Not Helping

If ever there was anything that would increase my doubts about the legality of the mission to kill Osama, it would be an editorial from Fred Hiatt’s fishwrap:

SOME ARE questioning the legality of the raid in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Was it lawful for a team of Navy SEALs to launch a mission in Abbottabad without permission from Pakistani leaders? Did they comply with international strictures when they killed the al-Qaeda leader rather than capturing him and bringing him before a court of law?

In a word: yes.

One of the things I found interesting about the inevitable flame post yesterday (inevitable because I quoted Greenwald), is the number of people who are mad that Glenn would ask basic questions like “Was this legal? Was this an assassination? Why are these stories not adding up?” It’s kind of funny to me, and we had an email exchange about it. Glenn is a civil libertarian, he cares deeply about extrajudicial killings, about targeted assassination, about government secrecy and cover-ups. He’s not being some sort of hypocrite asking about those things, even though Osama was an absolute monster. He’s just sticking to his principles.

I’m the hypocrite here. I’m stridently against extrajudicial killings, the death penalty, targeted assassination, etc. I’d wager most of you are, too.

But when I heard that Osama had been killed, I’ll be damned if I didn’t think “Thank God that monster is gone.” Sure, in my ideal world he’d be brought back to the US, tried, and then imprisoned for the rest of his life. But you know what? I can not honestly say I give a damned that he took a double tap to the skull. Sorry. And I’d be also willing to bet that is where most of you all are- this may or may not have been legal, but you don’t give a shit, because that scumbag is at the bottom of an ocean somewhere and got what he deserved. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that a primitive part of me was sort of sad he didn’t experience any pain.

The thing to remember, though, is that it isn’t Glenn or those who question the administration who are out of line or straying from their principles. It is me. This kind of reminds me of that ass in Orange County who emailed the blatantly racist Obama pictures to every one, and when caught, immediately started screaming “I’m not a racist! Everyone knows I’m not a racist! Ask all of my former black friends!” We’re in some bizarro world where being called and labeled a racist is somehow worse than, you know, being a racist and sending racist emails.

People are more worked up about the fact that someone might be calling them a hypocrite than looking at the monster in the mirror who may be acting hypocritically in regards to Osama. I know I’m being a hypocrite, and like Jonathon Capehart, I am ok with it in this case. I’ll promise to do a better job sticking to my principles and caring about the law when it comes to someone who hasn’t murdered thousands of people. I swear.

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735 replies
  1. 1
    WereBear says:

    I’m not a hypocrite; I’ve always been about taking out mass-murdering terrorists who have bragged about the crime and thus leave questions of innocence out of the picture.

    Guess I’m just like that.

  2. 2
    namekarB says:

    I hear ya John. I had to look at myself in the mirror when I got the news because I felt giddy yet guilty for feeling giddy over someone’s death.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    The fundamental problem with the Osama assassination is that now we’ve kicked down yet another door on what a President has precedent to do.

    Sure, this midnight raid on Bin Laden’s compound seems cool now. But what happens if a group of Navy SEALS zip-lined into Julian Assange’s backyard and double-tapped him through the eye-hole? What happens if the Chinese land a few commandos within firing range of the Dalai Lama?

    I mean, it’s all fine and dandy when you’re shooting terrorists. But the word “terrorist” gets pitched around quite a bit. We’re already letting the military play judge, jury, and executioner down at Gitmo. Do we really want to start handing out guns and hover bikes and go the full Judge Dread?

    After some introspection, this kind of thing seems decidedly less cool.

  4. 4
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    /sigh

    it was a covert op. only a handful of congress critters and part of team Obama have legal oversight onto covert ops.
    If Greenwald thinks we can’t do covert ops anymore, then he should take it up with congress.
    AMG hes boring. Like all libertarians and other crypto-conservatives, Greenwald harbors a secret hatred of Obama.
    I think it is subliminated sexual jealousy.
    ;)

  5. 5
    Eric S. says:

    Everything you said. I’ve called it an assassination to friends and family. I’ve questioned the legality. I found the jubilant celebrations disturbing. I would have ideally preferred a trial but looking at how scared we are of the Guantanamo prisoners that was never going to happen.

    All that and I’m glad he’s dead. I have the occassional image of his body being ripped apart by Ocean White Tips and the slug part of my brain smiles.

  6. 6
    Fred says:

    Another day another concern troll post by John Galt Cole.

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    http://www.newyorker.com/onlin.....ement.html

    For many years, soldiers have also been permitted to kill people because of who they are, rather than what they are doing—such people are “status-based targets.” During the Second World War, an American infantryman could shoot an S.S. officer who was eating lunch in a French café without violating the Law of War, so long as he did not actively surrender. The officer’s uniform made it obvious that he was the enemy. In Iraq, the R.O.E. listed about two dozen “designated terrorist organizations,” including Al Qaeda, and, if it can be proved that someone is a member of one of these groups, that person can legally be killed.

    There is no argument that it was illegal or extralegal to kill bin Laden that isn’t silly. You can ask the question, but anybody who doesn’t come up with the answer pretty quickly probably just wants there to be a problem.

  8. 8
    Guster says:

    I’m a hypocrite on this one, too. Though in my defense, I’m extremely principled when it’s easy.

  9. 9
    different church-lady says:

    He’s not being some sort of hypocrite asking about those things, even though Osama was an absolute monster. He’s just sticking to his principles.

    The problem isn’t that he’s asking the questions. The problem is that he gives no indication of giving a shit that OBL was a monster. He behaves as though principles exist in a vacuum.

  10. 10
    joeyess says:

    well, thanks for starting my day with a 2×4 of truth, Cole. I’ll admit it, I asked myself if this was legal and something in the back of my skull went “who gives a fuck if it’s legal? That crank it fish food”.

    And you’re right, it’s hypocritical and wrong.

    Brings to mind the time-worn quote from one of America’s greatest writers:

    “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure” -Mark Twain

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    If you are not an out and out pacificist who is opposed to any killing anytime for any reason, the hypocrisy here is minor at best. Osama saw himself as being at war with the US. The US, as a part of military operations against his organization, conducted a mission in which he was killed.

  12. 12
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Zifnab: if it gets approved as a covert op, i guess we could legally do that. But it couldn’t be justified because Assange already put out a distributed server cloud….nothing gained by deleting him. But there was approved black budget to launch an illegal DDOS attack on wikileaks server.
    Should we do covert ops at all?
    Or not?
    that is the question.

  13. 13
    Brachiator says:

    The thing to remember, though, is that it isn’t Glenn or those who question the administration who are out of line or straying from their principles.

    Some people think that rigidly holding onto your principles, no matter what the circumstances, is a good thing. It is not.

    SOME ARE questioning the legality of the raid in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Was it lawful for a team of Navy SEALs to launch a mission in Abbottabad without permission from Pakistani leaders?

    So, let’s see. What was the reasonable, principled alternative? The US Ambassador to Pakistan delivers an extradition request, or asks Pakistan to have someone swear out an arrest warrant for bin Laden.

    Would it be acceptable to all the principled ones if bin Laden managed to slip away or if the Pakistan government refused to issue a warrant or have bin Laden arrested?

    Did they comply with international strictures when they killed the al-Qaeda leader rather than capturing him and bringing him before a court of law?

    There is all kinds of stupidity compacted into this question. Why the emphasis here on “international strictures,” whatever that means, rather than the US constitution? And if the SEAL mission itself is viewed as being illegitimate, then the issue of capture vs killing becomes irrelevant.

  14. 14
    different church-lady says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Greenwald harbors a secret hatred of Obama.

    Aren’t secrets supposed to be things everyone else doesn’t already know?

  15. 15
    Jazz Superluminar says:

    Ok, very good post.
    I would say you’re not necessarily being a hypocrite though. If you take the law and civil liberties to be absolute values then maybe you are, but personally I take a ultilitarian
    view that, ultimately, trumps those values. In the case of mass-murderers/genocidal thugs etc I think I am actually advancing the causes I believe in by going beyond the law in stopping those things from occuring. Now it sounds like YMMV, but there’s nothing bad or primitive about your initial reaction, ISTM.

  16. 16
    James Hare says:

    Osama bin Laden declared himself outside the normal rules of society. I certainly hope we’re never faced with the moral quandary of whether it is okay to kill mass murderers again.

  17. 17
    Guster says:

    @MikeJ: Hadn’t read that. Very nice. I’m still a hypocrite, because I hardly even care that the killing was legal, but I’m pleased to see that it was.

  18. 18
    RosiesDad says:

    Sure, in my ideal world he’d be brought back to the US, tried, and then imprisoned for the rest of his life.

    In my ideal world, his head is on a spike in front of the site of the former WTC.

    I am, like you, stridently anti-death penalty (I would have been happier to see McVeigh have to spend the rest of his life in the SuperMax with his buddy Nichols) and believe that we have a judicial system that should be able to deal with most things in a transparent, fair way. But this SOB earned the right to die without the benefit of due process. And I don’t feel hypocritical or guilty about feeling the way I do.

  19. 19
    Joe Beese says:

    I’m the hypocrite here.

    That’s not breaking news to some of us, Mr. Cole.

    However, don’t feel bad. It’s par for the course for Obama supporters.

  20. 20
    AliceBlue says:

    I guess I fall into the hypocrite camp too. I’m not fretting over the legality of the Osama operation. Nor did I lose any sleep when Timothy McVeigh was executed, even though I’m anti-death penalty.

    As for Greenwald, I fully expect him to go full throttle birther any day now.

  21. 21
    cleek says:

    if you want to be despised, put your principles above all else, and be sure to tell the world every time something violates them, as something will. the world doesn’t give a fuck about your principles, and neither does anybody else. so when something good in the world happens and your reaction is to moan about your principles, some people are going to want to drop a big bucket of STFU on your head.

    in principle.

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    @different church-lady: The problem is that he gives no indication of giving a shit that OBL was a monster.

    I find this statement utterly baffling.

  23. 23
    Tuffy says:

    John, you summed it up perfectly. You are an adorable American everyman.

  24. 24
    Fred says:

    If you are so concerned about Bin Laden not given fair treatment (wtf??) in a firefight why don’t you read comments from Seals and former Seals included some former Team 6 guys.

    Why do you care what Greenwald has to say on this??? What the fuck does he know about anything much less commando operations!

    Imagine it’s dark, there is gunfire all around and bad guys who would not hesitate to kill an American or blow themselves up. You are in a multi level compound. Probably wearing night vision. You storm into a dark room (after having been shot at) and a screaming woman runs towards you so you shoot her in the leg. A very tall lanky figure starts moving quickly towards a rifle (ak47?) sitting on the ground (yes, there was a gun near him…just not in his hands at the time).

    The Seal guys all said that it all fits and that a tattoo on his forehead was entirely the right thing to do in that situation.

    He could have been wearing a suicide vest that would have spoiled everyones day. You just don’t know so unless he immediately freezes with hands in the air in that situation in that environment….you shoot first and ask questions later.

    GET IT!

  25. 25
    Keith says:

    Amen, JC, amen.

  26. 26
    Lynn Dee says:

    I feel the same about being a hypocrite about OBL’s exit from the planet. And if I’m a hypocrite in being glad he’s gone, I’m okay with that. I’ve even thought, If this were closer in time to 9/11, I might’ve wanted to hear from the guy. But anymore, I didn’t want even that.

    I get it that GG is simply sticking by his principles, and that’s fine. The only thing I really have a problem with that he wrote — and digby wrote something similar yesterday, but I can’t seem to find it anymore — is that the changing details from the W.H. are suspicious and remind him of the Bush W.H.’s performance in connection with Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch.

    But come on: As I recall, the Bush W.H. decided fairly early on what their story on those two incidents would be, and they stuck with it for a LOOOOONNNGGGG time before the truth came out. What we have here, it seems to me, is simply the inevitably changing understanding of what happened as the debriefing of participants continues. It’s like after a bank robbery — not everyone who was there “saw” the same thing. You gotta debrief everyone — and collect other info as well (like whether OBL’s wife died) — before you can say with any certainty what happened.

    If the W.H. here made a mistake, it was in letting out details before there was sufficient certainty about them — and they certainly seem to have tried to correct those details as soon as they knew they were incorrect.

    It’s just not the same thing. (And digby, at least, as a military brat — I think — should’ve known that.)

  27. 27
    wonkie says:

    I’m a hypocrit too o this issue. I am also a bad Buddhist since I am ejoying the demise of Bin Laden all too much. BUT my enjoyment isn’t about his death–its the discomfort o the right that gives me pleasure. A friend gave me a bumper sticker which I am now proudly displaying. It has a picute of Obama ad says “If he is ot your President, then you are not an American.”

  28. 28
    Jazz Superluminar says:

    @Ghanamina Atriedes

    I think it is subliminated sexual jealousy.

    that is definitely completely different from your own interests in certain bloggers.

  29. 29
    Zifnab says:

    @different church-lady:

    He behaves as though principles exist in a vacuum.

    They do. That’s what makes them principles instead of emotions.

    I mean, take the case of Cameron Todd Willingham.
    http://www.newyorker.com/repor.....fact_grann

    On its face, the guy was a monster. He burned his two kids alive in a deliberate arson and all the (so-called) experts said so. He had a criminal record. He was a bad guy.

    But after a hasty trial, private investigators started discovering a different story. His is a classic case of the state executing first and asking questions never, and that was WITHIN the criminal justice system.

    Yes, Willingham isn’t Bin Laden. But what about all the taxi drivers and tribal chiefs and wedding parties that regularly get bombed or shot up by military COIN ops and anti-terrorist task forces? Again, it’s a dangerous precedent to set when a President can just order people dead end of story.

  30. 30
    joeyess says:

    @Ghanima Atreides

    : Like all libertarians and other crypto-conservatives, Greenwald harbors a secret hatred of Obama.

    I’m sorry, but that is just nonsense. I’m fairly certain that you thought Greewald was just fine when he was asking these same questions about Bush. I’d wager that, while maybe never referring to him as such, you did smile as people around the blogosphere were calling him “Glennzilla”.

    Cole? Do you just post these to start flame wars? Is this some kind of latent pyromania on your part? That’s right, stir the pot and watch it boil.

  31. 31
    different church-lady says:

    @WereBear: In what sense? (Not to be Palin about this — honest inquiry)

  32. 32
    Fred says:

    @Zifnab: Yawwwnnnn…the peanut gallery speaks.

  33. 33
    WereBear says:

    Ya know, when the Dalai Lama signs off on an moral action, I’m totally okay with it.

    Anyone wants to set themselves above the Dalai Lama, be my guest.

    What this reminds me of is the heartrending emails I get from people saying they can’t get over “murdering their pet” and it turns out the pet was terminal and they put them to sleep to keep them from suffering.

    This is a humane act. It’s their literal thinking that is torturing them.

    We need some moral education in this country. We need it badly.

  34. 34
    John Cole says:

    @Fred: You are missing the point completely. I don’t care one way or another if it was or was not legal.

  35. 35
    Captain Howdy says:

    Not to be an unctuous twat about it, but some of us were uncomfortable with all the death-cheering from jump.

    Okay that was being an unctuous twat. Fuck it.

    Re I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that a primitive part of me was sort of sad he didn’t experience any pain. :

    Jonah Leher explained some of the brain science behind the joy of vengeance here:
    http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-mar.....e-science/

    “According to the data, when men (but not women) watched a defector get punished, they showed additional activation in reward-related areas of the brain, such as the ventral striatum and nucleus accumbens. These are essential elements of the dopamine reward pathway, that same highway of nerves that also gets titillated by sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. Apparently, we are engineered to get pleasure from punishing those who deserve to be punished.”

  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    Am I the only non-hypocrite here? I too wondered if it was legal, determined it was, and went on being happy.

  37. 37
    Sasha says:

    In the spirit of C.S. Lewis’ comment about forgiving (“If we want to start to forgive, we’d better begin with something easier than the Gestapo.”), may I suggest something similar concerning extralegal killing and Bin Laden?

    (And, no, this has no parallel with accused terrorists and torture. That should also be made very clear.)

  38. 38
    bupalos says:

    It’s only hypocrisy if in your view the law should be followed everywhere always no matter what without exception. Maybe that’s a “noble” position, but it’s also stupid and counterproductive of human happiness. When you murder thousands upon thousands of victims, you are simply outside of all the laws of man, no matter what the pieces of paper the law is written on say.

    There are exceptions. There just are, and it’s not hypocrisy. An adherence to principle that goes so far as to suggest this was “wrong,” or that it’s wrong to derive pleasure from something that is so right for everyone involved– including Bin Laden, including his children, including all creatures on this earth? Why would that be a good thing? If it’s right to celebrate the sudden remission of cancer in a child, it’s right to celebrate this.

  39. 39
    Maude says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    If it was to be assasination, a sniper would have been used.

  40. 40
    LM says:

    Pakistan, like all of us here, heard Obama repeatedly say he would enter their country to kill bin Laden if he learned bin Laden was there. Obviously Obama did not trust Pakistan to keep silent about the operation, and put the lives of the Seals and importance of the mission above informing them. But Pakistan’s alliance with us and acceptance of money from us was very much under those auspices.

    Further, bin Laden declared himself at war with us, and under UN Security Council Resolution 1368, the operation was legal. Afterward, the UN issued a statement giving the operation its blessing.

    What Greenwald has done is build a lawyerly case shading selected “facts.” His default position is nearly invariably to build this kind of case against whatever the Obama administration does. Many believe that opposition equals truth-telling, and sometimes it does. But I have come to believe after checking Greenwald’s articles over the last two years, that he opposes from an emotional position and that his cases against are just lawyerly case-building (yes, I’m a lawyer). He selects what buttresses his position and twists what doesn’t even when the latter is overwhelmingly valid and the former is shaded nit-picking. Many great bloggers go to great lengths to detail this after each of Greenwald’s anti-administration “briefs.”

    On the other hand, Greenwald has many friends. I find that their takes often ignore important facts while taking a rose-colored glasses view of Greenwald’s analysis and motives.

    Further, I am sick of knowing in advance that he will hand Republicans a fresh set of talking points so they can claim even “progressives” agree with them.

  41. 41
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jazz Superluminar: umm….do you really want to go there? Back to the “Freed” market and the Freemarket Fantasy Forest?
    Because we can.
    If you like.
    @joeyess: okfine, lets do proof by contrapositive. Name one libertarian that doesnt concern troll Obama.

  42. 42
    Dave says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think this is a case of “extra-judicial killing.” You have a man who leads a global terrorist organization who says himself he is at war with the US. The US sends DEVGRU to take him. It only become “extra-judicial” if OBL clearly tried to surrender and they killed him anyway. I haven’t seen anything that supports that scenario.

  43. 43
    Aneece says:

    @Fred: Well said, Fred.

    Why this isn’t the default assumption, where the onus is on the pearl clutchers to refute or rebut, is beyond me. Read what Fred wrote! Tell me why he’s wrong!

    What the heck am I missing here?

  44. 44
    dollared says:

    What John said. Now, on to Henry Kissinger, Elliot Abrams, John Negroponte (for that matter, Nicholas Negroponte for his crimes against good taste and decency), John Poindexter, and Douglas Feith.

    Actually, if the standard is killing “thousands,” the list starts to get really long. Erik Prince? Each commanding officer of the School of the Americas? The CEO of Shell Oil for the hellhole that is the Niger Delta? Dick Cheney? Donald Rumsfeld? William Westmoreland?

  45. 45
    WereBear says:

    @different church-lady: Were you speaking of President Obama? If so, what makes you think he does not regard OBL as a monster?

  46. 46
    DBrown says:

    This is insane – no one is a hypocrite about Bin Laden’s death since the mission was legal – the UN gave direct legal permission for the US to defend itself relative to this criminal. Next, the man was a mass murderer who clearly and constatntly stated he wanted to kill all Americans – children included – at any cost and by any means.

    The SEALs after fighting and killing his lone (as it turned out but they could never have known this) gurad, under extreme threat of time due to the host country sending forces of its own that could lead to all out war, the SEALs had no choice but to act quickly and since they did not know who else was armed or had access to weapons/explosives they would have to act on any threat.

    Comming upon any adult males who were not down on their faces would indicate that this person was a threat and had to be shot on sight.

    If Bin Laden wanted to surrender his course was plain – lay down on the ground face downward and wait for the forces to arrest him. As a know mass murderer who had access to any number of deadly weapons it was his sole responsiblity to make capture safe for American units.

    The mistakes were all Bin Laden’s so his death was by his own doing. Please, this whole argument is total bullshit.

  47. 47
    cursorial says:

    I’m in the same boat. It doesn’t bother me whether Osama was shot in a firefight, gun in hand behind a human shield, or was shot trying to surrender, or really anywhere in between those two scenes. It bothers me that it doesn’t bother me, but there it is.

    This is what I find so bewildering about the rightwing pro-torture arguments. If there really was a ridiculous ticking time-bomb scenario, and people involved resorted to illegal torture in the moment, who’s going to blame them? We collectively make the rules, and we can collectively decide when situations arise in which those rules don’t apply. It doesn’t seem like we need to construct a policy around singular events. Osama bin Laden’s dead, and we can acknowledge that’s a good thing without endorsing covert assassination as a habitual practice.

  48. 48
    aimai says:

    @WereBear:

    I’m with werebear, though I salute you, John, as truly the last honest man (and I mean that). I am not now, and never have been, opposed to the deaths (targeted or otherwise) of my personal enemies or the declared enemies of my countrymen and of everyone not of their party. OBL was a danger to everyone: American Citizens, ordinary Muslims not interested in a theocratic state, future girl babies who ought not to have to grow up under Wahabi style islam. I see no more reason to worry about the legality of his assasination than I do about the illegality of his bombing the Trade Center. We are long past legal/illegal when dealing with stateless brigandage.

    aimai

  49. 49
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Glenn is a civil libertarian, he cares deeply about extrajudicial killings, about targeted assassination, about government secrecy and cover-ups. He’s not being some sort of hypocrite asking about those things, even though Osama was an absolute monster. He’s just sticking to his principles.

    This is where I call bullshit. Bullshit! Glennzilla is smart enough to know that there are shades of grey and though he may be adamantly opposed whatever he’s sp principally opposed to there are those special cases like Timothy McVeigh and Osama Bin Laden that should cause him pause before he cranks up the righteousness.

    I mean, come on, really? The U.S. government can’t kill Bin Laden? Seriously? The U.S. has given Pakistan $20B to help keep terrorism in check and they’re protecting the single most recognizable terrorist in the world and they should just let it go? Criminy.

    At best it’s just intellectual masturbation. At worst, it’s a great excuse for hippy punching.

  50. 50
    Muley Graves says:

    And I’d be also willing to bet that is where most of you all are- this may or may not have been legal, but you don’t give a shit, because that scumbag is at the bottom of an ocean somewhere and got what he deserved.

    Exactly.

    There are some people who, through their actions, forfeit their right to live.

    The problem is…who decides that? We have several systems in place for doing just that, but in this case the one that most of us are accustomed to using was not used – rather, another one was, one that we are not familiar with, not comfortable with, and that has been abused in the past.

    I’m OK with Glenn asking the questions, but I don’t really give a shit about him asking the questions or what conclusions he derives from them. I, like John, am more than OK with the end result. Had I been Obama, I would have ordered precisely the same course of action. Unlike Obama, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

    Which makes me a hypocrite as well.

    I’m OK with that. This time.

  51. 51
    Emma says:

    LM: I was trying to put my own thoughts in order when I came across yours. May I co-sign? You have said it much better than I could have.

    And I never celebrated bin Laden’s death. I just felt relieved.

  52. 52
    aimai says:

    @different church-lady:

    I think what different church-lady means is that if Glenn isn’t foaming at the mouth and waving a foam finger to boot he’s objectively pro OBL. That’s absurd. And obscene.

    aimai

  53. 53
    ABL says:

    One of the things I found interesting about the inevitable flame post yesterday (inevitable because I quoted Greenwald), is the number of people who are mad that Glenn would ask basic questions like “Was this legal? Was this an assassination? Why are these stories not adding up?”

    it’s not that he would ask those basic questions. i think many folks have asked these basic questions — either or aloud or internally. it’s that he’s so goddamn self-righteous and dooshy about it, purporting to know what’s in the hearts of Team Glad He’s Dead, just like he purports to know what’s in Obama’s heart when he claims that Obama doesn’t want to take this or that course of action.

    In a word, he’s a jerk. Also, he’s intellectually dishonest and flat-out makes shit up.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Maude: I didn’t say they conducted an assassination. I said they conducted and operation in which Osama got killed. Different things.

    FWIW I have not yet seen any convincing legal arguments that this action was contrary to US law, international law, or the law of war.

  55. 55
    Auguste says:

    This dovetails into the same thing I used to say to the “Jack Bauer scenario”, where conservatives desperately wanted pre-existing permission to break the laws of man and god* so that they could jab a knife point into some swarthy person’s uvula without even a moment of after-the-fact reflection.

    My answer was always “if you ever run into a true Jack Bauer scenario, we both know you’ll do what you have to in order to stop the bomb. And you know what? People will forgive you, because you did what you had to do. If it’s that important, it’s not going to matter whether you had pre-existing permission or not.” Principles, for most people, DO go out the window in a situation like that or this. It’s the trying to pretend they didn’t go out the window that separates a raving wingnut from a decent person who recognizes their own hypocrisy.

    * Rhetorical flourish, not religious fervor.

  56. 56
    different church-lady says:

    @joeyess:

    I’m fairly certain that you thought Greewald was just fine when he was asking these same questions about Bush. I’d wager that, while maybe never referring to him as such, you did smile as people around the blogosphere were calling him “Glennzilla”.

    You have a point there — I fit your description. Although I never considered him a “hero” the way some other citizens of Left-Blogistan did, and hardly read him at all, it did seem nice we had 500 lb pit bull on our team.

    But today I actually read him more often. And as a result my thoughts are, “Wait, if he’s writing steaming piles of horse manure today, what if everything he wrote about the Bush administration was also steaming piles of horse manure?”

    Disturbing thought.

    At this point I become immediately distrustful of any writer the left elevates.

  57. 57
    dollared says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This. The rest of that shit from Fred Hiatt is to protect the Mossad.

  58. 58
    different church-lady says:

    @aimai: That’s not even close to what I mean.

  59. 59

    Yep, it was an assassination, so what. I feel real terrible about Obama breaking the rules.

    Not.

  60. 60
    WereBear says:

    @aimai: Ah. Well, glad I didn’t get it!

  61. 61
    joeyess says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    okfine, lets do proof by contrpositive. Name one libertarian that doesnt concern troll Obama.

    I’ll play.

    But instead, let’s name one that criticized Bush.

    I’ll pick Greenwald. Now it’s your turn.

    And when you answer, we’ll be totally off of the point I made to you. Admit it, you liked Greenwald in the years of ’01 thur ’09. It’s ok to admit it. I liked him then. I like him now. There’s a difference between a “Libertarian” and a “civil libertarian”.

    Just sayin’.

  62. 62
    Tsulagi says:

    in my ideal world he’d be brought back to the US, tried, and then imprisoned for the rest of his life.

    Yeah, would’ve liked to have seen him tried in NYC. Would’ve been a circus. Then imprisoned for an appropriate amount of time before his execution. I’m okay with the death penalty in some cases.

    I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that a primitive part of me was sort of sad he didn’t experience any pain.

    Yeah also too, that would have been a bonus. But I get sufficient satisfaction that the last thing he saw was a US uniform. And that for at least a few minutes he knew his day wasn’t going to end well.

  63. 63
    Jay says:

    “a double tap to the skull”

    A double tap. The phrase made me laugh. What kind of slang is that?

    When I think of the bin Laden operation in relation to torture, I’m okay with the assassination. In my view, torture is worse for the simple reason that it is about people who are already under our control. OBL had been running from us for years and bombing his compound only would’ve increased the number of casualties, while raising even more doubts about his death and looking like a Wag The Dog stunt to President Obama’s critics.

    (edited)

  64. 64
    ramiah ariya says:

    Can you now start prosecuting Bush? Since there is a lot of righteous anger going around

  65. 65
    different church-lady says:

    @WereBear: Sorry, no, no, I was speaking of Greenwald. Apologies for the antecedent dysfunction.

  66. 66
    WereBear says:

    @different church-lady: Maybe so, but since you didn’t explain what you did mean right after, it must not be important and I no longer care!

  67. 67
    Chris Wolf says:

    Can Bush’s “dead or alive” proclamation be viewed as a signing statement?

  68. 68
    FlipYrWhig says:

    When I found out that Osama bin Laden was dead, the first thing I thought was, “It _sounds_ like good news, but what are the implications for Glenn Greenwald’s precious principles?”

  69. 69
    Roger Moore says:

    @different church-lady:

    The problem isn’t that he’s asking the questions. The problem is that he gives no indication of giving a shit that OBL was a monster.

    No, the problem is that he isn’t listening to answers he doesn’t like. When you stop listening to rational responses to your question you step over the line of asking questions and into the area of advocating positions. If somebody can provide good answers to your questions and you ignore them, you’re now blindly advocating a wrongheaded position.

  70. 70
    Muley Graves says:

    @Fred: Your ‘roided-up, hyper-macho, keyboard kommando fever dreams of what Navy SEALS go through under operational conditions (and you know nothing about it, having never served in a special ops team) grievously undermines what would otherwise be an extremely good point: the fog of war makes it inevitable that people will get shot in circumstances where they otherwise might not be.

    Lose the attitude. People will be more inclined to listen when you’re not acting like an asshole.

  71. 71
    different church-lady says:

    @Zifnab: I’m not making a case against principles or having them. I’m making a case against writing about the world as though your own principles are the only functional concerns in that world.

    PS: in other words, what FlipYrWhig said at 65.

  72. 72
    joeyess says:

    @different church-lady:

    At this point I become immediately distrustful of any writer the left elevates.

    well, you have me there. But I have to take issue with this:

    “Wait, if he’s writing steaming piles of horse manure today, what if everything he wrote about the Bush administration was also steaming piles of horse manure?”

    He may be writing steaming piles of horses manure now, but he was writing about a steaming pile of horse manure then.

  73. 73
    Asshole says:

    @Zifnab:

    If Julian Assange starts commanding paramilitary groups that engage in war crimes and military operations against the United States, I hope we DO kill his ass. And what’s more, I think that killing would be perfectly legal under customary international law and the Geneva Conventions.

  74. 74
    Lynn Dee says:

    @Muley Graves: Well put. One point I’d disagree on, though: If Obama “lost sleep” over the decision I would guess it had to do with whether it was the right decision in terms of risk to the men he was sending in, whether the operation would blow up and jeopardize all kinds of other foreign policy interests, etc. I don’t get the sense he was stewing over whether it was “legal.”

  75. 75
    The Other Chuck says:

    I don’t think it’s hypocrisy: Bin Laden prosecuted a war, and we responded in kind. While I realize that this can be a blanket excuse for virtually any extrajudicial killing of an accused terrorist, I’m willing to admit a different standard for the self-declared instigators of said war.

    As to the morality of joining such a war when declared, that is a whole other question. On balance, I’m fine with the way this concluded; a blind and rigid morality does not have any better outcome than one that admits to the occasional relativism.

  76. 76
    Maude says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I know you didn’t. I was adding to what you said.
    The nonsense about a kill mission is stupid.
    Now it’s, is it legal.
    Next, it will be something else.
    Anything to take away the credit from Obama.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Muley Graves: Fred will now accuse you of being libertarian curious.

  78. 78
    DaddyJ says:

    I do have qualms about what seems to be a state-sanctioned assassination, and I am sorry that the world will not witness OBL’s victims confronting him in court, but my qualms are checked by this: I have zero doubt that a captured OBL would have been a motivating force for more kidnappings, bombings and murder. I guess if you are going to preach to your minions the that no act of violence is off limits, then you close the door to the Slobodan Milošević treatment.

  79. 79
    MikeJ says:

    He’s not being some sort of hypocrite asking about those things, even though Osama was an absolute monster.

    He is however being dishonest if he argues that there’s any reason at all to believe the questions haven’t been answered.

    Asking questions is always fine. Scientists have asked questions about global warming. They did the studies and, found out it exists, and now there aren’t any credible people who deny its existence.

    The questions have already been asked and answered.

