Drones

Do You Agree With White House that Drone Strikes are "Legal," "Ethical," and "Wise"? You Shouldn't.

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Jay Carney, the chief spokesman for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, wants you to know that President Barack Obama's controversial use of drones isn't just sort-of borderline defensible. Nope:

"These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise," Carney said. The government takes "great care" when deciding where and whom to strike, he added.

Read more here.

How much care does the White House take in assessing who it wants to bomb (often in countries with which the U.S. is not officially at war)? So much care that it doesn't feel a need to get legal authorization from either the judicial or legislative branches of the federal government. And in case you want to rest easy that Obama has top men on it, here's a summary of the process written by NBC News' Michael Isikoff, who leaked the confidential memo the administration didn't want you to see:

[T]he confidential Justice Department "white paper" introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described  by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches.  It refers, for example, to what it calls a "broader concept of imminence" than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.    

Instead, it says, an "informed, high-level" official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American  has been "recently" involved in "activities" posing a threat of a violent attack and "there is  no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities." The memo does not define "recently" or "activities.

Read more—including the memo itself—here

What else is in the news today regarding the most transparent administration in history? A report documenting that 54 countries around the globe have played along with the CIA when it comes to torturing suspects in such a way that the U.S. can pretend it doesn't do that sort of thing anymore.

There is a darkly comic aspect to this, I suppose: Here's a president who once taught classes in constitutional law and swore up and down that America doesn't torture, that he was against "dumb wars" waged by his predecessors, that he was more transparent than a glass of triple-filtered water, and who won a goddamned Nobel Peace Prize! And he turns out to be not just a little iffy when it comes to being constrained in his willingness to break all sorts of rules but downright godawful.

And his main mouthpiece is a former MSM drone whose babyface is quickly turning into a map of wrinkles brought on by working for an administration which has manifestly failed to live up to even the mediocre standards of the previous occupant of the White House.

If it wasn't for all the dead people scattered around the nations of the world, the incursions into basic rights of Americans, the torturing of innocents along with the occasional interrogation of actual terrorists, and the failure to accomplish much of anything other than adding to the store of human misery and suffering around, this all would be worth a few bitter laughs.

But it's not.

Watch "3 Reasons Drone Policy is Really Freakin' Scary":

Go here for more links and data about drones.

NEXT: Virginia Ports Mull Privatization

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  1. “These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise,” Carney said. The government takes “great care” when deciding where and whom to strike, he added.

    I don’t know whether to puke, or simply laugh myself to death.

    1. I don’t know whether to puke, or simply laugh myself to death.

      Strangely enough, I was in the same situation when I viewed the award-winning Two Girls, One Cup for the first, and last time.

      1. It was staged. Chocolate frosting inserted into the ass via a piping bag. Gee people, it’s called movie magic.

  2. How does Jay Carney sleep at night when he as to stand at a podium and say that with a straight face?

    1. On top of a pile of money, with many beautiful women.

    2. small hands

      1. smells like cabbage

    3. I’m more confused that he still has a face. Not an easy accomplishment for a guy with the most punchable face in D.C. If I was within 100 yards of that mug I’m afraid the urge to punch would be uncontrollable.

      1. Still not as punchable as Ezra Klein’s and I think he’s based in DC.

        1. Matt Yglesias is at the top of my punchable face list. Fucking hipster.

            1. That one post translating hipster-speak is priceless. 99% of anything they say means : “I think I am better than you.” Explains a lot.

              1. The PBR one is spot on. So is the “Do you want fries with that?”

            2. My favorite from that hipster-speak was “Steinbeck is my favorite writer.” Wouldn’t surprise me to find a hipster that likes Steinbeck. I remember my 11th grade literature class had to read Grapes of Wrath, right after reading Great Gatsby. The prose was so dull and dry compared to Gatsby that all of us wanted to gouge our eyes out. Had to capitulate to spark notes.

        2. Sam Seder’s face would be the best thing to punch in the whole world.

      2. There are a lot of punchable faces in DC. Carney probably doesn’t even make the top 50.

        1. #1 Harry Reid

          1. DIONNE!

    4. Because he is so ignorant that he actually believes the BS?

  3. Well if Obama does it then it can’t be dumb can it?

    Also drones and torture were only bad because of BOOOOOSH!

  4. “These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise,” Carney said. The government takes “great care” when deciding where and whom to strike, he added.

