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In September, on national TV, I said that “I am very disturbed by this idea that whenever we see something bad in the world, we should bomb it.”  Last week I felt even more disturbed, when I met some of the victims of that brutal idea.

Last week, we made history, a very sad sort of history.  I hosted the first Congressional briefing that featured the testimony of drone warfare victims.

A year ago, a grandmother in her sixties was picking okra from her garden in a small village in South Waziristan.  Her nine-year-old granddaughter was with her.  Neither one was an enemy of the United States.  Neither one was a threat to any American.  Neither one was any kind of militant.  In fact, neither really had ever given much thought to the United States.

A U.S. military drone flew overhead.  It bombed them.  The grandmother screamed and died.  Her body was so butchered that the villagers would not allow her own children to see it.  Her granddaughter was permanently injured.

The grandmother joined the 1000 innocent victims of American drone warfare in Pakistan.  A list that includes almost 200 children.  By most accounts, between 10 percent and 30 percent of drone victims are guilty of nothing but being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Last week, I hosted the first Congressional briefing with Pakistani drone victims.  One broken family got to tell its sad story to Congress, to the world, and now to you.

The son of the victim, Rafiq ur Rehman, spoke first.  He and his mother lived in a village with no public services, far from any road.  He is a teacher.  His mother was the village storyteller.  In the eyes of the villagers, he said in elegy and in eulogy, she was the string that held the pearls on a necklace. And now she is gone.

His two children also testified.  His daughter, who was with her grandmother that fateful day, spoke about her injuries.  One of the children said that they used to pray for blue skies, because they were so beautiful.  Now they pray for gray skies, because the drones are absent -- temporarily.

They wanted to know why the United States had killed Grandma.  I didn't have an answer. But at least I could listen, and learn.

You can, too. Here is a link to our briefing.

Here is where we are at:  A person sits in front of a computer screen somewhere in the United States.  He has never been to the target area, has never seen it from the ground, doesn’t know anyone there, doesn’t speak their language, isn’t even familiar with the clothes that they wear.  Based on what he sees on that computer screen, and whatever else he’s got, he launches bombs from a drone aircraft flying in the sky 8000 miles away.  The bombs then kill people.

Does that seem like an effective means to prevent attacks on the United States?   Seriously?  Is it any wonder that so many innocent people die?  And should it even be so easy to kill?

The CIA doesn't even admit that it is running a drone warfare program, much less accept responsibility for its innocent victims.  The State Department refused to issue a visa to the lawyer for this family of victims coming to the United States, even though he had visited the United States many times before without incident. The engineers of this machinery of death report from time to time that they claim to have killed the #3 in this sinister organization, or the #7 in that other sinister organization.  But they never report on the death of a grandmother in her sixties.  Nor do they consider the fundamental truth that such an execution leads to more terrorism, not less.

Momina Bibi is dead.  She will not be telling any more grand, poetic and lyrical stories to her fellow villagers. There is no way to bring her back to life, or even to reassemble what’s left of the parts of her body.  But we can stop it from happening again.

And that's what we're trying to do.

So if you have the time, please watch.

Peace,

Alan Grayson

“Blessed be the peacemakers,
For they shall be called the children of God.”

- Matthew 5:9

P.S. You can learn more about this topic and my other work in Congress at CongressmanWithGuts.com.

P.P.S. Please share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Originally posted to Alan Grayson on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 01:34 PM PST.

Also republished by Group W: Resisting War.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How did we let it come to this? (11+ / 0-)

    "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

    by voracious on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 01:36:45 PM PST

  •  "It is well that war is so terrible — (3+ / 0-)

    lest we should grow too fond of it."  R E Lee.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 01:52:49 PM PST

  •  Too many think it's a video game. (14+ / 0-)

    Sit in front of the console, insert some quarters, watch things go boom.

    Too bad it takes these kinds of stories to remind us that those are people on those video screens.

    •  But it is all too easy for people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, aliasalias, marina

      to shut their eyes. How many congress critters stayed to listen? Ever damn one of them OUGHT to have been in that room. THAT is our TAX money being used so badly!