  80. 80
    dollared says:

    JC, it takes a minute or two, but you gotta ask: Why is Fred Hiatt creating a legal issue strawman and then knocking it down to support Barack Obama? That’s a lotta work to write a love note to somebody who you don’t really like.

    So can you think of *another* country that uses roving death squads, one that tends to write editorials that Fred prints without reading or editing?

    Just a thought….

  81. 81
    Tractarian says:

    John, you are NOT being a hypocrite here. The only coherent “principle” we’re talking about here is the Rule of Law. And your emotional reaction to bin Laden’s killing happens to match up exactly with the law:

    You are AGAINST extra-judicial killings when they are illegal.

    You are OK with extra-judicial killings when they are legal.

    The OBL killing, like the premeditated killing of a Nazi officer eating lunch in a Paris cafe, is obviously a legal extra-judicial killing.

    The subtext behind Greenwald’s concern-mongering is that he thinks extra-judicial killings should never be legal – that is to say, war is never legal. That is just pie-in-the-sky fantasy bullshit that even the most bleeding-heart hippy would be embarrassed to believe.

  82. 82
    DZ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am an out and out pacifist. I oppose all war for all reasons, and I went to jail in 1969 instead of joining the military.

    That said, pacifists are not opposed to all killing for all reasons.To most pacifist, although not all to be sure, force, including lethal force, is acceptable in self-defense in non-military situations or in defense of one’s family. I have killed in defense of my wife. A guy shot my wife, and he was preparing to fire again. I rushed him, he shot me in the shoulder, and then I hit him hard. He went over the side of the bridge that we were on and hit the concrete 60 feet below. He died.

    Given the same circumstance, I would do it again, but the fact of having killed someone, even in that circumstance, has bothered me for 29 years.

  83. 83
    PIGL says:

    @Fred: you know what? Fuck you and your name calling. For one thing, it’ not fucking concern trolling, because it’s his fucking blog, so go pound sand.

    If possible to express reservations about the treatment of enemies, the assumption of the executive power to assassinate, the rabid cheering of an enemy executed possibly in cold blood; it’s possible to wish for a better solution such as capture and trial. This is not concern trolling, it’s a consistent ethical position. You on gthe other handé….when the Russian commandos come for your grandmother, you will have no leg to stand on.

  84. 84
    Trakker says:

    Thanks for putting into words exactly what I’ve been thinking. I’m human, I’m flawed. I get dirty pleasure from seeing pious, holier-than-thou Christians get caught doing the nasty shit they preach against. How compassionate is that? I’m also not a bit upset that Saddam and Osama are rotting corpses right now.

    But I’m damn thankful Glenn Greenwald continues to ask the hard questions and for making me feel bad for feeling good about the way Osama was taken out. If only religious leaders would ask the same hard questions.

  85. 85
    Daveboy says:

    Only a total asshole tries to portray someone sticking to a completely accepted moral principle as some kind of wilting violet.

    Wanting consistent justice for everyone and reminding people that an assassination is not a just act is somehow beyond the pale now? Fuck you if you think this.

  86. 86

    I know I’m being a hypocrite, and like Jonathon Capehart, I am ok with it in this case. I’ll promise to do a better job sticking to my principles and caring about the law when it comes to someone who hasn’t murdered thousands of people. I swear.

    That’s why I can’t quit you.

  87. 87
    different church-lady says:

    @WereBear:

    Anyone wants to set themselves above the Dalai Lama, be my guest.

    Maybe this premature, but I’m smelling New Balloon Juice Meme here.

  88. 88
    Brachiator says:

    @Zifnab:

    What happens if the Chinese land a few commandos within firing range of the Dalai Lama?

    This one’s easy. The official position of a significant portion of the Balloon Juice neo-isolationist commentariat is that what other nations do ain’t our business. And the Dalai Lama case is hypothetical. Anyone have an opinion on an actual case of human rights violation in China, from April 4 of this year?

    As China presses on with its harshest crackdown in years, one of its most famous artists has been blocked from leaving the country. Artist Ai Weiwei is best-known for helping design Beijing’s Olympic stadium, known as the Birds Nest. He was taken into detention at Beijing airport yesterday morning, as he tried to travel to Hong Kong – and onto to Taipei – and has not been heard from since, the highest profile victim yet of Beijing’s latest clampdown.
    __
    Ai Weiwei’s fans consider him a god – they even call him “Ai God”. He’s called himself “a brand for liberal thinking and individualism”. His art has long been overtly political. But after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, it took on a new urgency. He organized a campaign listing the names of students who died when shoddy schools collapsed. On one of his many trips to the quake zone, he was badly beaten by police in the Sichuan capital, Chengdu, causing a head injury, which later required brain surgery in Germany.

    Did Greenwald write about this case?

    An interesting implication here is that international law is meaningless. There is only what nations do. So much for “principles.”

  89. 89
    Lawnguylander says:

    If by principles you mean his business model, then yes, Greenwald is sticking to his principles. He knows how the new media pundit game works and so do you. And if you’re going to declare yourself and others hypocrites for thinking that it was OK to kill Bin Laden, why not show what principle was actually violated here? In what sense was this illegal? You didn’t make a real case, just declared yourself and everyone else guilty. Just throwing the words “extra judicial killing,” etc. into a post proves nothing.

  90. 90
    cckids says:

    @Joe Beese:

    That’s not breaking news to some of us, Mr. Cole.

    However, don’t feel bad. It’s par for the course for Obama supporters.

    You become tiresome. “Paging Mr. Beese. . . your boat for Utopia is leaving the dock.”

  91. 91
    jeff says:

    @WereBear:

    Yep.

  92. 92
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Zifnab:

    The fundamental problem with the Osama assassination is that now we’ve kicked down yet another door on what a President has precedent to do.

    No.

    That door was kicked down in the Revolution when Continental Army officers under George Washington began to deliberately target British Army officers with rifle-equipped marksmen (as opposed to the Brits being exposed to more-or-less random chances of being hit by a smoothbore musket with almost no accuracy)

    We have had a policy of targeting and killing enemy command elements since the Revolution, and I don’t see that particular military practice ending any time soon.

  93. 93
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    First, I see this as legal: bin Laden coordinated an attack on the US, and the US had the right to enter another nation in order to go after him.

    Second, I’m OK with OBL being killed. Just as I would be OK if they had killed Timothy McVeigh when they tried to arrest him and he had build up a compound and put armed people around to keep him from being arrested. We have had evidence, and his statements, that he coordinated this for years and that he was planning on more occurring. This wasn’t a pull-his-name-out-of-a-hat-and-kill-him operation.

    My only moral absolute is no public member variables. There are times when killing is justified, and rightly we give that responsibility to people who can theoretically inform themselves as much as possible so that they can make the right decision. I’m not morally pure, but I’m also not a hypocrite.

  94. 94
    chopper says:

    if you’re against the death penalty and then some guy gets put to death for brutally murdering your wife and kids and you just didn’t have it in you to push really hard to try to convince the court to give him life in prison instead, you’re a hypocrite too, but i wouldn’t call you out on it.

    while it’s admirable for people to stick with their principles on things no matter what, it’s kinda creepy to see someone who never even considers an exception. it means they’re either crazy orthodox or they don’t live in the real world. or both.

  95. 95
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @joeyess: no ty. that is not my hypoth.
    n/e ways i was raised republican. I didnt read gg during Bush.

    There’s a difference between a “Libertarian” and a “civil libertarian”.

    My hypoth is that ALL libertarians concern troll Obama, both “civil” libertarians and uncivil liberatarians. WTF is a “not-civil” libertarian anyways? A conservative?

    n/e ways, back to you.
    Contrapositive?

  96. 96
    cleek says:

    @different church-lady:

    “Wait, if he’s writing steaming piles of horse manure today, what if everything he wrote about the Bush administration was also steaming piles of horse manure?”

    a lot of it probably was.

    not everything we believe is true, no matter who agrees with us.

  97. 97
    stuckinred says:

    @Daveboy: And fuck you if you think that motherfucker deserved anything but what he got.

  98. 98
    Roger Moore says:

    @Dave:

    It only become “extra-judicial” if OBL clearly tried to surrender and they killed him anyway.

    Even then, it’s possible that the killing was completely legal. If you believe that bin Laden was an enemy combatant, then there’s no requirement to accept his surrender. It’s illegal to give troops “take no prisoners” orders, and it’s illegal to summarily execute a prisoner once you’ve decided to accept his surrender, but the troops on the spot have a legal right to decide that they’re in no position to take prisoners and refuse to do so.

  99. 99
    PIGL says:

    @Fred: you know what? The devil take you and your name calling. For one thing, it’s not concern trolling, because it’s his blog, so go pound sand.

    It is allowable to express reservations about the treatment of enemies, the assumption of the executive power to assassinate, the rabid cheering of an enemy executed possibly in cold blood; it’s possible to wish for a better solution such as capture and trial. This is not concern trolling, it’s a consistent ethical position. You on gthe other handé….when the Russian commandos come for your grandmother, you will have no leg to stand on.

    The nation that razed Falujah should be a damned site more circumspect in their bloodthirsty celebration of vengeance.

    I really hate wordpress. Here’s are the edits for politeness that I tried to make.

  100. 100
    Hungry Joe says:

    I admit to being a hypocrite about this, too, but I assuage my fee-fees by telling myself that since I’m aware of the hypocrisy, that mitigates it. Whatever; in this case, I don’t much care. The SEALS went in, shot the place up, and got the bastard; good for them, and good for us.

    My position on prizefighting is pretty much the same: It’s brutal, it’s barbaric, I believe it should be illegal … except when there’s a really good fight.

  101. 101
    JPL says:

    Legal or not, I wanted him dead.

  102. 102
    celticdragonchick says:

    @MikeJ:

    For many years, soldiers have also been permitted to kill people because of who they are, rather than what they are doing—such people are “status-based targets.” During the Second World War, an American infantryman could shoot an S.S. officer who was eating lunch in a French café without violating the Law of War, so long as he did not actively surrender. The officer’s uniform made it obvious that he was the enemy. In Iraq, the R.O.E. listed about two dozen “designated terrorist organizations,” including Al Qaeda, and, if it can be proved that someone is a member of one of these groups, that person can legally be killed.

    There is no argument that it was illegal or extralegal to kill bin Laden that isn’t silly. You can ask the question, but anybody who doesn’t come up with the answer pretty quickly probably just wants there to be a problem.

    Exactly.

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @DZ: I understand that and I appreciate you explaining your take. I did not mean to imply that a pacificist must necessarily oppose any and all killing. I was merely suggesting that, unless one were utterly opposed to all killings under any circumstances, being okay with the killing of Osama was not necessarily hypocritical.

  104. 104
    Tsulagi says:

    @Zifnab:

    What happens if the Chinese land a few commandos within firing range of the Dalai Lama?

    Speaking of the Dalai Lama, he pretty much said he was okay with the double tap. If it’s okay with the Dalai Lama, it’s okay with me.

  105. 105
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Zifnab:

    But what happens if a group of Navy SEALS zip-lined into Julian Assange’s backyard and double-tapped him through the eye-hole? What happens if the Chinese land a few commandos within firing range of the Dalai Lama?

    It’s easy. Both of these situations are wrong. There is no binary decision on who should be killed, sorry. It requires contemplation and deciding if the evil of killing outweighs the evil of not killing. Just because I allow killing a mass murderer does not mean I am allowing the killing of everyone that breaks a law or looks at someone funny.

    ETA: Don’t construct ticking time bomb scenarios.

  106. 106
    Culture of Truth says:

    I care about the rule of law and extrajudicial killings too, and I think such questions as Glenn posed are worth asking. But just as bad cases make bad law, the discussion of what governments can and cannot properly do should be separated from the specifics of any one incident. That is not to say that the unique circumstances of any particular action should not be taken into account – indeed, once you have laid down broad general principles, there will always be gray areas, exceptions carved out at the margins. That is the nature of the law.

  107. 107
    hilts says:

    Bush feels Obama ignoring ex-president’s role in Osama Bin Laden strike for ‘victory lap’: source
    h/t http://www.nydailynews.com/new....._stri.html

  108. 108
    El Tiburon says:

    @James Hare:

    Osama bin Laden declared himself outside the normal rules of society. I certainly hope we’re never faced with the moral quandary of whether it is okay to kill mass murderers again.

    Some people just don’t get it. And probably never will.

    However you define the death of OBL, the debate is how we see and define ourselves as a nation and as a people. If we reserve the right to kill whomever we define as the boogeyman, then we lose the right to judge others who do the same.

    I know if I was sitting at home and some bomb was dropped on my home and killed my family, I would do my best to exact revenge on those who did it. This is what we are doing in the Middle East on a daily basis. So, are not the mass-murderer? So using this logic, do these people not have the right to kill our leaders?

    As far as Greenwald haters, I figure these people are incapable of complex logic and nuance. They hate for the mere joy of hating.

  109. 109
    stuckinred says:

    @Hungry Joe: They shot up the place while carefully NOT shooting up 20+ people.

  110. 110
    WereBear says:

    @different church-lady: Well, hey, I appreciate it.

    We’ll put our misunderstanding down to the the lack of “clues” we are all used to in a social situation, and are generally completely missing on the Internet.

    It’s one of those things where I sometimes get a glimpse of what people with such social handicaps must go through on a daily basis, face to face.

  111. 111
    JCT says:

    @Jay:

    “a double tap to the skull” A double tap. The phrase made me laugh. What kind of slang is that?

    I had to ask one of the military guys at work this question the other day. It is apparently 2 trigger pulls in quick succession — meant to ensure that the target goes down.

  112. 112
    PIGL says:

    @stuckinred: well I am certainly glad that you and your rage and fury are not the final arbiter of justice in the world.

    The discussion is not about what Bin Ladin deserved. It is about the appropriate behaviour of nations against enemies, perceived or real.

    Think for 10 seconds about what Iraq would be justified in doing to punish the razing of Faluja. Imagine the bombing of the senate, and the siezure and summary execution of the president and the joint chiefs. Then get back to me about exactly how they are different.

  113. 113
    Culture of Truth says:

    People think of the law as an absolute – either something is legal, or it isn’t. But the law often doesn’t work that way, which can make such discussions quite interesting.

  114. 114
    Paul in KY says:

    @different church-lady: I don’t think it is hatred, he’s just really disappointed in him when it comes to civil liberties. For Glenn, civil liberties is the cornerstone of this nation (at least the nation prior to 9/11).

  115. 115
    Martin says:

    @LM: Pakistan apparently has given us blanket permission to conduct limited operations in their country, without requiring specific approval of each mission. I think it’s probably safe to say that there’s a clause in that agreement which says that we can take out OBL at our discretion if found in Pakistan.

  116. 116
    stuckinred says:

    @PIGL: And who the fuck are you?

  117. 117
    Nalbar says:

    These types of discussion always remind me of the same, non ending discussions about the Nuremberg trials and dropping the bomb on Hiroshima (and the ‘destroy all cities’ bombing campaign itself, actually).

    People love to claim principles when the decisions are not theirs. Yet put in the position 99% would make the same decision.

    .

  118. 118
    joeyess says:

    TF is a “not-civil” libertarian anyways? A conservative?
    n/e ways, back to you.
    Contrapositive?

    Ha ha…… I didn’t know what that word was either. And yes, a “not-civil” libertarian is a conservative. Just ask the Fonz.

  119. 119
    cleek says:

    @Daveboy:

    Wanting consistent justice for everyone and reminding people that an assassination is not a just act is somehow beyond the pale now?

    not every killing is an assassination. not every killing of a high profile person is an assassination. not every killing of a high profile person in a targeted raid is an assassination.

  120. 120
    PTirebiter says:

    In this particular instance, I support it. In retrospect, does anyone disagree with the rightness of Lincoln suspending Habeas Corpus or FDR circumventing Congress to arm England?
    That said, we need Greenwalds to remind us that it shouldn’t become unquestioned lest it become commonplace.

  121. 121
    Aneece says:

    I feel like we have two unrelated conversations going on here. One that thinks this was an illegal assassination, and another that thinks this was very, very legal.

    I have yet to see an affirmative case that this WAS illegal. That’s why I think the gratuitous raising of “questions” is, in fact, concern trolling. But my mind is open. I just don’t see why you can assume that we all KNOW this was illegal.

  122. 122
    different church-lady says:

    @LM:

    His default position is nearly invariably to build this kind of case against whatever the Obama administration does. Many believe that opposition equals truth-telling, and sometimes it does. But I have come to believe after checking Greenwald’s articles over the last two years, that he opposes from an emotional position and that his cases against are just lawyerly case-building (yes, I’m a lawyer).

    Oliver Wendell Holmes had him all figured out.

    Holmes had a sort of party trick: he’d challenge someone to name any legal principle and then he would then use that same principle to decide a case both ways.

    Holmes was trying to demonstrate the mechanics of how principles behave in the real world. Greenwald has his own motives.

  123. 123
    TheF79 says:

    What Mikej said. The answer to the “is it legal?” question is pretty straightforward. It’s one thing to ask the question because you’re not sure of the answer (and I think it’s a good question to ask), and it’s another thing to keep asking the question because you don’t like the answer.

    If I were to look for hypocracy, I guess it would be someone who was okay with shooting/bombing Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda-affiliated grunts (i.e. engaging in a war-like footing), but was concerned about shooting an Al Qaeda commander. But I don’t think there are too many people with that view (or at least there aren’t too many who have expressed that view).

  124. 124
    El Tiburon says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    First, I see this as legal: bin Laden coordinated an attack on the US, and the US had the right to enter another nation in order to go after him.

    Are we the only nation who reserves this right? Can another nation, let’s say one who thinks George W. Bush and Dick Cheney deserve the same treatment, can they sneak in and murder them and dump them in the ocean?

    Does this sit well with you?

  125. 125
    Suffern ACE says:

    What happens if the Chinese land a few commandos within firing range of the Dalai Lama?

    OMG. What happens if the government decides it’s finally had enough of World Net Daily and decides to land some commandos by Orly Taitz and Joseph Farah and kill that fucking kid in the pimp suit. It would be Allende all over again.

  126. 126
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    To quote one of Samuel L. Jackson’s finer moments: “You’re damn right I’m glad he’s dead, and I hope he burns in hell!”

    Anyone who refuses to wrap their ‘principled’ argument around the emotional value of taking out an unrepentant mass murderer is trying to sell you something.

  127. 127
    Emma says:

    Brachiator: Are you really, really comparing a man who has opposed a totalitarian government through art and speaking out to Osama bin Laden?

    See, this is where people like you lose me. If this is the kind of rhetorical tactic you use to score points, your views are not worth discussing.

  128. 128
    The Dangerman says:

    Can you imagine a trial of OBL? Shit, we’re how far into KSM’s judicial “procedings”? I don’t know and will likely never know that it was a kill mission; that it ended up being a kill saves a future clusterfuck of the highest order.

    I’m just curious about the two phone numbers OBL would have used in case of the need to run; I’m curious if those at the other end of those numbers might be in the need to run today, too.

  129. 129
    negative 1 says:

    @different church-lady: I agree wholeheartedly. IMHO, there is a strain of libertarianism that substitutes ‘word of God’ with ‘word of law’. There is very little law, esp. in the area we are discussing now, that is not subject to some interpretation. At a fundamental level, however, laws are a reflection of the wills of their respective societies. We think it’s wrong, hence we’ll write it down. When we don’t prosecute action X,Y, or Z, it is essentially declaring “we’ll make an exception in this case.” This is why we have judges and lawyers (i.e. people) involved. Part of the issue with this is the hubris it takes to make such a declaration, i.e. “who is he to decide that”. That fuels a lot of the flame wars in the blogosphere. However, what the ‘let’s be reasonable’ side is saying in this case is “who in the h%ll would be against killing him?” I personally am not, and I am against killing in just about every other scenario that comes to mind. I’ll still sleep easy. I also recognize that there is a compelling argument to be made against what is essentially revenge. But if the only thing that a person has to justify their case is that the proper will of society was not adequately documented to be able to properly categorize a person who is a combatant without being able to be defined as a state; that seems to be the equivalent of arguing in favor of the fine print.

  130. 130
    Fred says:

    @John Cole:

    So now you are resorting to lying?

    If ever there was anything that would increase my doubts about the legality of the mission….

    You ‘don’t care’ so much about the legality you expressed your ‘doubts about the legality’ in the very FIRST sentence of your post. So yea, you must REALLY really ‘not’ care!

  131. 131
    Suffern ACE says:

    @El Tiburon: NOOOO. They can try, but in the end we protect our former heads of state from those attacks, whether we would like them to or not.

  132. 132
    PIGL says:

    @stuckinred: I’m PIGL, the white spruce tree. And you are?

  133. 133
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @joeyess:

    I was surprised to find that Mark Twain is not the source of that quote, it’s Clarence Darrow: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/376197

    Who knew reading webcomics can be educational?

    http://www.dorktower.com/2011/05/02/6024/

  134. 134
    WereBear says:

    @El Tiburon: Are we the only nation who reserves this right? Can another nation, let’s say one who thinks George W. Bush and Dick Cheney deserve the same treatment, can they sneak in and murder them and dump them in the ocean?

    Iran could make a case, honestaGawd.

    And if they floated this issue internationally, and Bush & Cheney’s response to it was “I did it and I’m glad!” and then go hide out in Abu Dhabi, and Iran got permission from Abu Dhabi to go in there…

    I think we have some precedent to figure that at least me and the Dalai Lama would be okay with it.

  135. 135
    Dave says:

    @Fred: It’s called sarcasm, Fred. Look into it.

  136. 136
    El Tiburon says:

    @DBrown:

    The mistakes were all Bin Laden’s so his death was by his own doing. Please, this whole argument is total bullshit.

    Hey, who do you want to kill next? Some say Hugo Chavez is a pain in the ass.

    George W. Bush illegally invaded Iraq and killed thousands if not hundred of thousands of Iraqis, including women and children. Is he fair game?

    How about the next time someone goes into a school or post office and unloads his machine gun we just dispense with all the legal mumbojumbo about trials and evidence and just shoot the motherfuckers?

    Sound like a plan to you?

  137. 137
    Tractarian says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Can another nation, let’s say one who thinks George W. Bush and Dick Cheney deserve the same treatment, can they sneak in and murder them and dump them in the ocean?

    That depends. Did they get a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force against Bush and Cheney?

    If so, yep, it’s legal!

  138. 138
    cleek says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Can another nation, let’s say one who thinks George W. Bush and Dick Cheney deserve the same treatment, can they sneak in and murder them and dump them in the ocean?

    they can try. and if caught, they’d find themselves at war with the US.

    al-Q already is at war with the US (as much as a non-national actor can said to be ‘at war’).

    and no, that’s not to give support to the “War Or Terror” name, or to justify all the things that have been done under the auspices of the “War on Terror”. but, al-Q crossed the “sneak in and murder” line just under ten years ago. they started this, as far as the law is concerned.

  139. 139
    Origuy says:

    At least one AQ operative has surrendered (h/t LGF)

    The Saudi Interior Ministry said today that a senior al Qaeda member on Riyadh’s most-wanted list named Khaled al-Qahtani called from abroad and turned himself in.
    __
    “Interior Ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said in a statement Wednesday that Khaled Hathal Abdullah al-Atifi al-Qahtani contacted the security authorities from an undisclosed country and expressed his wish to come home,” the Associated Press reports.

    No relation to Mohammed al-Qahtani, currently detained at Gitmo.

  140. 140
    stuckinred says:

    @PIGL: The guy calling you out on your sanctimonious bullshit. You have no idea what happened and only a couple of people really do.

  141. 141
    Beulahmo says:

    Greenwald reminds me of every other ideologue I encounter — political and religious. I think being a rigid ideologue doesn’t make you automatically noble and principled. Some people get rigid about ideology because they believe it’s possible to be certain about what’s “right.” But I don’t think that’s good–we’re healthier if we occasionally humbly accept some moral uncertainty about our rules on what’s right. That’s why I really liked Capehart’s personally insightful column.

    So if we’re going to label it hypocrisy–lacking any desire to obsess over the trampling of Osama bin Laden’s civil rights–I’ll embrace it with humility but without shame.

    As for Greenwald, I don’t accept that his criticisms are always motivated by his passion for civil libertarian ideals. I think he’s predisposed to attack, and he pushes ready-made, biased narratives before having command of all the facts. In fact, his repeated inclination to use his platform play out his biases undermines any respect I have for his supposed idealism.

  142. 142
    celticdragonchick says:

    @PIGL:

    Think for 10 seconds about what Iraq would be justified in doing to punish the razing of Faluja. Imagine the bombing of the senate, and the siezure and summary execution of the president and the joint chiefs. Then get back to me about exactly how they are different.

    What the fuck??

    Falujah was razed because the city had been booby trapped and fortified beyond belief (a bit like Grozny in the Chechnyan War)

    Jihadists had declared the city to be under their rule and butchered religious opponents at will(I came across some hideous accounts of torture rooms in some of the houses we found…complete with pictures of men and women with eyes burned out by soldering irons and burn marks from blow torches).

    After we warned we were coming in, civilians (and many of the jihadists…)had ample opportunity to leave. When we came in, only the die hard fanatics were left. Telephone poles were rigged with explosives. Aviation 1000 lb bombs were buried in the streets. Houses were fortified and then wired to blow upon command.

    It was nasty, house to house fighting like the nightmare shit you read about in Stalingrad…along with the suicidal wackos.

    Falujah was wrecked because that is what the jihadis wanted. They wanted the city to be laid waste, and they made sure they forced us into it.

    By all means though, keep rodgering the Magical Balance Fairy..

  143. 143
    J.W. Hamner says:

    Look, if there was anybody that Congress authorized military force against in the 2001 AUMF it was Osama Bin Laden.

    That anybody can think to argue against this is mind boggling. Greenwald can’t wish away the AUMF with a few more ranty paragraphs. Why doesn’t he mobilize supporters to revisit it, instead of continuing to pretend it doesn’t exist?

  144. 144
    stuckinred says:

    @El Tiburon: Yea, those are exactly the same aren’t they?

  145. 145
    El Cid says:

    You don’t have to be a particular known commentator to be curious about basic questions on a variety of matters.

    Such as the “legality” of one or another operation, particularly given circumstances in which it’s hard to tell if any jurisdiction has any control whatsoever.

    If people want to treat any such questioning as the domain of one or another person they like or don’t like, well, fuck ’em.

  146. 146
    WereBear says:

    @Origuy: I actually predicted this, just from my Law & Order viewing.

    First one in gets the best deal.

  147. 147
    gwangung says:

    @Tractarian:

    You are AGAINST extra-judicial killings when they are illegal.
    __
    You are OK with extra-judicial killings when they are legal.
    __
    The OBL killing, like the premeditated killing of a Nazi officer eating lunch in a Paris cafe, is obviously a legal extra-judicial killing.

    I think that clarifies things for me. And I think it’s a useful, cogent addition to the discussion.

  148. 148
    Hungry Joe says:

    @stuckinred #103

    Right you are.

  149. 149
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Are we the only nation who reserves this right? Can another nation, let’s say one who thinks George W. Bush and Dick Cheney deserve the same treatment, can they sneak in and murder them and dump them in the ocean?
    Does this sit well with you?

    Is this hypothetical country at war with us?

    If so, they would be stupid to not try and kill our leadership, just as we would probably be trying to kill or incapacitate theirs.

    I do not see why this is so difficult for people to understand. This is how wars work.

  150. 150
    El Tiburon says:

    @cleek:

    they can try. and if caught, they’d find themselves at war with the US.

    But what would you think of the entity that did such a thing? Would you think, Geez, what a bunch of fucking lawless pussies. I hope we bomb and kill the shit out of them!

    I mean, are we the only nation who can be so noble and heroic to take such actions? Are we the only ones who can be freedom fighters while everyone else are the terrorists?

  151. 151
    slag says:

    I’m with you and Jonathan Capehart (aside from feeling giddy…I don’t get that) up until this point:

    When questions started being asked about the role enhanced interrogation techniques may have played, I found myself thinking, “I don’t care what was done.”

    I asked myself that same question and answered it just the opposite. Torture is always a bridge too far for me. I do care what was done. And if torture had lead up to the killing of Osama Bin Laden (which I don’t believe it did), I would wish we could rewind the clock, not torture, and capture/kill him another way.

    We all have our justifications for why we do the things we do. I can’t think of any justification for torture. Killing a guy who was likely going to die anyway while sparing me the torture of the inevitable media circus…I’m ok with that.

  152. 152
    Rosalita says:

    I think this only coming in to play because Obama got it done. Can you imagine Bushie’s swagger if it had happened on his watch? All the woodies the war hawks would have had over this?

    What does bother was all the supposed information that came out before the SEALs and Deltas were fully debriefed. Should have gotten it out right the first time.

  153. 153
    Beulahmo says:

    @El Tiburon: Don’t go into the “slippery slope” argument. We’re aware of the moral hazards–we’re not buying your posture as somber-adult-talking-to-clueless-children.

  154. 154
    dianne says:

    I thought this should have been the way to go back in 2001 before we went into Iraq or Afghanistan. And I’m a yellow dog Dem all my life. It would have saved thousands of lives and trillions. Call me a hypocrite, too, but ben Laden committed a crime and should have been treated like a criminal all along not a trumped up reason for war. I had heard for years that an intelligence operation would be the way to get him and that’s just what happened.

  155. 155
    El Tiburon says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Is this hypothetical country at war with us?

    Are we at war with Al Queda? Interesting. If so, then why are they “enemy combatants” and Geneva does not apply? Have we formally declared war on Al Queda? Or OBL? Or anyone?

    Can an elite team of ISI agents sneak into the US and kill and dump a body?

  156. 156
    Culture of Truth says:

    This whole question of what other nations may do is interesting. Could another country something similar? Assuredly, they can, and do. Who is to stop them? We don’t have a world government. The SC, a group with permanent members from victors of WWII, plus a series of treaties, come close, but we’re not there yet. Constraints on U.S. actions must either come from a massive unified worldwide force, or, more likely and more effective, from within the U.S. itself.

  157. 157
    joeyess says:

    While we all navel gaze about Greenwald, I think we’re missing the real point of this post: The Fishwrap.

  158. 158
    chopper says:

    @El Tiburon:

    it must be lonely at the top of olympus.

  159. 159
    Beulahmo says:

    @slag: I’m pretty much exactly where you are.

  160. 160
    eemom says:

    maybe there’s something wrong with me. I don’t really give a shit about ANY of this. I’m glad the mofo’s dead if his death does any good to the world, but that’s about it.

    From an abstract legal perspective, though, I do find the question of assassination vs. trial kind of interesting. I posted yesterday about the Israeli Supreme Court Justice who presided over the trial of Adolf Eichmann, who coincidentally died on Sunday: proof that even the most heinous criminal can have a fair trial.

  161. 161
    billy rae valentine says:

    @Joe Beese: you’re consistently a low-life.

  162. 162
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But what would you think of the entity that did such a thing? Would you think, Geez, what a bunch of fucking lawless pussies. I hope we bomb and kill the shit out of them!
    I mean, are we the only nation who can be so noble and heroic to take such actions? Are we the only ones who can be freedom fighters while everyone else are the terrorists?

    Again…this is the nature of warfare and asymmetric warfare in particular. The Clautzwitzian rules are obsolete, and non state actors are just as capable of engaging in war as their statist enemies. AQ did try to assassinate elements of our leadership on 9/11, and they reaped exactly what they sowed.

    BTW, as has been mentioned above…it has long been permissible to kill enemy leaders in war simply by fact that they are on the other side, and even if they are not involved in combat operations at that very moment. It is not an extra-legal or illegal assassination.

  163. 163
    joeyess says:

    @dianne:

    And I’m a yellow dog Dem all my life

    I’ve always wondered what that means. And yes, I’m too lazy to google. I would like to know what it means to you.

  164. 164
    Loneoak says:

    I feel like my abundant experience of sitting on my ass playing Modern Warfare qualifies me to question the actions the SEAL team.

    Just as my time spent playing Constitutional Lawyer III—The Reckoning qualifies me to judge whether Obama had the authority to order the assassination of the leader of an extra-national military organization that has mass murdered my co-civilains.

  165. 165
    cleek says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But what would you think of the entity that did such a thing? Would you think, Geez, what a bunch of fucking lawless pussies. I hope we bomb and kill the shit out of them!

    yes. at least that’s what half of my gut thinks. the other half would hope there’s a peaceful way out of it.

