK Home Office, when asked about the Iranian EFPs, said: "there is evidence of links between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and secret cells under the umbrella of the Mahdi army, operating independently of its leader, Moqtada al-Sadr" which can be read quite diplomatically as affirming that they are, or ignoring the question - a real opportunity for one to show their confirmation bias.

                          In general though, you're absolutely right that the Iraqis could churn these out themselves with a decent machinist and a lathe - that is why I only quoted the first month's reported fatalities and wounded.

                          Ultimately - no-one has ever caught the Iranians red-handed delivering EFPs to the Iraqi insurgency. Its all circumstantial, but I think its probably true, because they did it in Lebanon with Hezbollah... why wouldn't they do it with the Iraqi insurgency?

                          I agree with you on almost everything but apparently not this. I don't begrudge you wanting more evidence considering, and I've never seen you do anything but argue in good faith on DK, so I have no reason to believe you're cherry-picking the evidence.

                          Personally - I think there has been some liberal whitewashing of the terrible things Iran does, in an attempt to forestall a war. Some might say that by talking about how abusive the Iranian government is I'm being a tool of the neocons. Oh well. Truth may be the first casualty of war but I'm not going to be the one to kill it.

                          As to 'evening the scale' - that isn't what I think. It is never appropriate to kill a citizen for their government's past immorality to your citizens. You can't ever even the scale, and I think its grotesque when people do arithmetic with human life. If nation A murdered 10,000 whereas nation B murdered 100, they're both murderers. Why do people spend so much time talking about "proportionality", as if it would all have been better if only they'd murdered a few less fathers-mothers-sons-daughters?

                          The last word is yours if you want it.

                          "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                          by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:01:27 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Iran in Iraq (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            efraker

                            We can agree that the Iranian Government is a repressive and brutal dictatorship run by religous fanatics.  However, it had little reason to help kill Americans in Iraq.

                            Shites are the majority in both Iraq and Iran.  The United States overthrew the Sunis in Iraq and installed Shites.

                            To me, it looks like Iran was the clear victor of the U.S.-Iraq war.  There are many connections between Iranian Shites and Iraqi Shites.  Moqtada al-Sadr has spent time in Iran.  So has most of the Iraqi Shite leadership, because Saddam would have killed them if they remained in Iraq during his time in power.  So sure, I realize there are Iranian connections to many Shite groups, including members of the current government, along with the Madhi Army.  That doesn't mean the Iranians were arming any groups to fight against the U.S. and the Shite government it installed.    

                            Why would Iran arm groups to fight Iraq's Shite government?  Why would Iran arm a Sunni insurgentcy to fight the U.S. when the U.S. was acting to protect the Iranian allied Shite government from the very same Sunnis?  The U.S. and Iran shared the same goals in Iraq, the installation and protection of a Shite government.  It makes no sense for Iran to arm the opposition.          

                            I read the IED article you cited to from the Stuxnet article  author above prior to commenting on it.  I couldn't help but note that the picture of the 240 mm rocket has English writing on the rocket.  Is anyone really supposed to believe that Iranian weapons have English writing on them, instead of Persian?  

                            Furthermore, as was well noted, Saddam's weapons depots were looted.  Neither Shites nor Sunnis needed to have weapons imported.  By weapons I also mean explosives taken from artillery shells, which were used in making IEDs.

                            So, while I'm sure we agree that the Iranian government severly oppresses its own people, and that it has many  connecetions to the Madhi Army, I just can't see any reason for Iran to arm any group opposing the Iraqi government.  

                            I don't think I disagree with anything else you wrote.  I'm am sorry that I misunderstood your reference to the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Less wars and killings would be a good thing.      

              •  historically, whenever US Presidents from (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Aspe4, TimmyB, raincrow

                either party have inherited extra-legal programs such as assassinations or illegal surveillance, they have NOT ended those programs, but instead expanded them.

                The first US President to authorize illegal wiretaps against Martin Luther King, for example, was JFK.

                I hoped in 2008 that Obama would be different.  But I didn't expect that he would.

            •  Throws a whole (7+ / 0-)

              new light on his drone jokes at the WH press corp dinner.  Read these articles and more in the Guardian/Observer this morning.... They are covering this extensively unlike our propaganda outlets...

