No Court. No Trial. No Justice. You're Dead.
NBC News has obtained an official White House memo, which lays out the legal justification behind using drones for the targeted killing of American citizens abroad. Three Americans have been killed via a drone strike under the Obama Administration, including Anwar al-Awlaki, his son, and Samir Khan.
According to the document, President Obama, and other high-level administration officials, can order the killing of an American overseas if the individual is an imminent threat, incapable of being captured, and the operation is compatible with the rules of war. As far as what constitutes an “imminent threat,” the document provides an overly broad definition, arguing that even if the individual is not actively engaged in an imminent attack against America, he or she can still be considered an “imminent threat”, if they have in the past plotted to attack Americans, and remain a member of a hostile organization.
It’s doubtful this sort of legal justification could hold up to judicial scrutiny, and civil liberties groups are up in arms after the leak. Hina Shamsi, the director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said the White House’s justification for targeted killings, “Summarizes in cold legal terms a stunning overreach of executive authority –- the claimed power to declare Americans a threat and kill them far from a recognized battlefield, and without any judicial involvement before or after the fact…hard to believe it was produced in a democracy built on a system of checks and balances.”
The man who crafted the White House’s drone policy is top adviser John Brennan. And he’s also President Obama’s nominee to head up the CIA, meaning it’s unlikely the President is having second thoughts about the drone warfare program, which has been ramped up during his presidency.
This will be the greatest national security challenge facing our nation in the coming years. We must stop the senseless robotic killings abroad, and bring back the rule of law in America.
I guess being on Wayne LaPierre's naughty list is better for your health than being on Obamas death panel list.
That, Global, is what is called a "non sequitur", i.e., one does not follow from the other. You really making some great leaps.
Anyway, it was your boy G.W. Bush that started this type of extrajudicial behaviour. It's nothing to do with bureaucracy.
That's really trying to villify bureaucracy beyond embellishment.
Here we go again blaming Bush, oh, by the way Mark, you forgot to blame Reagan this time. Obama gets a free pass again. Being the President when you are a democrat is the greatest job in the world it doesn't matter what you do its someone elses fault.
Global you are right when it comes to Health care. "be careful what you wish for it might come true".
First of all, we're talking about Murder, not Health Care. One topic at a time please. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Global. (Did I say that?) Urrggg!
Regardless, Global makes a good point. This mess did begin with G.W. Bush. No question! Does that mean President Obama is guiltless? NO! We knew President Bush went off the deep end with our Bill Of Rights and due process. That is exactly why we elected a Constitutional Scholar. We as a people believed that he at least read the document. We were mistaken.
As far as I am concerned, for a "Constitutional" Professor to follow G. W. off the deep end of the Constitutional spectrum is a far greater crime. Personally, I hold President Obama far more responsible for not ending this blatant siege on our Constitution. The blame falls fully on his shoulders.
I think this illustrates very well how citizens deal with someone in power using it to act immorally. The glaring problem for Dems is that while we loudly protested GWB's immoral and illegal actions, the extent to which we have protested this seems smaller and nowhere near the effort that should be going on. There is a basic reality that no individual is going to be perfect as a leader. Especially in a country that has so many powerful players, outside as much as in. Also that these battles take a lot of sustained time and energy for long term success rates. We have a lot of issues to fight for change, more government action, and what specifically is enough or appropriate. Can we fight all battles or do we truly have to pick some and abandon or delay others?
I have urgent concerns about climate, the regulation of bankers and corps, and the interference with voting and legislative action. Gun violence, the justice and prison system, and the safety net are all in need of attention and improvement. Crumbling infrastructure, building a stronger middle class that also restores the revenue base, and education are problems that are going to hit us in the shorter run.
This is the potential for Organizing for Action to get enough voices raised to penetrate the DC bubble. On a lot of subjects. This should be one of them.
Commas belong inside quotation marks.
We have to see that Brennan does not get approved for CIA job.
I keep wondering, too, where is our "Constitutional lawyer" president.
What a disappointment. That's one reason I voted for him.
Okay, it would appear everyone is looking at this from one perspective. Here is mine for what it's worth...
When it comes to the president of the U.S.,Inc. I have no dog in that fight but let's look at this in another light, shall we?
