Later Night Open Thread

Spent the night with commenter Kdaug, and we enjoyed the smooth tones of soft jazz for a bit before calling it quits. I’m glad to see the Paul filibuster is over and we can all stop pretending to give a fuck about this administration or any other’s policies regarding not only drone warfare but targeted killing of Americans. As I learned in a thread earlier today, these issues don’t matter because cops kill Americans every day without due process. Also too- KORESH! WACO!

Seriously. That’s the fucking argument some of you guys made in the previous thread. I won’t even go into the fucking Civil War/Sherman arguments being made because I have too much respect for myself, even with .10 BAC, and life is too fucking short. I’ll be honest- that kind of fucking blinding stupidity makes life a lot easier. Why- I don’t need to worry about cancer killing lots of Americans anymore, because obesity and heart disease kill more.

Obama and Holder are creating precedents that will send all of you into fits of apoplexy when the next GOP administration endorses them. Rand Paul is an opportunistic douchebag. Those are not mutually exclusive concepts.

But, like I said in an earlier thread, it really doesn’t matter, because the security apparatus will live on. I can bitch about it all I want, and nothing will fucking change, because the profit at General Dynamics and Raytheon are more important. Even in a Democratic administration. Even when the President is “our” guy. Even during sequester.

One of our nation’s most profitable industries is killing brown people, so it only makes sense we would want to set a groundwork for legal and “constitutional” means to expand that profitable industry to the domestic arena. And while I agree with Mistermix we should focus on the killing, we won’t.

So, dickheads, shit on Anne Laurie all you want, but she’s right in many regards and you’re more than likely a sociopath. And let’s not even delve into the fact that a differing opinion from yours sends you into fits of apoplexy so bad you need to unleash vitriolic bullshit on her. And I am not even going to go into the way some of you people talk to her. You talked to me like that in that thread and it would be middle fingers for everyone. But at least your jaundiced views have a soundtrack:

It’s all just about national security until you or your family are the one being blown up. But hey- cops kill innocent people every day, so let’s not get all freaked out or anything.

Fuck you.

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190 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    Was it sodium pentothal shooters night at the jazz club?

  2. 2
    bnut says:

    Doing my “good white boy thing” and watching the Wire for the first time, just ended season 4. Seems to me we are arguing over omelets when we should be arguing over eggs. (throws grenade and runs for cover).

  3. 3
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Obama and Holder are creating precedents that will send all of you into fits of apoplexy when the next GOP administration endorses them.

    What precedent? Seriously, I’m confused by this whole argument. Am I missing something? Can you explain? If the “precedent” isn’t the Whiskey Rebellion, isn’t the Civil War, isn’t Dorner, isn’t dont-tase-me-bro, like, seriously, what is it? I mean specifically using deadly force against Americans, not the surveillance state which is ridiculous. (But Americans seem very, very reluctant to craft anything like privacy laws. Even HIPAA is quite limited. But I digress.)

    I certainly don’t see what Holder said the other day that was so awful. And I don’t know what this s00per sekr1t killz Murkans clause is in NDAA because nobody has ever explained it.

    There is a long history of unconstitutional “lock up those commie labor leaders/pacifists/commies/dfhs/furriners/commie furriners” laws being passed during wartime. Is that what NDAA does? Or did we already pass all the anti-furriner stuff we were gonna get (taking fingerprints at the border, for example)? I haven’t seen any labor leaders get thrown in jail and charged with capital offenses yet… nor have I heard about them surveilling Trumka with dronezzz… but maybe that comes later?

    I’m not big on nebulous terror and hand-waving that you’ll get me the details later. Details now, please.

  4. 4
    Xenos says:

    Cole, did you even read that thread?

    The political context of the Randibuster is the whole fucking story, not the moral relativism exposed when people point out that the most prominent anti-droners are full of crap.

    Is it a moral disaster that so many innocent kids are killed by drone strikes in Pakistan? Absolutely, but that is not the point. Paul does not give a damn about kids in Pakistan. He give a damn about deliberately misconstruing a sensible if troublesome policy as the first step of Obama zapping his enemies like the evil Kirk in the alternate-universe Star Trek episode.

    He is feeding quarters into the wingnut wurlitzer, and here we have fucking lefties getting up to dance. They should know better. You should know better.

  5. 5
    Anne Laurie says:

    Appreciated, Cole.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    @

    Labor leaders? Eugene V. Debs was jailed for sedition under the modified Espionage Act, which did (and does) carry the possibility of the death penalty.

    There’s so, so much deeply troublesome involved in this whole byzantine ‘national security’ imbroglio that, rather than getting lost in the weeds right this minute, would just for a moment like to focus on one focused quandary.

    Which is, the CIA. That agency has been delegated control over use and deployment of the majority of drones used in attacks (which, in now operating as a black-budget paramilitary organization, is a Gargantuan Problem in and of itself). Should mission creep extend such authority, control and use to operating inside the borders – absent specific enabling legislation, debate, and quite possibly recognized oversight and concomitant penalties of any kind, that is a major (and horrendous) alteration in the mandate for the agency and effectively removes its legal operational limitations.

  7. 7
    Xenos says:

    @NotMax: Who won the cold war? It looks like the CIA and the KGB did.

  8. 8
    cat48 says:

    I was in my teens watching all the protests in the US when Kent State happened, I was shocked & horrified that the National Guard shot & killed unarmed students. It took me a long time to get over that because I didn’t know they would or could do that before then. The things I’ve seen since then affect me less. I’m worried about War in general in the Middle East. We have made a lot of enemies. That bothers me more than a hypothetical drone strike at a cafe in San Francisco. I just don’t see that happening.

