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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:26 AM
Original message
The Continuing Lessons of Terror and Tyranny
Blood on the Tracks: The Continuing Lessons of Terror and Tyranny
Written by Chris Floyd
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 14:19

I.

At some point earlier this month, Barack Obama took a moment out of his busy day to sign an "execute order." That is, he ordered American agents to kill a man without any legal procedure whatsoever: no arrest, no trial, no formal presentation and disputation of evidence, no defenseand no warning. They killed him on the open road, in a sneak attack; he was not engaged in combat, he was not posing an imminent threat to anyone at the time, he had not been charged with any crime. This kind of thing is ordinarily regarded as murder. Certainly, if you or I killed someone in this way or paid someone to do it then we would find ourselves in the dock, facing life imprisonment or our own execution. But then, you and I are subject to the law; our leaders are not.

Let's say it again, just to let the reality of the situation sink in a bit further: at some point last week, Barack Obama ordered men in his employ to murder another human being. And not a single voice of protest was raised anywhere in the American political and media establishments. Churchmen did not thunder from the pulpits about this lawless action. The self-proclaimed patriots and liberty-lovers on the ever-more militant Right did not denounce this most extreme expression of state tyranny: the leader's arbitrary power to kill anyone he pleases. It is simply an accepted, undisputed fact of American life today that American leaders can and do and should murder people, anywhere in the world, if they see fit. When this supreme tyranny is noted at all, it is simply to celebrate the Leader for his toughness -- or perhaps chide him for not killing even more people in this fashion.

I wrote a great deal about this theme when George W. Bush was president. I began back in November 2001, after the Washington Post reported that Bush had signed an executive order giving himself the power to order the killing of anyone he arbitrarily designated a terrorist. Year after year, I wrote of how this murderous edict was put into practice around the world, and of its virulently corrosive effects on American society. Now Barack Obama is availing himself of these same powers. There is not one crumb, one atom, one photon of difference between Obama and Bush on this issue. They both believe that the president of the United States can have people killed outside of any semblance of a judicial process: murdered, in cold blood, in sneak attacks, with any "collateral damage" regarded as an acceptable by-product just like the terrorists they claim to be fighting with these methods.

Nor does this doctrine of presidential murder make any distinction between American citizens and foreigner. Indeed, one of the first people known to have been killed in this way was an American citizen living in Yemen. So let us put the reality in its plainest terms: if the president of the United States decides to call you a terrorist and kill you, he can. He doesn't have to arrest you, he doesn't have to charge you, he doesn't have to put you on trial, he doesn't have to convict you, he doesn't have to sentence you, he doesn't have to allow you any appeals: he can just kill you. And no one in the American power structure will speak up for you or denounce your murder; they won't even see that it's wrong, they won't even consider it remarkable. It's just business as usual. It's just the way things are done. It's just the way we are now.

...

http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-...
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. Chris Floyd is right on
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 07:35 AM by G_j
and this subject is depressing as hell.
:-(

Whatever happened to our "knight in shining armor"?

:eyes:
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. Assuming President Obama had good intel on this guy, what should he have done?
Obviously the process has been corrupted by Bush to the point that we have a hard time trusting it even a little; but assuming the intel was correct - what should President Obama have done?

Bryant
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. It is patently a crime
to do targeted assassinations. If there was evidence you treat it like a crime round up the suspect and have a trial. Otherwise guess where we end up? Though no need to guess as we are already there.

You can't possibly support this and support the rule of law such as it is. Simply blaming Bush is convenient but ignores the entire apparatus of Empire that has been in place for decades.
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. You like it up there on your high horse?
What if by treating it like a crime you are forced to reveal sources and compromise other operations? Would that bother you? Or what if you could execute him with 10 men but it would take 100 men to capture him, with significantly higher casualties?

Bryant
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. 'What if' is now justification for killing someone?
Assuming the intel is correct while not demanding one iota of proof is mighty Righty.

What if the intel isn't correct?
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Well it comes down to principles
We aren't seeing the intel; we don't know if it's convincing or not. I assume it is pretty compelling to have warranted this action but you may not (it goes to how much you respect Obama I suppose).

I think we all agree though that if the intel isn't convincing than you wouldn't want to execute someone (or to make it clear, I think that if you don't have compelling, convincing evidence that someone is a direct threat to Americans, you shouldn't execute them). So the real question is, "If you had compelling evidence, would an execution be acceptable?" Which is why I phrased it that way.

Bryant
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. who needs laws,
when we can trust them to do the right thing?
:sarcasm:
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. In a ground war, if you have a chance to fire on the opposing generals command tent
is that permitted? Or do you need to capture him and put him on trial?

Bryant
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. You should re-read
what you just wrote. Then go back and read the justifications that came from the previous administration that you rightly hold in low regard. Guess who you sound like?
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Well that hypocricy angle only works if I was criticizing them
for this, which I generally wasn't.

The Bush administration corrupted the intelligence process, I'm not denying that. But after 9/11 I tacitly accepted that preventing another attack of that magnitude might involve assassinating those who would attack America. I don't say that lightly, I say that in the wake of 3,000 dead killing a few terrorists on the basis of good intel is something I'm willing to live with.

Bryant
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. You did it again
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 09:33 AM by Orwellian_Ghost
I guarantee you I could dredge up a comment from Dick Cheney and/or Donald Rumsfeld that is almost exactly what you just spewed.

"Those who would attack America?"

You are parroting right-wing talking points. What's that say?
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. It says that I agree with the right wing on some points
Let me list some areas where I disagree with them.

- I don't believe in holding people indefinitely without trial.
- I don't believe in manipulating intelligence to force a war of choice.
- I don't believe in warrant-less wiretaps (while being ok with warranted wiretaps).
- I don't believe that people who disagree with me are unpatriotic.

Here's where I do agree with them.

- there are terrorist groups in the world that want to kill Americans
- 9/11 was the fault of one of these groups, al-Qaida (I don't believe in MIHOP or LIHOP).
- we should do what we can to stop those groups, up to and including killing their leaders.
- also I agree with right wingers on the deliciousness of chocolate ice cream.

Bryant
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. So
you don't believe 9/11 was the end result of US foreign policy over the years?

Answer is easy. Stop killing people, particularly in their own homes, and you greatly reduce the chances of being attacked yourself.

You agree with the right-wing on much it is true. What does that say?
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Well, what does it say to you that I agree with the Right Wing?
Just out of curiosity? I mean I guess I can understand if you are afraid to say it outloud, but I'd like to know.

I think 9/11 was a result of our support of Israel over the years yes, compounded with our decision to arm the Afghanis during their war against the Soviet Union. Not sure I disagree with either of those policies, although certainly we should use our influence over Israel, such as it is, to get a resolution to the conflict there - presumably a two state solution.

Bryant
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Keep right on digging that hole
Good luck with that
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Good meaningful response n/t
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90-percent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
6. A resemblance
Kinda looks like State sponsored terrorism to me.

A very sad state, if this is true.

-90% jimmy
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
14. It's OK when our guy does it.
Especially if he's dreamy and has a cute dog.
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
19. Bumping
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