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It's 2020, and unless Mr. Obama has successfully declared himself President-for-life, somebody else is President. Perhaps this time the lesser evil has lost.  Thanks to the groundwork laid by President Obama and the boys at DARPA, the new president has the sort of technology that dystopian fiction is based upon.

In 2020 the president has at his disposal the drone technology to surveil anyone, anywhere on earth.  The technology has the visual resolution to see disturbed dirt from a mile high in the sky and track footprints, to identify individuals using biometric data, even to "see" through walls and ceilings. Drones will also be outfitted with the means to collect electronic communications, phone calls, texts, gps location data, etc., creating a tool that can track individuals in the physical realm as well as their "footprints" in cyberspace to deliver the information needed for lethal actions

In 2020 the Earth will be surrounded by a triple canopy of drones at various heights to surveil us and deliver sudden death and destruction from above, wherever on earth or space the president desires:

At the lowest tier of this emerging U.S. aerospace shield, within striking distance of Earth in the lower stratosphere, the Pentagon is building an armada of 99 Global Hawk drones equipped with high-resolution cameras capable of surveilling all terrain within a 100-mile radius, electronic sensors to intercept communications, efficient engines for continuous 24-hour flights, and eventually Triple Terminator missiles to destroy targets below.

070301-F-9126Z-329

By late 2011, the Air Force and the CIA had already ringed the Eurasian land mass with a network of 60 bases for drones armed with Hellfire missiles and GBU-30 bombs, allowing air strikes against targets just about anywhere in Europe, Africa, or Asia. ... If things go according to plan, in this same lower tier at altitudes up to 12 miles unmanned aircraft such as the “Vulture,” with solar panels covering its massive 400-foot wingspan, will be patrolling the globe ceaselessly for up to five years at a time with sensors for “unblinking” surveillance, and possibly missiles for lethal strikes. ...

For the next tier above the Earth, in the upper stratosphere, DARPA and the Air Force are collaborating in the development of the Falcon Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle.  Flying at an altitude of 20 miles, it is expected to “deliver 12,000 pounds of payload at a distance of 9,000 nautical miles from the continental United States in less than two hours.” ...

At the outer level of this triple-tier aerospace canopy, the age of space warfare dawned in April 2010 when the Pentagon quietly launched the X-37B space drone, an unmanned craft just 29 feet long, into an orbit 250 miles above the Earth.

Test Vehicle

By the time its second prototype landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in June 2012 after a 15-month flight, this classified mission represented a successful test of “robotically controlled reusable spacecraft” and established the viability of unmanned space drones in the exosphere.

This drone technology, which is well on its way now, will vest in the president and his minions a great deal of very concentrated power to breach individual privacy and security.  How this power is held will have great implications for its ability to corrupt, or perhaps as Lord Acton would have put it, to corrupt absolutely.  Our machines are extensions of ourselves. They implement our will (at least when we write competent programming). The issue is inequality; the machines that belong to the already powerful are so much more effective than the machines of we regular slobs and the potential for expanding the inequality of power that exists between the regular folks and the privileged elites is daunting.







Are we governed by Angels?




"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary."

  -- Federalist 51

Our current drone program is lacking adequate controls.  The Obama administration inherited the drone program from the predecessor Bush administration without appropriate controls and Mr. Obama has expanded on that program while at the same time, fighting off any efforts at accountability.

Even Congress has been cut out of the loop:

Congress has been denied the right to read the legal framework used by the Administration to justify the drone strikes. This means that these strikes are being carried out with virtually no transparency, accountability or judicial review. Victims or targets of the strikes are denied the right to due process. Innocent civilians and American citizens are getting the death penalty without so much as a trial. We do not know what measures, if any, the Joint Special Operations Command or the Central Intelligence Agency have for recognizing harm to civilian populations or to conduct investigations of who was killed.

As the use of drone strikes abroad becomes a permanent feature of our counterterrorism policy, it is more critical than ever that we push for increased transparency and accountability. We must reject the notion that Congress and the American people have to be kept in the dark on U.S. counterterrorism strategies. Simply put, drones must be subject to the same scrutiny and laws that other weapons the United States employs.

Aside from some politically convenient leaks, the Obama administration refuses to even confirm or deny its drone program, much less offer details as to how it operates or what its standards are.

