Skip to main content

In a piece in Mother Jones, Adam Serwer argues:

[W]hy didn't Obama just say, "no, the president cannot deploy drone strikes against US citizens on American soil"? Because the answer is probably "yes." That may not be as apocalyptically sinister as it sounds.
I disagree that the answer is yes and I disagree that it does not sound apocalyptically sinister. Serwer relies on law professor Steven Vladeck:
"Certainly, we routinely 'targeted' U.S. citizens during the Civil War," says Steve Vladeck, a law professor at American University's Washington College of Law. "Even if the targeting was with imprecise 19th-century artillery as opposed to 21st-century [unmanned arial vehicles]." If he had the technology, President Abraham Lincoln would most likely have been within his authority to send a drone to vaporize Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The inaptness of this comparison seems obvious does it not? Lincoln faced an insurrection on United States soil. President Obama does not. Is there something more to the argument? Serwer writes:
Congress has long held that the president has the authority to use the military domestically in some circumstances. The Posse Comitatus Act, passed after Reconstruction to limit the use of military force on US soil, states that the military can be used to enforce the law "in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress." The last time this happened was 1992 when, citing the Insurrection Act, President George H.W. Bush called out the National Guard to suppress the Los Angeles riots in the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict.
The Posse Comitatus Act, textually states:
Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Is there something in the Constitution that expressly authorizes the president to target persons in the United States? No. In fact, there is an express prohibition, the Due Process Clause:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." [Emphasis supplied.]
Serwer writes:
The question is whether the Authorization for Use of Military Force, which Congress passed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, counts as "express authorization" to carry out a targeted killing on US soil.
Well, let's read the empowering provisions:
Section 2 - Authorization For Use of United States Armed Forces

(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

The argument that Serwer appears to adopt is that this empower the president to "use all necessary and appropriate force against those [...] organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 [...]in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States" including such persons and organizations located in the United States.

The problem is  the 2001 AUMF does not include the language "in the United States." To wit, the Posse Comitatus Act's requirement of "express authorization" is not met. There is no express authorization for military targetting in the United States.

The 2001 AUMF is an abomination. It needs to be repealed. But it does not do what Serwer argues it does.

The Obama Administration can and should confidently state that it is not empowered to target persons in the United States. Because it is not.

Oh by the way, absent insurrection or rebellion, I do not believe the Congress is authorized by the Constitution ("To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions") to empower the president to target persons in the United States.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  We spend too much time in this country... (12+ / 0-)

    ...worrying about what the government could conceivably do, and not nearly enough time worrying about what it actually does.  I'd rather have 100 debates on whether the government was right, or within its right, to kill al- Awlaki (father and son) than 1 debate on whether the government is now poised to kill me for praising one or more designated terrorist groups.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:56:59 AM PST

    •  I agree. Not being a Constitutional lawyer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kickemout

      myself I wonder why any US citizen is protected by the US Constitution while in another country?

      When traveling abroad I consider THEIR laws first.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:16:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't understand (0+ / 0-)

        Is it your contention that Awlaki was killed in order to comply with Yemeni laws?

        •  Does anyone in Yemen enjoy the protection (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, NonnyO, Militarytracy

          of the US Constitution?

          "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

          by shrike on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:32:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  and fwiw, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, Militarytracy

            he was tried and convicted in a yemeni court, albeit in absentia.

            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

            by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:45:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  So (0+ / 0-)

            So if you criticize the Govt and go abroad for a vacation, then the US govt can kill you while you are abroad because you no longer enjoy the protection of the US Constitution when abroad?

          •  WE The People of the United States... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DFWmom

            ... do not presently "enjoy the protection of the US Constitution."

            Unconstitutional and illegal laws that should not have been passed:

            ~AUMF
            ~Patriot Act
            ~MCA '06 passed under Dumbya's regime & the MCA '09 update under Obama
            ~FISA fiasco '08
            ~'Office of faith-based initiatives' [created w/ Dumbya's executive order, needs an executive order to shut it down]

            Between all of those things, we have NO rights (well, the Third Amendment, but that's moot)

            Several of those "laws" had sunset clauses and were supposed to expire, but Congress took another handful of paranoid pills and extended them.  They run around like chickens with their heads cut off screaming "ter'rists be komin'" which gives them excuses to pass laws that take away our rights so "they're protecting us by doing so" - or so they "justify" such ugly unconstitutional and illegal actions with their rhetoric, as does Obama, for that matter.