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

              Drone wars and state secrecy – how Barack Obama became a hardliner

              He was once a liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war. Now, according to revelations last week, the US president personally oversees a 'kill list' for drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. Then there's the CIA renditions, increased surveillance and a crackdown on whistleblowers. ......


              Amos Guiora
              "He is making a decision largely devoid of external review," Guiroa told the Observer, saying the US's apparent methodology for deciding who is a terrorist is "loosey goosey".

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/...
              America's murderous drone campaign is fuelling terror

              Obama's escalation of a war that's already caused thousands of deaths will only destabilise his own allies and bolster al-Qaida

              ....From Pakistan to Somalia, CIA-controlled pilotless aircraft rain down Hellfire missiles on an ever-expanding hit list of terrorist suspects – they have already killed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of civilians in the process.

              At least 15 drone strikes have been launched in Yemen this month, as many as in the whole of the past decade, killing dozens; while in Pakistan, a string of US attacks has been launched against supposed "militant" targets in the past week, incinerating up to 35 people and hitting a mosque and a bakery.

                 



              •  from your first link, "George Bush on steroids" (3+ / 0-)
                Obama has presided over a massive expansion of secret surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Agency. He has launched a ferocious and unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers. He has made more government documents classified than any previous president. He has broken his promise to close down the controversial Guantánamo Bay prison and pressed on with prosecutions via secretive military tribunals, rather than civilian courts. He has preserved CIA renditions. He has tried to grab broad new powers on what defines a terrorist or a terrorist supporter and what can be done with them, often without recourse to legal process.
                The sheer scope and breadth of Obama's national security policy has stunned even fervent Bush supporters and members of the Washington DC establishment. In last week's New York Times article that detailed the "kill list", Bush's last CIA director, Michael Hayden, said Obama should open the process to more public scrutiny. "Democracies do not make war on the basis of legal memos locked in a [Department of Justice] safe," he told the newspaper.
                Even more pertinently, Aaron David Miller, a long-term Middle East policy adviser to both Republican and Democratic administrations, delivered a damning verdict in a recent issue of Foreign Policy magazine. He wrote bluntly: "Barack Obama has become George W Bush on steroids."
                (emphasis mine)

                without the ants the rainforest dies

                by aliasalias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:38:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  it's OK if you are a Democrat /nt (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  shaharazade, mightymouse, aliasalias
                •  Thanks aliasalias (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joe wobblie, aliasalias, PhilJD

                  I deleted the line 'George Bush on Steroids' . I was cowardly. I have no excuse other then not wanting to have to deal with the blow back I thought would occur. Glad you gave this article back it's punch. Thanks and sorry I wussed out. It's hard to look at the reality what we are supposed to support here. Sometimes I feel like my thoughts alone are bannable. Perhaps they are in this strange new Democratic reality we are required to adopt. Your a better man/woman then I am and I thank you.  

                  •  be kinder to yourself, you post a lot of comments (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PhilJD, shaharazade

                    that certainly aren't from a 'wuss' ,and many times I'm saying hell yes ! tell it sister/brother. The same thing goes for the article you linked, which I most likely wouldn't have seen otherwise.
                    So thanks for the link, others were/are free to read the whole thing so you already put yourself out there (along with the current comment). So fwiw from this man to you, sister or brother, ya ain't no wuss. There have been things I've dropped just to avoid conflict, but sometimes the truth is just too large to ignore, and it needs to be spoken.
                    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if my comment wasn't rec'd by some because they didn't want a part of it either, especially with it in the title instead of buried in the article.

                    without the ants the rainforest dies

                    by aliasalias on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 12:24:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Obama's drone joke was as bad as Bush's joke (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mightymouse

                about looking for WMD's.

                The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

                by lysias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 03:42:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Sham liberals (0+ / 0-)

            and cur blue dog enemies of Our President Barack Obama run rampant here...
            This is THEIR Diary!
                     'I am engaged in a fight to the death with sham liberals.'
                - Letter from Karl Marx to Karl Eduard Vehse, end of November 1852.

            ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

            by joe wobblie on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 07:21:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hence the flaming beauty of it all (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cruz, PhilJD, aliasalias

          We fight with each other rather than yelling STOP in a clear voice.

          To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

          by glitterscale on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:30:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Seems to me there's another country out there (4+ / 0-)

        that has targeted funerals in the past, name just has slipped off the tip of my tongue...

