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06 February 2013


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William R. Cumming

Despite the disclaimer by Waxman trying to limit the argument to specific facts, the rational clearly allows domestic killing of US citizens in violation of Constitutional [and international norms] requirements.

Several years back I proposed on another blog the concept that if the premises used by the US were correct [andt note for the record I disagree that in fact or law they are correct] then an evidentiary hearing to withdraw citizenship should be conducted and this could be done in absentia so that a non-citizen rationale could be developed.

Eventually I believe that both Presidents Obama and Bush will be tried [perhaps in absentia and perhaps not] as War Criminals.

This memorandum is completely incomplete and inaccurate as to its conclusion and even more its rational. Believe that international law concepts of reprisal and retorsion should be explored and explanation given as to why the drone wars do not violate the UN conventions on Human Rights and Against Bombing among many others.

We do know that many of the drone strikes do NOT have the consent of the nation-states within which they occur.

Alba Etie

And given the state of our domestic comity - so riven with division , what is to keep BHO or any other future POTUS , to use drones on 'homegrown terrorist , that might be operational linked to Senior AQ leadership " . What happens if we wind up up with a domestic Chalabi , with 'slam dunk 'intel ?


They will not be tried as War Criminals because only countries that lose wars are subject to war crimes. I believe the US may lose this war, but only over a 100 year time frame. The war is about maintaining effective control over resources in the ME. Militarily the US cannot be touched. However that is not the same as being able to exert control from a distance. Occupation is phenonominally expensive. This will end badly but not badly or soon enough for Bush or Obama to notice.

William R. Cumming

The current criminal law includes "assistance to terrorists" as a crime. Criminal statutes do NOT have implementing regulations.

So when a nominee or politician or appointee or citizen announces that he believes the USA should have policies based on competence and knowledge and not ego, hubris and ignorance, suppose that might be eventually labeled "assistance"! Prosecutorial discretion is vast but given the lack of judgement at the top of policy circles in the USA definitely wonder what time will tell!


Why not on US soil?

The real reason is probably because citizens in the vicinity wouldn't like the smell of burning 'collateral damage bodies' and might decide to water the tree of liberty with political blood for a change.

But they'll use some bs excuse like the US can arrest suspects on US soil -whereas they have no jurisdiciton abroad to do that or can't get other countries to cooperate with them on it.

The Twisted Genius

This whole thing is a constitutional and moral abomination. It should spur Congress into bipartisan action. What can Congress do? First, they can rescind their resolution(s) involving the GWOT and immediately defund all armed drone operations. Then they can bring these issues before the Supreme Court. This is too important to remain in the shadows. It needs the full attention of the American people. Unfortunately, I doubt this will happen. There's too much money to be made with the status quo. The last thing moneyed interests want is an engaged and enraged public.


I wonder what the Citizens would think if Iran used the same rationales, and the same type of weapons systems, to murder dissidents in Los Angeles? Or if China rubbed out some Tibetan "resistance supporters" of military age at any of the many US universities where they study?

I suspect there would be a far different tune sung by our Leaders. And our Citizens.



The NDAA signed by Obama already gives extraordinary powers to the Executive involving the summary arrest and indefinite detention of US citizens detained on US soil indefinitely without any due process. The only thing it excludes is killing. Several months at the Guantanamo Hilton surely would take care of that oversight.



Glad to see the tech is out there now, even if it is pricey.


Whoops, wrong link.



I'm fairly sure we won't have to wait long to get an answer to your hypothetical question/s.

Medicine Man

Along the same lines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD83dqSfC0Y


Walking into a bank wearing the anti drone burqa wouldn't be a good idea.


agin' cajun

In short, I'm just a citizen. Grades 1-12 with a 4yr undergraduate degree, a product of Public Education. I'm not an expert on anything. Pretty ordinary. Many who post here share with the owner a background of being directly involved in the shaping and implementation of U.S. Foreign, Economic, Intel and Military policies, past and present. That's why I visit and read. For insight, information and sometimes entertainment. I rarely post and do so only when particularly POed. This issue meets that threshold. I was preparing a lengthily comment based upon an outline list prepared over the past 24hrs. I do not wax poetically. Shakespearean references, metaphors, or analogies are not second nature and many times piss me off. So I decided to share my outlined thoughts, just as I wrote them down complete with typos. What follows are the concerns, observations and questions of this ordinary citizen. For what it's worth

First thought, Robo Cop V.............thought crimes..........minority report thinking?

The ongoing debate as to the policies legality is a waste of time. Look at the history of warrantless wiretapping. Not Constitutionally legal today....poof...it is now.

At the very least, full disclosure of success/failure of current and past drone attacks foreign. will never happen. How many times have we already gotten the address wrong. A bunch of cops bashing down the wrong door might not end up lethal ...........a missile through the front door will produce a very different outcome. I remember when "no-knock" warrants
were debated, the LE community sold the idea much based on "making sure things were right and limited use"........bs.

In the past, US citizens were drugged, intentionally exposed to potentially lethal agents without knowledge.....possibly murdered....domestically and abroad.....no or very little accountability.....also arrested and jailed based on evidence later to be proven concocted by "Trusted" Federal Agencies. This history is known and documented not imagined. The work of a few rogues or established and protected policy?

Who writes the definitions and protocols for useage? How would the temptation for very selective use be avoided, as in........this group is bad for biz, Just don't like the SOBs......etc.

