War on Terror

Executive Kill Switch

Should the president have the power to kill anyone he considers an enemy?

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After FBI agents took custody of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight on December 25, 2009, they told him he had the right to remain silent. For Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric who allegedly helped plan Abdulmutallab's mission, that right was more like an obligation, enforced by Hellfire missiles fired at his car from remotely controlled CIA aircraft in northern Yemen at the end of September. 

President Barack Obama's policy regarding people linked to terrorism is clear: They are to be treated like criminal defendants with constitutional rights, except when they are treated like enemy soldiers in the heat of battle, subject to death dealt from a distance. Although this flexibility has obvious advantages in waging the never-ending war on terrorism, it threatens to transform the elected executive of a republic into a dictator with summary execution power.

That danger may seem theoretical in light of Awlaki's public record of fomenting violence against Americans. Regarding the U.S. Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, the month before Abdulmutallab was caught with plastic explosives in his underwear, Awlaki bragged: "Nidal Hasan is a student of mine, and I am proud of this.…I call upon anyone who calls himself a Muslim, and serves in the US army, to follow in the footsteps of Nidal Hasan." Faisal Shahzad, who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square in 2010, also cited Awlaki as an inspiration. 

The U.S. government claims Awlaki, a U.S. citizen whom experts perceived as a threat mainly because of his rhetorical appeal to English-speaking Muslims, not only advocated terrorist attacks but helped plan them as a leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Yet the extent of his involvement remains unclear, and the Obama administration seems determined to keep it that way. 

Announcing Awlaki's death, Obama called him "the leader of external operations for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula"—the first time he had ever been described that way. The president also claimed Awlaki "took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans." 

At a press briefing later that day, four reporters asked White House spokesman Jay Carney for evidence to back up those allegations. "I don't have anything for you on that," Carney said, refusing even to acknowledge that the U.S. government had killed Awlaki, let alone explain the rationale for the secret decision that marked him for death. 

While Awlaki may have been guilty of everything the administration claims, it is not hard to imagine how a program of classified, unreviewable death decrees might go awry, especially in the service of a perpetual, geographically undefined war against an amorphous enemy. Endorsing Obama's "targeted killings," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) declared that "restricting the definition of the battlefield" or "restricting the definition of the enemy" would be reckless because "this is a worldwide conflict without borders." 

Writing in The New York Times, Jack Goldsmith, an assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, acknowledged that the unilateral power to kill anyone the president identifies as an enemy is "fraught with the danger of executive overreach or mistakes." But "so far," Goldsmith assured us, "it appears" Obama is using his license to kill "with caution." After all, "before someone like Mr. Awlaki is targeted, multiple intelligence sources support the conclusion that he is a dangerous threat, top lawyers from many agencies scrutinize the action, [and] policy makers at the highest levels of government approve the action after assessing its legal and political risks." 

Or so we're told, by former insiders like Goldsmith and unnamed officials quoted in news stories on the condition that they not be identified.  The Obama administration can't even be bothered to say "trust us" on the record.  

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor of reason.

NEXT: The Pickup Officer

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  1. Ruby Ridge would have been easier with hellfire missiles.

    1. So would the Waco Massacre.

      1. Tanks shooting into houses wasnt enough?

        1. There were some survivors. This is not acceptable to tyrants.

          1. I was in Waco on business in 2000. Practically the whole 3rd floor of the hotel I was staying in was taken up by lawyers working on the Branch Davidians’ lawsuit. I accidentally it the wrong button on the elevator the one day and found myself in the midst of a whole legal office set up in the Residence Inn. It was kind of weird. I talked to the desk clerk and they told me what was going on.

            Survivors = lawsuits.

            1. “Survivors = lawsuits.”

              Very true! I hope for all of our sakes they can win a case against the murderers. Everyone in the chain of command there – yes – EVERYONE in the chain of command for that operation who did not object profusely and refuse to actively participate deserves to held account.

            2. Can’t the next of kin sue for wrongful death?

    2. …out for ya?

      Civilization [city-Statism] originates in conquest abroad and repression at home.

