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BY BILL MOYERS & MICHAEL WINSHIP

If you've seen the movie Zero Dark Thirty, you know why it has triggered a new debate over our government's use of torture after 9/11.

The movie's up for an Oscar as best motion picture. We'll know later this month if it wins. Some people leave the theater claiming the film endorses and even glorifies the use of torture to obtain information that finally led to finding and killing Osama bin Laden. Not true, say the filmmakers, but others argue the world is better off without bin Laden in it, no matter how we had to get him. What's more, they say, there hasn't been a major terrorist attack on American soil since 9/1 -- if we have to use an otherwise immoral practice to defend ourselves against such atrocities, we're okay with it. Or so the argument goes.

The story of bin Laden's death is just one aspect of the international manhunt the United States has pursued, a worldwide dragnet of detention and death that has raised troubling questions and fervent debate over the fight against terrorism.  What about the undermining of civil liberties here at home? The rights of suspects? The secret surveillance of American citizens? The swollen executive powers first claimed by George W. Bush and now by Barack Obama?

Soon after he succeeded Bush, President Obama announced he would not permit torture and would close down the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. He also said:

"The orders that I sign today should send an unmistakable signal that our actions in defense of liberty will be just as our cause. And that we the people will uphold our fundamental values as vigilantly as we protect our security. Once again, America's moral example must be the bedrock and the beacon of our global leadership"
Four years later, Guantanamo remains open. In fact, just a few days ago, the State Department announced it was eliminating the office assigned to close the prison and move its detainees.

Because of logjams in the process of military justice, alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others have yet to come to trial. And there's continuing controversy about the lack of oversight and transparency surrounding the detention and interrogation of suspects both here and abroad.

Meanwhile, President Obama has stepped up the use of unmanned drones against suspected terrorists abroad, not only in Afghanistan but in countries where we're not at war, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. As the Brookings Institution's Peter Singer wrote in The New York Times a year ago, "... A new technology is short-circuiting the decision-making process for what used to be the most important choice a democracy could make. Something that would have previously been viewed as a war is simply not being treated like a war."

Just last week, as reports came of more deaths by drone -- including three attacks in Yemen, with 13 dead -- the United Nations announced an investigation into the legality of drones and their deadly toll on the innocent. According to UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson:

"The central objective of the investigation... is to look at the evidence that drone strikes and other forms of remote targeted killing have caused disproportionate civilian casualties in some instances...  It's both right as a matter of principle, and inevitable as a matter of political reality, that the international community should now be focusing attention on the standards applicable to this technological development."
Since Barack Obama took office, the aerial assaults also have killed three U.S. citizens, raising additional arguments as to whether the president has the right to order the death of Americans suspected of terrorism without due process of law. One of those controversial drone attacks involved the killing of Anwar al-Awalki, an American citizen and radical Muslim cleric who had moved to Yemen with his family. He was said to be the brains behind repeated attempts to attack the U.S., including the Christmas day underwear bomber plot in 2009 that would have blown up a passenger jet over Detroit. Also dead was American citizen Samir Khan, editor of "Inspire," al Qaeda 's online propaganda magazine, and two weeks later, in a separate drone attack,  al-Awalki's 16-year-old son, born in Denver.

A key player in our government's current drone program is John Brennan, who during the Bush presidency was a senior official at the Central Intelligence Agency and head of the National Counterterrorism Center. Reportedly, Barack Obama considered offering him the top job at the CIA in 2008, but public opposition -- in reaction to the charges that the Bush White House had approved torture -- caused Brennan to withdraw his name from consideration. Nonetheless, Obama kept him on as an adviser, and now, despite Brennan's past notoriety, Obama officially has chosen him to head the CIA. This time, there's been little criticism of the decision.

We hope Brennan's upcoming confirmation hearings on February 7 will offer Congressional critics the chance to press him on drone attacks and whether the Obama administration in its fight against terror is functioning within the rule of law -- or abusing presidential power when there has been no formal declaration of war.

Watch Moyers & Company weekly on public television, and learn more at BillMoyers.com.

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Comment Preferences

      •  Far Too Many Americans Accept (32+ / 0-)

        ... the fact that there is "collateral damage" during drone strikes.  And that it is an unfortunate side effect.

        The policy ought to be unacceptable and is certainly not sustainable in the long run.

        •  they are not accepting, they are choosing who dies (6+ / 0-)

          we are in a zero sum fight to the death with terrorists and the people in danger of being killed in this fight are the following:

          1. US civilians
          2. US soldiers
          3. terrorists
          4. civilians the terrorists hide amongst

          one or more of these groups of people are going to die in this fight.  there is no resolution to this fight that does not involve people from these groups dying.  that's the reality of the situation we are in.

          so, then it becomes a choice.  who is going to be killed.  i think the choice by the US has been plainly made by choosing to use drone strikes.

          the choice to use drone strikes is a choice to kill terrorists before they kill US civilians without risking the lives of US soldiers even if it means killing civilians that the terrorists are hiding amongst.

          that is the choice.

          we are choosing with drone strikes to save our soldiers at the cost of killing civilians.  

          that is what is what choosing between the lesser of two evils really looks like.

          Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

          by AntonBursch on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:16:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In other words, killing "them" over there (39+ / 0-)

            before they get over here?
            Why are we over there again?
            That's a shitty choice you gave, AB.
            We need to get the hell off other people's property. Out of other people's country.

            Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

            by JoanMar on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:27:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm Intimately Familiar (26+ / 0-)

              ... with the concept of "Zero Sum Game" for I formally studied international relations for almost a decade.

              It was consistently used by Cold War hawks from the 1940s through the 1960s to justify any and every policy enacted under both Democratic and Republican administrations.  Detente between the Soviet Union and the United States eventually changed that destructive thinking.

              Sorry Anton, but I'm not buying it.

            •  yes it is a shitty choice (0+ / 0-)

              but that's life sometimes no good options just bad ones

              •  Agreed (17+ / 0-)

                In this case, the least bad option is to stop bombing people, improve our image in the world, and work to make our anti-terrorism security here better (efforts which do not involve security theater or privacy violations).

                "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:53:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  right (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  hooper

                  and love and peace will conquor all

                  meanwhile back in the real world we still have terrorists to deal with and they very inconsiderately refuse to wear signs that say 'kill me I'm the bad guy' and only gather far far away from civilians

                  •  That is indeed exactly what I said (11+ / 0-)

                    You are truly a master of interpretation.

                    And in this real world, the fact that killing terrorists also involves killing civilians would seem to suggest that it might be a good idea to pursue alternate paths.

                    "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                    by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:32:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  in a war and make no mistake this is a war (0+ / 0-)

                      innocent people will die, it sucks I wish it otherwise but that's just reality

                      and innocent people have already died, now if you have an alternative viable path for stopping the terrorist please speak up but if all you have is quixotic complaints then on the whole I'd rather you didn't

                      •  I gave an alternate viable path (7+ / 0-)

                        in my previous comment, which you snarkily dismissed. I gave a more detailed list of ideas here. Since none of them involve killing people, I expect you won't consider them "viable," but that's not my problem.

                        "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                        by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:19:42 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  right because I just love to kill people (0+ / 0-)

                          in fact if I don't get in at least 3 murders before lunch I get rather cranky

                          wow you know you're really dead set on proving you don't want an actual adult discussion aren't you?

                          you're right I dismissed your ideas because all the image building in the world does not change that we are dealing with people that loathe are very existence, there is no appeasing or persuading people like that

                          and build a better mouse trap? yeah taht will work for a bit, till the mouse gets smarter

                          so no those are not viable answers to the immediate problem

                          as to your other point

                          1. even if those nations harbor terrorists? harbor weapons of mass destruction or programs to build them?

                          2. I've never really cared for any aspect of american forgien policy in regards to friendly dictators, of course there will be pratical consequences to severing such ties so that action becomes one of political will

                          are americans willing to take a hit on oil on a matter of principle? cyincally I think not but I wouldn't object to being surprised there

                          but again this isn't going to slove the problem in question

                          3 actually I think we should do the opposite, cut forgien aid and stop being the world's unpaid and unappreicated policeman

                          4. frankly I (barely) side with Isreal, Palestine needs to prove they are sincere before we deal with Isreal

                          5 as opposed to our citizens? sorry but corporations are not nice to people in general

                          6 frankly I personally  am tired of being held accountable for actions I never had input on or were even alive for and this is teh great problem in the middle east people holding grudges for events in teh past

                          yes those things happened, no the US shouldn't have done them but the Islamic world and the world in general doesn't get to perpetually hold them over the US' head whenever it's convient

                          As a third generation Irish I don't hold England responsible for the centuries of abuse of Ireland because England has changed.

                          •  You were the one who characterized me (13+ / 0-)

                            as saying "love and peace will conquor [sic] all," so any hope of an adult conversation was kind of scuttled from the start.

                            There will always be a very small number of nihilists, but the idea that most terrorists just irrationally loathe our existence is absurd. I hate to break it to you, but terrorists are actually humans with human motivations, and the main cause of Islamic terrorism are the political decisions the US made after WWII.

                            1) Yes, even if. We aren't the world's policeman. Again, I'm not claiming this is a perfect solution, just that it's better than killing civilians and causing blowback worse than the original terrorist. As for "weapons of mass destruction"...honestly, at this point I don't even know if you're referring to Iran or Iraq or what.

                            2) Our continuing support for brutal Arab dictators is one of, if not the, major reason so many people in the Middle East despise us. So yes, severing ties with them will help.

                            3) "Unpaid"? Our government, perhaps, but our corporations have been reaping the rewards of our Empire since WW2, and they have done very well indeed.

                            And do you even know how much we spend on foreign aid? One percent. I'm pretty sure the Pentagon loses more money each year than we spend on foreign aid.

                            4) Whatever your opinions on I/P are, it's a fact that the Palestinian issue is one of the main grievances most Arabs have with America.

                            5) So not only do you think we shouldn't have foreign aid, but you don't mind corporations exploiting foreigners because it's not us? Because I have a hard time reading that comment any other way.

                            6) Yeah, except that we're still doing the same thing (see: Saudi Arabia, Mubarak until right before he was deposed, etc). Supporting brutal dictators isn't a shameful episode in America's past; it's proud, official US policy. An apology might at least be a sign that we're preparing to change course.

                            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:52:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that wasn't a characterization (0+ / 0-)

                            it was a sarcastic response to a response high on ideals and fluff and low on realisitic solutions

                            I also never said terrorists were not human maybe you should go reread what I said about them?

                            1. that's fine I just wanted to know the parameters you were suggesting, personally I think this is somewhat wrong but at the same time it's somewhat right

                            2 as I said there will be pratical consequences so good luck convincing a majority of american's on that (and to be clear that's mean both seriously and sarcastically as I am not entirely sure how much I disagree with you)

                            3 empire? seriously? do you even understand what an empire truly is? and yes unpaid though frankly that aspect matters less to me then the unappricated. The world demands the US keep everyone in line and then bitches about how the US does it. If you don't like it then don't demand it

                            4 actaully it's more a fact that the arabic world still refuses to acknowledge the basic right for isreal to exist. No the ball as it where is very much in the Islamic world and I personally am uttterly unmoved by all the bullshit about how 'mean' the US is

                            5 Actaully I just think we should remove forgien aid then reapply it on a case by case basis. As to corporations, again not what I said, this tendency of yours is really starting to annoy me. The fact is I think we just have to be careful how much we 'demand' from corporations becuase I am not a socialist ( and I mean that in the actual definition of the word). I'm all for regulations but not government ownership

                            6 um yeah I think that's a distortion of matters in many regards

                          •  Goddamn it (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JesseCW, Chi

                            I accidentally deleted my comment just before it was posted, and I'm way too tired to retype it.

                            Anyway, for current US support of dictators, read this article. For the corporations thing: I'm not advocating government ownership, just regulations to force American corporations to adopt American labor, safety, and environmental standards overseas. For everything else, there's Mastercard. (Although I will confirm that I know what an empire is; the US may use the client state strategy instead of the "conquer and rule directly" strategy, but it's an empire all the same. And I am curious where you got the idea that most of the world wants America to "keep everyone in line," given how much that concept reeks of colonialism.)

