Obama Caves on Drone Memo Secrecy


It’s only taken several years, but the Most Transparent Administration in History (yeah, right) has decided not to appeal a federal court order requiring them to release the legal memo upon which they’ve based their authority to launch drone strikes that kill even American citizens.

The Obama administration plans to disclose a secret memo describing its legal justification for using drones to kill U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism overseas.

The Justice Department has decided not to appeal a court order requiring disclosure of a redacted version of the memo. That’s according to two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were authorized to discuss the matter by name.

The U.S. used a drone strike in Yemen in September 2011 to kill Anwar Al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida leader born in the U.S. Some critics complained that it was illegal for the U.S. to kill American citizens away from the battlefield without a trial.

So after strongly criticizing Bush for refusing to disclose the legal rationale for torture and promising the most transparent administration in history, Obama has finally decided 5 years later to actually be a tiny bit transparent. Color me unimpressed.

Comments

  1. says

    Oh, I’m sure the Obama admin will become very transparent. Unfortunately it will be well after any such transparency might have been useful.

  2. dingojack says

    Ah yes, Countryboy, but look how clear and transparent the few words that aren’t blacked-out are!
    @@
    Dingo

  3. Trebuchet says

    The whole “kill even American citizens” thing rankles me. Al Awlaki was, as far as I’ve seen, a very, very bad man. How is killing him worse than killing foreign children at wedding parties?

  4. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Citizens who opt to be terrorists should consider that the automatic renunciation of their citizenship.

    You can be a member of Al Quaida or the like or you can be a US citizen -not both.

  5. Synfandel says

    …their authority to launch drone strikes that kill even American citizens.

    “Even” American citizens? Like it’s not a big deal if they kill non-Americans, but suddenly it matters if it’s Americans being killed? Speaking as a non-American, I’m not impressed with that attitude.

  6. D. C. Sessions says

    How is killing him worse than killing foreign children at wedding parties?

    Huh? They ain’t American, after all. Besides, they’re brown. Probably not Christians, either. Maybe even Mooslims.

    All in all, better to kill them before they grow up to be terrorists.

  7. Olav says

    Synfandel #7:

    “Even” American citizens? Like it’s not a big deal if they kill non-Americans, but suddenly it matters if it’s Americans being killed? Speaking as a non-American, I’m not impressed with that attitude.

    QFT.

    Translation for Americans who do not always seem to recognise understatement: Non-Americans are bloody upset with that attitude.

  8. says

    @ StevoR

    Citizens who opt to be terrorists should consider that the automatic renunciation of their citizenship.
    You can be a member of Al Quaida or the like or you can be a US citizen -not both.

    Please take your homocidal bigotry somewhere else. Your shtick is beyond tiring.

    Trebuchet & Synfandel

    ‘Merkins kill with such readiness. We hear so much of their higher values, but see so little of the same. At the end of the day we are left only with the hurtful effects of their actions, not their empty words.

    I am really sad that the whole “drone” issue has descended to the level of aerial murder and deprivation of privacy. The technology offers so much to all of us … perhaps even more than the laptop and the cellphone. Yet here we are, using it to hurt , rather than using it to enhance.

  9. dingojack says

    “At the end of the day we are left only with the hurtful effects of their actions, not and their empty words. ”

    FIFY

    :( Dingo

  10. matty1 says

    @10 Maybe this will cheer you up, granted it’s hype and quite possibly they have no plan to go ahead with it but delivering books is exactly the kind of thing drones should be used for. It would be even better if it was planned for areas with poor transport links rather than suburbia as appears to be the case.

  11. D. C. Sessions says

    I am really sad that the whole “drone” issue has descended to the level of aerial murder and deprivation of privacy. The technology offers so much to all of us … perhaps even more than the laptop and the cellphone. Yet here we are, using it to hurt , rather than using it to enhance.

    And this is different from which other technological development in our species’ history?