What we do know from leaks and whistleblowers is that Mr. Obama's standards are "evolving," so to speak:

The care that Mr. Obama and his counterterrorism chief take in choosing targets, and their reliance on a precision weapon, the drone, reflect his pledge at the outset of his presidency to reject what he called the Bush administration’s “false choice between our safety and our ideals.”

But he has found that war is a messy business, and his actions show that pursuing an enemy unbound by rules has required moral, legal and practical trade-offs that his speeches did not envision.

One early test involved Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. The case was problematic on two fronts, according to interviews with both administration and Pakistani sources.

The C.I.A. worried that Mr. Mehsud, whose group then mainly targeted the Pakistan government, did not meet the Obama administration’s criteria for targeted killing: he was not an imminent threat to the United States. But Pakistani officials wanted him dead, and the American drone program rested on their tacit approval. The issue was resolved after the president and his advisers found that he represented a threat, if not to the homeland, to American personnel in Pakistan.

Then, in August 2009, the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, told Mr. Brennan that the agency had Mr. Mehsud in its sights. But taking out the Pakistani Taliban leader, Mr. Panetta warned, did not meet Mr. Obama’s standard of “near certainty” of no innocents being killed. In fact, a strike would certainly result in such deaths: he was with his wife at his in-laws’ home.

“Many times,” General Jones said, in similar circumstances, “at the 11th hour we waved off a mission simply because the target had people around them and we were able to loiter on station until they didn’t.”

But not this time. Mr. Obama, through Mr. Brennan, told the C.I.A. to take the shot, and Mr. Mehsud was killed, along with his wife and, by some reports, other family members as well, said a senior intelligence official.

The information that the above quoted article should be a big, blinking red light that what were once embraced as standards by the Obama administration have been put aside for political considerations.  The article also notes:
David Axelrod, the president’s closest political adviser, began showing up at the “Terror Tuesday” meetings, his unspeaking presence a visible reminder of what everyone understood: a successful attack would overwhelm the president’s other aspirations and achievements.
One wonders what place a political adviser has at a meeting where the president sorts his "terrorist baseball cards" and decides who is going to die this week.





Obama administration makes up the rules as they go along



Recently, news reports have demonstrated more starkly that the Obama administration is making up the rules as they go along and that any claims that they have made about process and accountability are malarkey.  Recent reports have surfaced about President Obama's "Disposition Matrix," an attempt to codify and institutionalize his secret kill list proceedings.  

This article, however, demonstrates how ad-hoc the process has been to this point and how politics looms over the entire drone program:

Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials. ...

The attempt to write a formal rule book for targeted killing began last summer after news reports on the drone program, started under President George W. Bush and expanded by Mr. Obama, revealed some details of the president’s role in the shifting procedures for compiling “kill lists” and approving strikes. Though national security officials insist that the process is meticulous and lawful, the president and top aides believe it should be institutionalized, a course of action that seemed particularly urgent when it appeared that Mitt Romney might win the presidency.

This account in conjunction with other recent accounts gives damning evidence that far from Eric Holder's characterization of an orderly sort of program that meets the constitutional requirements of due process, the Obama drone assassination program has no standards other than the whims of President Obama and his administration (to the unknown degree that the president delegates assassination decisions).  The picture that is emerging is of an opaque process which relies on the decency and integrity of one man to keep it from going off of the rails.  Those in the administration trust themselves and will fight tooth and nail to keep their unaccountable power, but they fear passing that same unaccountable power on to another administration.





Lethal Technology minus Accountability equals Danger



Surely the opacity and lack of controls that President Obama's drone assassination program embodies is a terrible precedent to set in the face of even more powerful, lethal technologies on the horizon.  These technologies will be employed, like their predecessors, with a great degree of secrecy and the increase in effectiveness will be incremental.  There will be no klaxons sounding to warn the public that the technology that will reconfigure our notions of privacy and security needs to be accompanied by a commensurately larger degree of transparency and control.  

One of our founding documents puts things this way; "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed."  How can the people meaningfully consent to that which is held from them in secret?  

The time to fix this problem is yesterday.  We cannot afford to let this slide, no matter how nice a man Mr. Obama seems to be.

There is a reason why in America we do not pledge fealty to a monarch, rather, we pledge to uphold the Constitution.

Well, at least some of us do:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why would they need a drone... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack, Agathena, Pete Cortez

    ....to track "footprints in cyberspace" ?