What if all of the U.S.,Inc.-born members of the cabal, or elite oligarchal banking families realize that their days of controlling us all like hamsters on a wheel, or harvesting our energy like billions of duracells...are over?
What if these evil puppetmasters have fled the country, and the only way to bring them to justice is to be able to LEGALLY and most importantly Lawfully seek them, and if they don't give themselves up peacefully...eliminate them?
Never forget that the one you call "your" president (he's merely no different than the president of Walmart or Sears, Inc.) is a former constitutional attorney who gave up his BAR card...
It seems to me that this is precisely why us liberals always get labeled as being weak on issues of national security, we can be counted on get bogged down in the complex nuanses, here we go again.
Who believes it's an easy balancing act to set a top priority of protecting the nation from foreign & domestic threats, while working at it within the "spirit of the law" ? There seems to me that the thought process for some liberals is one of absolutes when in fact these matters are not as easy to pigeon hole. What would any of YOU do ( including Thom who I admire ) ? you're gonna tell me that you'll haggle over definitions while the best intel we have is saying they have known terror suspects in their sights ? you gonna send the cops to handcuff these guys and bring them back here for a trial ?
Let's not forget those presidential daily briefings that warned the Bush admin. of immenent threats, do we know if these threats were in fact immenent ?, NO, but what is the margin for THIS president ? What if God forbid there is an attack and folks learn later that Mr. Obama had intelligence that was not acted on ? you want that on your shoulders ? Republicans went nuts over the Benghazi attack, wht on earth would you expect of them if they could actually show that the man they already vilify chose to ignore even remote threats ? IMPEACH HIM, is what they'd say, and that would be just the start.
I don't give a rats buttocks if an American who's involved in active plots to do harm to the citizens of this country is treated as if he/she is any other enemy, why do we make their citizenship more the issue ?
Meant to type, "margin of error for THIS president"
There was a US kid (from Virginia?) living and working with Afghani's in an Afghan village somewhere. Long before the US Invasion, Peace Corps, USAID and other NGOs were active and welcome in Afghanistan. We had the "hearts and minds of the people" we worked well together back then. He was not Peace Corps, but he was doing similar volunteer work. When his village was attacked by some (illegal?) special US forces he stood with his neighbors against that attack. After capture, his defense of his home with his neighbors was interpreted as "an attack upon the US&A." -- and he was brought back to the US for persecution.
Best I know, he is still imprisoned. I forget his name; but always thought, "There but for the grace of circumstance, go I."
I don't know how to talk to Fox News viewers. They are so out of it. The disingenuousness is yours, trying to blame Obama for Bush and Reagan's initiatives when a Republican Congress obstructs any attempt at reversal.
How is health coverage for everyone something to fear? Unless, of course, you are one of the ionvested elkites - whom you've just GOT TO be shilling for.
I don't understand your admiration for this so called constitutional professor which I don't think he was actually. He does not care a bit about our constitution, as he has said it is full of negative rights. He governs more to work around it and has the " catch me if you can " style. Mark, GW was not my boy, is Norm Chomsky your boy?
Another thing Mark, I don't see it as a leap when you have this administration acting like thugs with drone attacks on our own citizens yet you expect them to be the benevolent compassionate masterminds when it comes to your health care. Seems a bit naive. You are a man of philosophy, how do you reconcile that?
Funny, all i can think of is 9-11. America the land of the free, home of the brave? More like mass histeria and paranoia...where will it all end?
Raggaemon, no one is above the law. Yeah, every President I've seen in my life time has "acted" above the law. That doesn't make it right. I really don't care what the President's Intelligence briefings said. We have a little saying in this country, 'You are presumed innocent until proven guilty.' Everyone is entitled to due process. It is the Law of this Land. The President knows that very well. His uses of deadly force against these men was nothing less than cold-blooded, premeditated Murder of innocent people--by the Constitutional definition of Law. Open and shut case. The intelligence report is no more than here-say now because the victims were denied their right to be confronted with the evidence against them. They will remain innocent victims now because a trial is impossible.
One could further argue that in violating the Constitutional rights of these victims, The President is also guilty of a violation of his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That's Treason!
Global, you amaze me!
First, you said: " Mark, GW was not my boy, is Norm Chomsky your boy?" Don't talk like a pompous wealthy slave owner unless you intend to come out of the closet.