  12. dingojack says

    Drones are being developed to see ‘hot spots’ in bushfires (using thermal imaging) even under cloud cover and thick canopies. This allows teams to assess where to place resources to maximise the chances of stopping fires from being fanned into out of control infernos, as well as making sure fires are totally extinguished before moving personnel and equipment away from that front to another.
    Dingo

  13. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ 10. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) :

    @ StevoR

    Citizens who opt to be terrorists should consider that the automatic renunciation of their citizenship.
    You can be a member of Al Quaida or the like or you can be a US citizen -not both.

    Please take your homocidal bigotry somewhere else. Your shtick is beyond tiring.

    That’s not an argument just arrogant presumptuous and totally inaccurate personal abuse on your part.

    I am neither bigoted nor genocidal and have the exact same right to express my opinion here as you do.

    Note I’m not abusing you or suggesting you should be banned – merely pointing out reality which you seem unfamiliar with. I will call you a liar because you’ve just proven that’s what you are.

    BTW. Do you really think Al Quaida and other terrorist scumbags should be treated no differently to innocent US citizens?

    Dafuck does that say about *you* dude?

  14. Crimson Clupeidae says

    That he’s a better person than you, StevoR? You see, whether one is a US citizen or not, one should be subject to trial, not simply execution.

    Read that a few times. I used small words, but it might take a few tries for the concept to sink in.

  15. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    PS. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) Justwondering butwhyare yousioagainst the USA, idsraeland ZWesyernworld defending itfromterrorists?

    What’s the bet you don’t actually answer this or my above question about the implications of you considering Al Quaida terrorists and innocent US citizens indistinguisahble?

    (‘Seems theophontes is “tired” of losing arguments online and prefers to simply censor or abuse and lie about his opponents rather than actually attempting to actually make a logical, reasonable case for his odd and unethical political beliefs.)

  16. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @^That’s :

    Just wondering but why are you (theophontes) so against the USA, Israel and the Western world generally defending itself from terrorists?

    For clarity.

  17. dingojack says

    D. C. Sessions (#13) – Lemon Meringue Pies?*
    Dingo
    ——–
    * Well, apart from the St. Genesius day massacre when 87 member’s ‘Big Bobo’s gang emerged from one Fiat Bambino and pied 15 Members of ‘Chuckle’s gang with Lemon Meringues. But that was way back in ’23 and meringue dum-dums aren’t legal nowadays.

  18. says

    @ StevoR

    Do you really think Al Quaida and other terrorist scumbags should be treated no differently to innocent US citizens?

    Before the law? Indeed I do.

    What part of that do you not understand Judge Dread StevoR. There is a presumption of innocence. One is not guilty until a court has determined otherwise. Extra-judicial murder is extra-judicial murder. This applies to everyone.

    I struggle to understand how anyone, particularly as privileged as you, cannot understand the principles of morality, nor justice.

  19. dingojack says

    Stevo – your post #15 reminds me of:

    Withnail: You’ve got soup. Why don’t I get any soup?
    Marwood: Coffee.
    Withnail: Why don’t you use a cup like any other human being?
    Marwood: Why don’t you wash up occasionally like any other human being?
    Withnail: (Appalled) How dare you! How dare you! How dare you call me inhumane?
    !Marwood: I didn’t call you inhumane. You merely imagined it. Calm down.
    Withnail: Right you fucker, I’m going to do the washing up!

  20. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @16. Crimson Clupeidae

    That he’s a better person than you, StevoR? You see, whether one is a US citizen or not, one should be subject to trial, not simply execution.

    Which is why all the Axis troops in World War I to name just one of many wars were given trials before the allied forces were allowed to open fire?

    Oh wait, no.

    We are at war with the terrorists, the civilian criminal justice system laws therefore don’t apply in this wartime situation.

    Those are small words there – you should get them if *you* read them enough times for comprehension.

    I used small words,

    Yes you did but you misapplied them and don’t seem to understand how they are used or what the actual situation here is. So please try harder next time – you can do much better than that if you put some actual effort and thought in.