            I cried the day the Senate passed MCA '06; several legislators were very emotive about taking away habeas corpus and most of the other rights.


            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 Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:29:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Additional video, torture... (0+ / 0-)

            ... and it's referring to MCA '06 which had just been passed.  Jonathan Turley is one of the best legal minds in the country right now.


            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 Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:39:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  The definition of "war" and "terrorist" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ffour, marina, snoopydawg

      The question of who or where the president or other government official, may target for killing seems to hinge greatly on the definition of the words "war" and "terrorist".

      Sadly, these terms are not well-defined, and therefore frequently abused and over-used.  

      Currently, the Syrian governemtn targets many of its own citizens, saying those who are targeted are "terrorists".  Two summers ago, the US government used anti-terrorist agents and resources to spy on US citizens camping out and protesting US economic poliies.

      And because we are today engaged in a "war", the government justifies wire-taps, email searches, and searching and frisking anyone walking thru a subway station.

      If the government wants to target someone, either here on US soil or abroad, they will go ahead and do so.  After the fact, "war" and "terrrorist" will be trotted out as justifications.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:45:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's what US gov't "actually does" these days... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg, NonnyO

      Law enforcement has become paramilitarized...we're easily spending $100 billion per year on domestic surveillance (when you add together federal, state and municipal budget outlays) ...therefore, the line between what is versus what is not military force has been blurred. Exacerbating this issue, while claims are made that we spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $600 billion on our military, the reality is that it's TWICE that much, because Homeland Security--administratively, and in and of itself in the real world--now exists to further accentuate this "blur."

      Read these three articles....which account for a rather gross omission on the historical facts to the contrary of the thesis of this post.

      Here is what the government "actually does..."

      ("Nothing to see here. Move along! It's all a conspiracy theory.")

      #            #            #

      Meet the Contractors Turning America's Police Into a Paramilitary Force
      You should know about them because they may already know about you.
      John Knefel
      Alternet.org
      January 30, 2013

      The national security state has an annual budget of around $1 trillion. Of that huge pile of money, large amounts go to private companies the federal government awards contracts to. Some, like Lockheed Martin or Boeing, are household names, but many of the contractors fly just under the public's radar. What follows are three companies you should know about (because some of them can learn a lot about you with their spy technologies)...

      #            #            #

      "Your Tax Dollars At Work..."

      Most Terrorist Plots in the US Aren't Invented by Al Qaeda -- They're Manufactured by the FBI

      By Trevor Aaronson

      In the ten years following 9/11, the FBI and the Justice Department convicted more than 150 people following sting operations, though few had any connection to real terrorists.

      Alternet.org
      February 15, 2013

      The following is an excerpt from "The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism," by Trevor Aaronson (Ig Publishing, 2012).

      #            #            #

      And, our country has a HISTORY of creating its own
      "threats," stretching through many generations (actually, it goes back to the late 19th century, but here's something from just over 50 years ago): Operation Northwoods.

      #            #            #

      One of the latest stories...

      Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm
      Link to video: How Raytheon software tracks you online. Raytheon's Riot program mines social network data like a 'Google for spies', drawing ire from civil rights groups
      Ryan Gallagher
      The Guardian
      Sunday 10 February 2013 10.20 EST
      #            #            #

      Yes, the miliary-industrial complex has to justify its existence, now that our forces are being "drawn down" in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Tens of millions of taxpayer-funded security for the Super Bowl?)

      #            #            #

      Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No...it's a distraction so that we ignore what's going on down on the ground!

