Do you support your President...or your Constitution?

President Obama’s nominee to head up the CIA, John Brennan, faced off with Senators on the Intelligence Committee on Thursday, as part of his confirmation hearing. He was asked several questions about the drone warfare program, and its lethal targeting of American citizens abroad. As the architect of this program, Brennan defended the use of drones to kill Americans who are deemed “imminent threats,” and can’t be captured.

At one point in the hearing, Senator Ron Wyden asked Brennan if American citizens should be given a chance to surrender, before they are targeted for death. Brennan dismissed the question, saying that all Americans currently working for al-Qaeda can surrender any time they wish. But the killing of American citizens with drones is just one issue. Perhaps a bigger issue, is the power of the President to order military strikes in sovereign nations, that we are not at war with, like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

This tactic sets a dangerous precedent for the future, as more nations and organizations acquire drones, and seek to use them in the same way the United States uses them. Let’s hope it doesn’t take the Mexican government targeting a drug trafficker in Phoenix with a drone strike, and killing a few Americans as collateral damage, for us all to wake up to how destructive this sort of drone warfare really is.

Democrats may trust President Obama at the helm in the drone war program – but he’ll only be in office four more years, and who knows who’ll take control afterward – and what the world will look like.


MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 10 years 17 weeks ago

DANNEMARC, You'll sleep just fine!

If you would like a good read about the A bomd, read Howard Zinn's "The Bomb". It's a short read, about 180+/- pgs. Howard flew bomb missions during WWII. This book should be required reading in ALL high school history classes.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 10 years 17 weeks ago

Whenever you advise a ruler in the way of Tao,
Counsel him not to use force to conquer the Universe.
For this would only cause resistance.
Thorn bushes spring up wherever the army has passed.
Lean years follow in the wake of a great war.
Just do what needs to be done;
Never take advantage of power.

Acheive results.......But never glory in them.
Acheive results.......But never boast.
Acheive results......But never be proud.
Acheive results......Because this is the natural way.
Acheive results.....But not through violence.

Force is followed by loss of strength.
This is not the way of Tao.
That which goes against the Tao
....Comes to an early end.

Tao Te Ching by Lau Tsu

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 10 years 17 weeks ago

A good soldier is not violent.
A good fighter is not angry.
A good winner is not vengful.
A good employer is humble.

Tao Te Ching

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 17 weeks ago

Thank you MMmmNachos! And good night to you! I may wake up in distress; but, I will sleep well. Thank you!!

Outback 10 years 17 weeks ago

DAnneMarc- Thank you for your suggestion. I actually have a bible on hand. Always been tempted to read it, but a little freaked out about being sucked into the vortex, so I figure it'll be my "last read". Knowwhatimean? ;-)


Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 17 weeks ago

DAnneMarc..Yes, I had read that some time ago..that we firebombed many of the cities in Japan before we finally dropped the A-bombs. Since most of the structures in Japan were built of very flammable material..mostly wood and paper it all quickly became a raging firestorm leaving few survivors. Which made the use of the A-bombs quite unnecessary except as a "look what we can do!" to the Russians. I didn't know it was 100 cities but here is a web site that lists 67 cities and their equivalent size to American cities.

"The Fog of War" was another of the great documentary films of years ago that I remember. That, and the Vietnam series I watched back in the early 80's.

The US had also firebombed cities in Germany although I don't think it was quite as bad as in Japan. Most of their cities were built of concrete but they still had raging firestorms that killed many, many civilians. Even cooked them to death in bunkers.

I think there was a lot of xenophobia and racism involved. I remember watching these propaganda cartoons that showed Japs caricatured as rats...with slanty eyes.

Many people in the US were of German ethnic background and many well placed US citizens, including Charles Lindbergh, were even somewhat agreeable with what Germany was up to. US Bankers and Chemical companies, ball bearing manufacturers used in the German planes, IBM tabulating (punch card) machines, all doing business with the Nazis. If you want to read some interesting stuff about all of that..Edwin Black has written many books on both the Nazis and the US, the war, the Eugenics programs, etc. Not many people know that Hitler got some of his ideas on Eugenics from the US that had already done a lot in that area.

Japan was quite different. There were not that many in the US to object..besides we had the Japanese all rounded up in concentration camps...not so the Germans.

The Japanese government and military weren't too kind to the Chinese..especially in Nanking where they made sport of lopping off heads. In Manchuria they converted a factory into a biological warfare lab where they experimented on Chinese citizens, and others. There was a lot of reason to hate the Japanese government and military but at least they didn't have death camps set up like the Germans did.