    As for who is a better person – here’s a simple rule of thumb : the person siding *with* terrorists is always the worse person, the person arguing *against* them is always the better person pretty much by definition. That makes me superior to theophontes ethically and in a lot of other ways (eg. judgement, knowledge) too.

  21. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ 20. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Presumption of innocence applies to alledged criminals in peacetime not known terrorists or enemy combatants in wartime – someone joins Al Quaida or another Islamist terrorist group they automatically become the latter not the former.

    How is that hard to comprehend exactly?

    Also thankyou for confirming my prediction and proving my point that you are either unable or unwilling or both to answer my questions to you asked in #15,17 & 18.

  22. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Also :

    Extra-judicial murder is extra-judicial murder. This

    War is war.

    Not murder.

    Murder is crime and done by criminals.

    Soldiers and special forces and drone pilots etc .are NOT criminals and are legally authorised to use deadly force which, by definition, means their actions are NOT murder.

  23. Olav says

    Theophontes #20:

    I struggle to understand how anyone, particularly as privileged as you, cannot understand the principles of morality, nor justice.

    I am not surprised. Privilege blinds people to morality and justice.

    Stevo probably imagines himself to be a liberal, rational etc. person. Seeing his slogan of “Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return” he might even have convinced himself he is a somewhat of a human rights activist. You know, a Good Guy. So how could anything he says be wrong, right?

  24. says

    @ StevoR

    Let me fix this for myself: Please take your homocidal bigotry somewhere else. Please STOP with your homicidal bigotry. Don’t take it anywhere else. Don’t scream it into your lonely pillow at night. Rather… STFU!

    Just wondering but why are you (theophontes) so against the USA, Israel and the Western world generally defending itself from terrorists?

    Listen carefully BIGOT. I have endured unfathomonable pain from terrorist attacks. You do not need to lecture me as to how appalling, how painful it is to have to endure such. I generally have nothing against the USA, nor Israel, nor the “Western World” (whatever that is). What I do recognise, is that the means that you propose to protect our values contribute, in no small manner to the negation of those values.

  25. colnago80 says

    Re #10 @ #16

    It’s all very well to call for trials for terrorists before executing them. However, in many cases, the trials would be an exercise in futility as the terrorists are located in countries that would not, under any circumstances, extradite them, either because of being in sympathy with their actions or because the governments of those countries are unable to make an arrest. Therefore, what’s the alternative? Just let them continue their actions? Was the execution of Osama bin Laden illegal? Was the assassination of General Yamamoto in WW 2 illegal?

  26. says

    @ StevoR

    drone pilots etc .are NOT criminals and are legally authorised to use deadly force

    Legally what!? Extra-judicial murder? WTF!

    The most empowering technology since the Ark sliced bread … the pill, is being used to kill people! Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic. Is this what we have become?

    StevoR, wake up from your slumber. What does “legally authorised” mean? Some apes (like you and me) have decided to kill other apes ( like you and me) because we do not have the wherewithal to treat each other as civilised human beings. Do you understand at least this much? Something so basic…?

  27. dhall says

    #22 – Using World War I or any other conventional war as an example is sort of weird. One could just as easily point out that the leadership of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were in fact put on trial, and many of those who participated in and ordered the genocide in the Balkans in the 1990s were also put on trial. The so-called war on terror is a different animal, and there are a ton of grey areas. The US cannot win it if it continues to insist that the lives of non-Americans or Americans overseas are of no consequence, and it cannot win it if it insists on becoming more or less the same monster it hopes to defeat. A strong argument could be made that combatting terrorism is a task more suited to police style work rather than using the heavy-handed military. Using drones to go after people can in itself be seen as an act of terror. We are already seen as a rogue state in many ways, owing to our increasing lack of respect for international conventions.

  28. says

    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!n “Citizens who opt to be terrorists should consider that the automatic renunciation of their citizenship.”
    Cool. You can make the law but somebody else, say a Gingrich or Gohmert, gets to enforce it. Good luck.

  29. Synfandel says

    colnago80:

    Was the execution of Osama bin Laden illegal? Was the assassination of General Yamamoto in WW 2 illegal?

    Yes and no, respectively.

