Obama Administration

Another Week of Government Lawlessness

The lawyer who advised President Obama that he could kill with drones now has preliminary approval to become a federal judge.


White House/Instagram

What if the federal government is shameless? What if it personifies the adage of do as I say and not as I do? What if it does the very things it prosecutes others for doing? What if it has written laws and enacted procedures so that it can spy and kill, while it charges others with doing just that?

What if the feds recently indicted five low-level Chinese military officers for spying on American corporations? What if the feds accused these officers of using their computers in Beijing to hack into computers in Denver that are not owned by the federal government but by well-known and wealthy American corporations? What if these corporations are rich enough to install digital protections and procedures to insulate themselves from hackers? What if when Google and Apple and Facebook were hacked, they protected themselves from their hackers at no expense to the taxpayers?

What if the hackers who hacked into Google and Apple and Facebook—the hackers that sent them into an expensive self-defense mode—were agents of the federal government? What if those agents worked for the NSA? What if those NSA agents took oaths to uphold the Constitution? What if they violated their oaths and the Constitution with gusto?

What if the NSA spies on more people in China than the federal government has accused the Chinese military officers of spying on in the United States? What if the NSA used its computers in Maryland to hack into Chinese government computers in Beijing in order to identify the officers it just indicted?

What if the NSA spies on more than one billion persons every minute of every hour of every day? What if the NSA spies on the Pope, the chancellor of Germany, members of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, and all persons in the Bahamas, as well as every person in America, all day and every day? What if the NSA's spies gather so much personal data about and from their one billion targets that, if reduced to print, the data collected would fill 27 times the content of the Library of Congress—every day?

What if the accusations against the Chinese military officers—who are unlikely to stand trial here—are just another diversion by the Obama administration to take our eyes off its foreign adventurism, which has caused chaos in Libya; its failures in Benghazi, which may expose political gain at the price of lives; and its incompetence at the Veterans Administration, which the president has known about since before he became president?

What if the president dispatched his wife to champion the cause of 300 innocent, harmless little girls who were kidnapped by madmen in a lawless area of Africa? What if the hearts and tears of millions were so stirred up by this that the federal government could secretly and without public criticism try to rescue and save these little girls? What if the president's drones have killed more little girls than the kidnappers have kidnapped? What if the 3,000 people who were killed by the president's drones, but were not targeted by them, are victims of extra-judicial murder, but the president calls them collateral damage?

What if, when the president decided he wanted to kill people in foreign lands without declaring war on the government of those lands and without indicting and trying the people he wanted to kill, he went to lawyers in the Department of Justice and asked them to find a way to make the killings legal? What if he also asked those lawyers to find a way to make his killings of Americans in foreign lands legal?

What if the Constitution declares that if the government wants to take life, liberty, or property from anyone, it must seek what it wants by means of the courts and not by means of drones? What if, in order to advise the president that he can legally kill, the lawyer assigned to the task sent numerous legal memoranda to the president? What if that lawyer persuaded the president that he could legally and constitutionally kill whom he wishes?

What if that lawyer who advised the president that he could kill with drones—even Americans if he wished—has been nominated to become a federal judge? What if the bench to which the president nominated this lawyer is the second highest court in the land?

What if the Constitution requires Senate confirmation of all of the president's judicial nominees? What if Sen. Rand Paul and others asked this nominee for public copies of his legal memoranda in which he found a way for the president legally to kill Americans? What if this nominee and the president refused to make these memoranda available for public scrutiny until a court ordered them to do so?

What if this lawyer claims that he can be faithful to the Constitution and to presidential extra-judicial killing at the same time? What if such a dual loyalty is metaphysically impossible because the Constitution mandates the rule of law and presidential killing mandates the rule of men? What if Paul and others have talked their hearts out in an effort to stop this lawyer from achieving a lifetime judgeship, but the political bosses of the Senate made sure he became a federal judge? What if this judge judged you?

What if these Alice-in-Wonderland tales are really happening? What if you are reading this on a computer and the NSA is looking right at you? What if the government regularly breaks its own laws? What if the government thinks that wrong is right? What if the government doesn't know the difference?