      ~Stanley Diamond
      In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization
      page 1, first sentence of the book

      1. Works for me!

    3. Why is Eric Dondero getting coverage on every blog except this one?

      1. Because they don’t know who he is.

        1. This is the first time that his crazy has been relevant since 1987.

  2. ….it kills. But libertarians still love it.

    1. “But libertarians still love it.”

      Evidence please? Or is the concept of evidence to modern for you?

      1. Don’t libertarians see Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature?

        Hierarchy is the antithesis of egalitarian.

        Egalitarian means equal sociopolitical power, that is, nobody has to bow to anybody else above them in sociopolitical power.

        “All men are created equal, but some CEOs are more equal than others.”

        1. Egalitarian is one of those words that has so many “meanings” as to make it meaningless. But let me ask you this: If I hire someone to mow my lawn who controls who? Neither. Trade is a double inequality. I want a service performed more than I want $X.00. The lawn person wants $X.00 more than the time and effort it takes to mow the lawn.

          1. Egalitarianism is simply equal socio-political power.

            Hierarchy is the opposite.

            Liberatarians love hierarchy when they’re on top, and squeal like little piggies when they’re not — unless they think they have a chance themselves of climbing the hierarchy and lording over others.

            1. I notice you didn’t refute my argument. If I hire someone to mow my lawn who controls who?

              1. Dude, that’s not fair. You shouldn’t ask retards to answer questions above their head.

              2. Businesses have them.

                They’re hierarchical.

                Your argument is refuted.

              3. Businesses have them.

                They’re hierarchical.

                1. WI, I notice you didn’t refute my argument. If I hire someone to mow my lawn who controls who?

                2. Your point is?

                  You know nobody forces you to go into work, right?

                  Oh wait, you’ve never had a job. You probably wouldn’t know that.

                  1. Our system of private property in land FORCES landless men to work for others; to work in factories, stores, and offices, whether they like it or not. Wherever access to land is free, men work only to provide what they actually need or desire. Wherever the white man has come in contact with savage cultures this fact becomes apparent. There is for savages in their native state no such sharp distinction between “work” and “not working” as clocks and factory whistles have accustomed the white man to accept. They cannot be made to work regularly at repetitive tasks in which they have no direct interest except by some sort of duress. Disestablishment from land, like slavery, is a form of DURESS. The white man, where slavery cannot be practiced, has found that he must first disestablish the savages from their land before he can force them to work steadily for him. Once they are disestablished, they are in effect STARVED into working for him and into working as he directs.

                    ~Dr. Ralph Borsodi
                    This Ugly Civilization (1929, Simon and Schuster)
                    http://www.schoolofliving.org/Borsodi…..zation.pdf

                    “You’ll know you’re among the people of your culture if the food is all owned, if it’s all under lock and key. But food was once no more owned than the air or the sunshine are owned. No other culture in history has ever put food under lock and key?and putting it there is the cornerstone of your economy, because if the food wasn’t under lock and key, WHO WOULD WORK?

                    ~Daniel Quinn
                    Food Under Lock and Key
                    http://www.lejournalmural.be/e…..a-1.html#7

                    1. Our system of private property in land FORCES landless men to work for others

                      I was going to whip up a surly rebuttal to this, but I’m at work, and the supervisors are are patrolling the office with submachine guns. They’ve taken two people out back already . . .

                    2. The capitalist mafia would just call the cops — the capitalists’ cut-out men — and not do anything themselves, if you decide to live a Non-State lifeway.

                      Officer, am I free to gambol about plain and forest?

                      MARX: NO!
                      MISES: NO!

                      Agricultural city-Statists are all the same. Tyrants.

                      “Agriculture creates government.” ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain, p.73

                    3. How many people do you have to kill for this utopia that you want?

                    4. Capitalism slaughtered 90,000,000. You call it super.

                    5. I believe that was mostly OUR doing. A few thousand humans and their war toys can’t match the killing power of billions of bacteria! [cue evil laugh]

                    6. Officer, am I free to gambol about plain and forest?

                      No, because you are a coward and a fraud. I offered you a place to ‘gabol’ and you turned me down flat without investigating the opportunity with even a single question.

                      In the next paragraph after the claptrap you quoted:
                      You think it makes complete sense to have to work for what’s free for the taking to every other creature on earth.