    I mean, are we the only nation who can be so noble and heroic to take such actions? Are we the only ones who can be freedom fighters while everyone else are the terrorists?

    i don’t think we’re terrorists. we may have killed a lot of civilians while trying to get the active fighters, possibly illegally. but that’s not terrorism.

    but yes, if there is violence, someone is always going to feel justified in seeking revenge. violence breeds violence. and the winners write the history.

  166. 166
    Martin says:

    @El Tiburon: If we declare war on them as al Qaeda has with us, then yes, they can target our commander in chief.

    Is that somehow a surprising answer to you?

  167. 167
    John Cole says:

    I don’t think this is two different discussions. I’m saying I don’t give a shit if it was legal or not. I think it was and hope it was, but if it wasn’t, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Like I said, I will do a better job with my principles when I don’t have those images of people jumping from the Trade Center to their death to avoid an even worse horror.

    I’m fucking human. I wouldn’t mind the shoe bomber eating it just for making me take my god damned shoes off every time I fly.

  168. 168
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Loneoak: Nope. And you won’t be given the tools necessary to make that evaluation if you come to that decision based on the aimless moral reckonings of a lawyer who has put his thumbs on the scales made up your mind for you.

  169. 169
    different church-lady says:

    @billy rae valentine: Dammit… just when it seemed like he was going to go completely ignored for once…

  170. 170
    aimai says:

    @different church-lady:

    Really? What did you mean? I don’t get why it matters whether Glenn thinks, or says, that OBL was “a monster.” I get that you don’t like Glenn’s absolutist approach. I don’t either and I’ve kind of given up reading him for that reason. But it never crossed my mind to indict him for insufficient hating on OBL. If you didn’t mean it the way I put it what did you mean?

    aimai

  171. 171
    chopper says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    rather, did we declare war on this country for religious reasons, state that we would like to see every man, woman and child in it killed, and then kill thousands in an attack on a blatantly civilian target?

    if bush did that, i’d imagine most people here would have shrugged their shoulders if dudes from that country went after the guy when he was on vacation in mexico or some shit. i’d imagine most of the people here would already have moved to canada anyways.

  172. 172
    beergoggles says:

    Ooh can we be hypocrites with the pope and pat robertson next?

  173. 173
    Brachiator says:

    @Emma:

    Are you really, really comparing a man who has opposed a totalitarian government through art and speaking out to Osama bin Laden?

    Not at all. The thing is, that to some of those people with “high principles,” there is no difference.

    And it was another poster, not I, who offered the following hypothetical:

    What happens if the Chinese land a few commandos within firing range of the Dalai Lama?

    Is this not comparing the Dalai Lama with bin Laden?

    I have no problem with the Navy SEAL mission. And while I would have preferred that bin Laden be brought back to stand trial, I am not excessively bothered by what happened to him. On the other hand, I don’t think much of Greenwald’s “principled” arguments, in this instance or numerous others.

  174. 174
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @celticdragonchick: but CD…wtf were we doing there in the first place?
    We killed 750k muslim civilians in Iraq. There are 4.5 MILLION orphans. We spent a trillion dollars for WHAT?
    Iraqis hate us.
    Maliki just told Mullen to fuck off and DIAF.
    The Iraqis are going to be partners with Iran, and Qom and Karbala will be one.
    And if we dont stop the droning China is going to swallow up Af-Pak.
    Missionaries with guns. And there are no converts.
    ;)

  175. 175
    El Cid says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Are we the only nation who reserves this right? Can another nation, let’s say one who thinks George W. Bush and Dick Cheney deserve the same treatment, can they sneak in and murder them and dump them in the ocean?

    Mostly it’s a question of power than one of preference.

    WRT to Al Qa’ida, though, they did target the Pentagon and were aiming as well for the White House, so they did do that.

  176. 176
    Suffern ACE says:

    @J.W. Hamner: Laws we don’t like should never enter into our analysis and be ignored. It might taint our rantings with uncessary thoughts. We want our readers to feel the law, not actually to understand it.

  177. 177
    Elie says:

    @Trakker:

    I can accept what you say to a point, but what do you do in your mind and spirit, when you remember those people jumping out of the burning towers in utter desperation? What do you do with that? With the pain of their families who many times received nothing, not one fragment to be buried but just the memory of their loved one the last time that they saw them. They were not enemy combatants, but just regular folks, going to work, living their lives.

    OBL murdered these people in support of his principles removed from any context other than his own hatred of the west and the United States culture specifically. Those folks weren’t people to him, just tools to exact the punishment he wanted to meet out.

    I agree with the other Church Lady above, Glenn Greenwald did not even acknowledge the horror and pain of what had been done to his own countrymen! How can you criticize this action without offering some bridge to deal with that injustice? Is he a “turn the other cheek” Christian? Is the reward for such selflessness to be delivered in the other world? It is not adequate to lecture about legality and justice without looking at both sides of something like this.

    Yeah Glenn, go talk to one of the family members of those murdered that day and tell them what you have to offer them.

  178. 178
    Martin says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Are we at war with Al Queda? Interesting. If so, then why are they “enemy combatants” and Geneva does not apply? Have we formally declared war on Al Queda? Or OBL? Or anyone?

    Wars are only declared between nations. You’re arguing against the definition of words. You might as well be ranting that you can’t pour water because you can’t melt it first.

  179. 179
    cleek says:

    @El Tiburon:

    If so, then why are they “enemy combatants”

    the phrase you want is “unlawful combatants”, and they are designated as such because they are not acting as a nation – they are civilians engaging in armed combat.

  180. 180
    freelancer says:

    @joeyess:

    Brings to mind the time-worn quote from one of America’s greatest writers:

    “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure” -Mark Twain

    I love Twain, but this is actually Clarrence Darrow.

  181. 181
    joeyess says:

    okay, why is my last post in mod-hell? what double-secret-probation word for curing wimpy-limpies did I post this time? KeeeeeeRIST!

  182. 182
    Fred says:

    @Muley Graves: You should have kept your righteous mouth shut instead of being made to look like a fool. What I know is what I read from former Seals! Just google it. There are Seal comments all over the place if you look. But instead you spew this Greenwald crap. How pathetic!

  183. 183
    Aneece says:

    @John Cole: Well put, and I can’t disagree.

    I guess it matters to me only in that if it WAS legal, then break out the champagne and NASCAR. If it WASN’T legal, the maybe we should tweak our laws, because it ought to be.

  184. 184
    slag says:

    @Jay in Oregon: That’s ok. I learned that from reading Bad Astronomy. All those nerds apparently share the same reality.

  185. 185
    joeyess says:

    @freelancer: oh my. Sorry. Gastritis broke my google machine. Thought it T’was Twain. I stand corrected.

  186. 186
    kd bart says:

    No different than FDR authorizing the ambushing of Admiral Yamamoto’s plane in 1943.

  187. 187
    eemom says:

    in other corpse-related news, the Telegraph is reporting that the wife of OBL who was shot in the attack is recovering in the hospital, and a battle is brewing over whether Pakistan will allow the US to question her.

    Also that the plan was for the Seals to take her WITH them for questioning, but they couldn’t because of the crashed helicopter: they didn’t have room.

    Would THAT have been legal?

  188. 188
    chopper says:

    @eemom:

    but was eichmann’s kidnapping legal? aw, shit.

  189. 189
    aimai says:

    @El Tiburon:

    This is a weird hypothetical. Elite teams have snuck into this country–look up Ronnie Moffit. The russians poisoned some guy in Great Britain. The ISI was probably behind the Mumbai hotel killings.

    We exist inside notional states that have notional borders. These borders are only as strong as we can enforce. Stateless actors and multi-national actors have the advantage over us that they don’t always have fixed abodes or even fixed assets to be seized, or places to be process served. Individual citizens, refugees, stateless persons rely on a variety of man made laws and negotiations of those laws (even negotiations of their identities under those laws) to get protection from both other states and stateless actions.
    .
    Osama was a stateless brigand–regular laws have never applied to such a person. That’s what the original word outlaw means–someone who stands, or is thrown, outside the law. In pre-state societies such a person didn’t have others to guarantee their behavior, or couldn’t pay the fines and were gilds associated with lawbreaking, and so couldn’t stay within the community. And they generally lost rights of protection from relatives and other community members. They were at the mercy of everyone. We’ve transitioned to a state based system of governance but we still have people who are outside our law. Osama was one such person.

    aimai

  190. 190
    Aneece says:

    @Martin: He is torturing our language, and is a hypocrite for criticizing others.

  191. 191
    Elie says:

    @aimai:

    I think that she meant (sorry, I know that she can speak for herself), that he offered no context of what was lost on our side, not that Glenn did not hate Osama bin Laden enough. Only that Glenn did not offer a complete argument that acknowledged the need for justice on both sides. I make my argument at #177.

  192. 192
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Are we at war with Al Queda? Interesting. If so, then why are they “enemy combatants” and Geneva does not apply? Have we formally declared war on Al Queda? Or OBL? Or anyone?

    All right…

    Are we at war with Al Queda?

    Yes.

    Note the legal opinion is at a .gov site and not a wingnut site.

    Interesting. If so, then why are they “enemy combatants” and Geneva does not apply?

    See the above linked opinion. According to articles of the 3rd Geneva Convention, actual POW status only applies to uniformed fighters following the observed laws of land warfare (among other things…also note that this would mean military contractors from Xe and Triple Canopy cannot claim POW status since they are pseudo mercenaries) Iraqi soldiers were considered to be valid POW’s.

    To the best of my knowledge, this opinion is still in force with the current administration. Also, nothing in this opinion authorizes mistreatment of prisoners or detainees, which is also expressly forbidden in the various Geneva agreements as well as US law. (Yes, I would like to see Bush, Cheney etc hauled before the Hague)

    Have we formally declared war on Al Queda? Or OBL? Or anyone?

    Yes, since our declaration of the commencement of combat operations served as such. In particular, the US Air Force had issued an intelligence opinion that AQ and the Taliban had operationally merged to the point that they were virtually indistinguishable. (Sorry, no link. I wish I had saved the document)

  193. 193
    DZ says:

    Most people think that the assassination of OBL was simple and straight-forward. Remember, however that we assassinated Patrice lumumba in 1960 in the Congo. Oh, yes, he was a moderate communist who disliked the Soviet Union because it was totalitarian, but we killed him anyway and installed Mobutu. In the next 30 or so years, Mobutu murdered more than 2 million people. Not so simple and straight-forward.

  194. 194
    joeyess says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m fucking human. I wouldn’t mind the shoe bomber eating it just for making me take my god damned shoes off every time I fly.

    Ha ha ha……. crotchety cole.

  195. 195
    chopper says:

    @kd bart:

    well, FDR was the world’s greatest monster.

  196. 196
    Jules says:

    I just don’t give a shit.
    I’m glad the bastard is dead and I hope he burns in hell…can’t wait for South Park to do a new ep in hell.
    And yeah, I’m being a hypocrite because I want us to play by the rules, but for once I’m just not going to give a shit.
    I’ve got more important things to deal with so not losing any sleep in my little part of the world…

  197. 197
    PIGL says:

    @celticdragonchick: This is certainly the view that American’s would have, and may even be true although “they made us do it” is not a very convincing response. Let’s just say your view of the history is not what I have read elsewhere.

  198. 198
    MikeJ says:

    @aimai:

    Osama was a stateless brigand—regular laws have never applied to such a person.

    As such perhaps we should look at the anti-piracy laws. It’s always been considered legal to kill pirates. Pirates very, very rarely attacked warships, but warships of all nations attacked pirates, even though they weren’t engaged in piracy at that moment.

  199. 199
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    but CD…wtf were we doing there in the first place?
    We killed 750k muslim civilians in Iraq. There are 4.5 MILLION orphans. We spent a trillion dollars for WHAT?

    We should not have been there (Iraq, that is.).

    My point is that what happened in Falajah was a result of jihadi nililism rather then US bloodlust. I don’t think for a damned minute that anybody really wanted to go into that hellhole.

  200. 200

    […] this, from John Cole at Balloon Juice, on the legality of killing Bin Laden. Yes, I feel exactly like this: I know I’m being a […]

  201. 201
    J Smith says:

    Cole, have you done that thing where you popped off without reading your own FPers? Mistermix (I think) put together a very cogent summary of the legal basis for killing Bin Laden. There’s no gray area here – both the AUMF and Security Council resolutions allowed for his killing. I’m against extrajudicial killings, military tribunals, a presidential hit list, etc., and I question the framework of “always at war, against everyone, all the time” that allows for the willy-nilly designation of enemy combatants.

    Bin Laden is not a close call. He was at war against us, and when you’re at war, you shoot to kill.

  202. 202
    Paul in KY says:

    @joeyess: To me it means I’d vote for a yellow dog before I’d vote for a Republican.

  203. 203

    As I commented over at my friend Mack’s place, had we NOT killed bin Laden, instead captured him and held him somewhere (where? GITMO? The Hague??) it would have been problematic on a number of fronts.

    Of course politically it would have been a nightmare, everything is these days. And when we can’t agree on what to do with/how to try the taxi drivers and other innocents swept up in mass raids and carted off to GITMO, we sure as hell wouldn’t have agreed on what to do with OBL.

    But that’s our problem. Detaining OBL somewhere (where? anywhere?) would have been the world’s problem. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, I remember the Munich Olympics, the airplane hijackings, the taking tourists as hostages on cruise ships as radicals tried to terrorize the world into releasing prisoners. A bin Laden alive, detained somewhere (where?) would trigger all sorts of activity like this by his followers.

    As for whether it was legal, NPR did a thing on this a couple days ago. They concluded that both the Constitution’s clause to “protect and defend … against all enemies foreign and domestic” and the 2001 Congressional resolution authorizing the President to take action against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks covers Obama from a U.S. law point of view. They said from an international point of view there are clauses in the U.N. charter that would cover the action.

    But really I fail to see who would bring a formal complaint? Pakistan is grumbling because they look like assholes who in all likelihood knowingly harbored the world’s most wanted terrorist and fugitive, a stones’ throw from a bunch of retired generals and their military academy. Kinda makes them look a tad complicit.

  204. 204
    stuckinred says:

    Assassination my dying ass. He knew the drill, move one muscle and you are dead. He had a choice.

  205. 205
    joeyess says:

    I have to confess that I don’t read Greenwald that often. His posts are unbearably long and I just don’t have the time. For instance, today I have to take my mother to Union Station in KC today to view Lady Diana’s wedding dress. Fucking Brits.

  206. 206
    Paul in KY says:

    @kd bart: Excellent point. Had forgotten about that.

  207. 207
    Origuy says:

    @aimai:

    The russians poisoned some guy in Great Britain.

    It was actually the Bulgarian secret police, although the KGB probably supplied the ricin pellet. Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in 1978.

    Your point is valid, though. OBL meets the classic definition of an outlaw. His family disowned him, his native country disavowed him, and Pakistan denied any knowledge of his presence.

  208. 208
    MikeJ says:

    @joeyess: You’re going to Union Station to see her train?

  209. 209
    Tsulagi says:

    @John Cole:

    if it was legal or not. I think it was and hope it was

    Firmly believe it was. And that from the options President Obama chose the best course of action.

    It was a gutsy call. Always the possibility the mission could have gone south. If it had, over/under on how many real American patriots would have simultaneously put full blame on Obama while creaming in their pants?

  210. 210
    Montysano says:

    In the real world, when The Man With The Gun (be it a cop or a soldier) says “Freeze!”, and you don’t freeze, you get shot. More over, the SEAL team was apparently on the ground for some time, so OBL probably had an opportunity to surrender. He didn’t.

    If that makes me a hypocrite, I can live with it.

    Above all, I’m in awe of the men who had a) the courage to undertake such a mission, and b) the skill to pull it off.

  211. 211
    eemom says:

    @chopper:

    ah, good question. Apparently at the time Israel got a lot of flak over it — and not just the kidnapping, but whether Israel had jurisdiction to try Eichmann for crimes committed in other countries at a time when Israel itself didn’t exist.

    The Israeli Supreme Court determined that it did have jurisdiction: the decision said something to the effect of, to say the Jewish state doesn’t have the right to do this is like cutting off the roots and branches of a tree and telling the tree trunk “we have not hurt you.”

    I don’t know about that, but I do think the entire concept of “rule of law” kind of breaks down if it is used to justify an argument against the Israeli’s treatment of Eichmann. At a certain point, law can no longer trump morality.

    Maybe that’s what this OBL thing is all about.

  212. 212
    joeyess says:

    @Paul in KY: Ok. Wait, I like yellow dogs! I would probably vote for one if the pooch could do a few tricks that congresscritters could only dream of……. like sit, lay, speak, you know, responsive leadership. Basic skills that seem to be missing from our current representation.

  213. 213
    Chris G says:

    @LM: This. I just don’t see any way that GG doesn’t start with the conclusion he wants to reach — in this case, that killing bin Laden was illegal — and work backwards from there. That’s the exact opposite of principled.

  214. 214
    freelancer says:

    @slag:

    @Jay in Oregon: That’s ok. I learned that from reading Bad Astronomy. All those nerds apparently share the same reality.

    @joeyess:

    Heh. I posted a correction to that to Phil Plait on Twitter as well. So yes, this nerd shares the same reality in that I read both BJ and BA, among others.

  215. 215
    joeyess says:

    @MikeJ: you could say that. Union Station here is more of a relic and shopping mall. We have AmTrak, but no-one uses the damn thing.

  216. 216
    Paul in KY says:

    @joeyess: I like em too, that’s why I’d rather have one in the House or Senate instead of (insert random Republican here).

  217. 217
    Brachiator says:

    @John Cole:

    I don’t think this is two different discussions. I’m saying I don’t give a shit if it was legal or not. I think it was and hope it was, but if it wasn’t, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Like I said, I will do a better job with my principles when I don’t have those images of people jumping from the Trade Center to their death to avoid an even worse horror.

    Appreciate the clarification. Makes sense, and I totally agree.

  218. 218
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    Principles that are that rigid are almost never a virtue. This is about ego driven sanctimony. It is about making the concrete abstract. He’s been fighting so long and so feverishly that he can’t even recognize that all he’s doing is punching himself in the face and the crowd at ringside is just staring blankly. And frankly, no, it wasn’t illegal anyway, so there’s that. Make moral arguments if you must, but the legal ones are horseshit.

  219. 219
    slag says:

    @Captain Howdy:

    And this is why the brain, at least in young men, takes so much delight in the pain of bad people. An eye for an eye feels great.

    OK. Now I get that. Thanks for sharing that post. Jonah Lehrer is a frequent guest on RadioLab (I plug because I love!), which also discussed the ubiquitous prisoner’s dilemma in a different context. But I didn’t get that takeaway. It explains a lot.

  220. 220
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    My point is that what happened in Falajah was a result of jihadi nililism rather then US bloodlust.

    NO. IT. WAS. NOT.
    Those muslim men were defending their country against invaders and missionaries with guns. And their children and their childrens children will hate America for a hundred years.
    There was no American bloodlust. Just missionary fever and western culture chauvinism.

  221. 221
    Martin says:

    @Southern Beale:

    had we NOT killed bin Laden, instead captured him and held him somewhere (where? GITMO? The Hague??) it would have been problematic on a number of fronts.

    Would have been beneficial as well, though, which is why I think capture was a real option. Nobody knows what information we could have gotten out of OBL, but had we gotten any, it likely would have made it worth the effort.

  222. 222
    gwangung says:

    @MikeJ: Hm. Still another legal point.

    I think the discussion is more “Is it right” than “is it legal.” I think there is more than enough support to say it is legal (though not conclusively); there are precedents in piracy, outlaws and past resolutions from Congress and the UN to prevent reflexive cries that it’s illegal.

  223. 223
    MikeJ says:

    @joeyess: Well it doesn’t even stop in Columbia. They could probably fill a Friday Night/Sunday night train if it did.

    I always wished there was an easier way into STL.

  224. 224
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    My point is that what happened in Falajah was a result of jihadi nililism rather then US bloodlust.

    no.
    Those muslim men were defending their country against invaders and missionaries with guns. And their children and their childrens children will hate America for a hundred years.
    There was no American bloodlust. Just missionary fever and western culture chauvinism.

  225. 225
    slag says:

    @freelancer: Nicely done! I like it when the interwebs are used for good instead of evil.

  226. 226
    celticdragonchick says:

    @PIGL:

    @celticdragonchick: This is certainly the view that American’s would have, and may even be true although “they made us do it” is not a very convincing response. Let’s just say your view of the history is not what I have read elsewhere.

    If a person keeps hitting somebody else, that person will force authorities to act.

    You find that unconvincing?

    Fallujah was a no-go zone for Coalition and Iraqi military forces for months. An especially vindictive and objectionable version of Shari’a Law was implemented and the city was run outside of the legal jurisdiction of the rest of Iraq. No debate about it, and the historical record stands. I read a number of the combat reports of marines and army personnel in the fight, which was harrowing and actually devolved to hand to hand with bayonets and combat knives at some point. Very few civilians were left in the city. There is no real debate there either, since they were observed leaving and were not found during the fighting. The torture rooms were found and documented. The numerous and ingenious IED’s were found and documented. The enemy combatants were killed and documented.

    What are your sources?

    http://www.amazon.com/No-True-.....6TWVU5XWC2

    http://www.amazon.com/House-Ep.....1416596607
    (not a balanced account by any means, but very useful as a primary source for what this army unit was seeing and experiencing in Fallujah. I read this one a couple of years ago)

  227. 227
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    My point is that what happened in Falajah was a result of jihadi nililism rather then US bloodlust.

    No.
    Those muslim men were defending their country against invaders and m1ss1onaries with guns. And their children and their childrens children will hate America for a hundred years.
    There was no American bloodlust. Just m1ss1onary fever and western culture chauvinism.

  228. 228
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    If someone says they’re a pacifist, they’re likely to be asked if they would cause harm, or kill, someone in some contrived situation that 99.99% of the people on the planet will never see… where, if they don’t use violence, some horrible thing will happen. And if they assert that they wouldn’t use violence, they’re a *horrible* person, and if they admit that they would, *HAH!* I guess they’re not *really* a pacifist!

    It’s bullshit.

    Richard Clarke, in Against All Enemies, says that he’d suggested rendition of a terrorism suspect to Clinton and Gore, and Clinton said that it sounded like a violation of international law. Gore responded with “of course it is, that’s why it’s a covert operation!”

    Laws need to be respected, but in the end, the law should be in place to serve the people. If violating he law is what’s needed to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, then the law should be violated, and then, afterward, things should be set to right as best as they can be.

  229. 229
    MikeJ says:

    @gwangung: I meant to add to that piracy comment that they often went out of their way to obtain letters of marque. This made them legally sort of a seagoing militia, which meant that they would be treated as prisoners of war, rather than summarily executed on the spot as was the law with pirates.

  230. 230
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @celticdragonchick: again, wtf were we doing there?
    Those muslim men were defending their country against invaders and m1ss1onaries with guns. And their children and their childrens children will hate America for a hundred years.
    There was no American bloodlust. Just m1ss1onary fever and clueless western culture chauvinism.

  231. 231
    D.N. Nation says:

    Who’s ready for Glennzilla’s glibertarian stooge crush to get in a big fight with the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza? Because I know I am!

  232. 232
    joeyess says:

    @MikeJ: T

    hey could probably fill a Friday Night/Sunday night train if it did.
    I always wished there was an easier way into STL.

    You can thank those assholes in Jefferson City for MO not having a decent train corridor. Fuck, they even hate puppies.

  233. 233
    agrippa says:

    @Joe Beese:
    That’s not breaking news to some of us, Mr. Cole.

    However, don’t feel bad. It’s par for the course for Obama supporters.

    You are the hypocrite beese.
    An accusation of hypocrisy is proof that you are a hypocrite, fatuous troll

  234. 234
    WereBear says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo: Man, it’s really not too late to still get Al Gore for President.

  235. 235
    jl says:

    There are plenty of issues to worry about wrt to the raid that got Osama. For example, the attempt to use apparently flimsy arguments to rehabilitate the use of torture to gather intelligence.

    But whether the raid, and shooting of Osama was legal? I don’t get it. From my non lawyer’s perspective: Osama was at the least a violent and dangerous international criminal and fugitive, the US had the right to pursue him, the right to use deadly force in his capture if he did not cooperate by actively surrendering, the right to enter Pakistan to get him.

    Unless we find evidence that the President simply ordered an assassination, rather than a capture or kill operation, I do not see the problem or any hypocrisy in viewing the raid with approval.

    I don’t see slippery slope as some commenters do, to the Chinese ordering a similar raid on the Dalai Lama. Since when has the Dalai Lama advocated violence and murder in pursuit of his cause, or organized terror plots? The Chinese could use the raid as a pretext, but all sorts of legitimate actions can be used as a pretext. Who would believe Chinese if they used such a pretext to assassinate the Dalai Lama.

    Sorry, but I can’t get worked up over this. Greenwald seems more concerned about a credulous US media accepting government reports without doing any independent reporting, than the legality of the action.

  236. 236
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    No.
    Those muslim men were defending their country against invaders and m1ss1onaries with guns. And their children and their childrens children will hate America for a hundred years.
    There was no American bloodlust. Just m1ss1onary fever and western culture chauvinism.

    We have a winner here, gang.

    I will assume for the moment this is real and not sarcasm trolling.


    These guys were defending the faith…youbetcha!

    Of course, the US Army and Marine Corps are gun waving Christian missionaries. I must have missed that part in the brothels I saw in Tongducheon and my drunk ass buddies puking on the floor at night in the barracks.

  237. 237
    Ecks says:

    I think there are two questions:

    1) Was it legal?

    2) Was it, morally, the BEST thing we could have done?

    My answers:
    To #1, I wasn’t sure, but after reading much of this thread and associated links, suspect the answer is probably “yes”.

    To #2, I’m more ambivalent. Killing him is probably morally ok here, but from what little we know, it sounds like a really determined attempt to subdue and capture him with non-lethal force would probably have succeeded. We had these super-highly trained, smart and capable operators, with unlimited access to the coolest tech available. He was unarmed at the moment they burst in on him, and they had as much time to prepare for every scenario they could possibly think of here. If they had side mounted tazers on their guns or something, they probably could have taken him down. But would that have been better?

    I don’t know. In the abstract, probably it would have. In practice, with the hash this country has made out of failing to try people, and the PR train wrecks The Hague has sometimes had doing them… in practice maybe it was better off with the simple head shot.

  238. 238
    El Cid says:

    @DZ: He wasn’t communist at all. Just a reformist independence leader with a populist strain. In the sense that he thought the Congo’s enormous material resources should be used to develop the population, he was “communist” in the sense that he failed to prioritize the desires of Western nations & corporations. I mean that literally — that is the definition used by US analysts.

    Such leaders turned to consider / pursue backing by the USSR because there was no other source to turn to for aid & protection given that the US and Western Europe opposed any real independence.

    It was the Belgian- and corporate-backed (including US companies and investors) separatist movement for the Katanga province and its mineral riches by the hired lackey Moishe Tshombe which proved Lumumba’s direct undoing, as well as the US-favored President Kasavubu.

    The foreign-backed Katangan separatism and its military violence, the UN didn’t give a shit about, so, no shit Lumumba pleaded for aid from the USSR.

    Which made it much easier for the US to declare him a Communist and Soviet-backed menace, and aid in his capture and murder.

    But it all worked out well, since the US and Belgian backed Mobutu was able to serve the world as an impressive experiment into how much one man could turn an entire giant nation into a mere vacuum for his own wealth.

  239. 239
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: You and CDC are discussing entirely different things. You are questioning how and why we came to be in Iraq. Valid questions, indeed. She is discussing the logic of how, once we are there and engaged in a military mission, we carry out that mission.

  240. 240
    dianne says:

    @joeyess:
    To me it means, I would vote for a mangey yellow yard dog before voting for a Republican.

  241. 241
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    I am beginning to think you are M_C/ Hermione Granger-Weasley

  242. 242
    Paul in KY says:

    @eemom: There’s an excellent book about Eichmann’s capture written by one of the Mossad agents. I think it is called ‘Eichmann in My Hands’. Excellent book, I recommend it.

  243. 243
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo:

    I agree wholeheartedly. Though I don’t think this was actually against the law, the rest is correct. The saying is “hard cases make bad law.” It’s possible to be principled on these things and believe simultaneously that breaking the law in that .01% case is just dandy. I would say it comes from Greenwald’s lawyerly precedent mentality, but I really just think it’s ego and self righteousness. Every lawyer has read some case that wasn’t really right on the law, but thought “fuck it who cares, instead of being strictly legal, they used some moral sense and got it right.” Same thing here.

    That’s why I never understood the conservative torture position with their ticking bomb scenario. Yeah, of course if you KNEW that there was a nuc somewhere, the only correct thing to do would be to break the law and torture if necessary. It’s an absolute no brainer. You break the law. But if you create the law based on the “hard case” it just spreads to the easy ones, and you wind up torturing all kinds of people, b/c hey.. it’s legal.

  244. 244
    Paul in KY says:

    @celticdragonchick: She’s as serious as a heart attack & about as subtle at times.

  245. 245
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @DZ:

    Most people think that the assassination of OBL was simple and straight-forward. Remember, however that we assassinated Patrice lumumba in 1960 in the Congo. Oh, yes, he was a moderate communist who disliked the Soviet Union because it was totalitarian, but we killed him anyway and installed Mobutu. In the next 30 or so years, Mobutu murdered more than 2 million people. Not so simple and straight-forward.

    And the analogy to bin Laden is…?

    What nation was bin Laden benevolently governing such that his successor will now come to rule it and possibly brutalize its citizenry? Or are you suggesting that the next head of al-Qaeda could somehow be more violent or bloodthirsty, and that it would matter that he were those things?

  246. 246
    Martin says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Looks like m_c is back with troll #3.

  247. 247
    300baud says:

    John, 100x thanks for this.

  248. 248
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @celticdragonchick: She is.

  249. 249
    Paul in KY says:

    @El Cid: I’ve read about the Belgian occupation of the Congo. Right up there with the Nazis, IMO.

    If I’d been Congolese it would have been 1 Belgian, 1 bullet.

  250. 250
    fasteddie9318 says:

    WTF is m1ss1onary? Did I miss another session of “spelling like a dolt”?

  251. 251
    Paul in KY says:

    @celticdragonchick: Bingo! I thought you already knew.

  252. 252
    jl says:

    @DZ: I don’t understand your point. The US has engaged in a lot of extra legal, illegal, whatever assassinations that it should not have done. So what? When did Lumumba, or Diem, or other US assassination victims, openly take credit for murderous ciminal acts against US citizens, and vow to commit future criminal acts?

  253. 253
    Tsulagi says:

    I wouldn’t mind the shoe bomber eating it just for making me take my god damned shoes off every time I fly.

    Hear you. All we need now is for some dumbfuck jihadi wannabe to pack his orifice with explosive then try to light his ass during a flight. Think of the fun at the airport after that.

  254. 254
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Isn’t it pretty immediately apparent when m_c has switched to a new identity? It’s the same freeform writing, the same freeform spelling and/or just making up words, the same repetition of the same tired points over and over again, post after post, thread after thread.

  255. 255
    300baud says:

    @Tsulagi:

    Speaking of the Dalai Lama, he pretty much said he was okay with the double tap. If it’s okay with the Dalai Lama, it’s okay with me.

    He said he was ok with necessary actions to protect human life from those who would destroy it. But he also said that Osama bin Laden deserved, as all human beings do, compassion and forgiveness. And I note that he did not say whether these particular actions were necessary.

    So I think people should be a little careful claiming the Dalai Lama’s approval here. And, if they truly value his opinion, should focus much more on the compassion than the necessity, and approach consistent with his large body of speaking and writing.

  256. 256
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Tsulagi: If some dude ever does that the passengers really need to let him light his ass on fire and then shove him out the airlock.

  257. 257
    geg6 says:

    @MikeJ:

    Yeah, Cole is concern trolling himself here. I am against political assassinations, one hundred percent. But this is a guy who attacked us. This is, if nothing else, self defense.

    I’m a liberal, I’m a proponent of civil liberties, I believe in the Geneva Convention and the US Constitution. None of those beliefs and values make me question my satisfaction, relief, and, yes, gladness that this incident happened.