    Glad we got that cleared up. Now we can move on to the more important issues like whether or not Beyonce actually sang at the Super Bowl and what’s up with Manti Te’o.

    1. This is even more disturbing because the Government for much of the 20th century made no distinction between the civilians of a nation at war, and the soldiers. They were all part of the war effort.

      Are we still going to apply this logic? Some of Bush’s speeches seem to indicate we still do.

      1. The “logic” “utlized” by some of the commenters here echoes the buffeting swamp gas that exited Bush’s mouth in this regard as well.

        1. You are a fool, Drax. Bush was pilloried by the left for water boarding 3 terrorists. Obama solves that problem by killing them outright, as well as anyone close to the vicinity.

          You wouldn’t know logic if you tripped over it.

      2. No, it isn’t unique to the 20th Century. It has always been that way.
        Blaming Bush is idiotic, especially since Obama is doing the same thing. You are sounding a lot like Tony.

  5. So where are all the anti-war, anti-torture people?

    1. Hey, look! A chicken!!!

      *points excitedly*

    2. Keeping their damn traps shut until the next Republican administration.

      1. Can we tag them like bald eagles or something? Maybe we can find them easier in the future.

      2. What Rhywun said!

    3. I was lurking around Huffington Post and Slate and I kid you not, people were defending Obama while trashing Bush because torture is illegal and against our values while killing people is necessary to win a war.

      1. They’ve been doing this for years now. And we all knew they were going to do it anyway. Partisan scum is partisan scum; it’s what they do. And enough of them have done it now that it’s mainstream. So it’s the new normal. Enjoy.

        1. The conversion of the TEAM BLUE partisans where it concerns this issue is unsurprising. Interestingly enough, it almost makes me respect those hardcore Neocons who have no issue with the use of drones even though the emperor wielding them is from the other TEAM. Almost, but not really. I’ll least respect the consistency, even if I’m repulsed by its conclusions.

          1. The conversion of the TEAM BLUE partisans where it concerns this issue is unsurprising

            Were the Democrats ever anti-war? At least since 1865?

            1. Well, the Left has always had a reasonably strong anti-war contingent (mostly “anti-imperialist” in reality, and would use appeals to broader anti-war constituencies in order to gain public support). That far left wing of the party generally informs the opinion of its rank and file and becomes en vogue during GOP administrations, only to be dumped once TEAM BLUE gets the ring of power, leaving only the consistency of the true anti-imperialist radical socialists and so-called anarchists of International ANSWER to push back from the Left.

            2. Well, the Left has always had a reasonably strong anti-war contingent (mostly “anti-imperialist” in reality, and would use appeals to broader anti-war constituencies in order to gain public support). That far left wing of the party generally informs the opinion of its rank and file and becomes en vogue during GOP administrations, only to be dumped once TEAM BLUE gets the ring of power, leaving only the consistency of the true anti-imperialist radical socialists and so-called anarchists of International ANSWER to push back from the Left.

              1. The “Anti-Imperialist League” of the early 1900s, which included Mark Twain, absolutely despised campaigned against Teddy Roosevelt, one of the darlings of the modern left.

              2. You mean the Left that supported WWII and the Civil War?

                Hell the original French Left supported war against all of Europe!

                1. I’m speaking mostly in an American context and mostly in a second half of the 20th century context. There arose a sort of Stockholm Syndrome with the Soviet Union, many young and impressionable New Left students, especially in the 1960’s and onward, became enamored with radical socialism and rejected any and all U.S. military action as a consequence of its “capitalist imperialism”.

                  1. So, ultimately, they weren’t anti-war. They were just on the other side.

            3. I doubt that they have all been of one opinion at any point. There were certainly some.

              1. Those who forget or ignore history are foredoomed to repeat it.

                I once posted an analysis of the wars and atrocities committed by American regimes on a CNN thread, only to see it quickly expunged. The record indicts many more populist regimes than conservative ones. The horrors probably began with the Trail of Tears ethnic cleansing of the Cherokee circa 1830.

                As for the Left, those apologists for monsters ignore the Spanish Civil War. There was a nice forecast for how they would get treated by their comrades – stabbed in the back or lined up for firing squads.

    4. Gladstone| 2.5.13 @ 2:15PM |#

      So where are all the anti-war, anti-torture people?

      Uhm. I would like to point out that this isn’t like, war or torture, which is what Boosh did, and was like worser.

