Posts tagged ‘drones’

Drone Killings of First Responders = War Crimes

A U.S. drone strike killed at least 17 people in Pakistan’s tribal region on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
. . .
That tactic is known as the “double tap,” which bombs multiple targets in relatively quick succession — meaning that the second strike often hits first responders.

In 2007 the FBI said the tactic as commonly used by terrorist organizations such as Hamas.

Last year a study by the NYU School of Law and Stanford Law School detailed the U.S. use of the double tap, providing first-hand accounts of its devastating effect on rescuers and humanitarian workers.

Last June the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Christof Heyns said he considers secondary strikes to be “war crimes.”

The NYU/Stanford report stated: “As international law experts have noted, intentional strikes on first responders may constitute war crimes.”

It Is Now Common Knowledge That US Drones Bomb Civilian Rescuers

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Ozymandias and the bite-me coalition

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

ProChoice

The top 10 wealthiest men and women in America barely have 250 billion dollars between them. That sounds like a lot of money, until you look at annual Federal budgets which run into the trillions of dollars, and the country’s national debt which approaches 15 trillion dollars. And that’s not taking into account state budgets. Even Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union, with a population of barely a million, has a multi-billion dollar budget.

As the 10th richest man in America, Michael Bloomberg wields a personal fortune of a mere 18 billion dollars, but as the Mayor of the City of New York, he disposes of an annual budget of 63 billion dollars. In a single year, he disposes of three times his own net worth. A sum that would wipe out the net worth of any billionaire in America. That is the difference between the wealth wielded by the 10th wealthiest man in America, and the mayor of a single city. And that is the real concentration of wealth. Not in the hands of individuals, but at every level of government, from the municipal to the state houses to the White House.

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Dissent is patriotic when your team isn’t in charge.

Remember back in what was it – 2006 or thereabouts – when left-leaning critics of President Bush couldn’t stop talking about how nothing was more red, white, and blue than good old-fashioned American dissent? Why, our very country was founded by an act of dissent, didn’t you know! So back when Vice President Dick Cheney – routinely likened to Darth Vader and Voldemort – was running things, the very air was filled with cries of “not in our name” and all that, because it was so damned important that the United States not contravene its basic principles even in the name of self defense!

Those were good times, friends, and they stopped pretty much the minute that liberals and Democrats took control of the federal government. The antiwar movement disappeared once it became clear that Barack Obama wasn’t going to shut down Gitmo or stop bombing places or give a rat’s ass about that constitutional stuff he used to teach in law school.


SLJ, rube-tool

By making clear that as a journalist he tries to see things first and foremost from the perspective of the powerful, Michael Tomasky helps to clarify why so many in the media are rushing to the president’s defense. They are entranced with power and the view from the top. “Presidents live with that responsibility [of protecting American lives] every day,” he writes. “If that responsibility were mine, I can’t honestly say what I’d do, and I don’t think anyone can.” Not all journalists are awed by power, of course, even on the right (National Review’s Jim Geraghty, for instance, asserts that this sort of thing of extra-judicial killing policy wouldn’t be cricket even under a GOP president).

This isn’t ultimately about ideological hypocrisy – of liberals changing their tune once their guy is in office – but something much more basic and much more disturbing. It reveals that for all their crowing about being watchdogs of all that is good and decent in society, when push comes to shove, too many journalists are ready and willing handmaidens to power – including the power to kill.


You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way Journalists Blow: When it comes presidential kill lists, too many in the media dig power absolute power absolutely.

The Obama administration claims that the secret judgment of a single “well-informed high level administration official” meets the demands of due process and is sufficient justification to kill an American citizen suspected of working with terrorists. That procedure is entirely secret. Thus it’s impossible to know which rules the administration has established to protect due process and to determine how closely those rules are followed. The government needs the approval of a judge to detain a suspected terrorist. To kill one, it need only give itself permission.

Obama Targeted Killing Document: If We Do It, It’s Not Illegal


You just can’t make this stuff up.

After stonewalling for more than a year federal judges and ordinary citizens who sought the revelation of its secret legal research justifying the presidential use of drones to kill persons overseas—even Americans—claiming the research was so sensitive and so secret that it could not be revealed without serious consequences, the government sent a summary of its legal memos to an NBC newsroom earlier this week.

This revelation will come as a great surprise, and not a little annoyance, to U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon, who heard many hours of oral argument during which the government predicted gloom and doom if its legal research were subjected to public scrutiny. She very reluctantly agreed with the feds, but told them she felt caught in “a veritable Catch-22,” because the feds have created “a thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.”

She was writing about President Obama killing Americans and refusing to divulge the legal basis for claiming the right to do so. Now we know that basis.

. . .

Obama has argued that he can kill Americans whose deaths he believes will keep us all safer, without any due process whatsoever. No law authorizes that. His attorney general has argued that the president’s careful consideration of each target and the narrow use of deadly force are an adequate and constitutional substitute for due process. No court has ever approved that. And his national security adviser has argued that the use of drones is humane since they are “surgical” and only kill their targets. We know that is incorrect, as the folks who monitor all this say that 11 percent to 17 percent of the 2,300 drone-caused deaths have been those of innocent bystanders.

Obama Gives Himself Permission To Kill

In sum, the original meaning of the due process clause is that the President cannot unilaterally kill U.S. citizens he thinks are potentially dangerous. Perhaps there are examples of historical practice that suggest an exception applicable to the present case (as there are obvious historical exceptions on the battlefield and for prevention of imminent harm). But the burden should be on those who want an exception to the text, and that burden shouldn’t be met merely by the claim that it would be more convenient to have such an exception.

Originalism and Drone Strikes

Brennan’s idea of open and transparent government boils down to this: Trust us. That is what he means when he talks about explaining “the procedures, the practices, the processes, the approvals, [and] the reviews” that precede one of the president’s death warrants. Once people understand the “extensive process” that’s involved—behind closed doors and entirely within the executive branch—they will stop worrying about the Fifth Amendment and go back to their reality shows. The one thing Brennan and his boss adamantly refuse to discuss is the evidence that leads them to convict someone of a crime punishable by death. You just have to take their word that in any given case they have plenty.

Does Obama Think He Can Order Hits on Americans Inside the U.S.?

Nothing to see here, move along.

Lamestream journalists are mostly hypocrites and budding fascists.

You can’t fix stupid.

Ozymandias

Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. We also need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT).

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