        Some ally of the US...

      •  IOKIYA Democrat. (22+ / 0-)

        If George W. Bush was doing this you'd hear a much larger outcry on this site. That's the "beauty" of a Democrat doing it, he neutralizes many liberals and many more partisan Democrats.

        "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

        by Aspe4 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:36:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  IIRC (4+ / 0-)

          George Bush in all his stupidity never managed to repeatedly bomb a nuclear-armed country.  That honor goes to Obama.

        •  it's the 'only Nixon can go to China' on steroids (9+ / 0-)

          Only Clinton could get gutting welfare ,NAFTA, scrapping Glass-Steagall,and the telecommunications act past Democrats (to name just a few things).

          But Obama got... a modern day Star Chamber, the three NAFTA deals passed that had been stopped by Dems under Bush's administration (many of the same Dems now voting FOR them), Indefinite Detention, cuts to SS, Medicare/caid on the table (over and over), Cat Food Commissions, the expansion of the Patriot Act, prosecution of whistle blowers, protection in the Courts for people involved with torture (here and in Spain & Germany), extension of tax cuts to the ultra wealthy, no prosecutions for the massive fraud by the financial world, and the big escalation in Drone attacks...to name just a few things that people of the conditional 'left' ignored. IOKIYAO all the way.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:05:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, George never did this. He just killed a (0+ / 0-)

          million or so in Iraq, killed and tortured thousands in Afghanistan and here, and never bothered to take responsibility for anything.

          I know it's against DK-pc to say this, but drones save lives.  Targetted assasinations save lives.  People do get killed in wars, you know?  Lots of them, mostly non-combattents.  

          This last part has been cut way, way, way down under Obama.  Due to drones and "targetted assasinations", and due to the President taking actual personal responsibiloity for the actions of the US.

          Maybe the posters here don't think there's a war going on?  Maybe they think that because the US has been bad in the middle-East in years past, that al-Queda has a right to kill us.  I don't know.

          But I gotta disagree with this nonsense.  We're doing our best for a change.  We're conducting ourselves so as to minimize civilian casualties.  Have we ever done this before?  I can't think of a time when that's been true.

          Can you?  

           

          •  I'm reading this as the Col. Jessep justification. (7+ / 0-)

            "You want me on that wall... you need me on that wall."

            Because this community is worth staying and fighting for.

            by Great Lakes Liberal on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:51:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Another great monlogue from Aaron Sorkin (4+ / 0-)
              Jessep: You want answers?
              Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I'm entitled to them.
              Jessep: You want answers?
              Kaffee: I want the truth!
              Jessep: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
              We use words like honor, code, loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!
              Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
              Jessep: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.
              Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
              Jessep: You're goddamn right I did!!
              A Few Good Men
          •  we're not trying to minimize civilian casualties (8+ / 0-)

            That is nonsense hooper. We are not trying to minimize civilian casualties.

            If we were, we would not fire missiles into areas where possible civilians are. Rather, we could use the drones simply for surveillance and use them to provide prescient situational awareness to our allies who may be in harm's way.

            Minimizing civilian casualties is definitely a secondary concern. Or maybe third or fourth order, who knows...

            "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

            by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:08:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  "War is hell" is a tired justification (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gooderservice, Aspe4, BradyB

            of still more war. I guess I'm naive, but I've never quite understood the distinction between collateral damage...

            and murder.

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 02:25:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe it's kind of like: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilJD, mightymouse

              "This is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you."

            •  Not to be argumentative, but what would (0+ / 0-)

              we do then?  We can't just leave al-Queda militants alone while they plan & carry out attacks.  Or is that the suggestion?

              I'm not sure what the choices are, other than to use our least destructive means to kill them.  We can't send actual assassins into Pakistan or Yemen.  It'd be a lot worse if we used planes & bombs, or invaded, as did Obama's predecessors.

              Yes "collateral damage" is a trite coverup of a term.  But it's a long way from firebombing Dresden to blowing up a house or a truck in Pakistan.

              So what action would be better than using a drone?

      •  Hey Terraists (5+ / 0-)

        tell their suicide bombers to blow themselves up when the medics arrive to deal with the first explosion.

        I guess we've become nothing more than Terraists -- well the politicians who order this shit in my name are Terraists anyway. And there seems to be no way out -- no one to elect who will not do this. Disgusting.