                      Anyone who thinks food comes free to a creature living in a state of nature has never lived anywhere close to a state of nature. The easy example here is that a predator risks injury every time it hunts prey. And if it’s free, why guard your kill? The predator’s meal was paid for by the parents of the kill, which no longer have their offspring, and by the prey itself. It paid with its life.

                    7. If gamboling was legal, Indians would still be doing it.

                      Surviving in the woods alone (which is what you’re fraudulently “offering”) on a destroyed landbase (rememeber, capitalist killed off most of the buffalo, and most everything else) is not a Non-State society lifeway, Libertard dumbshit.

                    8. I scored 280 last time I went out gambowling

                    9. WI wants to be a hyenia, a parasite eternally scavenging the food provided by another’s efforts.

                    10. Capitalist agricultural city-Statists kill off natural inhabitants, take their land, deforest, mine the nutrients of the soil until it turns to desert.

                      And then uses the term “parasite.” Because they’re psychologically projecting their own cancerous parasitism.

                      You’d think Reason TV made this, from all the Libertardian talking points parroted in this video:

                      The Wit & Wisdom of Cancer
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3C-ERBfCms

                    11. “I was going to whip up a surly rebuttal to this, but I’m at work, and the supervisors are are patrolling the office with submachine guns. They’ve taken two people out back already . . .”

                      Brilliant! I cannot top this!

                      +999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999

                    12. …he never killed anybody, right?

                      Systemic thinking, PIRS.

                      Gov’t is a convenient cut-out man.

  3. And now you’re one of us
    The wretched

    The hopes and prays
    The better days
    The far aways
    Forget it

    It didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to
    It didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, did it?
    It didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to
    It didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, did it?

    Now you know
    This is what it feels like
    Now you know
    This is what it feels like

    ~lyrics from
    THE WRETCHED
    Nine Inch Nails
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tDYOlIeusk

    How’s that “we NEED government to protect our rights” turning out, whitey?

    1. I have not believed that government is needed to protect our rights for several years. I used to be a minarchist but gradually moved away from a belief in the necessity for a state altogether.

      1. …that they could conjure a stateless agricultural city-State (civilization.)

        Communists didn’t understand evolutionary neurobiology or Dunbar’s Number. Neither do you.

        People in groups under Dunbar’s Number behave as “autonomous and sovereign” individuals as is observed in egalitarian Non-State societies of bands and supra-bands (tribes.) (Service, 1975)

        People in groups above Dunbar’s Number begin to form hierarchy. Chiefdoms were the beginning of hierarchy; anthropologists call chiefdoms “proto-states.”

        People in settlements above 5000+ (civilization) always have State level politics.

        Always.

        There is no city-State (Civilization) without a State.

        The minarchists at least understand that. But of course, as you know, they’re extremely stupid in thinking it can be “mini.”

        ___________________
        Service, Elman R., (1975) Origins of the State and Civilization: The Process of Cultural Evolution. New York: Norton.
        NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
        http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper…..ieties.pdf

        1. The Communists you refer to tried to go backwards. They thought a dictatorship would lead to statelessness. But power once obtained is very tempting to hold onto. Libertarians want to ease people into statelessness by REDUCING political power.

          Dunbar’s number here is irrelevant. If you want to have X number of acquittances and no more that is your business. No libertarian will try tell you how to live your social life.

          1. Human groups above Dunbar’s number develop hierarchy.

            Every. Single. Time.

            Human groups well above Dunbar’s Number (5000+, or “civilization) have extreme hierarchy, i.e., the STATE.

            Every. Single. Time.

            1. So them don’t go above that number. Fine. In a libertarian society you can do whatever you want in your social life.

              1. END:CIV
                Resist or Die
                http://endciv.com/

                  1. One hardly needs to actively resist what is collapsing quickly anyway.

                    I’m sitting back, having fun, watching the city-Statist (civilized) world go to hell on it’s very own, and all the libertarian city-Statists (civilizationists) fret about it.

                    Weird how libertarians, who pontificate that life can be reduced to economics, can’t even get the economic concept of “diminishing returns.”

                    ? Thesis #13: Civilization always pursues complexity.
                    ? Thesis #14: Complexity is subject to diminishing returns.
                    ? Thesis #15: We have passed the point of diminishing returns.
                    ? Thesis #16: Technology cannot stop collapse.