The problem, of course, is that the people, the civilians, suffered greatly all because of their criminal leaders. We in the US have been very spoiled never having experienced much of that except, maybe for 9/11. And 9/11 was not even a pimple on a gnats behind compared to what many other countries have experience at the hand of the US military.

As McNamara admitted what he heard Curtis Lemay say once after the firebombing of Germany and Japan: "If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals." "And I think he's right," says McNamara. "He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals." . . . "LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?" Maybe that's why the US spends so much on the military...if ever another country was so superior to the US...they'd hang the lot of the war criminals in the US military, government, and corporations.

What the US did to Germany and Japan was worse than what Germany alone did to all those people in their death camps. Only difference was that it took the Germans a lot longer to do it in the gas chambers and ovens on the ground. It took a lot less time and effort for the genocide that the US did in Germany and Japan. And they have been doing it to millions of other people ever since.

Outback 10 years 17 weeks ago

Dresden, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc, etc, etc....

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 17 weeks ago

Name of Japanese
city firebombed // Percentage of the
city destroyed// Equivalent in size to
the following American city:
Yokohama 58 Cleveland
Tokyo 51 New York
Toyama 99 Chattanooga
Nagoya 40 Los Angeles
Osaka 35.1 Chicago
Nishinomiya 11.9 Cambridge
Siumonoseki 37.6 San Diego
Kure 41.9 Toledo
Kobe 55.7 Baltimore
Omuta 35.8 Miami
Wakayama 50 Salt Lake City
Kawasaki 36.2 Portland
Okayama 68.9 Long Beach
Yawata 21.2 San Antonio
Kagoshima 63.4 Richmond
Amagasaki 18.9 Jacksonville
Sasebo 41.4 Nashville
Moh 23.3 Spokane
Miyakonoio 26.5 Greensboro
Nobeoka 25.2 Augusta
Miyazaki 26.1 Davenport
Hbe 20.7 Utica
Saga 44.2 Waterloo
Imabari 63.9 Stockton
Matsuyama 64 Duluth
Fukui 86 Evansville
Tokushima 85.2 Ft. Wayne
Sakai 48.2 Forth Worth
Hachioji 65 Galveston
Kumamoto 31.2 Grand Rapids
Isezaki 56.7 Sioux Falls
Takamatsu 67.5 Knoxville
Akashi 50.2 Lexington
Fukuyama 80.9 Macon
Aomori 30 Montgomery
Okazaki 32.2 Lincoln
Oita 28.2 Saint Joseph
Hiratsuka 48.4 Battle Creek
Tokuyama 48.3 Butte
Yokkichi 33.6 Charlotte
Uhyamada 41.3 Columbus
Ogaki 39.5 Corpus Christi
Gifu 63.6 Des Moines
Shizuoka 66.1 Oklahoma City
Himeji 49.4 Peoria
Fukuoka 24.1 Rochester
Kochi 55.2 Sacramento
Shimizu 42 San Jose
Omura 33.1 Sante Fe
Chiba 41 Savannah
Ichinomiya 56.3 Sprinfield
Nara 69.3 Boston
Tsu 69.3 Topeka
Kuwana 75 Tucson
Toyohashi 61.9 Tulsa
Numazu 42.3 Waco
Chosi 44.2 Wheeling
Kofu 78.6 South Bend
Utsunomiya 43.7 Sioux City
Mito 68.9 Pontiac
Sendai 21.9 Omaha
Tsuruga 65.1 Middleton
Nagaoka 64.9 Madison
Hitachi 72 Little Rock
Kumagaya 55.1 Kenosha
Hamamatsu 60.3 Hartford
Maebashi 64.2 Wheeling