      It seems that all my life we have been bombing someone, teaching them a lesson. Every day I understand more deeply how violent we are. Violent to others and violent to ourselves. - Robert Olmstead

      by glitterscale on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:54:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hiroshima, Nagasaki. That was pretty easy too. (14+ / 0-)

    Just fly over and drop a bomb and bam, 100K dead.  It's not that it's too easy, it's the same as it ever was, same thing only different.  It's just now we're trapped in this neverending "WAR" that our government lies to it's people about on a daily basis.  The entire War OF Terror is a fabricated lie.  The problem is the sheeple continuing to accept it.  

    "It is easier to pass through the eye of a needle then it is to be an honest politician."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 02:04:52 PM PST

  •  The stories one hears passed down about war,... (8+ / 0-)

    ..., aside from those of the victims of brutality, are not those of someone killing someone else, but of the moment when enemies took note of each other's humanity enough to stop killing, even for just a moment.

    Without that contact, the intimacy of seeing each other at closehand, the reading of each other's eyes and gestures, that pause in violence is absent.  Killing becomes an act of calculus.  There is nothing memorable or moving for the victor to teach to those who follow; there's only the pain of the victims.

  •  I find this argument problematic. (5+ / 0-)
    Here is where we are at:  A person sits in front of a computer screen somewhere in the United States.  He has never been to the target area, has never seen it from the ground, doesn’t know anyone there, doesn’t speak their language, isn’t even familiar with the clothes that they wear.  Based on what he sees on that computer screen, and whatever else he’s got, he launches bombs from a drone aircraft flying in the sky 8000 miles away.  The bombs then kill people.
    Based on that description alone, one could have said exactly the same thing about our grandfathers flying B-17s or B-29s over Europe or Japan. Most of them had never been to the target area or seen it from the ground, didn't know anyone  there or speak the language, and often weren't even familiar with the clothes that they wore. Based on what they saw through their Norden bombsights, they dropped bombs from a plane flying thousands of feet overhead. The bombs then killed people.

    The only difference was that they were in a plane overhead taking fire from flak cannons or enemy fighters—that is, until the Allies achieved air superiority—rather than in a room a few thousand miles away. But that doesn't mean they were anywhere near close enough to see the faces of the people their bombs killed or maimed, or to know whether or not the targets they were being ordered to bomb were the right ones.

    Is the fact that their own lives were on the line enough to make a qualitative difference in the morality of their actions, even if that fact didn't ever stop them from doing their damnedest to make sure they dropped their bombs on their targets?

    Now I don't disagree with the overall point that the overall drone warfare strategy is morally questionable at best, that there need to be stronger checks and balances and more oversight on the administration's power to carry out drone attacks, that far too many civilians are killed by drone strikes.

    There are certainly moral difficulties that result from the "Global War on Terror," different as it is from previous wars in which the enemy was wearing a uniform and occupying territory.

    But the grandmothers and parents and children who were killed by the drones would be no less dead if their house had been blown up by a cruise missile fired from a ship 100 miles away or by a missile or bomb from a manned American jet flying a few thousand feet overhead.

    I don't think you'd find that any more acceptable, any more justifiable, any less heartbreaking than their being killed by an unmanned drone. I certainly don't.

    We desperately need to change our policies in the "war on terror," to get away from kill-first policies, to prevent the terrible things that you heard testimony about from being done again in our name. These are terrible wrongs, and we as a nation should be ashamed of them and demand better from our leaders.

    But I resist the notion that there is some quality inherent in the unmanned drone that makes it a uniquely unconscionable weapon, such that it would somehow be more morally acceptable for the same kind of missile to destroy the same target if it happened to come from a jet with a human pilot inside.

    In other words, I don't think the problem is the drones. The problem is the policies and overall mindset that lead to the decision to send them out and direct them toward a target. That would remain a problem if we were sending out F/A-18s or B-2s to bomb the same target. We need to change our whole approach.

