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Originally posted to Comics on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Anyone see Desmond Tutu's LTE (13+ / 0-)

    in yesterday's NYT?  A powerful call out of Obama's drone policy.

    •  for those that haven't seen it... (10+ / 0-)

      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      I am deeply, deeply disturbed at the suggestion in “A Court to Vet Kill Lists” (news analysis, front page, Feb. 9) that possible judicial review of President Obama’s decisions to approve the targeted killing of suspected terrorists might be limited to the killings of American citizens.

       Do the United States and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours? That President Obama can sign off on a decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny than if the target is an American? Would your Supreme Court really want to tell humankind that we, like the slave Dred Scott in the 19th century, are not as human as you are? I cannot believe it.

       I used to say of apartheid that it dehumanized its perpetrators as much as, if not more than, its victims. Your response as a society to Osama bin Laden and his followers threatens to undermine your moral standards and your humanity.

       DESMOND M. TUTU
       Aboard MV Explorer, near Hong Kong Feb. 11, 2013

      The writer, winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:27:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  New medal for drone warriors (20+ / 0-)

    Just saw this on Yahoo:

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday that the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it well away from any combat zone.

    The new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for "extraordinary achievement" related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it.

    Officials said the new medal will be the first combat-related award to be created since the Bronze Star in 1944.
    A recognition of the evolving 21st century warfare, the medal will be considered a bit higher in ranking than the Bronze Star, but is lower than the Silver Star, defense officials said.

    Higher than a Bronze Star, for executing people from an air conditioned cubicle and then going home to sleep with your spouse every night.  For Fuck's Sake.

    When the solution is simple, God is answering. Albert Einstein

    by Carol in San Antonio on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:12:36 AM PST

  •  LOL - I think I just wet myself nt (5+ / 0-)

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:28:46 AM PST

  •  I see similarities (11+ / 0-)

    Carol in San Antonio:  "Higher than a Bronze Star, for executing people from an air conditioned cubicle and then going home to sleep with your spouse every night."

    Sounds eerily similar to bonuses for some of the folks working on Wall Street.

    The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

    by Not A Bot on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:36:24 AM PST

  •  Except that it's not top secret. (0+ / 0-)

    The memo was released to Congress.

    •  not released, leaked (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gharlane

      My understanding is that it was leaked, and not officially given to the committee.

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:58:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  You just linked to Malkin's Twitchy? (0+ / 0-)

          And what exactly is your point? After years, the Obama admin has finally released 1 - 1 - memo to some members of Congress - and not evven fully released it to them. So what is your point?

      •  love that sig (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt, Not A Bot

        Sueño con Serpientes! Silvio!  Bertolt Brecht!  I have a recording of Mercedes Sosa of blessed memory delivering those lines and then singing the song.

        Thanks for that.  Made my day a little brighter.  :)

        About that legal memo -- My understanding is: leaked, then released.  What was leaked to Michael Isikoff was a "white paper" that was some portion or summary of the legal memo (if I can dignify that document with that term, which I'm not sure I want to) in question.  

        Subsequent to that, the WH, under pressure, released the entire memo to the House and Senate intelligence committees (NYT).  

        In sekrit, of course, because it's Classified. So the committee members can see it, but they can't talk about it, or Very Bad Things will happen. Certainly to them. The WH of course claims: to the country, but I'm at a loss to figure how a document (supposedly) containing only "legal reasoning" for an extrajudicial killing program could damage our National Security.   Embarrass the Administration, yes (and rightly so).  Damage our National Security?  Somehow I think not.  But ever since the 1950s and the first State Secrets case, successive administrations have been all too ready to conflate "embarrassing to me" with "endangering our National Security."  (L'État, c'est moi, apparently.)  And this administration appears ready to take it to a whole new level.

        According to the linked NYT story, Sen. Ron Wyden went so far as to threaten to filibuster John Brennan's confirmation until and unless the memo was released. Now there's a senator with a spine, and the first good reason for keeping the filibuster I've seen in a very long while.  

        Thanks again, MN.  I always enjoy your posts.

    •  Incorrect, I think. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, gooderservice, rbird, kurt

      It's classified. Members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees were given copies, but the content is classified and they cannot discuss that content in even a general way in public.

      -Jay-
      
    •  Not all of them. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, kurt
      WASHINGTON -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office revealed Wednesday that the Obama administration has yet to show members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence seven additional opinions laying out the legal basis for targeted killing
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
    •  PARTIALLY released to ONE COMMITTEE (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      and still Classified.

      Only one committee (Intelligence) gets to see it.  Not Armed Services (with jurisdiction over Pentagon strikes).  Not Judiciary.

      Ignorant fool.

