My Mark-Up of the Holder Amicus Brief re the Padilla Case; Pushing Back at Greenwaldism

This madness must stop

The following two posts over at The People’s View are a must read in order to understand Salon contributor, Glenn Greenwald’s continuing failure to argue points in good faith, instead favoring condescension and sneering: (1) The art of distraction and the fake assassination scandal; and (2) Bin Laden, al-Awlaki and Glenn Greenwald’s Delicate Fifth Amendment Dance (updated: Greenwald responds, calls TPV “cultist”)

Greenwald’s latest screed on torture is steeped in hypocrisy. First, he attempts to rake Eric Holder over the coals for Holder’s “kill that al-Awlaki guy” stance by referencing a brief Holder filed in 2004 which, purportedly, undercuts his current “kill that guy” position. The brief in question (posted below) is an amicus brief filed by a group of people as “Friends of the Court,” and while the brief was, in a matter of speaking, filed on behalf of Holder and several other people, he certainly did not write it. He signed off on it. The fine lawyers at Arnold & Porter surely drafted it. Yes, he is responsible for the positions taken in that brief. But Greenwald’s article seems to suggest that this was some sort of stand-alone brief that Holder filed in his capacity as a DOJ employee (note Greenwald’s snide capitalization: “Holder’s Brief”)

So Holder filed a brief that sorta but not really (arguments go both ways) conflicts with his current stance on al-Awlaki. Greenwald goes bananas. Greenwald, however, made some downright nasty comments about the evils of immigration in a 2005 blog post, yet when called out on Twitter about it, had nothing but snide retorts. He wrote those statements six years ago, you see, back when he didn’t have any readers; and how sad it is that Cultists had to reach back six years to find grounds to discredit him:

That was a 6 yrs ago: 3 weeks after I began blogging, when I had zero readers. I’ve discussed many times before how there were many uninformed things I believed back then, before I focused on politics full-time – due to uncritically ingesting conventional wisdom, propaganda, etc. I’ve written many times since then about how immigrants are exploited by the Right for fear-mongering purposes. I’m 100% in favor of amnesty, think defeat of the DREAM Act was an act of evil, etc. That said, I do think illegal immigration is a serious problem: having millions of people live without legal rights; having a legal scheme that is so pervasively disregarded breeds contempt for the rule of law; virtually every country – not just the U.S. insists on border control because having a manageable immigration process is vital on multiple levels. But that post is something I wrote literally a few weeks after I began blogging when nobody was reading my blog; it was anything but thoughtful, contemplative, and informed, and – like so many things I thought were true then – has nothing to do with what I believe now.

That’s why Obama cultists have to dig back 6 years into my archives to try to find things to discredit me.

So, in this instance what’s good for the Glenn is not good for the Holder.

I don’t see how this sort of chicanery sits well with anyone. Given Greenwald’s penchant for writing persuasive brief-style arguments based on cherry-picked research, it becomes necessary to follow and read the myriad links he provides in his work lest one be taken in by an intellectually dishonest argument.

As a friend (@vcthree) pointed out on Twitter, Greenwald does not expect his readers to do follow-up research, and indeed, such research would not be required if he didn’t bend, twist, and ignore facts and law at his leisure, in order to make his Principled Points.

So, in the spirit of “you don’t have to be a lawyer to read a brief or understand it,” I have read Holder’s brief; I marked it up, highlighting the important sections, and dashing off a couple of notes. I simply don’t have the time to spend to write a proper post on the subject, but if you take the time to skim the brief, I think you’ll be able to discern what I would have said.

Cheers,

ABL

ABL Mark-up of Holder Amicus Brief Re Padilla Case

[I started work on Monday — I’m the interim Executive Director of Everybody Wins! LA, a literacy non-profit. It’s fantastic. No longer do I wake up with that “oh crap! Filing!” feeling that plagued me during the ten years I practiced law. Now my biggest concern is whether or not I can find an alcohol company/sponsor for my Lawyers for Literacy fundraiser/spelling bee in two months. Point is, I won’t be around much and will check comments periodically. Of course, I will regularly check the comments at ABLC. Anyway, enjoy the post. ::ducks and covers:: -ABLxx]

[cross-posted here at ABLC.]

527 replies
  1. 1
    NobodySpecial says:

    You know, the more you bitch about what the meaning of is is, the more likely it is that some President NOT named Obama in the future can decide to throw whomever’s ass he wants in gulag without trial.

    Do you like that?

    Quit fucking arguing participles and start speaking out for or against torture and rendition. Fuck, arguing participles IS torture.

  2. 2
    rea says:

    Greenwald comes perilously close to arguing that instead of sending the Army of the Potomac to Gettysburg, Lincoln should have sent US marshals with warrants for Robert E. Lee’s arrest.

  3. 3
    Linnaeus says:

    Both of the People’s View links at the beginning of the post link to the same article, FYI.

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    this thread gonna have crazy legs. You are my hero ABL, or heroine, whateves. You’ve already driven our little nobody special troll round the bend first thing. I am traveling today, so galt. Don’t take no shit nor wooden nickels from the nutrooters around here.

  5. 5
    NobodySpecial says:

    @General Stuck: Oo, Stuck once again in the rear with the gear.

  6. 6
    General Stuck says:

    [I started work on Monday—I’m the interim Executive Director of Everybody Wins! LA, a literacy non-profit. It’s fantastic. No longer do I wake up with that “oh crap! Filing!” feeling that plagued me during the ten years I practiced law. Now my biggest concern is whether or not I can find an alcohol company/sponsor for my Lawyers for Literacy fundraiser/spelling bee in two months. Point is, I won’t be around much and will check comments periodically. Of course

    And this is just fantabulous. congrats. they are lucky to get you.

  7. 7
    SectarianSofa says:

    Congrats on the job, ABL.

  8. 8
    Culture of Truth says:

    the interim Executive Director of Everybody Wins! LA

    Is that one of those cults?

  9. 9
    Paul in KY says:

    Best wishes on your new job!

  10. 10
    ABL says:

    @Linnaeus: thanks and fixed.

    the more you bitch about what the meaning of is is

    Being a lawyer means bitching about what the meaning of “is” is. E.g., I favorably settled a case that dragged on for six years based solely on the placement of a comma in a statute. That’s why broadstroke appeals to emotion and morality often mask weak arguments.

  11. 11
    rea says:

    The point being, the president’s war-fighting powers extend to hostile combatants on the battlefield, even if they are US citizens. They don’t extend to unarmed traitors at the DC airport. They do extend to US citizens who are part of al Qaeda’s command and control structure, and who are located in something characterizable as a battlefield.

  12. 12
    Dave says:

    Can you stab progressives with a 2012 Obama pin while drinking tequila at your new job? Per the Netroots post, I am pushing for you to do this wherever you might actually be. The job…grocery store…wedding…

  13. 13
    13th Generation says:

    In what will become, I’m sure another monumental Greenwald hatefest thread, here’s a big preemptive “FU” to all the regular Juiceboxers who will show up to prove me right.

  14. 14
    Steve M. says:

    I see that Greenwald uses Twitlonger. Amazing how both parts of that name ideally suit his writing.

  15. 15
    MBunge says:

    @rea: The point being, the president’s war-fighting powers extend to hostile combatants on the battlefield, even if they are US citizens. They don’t extend to unarmed traitors at the DC airport. They do extend to US citizens who are part of al Qaeda’s command and control structure, and who are located in something characterizable as a battlefield.

    And perhaps most importantly, if the President exceeds or abuses his war-fighting powers, the responsiblity for doing something about that belongs to Congress. That’s where Glenn’s bitching should primarily be directed, but it’s far more personally satisfying to make yourself look like a big man by going after the President.

    Mike

  16. 16
    NobodySpecial says:

    @ABL: That’s also why asking people to pick a side often results in weaseling, too.

    Fine, Greenwald can be tiresome. Fine, he needs an editor. But what you’re doing here is the equivalent of pro bono work for the guys who claim the ability to pull people off the street on the President’s say so. When you start saying essentially that there is a difference between Padilla and Al-Awlaki, you’re inviting that same old slippery slope.

    If you’re on the same side of the argument as Greenwald, it’s hard to tell when you spend more time bashing Greenwald then bashing the policy you’re both against.

  17. 17
    Mojotron says:

    What’s the point of this post? Glenn said something six years ago regarding immigration which he has since recanted (and is typically thin-skinned about it), so he’s not allowed to point out/criticize Holder’s apparent change in positions on torture? Are you arguing about just the legality of indefinite detention independent from the morality of it?

  18. 18
    Maude says:

    @MBunge:
    Kind of like Trump, isn’t it? Go after Obama and see his name in lights.

    ABL Congrats and enjoy. No high pressure stuff and the people who use the non profit will benefit greatly because you are there.

  19. 19
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @ABL:

    That’s why broadstroke appeals to emotion and morality often mask weak arguments.

    What do broadstroke appeals to somebody’s prior work history mask? In image form, no less.

    Honestly, you and Cultist Patrol Glenn deserve each other.

  20. 20
    General Stuck says:

    @MBunge:

    And perhaps most importantly, if the President exceeds or abuses his war-fighting powers, the responsiblity for doing something about that belongs to Congress.

    Yes, they are his regulator, on things not specifically illegal but either excessive, or unwise, or questionable morally. And I would include the current hyper targeting of Taliban folks in Afghan by JSOC, that seems to be out of control and counterproductive, and targeting suspected mid level operatives based on dubious intel.

    We need to pull our shit out of Afghan militarily, ASAP

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NobodySpecial: I disagree. Knowing the exact parameters of the power being claimed by the president matters. It may be that what he is claiming the power to do is within the bounds of current law. If it is, then there is a question of whether it should be legal. These questions both matter, but they are different. It does not help if people are conflating issues and/or asserting something that is not true.

  22. 22
    AdrianLesher says:

    I’m surprised to see a post like this on Balloon Juice. The tone is ridiculously over the top and the reasoning is flawed.

    I agree with what John Cole says about Greenwald:

    “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.”

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....helping-2/

    John Cole himself is a conservative who learned the errors of his ways. I don’t see the point in digging up a seven-year old post that Greenwald has repudiated.

    As to publishing in a Cato publication, I have never heard Greenwald defend the Ayn Randian politics of the Cato institute. The article cited is standard civil libertarian fare, not something in support of a right-wing agenda.

  23. 23
    rea says:

    When you start saying essentially that there is a difference between Padilla and Al-Awlaki, you’re inviting that same old slippery slope

    “Slippery slope” arguments in the law are usually bullshit. The law often turns on fine distinctions. If slippery slope arguments are valid in this context, you’re sliding down the slope to having the US Marshalls trying to arrest Lee at his headquarters on Seminary Ridge.

  24. 24
    MBunge says:

    @NobodySpecial: When you start saying essentially that there is a difference between Padilla and Al-Awlaki, you’re inviting that same old slippery slope.

    Uh, there is a difference between Padilla and Al-Awlaki. One is in custody and is a huge political, legal and moral hassle because of how badly the previous Administration fucked it up. The other is, by all evidence, an active terrorist who wants to kill Americans, proudly belongs to the group responsible for 9/11 and is presently beyond the reach of all conventional law enforcement.

    One of these things is not like the other.

    Mike

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mojotron: I’ve been looking for you, you bastard.
    I’ve been singing that fucking earworm ever since you tagged me with it a few days ago.
    You’ll pay for this Mojotron 5000. You’ll pay.

  26. 26
    Joe Beese says:

    May the deity of your choice bless you, Angry Black Lady, for brightening my morning with this hilarity. “Greenwaldism”! An Obama-era equivalent for “McCarthyite”, I suppose.

    But seriously, that you are more concerned with the possibility that Glenn Greenwald is a hyprocrite than with the fact that Obama is ordering the execution of American citizens without trial makes it very clear that your supreme concern is preserving the power of your chosen party.

    Sorry if Glenn is making that difficult for you.

  27. 27
    Adam C says:

    I know this thread is going to explode, but:

    1. I hardly think it’s snide to capitalize names (“Holder”) or titles (“Brief”).

    2. When Greenwald calls the post he wrote six years ago stupid, uninformed, and contrary to what he currently believes, he seems to have addressed the issue. He is not trying to reconcile what he wrote then and believes now. I would think posters on this blog would be sensitive to changes of heart.

    3. bin Laden was assassinated, without trial. His civil liberties were violated. I think you can argue this is a special case where it was completely justified, but there’s no need to call the shovel something other than a shovel.

    4. Irregardless of your parsing of the brief versus Greenwald’s parsing of the brief, the general sense that “the president’s power to detain citizens without trial should be limited” is reconcilable with “the president should be able to execute citizens without trial provided they are not on American soil” is difficult to me.

  28. 28
    Pat says:

    All this talk of battlefields and war powers is very nice in theory, but there’s been no formal declaration of war or anything close to legalizing the kinds of executive abuses of power undertaken in the past 10 years. Don’t bring up concepts like about just wars and public enemies until the elected government of the people does what the Constitution requires it to do in order to claim extreme unchecked powers like fiat assassinations.

  29. 29
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’ll be polite and merely note that the Fourth Amendment pretty much covers it.

  30. 30
    Stillwater says:

    @MBunge:

    And perhaps most importantly, if the President exceeds or abuses his war-fighting powers, the responsiblity for doing something about that belongs to Congress. That’s where Glenn’s bitching should primarily be directed

    I would say, based purely on evidence gleaned from my gut, that the Obama administration is too competent and clever to engage in activities that are obviously against the law. And I would add that my lower intestines confirm a far stronger view: that the Obama Admin is disinclined to engage in any activities which fail to meet a reasonably stringent legal burden based on existing law.

    So I completely agree with you here: GG’s focus is categorically misplaced. He has a legitimate moral complaint of actions taken by the Obama WH; but his legal complaint ought to be directed against Congress.

  31. 31
    MBunge says:

    @Joe Beese: the fact that Obama is ordering the execution of American citizens without trial

    You do not know what the word “execution” means.

    Mike

  32. 32
    Lupin says:

    Glenn Greenwald is a thin-skinned and petulant lawyer who is right 98% of the time but would rather die than admit to the 2% when he is factually or legally wrong.

    He will end up being the 21st century Joe Klein.

    But he is right a lot.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NobodySpecial: Which part?

    ETA: Here is the text of the Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  34. 34
    Silver says:

    @rea:

    The entire world is a battlefield, part of an unending war.

    Can’t see any possible abuses of that policy, no sir.

  35. 35
    MBunge says:

    @Adam C: 3. bin Laden was assassinated, without trial. His civil liberties were violated.

    1. He was not assassinated, unless the word “assassinated” no longer has any specific meaning.

    2. This is why civil libertarians are never entrusted with power. Not because they care so much about civil liberties, but because they care so little for everything else.

    Mike

  36. 36
    Pat says:

    Lincoln didn’t need marshals to capture General Lee, they were at war, a grave admission that the current crop of cowards lording over us won’t do. People didn’t shrink from the harsh realities of life and death in those days these pussies do.

  37. 37
    DavidNC says:

    reading an entire greenwald post seems like too much work. i personally agree that he’s a hater, though, and think john was overly generous about greenwald’s motivations.

    congrats on the new job ABL–sounds like rewarding work.

  38. 38
    Culture of Truth says:

    These are really important discussions to have. Too important to be reduced to irrelevant taunts of cults, in my opinion.

  39. 39
    Adam C says:

    @MBunge:
    An assassination is “to murder (a usually prominent person) by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons.”

    Works for me. What the heck would you call it?

    If all of your freedoms were stripped away, including the right to life, what would you have left to worry about?

  40. 40
    Pat says:

    Stillwater: I would say, based purely on evidence gleaned from my gut, that the Bush administration was too competent and clever to engage in activities that are obviously against the law. And I would add that my lower intestines confirm a far stronger view: that the Bush Admin was disinclined to engage in any activities which fail to meet a reasonably stringent legal burden based on existing law.

    So I completely agree with you here: GG’s focus is categorically misplaced. He has a legitimate moral complaint of actions taken by the Bush WH; but his legal complaint ought to be directed against Congress.

  41. 41
    Chrisd says:

    He was not assassinated

    Explain. I’m intrigued.

  42. 42
    Joe Beese says:

    @MBunge:

    You do not know what the word “execution” means.

    the infliction of capital punishment or, formerly, of any legal punishment

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/execution

    Dumbass.

  43. 43
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I would say being seized and held indefinitely without charges is a pretty big case of an ‘unreasonable seizure’ of a ‘person’, wouldn’t you?

    I would also say that, going beyond the fourth, ‘dead or alive’ proclamations without a warrant of charges being issued is ‘unreasonable’ as well.

    You may differ…

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam C:

    His civil liberties were violated.

    Which of OBL’s civil liberties were violated? Are you speaking of US Constitutional rights, general human rights, or something different. Does the fact that OBL was the titular head of an organization that had declared war on the US have any bearing on this in your mind? If not, why not?

  45. 45
    piratedan says:

    Am I wrong in thinking that the obtaining a FISA warrant is as arduous as getting a Safeway Club card?

  46. 46
    MoZeu says:

    Yup.

    it becomes necessary to follow and read the myriad links he provides in his work lest one be taken in by an intellectually dishonest argument

    I discovered that a year or two ago when arguing with people on the Great Orange Satan (I can’t remember the last time I even visited that place, let alone engaged in a thread — how liberating!) and I decided to follow up and actually check out Greenwald’s links a couple of time. I discovered then that he is a liar and that he intentionally distorts facts to fit his conclusions, and I stopped paying any attention to him from that time forward.

  47. 47
    Stillwater says:

    @Pat: Ahh, yes. But here’s the distinction: Obama inherited that flimsy legal reasoning which has been codified by default. The Bush Admin. invented its expansion of powers out of whole cloth. Now, you might say that Obama has a burden to rescind those inherited and established powers. But from an institutional POV that’s incoherent. At this point, the burden is on Congress to rein in what might be – and perhaps quite clearly is – too much unchecked power wielded by the Executive.

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NobodySpecial: Let me step back a second… Are you talking about Gitmo, al-Awlaki, or OBL? That might clear up what if anything we are arguing about.

  49. 49
    Mojotron says:

    @Corner Stone: I infected myself with it too :/

  50. 50
    Pat says:

    @Stillwater: If the current Executive is as trustworthy and Inherently Good as your gut tells you he is, then why is he using those very same extreme powers with abandon and zero concern for anyone’s objections? Obama on 60 Minutes: “Anyone who thinks OBL didn’t get what he deserved needs to have their head examined.” Judge, jury, and executioner, QED.

  51. 51
    rea says:

    @Silver:

    Given that I’d just said that Padilla in the DC airport was not on the battlefield, your comment wrongs me. Lee was on the battlefield; Lambdin P. Milligan was not.

  52. 52
    Tom Hilton says:

    Congratulations on the new job, ABL! Sounds fantastic!

    Shorter @NobodySpecial: lies, distortions, and fallacious arguments are all perfectly okay as long as you’re on the ‘right’ side of an issue.

  53. 53
    Adam C says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    His general human rights. However, as Cole wrote earlier, I’m not terribly upset by it. To quote a different blog “his life diminished us all”, and I won’t shed any tears over his death or the manner of it.

  54. 54
    pragmatism says:

    hey ABL, I can possibly help you re: liquor sponsorship. email me at pragmatism2121@hotmail.com

  55. 55
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Stillwater: Changing congress is so hard though. Especially that darn Senate. Looking at their votes, it almost as if they’re proud of Bush’s achievements in the area of civil liberties and feel that there is no reason to undo them. In fact, it looks as if those Bush accomplishments will be defended.

    Far easier to run after the first republican from a desert state who says he’s against all the Bush war on terror stuff and gay rights, as if that guy, if he won, would have any chance of changing this either until most of our current Senators are out of office or dead, or maybe both.

  56. 56
    Joe Beese says:

    lest one be taken in

    There’s a guy over at MetaFilter – “Ironmouth” is the handle – who is also very, very concerned about people being duped by the fiend Greenwald into regarding Obama as something less than the best of all possible presidents.

    One can’t help being moved by the sense of civic duty that drives him and our ABL to so tirelessly caution people against falling under the sway of that foul deceiver.

  57. 57
    Rob says:

    So this is a post celebrating the fact that the AG has always not believed in legal rights? Boy you sure showed Greenwald!

  58. 58
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The argument has always been about the extension of the Bush-era legalisms by the current administration. I don’t place a distinction between the three because they are all part of the same fundamental problem: The idea that the President can skirt the law if he wants just because we’re in an unwinnable war with undefined boundaries.

    This is not new, and not Obama-centric, either. The War on Drugs was similar, as it led to our military invading another country and taking their leader to US jails at gunpoint, simply because people want to argue that the President has that kind of power.

    I disagree, of course, and see all three instances you mentioned as that ‘slippery slope’ that people here keep mocking.

  59. 59
    MBunge says:

    If you think the President of the United States taking Congressionally-authorized military action against an avowed terrorist in a foreign country where he is beyond the reach of conventional law enforcement can be fairly called “an assassination” or “an execution”, you are why conservatives were able to politically beat the shit out of liberals for decades on issues of national security and law-n-order.

    Mike

  60. 60
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mojotron: I guess sometimes excellent snark is its own punishment.

  61. 61
    sherifffruitfly says:

    @Lupin:

    “Glenn Greenwald is a thin-skinned and petulant lawyer who is right 98% of the time but would rather die than admit to the 2% when he is factually or legally wrong.”

    I think that USED to be true, but as time has passed, he has committed more and more to his brand of anti-Obama-ism, and the dividing line in that percentage has started to shift further and further in the wrong direction. Presumably the extremity of his commitment to anti-Obama-ism is directly related to the “would rather die than admit being wrong” bit that you mentioned.

  62. 62
    Stillwater says:

    @Pat: I certainly agree that there are moral problems with this much power being accorded to the executive. And I think it’s bad law that justifies its exercise. And it perhaps reflects poorly on Obama that he utilizes those powers to achieve political, or extrajudicial at any rate, ends.

    So there’s two issues here: one, are Obama’s actions legal according to domestic law; and two, ought he rescind – or at least not act on – those powers out of some commitment to moral decency. People obviously disagree over how these questions are answered.

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    We sent a group of heavily armed men into a sovereign nation we are not at war with by any definition. On a kill mission to get OBL. They subsequently put multiple rounds into an unarmed man.
    Now, arguing about whether this is good or bad is one issue.
    But there’s no arguing they assassinated him.

  64. 64
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Adam C:

    When Greenwald calls the post he wrote six years ago stupid, uninformed, and contrary to what he currently believes, he seems to have addressed the issue.

    Well, sort of. But as far as I can tell (and I have done some pretty thorough searching), this is the first time he bothered to repudiate what he wrote six years ago–and that only because it has come back to embarrass him. So forgive me if I am a trifle skeptical about the sincerity of his repudiation.

    Some other factors here:

    1) Greenwald was something like 38 years old at the time of his Youthful Indiscretion. That’s awfully old to be that uninformed.

    2) The argument in his post depends on claims that are factually untrue. People often change their political beliefs, but they rarely change their character.

    3) The post isn’t just wrong as a matter of policy; it’s flat-out bigoted scapegoating. That’s a character issue, not a matter of mere political beliefs.

  65. 65
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Corner Stone: Run that by a lawyer first. Maybe Addington is available.

  66. 66
    MikeR says:

    @Stillwater: Don’t think I can accept that. So what we’re left with is always pursuing the worst course of action “invented” by one of the two major parties, and carrying on until the gutless cowards in Congress fix the problem?

    Look, there are two questions here. First, do those in the Obama administration agree with the positions they’re taking. Second, if they do not, do they have the moral courage to do the right thing, rather than the politically expedient thing. Doing the right thing is difficult for a number of reasons, but it is possible to change positions on litigation, etc., from administration to administration. Suggesting that Obama is locked into the Bush administration position unless/until he’s stopped by Congress seems a bit silly. In other words, not doing the right thing because it would allegedly be “incoherent” (I think you mean inconsistent) is pretty reprehensible.

    Of course, that’s not to say Congress shouldn’t step in as well. I think what we’re looking at is an entire Washington D.C. establishment, including Obama, buying into the idea that civil rights must take a back seat to fear of terrorism. Obama is a pretty standard-issue D.C. establishment guy. He’s going to go with establishment arguments and establishment policies.

  67. 67
    Tom Hilton says:

    @sherifffruitfly: This. And I would just add that even when he is ‘right’, there’s no real value to that because his habitual distortions render everything he says suspect.

  68. 68
    Joe Beese says:

    @sherifffruitfly:

    anti-Obama-ism

    Inasmuch as “Obama-ism” now stands for warcrimes, assassination, and gulag, it’s incumbent upon people of principle to promote “anti-Obama-ism”.

    This group excludes Democrats, of course.

  69. 69
    Stillwater says:

    @Pat: Btw, my gut doesn’t tell me that Obama is trustworthy or inherently good. That device (of the gut) was maybe confusing, failed snark. What I was getting at is that the Obama Admin is too competent to let legal technicalities and sloppy legal reasoning undermine policy. Unlike the previous admin.

  70. 70
    feckless says:

    Your an idiot talking out your ass.

    Maybe Greenwald is off kilter, but I would never know it from this article.

    Holder signed the brief, its his brief, period, not the people at the lawfirm who you guess wrote it, it’s his. I don’t care who wrote it, any more than I care who wrote the racist “Ron Paul Report”.