        There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed. ~ Gandhi

        by CitizenOfEarth on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:21:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  people in the US feel their laws trump (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        david mizner, glitterscale, pgm 01, xynz

        international law, but they don't and the following is nothing short of a war crime. (from your link)

           As The New York Times summarized those findings: “at least 50 civilians had been killed in follow-up strikes after they rushed to help those hit by a drone-fired missile” while “the bureau counted more than 20 other civilians killed in strikes on funerals.
        (emphasis mine)

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:17:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Two things: (33+ / 0-)

    1)  Since there have been children under the age of 18, and some under 15, held at Guantanamo by the United States, including one who is still being held who has been there since he was 16, almost ten years, what is the age they are using to declare the boys as being combatants ?

    2) Yes, the United States is supposed to be a nation of laws, but until those responsible at the highest levels for torture by the United States over the last ten years are held legally responsible, it's not.

                            For Dan,
                            Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:09:47 AM PDT

  •  Promoted in today's (22+ / 0-)

    What's Happenin'? diary in the Blog Posts of Interest section.

    Thanks for speaking out on this important subject.  Great job highlighting how our legal process is subverted and our Constitution undermined.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:15:26 AM PDT

  •  Droney never sleeps. (21+ / 0-)

    Ever vigilant, ever alert, keeping America safe despite itself...

    one suspected militant at a time.

    If you've done nothing wrong, you name wouldn't be on the list. The Orwellian logic of murder. Someday, those of us still alive will be grateful for this.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:24:07 AM PDT

    •  And we don't even need Winston Smith (7+ / 0-)

      Since we have declared that anybody who was in the way was obviously Hatin' on our Freedoms, then we have no need to retroactively update the actions of the government.

      I wish somebody far smarter than me had a suggestion as to how we're going to get out of the Catch-22 of "Well, if you vote for Romney, it could get worse, but if you vote for Obama he has no reason to get better."

  •  the whole idea that fighting terrorism is a "war" (21+ / 0-)

    is what led to this whole mess.  We would have been far better off if we'd have treated "terrorism" like other civilized nations have done--as a law enforcement issue, not a military issue. When the UK took on the IRA, or when Spain took on the ETA, they managed to do it without invading anybody and without destroying their democracy. That's because they treated terrorism as a criminal matter, to be dealt with under existing criminal law.

    WE were the only ones to go all gung-ho and try to make a military campaign out of it.

    It was a stupid idea right from the start. And both parties are to blame for it.

    •  Bush proclaimed the War on Terra (12+ / 0-)

      to acquire war powers. I expected the Hope guy would end the national nightmare -- alas here we are ...

      There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed. ~ Gandhi

      by CitizenOfEarth on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:17:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  everything Bush did in the war on terror was (9+ / 0-)

        already being done by Clinton.  Extraordinary rendition started under Clinton.  Warrantless wiretaps started under Clinton. Anti-Terrorism laws authorizing deportation without trial based on secret evidence, started under Clinton. The PATRIOT Act itself was entirely made up of proposals that were dropped from the 1996 Clinton anti-terrorism bills.

        The national security state has been bipartisan for 20 years.

        •  I'd like to see the evidence that warrantless (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nada Lemming, PSzymeczek, PhilJD, TimmyB

          wiretaps started under Clinton.

          I'm also unaware that torture by American agencies occurred under Clinton.

          And some changes in quantity are so extreme that they amount to a change in quality.  Which is what I'd say about extraordinary rendition.  Even though that was still a most unfortunate precedent under Clinton.

          The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

          by lysias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:25:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  here's some evidence (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            US wire-tapped UK's princess Diana

            US using rendition and black-sites to torture for information on AQ in the 90s, as per Bob Woodward

            About.com's Civil Liberties section has a whole page of links of things we started under Bill Clinton that weren't well known until Bush.

            I can't find evidence that US citizens tortured people on US soil under President Clinton - that seems to have been a new thing under Bush. Clinton used US proxies operating under US direction to torture people to serve US purposes, and did it on foreign soil. Its up to everyone as an individual to determine how much of a difference that makes, I suppose - but to me, it seems like a silly distinction.

            "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

            by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:44:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  FISA prohibited warrantless wiretapping (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              efraker

              of U.S. nationals (until FISA was changed in 2008).  Princess Diana was not a U.S. national.