                            I lied before, but this comment is absolutely the last one I'll make in this "debate." Feel free to have the last word. Or whatever.

                            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:26:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  where do I get teh idea? (0+ / 0-)

                            remember libya? when everyone was mad that the US was not getting involved?

                            we're just not going to agree on the empire thing which is what it is

                            and as to corporations honestly I am not sure how legal it is for any government to mandate any behavior outside of their terroritory and I personally am not entirely okay with the idea

                            sorry you deleted your response, done that before highly annoying we should pester kos for a 2 step deletion or something

                          •  semantics (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Lawrence

                            the fact is that Europe and the UN wanted America to intervene and that's just teh latest

                            Bosnia, Crotia, Serbia etc etc

                            You're really not going to win this point

                          •  Yeah. Because who matters other than Europe? (8+ / 0-)

                            That's what justice is about, isn't it?  Making sure that the most privileged 20% of humanity can act in concert to bomb the shit out anyone who threatens to charge a fair price for natural resources?

                            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                            by JesseCW on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:56:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I could talk about Africa too if you want (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Lawrence

                            or the middle east or even Asia if you want

                            About the only place I am not sure there has not been calls for the US to intervene is South America and I wouldn't be surprised if there had been calls there either

                            I'm not entirely sure why you're reacting with such hostility though

                          •  Inside of their territory they get limited (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Chi, TealTerror

                            liability.

                            I don't see free traders complaining about that.

                            Their abuses overseas create externalities that everyone pays for.

                            Just more socialization of negatives and privatization of positives/profits.

                          •  I don't know corporate law (0+ / 0-)

                            so I really don't know what you're talking to an extent

                            the only thing that, well concerned me was that it almost seemed like nationalizing all corporations which I am not sure I am in favor of or not

                          •  It's not nationalizing, it's regulating. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            k9disc, duhban, TealTerror, hooper

                            The very nature of corporations is a legal fiction.

                            Limited liability is a legal fiction.

                            Laws regulating their behavior should be part of that legal fiction.

                            The exist due to laws.  They like the laws that regulate their existence.

                            They just don't like laws that regulate their behavior once their granted the legal fiction of existence.

                          •  Petulant little companies... nt (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            katiec

                            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                            by k9disc on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:55:42 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I see (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TealTerror

                            thank you for teaching me something new

                            what do you mean by legal fiction?

                          •  Anything that isn't found in nature.... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            duhban, Chi, TealTerror

                            Anything that is created through laws.

                          •  again thank you (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            katiec, TealTerror
                          •  And they've bribed their way to power, over 150 (0+ / 0-)

                            years.  

                            I believe these guys wrote the book on the history of corporations stealing power via judicial and legislative corruption...http://www.poclad.org/

                            Worth reading.

                          •  Cut foregn aid? Do you know how much of this (0+ / 0-)

                            exists?

                      •  There is no "war" on America. That is a (11+ / 0-)

                        Republican lie.

                        There are criminals loose in various nations who wish to perpetuate criminal acts against the USA.  They should be addressed as Germany handled their terrorists and other nations have handled their terrorists - through the legal system. And with special forces if absolutely necessary on a very limited basis.

                        At the same time, there are real complaints that many cultures have against the USA and many of them are legitimate complaints.  

                        We need to examine our own foreign policy and trade policy and address those areas which can be addressed.

                        Is there a need for US forces to be permanently based in Saudi Arabia or Oman or elsewhere?  No, not if the USA moves away from middle eastern oil as crucial to our economy.

                        There are many, many non-military ways to address the problem of terrorism AND their recruiting tools.  We don't even try most of them.  

                        We own a big hammer and we see nails everywhere. It is a massive failure of leadership and human intelligence.

                        War. hahaha.... what a joke.  Three terrorist cells, a dozen years ago kill a lot of people in the USA.  And for that, we are in a continual war?  Forever? Because that's how long others are going to hate us and some of their reasons are founded in fact.  

                        If we are at Forever War, that's our own fault -- failure to solve this problem without war.

                        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                        by YucatanMan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:15:24 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  well we're going to disagree on that (0+ / 0-)

                          though I am not entirely sure it would techinically a war the fact is we face individuals and organizations fanatically devouted to destroying us

                          if you want to deny reality that's fine, seeing as you've already lied about me I won't say that that surprises as it doesn't

                          •  The fact you believe they are "fanatically (10+ / 0-)

                            devoted to destroying us" is part of the whole issue.

                            The reality is that there are groups who have their fanatic beliefs around the idea that the USA is occupying holy land in the middle east and we have no right to be there.

                            They also have fanatic beliefs that we are killing muslims and perhaps engaged in "new Crusades" (GWBs own words) against Islam.

                            So, there is a basis for their fanatic beliefs because we do not, in fact, have to permanently station troops in middle eastern nations for any reason.  And the Bush and Obama administration both have undertaken actions which reinforce the "war on Islam" propaganda.

                            We can address both of those main issues - and the side issue of Israel - without drone bombing or other acts of warfare.  

                            Until we do address issues which other people in other lands might have a right to object to, then we haven't really even tried.  The plain truth of the matter is that the USA does whatever it likes in pretty much whatever country solely due to our enormously powerful military.  Without that, we'd have to think out our actions and be a little more considerate of the rights of other peoples to have beliefs about their own lands and what should be done there.

                            And that's leaving out the whole thing of the USA starting up Al Qaeda's predecessors in the first place by arming and funding the mujaheddin. And assassinating the elected leader of Iran in the 1950s because he was a touch too socialist for us. Then installing the hated and cruel Shah who was eventually overthrown by the Ayatollah.  And then, arming Saddam with chemical weapons (Rummy smiling and shaking his hand) for him to kill his own people with....  And, and, and....

                            Our own illegal and immoral actions are behind a lot of the real hate extending today.

                            Perhaps we should try being a bit more just in our treatment of other countries.

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:42:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm sure that all makes sense to you (0+ / 0-)

                            me I just find your position so far from mine to be absurd, coupled with the fact that so far you are an unapologetic liar and well I simply have nothing to say to you that wouldn't get me in trouble

                            so please go chase yourself for all I care

                          •  Well, I tried rational discussion. Best wishes! nt (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            k9disc, Chi, Aunt Martha, congenitalefty

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:56:25 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You start from the premise that we must never stop (10+ / 0-)

                            occupying and abusing Middle-Eastern and North African peoples.

                            Then you leap to the conclusion that when they say they will fight us until we leave them the fuck alone, they are really trying to "destroy us".

                            But it's you who believes that destruction is the only thing that will get us to stop.

                            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                            by JesseCW on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:58:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  actually no (0+ / 0-)

                            I never said that

                            Frankly I want us off oil both because it allows us to make what I would call an idealistic choice (pulling out of dictatorships like Sadia Arabia) without suffering the pratical effects we would right now and because climate change is a real and pressing danger

                            More over in terms of forgien policy, I'm closer to an isolationist (though not in the strigent terms of the movement circa 1930s). I am tired of the US being the world's policeman and punching bag at the same time. I'm tired of us sending billions of dollars overseas while our infrastructure crumbles, our schools fall behind and so on.

                            In point of fact I think it past time the Middle East particularly 'grows up' (ie learns to deal with its own problems without holding the world's energy hostage)

                            Yes I do also believe that as it stands there is no reasoning with the terrorists and as such the only thing we can do is what we have been doing. But at the same time that alone is not going to slove the problem.

                            As I told Mom Cat, my view on this topic is complicated

                          •  Well, then, we do agree upon many things. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mike Taylor, Chi, TealTerror, Aunt Martha

                            But the excessive fear of terror is a problem.

                            Terrorists exist to cause terror - fear.  Refuse to be afraid of them; to change our lives because of them (think London during the Blitz in WWII); and they are already defeated.

                            Fall for the fear, and that just plays into their game and perpetuates the game.

                            I'm not an isolationist. But I do think the US military should be brought home to a great extent and the rest of the world should learn to fund and keep their own peace without our overbearing thumb.

                            I don't think the mideast needs to grow up, though. It is our -- and other nations' -- addiction to oil that is the problem.  Other sources of energy are readily available, as Germany is currently proving to the rest of the world.

                            It's to our own disadvantage that we continue to "need" to stay involved in the middle east.

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:17:01 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your view is not "complicated". It's just not (11+ / 0-)

                            based on observable fact.

                            They don't "hate us for our freedoms".  They don't hate us just because we exist.

                            They hate us because of shit we're doing to them.  We can stop doing that shit.

                            It would help if you dropped the colonialist trope that people in the Middle East are children.

                            We haven't hoisted some burden, Rudyard.  We've climbed on other peoples shoulders and beaten them like rented mules.

                            Once in a while, they violently try to throw us off.  We're completely free to just leave them the fuck alone.

                            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                            by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:52:58 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Amen: (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JesseCW, k9disc, PhilJD, Chi, Aunt Martha
                            (1) They hate us because of shit we're doing to them.  

                            (2) We can stop doing that shit.

                            Thanks for summing up so clearly. My thoughts were too wordy. It's late.
                            We're completely free to just leave them the fuck alone.
                            We should work towards that as rapidly as humanly possible.

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:00:36 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  lol (0+ / 0-)

                            just because you say something doesn't make it true

                            you talk about 'observable facts' and then make a bunch of claims that have absolutely no observable facts behind them

                            nnow that's irony

                      •  Sometimes you just have to kill innocents to get (8+ / 0-)

                        the enemy?

                        That's really your argument?

                        It was Bin Laden's, too.

                        "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                        by JesseCW on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:54:21 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  WHere is the declaration of war? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TealTerror, Aunt Martha

                        With what country are we at war with?

                        When will the war be finished?

                        We are not involved in a war right now.

                        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                        by k9disc on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:53:21 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Evidence of civilian deaths other ... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      duhban

                      ... than second-hand "reports" from the terrorists or their sympathizers themselves?  Before answering that trick question--there isn't any--I'm going to do something that Bill Moyers didn't, which is provide a link to 8 USC § 1481. That has been the law of the land for a long time, but some on this site would ignore it.

                      I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

                      by Tortmaster on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:05:31 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  duhban, if you haven't noticed, the world is (6+ / 0-)

                    literally a powder keg at the moment.  China, Japan, Mali, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Iran...all it will take to turn this type of instability into a global conflict is just one death, or one unprovoked killing, or any number of scenarios that involve using violence to resolve problems.

                    Armed conflict of any kind should be the very last option we choose to achieve our objectives.  It is our sense of humanity that will save us: not the killing of innocent women and children...that is the easiest way to make enemies who will never give up until they have caused our destruction.

                    •  seriously? (0+ / 0-)

                      you seriously are going to suggest that pursuing terrorists, people that have attacked us is going to lead to war with china?

                      Wow, that's so absurd I really have no response that wouldn't breach civility to that.

                      •  Okay, I will spell this out very slowly, so that (7+ / 0-)

                        you can understand...China and Japan are in a standoff that could suck this country into a conflict if there is any type of armed confrontation between those two countries (because of a previous treaty with Japan)...if that happens, then we will be in an extremely vulnerable position because of our involvement in provoking anger and instability in the middle east, which is already a powder keg...the anger caused by our drone attacks in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan has emboldened al-Qaeda to move into areas of Africa (see the conflict in Mali)...right now there are at least fifteen area conflicts in Africa alone that are reason for concern, especially when combined with the volatility that is being caused by the uprisings in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Israel, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan.

                        In other words, we need to back down from our military aggressiveness and pursue more peaceful means of resolving conflicts.  We wouldn't be the first super power in world history to be defeated because of over expansion of military force.

                        Your comment was absolutely absurd.

                        •  your analysis is critically flawed (0+ / 0-)

                          because the fact is that the 2 areas are unrelated and I highly doubt China really wants to even chance a war with Japan which while very quiet has one of the most modren and well equipped militaries in the world.

