Rand Paul: I might block Brennan’s nomination until he says whether a U.S. citizen can be targeted on U.S. soil

posted at 4:41 pm on February 13, 2013 by Allahpundit

Here’s his official statement, the basics of which he reiterated to USA Today in an interview. It’s interesting that killing Americans on American soil is where Paul draws the line, as he could have drawn it more restrictively. E.g., no drone strikes beyond Afghanistan, period; no drone strikes on American citizens, period; etc. This is another case, I think, of Rand trying to find a path that’s kinda sorta acceptable both to mainstream conservatives and to his dad’s base. (To be sure, he sent Brennan a letter a few weeks ago raising numerous questions about civil liberties, but this particular question is apparently the litmus test for whether a hold will be placed.) Good enough?

Paul said he would do “whatever it takes” to delay Brennan’s confirmation until he directly answers whether American citizens legally can be killed by drone strikes within the United States.

The Kentucky Republican accused Brennan of obfuscating on the issue when it was raised at confirmation hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. Rand on Sunday said he wouldn’t vote for Brennan until the questions were answered, but he raised the stakes in an interview with “Capital Download,” a weekly video series on usatoday.com.

“He was asked a very specific question. . . ‘Can you kill an American with a drone in America?’ And he refused to answer the question,” Paul said. “I find that very, very worrisome (and) we’re going to do whatever it takes to get the answer. Can the government, does the government, the president himself, claim the power to unilaterally kill an American in America without a trial?”

Harry Reid’s said he won’t honor holds placed by Republicans on Hagel’s nomination. Maybe he’ll honor one placed on Brennan on civil-liberties grounds since, in theory, his base cares about that. But … his base really doesn’t care much about that. So why wouldn’t Reid ignore Paul too?

Here’s the white paper on drones, in case you didn’t read it last week. The memo states on page three that it’s addressing only the legality of strikes carried out against Al Qaeda operatives on foreign soil, which isn’t the same thing as saying that strikes can’t be carried out here. In theory, any terrorist who’s inside the United States could be feasibly captured by U.S. law enforcement, which means one of the three criteria for a drone strike couldn’t be met. But feasibility is defined vaguely in the memo as something “highly fact-specific and potentially time-sensitive.” If the cops found out that a plot was in motion and somehow a Predator could get to the scene and intercept the bad guys before they could, then hypothetically capture might be “infeasible” and a strike would be in order. But look. For obvious reasons, turning the drone guns on citizens here at home would be extremely politically dangerous for any president, even one like The One who can count on a media cushion. Americans are sufficiently creeped out at the thought of being tracked by the eye in the sky that state and local governments have started passing laws banning surveillance drones. Imagine what the reaction would be to news of someone being incinerated on the highway by a Hellfire because the feds were worried about him. If it happened, the circumstances of the impending attack would need to be so dire and urgent that the president could reasonably expect he’d commended for taking action rather than vilified. And if I’m wrong, if Americans would actually acclimate fairly quickly to drone strikes as a semi-routine feature of counterterrorism here in the good ol’ U.S.A., then our problem is much bigger than worrying about whether we can get a straight answer from John Brennan or not. Maybe that’s why he’s silent on this, in fact — he suspects that, if push came to shove, he and O would have more public support for an attack of this sort than Paul thinks.

One other note. This line from Paul’s tea-party SOTU rebuttal last night jumped out at me:

“We cannot and will not allow any president to act as if he were a king,” Paul said. “We will not tolerate secret lists of American citizens who can be killed without trial.”

Won’t we? New from CBS:

tp

That’s a bit apples-to-oranges insofar as the question doesn’t mention “secret” lists, and there’s no way to know for sure how many tea partiers agree with O’s policy versus Republicans generally. But O’s targeting list has been secret until now and he’s still pulling nearly 60 percent support among Republicans on this. Unless support among non-tea-party GOPers is stratospheric, it’s safe to assume that at least a sizable minority of tea-party Republicans is in favor too. I think this is more a case of Paul grafting Paulworld concerns onto the broader tea-party agenda than something he’s reading in the wider movement. But I don’t know. We need to see more polling.


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Uh, let’s hope that this is not Rand Paul’s ONLY problem with muslim-convert, terrorist-sympathyzer John Brennan. There are MANY reason why Brennan MUST NOT be confirmed!

http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/02/09/did-you-know-that-john-brennan-nominee-for-cia-director-is-a-muslim-convert-who-was-turned-to-islam-by-the-muslim-brotherhood-2/

http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/02/12/tom-trento-digs-up-more-dirt-on-john-brennan-outed-convert-to-islam-and-muslim-brotherhood-operative/

Pork-Chop on February 13, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Or any person on U.S. soil, for that matter, not just U.S. citizens. Way to stick up for everyone, Rand.

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Killing us Citizens abroad “suspected” of Terrorist acts?

I only fear such powers because of the individual who gets to push the button on this drone strike.

Obama has abused his powers countless times. He is not above killing innocent Americans on faulty Intel.

