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Rich writes: "Like many, I was chilled by that Times investigation last year essentially saying that President Obama and John Brennan took the position that since they were moral, Bible-reading guys, their assassinations were above reproach (or the law)."

Obama's drone killing policy doesn't seem to have caused an uproar.  (photo: Reuters)
Obama's drone killing policy doesn't seem to have caused an uproar. (photo: Reuters)

America Yawns at Obama's Assassination Policy

By Frank Rich, New York Magazine

09 February 13


Every week, New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich talks with assistant editor Eric Benson about the biggest stories in politics and culture. This week: Obama's assassination memo, Karl Rove's attempted GOP purge, and Tim Geithner's new non-banking job.

arlier this week, NBC News reported on a confidential Justice Department memo spelling out the legal justification for assassinating U.S. citizens affiliated with Al Qaeda. During the Bush years, you were very critical of administration lawyers like John Yoo and Jay Bybee who gave legal cover for torture. Does this new memo concern you?

The good news is that the NBC scoop increased pressure on the White House to do what it should have done long ago - the Justice Department will now permit the Congressional Intelligence Committees to examine documents laying out a fuller legal justification for these assassinations. Of course it's been a concern that the Obama administration, having promised more transparency than its predecessor, had reneged on that vow. If there are going to be targeted killings of American citizens abroad (or anywhere, for that matter) who are charged with no crimes, there must be a legal rationale, and needless to say, a constitutional one. Like many, I was chilled by that Times investigation last year essentially saying that President Obama and John Brennan took the position that since they were moral, Bible-reading guys, their assassinations were above reproach (or the law). Today's Senate confirmation hearings for John Brennan as CIA director must be tough.

In your essay in this week's magazine, you noted the "quiet acquiescence of most Americans, Democrats included, to the Obama administration's embrace of drone warfare." Has that acquiescence surprised you?

Not really. Of course many in the party's liberal base, and many investigative journalists and liberal commentators, have been tracking the Obama administration on this, and in some cases vehemently protesting its actions. These are the same voices that have been debating the movie Zero Dark Thirty. But as I wrote in my piece in the magazine, there are few signs the broader public, Democrats included, shares that op-ed/blogging outrage. Why? Part of it is partisanship: Some Democrats are willing to give Obama a pass on issues that were enraging in the Bush years - they like their president. But I'd argue two other factors are more significant: (1) Obama doesn't advertise what he's doing with the "dead or alive" cowboy rhetoric of Bush and Cheney; (2) Americans turned away from almost all national security issues, from domestic surveillance to the war in Afghanistan, during the Great Recession. Neither the alarming rise of Islamic terrorism in northern Africa nor the Republicans' ceaseless attempt to transform Benghazi into a crisis of 9/11 proportions has made the public pay any more attention to any related issue, from drone warfare to rendition to targeted assassinations.

The Karl Rove-affiliated American Crossroads super-PAC announced that it will be diving into GOP primaries in 2014 in an effort to prevent tea-party insurgents from knocking off more electable Republicans. The far right, unsurprisingly, howled bloody murder. Does the American Crossroads plan have a chance of working? Or is the Establishment fighting a losing war against its own base?

Your last question answers itself: No, because the base of the GOP is a radical right-wing base, and it is going to keep voting for right-wing candidates that share its views in Republican primaries no matter what alternative candidates Rove puts his super-PAC's ad money behind. Besides, there's some Todd Akin even in the candidates favored by the Establishment; Mitt Romney's novel concept of "self-deportation" for undocumented immigrants did at least as much damage to the national GOP last year as Akin's novel theory of "legitimate rape." There's no evidence that Rove knows the difference between a winning and losing candidate, in any case. In 2012, he spent some $100 million of his donors' money on various races and not a single one of his American Crossroads candidates won. Rove was so certain of victory for Romney that even actual returns on election night couldn't convince him that Mitt had lost. So why would he do better at picking winners in 2014? This latest stunt is just an attempt to fleece his disheartened investors out of more cash. Dick Morris - newly jettisoned by Fox News - must be killing himself that he didn't think of it first.

Tea-party insurgent turned Hope of the Party Marco Rubio was chosen to deliver the Republican rebuttal to Obama's State of the Union. These addresses haven't always been kind to the opposition speaker (see Jindal, Bobby). Was it wise of Rubio to accept the slot?