    All this hand wringing, once again brought about by the likes of well-known liar-by-omission and friend/employee of Grover Norquist/Koch Brothers, Glenn Greenwald is ridiculous. Instead of taking my marching orders (or soul searching) from an asshole like that, I’ll just go with my own liberal touchstones, Jefferson and Roosevelt. And I have no doubt whatsoever that both of them would have done exactly what Obama did, given the chance, and wouldn’t be wringing their hands over it afterward.

  258. 258
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: A “civil libertarian” is a person concerned with “civil liberties” such as the rights of speech and assembly. It doesn’t mean “polite libertarian.” It’s not clear to me that you grasp that distinction.

  259. 259
    El Cid says:

    I’m not sure there’s a huge distinction that makes sense between declaring a nation “at war” with a non-state entity.

    If Colombia or Mexico, say, don’t literally “declare” war against a heavily armed, murderous narcomilitary outfit (for a moment ignore the FARC rebels, they aren’t the actual narco-barons anyway), they still have shoot-outs, and kill the leaders.

    There was a giant battle to capture a Jamaican drug gang leader of enormous significance, and although he was negotiated into surrender, had it been the most likely possibility, he would have been targeted and killed if capture were for some reason unlikely or threatened even more civilians.

    The Italian government, I don’t think, has “declared war” on the various mafia organizations. Maybe they have. But they wouldn’t have to to go after those criminal murderers just as vehemently.

    If Spain hasn’t literally declared war on ETA (the “Basque separatists”), I’m not sure it would change operations on the ground very much — especially given that ETA’s operations in France have been deadly as well.

    Now it’s the case that a UN Security Council resolution may state a case such that nations can and must pursue such an organization and permit those nations’ forces seeking to do so the limited actions necessary in crossing national borders.

    When Colombia bombed Ecuadoran territory where FARC rebels were without telling Ecuador, even though the Ecuadoran record of capturing FARC operatives locally was as good as and often better than Colombia’s, it’s perfectly all right for Ecuador to object on sovereignty grounds.

    Mexico’s narco-gangs have killed far, far, far more than Al Qa’ida aspired to, and that’s just in the past 2 years. Over 30,000 people.

    Is Mexico “at war” with them? Is it mainly a difference in domestic laws which change what governments may and may not do with resolutions changing the status of their armed but stateless civilian-killing opposition?

  260. 260
    PIGL says:

    @celticdragonchick: Thanks for the links. Your account conflicts with what I remember reading at the time, but I may be mistaken or have used unreliable sources.

  261. 261
    Rabble Arouser says:

    @Joe Beese: At long last sir, at long last, have you no life? But seriously, do you get paid to do this, or are you really this hard up for human contact? I’m sure a hug could be arranged for you, perhaps a “there, there” thrown in for good measure.

  262. 262
    Emma says:

    Brachiator: OK, I got you now. Agreed. I would have liked him to stand trial, but the kind of circus it would have created…. *shudder*. No, thanks.

  263. 263
    tavella says:

    @Tractarian: John, you are NOT being a hypocrite here. The only coherent “principle” we’re talking about here is the Rule of Law. And your emotional reaction to bin Laden’s killing happens to match up exactly with the law:
    You are AGAINST extra-judicial killings when they are illegal.
    You are OK with extra-judicial killings when they are legal.
    The OBL killing, like the premeditated killing of a Nazi officer eating lunch in a Paris cafe, is obviously a legal extra-judicial killing.

    Exactly, and the most concise statement of this I have seen yet.

  264. 264
    geg6 says:

    @cleek:

    For this comment alone, I pronounce you winner of the thread. Exactly right.

  265. 265
    Paul in KY says:

    @fasteddie9318: I think she does use more punctuation & spells out more words & there are less Wallahs sprinkling the prose.

    She does have a basic style of writing that’s not hard to suss out. Like an infamous troll over at Salon who changes their name frequently, but never their shtick.

  266. 266
    patrick II says:

    I’m stridently against extrajudicial killings, the death penalty, targeted assassination, etc. I’d wager most of you are, too.
    __
    But when I heard that Osama had been killed, I’ll be damned if I didn’t think “Thank God that monster is gone.”

    I shared the “Thank God that monster is gone” sentiments. However, if in fact he was assassinated it seems to me to be an example of a tough case making bad law. The bin Laden precedent may have publicly established an executive decision to kill with no legal restraints or boundaries. If we allow that for bin Laden, and it seems we are, then all of those currently on the executive hit list have no recourse to judicial review of any sort. We may trust Obama’s judgement, but not the next Bush or Cheney’s.

  267. 267
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jesse: no, it means a socially liberal libertarian. Every soi disant libertarian in America is a “social liberal and fiscal conservative” libertarian.
    What I asked joey was what do you call a libertarian that is NOT socially liberal?
    ANS: a conservative.

    @Omnes Omnibus: no, I was merely explaining that the muslim “jihadiis” as CD styles them had a FUCKING right to defend themselves anyway that they could. CD acts like it was THEIR FAULT that Massacre of Fallujah happened.
    You both disgust me.

  268. 268
    trollhattan says:

    Assassination? Enhanced acceleration of lifespan.

    OBL made the entire planet his battlefield and never stopped being a combatant, as far as I’m concerned. Also, too, I do think we’d have snatched him had everything gone perfectly and had we, I wonder what then?

    But that’s all beer talk at this point.

  269. 269
    geg6 says:

    @LM:

    Greenwald is NOT a progressive. He is a libertarian. Full stop. There is no way on earth that a libertarian can be a progressive. Unpossible.

    But the fact that people can blithely run around the internets calling people like Greenwald (a libertarian) and Hamsher (a reactionary) progressives is exactly the reason I refuse to use that word in relation to myself.

    I’m a liberal. Not a progressive. Not a libertarian. A mother fucking old fashioned goddam liberal.

  270. 270
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @celticdragonchick: and I continue to think you are a clueless WEC.
    Don’t you have a Hirsii Ali fundraiser to go to?

  271. 271
    PIGL says:

    @cleek: Not the winner. This is JC’s blog. People who read it actually may care about what are his principles. Schooling about correct behaviour in the cold hard world, and the irrelevence of principles, is un-called for.

  272. 272
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    the US Army and Marine Corps are gun waving Christian missionaries.

    what the fuck were we doing there then?
    Standingup/implanting/imposing/spreading westernstyle democracy.
    Westernculture missionaries with guns.

  273. 273
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: You are a dipshit. Almost anything that happens in a war is result of decisions that are made on each side. That being said, I was neither defending nor condemning what happened at Fallujah; I was making an observation about what the two of you were saying. You, of course, are incapable of understanding that.

  274. 274
    eemom says:

    please. Not another argument about what/who is a libertarian. Pretty pleeeeez….

  275. 275
    geg6 says:

    @joeyess:

    There’s a difference between a “Libertarian” and a “civil libertarian”.

    And when you find that difference, please feel free to point it out to me. Because if you’re pointing at Greenwald, you’ve got the wrong guy. You can’t really separate the “civil libertarian” from “libertarian” when said example pals around with (and takes cash from) Grover Norquist and the Koch Brothers.

  276. 276
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: No, it doesn’t! You don’t get to willfully and maliciously misinterpret words to suit yourself.

    I am a civil libertarian- but I am not a libertarian. I am not a “fiscal conservative”, I don’t believe in the primacy of property rights. And- this is the point- there are many, many other people who call themselves “civil libertarians” and most of them don’t have libertarian beliefs.

    Do you know what the ACLU is?

  277. 277
    Brachiator says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    m1ss1onaries with guns.

    Wasn’t that a 1965 Roger Corman movie?

  278. 278
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I was neither defending nor condemning what happened at Fallujah

    no, you were defending CD’s position that the muslims brought it on themselves.
    I got that.
    That was perfectly clear.
    Tell that to the 4.5 million muslim orphans.

  279. 279
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    no, it means a socially liberal libertarian.

    No, really, it doesn’t. Civil libertarianism concerns itself with issues of civil liberties, period. It’s not an all-encompassing ideology. I don’t know what Greenwald’s economic views are, partly, I’m sure, because I don’t read him religiously but also partly because that’s not his focus. Like Greenwald or don’t like him, it doesn’t matter, but words and terms have meanings, and usually not the ones you decide to bestow upon them yourself.

  280. 280
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @geg6: FWIW many people are ACLU members without being free market dipshits.

  281. 281
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jesse: do you believe in the free market or the ‘freed’ market or market-based economics?
    If you do, then you are a libertarian.
    ;)

  282. 282
    dianne says:

    I still have trouble with Truman and the bomb, I have trouble with FDR and the Japanese internment camps, I have terrible memories of the Vietnam war and Johnson. All Dems –
    I, for some resaon, have no trouble with this at all.

  283. 283
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Very quickly. I was not. I am sorry if you read it that way. Perhaps my statement was unclear. I had no intention of taking sides in the argument. You can accept that or not.

  284. 284
    General Stuck says:

    I have crossed the point to where anyone, and I mean anyone, who thinks GG has anything useful or even true to say about anything, is just not someone I can take the least bit serious what they think or say. The dude is off his rocker, imo, especially of late, and that has little to do with “civil liberties” and caring deeply for them.

  285. 285
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fasteddie9318: do you believe in market-based economics?
    Then you are an american libertarian. It doesn’t matter if you are socially liberal or not.

  286. 286
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Gore responded with “of course it is, that’s why it’s a covert operation!”

    Break the rules, and take the heat. If you’re right, you’ll skate. If you’re really right, you’ll wind up on the folding money.

    ‘Jury nullification’ for an elected official is called ‘winning an election.’ And ‘prosecutorial discretion’ is called ‘a contested primary’.

  287. 287
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Your reading comprehension could use some work. Is English your native language?

    You are not the sole arbiter of what words mean. Other people *are* actually trying to communicate with you, mistakenly assuming a common language.

  288. 288
    kindness says:

    My 2 cents…Invading another nations territory and killing someone there isn’t nice and probably not ‘legal’.

    In this case, I don’t care. Pakistan can go suck eggs.

  289. 289
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fasteddie9318: that is the only spelling i could get thru moderation.

  290. 290
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jesse: LIBERTARIAN!
    /points and laffs

  291. 291
    Ash Can says:

    I knew that when I saw some commenters here saying matoko had done a GBCW, it was too good to be true.

  292. 292
    Paul in KY says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m a proud member of the ACLU. I would urge all Juicers (even our trolls) to join.

  293. 293
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @kindness:

    Pakistan can go suck eggs.

    lol
    Pakistan gave us the coords.
    The whole double-top-secret stealth-helo mission is plausible deniabilty for Zardaris government.

  294. 294
    OzoneR says:

    @Zifnab:

    The fundamental problem with the Osama assassination is that now we’ve kicked down yet another door on what a President has precedent to do.

    No we didn’t, there was never a door there to begin win

  295. 295
    Emma says:

    I can’t, can’t, understand why people keep bringing up actions between nations to question this situation. Of course killing elected officials of other nations is illegal — even though I despise Chavez I don’t think the US has the right to assassinate him!

    Bin Laden was a stateless terrorist who murdered people, both Christian and Muslim. The rules of war between nations do not apply to him.

  296. 296
    Paula says:

    Maybe you are being a hypocrite, but it ain’t my place to judge. Let he who is without sin, etc …

    @dianne:

    From a certain POV, war criminals all. I guess if one were really serious about questioning them, it would be a matter of renouncing citizenship and moving somewhere else less “tainted”. Suggestions, anyone?

  297. 297
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: well perhaps it is your reading comprehension that is flawed. It was perfectly obvious that CD was blaming the Fallujah Massacre on “jihaadi nihilism” and not on the American troops that actually did….you know….the massacre-ing.

  298. 298
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Ash Can: obviously you didnt read it.

  299. 299
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Actually, “civil libertarian” means someone who likes kitties and ponies. I know it does because I just said so, so it must. I don’t know what you’ve got against kitties and ponies, but that’s your deal, whatever.

  300. 300
    BruceJ says:

    Whats missing from ALL of this discussion are the facts, the facts on the ground.

    What’s being told publically is not the full set of facts, and barring eyewitness testimony and/or the video evidence, everyone is just spitballing here.

    Of COURSE the story is going to change because

    a) a lot happened in a very short period of time during a firefight in the dark.

    b) there are layers and layers of secrecy involved. Just as a single forinstance: I find it not credible that NO Pakistanis were informed of this operation, just as I find it not credible that NO Pakistanis knew OBL was there. A very complicated country with a lot of overlapping factions are at work here.

    c) It was Very Big News. The White House HAD tp l;et us know before it started inevitably leaking out.

    Basically most of the case against it being legal have rested on two facts of questionable truth:

    1) OBL is a civilian

    There’s a very solid argument that OBL, by his own words and actions was NOT a civilian, but a legitimate military target.

    2) OBL apparently was unarmed at the time

    This is extremely gray. He has stated, publically, many times that he would not be taken alive. That it turned out that he had money, not explosives sewn into his coat is irrelevant, the stated threat was there.

    “Suicide by cop” is not an extrajudicial killing.

    Reports I read today indicate that he did, in fact have weapons within reach.

    Under even civilian rules of engagement, the slightest move towards the weapons would change it from ‘assassination’ to ‘legitimate self-defense’.

    So basically, all of the stuff in public right now, Greenwald included is speculation.

  301. 301
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: But I’m not. That’s the problem. I am not a libertarian, but I like my civil liberties and would like to keep them.

    You, on the other hand, are an asshole.

  302. 302
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    This post is such horse shit.

    Do you think that admitting you have no integrity somehow lends you integrity?

    Face it: Your principles aren’t worth shit because when it really matters, they fall to the wayside.

    What a joke.

  303. 303
    Mike Kay ( Geronimo!!) says:

    boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring..

    Cole, please keep you man-crush spats with glenn to yourself.

    no one cares

  304. 304

    Speaking of not helping, did y’all hear that the Senate Indian Affairs committee is holding a hearing today because the Native American community is offended that the Navy Seals gave Osama the code name “Geronimo”?

    I mean, WTF?

  305. 305
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jesse:

    I am a civil libertarian- but I am not a libertarian. I am not a “fiscal conservative”

    Oh, pardon. That was confusing.
    ;)
    Then you are a liberal, not a “civil libertarian”.

  306. 306
    eemom says:

    @Mike Kay ( Geronimo!!):

    imo, Cole is much more emotionally invested in his Sully-spats.

    He just uses GG as a convenient tool which which to troll us.

  307. 307
    eemom says:

    @Southern Beale:

    yep, that was in the WaPo yesterday.

  308. 308
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: I apologize for calling you an asshole. But the central issue you don’t seem to grasp is that we don’t use your definitions for common words and phrases, we use what we believe are the correct ones. And those often seem to be very different.

  309. 309
    MikeJ says:

    @Southern Beale: No, they gave him the codename Jackpot. Geronimo was the name of the operation.

  310. 310
    Paul in KY says:

    @Southern Beale: I wish they’d given him another name too. Not a big deal, though. Just the Republicans thowing anything at Pres. Obama, hoping something sticks. Luckily for us, there aren’t a whole lot of Indian voters.

    Edit: MikeJ says his code name was ‘Jackpot’ & mission name was ‘Geronimo’. That’s much better, IMO.

  311. 311
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @MikeJ: ZOMG WHAT DO THEY HAVE AGAINST SENIORS WHO LIKE TO PLAY SLOT MACHINES?!

  312. 312
    General Stuck says:

    I’ve always thought it was a war, meaning OBL and his followers declared war on us, and we on them. I opposed Iraq and Bush for that, because Iraq had nothing to do with AQ.

    It is a war that sometimes involves police work, other times Navy Seals, and is and should be governed by the laws of war, and not civilian jurisprudence. My problem with Bush was that he didn’t stick to that definition, and flip flopped around when it suited him, denying POW status, torture, etc… that fall under the laws of war, and he broke them.

    While I don’t like, nor approve of drone strikes on occupied dwellings, I don’t see them as illegal under the laws of war, and certainly not a Seal raid to capture or kill the leader of the other side in this war. If in fact OBL did surrender and then was executed, I would have a problem with that. The fact that he was shot once or twice in the head by some of the most skilled marksman in the world is not sufficient evidence of that being the case. Anything else, anything goes in a military assault this was, and not a goddam police raid of a Meth house.

  313. 313
    geg6 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    In fact, I am a member of the ACLU. But I have never, ever, ever, ever palled around with or taken money from Grover Norquist or the Koch Brothers.

    Sadly, Glenn Greenwald cannot say the same. Which makes him not just a “civil libertarian” but a “libertarian” since that’s how Norquist and the Kochs roll.

  314. 314
    MBunge says:

    @eemom: But does Cole realize that such trolling only increases the distaste people have for The Last Honest Man? Greenwald’s excesses are bad enough. Seeing folks like Cole look the other way at them makes it worse.

    Mike

  315. 315
    Juicetard (FKA Liberty60) says:

    Not being an attorney, nor even playing one on tee vee, I honestly can’t say if it was legal or not.

    But if these sorts of things ARE legal, are we all prepared to just nod our heads gravely when Iran decides to stage a commando raid in Manhattan, or launch a helicopter raid over Dallas?

  316. 316
    MikeJ says:

    @fasteddie9318: I would like to think Jackpot was a dig at somebody who used to own a big place in Atlantic City, but sadly the administration isn’t as petty as I.

  317. 317
    MTiffany says:

    This situation just illustrates what happens when you lose sight of your principles in pursuit of expediency.

    We don’t torture — unless we have to, in which case it really isn’t torture so long as we can demonstrate necessity of time and don’t cause organ failure.

    We don’t violate habeas and fifth amendment due process guarantees — unless we have to, in which case we’re not violating a person’s right to a speedy trial, because some people are so dangerous and their alleged crimes so injurious to national security that we can’t allow them access to the evidence we have against them, and therefore can’t give them a trial, so we have to detain them, indefinitely.

    I’m beginning to suspect that if there is indeed an afterlife, then bin Laden and his deceased associates are all having a good laugh at our expense, because judging how we shredded our own legal system in fear of them, they actually did succeed in setting this country on the path of becoming just like the shithole thugocracies that produced THEM.

  318. 318
    Michael Finn says:

    John Cole, your principles are not horsehit, they just ran into something else, your ethics.

    Your ethics determined that human life is important above all else and a person is causing human life to end needed to be stopped. He was not going to go quietly. Favoring potential lives over one life is something that I would have a problem with as well but this guy made it his life work to kill as many as possible in order to achieve his aim.

    When ethics and principles collide, as is the case here, that is when a person is truly tested. If we stick to our principles and do what ever it takes to get a person to trial because he is doing something illegal? If we say yes, then we are placing our principles above our ethics, meaning the system of laws that we live by are more important than the people who are governed by said laws.

  319. 319
    Danny says:

    Aaaaah come off it for one single time.

    I’m no expert on the Geneva convention, but seems to me that Osama Bin Laden could plausibly be argued to have been a combatant, given that he is on video confessing being behind 9/11.

    If he was a combatant in the legal sense then it was perfectly legal to shoot him, even if he didnt resist whatsoever, as long as he did not explicitly try to surrender. Just as it is perfectly legal for one soldier to shoot another soldier in the back of the head while he’s busy taking a leak. There’s no requirement that he first have to give the other soldier a chance to surrender.

    I’m sure there were in 2003 and are still today progressives that would argue the combatant designation is only appropriate for someone with a gun in hand in the process of committing acts of war. And that’s fair enough, I respect that view.

    But the central criticism of the Bush administration – for me at least – were their attempts to circumvent the Geneva Convention, making up a new category “illegal combatant”, that could be tortured, detained indefinately, show humiliating pictures of etc.

    Also – it’s Usama Bin freaking Laden.

  320. 320
    gwangung says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: No, dear. He’s a civil libertarian.

    That is not the same as a liberal.

    That is not the same as a libertarian.

    But I don’t expect rational behavior from a bigot and racist like you.

  321. 321
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    I do enjoy this ongoing smug, self-congratulatory balloonbagger circle pop. Balloonbaggers always have all the answers, because they know all the facts and they know what all the involved personnel were, are, and will be thinking and feeling. They are always 100 percent correct on every issue, and have 0 percent doubt about any of their second- and third-hand opinions. Only the balloonbagger den mother himself has an inkling of awareness of his possible errancy and hypocrisy from time to time.
    .
    .

  322. 322
    Admiral_Komack says:

    “SOME ARE questioning the legality of the raid in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.”

    TRANSLATION:

    “The President is a nig(GONG!)”

  323. 323
    gwangung says:

    But if these sorts of things ARE legal, are we all prepared to just nod our heads gravely when Iran decides to stage a commando raid in Manhattan, or launch a helicopter raid over Dallas?

    The basis for bin Laden’s killing would not be the same as your hypothetical. I think details matter in cases.

  324. 324
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    You again. You shed sockpuppets like herpes sheds virii.

  325. 325
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @gwangung: but im not a racist. i keep telling you guys that….unless christian and stupid are races now.
    ;)

  326. 326
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: well i dont recognize you either.
    morzer? is that you?

  327. 327
    eemom says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    balloonbagger den mother

    ok, you finally said something mildly entertaining.

    Now all you have to do is work on that 1 out of 10 zillion ratio.

  328. 328
    eemom says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    get over it, child. Morzer doesn’t loves us anymore, he said so on ED’s last thread. :(

  329. 329
    cleek says:

    @PIGL:
    i guess it wasn’t clear, but i wasn’t talking about JC. JC seems reasonably pragmatic, to me. that’s part of why i, and other people, i suspect, come here – he’s not an inflexible boor.

    it’s Greenwald who is too self-righteously principled for his own good.

  330. 330
    MattR says:

    @Jesse: I would advise giving up. According to her definitions, more than 90% of the United States including folks like Paul Krugman are Libertarians since they believe in a market based economy.

  331. 331
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MattR: Keynes, Galbraith (JK and James), Samuelson, Reich, Stiglitz… All libertarians per m_c.

  332. 332
    cleek says:

    @MTiffany:

    This situation just illustrates what happens when you lose sight of your principles in pursuit of expediency.

    ¿Qué?

  333. 333
    Aneece says:

    @MTiffany: I can’t hear you over the wail of the Whambulance.

  334. 334
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @eemom: he was Kathryn, but he wasn’t very good. She stank of morzer.
    He is much better as Sarah.

  335. 335
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Well, look who turned up again after her screech of GBCW. How is Dubya’s special little fan girl today? Medications helping with the voices in your head, hmm?

  336. 336
    Aneece says:

    @Juicetard (FKA Liberty60): No… Any other questions? This is fun!

  337. 337
    fhtagn says:

    @Jesse:

    In sum, we speak English and think rationally. Unlike mato-mione-nima wuv-bush.

  338. 338
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    If stupid were a race, you’d be racist against your own people. Again.

  339. 339
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    If stupid were a race, you’d be racist against your own people. Again.

  340. 340
    El Tiburon says:

    @cleek:

    i don’t think we’re terrorists. we may have killed a lot of civilians while trying to get the active fighters, possibly illegally. but that’s not terrorism.

    HAHAHAHA! Yeah, oh sure, we may bomb and kill a lot of women and children, but we are most certainly not terrorists! Sure, we may have robot drones dropping bombs on wedding parties and kidnap people and hold them in a fucking cage for the rest of their lives without charges, but we are not terrorists!

    Are you being fucking serious? God help us.

  341. 341
    fhtagn says:

    And FYWP. On the other hand, getting anything into matoko-snookie’s head requires at least two repetitions….

  342. 342
    WereBear says:

    I believe the only argument that hasn’t been used in these threads would go something like:

    “Suppose it was you, having a nice evening in your fortified compound with a few buds, a few wives, planning your next mass murder, and then these guys come barging in with helicopters and dogs with titanium fangs and shot everybody, huh? How would you like it?”

  343. 343
    Valdivia says:

    @eemom:

    amazingly he could in Israel of the 60s but I don’t see it happening in the US of today since even trying someone in the US territory is actually some sort of desecration and insult.

  344. 344
    TuiMel says:

    John,
    You have pretty much captured my response to this. I have accepted or admitted that, for me, this is an “ends justifies the means” event. I am generally one who worries about that “slippery slope.” If any rationale carries slippery slope baggage, it is the notion that an end can justify unsavory means.

    As a person who shocked herself in the days immediately following disclosure that bin Laden was the monster behind the 09/11 slaughters by fantasizing about giving him a “Mogadishu good-bye,” I say I am relieved he is dead. I do not worry about the formality of a trial in this instance. Is this in line with my “normal” views? Not a bit.

  345. 345
    Daveboy says:

    “it’s Greenwald who is too self-righteously principled for his own good.”

    Congratulations, you are human garbage.

    I can’t seriously believe on this site, a site where we constantly belittle Republican leadership for being naked, unprincipled weasels, that you fucks are now criticizing someone for being “too principled.” Anyone saying this deserves to literally be fucked over for the rest of their life by unprincipled assholes…oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening in the USA right now. I guess you now aspire to the same shit behavior as our worthless overlords. Great.

  346. 346
    sparky says:

    1. there is at least a plausible case that it was legal to shoot Bin Laden, as he had been indicted and was wanted in connection with events prior to 9/11 that also were capital crimes. there is also the issue of the AUMF, which could be construed to authorize this act. that said, to say it is obvious, or clear or any similar conclusory word reveals only that the writer’s mind is closed on this point.

    2. the question the civil liberties zealots here are raising is this: once you accept the principle that in certain situations targeted killing aka state-sanctioned murder is acceptable, where is the stopping point? the power at issue here is not Obama’s; it’s the state’s. the relevant example is NOT bin Laden but rather Anwar al-Awlaki, because he is targeted and yet there is no due process at all regarding his “offenses”.

    all people like me (you know, those wacky extremists who believe, like all religious zealots, that the government is one of laws rather than people), ask is this: why should all legal rules be ignored by the state that is, after all, a creation of those rules?

    if the rules mean nothing and the state still exists, then you have an incipient lawless state. and, as we are experiencing, this occurs not all at once, but in dribs and drabs, until there is nothing left but the national security state.

    3. for those of you who “feel good” about it: do you really want to have a government based on emotions?

  347. 347
    El Tiburon says:

    @Martin:

    Is that somehow a surprising answer to you?

    So, we have declared war on Al Queda?

  348. 348
    eemom says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    He’s not fucking Sarah! I KNOW that he is not.

    Damn, kid. I’m beginning to see why people find you exasperating.

  349. 349
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: But aren’t they? Isn’t it the teleological premise that liberty in the market place improves the human condition?

    I think all libertarians are fiscal conservatives, that is they are free/freed market afficionados.
    What would a fiscal liberal look like anyways?
    A marxist?

  350. 350
    tamied says:

    @El Tiburon: Actually, be my guest.

  351. 351
    sparky says:

    @Daveboy: garbage-that’s a bit too harsh. tribal? well, it does kinda look that way, but that, after all, is humanity in the aggregate

  352. 352
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: To the extent that one can declare war on a nonstate actor, yes.

  353. 353
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    And Matoko-Snookie fails Basic Reality and Econ 101 simultaneously for the umpteenth time. Still, what can you expect from Dubya’s Sparkle Pony Princess?

  354. 354
    fhtagn says:

    @El Tiburon:

    We shoot them, they shoot us, no prospect of a CBA and the lockout continues. Looks mighty like a war to me.

  355. 355
    Daveboy says:

    BTW I am glad Osama Bin Laden is dead, dead, dead, but the way we went about it was unprincipled and shitty. He should be sitting in a cell awaiting trial, and pointing that out is not some kind of thoughtcrime.

  356. 356
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: how many times have i said Bush is a fucking WEC retard? i was raised republican, and i escaped as soon as i could.
    And didn’t you read my GBCW for content?
    It was addressed to you as I recall.
    ;)

  357. 357
    Chris says:

    @General Stuck:

    I’ve always thought it was a war, meaning OBL and his followers declared war on us, and we on them. I opposed Iraq and Bush for that, because Iraq had nothing to do with AQ.

    I read an opinion once somewhere in the conservative blogosphere that terrorists were and should be treated as the modern-day equivalent of pirates – e.g, a stateless enemy against which the use of military force is accepted practice even though no formal war is ever declared.

    No idea what the legal ramifications of that are, but I thought the historical precedent was interesting. (No doubt there are other similar ones, though I can’t think of any right now).

  358. 358
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: you only adhom because you cannot refute my arguments. Shouldn’t you be over at the LoOG commenting on the latest attempted rebranding of the “Freed” market?
    lawl.
    ;)

  359. 359
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    And which GBCW would that have been? You’ve scrawled so many, it’s impossible to keep count. Besides which, we all know your promises are worthless. You shriek your goodbyes, vomit on the carpet and shuffle off to Buffalo.. only to reappear three minutes later, lamely aliased, gibbering about libertarians, the free market, and whatever random science project it was that you flunked in grade school. So no, I don’t take you seriously. You are the same wingnut kookette that you always were, with the same misfiring synapses, the same cult of Bush, and the same line of self-pitying bull-shytte.

  360. 360
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    But aren’t they?

    No. As people have said, words have meaning. You do not get to assign your own meanings arbitrarily. You have stated in the past that you are a hard sciences person. Do you not think that social sciences have terminology as well? Do you not also think that people with a background in those areas have expertise and knowledge of the terminology of those areas? A knowledge that might be greater than yours?

  361. 361
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    So far you haven’t produced an argument. Unless one counts your intermittent upchucking of word-salad in the category of rational discourse.

  362. 362
    Valdivia says:

    @eemom:
    Have no idea if you’re still reading, but I would like to add, that one of the things that seemed utterly bizarre to me about the whole KSM, GITMO closing NIMBY freakout was this idea that these people have super powers and/or that trying them here or housing them here was a desecration. If the jews who survived the holocaust could put up with fucking Eichman, how could the US not put up with these terrorists on trial?

    I’ve spoken to a lot of people from that generation who lived in Israel and their take was always the same: trying him in Israel was a matter of pride for them. to prove to him, and other Nazis that they could, that they were capable of it, and deserving of administering that justice. They WANTED it because it gave them something the nazis took away from them: their voice and dignity and self determination.

    Apparently 21st century USA is blind to all that, which is why all the butthurt about the killing and the photos drives me insane.

    On topic: I am glad the mofo (OBL) is dead, this was totally in line with the rule of engagement and not illegal.

  363. 363
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @sparky:

    yet there is no due process at all regarding his “offenses”.

    but how can we say that for certain? The due process is probably classified.
    Its not Obama I think, its the growth of the security state post 9/11.

  364. 364
    Scott P. says:

    We killed 750k muslim civilians in Iraq. There are 4.5 MILLION orphans.

    If there are 750k dead Iraqis, and 4.5 million orphans, then since every orphan has two dead parents, that means that each of those 750k Iraqis had an average of at least 12 children. Impressive!

  365. 365
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Daveboy:Just off hand, what laws do you think were violated?

  366. 366
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: that is why im asking questions.
    If libertarians (in America I think) are fiscally conservative what does fiscally liberal mean?

  367. 367
    grandpajohn says:

    @MikeJ: like a lot of other “political correctness” trolls they jumped the gun with their outrage act before they collected the facts

  368. 368
    El Tiburon says:

    @Martin:

    Wars are only declared between nations. You’re arguing against the definition of words. You might as well be ranting that you can’t pour water because you can’t melt it first.

    Ok, so we’ve established then we don’t have to be at war with someone to enter another country and kill someone. Right?

    So, another entity can enter this country and kill someone.

    If this happened, would we consider this invading entity a war criminal? A criminal in general? Would we be so outraged as to then gas up the jets and drones and go bomb whatever country we think they are from?

    The rest of your blocked quote above is complete and utter gibberishy bullshit.

  369. 369
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Scott P.: nice empathy there. 750k is from wikileaks Iraq doc release and its a minimum. 4.5 million orphans is from here.

    pig.

  370. 370
    El Tiburon says:

    @cleek:

    the phrase you want is “unlawful combatants”, and they are designated as such because they are not acting as a nation – they are civilians engaging in armed combat.

    And therefore incapable of truly declaring war and conversely we are incapable of declaring war on them.

  371. 371
    Mnemosyne says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    What nation was bin Laden benevolently governing such that his successor will now come to rule it and possibly brutalize its citizenry?