    StevoR:

    Presumption of innocence applies to alledged criminals in peacetime not known terrorists or enemy combatants in wartime…

    The United States is not at war with everyone who is not an American citizen. It’s not even at war with Yemen. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the United States is not at war.

  30. Pen says

    StevoR – here’s a couple of things that are wrong with your argument:

    Citizens who opt to be terrorists should consider that the automatic renunciation of their citizenship.

    1. the legal definition of terrorism is very loose, but it undoubtedly could include ‘internal’ terrorists, such as white supremacists, abortion clinic bombers, etc… You can’t expel them from your country. Nobody wants to receive them and there’s no reason why they should. It’s your society’s responsibility to deal with them.

    2. assuming they’ve already left the country to commit their acts, you still can’t evade your responsibilities, even less so. Your citizens are wandering around committing crimes on other people’s soil . You can’t expect another nation to receive them. And there are international laws and a whole bunch of practical reasons for not creating a body of ‘nationless’ individuals, especially criminal ones. Think about it.

    3. the definition of terrorism being very loose, a state might suddenly decide it applies to all manner of non-violent political activities and protests. Bundy. Communists. Blasphemers. If they were able to revoke people’s citizenship at their leisure there’s no telling where it would end – and you’re back to the group of nationless, disenchanted people with nowhere to go.

    So basically, if they’re American, you’re legally and morally stuck with them. Can you, under certain circumstances, go around killing them without a trial? It’s a moral question certainly, but it’s also a legal one and dear old Obama is going to show us this memo full of legal rationalisations reasoning to the effect that he can. Bush had one of those for torture, didn’t he?

  31. colnago80 says

    Re Synfandel @ #31

    Contrary to your contention, the US is at war with Al Qaeda and its hanger ons. The fact is that it was known that Osama was not going to surrender and that the lives of the soldiers who invaded the residence where he was staying would have been put in jeopardy if they attempted to arrest him. Therefore the only alternatives were forget it or cancel his ticket.

    The attack on 9/11/2001 was just as much a declaration of war as was the attack on Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941.

  32. says

    @ Olav

    I am not surprised.

    Like you, I am not surprised. But that is a matter of experience.

    The psychological mechanism, however, is less easy to understand. Why should someone with so little excuse to hate, express as much hate as StevoR does?

    @ colnago80

    However, in many cases, the trials would be an exercise in futility as the terrorists are located in countries that would not, under any circumstances, extradite them, either because of being in sympathy with their actions or because the governments of those countries are unable to make an arrest. Therefore, what’s the alternative?

    We control the moral high-ground for what reason? Every time we subvert our own declared principles of justice, our own morality, we undermine our own position.

    Does the “West” stand for extra-judicial murder? Execution of our own? Kill-them-all-let-YHWH-sort-them-out policies? Aren’t those the, very misguided, values we claim to fight?

    We subvert our own values for (military? political? cynical?) expediency.

  33. dingojack says

    It’s all very well to call for trials for terrorists before executing them. However, in many cases, the trials would be an exercise in futility as the terrorists are located in countries that would not, under any circumstances, extradite them, either because of being in sympathy with their actions or because the governments of those countries are unable to make an arrest*. Therefore, what’s the alternative?**”

    So if a criminal flees to somewhere without an extradition treaty, there’s no direct way to get at them — what then? Drone strike the shit outta the country? Kill lots and lots of civilians?
    And what about tax havens? The same treatment to ‘kill’ the money?
    @@
    Dingo
    ——–
    * Or they are legally and morally prevented from being accessories to torture, military kangaroo courts, back-dated laws and concentration camps (especially for those who were never combatants of any kind).

    ** The alternative is watch them and limit their activities. By arresting those who are aiding and abetting, freezing bank accounts used to further criminal activities, hampering communications with co-conspiritors and etc., by all possible legal recourses.

  34. colnago80 says

    Re Pen @ #32

    An American citizen who joins a foreign army to fight against the US can be deprived of his/her citizenship.

