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Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:27 AM

Assange urges leak of US drone rules

Last edited Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:01 AM - Edit history (1)

Source: The Times of India

AFP - Saturday February 9, 2013

LOS ANGELES: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange urged US officials on Friday to leak secret documents on drone strikes, saying that the broad discretion to kill citizens showed a "collapse" in the American system.

Assange, who has angered US officials by releasing thousands of secret memos, used a rare US television appearance to condemn President Barack Obama's controversial green light to kill American citizens who conspire with Al-Qaeda.

"I can't see a greater collapse when the executive can kill its own citizens arbitrarily, at will, in secret, without any of the decision-making becoming public," Assange told the HBO talk show "Real Time with Bill Maher."

"That's why we need organizations like WikiLeaks. I encourage anyone in the White House who has access to those rules and procedures, work them on over to us. We'll keep you secret and reveal it to the public."

Read more: http://is.gd/krDxnc



Extended interview available at HBO

94 replies, 7861 views

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Reply Assange urges leak of US drone rules (Original post)
reorg Feb 2013 OP
graham4anything Feb 2013 #1
tama Feb 2013 #4
graham4anything Feb 2013 #5
tama Feb 2013 #7
graham4anything Feb 2013 #8
reorg Feb 2013 #11
graham4anything Feb 2013 #13
reorg Feb 2013 #15
graham4anything Feb 2013 #17
dotymed Feb 2013 #20
graham4anything Feb 2013 #22
KakistocracyHater Feb 2013 #78
nineteen50 Feb 2013 #50
graham4anything Feb 2013 #84
reorg Feb 2013 #10
graham4anything Feb 2013 #12
reorg Feb 2013 #14
snot Feb 2013 #32
Ash_F Feb 2013 #24
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #29
msanthrope Feb 2013 #44
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #45
msanthrope Feb 2013 #51
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #70
msanthrope Feb 2013 #72
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #87
msanthrope Feb 2013 #90
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #85
msanthrope Feb 2013 #86
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #89
msanthrope Feb 2013 #93
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #91
msanthrope Feb 2013 #92
daleo Feb 2013 #67
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2013 #76
The Stranger Feb 2013 #82
Democracyinkind Feb 2013 #2
polly7 Feb 2013 #16
OKNancy Feb 2013 #3
Chef Eric Feb 2013 #9
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #30
OKNancy Feb 2013 #36
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #40
OnyxCollie Feb 2013 #48
OKNancy Feb 2013 #52
OnyxCollie Feb 2013 #57
OKNancy Feb 2013 #66
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #46
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #71
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2013 #79
graham4anything Feb 2013 #6
another_liberal Feb 2013 #19
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #34
graham4anything Feb 2013 #41
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #47
Ash_F Feb 2013 #75
another_liberal Feb 2013 #18
graham4anything Feb 2013 #23
NorthCarolina Feb 2013 #25
graham4anything Feb 2013 #31
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #49
another_liberal Feb 2013 #60
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #35
another_liberal Feb 2013 #59
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #69
another_liberal Feb 2013 #74
msanthrope Feb 2013 #53
another_liberal Feb 2013 #56
msanthrope Feb 2013 #58
another_liberal Feb 2013 #61
ripcord Feb 2013 #21
NorthCarolina Feb 2013 #26
RandiFan1290 Feb 2013 #27
randome Feb 2013 #33
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #38
ReRe Feb 2013 #28
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #39
ReRe Feb 2013 #42
OKNancy Feb 2013 #54
snot Feb 2013 #37
ReRe Feb 2013 #43
NorthCarolina Feb 2013 #55
another_liberal Feb 2013 #62
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #64
another_liberal Feb 2013 #73
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #88
another_liberal Feb 2013 #94
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #63
Cha Feb 2013 #68
Amonester Feb 2013 #83
Catherina Feb 2013 #65
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 #77
quadrature Feb 2013 #80
snot Feb 2013 #81

Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:28 AM

1. So, if there was a secret memo prehand, to drone Hitler 2 weeks before

 

is this person (who is NOT an American anyhow, so what business is it of his to meddle in our affairs, anymore than say Rupert Murdoch's business to do such in America)

so is this person saying that Hitler should have been warned prior to having a coordinated drone come fall upon him had there been such a thing, so that Hitler could get away???

Becuase indeed, that is what he is saying just saying it after the fact.

That really does, when you logically look at something not just straight on, but with all around vision, put into question this dudes motives.

Why some people like this dude, I don't know.

This ain't no Vietnam era, So in retrospect, one can argue that what Ellsberg did was or wasn't wrong, but has
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL to do with 2000 year to the current events.
This ain't Ellsberg's era (though Ellsberg himself has made a fine and dandy cottage industry for himself for 40 years hasn't he, truth be told.)

And its for another thread to debate pro vs. con on Ellsberg.
Remember, he won the trail NOT because of the issue, but because of technicalities.

He was on trial for treason. Had there not been illegalities in the methods used by the people on Nixon's staff, indeed he might have been found guilty and still been in jail today for those crimes.(we have no way of knowing).

One thing is sure, Ellsberg is part of the group that has since then worked to discredit any and all so envoking his name is like a president invoking a vp's name.

Now, I am at NO point here defending Nixon or Watergate or Liddy.

I am just saying everyone has an angle, and Ellsberg's angle has made quite a nice life for him for 40 years keeping on keeping on.

Again, if there was a memo that described in detail a plot to drone Hitler 2 weeks before he arrested the first person, or killed the first of 20 million people, and it saved 20 million people,
is the dude overseas saying that they would have released that memo and allow Hitler to get off scot free? (and applying that towards today, to tell in advance any AlQuedaa person that they are going to be droned next week at 3am?

because one can't just say X, without thinking about Y and Z

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:51 AM

4. "who is NOT an American anyhow"

 

America gave up isolationism long time ago, and if you don't want to go back into living and loving local self-sufficient way of life, you are part of the global interdependent society which is largely your own creation. Killing non-Americans is not issue where you can or should shut up non-Americans, it's not "your affair".

Your nationalism is not any prettier or more rational or ethical than any other nationalism. Do you even know how many nations have troops in Afganistan, and how that war affects the whole global society?

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Response to tama (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:06 AM

5. Exactly my point I have been saying all along. Some just choose to ignore it.

 

Terrorism and war is worldwide
NO borders

therefore drones=good thing and the terrorist is the same no matter where located.
(The constitution has a very clear feeling on traitors-
as Franklin said, this is yours if you can keep it, well, a terrorist is attempting to take the republic away. And as he said, an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure, therefore the founding fathers would have been FOR drones.)

I have been saying this all along that we are not isolated.

So please do not accuse me of saying the opposite.

drones=good thing.

As Richard Clarke said, the most humane form of warfare.

And (this is on the broad issue itself-
the whole fake analogy of collateral damage, innocent people,etc.
The bad people in the world will kill those same people and tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands more.

The entire political world voted for Afghanistan. No one didn't.
Elizabeth Warren has stated that everything is on the table for Iran.

(and anyhow, should iran or any other nation actually set off a bomb, the fallout from that bomb will kill millions in radiation poisoning.
And one bomb can lead to 20 bombs and the world is gone.

One dropped drone to prevent that makes the world liveable and more humane.

And there is always collateral damage.

Hitler killed 20 million people. Most of them were just regular folks with nothing to do with anything except in this one mad man's deluded conveluted mind.

If only a drone had dropped on Hitler 2 weeks before he handed his plans out, the world would have been a better place all around.

Because if you think stopping any American drones or warfare will better the world, no that would lead directly to isolationism, and that is not possible, and as the 19 9-11 attackers showed, all 19 were freely in this country, and OBL hidden away somewhere in plain sight,
led the whole thing.
Without OBL, there was no 9-11.
So the enemy is already here, there everywhere.

And Richard Clarke was loved by liberals all over when he went public with that memo.
If only a drone had stopped OBL and the 19 before they did what they did.

The nation would not have the debt it does, would not have so many dead people, the world would not have had two wars.