                          Japan on it's own could easily contain China and China knows this and thus is reduced to bluffing and acting tough.

                          You can't just randomly point at problem areas in the world and say 'see! we should let those terrorists go' when in fact it is such a lassiez faire attitude that is partly to blame for their existence in the first place

                          •  Read the world economic forum's global (6+ / 0-)

                            risks report; in fact, if you really think this type of tactic is going to eliminate our enemies (instead of multiplying them), then you really do have your head buried in the sand...

                            Many world experts are saying that the world is in a "perfect storm" situation RIGHT NOW, and all it will take to create a global conflict is one misstep, which in turn will tank the world economy, which in turn will cause more military conflict.

                            I don't know what it is about the "let's kill 'em all" mentality that creates so many people who are willing to push the world into global conflict.

                          •  the only thing I really think (0+ / 0-)

                            is that you enjoy telling people what they think even when you clearly have no clue what they really think

                            Your senario is absurd end of story

                          •  Says the guy who thought Terrorists (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, JesseCW, praenomen, Aunt Martha

                            attacked a PEMEX building in Mexico.

                            Good-grief.

                            Mexico?  

                            You're just way too into the "terrorists are threatening us everywhere" fear society.

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:17:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that's a lovely lie (0+ / 0-)

                            thank you for your smear

                          •  asdf - modified diary here: (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, JesseCW, praenomen, Aunt Martha

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:17:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  modified nothing (0+ / 0-)

                            I add a clarification because someone and I actually believe (without checking) it was you some how thought I was saying it was actually a terrorist bomb

                            I never said that, I said it REMINDED me of WTC as I read it, nothing more nothing less

                            I expect, hell I demand an apology

                          •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, JesseCW, praenomen, Aunt Martha
                            the army is actually currently running away from the site. Which points to the site being dangerous and to me raises speculation about this being a bomb (much like how the 1990s WTC bombing)
                            Neither was the case. The "army" never "ran away" from the site.  The first responders arrived and continued to search for victims and survivors.

                            "raises speculation about this being a bomb" placed by who?  The Women's Christian Temperance League?

                             Or the same people who conducted "the 1990s WTC bombing"?

                            Anyway, a lot of early reporting is confused and misdirected and just plain wrong.  Which is why it is always wrong to bring up bombings when there is some sort of accident. Or whatever happened.  

                            Invitation not accepted, sorry. It is what it is.

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:32:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Hmm that sounds like ct. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ek hornbeck, YucatanMan, praenomen


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:35:31 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Which as we all know... (4+ / 0-)

                            stands for "Completely True".

                            Or Connecticut, I forget.

                          •  Currently trembling? ;-) n/t (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ek hornbeck, TheMomCat

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:00:23 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Our "friend" should be (0+ / 0-)

                            if he gets caught espousing ct here.


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:08:07 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  again you're being dishonest (0+ / 0-)

                            the full quote shows that I was reacting to a second hand account

                            now are you going to apologize or not? because I'm not going to apologize for an intitial reaction which was not even stated as you are trying to frame it

                          •  Tomayto / Tomahto. :-) (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Aunt Martha

                            I linked to my own comment in the diary. Everyone can read the diary if they like.  And your many comments everywhere where you seem to have fear about terrorists.

                            Here's the thing:  This FEAR is a huge part of the problem.  Everyone needs to let it go and Get Rational about what we are doing.  

                            This FEAR is what FDR warned about:  The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  Because by falling for the Big Lies, we then permit or encourage policies and actions which hurt us in the end.

                            Yes, there may be terrorists in the world. Yes, they may occasionally kill someone.  Did being born American come with a "universally loved" certificate?  

                            BUT:  "the terrorists," however many are still left alive, cannot ever defeat the whole nation or even ever again kill very many people or even really disrupt the operation of a single one of our thousands of cities. So the fear is far, far overblown.

                            We don't have to change our whole way of life, surrender all our rights and freedoms to continual government monitoring and persecute whistleblowers who help us understand what the government is up to.

                            We have far more to fear from the mass criminals in the banking system than from "terrorists."  I might be killed by a terrorist too, but the chances are far greater of a drunk driver or a safe falling from an open window or something else doing me in.

                            We fear "terrorists" far out of proportion to the real danger because that's what Bush/Cheney wanted.  And so we continue to enrich their cronies through our fear and therefore permission for permanent war.

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:55:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  for someone that knows nothing about me (0+ / 0-)

                            you seem overly impressed with your ability to read me and frankly as I said elsewhere if you're not mature enough to apologize then we have nothing more to discuss

                            I will not reward you with my attention for lying about me, it's that simple

                          •  Just how did that remind you of the WTC? n/t (4+ / 0-)


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:33:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  if you want to ask that (0+ / 0-)

                            then kindly do it in that diary because even if I disagree with the diarist it's not right to have an offtopic discussion here and that certainly is off topic

                          •  That's absurd, (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ek hornbeck, YucatanMan, Aunt Martha

                            because it's part of the topic now since you responded to Yucatanman and are demanding he apologize.


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:55:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  in the spirit of being nice (0+ / 0-)

                            I'll answer even though I only responded to Yucatanman because he included in on topic response and then  refused to apologize.

                            To me it was simply a gut reaction to what I was reading both with where the explosion took place (the basement according to reports I read) and that the area was apparently being at least evacuated for the moment. However it was nothing more then that and frankly if I could I'd go back and just not mention it. When I posted the diary it was rushed and about as close to stream of consciousness as I write.

                          •  I'm sorry you are upset, but if you cannot see (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, k9disc, Aunt Martha

                            that your diary alluded to terrorists bombing the PEMEX building in Mexico City, then I don't know what I can do.

                            Regardless of whether you are responding to another report or whatever, "explosion" does not take the leap to "bomb" and "WTC" without "terrorists" being part of the mix, because terrorists make bombs and the WTC garage was blown up by terrorists in the "1990s."

                            Those were all your interjections.

                            Your gut reaction to an explosion in Mexico City was "WTC bombing" which wasn't done by the Girl Scouts, it was done by terrorists.

                            So, I did not lie about you (that's my perception and I'm sorry you disagree, seriously).  

                            I think you've got a lot of good thoughts, but there seems to be a blind spot in discussing terrorism.

                            You've made up your mind they want to kill us all, when Bin Laden said he'd make America bankrupt itself, not kill us all.  And we've done exactly that, thanks to Bush/Cheney and everyone who believes in permanent war.

                             > We've handed Bin Laden a win, even though he's permanently dead.

                             > We continue to hand him The Win as long as we continue to persecute the permanent war.

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:55:56 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  this is not about perception (0+ / 0-)

                            it ceased being perception when I flat out stated that I in no way intended to even imply anything other then an initial reaction and you persisted in trying to call it something else

                            that makes you a liar, and if you think this is me 'upset' then I rather hope you don't ever actually see me upset

                            now please go away I have nothing to discuss with dishonorable liars and I'm not going to defend my diary in another person's diary as that's just rude

                          •  Where is the space between these two statements: (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, Aunt Martha

                            You:

                            I flat out stated that I in no way intended to even imply anything other then an initial reaction
                            Me:
                            Your gut reaction to an explosion in Mexico City was "WTC bombing" which wasn't done by the Girl Scouts, it was done by terrorists.
                            They seem to be saying the same thing to me. But, then, it is very late and who knows, right? I mean, who really, really knows?

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:23:56 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What you intended (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Aunt Martha

                            and what you wrote are obviously contradictions. It is not a perception, it is what you wrote and what you have been writing here. Indignantly denying that and calling someone a "liar" after they have presented facts, does not exonerate you.

                            You have been perpetuating right wing talking points and possibly conspiracy theories which are bannable.

                            I suggest strongly that you apologize for you mistaken agenda and be more careful in the future.


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:39:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you're welcome to your opinion (0+ / 0-)

                            I disagree and the clarification I offered in the actual diary should make that bloody freaken clear

                            so I will not apologize for calling him/her out for what he/she is

                          •  Not an opinion, fact (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Aunt Martha

                            but you stick with the denial.


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:05:17 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  lmao (0+ / 0-)

                            well aren't you rather arrogant to be confusing your opinion with fact

                            should I bow down as well? or does a simple master do?

                            obviously talking to you is about as productive as the other guy

                          •  Ad hominums alway work. Enjoy (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Aunt Martha


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:38:05 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I really don't think you know what (0+ / 0-)

                            an ad hominum really is

                            when you demonstrate arrogant behavior pointing that out isn't an ad hominum

                      •  We're currently harboring known terrorists (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Aunt Martha, JoanMar

                        inside the United States.

                        If a Venezuelan drone launches a missile into a neighborhood in Miami killing  Luis Posada Carriles, several of his suspected terrorist associates, and four kids...

                        do you seriously think that won't spark a massive war which could easily escalate into a full blown Third World war?

                        "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                        by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:03:00 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  i suppose the flippant answer (0+ / 0-)

                          is to point out that not only does venezuelan not have drones but they don't have a snowball's chance in hell of pentrating us air space

                          that said a cusory reading up on the man points out that you're implied protrayl of the man and what actually is happening are not the same thign

                          Yes he lives in maimi but he also is facing numerous charges in the US justice system

                          Last I checked the governmetns haboring terrorist don't generally do that.

                          and WW3? I'd love to see how a hypothetical attack by venezuela leads to WW3 just to satisfy my curosity

                          •  What makes you sure they don't have drones? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Aunt Martha

                            What's more, it's a certainty that they will have them within a few years.  You can count on Russia getting into that lucrative market, particularly now that Iran has let them study captured examples.

                            Do you believe the US would not massively and excessively retaliate?

                            Do you believe that the rest of South America would, at this point, just whimper to the UN?

                            Don't put words in my mouth, btw.  I said Third World War, not World War 3.

                            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                            by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:45:44 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I would be incredibly surprised (0+ / 0-)

                            if tehy did have drones and even if they do get some knock offs in a couple years the odds of them using the drones to provoke a possible war with the US would be staggering.

                            I would think you'd have better luck getting struck by lightening 3 times then winning the lottery

                            And what's the difference between Third World War and World War 3? I apologize as I didn't mean to offend I just didn't see a difference between the two.

                            As to what the US would do, honestly I think that would depend on who is in charge but the point is this all started with a what if from you about a terrorist (as the man seems to have admitted that part) that you alleged the US is protecting.

                            Except the US is not and yes there's some hypocrisy in the man's case but then again it happened under Bush II so is that a big surprise? The fact is that the man's hardly being harbored and in point of fact the US has tried to get rid of him but no other nation will take him.

                          •  Yeah. (0+ / 0-)
                            And what's the difference between Third World War and World War 3? I apologize as I didn't mean to offend I just didn't see a difference between the two
                            .

                            I'm getting that.

                            We are refusing to extradite an admitted terrorist to face trial.  This did not "happen under Bush".  It's happening right now.  We are still refusing to honor our extradition treaties.

                            It's just not true that "no other nation will take him".  Venezuela and Cuba would both love for him to pay a visit.

                            This is the excuse you use to justify bombing villages halfway around the world - that terrorists live there and the local government will not or can not hand them over to us.

                            Now, what do you think happens if the rest of the world sees you as a role model, rather than embracing your view that the US alone is not bound by the laws of war?

                            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                            by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:24:18 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  according to wikipedia (0+ / 0-)

                            the man was granted aslyum by Bush in 2005 and then was convicted in absentia by the Argentina government

                            He has since been brought to trial in the US for lying to the US  government

                            The US government refuses to extradite because according to the courts he would surely face torture (and yes I get that is where the hypocrisy comes in given Bush' actions)

                            Those are the abbrivated facts as I understand them if that is not the case I would welcome clarification

                            Further let's be clear here I said I support drone strikes against terrorists. You are trying to turn that into an emotional argument and create what ifs to support your case however so far they haven't worked out too well.

                            I am sorry but while idealistic I don't think your idea ultimately works. As much as I would like it to you can't just flip a switch and make everyone love you

                            And just what laws of war are you alleging the US has broken?