      Besides, lots of presidents arbitrarily have US Citizens executed sans trial. You’re just making a big deal out of it because you hate Obama

      1. You forgot “and are racist.”

        1. Admit it you anti-American terrorist sympathizers: you hated zero dark thirty only because of the dark.

          1. I hated it for the zero.

            1. C’mon, be nice to Ben.

      2. Gilmore, your stupidity is astounding. So in your opinion, Water Boarding which has no real harmful effects, is much worse that just killing someone out right?

        And this isn’t war? Why do we have tens of thousands of solders in Afghanistan?

        I’m curious, which presidents executed US citizens without a trial and who were the victims?

    5. Waiting for the next Republican administration.

      1. That’s what I get for not refreshing.

        [shakes tiny fist at Rhywun]

        1. Does the tiny fist make it a microaggression?

        2. Is that a tiny fist as in E.J. Dionne, or as in SNL – Junice Merill?

  6. The fundamental issue here is that this administration doesn’t seem to understand the fact that the 5th amendment is pretty clear as to what rights American Citizens have in terms of due process.

    All of the “TOP MEN” excuses are irrelevant since nothing they can say will justify the fact that they are blatantly ignoring the 5th amendment and are using vague unjustified reasons for doing so.

    Again, using the “If this was Bush” analogy, this once again proves that the media is Team Blue and if their side does it it’s a-ok.

    1. The constitution is like old and written by dead white male slaveowners.

      Also they hate the second amendment and the first allows hate speech and the 10th limits government so why the hell should they care about the Fifth?

      1. Don’t forget that those slave-owners were (for the most part) adherents to fairy tales written before even they were alive. What fools. This must mean that any and everything they espoused was wrong.

        1. If the highest morality a government can aspire to is having more and bigger guns than a citizen, then it might be time for that reset button Thomas Jefferson referenced.

          It’s certainly not immoral to shoot back.

      2. Yeah, the fifth amendment is like totally racist and shit.

        -jcr

    2. It makes me wonder if George W Bush had passed the biggest expansion in entitlements since LBJ, if the media would castigate him for not being sufficiently lax with the public fisc…..

      oh wait, yeah, they did.

    3. The 5th Amendment says nothing about citizenship. It says “no person”. Citizenship gives you no special privilege under the 5th. So I don’t see how the fact the US citizens are being targeted makes any difference, at least as far as the constitution goes. If the 5th applies here, then it applies to all targeted killings, not just of US citizens.

      1. The constitution does not grant anyone any rights at all.

        It protects rights by prohibiting the government from ever doing certain things to ANYONE.

        Citizenship doesn’t shield you from the government breaking the law any more than it shields you from the Bloods or Crips breaking the law.

    4. 5th amendment is pretty clear as to what rights American Citizens

      Now I’m now big-city Constitutional Expert like the President (*cough*), hell, I ain’t even American…

      … but I’m not aware of anything that says the Constitution applies to US citizens only. The Constitution of the US (in theory) constrains the US government in its actions, regardless of the citizenship of the, uh, “target”.

      If I’m wrong, please let me know.

      1. I’m glad someone else noticed that.

        1. And two minutes slower… damn!

      2. Both Zeb and rts are correct in that the 5th amendment specifically applies to “person” and not citizens.

        There are a couple SCOTUS decisions that deal with this for precedent.

        Reid v. Covert, the Court concluded that U.S. citizens have the same rights against the U.S. government when it acts against them abroad.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reid_v._Covert

        1. So, clearly, Renowned Constitutional Scholar You-Know-Who understands this means that drone strikes on U.S. citizens within U.S. borders are permissible?

          1. The Court’s core holding of the case is that U.S. Citizen civilians abroad have the right to Fifth Amendment and Sixth Amendment constitutional protections……..The Court agreed with the petitioners, concluding that as United States citizens they were entitled to the protections of the Bill of Rights, notwithstanding that they committed crimes in foreign soil.”

            1. Yeah, so this policy would seem to be irreconcilable with established 5th and 6th Amendment jurisprudence.

    5. Wouldn’t the widow of Anwar al-Awlaki have standing? They killed her husband and son, FFS.

  7. Might makes right.

  8. May I point out the rare sighting of an RC’z Law in the headline?

    Drone Strokes, indeed.

    Please, no sudden moves. We don’t want to frighten it away.

