The Tale of Bob’s Knob

If you wanted to explain the stupidity of our politics to a space alien, hobbit or the like, the Bob Menendez story would be a good start. Hundreds of fainting couches are creaking under the burden of journalists being administered smelling salts over the allegation that a long-divorced middle-aged guy might visit prostitutes (in a country where prostitution is legal, though the apparently made-up allegation was that she was underage). The established fact that he “forgot” that he took $60K worth of rides on a donor’s private jet is mentioned almost in passing, near the end of the story.

The whores hustle and the hustlers whore, and that’s barely worth mention, but if an actual sex worker is involved, then it’s a big deal.

95 replies
  1. 1
    feebog says:

    Paging David Vitter, Stat…

  2. 2
    Alex S. says:


  3. 3
    General Stuck says:

    then it shouldn’t matter at all to anyone except NJ voters. And it is my impression they have seen and heard it all, and would likely be pleased they have a senator that isn’t stealing everything that isn’t nailed down. for a change

  4. 4
    Comrade Jake says:

    You know it’s hard out here for a pimp…

  5. 5
    Sharl says:

    Despite the criticisms I have of him on occasion, on Twitter Dave Weigel has been getting on the case of his colleagues for running with this story for months without bringing forth one named eyewitness. Per Weigel, there are other, more substantiated issues of corruption where Menendez is concerned. And apparently the lazy media hyenas are now dragging Menendez’s daughter into the fray:

    By all means, instead of advancing the Menendez story beyond the rumor stage, shame his daughter. This is piggish.

  6. 6
    burnspbesq says:

    Hopefully the concept of an “eye doctor” with enough money to own a jet sparked some interest at those parts of DOJ and HHS that are tasked with investigating possible cases of Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

    Menendez, who the heck cares what he does on his own time?

  7. 7
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Enquiring villager minds want to know!

  8. 8
    Xenos says:


    Sorry. Had to get that out. Will wait for a duly declared open thread.

  9. 9
    NorthLeft12 says:

    But the Senator is a role model for millions of children and other more gullible adults! Gaaaaaahhhhh!!!

  10. 10
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Xenos: Are you saying it would be better if he had flown to redezvous with prositutes on a drone, or would that be worse?

  11. 11
    General Stuck says:


    so which FPer will be the first to venture into the flame zone over the new WH memo on the drone killing program?

    I’ll get the popcorn going, but am much too delicate to partake in such savagery.

  12. 12

    Sex sells. And salacious sex sells more.

    Possible campaign finance violations, not so much.

    That said, if Menendez did commit pederasty, then I think that’s a way worse story and should top accepting illegal gifts.

  13. 13
    Alex S. says:

    @Suffern ACE:


  14. 14
    Eric U. says:

    I would think that both sides do it would require a mention of some of Vitter’s many crimes in any story about Menendez. And in Vitter’s case, they were crimes. I really don’t think that the whole storyline of him soiling a diaper so a prostitute could change it has gotten enough play in the media.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Eric U.: BSDI and False Equivalence can only be used to defend Republicans. Thus was it written on the Golden Tablets of David Broder.

  16. 16
    mistermix says:

    @Eric U.: The Vitter story at least has a hypocrisy angle because he’s a married super-Christey Christian. Menendez isn’t getting elected by spouting off about family values and trying to regulate women’s uteri.

  17. 17
    Maude says:

    Menendez paid the cost of the Airfare in January.
    I’m in NJ and I don’t car about this at all. After Vitter, why does the media get all hot and bothered about this? Rhetorical question.
    Menendez has signed onto the assault weapons ban in the Senate and that I care about.

  18. 18
    J R in W Va says:

    Failed Media Experiment!

    This morning our Junior Senator is in a USA Today story about guns and his history with guns and philosophy of gun ownership.

    Huffington Post picked up the story and here is their opening ‘graph:

    “Sen. Joe Manchin (R-W.Va.) was surprised that anyone wouldn’t own a gun in an interview with USA Today about members of Congress owning guns.”