                          •  Might makes right, I guess... (0+ / 0-)

                            We don't have to worry as long as we're superior in terms of military or national might...

                            Interesting... I just got blasted with this idea while writing this headline:

                            The people who are terrified of terrorism and will give up their humanity to fend it off are strong authoritarian followers.

                            It's a subordination to power thing. They can't stop us so we should feel free... They should just let us do what we want to do because we're more powerful.

                            That's kind of creepy.

                            I'm sure that's not everybody's reason for supporting perpetual warfare, but I now think it's probably more people than I would have initially thought.

                            Peace~

                            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                            by k9disc on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:17:20 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This is the longest conversation against the (0+ / 0-)

                            Right wall I've ever seen without HRs.

                            Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

                            by Smoh on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:34:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, that's death and destruction. (5+ / 0-)

                Not life.
                We can and should do better.

                Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

                by JoanMar on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:21:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I do not deny my heart has greatly desired this. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TheMomCat, Chi
                And now at last it comes.

                You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth.

                All shall love me and despair!

                No Galadriel
                •  ha ha ha (0+ / 0-)

                  but while funny that's a strawman

                  •  Not a strawman (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ek hornbeck, JesseCW, Mike Taylor, Chi

                    this is what you said

                    we are in a zero sum fight to the death with terrorists
                    but that's life sometimes no good options just bad ones
                    There are better options, you just reject them as does the President.


                    "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                    TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                    by TheMomCat on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:26:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  actually (0+ / 0-)

                      I never said

                      we are in a zero sum fight to the death with terrorists
                      so you're either half right or half wrong which ever way works for you
                      •  You are correct about the first quote (6+ / 0-)

                        but as for the second and your comments here in these threads, you sound very like the same people who lead us into these wars.  You can't see that terrorism is a tactic, not something to wage war against, like drugs, we see how well that's turned out. The reason that the perpetrators of the first WTC bombing are in jail was because of good police work, not a military action.

                        The US is just creating more reason to to hate it with drone attacks without justification, Where is the proof that any of these people were "terrorists" or "insurgents"?

                        What is the justification for attacking first responders after the first attack?

                        This is what terrorists do. The US has reduced itself to being the terrorist in their eyes.

                        Drones are exacerbating the problem and one more reason for the hatred.


                        "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                        TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                        by TheMomCat on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:49:53 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I sound like someone that has a complicated (0+ / 0-)

                          view on the topic because I do and frankly I am talking to people with a monooptic view most of whom can not seem to understand that not everyone views the world the same way as they do.

                          Further they can't seem to understand that just because I disagree that doesn't make me 'like the same people who lead us into these wars'

                          the world is not black and white and frankly ironically that has been one of my points from the very begining. If you choose not to accept that, that's your choice. I would be lying though if I said I don't find it an odd and even quotoxtic one. But I don't demonize your choice which again to be frank is something you and a number of others could stand to work on.

                          As I told Teal, (or at least tried to) I don't have any easy answers to the middle east and terrorism however to me if drones lessen the risks to our military then I am for that.

                          Further the fact is that the 'hatred' towards teh US is a mix that is both justified and not justified in my opinion but honestly the terrorists could just choose to stop. Why should the US give in to the demands of terrorists? Why should the US allow the terrorist to come up with another 9.11? Or another train bombing?

                          •  Your view of the world (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TealTerror, Aunt Martha, ek hornbeck

                            seems very right wing and one sided as far as the mythical "war on terror" is concerned.

                            And, yes, you are espousing the same views that not only got the US into these wars but are perpetuating and expanding them

                            No the world is not "black and white" but your arguments in support of an unsustainable "war on terror" are. You see no alternatives to continued and expanding conflict which are becoming very isolated views.

                            The lessons in the Middle East, which you have failed to understand, is that they are incited by the continued insinuation of the Western view of how they should run their affairs.

                            The solution to future terrorist attacks is not invading other countries and indiscriminate killing with invasions or drones. The solution as it was prior to the Bush/Cheney regime is good police work and surveillance which is what put the perpetrators of the first WTC bombing behind bars. It might possibly have thwarted the second attack if our elected leaders had not ignored the warnings.

                            Remember, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Walk a mile in their shoes and come back to tell us what you learned. You have a lot to learn about extremism and what creates it.


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:02:25 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  considering all of our exchanges (0+ / 0-)

                            tonight I just have to laugh at your 'diagnosis' of my view point

                            I never said invade other countries but given you're defending a liar I suppose distorting my statements isn't too suprising.

                            I have better more enjoyable ways to waste time then be talked down to by someone like you

                          •  Invasions (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ek hornbeck

                            are what you have been defending. No false accusations there. Your denials about what you have written here bear witness to that fact. Your false accusations and ad hominums fail as a defense,

                            You have the last word if you think for a second that means you have "won."  Good luck with that delusion.

                            À bientôt. ;-)


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 03:48:18 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you don't have a flying clue what I have been (0+ / 0-)

                            'defending' much less saying

                            please just stop you're embarassing yourself and doing no wonders for your crediblity

                            auf wiedersehen

                          •  LOL (0+ / 0-)


                            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                            by TheMomCat on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:42:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Aunty Sally! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TheMomCat

                    Am I funny?

                    How am I funny?

                    I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh?

                    I wonder about you sometimes. You may fold under questioning.

                    •  yes you're hilarious (0+ / 0-)

                      and if not a strawman it's agrument by absurdity (or as the latin goes reducto ad absurdum)

                      •  You keep using that word. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        JoanMar

                        I do not think it means what you think it means.

                        Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: "reduction to absurdity") is a common form of argument which seeks to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its denial, or in turn to demonstrate that a statement is false by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its acceptance.
                        It's not a fallacy.

                        Just because you dress it up in Latin doesn't make it more true.

                        Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

                        •  I think you need to reread (0+ / 0-)

                          because I never said reductio ab absurdum is a fallacy so clearly you're not reading what I am writting

                          though since you want to make this techinical, a straw man (which is what you wrote) is a fallacy and is an example of reductio ad absurdum

                          sic subsisto dictata

              •  The more bad choice (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lisa Lockwood, Chi, TealTerror, PhilJD, JoanMar

                is to indulge in killing people.

                Not Killing People is always the best choice if you are a sane person.  

                You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                by Johnny Q on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:16:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  i didn't give us this choice. i am just me. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chi

              i didn't say anything about the morality of making that choice or about what the undesirable consequences of that choice will be.  i just said that it's not acceptance... it's a choice.  if we are killing people, we at least owe it to them and ourselves to be honest about it.

              Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

              by AntonBursch on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:00:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Would you prefer Rumsfeld and Iraq all over again? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hooper

              That was "over there" too.   How many innocent civilians did the Iraq (and Afghan) wars kill?  

              War sucks - no matter how you fight it, and collateral damage is always a part of it.      While I understand the opposition to drone warfare, it would seem to be the lesser of evils.  

              What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

              by dkmich on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:56:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  To quote myself (0+ / 0-)

                from this comment:

                In this case, the least bad option is to stop bombing people, improve our image in the world, and work to make our anti-terrorism security here better (efforts which do not involve security theater or privacy violations).
                (Incidentally, "Would you prefer we invade them?" is the "Did you want McCain/Romney to win?" of drone debates. You know what the answer is so don't ask the question, please.)

                "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                by TealTerror on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:35:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  And while we're wishing, (0+ / 0-)

                  cut defense by 60% and put the money into free college educations and modernizing the infrastructure.

                  I really don't disagree with you, but I don't think that option is on the table.

                  What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                  by dkmich on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:44:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  What a..."Bushian"...worldview (20+ / 0-)

            "Us vs. Them".  A realpolitik simple enough for a 1st grader to understand...and devise.

          •  you are kidding yourself thinking this choice (13+ / 0-)

            is the lesser of two evils. But go ahead, it's your choice.

          •  This is not true (25+ / 0-)
            we are in a zero sum fight to the death with terrorists
            This assumes there are a finite number of "terrorists," and if we can just kill all of them the conflict will be over. The fact of the matter is that terrorism is a tactic, used by people who hold resentment toward the US, and blowing up innocent civilians with drone strikes, even if accidental, tends to increase that resentment:
            But as in the tribal areas of Pakistan, where U.S. drone strikes have significantly weakened al-Qaeda’s capabilities, an unintended consequence of the attacks has been a marked radicalization of the local population.
            This is not choosing the lesser of two evils. This is choosing short-term "gain" over long-term strategy--as well as morality.

            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:49:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Unintended Consequences/Blowback (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kickemout

              What is your long-term strategy against terrorism?  A bigger budget for cultural outreach?  Making amoral decisions is often called "governing" or "leading".  You can agree/disagree with the legality/efficacy/strategic posture of drone strikes and secret kill lists but Obama has managed to prevent any major terrorist attacks (sorry Benghazi is not a major attack) against the U.S. or any of its overseas facilities.  There will always be terrorists.  We will always have to find them and hunt them down.  Better to be feared than loved when it comes to national security.  This is a something many progressives seem to purposely forget.  Once Obama was shown the intelligence briefings that I guarantee would make anyone on this site crap in their pants every morning I think he made the best choice he could to fulfill his number one priority - keep up safe.  Your argument seems to be that in "the long run" we are less safe.  Economists have a saying - "in the long run we are all dead"

              •  I'm not sure how to respond to this (19+ / 0-)

                First of all, I'm not an expert in foreign policy; off the cuff, though, here are my uninformed ideas:

                1) Stop bombing Muslim countries.
                2) Stop propping up dictators in Muslim countries.
                3) Increase foreign aid from its current anemic levels.
                4) Encourage Israel to treat the Palestinians better.
                5) Stop our corporations from exploiting Muslim civilians.
                6) Give an explicit apology for all the crap we've done over the decades, including but not limited to: (a) helping to depose Iran's democratically-elected Prime Minister and replace him with the despotic Shah; (b) supporting Mubarak for almost his entire span of rulership; (c) killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children with our sanctions in the 1990s.

                There are plenty of very smart people who know a lot more about this stuff than I do. I suspect if you were to ask them how to get the Muslim world to like us, instead of how to justify killing them, they might have some better ideas.

                Second: Let me get it straight exactly what you're arguing. You're saying it's okay we're killing hundreds of civilians with these strikes, it's okay we're almost certainly creating more terrorists than we're killing, it's okay we're giving the finger to the rule of law by killing people--including Americans--with no due process; all of this is okay because...it's "better to be feared than to be loved"?

                It appears that you've read Machiavelli; in which case, allow me to remind you of the qualifier he made to that remark:

                Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred
                (emphasis added)

                Something tells me we're not exactly avoiding hatred.

                Your argument seems to be that in "the long run" we are less safe.  Economists have a saying - "in the long run we are all dead"
                When I say "long run," I don't mean 100 years; I mean 10 or 20. I hope most of us are still alive by then.

                "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:35:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I agree, but don't fall into the right-wing (10+ / 0-)

                  "war on terror" framework that terrorists are all Muslim.  There certainly are Christian terrorists right here in the US of A.

                  •  I sincerely apologize if I gave that impression (8+ / 0-)

                    Of course there are plenty of Christian terrorists. But the "War on Terror" has never been aimed at abortion clinic bombers, I'm afraid. (If only!)

                    "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                    by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:14:42 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh, I understand. (4+ / 0-)

                      But that's exactly why I think we should reject the whole framework, as it's only the latest manifestation of that Manichean worldview and its embedded language in which we're good and "they" (whoever they happen to be at the moment) are evil.

                      •  The war on terror is a tool for the state to (0+ / 0-)

                        attack those who do not assimilate to the dominant hegemony, corporate globalization.

                        It's easily applied to national leaders who support their populations who do not wish to play ball.

                        It's easily applied to dissidents in a nation as well.

                        We've seen it applied to climate activists, hackers, and whistleblowers.

                        The War on Terror creates a perpetual war footing where we are subject to all kinds of abuses of privacy and liberty.

                        It's a framework for tyranny, foreign and domestic policy McCarthy style.