                    ? Thesis #19: Complexity ensures collapse.
                    ? Thesis #20: Collapse is an economizing process.

                    ? Thesis #26: Collapse is inevitable.
                    ? Thesis #27: Collapse increases quality of life.

                    http://rewild.info/anthropik/thirty/index.html

                    1. I’m sitting back, having fun, watching the city-Statist (civilized) world go to hell on it’s very own

                      Just off yourself already.

                      Think of it as a personal contribution to lowering the Dunbar number.

                    2. Just off yourself already.

                      Typical sentiments from your culture.

                      Premise Ten: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.

                      ~Derrick Jensen
                      Endgame
                      http://www.endgamethebook.org/Excerpts/1-Premises.htm

                    3. The American Indians ran into trouble when the ran afoul of the GOVERNMENT. Private individuals who were not heavily invested in or dependent upon the government were generally willing to trade with the AmerIndians and otherwise let them be.

                    4. There has never been an agricultural city-State (civilization) without State-level politics (government.)

                      Why?

                      “Agriculture creates government.” ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain, p.73

                      Capitalism is Collectivist Social Engineering that destroys Non-State lifeways.

                      American Capitalism COLLECTIVELY:

                      1. Forms governments to kill off Non-State natural inhabitants
                      2. Aggressively invades and occupies the Land
                      3. Collectively builds mass systems of roads
                      4. Collectively builds mass systems of drainage systems
                      5. Collectively builds mass systems of irrigation projects.

                      And then, the mooching TAKERS divvy up the loot amongst themselves, and call it…

                      “Private” Property.

                      Even Ayn Rand let it slip that the invasion and occupation was a violent TAKING of land.

                      “[The Native Americans] didn’t have any rights to the land … Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to TAKE over this continent.” ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

                      Read that again: The RIGHT. To TAKE.

                      Wow, some honesty, finally! And there you have Capitalism, in plain words, un-whitewashed.

          2. Speak for yourself. This libertarian firmly believes in the rule of law over the rule of men. You being an anarchist just shows you to be an idiot.

            1. Anon, and who, if not men, judge the law?

              1. Anon, and who, if not men, judge the law?

                The super-men those the robed overlords of liberty whose judgement shall not be questioned.

            2. Luckily, LAW doesn’t have men:

              1. Making laws
              2. Enforcing laws

              All praise and glory to the incorruptible and space aliens.

              Oh wait, “rule of law” = “rule of men.”

              To say different is just a deceptive whitewash.

              1. Are both of you really morons?

                Google yourselves up some knowledge. The Law, 1848, Frederic Bastiat.

                1. Anon, I notice you did not answer the actual question. Who, if not men, judge the law?

                  1. I do not see how your question is pertinent.

                    Are you not familiar with the phrases of “rule of men” and “rule of law?”

                    Are you really such an idiot as to debate semantics?

                    Do you really not see that anarchy merely prepares the citizens for the next despot?

                    1. PIRS, I notice you have not read a single book concerning why societies form governments. Perhaps you should read less anarchist drivel and more economics.

                    2. Anon,

                      Actually I have. Perhaps you should read one.

                      http://mises.org/resources/497…..ologically

                    3. Anon, yes, I am familiar with the sludge that High School Civics text books have. I am also familiar with what Big Brother demands we believe:
                      WAR IS PEACE
                      FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
                      IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

                2. …in that human group above 5000+ because of the human evolutionary neurobiological limit defined as Dunbar’s Number.

                  NO “law system” works well in groups above 5000+ because of the human evolutionary neurobiological limit defined as Dunbar’s Number.

                  1. Really? How do you explain the proliferation of societies with laws at present then? They appear to be working.

                    1. Weird.

                    2. “Really? How do you explain the proliferation of societies with laws at present then? They appear to be working.”

                      They are indeed working – to the benefit of those in charge.

                    3. “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” ~Frederic Bastiat

                      This quote is one of the central ideas of “The Law”, a piece of philosophical propaganda full of errors and uncompelling arguments. Let’s start with a simple demonstration of its ambiguity. Did men make laws to support or suppress life, liberty, and property? At first glance, since we like those three glittering generalities, we’d say support. But if we change the generalities and keep the “logic” the same:

                      “Death, enslavement, and indigence do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that death, enslavement, and indigence existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”

                      Now we’d say suppress. The fact is, this ringing statement can be interpreted to praise or damn law supporting or suppressing any generality.

