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07 March 2013

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William R. Cumming

The House impeaches and the Senate tries!

IMO HEADED TOWARDS ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT BEING DRAFTED!

William R. Cumming

Is a drone strike a bombing? There is a UN convention with respect to bombing! The US is signatory!

ex-PFC Chuck

I don't agree with much of what Rand Paul stands for, but I applaud his filibuster on this issue.

marcus

This is more disturbing than hoodwinking Americans into the Iraq war. This precedent of killing Americans at will with no oversight opens the US up to a Putin type of reign. This President gets more dislikable every day.

crf

These germs, planted by the Bush Administration, started taking hold here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/10/us/politics/10johnsen.html?_r=0

If Dawn Johnsen had been confirmed as the President's head of OLC, this slippery slope wouldn't have been as steep.

zanzibar

Sen. Rand Paul is dead right.

"I have a great deal of concern about this slippery slope of saying that there won't be accusations, there won't be trials, that we will just summarily execute people."

Unfortunately, we Americans have allowed our elected politicians to take us down the slippery slope of "lawlessness" by our government. The evisceration of the intent and spirit of our founding principles and constitution.

Pat is correct. Impeachment is the correct remedy but we citizens will not demand it and as the news cycle turns, the imperial presidency will march on.

Fred

It's not like the police have every beaten or shot Americans without cause. March 7th is the aniversary to Henry Ford's strike breaking in Dearborn, MI. Five killed, 60 injured. Of course with a drone there's no video of the police in action. Apparently the drone operator is going to be safe in some other state.

Here's the historical writeup:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/03/this-day-in-labor-history-march-7-1932

turcopolier

All

I watched that delicate, sensitive soul, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina defend today the right of the POTUS and CinC to kill without due process anyone anywhere whom he believes deserves it. I find it remarkable that this USAF Reserve JAG officer is such a silly savage. pl

r whitman

Very interesting that conservative Republicans of the Libertarian stripe such as Paul and Cruz have the same ideas as the superliberal ACLU. Perhaps they should read eachothers literature instead of sending hate mail. Their goals are really the same.

walrus

It's already too late. America now has an Aristocracy that will do anything and everything to stay in power. They are jealous of the Russian kleptocracy model and are doing their level best to emulate it. The law is what Holder says it is.

Nightsticker

Colonel Lang,

Small hobbyist model drones are a
readily available technology; and
very difficult to control. Limited
range [5-10 miles, GPS guided,drones
of this type could be armed [think
1-2 lb devices]. This is a poor man's
weapon.I wonder who the targets of the
first drone strike against US citizens
on US soil are really going to be.
I am snickering at the possibility of
some truly cosmic justice. Imagine if
the chickenhawks,the war profiteers, the
plutocrats,the imperialists,the torturers,
etc had to live their lives looking nervously
up into the sky. Maybe "blowback" won't be
all bad.....

Nightsticker
USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

Jake

I fully support and would help fund this poor timid soul Lindsey Graham as a Senator/Pilot/Astronaut for our Mars Mission. Then push NASA to launch next month....

Fred

Imagine what the liberals would be saying if this was a McCain/Palin WhiteHouse pulling this unconstitutional power grab.

ISL

Its not the tool "drone" but the method "state secret" that is a direct assault on the constitution.

I recall posting when Alwaki's son was killed that I thought the whole point was to set the first precedent overseas ("sins" of the father make the son guilty) and then later for the US. Our Attorney General just revealed (he could have remained silent on the matter) that setting there is consideration of setting the domestic precedent.

Fred: The issue is that the POTUS reserves the right to kill the person in secret and never explain why. In the case of an active shooter, the police do not need judicial review before acting; however, they will face review afterwards if unjustified or evidence surfaces regarding questionable behavior.

If there ever was a need for backbone, this is one of those moments.
-ira

optimax

I watched Sen. Paul's filibuster on-and-off for much of the day and was excited to see a senator discussing the constitutionality of drone stikes on American soil. Some of the other points he brought up are:

*The battlefield originally was limited to Afganistan and has expanded to the whole world, including the US.

*Drone strikes started targeting upper-level known terrosists and know include signature strikes--those who fit the terrorist profile without knowing who the hell they are. Will this loose definition of a terrorist be used in strikes within the US?

*Presidents, once in office, never give up power, even when it contradicts the positions they espoused while running for office.

*Congress has abrogated its responsiblities by letting the President define the legality of his war powers,i.e., killing Americans on American soil. Sen. Paul is trying to get Congress to write the laws which would define the limits of the Presidents authority to kill Americans. Unfortunately I don't think it will work because congressmen don't want to take controversial positions that might cost them votes. McCain and Graham are proving that.