    1. Drone strokes: perfect for warboners.

      1. You win.

  9. Here’s a president who once taught classes in constitutional law and swore up and down that America doesn’t torture, that he was against “dumb wars” waged by his predecessors, that he was more transparent than a glass of triple-filtered water, and who won a goddamned Nobel Peace Prize!

    EXACTLY

    So what are you complaining about? BOOSH WUZ WORSER

    This is all just a republican ploy to stymie Obama’s bigger plans to end wars and save the environment

  10. If America needs any more monkeys to shoot into space, Jay Carney is ready and willing to serve his country.

    1. RACIST!!!

      1. What? I’m sure Jay has a prehensile tail under that $500 suit.

        1. His suit ain’t that cheap.

    2. That one in the Air and Space museum is the only space monkey I’ll accept.

  11. Man, Carney makes me miss fat ol’ Bob whatshisname. He was like a standup comic up there. Baghdad Bob of the Potomac.

    Carney is a complete douchetard, esp when he plays the straightman. I miss Baghdad Bob 🙁 I think he actually BELIEVED what he was saying!

  12. So what happened to those libertarians who claimed that the “Left-wing media” was a Republican canard? Judging by the treatment of Obama it looks very true.

    1. So what happened to those libertarians who claimed that the “Left-wing media” was a Republican canard?

      I’m a libertarian who has always though the MSM is/was leftist. Of course, I came to libertarianism from the “right” so that perhaps colors my perception. I suspect the libertarians who came out of the left don’t see the left-bias. Or they aren’t actually libertarian (SCOTSMAN!!!!1111!!).

    2. So what happened to those libertarians who claimed that the “Left-wing media” was a Republican canard?

      So what you are telling us is that you are having trouble finding evidence for something you just imagined?

      Interesting.

    3. I still say that they are more pro-government control, and to a slightly lesser extent pro-Democrat than they are left-wing. Or do those things all mean the same thing now?

      I think people too readily conflate left-wing, Democrat and liberal.

  13. they are ethical and they are wise

    Just like abortions are safe, legal and rare, right Jay?

    Fuck you.

    1. I’ll never understand why anyone who supports abortion’s legality would adopt the “and rare” portion. If it’s not killing, who cares how frequently it happens. Conceding the “and rare” implies that you know damn well that you’re killing, but you just don’t a fuck. And in that light, I suppose it has a natural home on the Left.

      1. I never liked the “and rare” part myself, but you could make the argument that it’s always best to avoid elective surgery.

      2. The “rare” refers to continuing efforts at contraception education. Just because you think abortion should be legal doesn’t mean you think it’s an ideal form of birth control.

        1. Yeah that’s what they mean. But as a pro-legal-abortion and pro-liberty person, I leave it up to the individuals how rare it will be.

          1. Fair enough. But simply allowing someone to engage in something as a liberty interest doesn’t mean you can’t criticize it. I think people should be free to smoke crack, but I’m perfectly ok with the idea of calling them idiots for doing so. Similarly, one who thinks women should be permitted abortions can still call them idiots for not taking more reasonable precautions.

            1. Oh, sure. Personally I’d prefer it to be rare. Whatever you think about the moral status of the fetus, abortions are no fun, cost money and carry some risk. And for those reasons and others I would encourage people to take reasonable precautions against unwanted pregnancy.

        2. “Just because you think abortion should be legal doesn’t mean you think it’s an ideal form of birth control.”

          I worked with kids at the drop-in center that certainly did. After five or six abortions you think to yourself, Jesus, bitch, there are free condoms at the front desk. Grab a handful on your way out.

          1. There ain’t no cure for stupid.

            1. Not unless your a progressive in the 1920’s. they you can force sterilize them.

        3. I’m opposed to abortion on moral grounds.

          However I am willing to make exceptions if the woman is a liberal. That means one less liberal will be born into the world.

      3. I always assumed that rare in that instance referred to the preparation. Anyone who would even contemplate abortion as an option surely wouldn’t think twice about eating a baby.

        1. True enough. The meat is so tender when they’re young that overcooking them can make it leathery. That’s why I had to adjust the temperature on my incinerators so that my remaining child slaves could would be able to eat their fallen comrades without it damaging their teeth. For some reason, oral hygiene is a major screening test on the secondary market once they get too old to work the narrow tunnels of my diamond mines.