Secondly, what could you possibly have against Norm Chomsky? Could you please elaborate?
Third, will you drop the issue of Health Care? To answer your question though. NO! I don't trust Obama care. He originally campaigned on Single Payer and that is all any of us what. Anything else is a betrayal and stinks. Are you happy? Can we drop that target now and focus on Murder?
Wow! Before they used to bring in a James Bond type guy to eliminate traitors using a low cost bullet or blow their car up, or fix their plane to crash. Then came drug overdoses or drug induced heart attacks. Using these million dollar drones is getting way out of hand on assassination costs, isn't it?
Yes Mike-C, but any Monetary cost is nothing compared to the cost in our Nation's Integrity and the solvency of our Constitution. Some depts are easier to pay off than others.
How do We counter the HeIsABadGuy Propaganda? MostAmericans think he deserved Assasination bcuz he was "AlQueda"!!!! We are, for the majority, Completely Brainwashed!
How can an administration, the establishment or the public for that matter "cluck cluck" and "tut tut" gun violence domestically, then turn around and sanction the remote killing of US citizens without due process? For that matter, how can we tolerate decades of arbitrary war, killing literally hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq alone while preaching gun control here at home? This is the very definition of hypocrisy. (My kingdom for a spell checker on this site....)
"...where will it end?"
Im' not so sure DOWDOTICA as to "where" it will end...But I can say; It will end when We the People stop acting like damn fools, get off these useless blogs where everyone bitches about how "bad" everything is, stop acting like spoiled bratts, and get active, get organized, and take back our country from the Corporate Robber Barrons!
Sorry if that sounds like REVOLT, but the water is a boil'in and our goose will soon be cooked if we don't!
Woops! I think I just made "the list"!!!
Nonviolent Revolution is easier than reform, and it works.
Ahh Hypocracy!!! It's the American way, OUTBACK...An ideology if you will. A "do as I say and not as I do" and if you don't...Well I'm sure you get the point.
Listen to the song "Kinky Sex" from the album Give me Convenience or Give Me Death...by the Dead Kennedys. Seriously..give it a listen you won't be disappointed...Well at least not for listening.
It's sad how fitting the songs meaning is still to this day (timeless)...Jello Biafra's (singer) lyrics always tackled the sociopolitical concerns of the Reagan era with distinct satire and a morbid sense of humor.
Sorry KEND (and Global) but there is just no deniing that where we are today economically, as a country, "started" with Reagan...And was furthered by every adminastration that followed. That's the way the Puppet Masters want it.
I suggest you stay in Canada where it is safe and you have good jobs, Universal Healthcare, Naked News, and well mannered people.
Don't come here you'll get shot or worse become a U.S. Citizen...And you don't want that, it ain't as great as you've been told.
I'm beginning to have serious doubts about Obama. Either he is being cowed by powers we don't know of, or he's gone off the deep end, power-wise. This is outrageous! And the people that operate these drones have absolutely no skin in the game. They're in snug, well-protected bunkers here in the good ol' US of A. To them, it's no different from a video game.
I'm not so sure that drone usage as an assassination tool decreases the numbers of those who hate us, in fact it probably has an effect I would describe as terrorism fertilizer, invigorating the growth of hatred for us. Anytime innocent life is lost, we lose the battle, plain and simple.
That said, I do agree with President Obama's desire to move our military into the 21st century, something many private contractors like Halliburton will resist do to a potential extreme decrease in slaughter for profit. Occupation warfare has never worked in the long term, the Barbarians will always find a way to eventually wear done and sack the economy of the power grabbing empire. In my opinion conventional warfare for profit is a rich man's monopoly game piece about to be retired...it should of happened decades ago. Special Force missions like the Bin Laden attack are the way to go.
Everything is nuanced, my man. If life were so simple. Anyway, the public will let him get away with drone strikes but not with messing up our health care system.
Hey 2950, you may have a point! Homeland Security gets a reading on somebody working for say, Mother Jones. The consensus is that this journalist is "aiding and abetting the enemy" by publishing inflammatory material critical to the government. One quick covert strike in Cleveland (or wherever) removes the "problem". What could be more efficient. I like it!
