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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:23 AM

Chris Hayes says we face "stark choice between the war we are now fighting" and the law.

He recommends choosing the law "which we all at least pretend is the bedrock of our republic."

He was speaking of the targeted killings. He believes they need to be brought out from behind the "veil of secrecy."

How America Kills

People in the administration have told reporters that they have implemented an extremely rigorous screening process inside the White House to decide who ends up on the list, that the president himself approaches his responsibility to administer the program with solemnity and care, and that the policy has been efficient and effective in decimating al-Qaeda and other affiliated terrorist groups. A senior U.S. official said as early as 2009, ”The enemy is really, really struggling…These attacks have produced the broadest, deepest and most rapid reduction in al-Qaida senior leadership that we’ve seen in several years.”

But before any of the specifics of the program’s merits can be properly and fully debated, it has to be brought out from behind the veil of secrecy which now cloaks it. That process started this week when my colleague Michael Isikoff obtained a heretofore secret Department of Justice memo that outlines the administration’s legal arguments for why it believes it has the authority to use lethal force against ”a U.S. citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qa’ida or an associated force” if an “informed high-level official of the U.S. government has determined” it’s appropriate.


He quotes a blogger Lou Siegel that he trusts President Obama to have this power, but admits he would not have trusted the Republicans.

I think this is probably the most honest defense of the program you’ll hear from liberals. They trust President Obama to wield broad, lethal executive authority with care and prudence. And besides: it’s war, would you rather, I am often asked by supporters of the kill list, that we have boots on the ground, big expensive, destructive deadly disastrous land invasions of countries like the Iraq war? Isn’t the move from wars like Iraq to “surgical strikes” in Yemen precisely the kind of change we were promised?

.."In 1832, German military theorist Carl von Clausewitz declared that “War is an act of force, and there is no logical limit to the application of that force….a clash of forces freely operating and obedient to no law but their own.” Much of the history of war and international law in the last century, particularly after the horror of the second world war, was an attempt to prove Clausewitz wrong. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves. We may find ourselves at some point facing a stark choice between the war we are now fighting and the law which we all at least pretend is the bedrock of our republic.


He says choose the law.

Digby at Hullaballoo thinks along the same lines.

Just don't call it a double standard because that would be totally wrong

The key difference between the torture memos and the targeted-killing memos is that the torture memos were written during the Bush administration, while the targeted-killing memos were written during Obama's. Another difference is that because Obama banned torture by executive order, it was highly unlikely that Americans would be affected by the practices the torture memos justified. The same cannot be said for the targeted-killing memos, which are still in force and apply to an ongoing government program.

If releasing the torture memos to the public was justified, it's very hard to understand why Americans should be kept in the dark about the details of when, how and why their own government can mark them for death.


This is a short but true pictorial about things Democrats would have much disliked if George Bush had done them. It hits home.

7 Things Democrats Would Have Freaked Out About If Bush Had Done Them

Just a couple of things. The post adds images for emphasis.

Obama had promised to end Bush's hawkish foreign policy and the "war on terror's" detention and interrogation regime.

But in the beginning of his fifth year as president, Obama's record has been surprisingly similar to his predecessor's in those areas.

Actually, the death tolls in Afghanistan under each administration look like this:



It seems Glen Greenwald, Firedoglake, are targeted for their criticisms. One day I was told I shouldn't be linking to Huffington Post as they were a right wing site.

I was reading Greenwald's Twitter feed today, and it has an angry tone. It sounds like he and the Guardian site may be reading here today. I don't agree with all he writes, but he has done some very good work.

I quit linking to Firedoglake ages ago because of the hassle. It has some good writers, it has some I don't agree with at all, a mixture. But it brings attacks.

My main disagreements with the policies of President Obama are mostly with his education policies. He and Arne Duncan are continuing the Bush policies and expanding them.

I waited almost a year to post here again after 10 years as a member. I know how it is to be threatened, and it is hard to take.

I defend Glenn Greenwald often because there have been too many condemned for speaking out if they disagreed with Obama. I don't always agree with him either.

So far I haven't seen Chris Hayes being stuck under the bus, I hope he is not. It's getting crowded.

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Reply Chris Hayes says we face "stark choice between the war we are now fighting" and the law. (Original post)
madfloridian Feb 2013 OP
madfloridian Feb 2013 #1
madfloridian Feb 2013 #2
DeSwiss Feb 2013 #3
madfloridian Feb 2013 #6
xchrom Feb 2013 #4
Bonobo Feb 2013 #5

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:33 AM

1. Greenwald's tweet about strange bedfellows...Fox News on board.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:11 AM

2. How Robert Gibbs defended the killing of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki last year.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/10/how-team-obama-justifies-the-killing-of-a-16-year-old-american/264028/

"The answer Gibbs gave is chilling:

ADAMSON: ...It's an American citizen that is being targeted without due process, without trial. And, he's underage. He's a minor.

GIBBS: I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don't think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.


Again, note that this kid wasn't killed in the same drone strike as his father. He was hit by a drone strike elsewhere, and by the time he was killed, his father had already been dead for two weeks. Gibbs nevertheless defends the strike, not by arguing that the kid was a threat, or that killing him was an accident, but by saying that his late father irresponsibly joined al Qaeda terrorists. Killing an American citizen without due process on that logic ought to be grounds for impeachment. Is that the real answer? Or would the Obama Administration like to clarify its reasoning? Any Congress that respected its oversight responsibilities would get to the bottom of this.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:41 AM

3. +1000

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 02:35 PM

6. Thanks.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:32 AM

4. Du rec. Nt

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:34 AM

5. More "Naderism", I guess. nt

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