csobek's picture
csobek 10 years 16 weeks ago

Obama is the best individual for the job. We bombed Libya in the 80's. Why does it matter if you're an american citizen? A proven fact that some of our american citizens are depraved and deleterious. These people are deceptive and cowards and prey on the weak. Like the Indian savages. I have no issue with Drones nor do I have with torture. There is no honor in surrender. Think before we get in a situation whether it is worth to die for, if not don't provoke a fight. If you say defense is worthy enough to die for then so be it. Don't be surprised. John Dillinger was public enemy #1 did they give him a chance to surrender or just gunned him down. These so-called americans had their chance to surrender. We do have unity, that is why we can talk, debate, and defend or disagree with each others opinions. It is very interesting watching and following this massive manhunt for Christopher Doner. It sounds like he has decided to die for what he believes. As for me; vengeance is mine saith the Lord. One may ask when is enough, and time for retaliation. Now days some people do very bad things to one another and cry foul when retaliated against. I do not put all my trust in the government. Look what the United States did to their own veterans from WW1 General Douglas MacArthur massacre veterans in their tents protesting in Washington DC for payment due for their service. As Ronnie would say; "trust but verify" and that's why we have oversight commitees. Yet I must rely on my commander and chief to use jurisdictional judgement. Reagan used it in the full-on invasion of Grenada without congressional knowlege, and Bush 1 in Panama. And Bush 2 Lied to invade Iraq for his Oil buddies, thinking the Iraq people would just let'em control the oil. There is evil and must be dealt with. Some hide behind the constitution. Groups like Citizens United. Yes war is a racket and yes we do have an industrial military complex. Debate for a standing army was decided long ago between Hamilton and Jefferson in regards to an invasion from France or England.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 16 weeks ago

There may very well have been more than 100 Japanese cities firebombed...those 67 cities listed were only the cities that the person at that web site noted as he/she paused the "Fog of War" DVD or tape frame by frame as the names of the cities flashed by and he/she took the effort to write them all down. I spent some time trying to find all those cities on that map of Japan that was also on that web site. I put a yellow magic marker dot on the circles denoting the cities. I couldn't find about half of those cities...I need a better, more detailed map (or, perhaps, we did so good a job of bombing them into oblivion they don't exist anymore?). But of the cities I did find it pretty much blanketed Japan's main Island.

rs allen 10 years 16 weeks ago

So if worse comes to worst you think that's the way to wage war? er, fire bomb rather than drones?

Because what ever the whys or wherefores that one can call to mind the Axis were definitely bad actors toward the world at large and small.

And I share shame and angst along with ALL (that means you) of the US that more than a couple of our native corporations benefited from playing both sides of the fence with Germany in that dark period, just as they do in todays world. But the fact remains the same, there are some very bad actors on the stage, and we are not the worse whatever our faults.

csobek's picture
csobek 10 years 16 weeks ago

The Victor writes the History books, Japan pick a fight with the wrong country, and Germany was bombing London in 1940. Both Fire bombings were at the end of the war. Dresden in Febuary, Germany surrendered in May of 45. And only after the A-bombs were dropped did Japan surrender. Don't pick a fight if you can't suffer the consequence. The people in the Middle East are responsible for their governments. Just as we are for ours. Dictators or Corporations must be made to conform to the desires of the majority. Even our founding fathers debated the power of the masses.

csobek's picture
csobek 10 years 16 weeks ago

Corrupt racketeers made tons of money during and after the Civil War, hence Robber Barons. It took a progressive republican to curttail the crony corporations, yet not until they got the supreme court to rule them as individuals protected under the 14th amendment, how's that for your constitution. And by the way do we have any progressives left in the GOP, I think not.

csobek's picture
csobek 10 years 16 weeks ago

Thankyou, I like that

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 16 weeks ago

Thanks Palindromedary. That was quite an education; and, revelation. You don't have to pin point every city in Japan, 67 cities firebombed is more than enough carnage to qualify as criminally insane. Like I said with the atomic bomb, one city was enough--maybe even that was too much. Two cities was too much. That was without knowing anything about the fire bombing campaigns.

As far as I'm concerned Curtis Lemay was absolutely right we all would have stood trial for war crimes if we lost. Rightly so! In addition, win or loose, the United States is guilty of the worst war crimes in history. To be fair, any "war" is a criminal act. However, it takes two to Tango. And there are no winners in war, only losers. The burden the United States must carry as the unprosecuted provocateur of these heinous deeds is a heavy burden indeed.

It's no wonder that so many people believe 9/11 was an inside job. This bunch of losers are capable of anything. Only a fool would believe that collateral 'damage' in a drone attack in Yemen is acceptable and whacking 3000 innocent Americans is unthinkable. Whenever the human rights of anyone anywhere is diminished we are all diminished.