    If we focus too much of our energy on the drones themselves and make them the issue rather than the overall mindset and the decision-making, I fear that we run the risk of making it too easy for military leaders to say "okay, we'll just scramble F/A-18s instead," and keep on launching the same missiles at the same targets.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 02:23:58 PM PST

    •  drones are especially bad in one way (9+ / 0-)

      They eliminate all risk in killing. This changes the psychology of warfare: there is no clear cost to authorizing a drone strike, and so there is no disincentive to using this weapon as often as desired for any reason. Also, the public of the aggressor country has no visceral reason to oppose drone attacks since nobody (of consequence) will be killed. The Pentagon and warmongering politicians have finally found a perfect way to wage war with no consequences besides a depleted national budget.

      The other potentially unique and bad thing about killing with drones is that, though we haven't seen it yet, it is also a good weapon for guerilla warfare: anyone can launch a drone attack against a more powerful enemy, and strike deep into their territory, anonymously and safely out of reach. I think that the US was not thinking very far ahead when it got the bright idea to gift the world with all-out drone warfare.

      "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

      by quill on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:14:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And cruise missiles don't? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, kirrix
        They eliminate all risk in killing. This changes the psychology of warfare: there is no clear cost to authorizing a drone strike, and so there is no disincentive to using this weapon as often as desired for any reason.
        Cruise missiles are similarly risk-free; do you believe those are also immoral?

        Moreover, if we are now setting up risk as a continuum of the morality of a given method of warfare, wouldn't that suggest that we should eliminate any weapon that kills at range, as the risk to the attacker decreases as the range between attacker and target increases?

        Sending in an F/A-18 to engage in an airstrike is significantly less risky than sending in a team of SEALs with rifles; does that make the latter morally preferable to the former? By that logic, the most moral approach would be to send our soldiers into battle naked and unarmed, to kill their enemies with their bare hands.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:48:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  cruise missiles are very expensive (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JamesGG, aliasalias

          So there is a literal cost to them that prevents indiscriminate use. Same for carrier based fighter/bombers. Also, both require vastly better technology and support infrastructure than a drone.

          I'm not talking about morality here, since the decision process of nations and leaders who contemplate this type of warfare is essentially amoral - rather ultimately a cost vs benefit analysis. Some of the costs are: expense, difficulty of achieving the tech, and the social cost of popular disapproval, which I discussed above.

          I have never seen American aggression as anything more than self serving realpolitik of a powerful nation. Morality seems to play a minor role, if any at all.

          Also, if it were up to me, yes, I'd require boots on the ground for any offensive operation being contemplated. Skin in the game.

          "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

          by quill on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:43:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think you have forgotten (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quill, aliasalias, marina

          The reason this story was written.
          An UAV killed an innocent women for no reason.
          That area was not a war zone.
          No war has been declared on that country.
          The UN agrees that these are war crimes.
          Especially when they double tap rescuers and funerals.
          Would you be defending dronevattacks over bombers if the US was being hombed?  
          Obama has been over heard to say he didn't know he would be so good at killing.
          Kill list Tuesdays?  
          Disgusting.
          What was wrong under Bush is just as wrong under Obama.
          Another thing. How much does it cost to replace those oops bombs.
          Some one is getting very rich.
          Again.

          Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

          by snoopydawg on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 06:04:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But I though the UN, ACL-Boo, and Amnesty (0+ / 0-)

            International were just a bunch of whiny terrorist supporters who needed to be bombed themselves.

            /snark

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 06:24:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You're missing my point. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias
            An UAV killed an innocent women for no reason.
            That area was not a war zone.
            No war has been declared on that country.
            The UN agrees that these are war crimes.
            Especially when they double tap rescuers and funerals.
            Would you be defending dronevattacks over bombers if the US was being hombed?
            First, let's make one thing clear: I'm not "defending drone attacks." I'm taking exception to the notion that there is something uniquely abhorrent about drones, such that a drone killing an innocent person is somehow more wrong than an artillery shell, a missile launched from a fighter jet, or a cruise missile killing an innocent person.