    There are all kinds of rules in the laws, state and federal, about signing pleadings. But you don’t need to know about that, you hate Greenwald, you have a spot on a cool blog and you don’t know anything about the law, so why not compare a blog post with a pleading submitted in federal court?

    Who’s the cherry picker again?

  71. 71
    rea says:

    “He was not assassinated”

    “Explain. I’m intrigued.”

    Bin Laden was a combatant on a battlefield. He could be lawfully killed unless he surrendered (roughly speaking–the laws of war are a bit more complicated than that), just as it would not have been an “assassination” if Meade had ordered a sniper to take out Lee at Gettysburg.

  72. 72
    Silver says:

    @rea:

    I read that like you were talking about al-Awlaki.

    Back to Padilla-do you think his treatment is something we should hold up as a good example?

  73. 73
    MikeR says:

    @Tom Hilton: Let me see if I understand. Greenwald said something stupid 6 years ago, has changed his position, but now never can be trusted and his writing must be disregarded because his “character” is flawed? He said something bigoted, but now cannot be trusted even after he’s changed his ways? I’m guessing that Cole wrote some things years ago based on poor or cherry-picked facts that, when he reads them, make him want to bang his head against a wall. Yet I’ve always admired him because the facts on the ground caused him to change his mind.

    I’ve got no problems with anyone criticizing Greenwald’s work, although I’ve generally found him pretty persuasive. But if you’ve got a problem with a particular piece of his, how about criticizing it on its merits, rather than dismissing it out of hand?

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @rea:

    Bin Laden was a combatant on a battlefield.

    And I guess that’s where I get confused. Because I thought Love is a Battlefield.
    I didn’t know next door to Pakistan’s military academy was too.

  75. 75
    rootless_e says:

    @Pat: Complain to Thomas Jefferson who seems to have started the tradition of sending heavily armed men into the middle east to kill people without benefit of a formal declaration of war.

  76. 76
    Tom Hilton says:

    All of Greenwald’s posts about OBL have to be read in the light of this tweet, in which killing OBL is considered analogous to, say, Libya killing the President. The parallel exists, can exist, only if you believe there is no fundamental difference between state and non-state entities–that is, only if you deny the legitimacy of the state altogether.

    Which makes perfect sense to an anarchist or a hardcore libertarian, but is completely nonsensical to anyone who accepts that a sovereign state is and should be allowed to do things that are prohibited to individuals or non-state organizations (a distinction without which there can be no liberalism).

  77. 77
    Socratic_me says:

    I am going to try and dodge the standard mudslinging over GG and just note that following this quote:

    The following two posts over at The People’s View are a must read in order to understand Salon contributor, Glenn Greenwald’s continuing failure to argue points in good faith, instead favoring condescension and sneering…

    With the links ABL chooses, which add nothing beyond condescension and sneering, is either ballsy or painfully lacking in self-awareness.

  78. 78
    rootless_e says:

    @MikeR: No. ABL is arguing something a little more complex – not a lot more, but a little more. She says that Greenwald makes the argument that a divergence between Holder’s current opinion and an opinion he signed off on 6 years ago is evidence of hypocritical deceit etc. but a divergence between Greenwald’s opinion 6 years ago and what his fans would expect of him now is evidence that Greenwald’s detractors are unscrupulous. She concludes from this that Greenwald’s methods of argument are suspect.

  79. 79
    Daveboy says:

    The minute you pulled the Cato thing you became a lying sack of shit, ABL. Markos Mousilitas of Daily KOS has also posted there, so his name on an article posted on a Cato website means literally nothing.

    And I never thought I would see the day where people are attacking someone for sticking to their principles, which is exactly what you are supposed to do with principles: stick to them, even when it’s inconvenient for you.

  80. 80
    rootless_e says:

    @Socratic_me: Sorry you failed as your note lacks any content beyond the very tired level of sneering that is usually brought to these discussions by Greenwald cultists.

    The fundamental point in the TPV article is very simple: by logic and precedent, US citizens enrolled in hostile military forces have chosen to escape from the mechanisms of US courts and thus are not subject to Court protections until or unless they are in custody. The example of the US citizens who joined the Waffen-SS is provided to make things concrete.

  81. 81
    rootless_e says:

    @Daveboy: John Yoo sticks to his principles too. Everyone has principles. One is permitted to critique them.

  82. 82
    Chrisd says:

    @rea: Abottabad is Gettysburg?

  83. 83
    Joe Beese says:

    @MikeR:

    But if you’ve got a problem with a particular piece of his, how about criticizing it on its merits, rather than dismissing it out of hand?

    It’s easier to make insinuations about who pays for his work or what country he lives in than argue away the mountain of evidence Greenwald provides.

  84. 84
    Pat says:

    @Stillwater: I understand your impulse to trust Obama, hell that’s how he got elected. But it’s a leap of faith to say that his admin is legally competent when he’s running around declareing accused suspects guilty and authorizing drone attacks on Americans citizens without due process.

  85. 85
    rootless_e says:

    @Silver: Obviously, the Obama administration with its assertion that once in custody Al-Alwaki would have an opportunity to assert his rights as a citizen is taking the opposite position from the Bush administration. The inability or unwillingness of Greenwaldism to encompass this critical distinction is truly annoying.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    All of Greenwald’s posts about OBL have to be read in the light of this tweet, in which killing OBL is considered analogous to, say, Libya killing the President. The parallel exists, can exist, only if you believe there is no fundamental difference between state and non-state entities—that is, only if you deny the legitimacy of the state altogether.

    Exactly. There is a difference between being a head of state and being the head of a criminal organization. I really can’t understand the people who keep conflating the two and insisting that somehow killing bin Laden means we can go into Venezuela and kill their duly elected president. Do they think bin Laden was president of Afghanistan? Or that somehow al-Qaeda has formed its own stateless state that should be given all of the same privileges as an actual state?

  87. 87
    Daveboy says:

    And now we’re equating “I believe that the President can literally do anything, torture and kill anyone” with “I believe everyone deserves a trial, no matter how heinous” into the same category: Things Which Deserve Criticism. Wow.

  88. 88
    Joe Beese says:

    @Daveboy:

    And I never thought I would see the day where people are attacking someone for sticking to their principles

    Yeah, I used to think that Democrats had more integrity than Republicans when it came to blind allegiance to the Leader.

    I owe Obama thanks for demonstrating my mistake.

  89. 89
    rootless_e says:

    @Chrisd: The analogy was to Al-Alwaqi who is in the midst of a hostile military force.

  90. 90
    NobodySpecial says:

    @rootless_e: Theoretically, the Seal Team could have taken a unarmed Bin Laden into custody too. That’s why when ‘dead or alive’ orders are thrown out there, people don’t usually come back from them breathing.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rootless_e:

    The example of the US citizens who joined the Waffen-SS is provided to make things concrete.

    I guess Greenwald would consider FDR a war criminal because he allowed US forces to battle German forces that included US citizens when he should have sent the cops in to arrest those American citizens for treason before the battle.

  92. 92
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Exactly. There is a difference between being a head of state and being the head of a criminal organization.

    Tell that to Noriega.

  93. 93
    eemom says:

    oh fer fucks sake.

    I am going to rant now.

    You know what Glenn Greenwald is?

    He’s a pissy little brat, probably with a big-ass trust fund, who practiced law for less than EIGHT fucking years, mostly as a drone at a WASP, WASP Jr. & WASP III-style New York law firm, with exactly ONE high profile “civil rights” representation of one neo-Nazi asshole to his credit, before deciding in 2004 or 2005, for the first time in his white rich kid life, to pay attention to current events — at which point he noticed that WOW. We really kind of suck as a country.

    And he’s been marveling at that revelation, in 80 zillion words or more, on a daily basis ever since.

    He is SO not worth the attention he gets.

  94. 94
    Joe Beese says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    There is a difference between being a head of state and being the head of a criminal organization.

    Which is why Obama’s supporters are so upset about the NATO airstrikes that have been trying to kill Qaddafi.

    Oh right, they’re not.

    I don’t even mind that they endorse Obama killing whoever proves inconvenient to him. I just wish they had the intellectual honesty to admit it.

  95. 95
    Daveboy says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Mnemosyne:

    Only someone who is extremely ignorant of the march of history would say this. Allowing the President to conduct “hits” on people based on some category that they fall into (Head of State, Terrorist Actor, etc) is not going to work, because all that’s going to happen is the President is going to question their legitimacy as a true “Head of State” and take them the fuck out. Today’s legitimate State Functionary is tomorrow’s Awful Despot Who We Have To Kill Regardless of The Cost. Here’s a thought: Don’t let the President order assassinations, no matter who it is, ok?

  96. 96
    Joe Beese says:

    @eemom:

    You know what Glenn Greenwald is? He’s a pissy little brat…

    You forgot “doodyhead”.

  97. 97
    rootless_e says:

    @Joe Beese: The inability of Greenwald cultists to argue on merits and their reliance on bullshit like “blind allegiance to the Leader” is all the intellectual quality testing one needs to dismiss them as people unwilling to engage in actual debate.

  98. 98
    MikeR says:

    @rootless_e: Gotcha. On the one hand, it’s true that government lawyers – hell, lawyers in general – often end up taking inconsistent positions depending on the circumstances and the client. It’s what lawyers do. I’ve had to do it myself on occasion. So whether Holder’s inconsistency is significant really depends on the circumstances, I think.

    On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of the “nah nah nah, you did the same thing once yourself so you can never be trusted again” form of argument. The focus should really be on whether Holder’s (and Greenwald’s) arguments are sound and based on the facts.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Obama overthrew Noreiga? He really does have a time machine!

    @Joe Beese:

    Which is why Obama’s supporters are so upset about the NATO airstrikes that have been trying to kill Qaddafi.

    Um, there was that little declaration by the United Nations authorizing action against Gaddafi. I realize you don’t recognize the United Nations as a body that’s allowed to take action, but that’s what’s going on. The US did not act unilaterally and isn’t even running things, but you just can’t give up the idea of Obama as a puppetmaster who runs everything behind the scenes, can you?

  100. 100
    Daveboy says:

    And btw, some of you are complete dunderheads who can’t seem to parse out the following statements:

    “Osama Bin Laden is a piece of shit.”
    “We should capture and try a person, no matter how bad, given the chance.”
    “There is a lot of ambiguity around the raid on Osama’s compound, but initial reports are that it seems like we could have easily captured Osama Bin Laden.”
    “Instead we shot him in the head and dumped him. That’s not very moral .”

    Instead you’re being as stupid as Republicans who say that gay marriage means that we’ll all end up fucking chickens. “Dur dur dur Greenwald thinks we should try to arrest people wearing the uniform of an opposing force on a battlefield that are literally shooting at the time. Look at how smart I am!” Fucking dummies.

  101. 101
    Tom Hilton says:

    @MikeR: Not quite. Let me see if I can make it more clear:

    1) My point in the comment to which you responded is that the 2005 piece is more relevant than Greenwald acknowledges. That’s based on a) the implausibility of the ‘naivete’ defense, b) the dishonesty of his argument, and c) the sheer xenophobic hatred on display in that post.

    (It’s also worth noting that John Cole changed his mind more or less in public–that is, he struggled openly with the issues that made him change his mind–and, to his enormous credit, has never excused or been reluctant to acknowledge his former errors. Greenwald, by contrast, said nothing until it became a public embarrassment, and then wrote a piece that is all excuses.)

    2) My point in other comments here, that Greenwald can never be trusted, is based not on the 2005 post but on his current habitual dishonesty. That dishonesty is on display in the post ABL responds to (whether you agree or disagree with Holder’s current position, it does not contradict the position he took in 2004 in a case with a completely different set of circumstances), but in reality you can take just about any Greenwald post (today, not in 2005) and find him distorting the facts and/or misrepresenting someone’s position. I don’t see the value of someone whose every assertion has to be checked for veracity, regardless of whether that person agrees with me on some things.

  102. 102
    Stillwater says:

    @MikeR: So what we’re left with is always pursuing the worst course of action “invented” by one of the two major parties, and carrying on until the gutless cowards in Congress fix the problem?

    Fair enough. But Congress often/usually sanctions the questionable power transfers that we then, somewhat paradoxically, expect a better President to rescind. From an institutional pov, this is (inconsistent, yes) but also incoherent.

    On the other hand, Obama did rescind the general policy of enhanced interrogation (so far as we know), tho he hasn’t taken any efforts to make such techniques illegal in the future.

  103. 103
    MikeR says:

    @eemom: This comment was helpful exactly how? Greenwald’s a “brat” with a trust fund? Are you in 6th grade?

  104. 104
    eemom says:

    …to which I will add, if ANYONE wants to have a principled argument over the killing of bin laden, for fuck’s sake do it over Noam Chomsky’s piece and not Glenn Greenwald’s Gerber baby food drivel.

    http://www.guernicamag.com/blo.....ion_to_os/

  105. 105
    rea says:

    Abottabad is Gettysburg?

    Both were battlefields. “Socrates was mortal; cows are mortal” does not imply that Socrates was a cow.

  106. 106
    eemom says:

    @MikeR:

    Naw. KG.

    I wasn’t trying to be helpful. I’m just sick of the pretentious little asshole.

  107. 107
    rootless_e says:

    @MikeR: But as ABLs markup demonstrates, you have to stretch to find an inconsistency. Padilla was IN CUSTODY. The government now specifically asserts that if Al-Alwaqi turns himself in he can assert his rights as a citizen. Padilla was ARRESTED ON US SOIL – where, as the Supreme Court stressed in Milligan the regular system of civilian justice is in operation. Al-Alwaqi is an armed sodier in an enemy military force in a part of Yemen not even in the control of the Yemeni government. Those differences are key.

  108. 108
    rea says:

    I guess some of the comments in this thread make me want to add that I respect Greenwald a great deal, even if I disagree with him on this issue.

  109. 109
    James Dix says:

    Your post at best reads that you wish to defend Holder by attacking Greenwald’s remarks that indicate Holder is being hypocritical. (Actually I read him otherwise, believing he thinks Holder has caved in to political pressure but remains a believer in the earlier position offered.) However, there’s other ways of reading your post that suggest you are attacking Greenwald himself, for example, you are comparing his stance on immigration as being hypocritical in the same way. In any case, what exactly are you defending Holder from, that he isn’t hypocritical? Or that, like Greenwald, he now sees the error of his ways? In any case, it appears that you are prepared to defend Holder’s current stance on the issues. What are these stances then, that you wish to defend?

  110. 110
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Mnemosyne: Bush used Noriega’s claim of a ‘state of war’ as part of his justification for the invasion. If he wasn’t the President, how’s that apply again?

  111. 111
    rootless_e says:

    @Mnemosyne: exactly the point

  112. 112
    Socratic_me says:

    Rootless_e, you are clearly more emotionally invested in this fight than am I or many of those you are attacking. You might want to be more careful throwing around accusations that others are cultists, lest everyone realize just how glaring your projection is. Though I am sure that this observation just ,arks me further as a Greenwald cultist and can thus be safely ignored.

  113. 113
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Joe Beese:

    I don’t even mind that they endorse Obama killing whoever proves inconvenient to him.

    Yup, Obama sure approves of killing whoever proves inconvenient to him. That’s why Orly Taitz’s head now decorates the gates to the White House.

    Seriously, it’s like some kind of weird variation on Tourette’s syndrome: people like Joe Beese just can’t seem to keep themselves from throwing out these bizarrely dishonest exaggerations.

  114. 114
    eemom says:

    @Joe Beese:

    oh LOOK — Mr. All Obama Sucks, All the Time, Regardless of Topic, One-Note Wonder Troll is gonna get all Mature on my ass.

  115. 115
    Joe Beese says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Um, there was that little declaration by the United Nations authorizing action against Gaddafi.

    Here is the full text of the resolution.

    Care to point out where it says “You can kill Gaddafi if you want” ?

  116. 116
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Mnemosyne: Can you point out what part of Resolution 1973 authorizes killing Libya’s Head of State?

  117. 117
    eemom says:

    @rea:

    why?

    Exactly what has he done that is worthy of respect?

  118. 118
    Mark S. says:

    @eemom:

    Oh Christ, Chomsky thinks it’s an open question whether al-Qaeda was behind 9/11:

    Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.” Nothing serious has been provided since.

    If I really believed that, then, yeah, I would say raiding OBL’s hideout and killing him was pretty unjustified. But there are mountains of evidence that al-Qaeda was behind it.

  119. 119
    rootless_e says:

    @Socratic_me: Now you’ve switched to the lite psycho-analysis method which is no better than “blind allegiance to Leader”. Try making an argument that comes to grips with the material. For example, you might explain whether FDR violated the constitution by unleashing the Army on the George Washington Brigade of the Waffen-SS and its US citizen members.

  120. 120
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Joe Beese: You’re assuming as true an allegation (originating with the Qaddhafi regime) that is in dispute. Which is something Greenwald himself does all the time, so I guess you’re probably okay with that.

  121. 121
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @eemom:

    probably with a big-ass trust fund

    This thread has been such a disaster that this barely stands out. Way to pick your spots wisely, eemom.

  122. 122
    MikeR says:

    @Tom Hilton: As for point 1), I understand what you’re saying. I’m not too concerned over whether Greenwald was “naive” or not. I’m more concerned with whether he saw the error of his ways and has acted consistently with his changed views. Malcolm X had some pretty awful views (albeit understandable given the awful racism of his day)(no, I’m not saying there’s no racism now), but after his pilgrimage to Mecca came back with a much more mature and healthy view of pretty much everything, including race relations. I commend him for that. I’m not going to criticize Greenwald for changing his views for the better. I think that it’s possible for people to change. If I didn’t, I’d probably be a Republican. As for whether his change was “public,” I’m more concerned about whether his changed behavior has been consistent.

    As for point 2, what you’re really saying is that you don’t accept his arguments, and that you characterize what you see as improperly stated facts as intentional distortions. I’d have to see a number of specific examples before I’d accept that type of claim. I’ve generally thought his stuff was pretty good, and I actually like the outraged tone of his writing. I don’t always agree with him, but then I don’t always agree with anyone.

  123. 123
    Joe Beese says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    You’re assuming as true an allegation (originating with the Qaddhafi regime) that is in dispute.

    Disputed by Obots perhaps.

    For the rest of us, the fact that NATO bombs keep falling on places where it was hoped Gaddafi would be is kinda self-explanatory.

  124. 124
    Chrisd says:

    @rea: Was the battlefield the house, the city, the country, or the region? If we picked OBL off in Syria, would that meet the criteria for assassination, or does the battlefield follow OBL like a fart? How about Europe?

  125. 125
    rea says:

    @eemom:

    He’s right about a lot of civil liberties issues, even if he’s wrong on this one.

  126. 126
    MikeR says:

    @Stillwater: It’s a real problem. Unfortunately, any president trying to scale back the national security state is facing an uphill battle. It will take someone of uncommon integrity to do that. I frankly think people with that kind of integrity either won’t run for president or won’t be elected. I think many of us thought Obama had that kind of integrity. In reality, he’s another guy who’s president who’s looking to be re-elected. Vastly, vastly superior to any Republican, obviously, but still in thrall to the D.C. establishment.

  127. 127
    Alan in SF says:

    Your argument, ABL, seems to be that Eric Holder may not have been totally against untrammeled, unaccountable Presidential power before, even though he’s undeniably in favor of it now. That seems to confirm “Greenwaldism” even if one differs on his reading of this particular brief.

  128. 128
    eemom says:

    @rea:

    He’s right about a lot of civil liberties issues

    so what? So are you. So am I. So are most people on this thread.

  129. 129
    liberal says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Um, there was that little declaration by the United Nations authorizing action against Gaddafi.

    Is it clear that the resolution authorizes taking out Gaddafi?

  130. 130
    rootless_e says:

    @Alan in SF: Your argument relies on the Bush administration theory that the arrest of a US citizen on US territory and military actions against US citizens engaged in armed combat in a foreign nation are the same thing. That’s a distinction that most of us have no problem making, that is critical to eg. Milligan, but that neither the Greenwald nor the Bush DOJ want to accept.

  131. 131
    socratic_me says:

    @rootless_e: No, I am pointing out that your lashing out and asserting that those who disagree with you are cultists reflects rather poorly on you and suggests all the blindness-based-on emotions that the label cultist is meant to suggest in the first place. It is disconcerting to get called out as a “Greenwald cultist” for pointing out that ABL points to some sights that are dripping with condescension and sneering while calling someone out for condescension and sneering. It also suggests the person calling you out is absolutely unhinged.

    As for the other, aside from the fact that the intertubes all seem to agree that the George Washington Brigade never actually existed, I think the point you are trying to make is that killing US citizens on a battlefield is accepted as general practice, al-Awlaki is on a battelfield and, thus, al-Awlaki can be killed.

    I know this sounds crazy to you, but reasonable people disagree with your second premise. The world is not our battlefield. In contrast to what those links claim, it isn’t settled doctrine that al-Awlaki is actively involved in planning and the charge that the US government levies against him regularly is that he is involved in recruitment and religious justification of attacks. As a simple analogy, I don’t think that it is acceptable to shoot up Army recruitment centers during a time of war, either, because recruitment isn’t battle. Religious justification isn’t battle (most American churches being lucky on this score). “Battle” isn’t a nebulous term that can get applied any time you drop a bomb on someone, no matter what you or the executive branch claim.

  132. 132
    MBunge says:

    @Daveboy: initial reports are that it seems like we could have easily captured Osama Bin Laden.”

    I think you mean “a bunch of people who have no idea what they hell they’re talking about are advancing the idea that capturing Osama would have been a piece of cake so they can stroke their own sense of moral and ethical perfection”.

    Mike

  133. 133
    Lolis says:

    I was attacked by someone here for citing the immigration post Greenwald wrote. The person simply accused me of lying which I thought was strange. I am glad that Greenwald has officially denounced those writings because they bothered me very much. I do think a person can change their beliefs.

    I have been reading how Obama ordered the assassination of an American citizen and now that I understand what people are talking about I feel duped by that phrasing. I wish the Greenwald fans would not attack people who do not their take their “principled” stands. Many of us think it is reasonable for the president to take military action against an American who is an active terrorist abroad and has not tried to turn himself into authorities for the charges against him. We are not Obots for believing this. I would have felt the same way if Bush was trying to do this.

  134. 134
    eemom says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    what the fuck are you talking about, Bow Wow? Since when does it “stand out” ANYWHERE to point out someone’s background as a spoiled little rich kid? What exactly is your problem with that?

  135. 135
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chrisd:

    If we picked OBL off in Syria, would that meet the criteria for assassination, or does the battlefield follow OBL like a fart? How about Europe?

    Apparently the battlefield is a battlefield because it is a battlefield.

  136. 136
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Alan in SF: “Greenwaldism” is (among other things) conflating a lot of things that are fundamentally different (in degree and in kind, in reasonableness and in practical impact) into one big amorphous thing called “untrammeled, unaccountable Presidential power”.

  137. 137
    liberal says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    Which makes perfect sense to an anarchist or a hardcore libertarian, but is completely nonsensical to anyone who accepts that a sovereign state is and should be allowed to do things that are prohibited to individuals or non-state organizations (a distinction without which there can be no liberalism).

    Yes, there’s such a distinction.

    What happens, however, if the President commits a grave crime? Take the Bush 43 invasion of Iraq, which in purely utilitarian terms is a far greater crime than (heresy alert! gasp!) 9-11. Unless you think wars of aggression are things that states not only do, but should moreover be allowed to do.

  138. 138
    rea says:

    @Chrisd:

    Go read the US Supreme Court decision in Milligan. Can we use ordinary criminal process to arrest him? If not, he’s on a battlefield.

  139. 139
    socratic_me says:

    @rootless_e: “…US citizens engaged in armed combat in a foreign nation…”

    See, there is your slippage. You talk like al-Awlaki is out there laying bombs and sniping soldiers, but that is an utterly unsupported assertion. In fact, it isn’t even an assertion that is made in any of the links provided here or anywhere else I have ever read up on this issue.

  140. 140
    Joe Beese says:

    @Lolis:

    Many of us think it is reasonable for the president to take military action against an American who is an active terrorist abroad and has not tried to turn himself into authorities for the charges against him.

    And some of us think it us unreasonable for you to declare someone “an active terrorist” on the sole word of the man who wants to kill him.

    If Al-Awlaki’s guilt is as obvious as you all claim, prove it in court. It’s way too late in the day for anyone to expect us to take Washington’s word for anything.

  141. 141
    eemom says:

    @Mark S.:

    we talked about this the other day. There are not, in fact, mountains of evidence that OBL was directly involved.

    Maybe he was. But the fundamental point that even the worst criminal deserves a fair trial seems to me pretty irrefutable.

  142. 142
    Chrisd says:

    If you think the President of the United States taking Congressionally-authorized military action against an avowed terrorist in a foreign country where he is beyond the reach of conventional law enforcement can be fairly called “an assassination” or “an execution”, you are why conservatives were able to politically beat the shit out of liberals for decades on issues of national security and law-n-order.

    I disagree. Conservatives beat liberals on issues of national security because they could care less if you characterize their assassinations and executions as assassinations and executions. Hell, they PREFER it.

  143. 143
    Joe Beese says:

    Where has Captain Mnemo gone? I’m still waiting for him to point out where the UN resolution authorizes Gaddafi’s assassination.

    It couldn’t be that, upon being challenged to document his clams, he has turned tail and run.