    It’s probably far too late for this but, yes, it bugs me that people in this thread like El Tiburon are constructing their arguments by claiming that Osama bin Laden, the leader of a stateless terror group, is somehow the equivalent of the leader of an actual country.

    I’m not sure on what planet someone thinks that the positions held by Hugo Chavez and Osama bin Laden are so similar as to be indistinguishable from one another. Really, you don’t understand what the difference is between the leader of a country and the leader of a band of criminals?

  372. 372
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    I really think GW is doing a bitchin’ job of pressing the War on Terror. He is a warrior first class, decisive and fierce, as concentrated as a laser sight. I’m glad we’re on the same side.

    How quickly we forget, eh?

    http://quantumghosts.blogspot......chive.html

  373. 373
    General Stuck says:

    @Chris:

    Pirates didn’t and don’t have a political purpose and underpinning, so that would come under laws of the high seas.

    OBL an AQ do have that underpinning, of political purpose, and are organized around a chain of command which can easily be characterized as an armed force, or army, but without uniforms, usually, conducting politics by other means, or warfare to realize their political goals, that are also quasi religious goals in this case. With a current and future aspirations for holding of ground.

    Those are the basic requirements for me to call it a war. Now within that context, there are rules of war that AQ and OBL has violated, and expressly targeted civilians, making them alleged war criminals. But that does not diminish the fact this is a war, and war by definition is the forsaking of civilian laws, that the world has recognized as warfare declarations, that in and of itself, is legal under a different set of laws.

    or something like that

  374. 374
    Gopher2b says:

    It’s not hypocritical because it wasn’t illegal. OBL wasn’t in US custody so he want entitled to due process. The only rules the SEALs had to follow were the Rules of Engagement which gave them authority to kill Obama if he posed any threat. This is a world where he could have had his finger on a bomb (conventional, chemical, or nuclear). Unless he was naked, on his knees with his hands in the air, wearing a blindfold, they had every right to shoot him. Greensand knows this, he’s being purposely obtuse.

  375. 375
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: People have answered your questions again and again. You don’t like the answers and reject them. Specifically with respect to the difference between libertarian and civil libertarian people on this thread have tried to tell you.

  376. 376
    El Tiburon says:

    @aimai:

    Osama was a stateless brigand—regular laws have never applied to such a person.

    Um, say what? Rebular laws don’t apply? Do tell where these special laws can be found that apply to Osama? Or are these laws only enacted willy-nilly by the President as they see fit? And can these special laws be applied, say, to an American citizen?

  377. 377
    fhtagn says:

    @Gopher2b:

    I really don’t think the SEALS had authority to kill Obama….

  378. 378
    Jesse says:

    @MattR: I can’t communicate with someone who is going to fire off words at random, with little to no regard for their accepted meanings. Keynesian libertarians? Okay, whatever.

    I pause to note “word salad” is a symptom of schizophrenia.

    And, on topic: Sending a commando team after bin Laden was our least-worst option, I can live with that, and a lot of these hypotheticals don’t make sense to me.

  379. 379
    fhtagn says:

    @General Stuck:

    In practice, war isn’t just between nations, but between sovereign entities/groups/parties – which Al-Qaeda clearly thinks they are. We shouldn’t assume we can’t be at war with al-Qaeda just because they aren’t a nation.

  380. 380
    Paula says:

    @fhtagn:

    Good lord, we’re never gonna stop making this mistake, are we? That said, I understand the verbal version of the gaffe, but the “b” and “s” are nowhere near each other on the keyboard …

  381. 381
    fhtagn says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Osama may, arguably, have been stateless, but he wasn’t a brigand. As for the question of war and rules of engagement, he and his followers constituted an independent community, which has, in any case, declared war against the US. Under the usual rules of war, if Osama had clearly surrendered and laid down his weapons, he should have been taken prisoner, but we have no evidence to suggest that was the case.

  382. 382
    Jesse says:

    @El Tiburon: If I make a flyer with Osama’s face and a big-font WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE on it, does that make it better for you? There’s no point in assuming this kind of thing is *new*. Ask Pancho Villa.

    See, unlike a typical drug war case, I can see the rationale of going in guns a-blazing with this guy, what with him being a notorious mass murderer and all.

  383. 383
    El Tiburon says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Note the legal opinion is at a .gov site and not a wingnut site.

    Yeah, it’s from a Senate committee and I am assuming it was created by a Republican Senate committee. So, not only is it a wingnut document, it is also blatant propaganda.

    Just because it says “we are at war” means bubkus. Has Congress made a formal declaration of war against Al Queda?

  384. 384
    fhtagn says:

    @Paula:

    I know. I didn’t think Gopher meant it for a minute, but it was a little disconcerting.

  385. 385
    El Tiburon says:

    @Montysano:

    In the real world, when The Man With The Gun (be it a cop or a soldier) says “Freeze!”, and you don’t freeze, you get shot.

    And this makes it okay? It is okay legally for a cop to tell you to freeze, then shoot you if he deems you didn’t freeze fast or good enough? Are you okay with this? What if a cop tells your girlfriend to suck his dick? Must she comply? Or can he shoot her as well?

    More over, the SEAL team was apparently on the ground for some time, so OBL probably had an opportunity to surrender. He didn’t.

    Apparently and probably also good enough for you?

  386. 386
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: I am guessing that the AUMF will not satisfy you since it does not specifically say declaration of war. Of course, that way of thinking has some commonality with the people who do not accept Obama’s birth certificate because it is labeled a Certificate of Live Birth.

  387. 387
    Gopher2b says:

    Yikes!! Fat finger on the iPhone and maybe some autocorrect. Sorry about my post.

  388. 388
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: so what? I was raised republican. My east-coast ancestors owned sweatshops and their summer “cottage” is in the Gugenheim Foundation and people tour it.
    My grandfather loved Jack Kemp. But he would despise Bush now too.
    I fucking hate Bush. He is a fucking WEC retard that destroyed our economy and put our troops in an unwinnable immoral meatgrinder and caused death and agony to millions of muslims because he was a christian and a moron.
    I used to be a catholic too.
    I went to catholic girls school. So what?
    Now im a revert.
    People can learn….if they have the substrate.

  389. 389
    El Tiburon says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Those muslim men were defending their country against invaders and missionaries with guns. And their children and their childrens children will hate America for a hundred years.

    Evidently all people across this globe must graciously accept a US gun or bomb shoved up their asses and their children’s asses. This is just how we roll.

    You see, it’s not us. It’s OBL that made us like this. It’s his fault we are killing children over there. Not ours.

  390. 390
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: no one has answered that question.
    What does fiscally liberal mean?

  391. 391
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    @Daveboy:

    I can’t seriously believe on this site, a site where we constantly belittle Republican leadership for being naked, unprincipled weasels, that you fucks are now criticizing someone for being “too principled.” Anyone saying this deserves to literally be fucked over for the rest of their life by unprincipled assholes…oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening in the USA right now. I guess you now aspire to the same shit behavior as our worthless overlords. Great.

    You, sir, are awesome.

  392. 392
    Jesse says:

    @El Tiburon: Or it could just be that when someone sinks the Lusitania, bombs Pearl Harbor, or kills thousands of us on a September morning, we take it a little personally.

    America does not have a right to shove bombs up asses. But are you seriously arguing that *this specific raid* is an impermissible overreaction? Historically, this is nothing.

  393. 393
    Paula says:

    @fhtagn:

    @Gopher2b:

    It’s been happening a lot. There’s a Slate article somewhere. It’s not just a rightie thing. NPR’s Renee Montaigne straight busted out with it in an interview and I thought she was going to be in giant trouble … until the last three days it became clear that this was definitely a language/neuron thing and not a Freudian political slip thing.

  394. 394
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    And why should anyone believe a word of this? You’ve lied so often about your GBCW, you’ve sneaked back on here with the lamest aliases anyone has seen,you’ve peddled racism, ignorance and lies on a regular basis. Frankly, you sound like a Megan McArdle sock-puppet.

  395. 395
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: “Fiscally liberal” is not an accepted term of art, at least not that I’m aware of. I think I heard it in a joke once.

    I think it means Keynesians.

  396. 396
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Traditionally, it would be a Keynesian. Go read.

  397. 397
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m not sure on what planet someone thinks that the positions held by Hugo Chavez and Osama bin Laden are so similar as to be indistinguishable from one another. Really, you don’t understand what the difference is between the leader of a country and the leader of a band of criminals?

    I’m pretty sure that if there’s no difference, John Gotti was illegally detained and denied his diplomatic immunities as a sovereign leader.

  398. 398
    Ruckus says:

    I don’t know what other choice there is for situations like Osama. Is it legal? Well a country was attacked and has the right to defend itself. The man did claim responsibility. There seems to be proof available that he actually is responsible. He is not a country but he does have a sort of army, if he was a country we could declare war. And yes I mean on an actual responsible country, not what we ignorantly did. And we sort of did declare war on him. Along with several other countries.

    Am I glad he is gone? Yes. But I sure as hell don’t feel good about that.

  399. 399
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Jesse:

    I think it means Keynesians.

    No way, man. “Fiscally liberal” totally means people who set fires to orphanages and go to the zoo to shoot at bald eagles. Get with the program.

  400. 400
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @eemom:

    Self identification or debating one’s status as libertarian usually works best for quickly determining the key question: “Is this person an asshole?”. I use venn diagrams. If you’re an asshole, you’re not necessarily a “libertarian.” But if you’re a “libertarian”…

  401. 401
    MTiffany says:

    @cleek: I was trying to say that as regards the nonsense about “was this legal or not?” both sides are going to be able to point to whatever they want to point to in defense of their position, because: since we don’t torture, unless we have to; and we don’t violate people rights, unless we have to; then both sides actually get to point to facts that can’t be refuted or contradicted. Hooray! Everybody wins!

    @Aneece: Not being able to hear me over the “Whambulance.” Woo-hoo. You really got me, Aneece. That’s the most original thing you’ve posted in this thread. I feel honored.

  402. 402
    Jonas says:

    You can feel giddy and still think it’s wrong and illegal. Luckily, morality or the law are not just what we actually feel.

  403. 403
    fhtagn says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Also too, stealing the last pennies from pensioners and blind beggars. Using union thugs, of course.

  404. 404
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: you can read my old blog instead of cherry pick the old republitard stuff.
    for example.
    Ramesh Ponnuru shows up to scold me.
    hahaha, you know….they kicked me out way before i actually left.

  405. 405
    fhtagn says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered:

    So libertarian = subset of ass-hole, but ass-hole =/= subset of libertarian.

  406. 406
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jesse: shukran. that is the first answer of any sort i have to that question.

  407. 407
    burnspbesq says:

    There are more things in heaven and on earth, dear Glenzilla, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  408. 408
    El Tiburon says:

    @geg6:

    This is, if nothing else, self defense.

    How so? Dude breaks into my house and kills my family. He escapes justice. I find him 10 years later and kill him. Self defense?

    Very imperfect analogy, I know. Look, personally I give a rat’s ass if OBL is dead or being tortured in Egypt. And I don’t really give a rat’s ass if this action was legal or not.

    I just find it very amusing to see all of the mental gymnastics and circular logic and hypocrisy used.

    If it’s okay for us to do it (regardless of legality) is it then okay for others to do it to us? And if not, then why? Is it simply because we are the biggest, baddest motherfuckers on the planet? If so, fine. Then fucking just say. Stop trying to rationalize your way out of by saying we are at war or it’s self defense or this or that.

    Just call it what it is: We reserve the right to bomb or kill or kidnap anyone at anytime for any reason. But only we have that right.

  409. 409
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Just because your fellow-crazies thought you were an ignorant whack-job doesn’t make you rational or honest. It just makes you a hyper-ignorant, hyper-dishonest, hyper-crazy hyper-whackjob. Oddly enough, that’s how you come across here as well.

  410. 410
    Otis says:

    @Joe Beese:

    God bless you Joe. I regularly check out this warm bucket of spit blog to keep tabs on these “reasonable” NPR Republicans and you are one of the very few contributors that consistently calls out their B.S.

  411. 411
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @Daveboy:

    Must be lonely way up there on that horse. If you can’t distinguish between truly exceptional cases and action and a relentless pattern of weaselly bullshit, then you’re the one with the problem. Not that your premise matters, because Greenwald is 100% wrong on the law AND the morality which is a nice twofer. So he can eat a bag of dicks as far as I’m concerned.

  412. 412
    tkogrumpy says:

    @eemom: Ditto. There I’m a ditto head.

  413. 413
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: If you want to view things that way, and seems pretty clear that you do, there isn’t anything anyone can do to stop you.

  414. 414
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s probably far too late for this but, yes, it bugs me that people in this thread like El Tiburon are constructing their arguments by claiming that Osama bin Laden, the leader of a stateless terror group, is somehow the equivalent of the leader of an actual country.

    Hey, I’m just saying. Some here say we are at war with Al Queda, others say only nations can declare war.

    OBL was the leader of Al Queda. If we are at war w/ Al Queda, the AQ must have similar properties to actual, sovereign states. I mean, what definition are you working with? Are we at war? If so, then where are the POW camps?

    This debate sure does seem to hinge a lot on what the definitions of “is” is, don’t you think?

  415. 415
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:Let’s see here… “ahlan wa sahlan”?

    I Googled for that. I often do that with words I don’t know the meaning of. ;)

  416. 416
    El Tiburon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am guessing that the AUMF will not satisfy you since it does not specifically say declaration of war.

    I ain’t necessarily looking for any satisfaction, except for the satisfaction of seeing many here trying to explain their tortured logic that would make Glenn Beck shed a tear.

    Again, I don’t really care if we are at war or not, or if Congress declared war or not. I care about pointing out what I see as the hypocrisy and silly rationalizations by many here.

  417. 417
    cleek says:

    @El Tiburon:

    HAHAHAHA! Yeah, oh sure, we may bomb and kill a lot of women and children, but we are most certainly not terrorists!

    words have meanings. and none of what you wrote are examples of “terrorism”.

    @El Tiburon:

    And therefore incapable of truly declaring war and conversely we are incapable of declaring war on them.

    which is why i wrote:

    al-Q already is at war with the US (as much as a non-national actor can said to be ‘at war’).

    i’m not sure what you’re trying to prove here. semantics don’t change the fact that OBL was the leader of an organization that was dedicated to bringing death and destruction to the west, and to the US in particular.
    neither do they change the fact that the President doesn’t actually need a formal declaration of war to use the military. that’s been accepted for decades.

  418. 418
    Jesse says:

    @El Tiburon: It doesn’t depend on definitions of “is” at all.

    “If we are at war w/ Al Queda, the AQ must have similar properties to actual, sovereign states.”

    Must it? I don’t feel comfortable with all of the parallel cases from US history, because a lot of them involve us being very rude to some Native Americans, but there’s a long tradition of us going to “war” against particular groups, even as we deny their sovereignty.

  419. 419
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon:

    This debate sure does seem to hinge a lot on what the definitions of “is” is, don’t you think?

    It is a legal question, isn’t it? Legal questions tend to hinge on things like the definition of “is” or the placement of a comma. Is a case where There were mutual declarations of war between sovereign nations and an officer leading troops into battle was shot? No. If that is the only situation in which you would find killing an “enemy” to be acceptable, then you won’t find this acceptable.

  420. 420
    fhtagn says:

    @El Tiburon:

    We haven’t actually formally declared war on anyone since WWII. Congress has passed resolutions and voted funds, but no formal declarations of war.

  421. 421
    j low says:

    @ABL: Hmmmm. So Glenn makes shit up. Panetta says he’d be played by Pacino, but told the vicious lie that he was excited! The Pentagon added a 40 minute firefight and wife as human sheild. So I guess both sides do it.

  422. 422
    El Tiburon says:

    @Jesse:

    America does not have a right to shove bombs up asses. But are you seriously arguing that this specific raid is an impermissible overreaction? Historically, this is nothing.

    No, I am not making this argument. Again, I could care less. What I do care about are the contradictory explanations that people here are giving. That’s what I’m doing here. I am seriously not trying to be an asshole.

    But the bottom line, once again, seems to be this: That even if the US doesn’t have the right to shove a gun up someone’s ass, we are going to do it, because, who is going to stop us?

    It sure as hell is not going to be most of the commenters on Balloon Juice, who seem more than okay with us killing whoever we deem necessary because of 9-11.

  423. 423
    El Tiburon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If you want to view things that way, and seems pretty clear that you do, there isn’t anything anyone can do to stop you

    Maybe you can clarify how I view things? I don’t know that I’ve actually stated a clear view. I think I’ve stated a lot of potential views based on others views.

    Is my view that I am against the US being able to shove a gun up anyone’s ass at anytime for any reason? Yeah, I guess so. Am I glad we shoved a gun up OBL’s ass. I don’t know about glad, but, it does not bother my sleep pattern at all.

  424. 424
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @El Tiburon:

    If someone broke in to your house and killed your family and then you tracked him down later, yes, that would be justified.

    It’s a thin distinction, but intent does matter. We get a sense that knowingly killing random people is bad. And fuck, yes, of course I get why we’re hated. We basically do do that. I give us a lot of shit, but as far as Empires go, we’ve been pretty good (especially since the conclusion of the cold war.)

    You’re making normative, realist, and moral claims and jumbling them all up. First, the action was legal according to international law. But when you talk about “rights” those are always subjective. OBL felt he had a “right” to intentionally murder a shit ton of civilians. So he did. We had a right to fucking kill him for that. Moral rights are always subjective. And your whole argument basically just boils down to “no war” at the end of all of it: nobody is justified in killing b/c everyone has been wronged. Not going to happen.

  425. 425
    tkogrumpy says:

    @General Stuck: I’ll see you when you get back.

  426. 426
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: Since you’ve made it clear that you are trolling, I don’t think I’ll bother.

  427. 427
    Mandramas says:

    @El Tiburon: You’re right, but is to preach in the desert. The juicers give a damn if it is legal or right, since they are on the winning team and they can’t think unbiased, as any regular joe. Maybe in a couple of years. In any case, it is not the worst thing that CIA and US Army has done.
    The problem is that Obama now is the defender of the target kills, and in a sense he o the staff are defending torture. The obamabots will follow the lead, and now there are a consensus in all the political spectrum that to use black ops is ok. Forget the plans of close Guantanamo, forget “America don’t torture anymore”, etc. If the juicers are to be asked, they are ok with all and asking for more. Just imagine the thinks the wingnut are thinking.

  428. 428
    El Tiburon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If that is the only situation in which you would find killing an “enemy” to be acceptable, then you won’t find this acceptable.

    Again, I could care less about how OBL was killed. If I were the Prez, I would have done it the same way I am confident.

    My main thrust in this entire debate is and will continue to be this: If it is okay for us to do it, then is it okay for others to do it to us? Or is that crossing a line? In other words, I assume we all agree and accept that the SEALS are brave and noble Americans and we are pleased as punch they are on our side. But if someone sneaks in our country and does it us, do we consider there ‘special force’ vile and killers of innocent people?

    I have yet to have a straight-forward answer on this. All the response are of the same variant that regardless we are justified but that others would not be. And I’ve yet to see a rational and logical explanation to this answer.

  429. 429
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @El Tiburon:

    You don’t have to make this more abstract than it is. Osama killed and wanted to kill LOTS of people. So we shoved a gun up his ass. That’s the long and the short of it. We killed a mass murderer and not a single fuck was given that day.

  430. 430
    BruceJ says:

    @El Tiburon:

    How so? Dude breaks into my house and kills my family. He escapes justice. I find him 10 years later and kill him. Self defense?

    Very imperfect analogy, I know.

    Well if by ‘imperfect’ you mean ‘not at all an analogy’ you’re correct.

    It’s more like ‘General orders sneak attack on United States killing thousands, then continues waging war on the country for ten years. We find him and kill him in a firefight in his hidden bunker.’

    Here’s a giant frakking cluebat for you:

    We’re not “rationalizing” anything by saying we’re at war.

    We ARE at war with Al-queda, a war that THEY declared, unilaterally.

    This is no different and not one whit less legal than the US Navy shooting down Yamamoto’s plane in WWII.

  431. 431
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: If we are at war with someone, it is acceptable for them to try to kill command elements in our military. This would include the President, yes.

  432. 432
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @El Tiburon:

    If someone snuck in to our country to kill someone that made every American look like an asshole b/c he flew planes in to their buildings, I probably would give nary a fuck. It’s juvenile to try to provide some brave insight on how morality and geopolitics is subjective. Of course it is! And what is your alternative?

  433. 433
    fhtagn says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered:

    Not a single fuck… but quite a few acts of masturbation.

  434. 434
    Jesse says:

    @El Tiburon:

    “But if someone sneaks in our country and does it us, do we consider there ‘special force’ vile and killers of innocent people?”

    Dude. If someone commits an act of war against us, we are not going to like it no matter how well-justified it is from their point of view. In that sense, no, it is not okay for them to do it to us.

    If you’re asking *anyone* to say, “well, gosh, I see your point” to the paratroopers invading their neighborhood, I think you’re asking for too much.

    But the particular act of war we committed was to send a commando team after Osama bin Laden. *No one* who didn’t work for Osama was cool with that guy.

    I am having real trouble following your thought process here. Killing noncombatants is not cool. Killing combatants who surrender is not cool. Killing combatants in the field? Is cool, and has always been- this was not invented yesterday.

  435. 435
    El Tiburon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If we are at war with someone, it is acceptable for them to try to kill command elements in our military.

    Fuck me running. So, now we are back to square one.

    Are we at war with AQ? If so, was there a declaration of war by Congress? Or is it just this nebulous GWOT?

    Conversely, if we are not at war with AQ, then it is not acceptable to sneak in and kill their leader?

    So which is it?

    Or is it really we can just kill whomever we want whenever we want for whatever reason we want? That’s really the answer here, isn’t it? And that we reserve that right for us and us alone. Or perhaps our allies, say Israel, when that killing is a Palestinian.

  436. 436
    cleek says:

    @El Tiburon:

    It sure as hell is not going to be most of the commenters on Balloon Juice, who seem more than okay with us killing whoever we deem necessary because of 9-11.

    who is making that argument ? who thinks “killing whoever” is okay ?

  437. 437
    fhtagn says:

    @El Tiburon:

    What else would you call it but “war” when someone attacks the US, kills US citizens, declares, in a fatwa, a state of war against the US, and makes clear that they intend to continue killing US citizens?

    I just don’t see what else you could reasonably call it.

  438. 438
    kindness says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: While I suspect what you say may be true the government of Pakistan today said:

    Pakistani military, government warn U.S. against future raids.

    Go figure.

  439. 439
    El Tiburon says:

    @Jesse:

    I am having real trouble following your thought process here.

    It’s not you, it’s me.

    Look, the nexis of this debate to an extent is the question of the legality of the killing of OBL, right?

    So, when someone says it was legal for reason X, like we were at war with AQ, I then ask, “well, if we were at war then Congress must have declared it and there must be POW camps and Geneva in effect”

    No, no, no, they respond. It wasn’t that kind of war, because you see OBL was different, so different rules. And so you can see the rabbit hole people are willing to go down into to justify the killing of OBL.

    And here is all I can figure out that people are really saying: We reserve the right to kill anyone at anytime for any reason. Period.

    And so I ask for the umpteenth time: are we the only nation that reserves that right?

  440. 440
    fhtagn says:

    @El Tiburon:

    How would you define the relationship between Al-Qaeda and the USA? Leave aside everything else – do you consider us to be in a state of war with al-Qaeda, and if not, how would you describe the situation?

  441. 441
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: See my comments above. Or don’t fucking bother. I actually answered all of your questions. If you don’t like my answers or if someone else’s answer contradicts mine, that’s not my fucking fault. I have offered a consistent opinion as to the legality and justification for the mission. If you want me to make some kind of admission that my opinion is inconsistent, you will have a long wait. If you want me to say that I think that it is okay for the US to do whatever the fuck it wants, you aren’t going to get that either. By the way, you can’t analogize for shit. I’m done.

  442. 442
    El Tiburon says:

    @fhtagn:

    What else would you call it but “war” when someone attacks the US, kills US citizens, declares, in a fatwa, a state of war against the US, and makes clear that they intend to continue killing US citizens?

    I’m not making a judgment on whether we are at war with AQ or not. Are you? If we are at war, then shouldn’t there be a declaration by Congress as mandated in the US Constitution with certain rules we must follow?

    Or is this a special war with different rules? I mean, are we a nation of laws, or a nation of “making this shit up as we go along especially if it allows us to kill anyone we want for any reason.”

    You know there was a lot of rationalization for the mass slaughter of American Indians back in the day. How do you feel about that? Would you have felt the same if you were alive back then and you thought these savages were a direct threat to your existence?

  443. 443
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Are we at war with AQ?

    yes

    Conversely, if we are not at war with AQ, then it is not acceptable to sneak in and kill their leader?

    no

    Legality did not depend on “war” in this case. You keep jumbling up moral, legal, and normative arguments and frankly it’s a bit hard to follow. If at the end of the day you’re trying to say that if AQ killed Obama that we’d be outraged and say they had no right, then welcome to planet earth. The man being shot never feels the man pulling the trigger has a right to. Everyone in the world has been wronged, and the biggest and baddest have the easiest time seeking redress. Also, this:@Jesse:

  444. 444
    fhtagn says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Yes, I am. I have said that the only reasonable way to describe the situation is war. Now, let’s see you put something on the table. You’ve delivered some pretty self-righteous rants at the expense of others on here, let’s see you actually take a stand. And no, I am not asking for analogies drawn from past history. In your opinion, are we at war with al-Qaeda or not? If not, what is the relationship between the US and al-Qaeda?

  445. 445
    Mandramas says:

    @Tiburon: If america unilateraly attacked Iraq, who cares about the right he had to kill UBL? It was a tiny, lesser infraction in the context of America’s foreign policy.
    The problem is that was Obama the guy that did it. That means, wingnut will attack now with the morality and legality blablabla, and then, we have a Nobel Peace Prize defending black ops.
    If the liberals starts to campaign defending black ops, then Jack Bauer wins the war. Maybe he fell tempted to kill Chavez or maybe invade another country on 2012 just to boost the polls.

  446. 446
    El Tiburon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    See my comments above. Or don’t fucking bother.

    Oh please. I looked at some of your comments. They are very vague and general in nature. I’m being very specific here:

    Are we at war with AQ? It’s a very simple question. And if so, is it a real war, or a special new kind of war with different rules and laws. And if we are at war with AQ, then that is what gives us the right to sneak in another country and kill the leader of AQ.

    But if we are not at war, then we don’t have the right? You tell me.

  447. 447
    Paula says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Look, I agree with you in theory, but to the extent that you’re speaking to people here like you’re the only one who’s got the big-boy pundit pants on, you should probably know that the commentary re: asymmetrical warfare in context of so called “modern warfare” has been hashed out on a regular basis since at least the “fall” of Dien Bien Phu specifically as it relates to colonialism and “proxy wars”. I think a lot of your Q’s re AQ as a nonstate actor a country could make war on is a pretty common debate that has a lot of different answers depending on all these different histories/ideologies.

    I categorically opposed the invasion of Afghanistan on the grounds that you’ve stated, but it didn’t make it any less true that most of my government and my fellow countrymen and even some of the world (begrudgingly, anyway) thought that it was a reasonable response to being attacked. So show me a world where we didn’t invade Afghanistan and I’ll show you a world where OBL is standing trial @ the Hague.

    And no, “trying to imagine better” is not a crime, but neither is it some act of suppression on this blog’s part for some of its commenters to tell you where they disagree with you and/or where you’re being unrealistic and pedantic.

  448. 448
    MBunge says:

    @El Tiburon: I have yet to have a straight-forward answer on this.

    There have actually been several attempts at perfectly straight-forward answers to the points you keep bringing up. You simply choose to ignore them in favor of moral self-aggrandizement.

    Mike

  449. 449
    Jesse says:

    @El Tiburon: “And so I ask for the umpteenth time: are we the only nation that reserves that right?”

    Of course not. That’s basically what the assertion of sovereignty is. For a good enough reason, a government will kill you. “Despotic” regimes set that bar low. Americans try not to be completely arbitrary about it, and Osama fits comfortably into our historical practice in that respect.

    By the way, this phrasing?

    “We reserve the right to kill anyone at anytime for any reason. Period.”

    That’s needlessly inflammatory, because the US has never asserted that. We documented ample reason to kill Osama bin Laden.

  450. 450
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    If we are at war, then shouldn’t there be a declaration by Congress as mandated in the US Constitution with certain rules we must follow?

    You don’t understand the constitutional, domestic and international legal obligations involved here. Perhaps you should read about them and then start arguing about what we can and can’t do.

  451. 451
    MBunge says:

    @El Tiburon: I don’t know that I’ve actually stated a clear view.

    So, you’re just being an argumentative asshole for the sake of being an argumentative asshole. Glenn, is that you?

    Mike

  452. 452
    joeyess says:

    @geg6: Relax and read the context. i.e. posts further up.

  453. 453
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mandramas:

    If the liberals starts to campaign defending black ops, then Jack Bauer wins the war.

    Ding-Ding-Ding-Dingity-Ding-Ding!! We have a fucking winner.

    As a liberal, I am against all killings except when being directly attacked. As a liberal, I wish our primary mission would have been to extract OBL for trial.

    As a regular dude, I don’t really care that we killed OBL. I would most certainly buy the SEALS a lot of beers.

    As a liberal, it pains me to an extent to see the reactions by many with the killing of OBL. As a liberal, I wish our nation and our leaders followed the laws as they were written.

    As a regular dude, I understand there is a real world out there. But as a liberal and a regular dude, I understand that indeed Jack Bauer has won. We torture. We murder. We imprison. And we seem to all be pretty cool with that.

    That’s a shame. This is not the America that I truly believed in. Call me a naive asswipe. But there you go.

    The Death of America.

  454. 454
    fhtagn says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Just answer the question: are we at war with al-Qaeda, and if not, what is our relationship with them? If you don’t have an opinion, then what the rubbery fuck are you wanking forth on the topic for?

  455. 455
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    OBL was the leader of Al Queda. If we are at war w/ Al Queda, the AQ must have similar properties to actual, sovereign states.

    So, in your view, John Gotti was the equivalent of a head of state and should have been given diplomatic immunity? After all, he was the head of a group very similar to al-Qaeda, so therefore the Mafia must have similar properties to actual, sovereign states and Mafia leaders should be given the same rights as a head of state.

    If you want to insist that the Crips and the Bloods totally count as sovereign states because of their similarity to al-Qaeda, be my guest, but you should probably know that we’re all laughing at you.

    ETA:

    And if we are at war with AQ, then that is what gives us the right to sneak in another country and kill the leader of AQ.

    Uh, you do realize that OBL was not the leader of Pakistan, right? We didn’t go into a sovereign country and kill their leader. We didn’t even kill one of their citizens. We killed a stateless criminal who had no claim to Pakistan’s protection.

    (Edited again to fix wrong blockquote)

  456. 456
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: So, basically, you were waiting for someone to tell you what you wanted to hear? BTW, in addition to reading something about the nature of asymmetric warfare as Paula suggested, you might also want to take a look at the Quasi War with France and the Barbary Wars.

  457. 457
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    As a liberal, I wish our nation and our leaders followed the laws as they were written.

    You’ve proven, without doubt, that you do not know the first fucking thing about the law involved. I also was unaware that liberals were against killing mass murdering enemies and against imprisonment. Color me surprised. I am however, apparently, slightly liberal for being against torture.

  458. 458
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    The Death of America.

    The only difference between today and 100 years ago is that white guys like yourself are now getting the same treatment that African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, etc. have been getting all along. And, now, suddenly that you’re getting the same treatment, it’s THE WORSTEST THING EVAH!

    Here’s the world’s smallest violin playing just for you.

  459. 459
    El Tiburon says:

    @Jesse:

    That’s needlessly inflammatory, because the US has never asserted that. We documented ample reason to kill Osama bin Laden.

    If by ‘needlessly inflammatory’ you mean based upon facts, then you are correct.

    Obama authorizes the assassination of US citizens
    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....ssinations

    No due process is accorded. No charges or trials are necessary. No evidence is offered, nor any opportunity for him to deny these accusations (which he has done vehemently through his family). None of that.