            And second, let me make it even clearer by asking you a simple question: If you were to replace "UAV" with "a manned F/A-18" in what you wrote above, would that make the attack acceptable in your eyes?

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 07:26:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  The other difference is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      That was a declared war.
      Who declared war in Pkistan, Yemen, somalia and all the other countries we are bombing?  
      The AUMF has been over extended.
      What is the difference between them flying planes in to our buildings and the US dropping bombs on over 10 countries?  
      Are you aware of the huge base in Africa?  
      They are bombing most states there.
      The CIA& JSOC are in between. 75-125 different countries.
      What right has the US to do that?  
      Why is it only called terrorism when it happens to us?  
      Rolling Stones has an excellent article on war crimes our soilders are commiting.
      The brass is aware of it and does not hold them accountable.
      That is what happens when you let top government people off for war crimes.
      They keep happening.
      Remember King's speach.
      "This country is the biggest purveyor of violence".
      Imo, he was correct.

      Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

      by snoopydawg on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:30:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You've made my point for me... (0+ / 0-)

        ...because absolutely nothing of what you wrote there is in any way unique or inherent to drones. It's about the policy, not the weapon.

        If we had manned fighter jets, artillery, ship-based bombardments, or cruise missiles doing the killing rather than drones, would you find that acceptable?

        If we'd had drones in World War II and used them to take out German munitions factories and Japanese aircraft carriers, would you have found that objectionable?

        You've made my point for me, as I wrote above: The problem is not the drones. The problem is the policy, the approach, the mindset. It would be no less morally problematic if fighter jets or artillery were doing what you wrote above, rather than drones. Innocents would be no less dead. International law would be no less compromised. The problem isn't the drones; the problem is the "war on terror" itself. The nature of the technology being used to prosecute that war is a secondary concern.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 07:32:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the logistics of scrambling jets compared to Drone (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina

          bombers is huge, a lot more money and people are needed for the first, not much for the video bombers .

          One very big difference is that unlike the jets the Drones stay in their (targeted areas) lives day and night up in the sky and they live with the sounds and the sight of a plane that may be killing any one of them at any minute. They never know when it may happen to them.

          It's terrorizing people around the clock even when they aren't being bombed and that's a big difference between the two methods. Personally if it was a matter of two choices I'd rather deal with fighter strikes that came and went rather than an around the clock monitor that decides life and death.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:12:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with the following 1st paragraph but on (0+ / 0-)

      the second one I see it a little differently in that if you scramble those jets it will hopefully come with weighing the possible consequences for those pilots, losing people the military has sunk a lot of money into training versus a freewheelin' video player with nothing to lose.

      That's too one sided and makes the decisions to kill a lot easier to make, no body bags (American) to worry about politically and it stays off the political radar (thanks to Grayson and others in their efforts to change that).
      Bottom line is that it makes killing easier, and cheaper with video operators compared to all the flight training pilots would've needed.
      Still it does come back to our need to get away from this "kill-first (and kill everywhere) policies"no matter how we deliver that terror and death but we also don't need an easier way to do it.

      We desperately need to change our policies in the "war on terror," to get away from kill-first policies, to prevent the terrible things that you heard testimony about from being done again in our name. These are terrible wrongs, and we as a nation should be ashamed of them and demand better from our leaders.

      But I resist the notion that there is some quality inherent in the unmanned drone that makes it a uniquely unconscionable weapon, such that it would somehow be more morally acceptable for the same kind of missile to destroy the same target if it happened to come from a jet with a human pilot inside.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 08:53:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need to vote out those vile, teabagging (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueDragon

    racist republicans who are ordering these drone strikes.

  •  The war on terrorism is still a war ... and (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    kirrix
    Hidden by:
    nosleep4u

    in any war there will be collateral damage ... extremely unfortunate .... but that is what it is ...

    The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 02:29:48 PM PST

    •  War? (5+ / 0-)

      In a war there are two sides...generally speaking, it is just the US preemptively bombing the shit out of anything they think might be a terrorist.