    Could it?

  144. 144
    rootless_e says:

    @socratic_me: If you think “cultist” is not part of polite discourse, maybe you should consider whether attributing disagreement with your position to “blind allegiance to the Leader” is a good idea. The time to insist on a high level of discourse is BEFORE you call other people authoritarian followers – no?

    As for your defense of Al-Alwaqi

    In a video posted to the internet in November 2010, al-Awlaki called for Muslims around the world to kill Americans “without hesitation”, and overthrow Arab leaders.[41]

    If you actually read the briefs submitted to the Court in the Al-alwaqi case, you can see that the US notes that the plaintiffs do not contest his status as an AQ Yemem commander and, indeed, the plaintiffs do not.

  145. 145
    Corner Stone says:

    @Lolis:

    Many of us think it is reasonable for the president to take military action against an American who is an active terrorist abroad and has not tried to turn himself into authorities for the charges against him.

    I just did a brief google and could not find any US charges against him. Wikipedia, fwiw, does not list any US charges but does mention charges in Yemen.
    They also list a lot of allegations “according to US Officials”.
    I don’t hold a brief for the guy but he’s said a bunch of nasty shit about the US. So did RATM, and I’d argue they had more hard core followers than al-Awlaki ever did.

  146. 146
    eemom says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Mnem is a woman, idiot. As most people who spend as much time as you do on this blog know.

    You might want to extract your head from your ass once in a while and have a look around. There’s an actual world out here.

  147. 147
    Mark S. says:

    @eemom:

    I could believe OBL perhaps didn’t do a lot of the planning and such. Maybe he’s more of CEO type of terrorist leader. But I really don’t think his underlings would undertake an operation like 9-11 without his knowledge and blessing.

  148. 148
    Adam C says:

    @Chrisd:
    or does the battlefield follow OBL like a fart?

    This thread was now worth reading.

  149. 149
    Joe Beese says:

    @eemom:

    Mnem is a woman, idiot.

    Hunh.

    The kind of personal nastiness on display under that signature is such that I would only have expected it of a man.

    My bad.

  150. 150
    Daveboy says:

    I am going to say this for the last time, it’s not possible to be “wrong” based on the following statement:

    “Treating the whole world as a battlefield is wrong. Terrorists should be treated as criminals. Osama Bin Laden should have been tried in a court of law, and people should be curious as to what really happened in that mansion because our government has repeatedly shown to be full of shit.”

    I mean that’s seriously all he’s said. About the only thing you can challenge in that statement is “Treating the whole world as a battlefield is wrong and treating terrorists as criminals is right.” although you’re kind of a sick warmonger who hasn’t thought through the implications if you do.

  151. 151
    Cain says:

    At least I can still get my ABL fix through twitter! :)

  152. 152
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Apparently the battlefield is a battlefield because it is a battlefield.

    Do you know what else is a battlefield?

  153. 153
    Corner Stone says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Where has Captain Mnemo gone?…It couldn’t be that, upon being challenged to document his clams, he has turned tail and run.

    Absolutely not. Capt Mnemo is a liar nonpareil, bar none. When she gets called on her lying, which is often, she replies with more and more and more and more. She will misquote you, misinterpret what she directly quotes from you, and failing that just flat fucking lie about what you said. Even if it’s a couple comments above yours. Doesn’t matter.
    It’s about the most astounding thing I’ve ever run across on the toobz.

    So, needless to say, she isn’t running from lying to you, or about you, some more. She’s probably just busy lying about someone somewhere else.

  154. 154
    rootless_e says:

    @Daveboy: what court of law do you have in mind? Maybe the Pakistani court that sentenced a woman to flogging for the crime of being raped?

  155. 155
    Stillwater says:

    @Chrisd: Conservatives beat liberals on issues of national security because they could care less if you characterize their assassinations and executions as assassinations and executions. Hell, they PREFER it.

    Lulz. Why do liberals insist on making everything so fucking complicated?

  156. 156
  157. 157
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @eemom:

    I think it’s just fantastic that in eemom world, Greenwald is just a degenerate trustafarian while Noam Chomsky is a wizened voice of reason. And that there’s room for speculation regarding al-Qaeda’s criminal complicity in 9/11.

    This thread is amazing. The best part though was whoever said Greenwald is kind of like Malcolm X, if you think about it. That won’t be topped.

  158. 158
    Daveboy says:

    @Lolis:

    Nobody knows if he in an active terrorist abroad. This is the amount of evidence we have on al-Anwicki being an active terrorist abroad: “The United States Government says so.” That’s all. You are literally supporting assassinating a fellow American without evidence. That’s disgusting, dude.

  159. 159
    socratic_me says:

    @rootless_e: “blind allegiance to the Leader”

    Care to show me where I use that phrase? Your projection is showing again. This has become tiresome. You called me a name. I pointed out that this seemed to be projection and you called me another name. I then pointed out your continued bad behavior and responded to an argument that you seemed to think we were having that I had not commented on in any way before. So you accused me of calling you names. It really is like you just popped up to be a clear-cut example of exactly the weird hypocrisy I was initially drawing attention to. So thanks for that, but I have better things to do than extend this object lesson.

    And for the record, calling on people to rise up against the government and kill Americans isn’t battle, either. “Keyboard commandos” is a mocking term, not a description of actual warriors on the Right.

  160. 160
    Daveboy says:

    @rootless_e:

    What the fuck are you even talking about? Are you now trying to say that because some countries have a disgusting, kangaroo-court style law system that serves as nothing more than a vehicle for their primitive tribal beliefs that we should now throw the questions of legality out the window here in the USA? Or did you just want to throw a random one-liner out?

    Some of you people have literally turned into Ann Coulter. “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Chr-I mean democracy! If Obama thinks it’s ok, that is.”

  161. 161
    socratic_me says:

    @Adam C: Second.

  162. 162
    liberal says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    I think it’s just fantastic that in eemom world, Greenwald is just a degenerate trustafarian while Noam Chomsky is a wizened voice of reason.

    I don’t think it’s a nonsensical position, though (a) I didn’t see any evidence that GG is a trustfund baby, and (b) given her positions on Israel I would assume eemon would despise herself some Noam even more than GG.

  163. 163
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Corner Stone: LoveHitler, yes. My 80s punk rock band. (#notafact)

  164. 164
    MikeR says:

    @eemom: You probably should settle down a little bit. There’s nothing about the name Mnem suggesting she’s a woman. I comment here only sporadically, for example, and wouldn’t know that, nor would I bother to take the time to determine someone’s gender as I don’t really care one way or the other.

    Also, while calling someone a “spoiled little rich kid” is not exactly unheard of, I utterly fail to see its significance. I don’t care about someone’s background, I care about the quality of their arguments.

  165. 165
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Lolis:

    Many of us think it is reasonable for the president to take military action against an American who is an active terrorist abroad and has not tried to turn himself into authorities for the charges against him.

    I’m not aware that al-Awlaki has been charged with anything. If he “turned himself in” who could detain him and on what charge? Even if he entered an extradition country, the US could not demand his extradition until they actually want to charge him and issue a warrant for his arrest.

    I’m also cognizant that anyone accused of terrorism could be reluctant to turn themselves into the US since such people are no longer guaranteed due process, speedy and fair trials, and might be put in solitary for years on the basis of non-expert diagnoses of being suicidal. Even if you aren’t guilty of what the US is saying you’ve done, running seems smarter than giving up.

    Hell, Obama has told us all he has stopped waterboarding, and I tend to believe it, but I gurantee much of the world doesn’t believe it and that’s part of the price America pays for stooping to torture. Just because this President opts not to use torture, anyone captured now has no idea what President Palin/Romney/Paul/Gingrich will order done to them, since torture is no longer a criminal act prosecuted by the United States, just a policy preference.

  166. 166
    liberal says:

    @socratic_me:

    I pointed out that this seemed to be projection and you called me another name.

    Heh. One time GG tweeted back at rootless_e, something like “You have 3500 tweets. Can you point to one that has been critical of Obama?”

  167. 167
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    @eemom:

    He’s a pissy little brat, probably with a big-ass trust fund, who practiced law for less than EIGHT fucking years, mostly as a drone at a WASP, WASP Jr. & WASP III-style New York law firm, with exactly ONE high profile “civil rights” representation of one neo-Nazi asshole to his credit, before deciding in 2004 or 2005, for the first time in his white rich kid life, to pay attention to current events—at which point he noticed that WOW. We really kind of suck as a country.

    You have become your very own Green Eyed Monster.

  168. 168
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Where has Captain Mnemo gone? I’m still waiting for him to point out where the UN resolution authorizes Gaddafi’s assassination.
    __
    It couldn’t be that, upon being challenged to document his clams, he has turned tail and run.

    And it couldn’t be that I was in a meeting because I’m at work. No, that’s not possible. The only possible answer is that I’m, like, totes terrified of you and your brilliant logic.

    So your argument is that any military action against Gaddafi counts as an assassination? NATO is authorized to enforce the no-fly zone and the arms embargo. Are they allowed to enforce those if Gaddafi is anywhere near, say, where the illegal weapons are being delivered, or are they supposed to hold off and allow the illegal weapons to be delivered because they might kill Gaddafi? Or do you have the idea that Gaddafi is sitting in the Libyan equivalent of the White House and is completely uninvolved in the fighting, so the only way he could come under fire is if NATO makes a specific trip to where he is?

    I think the problem here is that you seem to think that any military action in an area where Gaddafi might also be counts as an assassination attempt.

  169. 169
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    “I simply don’t have the time to spend to write a proper post on the subject” but “ABL” is suspiciously close to “OBL” isn’t it? Good enough for U.S. military work – better inform the hired killers/pussies in SEAL Team 6…

    Note for balloonbagger newbies – Whenever President Obama or his cronies fuck up royally, always first attack their critics. After your failed snark-gasm, observe that everyone does it anyway, so stop picking on the Black man you damn dirty racist. Thirdly, point out all the historic C- accomplishments that make this current fuckup seem downright acceptable and worth the cost. Finally, stoke the Fear of Any Alternative, which is impossible anyway, things being as they are.
    .
    .

  170. 170
    Chrisd says:

    @Stillwater:

    Lulz. Why do liberals insist on making everything so fucking complicated?

    You got me, but if they hope to win back a rust belt stupefied by brain drain and free trade, they’d better start dumbing it way the hell down.

    This thread is a parsing of a parsing of a parsing of a parsing, by my count. Almost makes me wish for a Republican presidency, so the Democrats can return to a principled critique of our imperial wars and the Republicans can drop the pretense of fiscal responsibility.

  171. 171
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    And that there’s room for speculation regarding al-Qaeda’s criminal complicity in 9/11.

    I don’t read Chomsky that way. I think he is just noting/complaining that such evidence proving the case to a skeptical observer has never been presented. Over and over we are told OBL did 9/11 but we have precious little in the category called “how we know this?”

    Chomsky has caught governments lying to him about so many things I can’t fault him for demanding proof.

  172. 172
    TheF79 says:

    I generally like reading Greenwald, but on this particular topic, there seems to be a lot of confusion of legal, moral and pragmatic arguments. That’s all.

  173. 173
    Uloborus says:

    @Joe Beese:
    That is because it cannot be proven in court unless he can be brought to trial. He cannot be brought to trial because he is hiding in an armed enemy camp that has declared that they will fight to the death rather than give him up. Since this is not actually an unprecedented or unconstitutional situation, a court ruled that it is better to declare that he has willingly given up his right to trial than be tried in absentia.

    Greenwald, however, does not want to explain these things to you because they poke giant holes in his argument. And yet as a lawyer, you would assume he knows them.

  174. 174
    Mnemosyne says:

    And now I do need to actually get back to work. I thought I should announce it so Joe Beese wouldn’t worry that his devastating logic bombs caused me to run away.

  175. 175
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Lupin:

    He will end up being the 21st century Joe Klein.

    But he is right a lot.

    DOES NOT COMPUTE.

  176. 176
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So your argument is that any military action against Gaddafi counts as an assassination? NATO is authorized to enforce the no-fly zone and the arms embargo. Are they allowed to enforce those if Gaddafi is anywhere near, say, where the illegal weapons are being delivered, or are they supposed to hold off and allow the illegal weapons to be delivered because they might kill Gaddafi?

    This reads like sophistry. The laws of war are pretty well established on such things. If Gaddafi is hanging out on an airfield full of Libyan fighter Jets preparing for flight and gets hit by an attack on those jets, that’s fair game.

    If you bomb his fucking house, that’s pretty hard to justify as being necessary to maintain the no-fly zone.

  177. 177
    Joe Beese says:

    @Uloborus:

    a court ruled that it is better to declare that he has willingly given up his right to trial

    Better for whom, one might ask.

    But since you’re not the first person to make this “given up his right to a trial” claim – and since I didn’t see anything like that in his Wikipedia article the last time I checked – can you provide a cite for this?

  178. 178
    Uloborus says:

    @The Tragically Flip:
    Good news. The world believes it. That’s one of the reasons we’re the most popular nation in the world again. That dropped rather sharply under Bush. Obama is only unpopular in America and Israel. And he’s not actually unpopular in America.

  179. 179
    Joe Beese says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    This reads like sophistry.

    You noticed that.

    With Obots, it inevitably becomes a question of what “is” is.

  180. 180
    rea says:

    “Treating the whole world as a battlefield is wrong. Terrorists should be treated as criminals.”

    That’s where Greenwald is attacking a straw man. If we’d caught bin Laden going through customs at the DC airport–like Padilla–he wouldn’t be on a battlefield. If he were somewhere (say, London) we could rely on the locals to arrest and prosecute or extradite him, he wouldn’t be on the battlefield. But, he’s a combatant as defined in the Geneva Conventions, and if he’s in a place where he isn’t subject to ordinary criminal process, he’s subject to the limitations of the laws of war on the use of deadly force, not the limitations applicable to a criminal arrest.

  181. 181
    Woodrow "asim" Jarvis Hill says:

    @liberal: And that’s what gets me about Greenwald, in the end.

    I have absolutely zero problem with him holding the Obama Administration’s feet to the fire. I read another Civil Libertarian, Ed Brayton, who’s done similar — hell, he called for Obama to be impeached over some of the issues at hand! So I’m hardly someone unswayed by the concept that Obama is acting illegally, as did Bush.

    But when Greenwald came here months ago, and without barely a moment’s breadth, started swiping down comments, thoughtful and not, as mostly “O-Bots”, I had some real concerns. And I still have them. Because he’s done it in other places. Because it speaks to the quality of his arguments. Because it reflects why I stopped reading him months into the last primary season, before any of the FISA business started — I recall having to dig around on Salon for his blog.

    It’s not my fee-fees he hurt then, or now. I’m a big boy, and I’ve been on the Internet since before the WWW was invented. It’s my trust that he’s fighting in good faith with anyone.

    By reacting like every critique is a personal assault on his objectivity/honesty/reliability, he appears thin-skinned and unable to hold a in-depth discussion. That reflects more towards someone looking for blind loyalty than truth — and I depended on him, for a time, for truth. I worry that he’s created his own “No Spin Zone”, where robust discussion on the issues is replaced with dogmatic allegiance to “the law”, such as he interprets it.

  182. 182
    A.A. says:

    [I started work on Monday—I’m the interim Executive Director of Everybody Wins! LA, a literacy non-profit. It’s fantastic. No longer do I wake up with that “oh crap! Filing!” feeling that plagued me during the ten years I practiced law. Now my biggest concern is whether or not I can find an alcohol company/sponsor for my Lawyers for Literacy fundraiser/spelling bee in two months. Point is, I won’t be around much and will check comments periodically. Of course, I will regularly check the comments at ABLC. Anyway, enjoy the post. ::ducks and covers:: -ABLxx]

    Woo hoo! Congrats on the new job. Since this means that you’re posting on BJ less often, everybody wins!

  183. 183
    Woodrow "asim" Jarvis Hill says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    we are told OBL did 9/11 but we have precious little in the category called “how we know this?”

    Because he’s confessed multiple times on video to coordinating the attacks?

  184. 184
    Joe Beese says:

    I have absolutely zero problem with him holding the Obama Administration’s feet to the fire.

    Just as long as “holding Obama’s feet to the fire” doesn’t entail actually, you know, withholding a vote from him.

    Because while his wars and gulags and spying are “disappointing”, he’s still a Democrat. Which is, of course, the only important thing.

  185. 185
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @Uloborus: What is the basis of saying the US is “the most popular nation in the world”?

    Also, I don’t think Obama is “popular” in the Middle-East.
    http://pewglobal.org/2010/06/1.....n-at-home/

    Anyway, I said “much of the world” which is vague, so I’ll clarify – it could be 10% it could be 40%, but a large number of people have good reason to believe the United States tortures people it captures. They have good reason because up until Jan 20, 2009, the US did in fact do this. They are not known to have done so since, then, but no one was prosecuted for the previous torture, and it remains a solid possibility to resume Jan 20, 2013. Until Cheney is giving his “we should torture more” interviews from prison, I can well understand the reluctance of anyone to fall into US hands.

  186. 186
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    This reads like sophistry.

    Or in other words – another post by Capt Mnemo.

  187. 187
    Uloborus says:

    @Joe Beese:
    I apologize. The order of events was slightly different from what I remembered. Fortunately, the exact same legal end was achieved. I tracked down this article. As you can see, a federal court was asked if it was legal to kill Alkawi. The federal court said ‘yes, because he’s refused trial’.

    Congratulations. There is an area of law that Greenwald was not telling you about but you trusted him to. Guess what? There are more.

  188. 188
    Corner Stone says:

    @Joe Beese: It has begun Joe Beese. If the unending train of lies uttering out of Mnemosyne’s mouth can ever really be said to “begin” or “end” anywhere.

    So your argument is that

    This is the beginning of your doom. She has invoked the dreaded “So your argument is that” phrase, which unlocks the gates of hell itself.
    From that point on Mnemosyne will not stop, nay can’t be stopped, from absolutely lying about what your statement or argument actually was.

  189. 189
    Woodrow "asim" Jarvis Hill says:

    @Joe Beese:

    he’s still a Democrat. Which is, of course, the only important thing.

    Joe, you don’t know me, or my background. My Mother jumped to the GOP in her last days over Education, so don’t even bring that Loyalty crap around me and my family — we FIGHT. And we’re willing to make a stand for what we believe.

    But when my Mom jumped, it was to gain specific goals, to ally with folks that were going to give her what she wanted. Just as MLK and the rest of the Civil Rights leaders, after a decade of 50-50 as Ike made steps to support, moved to the Democratic column as the JFK and LBJ Administrations put laws into effect, and (more key) courted AA support. And then Nixon’s Southern Strategy sealed in the effects we see today.

    My Mom was alive back then, her Husband, my Father, a minor but active person in the movement here in town. She knew you don’t just pull your vote away as a “grand gesture” — you give it to people who’ll push to put your needs into law. Folks who think I’m going to just sit around like we did in ’10, and that things’ll get better? They’re in denial. They can have their clean conscious as the world around them degrades, their purity of heart and mind intact.

    Have fun with that, Joe.

  190. 190
    bourbaki says:

    @Uloborus:
    Did you actually read what you linked to?

    Restricting the arguments to these procedural issues, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates did not entertain the merits of the “targeted killing” program. Instead, he focused on whether Anwar al-Awlaki was willing and able to bring the suit himself, and whether the judiciary should insert itself into the issue, facts that will likely weigh heavily in the court’s decision.

  191. 191
    John Cole says:

    I just want to go on record refudiating everything I wrote six years ago. Let’s make it five, just to be safe.

  192. 192
    burnspbesq says:

    @Pat:

    Umm, read the AUMF lately? It’s a miserable piece of shit that should never have seen the light of day, but it passed both houses of Congress and pretty clearly authorizes killing bin Laden wherever and whenever we could find him.

  193. 193
    MikeR says:

    @Uloborus: Maybe you ought to re-read the article. It says absolutely no such thing. The key quote:

    Restricting the arguments to these procedural issues, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates did not entertain the merits of the “targeted killing” program. Instead, he focused on whether Anwar al-Awlaki was willing and able to bring the suit himself, and whether the judiciary should insert itself into the issue, facts that will likely weigh heavily in the court’s decision.

    So: the article involved a hearing, not a decision. The court focused on a procedural issue. The court did not say it was ok to kill him because he refused trial.

    Also: trial on what? Has he been charged with a crime? The article deals with a civil suit brought to prevent the guy’s killing by the U.S.

    I’m don’t expect everyone to be a lawyer, and some of this stuff can get complicated, but come on.

  194. 194
    Corner Stone says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel): I already went there in #74. You gotta keep up with the Benatar quips.

  195. 195
    burnspbesq says:

    Let’s see, the gravamen of Greenwald’s indictment of Holder is that he took different positions on an issue when he was representing different clients with different interests at different times, under circumstances that don’t even arguably give rise to a conflict of interest? Have I got that right?

    What a joke.

  196. 196
    Joe Beese says:

    @Uloborus:

    I tracked down this article. As you can see, a federal court was asked if it was legal to kill Alkawi. The federal court said ‘yes, because he’s refused trial’.

    Are you sure that’s the same article? Because what I read in it is:

    “… the lawsuit is asking a federal judge to prevent the government from intentionally killing Anwar Awlaki without showing that he presents a concrete, specific, and imminent threat to life or physical safety. … In its response, the government argued that Awlaki’s father lacks legal standing to bring the suit. … Restricting the arguments to these procedural issues, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates did not entertain the merits of the “targeted killing” program. Instead, he focused on whether Anwar al-Awlaki was willing and able to bring the suit himself, and whether the judiciary should insert itself into the issue…”

    How do you get from that to “Yes, it’s legal for you to kill him” ?

    Furthermore, this had nothing to do with him waiving a right to a trial on charges of terrorism. It said that if he wanted to file a lawsuit stopping the government from killing him without a trial, he would have to file it himself.

    [Which is incredibly stupid, but that’s a separate issue.]

  197. 197
    burnspbesq says:

    @Joe Beese:

    “Which is, of course, the only important thing.”

    Cheer the arrival of Joe Beese’s Army of Strawmen.

    No, ya big silly, it’s not the only important thing. But it’s an important thing. Or do you believe that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans?

  198. 198
    Adam C says:

    @Uloborus:
    That link doesn’t at all say what you claim it does. You wanted this one.

    However, the question the judge considered was not whether the assassination would be legal. Instead, he simply ruled that Awlaki’s father did not have standing to bring a civil injunction preventing the assassination.

  199. 199
    Pat says:

    The blindly obedient Obama supporters here are churning out straw men faster than a Navajo gift store. Stop equating Obama’s extra-legal acts with those of FDR during a declared war. You Democrat party enablers have pissed in a well that’s poisonous now, so don’t come crying when the next Republican president’s SEAL team comes for your mixed-race cousin with the funny accent.

  200. 200
    Joe Beese says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Or do you believe that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans?

    Not a dime’s worth, as someone once put it.

  201. 201
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Corner Stone: Damn it!

    If I was Davis X I could make a Stop Using Lex As A Weapon joke here.

    Luckily for everyone, I am not.

  202. 202
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: Wait, are you saying that he was practicing law? While being a lawyer? That’s horrible.

  203. 203
    burnspbesq says:

    @Joe Beese:

    “Not a dime’s worth, as someone once put it.”

    Try telling that to a member of a public employee union.

  204. 204
    burnspbesq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Not only that, he weighs the same as a small block of wood.

    “A WITCH! STONE HIM!”

  205. 205
    rea says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Yeah, burnspbesq, you pretty much have that right. And the response is that Holder got it right both times, and that Padilla’s situation was materially different from that of bin Laden.

    Padilla’s treatment after capture raises different issues, that would have applied to bin Laden had we captured him. We either have to treat these people as prisoners of war, or put them on trial for crimes. There is no middle ground where we can lock them up forever and abuse them.

  206. 206
    Paul in KY says:

    @eemom: I think you’re being a little harsh here. I’ve read many things on Glenn’s site that have been both very interesting & very moving.

  207. 207
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pat: Are you prepared to argue that all military actions take by the US since VJ day have been illegal? There have been no declarations of war that explicitly say that war is declared since that time. Congress has, since that time, authorized the use of military force, passed the War Powers Act (with which presidents have complied while still arguing that it is not Constitutional), and voted for funding explicitly for military combat operations. In your view, is a “Declaration of War” necessary, or is Congressional approval sufficient? Bear in mind that 65 years of precedent seem to indicate that Congressional approval is the key.

  208. 208
    Paul in KY says:

    @socratic_me: If Al Alwaki is an official member of Al Qaida, he doesn’t have to be in the 101st Jihadist Brigade to be an enemy. He can be in any other part of that criminal organization & still be a target (IMO).

  209. 209
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rea:

    Padilla’s treatment after capture raises different issues, that would have applied to bin Laden had we captured him. We either have to treat these people as prisoners of war, or put them on trial for crimes. There is no middle ground where we can lock them up forever and abuse them.

    This.

  210. 210
    motorik says:

    Your arguments might be more powerful if you were capable or willing to put them in easily-readable form.

    You underestimate how damaging your written diarrhea is to even the interested reader. Greenwald may be right or wrong, and it’s not like he’s not verbose, but at least he puts his argument out there to be assessed.

    What the fuck is that box filled with your scribbles?