Put the blame where the blame belongs.
On OBL and the 19, and I myself wish there had been drones used back then prior.

My opinion, feel free to argue it.
But please do not say I am an isolationist...we are the world, the world is us, it is one world, all are citizens on planet earth.

War can be stopped the minute there are no bad guys.
Same with police forces.
To think we can do away with American in war, and American police in the states, is a pipe dream. And I don't smoke.

IMHO

and it really is as simple as good and bad people, and those in between.
it never has been any different.

and the federal governemnt is important to have these rights(and they are constitutional)
to stop a single madman from taking it all away.
(why this is directly opposite to my anti-NRA view on a private person).

One private person should not trump 320 million in America.

So yes to drones, NO to guns and bullets in private hand(s).

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:16 AM

7. You said

 

that Assange (and with him, rest of global social media) should shut up and let US government keep on killing anyone anywhere they want.

Again, how many governments have sent troops to Afganistan? And next question, can you show any country in the world where majority of people support your bogus "war against terror" and keeping troops in Afganistan?

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Response to tama (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:50 AM

8. JA is Justin Bieber. A publicity loving celebrity, however, Justin has a better voice.

 

JA I bet has a wardrobe department too.

He makes his living this way, as do all celebrities.

As Bing Crosby said, everybody has an angle.
Well, this JA guy has an angle, and the angle is JA.

Let's reframe your question

Itwould be saying how many people supported going into a war to save the 6 million Jews in WW2 and the 14 million others.

Well, it took Pearl Harbor, one of the biggest terror events ever, to nudge America into wanting to fight.
FDR knew this for many years prior, America did not have the appetite for it, till after Pearl Harbor, so in essence, Pearl Harbor was the spark.

Would JA wish Hitler wasn't stopped?

And, just to make sure, are you saying Rupert Murdoch should own even more papers and stations than he already does here in America. And that corporations are a great thing, being that they are multi-national and Rupe owns a ton of them, plus all the media?

(now, I have nothing against corporaitons in that they hire the 99% who need their 9 to 5 jobs, and iwthout corporations there would be more worldwide unemployment as there are no alternative jobs, I am just citing a round robin example.

One can't burn a building down,without knowing exactly what will be the day after.

So the choice is the 20 million deaths caused directly by Hitler's action against the
example of a drone hitting Hitler 2 weeks prior, with maybe a handful of collateral.
So let's say 20 million vs. 15.
And the fake argument about the 15 is, they would have died anyhow just differently, plus 20 million others.
My vote goes to drone dropping on Hitler.

and my vote goes against someone attempting to warn Hitler prior by having everything out in the open.

How the hell can one run a war, a business, a life, if everything is known.
part of the reason the US senate and house sucks now is, there are no longer backroom deals to be made, everything is transparent, and nothing gets done.


IMHO feel free to argue it.


but JA is nothing more than Justin Bieber in a different profession, who thrives on publicity.
(if JA can sing and make a video, he can have a hit record though,anyone can.
It is a free market system.)

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:39 AM

11. "how the hell can one run a war"

why the hell would you want to?

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Response to reorg (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:47 AM

13. Are the bad people in the world just going away. If so, how?

 

In fairytale land there are no bad guys at the end.
BUT
How did the bad guys disappear and the world lived happily ever after?
By osmosis perhaps?

Since the first dinosaur ruled the world, one has fought with another.

So please tell the world how with us not involved, it gets rid of all the bad people in the USA(where we have more homegrown terrorists now, like the Coward McVeigh and the one who shot 26 people in the school in Conn. etc.)

Tell us how we get rid of the bad people here there and everywhere.

imho.

yes, it makes a good quick snapback soundbyte to mock my words. But it doesn't answer the far more sophisticated and pertinent question what happens the day after one burns it down proverbially?

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:08 AM

15. you DO believe in fairy tales

if you think that wars are fought against "bad people".

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Response to reorg (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:14 AM

17. OBL wasn't a bad person? Hitler wasn't a bad person?

 

Real people live and die.
Real people are good and bad.

Someone is at the end of every decision, either good or bad.

it sounds naive, but it is true.

Dick Cheney and Joe Biden both have the same job.
One cannot say Joe is Dick and Dick is Joe.

and the same bad people and the same wars would still be fought(maybe elsewhere) but still go on without our help or with our help.

We cannot be isolationists as I previously said(and as someone said I was which I am not).

We do not live in a Utopian society, if we did, everyone would be equal and perfect.
Nobody is.
Even in the best of times, someone is not doing well.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:31 AM

20. graham, besides your convoluted reasoning to kill others (with drones)

anyone should be able to reason out the fact that these drone strikes and their collateral damage, create more "terrorists" than they eradicate. Which (using your words) prolongs the "war."

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Response to dotymed (Reply #20)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:02 AM

22. no, that is not a constant that is proven true. It puts a ring around it, so to say.

 

There are correct answers on both sides of the issue.

Because letting all criminals and terrorists do whatever they want leads THOSE to keep doing it, and then copycats keep doing it.


So, even if there are X number of new ones, it stops those who were doing it, and any copycat of that.

Hijacking planes to Cuba was envogue in the 1960s and 1970s.
Stopping it by having zero tolerance, and not negotiating ended it.
(Until 2001 of course).
And that could have been stopped with a well place drone in 2000.
(and same as any mega bad event in the past could have).

So there is more than one correct answer here.
it stops some, it might add others, but it defnitely stops those it stops.

AND, with each event, more safeguards are in place to make someone think twice about doing another one.
Before Oklahoma City (now there was an American on American soil doing a bad thing)
office buildings did not yet have many concrete barriers, and later ones stopped being able to get into the underground garages.
It's not perfect, but the criminal mind is more dangerous than the one that doesn't think that way, which is why people are paid (federal agents), to in advance think like a criminal to prepare for things ahead.

(much like small pox was eradicated, but the next epidemic is around the corner, and scientists sometimes are not prepared for a vaccine in time, when one can save millions.
It don't stop the first people from dying, but it protects others.)

Puts a ring around it. so to say.

So the lives it saves even more lives.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:24 PM

78. you mentioned Hitler but forgot HE used drones on ENGLAND

ask the survivors of the "blitz" if they felt any better that they were being bombed by radio controlled airplanes.

http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?3541-Remote-Controlled-WWII-Aircraft

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:06 AM

50. When

the major advantage you have is military every problem and answer becomes one of warring.

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Response to nineteen50 (Reply #50)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 04:23 AM

84. Hasn't it been that way from day one of the world? One needs to look at big picture

 

and to have a perfect world, wouldn't everyone everywhere have to be on the same page, and it has never and will never happen?

Taking the USA out of the equation is indeed then like what happened prior to the US getting involved in the Nazi war. One country after another taken over by Hitler, and he wanted to march over the entire continent (and who knows if he did, would he have broadened his fight?)

So unless anyone here is saying the USA is equal to Nazi Germany(which as this is a democratic party board, I would think would be impossible for anyone to have that view, though I should never assume) one keeps forgetting that the bulk majority of deaths are happening in other places anyhow (or if not deaths people living in horrible conditions with leaders that don't allow them to be free

(i.e.- is there a democratic underground board in Afghanastan where any citizen there can freely speak with the moderators of that board knowing what ISP they are using?
Do the people using the net in repressed countries have to be anonymous to have a conversation like this in the first place?

And if so, does the conversation continue?

For all the talk that is so much hyperbole that we are "not free", we keep typing on day after day, and long as we are civil to each other, no one is shutting down this place or any of the thousands of other places on the net on any side of any issue.

How people think our rights are being taken away, I don't know.

Whereas a bully like JA who uses threats, might actually be the one to cause people to be silent and not post anything at all.

Do people not see how his threats can cause a government to stop allowing internet talk,
and go back to some primative code so that their words won't be easily learned?

That is my problem with these hackers/leakers. They are not what they seem, because
these hackers are indeed the proverbial "first they came for (fill in name of someone one side doesn't like) and people were happy that person released that

then the hackers/leakers release something that side don't like, and oops, no good.