It was inevitable the GOP would turn to Rubio for this spot. Realizing that its radical base will not get behind bipartisan immigration reform even now, the Republican leadership has turned to Plan B: try to persuade Hispanic voters that the GOP is on their side by putting Rubio on TV as much as possible (speaking Spanish as well as English, as he will on State of the Union night). This is the same thinking that led the GOP to throw gospel singers and break-dancers onstage at its 2000 national convention to try to disprove the (accurate) national perception that the party is all white. Rubio will give a far better performance than Jindal's riotous impersonation of Kenneth the Page, but there's no way he'll accomplish the mission of fooling the fastest-growing demographic in the electorate that the Republican party is on its side.

The Twittersphere was sent into a tizzy yesterday when former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner accepted a position at the Council on Foreign Relations instead of taking a high-paying job at a Wall Street bank. Are you surprised that Geithner didn't immediately cash in on his public service? And what does it say about the Wall Street-Washington revolving door that we're shocked when a Treasury secretary doesn't immediately move into a banking job?

I'm not surprised. Geithner is not stupid, and if he were to follow the example of his mentor, Robert Rubin, and quickly trade in public service for a job at, say, Citigroup, it would confirm every theory about how Wall Street got away with murder when he was at the New York Fed and continued to when he was at the Treasury after the financial meltdown. That said, the Council is a holding pen for public officials choosing future career options. Let's check in on where Geithner is a year from now. your social media marketing partner


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+48 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-02-09 10:03
"Let's check in on where Geithner is a year from now."

He won't be where he and all his bankster friends belong -- in Leavenworth.
+17 # HowardMH 2013-02-09 11:54
Just look at the three stooges. Obama the Wimp, Holder the puppet of the Wimp, and Justice Thomas the mute who hasn’t said anything intelligent on the supreme court in many, many years.

What about the hearings on how bad Wall Street is screwing everyone???? Clinton put over 1000 Wall Street Crooks in jail, Bush put 1300 and Obama the Wimp has put Zero, “0”, nada, none, no one in jail! Hello – wake up people!!!

Wall Street, Wall Street, Wall Street. It is all just smoke and mirrors. Until there are two hundred thousand really, really pissed off people on Capital Hill (all at the same time – with base ball bats, or 2 x 2s) raising some serious hell against the Lunatics, absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 50 people in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.
-22 # randyjet 2013-02-09 10:31
The reason there is not a great outcry about the drones strikes killing targeted Americans, is that most of us rational voters know that it is NO problem at all. When an American goes to Yemen, joins Al Qeada, makes videos and other material touting their support for armed, terrorist actions against the US, they have shown that they are ARMED combatants. Thus they can and should be killed on sight if we get the chance.

During WWII, there were a number of Americans who went and fought for Nazi Germany. There was no hesitation about killing them whenever and wherever they were found. This is no different. Most people understand this and the stupid idea that this means the US will send drones over Europe to kill Americans is absurd and far fetched. Such concerns are about as rational as the ones on the right about the gumint is goin to call in the black helicopters.
-27 # HowardMH 2013-02-09 11:49
Right On! Once they show up any place supporting those hairy-faced, sandal-wearing, bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-loving, raggedy-ass bastards, they have given up ALL rights as a US Citizen.
+11 # cwbystache 2013-02-09 19:41
no different? oh, I must've missed that news report that Congress had declared war on Yemen ...
+25 # 2013-02-09 10:32
Mr. Benson is soooo right about Mr. Rove. It is all about the money. In my opinion, if one took $100 million of other people's money and spent it on something with no return, one would be a felon. When the people who call themselves Republican conservatives wake up and realize they are just being fleeced, the successor to today's Republican Party will be born.
+14 # handmjones 2013-02-09 10:44
Most of the World is looking up nervously. Will someone, somewhere get a charge of war crimes against the President and those in charge registered in some court limiting their foreign travel? like the charges registered in Italy.
+17 # marjb 2013-02-09 10:45
I think many Americans - especially Democrats - are appalled by Obama's assasination policy and by the way he uses drones. But with times as tough as they are, it's hard for most people to find time to speak out. My husband keeps telling me that we must take care of ourselves and ensure some future security first. Then once that's done, we'll have the freedom to go back out and fight the good fight. If we're unemployed, starving, homeless or without Social Security (which would make most of the rest happen) we won't by any good to anyone.
+12 # maddave 2013-02-09 11:00
The Mr.Rich's obvious rush to abandon his stated topic ---eg, Americans' jaded, apathetic attitude toward Obama's (Nonjudicial) Assassination Policies --- spoke volumes in itself. Nobody gives a damn whom we kill overseas; we can all live comfortably with our present drone (et al) assassination policies --- just so long as the targets are non-Christian, non-white, non-humans living outside of our borders. Many of us are actually cheering them on and calling joy-stick jockeys in Tampa Florida "heros".