  211. 211
    Stillwater says:

    @Paul in KY: One problem here is that the Pres and the SecDef both have unilateral authority to designate anyone an enemy combatant for whatever reasons they see fit (on my understanding of the law). So even if your narrow point holds, the broader point – about Executive branch use of lethal force against US citizens without any checks or oversight – sorta remains. (I could be wrong about this given the most recent incarnation of the Patriot Act.)

    (Where’s BTD to tell us that extrajudicial killing of US citizens is perfectly fine and dandy? This is the sorta discussion he lives for…)

  212. 212
    Pat says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hey now, there’s still a burn ban here in Texas and all this straw strewn about is not helping one bit! I’m only 48 so I may have missed failed US attempts to kill the N Korean or N Vietnamese leaders. The WPA only empowers the President to use military force for a limited period, and only when an imminent threat to US territory or personnel can be demonstrated to Congress after that period expires. So much for that paltry check on absolute martial authority, but hey, it’s a dangerous world out there and we gotta be safe. Yes, every US military intervention since Grenada has been done by circumventing the supreme law of the land in favor the supreme leader of the land. You can justify ignoring the law all you want, just don’t call it “justice.”

  213. 213
    socratic_me says:

    @Uloborus: You fail to accurately represent the arguments made in the trial you link to. The court did not find that he had refused trial. In fact, the question of whether a trial was offered for his as-yet-unnamed crimes is never mentioned. What is mentioned is that the court said his father had no standing to bring suit against the government. The government promises they won’t kill him (though leaves it an open question as to what they will do to him – Hello Gitmo!). But the court said that he has basically said the US court system has no jurisdiction over him, so it isn’t clear he even wants to bring the suit himself.

    Just to reiterate, the areticle you link does not reference any trial that he might be charged in, nor does it reference any refusal of said trial because it doesn’t exist. In short, reading comprehension fail, made all the more embarrassing by the fact that you then accuse someone else of dishonesty based on your misreading of said article.

  214. 214
    Joe Beese says:

    @Pat:

    You Democrat party enablers have pissed in a well that’s poisonous now, so don’t come crying when the next Republican president’s SEAL team comes for your mixed-race cousin with the funny accent.

    This is the part of the Obot mentality I still can’t understand.

    I mean, if they believe that Obama has only ordered the execution of an American citizen without trial because he absolutely had to and he can be trusted with this absolute power because he’s a wise decent man who would never abuse it, fine.

    Do they also believe that none of those Republicans they keep saying we ought to be terrified of will ever retake the White House someday? Or even that an unending series of future Democratic presidents will consist solely of men as wise and decent as they imagine Barack Obama to be?

    But the idea that Obama could give rise to an evil outcome – even inadvertently – is a thought too terrible for them to bear. So they will angrily refuse to consider what we’re supposed to do after 2016 when a new President inherits from Obama the right to kill anyone on earth they deem an enemy. They’ll just keep harping on the “obvious” guilt of Al-Awklaki and lashing out with insults like “Naderite” when they start to feel too boxed in by reality.

  215. 215
    rea says:

    One problem here is that the Pres and the SecDef both have unilateral authority to designate anyone an enemy combatant for whatever reasons they see fit (on my understanding of the law).

    There have been claims to that effect. It’s not true–the Pres and SecDef don’t get to redefine objective reality.

  216. 216
    eemom says:

    @liberal:

    you know what, little asshole?

    You have no idea what my “position” is on Israel.

    Go crawl back in your playhouse.

  217. 217
    Pat says:

    And I don’t get why the duly elected deliberative body of the most militaristic nation that’s ever existed is afraid to officially enshrine this War on The Leader’s Enemies in the Congressional Record? What do they have to lose? We’ve already killed hundreds of thousands of people in defense of our glorious homeland since 9/11, why not just come out and say it already?

  218. 218
    socratic_me says:

    @socratic_me: Oops. Late to the party I see. My apologies for restating the already-beaten-to-death.

  219. 219
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pat: No straw at all. You noted the lack of a declaration of war as an issue. I was seeking clarification on what you meant. Why do you pick Grenada? Why not Korea, Vietnam, or the Dominican Republic?

    Personally, I view OBL as a leader of a group that saw itself as being at war with the US. He and his group are non-state actors, but they have been conducting military operations against the US. Why should OBL be treated differently than a general in an army in combat with US forces? Additionally, there is historical legal precedent for groups being declared outside the protection of the law (it is from this that the term outlaw comes). Pirates are one such group. An international terrorist group such as Al Q would easily fit into this category.

  220. 220
    Rihilism says:

    @John Cole: Premature, John. You need to wait until someone points out an inconsistency before you claim a youthful indiscretion…

  221. 221
    eemom says:

    @MikeR:

    I’m not in the mood to settle down.

    I am in the mood to continue bashing Greenwald.

    He’s a pretentious, sanctimonious little shit who is devoid of legal expertise and a piss-poor writer. If I live to be a thousand I will never understand what anybody finds admirable about him.

  222. 222
    bayville says:

    @Joe Beese: I’ll save some of the sleuths here the effort.
    It’s not in there.

    But don’t worry ABL will crayon the key phrase in, as part of another of her famed, sophmoric “work-ups” and use in a future post on the dangers of Greenwaldism.

    I guess that’s “Progressives'” counter to Liberal Fascism

  223. 223
    rootless_e says:

    @socratic_me: Sorry, I confused you with another socratic defender who did use the phrase here. Instead, you just began by stating

    With the links ABL chooses, which add nothing beyond condescension and sneering, is either ballsy or painfully lacking in self-awareness.

    Which doesn’t really seem like an argument any more than “nah nah neener neener” to me, although I may be missing the finer points. And then you switched to psychology, a field that you seem to grasp as well as you grasp rhetoric.

    Answer the implicit question asked in the post you refer to as “adding nothing beyond condescension and sneering”. Was FDR guilty of a war crime for not indicting and starting court proceedings against US citizens fighting for the Nazis.

  224. 224
    eemom says:

    I observe that Beese and Stoned make a lovely couple on this thread. Fuckie is gonna be sooooo jealous.

  225. 225
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pat: Rome. Also what do you think the AUMF was? Seriously, it didn’t say “Declaration of War” but, damn, if it didn’t authorize using military force against anyone involved with 9/11.

  226. 226
    ABL says:

    I’ll address briefly what I see as the criticisms of this post.

    1. As I stated, I didn’t have time to deconstruct Glenn’s arguments in his “Democratic Principles of Terror” (or whatever it was called, post.) Because I did not have that time, I linked two posts which make the arguments that I would have made, and spent several hours reading the brief that Glenn bases his post on. I will likely write a more substantive post later.

    2. My problem with Glenn is not that he isn’t right on POLICY, it’s that he does not ever seem to coalesce policy concerns with political and pragmatic concerns.

    3. He writes as if he has THE answer to every question — what I call persuasive brief writing style. When one actually reads the brief that he criticizes Holder for, the brief does not actually support his argument. That’s why I highlighted and scribbled notes on the brief on my iPad and uploaded it to Scribd.

    4. I note in the post that I was doing what I describe in number 3, primarily to make the point that EVERYONE can read and understand these arguments. One does not have to rely on a purported expert for explanation. I think if many Greenwald fans would spend more time thinking about how nuanced law is, they would be less rabid.

    5. I cannot fathom that an individual — even a libertarian one — would ever write the sorts of things that Greenwald did about immigration without at least having some sort of Come to Jesus moment (sort of the way EDK did). Rather than explain why his opinion was stupid and uninformed, he brushed it off, claimed that “he had zero readers anyway” and then went right back to being snide — “cultists had to dig up 6 year old evidence.”

    6. I don’t really give a fuck that the same 4 of you seem to think i have a personal vendetta against him. I don’t. What I cannot stand and will not abide is what I see as him taking advantage of his non-lawyer readers, most of whom do not follow all the links in his posts and therefore do not see that he is primarily self-linking. “Everybody thinks X as evidenced by this post I wrote last year saying I wrote X.” I can come up with discrete examples of this later.

    7. I would love nothing more than to have an actual discussion about these issues with Greenwald. He won’t engage me. He won’t engage any of the bloggers at People’s View except to call them loyalists and cultists.

    8. The same people who constantly complain about my posts are guilty of the same thing. Just look at Beese and Boblaw up there. They refuse to see the point that I’m making because they don’t LIKE the point that I’m making, which is that Greenwald can make his points without being a dick about it. So they move straight to attacking my motives, and being dicks about it.

    9. My goal is this: To make it such that Greenwald is seen for what he is, and called upon to speak about what he knows, and not to be lauded as some mega-progressive with the good of the people at heart. He is a civil liberties academic. That is not the same as being liberal, or progressive, and he has shown that his viewpoints have no room for nuance. Politics and LIFE require nuance.

    10. Yes, I can be a snarky bitch. I’ll go further: I AM a snarky bitch. But it’s not pointless snarky bitchiness. I write these posts for a reason. If you go back to my earliest posts on this subject, they were written when I was just a two-bit blogger at ABLC with about 100 readers. This isn’t me trying to make a splash. It’s me trying to make sure that Republicans do not take the Senate and Presidency in 2012, because to allow that to happen would be to usher in a lot of pain for a lot of Americans that I think are suffering enough. This is a man who has expressed if not support, admiration for Gary Johnson. This is a man who does not seem to place importance on the issues I find of ultimate importance. Social justice, workers rights, equality for women and minorities. We agree on equality for LGBTQ. I think this is a man who is getting more “airtime” and recognition than some true liberal commentators. To the extent his not-really liberal “progressive” message is spouted as what liberals believe, I am pushing and will continue to push back against that.

    I could go Galt. Pick up my shit and move to New Zealand and help my friend who opened a sandwich shop. I could blog and live it up there. And I imagine that after years of living overseas, I would become hardened to the realities of living and slogging through life in this country. My expat Kiwi friends certainly have, and they are relatively politically aware.

    I’m not sure what my point is here. I am rambling.

    And by the way, front-pagers spend post after post after post criticizing David Brooks, or McArdle, or the bloggers at Reason. Those people are thorns in the sides of DougJ, John, Tom, etc. Greenwald is a thorn in MY side. If you don’t like my posts on him, you should scroll by. I post them because I have the keys to this joint, and I am truly interested in the discussion that goes on in the comment sections of my posts. I, of course, skip the comments by the Regular Jerkwads who don’t have anything substantive to say and who want to make personal attacks** or to complain about the formatting of my posts.

    **and no, calling someone intellectually dishonest in their writing is not a personal attack, and indeed, are criticism that many bloggers more important/influential than I are making. And yes, I’m a glass-house dweller. I know it.

    So, to sum up, I am so not proofreading this comment. I’m on my lunch break.

    Big ups to Brooklyn.

  227. 227
    Tom Hilton says:

    But when Greenwald came here months ago, and without barely a moment’s breadth, started swiping down comments, thoughtful and not, as mostly “O-Bots”, I had some real concerns. And I still have them. Because he’s done it in other places. Because it speaks to the quality of his arguments. Because it reflects why I stopped reading him months into the last primary season, before any of the FISA business started—I recall having to dig around on Salon for his blog.

    It’s not my fee-fees he hurt then, or now. I’m a big boy, and I’ve been on the Internet since before the WWW was invented. It’s my trust that he’s fighting in good faith with anyone.

    Exactly, and this is something I’ve been seeing going back to 2006. I soured on Greenwald long before Obama was elected, when he still had President Bush to attack, because it was painfully obvious to me that he simply was not arguing in good faith.

  228. 228
    bayville says:

    Here is the perfect summary of this post.

  229. 229
    ABL says:

    @Daveboy: exactly. you miss my point. have a day.

  230. 230
    ABL says:

    @John Cole: Come to Jesus, John. Come to black Jesus.

  231. 231
    MikeR says:

    @eemom: Out of curiosity, your basis for stating he is “devoid of legal expertise?” Your own legal expertise is? I’m not usually a fan of arguments based on authority, but I was a litigator for 13 years. Am I devoid of legal expertise because I think Greenwald often does some good work? Or is the standard that anyone who disagrees with you lacks legal expertise?

    Regardless what you think of Greenwald, Obama has been a disappointment from a civil rights perspective for those of us liberals who actually thought that “change” meant “change.” Doesn’t mean I hate Obama, or that I don’t think he’s better by magnitudes of order than McCain would have been, or any other Republican would be. I do. But this reflexive defense of Obama’s civil rights record is puzzling to me. Surely the better response would be to praise him when he’s right, constructively criticize him when he’s wrong.

    It’s not only Obama, it’s that D.C. Democrats are part of the D.C. establishment. Obama is just following the D.C. establishment consensus on this civil rights stuff. Lots of us thought that Obama would truly bring change. Instead, the best most can offer is that he says we don’t torture any more. That’s good, of course, but not exactly what we expected.

  232. 232
    Stillwater says:

    @rea: There have been claims to that effect. It’s not true—the Pres and SecDef don’t get to redefine objective reality.

    I really wish I could tease out an argument here. What objective reality are they prevented from redefining? What objective reality am I suggesting that they are redefining?

  233. 233
    sherifffruitfly says:

    You might be a snarky bitch, but you’re OUR snarky bitch! WOOT!

  234. 234
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel):

    Do you know what else is a battlefield?

    Do you know who else thought the whole world was a battlefield?

  235. 235
    rea says:

    You noted the lack of a declaration of war as an issue. I was seeking clarification on what you meant. Why do you pick Grenada? Why not Korea, Vietnam, or the Dominican Republic?

    Not to mention France in the Adams Adminstration

  236. 236
    ABL says:

    @Daveboy: oh for fuck’s sake. that is EXACTLY what glenn said in response to a tweet from someone (shoq, i believe). it’s a bullshit cop out response.

    So whatever Moulitsas does is cool with you?

    Fuck that noise. I don’t subscribe to hive think. I want to know why Greenwald should not be questioned about his affiliation with an organization funded by the Kochs, the goal of which is to privatize everything and ensure that the middle class and poor stay middle class and poor.

    is that really an invalid question? No. No it’s not.

    Let’s flip it: Do you imagine that if Obama had written for an organization, let’s call it, People for Torturing People, but wrote a piece that could be deemed tangential to the main goal of the organization (say, a piece about not torturing animals), that Glenn wouldn’t be flipping the fuck out about it?

    I understand that his Cato posts related, as far as I can tell, to surveillance and drug issues, but it is now out of bounds to even ASK such questions?

    Do you not think that some explanation from Greenwald about how far his affiliation with Cato extends is warranted?

    Of course you don’t, because you have your head lodged squarely up his ass.

    /again with the not proofreading

    ETA: if one sticks to one’s principles NO MATTER WHAT, then why the about-face on immigration? I’ll tell you why — it doesn’t sit well with liberals.

    /eyeroll some of you are ridonkulous.

  237. 237
    Kay says:

    The most interesting part to me is that GG thought the conservative approach to immigration was a political winner, or would be, if they would just get more completely insane about immigration than they already are.

    He was wrong about that, but the conventional wisdom at the time (2005-6)was that demonizing immigrants was a political winner, and it was not, actually.

  238. 238
    MikeR says:

    @ABL: So your main substantive criticism of Greenwald is that he doesn’t acknowledge the “political and pragmatic” considerations Obama has to take into account. Such considerations are more significant when dealing with Congress. That is, even when we controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress, we still had a bunch of shithead Senators who Obama had to deal with. Fair enough. But when dealing with these kinds of cases, the “political and pragmatic” concerns at issue are Obama’s re-election. You think that if he does the right thing, he maybe won’t be re-elected. Ok, but hardly a sign of high integrity on Obama’s part.

    As for Greenwald’s alleged lack of concern on other issues, i.e., social justice, etc., you do realize that he kind of specializes in this particular civil rights area? That his strength is that he focuses on a particular area rather than being a generalist?

    Also, I tend to kind of insist that the Constitution not be fucked with, especially when it comes to civil rights. I don’t have much use for a “pragmatic” approach when dealing with civil rights.

    I’m going to keep pointing out that this isn’t an Obama problem, it’s a D.C. Democrat issue. They need to continually make the case for why the Constitution is sacred even when people are scared of terrorists. Instead, they throw their hands up in the air and say “hey, how can I get re-elected if I insist that even alleged terrorists get the rights they’re entitled to under the Constitution.”

  239. 239
    bayville says:

    @Daveboy:
    To summarize: ‘Cause Greenwald wrote one article for the CATO Institute and is gay and lives in Brazil and doesn’t have a full-on, hard-on for President Obama; And because he has been askin’ annoyin’ questions about the legality of assassinatin’ an unarmed person in a foreign country (while allegedly in custody) and – most importantly – ’cause ABL doesn’t like him we should all be “flipping the fuck out” about Greenwald’s writings (aka Greenwaldism).

    It’s a very lawyerly argument ABL makes…cause ya’ know shes a lawyer (in case you hadnt heard).

  240. 240
    bayville says:

    BTW, for all of the Obamacare groupies here…still not working.

    Who’ddya thunk?

  241. 241
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @ABL:

    They refuse to see the point that I’m making because they don’t LIKE the point that I’m making

    I don’t really care about the point you were making. Or the point Greenwald is making. I didn’t read him. I didn’t read you. I didn’t read a five year old amicus brief. I don’t give a shit about the rights of Osama bin Laden. Or even Anwar al-Awlaqi. If they want to be terrorists, there’s consequences to that. When the US gets indiscriminate with respect to random civilians who wouldn’t know a skyscraper from an outhouse in its international drone campaign, that’s a different issue, but I can’t possibly care less about the rights of terrorists in the face of surgical targeted assassination missions. The AUMF shouldn’t have been written the way it was, but it’s too late now, so whatever. All I ask is for a good, clean shoot.

    So yeah, I came into this thread to be obnoxious, and not productive. Next time don’t be blatantly hypocritical with your goofy ad hominems. Or perhaps just be more efficient in using them. Something like “Don’t listen to Glenn Greenwald. He’s a libertarian. The end.” Much neater.

  242. 242
    Joe Beese says:

    @ABL:

    My problem with Glenn is not that he isn’t right on POLICY, it’s that he does not ever seem to coalesce policy concerns with political and pragmatic concerns.

    Translation: Nothing is more important to me than re-electing Barack Obama.

    What I cannot stand and will not abide is what I see as him taking advantage of his non-lawyer readers…

    Translation: I’m irritated that he has persuaded some people not to support Barack Obama.

    they don’t LIKE the point that I’m making, which is that Greenwald can make his points without being a dick about it. So they move straight to attacking my motives, and being dicks about it

    The only thing I have against your “point” is its disingenuousness. When Greenwald charges Obama with claiming despotic powers for the executive branch, you whine about his “tone” and bring up all kinds of irrelevant ad hominem shit. As if these things were not infinitely less important than the realities Greenwald is documenting.

    Clearly, you think that whatever “disappointing” facets there are to Obama’s civil liberties record, they are a price worth accepting for all the wonderful things Obama will do for us in a second term. That is, at best, dangerously short-sighted. At worst, it is unabashed Cult of Personality.

  243. 243
    eemom says:

    @MikeR:

    Your own legal expertise is?

    Jeez, you really don’t come around here much, do you?

    As Cole delights in making fun of, I’ve been a litigator for 23 years. So you will just have to pardon me if I regard Greenwald’s pissant legal “expertise” as something of a joke.

  244. 244
    Tom Hilton says:

    @ABL:

    ETA: if one sticks to one’s principles NO MATTER WHAT, then why the about-face on immigration? I’ll tell you why—it doesn’t sit well with liberals.

    Exactly. As far as I can tell, Greenwald is a libertarian second and a careerist first, and he happens to know that his career depends on the good opinions of liberals, so he sweetens his libertarian bullshit (e.g., his love for Citizens United and Gary Johnson and Ron Paul) with rhetorical nods to shit that matters to liberals (outside of his particular civil liberties turf, which is really the only area where his agenda coincides with a liberal agenda).

  245. 245
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeR:
    @bayville:

    Interesting counterpoint here between someone who is making substantive arguments and actually addressing perceived weaknesses and flaws in ABL’s argument and someone who opted for gross mischaracterization and ad hominems .

    @bayville: When do all of the parts of the ACA come into effect? Oh, not yet… Hmmm, I wonder if that makes any difference.

  246. 246
    Jim Pharo says:

    Um, I’m out of here. This screed against GLENN GREENWALD is preposterous. Once there’s some kind of apology, I’ll be back.

    Good luck at Everybody Wins LA. My wife works for that them in NY.

  247. 247
    eemom says:

    @MikeR:

    Greenwald often does some good work

    WHAT work? What exactly does he do that qualifies as work?

    Civil rights: GOOD.
    Take away civil rights: BAD.

    As infinitely, tediously verbose as he is, that is literally all he’s ever said.

  248. 248
    eemom says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    Once there’s some kind of apology, I’ll be back.

    We won’t wait up.

  249. 249
    MikeR says:

    @eemom: I stop by occasionally, don’t comment often, don’t read the comments often. Is that an issue? Should I pour through the back comments of every blog I comment on occasionally so that I don’t annoy the cool-kid regular commenters? Give it a rest already. Jesus fucking Christ, one of the things I like about this blog is the lack of assholes who prize their “insider” status and think it useful in scoring rhetorical points.

    I do hope your Balloon Juice commenting tone/method isn’t something that carries through to your day job.

    I find your comments about Greenwald’s “pissant” legal expertise repulsive. I know some lawyers who have practiced for 8 years who can run rings around others who have practiced for 25 years. How does that work for you in court: “Judge, as someone with 23 years of experience, I clearly prevail over that pissant with only 10.” How does that work for you?

  250. 250
    MikeR says:

    @eemom: I’m guessing you have an innate ability to drag arguments down into the ditch, so I’ll stop here. But that is “literally” all that Greenwald has ever said?

  251. 251
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: When do all of the parts of the ACA come into effect? Oh, not yet

    I’m glad you went there. I was tempted to, but thought better of it: it seems that when FlipYrWhig isn’t around I sometimes feel eerily compelled to take up his role.

  252. 252
    Stillwater says:

    @MikeR: eemom hates GG with a passionate scalding intensity. Why isn’t exactly clear. But scroll past her comments regarding him or you might melt you computer screen. It’s just that bad.

  253. 253
    Joe Beese says:

    @MikeR:

    How does that work for you in court: “Judge, as someone with 23 years of experience, I clearly prevail over that pissant with only 10.”

    I wonder if they also argue against opposing counsel’s motions on the grounds that opposing counsel has led a white rich kid life.

  254. 254
    Pat says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes, the courts say that combatants who are shooting on a battlefield are not subject to due process. But it stretches credulity to make that claim about al Qaeda when we’re conducting night raids and on safe houses and drone attacks on unarmed civilians and American citizens based on tip-offs by paid informants. That’s classic gumshoe detective work, far removed from the fog of war on a battlefield where combatants are clearly identifiable, and the potential for abuse and secrecy in such endeavors demands that they be subject to judicial review. Yes, I wanted to see OBL put on trial in New York City, godammit. If the evidence is so overwhelming against these al Qaeda guys then what the hell are we so afraid of?

  255. 255
    Joe Beese says:

    @Pat:

    If the evidence is so overwhelming against these al Qaeda guys then what the hell are we so afraid of?

    Some possibilities:

    1. The “overwhelming” evidence is nothing of the kind.

    2. What evidence they do have was obtained by torture.

    3. Then go vote for Nader! How did that work out for you?

  256. 256
    eemom says:

    @MikeR:

    I know some lawyers who have practiced for 8 years who can run rings around others who have practiced for 25 years.

    I’ve seen nothing to indicate that Greenwald is one of them. Perhaps you could enlighten me with some examples of his ring running abilities.

    And GFY with your “cool kid” comments. I just thought it was funny to be asked that when I have received no end of shit from John Cole for having mentioned my 23 years of experience, ONE time.

    GFY too with your comments about my day job. I have it on good authority that I excel at it.

    But that is “literally” all that Greenwald has ever said?

    Yup. Pretty much.

  257. 257
    eemom says:

    @Stillwater:

    I hate ANYONE who is a poseur and a hypocrite with a passionate scalding intensity.

    But I am in a particularly evil mood today, I admit.

  258. 258
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pat: Actually, I tend to think that the SEAL team had orders to capture OBL if they could do so. The normal way to clear a room in a combat situation is to put a grenade through the door, wait for it to go off and then step in and spray the room with automatic weapons fire. Sorting out who was who comes later. The fact that they did not operate this way gives me reason to believe that they would have taken him him alive if he had surrendered. I think they could very well have received orders that indicated that captured OBL was not worth the life of a team member, and that, as a result, any gesture by OBL that did not immediately indicate surrender would have resulted in his death. I do not know this. It is supposition on my part, so take it for what it is worth.

  259. 259
    Pat says:

    @eemom:

    “Yup. Pretty much.”

    Just curious, did Evelyn Wood teach at your law school?

  260. 260
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    you know, I don’t think so.

    Whatever else one may think of that Chomsky piece, I think he’s right that they had no intention of taking OBL alive. Everything else I’ve read about the raid seems to support that.

    A little reported fact: there were CHILDREN in the room when he was shot, in addition to wife no. 3.

    Dunno, this whole thing is not high on my priority list, but the more I think about what was done there the less I like it.

  261. 261
    Pat says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh please, the SEALs reported that he was unarmed, what more do you need to be convinced this was a kill mission? They had to get a visual confirmation first, but there was never any intent to capture him and start a firestorm back home over his legal status. We are a weak and pitiful bunch of denialists living in a crumbling and increasingly ineffective empire.