Besides that concern, when can we expect drone strikes on American soil from foreign countries who claim that we are terrorizing their countries?

portlandon on February 13, 2013 at 4:48 PM

“Killing US Citizens Abroad Suspected of Terrorist Activities”

58% of Republicans are okay with killing people on mere suspicion? Oof…

beatcanvas on February 13, 2013 at 4:49 PM

What does it matter? He could say “no” and then change his mind the minute he assumed office. That’s SOP for this administration.

Socratease on February 13, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Unless support among non-tea-party GOPers is stratospheric, it’s safe to assume that at least a sizable minority of tea-party Republicans is in favor too.

Not this Tea Partier. I’m about as pro-torture a guy as you’ll find, but I draw the line at killing American citizens without due process. Unless it’s the ticking timebomb scenario, but that’s not what we’re dealing with here.

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 4:50 PM

The liberals in the Emerald City don’t like it when drones are flying over their own back yards:

Editorial: Seattle Mayor McGinn right to ground drones

Drained Brain on February 13, 2013 at 4:50 PM

I prefer waterboarding to anonymous death sentences. More info. That said, I doubt I would shed any tears for Adam Yahiye Gadahn if he was thunderstuck. Weird how that little sh!t gets under my skin.

Cindy Munford on February 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Dang it, thunderstruck, saw it as I hit submit.

Cindy Munford on February 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Heard on the radio news break a bit ago that Panetta has created and is now awarding the newest military medal: ‘Heroic’ Drone Operator Medal.

(OK, the ‘Heroic’ is my addition, but you could tell from his voice that he considers the video game / flight simulator players, far from the battlefield, to be on a par with Silver Star winners who risk all to achieve the mission or save lives, and that the drone operators are the most important ‘warriors’ we have now.)

LegendHasIt on February 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Are you saying droning non-citizens on U.S. soil w/o due process is kosher with you?

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Ok, Senator Paul, if you’re going to make the threat, you best be prepared to follow through. Currently, I expect that you will. However, as Lindsey Grahmnesty and Juan McCain have demonstrated just this (past) week, the GOP Senators have no stones (in general), but specifically when defying the will of the Emperor God-King Unicorn Prince.

Jeddite on February 13, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Not this Tea Partier. I’m about as pro-torture a guy as you’ll find, but I draw the line at killing American citizens without due process. Unless it’s the ticking timebomb scenario, but that’s not what we’re dealing with here.

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Nor this one. Sorry, but the ability to kill without due process is the mark of a dictator and I’m just not that into being subjugated to the the State.

L’estat cest moi-King Louis Obama I

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Are you saying droning non-citizens on U.S. soil w/o due process is kosher with you?

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Only if we have concrete evidence they’re engaged in terrorist activity and we have no way of taking them into custody. I don’t see that scenario playing out very often though.

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 4:57 PM

I don’t like this guy Brennan. Can’t be trusted. Real reservations. Go Blue Buddha!!!

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 4:58 PM

when can we expect drone strikes on American soil from foreign countries who claim that we are terrorizing their countries?

portlandon on February 13, 2013 at 4:48 PM

That already happened on September 11, 2001 though those were manned by Al-Qaeda operatives. Now the US military is returning the favor though not so indiscriminately.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Nor this one. Sorry, but the ability to kill without due process is the mark of a dictator and I’m just not that into being subjugated to the the State.

L’estat cest moi-King Louis Obama I

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 4:56 PM

I’m ok with certain exceptions. If an American citizen is suspected of having a dirty bomb in their possession and we risk having it go off and wipe out thousands if he or she isn’t taken out, that’s a situation where there should be some wiggle room for the President and his national security team. But there has to be intense scrutiny of a policy like this. I do not want the President or any other individual given carte blanche to just target Americans here or abroad whom he suspects of terrorist activity.

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Nor this one. Sorry, but the ability to kill without due process is the mark of a dictator and I’m just not that into being subjugated to the the State.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 4:56 PM

George Washington did exactly that in the Whiskey Rebellion. James Madison did that in the War Of 1812. They were not dictators. Obama certainly wants to be one but airstrikes have little to do with it.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Dang it, thunderstruck, saw it as I hit submit.

Cindy Munford on February 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Thanks, I always have enjoyed the camera work. Good to wake up to. ; )

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 5:03 PM

I actually agree with Ed on this one.

Regardless of what the policy is, it should be consistent if the person citizen is on US soil or not. The criteria should be consistent.

If a group of guys are driving a bomb-filled bus toward a school, our cops now have sufficient legal-backing to take out the threat to the school, and we never question their citizenship.

segasagez on February 13, 2013 at 5:07 PM

The real problem here is that the Regime has explicitly stated it can kill US citizens abroad for any reason (check the rationale).

Your constitutional rights do not end at the border.

….

Has this always been unofficial policy? Sure.

Should you be worried that it is being codified now? Yes, yes you should.

CorporatePiggy on February 13, 2013 at 5:07 PM

I’m ok with certain exceptions. If an American citizen is suspected of having a dirty bomb in their possession and we risk having it go off and wipe out thousands if he or she isn’t taken out, that’s a situation where there should be some wiggle room for the President and his national security team. But there has to be intense scrutiny of a policy like this. I do not want the President or any other individual given carte blanche to just target Americans here or abroad whom he suspects of terrorist activity.