      Compliments of the CIA and Homeland Security: By Next Year, Privacy Will Be History 7/11/12

      NYT Lead: U.S. Law Enforcement Made 1.3 Million+ Surveillance Requests Of Cell Carriers In 2011 7/9/12

      Police Drone Surveillance Of Virtually Every U.S. Neighborhood Within The Next Five Years? 4/11/12

      NYT Lead: ACLU Documents Rampant, Warrantless Phone-Tracking By Police Throughout U.S. 4/1/12

      Wired’s Mind-Blowing Scoop On “Stellar Wind” And The “Enormity” of U.S. Domestic Spying 3/17/12

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:55:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There IS no defense of the rampant.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO

        ...expenditures STILL within our MIC budget (that are not even acknowledged as being part of our "defense budget"), as it's rationalized by many, including the author of this post, and those in the comments supporting it, when the argument ignores MASSIVE amounts of taxpayer-funded activity by our government to turn America into a surveillance state.

        Yes, Mr. Orwell, "We are there." But, if it's not acknowledged within the community, then it either doesn't exist or it's a "conspiracy theory!"

        Let the denial begin (in response to my quite fact-based comment[s]). This is "what our government does."

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:03:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The argument is there though that the AUMF (4+ / 0-)

    is broad enough to allow it given a contextual scope should say due process be followed in the form of a 'tribunal, panel of judges, executive review appointed by legislature, etc...), which is just all the more reason to repeal that stupid thing and reissue a more defined and honed scope of operations.

    Stupid argument I know, but just realize the idiocy we're facing regarding the AUMF.

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:11:57 AM PST

    •  Express authorization (8+ / 0-)

      to use military force in the United States means EXPRESS.

      I'm not sure how not giving express authorization somehow complies with the express authorization requirement.

      •  I didn't say I agree with the logic, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund, Deep Texan

        the thought that is without given express through authorization it is implied given the context of the authorization.

        I guess in a round about way the thought goes "Just because we didn't say he didn't doesn't mean he doesn't, despite previous law because we on technicality authorized him for this purpose over here"

        They just fail to acknowledge that the purpose was so broad and abstract as to be nothing more than a rubber stamp to any action the Oval Office deems necessary.

        Stupid I know, but just understand the idiocy you're arguing with.

        --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

        by idbecrazyif on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:03:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't recall that the Constitution... (0+ / 0-)

        ... authorizes Congress the power to give up their duty to declare war (or not) and their duty to finance a war for two years (or not).

        No one person should have the "authority" to use any kind of military force.  We do not serially elect dictators.

        Even the clause about the president being CiC says "WHEN called into service."  The prez does not have to be called into service to act the role of Commander in Chief... because Congress has the role of equipping and supervising the military and (if necessary) declaring war and raising money for two years of war.

        Invading Afghanistan was a military action against a little gang of criminals.  It was not an invasion against a country who declared war on us, nor against the Afghani military.  Al Qaeda was never anything more than a little gang of criminal using low-tech methods to accomplish a lot of damage and murder to get attention for their fanatical beliefs.  They only ever had the ability to speak for themselves, not a country.  They were not even welcome in their own countries which is why this little gang of thugs was hiding out in a remote mountain region.

        Ditto Iraq.  Dumbya and Dickie should have been impeached and turned over to The Hague to be tried for war crimes over that illegal and unconstitutional invasion that broke every treaty ever signed on to by the US.

        Invading Afghanistan to go after a little gang of criminals with the full might of the US military (and mercenaries) was overkill on a massive scale.

        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 Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:51:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  it's certainly not something that no president has (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, Words In Action, elmo

    ever considered.

    during a labor skirmish in west virginia, better known as the battle of blair mountain, president warren g. harding threatened to send in army mb-1 bomber airplanes along with federal troops.  the air support and troops were to supplement private airplanes that had already been hired to bomb striking miners along with a significant militia of the mine owners hired thugs.  gas and explosive bombs that were surplus from world war 1 were dropped on the miners.  in the end, the army aircraft were used to provide tactical surveillance and the private air force dropped the bombs.

    i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

    by joe shikspack on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:13:09 AM PST

    •  Warren G. Harding (3+ / 0-)

      not exactly like citing to Lincoln.

      •  i thought the use of private armies... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, Words In Action

        was an interesting consideration.  perhaps i was too subtle?  

        i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

        by joe shikspack on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:28:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did the POTUS raise those private armies? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan

          If not, then that interesting and subtle point is meat for an new diary being as it is not topical to this one.