    Instead, in Barack Obama’s America, the way guilt is determined for American citizens — and a death penalty imposed — is that the President, like the King he thinks he is, secretly decrees someone’s guilt as a Terrorist.

  460. 460
    eemom says:

    @Valdivia:

    I completely agree. And that 50 years later it would indeed have been impossible for OBL to get justice under law the way Eichmann did. Really says something about the direction in which we as a nation are moving — fucking BACKWARDS through history, in this respect as in every other.

  461. 461
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Here’s the world’s smallest violin playing just for you.

    Are you naturally this ignorant, or do you have to work at it?

    We White Guys have it as good as ever. In fact, by all rights I should be a Republican fighting harder to hold the blacks and the Mexicans and the others down.

    Seriously, are you just a stupid fuck?

  462. 462
    les says:

    @joeyess:
    here now!! Amtrak has moved back into the main terminal. The Super chief from KC to Santa Fe is a pure pleasure. The same train (avoid the locals through St. Louis) to Chicago is a lovely day trip. Walking into Union Station to get on a train is the icing.

  463. 463
    freelancer says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Look, the nexis of this debate to an extent is the question of the legality of the killing of OBL, right?
    __
    So, when someone says it was legal for reason X, like we were at war with AQ, I then ask, “well, if we were at war then Congress must have declared it and there must be POW camps and Geneva in effect”
    __
    No, no, no, they respond. It wasn’t that kind of war, because you see OBL was different, so different rules. And so you can see the rabbit hole people are willing to go down into to justify the killing of OBL.
    __
    And here is all I can figure out that people are really saying: We reserve the right to kill anyone at anytime for any reason. Period.

    The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists passed on September 18, 2001.

    Section 2:

    (a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    It passed the House 420-1, and the Senate 98-0. That’s Pretty. Goddamned. Cut. And. Dried. It may have been gruesome, but it was legal. We legalized the use of military force against OBL, his network, and anyone harboring them. Took me 3 minutes to look that up, but you’ve filled this thread with strawmen, “yeah but slippery slope…”, “Yeah but we never declared war…” Call it what you want, but we did. This country made it legal 9.5 years ago to kill him. Outright kill him. There should be no confusion about that.

  464. 464
    Jesse says:

    @El Tiburon: ” As a liberal, I wish our nation and our leaders followed the laws as they were written.”

    Permit me to emphasize for the last time: this Osama business has ample historical precedent. If this is “the death of America” then America died in about 1778. Certainly no later than 1831, when Andrew Jackson just flat-out ignored the Supreme Court and forcibly marched the Cherokee off their sovereign land.

    The raid that killed Osama was, at the very least, arguably legal. It was possibly entirely so. This is, if you’ll pardon the expression, a strange hill for liberalism to die on.

  465. 465
    El Tiburon says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered:

    You’ve proven, without doubt, that you do not know the first fucking thing about the law involved.

    Please do educate.

    But even so, I was speaking more in generalities, not just this instance. In general, I wish our leaders would follow the laws, you know, like not torturing or not holding people in a cage for the rest of their lives without charges or conviction. I never said I was against imprisonment you dipshit. I said indefinite imprisonment without charges. Do you understand the difference.

    But so glad you are kind of against torture. Well done.

  466. 466
    El Tiburon says:

    @Jesse:

    The raid that killed Osama was, at the very least, arguably legal. It was possibly entirely so. This is, if you’ll pardon the expression, a strange hill for liberalism to die on.

    Allow me to clarify, as I briefly did in a response above. I was speaking more in generalities, or to be more precise, things like torture and indefinite detention. Or Obama’s stated policy of killing Americans on his word alone.

  467. 467
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: But general answers weren’t good enough for you, you wanted specificity.

  468. 468
    fhtagn says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So you can’t manage to say whether we are at war or not with al-Qaeda, having wasted a good part of the thread with self-righteous wankery on the legality of an action – whose legality is entirely dependent on the question of whether we are at war?

    Time for us all to wring our hands and conclude that liberalism is dead, surely.

  469. 469
    freelancer says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Allow me to clarify, as I briefly did in a response above. I was speaking more in generalities, or to be more precise, things like torture and indefinite detention. Or Obama’s stated policy of killing Americans on his word alone.

    Ze Goalposts, I sees U mooved dem. :P

  470. 470
    MBunge says:

    @El Tiburon: Or Obama’s stated policy of killing Americans on his word alone.

    If by Americans you mean “declared members of terrorist organizations that have killed and seek to continue killing Americans”, I think you’ve sort of answered your own question.

    Mike

  471. 471
    El Tiburon says:

    @freelancer:

    That’s Pretty. Goddamned. Cut. And. Dried. It may have been gruesome, but it was legal.

    Is this how you see it? We pass a law, therefore it is legal anywhere in the world, huh?

    So, for shit and grins, Congress passes a law stating we can invade another country and steal their natural resources. You down with that?

    Congress passes a law stating all Russians must buy US goods and there you go, huh?

    Treaties (being the law of the land) mean nothing to you?

  472. 472
    gwangung says:

    @freelancer: I take it he’s not tackled stateless people or any precedents from piracy.

  473. 473
    Mandramas says:

    @Jesse: The point is not to commit atrocities. America, as any power, did a lot of them. Every country with more that 10 years of history did. The point is, if the atrocities are performed with not a part of the population repealing it, with a wide consensus, you had Hitler’s Germany.
    OBL’s targeted killing had a lot of consensus, of course, it is natural since everybody hates the guy with reason. The problem is not the case itself, it the consequences. Is to have liberal people defending the same ideas that GWB used to declare war on Iraq. That means, in foreign policy, there a no dichotomy. How can Obama try to stop torture in Guantanamo, if every people will say “But, you killed OBL with the help of the same people that were working in Guantanamo”? That is the way of the politics; if you do the same things that you used to attack, you can’t attack it again.

  474. 474
    El Tiburon says:

    @MBunge:

    If by Americans you mean “declared members of terrorist organizations that have killed and seek to continue killing Americans”, I think you’ve sort of answered your own question.

    And who gets to make this declaration? And what exactly is a terrorist organization and who gets to decide that? I know some Republicans who would consider MoveOn or Media Matters a terrorist organization.

    But the answer to my questions is: The President decides who is a terrorist and therefore can be killed. And no one can do anything about it.

    You cool with that?

  475. 475
    Kristin says:

    Laws need to be respected, but in the end, the law should be in place to serve the people. If violating he law is what’s needed to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, then the law should be violated, and then, afterward, things should be set to right as best as they can be.

    And, if this is someone’s belief, it should be his/her belief regardless of who occupies the White House.

  476. 476
    El Tiburon says:

    @fhtagn:

    So you can’t manage to say whether we are at war or not with al-Qaeda, having wasted a good part of the thread with self-righteous wankery on the legality of an action – whose legality is entirely dependent on the question of whether we are at war?

    WTF? I only bring this up to people who say we are at war. Why does everyone get so twisted when I follow up and say, “well, where’s the declaration for this war?”

    Regardless of the legality, if we are at war, then so be it. I’m just asking to see the declaration. If there is none and we don’t treat the prisoners like POWs and otherwise don’t follow the laws prescribed for war, then we really aren’t at war. So if that is the case, then stop saying we are at war. And stop using the rules of war as a legal justification for certain actions.

  477. 477
    Mike M says:

    Nations have a fundamental right under the UN Charter and international law to defend themselves. Further, the US Congress passed the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) which stated, in part:

    ” …the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001…”

    Osama was the operational commander of Al Qaeda that took full responsibility for the attacks. The organization had not disbanded, was explicit about its mission to destroy the US, and was continuing to execute terrorists attacks.

    I can understand that some people might take a moral position against all war, or any killings, regardless of the circumstances. Nevertheless, I think the legality of the action against OBL is very clear. Those who think it wasn’t legal ought to make their case. I haven’t seen one that stands up to scrutiny.

  478. 478
    Jesse says:

    @El Tiburon: Okay. In “generalities” then: weird quasi-legal military shit is a thing that American presidents do. It is a thing they have always done. There is ample historical precedent for it. It is almost always found, after the fact, to have been legal. (There are famous exceptions.) So, in utmost generality, this is how it works and always has. Suck it up, Buttercup. Presidents can do some evil shit, and often have.

    I share Greenwald’s concern about al-Alwaki… to a point. But I’m pretty sure he didn’t trouble himself unduly to find precedents in support of Obama’s position, ie. killing al-Alwaki, and I bet there are some. (Starting with the Constitutional definition of treason.)

    “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let us see him enforce it.” Do you know that quote?

  479. 479
    freelancer says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I’ve scrolled up a bit and when someone nails your whinging about the legality of the SEAL raid, you swap out to a moral argument. “Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right, look at this thing we legalized but was totally wrong to do!”

    When someone points out that the moral comparison you make isn’t a valid comparison or is a complete non-sequitur with respect to the circumstance of US vs. AQ, you start harping about treaties and “possible” illegality again.

    You are not an honest broker. Eat pie, douchebag.

  480. 480
    El Tiburon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    But general answers weren’t good enough for you, you wanted specificity.

    Right. That’s why I said all of your comments were general in nature and requested a specific answer. I’ll try again.

    Are at war w/ AQ?

  481. 481
    MBunge says:

    @El Tiburon: But the answer to my questions is: The President decides who is a terrorist and therefore can be killed. And no one can do anything about it.

    You cool with that?

    1. Congress can do something about it. If they don’t, the problem is with them. Try and learn a little something about civics.

    2. What I’m not cool with is morally self-aggrandizing cowards like you who willfully confuse and conflate a whole slew of distinct moral, ethical and legal issues just so you can be an argumentative asshole.

    Mike

  482. 482
    Jesse says:

    @El Tiburon: That AUMF thing? IS the declaration of war. It Authorizes the Use of Military Force. Says so right on it. And it comes from Congress, them what has the Constitutional power to declare war.

    So, to answer what seems an increasingly foolish question: Yep, it’s war. Congress authorized the use of military force against Al-Qaeda. Specifically. Which, now I think of it, includes al-Alwaki.

  483. 483
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: /yawn
    why dont you cherry pick Coles old republitard comments? chicken?
    Say what you like, i made Reihan Salam and Conor Friedersdorf cry, and prolly Mr. “Freed” Markets too.
    I aspire to make you cry too someday.
    A grrl can dream.
    ;)

  484. 484
    Lancelot Link says:

    Or Obama’s stated policy of killing Americans on his word alone.
    Name one. If you’re talking about Anwar al-Awlaki, you may be surprised to learn that he is still conspicuously alive.

  485. 485
    El Tiburon says:

    @MBunge:
    Speaking of cowards, why don’t you answer the fucking question:

    Are you cool with the President deciding who is a terrorist and who can be killed?

  486. 486
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: Answer: Here.

  487. 487
    El Tiburon says:

    @Jesse:

    That AUMF thing? IS the declaration of war.

    Ok. So then you would agree with the statement that we are at war with Al Queda? I mean, this goes without saying. You are very clear about that.

    If so, then show me the POW camps and their Geneva rights and so on. Because I don’t see them. I see the AUMF as a declaration to USE MILITARY FORCE. Thereby allowing our Presidents to make it up as the go along.

    Or is this a different kind of war? If so, what are the new rules for this war? Whatever our President says? Kind of like a King or dictator?

  488. 488
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: and. I didnt lie about my GBCW.

    I can’t justify posting at a “progressive/liberal” blog where one of the front pagers pimps a racist anti-liberal candidate and hosts a JAFI (just another fucking islamophobe) front pager on his home blog.

    See that guy around anymore?
    thought not.
    :)

  489. 489
    freelancer says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I’ll try again.
    Are at war w/ AQ?

    You’re playing semantics with language, in this case. We haven’t “declared war” in 70 years. Have we fought in “wars” since 1945? You betcha. By your definition Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, The Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq were all equally illegal because we didn’t “declare war”.

    To which I’ll reply, YES. What Jesse said. It’s as specific as you’ve been begging for, and as general as the point you’re trying to force on us.

  490. 490
    Jesse says:

    @Mandramas: Sigh.

    Nope, sorry, not buying it. No matter how you slice it, the two situations are different.

    Saddam was not involved in 9/11, did not have WMD’s, etc. etc. Bush stampeded the country into that war through sleazy, corrupt and evil means, because he could. Iraq was related to 9/11 only insofar as historians will use 9/11 to explain how that evil quagmire got started.

    Osama? Did that shit.

  491. 491
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jesse: have we declared war on Afghanistan yet?

    If not, what are we doing there? What is OEF classed as?
    Operation Enduring Freedom. A Bush certified enterprise.

  492. 492
    MBunge says:

    @El Tiburon: Speaking of cowards, why don’t you answer the fucking question:Are you cool with the President deciding who is a terrorist and who can be killed?

    Douche, you have repeatedly refused to respond to or meaningfully engage ANY of the people in this thread who have tried to answer your bullshit sophistry. If you want someone to pat you on the head for your moral purity, go hire a hooker.

    Mike

  493. 493
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: Goal post moving. 15 yard penalty.

    FWIW I think prisoners captured in Iraq and Afghanistan who were fighting in uniform and otherwise operating in accordance with the laws of war should be afforded POW status as specified in the Geneva Conventions. Other prisoners who do not qualify for POW status should not be mistreated, just like it says in the Geneva Conventions. Thing is, the mission to capture or kill OBL has nothing really to do with all of that.

  494. 494
    Jesse says:

    @El Tiburon: Oh, what a tool you are being.

    It’s a war. It’s complicated by the stubborn refusal of the enemy to wear uniforms and assert nation-statehood and such.

    If so, then show me the POW camps and their Geneva rights and so on. Because I don’t see them.

    What does this even mean? If you’re saying we mistreated some enemy POWs… yep. Pretty sure we did. We oughtn’t have done that. It was wrong. Your point being?

    I see the AUMF as a declaration to USE MILITARY FORCE. Thereby allowing our Presidents to make it up as the go along.

    Oh noes, the President is making it up as he goes along, just like every war. Congress does not dictate strategy, and never has.

    Thanks for this opportunity to figure out the comment system, btw. I can do blockquotes now!

  495. 495
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    and. I didnt lie about my GBCW

    George Bush Congratulatory Writing?
    George Bush Celebratory Worship?
    George Bush Cheerful Words?

  496. 496
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @kindness: well…lets wait and see if the droning stops in Waziristan.
    I think that was Pasha’s price for OBL’s coords and turning off the watchers.

  497. 497
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: I’m pretty sure we’re allied with the Afghan government, so, no, we haven’t declared war on them. Declaring war on an ally is bad form.

  498. 498
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: goodbye cruel world. couldn’t you get that from context?
    @Jesse: im going to go read some Keynes.
    But I do not find this encouraging.

    “In my opinion it is a grand book…. Morally and philosophically I find myself in agreement with virtually the whole of it: and not only in agreement with it, but in deeply moved agreement.” ~ Keynes on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom”

    The Road to Serfdom is a ginormous pile of stale crap.

  499. 499
    Mandramas says:

    @Jesse: The term is “puppet government”.

  500. 500
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Keynes is difficult. You might want to work your way back to him through some of the more accessible Keynesians. Galbraith is good as a starting point.

  501. 501
    Stillwater says:

    Here’s the thing: El Tib makes a good point re: unilateral action: is it merely the prerogatives of the home country which determine when they get to shoot someone on foreign soil? Certainly, the answer to that has to be in some sense ‘no’. Other standards and conditions, generally shared and hopefully codified, must be met. But the answer appears to be, ‘well, we’re at war, dammit, and OBL was our enemy’.

    Given this answer, it’s not unreasonable for El Tib to push on the issue in this sense: what legislation/pacts/declarations/UNResolutions/etc imbue the US with the legal authority to kill someone on foreign soil? Surely the answer at this point can’t be to merely repeat that it’s the prerogative of the home team. Isn’t there some other conditions beyond idiosyncratic domestic law which are generally accepted to act as a justification? That’s why he keeps bringing up the Geneva conventions, POW camps, etc. – those things are consistent with universally agreed upon standards and justifications for the use of military force.

  502. 502
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jesse: Pardon, did some A-stan government invite us to make a treaty with them? oh, the puppet government.
    But how will that work when we leave? Even Petraeus says the Taliban will be part of the Afghan government when we leave….oh….then we will have a SOFA like the one with the Iraqis and get kicked out?

  503. 503
    freelancer says:

    @Mandramas:

    The puppet’s going rogue, and I agree with you that it’s long past time to GTFO. Both of these things are immaterial to the debate/spin going on in this thread.

  504. 504
    Jesse says:

    @Mandramas: I can argue the legality of what we’re doing in Afghanistan (pretty sure the mission is legal, with particular sketchy possibly-illegal acts) or the morality of it (any justification we had ended a few days ago, so we need to GTFO), but those are two separate arguments.

  505. 505
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: I don’t know how it’s going to work when we leave. No one does. I hope some people at the State Department have better educated guesses than mine. That’s a stupid argument against leaving, though.

    Was it Truman who “lost China”?

  506. 506
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: dude, i work the problems at the end of the chapters in Road to Reality for fun.
    Keynes is not difficult.
    Sir Roger is difficult.
    ;)

  507. 507
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Rawls.

  508. 508
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jesse:

    That’s a stupid argument against leaving, though.

    well… I am all for leaving. But i think if we wait too long we are going be leaving by chopper from the rooftops of Kabul.
    In a bloody hurry.
    ;)

  509. 509
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jesse:

    pretty sure the mission is legal, with particular sketchy possibly-illegal acts

    oh, goody!
    so….could you do me the extreme kindness of telling me what the mission is?

  510. 510
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: For someone who claims no background in in economics, I suggest that the General Theory is challenging. It is for economists. If you play around with higher level math, then that part won’t be the challenge for you. The economics will. You will, of course, do what you want. I was just trying to help.

    @Stillwater: Rawls would be good.

  511. 511
    Jesse says:

    @Stillwater: Okay. The US government appears to have gotten permission after the fact from the Pakistani government for the raid that killed OBL.

    Had we gone in there and Pakistan objected, that’s what’s called an “act of war.” There would then be (and in fact is now) this thing called “diplomacy” where our two nations would agree to settle this without fighting.

    You guys seem to be assuming that this international law stuff is clear and grinds along without human intervention. Neither of those things is true.

    In any war, both sides have a legal justification. Always.
    Ours, for bin Laden, was that he was a repugnant monster who killed a bunch of people.

  512. 512
    Mandramas says:

    @Jesse: Bush is the son of the man that started Gulf War I. He had Rove and Cheney. C’mon, it is expected that started with a unilateral war at the least whim.

    Obama is the first president of USA with a Peace Nobel Prize. It if possibly the leftier, and the less war-prone presidential figure in all the political spectrum.

    Even there, the point is not the UBL killing. That is accepted since it was the nature of the war.

    Is the posterior defense of the right to do all the dirty jobs America wants. It is the lack of “ok, we did a mess, we could have done better, we don’t do it anymore”. It is the obamabots and the celebrations and the body in the sea and the lack of videos or photographs and the contradictions and the waterboarding rumor and the certain that we never know what really happened on 9/11 and all the juicers saying “It could be wrong but I give a damn”.

    Do that you have to do, but at least, hide the smile in your face and shows respect, not for UBL that certainly don’t deserves respect, but for the intrinsic wrongness in your methods.

  513. 513
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: As far as I know, it was killing that one guy that we killed. So now, we should leave. But armies are big, hence slow. And, if history is a guide, we’ll leave a garrison behind. So someone will come on BJ and complain that we haven’t really left.

  514. 514
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: TY. after reading the Keynes quote on the Road to Serfdom i would definitely prefer someone else. A modern that is applying Keynsian economics perhaps?
    Preferably someone that is still alive?

  515. 515
    Jesse says:

    @Mandramas: I said we did some wrong stuff. If you’d like me to comment on my view of the wrongness of some of the things the US has done, name them.

    I will spot you the entire Iraq war, Guantanamo, and a big chunk of stuff associated with Bagram. Those things are wrong and immoral.

    Is the posterior defense of the right to do all the dirty jobs America wants.

    I assert no such right. But I do assert a right to pursue and capture or kill anyone who heads a criminal conspiracy that kills thousands of Americans.

  516. 516
    Stillwater says:

    @Jesse: You guys seem to be assuming…

    I’m not assuming anything – except what I take to be El Tiburon’s point. It’s not trivial.

  517. 517
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Jesse: we are trying to negotiate permanent airbases with the Karzai puppet government right now.
    But I don’t think the Taliban will allow us to keep them when they become part of the government.

  518. 518
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandramas: Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson both received Nobel Peace Prizes while serving as president. Jimmy Carter won it in 2002, long after his presidency. Depending on how you look at it, Obama is the third or fourth US president to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

  519. 519
    THE says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:
    I’d second Omnes Omnibus.
    I’d recommend a good Economics 101 textbook to learn the basics of economic thinking. After that read anything you want. But Keynes is a fine writer, IMHO.

  520. 520
    Cassidy says:

    state-sanctioned murder homicide

    Fixed for you. One is a crime; the other is not.

  521. 521
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @THE: but did you see what Keynes said?
    Road to Serfdom is a steaming pile of crap.
    And Hayek was wrong.
    ;)

  522. 522
    Paula says:

    dup

  523. 523
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: FWIW in the same letter from which your quote about Hayek was taken Keynes also said this:

    What we need therefore, in my opinion, is not a change in our economic programmes, which would only lead in practice to disillusion with the results of your philosophy; but perhaps even the contrary, namely, an enlargement of them. Your greatest danger is the probable practical failure of the application of your philosophy in the United States.

    Selective quotation is dangerous. As far as modern economists go, consider Stiglitz.

    Edited slightly

  524. 524
    Paula says:

    @Mandramas:

    Give me a break man.

    As long as you seem to be giving yourself allowance for generalities, I’ll call it pretty damn offensive for some self-identified progressives to celebrate FDR’s achievements. Because in addition to the soc.i.a.malist-movement crushing, racism-ignoring, citizen-interning policies that he supported, he also brought us into a war that was the foundation for post-war American economic might AND the military-security- industrial complex that you now decry.

    And yet, you sit wherever you are (assuming inside America) enjoying the benefits of the decisions he made to bomb the shit outta other people, which laid the groundwork for future presidents to bomb the shit outta more people.

    But yes, please do go on talking some more about “intrinsic wrongness”.

  525. 525
    celticdragonchick says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Yeah, it’s from a Senate committee and I am assuming it was created by a Republican Senate committee. So, not only is it a wingnut document, it is also blatant propaganda.
    Just because it says “we are at war” means bubkus. Has Congress made a formal declaration of war against Al Queda?

    Define “formal”.

    The congressional authorization to fund combat operations in Afghanistan makes it a formal declaration.

    If you want an up or down vote like we had just after Pearl Harbor, then you will find we haven’t been at war since 1945, apparently.

    That is laughable.

  526. 526
    MBunge says:

    @Stillwater: what legislation/pacts/declarations/UNResolutions/etc imbue the US with the legal authority to kill someone on foreign soil?

    I think it’s been repeatedly spelled out what the legal justifications were for the U.S. to kill Osama anywhere he might be. Now, it does seem like Pakistan might (if they didn’t consent to the raid) have legal justification to complain and seek redress. However, since the U.S. and Pakistan do not live together under anything like the Social Contract that governs the interactions of individuals in a society, how that redress is sought and pursued is a bit sketchy.

    Nation-states live together in a fairly Hobbesian jungle. El Tib doesn’t seem grown up enough to be able to handle that simple truth.

    Mike

  527. 527
    Jesse says:

    @Stillwater: Okay, let’s try it like this.

    I am not familiar with codified international law that unambiguously covers the situation with AQ and OBL, and I do not believe there is a body of such law. (The key word here is “unambiguously.”) So the United States has done what nations always do: acted, and presented such legal justifications as it could assemble. It has also, with varying degrees of success, pursued diplomacy to keep this whole AQ thing from being another Archduke Ferdinand debacle.

    There is no higher legal authority to which to appeal, so the US has not appealed to one.

  528. 528
    THE says:

    Ghanima, I predict that if you read just one MacroEconomics 101 textbook. You will get so addicted that we will not hear from you for 5 years.

    Please remember to say hi from time to time, I always miss you.

  529. 529
    El Tiburon says:

    @MBunge:
    For fuck’s sake, are you that scared to answer the question?

    I assume then you have no qualm with the Prez deciding on his own who is a terrorist and then ordering them to be killed, even if it is an American.

  530. 530
    El Tiburon says:

    @freelancer:

    You’re playing semantics with language

    is that like playing hoops with a basketball? I guess that’s just semantics.

    I really don’t understand why it such a difficult question to answer. I guess it’s because you just can’t answer my follow-up questions, such as the location of the POW camps, etc.

    SO we are all agreed that we are mostly cool with our new War Powers the Prez. has. He can, unilaterally send our troops anywhere and kill anyone (including US citizens) on his word alone.

    Now, don’t you fucking change the goalposts. Because that is what we have. And you are totally cool with this?

  531. 531
    Mandramas says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: hehe. I forget them. I stand corrected. And Kissinger, the man that put Pinochet in the power.

  532. 532
    El Cid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Economics ain’t no more complicated than physics.

    People think that Einstein’s weird relativity stuff is the best explanation, but that’s only because scientists lack common sense.

    A focused ordinary person can see plenty of things that so-called scientists won’t because they’re already convinced they’re right to begin with.

  533. 533
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Cid: I would agree with you but I do not know enough physics to do so honestly. My point was simply that someone with no background whatsoever in any social sciences might want to ease herself in.

  534. 534
    Joel says:

    @El Cid: That site reads like crackpottery one-oh-one. I like the part where the guy takes on the hypothesis that ATP is the source of energy in biochemical reactions (nevermind the climate denialism).

  535. 535
    THE says:

    @El Cid:

    The writer is clueless about relativity.

  536. 536
    eemom says:

    535!! Woooohooooo!

  537. 537
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: You are just trying to pad the stats now.

  538. 538
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Did you see eemom was comment 536?

  539. 539
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This thread is getting …

  540. 540
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: … long.

  541. 541
    Jesse says:

    @El Tiburon: Actually, we *can* answer your follow-up questions, you just ignore us when we do.

    No, the President cannot unilaterally send troops anywhere to do whatever he wants them to. But, I am willing to sign on to the following proposition:

    If Congress specifically authorizes the use of military force against a named group of persons, and an American citizen is a member of that group of persons, the President can use military force against that citizen.

    Of course, you’d rather spin tales of doom and catastrophe. Which is kinda fun.

    OBAMMER OPENED THE HELLMOUTH DEMONS WILL KILL US ALL OMG

  542. 542
    Stillwater says:

    @Jesse: I gotta confess – but only reluctantly – that I’m not an international law professor, but I think the case for the US action is thin. That doesn’t mean it was wrong.

    And not to be nitpicky, but notice that when you wrote

    So the United States has done what nations always do: acted, and presented such legal justifications as it could assemble.

    you probably didn’t have Bush the Lesser’s crusade into Iraq in mind. And that brings the point home: just making a good effort at a justification isn’t the same as having actual justification.

    I’m not trying to be contrarian here, tho, so don’t take it that way. I just don’t see why the Congressional authorization for the use of force, which was so broadly worded as to cover any action in any location, constitutes anything other than a homer-justification for the use of force. I mean, of course we think we’re justified, right? Is that the end of the story?

  543. 543
    Stillwater says:

    @Jesse: If Congress specifically authorizes the use of military force against a named group of persons,

    If I’m understanding El Tiburon rightly, what you wrote above isn’t absolution as much as complicity.

  544. 544
    MattR says:

    @THE: Personally, I kinda think you need to have a decent background in microeconomics in order to fully understand the macro concepts.

  545. 545
    THE says:

    @MattR:
    I won’t argue about the word “fully”.

    But I’d say that most 101 textbooks explain their concepts pretty well.
    I started with Macroeconomics and found it accessible.

    And knowing her, I think the Macro perspective would appeal to her. I worry about her getting bored with microeconomics.

  546. 546
    Cacti says:

    So, have the firebaggers finished their handwringing for dear, departed Osama?

  547. 547
    ABL says:

    @j low: indeed, it is easy to brush off the Principled One’s “error” if one characterizes it the way you have; but in context of his posts and tweets over the past few days, it is plain that he paints panetta as some starry-eyed hollywood wannabe (in order to fit that piece in his larger Obama is a Torturing Warmonger narrative), when that isn’t the case, just as he paints all who aren’t crying morality tears about killing OBL as bloodthirsty orgy-attendees and fails to take into account, as mentioned by others upthread, the horror of what we’re dealing with with respect to OBL.

    when viewed in totality, a more pernicious motive seems obvious to me.

    and if GG is willing to make shit up to prove a point, or even if he is willing to exaggerate and embellish facts to make a point, then how the fuck is he so Unwaveringly Principled?

    The man is an opportunist feeding bullshit to those who can’t critically think for themselves and therefore need to be told how to feel about one issue or another or need to have one issue or another explained through the GG prism of Everything Obama Does is Bad, so those people can go do his troll work for him. the law is complicated. glenn knows that and he exploits it to his advantage so he can be viewed as Unwaveringly Principled.

    In fact, he is *so* unwaveringly principled, that he would never accuse his critics of malfeasance simply because they point to previously held positions — blatant immigrant bashing — as evidence of his utter NON-liberalness.

    He would never cowardly attempt to walk back his anti-liberal viewpoints on the grounds that he held them before he had an audience at whom to lob his Principled Viewpoints — 6 whole years ago at the ripe young age of 38.

    Oh, he would? My bad.

  548. 548
    ABL says:

    @Jesse: s/he also seems to think that OBL was merely a “pain in the ass.” And then takes issue with cops shooting people who refuse to “freeze” and therefore pose a threat to the cop, and then makes a bizarre fellatio slippery slope argument.

    how can one take this person seriously?

  549. 549
    eemom says:

    @ABL:

    beeeyoootiful summation, ABL.

    I would only add to this

    the law is complicated. glenn knows that

    that that is pretty much ALL the little twerp actually knows about law.

    Hark — is that the flapping of wings I hear?

    Let’s you and I duck under this table while Svensker and all the other furious avenging Greenwald-Mama-buzzards swoop in to peck our eyes out.

  550. 550
    rootless_e says:

    The thing to remember, though, is that it isn’t Glenn or those who question the administration who are out of line or straying from their principles. It is me.

    True – Glenn ALWAYS finds some reason to attack Obama. I don’t know how great those principles are though – and they certainly do not have any constitutional or much of an ethical basis.

    Greenwald is a great example how speaking authoritatively carries bullshit a long way – just like Hayek.

  551. 551
    General Stuck says:

    For those hem hawing around about legalities regarding fighting AQ after 9-11, here is the gist of the world’s reaction via the UN Security Council. Which is even more sweeping that the AUMF, that actually changed international laws to mandate compliance of all member states. And pretty much gives cart blanche for taking what ever actions necessary to clobber AQ and the Taliban, wherever they be.

    It marks a shift in international law, as the latter was presumed to be valid only if the concerned state had voluntarily signed the international treaty; whereas here the Security Council imposed the resolution on all member states. According to the press release, the “meeting, which began at 10:50 p.m., adjourned at 10:53 p.m.” and thus lasted three minutes.[1] There is no record of the meeting,[2] and although the United States is widely credited with initiating Resolution 1373, it is not known who really was responsible for its passage.

    So enough of the legal smeagle drivel. The entire fucking world was and is behind direct actions against AQ in THREE FUCKING MINUTES, and that most certainly applies to it’s commander OBL. And we signed on to the UN a long time ago, just like we did in justifying the Libyan action, only with AQ, there is also a separate authorization from our congress, that most legal scholars think satisfies the constitutional perogatives for congress to declare wars. I know Greenwald doesn’t recognize it, but he is a foaming at the mouth fanatic.

    “5. Expresses its readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations;

  552. 552
    eemom says:

    aaaand, just to pile on, I’ll add that the only BJ thread I know of that was longer than this one was the one where Mr. Principled was outted for the shitty little liar fact-dodging prevaricator he is with respect to his financial dealings with his BFF Jane Hamsher.