    The USA Today story has it right, and I personally think HuffPost does too, because Unka Joe is no Democrat in my mind. His mind is too small to hold Democratic ideas, or to understand the First Amendment, for example.

  19. 19
    J R in W Va says:

    Failed Media Experiment!

    This morning our Junior Senator is in a USA Today story about guns and his history with guns and philosophy of gun ownership.

    Huffington Post picked up the story and here is their opening ‘graph:

    “Sen. Joe Manchin (R-W.Va.) was surprised that anyone wouldn’t own a gun in an interview with USA Today about members of Congress owning guns.”

    The USA Today story has it right, and I personally think HuffPost does too, because Unka Joe is no Democrat in my mind. His mind is too small to hold Democratic ideas, or to understand the First Amendment, for example.

  20. 20
    Woodrowfan says:

    I dunno. Prostitution can be such an exploitative relationship, especially with young women in developing countries.

  21. 21
    burnspbesq says:

    @General Stuck:

    There’s a threshold question about provenance, authenticity, and status as legal authority that ought to be addressed before civil liberties types (including me) go into convulsions.

    Surely it will not have escaped your notice that the document posted on the NBC News website is not an Office of Legal Counsel memorandum, on DOJ letterhead and signed by or for the Assistant Attorney General in charge of OLC. If one could do bullet points in FYWP, here would be a long bullet-pointed list of unanswered questions about this thing which purports to be from some unidentified DOJ function whose subject-matter expertise and authority to bind anyone inside or outside the Government is unknown and unknowable.

    I have no doubt that Greenwald and others will leap headlong to the wholly unsubstantiated conclusion that the EEBIL KENYAN MOOSLIM DEAR LEADER went opinion-shopping within DOJ after OLC signaled that it wouldn’t be able to issue the opinion he wanted blessing his BLOODTHIRSTY AND ILLEGAL REVERSE JIHAD WITH DRONEZ!!!

    I’ll readit, and if I think the analysis is bad I won’t hesitate to say so. But I’d like to know what exactly it is we’re dealing with here.

  22. 22
    Cassidy says:

    have no doubt that Greenwald and others will leap headlong to the wholly unsubstantiated conclusion

    Is it Tuesday already?

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:

    @Eric U.:

    I would think that both sides do it would require a mention of some of Vitter’s many crimes in any story about Menendez

    IOKIYAR, so “both sides do it” does not apply when it’s a Democrat being accused. You really need to practice your Calvinball skills.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: Ugh. Yer gonna make me go over there and look arentcha?

  25. 25
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Future historians will credit our media for extending the life of the GOP long after it ceased being relevant in any positive way.

  26. 26
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    so which FPer will be the first to venture into the flame zone over the new WH memo on the drone killing program?

    @General Stuck: Meh. It’s just like a bullet with eyes being driven by someone who’s trained on a video game.

    Snark aside, I’m far more concerned about the 1% who are still looting our country despite being not at all hampered by a president who is supposedly so far to the left he makes Lenin look like a Tea Partier.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Enquiring villager minds want to know!

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:


    I might as well lay out my pos on this issue now, as I don’t intend to again wade into the swamp of idiocy disguised as liberals honestly debating the issue.

    The matter was settled for me the moment Al Awaki declared on Al Quaida teevee who he was and what he was up to concerning killing of his fellow American citizens. Matched with the legal wrappings of the AUMF and UN Security Council res declaring pretty much open warfare with AQ and its affiliates. To be conducted by member nations as an order and not a choice anywhere that AQ was.

    And as in all other wars, combatants on a battlefield defined as groups of armed cadres with chains of command and functioning as the dominant force for the area they control, there is no further legal requirement to engage these folks with lethal force, imo, other than possibly a battlefield hearing to decide if they are the enemy. Al Awaki made that moot with his filmed stance on the matter.