      4. Thank. You. If it’s all on the level, why does the qualifier of “rare” need to be added at all? An abortion should be morally no different than getting a teeth cleaning (twice a year).

        1. And to address Epi’s point upthread, no one ever says a root canal should be “rare” even though it is similarly preventable through earlier interventions and at a much cheaper and less painful cost. The same could apply in part to nicole’s comment, but I’ll recognize that an abortion is a more dangerous medical procedure than a root canal.

          1. Do you just call me “Epi”?

            1. Oops. I am sincerely sorry for that. I got my threaded comments crossed. I have launched an offense at you that is unforgivable.

  14. How much care does the White House take in assessing who it wants to bomb (often in countries with which the U.S. is not officially at war)?

    Is the US officially at war with any other country?

    1. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia and Eastasia.

  15. Drones kill on command, they never tire, they don’t question and they don’t write tell all books.

    1. they don’t write tell all books

      No, but I’m sure an operator will some day.

      Remote Kill: Confessions of a Drone Operator

      1. Will he/she get murdered at a drone range by a PTSD-suffering former drone pilot?

        1. This is the second time today….

          Not sure if I should find that funny, but I do.

          Satan better be keeping my room warm.

    2. Imaginary bombers
      Never turn you down
      When all the others turn you away
      They’re around
      It’s my private pleasure
      Midnight fantasy
      Someone to share my
      Wildest dreams with me
      Imaginary bomber
      You’re mine anytime
      Imaginary bomber, oh yeah

      When ordinary bombers
      Don’t feel what you feel
      And real-life situations lose their thrill
      Imagination’s unreal
      Imaginary bomber, imaginary bomber
      You’re mine anytime
      Imaginary bombers never disagree
      They always care
      They’re always there when you need
      Satisfaction guaranteed
      Imaginary bomber, imaginary bomber
      You’re mine all the time
      My imaginary bomber
      You’re mine anytime

  16. The document was leaked by an NBC reporter? It’s actually shocking that someone with NBC did something potentially embarrassing to the administration.

    1. It wasn’t leaked leaked.

    2. You have to remember that despite “journalists” being disgusting power-fellators, they are first and foremost attention-whores. They want that byline, that best-selling book, those fawning interviews, to be the guy who brings down Nixon.

      1. Oh, NIXON, sure. Maybe even LBJ. But not Kennedy. And sure as hell not Obama.

  17. Drone targets are all battlefield combatants, actively waging war against AMERICA. John told me so.

    1. We spell it ‘Murrica! now. It’s best said through a mouth numbed with moonshine and full of chewing tobacco.

      1. It’ Everything is best said through a mouth numbed with moonshine and full of chewing tobacco.

  18. Aww Nuts! When I clicked the link I thought it was going to be an article on personal pleasure robots. Disappointed again.

    1. Catching your roommate porking your pleasure bot. Seeing your pleasure bot at the club with another guy.

  19. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.

    Maybe they misspelled “immanence”. Terrorism dwells within these people.

  20. Do You Agree w White House that Drone Strokes are “Legal,” “Ethical,” and “Wise”? You Shouldn’t.

    I like “stroking” my drone…

  21. Pic #2 alt-text: ‘You don’t agree with the administration’s rationale on the legality of targeting of american citizens with drone attacks? Let me show you my sad face.’

  22. I smell a rat. This memo was “leaked” to NBC, the Number One Obama cheerleader media outlet?

    One timeless government ploy when you want to do something that you know is controversial and/or borderline illegal is to “leak” that you are doing something far worse, and then respond to the public outcry by “agreeing” to do what you really wanted to do in the first place, which misleadingly appears more “reasonable” by comparison. Those who continue to object to your “toned down compromise” measure are dismissed as extremists, idealists, partisans, etc.

    Keep watching and see if this isn’t Obama’s game plan.

    1. Trial balloon. Correct.

  23. “These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise,”

    …”I deserve good things. I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am attractive person. I am fun to be with. And goshdarnit, People *Like* Me.”

    http://snltranscripts.jt.org/91/91asmalley.phtml

  24. On the front page of the LA Times, 1 PM on the West coast

    “Obama urges quick solution to delay steep budget cuts”

    NY Times

    “Obama offers deficit spendings to head off automatic cuts”

    Good news.