      "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

      by cardboardurinal on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 02:49:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your assumption that the USA is bombing (0+ / 0-)

        the sh.. our of everything is false ... and thank you President Obama that you are making decisions to strike before terrorists strike us ....

        so you want Nixon rules all over again ... "they have to shoot first before we shoot back"   ??????

        The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

        by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 02:58:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you feel... (4+ / 0-)

          the same when Bush went into Iraq?  I doubt it.

          "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

          by cardboardurinal on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:01:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  WTF does Iraq have anything to do with the (0+ / 0-)

            war on terrorism ...

            Bushies war was revenge for his father ...

            and we were all lied to about wmd's

            The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

            by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:27:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  um... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              snoopydawg, aliasalias

              they were hitting them there before they could come here.  Your logic is the same as their (the Bush Administration's) justification.

              "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

              by cardboardurinal on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:32:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  NOT even close ... (0+ / 0-)

                Bushie's henchmen used that justification ....

                and Iraq as we all know, way to late, was Bushie's revenge, had little to nothing to do with terrorism ...

                had everything to do with WMD ...

                The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

                by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:38:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bullshit (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aliasalias

                  they knew there were no WMDs.
                  It was for the oil and Saddam wanted to kick out US oil corporations and quit using US dollars.
                  Please read some facts.

                  Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

                  by snoopydawg on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 06:43:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are such a smart acre after the fact .... (0+ / 0-)

                    of course we all know there were no WMDs ...

                    and whatever your corporatist hating friends tell you, Saddam and his regime had billions of dollars stashed away in bunkers all over Iraq .... so quit using US dollars is some BS ...

                    The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

                    by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:41:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  After the fact? (0+ / 0-)

                      They knew that before invading.
                      Did you believe that?  
                      Corporate hating friends?  
                      No, I form my own opinions.
                      And what I stated was the truth. Google it or keep being dumb.

                      Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

                      by snoopydawg on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:50:46 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  You do realize that we have no idea who we (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, aliasalias

          are blowing up anymore thanks to so called "signature strikes", right?  But apparently she met the "signature" so she had to die even though they didn't know anything about her.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:28:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  To be the President, you are NOT ... (0+ / 0-)

            and he has way more intelligence gathering at his fingertips than you do ....

            but for some weird ass reasoning, we want to curtail his intelligence gathering for fear he might overhear/read about us setting up our drug buys .... or whatever we are guarding ourselves from ....

            and I am most assured that your assumption that we did not know anything about her is also false ....

            The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

            by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:35:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So that's it, she wasn't an innocent civilian (4+ / 0-)

              because after all daddy Obama knows best and all the coverage on "innocent" people like her is just enemy propaganda.

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:43:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If, as you state, she was the target ... (0+ / 0-)

                we had way more information than how many times a day she went to the bathroom ....

                and if she was not the target, please refer to my initial statement about what we are involved in ......

                IT IS CALLED WAR .... and sh.. happens ....

                The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

                by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:46:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What part of SIGNATURE STRIKE don't you (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aliasalias, cardboardurinal

                  understand?  Hell, just being a "military aged male" in an off-road vehicle like a jeep is enough to get you blown up (and presumably "military aged male" counts as at least two points, if not three on the checklist).  But of course we would never do anything like that and we just have to trust daddy Obama.

                  You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                  by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:49:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You seem to think you know more about (0+ / 0-)

                    how to dispose of terrorists than the President ....

                    and apparently, you have more intelligence on what went down than anyone ...

                    I say, are you located at Langley .... ?

                    The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

                    by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:57:37 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So your argument is that people should just STFU (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cardboardurinal

                      and blindly trust the president because there is no way he would authorize a method of disposing  of terrorists that targets an order of magnitude more innocent civilians than terrorists.  I bet you think both the ACLU and Amensty International are just a bunch of whiny pussies that should just shut the hell up and let daddy Obama do his job before they get bombed as well.