Sorry Global, dubya's not your boy - to your credit. Noam Chomsky is my boy but Obama is only very conditionally my boy and, therefore, mostly not. He does NOT have my support on drone strikes and I don't doubt he's worse than dubya in this and many areas but it's not because of any support he may give to bureaucracy. Dubya really started these policies and to conflate illegal warfare and extrajudicial killing with bureaucracy can only be a rather artful attempt to villify bureaucracy beyond all proportion. I simply must call you on it.
Obama can get away with this kind of behaviour because he is a Democrat. People expect illegal warfare and extrajudicial killing from Repulicans, but not from Democrats, so they don't even notice when Democrats engage in such practices on the QT.
Healthcare for everybody would be good for us, though. You got to give credit where it's due.
I am glad to see that all the usual rightwing and left-wingers are still at it again. As usual you both are making the same biased remarks. Now I am reminded why I stopped bothering to read this blog...If you took the time to look at your comments from the outside, you would see how meaningless your garble is in real terms. I guess that is why they call it free speech, everyone wants to be heard and recognized even if it makes you all sound foolish most of the time. One good thing, it keeps this blog employed for now...Let the bombs fall if it accomplishes anything more than just pissing off the Muslims and only time will tell that answer. The Government, whether it be Democrat or Republican, has been killing Americans right here at home with their policies and I do not see any comments about that. Oh, that’s right; Tommy has to give the go ahead on his blog before anything of substance is mentioned. Talk about blind followers, you guys all need canes or Seeing Eye dogs.
What could anybody possibly have against Noam Chomsky? Except that he's wrong sometimes - but not usually.
Global's alright, he just watches too much Fox News.
Hey KEN WARE...Where ya been...Napping???
So why are you such a curmudgeon?
Every post I read of yours is just filled with ignorance, judgement, and nasty rants about who you hate and how everyone but you is a waste of space.
Why don't you follow your own criticisms and engage a conversation with your own thoughts and original ideas regarding the "issues" you feel are important??? I'm sure someone will play with you.
...that or just piss off!!!
I couldn't agree more. Thanx for bringing this up. It's sad to say but Obama is probably violating the Constitution and is a war criminal. Of course, probably all of our presidents from Johnson on, with the possible exceptions of Clinton and Carter, were also war criminals.
Obama probably should be impeached but we would just get another criminal president who could be even worse. We are moving beyond corporatocracy towards a police state--historical Mussolini-type fascism.
Quote gregsain:What if all of the U.S.,Inc.-born members of the cabal, or elite oligarchal banking families realize that their days of controlling us all like hamsters on a wheel, or harvesting our energy like billions of duracells...are over?
What if these evil puppetmasters have fled the country, and the only way to bring them to justice is to be able to LEGALLY and most importantly Lawfully seek them, and if they don't give themselves up peacefully...eliminate them?
Now wouldn't that be just precious?!!! When the exploited citizen mobs finally overthrow those tyrannical exploiters who run off to other countries to avoid prosecution, we will have the drones to seek out and destroy the real enemies of the people. No where to run...no where to hide!
Quote 2950-10K:I'm not so sure that drone usage as an assassination tool decreases the numbers of those who hate us, in fact it probably has an effect I would describe as terrorism fertilizer, invigorating the growth of hatred for us.
In fact, I believe that the whole purpose was not to 'win hearts and minds' but to create enemies so that they would serve as an excuse for massive military spending. It was pretty much the same thing during the cold war with Russia..an excuse to maximize military spending. Keep the taxpayers afraid, very afraid, and they are willing to give up their liberties, their freedoms, and most of all their money.
KenW it good to have back. I was worried about you.
Quote DAnneMarc:As far as I am concerned, for a "Constitutional" Professor to follow G. W. off the deep end of the Constitutional spectrum is a far greater crime. Personally, I hold President Obama far more responsible for not ending this blatant siege on our Constitution. The blame falls fully on his shoulders.
I certainly agree! Bush was just an ignorant dummy...but Obama should know better. Question is...is he acting his role as the President under duress? Or is he willfully behind his actions? He must know who has all the guns in town, and all the money, and the power. Martin Luther King knew his days were numbered. I don't know if JFK did. But, there are powers in this country that will not stand for any deviation of accumulation of wealth and power and are ruthless enough to do the unimaginable.