          •  not that this would matter to you... (0+ / 0-)

            but these days public and private sector seem to work hand in hand.  government secrecy makes it pretty darned difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.  i would suggest that lincoln and harding didn't have at their disposal the range of private sector options for actions against americans on american soil that modern presidents do.

            i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

            by joe shikspack on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:17:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  By the Constitution... (0+ / 0-)

            ... POTUS can't raise armies - private or otherwise.

            I'm still mystified as to why any of the mercenary corporations were hired in the first place, and further and more mystified why Congress authorized paying them.

            Raising legitimate [public] armies is a Legislative (Congressional) duty:

            US Constitution - Legislative
            http://www.archives.gov/...
            Article I, Section 8

            The Congress shall have Power...

            To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

            To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

            To provide and maintain a Navy;

            To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

            To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

            To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;...

            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 Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:02:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Much more relevant (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, joe shikspack

        I'd say. The whole armed insurrection thing distinguishes what Lincoln did quite clearly from any other situation faced by other presidents.

    •  then there was Maj. George Patton (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack

      and Gen. Douglas MacArther using the 12th Infantry and 3rd Cav. regiments to attack protesting veterans, the Bonus Army, and their families on July 28, 1932

      Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:45:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kent St, Jackson St (2+ / 0-)

        There are innumerable uses of the US military during large protests.

        This diary discusses targeting individuals in the US.

        •  of course (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe shikspack, Quicklund

          but Joe above  was speaking of labor strikes and the use of aircraft

          Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

          by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:10:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Individuals were killed at Kent State (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, Jeffersonian Democrat

          That's the example I always think of when the drone discussion comes up. Unarmed college students were the "threat" back then, and no one has paid a price for their murders.  The government should NOt have the power to kill U.S. citizens on our soil (or off, for that matter) without due process.

          The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

          by LiberalLady on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:28:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well that being quite a formative event for me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jeffersonian Democrat

            I was two and one-half months shy of my 11th birthday on May 4th 1970, so I am hardly hear to disagree with you. But the ONG was not sent to the campus with the intent to kill anyone, much less a specific protest leader. That's an example of tragic accident through fear and mis-management not an example of lack of due process.  

            As for due process, that is exactly what this diary examines. The hypothesis put forth is that the US gov't cannot legally do this thing.

  •  Except (0+ / 0-)

    Wasn't the AUMF enacted after the Posse Comitatus Act?  Later Congresses are not bound by former ones.

    Or would the AUMF have had to recite, "Notwithstanding any other provision of law . . . ."

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:20:23 AM PST

  •  Whether or not he is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, Words In Action

    he shouldn't be.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:23:03 AM PST

  •  Great diary, and thanks. (5+ / 0-)

    That was one of those questions that I assumed had an answer out there, but figured someone smarter than me would tackle eventually so I could free ride on their smarts and efforts.

    That said, Vladeck isn't a dummy, which makes me wonder if there's any more to his argument than "AUMF, ergo we can target domestically."  Is that really the thrust of the argument, or is there any more nuance to it? (and I'll do some searching on my own at this point, having done enough free riding for now, but if you - or anyone else - knows off the top of their head I'd be obliged)  

  •  Does the AUMF satisfy Comitatus? (5+ / 0-)

    I would like to think "No", but the question is - what Law passed by Congress Authorized G.H.W. Bush to send troops into the streets of Los Angeles, yet he did it anyway didn't he?

    And it wouldn't be the first Aerial Bombing by against of the U.S. Government against U.S. Citizens - see the M.O.V.E. Bombing in Philadelphia.

    We have local police, Sherrif's, State Police, FBI, ATF and Homeland Security to help us deal with Domestic Threats - resorting to a Bombing (again) is pretty unlikely IMO.  It would be like (Waco + Ruby Ridge) * 20 politically.  Completely Toxic.  But the question of whether it would be legal under the AUMF in order to meet Comitatas would probably have to be resolved in the courts - after the fact.