                      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                      by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:10:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  here's a list for you, tell me how many terrorists (0+ / 0-)

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:18:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But.... (0+ / 0-)

                a lot of them are probably terrorist...they are 14-17...

                /snark

                "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

                by cardboardurinal on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:31:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  mindmover (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, cardboardurinal

          We did shoot first.
          Many times.
          We did coups.
          Invaded countless countries who were no threat to us.
          Kidnapped, tortured and inprisoned countless innocent men.
          You pretending that Obama is not bombing the shit out of everything is false.
          He ordered more drone strikes in the 1st 3 weeks of his presidency then Bush did in 8 years.
          He is not just killing terrorists.
          Did you read the damn diary?  
          He is creating more terrorists by killing innocent women, kids and men.
          So ask yourself.
          Why do they want to kill us?  
          If another country commited a coup here and dropped bombs on, I would want revenge.
          Wake up.

          Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

          by snoopydawg on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 06:41:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your comment reads like a poem ... (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, we are now shooting first, TYJ ....

            Yes, we have done coops, 7 successful and a few not so ...

            Invaded countless countries, well, show me countless ...

            Countless innocent men tortured, kidnapped ... show me countless ....

            Ain't no pretense, you and others have been spouting bombing the sh.. out of everything ..

            and TYJ, at least President Obama knows how to pull the trigger effectively ... Bushie just knew how to stand on an aircraft carrier and declare the war over ...

            the damn story is just that, a damn story ...

            In every WAR, civilians are killed, murdered, kidnapped, tortured ... this is the terrible news i must bring to you ...

            So I ask myself, when I am driving in to work or sitting at home typing on my computer or watching a football game on Sunday ... what bottle of wine am I gonna open tonight to go with the cheese that I bought from Trader Joes ....

            Another country better not even have a thought of committing a coup or dropping a bomb here ....

            WAKE TFU ... you are living in the best seat in the house ....

             

            The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

            by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:14:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Again, bullshit (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cardboardurinal

              And do your own damned research on what I stated.
              So the Us can do coups and install brutal dictators that brutalize their people and you are fine with that?
              But other countries can't. Why not?
              And these are not wars. Congress has not declared war. They are illegal invasion.
              And no, the US isn't the best. millions live in poverty, have no insurance, ect
              And i don't giveva damn how you think i write.
              You wtfu agth.

              Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

              by snoopydawg on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:58:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  one cannot wage a war against a concept (0+ / 0-)

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:47:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of lives (0+ / 0-)

        that have been shattered due to terrorism ...

        The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

        by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:56:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And I suppose the tens to hundreds of thousands (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snoopydawg, aliasalias

          of lives that have been shattered due to indiscriminate bombing simply because someone met a couple of "signature" points on a checklist don't matter then.  After all, who cares if we don't even know who is being targeted as long as you can check off three of the 15 items on the signature checklist.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:30:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It takes a lot more than a couple .... (0+ / 0-)

            and we certainly do know who is being met with hellfire from above ....

            The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

            by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:16:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "we know" who is this "we" and what knowledge (0+ / 0-)

              was shared with you?

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:20:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I take comfort in the fact that someone ... (0+ / 0-)

                who has more intelligence at his fingertips then any other world leader in the history of mankind has this knowledge and uses it extremely wisely ...

                The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

                by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:51:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  and just how do YOU personally know this? (0+ / 0-)

                  What's the latest 'wise 'move, force feeding prisoners at GITMO? Indefinite detention?, making us a surveillance State legal? Having a Kill List that I guess you think he 'wisely' picks out who lives and who dies, being judge and jury? Do you think using knowledge to have weddings funerals and civil gatherings bombed is using that info wisely?

                  without the ants the rainforest dies

                  by aliasalias on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:31:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, who started gizmo ... (0+ / 0-)

                    and surveillance state was pumped up under whose authority ...

                    and yes, someone other than you is picking who lives and who dies as the wanna be terrorist ...

                    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, weddings and funerals and civil gatherings, guess those nasty terrorists do not use those covers ... oh no, really ....