This attitude will continue until some future (?) President decides to "bring 'em home" do deal with our own problems.

Apropos side note: Our civic league recently scheduled a rally to protest apathy, but nobody showed up.
+3 # balconesfalk 2013-02-10 14:27
I am awfully outspoken at the keyboard and one of my friends asked me what I will do when one of Obama's drones shows up coming towards my window? Yeah, what do borders matter now that the government has termed peaceful protesters as "low level terrorists." It's not only the Republican Party that is having image problems.
+6 # Walter J Smith 2013-02-09 11:00
The title of this essay is so vague that it makes one yawn, observing that perhaps Frank Rich long ago lost his edge and I am just now noticing. His edge would more likely have written something like, "The Democratic Party's Professional Apologists put Obama in the White House and promptly went back to sleep." Unfortunately the interviewer's contributions only served to facilitate the interviewee's banal obfuscations.

The latter's subsequent two "explanations" (read: "convolutions") in support of that banal title serve only to apologize for the former's failure to focus any of the article any better. Notice that rather than attempt to open up that mulish "reasoning," Rich changed the subject to the GOP's self-immolation . The interviewee loved making that switch.

"Today's Senate confirmation hearings for John Brennan as CIA director must be tough." Has anyone anywhere reported how that "tough" might justify such a bizarre claim? If so, where? Rich let this one go by also. Why is he so easy on the chief apologists for the status-quo-cons ervative banality cult?

This article's kind of writing and the interviewee's kind of talking reveals an obscenely inept rhetorical pattern: sound as if you have something helpful or somehow relevant to say/write while saying/writing nothing either helpful or relevant regarding anything that might matter.

What a disappointment. Frank, it is sad to see you go so dull so quickly.
+14 # reiverpacific 2013-02-09 11:01
Well no surprise here from the "United States of Amnesia", as Greg Palast calls it, in it's numbed insouciance to all but the flick'rin' sareen which preaches the gospel of American exceptionalism and "Shop-'til-you- drop but leave the rest of the world to us".
Hell they've been ignoring or quietly going along with wars of aggression since the Spanish-America n affair, invasions of other nations, US armed and sponsored coups and assassinations or attempted same.
And of course the inevitable blowback will soon be coming to a target near you.
What's all this about the various shades of blue in the Rethugs anyway? They are bickering so hard they seem to be losing sight of the Totalitarian-Ri ght state they have been pursuing by all means necessary for decades. But all extremist stances and parties end up choking on their own bile eventually.
Pity that Obama is also lookin' the other way and turning cheek on those who voted for him, by escalating the Drone thing overwhelming opposed by his supporters, and targeted assassinations at home and abroad.
+2 # Vern Radul 2013-02-09 12:23
"the Drone thing overwhelming opposed by his supporters"?

As they overwhelmingly voted for it.

i.e. approved it.
+10 # California Neal 2013-02-09 13:25
Obama voters did not overwhelmingly vote for his drone policy, Antemedius. They chose Obama over a much scarier politician & political party. Far more of them had Obama's & the Democrats' desire to tax the rich, & Romney's & the Republicans' desire to protect the rich, on their minds than drone policy. A recent poll showed that most Americans have trouble with the idea of killing Americans abroad with no due process. That said, the policy is shameful, & it's shameful that more Americans haven't opposed it.
+11 # Vern Radul 2013-02-09 14:42
The lesser of two evils 'argument' is pathetic. It's not even an argument. It's an excuse.

Lesser of two evils voting for decades is what got America into the pathetic shape it's in now.

You had a choice. Between voting for good, or voting for evil.

If you voted for romney or for obama you chose evil, with eyes wide open.

You won. You got what you voted for.

You won not having to spend 4 years pretending all over again to be opposed to imperial wars, murder of innocent kids around the world with hellfire missiles, global US Govt. state sponsored terrorism, huge handouts being shoveled out the Treasuries door for insurance CEO's and wall street, corporate ownership of a puppet in the oval office, torture of American prisoners in American prisons, etc., etc., and all the other bullsh*t obama has been getting away with so effortlessly that neither Romney nor any other republican would ever have a hope in hell of putting over on people without every democrat screaming for impeachment for 4 years, while the country continues it's ever more rapid slide over the edge.