*Policy is not law. The fact that Holder says the WH will not kill people in the US who do not pose an immediate terrorist threat is no guaranty of future 5th ammendment protection.

It was an encouraging seeing a representative of the people of Kentucky standing up for all our rights, but the Big Muckymuck lives in too high a castle to explain himself to us peons.

Nancy K

The President did not say he was going to use drones on Americans on American soil. You are spinning. However the Bush administration did lie to us and get us into a war in Iraq and nothing is being done to that administration. They were not impeached.

Medicine Man

It is astonishing, isn't it?

Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on anything with regards to how the country should be governed (see the sequester) but *this* Obama gets bipartisan cover for.

Makes me wonder if the fix is indeed in.

twv

It's pretty obvious that he's not the brightest bulb on the porch, but then, look at his peers - dim bulbs, mostly - excepting the MD's among them.

Medicine Man

An entirely banal observation at this point. A great many partisan political types are hypocrites. The evidence is abundant.

Talk about torture instead and the situation is almost reversed right down to the fine details.

The Twisted Genius

Bin Laden has succeeded in eroding our souls. Little by little we have become willing to dismantle our freedoms and coarsen our actions all in the name of GWOT. I'd like to see a major bipartisan effort to stop this. If McConnell and Paul are the ones to start this or even the "Tea Party" Republicans, so be it. They can start by rescinding the Patriot Act and the AUMF. Those parts that they deem good and necessary can be reauthorized in new legislation after much needed public discussion. But somehow I feel McConnell and most of the politicians on both sides of the aisle are more interested in partisan gamesmanship than in defending the Constitution. There's no money in that.

ex-PFC Chuck

That's why Obama let her appointment as head of OLC twist in the wind.

mbrenner

ISL

Thanks for making this very pertinent point. There are a lot of red herrings being trailed around the capital to distract from the dangerous path we are going down. One is to raise the prospect of having to deal with another high-jacked plane headed to a populous target a la 9/11 -as brought up by Sen Durban last night.The important feature is that in that instance the target is the terrorist high-jacker and the weapon in his possession (which happens to contain civilians - mostly Americans). This is not at all the same of of identifying an individual American in advance and making that person the object of arbitrary assassination. There are very sound reasons why certain prohibitions are written into law/ constitution/moral codes as absolute prohibitions. Provision for exceptons are simply too laden with risk.

Yet one more red herring: the American citizen hovering over a nuclear bomb that he is about to detonate. You don't need presidential kill lists to deal with this situation. It is the same as apprehending a criminal with a gun who raises it to shoot a hostage or police officer. The authoritative right to kill him is inherent in the police function - happens every week.

elkern

I think Legislation is the answer, not Impeachment. Impeachment would not stop the next President from doing the same thing, or worse.

The problem is that politicians of all stripes can sell - and have sold - the idea that We Must Do Everything We Can To Protect Americans From [whatever threat, real or imagined]. Perhaps we ARE all Israelis now (quote from somebody, post-9/11), willing to look the other way while our government kills people "to protect us".

Congress could shut down the drone program in two days if it had any guts. It was started under Bush, when the Republicans were all rah-rah for it & the Democrats were too chicken (as usual) to stop it.

Just move the armed Drones from CIA to Defense. Keep them as weapons of war, but stop using them for assasination.

Let CIA play with recon drones; hell, let Google play too!
(look up David Brin's take on "souveilance" as the only viable response to unavoidable "surveilance")


Brennan is not the problem (though blocking him would be a good symbolic start). The problem is that we've institutionalized long-distance murder as a tool of the nanny-state.

William R. Cumming

Weirdly the last minute shift in Senate members supporting Brtnnan's nomination may lead to a new crisis for the CIA since Brennan must defend the CIA from the new Senate report on EIT and results. EIT=Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.

Former11B

Eric Holder's sins are many. He as much as admitted that the DOJ wont prosecute obvious fraud of the banksters for fear of upsetting the apple cart. Just another cardboard cut-out to do the bidding of his masters making a mockery of the so called independence of his office.

Once again I admit to having worked in the Obama campaign the first time however I am beholden to no party or partisan philosophy. It has become quite clear that neither party represents anything like true democracy. Kabuki theater designed to keep the rabble occupied as they are processed and systematically robbed.

Anybody who thinks anyone in the opposition would be any better is delusional. I always look back on my time in the Army as one of the best of my life. It sucks to realize the cause for which I served is not vaguely what I thought it was.

But once a soldier, always a soldier and I keep thinking my services may yet be required for a cause higher then protecting a culture of kleptocracy.

Nancy K...I would be careful about mindlessly defending Obama. Bushes crimes are noted but it was Obama who decided not to do anything about it. I tend to agree with Marcus although my reasons may be quite different.

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