  35. colnago80 says

    Re Chihuahua @ #35

    We’re talking about terrorists here, not your common garden variety criminal. To paraphrase General Sheridan, the only good terrorists is a dead terrorist.

  36. dingojack says

    Nope – ‘terrorism’ is defined in International Law as a crime. Extra-judicial killings are defined as a crime too.
    Dingo

  37. says

    @ Modusoperandi

    Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Need I point out that these words are sticky-taped, rather awkwardly, to an insect that is trying to avoid attracting attention to its RWA attitudes – on a leftist blog.

  38. Michael Heath says

    Trebuchet writes:

    The whole “kill even American citizens” thing rankles me. Al Awlaki was, as far as I’ve seen, a very, very bad man. How is killing him worse than killing foreign children at wedding parties?

    I too find the citizenship argument un-compelling, as did the framers of the Constitution. They weren’t sloppy when they referred to people rather than citizens. The primary motivation to populate document with “people” was embedded in the just government argument of the DofI, and that is that each of our rights are inalienable. That as opposed to our rights coming from the government.

  39. dingojack says

    Actually I’m wrong, there isn’t a coherent definition of what ‘terrorism’ is, legally.
    Google the PDF] of Defining Terrorism in National and International Law by C Walter for a discussion on the issues.
    Dingo
    ——–
    Link maybe dodgy so I included the author and title.

  40. sinned34 says

    StevoR: so what about the Irish Republican Army? Or the KKK? Or some anti-American Communist group out of Finland? Is it just Islamic terror group membership that gets an American’s citizenship revoked?

    Nobody here is “siding with the terrorists”. What they’re siding with is the rule of law. I’m personally of the opinion that extrajudicial killing of criminal suspects is immoral. I don’t care if they’re drug dealers, serial killers, terrorists, or the CEO of the largest hedge fund company in New York.

    Many other countries (and some Americans themselves) consider George W. Bush a war criminal. You’d be (rightly) fit to be tied if one of those countries blew up a wedding party in Texas in an attempt to kill GWB for his crimes. Is it so difficult to imagine that the same goes for the US executing suspected terrorists?

  41. says

    @ dingojack

    There is a neighbourhood in Amsterdam (Transvaalbuurt) where the street names comprise primarily of “terrorists”( at least according to the English). To the Dutch, and Afrikaners, these streets are named after “freedom fighters”. Who is right? Who cares anymore?

    ( The “terrorists” won, so they get to call themselves ” freedom fighters”)

    PS: They became just as oppressive as their former rulers. They went on to oppress other tribes, and create new generations of “terrorists” (aka: “freedom fighters”)

  42. Olav says

    Theophontes #34:

    Like you, I am not surprised. But that is a matter of experience.

    The psychological mechanism, however, is less easy to understand. Why should someone with so little excuse to hate, express as much hate as StevoR does?

    I do not presume to know anything about psychological mechanisms, but since when do people need excuses to hate? I believe most haters only hate because they find it so easy to do (much easier than, for instance, thinking things through rationally and honestly) and it stimulates certain parts of the brain. It’s addictive.

  43. D. C. Sessions says

    Presumption of innocence applies to alledged criminals in peacetime not known terrorists or enemy combatants in wartime – someone joins Al Quaida or another Islamist terrorist group they automatically become the latter not the former.

    Sweet. So the next time I want to shoot someone, I say the magic words, “you’re a TERRORIST! and blow them away. No fuss, no bother, no further need for “due process of law.” It’s all good.

  44. dingojack says

    What no signs for Lt. Handcock and Harry “Breaker” Morant?* Men after SLC’s and Stevo’s heart, I’m sure.
    :/ Dingo
    ———–
    * I’m assuming you mean the Boer Wars.

  45. dingojack says

    Do the members of Al Quaida regard “Westerners” as ‘terrorists’ or ‘enemy combatants’*? Are they legally authorised to use deadly force against “Westerners”? If so, but the ‘logic’ presented by Stevo (et al.)….
    Dingo
    ——-
    * What is the definition of these terms, exactly?