              So, while it's true that there was warrantless wiretapping under Clinton (as I presume there had been under previous presidents), it's not true (as far as I know) that there was warrantless wiretapping violating FISA.  That had to wait for Bush (there is evidence that it started within weeks of Bush's inauguration, months before 9/11).

              The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

              by lysias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 02:38:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Wired has quite a bit of information (0+ / 0-)

            on wiretapping, I found this from an older article.

            When asked to defend their anti-privacy policies on wiretapping and cryptography, representatives of the Clinton administration invariably invoke the moral justification of the holy Status Quo.

            When digital telephony legislation sailed through Congress in 1994 and was signed into law, we were told that the purpose of the legislation was to maintain law enforcement's ability to wiretap telephones.

            Whose Status Quo?
          •  others have already provided the links (0+ / 0-)

            The only new thing Bush did was Americanize the torture.  Clinton sent everyone overseas to be tortured. Dubya decided that we Americans could do a batter job of it ourselves, and stopped the outsourcing.

    •  big difference between AQ vs. IRA or ETA (0+ / 0-)

      ETA and the IRA were both operating in European nations. Usually within the same nation that they were attacking.

      Imagine the FBI trying to meaningfully investigate in a nation like Taliban-era Afghanistan. They have nothing like proper jurisdiction, all the cooperation they can get would be from threats they can't follow through on, or offers of aide that we won't provide (as the Afghani know better than most).

      Maybe it would have worked, but it would have taken years to disrupt AQ in Afghanistan, which is meaningless because AQ is more an attitude than an organization. Saying your terror-cell is AQ affiliated is more like saying your band is punk than it is like saying your band is signed to a label. People 'affiliate' themselves with AQ all the time who have never even spoken with a member of the group that OBL formed.

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

      by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:26:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias

        Most of the IRA's support (political, monetary and military) came from the US. The Brits knew that, griped about it, but weren't stupid enough to either invade or bomb the US over it. They handled it as a criminal matter, not as a military matter.

        As for the Taliban, we all seem to forget that the Taliban indicated that it was willing to extradite Bin Laden for a trial (and even went so far as to get a ruling from a Muslim religious court that Bin Laden could be extradited under Islamic law because he had violated the responsibilities of hospitality), provided the US first produced some evidence against Bin Laden to show that he did it (a routine request that is made in extradition courts every day). The US refused.

        As for Al Qaeda, you are entirely correct that it is just a name, that lots of people have now adopted that name who were still pooping their diapers back when 9-11 was planned, and that the US's attempts to end the use of a name, by military force, are beyond stupid.

        •  we did give them evidence (0+ / 0-)

          Link. The reason they didn't give him up is because they said he was their guest, and they were following the pashtun honor code. They said they couldn't ethically release him to them without a promise of his safety, and we wouldn't promise not to execute him. We tripped ourselves up with our commitment to the death penalty.

          Are you suggesting that UK law enforcement officers seeking criminals in the US is comparable to US LEOs seeking criminals along the Afghan/Pakistan border? Do you really think there are comparable difficulties for UK LEOs trying to find local cooperation with US counterparts in Boston as US LEOs would have in liaising with some Pakistani sheriff?

          "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

          by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 02:58:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  as far as the death penalty, France and the UK (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            efraker

            also won't extradite anyone to the US to face a capital charge.

            As far as law enforcement officers, we don't get to suspend the rule of law just because it's hard or inconvenient.

            The Brits decided to stick to the rule of law in their dealings with the IRA.  We decided not to stick to the rule of law in our dealings with Al Qaeda. We decided to make the same mistake we have ALWAYS made historically, which is to try to fight a political enemy using military methods.

            That's why Al Qaeda is still blowing people up, and the IRA is not.

            •  we reach the same conclusions... (0+ / 0-)

              ...but for different reasons. Thanks for the discussion, its been to my certain benefit.

              "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

              by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 04:51:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a sucker for Schoolhouse Rock parodies (15+ / 0-)

    Very nice.

    I can't wait for "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get your extraordinary rendition here."

    We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

    by nightsweat on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:24:15 AM PDT

  •  Tom Tomorrow and the other FP cartoonists (37+ / 0-)

    have clearly opted to make a clear and conscious stand on this, and pushback against Droney's DKos acolytes who prefer to deaden the voices of dissent.