I don't really care what you believe, God, The Holy Spirit, Karma, The Fates and The Furies, The Law of Entropy, but I know this: There is a Natural tendency in the Universe for everything to balance out. What comes around goes around. There will be a day of reckoning for these lawless, blood thirsty Savages amongst us as surely as the Sun will rise tomorrow. I for one do not want to be anywhere near this bunch of Creeps when that day is upon them. Their Fates are sealed! They'll surely wish they lost that war and got tried as war criminals. They'll also come to wish they were their own victims. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. And that Vengeance will make their war crimes look like a Sunday Barbecue.

Thanks again Palindromedary for showing the Light!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 16 weeks ago

Zelda Rubinstein as Tangina Barrons: "Cross over, children! All are welcome! All welcome! Go into the light."

"Head towards the light, Carole Ann, head towards the light"

"No, not yet! Don't go to the light just yet!"

"Ok, now go to the light!"

Zelda Rubinstein: "They linger in a perpetual dream state – a nightmare from which they cannot awake."

Just a few quotes from Poltergeist!

Thank you, DAnneMarc! I think the law of entropy is mostly correct. As hard as some people tried to create empires...they all crumbled, eventually. The US is crumbling just like all the other empires did. Mostly all because of their own greed and stupidity. The cockroaches will out live us all.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 16 weeks ago

Not so fast Palindromedary. There is an Empire that hasn't been created yet; that, I believe will never 'fade away'. It doesn't exist yet but 25 years ago I wrote this poem about it. Let me share it with you.


(By M. G. C. A.)

One day I will find an Island,

A land to call my own.

Here I will build My Empire

With people of every tone.

I will do away with Social Norms.

All crimes will be cast to sea.

Life will be a wonderous treasure

And My People will be truely free.

In this world there will be but ONE LAW!

This one thing all My People must do--

Is to always Love your neighbor,

As they will always Love you.

My Children will grow rich with Love

To this end I will surely see

They will tear down the Fences that separate them

And Unite their community.

Everyone will cooperate with their neighbor

To build a better life.

For every Father there will be a Son

And for every Man a Wife.

Unfortunately, I will be alone

For this Island I've already found--

It lies in the seas of my thoughts...

In my Imaginary Playground.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 10 years 16 weeks ago

Ahhh Entropy...One of George Carlins favorite topics of discussion.

rs allen 10 years 16 weeks ago

Not many people still alive to orally account for the dark ages of WWII. But if you happen to meet one of the few left go ahead and ask them about how benevolent or restrained the Japanese were.

Ask about how loving Germany was.

Not one of the Axis sued for peace untill there was nothing left but rubble.

To talk of history being written by the victors is a cop out and willfully ignores the full story.

There is not one country on earth whose citizens can advocate/participate in the violent overthrow of the state, in or out of the country, without putting a target on their back.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 16 weeks ago

rs allen: but now they are selling designer clothing that can evade being targets of the drones. I hope we never have to wear them...wouldn't want to put much faith in whether they would actually work.

And, I believe that we are all putting targets on our backs just by typing stuff on the blogs and on facebook, etc. Echelon has been spying on us for a long time calls..text blogs..they monitor every form of communication. They have dictionary computers that detect certain words that the analysts instruct the computers to detect whenever those words are used. Then the whole message is read, or listened to, by an analyst. They are going much further now...which is why they need all those expensive NSA buildings like the big computer spy center in Utah. There are many others as well. They now have facial recognition that can even detect your expression to analyze what you are about to do next. A kind of "Future Crime" detection system.

Yes, you are right about the Germans and the Japanese. They didn't play very nice. But many other countries in the world don't see the US as playing very nice either. The cold war has been over for years yet the US continued to build up it's war capacity and actually, illegally, invaded other sovereign countries...Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen. We fly our death drones over and murder civilians. Pretty soon it will be us that are getting droned to death.

rs allen 10 years 16 weeks ago

No arguement from here on the United States mettling and generally bullying about in the world. Nor will you find me favoring the warrior nation mentally the USA has held for oh somewhere closing in on 300 hundred years now. However, Afghanistan was badly mishandled but not illegal, it was and is still an international effort (even if we are the only ones left willing to put any effort into it). And Pakistan, that country shares alot less with it's citizens than our government could ever hope to get away with; you don't really think that battle ground isn't without at least a tacit agreement do you? After all that portion of the world is a thorn in their side as well. Yemen is probably in the same boat on that score. That leaves Iraq......personally I'd like to see Bushit and company/s up before the bar for their crimes surrounding that enterprise.