  46. says

    @ dingojack

    * I’m assuming you mean the Boer Wars.

    Very much. They meant very different things to different people. And the struggles of the past were hijacked often enough. ( I suspect the Dutch street names were a little less partisan… but then not completely so).

  47. says

    Olav

    it stimulates certain parts of the brain. It’s addictive.

    I do not know. It seems too terrible, even as it is explanatory.

    StevoR
    compulsively spews such anti-humanist shit wherever he goes. The “Other” must always suffer an agonising death. ‘Merkins’ (not even his home nation) must always be breaking their own moral precepts to stay alive. He buys into Bush’s “If you are not for us, your against us” sick mentality more than any Bush ever did. Why?

  48. se habla espol says

    #33, colnago80, May 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm (UTC -4)

    The attack on 9/11/2001 was just as much a declaration of war as was the attack on Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941.

    Immediately after the attack, President Roosevelt got a special session of Congress to request (TaDum!) a Declaration of War: that’s his “A day which will live in infamy” speech. Congress passed the declaration of war at that session (as if there would have been any doubt beforehand).
    The US Constitution delegates to Congress, and only the Congress, the authority to declare war. In particular, neither the Imperial Japanese Navy nor a bunch of Saudis have that authority. So, you’re right: since neither attack was a declaration of war, one was just as much so as the other, where “as much” is defined as “not at all”.

  49. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @26. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ StevoR Let me fix this for myself: Please take your homocidal bigotry somewhere else. Please STOP with your homicidal bigotry. Don’t take it anywhere else. Don’t scream it into your lonely pillow at night. Rather… STFU!

    That sentence and you generally seem to be operating under the false assumption that I’m homicidal and bigoted. neither is the case and that is actually slander /libel.

    Listen carefully BIGOT. I have endured unfathomonable pain from terrorist attacks. You do not need to lecture me as to how appalling, how painful it is to have to endure such.

    I find that hard to believe given your apparent sympathies and unwillingness to see see serious military action taken to prevent terrorism.

    Which terrorists attacks from when and by who do you claim to suffer from?

    I generally have nothing against the USA, nor Israel, nor the “Western World” (whatever that is)

    Well , you could have fooled me!

    If you have nothing against these nations why your reluctance to have them defend themselves against terrorism by things like drone strikes? Why do you want to disempower them and reduce their counter-terrrorism options when facing people who, unlike me, truly are homicidal bigots -people like Al Quaida, Hamas and JI.

    . What I do recognise, is that the means that you propose to protect our values contribute, in no small manner to the negation of those values.

    I think that’s a very dubious opinion on your part and one with which I and many others disagree.

  50. dingojack says

    SLC – Yep nothing says justice like genocide. Nothing says winner like war-crimes.
    @@
    Dingo

  51. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @sinned34

    StevoR: so what about the Irish Republican Army? Or the KKK? Or some anti-American Communist group out of Finland? Is it just Islamic terror group membership that gets an American’s citizenship revoked?

    It would be attacking, attempting to attack or conspiring to attack the USA and its troops that counts as treason as well terrorism and should result in an automatic revocation of citizenship in my view. Whoever does that it applies consistently.

    So if the IRA or KKK or US communists do that they would also have their citrizenship revoked – and with this law being known they would know what they were doing and what the consequences are.

    Nobody here is “siding with the terrorists”. What they’re siding with is the rule of law.

    That’s not how I see it. If you sympathise with or support the terrorists in any way in including taking their side inargument youare doibng, well, just that.

    I would not however rob say “Theophontes” of US citizenship (if he has it) unless he was a member of a terrorist group or providing them with direct support and aid.

    I’m personally of the opinion that extrajudicial killing of criminal suspects is immoral. I don’t care if they’re drug dealers, serial killers, terrorists, or the CEO of the largest hedge fund company in New York.

    What about enemy soldiers?

    That’s how I see them except unlike soldiers the terrorist combatants do NOT follow the rules of war and do NOT feel bound by the same conventions and rules such as the Geneva convention.