"Who could have thought that hijackers would have crashed airplanes into the WTC towers?" Isn't that what Condoleeza Rice said, while smirking crocodile tears? Yes, the unimaginable, and to this day, many people still buy the official government conspiracy theory. If you believe the official government conspiracy theory, you may as well believe that Wall Street and the Banksters are all looking out for our well being. Regular saints, they are!
And when you eventually come to realize the truth you must admit that our real enemies are not the manufactured ones from the Middle East. Our real enemies are the ones that engineer false flags, murder their own citizens in the thousands, and manufacture propaganda that is tantamount to convincing us all to be enslaved or commit suicide. Get us all to believe in their lies and we will all die fools and toadies for the master propagandists who deluded and beguiled us all.
Goodevening Palindromedary, Are you framiliar with the Dead Kennedy's???
Listen to "Kinky Sex" fromm the album Give Me Vonvenience or Give Me Death.
I would like it if everyone on this blog gave it a listen.
I think you will enjoy it for it's satire.
Global says: "And you guys want to continue to surrender your individual rights to these power hungry bureaucratic thugs."
So who did YOU vote for; Romney?!! If not, please enlighten us to whatever better option we had available to us, that we progressives so unwittingly bypassed in your regal opinion. - Alice I.W.
Kend's comment implying that Bush and Reagan are not to blame while Obama gets a "free pass" is laughable.
Regarding healthcare, our "uniquely American" pay-or-die system is responsible for nearly fifty thousand preventable deaths in this country, each and every year. Seems to me that the nightmare scenario you are suggesting has already "come true". So please inform us; how many Canadians are dying each year from preventable causes? Or left homeless & destitute by medical expenses? Just answer those questions, please. - Aliceinwonderland
He's BAAACK! Ken Ware says "Let the bombs fall if it accomplishes anything more than just pissing off the Muslims..."
That is about as disgusting as any comment I have ever read on this blog. Since you think this discussion is such a waste of time, why don't you just crawl back in your hole? I've had my fill of your negative, toxic remarks. - Alice I.W.
Responding directly to the topic of the day, Thom & Louise have just addressed my biggest issue with the Obama Administration. I can't imagine anything more cowardly or more obscene than warfare by drones. The very thought of one of these "warriors" kicked back in his little office, thousands of miles away from his target, sipping his morning coffee while massacring innocent people abroad... ohmygod, I can't even describe the emotions it stirs up from the depths of my soul. How I'd love to slip a tab of cyanide into that guy's coffee cup! Drone "warriors" are terrorists of the worst kind, and this is what FASCISM looks like.
It never ceases to amaze me that a constitutional scholar like Obama would authorize such brazenly anti-constitutional policies as imprisonment without due process, kidnapping & torture; even assassination of American citizens! There are no words that could begin to describe the revulsion I have felt over these policies. Bad as things were in the days of my youth, I never could have imagined us living under a regime this twisted and evil.
When Obama was first elected in '08, I really hoped he'd put an end to these horrible fascist policies Baby Bush initiated, and prosecute our war criminals and kill the so-called Patriot Act. Instead he's only exacerbated the situation, preserving and even intensifying Bush's policies of spying, torture and murder. If I remember correctly, the use of drones has doubled under Obama's watch. Chris Hedges and Daniel Ellsberg are trying to sue him over these policies, even if that means having him impeached. It would not break my heart to see them succeed in their efforts, although I'm not holding my breath. - Aliceinwonderland
Alice...It makes me sick too, however why do you blame the puppet rather than the Puppet Masters of U.S.A. Inc.?
Don't forget Obamney is what you consider the lesser of two evils; so much so that you voted for him twice rather than for what you value.
Fool me once shame on you;
Fool me twice...You get the point.
So complain all you want...You do have a ligit reason to be upset and discusted, but until the American people, organize, unite, and revolt; taking a stand collectively against a corupt and murderous government...It won't matter who the puppet is, and Your vote won't mean a damn thing.
Nachos, I have listened to your dead Kennedy's. the message and writing is okay but the musicianship sucks, can't listen to it. Bring back the Beatles, CCR, and the Allman Brothers.
My view is going to attempt an intellectual abstraction, or commonly referred by our “non sequitur “media as a conspiracy theory. That is the twenty four hour beast that is supposed to inform and educate America, seems channel 666 is almost everywhere.