    It might be prudent to arrest them if possible, or before the fact, request they surrender, but it is downright offensive to me that opponents of this situation are drawing some special auspice of protection due to American citizenship, over any others that may die in a war both sides have declared against one another.

    And it is now comical adding to the mix of the absurd, reading all the blogs left and right, to find even right wing blogs joining the fray for concern and condemnation of the Kenyan thug along with the usual suspects on the left. Wingnuts worrying about AQ rights and such? Beyond belief.

    I do insist that congress gets to use oversight on the president, and in the appropriate forum, release all relative documents. I also think the Obama administration has made a huge mistake conflating civilian legal justification with the historically separate legalities of declared war.

  29. 29
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @burnspbesq: Speaking of “eye doctors”, who remembers Bob Magoon?

  30. 30
    the Conster says:

    I’ve been in Guatemala for a wedding and didn’t hear about one bit of the bullshit that passes for “news” in this country, while in that country they’re about to try their former head of state for genocide, which was aided and abetted by the stooge St. Ronaldus, and GHWB the Lesser. I hope I live long enough to see La Revolution, parte Deux, but with our FAIL media filling the tumbrels, not broadcasting it.

  31. 31
    General Stuck says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    we agree other don’t

  32. 32
    Xenos says:

    @burnspbesq: See, Hamdi. Repeat as necessary. What exactly it has to do with drone warfare escapes me at this point.

  33. 33
    jonas says:

    Well, it could be worse. We could be Italy, where a 76 year-old billionaire playboy and former prime minister accused of sex with an under-aged escort, in addition to numerous other corruption and conflict of interest charges, is poised to make a political comeback.

    Menendez is still in the minor leagues compared to this. And which might also explain why Italy is where it is…

  34. 34
    Ruckus says:

    What makes drones so special? We kill people with all kinds of weapons, all the time. Police kill people with tazers, we run over each other with cars and shoot each other with guns, all the time. The military has many weapons at it’s command, what is so special about this one? That the decision is not made on the spot? A lot of naval weapons systems are delivered over the horizon, out of sight. A high altitude bomber can’t see the whites of their eyes either.
    I detest war, especially war that is unnecessary, illogical, and just fucking wrong, but what is the point of focusing on a weapons system?

  35. 35
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @General Stuck:

    Legal arguments aside, I wonder why any American, unless he or she suffers from a mental disorder, would become a leader in a foreign based organization whose goals include killing Americans. The same applies to anyone who would join a right wing group based in America with those same goals.

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    Big picture and all that.

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    It looks like for these folks, sectarian loyalty trumps everything else. But I have no idea really, as to why.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @Xenos: Jeebus. I just read the thing. It looks like it was written by a second year law student on a deadline. And yeah the actual document has nothing official on it at all. Wow.

  39. 39
    Emma says:

    @jonas: Ah but Italians seem to handle it with a combination of world-weary elan and sly amusement. We just seem to flip out over odd things.

  40. 40
    TG Chicago says:

    The linked story says the Melendez rumors came from a “conservative website”. Anybody know which one?

    It strikes me as poor form on the Star-Ledger’s part to not identify the website. If they got a scoop, they should get the credit. If they’re making shit up, they deserve the shame.

    If you’re going to write up a story about these rumors, you are doing a disservice to your readers by not disclosing the source of the rumors.

  41. 41
    Xenos says:

    I detest war, especially war that is unnecessary, illogical, and just fucking wrong, but what is the point of focusing on a weapons system?

    Because all the AR-15s in America can’t defend you from a drone attack. The fascists are, rightly, scared shitless of them.

  42. 42
    The Dangerman says:

    @General Stuck:

    The matter was settled for me the moment Al Awaki declared on Al Quaida teevee who he was…

    Yup. I care as much about Americans known to be hostile in foreign lands as I did for the kidnapping dude in the bunker. Both had about the same level of due process and both are now dead.

  43. 43
    Origuy says:

    Did any of these women say that Menendez didn’t pay them? That’s usually how it gets out in public, as in the Secret Service scandal. Pay your hookers, guys.