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 5:01 PM

I see your point, but, we already have procedures on the books to deal with someone suspected of posing an imminent threat. Procedures that don’t require me to find some invisible drone-proof hoodies. lol. Seriously, when there’s an imminent threat, we already call out the big guns in the hope of addressing it, either by capture or with extreme prejudice. I just don’t see your scenario playing out all that often, but I didn’t see three airplanes used as weapons, either. I’m just very uncomfortable with one person having an anonymous power of life or death at their fingertips and as the law of unintended consequences works, what hasn’t been thought of hasn’t been prepared for.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Quick question.

It has been reported that the sherrifs department had given orders to burn down the cabin Dorden was hiding in. How do you all feel about this?

I personally think we’re turning into a police state. I dont see it as a right wing or left wing thing I see it as these Government entities now have power that they are never giving back.

Politricks on February 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM

George Washington did exactly that in the Whiskey Rebellion. James Madison did that in the War Of 1812. They were not dictators. Obama certainly wants to be one but airstrikes have little to do with it.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:03 PM

You know what? Both of those men were human beings, and as such, fallible. While I revere the minds that gave birth to our once-cherished form of government, I can’t say I agree with everything they did while they had power.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 4:57 PM

So, if the experts and professionals feel they’ve got a solid case, and they feel there’s no way to detain the suspect without the possibility that someone might get hurt or killed doing so, that’s sufficient due process? I’m just trying to clarify for any guests America hosts on her soil.

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Heard on the radio news break a bit ago that Panetta has created and is now awarding the newest military medal: ‘Heroic’ Drone Operator Medal.

(OK, the ‘Heroic’ is my addition, but you could tell from his voice that he considers the video game / flight simulator players, far from the battlefield, to be on a par with Silver Star winners who risk all to achieve the mission or save lives, and that the drone operators are the most important ‘warriors’ we have now.)

LegendHasIt on February 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM

They are actively trying to recruit the 18 yr. old gamers. Might just work to get them out of mommy’s basement.
Lookie here, you get your very own special medal for sitting in an air conditioned office stateside while the real me/women are on the frontlines in 100+ degree heat wearing 70+ lbs of gear sweat their @sses off.
Pretty isn’t it.

D-fusit on February 13, 2013 at 5:11 PM

What I would like as a question in that survey is “Do you support waterboarding terrorists abroad?” And the follow up, “Which is worse, blowing terrorists to pieces with a drone or pouring water over their face?”

It would be fun to see the democrats responses.

The Notorious G.O.P on February 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Quick question.

It has been reported that the sherrifs department had given orders to burn down the cabin Dorden was hiding in. How do you all feel about this?

I personally think we’re turning into a police state. I dont see it as a right wing or left wing thing I see it as these Government entities now have power that they are never giving back.

Politricks on February 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM

I’m pretty consistent. I’m not thrilled with this form of “addressing the threat”. I think they fire bombed the cabin because they 1)were rightfully pissed off at Dorden, and 2) afraid he’d get away (again) and they’d lose him completely and 3) once lost he would continue his murderous spree. Of course, that would bring him out in the open again, but I’m pretty sure they weren’t thinking about that. They wanted to prevent more mayhem. Still, I’d rather he was captured, tried and convicted. And, then sentenced to death. I prefer to observe quaint niceties as due process, but I’m funny that way. ;)

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

I can’t say I agree with everything they did while they had power.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Well how exactly should Washington have dealt with a rebellion? Send some sheriffs out to arrest them fellas? And when they got sent back dead, what then?

Should Madison have ordered American ships to fire on British warships with captive Americans on those British vessels? If not then what?

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

In 2008 I donated 25.00 to obama. In 2012 Ive finished school and plan on donating. 250.00 this time. Lets go Team O!

Politricks on May 24, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 5:03 PM

This one is dear to my heart.

Cindy Munford on February 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Sorry. Dorden should be Dorner.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

This one is dear to my heart.

Cindy Munford on February 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Yep. That is a good one. ; )

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 5:16 PM

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

I agree with Bishop–they were reaching for the tear bombs and accidentally grabbed the fire bombs.

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 5:18 PM

I like Rand Paul…but he won’t stand in the way

Redford on February 13, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Well how exactly should Washington have dealt with a rebellion? Send some sheriffs out to arrest them fellas? And when they got sent back dead, what then?

Should Madison have ordered American ships to fire on British warships with captive Americans on those British vessels? If not then what?

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Overt acts of war are different from “suspected terrorist activity” unproven, but we just know it’s going on because our intel is just that good. I don’t think every action Washington and Madison took was necessarily the one I would have taken, but hindsight is a funny thing and damn near pretty worthless in this case. Listen, I cannot accept that the government has the right to target an American citizen and off him/her because someone thinks they have sufficient intel to justify a belief that person poses a potential terrorist threat. We’re talking slippery slope here. Besides, I’m a big believer in the entire Bill of Rights and the 4th and 5th and 8th Amendments aren’t just window-dressing. They protect us from despotic government. History has shown that Washington was no dictator wannabe and neither was Madison, but they’re not really relevant since they didn’t face analogous facts. I’m not filled with confidence that anyone of our illustrious government officials can reject power once taken or given and thus wouldn’t abuse it if given half a chance. YMMV, apparently.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 5:22 PM

“Killing US Citizens Abroad Suspected of Terrorist Activities”

58% of Republicans are okay with killing people on mere suspicion? Oof…

[beatcanvas on February 13, 2013 at 4:49 PM]

People often hear what they want or expect to hear and think something different than what was said. In addition, news media uses it to such an extent in crime news stories, I expect lot’s of people hear “proof” when they read “suspected of”.