  25. And many of the folks at Reason voted for him twice.

    1. If you think McCain or Romney would have been less willing to authorize drone strikes, you are delusional.

    2. Regardless of how many times the Reasonoids voted for them, King Obama and his co-conspirators are obviously sworn to the destruction of our American Revolution and it’s resulting hard won Constitutional protections and guarantees.

  26. If a drone strike on the territory of a sovereign foreign nation is not an act of war or a crime, then it would not be an act of war or a crime if someone did it to us. If North Korea launched a drone strike on Obama and took him out, would it be legal, ethical and wise? Apparently it would be, according to Obama’s administration.

    Put another way, the planes being flown into the World Trade Center on 9/11 were likewise not acts of war or illegal in any way. Manned aircraft being used as drones only changes where the casualties occur, it has no effect on numbers.

    Either this is a truly unfortunate precedent to set in international law, or the U.S. is well on the way to becoming a rogue state, if we’re not already there. Either way, this will harm us in the long run.

  27. “… [Obama] doesn’t feel a need to get legal authorization from either the judicial or legislative branches of the federal government.”

    Sadly, false. Congress wrote the law. Obama’s lawyers are simplly agreeing with Bush’s lawyers that, under the AUMF, the President can kill anyone he pleases, any where he pleases, any time he pleases, for any reason he pleases. The lawyers are right: Congress authorized it. No court is willing to intervene.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/…..orism.html

  28. I agree with hunting down members of al-Qaida and its affiliates and either capturing them or killing them right there on the spot. As to which is done (capturing or killing), I would prefer that a determination be based on:

    – the likelihood of having another opportunity to capture the person in the near future.

    – the danger posed by the person based on their function within the network

    – the value of removing the person from the network; what will removing this person do to enemy’s ability to carry out various functions?

    – the feasibility of capturing versus killing

    – the harm to non-combatant civilians that would be reasonably expected to result from each available course of action if implemented

    I do not automatically oppose drone strikes.

    I oppose torture, but I would define torture more narrowly than most folks who have been complaining about the so-called “War of Terror.”

    I would not do any nation-building. I would shut down the TSA.

    But, as far as killing/capturing al-Qaida members, I’m all for it.

    1. “I agree with hunting down members … killing them right there on the spot.”

      Only the most brutal and violent dictatorships kill enemies on the spot if capture is possible.

      “- the harm to non-combatant civilians that would be reasonably expected to result from each available course of action if implemented”

      What the FUCK does this even mean in military terms? Very few within the military system give a single fuck about collateral damage in spite of your pitiful motion toward a semblance of ethics here. Man, we are talking about KILLING kids and innocents. There is no system and NEVER will be a system that can conclusively protect innocents in the event a missile or a bullet is fired in the field. THIS is one the problem inherent with current war efforts to protect people like you.

      Radical Islam is only part of the problem here. You bring in a rabid bunch of military thugs conditioned on the Koolaid of superiority tromping all over YOUR country shooting shit up and killing innocents and you would not be normal if you didn’t want to join the nastiest band of outliers available to requite some justice on that scum. HENCE, the GROWTH of religious radicalism.

      “I do not automatically oppose drone strikes.”

      Conveniently over-simplified. Drones WILL kill innocent people. PERIOD! This means your mind is perfectly comfortable accepting the explosion of body parts from human beings whose only care in the world is to survive insanity and eat.

    2. But you’re a terrorist. Aren’t you? If not today, then tomorrow, simply because you spoke out against some policy of the American Imperium.

      Or have auto-loading magazine-fed firearms. Or own/operate a Web server that hosts ‘seditious’ posts by ‘terrorists’. Any rationale will do, if there are no limits to legislation or Imperial fatwas.

      Al’Queda began by opposing the Imperial control of Saudi resources by Western interests. As patriots who fought back with whatever weapons were accessible to them. The ideals others value may not be ours, but treading their lands while sneering at their mores will not win respect for your ideals.

      Ever since circa 1970, $8 billion per year to Egypt and the Zionists, $4B each. Plus kilos of fissionable material to the Zionists, so they could build nuclear weapons to threaten those who might get their native homeland back.

  29. You cannot be a Libertarian or an Open Society member concerned about the maintenance and promotion of said society and support activities from the administration or the military by extension that mimic the insidious behaviors of terrorism.

    In what sense are we more improved? None. Wanton killing of innocents and total disregard for human life is REQUIRED to pull triggers in the event certain strategies require preemption. And preemption can occur quickly and without specific and credible evidence which is a horrifying thought if this is now a military norm.