That is why one needs to look at the big picture and all sides of it.
30 people dying is horrible. However, 300 people is 10x worse. 3000 is ...

And why is it that most who cry the loudest against the drones done by the feds,
are the ones that most fevoriously back the NRA and guns by a private person?
When 34 people a day are dying from a gun and a bullet?
(no, the opposite doesn't apply imho).

what is the real ulterior angle of the whole story? (asking this to noone in particular)


and btw, what if tomorrow it came out that Karl Rove was behind JA and others for the sole purpose of discrediting the best President we are going to have from this time forward?(IMHO)

as there are so many conspiracy theorists already, why couldn't that be possible?

(after all, the republicans financed Nader you know,whether he knew it or not, why couldn't this be just another dirty trick?).

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:34 AM

10. you might want to watch the extended HBO interview

where he answers your first question regarding hypotheticals and ongoing operations.

As to your comparison with Rupert Murdoch, I agree: Assange has the exact same right to offer his services to US Americans as any other media organisation, including Murdoch's, no more and no less.

This particular news item is about an issue that concerns many Americans including many posters here. The Obama administration has taken ownership of the war-on-terror concept, apparently they rewrite the constitution as they see fit. They also rewrite international law and we don't even know the specifics. That's why Wikileaks can be of service to all of us.

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Response to reorg (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:43 AM

12. I do not get HBO, and that is run by a big corporation you know.

 

I used to get HBO when I first moved to our current location.
I was told I had a lifetime contract to keep it at no additional cost

Then that company merged with Cablevision and was obsolete.
But I still had HBO.
Til one day a truck pulled up and snipped a cable and I lost HBO
I complained and said I had a lifetime contract, and I am still alive.
They said I am entitled to HBO.

but I need to now pay for it monthly.

Haven't had it since.
I watched the first year of Sex and the City and no more.
I never watched one second of the Soprano's, though know the final ten minutes from youtube.And do not care one way or another if i did or didn't see the others.

So I can't watch HBO.
and btw, I never have been a fan of Bill Maher and his pompous attitude.
Bill Maher is a libertarian politically. And mega rich off of the views he says.
Which more power to him.
I would love to get rich as easy as he did.
But I wasn't a fan in his early days on ABC as a young comedian, and not a fan today.

Though Bill Maher will argue an issue passionately just like me.
SO him and I are alike. He just gets paid for it.
(Damn, life would be easy if I had his money).

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:05 AM

14. link is in the OP, video is on the web and it's free

Don't worry, Maher only asks questions. I'm not particularly a fan of his either.

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Response to reorg (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:03 AM

32. +1!

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:22 AM

24. I don't think these memos contain the when and who of the attacks.

Also, droning Hitler.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:56 AM

29. First, 4anything, let's get the history straight.

We declared war on Germany. We bombed German cities, killed scores of German children. Hitler holed up in a bunker and continued to fight.

He knew he was our target. He knew the might of our bombs, the flexibility of our forces, the industrial power of our nation, yet he did not respond to the attempts of the US and our allies including the Soviet Union and Great Britain to negotiate peace.

In fact, WWII started in part because Hitler took it upon himself to invade countries without cause, Poland and Czechoslovakia for example, and was an aggressor (as we were in Iraq).

Few of us are old enough to remember this (I am not.):

Seventy-Seventh Congress of the United States of America; At the First Session Begun and held at the City of Washington, on Friday, the third day of January, 1941.

Joint Resolution Declaring That a State of War Exists Between The Government of Germany and the Government and the People of the United States and Making Provisions To Prosecute The Same

Whereas the Government of Germany has formally declared war against the Government and the people of the United States of America: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the Government of Germany which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Government of Germany; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.

(Signed) Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives
(Signed) H. A. Wallace, Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate
Approved December 11, 1941 3:05 PM E.S.T.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_declaration_of_war_upon_Germany_%281941%29

That is the Declaration of War on Germany on December 11, 1941.

That Declaration was clear and complied with our Constitution.

US Constitution, Article I, Section 8 authorizes CONGRESS among other things

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlei#section8

WWII was declared by Congress, not unilaterally by the president.

Under George W. Bush's flawed leadership and during his extremely corrupt administration, and in keeping with a growing trend among presidents to disregard the authority of Congress, a rather vague Resolution was passed that pretty much gave any president the power to go after a vaguely defined entity that may not really exist as such, terrorism, more specifically Al Qaeda. Those terms seem include all of the folks that a sitting president does not like (or maybe it is more precisely defined than that but we aren't allowed to know if it is) and President Obama has now claimed the authority to just kill them, to conduct a "war" unlike any other war, a war of hunting them down as individuals and simply vaporizing them to the extent that drones, the most recent war toys, permit.

That is a far cry from Congress's dignified, restrained Declaration of War on Germany.

Once we declared war on Germany, we gave Hitler and the German people warning upon warning that we were fighting them fair and square and that we would destroy them.

Now Germany was a very different foe than are the terrorists we call Al Qaeda. Germany was a geographical location. Al Qaeda is maybe a group of people, maybe a loose affiliation of groups of people, maybe anyone. Unless you are the president or on a select committee of members of Congress or in the top brass in our intelligence, national security and military leadership, you don't really know who they are or how we know who they are.

You and I probably think we are not members of Al Qaeda. After all, we live peaceful lives. Maybe we don't own any weapons. Maybe we have no interest in violence and wouldn't know what to do if we wanted to be violent other than maybe yelling, pulling each other's hair and hitting each other. No matter. That we are certain we are not members of Al Qaeda and that we don't support its activities does not prevent our government or someone who simply doesn't like us or what we post on the internet from labeling us, innocent though we are, as Al Qaeda. Simply associating with someone who is, unbeknownst to us a terrorist, could apparently put us on a hit list somewhere.

You make a good point somewhere in this thread about the fact that the nature of warfare has changed. That is true. But it hasn't just changed for our government.

It has changed for you and me.

Whereas prior to the Resolution giving our government the authority to wage endless war on an enemy not defined by geography but rather by an elusive theological bent or maybe just because it is "an enemy" for some unknown reason, you and I could be pretty certain that we were not the enemy because we know we love our country and because we know we love our freedom. Now we can't be so sure.

Does what I am writing to you right now make me some sort of enemy?

I think that is a question that every American who expresses an opinion on the internet needs to ask himself at this time.

And that brings us to the First Amendment.

Remember that one.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

When the President of the United States claims for himself the right to target and kill by drone anyone, even an American citizen, who is an enemy combatant but does not clearly identify enemy combatants as, let's say, "people who wear red on Saturdays" or people who don't go to church at least once a year or maybe people who don't change their underwear twice a week, or people who belong to this religious group that I don't approve of, or how about, people that I as the president think are Communists or Occupiers or hippies, then I can't know whether I am or am not in the group that is being targeted.

Right now, the definition of a target as far as I can figure out is a "terrorist" or someone who supports "terrorists." Are all these Second Amendment fanatics out there who claim the right to carry weapons in public places terrorists?

Some of their pro-gun-control opponents might ask that question quite seriously. And if we continue to have a secret list and secret criteria for determining who are and are not terrorists, some president some day might define terrorists to include one or the other of those groups.

And so, since I cannot know whether the simple fact that I am now posting a statement questioning the vagueness of our definition of terrorism and the wisdom of the apparently very broad "declaration of war(?)" that was made in the aftermath of 9/11 over ten years ago, could I be targeted one day for a drone strike?

That is my question. I am pretty old. If I had to get up and go to work tomorrow morning, I might think more than once or even twice about posting this rather harmless intellectual argument on the internet. Why? Because I would fear losing my job and harming my family and not being able to earn my livelihood.

That I am aware that what I say could under certain circumstances ruin my life or make it very difficult CHILLS MY SPEECH. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the government violates the First Amendment when it has a policy that chills speech such as what I am writing on the internet. I repeat, I am only daring to write this because I don't have to get up and go to work tomorrow. My employer can't fire me for writing what I think. I could get droned though, I suppose.