Dusty on February 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Because I can kill whomever I want whenever I want, I will, and whenever the whim strikes me and none of you are man enough to stop me. Nah, nah, nah. I won! I won! I won! Now bow before me or I will smite you too. I know your name and your address or can find out pretty quickly from one of my faithful servants, uniformed or nonuniformed. And remember even if my drones miss somehow, I’ve still got all those hundreds of millions of hollow points distributed out among my faithful at numerous of my faithful agencies. Maybe if you bow to me and kiss my feet someday I will have a staff member cobble something together where I grant myself official authority to kill whomever I want whenever I want and for whatever reason I want and put it out on the internet for all you peons to fawn over. Or maybe I won’t. It all depends on my mood. – Pharaoh Obama Zod

VorDaj on February 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Here’s the white paper on drones, in case you didn’t read it last week. The memo states on page three that it’s addressing only the legality of strikes carried out against Al Qaeda operatives on foreign soil

AP, thank you for posting this. This is the first that I’ve seen of that distinction. I guess I wasn’t looking hard enough last week.

Weight of Glory on February 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I agree with Bishop–they were reaching for the tear bombs and accidentally grabbed the fire bombs.

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Is that the official story? Helluva mix-up, that’s for sure.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

It has been reported that the sherrifs department had given orders to burn down the cabin Dorden was hiding in. How do you all feel about this?

Politricks on February 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM

What is the alternative you would favor? Would you want to be the first guy through that door?

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM

So the Police/Feds are supposed to get a warrant in order to search our houses, but they can drop a missile on it with no judges order?

cptacek on February 13, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Listen, I cannot accept that the government has the right to target an American citizen and off him/her because someone thinks they have sufficient intel to justify a belief that person poses a potential terrorist threat.

Madison ordered US ships to open fire when he KNEW there were Americans on board those ships who had been forcibly kidnapped. He KNEW they were innocent.

In combat you open fire on people who you think are the enemy. The idea that you always know exactly who and where the enemy is just isn’t true. You take fire from a house and you return fire, toss a grenade in and find out that there was a family in there with the terrorists. War isn’t this neat and precise exercise where you never make mistakes and have perfect knowledge.

They think he’s guilty, just like they thought this Dorner guy was guilty. Dorner hadn’t been convinced in a court of law and yet he’s dead and never even had his rights read to him. Awlaki knew for years that he was wanted and then his number finally came up.

I’m not filled with confidence that anyone of our illustrious government officials can reject power once taken or given and thus wouldn’t abuse it if given half a chance. YMMV, apparently.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I agree with you on this but I don’t think that airstrikes have much to do with that. The erosion of domestic rights and the mentality of the general public is a far greater threat.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Here’s video of John Brennan storming out of an interview with the editorial board of the Washington Times when asked specific questions on the nature and history of Jihad:

http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/counter-terror-advisor-brennan-bolts-when-asked-about-jihad-video/

Has to be seen to be believed. Unbelievable that this guy holds employment anywhere with the Federal Government much less top positions within the intelligence establishment.

sartana on February 13, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Helluva mix-up, that’s for sure.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

No, I’m just riffing off Bishop’s “tear bombs” snark. IIRC, SBSD doesn’t have “fire bombs” in their limitless arsenal.

You’ll appreciate this, though: Portland Police Pepper Sprayed Burning Man Accidentally

Reached for the extinguisher, accidentally grabbed the anguisher.

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 5:41 PM

I’m ok with certain exceptions.

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Does the Constitution allow for these exceptions – exceptions no doubt made by politicians such as Obama?

aryeung on February 13, 2013 at 5:41 PM

sartana on February 13, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I’m with you. The more I uncover on this guy, the more nervous it makes me that he is even in the loop. Hope Blue Buddha can follow through and hold this up.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 5:42 PM

So waterboarding a known non-citizen terrorist (identified through public evidence of captured in battle, connections through letters, videos, online publications/posts) is a horrible horrible violation of rights…

Killing of a US citizen because some unknown person said he felt it was cool (identified through unknown evidence) is kosher…

nextgen_repub on February 13, 2013 at 5:44 PM

This is more of the progressive peck-away-therory. We see it time and time again. We see it with income taxes, Medicare, Medicade, Social Security, Obamacare, Dept of Ed, EPA, NLRB and on and on. All are expanding, slowly but surely and all at the expense of our individual freedoms.

This progressive president can kill Americans that he determines by whatever his standards are at the moment, a threat. Currently that standard is, “they are overseas”.

Peck, peck, peck,.. and then it’s better watch what your say, text, email… or BOOM.

WestTexasBirdDog on February 13, 2013 at 5:45 PM

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Neither of your examples fit what we’re talking about here.

In the Whiskey Rebellion, Washington was facing an actual armed uprising, which he put down.