                      Now, Bastiat does get more specific. If you read a few sentences further into “The Law”, he presumes natural rights from GOD, a simple fallacy of reification (pretending an idea is a real thing.) But the real source of rights is might. Individuals don’t have rights to protect their lives, liberty and property: they have minuscule powers to attempt to create such rights. Law is an attempt to benefit those within society by creating rights through conventions that reduce in-society conflict and utilize combined powers efficiently. Bastiat has the tail wagging the dog: collective rights being justified by individual rights, when in actual society individual rights are produced by collective might.

                      It’s hard to accept philosophy like this which starts by preferring imaginary rights to basic observable facts of society.

                    4. Bastiat was good given the context of the society into which he was born. Certainly compared to most Americans he is a beacon of freedom. Using a sports analogy he threw the ball of freedom in the right direction – but didn’t quite reach the goal line. Fortunately the ball was caught by Murray Rothbard who carried it farther. Bastiat gave life to ideas that were developed further by Mises and Rothbard.

                      Newton didn’t know everything there was to know about science but he carried the torch of knowledge to future generations. Same with Bastiat and freedom.

                    5. Law is an attempt to benefit those within society by creating rights through conventions that reduce in-society conflict and utilize combined powers efficiently.

                      No, that’s social engineering.

                      Law is taking the rules that society already follows, and putting them down into writing so they can be argued in court.

                      Legislation follows the law, and legislation can be, and often is, in violation of the law.

                      Saying that legislation equals law is a statist fallacy.

                    6. Capitalism COLLECTIVELY

                      1. Forms governments to kill off Non-State natural inhabitants
                      2. Aggressively invades and occupies the Land
                      3. Collectively builds mass systems of roads
                      4. Collectively builds mass systems of drainage systems
                      5. Collectively builds mass systems of irrigation projects.

                      And then, the thieves divvy up the loot, and call it…

                      “Private” Property.

                      Such thinly-veiled whitewash is Funny. Every. Time.

                    7. Your story bro, it is cool.

                    8. It’s easy to refute an argument when you entirely make up the argument being refuted.

                      Nice strawman though.

                    9. Law is an attempt to benefit those within society.

                      ftfy.

  4. Sullum’s latest three-step program for making libertarianism politically respectable.

    Step 1. Question whether telling Nazis to fuck off is the right thing to do.

    Step 2. Call Obama a dictator.

    Step 3. Profit.

    1. Obama is a dictator.

      From Oxford:

      dictator

      Pronunciation: /d?k?te?t?/
      noun
      a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force.
      a person who behaves in an autocratic way.
      (in ancient Rome) a chief magistrate with absolute power, appointed in an emergency.

      Origin:
      late Middle English: from Latin, from dictat- ‘dictated’, from the verb dictare (see dictate)

      http://oxforddictionaries.com/…..q=dictator

      1. Obama does behave in an autocratic way.

        1. Same shit, different day.

          Government is just the cut-out man with the gun for the corporate business powers.

          Everybody likes blaming the cut-out man; that’s his job to take the blame.

          1. If I cease purchasing Pepsi the CEO of Pepsi-cola cannot throw me in jail.

            1. Have fun debating the incoherent troll.

            2. Gov’t is the “man-with-a-gun” cut-out man.

              You understand the concept of a cut-out man, right?

              1. You are running in circles WI. Have fun

                1. Run in circles, scream and shout.

                    1. Happy New Year, PIRS!

                      Jesus Christ Comedy – Bill Cosby
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSFy8RK-MFg

  5. Didn’t Nixon have an “enemies list”?

    How would the world be different if Nixon had been able to use drones to kill the people on his list?

    1. Interesting question. Allan Moore wrote a story that took place in a universe where Nixon served three terms – Watchmen. Obama is probably even more arrogant than Nixon.

      1. There was another President of Unistat who resigned, actually, but he “only” (as they say) existed in a novel. This was a science-fiction thriller set in a parallel universe and was called Wigner’s Friend. It was about the worst possible President the author, a Harvard professor named Leary, could imagine.