And he won't have to listen to protests from his supporters while he forges a grand bargain to give Wall Street control of Social Security so they can get rich bankrupting it with fees till it's time for them to organize another "crash' so Obama can bail them out again. With guess whose money...

More people now have more hope for more real change they can believe in than ever before.
-2 # reiverpacific 2013-02-10 18:26
Quoting Antemedius:
"the Drone thing overwhelming opposed by his supporters"?

As they overwhelmingly voted for it.

i.e. approved it.

Not where I live -the ones who are actually paying attention and keeping current by utilizing the alternative US and foreign press.
My guess is that they of little attention-span don't want to address it.
But I do agree that if Twit had won (shudder the thought) we'd have been getting armed up to attack Iran right now, if not into it already.
All I'm saying is that Ob' is looking the other way but those who voted for him are not but for a few who don't care to see the truth.
+8 # randyjet 2013-02-09 15:19
I guess you were NOT paying attention when Obama was running for office the first time. He said clealy that he would increase US forces in Afghanistan, and increase his efforts against Al Qeada. Next time LISTEN. If you don't like it don't vote for him.
+7 # cwbystache 2013-02-09 19:47
's'why I voted for Jill Stein ... after having voted for Cynthia McKinney the time before that ...
0 # wiz1952 2013-02-09 11:03
+5 # Nick Reynolds 2013-02-09 11:20
America yawns because TV yawns. It's all just part of the long march from theoretical democracy to a single ruler.
Cubans in Florida tend to be right wing.
CFR? Isn't that Rockefeller's bunch?
+13 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-02-09 11:37
The important and chilling message of this editorial is that there are few signs that the public is outraged at what President Obama has done. If Bush did what Obama has we would be up in arms. But we like our President. This is a statement on the power of our corporate media to dull and misinform the people. Obama has taken away our rights to a trial if accused of a crime. He has taken the dictatorial power to kill or imprison any of us without trial and torture anyone he wishes. Most of us are so overwhelmed by the economic conditions that we are deeply unhappy and unable defend what is left of our democracy.
+17 # Vern Radul 2013-02-09 11:41
America yawns because most Americans are neither motivated enough to learn beyond what their television tells them, nor capable of comprehending anything they might learn if they were motivated enough to do so.

Anything threatening to disrupt and require questioning of their worldview will be resisted strenuously.
+9 # DaveM 2013-02-09 11:54
Perhaps when the bombs start landing closer to home, people will take notice. But by then it will be too late.

For the moment, most merely note that the assassinations are taking place "somewhere else, to someone else", and tell themselves that it will always remain that way.
+6 # Vern Radul 2013-02-09 12:13
The first time it's done in America to a white person I imagine the reaction will be something like "well he must have been some liberal socialist who hates America and besides that the government wouldn't do that unless he was guilty so he must have deserved it" and then they'll look away with barely disguised uncomfortable expressions and try to change the subject with something like "OMG. Look over there! Republicans! (or Liberals!)"
+7 # cordleycoit 2013-02-09 12:37
Glad to see all the little piggies feeding on the hate gathered up at the last election.The corrupt bankers and insane pols are being looked over by their masters while the New York Times does the Judith Miller thing with presidential murder.
-7 # wwway 2013-02-09 12:54
I'm confused by all the fuss being made. Bush created an endless war on terror much like what we have with the war on drugs. A great effort was made to demonize Muslims and Bush in particular demonized Americans who didn't side with his war. I understand we reserve for Americans the honor of being accountable to our law. But what if they are defectors whom we hunt? Why is locating them any different by drone than by on the ground troops who most likely will be engaged in a firefight resulting in the death of that same citizen anyway? Why can't we hunt them on foreign soil and kill them by ground or drone? Just asking.
Drone technology has been in the development stage for more than 40 years. First used for survelance to replace the Blackbird and now armed and used for killing. We've entered a new method of waging war. Now we've entered into a discussion about the rules of engagement.
If American's are yawning then perhaps we've decided to accept the most efficient way to track and kill our enemy's and our traitors?
Drone and robot technology is being developed and used for law enforcement. What rules of egagement will come of that?
+7 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-02-09 20:09
wwway does not think that a person charged with a crime has he right to defend her/him self in a court of law. Obama has done away with that and wwway thinks that's fine. I don't. I think we must defend the rights of all of us under that Constitution in order to be safe our selves. Bettcha wwway would want to say, "hey, I didn't do that!" if he were falsely chargec with a crime.
+4 # anarchteacher 2013-02-09 13:17
For further authoritative documentation and analysis of the Bush/Obama police state see these excellent articles below:

Concerning Geithner's acceptance of a position at the Council on Foreign Relations, see these background articles:
+10 # Vardoz 2013-02-09 13:40
We care and emailed Obama telling him that he is giving himself powers that no other president has allowed themselves to have, with no check and balances, accountability or oversight. What if there are mistakes and innocent Americans are killed like all the women and children who were killed by the truck loads in Afghanistan? What would a futres GOP President, god forbid, do with these powers? Would peaceful protestors be targeted and what will other nations think when they see that we are a country that does not respect the rule of law for our own citizens? When Obama talks about we the people which people is he referring to? The American people are asleep at the wheel and we will and are paying a big price for our apathy on which our govt depends!
+17 # Dean 2013-02-09 13:59
I do not yawn. The policy is outrageous and reprehensible.
+17 # Vardoz 2013-02-09 16:14
But too many Americans are apathetic- True those on this blog may not but notice- there are no big protests, are people calling and emailing Obama in huge numbers? Are too many just struggle to survive, being held hostage in poverty? There is not a big movement out there that is protesting all the freedoms and rights that have been taken away from us. As Red states are manipulating the electoral college so they can steal the next election- instead of protecting our vote Obama is giving himself the power to kill anyone he pleases without oversight, accountability or checks and balances!
+13 # dascher 2013-02-09 15:01
We all know that "Our Government" would NEVER arbitrarily kill "US". It never has. It has only killed people who were not "US". You might want to check out the various massacres of unarmed civil rights protesters shot by the authorities for 'rioting', just to start.

While the Constitution's guarantees of our rights to due process are not a real guarantee, to toss those rights out the window altogether, is a chilling development - especially when done by a Law Professor.

Be scared or be quiet. Very quiet.
+2 # balconesfalk 2013-02-11 10:56
When Bill Clinton called Obama's being characterized as a Peace candidate a fairy tale, he was being accurate. Law Professor is another title that should be questioned. Maybe he thinks that he is above the law, being president. If he doesn't respect the rule of law he should be impeached.
+8 # Beakie 2013-02-09 15:53
Sorry Vardoz, I meant to give you a thumbs up but must have slipped. Thank you for writing that letter. Sometimes it feels as though all is lost & the only thing left to do is to cultivate your own garden as Voltaire suggested. Thanks for going beyond that.
+3 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-02-09 19:11
I gave him one for you. Might even slip over to another computer and give him another one. Because he deserves them and also to give NSA something else to track on a dull Saturday evening.
-9 # Mike Farrace 2013-02-09 17:55
Most of the anti-drone arguments use false assumptions, such as saying "Obama has taken away our rights to a trial and taken the dictatorial power to kill or imprison any of us without trial and torture anyone he wishes." This is patently false. Another emerging false meme is that drones are employed arbitrarily. Julian Assange was interviewed by Bill Maher last night and said it repeatedly and no one objected.

From what I read, the assassination targets are laboriously assessed and anything but arbitrary. Should they give us pause? Absolutely. Should there be a clear-cut legal rationale, iron-clad procedures and transparent policy subject to congressional oversight? Absolutely. But terrorism is a different kind of war and I believe the president is doing what is necessary to defeat our enemies with a dramatically reduced loss of innocent civilian life.

Even the highest estimates of civilian deaths and injuries via the use of drones is a tiny fraction of the death and injury that result from armies invading countries where the terrorists operate.
+6 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-02-09 19:14
From what you read?

Where did you read it? In a court document where accusers are sworn and the accused is allowed to question them?

I don't think so.
-14 # randyjet 2013-02-09 19:49
The US Army did not bother giving US citizens a trial when they caught them helping and fighting for the Nazis during WWII. In fact, if they were caught, they got a court martial and were hung. BIG DEAL! The drones simply kill those who are engaged in warfare against us. The so called victims who were killed were NOT on Spring Break in Yemen enjoying the beaches in Yemen. Nor do we have to worry about such things happening in other places where the government do have control over their whole territory. In FACT, if the government really objected to the drones, they could easily shoot them down.
+2 # oakes721 2013-02-09 20:05
[quote name="Mike Farrace"]
From what I read, the assassination targets are laboriously assessed and anything but arbitrary."