Drones are probably here to stay. That is not the question. The question is whether our government has the unfettered right to use them not only to intimidate a vaguely defined enemy out there but every citizen with a slightly controversial or new idea in this nation.

The policy that has been adopted for determining who is struck by a drone, why and whether warnings should be given to that specific person, should be made public. We deserve to know whether we are violating the law. We deserve the opportunity to challenge a law if it is arbitrary and overly broad. Those are our rights within the Constitution. I am not asking that much.

As for Julian Assange, I have read some about the importance of espionage in WWII. I am quite aware of the importance of secrecy in diplomacy.

The problem is that our government is far, far, far too secretive. We don't even know what criteria it uses when it decides to kill people by drone. The definition of "terrorism" and "terrorist" is too vague. It could encompass almost any activity.

I view Assange and Bradly Manning and all whistleblowers as martyrs to the legitimate and just cause of open government, of allegiance not to the government of men, but to the government of our country, of our Constitution, of the democratic principles that moved our Founding Fathers to prepare for us such a daring instrument, a government of checks and balances -- to a government of laws.

We are all human. We all have our failings. We all have our virtues. We all make mistakes. And that is why I believe in democracy under a Constitution that checks and balances all power, all authority. And that is why I believe that our Bill of Rights is the very foundation of our freedom. We have no freedom without adherence to the Bill of Rights.

It is impossible to protect our "national security" by violating our rights under the Constitution. That is because the Constitution defines our nation. The Bill of Rights is our security. Those who would protect our "national security" through exaggerated secrecy, vague laws potentially enforceable on the whim of a few "leaders" need to rethink their ideas about national security.

President Obama and the military and national security cabal he is dealing with and their policy on drones and the pervasive surveillance they are doing on the internet are violating our rights, yours and mine, under the Bill of Rights.

Specifically, the current policy on drones is unclear. It violates a number of our rights. For one, it chills our speech and therefore violates the First Amendment in my view (although I admit a court might not agree). It is unacceptable.

Julian Assange is not even an American and I'm sure he has lots of personal faults as do we all. But I nevertheless must view him as something of a martyr to the cause of defending in print the rights guaranteed us in our Constitution.

Do I think the government should keep certain things secret? Yes. But at this time our government's secrecy has reached a point that it violates our rights under the Constitution and makes even good governance and a responsible electorate and therefore democracy impossible. If we don't speak out, this will only get worse.

Thank God for Julian Assange and for the many, many Americans who are speaking out.

I am sorry for being so wordy. I am sorry if I offend you here on my self-righteous high horse, but I just have to say this. I hope you will respond to my post.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:40 AM

44. We declared war on Al Qaeda, too. The AUMF of 9/18/2001 was a

Congressional invoke of the War Powers Act.

The Executive is still authorized to act under that AUMF.

Your analogy to Germany is a pretty good one, though, if I may follow it. If Americans joined Nazi forces, then they were subject to the same laws of war that all Nazis were. Awlaki is much the same, and I encourage every poster on DU to read up a bit on the integral role that Mr. Awlaki played in The Cargo Bomb Plot, The British Airways plot (where his emails directing Rajib Karim were part of the evidence read in court) the Christmas Underwear plot, the Times Square Plot, and the incidents with Molly Norris and Stephen Timms, and the Fort Hood shooter.

Anwar Awlaki was not killed because of his speech--he was killed because he was actively recruiting people to do harm to Americans. Nor can it be said that he did not have notice that he was being sought out by Yemen and the US--the man was fugitive from his Yemeni murder conviction. He was on the 1267 list from the UN***

Frankly, I am simply shocked at the level of ignorance displayed about Mr. Awlaki.



***Resolution 1267 is a list of persons declared alQ, or sympathizers, by the UN.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #44)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:48 AM

45. Here is the problem.

What is the definition of Al Qaeda?

How do you know who does or does not belong?

It isn't a matter of Awlaki or his son or any individual. It is the principle that we can't declare a war on "sympathizers" of Al Qaeda.

It is too easy to include among sympathizers people who don't sympathize at all and to fail to include people who do but don't admit it publicly.

The definition is too vague. That would be OK if you held trials and gave people the opportunity to defend themselves. But when you just skip that step and kill before you have given a person the right to respond to your accusation, there is a problem.

The criteria need to be set forth in clear, simple language and published.

1267 people on a list created by the UN? Is that what we are talking about? Or is it some vague concept that includes "supporters" or people who sin in their hearts?

If there is a list somewhere, we should be given the opportunity to at least know who is or is not on it. We should be able to check to see whether we are on it and challenge the list if we are.

This may be very clear to the people who are carrying out this policy. But it certainly isn't to those of us who sit in our living rooms and hear that people are being summarily killed without due process in places in which we don't even know that our country is at war.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #45)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:08 AM

51. Actually, we can kill Al Qaeda sympathiers when they are non-custodial enemy combatants. See,

Al-Shabbab, the Somali pirates, and AQAP, and AQIM.

The UN list of Al-Qaida members and sympathizers who are currently under Sanctions is codified under Resolution 1267. It's been in existence since 1999. This is not a secret list, but a pretty good working list of who is who in international terrorism.

http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/aq_sanctions_list.shtml


Generally, people who write about terrorists authoritatively have knowledge of this list--since it's been around since 1999.

You write about vagueness, but that is the critique I have of your posts---you raise an issue, and when you are given links to facts, you don't seem to read them, and you do not raise specifics.

I am telling you that reading Judge Bates' opinion might be an eye-opener for you. Reading the sanctions list is a kick in the pants, too--just read the summaries of how people got on the list.

http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/individuals_associated_with_Al-Qaida.shtml

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #51)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:01 PM

70. If our government is targetting people on that list, why doesn't it simply say so.

Was Al-Awlaki on that list? He isn't there now, but it may be that his name was taken off after he died. Was his son's name on that list?

Were the names of the children killed in Pakistan on that list? Or were they mistakes due to poor aim or poor identification before the drone was sent?

How do you know that is the list of those targeted?

And on edit, is the list limited to people identified by the UN as terrorists?

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #70)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:05 PM

72. Yes. Awlaki was on that list. He did not challenge his designation on that

list. His son was not on the list, but he was with an Al-Q member who was when he was killed.

Again--I think you would find Judge Bates' opinion useful in your arguments.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #72)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 02:57 PM

87. Have you watched or read these statements on the issue?

I think they present very good arguments about the problems with the way we are using drones:

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/15933-focus-top-ten-surprises-of-the-brennan-hearing

This is particularly troubling. I think that this makes it very clear that the drone strikes are incompatible with our rule of law.

John Brennan: "I think there is a misimpression on the part of some American people, who believe that we take strikes to punish terrorists for past transgressions. Nothing could be further from the truth. We only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there’s no other alternative to taking an action that’s going to mitigate that threat."

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/2/8/headlines#280

That is contrary to the basic concept of our criminal law. We do not punish people for what they might do, but for what they do.

The CIA is not capable of applying our laws. They apparently are not trained in reviewing evidence or distinguishing between a punishable act or even conspiracy and a thought or a speech or maybe a pat on the back. Who knows what evidence they rely on in deciding to resort to killing to save lives. What is this? I killed your son to prevent him from doing some terrorist act in the future? Where are we with this?

We all want to be safe, but this is arbitrary. Our trials are supposed to be open and public.

And from what I gather, the CIA will not even agree that drones that kill should at least be restricted to use outside the US.

I hope you will listen to the interview of Jeremy Scahill and the rest of this program on Democracy Now.

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/2/8/he_was_the_agency_ex_cia

It appears questionable as to whether a member of the Senate oversight committee can even obtain a list of the countries in which drones are used.

And why we have any facility concerning our drones in Saudi Arabia seems very foolish to me. Who runs this country? Who owns our military? Saudi Arabia? The country from which so many of the 9/11 conspirators came?

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #87)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:26 PM

90. Actually, I think you misstate the rule of law.

We do, in fact, punish people for what they might do. In the criminal law, you may be punished for steps you have taken to secure future actions. Hire a hitman to kill your wife, and you will be punished not just for the solicitation, but for the attempt---no matter if it was actually attempted beyond the solicitation.