    [flap flap FLAP]

  553. 553
    rootless_e says:

    Glenn is a civil libertarian, he cares deeply about extrajudicial killings, about targeted assassination, about government secrecy and cover-ups. He’s not being some sort of hypocrite asking about those things, even though Osama was an absolute monster. He’s just sticking to his principles

    Let’s consider Glenn’s fucking principles. This is what “rule of law” means in Pakistan

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl.....a-13158001

    http://articles.latimes.com/20.....ed20110304

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl.....a-12116764

    So people who want to bullshit about how the process was violated by terrible America are committing the same kind of hypocritical moral fraud that it would take to completely ignore the civil rights record of the Obama administration when bitching about civil liberties.

  554. 554
    ABL says:

    @eemom: I thought I heard the thundering fapping of said buzzards, but I reckon they have to come up with a “he didn’t mean what he said about those evil Mexicans back in 2005” narrative first. Get their story straight and such.

    I suspect they’ll be all ad hominemmy in the meantime — because they can’t think of anything while Glenn is offline and sunbathing in Brazil. Alas, I have dinner plans, so I must away.

  555. 555
    rootless_e says:

    and by the way, it’s not an “extra-judicial execution”. Don’t people even read the constitution anymore?

  556. 556
    MattR says:

    @THE: Yeah. I am probably biased because I enjoyed the micro stuff more than the macro. I think it was because I thought the micro theories translated more directly/accurately to the real world.

    I can’t figure out how to say the next part without sounding much nastier than I mean to be, so please take that in mind. I think that m_c has a tendency to jump to conclusions and to think that she has a better, fuller understanding of a topic than she does. As a result, I think that having a very superficial knowledge of the micro theories is “dangerous” and that she would be better served by understanding Micro 101 before she jumps into more advanced applied macro theory (which I assume is what she is interested in based on what/who she is looking to read)

  557. 557
    Stillwater says:

    @MattR: Weren’t there some monsters when the BJ community hammered out the provisions in the ACA? 1000+?

  558. 558
    MattR says:

    @Stillwater: Huh? I did not mean to make a comment about the length of this thread.

  559. 559
    THE says:

    @MattR:
    I just checked a bunch of my old economics textbooks, and all the 101 level ones, are general economics with a “section 1 micro, section 2 Macro” approach.

  560. 560
    Stillwater says:

    @MattR: Yeah. What? (Yaaawn.) What the hell? Right. eemom?

    Sorry.

  561. 561
    MattR says:

    @THE: Did you reverse that? All my economics books are in storage but a check of my transcript shows that my college had Intro Macro as Econ 101, Intro Micro as Econ 102, Micro Theory as Econ 301 and Macro Theory as Econ 302. So who knows :)

    (EDIT: Or maybe my school didn’t want both Micro courses in the fall and both Macro in the spring, or vice versa, and they felt that the order of the mid-level courses was more important in their opinion. Or maybe I am full of shit and it just doesn’t matter)

    @Stillwater: No problem. Figured that was what happened, but it has been a long day so I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t me. I re-read my comment a half dozen times trying to figure out if there could be some other meaning that I was subconsiously channelling.

  562. 562
    eemom says:

    @Stillwater:

    I don’t think so. Those were heated, and some were long, but not that long.

    The other GG thread I referenced above was just short of 1,000 IIRC.

    But you better ask fuckie. He’s been commenting here since the big bang, so he like, knows more than God.

  563. 563
    THE says:

    @MattR:
    yes, I just skimmed it very quickly. my latest one, is nearly twenty years old. Byrns and Stone 1992. You are right.

  564. 564
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    goodbye cruel world. couldn’t you get that from context?

    Perhaps.

  565. 565
    Valdivia says:

    @eemom:

    saw your reply and totally agree. wow, wading through all the comments was hard work but worth it for the mutual agreement regarding Eichmann.

  566. 566
    AxelFoley says:

    @MikeJ:

    Am I the only non-hypocrite here? I too wondered if it was legal, determined it was, and went on being happy.

    I had no doubt it was legal. Sumamabitch declared war on us (on video, many times), killed almost 3,000 people in one day, killed more people a few other times, and finally got his just rewards.

    Cased closed.

    Anyone arguing that is just being a douchebag.

  567. 567
    AxelFoley says:

    @LM: @ post #40.

    Spot on. Spot the fuck on.

  568. 568
    soonergrunt says:

    @WereBear:
    Nope, SEAL dogs do not have titanium teeth, unless you’re talking about dental caps.

  569. 569
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @soonergrunt: It’s just a grill. Don’t get up in it.

  570. 570
    General Stuck says:

    Good to see things are back to abnormal around here, where a GG thread can top the 500 comment mark without breaking a big sweat. All the hamster wheels have been greased, and around we go.

  571. 571
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Child, you make me laugh every time you open your silly little Bush-fellating yap. As for making me cry, you don’t have the cognitive equipment, much less the emotional awareness of others to achieve any such thing. Sucks to be a sociopath, but it’s your life, not mine.

  572. 572
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @fhtagn: Does it actually suck for the sociopath? From our perspective, sure, but does a sociopath notice the missing bits of psyche?

  573. 573
    fhtagn says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Hard to say. I guess it depends on which alias the poor critter currently inhabits. Either way, watching her posture on here is a bit like seeing a chew toy talking smack to a rottweiler.

  574. 574
    4jkb4ia says:

    I’m going to stick to what I said under another handle. If OBL was killed, this provided some ambiguity under the laws of war. If OBL was captured, this would provide the humiliation of not being able to give him a proper trial or being able to give him one and not KSM who actually planned the whole thing. If you can prove that OBL was illegally killed, that shines a spotlight on the last sentence and it’s worth doing.
    I didn’t think of “happy” as an emotion that you could really have about this until I saw Spencer’s twitter feed. Spencer is happy? He has a drink? He is not calmly punditizing?

  575. 575
    4jkb4ia says:

    Adam Serwer won the Internet that night: “I can’t wait to see what Marc Thiessen will write about this”. I LOLd.

  576. 576
    AxelFoley says:

    @ABL:

    @j low: indeed, it is easy to brush off the Principled One’s “error” if one characterizes it the way you have; but in context of his posts and tweets over the past few days, it is plain that he paints panetta as some starry-eyed hollywood wannabe (in order to fit that piece in his larger Obama is a Torturing Warmonger narrative), when that isn’t the case, just as he paints all who aren’t crying morality tears about killing OBL as bloodthirsty orgy-attendees and fails to take into account, as mentioned by others upthread, the horror of what we’re dealing with with respect to OBL.
    when viewed in totality, a more pernicious motive seems obvious to me.
    and if GG is willing to make shit up to prove a point, or even if he is willing to exaggerate and embellish facts to make a point, then how the fuck is he so Unwaveringly Principled?
    The man is an opportunist feeding bullshit to those who can’t critically think for themselves and therefore need to be told how to feel about one issue or another or need to have one issue or another explained through the GG prism of Everything Obama Does is Bad, so those people can go do his troll work for him. the law is complicated. glenn knows that and he exploits it to his advantage so he can be viewed as Unwaveringly Principled.
    In fact, he is so unwaveringly principled, that he would never accuse his critics of malfeasance simply because they point to previously held positions—blatant immigrant bashing—as evidence of his utter NON-liberalness.
    He would never cowardly attempt to walk back his anti-liberal viewpoints on the grounds that he held them before he had an audience at whom to lob his Principled Viewpoints—6 whole years ago at the ripe young age of 38.
    Oh, he would? My bad.

    What the lady said.

  577. 577
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: wallah, i dont fellate Bush. You are confusing me with Mr. Freed Markets.

    EDK: Bush had a ‘coalition of the willing’ including the UK. It doesn’t make the Iraq war right any more than French and UK jets make the Libya war right.

    Senile dementia, perhaps?
    ;)

  578. 578
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    I am sure you know all about dementia, chewtoy_chan.

  579. 579
    4jkb4ia says:

    These comments should not be read to reflect badly on John. John is likable/lovable because he is straightforwardly a human being.

  580. 580
    Draylon Hogg says:

    So if the man who ordered the 9/11 attacks that killed five thousand innocent civilians deserves two bullets in the head what punishment is appropriate for those who ordered the Iraq war and killed at least five hundred thousand? Is there a sliding scale for brutality?

  581. 581
    Uriel says:

    @El Tiburon: @El Tiburon:

    Some here say we are at war with Al Queda, others say only nations can declare war.

    And by ‘others’ you, of course, mean yourself, speaking out of the deep, deep well of your own ignorance.

    Please see ‘pirates, barbary.’ Cross reference that with ‘american’ and ‘wars.’ Really, this is very basic stuff we’re talking about.

  582. 582
    THE says:

    @El Cid:

    I just wanted to enlarge a bit on my comment above. I was a little rushed when I wrote it.

    When I say that the writer is clueless I mean that its seems to me that he has failed to understand some important features of relativity.

    Firstly I get the impression that the writer doesn’t really understand the difference between the Special and General theory. The curvature of light by the Sun is a prediction of the General Theory. The rest of the article is mostly talking about the Special Theory.

    Also I get the impression that the writer doesn’t really understand the way spacetime works in the Special Theory.

    I have always advocated teaching relativity in its full four dimensional notation, right from the start, because there are so many issues that are more transparent if you grasp the peculiar structure of spacetime first.

    I think quite a few modern textbooks do use the four dimensional Tensor notation from the start, and I think it is really a huge boost to understanding, when people do that.

    Of course learning Tensor geometry is a challenge in itself. But I think it is really worth the effort, even if it means delaying the introduction to relativity.

  583. 583
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @AxelFoley: Is Obama=Bush the default “principled” libertarian position in general? I thought it was concern trolling, but perhaps it is deeper than that. Perhaps any president is a suspicious receptacle of undeserved and dangerous power. Perhaps the meme is actually “Obama is worse than Bush because he should know better”?

    Consider Libya: I think they spoke with one voice.

    Larison: Obama’s decision to attack Libya is outrageous for many reasons, but one of these is that it reflects Obama’s apparent belief in sweeping inherent executive powers to start and prosecute wars arbitrarily.

    “Our” EDK: Bush had a ‘coalition of the willing’ including the UK. It doesn’t make the Iraq war right any more than French and UK jets make the Libya war right.

    Spencer Ackerman: The president’s insistence that his Libyan campaign is limited in its purposes and duration is no excuse. These are precisely the issues that he should have defined in collaboration with Congress. Now that he claims inherent power, why can’t he redefine U.S. objectives on his own? No less important, what is to stop some future president from using Obama’s precedent to justify even more aggressively unilateral actions?

    Is this the standardized soi disant civil libertarian position held by Greenwald?

  584. 584
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @THE: haha, i endorse this message at least.

  585. 585
    cleek says:

    @Draylon Hogg:

    what punishment is appropriate for those who ordered the Iraq war and killed at least five hundred thousand?

    the two cases are very different. Bush did not invade Iraq with the intention of killing Iraqi civilians, and our military does not try to kill civilians – quite the opposite, in fact. our military tries very hard to avoid hurting civilians, and spends a lot of time and energy trying to help keep civilian society functioning during and after the fighting. that many civilians were killed (and still are being killed) is horrific (and is a foreseeable consequence of war, which is why i opposed both of Bush’s wars), but it wasn’t intentional. and, international laws forgive this kind of killing. yes, i realize that that’s cold comfort for the dead and their survivors.

    on the other hand, al-Q specifically targets civilians; they kill civilians for the sake of killing civilians. and that is what makes them terrorists.

  586. 586
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @cleek: well….i for one am bored with the endless soulsearching navel gazing, pearl clutching and hand wringing. If the mission in A-stan was to get OBL, we done got him.
    Can we leave yet?
    Or is the military industrial complex going to switch focus to al-Zawahiri so we have a pretext to continue slaughtering muslim dads with drones so our armed social workers m1ss1onaries with guns can make more Taliban and build girls schools for muslimah orphan daughters with money we don’t have?

  587. 587
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @cleek:

    but it wasn’t intentional. and, international laws forgive this kind of killing.

    No they don’t.
    you are pretty disgusting too.
    Over 750k iraqi civilians died because that fucking WEC retard Bush was too stupid to get that when muslims are DEMOCRATICALLY EMPOWERED to vote they vote for shariah, and not for westernstyle democracy with freedom of speech.
    Shariah outlaws proselytization of the poor and ignorant, and freedom of speech legalizes proselytization.
    Changing the religion of a 97% muslim country can’t be done.

  588. 588
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @cleek: adlah allah! (the justice of god)
    But there is justice, cleek. America is being kicked out of Iraq in December via the SOFA and we won’t be invited back.
    We spent a trillion dollars and five thousand soldier lives for nothing, and earned the undying enmity of most of dar ul Islam.
    In 20 years that will be one quarter of all the humans on the planet.
    Will that be enough time for muslims to forget?
    I doubt it.

  589. 589
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @cleek: I think you read what you just again.

    but it wasn’t intentional. and, international laws forgive this kind of killing.

    Un-fucking-believeable.
    Better whip out that pie filter and shield yourself from the uncomfortable truth that you are an intransigent unmitigated assclown.

  590. 590
    Joel says:

    @cleek: as they say, quod erat demonstrandum.

  591. 591
    El Tiburon says:

    @Jesse:

    Of course, you’d rather spin tales of doom and catastrophe. Which is kinda fun.

    Agreed. Indiscriminate killing of children all over the world is a FUCKING BLAST DUDE! I can’t stop laughing!

    Holding people in a cage for the rest of their lives after kidnapping them from their home is so fucking awesome!

    Our President being able to kill anyone at anytime on his say so just makes me piss my fucking pants it’s so many levels of fun.

    I get it now. We accept these open-ended ‘wars’ or whatever you want to call them as ‘just doin’ bizness’ the American way.

    Hey, also, if we are at war with Al Queda or whomever, riddle me this: why have we not attempted any negotiations or terms of surrender? Seems to me after 10 years we should be looking to sit at a big mahogany table and do some negotiating, no?

    Look, if we are at war with Al Queda, fine. We are at war.

    But seems to me this is just a political football and that our only mission is to continue bombing the shit out everyone until the end of time. Maybe Obama will pull out the October Surprise by bringing all of our troops home and declaring victory in 2012. But I don’t think so. Because we are not at war. Not in any traditional sense.

  592. 592
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: There are two aspects of the law of war, one covers the legality of going to war (jus ad bellum) and the other covers how war, once initiated, may be conducted (jus in bello). Under jus in bello, cleek is absolutely correct that here is a huge difference between intentionally targeting civilians and taking actions which ultimately result in the unintentional harm to civilians. Where Bush et al. really fell down is on the jus ad bellum side. Lying your way into a war of aggression is not considered acceptable.

  593. 593
    THE says:

    @Ghanima:

    In 20 years that will be one quarter of all the humans on the planet.

    Let’s go to your PEW survey source.

    You do realise you are talking about an increase of from 23.4% in 2010 to 26.4% in 2030. In other words a mere +3% of the human population? I know it’s an increase, but perhaps a little less overwhelming than you seem to think?

    Also this:
    If you actually go into their database.

    I took the difference between the 2030 and 2010 populations for each country. Here are the top ten nations, by net projected increase:

    Pakistan… +78,020,000
    India…… +58,896,000
    Nigeria…. +41,104,000
    Bangladesh. +38,899,000
    Indonesia.. +33,986,000
    Egypt…… +25,041,000
    Afghanistan +21,480,000
    Iraq……. +17,242,000
    Niger…… +16,395,000
    Ethiopia… +15,745,000

    Together these ten nations account for over 60% of the total world increase.

    Do you notice anything?
    These include some of the poorer, more underdeveloped countries in the world.

    What the PEW survey is telling us is that there could be a quite a few more poor, hungry, Muslims in 2030. This is hardly surprising, since rapid population growth is usually a marker of poverty.

    Also I believe that the world will be largely post-oil in 2030, for reasons you and I have discussed elsewhere. If I am right, even many of the currently, better-performing nations, may be in some difficulty by then.

    So yes, it looks like there’s going to be a lot of poor Muslims by 2030. It’s a major problem, but perhaps not the kind of threat to the developed world that you think it is?

    IMHO, The biggest problem is not their anger/numbers as such, it is their poverty and technological underdevelopment.

  594. 594
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: AMG.
    this is what i am objecting to.

    but it wasn’t intentional. and, international laws forgive this kind of killing

    international laws do not forgive that kind of killing.
    that is bulshytt.
    who is the Bush fellator here?
    You and cleek are both amoral disgusting apologists.
    Bush gets a pass because he didnt mean to.
    That is anglosaxon xianity in a nutshell. They are going to kill the brown people, rape them and steal their stuff, but the missionaries with guns have good intentions.
    hah, guess what?
    It doesn’t work on muslims.
    Shariah forbids proselytization. Freedom of speech legalizes proselytization. Therefore shariah and freedom of speech are incompatible. And if you want empirical proof, look at Iraq and A-stan and the other epic fails of the US to spread/standup/implant/install/impose westernstyle democracy in majority muslim states.
    It cannot be done. 10 years, a trillion dollars and 7,000 dead american soldiers later Iraq has shariah in their constitution and is putting a boot in America’s ass in December, and the Taliban are stronger than ever in Afghanistan.
    And you assclowns have the fucking GALL to say Bush didnt mean to cause the deaths of three quarters of a million muslims because he didn’t intend to.
    Fuck off.
    And DIAF.

    This website still blows.
    fucking cudlips.

  595. 595
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: You did not read and/or understand a word I wrote. Of course, this is typical of you. Look, it works this way. Following WWII, we prosecuted German and Japanese upper level military and civilian leaders for starting the war. We prosecuted individuals for specific actions that the violated the laws of how war is conducted (torture, execution of prisoners, etc.). What we did not do is prosecute ordinary soldiers, sailors, and airmen for fighting in the war. This is true even though the actions of, for example Dornier bomber crews, harmed the living hell out of civilians. The starting of a war of aggression is an act for which Bush and crew are culpable. Intentional targeting of civilians is not. I cannot speak for cleek, but nothing I wrote above exonerates Bush. I was clarifying what laws he could be considered as having violated. Any attempt on your part to say otherwise is either an inadvertent or intentional misreading of what I wrote.

    ETA: The rest of your word salad on imposing democracy and freedom of speech and shariah has nothing at all to do with what either cleek or I wrote.

  596. 596
    eemom says:

    c’mon guys, only 4 to go before we top 600!

    Let’s get this thread in the history books!!

  597. 597
    cleek says:

    we can do this!

  598. 598
    eemom says:

    here, I’ll help: a bit of topical humor from one of the SEAL Commando doggies. Check out his gear!

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetw.....-at-a-time

  599. 599
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: I am not going to play your little stat padding game.

  600. 600
    MBunge says:

    @El Tiburon: Agreed. Indiscriminate killing of children all over the world is a FUCKING BLAST DUDE! I can’t stop laughing!

    Just for future reference, you don’t even bother to read people’s responses to you, right? If we can be sure you’re just here to stroke your sense of moral superiority until you spooge all over your screen, it’ll save the rest of us some time and keystrokes.

    Mike

  601. 601
    El Tiburon says:

    @MBunge:

    it’ll save the rest of us some time and keystrokes.

    Yes, please save the keystrokes and stop just trying to get your little clever school yard taunts in. I am not now nor have I ever claimed any moral superiority over anyone or anything. You know I am honestly trying to figure out people’s perspectives. If I misread a response or seem argumentative, it’s not to stroke anyting. This is obviously an issue I care a lot about and I care what others think as well.

    So go ahead and continue being a dickhead, whatever gets you going in the morning. Otherwise if you don’t like what I have to say, then grow up and just fucking ignore me. Please.

  602. 602
    MBunge says:

    @El Tiburon: You know I am honestly trying to figure out people’s perspectives.

    Bullshit. The moral, ethical and legal justifications for killing Osama in Pakistan have been gone over more than a few times in this thread. You’re certainly entitled to disagree with those justifications but as others have pointed out, you don’t disagree. You refuse to respond or meaningfully engage with anyone else and just keep spouting the same self-aggradizing nonsense.

    Keep on strokin’.

    Mike

  603. 603
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    very well then, mr. bean-counter. You will just have to spend the next 400 comments in substantive dialogue with toko-loko to keep things HONEST.

  604. 604
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: you. fucking. asshole.
    I read what you said.
    You said Bush can’t be held responsible for hundreds of thousands of muslim civilian deaths because he didnt mean it.
    Cleek said “international laws forgive this kind of thing”.
    That is a FUCKING lie. Bush may yet be prosecuted for war crimes.
    OBAMA isn’t prosecuting him, so what?
    That has nothing to do with the international court.

    My word salad has to do with justice and accepting responsibilty.
    All of America has to pay because Bush was a stupid fucking WEC.
    I think America should hold Bush accountable.
    Starting with you and cleek…..you are excusing Bush, writing apologia essentially.
    Fellatio.
    he didnt mean to.
    /spit
    you make me sick.

  605. 605
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I understand every word.
    Why should anyone in the wide wide world hold that fucking WEC retard Bush acountable if you and cleek won’t?

    responsibilty, like charity, starts at home.

    @cleek: haw haw.
    “but it wasn’t intentional.”
    i hate you quite a lot right now, because you are intelligent to know better….
    and because you dumb fucking cudlips are just going let the baddies do you again.

  606. 606
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Dipshit, if Bush is ever prosecuted for war crimes, it will be for launching the war and for authorizing torture. It will not be for things that happened in ordinary combat operations. That is what I was saying. That is what I am saying now. I am excusing nothing. The blood that is on his hands is there because he launched an aggressive war of choice. It is there because he authorized torture. It is not there because of combat operations conducted according the laws of war. I am making a distinction, not offering an apologia.

  607. 607
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: bulshytt. On this very thread CD said the muslim men in Fallujah “brought it on themselves”, and you agreed with her.

    It is not there because of combat operations conducted according the laws of war.

    He can be prosecuted because of both. The US covered up evidence of torture in Iraq, both by the Iraqi forces and by American forces, during combat ops.
    Cleek is full of shit.

  608. 608
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: There is NO DIFFERENCE between Bush and OBL. Both were promoting fanatical ideologies and didn’t give a shit about how many civilians died.
    OBL was promoting wahabbi arab nationalism– Bush was promoting jesushumper democracy.
    No diffference.
    Bush had a lot more resources so he killed a hella lot more people.
    And they both failed.
    You and cleek excuse Bush because he was promoting YOUR fanatical ideology.
    He didnt MEAN to kill those people…..he didnt do it on purpose.
    /spit

  609. 609
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: I said you and CDC were talking about different things.

    Let’s parse the statement you just quoted, shall we? Do you think that the phrase “conducted according to the laws of war” has meaning? It does. If there were combat operations that were not conducted according to the laws of war, Bush could face potential prosecution for those as well. Also, just before that sentence, I said that Bush could face prosecution for authorizing torture. You cannot just pull a sentence out of the context of the paragraph in which you find it. Guilty of violating jus ad bellum =/=guilty of violating jus in bello.

  610. 610
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: My fanatical ideology? I never supported the Iraq war unlike some around here. I am not advocating for its continuation. I am in favor leaving Afghanistan ASAP. Religiously, I am an agnostic. I offered a little bit of analysis of the law of war and you went apeshit. For the record, I hope Bush rots in jail for the rest of his life in a cell right next to that of his VP. They unnecessarily killed a shitload of people, they damn near broke the armed forces, they virtually emptied the coffers of the country, and they fostered hatred for the US through out much of the world, and they dishonored every US citizen by their actions.

  611. 611
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @eemom: fuck off crone.

  612. 612
    eemom says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    watch it, brat.

    And chill the fuck out. You are attacking the wrong people here, and it’s making you look like a little idiot.

  613. 613
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:
    @eemom:

    Crone?

  614. 614
    Mandramas says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I was reading wikipedia looking for close comparisons to the Bush Wars in the military history of USA. The invasion to Philippines looks close. Or the Banana Wars.
    Also, W.Wilson, the Peace Nobel laureate, also ordered an expedition to kill Pancho Villa.
    I like historical loops.

  615. 615
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandramas: Look at the Barbary Wars of the early 1800s. Some parallels with the origins of the Afghan War. I think as far as causation goes, one has to separate the Afghan and Iraq wars. One can be seen as a direct response to an attack on US soil (it can be argued whether or not is was the best approach, but it falls under the broad umbrella of self defense) while the other was a war of aggression that was justified by lies.

    The Villa expedition is a precedent for the mission against bin Laden, but the way.

  616. 616
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: you are a western culture chauvinist. A fucking “democracy promotor” just like Bush.
    /spit

  617. 617
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    Crusaders all look alike to me.

  618. 618
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Cheers then. I have actually made an effort of the past few weeks to look past your quirks and to take you seriously. In this particular situation, I have been very patient in explaining in great detail the meaning of a rather offhand remark about law and war. Given that, you could do me the courtesy of reading what I said and accepting my further explanations or you could do as you are doing and patch together a version of reality in which anyone who disagrees with you over anything is the enemy.

  619. 619
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I think it means I’m old. : (

  620. 620
    Stillwater says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Crusaders all look alike to me.

    Like your old friends, Matoko? The crowd you ran with when you cheered for war and ridiculed liberals?

  621. 621
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Stillwater: at least i learned, unlike you retards that want to give the “freed” market fucktards a do over.
    The common denominator of both Iraq and A-stan is the Bush Doctrine, the moronic idea that America could standup/implant/impose/spread jesushumper democracy in majority muslim nations. But the jokes on dumbass judeoxian America.
    It can’t be done.
    Islam is IMMUNE to proselytizing.
    And COIN is just the BD cut down to village size, and it fucking failed in Iraq so we tried it again in A-stan. And we are still trying at 100 million dollars a day.
    Bush is exactly the same as OBL. Both are war criminals, both are ideological terrorists, and the only difference is order of magnitude. Bush bankrupted our country to kill three quarters of a million Iraqi civilians.
    For nothing.
    Because Iraq is putting a boot in Americas ass in December and getting chummy with Iran.

  622. 622
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    Who’s the terrorist?

    Whos the terrorist nation?
    America

  623. 623
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    at least i learned

    Neither sufficiently nor well. But that’s what happens when you try and deploy a model with 256KB of RAM in a 1000 GB environment.

  624. 624
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    Bush bankrupted our country both morally and economically to kill three quarters of a million Iraqi civilians because he was a stupid white evanglical christian.
    All that blood and treasure for nothing.
    Because Iraq is putting a boot in Americas ass in December and getting chummy with Iran.

    liek that, cudlips?
    deal you fucking retards.

  625. 625
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Remind me who said:

    I really think GW is doing a bitchin’ job of pressing the War on Terror. He is a warrior first class, decisive and fierce, as concentrated as a laser sight. I’m glad we’re on the same side.

    What a crush ‘ickle matoko had, eh?

  626. 626
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: go fawn and slobber over the libertarians and the “freed” market at the LoOG.
    and bend over, because here they come again.

  627. 627
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: i also said Bush is a fucking WEC retard that was too stupid to get that when muslims are democratically empowered to vote they vote for shariah.
    About a thousand times.
    Boo-yah! democracy promotion FAIL.
    what a moron.

  628. 628
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Well, after that display of incisive logic and elegant rhetoric, what can I possibly do but point at you and giggle?

    Oh look, it’s matoko and dubya, sitting in a tree.. kissing!

  629. 629
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: lawl, and that isn’t the stupidest thing i ever said. i survived that one.
    sadly, i admired you too.
    stupid grrl.

  630. 630
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: im gobsmacked that people here want to defend a fucking christian evangelical moron that spent a trillion dollars and put our troops into an unwinnable meatgrinder for 10 years of nothing, and killed nearly a million iraqi civilians as a side effect of being stupid.
    OBL just got lucky with a junk-punch and crashed our economy….but it was Bush’s missionary democracy fever that fucked us for the next ten years and destroyed America morally and economically.

  631. 631
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Don’t worry, kid. I’ve ignored plenty of googly-eyed Bush fangirls like you, and slept the sleep of the just. Cultists like you are so desperate for attention, it’s almost cruel to fuel your addiction by mocking you. Still, there’s always some hope that your brain will reboot into reality at some point.

  632. 632
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    im gobsmacked that people here want to defend a fucking christian evangelical moron

    Remedial English and basic reading skills would be your friend, child. You really ought to invest some time in critical thinking as well.

  633. 633
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: and i cant believe i ever thought you were intelligent and might me teach me something about economics.
    You are just a libertarian fluffer that enjoys being fisted by the invisible hand of the market.
    gross.

  634. 634
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    I just want you to know that I am laughing my ass off at your attempts to turn me into another of the libertarian voices in your head. What’s with the obsession with fisting, anyway? Little girl not getting the love?

    I just wonder whether you have an inner masochist that forces you to get mocked by others by acting like an ignorant buffoon. Still, if it gets your “rocks” off, I guess you’ll carry on clowning yourself.

    And in our series of “what matoko really thinks” we present:

    I am far more isomorphic with Condoleeza. She is my hero. She actually believes in the power of diplomacy.
    Once upon a time I had a riding clinic with famous olympian eventer Karen O’Connor. She said many wise things, including that it was terribly hard to force a horse to do something, since they were an order of magnitude larger, but that they could often be persuaded. Then Karen said something that shaped my relationship with my horse forever. She said, open a door for him. To give him a place to go, gracefully, without humilation or force. That’s what i see Condi doing with Ahmadinejad. She is not weak or accomodating, or fooled by dissembling. She is just trying to open a door.

  635. 635
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: go back and read the thread.
    cleek said Bush was not as bad as OBL because he didn’t MEAN to kill civilians.

    but it wasn’t intentional. and, international laws forgive this kind of killing

    I objected.
    Bush is open to prosecution for warcrimes in the international court because during combat in Iraq he covered up torture by both American and Iraqi soldiers (cite wikileaks).
    Besides being a disgusting Bush fellator cleek is also wrong about international law.
    the word she used ….”forgive” turned my stomach.

  636. 636
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    You really don’t handle this reading business very well, do you, little Miss Bush Is My Warrior Hero? You’ve confused two separate issues, you’ve thrown around personal insults like an emo teenage girl who thinks Bieber don’t love her no more, and in general you’ve made an idiot of yourself. And now for another “matoko’s secret diary” excerpt:

    Just in case you have ever wondered how young american soldiers really feel about hollywood, jane fonda, michael moore, kofi, murtha, code pink, anti-war protesters, sheehan, kerry and dean, paris hilton, etc, you can watch this, the trailer for Pat Dollard’s Young Americans.
    Powerful, fierce and moving.

    Quite the little wing-nut, eh?

  637. 637
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: that is what i THOUGHT.
    what i think now is you are a perve that fluffs libertarians and likes being fisted by the invisible hand.
    you dont care about 750k dead muslim civilians and 4.5 million orphans.
    i do. it makes me sick to be a american. it makes me sick to see what an immature fool i was. that is why i havent deleted that blog. so i wont forget.
    so what? i was raised republican. my parents had a fucking garden party for the first time i voted. go pick on Cole, i bet he wrote stupid shit too.
    And you are just throwing radar chaff.
    because Americans dont want to accept responsibilty.

  638. 638
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    I see. According to your lucid analysis, the one of us who is obsessed with being fisted by the invisible hand is not the perve? What dazzling logic. You really are the new Ibn Sina, aren’t you? What’s up with your creepy obsession with ED Kain and sex anyway? You do know he’s happily married and not available for hump-hump time with emo stalker girls?

  639. 639
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: fuck you. i raised money for Dollard and the troops. it wasnt their fault that fucking WEC retard put them in an unwinnable meatgrinder. i wanted to fix al-hurrah too. And i could have done it too….Asian Dub Foundation and Natacha Atlas 24/7.
    why are you making this about me? isnt that a conservative trick?
    why dont you link posts where i smacked down Robert Spencer and Michelle Malkin?

    isnt this part of the thread about how Bush was a worse terrorist than OBL?
    Why dont you want to talk bout that, perve?

  640. 640
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: i haven’t mentioned him, except as an example of greenwaldian/libertarian Obama-is-worse-than-Bush-ism.
    Why are you mentioning him now?
    more chaff?

    hes not relevant to this thread. why don’t you make a GaJo thread or a “Freed” market thread, and then he can be relevant.
    ;)

  641. 641
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    So you don’t like being treated by others the way you treated ED Kain? There’s a chance for you to reflect on this and grow morally, if you dare to take it.

    But I imagine your wingnut psyche won’t allow you to reflect on your own short-comings.