                         

                        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                        by k9disc on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:38:27 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes as I think Domestic Terrorists are just as (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      side pocket

                      dangerous and even harder to take down and infiltrate their network because so many of them are wingnuts who are paranoid and well insulated and funded.

                      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                      by wishingwell on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:56:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  So true Martha, we have a lot of domestic (3+ / 0-)

                    terrorists who are American born and raised and live here now who are just as dangerous.

                    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                    by wishingwell on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:54:41 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  But, we don't blow up schools to try to kill them. (5+ / 0-)

                      We risk the lives of officers in order to arrest them while truly minimizing risk to civilians.

                      We do that because we think protecting our kids lives is worth risking the lives of our combatants.

                      We don't feel the same about their kids.  Those foreigners over there somewhere.

                      "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                      by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:08:23 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Generally, 'those people' tend to be (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TealTerror, Aunt Martha

                        'brown'. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but 'we' in the good old USofA sure seem to have a problem with 'brown' people with astonishing frequency, both within and without our own borders.


                        When the government wants to keep something secret, assume the protected information would either embarrass officials or outrage people -- or both.

                        by Lisa Lockwood on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:01:53 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  I like your ideas, very good except I do not think (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TealTerror

                  President Obama should feel compelled to apologize to other countries for policies set forth by Presidents like Bush I and Bush II and Reagan especially because he disagreed with some of those policies.  I do agree with everything else wholeheartedly however that you set forth.

                  Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                  by wishingwell on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:53:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's not about apologizing personally (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JesseCW, k9disc

                    But apologizing on behalf of the country in general. The President is the country's representative, and thus has the duty of speaking for all of us, past and present. For better or for worse.

                    "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                    by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:32:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Which world are we living in here? (0+ / 0-)

                      Hillary just yesterday described Republicans as not-reality-based. Many of these comments imo show that they're not the only ones.

                      We're entering into a world where 9 billion people will be trying to live off resources that have been estimated to be sufficient for 2 billion.  

                      And over the past 500 years, just about everyone on Earth has seriously offended almost everyone else.  It's not just US policies or our little empire.  Serious grievances abound everywhere one looks.  Plus 1/5 or so of the population controls and consumes most of the stuff, leaving most others with close to nothing.  And the global mind has been largely taken over by consumer and nationalistic propaganda networks.  And ecologically we're approaching the 5th extinction and dieoff.

                      This is not a world situation that would seem solvable with simple solutions, at least short-term.  

                •  All we need to do is (2), (0+ / 0-)

                  And get the fuck outta there (1).

                  The others should follow from these two. Not sure the apology will happen then again actions speak louder than words.

                  "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

                  by Chi on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:08:54 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  " 'Humane' Drones Are ... (11+ / 0-)

            ...the Most Brutal Weapons of All" says Dirk Kurbjuweit here

            The German military is considering the purchase of combat drones. But we should not allow ourselves to be seduced by the idea that an unmanned aircraft is a humane weapon. On the contrary, they expose the true nature of war in all its brutality.
            ...
            A suicide bomber needs to be 100 percent willing to sacrifice his life. With a drone pilot, on the other hand, the risk of pilot death drops to zero percent. The West's war on Islamist terror is currently being waged between these two conflicting priorities. Nothing is more indicative of the asymmetry of the war, and nothing is as symbolic of the cultures that are waging it. It's a war between those who are willing to sacrifice everything and those who are unwilling to give up anything -- a war of sacrifice versus convenience, bodies versus technology and risk versus safety.
            ...
            The pilots who control Predator and Reaper drones over the Waziristan region in Pakistan from their bases in the United States face only minimal risk. A suicide bomber would have to make it into their base in order to retaliate, and that's unlikely. According to the traditional concepts of combat, a war waged with drones is a cowardly war. The coward, in this equation, is the one who takes little or no risk to fight against those who take great risks.
            ...
            The drone is especially tempting for politicians of a gentle, humanitarian nature. Former US President George W. Bush, who does not fall into this category, used armed drones in Pakistan 52 times in the last four years of his presidency. His apparently gentler and more humanitarian successor, Barack Obama, has already deployed drones 285 times. Just as the drone suits Germany, it also suits Obama. Because it doesn't seem as terrible as other weapons, the barriers to its use are relatively low.
            I guess you should just read that article. It states some "inconvenient truths" ...
          •  Good grief man take deep breaths and stop (9+ / 0-)

            panicking yourself into foaming-at-the-mouth hysteria!

            There's four times as many terrorists today as there were when The War Formerly Known as On Terror started.

            Maybe you're a Christian Dominionist, as your "zero sum" raving is in full harmony with them. Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Mali, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gaza, the Philippines...

            That's a list of places, in the last ten years, where we've attacked people ourselves, or we threaten to attack, or give material support to attacks, or simply foment chaos.

            Pick out anything unique about them? Well, besides the obvious one, here's the 2nd one: they are all thousands of miles from our shores.

            What do you call it when people leave where they live and go to another country to kill people they consider enemies? Innocents included? Might you know the word for that? I'm sure you know it, but I doubt you'd admit to that based on your screed.

            Meanwhile, for about 10% of what our War of National Suicide has, and will, cost, we could have, since 9/11, brought the entire starving world to a position where they could feed themselves, and to have potable water, according to UN studies.

            You serious about beating terrorism?

            Then destroy their shelter, let the people turn them away. That's Beating Terror 101. Make the people of the world our allies instead of our enemies, or sympathetic to them.

            What you said boils down to "We should do everything we can to increase our enemies, so we can decrease our enemies."

            It's bloody obvious.


            Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

            by Jim P on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:52:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Excellent comment (6+ / 0-)

              thank you.
              They tell us our troops are fighting for our Freedoms.
              Since the War Of zterror started, we have very few left.
              Patriot Act, NDAA, FISA, ect.
              And we get to pay for all of that shit.

              Gitmo is a Concentration Camp. Not a Detention Center. Torture happens at Concentration Camps. Torture happens at Gitmo. How much further will US values fall? Where is YOUR outrage at what the United States does in OUR names?

              by snoopydawg on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:26:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Is this true? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              YucatanMan, k9disc
              Meanwhile, for about 10% of what our War of National Suicide has, and will, cost, we could have, since 9/11, brought the entire starving world to a position where they could feed themselves, and to have potable water, according to UN studies.
              If this is true, it makes me sick, and I didn't think I could be surprised by this kind of thing anymore. Shows you just what our elites' priorities are.

              "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

              by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:31:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's true. 30 billion a year would provide (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                k9disc, TealTerror, PhilJD

                safe drinking water to almost all of humanity, barring some very remote areas and pastoral people.

                It's a third of what humanity spends on bottled water.

                Over two million people a year, every year, day from water borne illness.  Nearly six thousand a day.

                For thirty billion a year, over one billion people could be getting crystal clear safe drinking water from a community tap within 100 yards of their home, with a sign on it that reads "With love, the people of the USA".

                We prefer to blow people up because they say they hate us for taking their resources and empowering dictators and oligarchies that torture and kill them.

                "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:20:42 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  god there's a lack of precision reading on dkos (0+ / 0-)

              your comment is a response to my having made a case FOR drone strikes.  except, i didn't do that.  i argued that the American people are not merely accepting civilian deaths caused by drone strikes, as the comment my comment is responding to says, rather that the American people have made a thought out choice, which i explain.  

              you know, it's funny.  i can write a very emotional diary or comment here and it will get rec'd like crazy.  then i write a very logical emotionless comment and it's crickets or it's exceedingly emotionally reactive people like you transforming my comment into an emotional comment and reacting to that instead of what i actually wrote.

              interesting.  

              Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

              by AntonBursch on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:21:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  From Global Cop to Global Problem Solver (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TealTerror

              We're policing the world in our interests. That's a dirty cop. Nobody likes a dirty cop.

              Your solution here, Jim, is Global Problem Solver. It's a much better framework for America, IMHO. It's got tons of economic opportunity as well.

              We could be what we claim to be and what most of us here in the US want to be.

              Great comment!

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:44:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  What US soldiers have been killed in the drone (0+ / 0-)

            attacks?

            ❧To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:10:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  When looking at whether we should (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            k9disc, TealTerror, PhilJD

            be using drone strikes in other countries we aren't at war with, ask the following question:

            What would we do if another country starting killing people they call "terrorists" in our country with drone strikes and Americans became collateral damage?
            The answer is really that simple.

            There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

            by Puddytat on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:53:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting choice of words here: (0+ / 0-)
            3. terrorists
            4. civilians the terrorists hide amongst
            Inciting terror with weapons that kill without warning, rip the faces off mothers and the arms off  children and then the operators go sleep in civilian neighborhoods. Like McClean, VA, Creech, NV, and other American towns. Are these operators of terror weapons using human shields when they sleep in civilian neighborhoods?

            You do know that a Pashtun family who loses one of its own will wait for generations to extract its revenge on the U.S. right?

            Good luck with your fucking endless war.

            Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government (of, by, and for the people) is the problem and that we can increase revenue by decreasing revenue.

            by FrY10cK on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:59:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  that's nice (0+ / 0-)

        but hardly objective

      •  Make the context with first-responders, or a (7+ / 0-)

        funeral procession.

        Remember when the Iraqi insurrection and sectarian war-wagers would do that kind of thing, and we'd all feel and express shock at such barbarity? It wasn't even ten years ago, and down the memory-hole with it.

        I'm certainly not in touch with the whole world, but I read what I can and talk to people. It seems to me we've come to be regarded by most nation's populations as a Rogue Nation.

        So we're seeing reports (not in US papers) of various nations the world over having trade meetings which exclude the US, and work out how to settle trade in their own currencies. Maybe another few years, ten years, before the world doesn't need so many dollars to conduct trade. That's just one side-effect of where we've gone these last years.

        A large part of humanity wants to stop us.


        Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

        by Jim P on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:30:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Americans, individually, are usually appreciated (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TealTerror

          by peoples of other nations.  

          At the same time, generally speaking, our military actions are viewed as horrific and irresponsible and extremely arrogant.

          It isn't only ideologues and fanatics who "hate" our drones and assassinations.  The regular folks on the street relate and find those things (drone attacks) as terrifying as terrorist attacks would be.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:20:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Please do (0+ / 0-)

        -5.38, -2.97
        The NRA doesn't represent the interests of gun owners. So why are you still a member?

        by ChuckInReno on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:29:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'd draw a funeral for a drone victim. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon

        You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

        by Johnny Q on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:14:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I find this cartoon in very poor taste (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VictorLaszlo

      for the fact that the drones are killing innocent civilians. Far more of them then the AQ leaders.
      Estimated numbers put the civilians killed at more then 5,000.
      It is thoroughly disgusting that the US drones countries that Congress has not declared war on.
      Drones have killed many kids collecting firewood, or just doing they daily tasks.
      Obama, the CIA target rescuers after people are killed or wounded, and then target the funerals.
      How would people here in the US feel if another Nation indiscriminately fired drones on our country?
      What was wrong under Bush is just as wrong under Obama.

      Gitmo is a Concentration Camp. Not a Detention Center. Torture happens at Concentration Camps. Torture happens at Gitmo. How much further will US values fall? Where is YOUR outrage at what the United States does in OUR names?

      by snoopydawg on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:11:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Drones make my top five reasons list... (4+ / 0-)

      ... for why I have been so deeply ashamed of being an American since Dumbya was installed in office and the muck-up he made of his private "wars" based on lies for oil.  It may tie for first place right alongside torture.

      I don't care what kind of pretzel (secret) logic the advisers use to "justify" targeted drone killing or torture, neither one is legal, nor is it legal for a president to have war powers - the Constitution says that power belongs to Congress, right along with the power to finance a war for two years, and going to "war" against a little criminal gang hiding out in the mountains of Afghanistan does not constitute a "war" by anyone's definition.

      I watched that Bill Moyers program tonight (all of it), and was horrified about that "secret" legal opinion crap going on, and no one can see those allegedly "secret" legal opinions.  So much for a "transparent presidency."