Here, though, Al Qaeda is sought and pursued under the AUMF of 9/18/2001---the laws of war apply, and we are within our rights to take out the operational heads of Al Qaeda, without trial, just as we were justified in Operation Vengeance.

Do you have any doubt that Awlaki was an operational head of Al Qaeda?

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #51)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 12:29 PM

85. Two comments on Judge Bates' opinion.

Here, plaintiff asks this Court to do exactly what the D.C. Circuit forbid in El-Shifa — assess the merits of the President’s (alleged) decision to launch an attack on a foreign target. Although the “foreign target” happens to be a U.S. citizen, the same reasons that counseled against judicial resolution of the plaintiffs’ claims in El-Shifa apply with equal force here. Just as in El-Shifa, any judicial determination as to the propriety of a military attack on Anwar Al-Aulaqi would “‘require this court to elucidate the . . . standards that are to guide a President when he evaluates the veracity of military intelligence.’” Id. at 846 (quoting El-Shifa Pharm. Indus. Co. v. United States, 378 F.3d 1346, 1365 (Fed. Cir. 2004)). Indeed, that is just what plaintiff has asked this Court to do. See Compl., Prayer for Relief (d) (requesting that the Court order the defendants to “disclose the criteria used in determining whether the government will carry out the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen”). But there are no judicially manageable standards by which courts can endeavor to assess the President’s interpretation of military intelligence and his resulting decision — based on that intelligence — whether to use military force against a terrorist target overseas. See El-Shifa, 378 F.3d at 1367 n. 6 (expressing the view that “it would be difficult, if not extraordinary, for the federal courts to discover and announce the threshold standard by which the United States government evaluates intelligence in making a decision to commit military force in an effort to thwart an imminent terrorist attack on Americans”). Nor are there judicially manageable standards by which courts may determine the nature and magnitude of the national security threat posed by a particular individual. In fact, the D.C. Circuit has expressly held that the question whether an organization’s alleged “terrorist activity” threatens “the national security of the United States” is “nonjusticiable.” People’s Mohahedin Org. of Iran v. U.S. Dep’t of State, 182 F.3d 17, 23 (D.C. Cir. 1999). Given that courts may not undertake to assess whether a particular organization’s alleged terrorist activities threaten national security, it would seem axiomatic that courts must also decline to assess whether a particular individual’s alleged terrorist activities threaten national security. But absent such a judicial determination as to the nature and extent of the alleged national security threat that Anwar Al-Aulaqi poses to the United States, this Court cannot possibly determine whether the government’s alleged use of lethal force against Anwar Al-Aulaqi would be “justified or well-founded.” See El-Shifa, 607 F.3d at 844. Thus, the second Baker factor — a “lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards” for resolving the dispute — strongly counsels against judicial review of plaintiff’s claims.

In this paragraph, he speaks of a national security threat but does not deal with the issue of habeas corpus. He does not differentiate between the constitutional rights of a building as in the case of Clinton's bombing and the constitutional rights of a person.

We need clarification on the habeas corpus issue.

Overall, I question how the term "imminent" is being used. If your neighbor had an arsenal, gave you dirty looks when you left the house and about six weeks ago had told another neighbor that he hated you and wanted to kill you, would that be "imminent"?

I wouldn't be so picky, but we are talking about a government taking to itself the authority to simply vaporize American citizens and others upon a decision about the motives and thoughts and words that is not based on evidence that we have been permitted to see.

I wouldn't be so picky, but we are talking about depriving people of rights that we have enjoyed for centuries mostly on, occasionally off and that we have fought for and lost lives for.

The very first time I read the Patriot Act, I was troubled by the overbroad and vague language of the definition of terrorism and terrorist. And that is why I think it gives too much power to the executive branch.

After reading Judge Bates' decision, I still think that.

I understand the difficulty of the challenge. We are in an age in which enemies can reach our borders withing very short times or travel here and hide before committing horrible crimes.

But that challenge does not justify relinquishing arbitrary power to the executive branch. I happen to be a big supporter of Obama, but I have not forgotten the days of Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush. I would not trust a one of those three with the authority to assess the evidence and decide whether a threat was imminent or not.

After all, George W. Bush got it very wrong in Iraq. And his mistakes or ego-trip, whichever, was one of the causes of our terrible economy.

Our country was founded on the idea that no one person should have the kind of power that I think we are now allowing our executive to claim when it comes to surveillance and extrajudicial killing.

Do you know precisely the specific words these people said that merits killing them? I don't. And I doubt many Americans do.

The judge points out that the defendant could have given himself up. It would have been great if the judge at that point had provided more detail on why this individual was on the list of UN suspects to begin with. Maybe I am the only one in the dark on that. Do you know precisely what he was saying or doing?

Why is that a state secret? It's like telling your child's friends that your child is grounded for the rest of his life because of something he did but not saying what it was that is so horrible. What specific acts are we not supposed to be doing in order to avoid being hit by a drone? That the UN decides who is and is not on the list is one step, but I am still not sure what the definition is of supporting terrorism. It's pretty clear with pirates and people actually involved in insurrections. But how do you decide to kill someone who is a supporter or who is assisting terrorism. That is really broad and could implicate a lot of innocent people in my view.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #85)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 02:23 PM

86. On your first point, there is no right of habeas for a non-custodial enemy combatant.

A custodial enemy combatant has habeas rights as defined under Hamdi and its progeny. You cannot claim certain rights until you are in custody. Mr. Awlaki chose to not be in custody.***

On your second point, I suggest you start with Mr. Awlaki's wikipedia page. I'm serious--read the links to the primary sources on that page, and go from there It's not a state secret--the British press has covered Awlaki's involvement in several plots against the UK and the US. As I've indicated to you, the Cargo Bomb Plot, and the British Airways Plot, the Christmas Underwear Plot, Fort Hood, Molly Norris, Stephen Timms....these are all public record. Use google. Here's a simple one---google "Rajib Karim" and "emails" and "Awlaki"...the emails between these two terrorists were read aloud in court--no state secrets.

Perhaps you do not realize that Awlaki had a operational role. It is not to the advantage of farthest left media sources to point out Awlaki's involvement in plots like sending PETN bombs to the US....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/8110255/Cargo-plane-bomb-plot.html


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Response to msanthrope (Reply #86)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:23 PM

89. The potential crimes described are horrific.

But without a trial to review the evidence, who knows who put them in the luggage?

I am not questioning whether it was Awlaki, but whether in principle we can rely on whatever "evidence" was presented to the CIA in this situation.

The Iraq War was fought based on forged documents, false statements -- lots of mistakes.

We need due process to review the CIA conclusions and evidence. We should have objective civilians who don't have to fear losing their jobs or not getting promotions if they voice an opinion other than that of their superiors, and not CIA or military people in a system in which promotions are made based on how successful you are in not rocking the boat making these life and death decisions.

My questions are not about specific individuals or specific threats or specific bombs. My questions are about the legal precedents set by the Obama administration and John Brennan/CIA/military-industrial complex with regard to summary decisions about the lives and deaths of many people including, as Code Pink and others have pointed out, many children.

The drones are a big improvement over B-52 bombers in terms of limiting collateral damage, but the drones give less notice. People do not know when a targeted person is near. They don't know when to go to a bomb shelter. They may not think of themselves as living in a war zone.

And then, even if now great care is taken in picking the victims of drones, there is no procedure, no way of insuring to the extent possible that this capacity to just pick off "enemies" will not be used for personal vendettas or as a terror method in and of itself.

I think that there are more legitimate questions than answers about our policies in this area at this time.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #89)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 04:10 PM

93. The 'actual' crimes are horrific. Placing a PETN bomb in a box is a crime, even if it didn't get

to its target.

You claim you don't want to discuss specifics...but you are concerned about precedent. Well, my experience is that you aren't going to make a very good argument with nebulous scenarios.