    Enormous kudos to Tom and the others.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:55:35 AM PDT

  •  Terrific Toon Tom (14+ / 0-)

    The humor is Dead on. I just can't believe we are talking about a Dem administration. Strange days indeed.

    There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed. ~ Gandhi

    by CitizenOfEarth on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:13:34 AM PDT

  •  Relative to the lessor of two evils, what's worse (6+ / 0-)

    than that?  

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:18:13 AM PDT

  •  But, but.......Rmoney will win if we (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wek, Aspe4, cruz, xynz

    (fill in the blank).

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. G.B. Shaw

    by baghavadgita on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:36:03 AM PDT

  •  I am worried about the facts. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    How sure are we that the U.S. is deliberately targeting funerals, etc?

    The idea, per se, that we are secretly killing our enemies doesn't offend me.  I am realtively comfortable with a secret process for targeting them.  In fact, I would expect a perfectly civilized set of internal deliberations to look exactly like an uncivilized one.  That's the paradox.

    Due process requires at least notice and an opportunity to be heard.  It is government's obligation to those under its control.  If I were president, I would insist that Mr. Target knows he's a target. That way, he has every opportunity to surrender or withdraw from the battlefield and engage in diplomaitic means of expressing his views.  I'd like to know how the administration serves notice that, for instance, if you hang around an avowed enemy you are going to be treated like one.  We should not be killing people who have no idea they are in the fight.  

    A right answer to the wrong question is a wrong answer.

    by legalarray on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:50:44 AM PDT

    •  They keep bombing rescuers, funerals, & mourners (12+ / 0-)

      Since it keeps happening, it's either deliberate or disgustingly incompetent.

      That said...

      The idea, per se, that we are secretly killing our enemies doesn't offend me.  I am realtively comfortable with a secret process for targeting them.
      If another country, say, Iran or North Korea, decided that it wanted to assassinate "secretly kill" people they consider to be their enemies within the US, using huge amounts of explosives, would you also be "not offended" or "relatively comfortable" with that?  Or are you just comfortable with it because the US is the one doing it?
      if you hang around an avowed enemy you are going to be treated like one
      .
      If you happen to be a "military aged male" within a blast radius (or debris radius) of a target, or happen to respond to an explosion in your neighborhood, congrats. You're a terrist.

      "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

      by Hayate Yagami on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:53:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know your argument sounds good to you. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hayate Yagami

        But it begs the question.  You seem to think I am not viewpoint neutral.  Of course I think "another country" is justified in killing people in our country who are waging war against them.   But it's our country and we are entitled to defend against that.  You just can't think of it like you would a criminal matter.  It's more like war.

        If you need to argue with someone who thinks ANY "military aged male" is a dangerous enemy, you should find that person and argue with them.  If you want to argue with someone who thinks sombody besides the courts has to decide who is trying to kill us, I'm your guy.

        A right answer to the wrong question is a wrong answer.

        by legalarray on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:27:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're the first one I've ever talked to who (0+ / 0-)

          actually said this:

          Of course I think "another country" is justified in killing people in our country who are waging war against them.
          and for that, I honestly applaud your consistency on the issue.

          For the rest, though, three points.
          First, on the idea that the drone bombings are "more like war". We're dropping missiles in supposedly allied countries like Pakistan, against the wishes of the government and people there. If your position is correct, are we now at war with Pakistan, and/or would they be justified in using military force against the US' drones?

          Second, addressing the statement that all "military aged males" are considered militants, you need look no further than the Obama administration's own standards.

          Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.
          And finally, addressing you directly, as one who believes that "sombody [sic] besides the courts has to decide who is trying to kill us".
          Considering that the drone assassination program targets those on a kill list, directly supervised by President Obama, with zero oversight from anyone in the courts, and has already been used to assassinate two American citizens, neither directly engaged in any violent activities (one was accused of producing propaganda and recruiting, the other for still undisclosed reasons), who should be the oversight body? Can we put a program which can target US citizens, or anyone else on this kill list purely in the hands of the president and the military, with no sort of due process or judicial review or appeal (Al-Awlaki's father attempted to challenge the assassination order in court, only for it to be thrown out as a state secret)?