The Arbitrary targeting, like the installation of a drunken cowboy Bush in the W.House, is a tactic used to instill mortal fear in all. The accompanying unpredictabilit y and defiance of international rules of war-making protect the culprits even from their own. Yes, even the collateral innocent deaths are carefully thought out. Drones do not necessarily commit suicide after their commands have been carried out.
+10 # Vern Radul 2013-02-09 20:29
"deaths and injuries via the use of drones is a tiny fraction of the death and injury that result from armies invading"?

False choice.

Drones are not "defense". You are promoting drones as some "acceptable" way of murdering people that you hope people with conscience won't complain about.

If you were serious about looking for a solution to the real problem, you would start by looking in the mirror.

The real choice is between attacking people around the world and creating hatred for American freedom to kill them, or not attacking them.

The WOT is a sham. A childrens horror story to create support imperial wars & resource grabs by the US.

To have a never ending war on terror requires that they do everything possible to create as many "terrorists" who hate Americans for their freedom to kill them as they possibly can to be "at war" against.

What better qualification could there be than someone whose mother or father or child has just been blown into bloody gobs of flesh in front of their eyes?


"3000 major operations, and 10,000 minor operations... bloody and gory beyond comprehension.. . we have organized death squads in countries around the world... we count at least - minimum figure - six million people who've been killed [by CIA ops] in this long 40 year war that we've waged against the people of the third world"

--Former CIA Stn Chief John Stockwell: ch?v=m3ioJGMCr- Y
+3 # Jonathan Levy 2013-02-10 13:46
You believe we have two choices: Brutal war or Robot War. You have not considered that to the largest corporate powers, perpetual war is their goal and to that end have funded both the supposed terrorist opposition and the supposed good guys. Now they get to funnel our money to drones and robot killers to foment endless war and fear. You operate in a narrow frame with no real truth seeking, wihtout considering all the possibilities. The only reason less civs have died from dones is because less drones have been employed than conventional craft. have you considered # civ deaths per mission. Have you considered that almost everyone killed by drone has been a civilian but such is not reported because Obama counts any male of fighting age as a suspected terrorist.
+4 # tigerlille 2013-02-09 21:35
I can tell you when the American public will take an interest in the drone assassination policy: when another country starts targeting people in the U.S. with drones. A little late then.
+5 # Vern Radul 2013-02-09 21:50
That started in 2001.

The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced.

I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.

The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn't respond.

In those difficult moments many hard-to-describ e ideas bubbled in my soul, but in the end they produced an intense feeling of rejection of tyranny, and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors.

And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.


The alternative to using drones is to stop giving people the need to defend themselves against US imperialism.
+3 # tm7devils 2013-02-09 22:58
(On Geithner)
If he is not stupid...and smart enough to put his greed on hold(for a job well done for the 1% and their toadies - the Repugs)...then he is morally bankrupt...
Remember - intelligence and moral, or ethical, behavior can be mutually exclusive.
+2 # Vern Radul 2013-02-10 14:16
"intelligence and moral, or ethical, behavior can be mutually exclusive"?

Intelligence without morals or ethics may be cleverness, but is not a very intelligent way to proceed through life.
+2 # mrbadexample 2013-02-11 07:09
I'm sensing that Americans are going to get focused on the drones soon whether they want to focus or not. The drone assassination of US citizens abroad is a violation of the SCOTUS decision in Hamdi V Rumsfeld, where it was held that Americans who'd been captured as Enemy Combatants were still entitled to Due Process. Somebody is soon going to file the lawsuit that makes the citizen assassination part of the program illegal. And the UN is finally beginning to look at the drone strike issue seriously. Under UN Charter, you can use acts of war (such as a drone strike) only defensively, and only if the danger is immediate and no alternative is possible. If we're just killing members of Al Qaeda or its affiliates because we can, that does not meet the UN standards. And it puts Obama on a collision course with the Supremacy clause of the Constitution, which holds that ratified treaties have the same power as US law. The Obama drone program may constitute an impeachable offense, though any international legal action would also involve Obama's predecessor.

But this isn't going to go away.
0 # James Marcus 2013-03-05 01:14
The New Hampshire state constitution's "Right to Revolution" clause says it a little more plainly.

"Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind."

- New Hampshire Constitution, 1784

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