      We are SO screwed..., by our own president and our own government, no less.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:24:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Painful to look at cartoon (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VictorLaszlo

      this is too close to mocking the victims

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:08:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Grabs popcorn... (8+ / 0-)

    n/t

  •  This is one of the most dangerous and shameful (24+ / 0-)

    developments in recent history.  It can't ever be acceptable for a government to order the extrajudicial execution of American citizens.

    This is an insult to the rule of law and democracy.  We the people need to put pressure on the government to end this practice.  This is being done in our names.

  •  gift this kossak !! (9+ / 0-)

    if he'd take my badge, i'd give it to him.
    good grief.
    is there no "national treasure" automatic designation, with all the bells and whistles and cosmetic doo-dads, for BILL MOYERS ??!!

    he's even got JiH right on his tail: GIFT HIM, i say.
    he's a living breathing monument.
    (BiPM can be jealous all he wants...)

    bestow his gift !!!!

    * Join: The Action: End the Bush Tax Cuts for Richest Two Percent * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:22:36 PM PST

  •  so you write NY Post headlines in retirement. (0+ / 0-)
  •  i will confess to having seriously mixed feelings (4+ / 0-)

    about the drone use.  while prior to this, we sent manned craft to carry out such attacks, i don't see how the end results of such attacks can differ.  people are dead in either case.

    with the use of drones, there is less chance of "collateral damage" - with the precision of technology, the advance use of drones may actually "save" some lives.

    perhaps what we should be examining isn't the method but rather the legality of the strikes at all.

    we are in yet another quagmire - much like viet nam.  we have one foot in these "wars" that are not declared - yet, what alternatives do we have when diplomacy has so immensely failed.

    we live in difficult times.  i don't have the answers - i don't think anyone does at this time.

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:43:34 PM PST

  •  Bill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, wishingwell

    Congress is only concerned with the attitude of the nominee towards Israel and the Israeli lobby. If he, the nominee, accepts all the abuses perpetrated by Israeli rulers then he is acceptable. Look at the Hagel hearings, every one on both sides of the isles was very concerned that Mr. Hagel was not a senator or a secretary of defense for the US and not Israel. The only concern is that he was fully in acceptance of Israel and its lobby. The only exception is John Sydney McCain who was concerned with the Surge in Iraq, totally in keeping with his metamorphosis into a Bronto Saurus Rex. So  to make a long story short Mr. Brennan will not be asked anything about tortuture, Drones, detention, Pakistan or anything that could matter with the rule of law and the constitutionality of CIA business unless, of course it may affect Israel.

    •  There's no question that the US (0+ / 0-)

      is heavily tilted toward Israel in the I-P conflict and that our unbridled support of Israel has a major (and to me, detrimental) affect on our foreign policy, but to suggest that that's the only thing that Congress is concerned about is really simplistic and borderline anti-Semitic.

      •  Go through the (0+ / 0-)

        questioning of Senator Hagel and count the number of times that the Israel issue was brought about, and tell me if there is not an element of intimidation or outright purchase of those fellows. Tell me how many time they  asked Senator about the general dynamics, Pratt and Whitney General Electric or any other potential "Defense contractor" that the secretary of defense may affect directly So to make a long story short it is an observation that is neither simplistic or anti semitic.  

  •  ANY Innocent person... (8+ / 0-)

    I think the problem here is...

    Obama, and the political discource in NATO is, that either no one is innocent, regardless of who is killed with those bombs (that is, they are guilty until they can probe thier innocence after the fact) or that whereever the bomb falls, the people who are killed arent concidered people by those who drop them.

    The true strength of of an oath is forged in adversity.

    by Nur Alia Chang on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:58:48 PM PST

  •  End the War of Terror. It's going on 12 years (24+ / 0-)

    now with absolutely no end in sight.  Now the imperialists are going full bore after AFrica with renewed emphasis on Central and South America.  We were told from the beginning that it would be a long war, a crusade lasting decades.  That's what is happening, we're into the second decade now and it's easy to see how we'll reach a third and a fourth.  By then drones will be supplemented by robots and who knows what else, unless they blow the entire planet up first.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:34:40 PM PST

    •  Janet Napolitano (16+ / 0-)

      has been out there giving speeches about how a "cyber 9/11" might be imminent.  At the same time she is pressuring Congress to pass some legislation that the administration wants.

      So they are still exploiting 9/11 and the War on Terror.  And heck, we're now building drone bases in Africa so we can start killing "terrorists" on yet another continent while at the same time trying to fearmonger about a new kind of terrorism because the usefulness of the old one is wearing out.  Gotta find some way to keep the people paying a trillion a year for "defense" while they get poorer and while their social programs (that they paid into for years) are in the planning process of being cut.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:50:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. It's all bullshit, an excuse for (10+ / 0-)

        imperialism, the raping and pillaging of other countries resources, and the expansion of the new world order for mega corporations and banks.  
        Our country is led by a criminal cartel that has no problem with murdering millions to satisfy their greed and quest for power.

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:54:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  She's not necessarily wrong (4+ / 0-)

          Internet and other technology-based espionage as another arm of covert "fighting" has been tested out by various state entities over some years, and it appears that reports are only increasing on how many government entities, private data stores (government and business), etc. are being increasingly challenged.  This was discussed with great interest by the I/T security community in the 80s, because the signs of a globally interconnected infrastructure would allow for numerous exploits.

          That reality is besides the point of whether a military industrial complex continues to drive our economy and social disparities down a rathole, of course.

          "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

          by wader on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:58:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And anybody that won't take it becomes a terrorist (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt

          That's a sweet gig.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:20:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The drone attacks are ensuring that the war has no (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, TealTerror, PhilJD

      end.

      Over and over people on the ground are telling us that for every civilian "collateral damage" there are more Al Queda recruits.

      The administration estimated Al Queda's numbers in Yemen at several hundred a few years ago, and "a few thousand" last year.

      It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that what we are doing is not working, unless by "working" you mean making a lot of money for defense corporations and keeping hawks feeling mindlessly happy.

  •  Drones raise no new issues. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, VClib, sviscusi, Lawrence

    Just because there's a new technology doesn't mean the fundamental issues of war have changed.

    It's false to say Obama is acting without Congressional authorization. Congress passed an open-ended resolution approving the war on terror in any country the President sees fit. That's a problem, regardless of whether drones or some other weapons of war are being used.

    The issue is civilians being killed. Is it somehow worse to kill a civilian by drone as opposed to a manned bombing or gunfire? It must be because drones are the only civilian deaths I read about anymore. I'm baffled by the sudden singular focus on drones. Supposedly, they kill fewer civilians than manned bombings. Is this part of a campaign to switch from drones back to manned bombers? Does anyone think that would represent some kind of improvement?

    A President launching bombings and military operations without Congressional approval has been happening for decades. It did not suddenly become a problem with the introduction of drones.

    I don't know if people are fascinated by new technology or if it's a "gotcha" issue on Obama since he's using drones more than previous Presidents.

    •  Of course they raise new issues (13+ / 0-)

      It makes permanent war economically and logistically viable, and much more socially acceptable. Americans will only start to oppose drones when they start getting speeding tickets from them.

    •  No, no one thinks this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, out of left field
      Is this part of a campaign to switch from drones back to manned bombers? Does anyone think that would represent some kind of improvement?
      The argument is that we shouldn't be bombing these countries at all.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:57:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is that getting through? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't see many arguments against bombing and attacks on civilian populations anymore. I see articles like this one that suggest these are new problems associated with drones.

        •  Drones seem to be a vast improvement... (0+ / 0-)

          ...of a broken system. Sort of like Obamacare, in that way.

          it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

          by Addison on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:12:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Except for how healthcare saves lives (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell, cpresley

            While drone strikes end them.

            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:24:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a metaphor, not an equivalency. (0+ / 0-)

              Drones save lives compared to traditional air assaults, while still reinforcing the paradigm of war.

              Obamacare saves lives compared to the pre-Obamacare status quo of health care, while still reinforcing the paradigm of private, mostly employer-based health care.

              It's a pretty straightforward metaphor, as metaphors go.

              it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

              by Addison on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:34:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, I know it's a metaphor (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuckvw

                Private healthcare is worse than single-payer, but it's still better than nothing. Drone strikes might be better than traditional air assaults, but they're definitely not better than nothing. The metaphor is anything but "straightforward."

                "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:38:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Demanding that metaphors be accurate... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...in all dimensions is misunderstanding the nature of metaphor.

                  Do we applaud saving lives? Yes.

                  Do we criticize the continuation of harmful structures even as improvements to those structures decrease the relative harm? Yes.

                  Is that a commonality between arguments related to Obamacare and drone warfare. Yes.

                  You know exactly what I mean, but you imagine I'm attacking Obamacare and that I'm against it -- and you feel the need to react. I'm not against Obamacare, I'm for it. I hope it leads to something better, but I'm for it. I'm not for drone warfare, but I do recognize that it's better than carpet bombing. I do not believe drone warfare will lead to something better -- that is not a part of the metaphor. It's simply where the reality of the situation stands.

                  Metaphors necessarily reduce issues to their commonalities. Pretending like the person using the metaphor views both issues as identical is self-insulting.

                  it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

                  by Addison on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:46:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think there might be an error in communication (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't think you're attacking Obamacare. I thought you were defending the drone program by comparing it to Obamacare.

                    Anyway, while I agree there's some commonality, there isn't a lot of it. Obamacare is actually a positive good, while the drone program is a "positive" evil. There's a difference between being slightly less evil--the drone program--and slightly more good--Obamacare. A very big difference.

                    And please stop assuming things about me. I understand what a metaphor is. I was reacting to the implication that since Obamacare was good, so's the drone program. I assumed that was the point you were making. If I was mistaken, I apologize.

                    "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                    by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:00:40 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, I'm not defending the drone program... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...both are improvements against the status quo, but also reinforcements of the underlying structure of the status quo in their own way. At that point the metaphor ends. One is a plus, the other is a lesser minus.

                      it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

                      by Addison on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:03:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Every argument I have seen on this issue (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw, dewley notid, cpresley

          has been against bombing civilian populations. They talk about drones because currently we're bombing them with drones. But decide for yourself by reading this:

          US policy-makers, and the American public, cannot continue to ignore evidence of the civilian harm and counter-productive impacts of US targeted killings and drone strikes in Pakistan.
          Or this:
          people with whom he spoke ” said the Drone attacks  were a great recruiting tool for the Taliban, because powerless people want to fight back for the losses they have suffered, as their communities and families are attacked.
          Or this:
          There are many evils in the world, but extinguishing people’s lives with targeted, extra-judicial killings, when you don’t even know their names, based on “patterns” of behavior judged from thousands of miles away, definitely ranks high on the list.
          Could you please link me to an article that explicitly argues in favor of manned bombing runs over drone strikes?

          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

          by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:24:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Proving my point. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sviscusi

            All of those quotes mention ugly things being done with drones. The unstated implication of the article is that drones are the source of these problems, and that's clearly not the case. We didn't stop killing civilians with other weapons, so the focus on one weapon of war is odd.

            •  I honestly find this interpretation really odd (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuckvw, dewley notid, cpresley

              Yes, of course they mention ugly things being done with drones. That's because the ugly things really are being done with drones. What would you prefer, that they not mention drones at all?

              Seriously, I don't understand this. I have never heard a single drone critic say that drones are the source of the problems. There is no such "unstated implication" except in your mind.

              Again, I ask you to please provide me with one article that explicitly argues drones are the main cause.

              "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

              by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:40:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Only drones are mentioned. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sviscusi

                This is the umpteenth column I've seen about civilian drone attacks that makes no mention of the recent and continuing civilian deaths caused by other weapons of war. Creating the meme that civilian deaths are primarily a drone problem implies that we can solve that problem by ending the use of drones. That's false and counterproductive.

                A writer doesn't have to explicitly argue that drones are the main cause of civilian deaths. They're giving that same impression when they repeatedly fail to mention that other causes still exist.