    Many other countries (and some Americans themselves) consider George W. Bush a war criminal. You’d be (rightly) fit to be tied if one of those countries blew up a wedding party in Texas in an attempt to kill GWB for his crimes.

    Crimes?

    It isn’t a crime to be president and make difficult, controversial and in hindsight wrong decisions.

    Bush went to war after – only after – giving Saddam Hussein plenty of alternatives up to the eve of war itself.
    George Bush made a lot of horribly bad calls, he got alot worng -but heis NOtawar crimianl oreven warmonger on the evidential facts of history.

    Is it so difficult to imagine that the same goes for the US executing suspected terrorists?

    I think when actions such as drone strikes are carried out it is on a lot stronger basis than mere ‘suspicion.’

    Those targeted are targeted for damn good reason if if a lot of that is classified.

    I do trust our militaries – Australia’s and Americas and others – to know how to do their job and am sure they have already considered all possible objections and alternatives. The responsibility is theirs and I’m sure they feel it and know it far more than various blog commenters.

    (Among them are some of my friends.)

  52. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Flippin’ typos. Y’all follow the gist anyhow I hope.

    Clarifications :

    If you sympathise with or support the terrorists in any way in including taking their side in argument you are doing, well, just that.

    George W. Bush (II) made a lot of horribly bad calls, he got a lot wrong – but he is obviously NOT a war criminal or even warmonger on the evidential facts of history.

    Those who claim otherwise are simply wrong and letting their own bias mislead them.

  53. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    If you do take the Jihadist terrorist side for even a second in argument then you need to think very carefully about what you are doing who you are supporting and why you are doing so.

    As Western citizens we owe our allegiance to the West and its values such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of choice.

    I think taking the Jihadist side for any purpose other than to demolish it and harm them is, fairly obviously, unethical.

    It is okay for military strategist to consider the Jihadists POV in order to understand their strategies and destroy them. For those not in that or very similar circumstances (eg. novelists or screenwriters doing something similar for artistic purposes) it ain’t the right thing to do.

  54. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @51. colnago80 :“Re Pekinese @ #35 – The answer is simple, nuke ‘em.”

    I think that answer is indeed simplistic and also wrong. I also thought that you yourself have since rejected it for its obvious flaws such as excessive death toll and radioactive fallout?

  55. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @40. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Modusoperandi ; Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Need I point out that these words are sticky-taped, rather awkwardly, to an insect that is trying to avoid attracting attention to its RWA attitudes – on a leftist blog.

    Quickly checks numberof legs and presence of an exoskeleton orendoskeleton.

    Nope I’m NOT an insect.

    Tribalistic othering at work here I see.

    I thought that was frowned upon here?

    As for RWA which I’m presuming stands for Right Wing Attitudes -well I believe in abortion, euthanaisa, equal marriage and Human-induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) as the climatological reality. On alot of issues I’m far more left wing than most folks I know.

    I don’t think of myself as either left wing or right wing simply as a human individual and I make my own judgements regardless of whether something is commonly held as right or left wing by partisans who foolish think only in such terms and not independently.

    I think the whole left / right division is a false dichotomy and an impedimet to clear and good thinking.

    I also think you’ve just proven yourself to be a group thinking tribalist hypocrite so thankyou for that nasty and unsupported comment of yours.

  56. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    PS. I genuinely do believe that Tibet and West Papua should be free and independent nations and those people’s human rights and wishes fully respected and that the Chagossians should be allowed to return to Diego Garcia.

    To claim an insincere in this is insulting as well as utterly erroneous. You owe me an apology, theophontes although I very much doubt you have the integrity and decency to offer one. But feel free to prove me wrong.

  57. colnago80 says

    Here is would be sufficient to use very low yield nukes (<1 KT). If the US doesn't have any, we could purchase a few from Israel which has a number of such devices. Of course, maybe MOABs would do the job.

  58. colnago80 says

    Re #54

    If I recall correctly, Bush got an approval from Congress to engage in military activities in Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s equivalent to a decleration of war against Al Qaeda.