          "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

          by Hayate Yagami on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 03:31:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We are at war, but (0+ / 0-)

            not with Pakistan.  We are at war with an organization, or organizations, who are trying to prosecute war from within Pakistan.  We are not targeting the government of Pakistan or its institutions or infrastructure.  

            You use self-serving words like "assassination" and ""kill list."  You assert "no sort of due process" when that is the very issue we are debating.  I'm afraid that "due process," as you conceive it is only applicable to a dealing with punishment for a criime, not with a violent crime in progress.  We never use the term when dealing with a fleeing felon with a hostage.

            If a man is shooting at you, or others, you can return the fire. "Due process" is how you deal with punishing him, not with stopping him.  That's why the facts are so much more important than rhetoric right now.  I have not heard enough to justify the judgments you have made.

            A right answer to the wrong question is a wrong answer.

            by legalarray on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 04:28:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "If a man is shooting at you" (0+ / 0-)

              What evidence do you have that anyone placed on the kill list was killed while actively engaged in hostilities?

              "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

              by Hayate Yagami on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 08:02:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I assume that's because the people who come out... (0+ / 0-)

        ...for funerals of people we believe to be terrorists are by definition relatively if not absolutely sympathetic to terrorism.

        Dear conservatives: If instead of "marriage equality" we call it "voluntary government registration of committed homosexuals," are you on board?

        by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 04:30:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  how the administration serves notice? (11+ / 0-)

      They serve notice by killing you.  Wake up.

      •  to be fair, a victim can be "posthumously found (8+ / 0-)

        innocent" according the the edict from the Star Chamber.
        But they offer no guidance as to how that is done, especially when you consider that every aspect of the killings are a 'State Secret'. It is a cruel, and illegal joke.

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:37:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Certainly you don't think members of Al Qaeda (0+ / 0-)

        don't know they are being targeted for death.  That's not what's secret.  What's secret is that we have the means of carrying it out.  We should fire a "warning shot" at a sniper?

        As for those who are not in Al Qaeda, yes, i am concerned about notice.

        A right answer to the wrong question is a wrong answer.

        by legalarray on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:36:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what do you think it means to be a member of AQ? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilJD, aliasalias, BradyB, Hayate Yagami

          Do you think they carry around cards, or wear colored bandannas, or sign contracts?

          Have you read many of the interviews with people we've released from Guantanamo? Many people talk about the fact that you can "join Al Qaeda" by grabbing your hunting rifle and getting on a bus, and you can "leave Al Qaeda" when you get bored and wander off.

          AQ affiliation is transitory and it seems to mean something different to everyone who claims it. For anyone but the most high profile people, there is less ceremony involved in 'joining' AQ than there would be in joining the 4H club.

          "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

          by efraker on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 01:52:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  people become an honorary member of AQ when (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            efraker, BradyB, lysias, Hayate Yagami, Eric K

            we blow them up. They're all terrorists now, 'kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out' is back as foreign policy.
            Don't worry, if the Star Chamber says they are militants, that they are 'the worst of the worst', then that must be true and that's all we need to know Winston.

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 02:49:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hey moron.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hayate Yagami

          which of the 21 women and children slaughtered in Obama's first Yemen strike were Al Qaeda?

  •  They forgot to include... (11+ / 0-)

    An Obama signing statement.

    He could have made an appearance at the end, promising that everything was a-okay and that no one would abuse such power, forever & ever.

    And.. that if anyone had any additional concerns... he could have made a statement about gay marriage.

    The 1% Feast on Results while the 99% Starve on Rhetoric They Can Believe In.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:09:24 AM PDT

  •  This is an old stratagem (7+ / 0-)

    Very old.  One that governments, revolutionaries, rightist militias, secret police, and gangsters have used for time out of mind.  The most notorious instance, caught on film, occurred in Northern Ireland.  A protestant terrorist attacked a Catholic funeral service with grenades and gunfire.  A related technique was used by the Pazzi against the Medici in Renaissance Florence.

    Drone strikes are an attempt to fight a war on the cheap.  The US military's own doctrine for fighting insurgencies states a 1 to 50 ratio of soldiers to civilians is needed to win an insurgency.  For Afghanistan, that's between 400,000 and 700,000 soldiers.  This was politically unpalatable for W.  It was politically impossible for Obama.  The horrid thing about the Afghan War, it's entirely possible, given the connections between the Taliban and the Pakistani government, that we've been funding both sides in this war.