  •  Don't forget The Silver Cross for Cowardism (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, gooderservice, rbird, kurt

    ... because it takes the not-so-brave to kill someone remotely.

  •  Thank You KOS for Shedding the Light... (5+ / 0-)

    on the insidious legal game that the admin is playing to justify the Orwellian Nightmare of Drone Strikes.

  •  God I wish (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio

    I could pay off my law school loans with five years in the mines.

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:57:21 AM PST

  •  What I hate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, gooderservice, kurt

    is these legal memos have NO LEGAL EFFECT at all.  And the president knows this -- or he needs to give his diploma back.

    Of course, it does take a court to settle the question, and since the administration would simply say "national security" . . .

    I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. -- Thomas Jefferson

    by nilajean on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:53:17 AM PST

    •  This adminstration (6+ / 0-)

      worked it both via the courts and through making new law by reinterpreting old writing horrendous new laws NDAA, along with this they threw  in some real supper dupper legislation that nobody gets to know about except the spooks . They are more frightening then the Bushies as they are more competent at codifying and tweaking the law. They also know how to catapult the propaganda and have convinced the populace that the GWOT is somehow legal and necessary where as Bush just said unbelievable shit like 'terrist's are gonna kill yer family'.

      There is also the fact that the Democratic wing of the party has been marginalized to the point that  Democrat's support what they once fought hard against. Any deviation from the neoliberal/ neocon agenda is called purist emo-progs and two legs are not only better but legal and heroic as 'War is Peace' and 'Ignorance is Strength'. Tell me again why Brennen was nominated by Obama? Or why the Democrat's are fighting to get Hagel appointed as head of the War Dept?

      The Democrat's have to as the Republicans are so strong that they lost but still continue to set the agenda? Bullocks!  

      Where's my habeas corpus?    

      •  It's almost enough ... (3+ / 0-)

        ... to turn a realist into a theorist.  Conspiracy-wise, I mean.  It doesn't seem to matter whom we send to D.C., (R) or (D), we end up with very similar governance.  And then those same folks we send to The Hill, they try to convince us that they're working for us.  And they make good use of minor differences between citizen groups (you and I), when, for the most part, we the people have more in common with one another than we have in conflict.

        The real us is you and I -- liberal and conservative and somewhere-in-the-middle real people -- and the real them are the folks sitting in the leather and velvet and mahogany chairs in D.C.  Maybe OWS and the Tea Party need to merge and form the Tar & Feather The Bastards Party, or something all inclusive, united against the self-serving schmucks in D.C. and on Wall Street.  Unfortunately, I don't think we're smart enough to do that.  

        The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

        by Not A Bot on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:09:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Were smart enough (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Not A Bot, greeseyparrot, kurt

          if we get our heads out of the sand and face realty instead of accepting this state of affairs as political reality and inevitable as Clinton called it or Axelrod's 'world as we find it'. Fear is what holds the populace at bay. Ordinary people do not want to have to admit that they have no parliamentary means left to address their grievances. Their is also fear of what our viscous militarized government can and will do to anyone that effectively resists their lawlessness.

          Too bad they took away our universal civil and human rights that protect all people from this latest onslaught of  psycho's with power and guns who say they are inevitable and tout their New World Orders as inevitable and unstoppable. All I know historically is they always go too far and they do fall  As Obama said in 2006 at the Hamilton Project launch 'there will be blood'. Who among us wants to face what they will unleash if 'we the people' become 'insurgents' and 'enemies of the state'. Much easier to blame the others and continue with the bogus delusional kabuki they offer up as a democratic republic with a rule of law and representation. What a unbelievable farce at this point.          

          •  Thankfully we don't have a monster like FDR (0+ / 0-)

            as president, what with his throwing racial minorities into concentration camps and his and Truman's campaign of terror bombing/war crimes against noncombatants.

            But Obama is the worst president ever in terms of civil liberties. Not since a real progressive like LBJ expanded the war in Vietnam, or a real progressive like JFK greenlighted that super legal Bay of Pigs invasion, or Abraham Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus . . . etc etc etc.

            Hate to break it to you, but show me a 2 term Democratic president with a better record than Obama. Even Clinton had his airstrikes and sanctions campaign against Iraq which resulted in a lot of civilian deaths.

            When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

            by PhillyJeff on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:39:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Spare me your ridculous (6+ / 0-)

              rationalization of this administrations  . I know my history and comparing this by-partisan mess with FDR's unconscionable camps for Japanese Americans, or Abraham Lincolns suspension of habeas corpus, or LBJ and Nixon's expansion of the war doesn't make what has gone down since Bush2's selection acceptable.

              You know damn well that both the Civil War and WW2 were real wars that had an end and a real enemy that we were at war with. How many of the Japanese people in those camps were brutalized,tortured or killed? What kind of excuse is rummaging through our bloody history and picking out the worst heinous crimes against humanity by other administrations.