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:56:59 AM PST

  •  Calvin ball (11+ / 0-)
    the Obama administration is making up the rules as they go along

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:09:55 AM PST

  •  The should be some detailed explanation (11+ / 0-)

    on how this is keeping the world safe.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:13:51 AM PST

  •  I think you must be (16+ / 0-)

    overreacting.  They are just for watching cattle and borders, natch.  They protect our freedomzzz!!  That's why they use names like Predator, Vulture, Hellfire, Triple Terminator...

    And I'm not worried at all because I trust the man who approves every single strike.  He's a nice man.  A good man.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:13:54 AM PST

  •  My bigger concern is the entire war on terror. (11+ / 0-)

    Forever at war sucks. Laws get bent, broken or ignored, the Constitution takes a back seat to the panic of the day and it consumes people and resources at an alarming rate.

    The CIA with drones, and little oversight, should scare the hell out of everyone, allies as well as enemies. Hard to imagine the damage they could have inflicted in Central and South  America.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:24:55 AM PST

  •  It is only a stage we are going through (7+ / 0-)
    But not this time. Mr. Obama, through Mr. Brennan, told the C.I.A. to take the shot, and Mr. Mehsud was killed, along with his wife and, by some reports, other family members as well, said a senior intelligence official.
    I watched the old movie, "Judgement at Nuremberg" this weekend. And that part about what people are willing to do to many extremes, and then to excuse themselves for -  for the so called "love of country"

    Nazi judge, Dr. Ernst Janning, describes how Germany was corrupted by "love of country.

    "Once the devils are destroyed, your misery will be destroyed.... It is only a stage we are going through.....
    But when will it ever stop?

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand? David Crosby.

    by allenjo on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:41:30 AM PST

  •  Drones need to go the way (6+ / 0-)

    of chemical weapons and land mines....

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:45:49 AM PST

  •  Give me a break. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou

    You're whining about all this technology, which has been around for decades, simply because somebody's combined it into a single package that happens to have wings?

  •  Ironic- this erosion of the checks and balances (9+ / 0-)

    of our Constitution is happening..... under the administration of a constitutional law professor.  

    Precedents for a totalitarian America are being set by someone who should know better.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:59:47 AM PST

  •  As long as we're lumping together... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheLizardKing, sviscusi

    ....surveillance drones and killing drones, it's hard to have a sensible discussion.  Maybe that's the point.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:07:31 AM PST

  •  i don't know, (0+ / 0-)

    I thought we were at war.

    My mistake, I guess.


    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous..........got me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:12:19 AM PST

    •  when did we declare war on yemen... (5+ / 0-)

      or pakistan, somalia, etc.?  

      or do you really go for that crap that wherever the president says there might be a terrorist, we can just go ahead and attack?  say, the 9/11 terrorists were all from saudi arabia, why aren't we bombing with drones there?

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:40:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No reason for Geneva Conventions, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, joe shikspack, George3, joanneleon

      extended to drones or other uncovered technologies or tactics, now or in the future?

      All that is quaint?

      We didn't think so when Gonzo declared it so...

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries.

      by Words In Action on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:06:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Goddamn, I think you've got it! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack, George3, ffour
      My mistake, I guess.
      The War on Terror is as much a real war as the War on Drugs or the War on Christmas.

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

      by PhilJD on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:09:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's the trouble. The only reason (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack

      to call it "war" is that the Bush Administration told us it was, and this administration has been pleased to continue that.  It's really not a war in any traditional sense; it's more just a campaign of lawless violence against individuals the administration regards as themselves lawless and violent -- not the same thing as an organized conflict between nations.  

      BTW, props for your sign-off.  

  •  We may have to develop ground drones that look up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack, Words In Action

    to identify drones a mile or more up, so the air drones can be shot down. Oh, we already have that technology. It's called radar. When a drone is looking down, the first thing it would see, is the head of a missile quickly approaching.

  •  To the extent drones are used domestically and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack, George3, joanneleon

    with little regard for privacy or due process, then I guess the NRA would be in a justifiable position to press for the right to own drones, or at least anti-drone defense systems...

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries.

    by Words In Action on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:09:12 AM PST

  •  When I read this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack, George3, JustinBinFL, ffour

    I really had to laugh out loud.

    Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.
    As if the next president is going to adopt the standards and rules put to paper...