                    The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

                    by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:55:02 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Don't you think we have already DONE our (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, aliasalias

          quota of collateral damage in Iraq and Afghanistan? And now we are just doing sweeps in Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia with these drones. How many countries can we do this to and not create total instability in the world?

          The terrorists killed around 5 thousand and we have now killed anywhere between a 1/2 million and a million. When does it become ENOUGH!

          It seems that all my life we have been bombing someone, teaching them a lesson. Every day I understand more deeply how violent we are. Violent to others and violent to ourselves. - Robert Olmstead

          by glitterscale on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:03:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You use the word "instability" ... (0+ / 0-)

            like the USA invented the word ...

            please take a look at the historical perspective on terrorism ...

            and your 5 thousand number is really WRONG ....

            and to answer your question, it becomes enough when the terrorists put down their weapons and we all start singing Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya ....

            The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

            by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:15:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, and I know a few other terrorists who need (0+ / 0-)

              to be bombed.  Specifically the UN, the ACL-Boo, and Amnesty International who are all part of the terrorist conspiracy including things like trying to make legitimately targeted killings (like that so called "grandmother") look like innocents are being targeted due to vague "signature" guidelines.  Time to put your ass where your mouth is and contact Obama to encourage him to bombe the crap out of those evil terrorist scum at Amnesty International and the UN.

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 06:31:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Apparently he's got a pro-massacre mindset (0+ / 0-)

            For some people, there's never enough blood in the streets.

            "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

            by nosleep4u on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:59:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The US has killed millions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias

          20-30 million and invaded many countries.

          Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

          by snoopydawg on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 06:44:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow, those numbers are staggeringly BS .... (0+ / 0-)

            You must be a TLL to spout out those numbers so gloriously .... and then get someone to recommend your audacious post ....

            The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

            by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:47:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good god (0+ / 0-)

              Grow up and wake up.
              Think about how many the US murdered in Nam when they carpet bombed and napalmed whole villages.
              That is just on country the US invaded.
              How about Japan and 2 atomic bombs?
              No one died?  
              How many died with the genocide of Native Americans?
              What the hell to you think shock and awe bombs did?  
              Afghanistan, Korea and all the other countries the US invaded.
              Sanctions against Iraq killed over 5000,000 kids.
              Ask Albright.
              You are being deliberately ignorant if you can't see the truth.
              Must be nice being blind what this country has done.
              Or you can wake the hell up and search for the numbers I quoted.
              And what is TLL?
              Don't bother responding.
              It isn't worth my time talking to ignorant people who think the US is a good country.

              Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

              by snoopydawg on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:46:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not only a good country ... (0+ / 0-)

                this is a GREAT COUNTRY ...

                so GSTHEOAG YTLL

                The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

                by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:51:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hey fool (0+ / 0-)

                  Go over to common dreams and read about what you think this great country is doing.
                  Torture and medical experiments on prisoners at Gitmo.
                  If that doesn't wake you up, you are being deliberatly blind.
                  Keep clapping.

                  Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

                  by snoopydawg on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 02:54:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Are you really that comfortable with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, aliasalias

      this kind of asymmetrical killing that uses our tax dollars to kill innocents? AND are you really comfortable that we are still using war rather than diplomacy? And are you really certain that you would wish that on us? Because think of all the enemies we are creating.

      It seems that all my life we have been bombing someone, teaching them a lesson. Every day I understand more deeply how violent we are. Violent to others and violent to ourselves. - Robert Olmstead

      by glitterscale on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:00:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let us all join together now in that old gospel .. (0+ / 0-)

        tune ....   Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya ....

        Please go stick your flower in the gun of a terrorist and then come back and do your boo hooing about killing innocents ...

        I really prefer to think of how many enemies I am killing rather than making ....

        The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

        by Mindmover on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:21:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've often thought that the archetype of (0+ / 0-)

          "GOD" is a major problem. What if GOD is not a cranky old Israeli? What if GOD is actually a Grandma and really LOVES her creations?