You are arguing two very different things at once, and conflating them--how legitimate targets are determined, and how civilian deaths are prevented. IMHO, you weaken your case for the latter when you lump the former and the latter into the same argument.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #86)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:30 PM

91. I read Hamdi a long time ago, but I think that this is a circular argument:

there is no right of habeas for a non-custodial enemy combatant

I think that regardless of Hamdi.

First, someone arbitrarily decides that an individual is an enemy combatant. Then because someone has arbitrarily classed that individual as an "enemy combatant," that individual has no right to disprove the allegation.

That is a circular argument. You are a girl, so you can't play hardball, you have to stick to softball. You are a certain race, therefore you don't have equal rights.

We have decided we think you are a terrorist, an enemy combatant. And on our say so and OUR review of the evidence, that means you have no rights. That is not justice.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #91)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:56 PM

92. Mr. Awlaki had the right to disprove his classification. He chose to not do so.

You describe the process of deciding if someone is an 'enemy combatant' as 'arbitrary.' Any evidence to suggest that the Obama administration has been arbitrary? Can you name a single person who has been given this designation arbitrarily under this administration?

No? It's not a circular argument when you demand proof of what you claim.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:23 PM

67. Just think of all the people who could have been droned down through the ages

Imagine how many colonial trouble-makers King George III could have dispatched. It would have stopped that pesky American Revolution in its tracks.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:56 PM

76. What the hell is wrong with you?

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 02:22 AM

82. So, if there was a secret memo prehand, to drone graham4anything 2 weeks before

. . . is essentially the argument you're making.

How do we know that droning you won't "save 20 million people."

Maybe the government should go ahead and do it, just in case, then it will be over and we won't have to worry about it.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:41 AM

2. I hope het gets something. Would love to see those docs.

I would especially like to see the specific rules around "double dip" and "signatory strike" attack. I would like to know how this administration rationalizes these tactics internally. Also, I would be extremely curious on what comment the security apparatus in this country made internally about the living under drones study.

One can hope....

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:09 AM

16. +1. nt.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:51 AM

3. so, he wants someone to leak, and possibly get caught

and go to jail like Bradley Manning, and he will "protect" them just like Manning.
Right.
All the time he will go on his merry way. I'm suspicious of his motives. I wonder if he really cares about transparency at all.
I sometimes think what he really cares about is his own ego.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:58 AM

9. He will not "go on his merry way."

He has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven months.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:59 AM

30. Actually, Assange is imprisoned in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Might as well be in jail. Poor man.

His motives are to protect universal human rights. That's pretty obvious to me. You can disagree with the breadth of what he has published. But he would probably say that he publishes so much because he wants to keep his own ego, his own intellectual judgment out of the matter and just pass on what is provided to him.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:13 AM

36. I am well aware of that

I think he's a creep. That's just my personal opinion.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #36)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:20 AM

40. You could be right for all I know.

But then sometimes creeps do what is right.

So, I really don't care if he is a creep.

I judge actions more than people.

I don't really see him as being a creep, but we are all entitled to our opinion in so far as that is concerned.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #36)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:56 AM

48. What's your opinion

of a person who refuses to investigate torture and has a list of people to assassinate?

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #48)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:08 AM

52. this tread is about Assange

there are plenty of Obama bashing threads here on DU you can post in.
Assange creeps me out, kind of like Tom Cruise does. It's totally a gut feeling kind of thing.
I suppose his supporters would think that is irrational.
But beware. I've been on DU long enough to see some of DU's heroes disappoint and turn out to be nothing but nuts or self- aggrandizing fools.


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Response to OKNancy (Reply #52)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:53 AM

57. Excusing torture and assassination is irrational.

Julian Assange has nothing to do with those actions; Obama has EVERYTHING to do with those actions.

This thread is not about Assange. This thread is about a policy of assassination without trial, using remotely controlled drones as assassins.

Authoritarian followers have difficulty accepting that their leaders are capable of such things, instead claiming that those who demand justice are "bashing."

Pathetic and totally predictable.

Those who make excuses for war crimes ("Good Americans") are the nuts and fools.

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #57)


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:51 AM

46. He's not imprisoned in the Embassy: he's hiding there from the law

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #46)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:04 PM

71. Same difference. Depends on your point of view. He probably feels imprisoned.

You feel he is hiding. Both views are correct. It's just a matter of perspective.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:24 PM

79. Excellent point.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:12 AM

6. another point on leaks

 

all this hacking and leaking

were the people in favor of these leaks, in favor of the leaks on Valerie Plame?
Talk about changing sides on an issue, it is those wanting these links.

Also, the amount of wasted millions after there are leaks directly affects the 99% out there
as anyone knows, any business that spends a penny extra, needs to make that penny back, and it is the customer that pays it (as the business only gets money from a customer and no where else).
So it is triple backward and anti-other causes logic

IMHO, feel free to disagree with it.

This guy (JA) indeed loves his celebrity status. JA is the Justin Bieber of his world.
Where any publicity is great publicity for JA. (agreeing with the last part of the #3 reply above).

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:03 AM

19. Valerie Plame's outing by Dick Cheney . . .

Valerie Plame's outing by Dick Cheney was done to silence opposition to the Cheney/Bush administration's WMD excuse for going to war with Iraq. That is a very different thing from Assange's efforts to shed some light on the kind of crimes our government perpetrates in our name; in fact, it is the mirror opposite of Wikileaks' heroic actions.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:08 AM

34. This is not an all or nothing, right, wrong matter.

I for one do not doubt that our nation needs intelligence and secrecy.

What Valerie Plame and many in the CIA do is needed. There should be no personal campaigns against specific agents because their husband happened to publish an editorial that is embarrassing to a sitting administration. That was the reality in the Plame matter.

Valerie Plame's husband told the the truth about one of the Bush administration's lies about weapons of mass destruction and reasons to invade Iraq. Valerie Plame was outed as vengeance. That is why people objected to it.

None of us want to endanger the lives of CIA agents.

We want more transparency and more honesty from our government.

What we don't need is the excessive secrecy. We don't need our government to prohibit the filming and photography of coffins returning from war zones (as Bush did). We don't need to be kept in the dark about war crimes committed in our names.

We don't need our government to be killing people in foreign countries including American citizens based on some secret criteria. That is incompatible with our Constitutional rights as citizens. We have the right to notice and to be heard if we are accused of criminal behavior. We have the right to speak freely and not to fear violating some secrete guidelines about what we can and cannot say. We have the right to associate freely with whomever we wish. Our government should not assume simply because we go to visit a relative who is involved in something the government disapproves of that we are also involved in that. And that is true even if the thing being disapproved would be clearly deemed criminal in a court of law.

We cannot be free unless we know what restrictions have been placed on our freedom.

And right now, we have no way of knowing that simple fact.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:22 AM

41. freedom is misused. As Kristofferson wrote"Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose"

 

after we are all dead from the terrorists, we are all free

yes, mistakes happen

we are human.

One wakes up every day (or doesn't.)
One has accidents.

One makes mistakes.

it is not a cut/dry issue.

as said, don't like what Bush did, don't vote for Bush or waste a vote for any new Naderite.

No one would want to vote for a Neo-Nazi or JOhn Birch Society backed like David Duke
So one shouldn't make the mistakes made in 2000 either.

And is it any better to have ground wars?

And again, until all the bad people are not anywhere, just isolating oneselves don't stop anything at all, but gve carte blanche to the terrorists and criminals (just like not doing what is needed with guns will keep gun deaths and gun murderers from continuing.

As Kristofferson said, freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.
One is truly free from earthly matters if one is dead.
I.E. the 3000 who died on 9-11.
I.E. the 20 million by Hitler's hand.
They are free.

Two well placed drones could have prevented all 20 million, 3000 from dying by just having 2 plus any collateral.

as bad guys won't stop doing bad things.


as Franklin said "an ounce of prevntion is worth a pound of cure".
What better thing was he talking about than drones?

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #41)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:53 AM

47. I beg to differ.

Last edited Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:08 PM - Edit history (1)

Two well placed drones could have prevented all 20 million, 3000 from dying by just having 2 plus any collateral.