    I mean seriously, something goes wrong upstairs once these men gain such power (and then give themselves even more power).

    Remember when the Obama apologists were selling that snake oil about how he was the peace candidate?


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:13:47 AM PST

  •  Hey, there's an election coming up in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack, ZhenRen, joanneleon

    less than two years. We can't have this in-fighting and tarnishing of the Democratic brand, lest somebody who isn't lesser-evil win some office.

  •  ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheLizardKing

    Can you please stop the lexiconic-acrobatics and just call the president a mass murderer or Stalin or whom/whatever?  It will make your diaries that more interesting and uncontrived.

    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

    by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:57:32 AM PST

    •  it's not shocking enough that he appears to be... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ffour

      violating the constitution that he has sworn to uphold, to attract your attention?

      surely a constitutional scholar of some accomplishment can't get away with treating that document like "it's just a goddamned piece of paper," can he?

      it's not bad enough that the un human rights committee is poised to investigate his program for war crimes?

      surely as a writer i am interested in writing authentically and making use of interesting language,  but your suggestions would take the telling of the narrative out of my voice as that is not the way i would instinctively describe things.

      thanks for the advice!

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:14:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny... (0+ / 0-)

        I just love it when people claim the constitution is violated but can't or won't point to where specifically the violation is.  But of course, it's not your job to do whatever bullshit line you told someone earlier in the comments...  With that being said, I do agree some transparency is needed, however, your narrative of the government being bad and the president is some burgeoning despot is your voice.  That is what your diaries are always about, obtuse accusatory language which is interesting but not in a good way.

        The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

        by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:04:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  article 1 section 8 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joanneleon
          The Congress shall have the power:

          clause 14 - To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces

          clause 16 - To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States

          in the diary above i quote a congressman who says, "Congress has been denied the right to read the legal framework used by the Administration to justify the drone strikes. "

          by withholding information about the way that this military program is being employed and the details of its employment, the president is preventing the congress from performing its constitutional duty.

          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

          by joe shikspack on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:50:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right... (0+ / 0-)

            Because this current congress has been trying SO hard to get the Obama Administration give info on drones.  They've been fighting tooth and nail!

            The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

            by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 12:02:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  that does not negate obama's duty to provide (0+ / 0-)

              the information.

              congress can stand on its head, spit wooden nickels while sticking their fingers in their ears and singing "lalalalalalala" at the top of their lungs - but even that would not negate the responsibility of the executive.

              seriously.

              i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

              by joe shikspack on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 12:09:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  ? (0+ / 0-)

                What info does he need to provide and to who's satisfaction?  And that's assuming he's not providing anything, which isn't the case...  As shady as the drone program is, it's very irresponsible on your part to place sole secretiveness of the program on one person.  You are purposely ignoring the fact that both chambers of the Capitol fully back this program and their contentedness (possibly the wrong word) with it not being under public scrutiny.  Also, where's the finger wagging to those country's governments that allow the strikes to happen?

                The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

                by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:00:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  I think a more relevant question... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack

      is why none of this even gives you a moment's pause.

      People with your mentality are rather frightening.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:26:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm curious... (0+ / 0-)

        What is that mentality? Not going along with hyperbolic bullshit?

        The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

        by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:07:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay... (4+ / 0-)

          What I'm referring to is the lack of concern for human suffering and misery these policies rain down on civilians. The fear and stress and sheer terror has been documented by two studies. Those missiles and drones causing this terror have your name on them. With your rather wholesale support, you're complicit.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:51:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hahahaha... Got it. (0+ / 0-)

            It's not going along with hyperbolic bullshit...  You do know that those "civilians" that are having death and misery raining on them from those evil death dealing Obama Drones blame you for their said death and misery.  I pretty sure it has something to do with that whole being an American thing, but I'm sure the extensive humanitarian work that you, joe, joan and whomever else do in Yeman and Pakistan offsets that, right?

            The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

            by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:53:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Civilians in quotes... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe shikspack, Agathena

              You've made yourself clear with that. You actually discount the reports that a large percentage of the drone kills are, in fact, civilians. So that's how people of your ilk sleep at night. You naively/callously tell yourselves, or even lie to yourselves, that civilian casualties are insignificant in numbers, despite reports to the contrary.