  59. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @52. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    StevoR compulsively spews such anti-humanist shit wherever he goes. The “Other” must always suffer an agonising death. ‘Merkins’ (not even his home nation) must always be breaking their own moral precepts to stay alive. He buys into Bush’s “If you are not for us, your against us” sick mentality more than any Bush ever did. Why?

    Why are you so wrong that you are megaparsecs from reality? Except for me not being a US citizen and being an Aussie instead, none of that strawmonster mischaracterisation of me is anywhere near the truth and you know it – or should if you actually read my comments.

    Once again, you owe me yet another apology which you will no doubt be too much of a douchebag to offer. Everyone with any sense and reading comprehension reading this thread knows it.

  60. says

    I am ambivalent on the issue of killing people who are actively trying to harm me or mine. Where physically restraining said killers is only possible if they are dead–I’d have to be in the target’s shoes to make that decision.

    This:

    “In particular, neither the Imperial Japanese Navy nor a bunch of Saudis have that authority.”

    is more than a bit confusing.

    Are you saying the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, commanded by Japan’s militaristic government, was not an act of war? The assassination of Yamamoto, like the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, may not have been “necessary” but to the average person who lived in a country devastated by war or the U.S. and their allies’ troops in the trenches (and in the latter instance, on ships bound for the beaches of Japan) I’m sure it was viewed as an expedient and welcome action. I’m not saying it’s right; I’m saying that many, many people are okay with living with a large load of guilt as opposed to not living.

  61. says

    “Once again, you owe me yet another apology which you will no doubt be too much of a douchebag to offer. Everyone with any sense and reading comprehension reading this thread knows it.”

    You know how I feel about nuking the Palestinians or other folks in the middle east, StevoR, so I needn’t argue with you about that. I will offer a ProTip, though.

    When asking for an apology, “douchebag”, not a good idea. I know, I stopped asking douchebags for apologies, years ago. How do I know who’s a douchebag? That’s an easy one, they’re the guys who won’t apologize!

  62. dingojack says

    Stevo – a couple of obvisious problems with your argument
    a) Treason as defined: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”
    b) Trial on charge of treason would have to be before a jury. “Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.”.
    c) Revocation. It is possible to revoke a person’s citizenship, if they joined a ‘totalitarian or terrorist organisation’ within five years of taking the Oath of Allegiance (or lying about being a member of said groups) as this is said to violate the Oath. In order to do this the person has to be informed in writing sixty days before the matter appears in court, it has to brought before the court, there has to be clear and unambiguous evidence (higher standard than for a civil trial but lower than a criminal one), the court has to agree the case is proven. But if the person is a citizen at birth they would have to voluntarily give up their citizenship by voice (and in writing) in the presence of an authorised person.
    d) Even if you did strip a person of citizenship, if they had no other citizenship they would become a stateless person under the protection of the UN, if they did have dual citizenship they would become a person under the protection of that other state. Either way killing them is a not permitted, unless in direct self defence or other mitigating circumstance.

    Dingo

  63. says

    @ StevoR

    Justwondering butwhyare yousioagainst the USA, idsraeland ZWesyernworld defending itfromterrorists?

    You have a long history on Freethoughtblogs. The last time you promoted extra-judicial murder of innocent people, you were banned from PZ’s blog. You then took your murder schtik to Maryam’s blog. Now we find you here, endorsing murder. Previously you used the excuse that you were drunk. What will your next excuse be? That your computer’s space-bar is broken? Causing the following brainfart:

    Citizens who opt to be terrorists should consider that the automatic renunciation of their citizenship.
    You can be a member of Al Quaida or the like or you can be a US citizen -not both.

    Again the extra-judicial action. Making a person stateless, only in order to kill them – without feeling guilty about not killing one’s “own” countryman. (That you speak on behalf of the USA, I find a little odd. You do a spot-on impression of Robert Gibbs.)

    I might point out that your statements are quite at odds with the law in America and internationally. And what, exactly, was Abdulrahman Alwaki’s crime? Death-by-drone for the crime of being a typical American teenager?

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