    Anyway, I have found you very amusing tonight. Unintentionally amusing, but still, credit where it’s due, eh?

    Just to refresh your memory on how your interactions with the world have gone so far:

    less see…this year i have been IP banned at LGF and dKos, had comments deleted at Althouse and Feministe, and been threatened with banning at various other sites. i wasn’t much bothered until my friend Aziz told me i came close to an instant ban on this thread, for talking about race and IQ. i am not tactful or sensitive, and what is the point of trying to deny scientific fact? But no way am i prejudiced in any genomic fashion– i am only prejudiced against bad ideology, like bio-luddites, barking islamophobes, hbd-deniers, IDists and emo-fans. Oh, and mary@exitzero, on general principles.

  642. 642
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: why dont you link Ganked by the Instapundit? both Charles Johnson and i got epiphanied by Expelled at the same time.
    you could cherry pick more recent posts….oops! But i didnt like Bush after i turned liberal.
    And after i worked on Obama’s campaign i got got “expelled” myself.

    I’m sure you can think of many more with little effort.
    You can put more examples in the comments if you like for my eventual scholarly peer-reviewed paper to be titled Conservatives in the Mist: Was 2008 the Political Equivalent of the Extinction Event at the K-T Boundary?
    Next week’s lecture–
    The Cultural Anthropology of the Conservative Movement:
    Part II — Retreat to Fundamentalism.

    what is your point here? i used to be a republican. So did Cole.
    what has that got to with whether Bush is liable for warcrimes in an international court?

    i like my shiavo posts a lot still.
    Message from the Multiverse

  643. 643
    fhtagn says:

    My point is that you are a hypocrite, as well as a sanctimonious fool. You’ve never forgiven ED Kain, even after he publicly disowned former positions, not to mention saying he got things wrong. You’ve abused him, lied about his positions and beliefs, and generally acted like the nastiest sort of talk-radio critter. And yet, you turn up and expect the rest of us to give you a second chance, and take you on trust as some sort of liberal, even though you said and advocated far worse things than ED Kain ever managed. You should be able to see the contradiction here.

    Grow up, get over yourself, start acting like a decent human being, and maybe you’ll find people take you seriously. And above all, stop throwing the insults and mis-interpreting other people’s arguments. All you have achieved is to become a figure of fun on here. Think about that, for your own sake.

  644. 644
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: again, why bring this up?
    My point in reply to cleek is that Bush is vulnerable to prosecution for warcrimes, and in the opinion of many Bush is a far worse terrorist than OBL because he CAUSED orders of magnitude more civilian deeaths.

    You want to scold me, teach me a lesson?
    in your dreams, perve.
    lawl, althouse even rewrote one of my comments once. That was sweet. I thought she was gunna stroke out.
    ABT :)

    I dont have anything personal against Kain…I despise all libertarians…..i would deconstruct any libertarian on the front page here, like I did Kuznicki. Kain is just another glibertarian grifter. There are hundreds of them. He got just what he deserved where he couldn’t defend his reasoning and philosophy.
    And I wasn’t the only that said that.
    You are welcome to try treating me like i treated Kain. I dont see any evidence that you are deconstructing my arguments though. all you are doing is adhomming….like a conservative.
    ;)

  645. 645
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    I see that you have, as usual, failed to take responsibility for your own actions. Unimpressive.

  646. 646
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: but Kain hasn’t changed, and ive know him longer than any of you. so what? He had every opportunity to refute me. he ran like a scalded cat instead and got Cole to ban me or one of his fluffers to attack me….like you.
    I have changed.
    But i dont expect anything.
    I deconstructed him. I ruined your narrative.
    Its the internet.
    /shrug

    hahaha
    you’re all butthurt because Kain left?
    tant pis

  647. 647
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    I can see your arrogance and insecurity stop you from reflecting on your own record. They also stop you from seeing how little you have to offer anyone else, much less the progressive cause. You’ve been consumed with jealousy of ED Kain ever since he got a gig here, and you’ve been behaving like a spurned emo teenager ever since. Well, here’s some news for you – Kain won people over here because he was willing to rethink his positions, was willing to critique his own arguments, and was mature enough to say publicly when he had got something wrong or changed his mind. You could learn a lot from his example.

  648. 648
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn:

    You’ve abused him, lied about his positions and beliefs

    No I didnt. that is a lie right there. I quoted his positions and STATEMENTS everytime.
    The internet is forever.
    Here, I’ll do it again.
    I link everything.

  649. 649
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Selective quotation and deliberate distortion of positions aren’t impressive. Nor is refusing to grow up. The more you are abusive, the more you try and avoid facing the ugly reality of your behavior, the longer you will continue to isolate yourself. You can throw a few more insults and declare victory as often as you want – it just makes people feel sorry for you. Anyway, I am going to sleep. I hope you have a pleasant night, and that you start rethinking how you handle yourself.

  650. 650
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn:

    You could learn a lot from his example.

    no thanx. i despise libertarians on principle. you are a fanboi, aren’t you.
    I shredded him fair and square.
    I wasn’t against him the beginning. I linked one of his posts I liked. I just got bored of him pandering and pretending to be a liberal.
    He went right over to loog and wrote a dumb libertarian post about the “freed” market. samesame old tedious attempt at rebranding market-based crapology.

    huh?
    offer the progressive cause?
    I worked on Obamas campaign. I worked on Bennets.

    and idc. you can scold me until you’re blue in the face but you won’t change me.
    Bush was a terrorist responsible for warcrimes and liable for international warcrimes prosecution and EDK is still a libertarian that doesnt belong on a progressive blog.

    lente currite equis nocti.
    ;)

  651. 651
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn:

    Selective quotation and deliberate distortion of positions aren’t impressive.

    I have large problems with two things Kain did recently. He frontpaged Tim Kowal who is an islamophobic christian triumphalist, and does the blame-the-muslims, blame EEVUL Islam schtick. Kain said it was to “point out where he’s wrong” but only wrote one weak push back to Kowals multiple posts.
    That is Kain’s “understanding” islamophobia carny trick. It makes it reasonble, it legitimizes it to “discuss” it.
    And second, Kain used GaJo, an unelectable, racist, anti-union, anti-Roe, AGW denialist libertarian to take cheap shots at Obama on the drug war and libya.
    Then Kain whined that he was just criticizing O, couldn’t he do that?
    /spit
    Bulshytt. He could have honestly critiqued Humanitarian Imperialism and Right to Protect and I would have been very interested in that discussion, or in a straightforward discussion of the drug war problems. But no, he had to pimp an essentially anti-liberal candidate so he could get in a Obama=Bush remark and a few blades on how GaJo was soooooo much better than Obama on those two issues…never mind Johnson was a horrorshow on unions and everything else liberals care about.
    And then he pretended he knew nothing about GaJos positions except the anti-war anti-drug-war ones.
    I call bulshytt.
    He is a liar.

  652. 652

    […] to Jonathan Capeheart’s confession of hypocrisy in this regard, along with John Cole’s similar admission. Greenwald has more respect for this hypocrisy as long as these people own […]

  653. 653
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    And this is what happens because of people like Kain and Kowal.
    Just like conservatives pretending that birtherism is “understandable”, Kain is pretending that islamophobia is “understandable”.
    Trying to understand it is mainstreaming it, legitimizing it.
    It is not understandable….it is wrong, it is evil, just like birtherism is.
    I understand it. It is Americas collective effort to blame al-Islam for 911 and for the twin horrorshows of Iraq and A-stan.
    Because OBL, Qutb, and the wahabbis are actually the result of centuries of western meddling, fighting proxy wars, propping dictators and monarchs, and partitioning islamic lands.
    And until American-fuck-yeah! accepts at least partial responsibility for 9/11 and GTFOs Iraq and A-stan and cuts Israel loose…. islamic terrorism will simply never end.

  654. 654
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    See this.
    Richard Strand ‎”This Is what we have become?”

    Yes blame us because of the islamic ideology.
    14 hours ago · 6 people

    Joseph Duhamel More stuff like this will happen until the good Muslims distance themselves from the bad ones. They have a PR problem.
    14 hours ago · 8 people

    Richard Strand This is as awesome as the guy that threw a pig’s head in a mosque in Maine.
    14 hours ago · 4 people

    Marlene Mildren Anderson Kudos to the Delta pilot…If they would put the Muslims through the screening that they put our children through, this wouldn’t happen…
    14 hours ago · 7 people

    Mike Domansky Let them use their carpets if they want to fly …… Pelosi, Hillary, and others in government have all the brooms tied up …..
    14 hours ago · 9 people

    Carl Egli Then Do away with all TSA and we wil only let one color per plane at a time….unbelievable…
    14 hours ago

    Cathy Harris Don’t blame him – at all.
    14 hours ago · 3 people

    Jean Stone McBride God bless the Delta pilots. This is what we will all have to do to keep them out of our country. Profile, profile, profile. They have no business here so let then go elsewhere. Besides politidal correctness is just a way for our government to control us, and let them do whats they want to do.
    14 hours ago · 8 people

    Kowal said the same thing. The good negroes muslims aren’t working hard enough to distance themselves from the bad negroes muslims.
    Only Kain and Kowal call it a “PR problem” with bigger words and longer posts. Kain and Kowal are just nasty bigots with small “l” after their names, for libertarian, and college educations.

  655. 655
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: Said he was wrong? bulshytt.
    he fought saying fetus=slave is WRONG for a year.
    He fought acknowledging GaJo is a racist anti-union thug through four front page posts and a thousand comments.
    He fought the deconstruction of his fantasy free market forest through 3 or four posts and then ran over to the LoOG and relabelled the same old market-based crapology…now calling it the “freed” market.
    And Kowal is still a front pager.

  656. 656
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Back on that hobby horse, are you?

  657. 657
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Back on that hobby horse, are you?

    /shrug
    fhtagen brought it up, not me, blame him for threadjacking.
    I’m perfectly content now that the dishonest pompous little creep is gone.

    But while im spitting damn at this blog, let me address your issue, Omnes.
    Even though the ostensible reasons for going into Iraq are different than those for going into A-stan (jus ad bellum), the mission methodolgy conducted is EXACTLY the same (jus in bello).. ..and that would be the BD cut down to village size, or COIN, aka “democracy spreading”.
    The Bush Doctrine is just as much a terrorist doctrine as Wahabbism.
    The difference is that it looks like Wahabbism might work…. and COIN and the BD never will.
    And history will write the book.
    ;)
    From one of my commenters on my muslim blog.

    I was thinking this morning that the Arab awakening makes this a geopolitical Year Zero. Those 300 million people may be divided among 20 different countries, but they all speak the same language, have the same religion, they communicate through the same electronic media, they can see each other on TV. Egypt was the tipping point; just by itself it’s a quarter of the Arab population. From now on, every Friday in every Arab country is potentially a “day of rage”, until justice is seen to be done. External forces might try to hold back the process, co-opt, divert or divide it, and they’ll surely have some temporary successes, but I just don’t see this stopping until the Arab world has achieved political sovereignty and unity – not as a single national polity, but as a league or union which is a sovereign geopolitical actor. It’s as if a whole new continent is surfacing, and the existing powers will have to rearrange themselves to accommodate its existence.

    300 million people with their own oil? hmmm. How many ‘murricans are there? 330 million I think.
    The United States of Islam.
    ;)

    And Tahir Square and Iraq putting a boot in America’s fat white judeoxian ass in December are just the harbingers of Spring…the Arab Spring.
    And after the Arab Spring, the American Fall.

  658. 658
    fhtagn says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    It’s alright. Our resident racist is clearly impervious to the irony of a Bush-licking jackal denouncing ED Kain for reverting to liberalism.

  659. 659
    THE says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:
    At this late stage in the game, I’d say oil is a terrible trap.
    The sooner you get off oil the better.

  660. 660
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: BAH-LON-EY
    EDK is not a liberal. you said so yourself. Hes a libertarian with some liberal positions.

    You can’t be a liberal and believe in rigged markets and cartels, which is the reality of the so-called free market in the modern USA.

    And im not a racist, unless christian and stupid are races now.
    I wont bring the libertarian doofus up if you dont. Go read him at the LoOG.
    I rarely go there.
    If you start fluffing him here, ill just point out the truth.
    The internet is forever.
    ;)
    and everytime you link something from my old republican blog, I’ll link something I wrote post conversion, and ALSO link something from the LoOG, where is EDK is still mainstreaming islamophobia and sucking Hayeks withered cock for that “freed” market libertarian jizm.
    Your choice.

  661. 661
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Unlike you, ED Kain is a liberal. You are just a sad little racist Steve Sailer wannabe who glommed onto this blog because, unlike most other blogs, Cole just can’t be bothered to ban your thuggish, America-hating kookery.

    America’s fat white judeoxian ass

    It’s pretty clear what you think of this country, white people, Jews and Christians. But feel free to move to Libya. I am sure Muammar would find you congenial.

  662. 662
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: like this.
    The Glory of the “Freed” Market, or B.O.H.W.C.A
    More bulshytt talk.

    2. The operation of a freed market. When privileges are absent, capitalization costs are lower, and more people can enter the market. The result is more enthusiastic competition—and, of course, the practical effect of competition is to reduce profit margins and to make it harder for people to preserve entrenched economic positions. Freeing the market is itself an act of revolutionary redistribution, because, as Jeremy Weiland emphasizes, the free market will “eat the rich.”

    The “freed” market will never eat the rich. it just makes the rich richer.
    So much bulshytt, so little time.
    So just keep threadjacking to scold me about how mean i was to EDK.
    Cole loves that.

    So fhtagen are you my stalker? Why bring up EDK?

  663. 663
    fhtagn says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    REDACTED is the most intelligent thing you’ve said in years.

  664. 664
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: lool
    Kain is not a liberal. A liberal would have never have pimped GaJo and liberals dont suck Hayeks cock.
    And I’m a registered democrat.
    And i have never said anything about jews….i hate israeliNazis, JAFIs, stupid people, conservative christians, missionaries and libertarians and other crypto-conservatives.
    Are any of those “races”?
    Thought not.

  665. 665
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: and im serious. Why bring EDK up here? im sure Cole didnt take his keys.
    Let him defend his positions his bigself.

    if he can.
    /sideways smile

  666. 666
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: I am not sure you are fully grasping the difference between the two concepts, but at least you are addressing the point I actually made. Maybe it is a discussion that is worth having when, and if, you are willing to do so without spiraling into accusation of being a Bush worshipper anytime someone makes an argument with which you disagree. As long as you are going to continue to seize on out of context quotations and refuse to accept clarifications of intent following a remark that was open to interpretation, I don’t know that having any kind of discussion with you is worth anyone’s time.

  667. 667
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: and what i said was true.
    America is the fattest country, still 70% non-hispanic caucasian, and a “Judeochristian Nation”.
    Just ask DeMint, Palin, Bachman, Cantor, Briebart or any conservative.
    They will tell you.
    Do you need links? I can get them.
    ;)

  668. 668
    Mandramas says:

    @THE: One of the issues of freemarket and evolution is hindsight. Freemarket don’t allow you to avoid traps. You can’t reroute your economy to green energy, since there are no central planning. You need to painstalking convince every moron that cheap oil is waning. That is a reason because in an event of a war or other catastrophe that need a coordinated country level response, the government takes central planning and reroute the economy.

  669. 669
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    Not really. You just have to convince enough people that green energy is cheaper, or the only game left in town when the oil runs out. The problem in the US is that the market isn’t really free in certain key sectors, which is why the Kochs and their buddies are buying politicians and pumping out crude propaganda to ensure that it stays that way, and that green energy doesn’t gain market share.

  670. 670
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: be honest. fhtagen derailed the discussion. not me.
    Unlike our late and unlamented crypto-conservative, i can and will defend myself.

    Maybe it is a discussion that is worth having

    It would be a great discussion.
    Like Humanitarian Imperialism and Right to Protect would be a great discussion too, instead Obama Is Worse than Bush and the Slippery Slope to OIF.

    Again, i did not seize out of context remarks. CD clearly stated the Fallujans brought the massacre on themselves because of “jihaadi nihilism” wtf that is, and cleek stated

    but it wasn’t intentional. and, international laws forgive this kind of killing.

    which is false.
    You jumped in to defend their positions.
    Can they not defend themselves?

  671. 671
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    Hey Cole, why do i get banned for derailing threads but fhtagen doesnt?

  672. 672
    Mandramas says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: America don’t need a united islam, that is almost a dream since the fall of the Ottomans. China with their 1.3 billion peoples is doing the hard work, stealing all the industrial capacity.

  673. 673
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: and there can never actually be a “freed” market or a free market, because the teleological premise of Free Market Theory is WRONG. “freed” or “free” markets cannot actually improve the human condition because of EGT and evolutionary economics.

  674. 674
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: I’ll admit to the mistake of stepping in to try to clarify what I saw as a situation where two people were talking past one another. My comment regarding out of context remarks was in reference specifically to out interactions. I will also note that I see it as a general pattern in your argumentation. Make of it what you will. As long as you continue down that path, I cannot see you as an arguer in good faith. Instead, you are a builder and slayer of strawpeople.

  675. 675
    THE says:

    @Mandramas:

    Freemarket don’t allow you to avoid traps.

    That’s silly Mandramas, any player can bet against oil and be proven right. If you can beat the market then you become the market in the next iteration.

    Anyway in my view of the system, the government is just as much a market player as anyone else. Who says people can’t combine into societies and make collective decisions? You are talking about an atomic market of isolated individuals.

  676. 676
    Mandramas says:

    @fhtagn: The market is free since freedom is defined to the capacity to do not have central planning intervening, even in fair cases. Freedom include at all that the rich and powerful conservative attacks alternative and innovative competitors. If you have laws protecting any business, even the smalls and innovative, it is not free: you are restricting the ability of the Koch brothers to do what the please with their money.
    It is a central feature, not a bug.

  677. 677
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    Stealing the industrial capacity? That’s just silly. The fact is that China has lower wages, less worker protection, lower costs overall. Likewise the Philippines and India. They aren’t stealing anything at all.

  678. 678
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Mandramas: salaams brother. No, the end result of the Arab Spring will be analogous to the unification of the American colonies and the eventual formation of an EU style economy.
    not anything to do with industrialization.

  679. 679
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    You need to think about the role of cartels, monopolies, why we have anti-trust legislation. The question is a lot more complex than “anything which isn’t a command economy is a free market economy”. Consider how the medical supplies sector in the US has been effectively cartelized, and then reflect on what you mean by a “free market”.

  680. 680
    Mandramas says:

    @THE: You can define government as market player if you want, but I don’t think so, since Government have a lot of tools that are not available for all the other players, as the capacity of create laws, the monopoly of the public force, and, in the most important sense, Government can create money, so they are not moved by the premise to get more money.
    Government is the umpire, not a player.

  681. 681
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    The government can play in the market, and sometimes does. It isn’t limited to the role of an umpire at all. You really need to stop making these simplistic generalizations if you want to grasp how modern economies work.

  682. 682
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’ll admit to the mistake of stepping in to try to clarify

    no, you stepped in to try to to defend their positions, just like fhtagen tries to defend EDK.
    Let them all fight their own battles.

  683. 683
    Mandramas says:

    @fhtagn: Pure “Free market” includes heavy cartels, uncontroled monopolies, etc.
    Anti trust legislation can only be enforced by a strong government, but it is not a free market economy; it is a mixed economy. USA and the Western World used to have a mixed economy, but it was wanning in the last years and now we are close to a free market economy.

  684. 684
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    Good, you’ve grasped the point. And a pure free market will naturally tend to monopoly, at which point, in effect, it is no longer free. Interesting paradox, isn’t it?

  685. 685
    THE says:

    @Mandramas:

    Government can create money, so they are not moved by the premise to get more money.

    But that’s not true Mandramas. Most of the money in society is created by banks and the financial system. Anyone who can issue credit can create money. Governments only create base money.

  686. 686
    Mandramas says:

    @fhtagn: I mean stealing in a sense of “zero sum game”; they are not creating new industrial capacity for their own market, they are translating it from America. I did not used “stealing” in a sense of unlawfullness, I’m ok that the industrial capacity of the world become decentralized.

  687. 687
    fhtagn says:

    @THE:

    Also, profit isn’t the only thing that would motivate a government intervention. Often profit isn’t even in consideration. If you think of a government purchasing supplies and services for defense, for example, profit isn’t really much of an issue.

  688. 688
    Mandramas says:

    @THE: The amount of money that bank can create is controlled by the Central Bank, and it is heavily regulated by the government. No other market player can do it.

  689. 689
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: There it is. You are doing exactly what I was talking about. You are making an assumption about my intentions. I have told you what my intentions were. Who is more likely to know what I intended, you or me?

  690. 690
    Mandramas says:

    @fhtagn: Profit is not a government objective at all, it is only a tool.

  691. 691
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    Yes, that’s the point. This is why you can’t assume that profit is the only reason for government to enter (or not enter) a market.

  692. 692
    fhtagn says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’ve got a nice brick wall you can bang your head against, when you get done trying to talk with teh crazy. Let me know when you need a therapy session.

  693. 693
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandramas: You are using a fairly simple definition of money. Any time a bank lends, it creates money.

  694. 694
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    This doesn’t make sense. Of course China is creating new industrial capacity for its internal markets. They’ve got a lot of newly middle-class/rich people to cater to.

  695. 695
    THE says:

    @Mandramas:

    The amount of money that bank can create is controlled by the Central Bank, and it is heavily regulated by the government. No other market player can do it.

    Not true Mandramas. There is significant amount of research that most of the money creation in society is endogenous. Governments can NOT regulate money creation. Ask Ben Bernanke about “Pushing on a string”. Then there is the “shadow banking system” that the government didn’t even know about, until it crashed.

  696. 696
    Mandramas says:

    @fhtagn: Well, a government can “play” in the economy but in a sense he is putting the rules (the laws) on, so it is like to say that a Umpire can affect the outcome of the game.

    In any case, the umpire analogy is inexact, since the government is really playing the game, but in another sense, with other tools, with another objectives. He is more like a Dungeon Master, that is playing the game with the objective of entertain the other players. But this analogy is also unappropriated since the government have a complex system of successions, and the other market players can attack the Government but not a DM. And there are other governments in other countries, there are secessions, etc. So, in a complex sense, Government is playing a big game that is not the market but it is tied to the Market game.

    I will ignore your comment about simplifications since, you know, we are in a blog’s comments, not in a Economy class or a journal of economy. We should rely in simplifications and analogies that are not meant to be perfect, only to illustrate the point. Attack the specific failed analogy, not the use of analogies, since it is a good tool. In a sense, the world is so complex to be understood as a whole, so we have to manage smaller parts of it.

  697. 697
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: ok fine.
    i misread your intentions. next time let po’ wittle cleek and CDC defend their statements all by their bigselves and there won’t be any “misunderstanding”.
    Goes for you too, fhtagen.
    EDK is a libertarian with some liberal positions.
    Saying he is a liberal a thousand times won’t make him one. You are engaging in magical thinking.
    Let him defend himself.
    If he can.
    ;)
    for example, the market has never “eaten the rich” in the history of the world.
    I do not believe that it is possible.
    eat the rich is a shibboleth or a bulshytt tag for libertarians and free marketeers to spoof the proles.

  698. 698
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    No, we should not rely on simplifications and analogies that miss the point entirely. The economy is not like a game of dungeons and dragons except in the most tenuous way – they both involve people. There’s no reason to create simplifications and analogies that simply miss the point. Just because this is a blog and not an economics seminar doesn’t mean that we can write fiction about how economies work in real life and expect other people to believe us. The point of blogs, other than the random chat and friendships, is for us to inform and strengthen each other as thinking, socially/politically active beings.

  699. 699
    Mandramas says:

    @THE: If the government do not regulate the money creation, why do you have a central bank? Simply put it down, and let Microsoft print their own money. Of course, there are condition of degree: you can make a supercentralized bank structure, with only one big state bank, or you can have a totally distributed money structure with every bartender creating money in the form of coupons. Or you can have a lot of intermediate degrees, as America with the “shadow banking” and a weak government that don’t regulate the banks anymore.
    How that helps to rebate my argument that the government is not a market player since it is not profit-based since can have tools to create money that are essentially different? Or do you really believes that the Government is another market player more?

  700. 700
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    But you haven’t dealt with the fact that governments do play in the market. They do it all the time. You are confusing two claims – Is and Ought.

  701. 701
    Mandramas says:

    @fhtagn: Ok, maybe I had misunderstood you. You can say that a government can play in a market like when it bailout a bank, and that makes it a “market player”, but that is only a small part of a government, and that is not a definition like “government is only one market player more”. Ok, I’m fine with that.

  702. 702
    Mandramas says:

    @fhtagn: Well, the analogy of DM was to show of an example of analogie that can be useful to illustrate one very lateral point but missed the rest of the points entirely. Maybe I should drop the use of sarcasm on this blog, because nobody seems able to grasp mine. Or maybe it simply sucks.

  703. 703
    eemom says:

    dunno who is crazier

    (a) toko-loko, for being toko-loko

    (2) omnes, THE and fhtagn, for trying to reason with her

    (c) me, for pimping this insane thread

    Oh well.

    On to 800!! Woooohooooo!!!

  704. 704
    THE says:

    @Mandramas:

    All those years of zero interest rates in Japan, how can you still believe in the almighty power of Central Banks?

    I believe that the Central Bank can influence money supply. Under some circumstances. There is a lot of research that Central Banks follow the cash market when they raise interest rates. They do NOT lead it.

    Also there are many, many confounding factors. There is the global money market. Unless you restrict international capital flows you are only one of many Central Banks. Again ask the US govt. about how the PBoC influences US money by means of its mercantilist policies.

    Japan also illustrates the power of leakage. What about the yen carry trade that constantly leaks liquidity from Japan.

    What about the unregulated over the counter derivatives market? It has a strong credit component. How can you regulate it? If major players make private deals in the Cayman Islands?

    The more the regulators invent rules, the more the market players will invent clever strategies to bypass them.

  705. 705
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    Well, as long as you are engaging with people in an honest discussion, that’s what matters. A bit of sarcasm doesn’t do any harm either, although it’s hard to pick up online sometimes.

  706. 706
    Mandramas says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That don’t invalidate my point the government have tools to create money that other market players don’t.

  707. 707
    fhtagn says:

    @eemom:

    I have given up, me dear. There comes a time when trying to talk to crazy racist Bush-sucking bimbos just doesn’t seem like a good investment of a beautiful Saturday.

  708. 708
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @eemom: fhtagen derailed the thread not me.
    Heres a suggestion. Let EDK fight his own battles.
    Im sure he still has the keys.

    Let CDC and cleek defend what they said they bigselves. Then I wont “misunderstand” Omnes.

  709. 709
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @eemom: fhtagen derailed the thread not me.
    Heres a suggestion. Let EDK fight his own battles.
    Im sure he still has the keys.

    Let CDC and cleek defend what they said they bigselves. Then I wont “misunderstand” Omnes.

    Id be thrilled to neverever have to shred our late unlamented (except by fhtagen) crypto-conservative here again.

  710. 710
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn: loool… again, I am not a racist, unless christian and stupid are races now.
    You magical thinking is useless here.
    You can say EDK is a liberal a thousand thousand times and no one will believe it after his fluffing of Johnson and embrace of the “freed” market.

  711. 711
    Mandramas says:

    @THE: Ok, that was only a lateral comment I dropped to explain that government is not profit based. I don’t think that Central banks can be almighty, I only says that in most countries you can regulate another bank only if you are the government.
    Also, I think that you can’t get the concept of “degree”. To says that a central bank can regulate something is not to say that the market can regulate it completely at the most absolute margin. Regulate means that the is a law, you can bypass the law using a lot of tricks. Never ever nothing will be 100% absolutely in economics and politics. To say that some central banks had issues don’t means that the central bank as idea and institution should be dropped at all. It is an instrument of the government to influence economy and could be used right or not.

    Of course, you could have a private bank that could have a lot more of profit if no regulation exist, and maybe that was the reason you are saying that, or you could have being simply brainwashed by the banker’s narrative. In any case, I don’t agree with your motivations.

  712. 712
    Mandramas says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Hi sister. The concept of races is the problem here. There are not races, only ethnics and phenotypic traits that trends together commonly. Even there, Jews have no common phenotypes and they are a race. So, if american say that jews are a race, then Christian and Stupids are a race too.

  713. 713
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    I urge you to reflect on the old saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right”. Also, don’t encourage the crazy girl. She’s already made her racism perfectly clear.

  714. 714
    Mandramas says:

    So, I think that is time to move on to another thread, right? The internet is vast and infinite, after all.

  715. 715
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Mandramas: jews are not a race. they are racial semites actually. like arabs.
    ;)

    I think that is time to move on to another thread

    fine with me brother.

    fhtagen is the one holding a grudge and derailing threads here.
    He is still all butthurt about our late unlamented libertarian.

  716. 716
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    Seconded.

  717. 717
    THE says:

    @Mandramas:

    In any case, I don’t agree with your motivations.

    Dont be a total fool. You know nothing about my motivations.
    I only argue matters of fact not values.

    The market is vastly more powerful than the state, precisely because the state is just one more market player. It is not outside the market.

  718. 718
    fhtagn says:

    @THE:

    I think he means the motivations you attribute, in his view, to the various economic actors, rather than your own motivations. He’s not making a matoko personal attack substitute for an argument here. Also, I believe English may not be mandramas’ first language.

  719. 719
    Yutsano says:

    717 718 comments. No wonder the gerbils keep striking lately.

    EDIT: is anyone gonna let this damn thread go?

  720. 720
    fhtagn says:

    @Yutsano:

    Which is why we have to bust their nefarious union. Where is John Scott Walker Cole when we need progressive leadership?

  721. 721
    fhtagn says:

    @Yutsano:

    Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down….

    You know where this is heading, dontcha?

  722. 722
    MikeJ says:

    @Yutsano: I told him it was time to move up to ferrets, but does anybody listen to me?

  723. 723
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Mandramas: neither christian or jew can be a race. because one can choose to join.

  724. 724
    Yutsano says:

    @MikeJ: Ferrets have a tendency to make unreasonable demands. Like mandatory playtime and such. But at least they eat cat food.

    @fhtagn: Don’t. You. Dare. Basta.

  725. 725
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Yutsano: fhtagen started it. He just can’t accept that his mancrush has reverted to full frontal libertarianism and left him behind.
    ;)

  726. 726
    Mandramas says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Most of the jews I know are blondes with blue eyes. And you can’t simply choose to be a jew. In fact, the question “Who is a jew?” is one of the most important philosophical questions on Israel.

  727. 727
    Mandramas says:

    @fhtagn: :( Sorry, I didn’t mean that. Also, my first language is Spanish, in effect.

  728. 728
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    Well, you can choose to convert, as I understand it, so you can, in fact, choose to be a Jew. The process involved might take a while, but the choice is definitely available.

  729. 729
    fhtagn says:

    @Mandramas:

    De nada, Senor Mandramas.

  730. 730
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Mandramas: it is difficult to convert but it can be done. And in Israel jewesses are marked as such on their identity card and cannot marry outside their faith.
    A potential mate must convert to judaism if he is not a jew.
    Their lineage is matriarchial, like epigenes.
    ;)
    But the original race of hereditary jews, born jews, is semite. Like Arabs.
    So neither christian or stupid can be a race. One choses to be stupid and/or christian.

  731. 731
    Yutsano says:

    @Mandramas: A lot of the Jews who migrated to South America were from the Scandinavian countries. And thanks to centuries of intermarriage the blond haired blue eyed genes stuck. Genetic tests still show them to be of Hebraic descent however.

  732. 732
    fhtagn says:

    @Yutsano:

    Ferrets? Useless critters. What we need is four elephants and a turtle.

  733. 733
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Mandramas: And in Israel if your mother is a jew then you are a jew, but if you father is a jew and not your mother, you are not….in Israel. In US (and maybe in South America) if one parent is a jew then the child is jewish.
    I have a good friend who is Israeli that explained all this. Its confusing for immigrants.

    And one can simply decide not be a jew anymore. Like I decided not to be christian. Race doesnt work like that. Ask the mulattos that tried to “pass” in post-slavery America.
    ;)

  734. 734

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  735. 735

    […] Glenn Greenwald,( and a few others) with keeping a clear head amid the giddiness: But I think if one is going to [accept the […]

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