                •  I'm sorry, I still don't see it (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dewley notid, cpresley

                  In your opinion, then, every article on drone strikes should also mention "Of course, guns and tanks and land mines kill civilians too"? Why not also mention that cancer and car accidents kill people?

                  Look: I have a hard time believing there's anyone on Earth who thinks the existence of drones is the main problem. Again, there's no meme that "civilian deaths are primarily a drone problem" except in your head. Giving that opinion to anyone is one of the biggest violations of the principle of charity I've ever seen.

                  I remain unable to understand how you got your impression when, to the best of my knowledge, not a single person has ever argued that drones are the main cause of civilian deaths. This is like hearing somebody say "I think Obama's a good President" and interpreting that to mean "Everything Obama has ever done is correct and all his critics are evil racists." Because if you don't mention in every article that you disagree with some of Obama's policies, obviously you think he's perfect, right?

                  "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                  by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:10:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Then maybe people should (0+ / 0-)

        actually try and make it rather than focusing on the method.  In this diary and comments section the word bomb was used 24 times, the word drone 149 times.  Not a real leap to think the primary focus is drones.

        •  You think anyone would care about drones (0+ / 0-)

          if they weren't bombing people?

          Seriously, this argument is ridiculous. You all know drone critics' issue is the killing people part. This has been elucidated many times. The whole "hyuk hyuk those crazy lefties are so obsessed with drones" routine got old a year ago.

          I typically try to be more polite than I was in this post...and comments section...but it's late, I'm cranky, and this argument honestly does piss me off. If you want to defend the drone program, defend the drone program, but passive-aggressively misreading your opponents' arguments, then blaming others for your misreading, is just inane.

          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

          by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:39:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Being passive agressive (0+ / 0-)

            is a proud family tradition.

            I've read many discussions and diaries about drones the past few years and the one clear consistent message is drones are bad.  You can try and retcon that to mean that what people really just saying that bombings are bad but it's bullshit.  

            The fact is for many (from what I've read not you), drones are nothing more than a boogeyman among a certain segment of the left and I don't give a shit about someone else boogeyman.

            I want people to discuss the use of force in our foreign policy.  I want people to discuss the horrible hellish violence that is caused by even the most noble uses of it.  What I don't want to see is the focus turned towards drones which is what many people here do.  It puts up a roadblock of stupidity the likes usually only seen on Fox News.

            •  I am honestly baffled (0+ / 0-)

              I don't mean that as an insult (I had a good night's sleep so I'm not cranky anymore). I've read many diaries, articles, and discussions about drones, and never once have I gotten the impression that anyone thinks drones themselves are bad, as opposed to (a) killing people without due process and (b) killing civilians, even if accidental.

              I really, truly, do not understand how you got the impression you did, but I can guarantee you it's mistaken. The vast majority, if not the entirety, of drone critics here understand that drones themselves are not the problem (though they arguably exacerbate the problem). The vast majority, if not the entirety, of drone critics here are already discussing "the use of force in foreign policy" and the "hellish violence" we're imposing on the rest of the world. Whether you join in or just take potshots from the sidelines is up to you.

              "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

              by TealTerror on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:19:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting point, but I think that anything which (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Willinois

      semi-automates and lowers costs, time to deploy, etc. the necessary foundations of surveillance and/or ordnance deployments is only going to become more popular both within the military arena and beyond.

      Drone use for local law enforcement, industrial security, private interests (legal and not), environmental monitoring, compliance checks and so forth are increasing, because years of drone development are making them more affordable and available beyond the defense market.

      Perhaps like GPS, the military will generally have access to the most accurate and capable technology.  Like GPS, drones can create privacy concerns by their expected use by non-military organizations.  Unlike GPS, drone technology can also deliver payloads.  So, the blurring of military vs non-military use of drones can essentially created a common view in society that we are always being watched and/or threatened from the skies - i.e., a virtual state of unending war in the populace.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:07:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  FYI (9+ / 0-)
    Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced legislation to sunset and repeal Public Law 107-40, the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), over a six month period. On September 14, 2001, Congresswoman Lee was the only Member of Congress to vote against the 2001 AUMF.

    “Nine years ago, I made the unpopular decision to vote against this authorization based on a fundamental belief that a blank check to wage war anywhere, at any time, and for any length does not serve the national security interests of the United States,” said Congresswoman Lee. “In reflecting on the rush-to-war in Afghanistan and President Bush’s misguided war-of-choice in Iraq, my worst fears have unfortunately been realized.

    “Over the last nine years this broad authorization of force has had far-reaching implications which shake the very foundations of our great nation and democracy.

    “It has been used to justify warrantless surveillance and wiretapping activities, indefinite detention practices that fly in the face of our constitutional values, extrajudicial targeted-killing operations, and a policy of borderless and open-ended war that threatens to indefinitely extend U.S. military engagement around the world.

    “It is time for Congress to reexamine, and ultimately repeal this flawed authorization.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by NLinStPaul on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:35:09 PM PST

  •  Is there any chance that Brennan doesn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TealTerror

    get the approval from the Democrats in Congress and Senate?

    Is there a movement against his nomination?

  •  A relative measurement without a baseline? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NLinStPaul, sviscusi
    The central objective of the investigation... is to look at the evidence that drone strikes and other forms of remote targeted killing have caused disproportionate civilian casualties in some instances...
    Disproportionate compared to what?

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:11:08 PM PST

    •  A special forces ops like the one that killed OBL. (0+ / 0-)

      Costly, very high risk to our soldiers... but it's a baseline. Only one civilian not actually shooting at the assault team was killed.

      In the film, "Maya" says bitterly that she'd "drop a bomb" on the house and be done with it.

      Our leaders decided that you can get away with that shit in the back country of Yemen, Afghanistan, and the tribal territories, but not thirty miles from Islamabad.

      OBL was probably deemed a special case. Confirmation of his death, along with any intelligence they could pick up from the house, was worth the risk to our soldiers.

      I suspect that the symbolic value of American soldiers breaking down the door to his sanctuary, and taking him "mano a mano" was considered as well.

      The symbolic value of a drone strike is quite the opposite.

      Have you noticed?
      Politicians who promise LESS government
      only deliver BAD government.

      by jjohnjj on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:38:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just a couple of columns by Glenn Greenwald (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TealTerror, PhilK, dewley notid

    he has written several articles about this subject

    here is one on Joe Klein

    Joe Klein's sociopathic defense of drone killings of children
    Reflecting the Obama legacy and US culture, the Time columnist says: "the bottom line is: 'whose 4-year-olds get killed?'"

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    Obama moves to make the War on Terror permanent
    Complete with a newly coined, creepy Orwellian euphemism – 'disposition matrix' – the administration institutionalizes the most extremist powers a government can claim

    Those two articles were from a while ago. Drones are just one part of the way we are engaging in more and more wars that are undeclared.

    He recently had a Question and Answer session on line. You can find the link below.

    Here is a question, followed by his answer

    For someone who is generally sympathetic to your views, it can be hard to avoid a sense of futility about American politics. What is their weakest point? And if you had to choose just one issue to work on, an issue where real change would have a lot of good side effects, which would it be? Finally, how do you think ordinary people can best contribute to fixing things? – LinguisticsBoy

    These are obviously really important questions - crucial - but not really conducive to answering in this format because they can't be answered in short spurts.

    I would say this: one indisputable lesson that history teaches is that any structures built by human beings - no matter how formidable or invulnerable they may seem - can be radically altered, or even torn down and replaced, by other human beings who tap into passions and find the right strategy. So resignation - defeatism - is always irrational and baseless, even when it's tempting.

    I think the power of ideas is often underrated. Convincing fellow citizens to see and care about the problems you see and finding ways to persuade them to act is crucial. So is a willingness to sacrifice. And to create new ways of activism, even ones that people look askance at, rather than being wedded to the approved conventional means of political change (the ballot box).

    For reasons I alluded to above, putting fear (back) the heart of those who wield power in the public and private sector is, to me, the key goal. A power elite that operates without fear of those over whom power is exercised is one that will be limitlessly corrupt and abusive.

    To get the full list of Greenwald's recent columns try this link and you can see his ongoing critique of many topics

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

  •  I have neither compassion nor pity for terrorists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, Lawrence

    and I have no issue using drones. I get that's not a popular view here but don't really care

    Further GitMo isn't Obama's fault it's the senate that refuses to act as no state wants 'terrorists' in it's jails.

    •  Do you have compassion for civilians? (6+ / 0-)

      Or would they merely be "collateral damage"?

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:56:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  look (0+ / 0-)

        even if we put our pilots in danger there would still be civilians in the line of fire

        I'm not happy with that but I don't see how to change that, frankly we've become insanely spoiled in terms of civilian fatalities when you consider how many died in WW2, WW1, the korean war etc etc

        •  Which is why we shouldn't be there at all (4+ / 0-)

          Then again, when you say things like this:

          we've become insanely spoiled in terms of civilian fatalities
          It's obvious nothing I could say would move you. But do be aware that for most people, "killed less civilians than WW1 and WW2" is not considered a significant achievement.

          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

          by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:37:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  so we should just give in? (0+ / 0-)

            yeah we're not going to agree there and if that's your line then don't expect me or I would think the majority of americans to agree

            and actually when you objectively look at military history the small levels of civilian causalities achieved in the last 20 years is such a significant achievement that it annoys the crap out of me when people down play it

            seriously open a history book, study the last 2,000 years of warfare

            •  Your interpretive skills continue to astound (5+ / 0-)

              Bombing Muslim countries is giving in. Iraq and our "shadow wars" in Pakistan, Yemen, and more have been a recruiting bonanza for terrorists. We're reacting in precisely the way they wanted us to react--by joining them in their game. True courage would involve refusing to play.

              I have read a few history books, fyi. You might want to consider the idea that we have fewer civilian casualties now than we did in WW2 because WW2 was the last time we fought a war with an enemy roughly equal to us. On the other hand, the Iraq War has killed over 100,000 civilians, while the Vietnam War killed roughly half as many North Vietnamese civilians (far more South Vietnamese civilians died, but they were our "allies"). So I wouldn't be so quick to pat yourself on the back about how we're so much better because we don't kill as many innocents.

              "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

              by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:28:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  good gods (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                squarewheel

                no bombing of terrorists camps and terrorists is happening in muslim nations becuase those nations are either so broken they can't maintain themselves or they actively allow terrorists a safe haven

                either is unacceptable and no true courage is doing what needs to be done regardless of the price

                And I reject your premise because it's faulty, just look at the sheer amount of bombs dropped per bombing up though Veitnam till today. The fact is if we operated like we have before we would have reduced whole cities to rubbble but we haven't

                I would point out that the data you're using on Iraq is far from conclusive  and it's not an apples to apples comparison. In Iraq the terrorists moved closer to civilians where as in Nam that was less likely the case

                And this isn't about back patting, I don't like war but sometimes it's necessary. Iraq wasn't and becuase of that every death suffered there is a travesty be they allied, host, civilian or our own and I frankly wish I could give each person responsible for cheer leading us into that war one paper cut per death just so that they could maybe learn from this.

                But's that's off topic really

                •  "True courage" (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cpresley, JesseCW, Mike Taylor
                  true courage is doing what needs to be done regardless of the price
                  Oh, the price is being paid all right. But not by us. And forcing other people to pay the price for one's own actions is not typically considered courageous.

                  Look, we could argue all night and well into the morning as to whether wars have become less brutal in recent years (and by that I mean in the last few decades; they've certainly become less brutal since the 1800s). Yes, we aren't killing as many civilians in Pakistan or Yemen as we did even in Iraq, but that's because we're not occupying them (yet); it doesn't prove anything.

                  But the real problem with your argument isn't that. The true issue, and one that honest-to-God offended me, is the way you're dismissing the civilian casualties of the drone program because more people died in the past. I'm aware that wasn't your intent, but you have to be aware that when you say things like "we've become insanely spoiled in terms of civilian fatalities" you're going to piss people off. (I mean, seriously--spoiled?) And then in this comment, you say:

                  The fact is if we operated like we have before we would have reduced whole cities to rubbble but we haven't
                  As if the US deserves accolades for not demolishing cities in this insane "war."