I have lived in Germany and Austria, and I think that had we killed Hitler with drones, someone else would have come to power to rile up that part of the German people who were furious about their economic deprivation and humiliation following WWI.

It might have taken a somewhat different turn, but just getting rid of a "leader" does not solve the kinds of underlying, systemic problems that lead to so much anger and frustration and war.

On edit, I fully understand your argument, and it has some merit. The drones in and of themselves are not the problem. It's how we can be sure that they are not used arbitrarily that is the problem. Misanthrope posted a list of terrorists published by UN. If that is the list and all of the people targeted are on that list and are known to be operating outside the law and if the evidence supporting that allegation has been carefully reviewed by an international or judicial body in the US, then at least we are on solid ground.

But when Misanthrope posted that list, it was the first I had heard of it or read it.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:48 PM

75. How many sleeping women and children did Valerie Plame kill?

Don't compare her work to the drone program.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:55 AM

18. Julian Assange is Robin Hood . . .

Julian Assange is Robin Hood for the "Information Age." He steals secrets from the wealthy/powerful few and gives them to the exploited/victimized many. Without him, as well as other like-minded heroes, all we would know about our nation's real policies would be the lies and half-truths our leaders choose to tell us.

Here's hoping someone takes him up on his challenge to leak these documents. "We the people" have a right (not to mention a need) to know how our government justifies what it does in our name.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:18 AM

23. No, he is the Wizard of Oz and the curtain reveals he is not what he said

 


Would you have wanted the Dallas Cowboy play book to be leaked?

Would you have wanted George Washington's strategy in the revolution to be leaked in advance?

We would all be singing a different anthem if that was the case.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:36 AM

25. So then I take it that you condone the Presidents new authority

to kill American citizens abroad, at will, and without explanation or culpability?

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:01 AM

31. He has the same authority Lincoln had. But then, Lincoln had haters too.

 

I defend the right of Lincoln, FDR, LBJ and President Obama and President Hillary45 and President Michelle46.

they are smarter than me.Whatever they need is super by me.

Congress has authorized it, made it constitutionally legal.

Saving 20 million that hitler killed over a few collateral would still save the 20 million
and the collateral would have been killed.

Easy answer is- don't be a terrrorist, and there is nothing to worry about.
One can mistake a step in a federal bathtub and die. Should we ban federal bathtubs?

But we can make sure the average person is protected, much like the health of the poorest is indeed helped by the 48 ounce soda ban. Outta sight outta mind.

(now-my answer is totally the opposite for private people(individuals).
Individuals should not have drones, wmd's or guns to take in the street.

My answer is totally federal.

BTW, don't like Bush's interpretation? Don't vote for Jeb.
It's e-z.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #31)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:57 AM

49. Lincoln's enemies were pretty much defined by geography.

Everyone knew very clearly what the issues were. Mistakes were probably made, but it was possible to know what side you were on.

For much of the world, it is impossible to know whether they are classed with dronable or non-dronable souls. The attacks in Pakistan come by surprise and have killed quite a number of children. We are assured that the drones are surgical attacks, but they have killed a lot of children. So what are we to think?

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:07 PM

60. Apples and oranges.

Our government is murdering American citizens and waging illegal wars, information about that is far different than a Football playbook. As to George Washington's strategic plans, nothing of that nature (pending strategies or war plans yet to be implemented) has been published by Wikileaks. What they have done is reveal the underhanded, duplicitous and often deadly actions our government has resorted to in pursuit, mainly, of greater profits for our most powerful and influential corporations

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:11 AM

35. Julian Assange has always maintained that he does not steal secrets.

He claims that he has some way to allow whistleblowers to provide information to him without his knowing where or from whom it comes. I don't know how or whether that could work, but he has been very clear about that.

The New York Times publishes news or secrets from whistleblowers and has done so for many years. The information about Valerie Plame was top secret. That's just one example.

It is the job of reporters to print the information they can get. Unfortunately, our media at this time is all too often terrified of telling the truth because of our laws about secrecy.

How can we claim to be a democracy if our government which is suppose to be of, by and for us prevents us from knowing what is going on?

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:56 AM

59. I stand corrected.

Julian Assange is, as you explain, more akin to Robin Hood's fence for the loot he and his "Merry Men" stole.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #59)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:54 PM

69. Assange is a member of the press.

He collects news.

We want to know the news. We do not want to be kept in darkness. We do not want to be ignorant. At least I don't although the Wikileaks releases in the Guardian, etc. of US cables was too much for me to read. Probably too much for almost anyone to read. I wonder how many reporters at the Guardian they hired to go through it.

But since our government is so excessively secretive, I appreciate seeing a sample of what passes as "secrets" for our government. I thought a lot of it was way overrated -- maybe even most of it.

Assange was no different from a New York Times reporter who has lunch with a D.C. insider, hears something she didn't previously know and then goes back to the office and makes sure it gets into print. That is legitimate. That is what news reporters are supposed to do. They are not supposed to censor the news so as to spare the government from embarrassment. That is not their job.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #69)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:20 PM

74. Good point . . .

Good point, and a good explanation of why it's a good point as well.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:09 AM

53. I wasn't aware Robin Hood had ever been sought for questioning on a rape charge. nt

Last edited Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:53 AM - Edit history (1)

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #53)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:52 AM

56. Only because . . .

Only because there was no CIA or Pentagon to frame him with such accusations. The Sheriff of Nottingham was not that devious.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #56)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:54 AM

58. Right. The CIA. nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #58)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:15 PM

61. The two young women . . .

The two young women in question initially went to the Swedish police only to ask if they could get Assange to take an HIV test, because, days after the fact, they became worried he may have been infected. It was only after someone pressured or bribed them that they began to cooperate with authorities (what "authorities" is still an open question) in pressing for a criminal investigation of possible sexual misconduct.

Note:

Assange has yet to be actually charged with any crime in Sweden.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:38 AM

21. Really?

Assange still thinks he is relevant?

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Response to ripcord (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:37 AM

26. It is more telling that you think he is not. nt

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Response to ripcord (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:40 AM

27. He brought you out of your long silence



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Response to ripcord (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:08 AM

33. He will ALWAYS think he's relevant. More's the pity.

An Australian in Ecuador pretends to dictate to us that we should hand over national security documents to him? I don't think so.

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Response to randome (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:14 AM

38. He is sitting in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

He has no authority to dictate anything to anyone.

Sometimes a person's conscience compels them to speak out against the crimes that the secrets hide.

Wikileaks provided a safe platform for a few people to do that.

Most of the secrets that Wikileaks published were not from the American government.

So, no. Assange is not pretending to dictate to us that we should hand over national security documents to him. Not at all.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:45 AM

28. Thanks for posting...

... I'm with Julian. I, personally, want to KNOW what's in that 50-page kill-list document. If they won't even release the entire document to Congress intelligence committees, WTF are they hiding? I like Julian/WikiLeaks, as we damn sure have no watchdog in THIS country anymore.

I did see Real Time last night. Julian looked well, and he even smiled!

We need to get rid of allot of the secrecy in this government. Sunshine is a great disinfectant.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:17 AM

39. I'm with you. I respect and understand the reasonable need for a certain amount of

secrecy. Goodness knows, I have kept many a secret in my life for good reasons. I try to be very discreet about the secrets of my friends and colleague and people I have worked with. That is a sign of respect.

But our government is supposed to represent us and work for us. We are supposed to be living in a democracy. The excessive secrecy makes democracy impossible.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #39)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:32 AM

42. Democracy?

What's that? I agree with everything you said...

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #39)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:10 AM

54. I enjoy your posts

you argue your point rationally and without invective.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:13 AM

37. My advice: do not bother replying to those who obsess about Assange's motives or character –

those are ad hominem attacks and are irrelevant to the substantive issues of Wikileaks' purposes and benefits.

The impt. points are:

1. The U.S. and other countries have been/are engaging in crimes against humanity under most bodies of law including, in this particular case, both international law and the U.S. Constitution.

