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Reply #110: I'd like to respond by copying and pasting a brilliant response [View All]

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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-11 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
110. I'd like to respond by copying and pasting a brilliant response
from late last night on one of the Chomsky threads:

Originally posted by SoDesuka:

"127. A Fatwa Is Not a Declaration of War

Calling a fatwa a declaration of war is a silly argument. An organization of civilians is not a state; the most they can be is a gang . . . .

Only a state can declare war. Osama bin Laden is the lead criminal in a gang of criminals, not a head of state. If you want to proceed lawfully against bin Laden, you can't change his status to that of a soldier; you have to respect the fact that regardless of his own statements he remains a civilian.

The Bush administration made it plain that they were not going to be constrained by legality except if they chose to do so. For example, waterboarding is illegal; has always been illegal; and it can't be made legal because of novel theories. Similarly, novel theories can't change what is and what is not a war.

Neither Obama nor Bush has the right to decide which laws they'll obey depending on whether they can get somebody like John Yoo to develop a novel theory to support what they're planning. I hope you can see how dangerous it is to allow executives to make it up as they go along. Bush was notorious for that; and now, unfortunately, Obama is following his bad example.

We can't have government just winging it; there have to be constraints. In another post I compared Obama to Nixon, who also believed in winging it. Hit squads operate outside the law; and there's no accountability. Nixon started the "plumbers" unit to plug leaks of government secrets; but that led to his use of this gang to commit ordinary felonies. Nixon later claimed that whatever the president does is legal.

Do we really want to go down that road - allowing the executive to get away with whatever he feels like so long as his lawyers come up with some novel theory? It's not about whether Osama bin Laden deserves capital punishment; it's about whether the president has the authority to order commandos to kill criminals on his say-so alone. No, he doesn't."

Absolutely friggin' brilliant. And your response????
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