In 1812, captive Americans were killed when the US Navy opened up on British-flagged warships with US prisoners on board. Americans were not targeted specifically for death, they were killed as a result of war with a foreign power.

In neither case was a President killing unarmed Americans who posed no immediate threat without some sort of oversight.

In Washington’s case, he has Constitutional authority to put down an armed rebellion via force of arms. In Madison’s case, he had a Congressional declaration of war permitting force to be employed against British-flagged forces. The Americans killed while captive on British ships were not specifically targeted for death.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 5:48 PM

In neither case was a President killing unarmed Americans who posed no immediate threat without some sort of oversight.

Alwaki was a member of Al-Qaeda and there are 3,000 dead Americans as testimony to just how dangerous they can be if left alone.

In Washington’s case, he has Constitutional authority to put down an armed rebellion via force of arms. In Madison’s case, he had a Congressional declaration of war permitting force to be employed against British-flagged forces. The Americans killed while captive on British ships were not specifically targeted for death.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 5:48 PM

The AUMF authorizes action against Al-Qaeda. Alwaki was part of Al-Qaeda.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Alwaki was part of Al-Qaeda.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Then why did we drone a some guy named Awlaki instead of Alwaki? This is getting all wacky.

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Imagine what the reaction would be to news of someone being incinerated on the highway by a Hellfire because the feds were worried about him.

It would probably range from “cool” to “how long until they clear the road?”

arnold ziffel on February 13, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Then why did we drone a some guy named Awlaki instead of Alwaki? This is getting all wacky.

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 5:55 PM

What Difference Does It Make? He was probaly guilty of something too! ///

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:59 PM

In 2008 I donated 25.00 to obama. In 2012 Ive finished school and plan on donating. 250.00 this time. Lets go Team O!

Politricks on May 24, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

He’s not a bad guy B, he just does and says bad things.

arnold ziffel on February 13, 2013 at 5:59 PM

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Awlaki never engaged in violence against the US. He encouraged those who did, incited terror and promised the spiritual salvation of AQ operators.

Each of those is a crime, and the US Constitution does not cease to protect US citizens when they are accused of a crime.

You’re drawing an arbitrary line, and basing judgement solely on a single unnamed individual in the government who is claiming ‘trust me.’

That line, in this one case, is rather clear, and not too many argue with the result. Al-Awlaki had it coming.

Do you honestly believe al-Awlaki will be the only one? The precedent has been set. A single individual, with no oversight, can condemn an American without trial and order that citizen’s assassination.

We’re discussing that principle here, not al-Awlaki alone.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM

He’s not a bad guy B, he just does and says bad things.

arnold ziffel on February 13, 2013 at 5:59 PM

It was the only short answer I had at hand. In fairness I corrected for him on my list.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 6:02 PM

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Madison wasn’t targeting innocent Americans. He was targeting those that took them and held them on the ships, unless I’m mistaken. We have a completely different scenario here. I do agree that the mentality of the sheeple is the greater threat, only because they put these tyrants in power.

This is not an issue of an imprecise, messy war firefight. This is exactly the opposite, in fact. Drone strikes are about as “neat and precise” as it gets, and no one gets their hands “dirty”. Except those picking brain matter out their clothing, I guess.

No. The philosophical debate here is whether it’s okay to execute a suspect, not a convicted criminal. Basically, that’s what it boils down to. Once we’ve crossed that line, you might as well throw the 4th, 5th and 8th Amendments out the window.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM

It was the only short answer I had at hand. In fairness I corrected for him on my list.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 6:02 PM

You mean he’s not on the drone list anymore?

arnold ziffel on February 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Sorry. I’ve never been a fan of “right result, wrong reasoning” and that’s what too many who seem to be in favor of this process seem to be embracing.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 6:11 PM

sartana on February 13, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Unbelievable. He runs away.

VorDaj on February 13, 2013 at 6:12 PM

You mean he’s not on the drone list anymore?

arnold ziffel on February 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM

I wouldn’t go that far. My reading and current state of mind pertaining to the left.

Once the loyal opposition, then the adversary, now the enemy.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Awlaki never engaged in violence against the US. He encouraged those who did, incited terror and promised the spiritual salvation of AQ operators.

Like Mussolini?

Mussolini never engaged in violence against the allies either.

So what? He’s still a target, both Awlaki and Mussolini.

Each of those is a crime, and the US Constitution does not cease to protect US citizens when they are accused of a crime.

What happened has nothing to do with criminal law, or police enforcement.

You’re drawing an arbitrary line, and basing judgement solely on a single unnamed individual in the government who is claiming ‘trust me.’

Awlaki himself made very clear that he was a hostile and a member of Al-Qaeda.

Do you honestly believe al-Awlaki will be the only one? The precedent has been set. A single individual, with no oversight, can condemn an American without trial and order that citizen’s assassination.

We’re discussing that principle here, not al-Awlaki alone.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM

It wasn’t an assassination unless you want to label American soldiers assassins. They too ‘assassinated’ foreign combatants. Those soldiers also have the right to determine on their own whether or not to kill an individual who may, or may not be an American. They don’t bother to check any papers before opening up on a suspect vehicle refusing to stop at a checkpoint.