2. These crimes have been/are largely ignored by the corporate media, at least until they've been leaked and published by Wikileaks or other non-corporate publishers.

3. The governments so exposed, including the U.S., are sparing no effort or expense to shut down the leakers and their publishers while doing little or nothing to investigate or prosecute those responsible for perpetrating the crimes exposed.

4. Assange's theories about why all this is happening and what we need to do about it remain sensible and convincing.

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Response to snot (Reply #37)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:38 AM

43. Hear! Hear!

Long live Jullian Assange and all watchdogs everywhere!

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Response to snot (Reply #37)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:28 AM

55. +1

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Response to snot (Reply #37)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:49 PM

62. Free Julian Assange!

Free Julian Assange!

Free Bradley Manning!

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #62)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:35 PM

64. Mr Assange is not in custody but lives in Quito's embassy at 3 Hans Crescent, London,

having gone there voluntarily 19 June 2012, while free under a UK Supreme Court order granting him time until 28 June 2012 to appeal an adverse Supreme Court extradition decision to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, an appeal he never lodged

Mr Assange is free to leave the embassy whenever he chooses. Relations there appear are cordial: although Assange considers Ecuador insignificant, Ecuador shows great concern for his health and repeatedly express concern about his health

Julian Assange: “Ecuador is insignificant”
Thursday, November 29, 2012
... “Ecuador is insignificant. It is very important to me, and its people have been very generous with me, but it isn’t a major global player” ...

http://www.ecuadortimes.net/2012/11/29/julian-assange-ecuador-is-insignificant/

Ecuador 'gravely concerned' about Assange’s health
Published: 24 October, 2012, 20:28
A senior Ecuadorian diplomat says the health of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is deteriorating ... Assange himself complained of a “racking cough” ...

http://rt.com/news/assange-ecuador-embassy-health-154/

Ecuador urges action on Assange's failing health
October 25, 2012
QUITO: Ecuador has requested a meeting with Britain to discuss the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who it says is losing weight and suffering vision problems as he languishes in Ecuador's embassy in London ... Ecuador said it had asked the British government for written assurances that Mr Assange, who has been granted asylum by Quito, will not be arrested in the event he has to go to hospital ... Ecuador's deputy Foreign Minister, Marco Albuja, told Voice of Russia radio: "Assange has visibly lost weight, and we are very concerned for his health ..." "Ecuador had not told us that Mr Assange was ill. However, were they to do so we would consider the matter," a Foreign Office spokesman said ...

http://www.smh.com.au/world/ecuador-urges-action-on-assanges-failing-health-20121025-287i5.html


Julian Assange suffering lung problems, says Ecuador
WikiLeaks founder reportedly suffering from a chronic lung condition after spending months inside Ecuadorean embassy

Reuters in Quito
Thursday 29 November 2012 01.11 EST
... "He has a chronic lung complaint that could get worse any time. The Ecuadorean state is covering Mr Assange's medical costs and we have arranged for regular doctor visits to check on his health," the ambassador, Ana Alban, told a local TV network during a visit to Quito ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/29/julian-assange-lung-problems-ecuador

Assange health concerns - Video
Ecuador's government says it's concerned about the health of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/video/watch/ce022a07-96c7-3d64-8cb9-be34762c9958/assange-health-concerns/thewest_channel7/





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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #64)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:07 PM

73. He is not . . .

He is not a free man, unless, of course, you consider being extradited to the U.S. as soon as he steps outside his current refuge being a free man.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #73)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:02 PM

88. He was happy to spend a year and half in the English countryside, while his case ambled

through the UK courts, and the record shows no attempt to prove to the judges that there was any likelihood of secondary extradition from Sweden to the US: the matter was briefly mentioned, then dropped, after one of Assange's own witnesses described the scenario as quite implausible

In fact, everyone, who bothers to examine the applicable treaties and precedents carefully, concludes that secondary extradition from Sweden to the US would be considerably more difficult than direct extradition from the UK to the US: to extradite Assange from Sweden immediately after the UK had sent to Sweden would require not only approval from Sweden but from the UK as well, and he could contest such an extradition agreement in both the Swedish and the UK courts

If it took 18 months for the UK courts to agree to send him to Sweden, it could take years for the courts in both countries to determine whether or not he could be forwarded from Sweden: the discussion, of course, is entirely moot, since there is no evidence that the US is seeking custody

Assange had further appeal options but decided not to avail himself of them. In a most unprincipled manner, he simply jumped bail, without discussing the matter with any of his supporters, thereby showing that he regarded the persons who put for him as simple being marks in his con game. This disregard for others seems to be an invariant feature of his personality: when his Swedish fuck-buddies decided they wanted him to get a VD test, since he resented condoms, Assange had his proxies slander the women as US intelligence operatives

Today, we know enough about him to conclude that he is a shameless attention-whore, with little or no conscience, who thinks rules apply to everyone but him


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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #88)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 07:31 PM

94. Julian Assange is a hero . . .

Julian Assange is a hero to me and to tens of millions of other people around the World. We believe governments (even our own) should not be allowed to hide their crimes behind a veil of secrecy. Assange is at the forefront of that fight. He should be receiving international awards and traveling wherever he wants to go. What we are doing to him is a shameful disgrace for our country. It would also be kind of laughable, if it weren't so cruel.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:53 PM

63. Assange's claims, once again, exhibit careless disregard for facts:

the Executive does not assert any authority to "kill its own citizens arbitrarily, at will, in secret"

... the debate over strikes targeted at individual members of al-Qaida has centered on their legality, their ethics, the wisdom of using them, and the standards by which they are approved ... In this armed conflict, individuals who are part of al-Qaida or its associated forces are legitimate military targets ... If, after a legal review, we determine that the individual is not a lawful target, end of discussion ... Even if it is lawful to pursue a specific member of al-Qaida, we ask ourselves whether that individual’s activities rise to a certain threshold for action ... For example, when considering lethal force we ask ourselves whether the individual poses a significant threat to U.S. interests ... A significant threat might be posed by an individual who is an operational leader of al-Qaida or one of its associated forces ... Or perhaps the individual possesses unique operational skills that are being leveraged in a planned attack. The purpose of a strike against a particular individual is to stop him before he can carry out his attack and kill innocents ... In addition, our unqualified preference is to only undertake lethal force when we believe that capturing the individual is not feasible ... It is our preference to capture suspected terrorists whenever and wherever feasible. For one reason, this allows us to gather valuable intelligence ... Finally, when considering lethal force we are of course mindful that there are important checks on our ability to act unilaterally in foreign territories ... International legal principles, including respect for a state’s sovereignty and the laws of war, impose constraints ... Attorney General Holder has .. described the legal authorities that clearly allow us to use lethal force against an American citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qaida ...

Transcript of Remarks by John O. Brennan
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
“The Ethics and Efficacy of the President’s Counterterrorism Strategy”

http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-efficacy-and-ethics-us-counterterrorism-strategy


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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #63)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:29 PM

68. Nobody cares if Assange is dealing in facts are not.

"Free Assange" But, thanks for trying, s4p.

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Response to Cha (Reply #68)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:07 AM

83. Yes, sometimes it appears to me they don't like 'gobermint' bureaucrats having a job and doing it

to the best of their abilities and knowledge, like they would rather 'drown the "gobermint" in a bathtub' and all these bureaucrats with it!

Strange.

I guess they don't see it this way but their Bad Obama BAAAAD is getting tiresome (to say the least).





(Bookmarked for the link)

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:07 PM

65. Rec'd but one question. What rules?

I'd be shocked if they have any rules.

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:19 PM

77. Obama: "Transparency and the rule of law with be the touchstones of this presidency."

 



(I have no idea if the youtube host is RWNJ or not; it's the first place I found video of this quote.)

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:33 PM

80. is there some kind of a 'point system' ...

for being on or off of
Obama's list.

people have a right to know.

the rules really need to be made public

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Response to reorg (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 01:30 AM

81. Given how many governmental agencies treat Occupiers as terrorists,

if there are any rules, I don't think I'd agree with them.

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