What do we do about it?

NEXT: Brickbat: En Garde

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  1. Sorry, you’ve exceeded your question quota for the year.

    1. That already happened in January.

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        1. Being a cam whore pays well then?

  2. What do we do about it?

    We turn on CNN so we don’t have to hear about any of those things.

    1. Fake Scandals!! Faux News!!11!!

    2. What do we do about it?

      We hold primary elections were we re-elect every incumbent so we can keep on keeping on.

      We’re doomed.

  3. It seems that the Judge has taken to his Jeopardy training with gusto. I look forward to his appearance.

    1. Who is John Galt?

      1. At this point what difference does it make?

  4. Another Week of Government Lawlessness


  5. Why is The Judge? uptalking so much?

  6. What if you are reading this on a computer and the NSA is looking right at you?

    Calm down, Judge. The NSA is just using the H&R commentariat to fine-tune its machinations, and very soon will go after the lawless- government Big Fish.

  7. I’m sorry, what was the question?

  8. If it wasn’t for the government, you’d all be eating worms and living in caves. Government makes your life better.

    1. If it wasn’t for the government, you’d all be eating worms and living in caves.

      Actually only the 1% would be able to have such luxuries.

  9. What if Napolitano writes 10 more of these repetitive “what if” high school level essays and they get published by Reason?

    1. Then he’ll probably proceed to write ten more after that.

      1. Moral hazard!

  10. Pass. Next question.

  11. Here’s a question: What if the vast majority of the citizenry decides that since the government no longer obeys its own laws, there is no reason for them to do so either?

    1. Ahhh, they have many many places for the citizenry who don’t obey.

    2. Well, the real question is – why did those majority of citizens, led by the neo-cons and right, scream at the gubment “Get them there before they come here” and re-elect them after they did so?

      We don’t each get to decide on these things – although there is a bit of wiggle room around the edges…

      If the majority (and the right) were as enlightened as many here claim (note that the right is opposing this guy – even though they were the warmongers and law breakers…to a large extent), they would have been protesting by the millions – instead of cheerleading – when all this stuff came down.

      I was there. I remember it very well. Every day was a virtual hell listening to the right warmongering and making any excuse for “getting them there”.

      Now that some came to their senses, they are on the other side of the fence? Fantastic.

      A reasonable person would be ashamed.

      1. Yet your Marxist master is the one pulling the trigger and expanding drone strikes to American citizens. And has been for going on did years.

        You progressives don’t take responsibility fir a Goddamn thing, do you?

        1. Really? I thought there were sworn military officers pulling the triggers.

          Thanks for the information. I don’t know how Obama finds the time.

    3. Shhhhh……”

    4. That’s the great danger, of course. When a lawless government rules people against their will, sooner or later the people realize that they outnumber the government, and all hell breaks loose.


  12. Dear “Judge”

    These articles are awful. Stop doing them.


  13. Not going to lie, not super concerned the NSA spies on China or Germany. Sounds like something intelligence agencies ought to be doing.

    Data mining emails of Americans? Less so.

  14. What if the NSA spies on more people in China than the federal government has accused the Chinese military officers of spying on in the United States? What if the NSA used its computers in Maryland to hack into Chinese government computers in Beijing in order to identify the officers it just indicted?

    I don’t see the problem with this.

  15. Stone Cold: What?

  16. We will have decades of misery because of Obama’s choice of judges.

  17. If extra-judicial killings are OK for the Government, and since the People are Sovereign, that means an OK for us too, Right?

    1. Ask OJ.

      Or ask the thousands of others who get away with it.

      It’s “OK” in the sense that you can do them and then face the consequences if and when you get caught – assuming you haven’t got the connections to make it go away.

      Cops perform extra judicial killings regularly, as do soldiers and many others.

      1. Shreeekkkkk.

  18. I love you judge, but the Socratic thing doesn’t work as well in a column as it does in the classroom.


  19. What if the honorable Judge made all of these (excellent) points in a much more readable essay format? Would I like that? Why wouldn’t I?

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