Awlaki was targeted and killed as an enemy by the United States Military during combat operations. This isn’t new and knowing his name before the strike doesn’t alter anything. Targeting Tokyo Rose in World War Two wouldn’t have been a violation of the constitution either.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

No. The philosophical debate here is whether it’s okay to execute a suspect, not a convicted criminal. Basically, that’s what it boils down to. Once we’ve crossed that line, you might as well throw the 4th, 5th and 8th Amendments out the window.

totherightofthem on February 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM

He wasn’t executed.

He wasn’t a suspect.

His death had nothing to do with any crimes he may, or may not have committed.

He was killed because he was an enemy combatant. His citizenship or lack of it was irrelevant. His criminal past is irrelevant.

He was part of Al-Qaeda and therefore marked for death or capture as all of that terror group are.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 6:19 PM

You’ll appreciate this, though: Portland Police Pepper Sprayed Burning Man Accidentally

Reached for the extinguisher, accidentally grabbed the anguisher.

Christien on February 13, 2013 at 5:41 PM

I read the article noticed this little nugget:

The officer, who has been on the job for fewer than 10 years, did not know she had used pepper spray until she got back to central precinct, Sizer said. Another officer found the empty can later at the scene.

Then she needs re-training. Fire foam=generally white powder. Pepper spray=colored liquid with the added pleasure of even the user getting a whiff. The two containers might both be red but they are marked differently.

arnold ziffel on February 13, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Killing US Citizens domestic or abroad, with or without drones is just so much MissTwiLies Run & Hide CYA (Misleading, Twists and Lies) cover-up. Take a look at Wikipedia for the term Cover-up. You will find a list of progressive actions for the Government can follow if some one or group get in their ways. Fit the time lines and news release of your worse Government Nightmares and I promise you the close fit will be an eye opener. Not talking conspiracy theory just “Official Released news stories and time lines”.

At Ruby Ridge, dose anyone except the official story that Vicki Weavers, while holding a 10 month old baby in her arms was a life threat to the murderous government sniper Lon Horiuchi who was over 600 feet away. He was promoted and moved on to Waco Tx.

At Waco Tx. , 76 men women and children were gassed, shot, crushed by tanks and burned alive. Oh yes did I mention that several may have been shot by government sniper Lon Horiuchi. Yet the official story from Janet Reno rewards Horiuchi and others.

What were their crimes? They wanted to be left alone and live their lives their way as guaranteed by the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution. Was this felt as a precised treat to the US Government since their way was not the Governments Way?

Our Government has been targeting and killing US Citizens with out due process of law for years. The only thing new is that some people wish to afford greater protection under the law to know terrorist.

jpcpt03 on February 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 6:19 PM

If there’s that much evidence that he committed treason then try him for it in absentia, convict him in a court of law, sentence him to death and then drop the missile on him. Any American citizen is presumed innocent of crimes until proven guilty in a court of law, even the reprobates.

alchemist19 on February 13, 2013 at 6:41 PM

jpcpt03 on February 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

The increasing militarization of the police forces is becoming a dangerous problem and things like Waco, Ruby Ridge and the firearms seizures during Katrina are the result. That is something that bothers me about the war on drugs. I don’t believe in legalizing drugs but I think the so-called War On Drugs is being used for increased budgets and more toys for police departments.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM

If there’s that much evidence that he committed treason then try him for it in absentia

alchemist19 on February 13, 2013 at 6:41 PM

That’s illegal and unconstitutional.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 6:45 PM

That’s illegal and unconstitutional.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 6:45 PM

He can always appeal.

alchemist19 on February 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM

He can always appeal.

alchemist19 on February 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_absentia

If he be deprived of his life or liberty without being so present, such deprivation would be without that due process of law required by the Constitution.

The Court unanimously held, in an opinion written by Justice Harry Blackmun, that Rule 43 does not permit the trial in absentia of a defendant who is absent at the beginning of trial.

Unconstitutional.

Hellfires are constitutional.
Trial in absentia is not.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 6:59 PM

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Very true. He would win his appeal if he shows up to file it but in the mean time we can drop the missile on him.

alchemist19 on February 13, 2013 at 7:01 PM

He would win his appeal if he shows up to file it but in the mean time we can drop the missile on him.

alchemist19 on February 13, 2013 at 7:01 PM

First you have to burn the constitution.

Why bother with a trial? He’s being killed for being a member of Al-Qaeda which isn’t in dispute.

I would be more worried about in absentia convictions.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 7:07 PM

I would be more worried about in absentia convictions.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Even in the worst case scenario it would still be no worse than someone somewhere in the government just deciding a certain group of people is a threat and so we’re free to drop missiles on their members. If forced to choose between the two I’ll take “Potentially evil” over “Clearly, unarguably evil” any day of the week.

alchemist19 on February 13, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Even in the worst case scenario it would still be no worse than someone somewhere in the government just deciding a certain group of people is a threat and so we’re free to drop missiles on their members.

I suspect that 3,000 incinerated Americans may have tipped the balance as far as convincing them that this particular group was a threat. That is of course just pure speculation on my part.

If forced to choose between the two I’ll take “Potentially evil” over “Clearly, unarguably evil” any day of the week.

alchemist19 on February 13, 2013 at 7:18 PM

I will take the constitution and the way it has been applied for hundreds of years.