  262. 262
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: Look, lady, I have 14 years of legal experience and 4 1/2 years of military experience and ….

  263. 263
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pat:W’evs, dude.

    ETA: I think there was sufficient legal authority to send someone to send people there to take him out, so I am not particularly bothered either way.

  264. 264
    burnspbesq says:

    @Pat:

    “But it stretches credulity to make that claim about al Qaeda when we’re conducting night raids and on safe houses”

    You’re in serious need of a refresher course on the law of war. Sneak attacks on enemy formations under cover of darkness are absolutely OK, and always have been.

  265. 265
    Pat says:

    @burnspbesq: Where is that book BTW, the “law of war?”

  266. 266
    Joe Beese says:

    @Pat:

    Oh please, the SEALs reported that he was unarmed, what more do you need to be convinced this was a kill mission?

    Certain ‘bots are obliged to “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” because their mental image of Obama can’t accomodate the reality of him dispatching a kill team to murder a sick old man in cold blood.

    The rest are divided between those honest enough to admit that they don’t care it was an execution and those bloodthirsty enough to take pleasure in the idea.

  267. 267
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pat: You know that there is no one big book that contains all the law on any topic, right?

  268. 268
    burnspbesq says:

    More @ Pat:

    It’s also worth remembering that it is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention for combatants to hide among protected persons for the purpose of deterring attacks on them.

  269. 269
    Woodrow "asim" Jarvis Hill says:

    @Pat:

    the SEALs reported that he was unarmed

    The report is that he was moving when they came in, and there were weapons in the room they shot him in:

    The government official confirmed that the weapons were an AK-47 and a pistol. The official said bin Laden was spotted coming out of the room where the guns were located and then ran back into that room.

    Let’s be clear, here. Cops, for better or worse, are known to shoot unarmed targets of arrest for simply leaning in the direction of a weapon after being warned. I don’t like it, yet the balance is that assailants have been known to kill cops out of hand.

    If the story as described above is true, then it’s clear bin Laden was showing hostile intent, and no signs of surrendering. Unless, of course, he was running for his white flag.

  270. 270
    burnspbesq says:

    @Pat:

    “Where is that book BTW, the “law of war?”

    Is that really the best you can do?

  271. 271
    Rihilism says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: These are my assumptions as well. But apparently our inability to accept the cold hard facts that Obama targeted OBL for assassination, marks us a objectively pro-torture Obots incapable of critical thought…BTW, I’m not referring to you Pat, I think you are asking important, valid questions and your demand for judicial review (or some kind of review, perhaps congressional) is both reasonable and should be required…

  272. 272
    Stillwater says:

    @burnspbesq: I have a question along those lines Burnsy. What internationally recognized legal provision permits the US to enter a sovereign nation’s territory without their permission for the express intention of using lethal military force to kill (or capture, I’ll throw that in there for OO) a human being?

    The reason I ask is it seems to me that too much of the legal discussion regarding OBL is focused around domestic law, while it seems to me that international law is pretty clear about the limits of military force across national boundaries.

  273. 273
    EJ says:

    @Uloborus:

    There’s no legal doctrine that says we get to shoot you because you don’t respect the authority of our judicial system or the legitimacy of your trial, and that wasn’t what the court was asserting. Most criminals don’t respect our judicial system, that’s why they’re criminals.

    All they said was that Alkawi’s father had no standing to bring the lawsuit against the government, since in their judgment Alwaki could have brought it himself.

  274. 274
    burnspbesq says:

    Just to elaborate on Jarvis Hill’s point, if the shooting of bin Laden was not appropriate, then the shooter should be court-martialed.

  275. 275
    NoFortunateSon says:

    @Joe Beese:

    …because their mental image of Obama can’t accomodate the reality of him dispatching a kill team to murder a sick old man in cold blood.

    I’ve been away for a while…

    While I was out, it’s nice to see Al Qaeda sympathizers like Joe have joined Balloon Juice.

    It’s a new low when a True Progressive™ baldly lies that Osama bin Laden was the victim of President Obama.

    This could be a new stage of terminal Obama Derangement Syndrome, when even Al Qaeda deserves support because they oppose President Obama.

    What else did I miss while I was away?

  276. 276
    burnspbesq says:

    @Stillwater:

    Pretty far from my area of expertise, and I don’t have a lot of research time today, but this looks like a decent place to start.

    http://lawofwar.org/

  277. 277
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Stillwater: Here is an interesting blog post relating to the whole topic.

  278. 278
    ABL says:

    @Joe Beese: @Joe Beese: you are so above it all, aren’t you? you’re going to withhold your vote because goddamnit, my principles are The Only Principles that matter.

    I don’t know if you have looked around, sparky, but civil liberties and war are not The End All Be All issues for everyone here. yet you come back day after day spouting the same exact shit. it’s great that you are so principled. and i’m sure all the poor, black, latino, female, middle class, and impoverished will be thanking you if Gary Q. Libertarian is elected.

    I don’t know if this is ALL you do. Come here and spout the same stuff over and over. But honestly, if you’re not doing something tangible in the world to bring about your worldview, you’re nothing but a self-righteous jerk, much like Greenwald.

    And now I will go back to ignoring you because I’m willing to bet my left boob that the extent of your political activism is repeating yourself ad nauseum at Balloon Juice, and hoping to primary obama with a third party candidate (and chiding others for refusing to withhold their vote from obama because they don’t hold your civil liberties world view) while having done exactly jackshit from the ground up to elect people who hold your world view to school boards, utility commissions, and every tiny thankless public office position out there.

    Good on ya, buddy!

    If you tell me I’m wrong and say that you are working in other avenues, then maybe I’ll have some respect for you. Fuck it, LIE TO ME, if you have to.

    As it is, every time I see your name, my eyes glaze over and I begin to think about what it would be like to jump into a cask of whisky and drink my way out.

    Jesus Christ. Same four people with their stupid derailing bs, their racist screennames and oddly punctuated comments, trying to make “balloonbagger” happen, and calling people unprincipled liars without making an effort to understand the points being made. Same people trying to force me to address THEIR points “forget what you wrote about, i want to know what you think about Holder’s position.”

    That’s not the purpose of this post.

    Jackassery. All over the place.

  279. 279
    Joey Giraud says:

    Greenwald has been making solid and principled, if verbose, points for years on Salon.

    AFAIC, this “Angry Black Lady,” whoever she is, has nothing of value to add. Ditto for the eemom.

    Anger prevents clear thinking. Q.E.D.

  280. 280
    ABL says:

    Certain ‘bots are obliged to “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” because their mental image of Obama can’t accomodate the reality of him dispatching a kill team to murder a sick old man in cold blood.

    i’m laughing so hard at this that water just squirted out of my nose.

    when is the candlelight vigil to mourn OBL’s death?

    fuck me running, you’re a wacko.

    /see what i did there? i said i’d ignore you, but then i didn’t.

  281. 281
    burnspbesq says:

    @Stillwater:

    Also worth keeping in mind that the Geneva Conventions were written a long time ago in a very different world. Asymmetrical warfare where one side doesnt wear uniforms, doesn’t respect borders, and hides among the civilian population presents difficult challenges. The law is necessarily evolving on the fly, and that’s a messy process with many opportunities to get it wrong.

  282. 282
    ABL says:

    @Joey Giraud: HA! you put my name in quotes as if i’m some mythical creature.

    whether or not anger prevents clear thinking “QED”, my “anger” has nothing to do with race or politics, so you can take that stereotype and shove it directly up your own ass, champ.

  283. 283
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ABL: I suppose you realize that this makes you, like, totes a hypocrite and stuff, right?

  284. 284
    Joey Giraud says:

    so you can take that stereotype and shove it directly up your own ass, champ.

    Not a stereotype, just the truth.

    Real classy, you are.

    Whoever you are. Greenwald doesn’t use a pseudonym, like you do. Hence the quotes.

  285. 285
    ABL says:

    @eemom: +1. apology my ass. when greenwald apologizes to BWD for likening her to a nazi propagandist, then maybe i’ll apologize.**

    **no the fuck i won’t.

    ETA: i’m feeling feisty mydamnself, eemom. :)

    it’s quitting time on the east coast, so i’m expecting an influx of minionz.

  286. 286
    ABL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: yeah. someone should arrest and waterboard me. ;)

  287. 287
    ABL says:

    @Joey Giraud: it IS a stereotype, and i never claimed to be classy, jerk.

  288. 288
    ABL says:

    Ok, lambs. Off to do more fundraising and what not. I’ll be back to rant among you a little later.

  289. 289
    NoFortunateSon says:

    @ABL: Dear ABL,

    I thoroughly enjoy your writing and your ruthless assault on True Progressives™. But I would like to advise you of the old adage not to feed the trolls.

    That doesn’t just go for Glenn Greenwald, but for characters such as Joe.

    There’s a reason why Greenwald (althogh a legend in his own mind) hides out in South America and writes for the poor man’s Huffington Post under Joan “I resent African Americans” Walsh, taking brief hiatuses between the latest circumlocution to randomly call out Jewish Daily Kos Posters as Nazis: it’s because he can’t make it in the legal profession stateside.

    Simply put, Osama bin Laden has no Civil Liberties. The entire discussion of bin Laden’s Civil Liberties is moot, something greenwald can’t even escape.

    The SEAL Team said it clearly when they double tapped him. EKIA. Enemy Killed in Action.

    Osama bin Laden sought to skirt the International rules of law and war, and made the entire Earth his Battlefield. He died in combat on that battlefield. End of story.

  290. 290
    jakethesnake says:

    I have to admit, I don’t understand why this was posted here. I’ve read the post several times and even read a lot of the comments, which I try to steer clear of on this site. As far as I can tell, it seems to come down to this: someone who posts under the name “Angry Black Lady” is trying to say that Glenn Greenwald is not arguing in good faith and favoring condescension and sneering. She then goes on to say she doesn’t have time to write anything intelligent so she’s just gunna post some PDF with a bunch of condescending and sneering comments added. If you were thinking “a contest of good faith between Glenn Greenwald and a person who posts under the name ‘Angry Black Lady’, pretty obvious from the statement who is agruing in good faith,” you would be right. I’ve read Greenwald for years and his arguments are well thought out and in good faith. I’ve read ABL on BJ for months now and can say that more than a couple of her posts seemed completely useless.

  291. 291
    burnspbesq says:

    @ABL:

    If I win the bet, what am I permitted to do with your left boob? Do I get bare legal title (groan!), or are some other incidents of ownership involved?

  292. 292
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Thanks for the link. Not sure what to think. All I can say is that if Marty Lederman cant’ find the argument Kevin is making, then it isn’t entirely obvious. And Lederman seems to agree that the US action was legal.

  293. 293
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: Actually, FM27-10, the Army field manual on the law of land warfare has sections on partisans and guerrillas and has had for years. FWIW they are not eligible for POW status and can be executed on the spot without trial. Is this a good or bad thing? Will the changing nature of war and the increase in non-state actors cause the law to change? All valid questions.

  294. 294
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @eemom:

    GFY too with your comments about my day job. I have it on good authority that I excel at it.

    I have no way of measuring your abilities at your “day job” but I can tell you without reservation that you absolutely suck at commenting.

  295. 295
    Joey Giraud says:

    I ain’t no damn troll. “Angry Black Lady” is the troll here, and a spewing, sarcastic, illogical, insulting and low class one at that.

    By her fruits shall ye know her. Look at this thread.

  296. 296
    Stillwater says:

    @burnspbesq: That site looks like an ALex Jones production. ‘War gives us meaning’? You really want me to scroll around in that muck?

  297. 297
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Stillwater: I posted link more because it was interesting than because it was convincing. I think the distinction between Pakistan’s right to complain about any violation of its sovereignty and OBL’s right to complain about an attack on his person was a good one.

  298. 298
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    lolz.

    You’re the bestest, Omnes.

  299. 299
    burnspbesq says:

    @Stillwater:

    It’s nice to see Lederman back in the game. His blogging at Balkinization before he went to work at DOJ is essential reading. And unlike a lot of bloggers, when presented with an opportunity to make a real difference, he stepped up to the plate.

  300. 300
    LT says:

    I’m so late, but did you actually just compare a fucking blog post to an amicus brief?

    Jesus fucking christ, that is weak.

    The fact that you didn’t speak to the fucking issue – fucking torture – jesus fucking christ. His “latest screed” on torture. Good god, this blows so bad.

  301. 301
    LT says:

    @Joe Beese:

    But seriously, that you are more concerned with the possibility that Glenn Greenwald is a hyprocrite than with the fact that Obama is ordering the execution of American citizens without trial makes it very clear that your supreme concern is preserving the power of your chosen party.

    That that escaped ABL is really, really hard to take.

  302. 302
    eemom says:

    @Joe Beese:

    mother of God, you are stupid.

    He wasn’t a “sick old man.” He was fucking 54 years old. I guess that might be considered “old” from the perspective of a TWELVE year old, but — oh wait….

  303. 303
    Mark S. says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Actually, FM27-10, the Army field manual on the law of land warfare has sections on partisans and guerrillas and has had for years. FWIW they are not eligible for POW status and can be executed on the spot without trial.

    Really? It would seem to me the Viet Cong were partisans and guerrillas but I didn’t think it was policy to execute them on the spot. Or am I misinterpreting what you mean by partisans and guerrillas?

  304. 304
    Joe Beese says:

    when even Al Qaeda deserves support because they oppose President Obama

    When even [ADD SUPREME VILLAIN’S NAME HERE] deserves the presumption of innocence because that’s the law.

    I have to say, your man must have been one piss poor Constitutional scholar.

  305. 305
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    I see someone threw up the Butthurtsignal. The Cult of Saint Glenn comes flocking, having taken time from scraping off their Ralph Nader and RON PAUL bumperstickers to not even bother figuring out just what ‘ABL’ stands for.

  306. 306
    rea says:

    partisans and guerrillas . . . are not eligible for POW status and can be executed on the spot without trial.

    I’m fairly clear that is not consistent with the Geneva conventions, and after all, there are a lot of situations (Libya, Afghanistan in the beginning, Francis Marion) where the partisans and guerrillas are on our side

  307. 307
    Mark S. says:

    @Stillwater:

    If your looking for a good, readable book on the laws of war, this one is really good.

  308. 308
    eemom says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Oh fuckie. I am simply DEVASTATED that you think so.

    But if that is the case, why do you spend your life poring over old threads looking for my comments?

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter if I’m good at commenting or not, cuz I only do it to have fun. And the more you hate my comments, the more fun I have.

    Let me close with my own, “utterly without reservation” assurance that you absolutely suck at, like, everything.

  309. 309
    NoFortunateSon says:

    @LT:

    That that escaped ABL is really, really hard to take.

    LT, do you know why we have a Supreme Court?

    If the Constitution weren’t still subject to interpretation, we wouldn’t need it.

    Despite still being open for interpretation, it’s been pretty wildly upheld that: a) the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, and b) the President has pretty wide executive war powers.

    Only failed constitutional scholars like Greenwald assert that there is no room for interpretation.

    Going back in time 10 years, declaring official war on Al Qaeda, and then coming forward to double tapping the new hero of the True Progressives™ and Civil Glibertarians alike doesn’t change a whole lot.

  310. 310
    eemom says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    um, she’s a front pager. You’re a nobody commenter. Go crawl your high class fruits back under your rock.

  311. 311
    NoFortunateSon says:

    @Joe Beese:

    When even [ADD SUPREME VILLAIN’S NAME HERE] deserves the presumption of innocence because that’s the law.

    He not only confessed, but he isn’t entitled to the presumption of innocence in the first place (or any other civil liberty), because he’s not subject to US Law.

    But do play again, troll.

  312. 312
    Tom Hilton says:

    @LT:

    The fact that you didn’t speak to the fucking issue – fucking torture – jesus fucking christ. His “latest screed” on torture. Good god, this blows so bad.

    You know what word doesn’t appear anywhere in Greenwald’s screed?

    Torture.

    So no, the fucking issue is not fucking torture.

    The ‘issue’, such as it is, is some imagined inconsistency between positions Democrats took when Bush was president, and their support for the President’s action against OBL. ABL shows that in the case of Holder, at least, that inconsistency is entirely a creation of Greenwald’s imagination and a deceptively selective use of quotes.

  313. 313
    WyldPirate says:

    Jeez..will someone just make ABL the president and CEO of the national chapter of the “President Obama can so skullfuck kittens in front of his daughters and it’s ok with me” club?

    really, ABL, this argument from you is almost as weak as your first post here about Blackwaterdog/Riefenstahl.

    Seriously. You couldn’t hold the cap to Greenwald’s pen–much less carry his jock–when it comes to making a factually based, logical argument.

    And seriously, your bitching about GG dinging Holder for the brief after Holder signed it? WTF is that? Here is a protip for you–if Holder signed the amicus brief, he’s taking fucking “ownership” of the contents of the brief.

  314. 314
    Joe Beese says:

    you are so above it all, aren’t you? you’re going to withhold your vote because goddamnit, my principles are The Only Principles that matter.

    “Withhold”.

    It’s well known that Democrats believe that they’re entitled to liberal votes – that they own them by some divine right – but I’ve seldom seen it demonstrated as starkly as you have here.

    Someday perhaps you will understand the error of this belief. But until then, I can only answer that to hold someone else’s principles is to hold no principles at all.

    And I invite you to consider whether, if there should ever emege an MLK style champion for the oppressed minorities you invoke, whether you would want the Republican president who without trial designates them a terrorist and issues an Al-Awlaki style kill order to have his actions described as “the Obama doctrine”.

  315. 315
    ABL says:

    @LT: read the TPV links. I agree with the points rootless made. Have you read the 5th Amendment or made any effort to wrestle with the legal issues or are you simply taking Greenwald’s questionable analysis at face value?

    Glenn beats the “ZOMG assassination of American citizens” drum with such vigor because he doesn’t want you to wrestle with the issues because if you do, his appeal to emotion will be revealed as just that. Nuance, people. Look into it. Or, at the very least, read the damn links I provided.

    Simply proclaiming that I’m such a party loyalist that I don’t CARE about these issues when I have likely spent more time researching and thinking about them is ignorance.

    But that seems to be how you people roll — brainlessly.

    Crikey.

  316. 316
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Certain ‘bots are obliged to “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” because their mental image of Obama can’t accomodate the reality of him dispatching a kill team to murder a sick old man in cold blood.

    For. Fuck’s. Sake.

    There’s a way to frame this argument compellingly, and it’s an argument for which I have some sympathy. And then there’s the way that makes it sound like Obama sent DEVGRU to Manhattan in the middle of the night to blow Sidney Lumet’s head off.

  317. 317
    ABL says:

    @WyldPirate: WP, you’re wrong and one-note. You were wrong then as I recall and nearly had an aneurysm trying to disprove my point.

    You’re dismissed.

  318. 318
    Rihilism says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    By her fruits shall ye know her.

    “And by Grabthar’s hammer, I shall avenge thee, Glenn Greenwald!”

    Sorry, that “fruits” line was the funniest thing I’ve read all day…

  319. 319
    ChesapeakeBlue says:

    “I simply don’t have the time to spend to write a proper post on the subject, but if you take the time to skim the brief, I think you’ll be able to discern what I would have said.”

    This is a joke, right? Greenwald may be pedantic, but he actually provides analysis. And Holder’s change of position is not the real problem – it’s the horrible position that he’s changed TO. Given the large variety of insightful voices on this site, from many different perspectives, I don’t think that ABL adds anything.

  320. 320
    MikeR says:

    @Stillwater: @eemom: Thanks for the advice. As I keep scrolling down, I see what you mean …

  321. 321
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mark S.: I was looking at an older version and was incorrect regarding execution. My error. Source.

    81. Individuals Not of Armed Forces Who Commit Hostile Acts

    Persons who, without having complied with the conditions prescribed by the laws of war for recognition as belligerents (see GPW, art. 4; par. 61 herein), commit hostile acts about or behind the lines of the enemy are not to be treated as prisoners of war and may be tried and sentenced to execution or imprisonment. Such acts include, but are not limited to, sabotage, destruction of communications facilities, intentional misleading of troops by guides, liberation of prisoners of war, and other acts not falling within Articles 104 and 106 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Article 29 of the Hague Regulations.
    82. Penalties for the Foregoing

    Persons in the foregoing categories who have attempted, committed, or conspired to commit hostile or belligerent acts are subject to the extreme penalty of death because of the danger inherent in their conduct. Lesser penalties may, however, be imposed.

  322. 322
    WyldPirate says:

    @ABL:
    bullshit ABL…I wasn’t wrong then. You were dishonest and misrepresented what Greenwald did then and I imagine you are now although I wouldn’t dare waste my time with the case you make (other than the glaringly obvious Holder horseshit at the beginning). A lot of people besides me ripped you a new asshole for your inconsistency and unwillingness to admit you were wrong then.

    I imagine you are doing the same here because you have no objectivity when it comes Obama. None. Why? ‘Cause you’re a FUCKING OBOT that would excuse him skullfucking kittens in front of his daughters.

    But you do pick some mean nits….

  323. 323
    General Stuck says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Well this thread measured up to expectations. And wildy dood. Great big analogy fail,

    Seriously. You couldn’t hold the cap to Greenwald’s pen—much less carry his jock

    I mean seriously, “carry his jockstrap” that is all kinds of stupid well in beyond your bone dumb blackwaterdog reference and general support of the white guy Greenwald out of reflex. Don’t you have a Klan meeting to catch, or something.

  324. 324
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rea: Yeah, I was correct about the not entitled to POW status bit, but incorrect regarding punishment without trial.

  325. 325
    Joe Beese says:

    Glenn beats the “ZOMG assassination of American citizens” drum with such vigor because he doesn’t want you to wrestle with the issues because if you do, his appeal to emotion will be revealed as just that. Nuance, people.

    If someone had told me 12 years ago that I would someday read such a statement – even on a right-wing blog – I would not have believed them.

    “Nuance” ?

    You frighten me.

  326. 326
    WyldPirate says:

    @General Stuck:
    You make me laugh, General Stuck.

    Don’t you need to go over to blackwaterdog’s site, look at all of the groovy pictures of Obama with all of the groovy captions and say your evening prayers?

    Don’t forget your hand lotion before you sit down to look at BWD’s daily crop of new pictures of Obama. We wouldn’t want your little willie to get a rash…

    ETA: and I’m not supporting GG because he is white you dumbfuck. I’m supporting him because he puts AB to shame in the logic and argument departments.

  327. 327
    General Stuck says:

    I think it is no surprise and should not be a secret that Ron Paul coming out against the ‘assassination’ of OBL in alignment with Greenwald and the fools defending him on this thread. The things are related in some kind of .5 degrees of separation way.

    And late news that he is running again, at 75 yo. I am on record predicting his GOP nomination, though his Oppo to offing OBL, prolly isn’t the wisest political move considering the party he is in. But fuck it, nothing else makes much sense with those crazy motherfuckers these days, and as long as it is against something Obama did, a lot of looking away can be expected. Right down Greenwald’s back alley though.

  328. 328
    eemom says:

    @General Stuck:

    Well this thread measured up to expectations.

    mon General! I would say that the thread exceeded expectations. This is one for the Credenza Hall Of Fame.

  329. 329
    eemom says:

    @Joe Beese:

    If someone had told me 12 years ago that I would someday read such a statement – even on a right-wing blog – I would not have believed them.
    “Nuance” ?
    You frighten me.

    and “sick old man.”

    What are you trying to do here, Beese? Wrest the Drama Queen Of The Blog tiara away from fuckhead?

  330. 330
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: They are very different animals. JSF appears to be seeking to entertain himself; sometimes, he entertains others, and sometimes he is an asshole. JB is just here to hate on Obama.

  331. 331
    General Stuck says:

    @WyldPirate:

    What is it with you sewer rats and all the genital and sex analogies? I mean “your little willie” and “carrying jockstraps” with I guess is some different than your usual anal fixations.

    Here is a clue for the Obama hating toad eaters that infest this blog, no human person can even begin to shame me for my current solid support of PRESIDENT OBAMA, and certainly none of the bottom feeding Cracker Packers such as yourself. I drink your slurpee, all of it.

    Ron Paul just announced another run for the WH, which should align nicely with Greenwald and his manic prog elves, from Paul’s announced agreement with Greenwald on the OBL killing. The cosmos moves in strange circles, and one half of one percent degrees of separation between left and right wing teabaggers.

  332. 332
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @eemom:

    What are you trying to do here, Beese? Wrest the Drama Queen Of The Blog tiara away from fuckhead?

    lolz

    I didn’t think you’d be long in accusing someone else of being a drama queen after your dramatic antics in this thread.

  333. 333
    Mike M says:

    On September 18, 2001, the US Congress authorized the use of military force under direction by the president 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.”

    OBL on behalf of Al Qaeda had previously declared war on the US and the West on May 26, 1998. Following the attacks on 9/11, OBL took credit for the attack, and in subsequent communiques continued his threats to kill many thousands of more Americans.

    The action that US Navy Seals took to kill OBL was legal under US law, the UN Charter, and the international rules of war. OBL at the time of his death was the operational commander of an active terrorist organization at war, by his and their own declaration, against the US. His killing was a military action, not a police action. He was not a civilian and not entitled to the protections afforded civilians.

    Similarly, Al-awlaki is the commander of Al Qaeda in Yemen and actively engaged in war against the US. He is not a civilian, but a commander of an enemy force.