        The President in Leary’s book, called Noxin, was a monster. He got the country into totally unnecessary wars without the consent, and sometimes even without the knowledge, of Congress. He lied all the time, compulsively, even when it wasn’t necessary. He put wiretaps on everybody — even on himself. (Leary, a psychologist, claimed this bizarre fantasy, which smacked of satire, was possible, for a certain type of paranoid mind.) He used the FBI and the IRS to harass every citizen who resisted this tyranny. He not only took bribes, but even had a team of enforcers who extorted “campaign” money from corporations under the threat of turning the IRS on them. His political enemies all died in a series of strange assasinations that couldn’t be explained. When Congress started investigating his crimes, he betrayed his co-conspirators one by one.

        Noxin even misappropriated government money to fix up his house, and cheated on his income tax.

        The book was a runaway best-seller, because it had a taut, suspenseful plot and because the Unistaters could congratulate themselves on not being dumb enough to ever elect such a President.

        ~Robert Anton Wilson
        Schr?dinger’s Cat Trilogy
        http://rawilson.com/schrocat.html

        1. RAW was a genius. So was Leary in his own way.

    2. Paul Newman was on that list, so The Sting, Slap Shot and Absence of Malice would have all sucked.

  6. Too bad there isn’t a candidate for President who speaks out about things like this. Oh well.

    1. You mean like Ron Paul?

      1. What Ron Paul speaks out about is free people defending themselves against tyrants, especially if he can blame America or Israel.

        1. As far as Israel he was one of the few to defend Israel’s right to defend itself against Iraq a few years ago when it bombed Iraq. Perhaps you forgot that.

          He supports our right to defend ourselves. He does not support us spending blood and treasure invading other countries needlessly. We got OBL, lets call it a day and go home. Perhaps you have never heard of the concept of Letters of Marque and Reprisal?

          1. So what happened between the justified bombing of an Iraqi nuclear reactor and the legal enforcement of the Gaza blockade?

            1. Blockades only punish innocents while making the common people more likely to rally arround the leaders who get fat while the people starve. How long has the Kim family been in charge of North Korea? How long have the Castro Brothers been in charge of Cuba? How long have the Mullahs been running Iran? Those embargoes have worked REALLY well haven’t they?

              1. The only thing Israel is trying to keep out is weapons. They pass through everything else. They are not imposing the same type of also justified embargo that you decided to interject in your sophomoric attempt to confuse the issue.

                1. Fishing rods are weapons?

                  Spices are weapons?

                  Gotta watch out for A4 paper, that’s an offensive weapon that is!

                  And live goats are no doubt a particularly insidious warhead delivery device!

                  Source

                2. Also, if the Israeli’s are merely trying to keep out weapons, why the near total ban on all exports?

                  1. Can starve non-chosen people.

                    And bash goy baby’s heads.

                    God told me so.

                    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. ~Psalm 137:9

                    1. Would you like a job writing for my newsletter?

                    2. “Would you like a job writing for my newsletter?”

                      You mean the newsletters he didn’t own at the time some controversial material was published in them? I think he should try to get a job at Jeremiah Alvesta Wright’s church instead.

                    3. *WHOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!* That’s me, flying over your head.

                    4. Hey, “point”: The purpose of communication is to express ideas in a manner that the intended audience can understand. If the intended audience cannot understand your “point” (assuming there is one) it is not necessarily the fault of the audience.

          2. Perhaps you have never heard of the concept of Letters of Marque and Reprisal?

            I wanted this to get a better showing than what Ron Paul gave them after 9/11. I think the left would go insane at the concept of reintroducing these; I couldn’t wait for the frightening-to-liberal images of a private army, Blackwater, and all that stuff.

  7. I met Samir Khan once, before he went to Yemen. We had an interesting conversation. He was obviously concerned about American abuses overseas, and was trying to figure out how to stop those abuses without harming ignorant/innocent civilians in the U.S.A.

    Obama murdered him.

    R.I.P. Samir Khan, a true American patriot.

    1. You have peaked my interest. I know you might be very weary of divulging too much information – believe me – I would be too. But if, without giving away identifying details you could tell us more I would be fascinated.