Mr. Saulys has pointed out and was spot on about Bush, actually Bush and Cheney have been filleted to conviction that could have been “Hard balled” but was avoided important real impressive justification, even though it would ruin many on the Republican side and the Democratic side that would cleanse America for the next Golden Age. So the struggle goes on.
My opinion is that the Bush fortune has been and always was governed by war profiteering. Prescott Bush likely played out the long time plan to buy off, all those who need to be “Made Off”. Or even helps many on “Gaussian Bunker Banker Committees”, sad however those by no guilt are actually in a precarious situation as multitudes of millionaires duped and force to run a continuum in profiteering that is antithetical to America’s needs. This has to be the most brilliant infidel pattern a Wahhabi could build. But as Ike was right to say watch out for the war industry; it’s not the American way. Then where does the money go, and who is in that way?
From my view there should be curiosity about the American connection to the United Nations via Susan Rice. The push back from my view reflects an unseen background of possible operations that has been going on through the blessings of the United Nations. Secret Sam stuff happens; covert stuff might go airy, and like Benghazi within this institution too only the average American does not know. Any blessings of the international community means Bush or Obama covers their ass. And we don’t know about it, via oppression of our mainstream media. From my view the push back from the Republican Party to get rid of Susan Rice was to “turn off the lights” for complicit insider stuff, very damaging stuff.
The Republican Party going postal is another flag of what could be the next economic pattern. The grief placed on enormous tidings, benefit tax, or to lay out the pre traumatic economic stress benefit that is a glaring signal of the takers comparing to the makers. From my view as a student of electronic engineering the Republican Party is obviously preparing for what is enviably the major global infrastructure morph, a complete over haul of the citizen government connection, something never done in recorded history, applications in fiber optic communications that convert America’s postal system to an automation level never before seen by any culture of man. Every citizen has a fiber optic connection. Many know the real science moves at the speed of light. Especially the medical profession very well would shape to the needs of everyone. The entire actions necessary by an endeavor like this is very significant, lawful, and constitutional by the authority of the president.
The president just needs money.
I'm generally in synch with mosts of Tom's thoughts, but not in this case. Let's not lose sight of the fact that those targeted are not done so in a willy-nilly fashion: it takes a bit of vetting to get on that list. The current 'War on/of Terror' has changed the way war is conducted - at least in the middle east where we're fighting an ideology not a country. When a person becomes and is designated an enemy combatant the fact that he or she is an American citizen becomes irrelevant: when they seek outside the country to bring harm to us, our allies and those under our protection (i.e, Afghans) then, like it or not, they've made a conscious decision to forego those rights.
I hate feeling that way but it's a reality. I also hate war, but if you're going to fight a war you do it with the most and best means at your disposal that will accomplish the most objectives with the least amount of loss of life - especially to your own forces - as possible. Al-Awalaki made his choice and had to bear the consequence. Unfortunately his son suffered for his choice as well, but that blood is on his hands, not ours.
I really wasn't expecting you to "like" the music, or the band...More important is the songs lyrics which were written and recorded back in '86 during the Reagan crisis. Disturbing how there concept still holds true today.
But for the record...The only talent to come out of the 3 bands you mentioned was John Lennon. At least he knew how to vocalize his conscience. Wasn't he "assasinated" during the Reagan crisis???
You may be interested in the movie documentary John Lennon vs. The United States. An excellent time line of John Lennons social and political activism.
Hey Outback, Neighbors say that Jimmy Lee Dykes was essentially a conservative extremist who played right wing radio most of the time.....so he gets programmed... then goes out and kills a school bus driver and takes a five year old hostage. I can't think of anything I've ever read in Mother Jones that would program me or anyone else to want to hate and kill. Think about this for a moment. Your comment sounds like something Dykes would say!
Palindromedary, I agree, and believe the military industrial complex is afraid of change, they need to retool and profit from fighting the real enemy, climate change! I don't want anybody to lose their job, even do to cutbacks in pentagon spending, but god dammit the industry has to move to peaceful profit. How about building windmills and solar panels instead of DRONES!
Yep, this is terrible. And you guys want to continue to surrender your individual rights to these power hungry bureaucratic thugs. The next line in the sand will be your health care and Obamacare will show no mercy. The final pillar for complete dominance. Need to wake up and put them back in the box.