Make no mistake though about the radical faction of Islam they are not the Christan Taliban, who just want to take away your rights, they just want you dead as well as anyone else who diviates from their narrow path. Witness their outrages against humanity on every continet of the world in almost any country you care to name. Whatever our (the USA) trespasses in modern history they pale in comparison to the war the IslamicTaliban has declared upon the world, I repeat we are not the worst actors on the stage. Ya don't believe me? Take a flight over and introduce yourself as a man of peace so you can enlighten them to the true way of the spaghetti monster. Let me know how it works out.

If not in motivation but in action, actually the Taliban movement rather reminds me of the Shining Path in days of yore. Any ways let me know how your trip works out.

Worried about being on a list somewhere? Do what everyone else has done. In the 50's and 60's you did/said absolutely nothing if you weren't on Hoovers FBI list. In fact it was considered a badge of honor, even if they could be a guinuwhine pain in the ass. In the 70's and the 80's the Nam vets were talking gobblely gook on phones long before it came out the NSA was ease dropping in on their conversations. It was just a goof, we all grew up knowing we were being watched and got off because some paranoid neurotic was chewing their finger nails over what we may do next. Today? Unless you're a toady that comes home every night to a gin and tonic to watch the NBC (etc) news followed by whatever mindless paplum comes after you're on some list somewhere. Get use to it. Thumb your nose at them, they're not as important as they think they are. They can do nothing or go anywhere without us. So just keep explaining that thought. "They" can not do anything or go anywhere without us (the people of the world). Don't succumb to fear because somebody might over hear you speak to truth and fairness. Ahem, wide spread conspiracy theories not with standing. Understand it has always been a conspiracy, the producers against the takers. Note how hard "they" have worked to hollow out the education system since the early 1900's and that Reagan accelerated starting in the late 60's in Cal. So get use to someone watching, it's old hat. And who cares after all? It's a war with a different face is all, and frankly it's the same war my grandfather fought walking a picket line while carrying for protection. It's a war that will long out last me and you, but we must continue and pass the torch when our time has past. "they" can do nothing, "they" can go nowhere without us.

Education and getting rid of mercenary armies would be a good start in this country.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 16 weeks ago

Well said, rs allen! Yes, I know full well that those religious extremists would slit my flying spaghetti monster atheist throat if they had the chance. I suspect that there are also the same kind of religious extremists right here in America that think of themselves as good Christians. Many of the 'extremist' Christians are currently running our government...and would, or could, eventually make the Taliban look like the girl scouts. And that is really scary because one of the things that 'extremist' Christians believe in is the 'end of the world' prophecies. They have a deep seated yearning to prove their ancient prophecies will come true. A kind of mass suicidal mania. And they have control of most of the nukes in the world. If they can engineer 9/11...they can do any crazy thing.

I managed to go over to Saudi Arabia back in the early 80's to live and work there without getting my throat cut..but then I didn't go around preaching my convictions either. I pretty much kept my mouth shut. In fact, they won't even let you into the country in the first place if you put down on the forms...religion: atheist or none. So, you have to improvise. It was a good learning experience though..although a bit risky.

One thing I noticed today, as I watched the news on main stream commercial TV, now that most of the Dorner news is running out of steam (I give it another couple of months to maybe dissappear), is that now they are centering on a Youtube video of a young man ordered to strip and then beaten with a belt. At the bottom of the screen, where they show the moving text of other news, it says that the US has done another drone killing of 3 Taliban leaders...and then right after that flashes by that 10 others were also killed. Seems to me that killing 13 people (10 bystanders) is more important news than whipping a naked teenager by other teenagers. Nancy Grace will probably spend the next several months talking about that. That's why I don't watch Nancy Disgrace any more. What a sour shrew! And much of the other mainstream media is not much better.

Another thing they have been screeching about was the foiled attempt at the bombing of a BofA building by a would be bomber used as a patsy for more propaganda. The 'authorities' find these malcontents and egg them on by pretending to be of like mind and they will supply the bomb material. The sting operation suckers some unwitting dummy, probably retarded to begin with, to go through the motions that results in convicting the dummy as a terrorist. There may be many people who are really ticked off, who say a lot of things, who would never be able to carry out what they may fantasize without the help and support of someone else. And anyone who is dumb enough to not highly suspect that something is amiss by being approached by someone else willing to aid in making a fantasy come to life is just opening him/her self up to being a patsy in a sting operation. The 'authorities' use this as propaganda evidence to support their continued existence and 'proof' that they are making a difference in the 'war on terror'. Much of the 'war on terror' is contrived by these very same 'authorities'.

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