      Thank you

      1. The word is “pique.” Not surprised, you don’t seem to read much.

        1. …is a spelling and grammar nazi wanting to break into editing internet comment posts for profit. And they have to show off acumen, every time.

          here’s a quarter, call someone who cares

        2. Anon,

          You are correct about pique but it is early morning so forgive me. I do read a great deal – more than you I am sure. I am just skeptical of the drivel found in high school civics text books. Do you think insults are likely to convince others of your point of view?

          1. I don’t know what’s in textbooks, I don’t read them; however, by admitting you’re an anarchist you’ve proven yourself ignorant when it comes to pretty much anything. I can not take you seriously. This is the cause of my spiteful rhetoric.

            I really do wish you could see why government can be good, when constricted to its proper role. Hell, the excuse for capitalism we have now has made life wonderful for billions of people all around the world.

            1. One of the things in high school (and some college) textbooks is the line you repeat above about “rule of men” and “rule of law?” as though one can exist without the other.

              I used to believe as you believe. Several years ago I came to Hit & Run myself and argued with anarchists about these very things. I hope one day you can see what I now see. In any case I do not view you as the “enemy” or even “the opposition”. We are both fighting for less government. So long as the government is of a greater size and scope than you want I will consider you an ally.

              I would encourage you to read “The Production of Security” by
              Gustave de Molinari.

              http://mises.org/resources/2716

            2. anon|12.27.11 @ 8:59AM
              I don’t know what’s in textbooks, I don’t read them

              Do you think we can’t tell?

    2. In an article written by Khan and published in Inspire, entitled “I am proud be a traitor to America”

      You used the word “patriot”. It does not mean what you think it means.

      1. Don’t forget “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”

        This is an example of “trying to figure out how to stop those abuses without harming ignorant/innocent civilians in the U.S.A.”

        1. Naturally one has to be seen as a credible threat in order to be effective, even if one never intends to act on that threat.

          At the time I met him I had no idea of his affiliations, but the subject came up and – if I recall correctly – I pointed out that the IRA learned to give warnings in their bombing campaign in London, because casualties were harmful to their own cause. I might have also pontificated that a credible threat might be more effective than a completed attack, especially as the American authorities are so jumpy, and a lack of actual casualties would reduce blowback.

          Let’s not forget that according to Islamic scripture, to murder one honest man is the same as to murder the world. He expressed awareness of this, though of course he could have simply been disguising his own thoughts. But there are a couple other factors which make me think he really did not want to harm anyone. When we parted, he wrote down his name for me and told me that I would hear about him some day, which is why I remember the name.

          I also recall pointing out to him that the men who established the United States were familiar with Islam when they established religious freedom, and that in fact one prominent patriot had named one of his sons after a Muslim general in India who had caused the British empire a great deal of trouble.

          1. The IRA did not get any liberal flack until they killed some horses.

          2. Naturally one has to be seen as a credible threat in order to be effective, even if one never intends to act on that threat.

            Actually, Libertarians do not believe in aggression. One of the main principles of libertarianism is the Non-Aggression-Principle. The NAP does not exclude “good” aggression. If Khan believed that it was appropriate to change the world through force, or “credible” threats of force, he was a scumbag. The inappropriateness of the US’s actions does not change this person into someone decent. A suicide bombing is the exact opposite of self defense.

            If you can not convince me of your positions through reason, perhaps you should reconsider your positions. If you can not, attempting to coerce me to agree, with threats or violence, is evil.

      2. “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”
        — Mark Twain

  8. The Reason solution is let military terrorist organizations operate freely, especially if they are operating more than 3 miles from the US coastline. They may only be acted upon if they respond to the subpoena delivered by UPS, DHL, or FedEx and turn themselves in.

    1. Guy Montag,

      Do you think that police officers who investigate the motivations behind a murder are “coddling murderers”? If police officers pointed out that committing blackmale increases the likelihood you will be murdered would THAT be coddling terrorists?

      1. Stop confusing police action with military action. They are the same in the DC offices of Reason, the ACLU, and CPUSA. They different in the real world.

        1. Right, because if you call something a “military action” you can be detained for any length of time without a trial or any hope of a trial. You are presumed guilty and have no hope of proving your own innocence.

