Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:41 PM
midnight (25,907 posts)
Top Ten Surprises of the Brennan Hearing
"The National Journal reports that Brennan also says he recognizes that the drone program as now carried out has the potential to undermine international law, and that the US risks setting precedents that e.g. China and Russia might themselves use for their own purposes in the near future. While the paternalistic assumption that the US is responsible but lesser races are not is problematic, to say the least, the point- that US policy is often cited in justification for controversial actions by other countries- is correct. The problem is that Brennan and Obama seem to be in the position of the young St. Augustine, who is alleged to have prayed that God make him virtuous, but "not yet."
Brennan alleges that he objected to the use of waterboarding when he was deputy executive director of the CIA, but did not pursue the matter because it was being done in a different section of the agency. Hunh? Is it that he was in the Directorate of Intelligence and it was the Directorate of Operations guys who were waterboarding? Isn't he implying that there are black ops being run by rogue parts of the agency that aren't open to influence from even deputy executive directors?"
"When senators pressed Brennan to have judicial oversight of drone strike decisions where they concerned Americans, he said it could be considered but doubted whether a court could evaluate intelligence on whether a militant posed a threat. Why can intelligence bureaucrats make that evaluation but judges cannot? Occasionally the arrogance of the intelligence aristocracy peaked out at the hearing."
Administration officials are admitting that the drone program, which is allegedly authorized by the 2001 congressional authorization for the use of military force, would be brought into legal question if al-Qaeda were declared defeated, thus putting an ending parenthesis around the AUMF. But I argue that the AUMF is itself unconstitutional, since it went beyond calling for hunting down and punishing the plotters of 9/11 to creating a class of persons ("al-Qaeda members") who are objects of a Bill of Attainder. You can't actually declare war on a small civilian organization that is spread over the world. There is no formal definition of an al-Qaeda member, there is no real way to decide who is 'operational' and who isn't, and there is a tendency in the US government to use 'al-Qaeda' to describe all militant and/or inconvenient Muslim movements. In fact, the NYT revealed that the US routinely ex post facto puts all young men killed in a drone strike in the category of 'militants,' even if it has no idea who they are. Most living actual al-Qaeda members had nothing to do with 9/11 and many are critics of it. The hypocrisy of all this is obvious in Libya, where the US cooperated with Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who became the security director for post-revolutionary Tripoli, even though he could be droned at will by President Obama any day of the week according to current US policy. The entire thing is a definitional, constitutional and legal mess, and Obama should end it all before going out of office."
6 replies, 916 views
Top Ten Surprises of the Brennan Hearing (Original post)
Response to midnight (Reply #2)
Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:02 PM
greiner3 (4,630 posts)
3. "...that's why it is important to remember that Obama will not always be View profile President!"
Uhhh, thats part of the talking points of Freepers everywhere.
Sure you don't want to, say, rephrase the above?
Response to greiner3 (Reply #3)
Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:37 PM
midnight (25,907 posts)
4. I don't mean to phrase this idea so awkwardly for you or others, but not sure how else to
word my concerns.. But thanks for making me more aware of this sensitivity
Response to midnight (Original post)
Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:07 AM
Catherina (34,318 posts)
6. The fact that there isn't more outrage over Brennan's nomination
War criminals being put in charge and Democrats yawn.
Brennan in charge of secret courts. This country has lost it's damn mind.