  44. 44
    Ruckus says:

    Nice. And I mean that in the positive way.

  45. 45
    WereBear says:

    @General Stuck: If anything, the fact that they are an American citizen makes is treason, don’t it?

  46. 46
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    A bit more than forty years ago my unit fought dedicated, non-uniformed insurgents. We occasionally fought them at ranges of twenty meters or less. Both sides were using conventional small arms. Those whom we killed were no more, or less, dead than someone killed by a drone.

    The U.S. at the same time was carpet bombing and chemically defoliating other areas of that nation. If drones obviate the need for such tactics then I’m all for them.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Yes, under the definition of treason in the Constitution, which was written narrowly as a reaction to the abuse of the concept of treason, for centuries, by the English monarchy.

  48. 48
    burnspbesq says:


    Is it Tuesday already?

    You might think it’s Tuesday if you unquestioningly accept everything that Dear Leader says.

  49. 49
    Sharl says:

    @Sharl: BTW, there wasn’t a lot of wingnutty rebuttal of Weigel’s scoldings, but what little there was went along the lines of ‘well now Menendez (and daughter) know how the Palins feel, and besides the daughter worked on dad’s campaign so it’s OK, BOOYAH we rool.’

    Yeah, I know, the logical equivalent of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, but without the madcap fun; SOP for that bunch.

  50. 50
    General Stuck says:


    “Treason” is a specific determination with procedures specified in the constitution. I think a couple of witnesses to the acts of treason must be documented, and other legal proceedings. When someone, citizen or not, is roaming a foreign battlefield with heavily armed combatants and has publicly allied themselves with that group as having declared war with the US, there is no need for such ‘treason’ proceedings. It is covered by every law of war. That is what war is. A kind of sanctioned lawlessness of kill or be killed. There are some basic rules to follow, but they don’t change the basic calculus of what declared war is.

  51. 51
    Xenos says:

    @Yutsano: My guess is that as a ‘white paper’ it is a general statement of the legal basis for drone attacks on American citizens under certain very limited circumstances. The point is that if someone is a member of al Qaeda who is actively undertaking to launch attacks on the US, you are a drone target regardless of nationality. This document was intended to be kept secret so long as it was politically useful, and then to be leaked out or surrendered to Congress in such a way as to minimize political damage.

    Presumably there is a real memo somewhere evaluating the al Awlaki case in detail, and is full of classified info that can not be released.

    I have not been keeping up, though: aside from al Awlaki himself, have there been any other US citizens targeted?

  52. 52
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: This, a thousand times this. People throw the word “treason” around all the damned time without caring that it has an actual definition under our constitution, is the only crime that does, and has very specific restrictions on what qualifies. My favorite people to laugh at were the people screaming that Julian Assange should be tried for treason. In the immortal words of Westley, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  53. 53
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @burnspbesq: LASIK isn’t covered by public or private insurance and has very high margins.

  54. 54
    Maude says:

    @General Stuck:
    Also, when someone that is a US Citizen in another country vows to kill US Citizens here through terrorism, they are an enemy to the US. As in enemies, foreign and domestic. The US government is supposed to protect us from the enemies.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    I’m reminded of an American citizen who was convicted of treason by Peru.

    Say what? How can an American citizen commit treason against any country but the United States?

    That’s how absurd the concept can get.

  56. 56
    Yutsano says:

    @Xenos: None that I’m aware of. Although if you listen to St Glenn we’re all targets just sitting back waiting for the government to have a convenient excuse to wipe us all out.

  57. 57
    Roger Moore says:


    What makes drones so special?

    I think there’s a combination of reasons, some of which are actually reasonable and some of which are bogus. Off the top of my head:

    1) Drones are the weapon of choice in parts of the war on terror that are legally questionable, e.g. killing American citizens without trial, incursions into Pakistan, etc. Because of this, questions about the legality of our actions inevitably involve drones, and they have become associated with actions of questionable legality.