    The Open Society SHOULD defend itself against atrocity and violence, but NOT in a manner that replicates the misdeeds of our worst enemies.

  30. The government said, ‘Hey! We need a bigger hammer. Now!’

    So we gave it a bigger hammer. Now, everything’s a nail.

    Instead of discussing root causes – Everything’s a nail and we’ve got a big hammer, so everything needs to be smashed, because we’ve got a big hammer – we’re arguing about when and where the government should get to use the hammer.

    Meanwhile, the government gets bigger hammers -and subsequently uses bigger and bigger hammers- and is running about smashing everything it sees.

    In short, we’re trying to solve the wrong problem.We shouldn’t be smashing everything we see, to begin with.

    Yes, if someone else is running about trying to smash us, we need to smash them, first.

    …but we shouldn’t be running around smashing everything we see.

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  32. Whether it will do any good I’m not sure, but sent this to Senator Rubio

    I am sure you know about the memo that was released the other day claiming that the US government has the right to assassinate US citizens that they believe are involved with terrorism. According to this memo they don’t require any evidence or investigation to carry out what comes down to murder.

    If they don’t need to show any evidence to do this then what is to keep them from killing anyone? All they have to say is they believe they are a threat to the US and bang, their gone.

    This is unconstitutional and is the very reason our founding fathers created the constitution, specifically the 2nd Amendment. I am a veteran of the Navy and the Army and I know this is not a part of the constitution that I swore an oath to uphold. For that matter it isn’t what you or President Obama swore an oath to do.

    The American Revolution was fought because of the same type of tyranny that current administration is committing as we speak. The Constitution give Congress the ability to impeach the president for crimes and if this is allowed to stand then Congress and yourself are no better than the current president that thinks he is king.

    I challenge you to do the right thing and stand up to this injustice and fight for our country and the Constitution.

  33. Awesome article – sorry I have a non-humorous reply.

    What if drones were used “in reverse”? What if Yemen or Pakistan had drones and a team of “really smart govm’t guys” selecting human targets in U.S. for execution? How would libs & react? If it’s obviously wrong in that direction, why not the reverse?

    France gave us Stat. Liberty in 1876 because U.S. was “beacon of freedom” to the world. Back then it wasn’t our billions in foreign aid, but our mere EXAMPLE, that stood to “ennoble” the rest of the world. When can we return to such standards?

    1. ‘Freedom’ has been twisted to mean things it can’t. Not if true liberty is to exist and prevail in the USA.

      To cite Francis Fukuyama (Trust): What is invidious about an American culture of rights today is that it dignifies, ostensibly with high moral purpose, what are low private desires.

      Anything begun with a lie will likely wind up killing innocents. Those waves of death will spread out like a fungus.

  34. This is troubling on so many levels, I can’t even begin to enumerate them.

    But the biggy to me is the wording that says “a high level official” can make the decision on who is targeted. Who the hell would that be? Another is the vague wording about an immediate threat.

    I am gonna go out on a limb and say it is NOT legal or ethical or wise.
    The fact that Jay Carney says that is enough for me to call BS on it.

  35. “I don’t always order drone strikes on children, but when I do, I wear my Nobel Peace Prize.” – The Most Powerful Man in the World.

  36. Three reasons. But all of them trace back to immorality. A country murdering its own children in the womb will have no compunction about murdering other people’s children. Born, or pre-born.

    A lawful death -execution- may follow after a conviction of a heinous crime, and after due process reviews, yet what due process does an infant in the womb get? If not in the USA itself, then what ‘due process’ shall a child in Yemen, Pakistan, or indeed anywhere else on Earth, receive?

    Butchered baby bits can’t result from ‘protecting rights and freedoms’, regardless of the venue. A baby can’t crawl into your bedroom window during the wee hours to rob and do violence, so what sane self-defense rational can ever exist for killing it?

    Even if an amoral worship of Hedonism is your religion, there’s the mere pragmatism of George Washington’s Farewell Address. Study and analyze it sometime.

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  43. What the FUCK does this even mean in military terms? Very few within the military system give a single fuck about collateral damage in spite of your pitiful motion toward a semblance of ethics here. Man, we are talking about KILLING kids and innocents. There is no system and NEVER will be a system that can conclusively protect innocents in the event a missile or a bullet is fired in the field. THIS is one the problem inherent with current war efforts to protect people like you.
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