  334. 334
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    They are very different animals. JSF appears to be seeking to entertain himself; sometimes, he entertains others, and sometimes he is an asshole. JB is just here to hate on Obama.

    Subtlety and nuance aren’t in eemom’s repertoire. If she was a mechanic, she’d have one tool, a big lead pipe. If banging it ferociously on anything in sight didn’t fix the problem, she’d stare at it confused for a moment, then turn it around and start banging away with the other end.

  335. 335
    rea says:

    @eemom:

    “As Cole delights in making fun of, I’ve been a litigator for 23 years. So you will just have to pardon me if I regard Greenwald’s pissant legal “expertise” as something of a joke.”

    I’ve been a litigator for 32 years, so I guess I win the thread. :)

  336. 336
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rea: I don’t think this thread is winnable at this point. Surviving is the best for which we can hope.

  337. 337
    Joe Beese says:

    @Mike M: @Mike M:

    Similarly, Al-awlaki is the commander of Al Qaeda in Yemen and actively engaged in war against the US. He is not a civilian, but a commander of an enemy force.

    By the finding of what court?

    Oh, I see. It wasn’t a court finding. It was just something Barack Obama said.

    Well, he’s a decent man. I’m sure he wouldn’t lie to us.

    Of course, Bush’s people believed in the nobility of their man’s character too.

    Though in their case it was blind party loyalty.

    And in your case, it’s discernment.

    Am I right?

  338. 338
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joe Beese: Courts must decide all military issues? That is new.

  339. 339
    General Stuck says:

    And to answer some of the arguments I have read around the liberal blogs that Osama bin laden was just some old washed up terrorist out of touch and no longer in direct control of AQ operations and generally harmless. NOPE

    The cache of electronic documents is so enormous that the government has enlisted Arabic speakers from around the intelligence community to pore over it. Officials have said the records revealed no new terror plot but showed bin Laden remained involved in al-Qaida’s operations long after the U.S. had assumed he had passed control to his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.

  340. 340
    MikeR says:

    @rea: I agree. Congrats. Remember, if you come up against eemom in court, your winning summary judgment brief is as follows:

    32 > 23. I win.

    Respectfully submitted,

    rea.

  341. 341
    Joe Beese says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Courts must decide all military issues?

    And it’s a military issue because…

    … Barack Obama says it is.

    Are you beginning to see the problem?

  342. 342
    eemom says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    she’d stare at it confused for a moment, then turn it around and start banging away with the other end.

    adverb much, semi-literate clown?

  343. 343
    ABL says:

    @MikeR: no, my main substantive criticism is that he’s dishonest. it’s not that hard to figure out.

  344. 344
    ABL says:

    @eemom: i can’t tell if you and “fuckie” actually loathe each other, or have some sort of love/hate oneupmanship thing going, but in any event, i find the insults lobbed on both sides to be hilarious.

    @Just Some Fuckhead: i laughed OL at this.

  345. 345
    eemom says:

    @MikeR:
    @rea:

    32 > 23. I win.

    I concede. : )

  346. 346
    Lawnguylander says:

    Osama bin Laden was more than just a sickly old man. He was a grandfather, goddammit. Initial reports seem to indicate that he was wearing the local equivalent of a grandfatherly cardigan with a pipe tucked into its chest pocket. From what I’ve read he did not so much run back into that room as putter his way back in.

  347. 347
    General Stuck says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Dude, Al Awlaki went on Al Qaida news network and announced his allegiance with AQ and OBL, it’s on video tape, unless you want to argue it could have been doctored.

    And therefore Mr. Alwaki falls under the AUMF and the UN res on fighting AQ, and his US citizenship does not protect him as long as he remains in the field with with comrades in arms, which is the lawless regions of Yemen. Civilian courts are out of the picture then, unless a war crime is alleged and they end up at the Hague, or some court like it. But as long as AQ and the US are at war with one another, any US citizen that takes up with our enemy, is no different than that enemy. It has always been like this, in every war we’ve fought.

    Before the guy made that video, I wanted there to be some kind of court finding on the evidence that he was part of Al Quaida. He provided that evidence himself, erasing all doubt.

  348. 348
    Joe Beese says:

    Just look at this Muslim super-predator…

    Even a dozen crack SEALs bristling with automatic weapons must have felt a moment’s reluctance before facing such a savage and deadly foe.

  349. 349
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @ABL:

    i laughed OL at this.

    I am reliably informed I sometimes entertain others. :)

  350. 350
    ABL says:

    @Joe Beese: i frighten you with my request that you read about the subject you so vociferously have been yelling about ALL FUCKING DAY?

    this is what frightens me: laypeople who think they know the answers to complicated legal questions browbeating others for daring to ask questions, and for daring to ask that people back up their arguments with facts and law.

    So read this and then tell me if you still think that Greenwald’s panic! at the thought of Obama being able to murder all American citizens in their sleep is still appropriate:

    “Many of you know about Glenn Greenwald, a contributor at extreme libertarian CATO Institute, (he also publishes and sells at least one White Paper on CATO’s website and bookstore), and a pretend-liberal on Salon.com, who has a vendetta he pursues ruthlessly against the Obama Administration. If you listen to Greenwald, he actually sounds a lot more like a Tea Partier than any average American. Everything he writes has that “Boo! The government is taking your rights away!” scare tactic under the cover of “civil libertarianism.” In his Saturday posting, he was very upset that President Obama is trying to take out a radical terrorist cleric. I’ll get to that, but here’s the part that kind of tells you everything you need to know about just how utterly insane Greenwald’s logic has become:

    There are certain civil liberties debates where, even though I hold strong opinions, I can at least understand the reasoning and impulses of those who disagree; the killing of bin Laden was one such instance.

    Ahh. You see, the killing of Bin Laden was a “civil liberties” issue, and in the infinite wisdom of one contributor of the CATO Institute, we violated bin Laden’s civil liberties. The damn Navy SEALs. I guess Greenwald thinks that they should all be court martialed for killing bin Laden instead of reading him his rights. Actually, we don’t have to guess. We already know that Greenwald wanted the SEALs to act like the local police.

    But of course, see, he can understand the impulses of the rest of us stupid people about that. But come on. Ordering the execution of a radical terrorist cleric? Now that’s going too far. This is the story of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American born radical terrorist cleric who has is a regional commander in Al Queda in the Arabian Peninsula and is, in addition to preaching, actively recruiting people to attack American civilians. Greenwald’s complaint? Due process.

    …pointing out that the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution expressly guarantees that “no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law” — and provides no exception for war — is the sort of tedious legalism that shouldn’t interfere with the excitement of drone strikes.

    Ahh. Yes, tedious legalisms indeed. Greenwald’s legalism, though, extends only to the extent that it helps his argument that it is illegal for the President to order the assassination of an American citizen, period, no matter what. Except, Mr. Constitutional Scholar pretty conveniently ignores the fact that nowhere in the Fifth Amendment is the word “citizen” mentioned. here is the full text:

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Do you see the word “citizen” there? Neither do I. Contrary to what Greenwald (and George W. Bush) thinks, the 5th Amendment, like the rest of the Constitution, applies not just to citizens but “persons.” The fifth amendment makes no distinction between a US citizen and a noncitizen. So if we are to follow Greenwald’s logic, and replace “American citizen” with “person” in keeping with the 5th Amendment, the conclusion is that the President cannot authorize the assassination of anyone, anywhere. Even Glenn Greenwald isn’t arguing that – even though that is the logical conclusion of the argument he’s making. Why isn’t he saying it then? Because it won’t be as potent a weapon against President Obama as saying “he wants to kill American citizens!”

    I am no Constitutional lawyer, but it seems to me that a reasonable interpretation of the Fifth Amendment would define its application to all persons under and subject to the laws of the United States. That is why torture under US custody is wrong – not because it’s being done to citizens or non citizens, but persons who are under the control of the United States. It is foolhardy, however, to think that anyone outside the territories, control or protection of the US law, plotting terrorist against the United States is entitled to the protections of the Fifth Amendment. If, however, al-Awlaki were to come within the custody or territory of the United States, the protections of the Fifth Amendment would apply to him regardless of his citizenship status. I have a feeling though that he’s not going to do that willingly. Incidentally, Greenwald fails to mention that there is a warrant out in Yemen for al-Awlaki’s arrest. And for the CIA, he’s on the capture-or-kill (as opposed to just kill) list.”

    Read the rest here, since I can’t imagine that you bothered to read the links I provided since the argument therein run counter to your OBAMA IS GOING TO MURDER YOUR FAMILY narrative.

    That’s what I mean by nuance. The law is rarely absolute or black and white. But it’s much easier for small-minded people to believe it to be such.

    Sad little man.

    ETA: upthread, i wrongly attributed this TPV post to rootless. it was written by deaniac. rootless’s is just as on point.

  351. 351
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joe Beese: Come on, you aren’t even trying anymore.

  352. 352
    rootless_e says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Apparently it’s now liberal dogma that nothing is determined until a court decides it. Which is why President Lincoln’s unconstitutional grant of passports to black sailors in defiance of Dred-Scott is a stain on the human conscience that can never be washed away. Or something.

  353. 353
    General Stuck says:

    @Joe Beese:

    you know Beese, I hate to make you look like an idiot, it is so easy, but these guys have a history of playing with explosives, often blowing themselves to smithereens and anyone else that is near. I read that somewhere in an obscure publication. It was also expected for OBL to have a suicide vest nearby. Them SEALS is some brass balled motherfuckers breaking into this particular house not knowing what to expect.

  354. 354
    ABL says:

    @General Stuck: but OBL was just a sick old man! How dare you, sir! J’ACCUSE!!!!11one

  355. 355
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rootless_e: Sorry, I am not surrendering the word liberal to people like Joe Beese.

  356. 356
    ABL says:

    @General Stuck: but what if i call you an o-bot? WILL YOU RELENT YOUR SUPPORT FOR BARACK THE TORTURER, THEN?

    huh?
    will ya?
    huh?

  357. 357
    Joe Beese says:

    But as long as AQ and the US are at war with one another

    Al Qaeda is not a nation state. It is not capable of being “at war” with us.

    It is an organized crime ring. And under our laws, its members are presumed innocent until proven guilty after due process.

    I know you’re eager to dispense with that irritating nicety since Al-Awlaki is so obviously guilty. But without it, you’re nothing more than a lynch mob.

  358. 358
    ABL says:

    It is an organized crime ring.

    just like the sopranos!

    my god, your argument are getting more and more absurd.

  359. 359
    Stillwater says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I am reliably informed I sometimes entertain others. :)

    You’re the best thing
    That ever happened
    To-ooooooo meeeee.

  360. 360
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Stillwater: Let’s not overstate things, shall we?

  361. 361
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am not surrendering the word liberal to people like Joe Beese.

    Bumper sticker that!

  362. 362
    General Stuck says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Al Qaeda is not a nation state. It is not capable of being “at war” with us.

    Bullshit. It is an organized force in arms with a chain of command and political motivation and aspirations that include some day holding ground by overthrowing governments. First in the ME Pan Arabia, and then everywhere. It is not a crime ring aspiring to ill gotten monetary gain.

    There is no exclusion from calling their declarations to destroy the US because they don’t yet have a state they yearn for, and act toward, though by most estimations, the Taliban and Afghanistan prior to 9-11 qualifies for that distinction.

    They want to conquer countries, and use well established means of insurgent and terrorist tactics.

  363. 363
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Broadway Karaoke show tunes for $500, Alex!

  364. 364
    General Stuck says:

    @ABL:

    but what if i call you an o-bot? WILL YOU RELENT YOUR SUPPORT FOR BARACK THE TORTURER, THEN?

    These are but cries of pain in the wilderness from naifs, that do not pierce thine unicorn armor. Their tears I collect in flasks to slake the thirst of The Mighty Unity Pony. It is written.

    Obot Poetry for the confused.

  365. 365
    Joe Beese says:

    At ABL’s… encouragement, I waded into her blockquotes.

    “Many of you know about Glenn Greenwald, a contributor at extreme libertarian CATO Institute, (he also publishes and sells at least one White Paper on CATO’s website and bookstore), and a pretend-liberal on Salon.com, who has a vendetta he pursues ruthlessly against the Obama Administration.

    The O’Reilly-esque gutter tone of this aside, let me repeat – since I don’t seem to have made it clear enough earlier – that I officially Do Not Give A Shit about your opinion of Glenn Greenwald. He could be ten times worse than you claim and it would still have Absolutely Nothing to do with the publicly documented criminal record of the Obama administration.

    You hate him. I get it. Let’s move on…

    It is foolhardy, however, to think that anyone outside the territories, control or protection of the US law, plotting terrorist against the United States is entitled to the protections of the Fifth Amendment.

    Remind me again how we know he’s a “plotting terrorist”?

    Barack Obama said so, eh?

    Well, I’m afraid that’s going to be a problem.

  366. 366
    rootless_e says:

    @Joe Beese: What you understand about law could be summarized with a single word “nothing”. Under our law, the police do not need a court hearing to use deadly force. People who have been neither indicted nor convicted are shot dead all the time. And sometimes even justifiably. All you need is a gun and an attitude or something that looks like a gun or a knife or a suspicious parcel and you can be put down like a dog. Unless you surrender and are taken into custody – and not even always then. Truth. Look it up.

  367. 367
    rootless_e says:

    @Joe Beese: he could be just pretending to be a plotting terrorist and saying so to get attention- perhaps a plea for help. Good point.

  368. 368
    MikeR says:

    @ABL: Isn’t torture under US custody wrong because torture is wrong? Quite outside the legality of things? Also, how far does this go? If someone is an alleged murderer and moves to a jurisdiction from which he cannot be extradited, can he be assassinated? Or, for that matter, doesn’t anyone who leaves U.S. territory lose his/her 5th amendment rights? I guess the response would be that your garden-variety murderer isn’t an “enemy combatant,” but since that title appears nowhere in the constitution, isn’t it really just some creative Bush-administration thinking?

    Also, if you want to support an argument, I’d suggest a court case or two, or perhaps something from a legal journal summarizing the state of the law as regards the 5th amendment and the interpretation of the term “person.” You accuse many of us of being “small-minded” because we disagree with you, and then cite to someone named “deaniac” who leads off with “I am no Constitutional lawyer, but it seems to me that…” What kind of a link is that? There are actually answers to a lot of these constitutional questions.

    One final point. “Tedious legalisms” are basically what the law is all about. You can’t just say, “well judge, I know I wasn’t supposed to take my daughter out of school due to the custody agreement, but I love her and that’s just a tedious legalism, anyway.” If you don’t like the law, or the constitution, then it’s fair game to advocate that they be changed. But you can’t just wave away “tedious legalisms” because they don’t comport with your idea of justice in the particular case.

    Constitutional law is complicated, yes. But the cases/authorities are out there. Most questions have been answered, some still have not. Potential constitutional issues are almost infinitely varied. Screaming at people because their interpretation is different from yours, or different from Obama’s, and questioning their integrity (not just Greenwald’s, but any “small minded” people who might agree with him) provides no helpful information to anyway.

    Rather than posting your rant, you could have calmly addressed the actual issues Greenwald raised in the piece you criticized. But that would have been hard, and taken time, and it was easier to scream and yell and link to a couple of other people who don’t like Greenwald and who aren’t constitutional scholars (as best I can tell). You haven’t managed to increase anyone’s knowledge of the relevant issues, but you sure managed to start a fight.

    Seems to me there are a bunch of people here, including myself, who are lawyers. Why don’t you try talking to us like adults who’d like a good discussion, and sticking to the merits? But then I guess you’d have to remove the “A” from “ABL,” and what fun would that be?

  369. 369
    rootless_e says:

    @MikeR: why do you people keep bringing up “torture” which is not at issue here?

  370. 370
    General Stuck says:

    @Joe Beese: @Joe Beese:

    Play the first video down the left margin of al alwlaki

  371. 371
    Stillwater says:

    @General Stuck:

    These are but cries of pain
    in the wilderness
    from naifs,
    that do not pierce thine unicorn armor.
    Their tears I collect in flasks
    to
    slake the thirst o
    f
    The Mighty Unity Pony.

    Better, right?

    Now look, you write the poetry in meter, you gotta present in meter! With a few post-modern signifiers thrown in.

    Good effort, tho – especially the part about the unicorn armor.

  372. 372
    rootless_e says:

    @MikeR: I’m sure ABL agrees with me that when you are in US custody you get protection of Geneva Convention or Constitution depending on citizenship/soldier status. Al-Alwaqi in US custody should be granted the right to a trial and nobody should be tortured. Greenwald’s trick is to conflate that issue with a different one.

  373. 373
    Joe Beese says:

    doesn’t anyone who leaves U.S. territory lose his/her 5th amendment rights? I guess the response would be that your garden-variety murderer isn’t an “enemy combatant,” but since that title appears nowhere in the constitution, isn’t it really just some creative Bush-administration thinking?

    Al-Awlaki’s location has nothing to do with it. The kill order would be carried out just as readily in Oregon.

    In ABL’s view, he lost his Fifth Amendment right not to be deprived of life without due process of law because the President said he was a terrorist.

    Cuts down on paperwork anyway.

  374. 374
    MikeR says:

    @rootless_e: I got it from one of the block quotes (from “deaniac,” I guess), as follows:

    “I am no Constitutional lawyer, but it seems to me that a reasonable interpretation of the Fifth Amendment would define its application to all persons under and subject to the laws of the United States. That is why torture under US custody is wrong – not because it’s being done to citizens or non citizens, but persons who are under the control of the United States.”

    Not sure why there’d be any confusion about that.

  375. 375
    General Stuck says:

    @MikeR:

    You don’t want to acknowledge and neither does Beese or GG, that a state of war between two armed groups of people that has been declared by each AND sanctioned by the UN, is a separate reality outside of civil courts and law.

    The world has published the laws and bylaws of such a state of war. There are prohibitions on targeting civilians, using certain kinds of weapons, and some other fairly straightforward moral qualms the world has when folks can’t get along and start killing each other. And that is what war IS, killing your declared enemy before he kills you. Now there are protocols on surrender and POW’s and the like, but the primary course is killing the other guy before he does it to you. And that first rule of thumb for wars is in effect until one side is vanquished, beaten, surrenders, calls it quits, whatever you want to call it. Or there is some kind of truce.

    None of that has happened yet. You can oppose that war, or all wars, and condemn and oppose the killing that always happens with them. BUT YOU CANNOT CLAIM IT IS ILLEGAL TO KILL YOUR ENEMY regardless of citizenship because the world through the UN disagrees in this case, at least.

  376. 376
    eemom says:

    This might be a good time to interject Julian Assange and/or Bradley Manning into the discussion.

  377. 377
    fhtagn says:

    @MikeR:

    I’d like to see a more honest, reasoned discussion of this. I know Greenwald annoys some people on here, but he’s also said and advocated some good things. Sneering at old posts and positions for which he has categorically apologized – and which he has not repeated subsequently – as a means to attack him personally is the sort of thing I expect from RedState, not Balloon-Juice. Disagree on the merits, point out that he ain’t perfect, but leave the personal hatred and distortions at home, please.

  378. 378
    rootless_e says:

    @MikeR: but nobody here has argued that torture is ok. Deaniac is noting where the 5th is applicable is people IN CUSTODY. Al-alwaqi is NOT IN CUSTODY. He is IN ARMS

    This difference is key even for standard civilian law
    a) man with a gun in a school can get shot without an indictment or any court involvement at all
    b) that same man, once arrested deserves a trial.

  379. 379
    MikeR says:

    @rootless_e: My concern still exists. As best I can tell (and I am honestly trying to summarize your position, so tell me if I’m wrong), you’re saying that if someone is in U.S. custody, they’re entitled to the protection of U.S. laws/constitution, but if they’re not in U.S. custody, they can be killed. So I guess I’ll pose my question again: if an alleged murderer leaves the country, or even better, goes to a country where he cannot be extradited, can the U.S. president order him killed? What about a domestic terrorist, such as someone who assassinates abortion providers, goes to a place where he cannot be extradited, can he be killed? Because he has removed himself from the protection of U.S. laws?

    We tend to focus on the more serious Islamic terrorists, but there are other types of people who are terrorists. Does the alleged seriousness of the person’s crime determine whether he can be killed? Or would you say that he’s protected under the U.S. Constitution? Are you making a distinction between “terrorists” and other people who commit reprehensible crimes? Is somehow declaring you’re against the U.S. make the difference? If a bunch of those wacko “freemen” types out west moved to a non-extraditable country, could we just kill them with missiles from a drone? I ask this in all seriousness, because I don’t understand the extent of this doctrine.

    The very extreme cases are usually the easiest to justify morally. But there’s an axiom in the law that bad cases of this sort often result in bad law.

    I apologize if at this point I’ve lost track of what Greenwald is allegedly improperly conflating with what. But my questions still remain.

  380. 380
    MikeR says:

    @General Stuck: Ok. What about my scenario, outlined above, where a bunch of “freemen” right-wing wackos issue an anti-government manifesto, blow up a government building, and move to a non-extraditable country. These people are certainly armed. They have stated that they’re at war with the U.S. Can we just say “fuck it” and drone/missle their asses?

  381. 381
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeR: Basically, I would say that that being a politically motivated terrorist is the difference maker. Al Qaeda has declared war on the US. It has attacked the US. The US is fighting against Al Q in a variety of locations. A murderer is a simply a criminal. The “freeman” example would present a closer case, I think. It would depend upon what they had done and what they were currently doing or trying to do.

    ETA: Would you have had a problem with someone shooting Jefferson Davis?

    ETA II: What if Davis were in Mexico at the time?

  382. 382
    MikeR says:

    @rootless_e: Interesting question, I guess. But isn’t a better analogy someone who’s been accused of a crime, a warrant has been issued for his arrest, but who still is at large? Let’s say a bank robber, who’s robbed several banks but is still in the course of a spree. Would the F.B.I. have the authority not just to shoot him if he resisted arrest, or to prevent an ongoing crime (let’s say he kidnapped someone and the F.B.I. had to take him out with a sniper), but to actively plot his killing? I’m pretty sure no court would countenance that, even if it occurred when he was outside the U.S./outside the custody of the U.S.

  383. 383
    General Stuck says:

    @MikeR:

    They have stated that they’re at war with the U.S. Can we just say “fuck it” and drone/missle their asses?

    If you can get the congress to authorize it via the War Powers act, and get the UN to okay it as a security council resolution.

    It could be considered an act of war by the country you violate their sovereignty to get these guys, but I know of no where we have acted without the graces of a country harboring an AQ leader. Despite what some think, it is the case with Pak, and is the case with Yemen that we are working under their permission to do what we are doing there.

    But even if we didn’t have a harboring countries permission, it would still be legal to kill those “right wing whackos’ waging war with their own country and citizenship offers them no safe harbor. It might create a state of war then with the country whose borders we crossed to do the deed, but the deed itself is legal under the conditions I stated.

  384. 384
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeR: You are applying civilian rules to an essentially military situation. With your murderer example, it is a crime and civilian rules apply. I would say with OBL, applying military rules is appropriate. Probably the same for al-Awlaki. I do not think that there is a bright line test for this though. There are going to be gray areas and people will disagree as to whether the appropriate standard has been applied in any given case.

  385. 385
    Stillwater says:

    @fhtagn: I’d like to see a more honest, reasoned discussion of this.

    Seconded. One discussion is whether this is legal, according to domestic as well as international law. Another question is whether it ought to be domestically legal, if in fact it is. Both questions are messy, but important.

  386. 386
    rootless_e says:

    @MikeR: Al-alwaqi is by all accounts, including his own, a commander of a military force that claims to be at war with the US and Congress has, via the AUMF authorized military action against them. They are in a region not under the jurisdiction of US courts and where there is no effective local government. Congress authorized military action – as is its right.

    If Al-alwaqi claimed he had been wrongly identified as being a member of AQ and sent his representatives into court, we’d have a different situation. Thus, in WWII, US soldiers were within their rights to shoot down an airplane anywhere in the world if it was part of the military force belonging the nations we were at war with, but they could not decide to shoot down an airplane of someone the government just disliked.

    If a standard suspect (not affiliated with such a military force) fled overseas and were a fugitive from justice, I do not believe the government would have the right to send a kill team after him/her.

    What about a domestic terrorist, such as someone who assassinates abortion providers, goes to a place where he cannot be extradited, can he be killed? Because he has removed himself from the protection of U.S. laws?

    I do not believe the US would be authorized to target him for killing,but I do believe they could target him for capture and would not be guilty of Constitutional violation if he were killed during attempted capture. In that case, however, they would need an arrest warrant.

  387. 387
  388. 388
    fhtagn says:

    @Stillwater:

    I’d also like to see more acknowledgment of the fact that Greenwald was arguing against the imperial presidency and its various assorted legalisms and sophistries under Bush – and in much the same terms as he is in this case. I don’t see him as hypocritical for so doing – it’s simply that many who applauded his attack on Bush are now embarrassed to find the same standard applied to Obama. For my money,if you didn’t like the imperial presidency under Bush, you shouldn’t like it any better just because Obama seems much nicer and more competent. The imperial presidency remains a very serious problem, and one which is likely to get worse, not better. If Obama, a constitutional scholar and honorable man has not managed to substantially abate it, and has, in certain areas, apparently extended it, what will be the outcome when a right-wing president is elected – as will happen at some point?