              This neoliberal nationalism and state sponsored terrorism is becoming fascistic.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:01:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I feel like I have stepped into a Joseph Conrad (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe shikspack, ZhenRen, PhilJD, joanneleon

                novel.

                ❧To thine ownself be true

                by Agathena on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:25:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Hahaha... Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

                Let me get this straight.  I'm a neoliberal fascist who has zero concern about non-Americans because 1) I find your rending, gnashing and cries to the heavens comical and 2) I put civilians in quotes? HAHAHAHAHAHA...  If that's what you like to believe then so be it.

                The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

                by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:44:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You used the quotes (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joanneleon, joe shikspack, Jarrayy

                  You know full well what you did, and you know what you were saying. What I see as a trend on Dkos is when people are confronted with their own positions, they are not entirely willing to own them.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:49:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The typical response (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    joe shikspack, ZhenRen, Jarrayy

                    is to turn their fire on the people who call them out on it (or even talk about these issues) and then go and screech and complain that people are calling Obama a baby killer and such with pathetic attempts to turn a serious and complex issue into an issue of not liking a president or an issue of being doom and gloomers or similar childish and simplistic nonsense, all the while avoiding the crux of the matter and their own complicity and even racism at times, given the way some lives are valued and others are not, based on nationality or color of skin, and location, all of them accidents of birth.

                    But they still never clearly cite their own position on the civilian deaths -- the drones, extrajudicial killings and assassinations of this administration that they so staunchly and unquestioningly defend.  You might get a vague "well I don't agree with everything this administration does but... best prezident evah!! you're a hater if you utter a word of specific criticizm!!"  and similar dishonest crap.  Makes you wonder if you are dealing with an adult or a person with a permanent middle school (male or female) mean girl complex.

                    They just direct their anger toward anyone on this site who talks about it and start pulling out the lame purist, pony, etc. language.   But they never address the main issue, which is their goal anyway.  And they also never address the gaping contradictions between their claims that they are good hearted liberals or progressives and the horrific things they support and defend either directly or indirectly.  I almost feel sorry for them. More than that I feel sorry for their children or any young minds they influence in any way.  I do hope that they find a way to resolve the massive dissonance they are dealing with right now and find a way to be honest with themselves.  I don't know how they sleep at night.  And there are a lot of people in this situation right now.  Denial, ain't just a river in Egypt.


                    "Justice is a commodity"

                    by joanneleon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:00:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Wow... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      sviscusi

                      Now I'm a mindless, childish and racist Obama cheerleader who can't grasp the complexities of this issue because I find the overwrought narrative of "Pres. Obama is evil incarnate" to be completely hacky and devoid of any reason?  

                      The absolute narrow-mindedness that you and the ego strokers perpetuate this kind of diary is what I have a problem with.  You all are being purposely intellectually disingenuous on every single topic you people publish and accuse those who don't agree with you as being callous, simple-minded bullies...  You claim I would never state my position on this topic but not once has anybody asked what my position is, however, none of you don't have a problem telling me what it is.  Making baseless accusations, defaming ones character and telling them what they think is being "a person with a permanent middle school (male or female) mean girl complex."

                      I often wonder if any of you bother to expend this righteous indignation on the injustice that's happening to folks here.  Because I have yet seen any of you give a shit about racial economic inequality and how that has lead to conditions that can be compared to third world countries.

                      The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

                      by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:46:54 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That comment (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        joe shikspack

                        did not refer to one specific person.  I don't know you but I do know what I have seen for months, years on end but especially for the past six months or more on this and on other blogs on the left, and on Twitter.  

                        Some of the things that you wrote reminded me exactly of the kinds of characteristics that I described. Whether you are like this all the time or not, I don't know.  But that comment was not all about you. It was a broader observation.  


                        "Justice is a commodity"

                        by joanneleon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:24:14 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  And (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        joe shikspack

                        the irony of your comment... you should read what you wrote again.  All of the things that you are yelling about, you are doing yourself in this comment and in many other comments throughout this diary.  

                        The absolute narrow-mindedness that you and the ego strokers perpetuate this kind of diary is what I have a problem with.  You all are being purposely intellectually disingenuous on every single topic you people publish and accuse those who don't agree with you as being callous, simple-minded bullies...
                        And then you start condemning me and "you people" others for defaming?  It would be funny if it weren't so sad, not so much sad by head shakingly ironic.  The lack of self awareness still takes me back sometimes though it shouldn't.  