The constitutions does not forbid the United States from going to war, or bringing war to its enemies, nor does it require the nation to apply criminal law to those forces that are at war with it.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 7:37 PM

I suspect that 3,000 incinerated Americans may have tipped the balance as far as convincing them that this particular group was a threat. That is of course just pure speculation on my part.

No one is saying al-Qaeda isn’t a threat so you can put that strawman away.

How far do we go in ignoring the Constitution in your world? There are various domestic terrorist groups who have also incinerated people. There’s the Animal Liberation Front, the KKK and a host of others. Hellfire missles for all their members, the courts be damned? Is al Qaeda special because their act of terrorism was the most spectacular or can other groups who commit crimes (or acts of war, assuming you want to draw a distinction between those and are able to do so in a cogent fashion) also get fire rained on them? What’s the threshold a group must meet before American citizens lose their Constitutionally-protected rights.

I will take the constitution and the way it has been applied for hundreds of years.

The constitutions does not forbid the United States from going to war, or bringing war to its enemies, nor does it require the nation to apply criminal law to those forces that are at war with it.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 7:37 PM

No one is saying the Constitution prevents waging war, nor is anyone (anyone here at least) saying foreign nationals are entitled to Constitutional protection. American citizens who haven’t taken up arms are a different story.

alchemist19 on February 13, 2013 at 8:04 PM

I’m ok with certain exceptions. If an American citizen is suspected of having a dirty bomb in their possession and we risk having it go off and wipe out thousands if he or she isn’t taken out, that’s a situation where there should be some wiggle room for the President and his national security team. But there has to be intense scrutiny of a policy like this. I do not want the President or any other individual given carte blanche to just target Americans here or abroad whom he suspects of terrorist activity.

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 5:01 PM

If anyone, Citizen or not got that far then our Intelligence is worthless.

I don’t think current law should be made for any future endless possibilities.

Also, since this action depends on the definition of Terroist; exactly who gets to decide that definition?

bluefox on February 13, 2013 at 8:08 PM

No one is saying al-Qaeda isn’t a threat so you can put that strawman away.

You said that “the government just deciding a certain group of people is a threat” and that is nonsense. Its not a strawman and Al-Qaeda is a threat which is why they are being targeted.

The same silly argument can be made that if soldiers are allowed to kill anyone they think is a threat then what stops them from considering any one of us a threat and executing us?

How far do we go in ignoring the Constitution in your world?

How has the constitution been ignored?

You were the one suggesting an unconstitutional measure like in absentia trials.

There are various domestic terrorist groups who have also incinerated people. There’s the Animal Liberation Front, the KKK and a host of others. Hellfire missles for all their members, the courts be damned?

Is there an AUMF passed by Congress regarding those groups? No.

Therefore the fact that they are NOT being targeted and Al-Qaeda which does have a congressional AUMF with regards to it is being targeted, acts more as proof that there is no out of control mad drone campaign.

What’s the threshold a group must meet before American citizens lose their Constitutionally-protected rights.

Awlaki didn’t lose his constitutional rights. Those constitutional rights have never applied in combat. They apply after capture, not before.

American citizens who haven’t taken up arms are a different story.

alchemist19 on February 13, 2013 at 8:04 PM

The military isn’t required to ask Al-Qaeda members if they want to play war today before opening fire. Awlaki’s passport is not a magical shield and this imaginary constitutional clause that tells us that knowing his name means he cannot be targeted doesn’t actually exist.

If they are attacking Al-Qaeda and they don’t know he’s there it seems to be fine to make that attack, but if they know he is there suddenly they cannot open fire? Where do you get that? Nothing like that is mentioned in the constitution and if an American joins an enemy army they can be targeted like any other hostile.

Lastly Awlaki had taken up arms. Do you think that an Al-Qaeda member doing exactly what he was doing is an innocent bystander murdered by the US military?

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 8:29 PM

We’re discussing that principle here, not al-Awlaki alone.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Thank you. Off topics are distractions and just muddy the water imo.

bluefox on February 13, 2013 at 8:33 PM

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

This is the ninth or tenth time I’ve seen you make this claim after being corrected, so I say you are a liar.

The US military did not kill al-Awlaki, the CIA did. Civilians.

You say ‘distinction without a difference,’ but in that you are impossibly wrong.

That you continue to lie so egregiously tells me you aren’t worth debating with.

That’s too bad, because you haven’t been otherwise rude or belligerent to me.

Cheers.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 8:41 PM

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 8:29 PM

He wasn’t killed in combat.

Besides, by focusing on al-Awlaki alone, you continue to miss the point. Intentionally.

Do you or do you not believe that a single unnamed person, with no oversight or accountability, has the power order the execution of an American citizen without a conviction, jury or judge?

Please confine yourself to a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 8:44 PM

That’s too bad, because you haven’t been otherwise rude or belligerent to me.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 8:41 PM

That’s more than I can say about you.

You don’t like losing an argument so you attack the one making it rather than attempting to say anything coherent.

The CIA is part of the government forces, so are civilians contractors, civilians volunteers, auxiliary police units, military civilian employees, etc. Civilians serve food in the military, they maintain vehicles, drive trucks, serve as combat infantry as ‘contractors’, serve as drone pilots, etc.