    2) Drones are a new technology with unknown limits and long-term effects. Because of this, people are inherently skeptical of them and scared about their impact on warfare.

    3) People don’t understand drones very well, so they’re an easy topic to demagogue if you’re trying to fight against the whole military apparatus. Specifically, it’s easy to blur the line between remotely operated vehicles (drones as they exist today, not so scary) and largely autonomous killing machines (drones as they might exist in the future, very scary).

    4) Use of drones has stepped up rapidly under Obama, so people who want to criticize Obama specifically can concentrate on the evil of drones while letting the evil of the conventional warfare Bush used slide.

  58. 58
    gian says:

    @TG Chicago:
    Story is from fucker carlson’s daily gentleman caller

  59. 59
    eemom says:

    sheeyit….53 Open Threads out there and y’all gotta be deeerailing a s*x thread with Greenwaldy shit.

  60. 60
    Cassidy says:

    @Roger Moore:

    1) Drones are the weapon of choice… Bush used slide. Skynet

    Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    Skynet would be an extension of reason 3.

  62. 62
    Citizen_X says:

    @feebog: Vitter, hell. It’s a story about visiting Dominican prostitutes, possibly minor ones, and NOBODY has mentioned Rush Limbaugh?

  63. 63
    Poopyman says:

    @Roger Moore: You might add:

    6) Drones are moving off the battlefield into uses by local police, currently as a surveillence tool.

    7) As with any new technology, there’s a fear that its use will be expanded into arenas that will impact people in their everyday lives. (It’s the new Black Helicopter, but silent.)

    Aren’t these the same people that used to say “If you haven’t done anything wrong you have nothing to worry about”?

  64. 64
    Cassidy says:

    @Roger Moore: I really do wonder, though, how many people have a visceral dislike of rones because we (my generation) grew up in The Terminator era?

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Also possibly same sex ones. That should get the christianist wowsers all hot and bothered, shouldn’t it?

  66. 66
    Poopyman says:

    @Citizen_X: Well. I was going to ask if he took a stash of little blue pills, but I got distracted.

  67. 67
    Xenos says:

    @Yutsano: Glenn in is Brasil, so I guess he is a fair target. Too bad for him.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Aren’t these the same people that used to say “If you haven’t done anything wrong you have nothing to worry about”?

    Only if a Rethuglican is at the controls. If it’s a Dem, it’s worse than Hitler’s head sewed onto Stalin’s body.

  69. 69
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You forgot Mandingo’s penis and Mao’s silver tongue.

  70. 70
    handsmile says:


    Well, that and widespread regional and occasional national labor strikes, broader political representation, and a judicial system that actively pursues allegations of malfeasance by Italian political elites. (Of course, that system also convicts seismologists.)

    Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of that sort of “world-weary elan and sly amusement in this country. Except for the seismologists.

  71. 71
    Cassidy says:

    Jeebus Cthulu. Is it too much to ask to have a spam filter that recognizes the difference between an anatomical reference of a male reproductive organ and “I makes your pee pee get bigger!”?

  72. 72
    Ohmmade says:

    @Xenos: no.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Ed Drone says:

    Re: the alleged hooker. She was “under-age,” they say.

    18 years old.

    Under age? Most US laws indicate the age of consent is 16. If 18 is under age in the Dominican Republic, or under age for legal hookers, that’s one thing.


    And, given that the fucking accusation comes anonymously, it looks like a rat-fuck to me.

    Slime, innuendo, smears, and false accusations. Must be a Republican involved.


  75. 75
    gene108 says:


    I live in NJ and I’m waiting for this to get past the rumor mongering stage, before I bother to care.

    Right now there’s a story on a right-wing partisan website, with a bunch of unnamed sources.

    A campaign contributor, who is under investigation for something by the DOJ.

    I know it’s irresponsible not to speculate, but couldn’t the rest of the media do some actual journalism to see if the charges are true or not?