               You forgot Jackson, a Democrat, and his infamous genocidal 'Indian Removal' featuring The Trail of Tears. How about what our government did during the McCarthy reign of terror? WW1? a bogus war if ever there was one. Remember the Maine there's a dilly. The brutal put down of labor throughout our  

              Nothing in the past of our country or any other regime of world domination, past or present justifies our present absolutely bogus and evil  GWOT or our neocon neoliberal NWO. It's the most Orwellian and flimsy excuse of unmitigated brute global force in my lifetime. It's also the most anti-democratic and effective at convincing people that it's 'the way forward.'

              I was a young'un during the Viet Nam war and the equally bogus Cold War. I stood against it I did not for one minute believe that inhumanity and power was inevitable and the only 'way forward cause the commies 'will kill yer family'. People throughout history have stood up and said enough to the powerful want to rule the world psycho's who always push their inhumane dark visions on people. It's called progress.

              It's how we won the rights we no longer have because a bunch of lunatic fanatical chickens came home to roost. They were by the way Saudis and Egyptians. but who cares they are so scary we need to give up all our rights and have everlasting war on terrorists globally and the world is our battlefield. How absurd.

              How does any universally, illegal, anti-democratic, inhumane   immoral and unjust historical reference in anyway mitigate what this administration is implementing both here in der Homeland or in the world at large. It doesn't.                      

              •  Shaharazade, you're a better ranter than I am. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shaharazade, kurt, nilajean

                And I salute you for it.  I suspect we come at things from different political perspectives, but one thing we both see clearly, and that is that whoever is in power today -- not yesterday, or 80 years ago, but today -- is responsible for his actions and decisions while in office.

                Bush was responsible for using fear to justify the beginning of the global war on terror, and for our spate of nation building, and worse, for the creation of the abomination that is DHS.  Obama is responsible for furthering Bush's ill-conceived policies, and in some cases taking them a wrong step further -- for that, Obama is to blame.  

                The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

                by Not A Bot on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:44:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So during a "real war" it's ok to intentionally (0+ / 0-)

                  target noncombatant civilians and burn them alive by the tens of thousands?

                  After all, they're just "krauts" or "japs" and not real 'Murkan citizens, so they deserved to die for the actions of their governments. BUT AN AMERICAN CITIZEN KILLED? BLASPHEMY!!!!

                  Also, try to rationalize Japanese internment any way you want. (White) Germans were conveniently excluded.

                  I'm simply pointing out that pretty much all of the "great" American presidents have done much, much worse things than the Obama administration's use of drone strikes. So I disagree that Obama is some kind of horrid war criminal and one of the worst violators of civil liberties in history.

                  I actually am uneasy with the drone policy and I think it would probably be better if it was rarely used if at all. But then again I don't have access to the information the President has, I don't have the responsibilities the president has, and I don't have to figure out some other way to accomplish our goals (and as far as I can tell no other alternative has been put forward besides "just don't use drones").

                  If you think FDR and Lincoln were terrible presidents, especially in terms of civil liberties, then you're being consistent and I guess I don't have any quarrel with you.

                  But it's a little rich to say that FDR wasn't so bad because a 1 year old German baby deserved to be intentionally targeted for living incineration because she wasn't American and lived during a "real war."

                  At least President Obama isn't INTENTIONALLY targeting civilians like FDR and Truman did.

                  When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                  by PhillyJeff on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:08:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  PhillyJeff, you're putting arguments in my mouth (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kurt, shaharazade

                    I have absolutely no idea why you think I supported Japanese internment, which was a national disgrace.  You're throwing arguments at me that must be left over from some discussion you had with someone else, and I'm not sure how to respond.

                    As for Germany?  6,000,000 to 8,000,000 of my people went to the ovens there, including my grandmother's two younger sisters.  America's shame on that front was in not doing more sooner to stop the atrocities.  Just as on the West Coast, it was "only Japs" in the camps, in Europe it was "only Jews" in the camps, along with other folks who weren't of concern to the Western powers.

                    However, in this thread, we're talking about the direction the U.S. is going now, not what occurred, I assume, decades before you were born.  What do you want?  Unconditional support for any decision made by this president?  That's a dangerous path to tread.    

                    The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool. Some of my best friends are Catholics, really.

                    by Not A Bot on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:29:35 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  See, without the legal degree, Droney would be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio

    SKYNET.

    "Reason is six-sevenths of treason," said one of his neighbors. "Intelligence is what the enemy uses," said another.

    by Misterpuff on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:11:26 PM PST

  •  Keyword: Terrorists (0+ / 0-)

    What's the problem? Kaboom, muffafuffas!

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