          1. Military prisoners don’t have a right to a trial. They have a right to be warehoused in a humanitarian manner until the end of hostilities. This really can not be that hard for your ilk to understand. Feigning ignorance just makes you look more foolish.

            1. Exactly! Thank you for making my point for me. I am sure that you will apreciate this if you are ever on the wrong side of the law and the Obama administration considers you an “enemy of the state” and warehouses you in an “humanitarian manner” until the “end of hostilities” which might be the end of the Obama administration.

              Google the name Susan Lindauer and Carswell Air Force Base.

              1. Comrade, we must be kept safe from the threat of unregistered lobbyists (Susan’s alleged crime) gamboling freely about the U.S.A.

                People like Montag think indefinite detention, summary execution, and all the other ills of a police state are fine until it happens to one of them.

                1. “Comrade, we must be kept safe from the threat of unregistered lobbyists”

                  Wasn’t Newt Gingrich also accused of being an unregistered lobbyist?

                  Ohh, the irony ….

            2. They have a right to be warehoused in a humanitarian manner until the end of hostilities.

              In a traditional war in which the fighting is between government employees, yes.

              But the people we are fighting are not government employees. They have no boss to tell them to stop fighting.

            3. “”Military prisoners don’t have a right to a trial. They have a right to be warehoused in a humanitarian manner until the end of hostilities. “”

              I think you are confusing military prisoners with POWs. The first does have a right to trial. The latter didn’t commit any crimes (therefore no trial) and are just being held for a short time with the intention to be released at a latter date.

              If you don’t think the idea of a government holding anyone indefinately without trial is OK, you really don’t understand history.

              The problem occurs when you don’t want to classify someone you take into custory in either catagory becuase you want to deny them rights we once believed belonged to every human. It says more about our government than the people they hold.

      2. And, Racist!

        1. Ha, good thing I checked before posting.

  9. Hey, a constitutional scholar is certainly an improvement, right?

    1. That just means that everything Obama does is carefully considered, fully vetted, and 100% lawful!

  10. “Should the president have the power to kill anyone he considers an enemy?”
    Is this a trick question???
    Do you assholes just sit around and think up dumb headers….and content?

  11. The steady, unconstitutional growth of presidential–and government power in general–needs to be checked. What we need is an un-president. Crisp and clean and no rapine. Never had it, never will.

  12. Were in deep danger, Obama has been distracting us with tac cut extension controversies while behind the scenes he is putting executive orders in place that will unlawfully acrue him unilateral powers. The other 2 branches of government have been nullified by infiltration of fellow travelers. These are no longer academic exercises. All the people who have been doing an outstanding job of analyzing now must actively be involved and not sit on the sidelines. They must be the eyes and ears of the people and ferret out the smoking guns that will expose the evil and rottenness and traitors in Government, before its too late.

    1. “All the people who have been doing an outstanding job of analyzing now must actively be involved and not sit on the sidelines. They must be the eyes and ears of the people and ferret out the smoking guns that will expose the evil and rottenness and traitors in Government, before its too late.”

      I wholeheartedly agree. And electing Ron Paul as President may well be our last chance to remain a free country.

      1. The fact that he’s making noise and is actually in the running gives me a little more hope that American distrust of government isn’t entirely dead yet.

        1. I agree – at this point it looks like he WILL in fact get the Republican nomination. I can’t wait to see heads explode.

  13. Amandine is a Parisian born Jewish girl. She teaches hip-hop dancing to teenagers at one of the many dancing institutes in Paris and also works as a show dancer. This caring and warm-hearted girl loves animals too.

    Amandine openly admits to being an exhibitionist and loves to wear skimpy outfits that show off her toned, dancer’s body, both during her dancing classes and when she goes out clubbing in Paris. She is very comfortable with her body but this petite brunette wishes she was taller. Amandine’s training as a dancer really shines through when she is being photographed or filmed. She literally performs a private dance for the camera, engaging the lens with her sensual movements and inviting eyes.

    With her upbeat attitude towards life and her sweet smile, Amandine is great fun to be around!

    http://www.hegre-art.com/models#action=show&id=145

  14. Should the president have the power to kill anyone he considers an enemy?

    I’m sure he would like to. That would take care of at least half of Congress.

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