    Heck, it’s an excuse for a journalist, in a northeastern winter to book a flight to the Dominican Republic, in February, to do some gum-shoe work and track down sources.

    I’m wondering, why this hasn’t been done, if this is such a credible story?

  76. 76
    handsmile says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    {Pedant alert?]

    Lori Berenson, the American citizen to which you were referring, was convicted by Peruvian authorities in 2001 not for treason, but for collaboration with Tupac Amaru, a revolutionary group designated by both Peru and the US as a “terrorist organization.”

    Berenson was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment (minus jail-time served), but recent appellate decisions have released her on parole pending completion of her term in 2015.

  77. 77
    Narcissus says:


    “I makes your pee pee get bigger!”?

    That’s a hell of a talent

  78. 78
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Cluttered Mind: Given the Constitution was written by traitors it’s not surprising they defined treason very strictly to be “not what we did, really”.

  79. 79
    Poopyman says:

    @gene108: Well, let’s see. A Google search turns up the first hits as
    Daily Caller
    Daily Caller
    National Review
    Finally, NBC news- “NBC Touts Menendez Dismissing Prostitute Scandal as ‘False’ ”

    But, as Cokie would say. “It’s out there”.

  80. 80
    Hill Dweller says:

    I see the President is big-footing Cantor’s big speech by scheduling a press conference at the same time. For shame.

  81. 81
    Poopyman says:

    Also too, this US News item:

    The Daily Caller broke a story on the Drudge Report Thursday alleging New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez paid prostitutes for sex during a trip to the Dominican Republic.
    According to the story, Menendez agreed to pay two women $500 each for “sex acts.” In the end, according to the women, Menendez only doled out $100 each.
    It is an “October Surprise,” and one that in most circumstances would have damaging effects. But crisis management experts caution this scandal lacks key components necessary to catch fire and push Menendez off the 14-point lead he holds in his Senate race.

    That’s right boyz ‘n girls. Talk of Sandy and an October Surprise because this article is from November 1, 2012.

  82. 82
    catclub says:

    @Cluttered Mind: “In the immortal words of Westley,”

    No, it was Inigo Montoya. Whose father was killed by the six-fingered man. Who must now prepare to die.

    Inigo was telling Wallace Shawn all the things that Wesley had done to follow them. Wallace Shawn kept lisping inconthievable. Inigo then said, in immortal words:…

  83. 83
    LanceThruster says:

    Why can’t we keep these jobs in Uhmurika?

    Outsourcing has gone truly insane.

  84. 84
    Paul in KY says:

    @Ruckus: It’s probably the way it is used sometimes. Doesn’t seem to be enough oversight (sometimes) given about what innocent non-combatants may be unlucky enough to be interacting with the target at time the shoot order is given.

    IMO, blowing upo an innocent kid/mother whoever tends to inflame locals & can do more damage than just letting target go until you are 100% sure he & his minions are only ones in kill zone.

  85. 85
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @feebog: Yes. Vitter is still in Congress running his mouth. No shame at all.

  86. 86
    slateman says:

    PJ Harvey FTW!

  87. 87
    fuckwit says:

    Welcome to the America of Zardoz.

    The Penis is Evil, the Gun is Good

  88. 88
    gelfling545 says:

    @Origuy: No. One of them, who was apparently named, stated that she had never met him and never worked as a prostitute per TPM.

  89. 89
    fuckwit says:

    Actually, I think the full quote is here:

    Yeah, guns are fantastic, bring ’em on! However, the other thing, absolutely not!