                        It's funny though, how bullies always seem to think that the others are the bullies since they are so good at dishing it out and so hypersensitive and bad at taking it.

                        Well, this happens every day on this site.  These broad brush defamations happen every day.   And in this case you aimed it right at me.  When I wrote my comment I deliberately did not target anyone specifically but I can tell you that at the time I did not have you specifically in mind, but rather a few other groups of people, and after that, many people who you can find in the comment sections of any progressive blog, most of them not connected, I assume.  It would be easy to come up with dozens of examples on any given week, hundreds if you invested a few hours.  I have no idea who you are but what I see in your reactionary comment above though, and all throughout this diary, now makes me wonder.   Flame away all that you want. We are used to it.  It has very little effect from people who demonstrate how little credibility they have.

                        And with that, good night.  I don't have any intention of wasting any more of my time on you now or ever again.  It's an act of futility.


                        "Justice is a commodity"

                        by joanneleon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:37:39 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  sigh... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kalmoth

                    You haven't confronted me with anything but accused me of being a neoliberal (whatever that is) and fascist because I find your stance to be over the top and ridiculous...  but totes whatevs...

                    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

                    by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:56:39 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Okay, you're backpeddling (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      joe shikspack, Jarrayy

                      So, do you accept news reports that civilians have been killed by Obama administration's drone attacks? Does it bother you? Make you stop and be certain of your position? No?

                      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                      by ZhenRen on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:01:39 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  ... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kalmoth

                        You don't know what my position is, so why do you continue to assume to it?  The only thing I've said thus far is that I think this program is shady, that's it.

                        The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

                        by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:58:27 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, actually (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          joe shikspack, Jarrayy

                          That's not really true, is it?

                          You revealed more than you intended, that much is obvious.

                          Now you're backpedaling quite furiously.

                          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                          by ZhenRen on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:05:45 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  ... (0+ / 0-)

                            From the get-go you've accused me of being some heartless, mindless bastard because I think the over the top rhetoric you used and what is used in this diary is completely stupid.  But somehow you've managed to twist that in me supporting something I've never mentioned supporting, and now I'm "backpedaling" because you're assuming what my position is...  This is so comical.

                            The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

                            by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:11:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  two items. (0+ / 0-)

                        1. l2sp "backpedaling"
                        2. I wonder what Joseph Raymond McCarthy would say of this style of interrogation discourse

                •  Why did you put the word (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joe shikspack, ZhenRen, Jarrayy

                  civilian in quotes?

                  Do you think that toddlers are terrorists?  Are the women and children and males who are not combatants but who automatically get classified as combatants are not civilians somehow?

                  Seriously, why did you put the word civilian in quotes?

                  Did you read the two huge studies that came out this fall about the civilian deaths and general terrorization of the population in the tribal areas of Pakistan? Have you read the account of the massacre in Yemen in 2009, guided missile strike with cluster munitions?

                  I expect that we won't get an honest answer to this question.


                  "Justice is a commodity"

                  by joanneleon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:38:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Know what? (0+ / 0-)

                    How about you tell me what me position is?  Because you seem to already know what it is by asking those dumbass questions.

                    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

                    by lcj98 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:02:42 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  These are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack

      precision weapons. Surgical strikes.  Didn't you hear?


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:09:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  is the diarist and radack married (0+ / 0-)

    or something?

  •  Thanks for this (4+ / 0-)

    It is the clearest, most concise statement of the danger posed by the drone program that I have seen. Most of what I've seen previously on this topic has seemed couched in terms that narrowed it's potential appeal to those who espouse a pacifist perspective.

    As admirable as I find individuals who are willing to sacrifice their bodies and lives to such an ideal, pacifism is not and is not likely to be a broadly shared ethic anytime soon. Consequently, it can't provide the popular basis needed to bring such policies as the drone program  to heel.

    OTOH, pointing out that as things stand, the program is entirely subject to the whims and caprices of whomever occupies the Oval Office, should give every thoughtful person pause. Such power ought not to be constrained soley by the moral and ethical character of a single individual. At least not if Democracy is to be more than a meaningless noise.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:42:31 PM PST

  •  It's really quite amazing -- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack

    that people would defend this stuff.

    "Wars not make one great" -- Yoda

    by Cassiodorus on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:45:24 AM PST

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