  389. 389
    rea says:

    Al Qaeda is not a nation state. It is not capable of being “at war” with us.

    Well, (1) the Confederacy wasn’t a nation state, either, and (2) the Geneva Conventions deal with this explicitly, and specify that members of non-state organizations can qualify as combatants.

  390. 390
    MikeR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: As regards Jefferson Davis, I wouldn’t, even though it’s probably a crime of some sort to desecrate a dead body. (Sorry, couldn’t resist). There must be an international law or a Geneva convention dealing with the assassination of the leader of a country you’re at war with, right? I’d guess it’s probably a no-no, but then again, hard to argue against killing Hitler.

    The thing is, I don’t think the Constitution makes the kind of distinction you’re drawing. If it did, I don’t think I’d have a problem with it. The problem, to me, is that since the “politically motivated terrorist” thing is basically a common-sense distinction, rather than one set forth in the Constitution, I’m very leery about the consequences of letting the U.S. president, on his own, decide who is a “politically motivated terrorist.”

    Who knows who a tea-bagger president (god forbid) would identify as a “politically motivated terrorist.” Also, what guarantee do we have that this power would not be misused? Who would oversee the process? What consequences would a president suffer for killing the wrong person? Would there actually be any recourse against a president who kills the wrong person? There literally would be no review of such a decision.

  391. 391
    rootless_e says:

    @fhtagn: this is what is known as “assuming conclusions”. In fact, the issue at question is whether Greenwald is consistently applying a coherent model of civil liberties or making shit up. Obviously, you win the argument if you assume the first, but that’s not much of an accomplishment.

  392. 392
    fhtagn says:

    @rootless_e:

    I suspect you’ve made rather more assumptions about this than I have, and your focus on “winning the argument” is a trivial concern, compared to the issues of international and domestic law that are at stake. If you just want to throw rhetoric around, go ahead, but don’t whine when a right-wing president is elected and promptly uses the powers you were so happy to allow Obama. I haven’t seen you, or anyone, prove that Greenwald was in favor of the imperial presidency under Bush, any more than he is now under Obama. That’s the core of what we are dealing with, and it ought to be a matter of concern to all citizens. The rule of law is what makes societies viable, and that rule can only be maintained when citizens are vigilant against excessive executive power. It’s easy to reflexively bash Greenwald, because he’s now “anti-Obama” but he was arguing against the imperial presidency before Obama even ran for the nomination.

  393. 393
    MikeR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s the problem, isn’t it? If a president intentionally labels people he doesn’t like – let’s say a tea-bagger president decides that anyone who helps undocumented immigrants is committing treason, for example (don’t laugh, lots of people agree with this) or is a “politically motivated terrorist,” or whatever, and orders that American citizen killed. What’s the review process? What recourse exists, outside of impeachment? And who actually believes that any Congress that the usual amount of Republicans in it would ever convict? And would losing his job really be sufficient punishment?

    There’s a very real danger in giving one man the absolute power to order the killing of other people. Again, if we knew with absolute certainty that the guy being killed was the right kind of bad guy, I wouldn’t have any problem with it. But someone has to decide who gets killed, and I don’t trust any politician – of any party- to make that decision.

  394. 394
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeR: The Constitution is a fairly short document that does not make a lot of specific distinctions. Interpretation is all. As to the president making a determination on his/her own, it is my understanding that because al-Awlaki is an American citizen, Obama was required to jump through additional hoops before adding him to the capture or kill list. Finally, taking up arms against the US is one of the means by which one can renounce one’s US citizenship. I am not saying that he has renounced his citizenship because I am not completely familiar with the nuances of the procedure. I am just putting the thought out there. Finally, if you check the tenses of my verbs in the Jeff Davis example, you will see that I am not advocating mutilation of a corpse.

  395. 395
    MikeR says:

    @rootless_e: Here’s what would probably happen if Al-alwaqi sent his representatives into court, the court would say they have no standing to raise the issue and Al-alwaqi would be required to appear personally. If he did, he’d be grabbed and thrown into Guantanamo, where he’d languish for the rest of his life without charges. Kind of a Catch-22, don’t you think?

  396. 396
    General Stuck says:

    @fhtagn:

    The rule of law is what makes societies viable, and that rule can only be maintained when citizens are vigilant against excessive executive power. It’s easy to reflexively bash Greenwald, because he’s now “anti-Obama” but he was arguing against the imperial presidency before Obama even ran for the nomination.

    If you really equate the bullshit that Obama is as bad as Bush, or worse than Bush, as GG preaches morning noon and night, then there is no point in discussing anything further, because that is a steamy crock of shit. Imperial presidency?, Obama is pulling out of Iraq as scheduled and announced pulling out of Afghan starting fairly soon, and then there was the slippery slope involvement in Libya, that wasn’t that. Obama’s only imperial aspirations that are all his own, and not cleaning up Bush’s mess, is a promise to fight AQ. I support that narrow singular mission.

  397. 397
    rootless_e says:

    @MikeR: The US government said in its court filings that Al-alwaqi could assert his constitutional rights if he were in custody. This is the very big and important difference between the Bush doctrine and the Obama doctrine.

  398. 398
    rootless_e says:

    @MikeR: there is a Congressional authorization called the AUMF.

  399. 399
    MikeR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Let’s just say that I’m not comfortable with a Constitutional interpretation that allows a president to assassinate people he alone designates terrorists. And what exactly would be “interpreted” to allow such an assassination?

    As regards Jefferson Davis, I know. That’s why I said “Sorry, I couldn’t resist” in parentheses.

  400. 400
    General Stuck says:

    Didn’t anyone watch the video link to Al Alwaki’s statement he is with AQ and joining it’s jihad against the US? I mean cripes, if you don’t believe you’re lying eyes, I give up.

  401. 401
    rootless_e says:

    @fhtagn:

    ” I haven’t seen you, or anyone, prove that Greenwald was in favor of the imperial presidency under Bush, any more than he is now under Obama. That’s the core of what we are dealing with, and it ought to be a matter of concern to all citizens.”

    Because we disagree with the claim that Obama’s Presidency is asserting Presidential power anywhere near those of Bush. If Greenwald were correct and the Bush doctrine was being pushed further by Obama, you’d be right. But Obama is operating under constitutional limits and Greenwald’s claims otherwise are nonsense.

    BTW: a right wing government, as Bush showed, will not care about precedent.

  402. 402
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @fhtagn: I will cop to seeing a difference in Greenwald then and now. Looking back, however, I see that I overlooked his flaws because I liked what I was reading. My problem with Greenwald is not that he is focused on civil liberties, not that he criticizes Obama. My problem that, and this is my perception, he looks at a set of facts and comes to a conclusion about them. Once he has done this, he will not admit that alternative conclusions are possible. Anyone who comes to a conclusion that differs from his is dishonest, stupid, or both. In addition, new facts or evidence seldom seems to shake his certainty. These qualities make him a very good polemicist, but not necessarily a good analyst.

  403. 403
    fhtagn says:

    @General Stuck:

    General, you’ve dragged in a bunch of irrelevancies and suppositions. This isn’t about Iraq and Afghanistan, this is about the rule of law and the power of the presidency. You and I may wish it were otherwise, but on certain issues Obama has clearly picked up the powers he inherited from Bush and gone further with them. Throw around all the indignation and rhetorical chaff you want to “win an argument” now, but we and our children will have to live with an enhanced imperial presidency because of it. I don’t believe that “Obama is as bad as Bush” in terms of how he views his obligations and limits under the law. I believe he is far more thoughtful and honorable. However, the imperial presidency has clearly extended its powers and scope under him. This is something which ought to worry us, rather than causing us to make it personal or trot out the tired “But he isn’t Bush!” line of argument. Institutions and powers live on when the individuals who employed them have departed the stage. Obama is a relatively “good” president – but what happens if his successor is a right-wing theocrat? Are you happy to imagine the same powers in those hands?

  404. 404
    MikeR says:

    @rootless_e: Frankly, I’m not sure the D.O.J. wouldn’t stick his ass in Guantanamo and let him rot. Let’s just say that the U.S. record of providing appropriate (i.e., constitutional) treatment and trials of accused terrorists, since 9/11, hasn’t exactly been stellar. Didn’t Obama promise to close Guantanamo? I’m guessing that after consulting with all the appropriate Very Serious People, and after throwing around the names of some generals, the Obama D.O.J. would change its mind, lock him up, throw away the key, and cite “national security” on down the line. Anyone think the current Supreme Court wouldn’t let him get away with that?

  405. 405
    fhtagn says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I would readily agree that Greenwald is stubborn, even mule-headed. I would agree that he spends too much time chasing gad-flies and is excessively thin-skinned. That said, I think he has been consistent in his concern for the rule of law and consistently advocated against extending the imperial presidency. Too many people on here seem to be making it personal, as if Greenwald arguing against Obama was somehow a proof of hypocrisy and inherent glibertarian evil. Greenwald is making the same arguments against Obama that he did against Bush, and whether we agree with his arguments or not, I can’t see that he is being hypocritical here. We laugh at matoko when she rants at ED Kain – and yet too many people are going matoko against Greenwald, and on equally weak grounds. Surely we should be debating these issues in the awareness that extending the power of the presidency is a dangerous step at the best of times. Greenwald is at least trying to have that debate, and I think that deserves more honesty and respect than some people have shown here.

  406. 406
    Stillwater says:

    @General Stuck: If you really equate the bullshit that Obama is as bad as Bush,

    Stuck, this is why some folks have a hard time taking you seriously unless your writing poetry: the claim that Obama is continuing policies created by Bush doesn’t make him worse than Bush. The question is whether the imperial presidency exists. It’s not about who’s running it.

  407. 407
    General Stuck says:

    @fhtagn:

    but on certain issues Obama has clearly picked up the powers he inherited from Bush and gone further with them.

    Name them, and make your own arguments against “the chaff” I have thrown out in this thread. Just declaring it that isn’t much of an argument. Obama is operating within our laws, you may not like what he does, or those laws, but it is a far cry from the utterly lawless Bush. So this is GG’s original lie, that he levels in nearly every post. and all the rest have flowed supporting his asinine allegation that Obama is bad or worse than Bush.

    So name them?

    “But he isn’t Bush!” line of argument.

    You see, this kind of thing really pisses me off. I know of no Obot or Obama supporter that makes this claim as a defense of Obama. It was, like a number of other bullshit slurs, manufactured by the garbage pit of the nutroots, and spum out to claim it was and is Obama’s supporters that have used it. Like 11 dimensional chess and other little wingut like orwellian speak. Who says the left wing doesn’t have it’s own might wurlitzer? It may be the childrens model, but it does exist.

  408. 408
    Mark S. says:

    @MikeR:

    Yeah, if I were al-Awlaki, I wouldn’t trust any American assurances of humane treatment and a fair and speedy trial. I’d keep my ass in Yemen.

  409. 409
    Stillwater says:

    @rootless_e: This is the very big and important difference between the Bush doctrine and the Obama doctrine.

    Decided by the Supreme Court. I’m not sure that helps the argument your trying to advance.

  410. 410
    rootless_e says:

    @MikeR: so if you think that the government is lying then there is no point in discussing what they are saying.

    They have not added prisoners to Guantanamo, although I suppose they could be lying about that too.

  411. 411
    General Stuck says:

    @Stillwater:

    Stuck, this is why some folks have a hard time taking you seriously

    If you really equate the bullshit that Obama is as bad as Bush,

    The folks that don’t take me seriously, like you, can kiss my ass. I don’t WANT them to. And once again, I AM NOT THE ONE THAT CREATED THAT LINE OF CRAP, IT WAS GG AND HIS MINIONS THAT DID.

    I don’t know why you would take me seriously stillwater, I sure as hell don’t take you seriously. Haven’t we been over this before? In fact. ANYONE that takes Glenn Greenwald seriously, I absolutely disregard any and everything they have to say after that. You can’t debate in good faith with a pathological liar, nor those who believe their lies.

  412. 412
    eemom says:

    hmm. It appears that I have failed in my effort to persuade people that Greenwald JUST IS NOT WORTH ALL THIS FUCKING EFFORT.

    Oh well, at least I had fun.

  413. 413
    eemom says:

    ….also too, where’s my little toko-loko when I need her? : (

  414. 414
    fhtagn says:

    @General Stuck:

    The problem is that you’ve been making this claim implicitly throughout the thread. If you aren’t worried about the imperial presidency, say so, rather than throwing insults. So far, you haven’t shown any reason to think that Greenwald is a hypocrite, and none to make us think that Obama is staying within the limits of what Bush seized in the way of powers.

  415. 415
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    Well, it’s also about the time I start losing my temper, like a hundred times before on this loopety loop. Wonder if I can just walk away this time? Let’s see.

  416. 416
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @fhtagn: I have no control over the others. I can barely manage myself. I agree that these discussions often get too wrapped up in personalities and avoid issues. The thing is, the issues are complicated and, for me, when someone tosses out a phrase like “the Fourth Amendment” without acknowledging that there is over 200 years of jurisprudence applying and interpreting that bit of the Constitution*, it is difficult to have a reasoned discussion.

    *FWIW the people currently still here discussing this are not arguing at that level so it is not a jab at anyone.

  417. 417
    fhtagn says:

    @eemom:

    Amazingly absent. But the General seems to be subbing valiantly.

  418. 418
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: I think we drove her off for a while again.

  419. 419
    Stillwater says:

    @General Stuck: I haven’t read any of the GG stuff on this, so where does that put me? Worse that GG? There are real questions in play here, and for you to dismiss them as being the product of Greenwaldianism is an embarrassment. For you. I have no doubt that the Obama WH feels their on solid legal ground here. Is that really the end of the story for you? There are no other issues that come in to play? Does it really just reduce to partisanship and loyalty?

  420. 420
    General Stuck says:

    @fhtagn:

    Would you like some ice cream, maybe a cookie? Green Balloons? Maybe I could send you one of my home made purple plastic unicorns. On special for Free, with 99 dollars shipping and handling. Peace out. May the lard bless all the little progs.

  421. 421
    fhtagn says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Right. These are complex and important issues, and we shouldn’t simply let people shut discussion down by yelling “Hypocrite” at whoever their favorite hate-figure might be. Rule of law matters to all of us, and we ought to be able to discuss it in that spirit without making a team-loyalty or personal issue.

  422. 422
    fhtagn says:

    @General Stuck:

    Dude, you have no Koran fhtagn.

  423. 423
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I think we drove her off for a while again.

    Don’t jinx it brother.

  424. 424
    General Stuck says:

    @Stillwater:

    I have outlined my case, as have others on what Obama is doing in fighting AQ. IN multiple comments, With links and detailed analysis of the relevant issues. You have done nothing but whine that folks here don’t like or believe GG. It seems that some of you can’t wipe your asses unless GG writes a scree on it. So spare me the scolding . My mentioning greenwald came from others mentioning him

    edit not to mention the guy is the topic of this thread, duh

  425. 425
    fhtagn says:

    @Stillwater:

    Just don’t mention ED Kain, evolution, hiphop – and never in the same sentence.

    Oh drat!

  426. 426
    eemom says:

    Y’all bullies leave my General alone.

    If it weren’t for him, this blog would long since have degenerated into the Fuckhead/Cornerstoned equivalent of Pottersville in It’s A Wonderful Life.

  427. 427
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Stillwater: At 8:26 am today she was still posting on the White House Guest Suggestions thread.

  428. 428
    mclaren says:

    As much as I admire your writing, Angry Black Lady, your latest post is a disgrace.

    Shame on you.

    For shame.

    Fisking the first paragraph of your woefully deceptive and hopelessly casuistical post we have the following:

    Greenwald’s latest screed on torture is steeped in hypocrisy.

    Do you have any hard evidence to back up your baseless assertion that Greenwald’s article is “steeped” in hypocrisy? Your description of Greenwald’s article as a “screed” itself represents the kind of slanting you claim Greenwald does—so right with your first sentence, you convict yourself of the crime of which you accuse Greenwald…without providing any evidence that you have anything other than a disagreement with Greenwald’s position.

    First, he attempts to rake Eric Holder over the coals…

    No, he successfully rakes Eric Holder over the coals. Holder is the Attorney General who, you will recall, announced to all and sundry that the Obama Administration was backing off on raiding state medical marijuana dispensaries. Eric Holder’s claim was, of course, a lie. Because Eric Holder has actually stepped up the pace of raids on state medical marijuana dispensaries—-he just stopped publicizing them.

    So Eric Holder deserves to be raked over the coals for gross hypocrisy, crass two-faced lying, and appalling deceptiveness and misrepresentation.

    Shame on you, Angry Black Lady. For shame.

    …for Holder’s “kill that al-Awlaki guy” stance.

    No, your slanted description is deceptive and inaccurate. Glenn Greenwald didn’t “attempt” to rake over the coals Eric Holder’s for his `kill that al-Awlaki guy stance.’

    Glenn Greenwald deservedly and almost alone (unbelievably) has hammered at Eric Holder for violating the 5th amdendment of the constitution and the 6th amendment of the constitution and the 8th amendment of the constitution and the 14th amendment of the constitution.

    You’re supposed to be a lawyer, Angry Black Lady, so listen up: the fifth amendment of the constitution of the United States requires that no citizen of the united states can be deprived of life or liberty without due process. That’s not “my opinion.” That’s not “some crackpot belief.” That’s not “dirty hippies ranting.” That’s written in the constitution of the United States.

    Eric Holder betrayed his oath of office and violated the constitution of the united states by signing off on a brief which claimed that a citizen of the United States had no standing in court to oppose an illegal unconstitutional order by the president to assassinate him.

    If you actually are a lawyer, you’d damn well better get clear in your mind that trials and charges aren’t some optional luxury here in America. Maybe in Stalinist Russia they dispensed with trials and charged before killing people; maybe in Pol Pot’s Cambodia the leader could ordered someone put to death without bothering to charge him with a crime.

    But here in America, that shit won’t fly. If the government wants to put an American citizen to death, they have god damned got to put him on trial first.

    Get that through your head, Angry Black Lady. If you can’t grasp that basic fact, you don’t deserve to be a lawyer.

    …by referencing a brief Holder filed in 2004 which, purportedly, undercuts his current “kill that guy” position. The brief in question (posted below) is an amicus brief filed by a group of people as “Friends of the Court,” and while the brief was, in a matter of speaking, filed on behalf of Holder and several other people, he certainly did not write it. He signed off on it.

    Now you’ve descended to the lowest kind of sophistry. And in defense of extrajudicial assassination.

    If Holder signed off on the brief, he’s responsible for what’s in it. Deal with it.

    Shame on you, ABL. For shame. You are playing puerile word games in a failed and futile effort to defend the indefensible murder of an American citizen by a death squad. This is the kind of thing Americans used to condemn back when the El Salvador mirror-sunglassed colonels ordered their death squads to murder nuns.

    Now you’re playing word games to try to defend this kind of goddamn atrocity.

    What the hell has gone wrong with you, Angry Black Lady?

    You of all people ought to be sensitive to extrajudicial murders. Black people have been the victims of lynchings for hundreds of years. I don’t need to tell you the brutal and barbaric nature of extrajudicial killings like the lynchings of the Scottsboro Boys—yet here you are, eagerly trying to justify this kind of unjustifiable and indefensible extrajudicial murder of a U.S. citizen, Anwar Al Awlaki.

    Shame on you, Angry Black Lady. For shame.

    The fine lawyers at Arnold & Porter surely drafted it. Yes, he is responsible for the positions taken in that brief. But Greenwald’s article seems to suggest that this was some sort of stand-alone brief that Holder filed in his capacity as a DOJ employee (note Greenwald’s snide capitalization: “Holder’s Brief”)

    Provide hard evidence that Greenwald’s article ‘seems to suggest’ what you claim he seems to suggest, or stand revealed as a liar and a character assassin. Provide hard evidence that Greenwald’s capitalization is “snide” or stand revealed as a disgraceful toady using verbal calisthenics to defend the indefensible and illegal and unconstitutional assassination order by a president of the United States of a U.S. citizen in violation of 1000 years of Anglo Saxon judicial procedure.

    90% of the time I’m right with you, ABL, but this time you have stepped in it. You’re gone right off the cliff. You have covered yourself with shame with this post and turned your name into an epithet as excremental and debased as the name of Vidkun Quisling.

  429. 429
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: I like all the flavors in our cultural stew. Except cooked celery, cooked spinach, mclaren, mayonnaise/Miracle Whip, and squash.

  430. 430
    Dollared says:

    @eemom: Yeah. God forbid that people defend the Constitution or our civil rights. At least we’re clear over here on BJ that the GWOT is more important than habeus corpus and due process.

  431. 431
    Dollared says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: McClaren really did write a screed there, didn’t he? Even if s/he’s mostly right.

  432. 432
    General Stuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Well, you just got a mclaren stew from hell.

  433. 433
    Joe Beese says:

    @Stillwater:

    Does it really just reduce to partisanship and loyalty?

    Yes.

    Hope this doesn’t come as a shock to you.

  434. 434
    fhtagn says:

    @Dollared:

    A screed, yes, but a noble one, although the Vidkun Quisling comparison was rather over-done.

  435. 435
    Joe Beese says:

    @mclaren:

    You are playing puerile word games in a failed and futile effort to defend the indefensible murder of an American citizen by a death squad.

    See above.

  436. 436
    fhtagn says:

    @eemom:

    Tunch, ma’am. Tunch is the angel holding us out of the abyss.

  437. 437
    Dollared says:

    @mclaren: Weird. McLaren, you’re right on a couple of key points here. But why should anyone care what Eric Holder wrote in a brief in 2004? He is not a judge, he is a lawyer. Lawyers make the best argument their client needs, not the arguments that they most deeply believe. So Greenwald is really stretching here.

    As for Holder’s and Obama’s lies and broken campaign promises, there is only one possible excuse: the NSA has pictures of them together. There is no other defense.

  438. 438
    eemom says:

    @Dollared:

    purity troll is purity trollerating.

    I shall alert the media.

  439. 439
    Dollared says:

    @fhtagn: Awesome. In a nation full of Quislings, I really can’t nominate ABL.

  440. 440
    fhtagn says:

    @Dollared:

    Anyway, Quisling would be an illegal immigrant. Benedict Arnold is a much more felicitous comparison. Small details, I know, but they matter.

  441. 441
    johnny walker says:

    If you’re too busy* to work up anything more than a glorified heh-indeed with some bonus scribbling, why bother? “Hey I drew on this brief some. Made a few arguments, but got bored pretty quickly. Check out this sweet post from an admitted layman. Anyway, you can probably figure out what I meant.”

    Err… huh? What a mess. If you want to do a big post, then consider holding off until you find the time to so. Otherwise, just heh-indeed the People’s View stuff and move on. Either way, lose the guilt-by-association Cato shit; it’s as pathetic as it is revelatory. (It is rather considerate to put that right at the top though: kinda like a bare chord at the beginning of a song, this primes me to know that the post will be played in the key of bullshit.)

    Also, can someone help me out with this racist screen name thing? How is a play on words (Joe Beese, obese) racist? Am I missing a reference? Serious question.

    *Apparently ABL’s lunch break takes place in some alternate dimension where time can be used to write 1000-word comments, but not to improve the actual post before publication.

  442. 442
    Rihilism says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: BTW, thank you for the link you provided earlier. I’ve been reading several of the posts on that site and this one strikes me as pertinent to the discussion of assassination…

  443. 443
    eemom says:

    I can’t believe mclunatic has showed up at this late hour.

    Do y’all realize that this is literally an All-Troll Thread?

  444. 444
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    Do y’all realize that this is literally an All-Troll Thread?

    Just noticed that, Awesome, shouldn’t we get some garlic, or something. Or just run?

  445. 445
    fhtagn says:

    @eemom:

    Nominating oneself as a troll isn’t really a great strategy IMHO. Anyway, you’ll get the General all blotchy with rage and we’ve just got him to calm down and stop telling us about his heroic exploits in ’76. Be kind to the old warhorse.

  446. 446
    eemom says:

    @General Stuck:

    At this point I fear we must resign ourselves to the fact that we are in the cyber-equivalent of that Twilight Zone episode where the dolls are trapped at the bottom of the trash can.

    “The clown was right. This is Hell.”

  447. 447
    Joe Beese says:

    @mclaren:

    here you are, eagerly trying to justify this kind of unjustifiable and indefensible extrajudicial murder of a U.S. citizen, Anwar Al Awlaki.

    In fairness, ABL is already responsible for defending the “poor, black, latino, female, middle class, and impoverished” from my selfish withholding of a vote from Obama.

    You can’t reasonably ask her to give a shit about the civil liberties of Muslims too.

  448. 448
    fhtagn says:

    @eemom:

    Or you could just get a room and quit yer bitchin’. I am told old people still know how to have fun. Just make sure you keep your teeth in separate glasses, ok?

  449. 449
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    Gosh, I barely remember that episode, and I once was a big TZ buff. Reminds me of the one where the kid crawls under his bed and falls into the fifth dimension. Just hope it’s not a sign of the one where Burgess Merridith is the only survivor of Armageddon and finally has time to read all the books he has always wanted to.

  450. 450
    eemom says:

    @General Stuck:

    oh, I HATE that one. It’s so sad.

    @fhtagn:

    who you callin old, grasshopper? Also too, what have you got against vowels?

  451. 451
    fhtagn says:

    @eemom:

    I was merely attempting to assist the winter romance that you and Stuck are developing. I think it’s rather sweet.