  90. 90
    ruemara says:

    To chime in on the dronez topic, I don’t particularly care about them. Why? Because I find it odd that there’s such condemnation of their use against American targets-except that these are Americans who have abandoned their status, aligned themselves with organizations whose whole raison d’etre is to destroy America. If I just so happen to get shot holding the bag in a gun bust with my buddy who’s dealing, I’m still an accessory. If it turns out that I just so happened to be making up the flyers for Buddy’s Hash Den and Crack Emporium, I’m an accomplice. If I don’t surrender immediately, I will be risking my life. While I get the issues behind it and personally would prefer that there be some level of oversight at a judicial level, transparent processes and limits on use in general population (despite that being the obvious reason why terrorists are living among general populations), when I hear the outraged screeching about anyone doing it must be evil, loves killing, etc., etc., etc. It’s hyperbole. You’re not going to be targeted because you sat with Occupy Wall Street. You’re not going to be killed abroad because you’re working with Greenpeace. It’s being presented as “This President is taking an outrageous stance that American Citizens can be assassinated without any sort of due process”, when it’s fairly clear that these are Americans who have elected to join terrorists organizations and moved into a leadership capacity in them, targeting fellow Americans. Too simple on one side, too simple on the other. I’m not sure what the solution is. I have military friends, kids I’ve known since they were teens. I don’t want them sneaking into tribal areas to do covert ops. I don’t want Afghani kids killed because the adults in the village are giving shelter to AQ. I’d prefer diplomatic solutions, but I don’t know what they’d look like. I’d love to believe that if we just had tea and offered schools and medicine, this could be over. But I also know I have a terrible streak of naive. It’s far too complicated for the outrage corps.

  91. 91
    Xenos says:

    @ruemara: Did Lincoln care too much about due process for the Confederate soldiers on the battlefield?

    This must be one of those cases where I am just missing the point entirely.

    Further edit: is anyone else reading section I of this memo? Everybody is elaborating complex possibilities out of the later sections, but Section I puts it all into context — without the AUMF none of this applies.

  92. 92
    General Stuck says:


    I think the Obama administration is trying to mollify all critics, especially those on the left, and has ended up muddying the simple proposition you state, the AUMF and bolstered by the UN resolution on AQ. And in so doing have given those critics more material to parse their scattershot rationale for even more criticism. I have no sympathy for this kind of ploy to have it both ways, so the administration can deal with their sloppy attempts at over explaining for political effect.

  93. 93
    TG Chicago says:

    @gian: Thanks!

  94. 94
    agua fruta says:

    Really, y’all? I agree that a politician privately hiring an of-age sex worker has nothing necessarily to do with his office. BUT…. there are plenty of prostitutes in the great states of America. PLENTY. And for the price of a private jet flight to the DR, I have no doubt you can get a very fine selection of prostitutes indeed. A person goes to all the trouble to fly to Thailand or the DR for sex when what they want is not OK in the US, whether it’s because it’s a man who doesn’t want to be caught hiring male prostitutes or because it’s someone who wants to pay for sex with minors, and that’s where you do it. I’d think twice about reflexively leaping to this guy’s defense. Would you do the same for this guy?

    I’m not calling for his head or anything without evidence, just saying that it’s totally reasonable to be suspicious when known child-trafficking sex destinations like the DR or Thailand are involved.

  95. 95
    Ruckus says:

    I get the point of why people are questioning drones. My point is that war sucks, there is always “collateral damage”, as well as friendly deaths. Is this a weapon which lessens those damages? We’ve been told it does and I’m going to choose to believe that for now. I’m sure it lessens friendly deaths, how it does on collateral damage, that ship hasn’t come in yet.

    So to make my point even finer what we should be questioning is if we should even be fighting in a war type environment(military). Or would this be better done(or is it even possible) as an covert operation? Or should it be a (far cheaper) peace corp type as someone up thread pointed out, schools and hospitals, etc?
    I don’t have any answers except that if we are going to be at war, we should use the most precision, pinpoint weapons we have, to reduce death and destruction as much as possible. Drones are said to do that.
    It is like arguing about AR-15s vs semi auto handguns vs 30 round hunting rifles vs shotguns, etc, etc. They all kill, they have all been used for illegal killings, those are the leaves we are discussing and so we are not talking about the forest. Hell one would barely know there was a forest.

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