                  OK, it's late here and I'm tired. I'm especially tired of this argument. You can go ahead and have the last word; I won't respond to you again in this comments section.

                  I just want to ask you one last thing: What's the endgame? When is this "war on terror" finally going to be over? At what point can we stop bombing people? Or is this just the new normal, and we have to learn to accept it? I am honestly--no joke--looking forward to your answer.

                  "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                  by TealTerror on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:06:19 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                    you think our brave men and women sleep easy at night when a mission goes wrong? when they find out the next day that intel was was wrong and that 'terrorist building' was actually not? why do you think PTSD is up so high among returning vets?

                    You have a very biased view and it colors all of your perceptions.

                    And there is no argument by any objective measure the last 2 decades of conflicts and wars by the US have been far cleaner to civilians then in any other war.

                    as to the endgame, I am not sure but what I do know is our enemies can not be persuaded and will not stop and thus never can we

                    I wish, I truly wish I could just wave my hands and erase the last 2,000 years of hate and retalation between the west and the muslims, I wish I could undo all the bad and even stupid policy decesions the US has made

                    I can't and neither can I change the fact that the enemy we face is prepared to do anything to hurt us

                    I don't have all the answers, I honestly and sadly don't think anyone does. All I can do is stumble along trying to make the best decesions i can

                  •  let me add (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TealTerror

                    I don't dismiss death, every death even the deaths of thsoe that hate us fill me with saddness

                    but I don't see another way out of this at least not without some radical change on the part of our enemy and I won't hold my breath on that

                    I think that it speaks volumes though that the US has continued to relentlessly research smarter and smarter weapons.  Has moved from massive area of effect weapons to weapons that can take out only a single building in a city block.

                    At the end of the day war is horrible and an option of last resort but we also shouldn't not take it up if we need to

                    as I said to me courage is doing what you must even if it leaves an indeliable stain on you, your honor, even your soul. Life is hard, messy and frankly it mostly just sucks. All sarcasm aside I wish you could just flip a switch and make peace and love win out.

                    namaste

    •  Everyone who gets killed by a drone is a terrorist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      huh?

  •  Just as a 1st thought: How much did that office (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO

    that was supposed to oversee the closing of Gitmo cost us over the last four years?

    What a fucking joke.

  •  We can prattle about the constitution all we want. (5+ / 0-)

    But the political establishment has long ago decided it's dead. Sure, it'll be dragged out if there's some factional advantage to be gained, and for the time being the violations are not yet widespread. Not yet.

    Later, after there's ten thousand drones flying over the US (and that's "later" over the next year and three) let us all hope that our authorities see no need to suppress us. For instance, if there were a nation-wide, or localized, protest against lawlessness and elite corruptions. (Why that kind of thing could threaten stability!)

    That Overton window is an automatic window, and the button's been pushed to open it so wide, all sorts of nasties can come in.

    I wonder how different America would be if the major media were required to have a short public-service message every hour declaiming and illustrating one or another of the Bill of Rights. With the emphasis on "this Right is yours. It exists to protect you."


    Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

    by Jim P on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:24:12 PM PST

    •  Oh, but we no longer have those rights...! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Taylor, Jim P

      The Patriot Act has not been repealed.  Remember?

      Nor has FISA fiasco been repealed.


      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:45:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It will be interesting to hear what (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TealTerror

    these people who are OK with drones or who have mixed feelings about them are going to say once some non-friendly nations get ahold of them and use them.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:17:52 PM PST

  •  This is what troubles me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, Mike Taylor, TealTerror
    We hope Brennan's upcoming confirmation hearings on February 7 will offer Congressional critics the chance to press him on drone attacks and whether the Obama administration in its fight against terror is functioning within the rule of law -- or abusing presidential power when there has been no formal declaration of war.
    If there is a serious problem with the presidency, it's because the normal checks on it - the Congress and the Courts are increasingly dysfunctional. The remedy of a free press has largely negated itself via corporate ownership and deliberate propagandizing by a certain segment of it.

    It's terribly hard to have either a functional government or an honest press when a determined segment of the body politic has deliberately sought to corrupt and subjugate both to its agenda.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:27:54 PM PST

  •  8 USC § 1481 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, bontemps2012
    (a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality—

    ...

    (2) taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or

    (3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if

    (A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or
    (B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer; or

    (4)(A) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years if he has or acquires the nationality of such foreign state; or
    (B) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years for which office, post, or employment an oath, affirmation, or declaration of allegiance is required; or

    ...

    (7) committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.

    Please apply that statute to the "American citizens" you have mentioned. Once you have finished your analysis, then please provide the reasons why those individuals remain "American citizens" despite the obvious application of this statute.  

    Second, Mr. Moyers, please provide evidence of any "civilian casualties" that doesn't come, second-hand, from the mouths of terrorists or their supporters. With all of the reporters and photographers on the ground, this should be easier than finding Sasquatch. Thanks in advance.

    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:58:14 PM PST

    •  RE: 1-4 Do you believe Al Queda is a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TealTerror, PhilJD

      foreign State?  If so, this is war and we are bound to treat all captives as PoWs unless we can prove they've individually violated the laws of war.

      If not, this is all irrelevant.  It doesn't apply to people who join or are alleged to have joined criminal enterprises.

      7?

      if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.

      "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

      by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:49:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry JesseCW, but I can't ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... figure out what you mean. Captives? Who's talking about captives?

        The supposed "American citizens" in Mr. Moyers' piece were not American citizens, that's all I'm saying. That's also what the statute says.

        P.S. If you don't think the President had a "court of competent jurisdiction" make that determination, you have vastly underestimated our President. Again.

        I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

        by Tortmaster on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:25:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? Obama convicted them? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          This is the first I've heard of that. Got a link?

          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

          by TealTerror on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:51:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's not at all what the statute says. In order (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          2020adam

          for 1-4 to apply, they'd have to be acting in the service of a state with which we were at war.

          Being accused of joining a criminal conspiracy simply doesn't meet that bar.

          Your "P.S." is a claim made out of whole cloth.  There is no evidence that the President ever put the case before a court before issuing his assassination orders.

          "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

          by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:45:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  These seems to qualify as "hot pursuit" (0+ / 0-)

      situations.

      Crimes are in progress.

      The normal rules of criminal investigation are put aside when shots are being fired.

      Al Qaeda kill people -- you betcha. That is arguably all they do.

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:00:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except shots aren't being fired (0+ / 0-)

        We aren't killing people who are as of that moment firing bullets. We're killing people who we think probably tried to kill us sometime in the past or the future, or who "fit the profile" of wanting to kill us. If you can't see the moral difference between the two...

        "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

        by TealTerror on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:53:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The crime is felony conspiracy. (0+ / 0-)

          They are working to facilitate murders.

          They are amassing military hardware and explosives.

          They are fleeing arrest.

          "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

          by bontemps2012 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 05:47:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Drones are just a technology. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onanyes, bontemps2012

    In purely technological terms they can often cause less collateral damage than traditional air strikes.

    Mr. Moyers, I urge you to interview some citizens of Misrata in order to discover how drones are also used to protect civilians from war machinery.  I know for a fact that they were often the most effective weapon of choice for destroying the self-propelled howitzers and tanks that were being used to indiscriminately shell the city of Misrata.

    Drones are like many other technologies, neither good or bad... it all depends on how you use them.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:18:26 AM PST

  •  Ok, you have located a terrorist and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence

    Given you are NOT in a region has has effective police:

    1. you let the terrorist go and kill again
    2. you use non-drones for an air attack (usually civilian deaths)
    3. you send in a military unit; firefight...usually civilian deaths
    4. you attack with drones.

    Obviously, you want to choose the "best time" to attack unless you want to let the terrorist go.

    So: what's the solution?

    As I see it: the problem is war itself, not drones.

    "Obama won. Get over it."

    by onanyes on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:27:51 AM PST

    •  I feel like I keep repeating myself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2020adam

      From a previous comment of mine:

      First of all, I'm not an expert in foreign policy; off the cuff, though, here are my uninformed ideas:

      1) Stop bombing Muslim countries.
      2) Stop propping up dictators in Muslim countries.
      3) Increase foreign aid from its current anemic levels.
      4) Encourage Israel to treat the Palestinians better.
      5) Stop our corporations from exploiting Muslim civilians.
      6) Give an explicit apology for all the crap we've done over the decades, including but not limited to: (a) helping to depose Iran's democratically-elected Prime Minister and replace him with the despotic Shah; (b) supporting Mubarak for almost his entire span of rulership; (c) killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children with our sanctions in the 1990s.

      There are plenty of very smart people who know a lot more about this stuff than I do. I suspect if you were to ask them how to get the Muslim world to like us, instead of how to justify killing them, they might have some better ideas.

      I agree that the problem is war itself, not drones. That's why we should stop the war, instead of keeping it going.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:56:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh, I am uninformed too but (0+ / 0-)

        It is my understanding that much of the terrorism is Muslim against Muslim (fight against liberal Democracy).   Again, what do you do with the current terrorist who has killed and will kill again?  

        "Obama won. Get over it."

        by onanyes on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:39:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Much of it is Muslim vs. Muslim (0+ / 0-)

          But it isn't so much against liberal democracy, which there isn't a lot of in the Middle East (no thanks to us). Rather, Islamic terrorists tend to be opposed to the dictators we prop up, for various reasons (they're Western allies, perceived to be secular, etc).

          Anyway, to get to your main point:

          what do you do with the current terrorist who has killed and will kill again?
          First, if you mean "killed Americans," that's a very small percentage of the people we're bombing. Second, we try them in absentia, and if the government produces enough evidence to convince a neutral judge they're guilty, work with the local government to arrest (or, if necessary, kill) them.

          Is this process long, inefficient, and costly? Of course. I'm not saying it's perfect. But it's a hell of a lot better than what we're doing now.

          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

          by TealTerror on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:40:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  "For $1,000,000 would you push a red (0+ / 0-)

    button that would kill a person in (China, Pakistan, Afghanistan) if you got away with it and no one would know about it ?"

    Honestly. A million is a lot of money.

    How about $100,000 ?

    $10,000 ?

    $100 ?

    $ 0.50 ?

    Slippery slope, eh?

    How about $1,000,000 to look the other way while USAF kills a person in (China, Pakistan, Afghanistan) as the so-called collateral damage associated with killing whoever it is they want to kill this week?

    How's about the process for picking the "whoever" list for the week?

    WTF is going on here?

    Way too many slippery slopes.... Not much for political results.

    Drones can't back-track assassination squads, so it's not clear that any of this has been designed professionally. You need to find the home bases to make a real difference -- which ain't happnin.

    "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

    by bontemps2012 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:13:50 AM PST

  •  Also... (0+ / 0-)

    "Since Barack Obama took office, the aerial assaults also have killed three U.S. citizens, raising additional arguments as to whether the president has the right to order the death of Americans suspected of terrorism without due process of law."

    The question, here, is the extent to which those Americans were involved in active, on-going crimes.

    Presidents do not have to be involved in ordinary law enforcement actions. A gang hits a bank, the FBI jumps in, and nobody calls the White House.

    President Obama really does not have to be involved going after "hot pursuit" Al Qaeda murder-gang thugs. But that's a great Colonize The Problem opportunity for the National Security Advisor and staff, plus the Joint Chiefs.

    Think blasting a Mexican drug gang stronghold in Arizona's White Mountains. Ordinarily, that might get a line in a Daily Briefing from DoJ. Since it's Al Qaeda we're talking about, that one-liner becomes a major time-soak, a briefing for POTUS, an employer for the Beltway masses.

    Hot whoopie !!

    It's still hot pursuit. Crimes in progress. Heavily armed criminals with multi-level security forces. Nobody knocks on those doors. Or gets warrants. It's not a legal requirement.

    "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

    by bontemps2012 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:19:02 AM PST

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