  452. 452
    AAA Bonds says:

    I’m not sure I give a shit about Glenn Greenwald, but I’m pretty sure I give a shit about Eric Holder.

    Does that make sense?

  453. 453
    Dollared says:

    @eemom: Hmmmmm….”all troll thread.” Wow, you and Stuck determine who’s a troll and who isn’t. Awesome responsibility. Can I get a copy of the bylaws and the minutes of the meeting where you two were elected?

  454. 454
    johnny walker says:

    @General Stuck: Better question: what is your obsession with pointing out when other people use sex metaphors? I would think that after the first few hundred times of this failing to have any rhetorical impacts whatsoever, you might reconsider its effectiveness.

    People use sex metaphors. It happens. Get over it already.

  455. 455
    fhtagn says:

    @Dollared:

    Well, to be fair, I think she was talking about her contributions and those of Stuck, rather than lashing out at the other participants.

  456. 456
    burnspbesq says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Are you beginning to see the problem?

    The problem has been apparent for some time. You are reflexively anti-Obama and anti-America, and on legal issues you are way out of your depth.

    Buy this book and study it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Public-I.....0314211586

  457. 457
    Tim Connor says:

    @NobodySpecial: On target.

    As a follow up, using the “common sense” doctrine espoused here, I have to ask a question.

    –Exclude Bin Laden. Do you think Holder/Obama have dealt well with torture? Do you think Obama has kept his promises?

  458. 458
    Joe Beese says:

    @burnspbesq:

    You are reflexively anti-Obama and anti-America

    For you, that’s a redundancy.

  459. 459
    burnspbesq says:

    @rootless_e:

    I do not believe the US would be authorized to target him for killing,but I do believe they could target him for capture

    But if the local government caught our guys in the act of trying to snatch the suspect, they could prosecute our guys for kidnapping, a la the CIA operatives who were tried in absentia in Italy for kidnapping a local imam thought to be a terrist who the Italians refused to extradite.

  460. 460
    Joe Beese says:

    @Tim Connor:

    Do you think Obama has kept his promises?

    He never said he wouldn’t execute American citizens without trial.

    If you just assumed that because you wanted to believe it, that’s your fault.

  461. 461
    WyldPirate says:

    @Stillwater:

    For you. I have no doubt that the Obama WH feels their on solid legal ground here. Is that really the end of the story for you? There are no other issues that come in to play? Does it really just reduce to partisanship and loyalty?

    this is exactly what it boils down to for Stuck and most of the other Obots.

    Except Stuck has it extra bad. He’s most likely over at BlackWaterDawg’s Obama fan boi site spanking his monkey while gazing at the pictures of Obama and reading those dozens of weekly homages-in-picture-caption that BWD crafts on her Obama fetish sick obsession online shrine.

  462. 462
    General Stuck says:

    @johnny walker:

    Better yet, pervs of a feather blog together. You are one simple sumbitch Walker. You know that.

  463. 463
    General Stuck says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Guess yer Klan meeting is over. Burn any crosses tonight?

  464. 464
    Dollared says:

    @fhtagn: if you read up, I do think she’s deciding who sits with who in Camus Junior High’s lunchroom.

  465. 465
    eemom says:

    @fhtagn:

    no, actually what I meant was that all of our most illustrious and storied trolls — with the notable exception of toko and that ancient, prehistoric, and in retrospect quite quaint Brick Oven Bill — have made at least a cameo appearance on the thread.

    I assume you’re too YOUNG to remember the days of “all star cast” Hollywood movies…..

  466. 466
    fhtagn says:

    @Dollared:

    Ah, the Sally Quinn gambit. Haven’t seen that for a while.

  467. 467
    General Stuck says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    I’m not sure I give a shit about Glenn Greenwald, but I’m pretty sure I give a shit about Eric Holder.

    Does that make sense?

    It certainly does, provided you are knowledgable enough to make a cogent argument on the issues he deals with. It would be a blast of fresh air from the morons who come here blathering about Imperial Presidencies, and rule of law, and all the other platitudes they are not in the least able to argue coherently for their positions, other than regurgitating GG’s bullshit. And wringing their hands. And screaming OBOT!

  468. 468
    eemom says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    I’m not sure I give a shit about Glenn Greenwald, but I’m pretty sure I give a shit about Eric Holder.
    Does that make sense?

    actually it makes more sense than all of the preceding 451 comments put together.

    Don’t let it go to your head though.

  469. 469
    fhtagn says:

    @General Stuck:

    Better than the people who, while abusing others, spend their time making the defense that Obama did it, so it’s fine – and legitimize George W. Bush along the way. Did you enjoy the Bush presidency that much, Stuck?

  470. 470
    eemom says:

    @Dollared:

    just out of curiosity, why would anybody call themselves “dollared”?

    Is it because you don’t have any “cents”? haw haw.

  471. 471
    burnspbesq says:

    @Joe Beese:

    For you, that’s a redundancy.

    Elections have consequences.

    Like it or not, Barack Hussein Obama is commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States of America. He has at his disposal a large number of people who are very good at killing people and breaking stuff, and he gets to tell them what to do, because Article III of the Constitution says so, and over 200 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence has established (correctly, in my view) that the courts’ role in overseeing the conduct of military operations is quite limited.

    If you don’t like his choices in who to kill and what to break, you have three options: (1) work against his re-relection; (2) try to convince 218 members of the House to impeach and 67 Senators to convict; or (3) try to convince the International Criminal Court to indict him for war crimes. If you’re not willing to do any of those things, then stop wasting my time and John Cole’s server space.

  472. 472
    Dollared says:

    @burnspbesq: Ah, Burns, and his/her pride in his/her expensive law education. I went to the link. I thought your extensive, implied-but-never-demonstrated legal knowledge came from those four years you spent at the Hague, while on loan from Arnold & Porter. Now we all know your secret. I don’t like Joe, but don’t tell us you’re a lawyer, prove it with your ability to make good arguments.

  473. 473
    WyldPirate says:

    @mclaren:

    What the hell has gone wrong with you, Angry Black Lady?

    WTF are you talking about mcloaren? ABL has been a dishonest piece of shit when it comes to making an argument from her very first posts here.

    ABL is a disingenuous hack who lies through her goddamned teeth–particularly when posting about anything political. Then she won’t admit it when she gets busted for her lying. She pretends she doesn’t see it when multiple people point out her lies and give links refuting them. When confronted with such things, she continues to do what she excels at—lying her ass off.

    The same shit happens with almost all of ABL’s political posts. Bullshit, illogical arguments that are poorly supported and usually chock full of outright lies and then highly seasoned with usually baseless ad hominem attacks simmered in a thick red herring sauce.

    This is nothing new at all.

  474. 474
    fhtagn says:

    @burnspbesq:

    If you don’t like his choices in who to kill and what to break, you have three options: (1) work against his re-relection; (2) try to convince 218 members of the House to impeach and 67 Senators to convict; or (3) try to convince the International Criminal Court to indict him for war crimes. If you’re not willing to do any of those things, then stop wasting my time and John Cole’s server space.

    You forgot the fourth option: debate the issue in public fora, like Balloon-Juice, and present your point of view. We call this free speech in America, and you have no right to try and pre-empt it by attacking those who disagree with you for “wasting John Cole’s server space”. As for wasting your time – you chose to come here, to a public forum. If you can’t deal with an honest discussion, you have the right to leave.

  475. 475
    General Stuck says:

    @fhtagn:

    Better than the people who, while abusing others, spend their time making the defense that Obama did it, so it’s fine – and legitimize George W. Bush along the way. Did you enjoy the Bush presidency that much, Stuck?

    Listen asswipe, I challenged you to list and defend your allegations that Obama is just as bad as Bush, and all yer “Imperial Presidency” bullshit, and accusations that I am defending Obama out of some blind sense of loyalty. Put up or shut up. make an argument, instead of whiny little shots.

  476. 476
    Dollared says:

    @eemom: Ummmm, and why “eemom?” Because Steve Jobs already trademarked iMom, just in case?

  477. 477
    Joe Beese says:

    If you don’t like his choices in who to kill and what to break, you have three options: (1) work against his re-relection…

    Why do you think I post here?

    If I can shame one Obama voter out of continuing to support him – or at least depress them enough not to drag their ass to the polls – I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.

  478. 478
    General Stuck says:

    @Joe Beese:

    If I can shame one Obama voter out of continuing to support him – or at least depress them enough not to drag their ass to the polls – I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.

    LOL, that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day. I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much there sparky for changing anyone’s mind about supporting Obama. You may well succeed in dumbing down this blog to the point folks began drooling from your stupid and figure it’s not worth reading it anymore.

    So you’re kind of like a street corner preacher holding a sign up and chanting Repent Obots or you’re off to lucifer and the big weine roast down under.

  479. 479
    fhtagn says:

    @General Stuck:

    The only argument you’ve offered, inbetween bouts of childish abuse, is that Obama is no worse than Bush. You claim you can see a difference – let’s see you bring something to the table. How is what Obama is doing here better than what Bush did? I realize you won’t be able to offer anything, because your whole schtick on here consists of insults and calling other people trolls, but I’ll give you the chance to make an argument. Show us that Obama is different on this issue – or explain why it was wrong for Bush to take this line but not Obama. Can you, Stuck? Or are you just going to go matoko on us?

  480. 480
    eemom says:

    y’all are crazy. I’m getting out of here.

  481. 481
    Rihilism says:

    @Joe Beese:

    If I can shame one Obama voter out of continuing to support him – or at least depress them enough not to drag their ass to the polls – I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.

    Jesus! If I wasn’t concerned about being a hypocrite I’d tell you to get a life…

  482. 482
    General Stuck says:

    @fhtagn:

    Reading this comment of yours, it dawned on me that I have to be talking to a teenager, or a early twenty something. I see why You are drawn to GG, with a dishonest attempt to deflect from your ignorance on the topic we are discussing. Put down the Cheetos, it’s bedtime and a school night.

  483. 483
    eemom says:

    @Dollared:

    ummmm, no, because I’m a mom, and my name starts with e.

    I just don’t get the currency thing. Why not Euroed? Or Yenned? Or Pounded?

  484. 484
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    Yea, me too. I got a sense of impending of doom of stupid.

  485. 485
    fhtagn says:

    @General Stuck

    Shorter Stuck:

    I got nothing. Again.

  486. 486
    General Stuck says:

    @fhtagn:

    Shorter Stuck:

    I got nothing. Again.

    Lame, bone numbing lame. Have mommy read you a nice story about imagined Obama crimes, before tucking you in tonight. And count the unicorns to put you to sleep.

  487. 487
    fhtagn says:

    @General Stuck:

    So, you don’t have an argument. You’d rather just throw abuse and ignore the fact that you can’t say anything intelligent about the issues under discussion?

  488. 488
    General Stuck says:

    @fhtagn:

    So, you don’t have an argument.

    Argument about what? I’ve written a fair number of lengthy comments on this thread detailing my position why what Obama is doing with targeting AQ targets and that he is on solid legal ground. Can’t you read, or are just really that thick. Read the thread, and what I’ve said, and either challenge it with your own argument, or not. it is moronic or mendacious to claim I haven’t addressed the topic with effort.

    On second thought, you are just being a mendacious prick.

  489. 489
    General Stuck says:

    Someday, I hope to understand why I waste my time on this blog arguing with children and dishonest idiots. I have no one to blame but myself for indulging in such an empty exercise, when I could be doing something productive.

  490. 490
    burnspbesq says:

    @Joe Beese:

    If I can shame one Obama voter out of continuing to support him – or at least depress them enough not to drag their ass to the polls – I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.

    Give it up. You will never accomplish anything, because you’re too fucking stupid to construct an understandable argument, much less a persuasive one.

  491. 491
    fhtagn says:

    @General Stuck:

    I see, back to the childish abuse and refusal to produce an argument.

  492. 492
    Mark S. says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Everybody’s got to have a dream.

  493. 493
    johnny walker says:

    @General Stuck:

    I get that you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel hard enough that you’re trying to pull rank on other posters based on (what you imagine is their) age, busting out the grade-school playground shit and telling them to run to mommy, etc.

    I get that you think making a sexual metaphor on a blog that recently discussed whacking off to dead pygmy goats and has a running joke about green balloons is some uniquely damaging accusation that can only be leveled against people you dislike.

    What I don’t get is what gave you the idea that any of this is cutting rhetoric rather than laugh-out-loud pathetic flailing on your part. Oh no, WyldPirate uses sexual metaphors! I bet the 372nd time you point this out to him will finally be the one that makes him crack.

    You could always look into whatever shit you have going on in your head that you’re willing to resort to grade-school insults or flat-out making shit up in order to have something to say. I understand the reflexive need to hit back, but I can’t relate to having it be so out of control and so in charge of your actions that you’re gonna talk about people running to mommy rather than simply shutting the fuck up when you don’t have any material.

  494. 494
    General Stuck says:

    @fhtagn:

    When are you going to back up your claim Obama has an Imperial presidency like Bush? You don’t because you have nothin’, nothin at all, but deflection and projection. Case closed/

  495. 495
    fhtagn says:

    @General Stuck:

    Even less impressive. Put up an argument, Stuck.

  496. 496
    eemom says:

    @General Stuck:

    Someday, I hope to understand why I waste my time on this blog arguing with children and dishonest idiots. I have no one to blame but myself for indulging in such an empty exercise, when I could be doing something productive.

    ain’t it the tragic truth.

    I’ve heard that in China, they have Clockwork Orange-esq treatment programs for sicko internet addictions like that with which I am afflicted. It’s on my To Do list…

  497. 497
    General Stuck says:

    @johnny walker:

    LOL,

    I bet the 372nd time you point this out to him will finally be the one that makes him crack.

    Wildypirate cracked a long time ago, and uses sexual metaphors in nearly every comment he makes here, and usually more than one. Your effort here is almost as lame as Phleym. Now politely blow it out your ass. You can choose to engage me on the merits of discussion that I have laid out my position on, or keep whining that I;m being mean to other commenters because they have nothing to offer of substance.

  498. 498
    eemom says:

    @johnny walker:

    since I’m on a roll wrt screen names this evening, allow me to point out that yours is at a pre-K level of creativity.

    Unless, of course, you are George Thorogood, which I have a sneaking suspicion that you are not.

  499. 499
    General Stuck says:

    @fhtagn:

    Even less impressive. Put up an argument, Stuck.

    When are you going to back up your claim Obama has an Imperial presidency like Bush? You don’t because you have nothin’, nothin at all, but deflection and projection. Case closed/

    Yawn, I guess we can do this all night. your move

  500. 500
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    When are you going to back up your claim Obama has an Imperial presidency like Bush? You don’t because you have nothin’, nothin at all, but deflection and projection. Case closed/

    The reason I keep coming back here is that there are some commenters like you and some others, that I care about hearing what they have to say, and care about them as people and how they are doing.

    But that does not explain why I let myself get drawn into arguing with idiots. Maybe this time I’ll kick the habit. Quitting smoking was rolling off a log compared.

  501. 501
    General Stuck says:

    I’m going to bed, if anyone wants to keep playing footsy with morons like Walker and Phlem, do carry on. I got unicorns to count till morning comes.

  502. 502
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    OOps. wrong quote from a previous comment that stuck on my clipboard. sorry eemom.

  503. 503
    eemom says:

    @General Stuck:

    Good night General. Let us dream of a better world where Beeses and Fuckheads and Dollars and suchlike roam freely in sanctuaries amidst their own kind, safely sequestered from human responsibility.

  504. 504
    serena1313 says:

    Too often without thinking we, myself included, tend to jump to conclusions that later-on, more-often-than-not turn-out to be wrong. Yet rather than adjusting to the new information and changing our thinking along with it — perhaps because it seems easier somehow or it is habit or our ego gets in the way or whatever — we make excuses or get defensive instead. Glen Greenwald is no exception.

    I first started reading Greenwald on regular basis when he had his own blog site. He was informative and interesting, intelligent, too. But because he was so tedious and repetitive I would only visit on occasion. However, it wasn’t until shortly after Obama was elected that I quit all together. Not only had his constant rants against the Obama administration became insufferable, they stopped resonating.

    I couldn’t help feeling that something was missing — that there was more to the story than Greenwald was letting on, given that President Obama, had spent his entire adult life dedicated to public service. People just do not do a 180 overnight.

    Granted some of the administration’s decisions have been, to my dismay, dismal at best. Suffice to say, my first inclination was a sense of betrayal. Nevertheless I gave them the benefit of the doubt anyhow and withheld making a judgment call until I had more information thus a better understanding. Iam glad I did.

    So in closing, one last thought:

    Just remember: Resisting what persists is an exercise in futility. Change happens whether we like it or not. What we do with it is up to us.

  505. 505
    pattonbt says:

    Why is it hard for so many Obama supporters (and I consider myself a pretty staunch one) that he supports, and continues to use, powers which, if in the hands of Bush or some other R nutjob, we’d be scared shitless of and angry about?

    Obama gets a fair amount of cred from me for dialing back some of the nastier aspects of the Bush years (torture alone is enough), but many of the surveillance and military adventurism latitude at the executive branches discretion is still frightening and should be curtailed as soon as possible.

    Sure I trust Obama way more than almost all others but I still want those “imperial presidency” powers to go the way of the Dodo for eternity.

    You can support Obama and still hate the powers he has available to him (and has used), even if he has used them (as we would believe and have seen from public evidence) judiciously, wisely and rarely.

    It’s not about Obama – it’s about the concentration of powers and discretion to use them without oversight or limitation.

  506. 506
    johnny walker says:

    @General Stuck: What the fuck are you talking about? I gather from your typography that you’ve been drinking, but if you take a look back you’ll notice that I’ve stuck to a few narrowly-defined points, namely:

    1) This is an incoherent, half-baked and just plain bad post and ABL probably should’ve worked on it longer before putting it up.

    2) What’s racist about peoples’ screen names? I’m honestly confused.

    3) It’s weird that Stuck gets so bent outt’ve shape when people (that he doesn’t like) make sexual metaphors.

    4) It’s even weirder how Stuck has this obsession with responding to anyone that even remotely criticizes him, even if he doesn’t have any ammo to do so and has to resort to pulling rank over (imagined) age superiority or just flat-out making shit up.

    I thought that without m_c I might be able to make a narrowly-defined comment without it being taken as an invitation to debate such-and-such personal worldview, but apparently not. In case it’s unclear: at the moment, I could give a fuck less about rehashing the endless Obama rules/Obama sucks/Obama’s kinda ehh thing, and am focusing on the writing habits of a couple people specifically.

    Even clearer: at no point in this thread have I engaged you on anything beyond you being an obsessive weirdo who is so threatened by the faintest whiff of criticism that you immediately revert to schoolyard taunts in an attempt to “win” whatever argument you imagine yourself engaged in. To the extent that I’m worried about you, I’m concerned that you might have some shit going on in your head that you probably should get checked out. If I was you I probably wouldn’t take some dude with a mispelled booze name seriously when they say this, but well… you said johnny walker is simple. He ain’t. But one thing johnny walker is, is experienced with flawed mental processes. I know ’em when I see em. Seek help dude, no fucking joke.

    Now back to the BJ asshole tone: Is that clear enough, dipshit?

  507. 507
    johnny walker says:

    @eemom: I am completely at a loss. Please, explain to me why I should give a shit what you think about my SN. I’m all ears.

  508. 508
    rootless_e says:

    @mclaren: you have produced the most pompously ignorant rant on this thread – quite an accomplishment. I’d put it down to racism, but the level of condescending ignorance you produce seems to also draw on sheer dumbness.

  509. 509
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Just look at this Muslim super-predator…

    Even a dozen crack SEALs bristling with automatic weapons must have felt a moment’s reluctance before facing such a savage and deadly foe.

    That’s downright heartwarming, homey even, homie. Could someone with Photoshop skills put Matlock’s face on that screen? Or maybe Angela Lansbury in Murder Extra-Judicial Assassination, She Wrote?

  510. 510
    General Stuck says:

    @johnny walker:

    That’s quite a rant, even mclaren quality unhinged. With enough projection and utter lack of self awareness, to be of corner stone quality. With the outsized ego of a Beese. Not to mention titanic pomposity of a Loblaw. Well done, you are going to make the troll A team with this kind of effort.

  511. 511
    General Stuck says:

    @johnny walker:

    But one thing johnny walker is, is experienced with flawed mental processes. I know ‘em when I see em. Seek help dude, no fucking joke.

    It is so awesome when someone with a presumed fake name handle rants on about their vast experience at spotting other people’s flawed “mental processes” while addressing themselves in the first person. Just awesome..

  512. 512
    eemom says:

    I do hope this thread thrives unto another day. I laughed more yesterday than I have in years.

    Know what would TOTALLY rawk? An appearance by the ‘Zilla himself, to sneeringly dismiss the lot of us as Cultists and Dear Leader-ers.

  513. 513
    Pat says:

    I’m astounded that John would host such a foul-mouthed, impetuous maggot lawyer like ABL on this suite. This thread is a cesspool of high-school antics. No wonder Glee is the big hit this year.

  514. 514
    Lojasmo says:

    @Joe beese

    A resolution authorizing the wholesale bombing of a nation certainly does not preclude the citizens of said nation from being killed by bombs. In fact, the resolution would pretty clearly, at least tacitly include this. Bombs are Big. Deadly. Things. Moron.

  515. 515
    eemom says:

    @Pat:

    who the fuck are you? The PTA president?

  516. 516
    Paul in KY says:

    @fhtagn: That’s one of the things I have admired about Glenn: How he has fought the notion of the ‘Imperial Presidency’ and has continued to fight those aspects of it Pres. Obama has found a reason to maintain.

    I think the ‘Imperial Presidency’ is an abomination.

  517. 517
    Paul in KY says:

    @eemom: I think you have to say her name 3 times into a mirror…or something like that ;-)

  518. 518
    Paul in KY says:

    @mclaren: Somewhere in your screed you mentioned something about Mr. Al-Alwaki & talked about the 5th Amendment as it applies to U.S. citizens. IMO, Mr. Al-Alwaki is no longer a citizen of the U.S. he has forfeited his citizenship by taking up arms with Al-Qaida.

    Excellent frothing screed, ABL will eat it up.

  519. 519
    Paul in KY says:

    @eemom: I saw Lonesome George in concert once in Lexington. Great show, played for 2 1/2 hours.

    I drink alone…

  520. 520
    catperson says:

    @MBunge: What do you think it should be called?

  521. 521
    xian says:

    @fhtagn: This is unintentionally hilarious:

    We call this free speech in America, and you have no right to try and pre-empt it by attacking those who disagree with you for “wasting John Cole’s server space”.

  522. 522
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @fhtagn:

    We laugh at matoko when she rants at ED Kain – and yet too many people are going matoko against Greenwald, and on equally weak grounds.

    and yet…EDK is no longer here is he?
    Who’s laffing naow?
    /giggles behind hand
    Take Kains will-the-True-civil-libertarian-please-stand-up quiz why dont you, fhtagen?

    @ABL: I think this is an excellent post, and very helpful to me personally. Since no one is able to explain libertarianism to me, I am formulating a Unified Field Theory of Libertarianism.
    One of the postulates is that anyone claiming to be a “libertarian” in 21st century America will also claim that Obama=Bush on civil liberties.
    Perhaps it should be an axiom.
    The Greenwald Axiom of Libertarian Unified Field Theory I shall call it.
    ;)

  523. 523
    nate says:

    You know, reading 521 comments on this thread actually taught me something: lawyers strike me as pretty much the biggest, most arrogant assholes on the face of the planet.

    Nate(my mom gave me this name, in case any lawyer wants to mock my handle).

  524. 524
    eemom says:

    @nate:

    lawyers strike me as pretty much the biggest, most arrogant assholes on the face of the planet.

    Goddamn, but that is an original observation. Somebody alert Shakespeare.

  525. 525
    MikeR says:

    @Dollared: I think something needs to be clarified here. Holder signed on the amicus brief not as a lawyer to a client, but essentially as his own client. A number of high profile Democratic lawyers prepared and signed the amicus brief, essentially putting their good names and reputations to use. Which, I must say, was a good thing. But he wasn’t representing a client. Sometimes, amicus briefs are filed on behalf of particular interested parties. Here, the “interested parties” were the same Democratic lawyers who prepared and filed the brief.

    The issue with Holder, in my opinion, is not whether lawyers can’t change their minds, or assert opposing arguments on behalf of different clients. The issue is whether, as a lawyer who previously was concerned with civil rights abuses in the context of the “war on terror,” he ought to associate himself with the policies Obama is now pursuing. By “ought to associate,” I mean voluntarily. Personally, I’d have a hard time doing what he does on behalf of the security state. But it all comes down to personal integrity.

  526. 526
    rootless_e says:

    @MikeR: so sum up what you think is the difference between what Holder signed onto and what he says now.

    BTW: I really object to the navel-gazing notion of personal integrity popular in some circles.

  527. 527
    Nate says:

    Well, why don’t you do some more dick measuring about how many years of litigation you have vs. me, eeMom. I need to know if my opinion has any validity compared to yours.

    Seriously, you and General Stuck are the most unbearable jagoffs I have ever read on the internet, and I’m so old I used to post on usenet.

    Did your mother raise you to talk to people like this? Is this how you’re raising your kids?

    You do shit like this for fun? Ugh.

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