          It seems that all my life we have been bombing someone, teaching them a lesson. Every day I understand more deeply how violent we are. Violent to others and violent to ourselves. - Robert Olmstead

          by glitterscale on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 06:01:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  well are you too old to join the killing? (0+ / 0-)

          or are you too young? If neither is the case then get your Rambo ass down to the recruiting office, you keyboard warrior you.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:25:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  boo hooing about killing innocents? (0+ / 0-)
          I really prefer to think of how many enemies I am killing rather than making ....
          and you quote Mahatma Gandhi?

          For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

          by allenjo on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:19:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gandhi ... (0+ / 0-)

            It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.

            Mahatma Gandhi
            Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 - 1948)  

            The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

            by Mindmover on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:33:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Here in Sonoma County (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickey, katrinka, BlueDragon, glitterscale

    its certainly become too easy for cops to kill.

    75534 4-ever or until dk5

    by NearlyNormal on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 02:32:57 PM PST

  •  The Obama administration lies about drone murders (6+ / 0-)

    After suspending drone strikes for 24 hours, ostensibly out of grave concern over civilian casualties, the Obama administration reinstated them, with spokespeople for the administration saying words they surely knew to be false, words echoed by prominent Dems in congress:  The number of civilians killed can be counted on one's fingers.  More recently, before the UN, Obama said:

    Before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured -- the highest standard we can set.
    It is astonishing to me that many who claim to want peace, to abhor unnecessary violence, still treat this president as a person who speaks with integrity.

    Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

    by geomoo on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 02:44:08 PM PST

  •  I have scheduled this to be republished to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbird, Bisbonian, allenjo

    "Grup W - Resisting War" at 5:20 pm pst. Thanks for what you do and for posting this here.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:20:25 PM PST

  •  This (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueDragon, snoopydawg, aliasalias

    is the stuff that makes me ashamed to be an American. Yes, I said it wingnuts, ASHAMED.

  •  The repubs came into office with the mantra (0+ / 0-)

    that GOVERNMENT was the PROBLEM. And so they have made it so. Today we spend billions to spy on ourselves and not so much for foodstamps.
    Our fearless folk in congress have been so opposed to doing a GOOD job that they have created all kinds of ways not to have to work at all!

    For instance, the sequester wasn't really anything more than a thing to "automagically" cut spending because they didn't want to do the hard work of negotiating a real budget. And then the spying: They didn't really WANT to do any oversight so they created a system whereby it was too SECRET to DO oversight.

    Marvelous.

    The ONLY thing the repubs have been good at, when it comes to governance, is to put up barriers so that NOBODY can do governance.

    It seems that all my life we have been bombing someone, teaching them a lesson. Every day I understand more deeply how violent we are. Violent to others and violent to ourselves. - Robert Olmstead

    by glitterscale on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:51:10 PM PST

  •  Thank you, Sir (0+ / 0-)

    I hope your letter will give others on the site the courage to allow us to have the discussions we have needed to have for five years.

    May I also point out that this type of "warfare," especially when it is conducted by CIA, is an entirely executive branch form of war making. One of the first and most important elements of the U.S. Constitution is that wars should be made solely by the legislative branch. The War Powers Act is one curious feature of the legislature legislating away its war-making duty, but no abuse of it -- from Panama to Kosovo -- gets anywhere close to the use of drones.

    Drones under the command of civilian operators are at least trebly vexing, and yet such continues to be the case. I do not want the president to be embarrassed, but even less do I want evil done in my name.

    Everyone's innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:16:28 PM PST

  •  Good for you, Alan! I wish we could clone more (0+ / 0-)

    of you in congress!!!!!!!

  •  there is (0+ / 0-)


    There is something very, very wrong with "Necessary Evils"


    -- namely the fact, that they exist, at all.


    (in the world-views of so many, still.)

  •  Real Q: "Has it become too easy for the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias

    President to order a 'targeted' killing?"

    And the answer is, "If there exists such a thing in the United States as presidentially-ordered killing, then 'yes,' it has become too easy to kill."

    We've been through this before;  see The Church Committee.

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