They are all part of the military effort. Being CIA doesn’t mean they don’t have a role in military affairs.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM

He wasn’t killed in combat.

Yes he was.

Besides, by focusing on al-Awlaki alone, you continue to miss the point. Intentionally.

What point do you think you are making?

That war is now police enforcement?

It isn’t and never has been.

Do you or do you not believe that a single unnamed person, with no oversight or accountability, has the power order the execution of an American citizen without a conviction, jury or judge?

Please confine yourself to a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 8:44 PM

No.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 8:56 PM

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM

No. Over the past few days, I’ve taken your argument apart piece by piece, disproving each statement you’ve made in an attempt to buttress your argument in favor of unilateral execution in non-combat situations.

Please answer my question. Do you or do you not believe the US government should have the authority to kill a US citizen in non-combat situations on the word of one unnamed individual who is answerable to no one and nothing?

Yes or no.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Ah. So you define ‘combat’ as killing an American who currently poses no threat whatsoever to US personnel. Interesting.

I don’t accept your version of the government. I don’t accept that it is permissible for our government to deprive a citizen of life without due process.

A single person deciding you need to die based on a system of judgement which the government refuses to define is tyranny.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 9:00 PM

No. Over the past few days, I’ve taken your argument apart piece by piece, disproving each statement you’ve made in an attempt to buttress your argument in favor of unilateral execution in non-combat situations.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 8:57 PM

BS.

Its not an execution, and American soldiers are not executioners, or assassins, or murderers because they go after American Al-Qaeda members.

Were the air force attacks on Al-Qaeda convoys in Afghanistan war crimes? If not then why is the attack on this Al-Qaeda convoy a war crime?

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 9:02 PM

So you define ‘combat’ as killing an American who currently poses no threat whatsoever to US personnel. Interesting.

I define combat as attacks on shipyards, factories, truck convoys, supply dumps, headquarters, communications sites, and a great many other things. That is what happened in World War Two, and in fact every war ever fought.

I don’t accept your version of the government. I don’t accept that it is permissible for our government to deprive a citizen of life without due process.

So grab a knife and charge at a cop and see how much due process you get.

A single person deciding you need to die based on a system of judgement which the government refuses to define is tyranny.

Washington Nearsider on February 13, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Congressional AUMF. Congress consists of more than one individual. If you think they should rescind the AUMF then lobby for them to do so. That is their job.

Awlaki was a member of Al-Qaeda and that is enough to make him a target regardless of what else he was doing.

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Let me ask you a question.

If Osama Bin Laden had married an American girl and traveled everywhere with her, does that mean that we could no longer target him because it would deny her those constitutional rights?

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 9:15 PM

sharrukin on February 13, 2013 at 9:08 PM

You continue to lie. You compare al-Awlaki (who was not presenting a threat) to an individual physically attacking a cop. They are nowhere near the same.

As to your bin Laden question – we could not target his wife. We could target him. You’ll notice his wives weren’t killed when bin Laden WAS actually targeted in real life – not in some dreamed up hypothetical.

This is a simple disagreement.

You believe the AUMF grants a single individual, who is not the President, the authority to execute Americans on suspicion of aiding terrorism, even if that person is not currently engaged in operations against the US.

I, on the other hand, believe in the Constitution.

Washington Nearsider on February 14, 2013 at 8:28 AM

You compare al-Awlaki (who was not presenting a threat) to an individual physically attacking a cop. They are nowhere near the same.

You claimed that the government cannot deprive a citizen of life without due process.

They obviously can.

As to your bin Laden question – we could not target his wife. We could target him.

Well then the government was targeting Awlaki’s shoes, or his vehicle and not him. Your position is absurd. The American wife of OBL would be just as dead as Awlaki and with the same violations of their respective rights. Targeting them in particular doesn’t alter that and NOWHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION IS THIS FOUND. If they should be given due process then it should apply to both situations. That you aren’t deliberately targeting them doesn’t allow you to violate their constitutional rights if they existed in this situation.

You believe the AUMF grants a single individual, who is not the President, the authority to execute Americans on suspicion of aiding terrorism, even if that person is not currently engaged in operations against the US.

Awlaki was engaged in operations against the United States and he himself said so.

I eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself – Awlaki

The laws of war allows belligerents to kill enemy combatants while they are asleep in barracks. There is no need for them to be currently engaged in hostile actions and there is no need for them to be present on a battlefield. They do not have to be waving a rifle to be attacked, and that has been true ever since the constitution was written.

We can kill the enemy wherever we find them.

I, on the other hand, believe in the Constitution.

Washington Nearsider on February 14, 2013 at 8:28 AM

You don’t really understand the constitution, or war.

The Confederates were still American Citizens in the eyes of the north and they were targeted without due process. In war an enemy combatant doesn’t have to be rushing at you to be a valid target. Soldiers aren’t policemen, and war isn’t a law enforcement issue.

sharrukin on February 14, 2013 at 8:53 AM

You don’t really understand the constitution, or war.

I’m sorry, have you been to war?

I have.

Washington Nearsider on February 15, 2013 at 8:09 AM