Might this be used in the same manner that Cheney and crew used warrantless wire tapping........... to enhance political position and power....elimination of witnesses or competition...etc?

Rosa Parks as a target? She and most Civil Rights activist were considered terrorists in Alabama by the State Gov. and she damned sure would have caught hell in South Africa.........future US treatment............. a maverick up the butt?

why are we involved in conflicts around the world present and past? The real reasons?.......ie...........Smedley Butler and S. Kinzer reasons. How have these involvements contributed to the Nation's security Positive or negative and the necessity to consider such actions domestically as in armed drone use?.......

Who really drives those policies, past and present? Who really benefits?

Access to oil and other needed resources in the future would influence targets domestically and foreign...Clear and Present..... my ass.

What and who defines terrorism.........who does that..........missile up a tree huggers butt? Future targets? activist for small Farm issues? Anti Big Pharm or Big Ag...?...........etc.

Religious/Political zealot at the trigger..........acolyte of John Hagee..........Robertson......Dolan? Would be tempting to put the fear of the Lord into whoever and whatever group considered deserving of a missile message.

wiretapping? How did "oversite" work in that context.......hell it was made legal and those guilty as shit at the time were indemnified against prosecution.

Is the present/future activity to be "farmed out" to contractors and do they/will they swear the same oath as Military personnel to protect the Constitution?

FBI, DHS,CIA involvement? I trust the military way more than the current incarnation of the Intel/Fed Law boys.

Chance of High tech version of Phoenix Program really running amok.

Moral justification? Who cares............end justifies the means

.Slippery Slope my ass.....first step.....intentional to set precedent.........boiling the frog?

Incompetence or willful intent? How in the hell would you do a postmortem on a mistake?....another one bites the dust...............

Does the overall justice/accountability system for all Fed Agencies still work? If not fix it first before giving any branch or agency the ability/authority to vaporize citizens or non-citizens on US soil.

The temptation to act out a present day Operation Northwoods

US track record of measured response, intervention......Phillipines, 18th century Japan(trade negotiations under the guns), Pre-WWII China, Mex War, Spanish Amer. War...........WWI...........etc numerous armed incursions into CA and fiddling wtih SA. Greece, Iran, Guatemala........diplomacy by use of force supporting American Big Biz interests.......coming to a Mall/farm/Church/...etc near you?. etc.

Open and public discussion of the moral implications? Most would yawn.
What really is the End Game? Is there one?


The slippery slope in action...

We know who runs the major drug cartels in Mexico and Columbia lets assassinate them with drones. Wouldn't that be an excellent use of power?

We can watch drug cartels loading trucks with drugs and driving them into the U.S. if we can catch them on unoccupied U.S. roads so there is no chance of american colateral damage, why shouldn't we hit them with a JDAM or other precision guided weapon? Why expose our own police to risk?

So one day a heavily armed American militia group confronts a police car, kills both Officers and a standoff with tthe group results. The militia have firepower up to .50 cal, plenty of ammo and a host of IEDs and other devices including their own survielance drones. The Police are beaten back, Two National Gaurd are killed. Might we then use a drone and a hellfire missile to pacify them?

Noam Chomsky and various acolytes have left the U.S. and now reside in a Thrid world country from which they are developing an internal American resistance organisation plus successfully lobbying for international trade and other sanctions against what they see as a totally unconstituional Administration. This is causinng real economic harm to American interests. Might we not take them out with a drone?


Drones will not be used in the USA for targeted terminations but for surveillance.

The Media and the Government is intent on demonstrating that nothing is happening here in the USA. Bombing pickup trucks and weddings would be noticed. The incarceration of 2.4 million persons will keep the lid on for the foreseeable future. Plus, there is no foreign money currently coming in country to stir unrest unlike Syria.

The real question is how long can Wall Street and the Fed keep the economy balanced on the razor’s edge. If the past is any guide, Austerity will swell the ranks of young males with nothing left to loose. When the gated communities are stormed, the Cossacks and Drones will be unleashed


Eleven and a half years ago I called GWOT the "war on dissent."

Look for drones to be used first on disposables--illegals crossing the border. Then in the "war on drugs" in a ghetto. After that, maybe to send a message to other undesirables, like environmental protestors blocking a forest service road or a pipeline route.

The rationale? Too dangerous to send in cops.


Long before the latest left wing anti-gun craze I actually visited this place (so 'last century'):


Driving on loop road during gun hunting season was an adventure. I'm sure none of the scores of Miami 'hunters' I saw (and heard) managed to hit much but they sure knew how to go through ammo.


The latest goofy fad in Portland is children, and some adults, wearing cute little hats with ears. Hopefully they won't wear them in the woods during hunting season.



VV: "Drones will not be used in the USA for targeted terminations but for surveillance."

This opens up a whole new market for "Personal SAMs."


The adults are usually part of a larger fetish community called "furries" or "plushies".

Do a bing image search and brace for some seriously disgusting NSFW material.


Not likely, because if you miss - 'what goes up, must come down' still applies. More likely is a bunch of hackers following the lead of Iraqis/Iranians and getting into the control files and uploading their own videos. I can only imagine what those might be.


Falun Gong activists in NYC, it is a target rich environment.


I wonder if a Mr. Dorner will be the first U.S. citizen on U.S. soil to be killed by a drone strike?

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