    To me however, the larger concern isn't the targeting of Americans - as I believe that Americans get no special dispensation or rights under the laws of war - rather, it is the use of Signature Strikes which are against persons who haven't even been individual identified, who are only behaving in a "suspicious pattern" which has been shown to be trying to dig survivors out of the rubble of a previous attack or attending a funeral for those previously killed by the last drone strike.  Talk about the collateral damage of "Profiling".

    By obsessing over whether Americans might be hit with these strikes we obscure the fact that many other innocents include local police and non-combatants are being killed in these attacks generating and ill will that may haunt us for decades.

    Vyan

  •  If the target was Roger Ailes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, elmo

    or Steve Doucy, I might be willing to make an exception.

  •  I like how we can talk about killing people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    like its ok.

    Someday killing people will be viewed as worse than smoking pot.

    I know - outrageous, but I assure you, it's true.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:37:55 AM PST

  •  i don't see how (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando

    even just surveillance drones, it would seem, violate the 4th.

    we should not have drones, regardless, because they're far from secure.  wars being proxy fought by hackers?  gee, what could go wrong!?!?!

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:48:46 AM PST

    •  Surveillenace in areas (5+ / 0-)

      where you have no expectation of privacy, according to the SCOTUS, does not violate the 4th.

       

    •  Drone tech is not going away (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, NonnyO

      You may as well argue for a return to whale oil for lighting. Technology marches on.

      What's needed is a strict international rules construct which governs how they are used. Over 60 air forces today operate drones or are in the process of obtaining them. In 10 more years most every nation with a air force will have them.

      And that is just pilotless aircraft. There's a whole wave of robot tanks and so forth here and coming.

      They are not going away so we need to concentrate on restricting them somehow.

    •  I can see valid uses for drones... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn

      ... not the kind that carry weapons, however.

      I wrote this in someone else's diary a few days ago.

      Equipped with great HD cameras they could be used for looking for lost kids, lost senile senior citizens, lost hunters in the woods - places where a plane can't fly that low.

      For illegal war activities inside other countries where they're going after criminals... no.  That needs joint law enforcement action, not military action.

      Until AUMF and the laws that took away our rights are repealed and never put back in place, then..., no.  The whole drone thing ought to be out of bounds and not done because AUMF needs to also be repealed.  A president acting like a dictator does NOT have the right to target anyone with drones, domestic or foreign.  Period.  That's just asking for trouble.

      Unarmed drones doing sensible and good things would be okay..., not the rest of it.  But FIRST we have to get our rights back from a congress that is reluctant to repeal those illegal and unconstitutional laws that should be allowed to expire.

      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 Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:05:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Clearly it would be murder.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, Quicklund, NonnyO, Militarytracy

    We have a mechanism inside the US to deal with American's as terrorists, and that mechanism was used to great effect and very publicly on one....

    Timothy McVeigh

    So, let's not get all crazy. Drone strikes at enemy elements on the world battlefield in places we can't call the cops and have him/her arrested and brought to justice, are a reasonable action.

    But going after Whitey Bulger with Drones, blowing up a California apartment building would not be appropriate or necessary.

  •  I very much doubt that our criminal laws and ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... enforcement are up to handling terrorism within the United States.

    The recent book Lone Wolf Terror and the Rise of Leaderless Resistance by George Michael documents the "changing face of terror" - individuals and small groups bent on creating fear, panic, havoc, destruction through acts of political, social and economic terror, empowered by our deliberately open society and its mores.

    Our criminal justice system and its elaborate procedures have evolved largely to prosecute crimes that have already occurred with cases based on evidence gathered laboriously after the fact, rather than to prevent crimes in their incipience. We have laws criminalizing "conspiracies" and "attempts" but as a practical matter, they seem to be weak vehicles to head off acts of terror. We have a strong bias for releasing persons accused of crimes pending a full-blown trial on the merits long afterwards.

    These are not the mechanisms for ensuring our safety in the sense of "homeland security."

    This diary and comments are within the context of targeting American citizens and others within our borders with drones. As such, an assemblage of inapt comparisons, artful logic and high Constitutional principles quite understandably trumps the horror of descending on suspects from the air and killing them.

    I think the times call for a much more nuanced approach to preventing modern-day acts of terror within our borders. (Yes, and elsewhere.)

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:41:35 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site