    Me, I would have gotten the hell out of Dodge after we killed Osama.  Al Qaeda's top guy dead, the organization smashed up - those were once our only goals in Afghanistan.  When politics and war collide, weird shit seems to linger on forever.  America had troops on the ground in Russia until 1920 as part of the Allied effort to support the Whites.  We're not the only ones afflicted by this.  I've lost count of the number of times France has sent troops into Chad.  Can't we just fucking leave?  Just once?  It would shock the hell out of everyone.

    Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

    by rbird on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:10:57 AM PDT

    •  What the hell is our goal in Afghanistan now? (7+ / 0-)

      Why is it politically impossible for Obama to cut and run?

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:28:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beats me.... (5+ / 0-)

        I think our goal is:  "Let's not lose."  We bust up the Taliban while drawing down our forces, give a lot of guns to the Afghan government, and cross our fingers that we've smashed the Taliban up enough that Karzai can stay in power for a couple years after we've left.  After that, it will be off Washington's political radar.

        Yeah, I know.  I've read too much Machiavelli.

        I hate that phrase, "cut and run."  The Republicans have used that phrase on numerous occasions over the years to imply cowardice when those of good sense have advocated withdrawal.  Besides, it isn't "cut and run" when our original goals have been met.

        I know you didn't mean it in the Republican sense.  I'm not trying to start a pie fight.  That phrase is just a pet peeve of mine.

        Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

        by rbird on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:16:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  what evidence is there that it's politically... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lysias, shaharazade

        impossible?

        Obama WANTS to slaughter brown people.  No politics forced him to double down and expand Bush/Cheney policies.  It's the only conclusion.

        •  We know that's not true... (0+ / 0-)

          ...because the US doesn't attack the vast majority of the brown-majority world.  Heck, we don't even attack the vast majority of the Muslim world.  We only attack, leaving aside Afghanistan where there's an actual war by anyone's standards, isolated corners of Pakistan and Yemen. It's presumably a big deal in those places but it's stupid to see it as a worldwide racist or otherwise chauvinist offensive.

          Dear conservatives: If instead of "marriage equality" we call it "voluntary government registration of committed homosexuals," are you on board?

          by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 04:28:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  would you care to address my comment? (0+ / 0-)

            That nobody is boxing in Obama politically to slaughter brown people.... he's doing it completely of his own volition.

            Obama is bombing 6 countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya.

      •  USA's #1 Goal In Afganistan = Reelect Obama (7+ / 0-)

        We are currently in Afganistan because our president believes keeping a massive number of U.S. troops there will help his reelection chances.

  •  great cartoon (4+ / 0-)

    and work. I'm a big fan!!!

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:59:06 AM PDT

  •  It is not just that the old constitution (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, Nada Lemming, aliasalias

    wouldn't have this, it is also that the congresscritters shouldn't allow it to happen. But there I go, thinking that  some silly oath to protect and defend the constitution really means something.

    To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

    by glitterscale on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 12:27:30 PM PDT

  •  I like the comic almost as much as I like drones! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    I don't want to invade Pakistan, and I don't want Pakistan to be a safe haven for people who work actively to wage war on the US and our allies, even if they're allies I don't especially like, such as Karzai.  So drones are the only option I can think of besides constant special ops of the sort that killed Bin Laden.  And no, changing US foreign policy so people won't hate us isn't really on my list of immediate options, in part because those people hate us anyway. They hated us enough before September 2001 to attack the US pretty brazenly, so it's not like pulling back to the minimal presence we had in the Middle East prior to that point would make any difference.

    Dear conservatives: If instead of "marriage equality" we call it "voluntary government registration of committed homosexuals," are you on board?

    by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 04:26:29 PM PDT

    •  Are you under the impression... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hayate Yagami

      that the US had minimal involvement in the Middle East prior to 9/11?

      Because that is what I take from this quote:

      They hated us enough before September 2001 to attack the US pretty brazenly, so it's not like pulling back to the minimal presence we had in the Middle East prior to that point would make any difference.
      If that is the case, it would explain so much of what I have seen you write here with respect to the War on Terror.
  •  People who rush to the aid of people bombed (0+ / 0-)

    by drones apparently also count as terrorists/militants.  Rescuers Targeted by US Drone Strike in Pakistan (Again).

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 08:50:38 AM PDT

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