  9. 9
    piratedan says:

    @Another Halocene Human: well come on now…. the CIA has been killing people at least as far back as the Ford Administration… but hey, I’m just another guy whose outrage meter is on empty.

    While I get the fact that my government is doing some seriously hinky shit out there, I’m also aware that for as long as I can remember that has always been the case and while I’d like to think that perhaps these guys in office are less evil than the previous guys; there are a boatload of injustices on the laundry list that are just as fucking deadly, be it death by Republicans (brought to you by the Moral Austerity Panel of Your Betters) or by the Coat Hanger Brigade of Slut Watchers Local 603 and that’s just within our borders. If you take into account the people that have every right to be pissed with us as we’ve played the global grand game in the time honored tradition of other great powers, well hey, now we’ve got an exponential number that boggles the mind. The thing is, we’ve done just as shitty a job as the Brits and Soviets and the French and the Japanese before us. Doesn’t excuse us, just saying that those in power don’t always act in the interest of the common good, if you can even define what the fuck that even is.

    Does it make it right for us to bomb people, fuck no but at least these guys that they are supposedly targeting have declared themselves our country’s mortal enemies out in public (unlike the Koch Brothers). Ever since war has been developed to be waged at a distance (you can blame the fucker who made the first bow or the guy who came up with the catapult, your pick) we’ve been impersonally killing each other for at least a few millennium now, if you want to be outraged because it’s being done in a cubicle and a joystick instead of pulling a lever of a catapult or trebuchet or even punching a button to drop your payload that is your right to do so. I don’t like it any more than you do, I would much rather watch my tax dollars go to building schools and feeding people and exploring space but the country you and I live in is populated by a good many people who never paid attention in school, would rather watch wipeout and the bachelor and dancing with the stars than try to dissect the nuances of who’s job in the Government it is to actually submit and pass legislation while being told that both sides do it and the guy in charge, hey… did you notice his skin pigmentation issue?

    What I guess I want to get to is this… what isn’t there going on that needs to be fixed. Yes, we should hold the good guys to higher standards, but I also firmly believe that damn near any move made by THIS administration is going to brings howls of outrage regardless if they are made cynically or in good faith. Plus the rules have changed, the folks that have declared war on us don’t honor national boundaries or observe any of our first world suppositions and based on how the great game has been played by all of the players in the game, I get why they do what they do. Doesn’t mean that I don’t want my government not to act to keep “us” safe.

  10. 10
    Schlemizel says:

    I have been visiting here less recently for a lot of little reasons none having anything to do with the blog. Looks like I chose a good time to step away. As great a bunch of people as there are around here we sure can treat each other as badly as the trolls when the topic is right.

  11. 11
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “Obama and Holder are creating precedents that will send all of you into fits of apoplexy when the next GOP administration endorses them.”

    Many on the Left are alarmed by President Obama’s use of drones against US citizens without any oversight. It’s going to take Dems in Congress to get alarmed about this enough to regulate when drones can be used in this manner and how such actions are monitored. Looks like right now Congressional Dems are riding along with the President (or so it seems). Not good.

  12. 12
    moderateindy says:

    And let’s not even delve into the fact that a differing opinion from yours sends you into fits of apoplexy so bad you need to unleash vitriolic bullshit on her

    Cole: Hello pot this is the kettle….you’re black.

  13. 13

    The U.S. Air Force attempted to use an F-15 to down a U.S. jetliner on 9-11. Would using a drone be any more or less horrible?

    I suspect this is the type of scenerio Holder could not rule out.

  14. 14
    Xenos says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Many on the Left are alarmed by President Obama’s use of drones against US citizens without any oversight. It’s going to take Dems in Congress to get alarmed about this enough to regulate when drones can be used in this manner and how such actions are monitored. Looks like right now Congressional Dems are riding along with the President (or so it seems). Not good.

    Here you go again. Obama is ‘using drones against US citizens’, moreover, ‘without any oversight’? Aside from Alaki, name a citizen he has targeted? And the oversight, or lack thereof, is based on the AUMF and the Constitution. How has he violated these? I don’t like the policy much either, but the idea that Obama lacks the legal authority to do what he has done is ridiculous.

    And the idea of Obama’s drone policy setting a bad precedent for Republicans is so historically misinformed as to be laughable. They don’t need an example, and have done, and will continue to do, much worse.

  15. 15
    kindness says:

    C’mon John, don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

    Haven’t seen Ann’s thread. Not sure I want to. Maybe there’s a little Glenn Greenwald in most of us. Maybe there should be.

  16. 16
    Keith G says:

    Cole some of us do find it very stunning that so many are so complacent about the creeping erosion of firm lines in the social contract. Arguments over the proper limits of executive authority was the engine that drove much of the political action from 1775 through 1787 and well beyond.

    What I find disappointing now is how tribal it seems to have become for some folks. IOKIYAR has a sister, IOKIYAD. And it’s better than okay if that Democrat is our current president.

    The NBC report on the leaked document and Paul’s noise making is leading this administration to have to do what has seemed most unwilling to do – extend it’s promises of transparency and openness to the “drone program”.

    But make no mistake here. It’s more than the physical use of these machines. It’s about decision making and about openness as an executive grapples with intersection of technology, due process and other civil liberties.

    Part of Obama’s legacy will be the precedents and limits he creates by his actions in this area.

  17. 17
    kindness says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    It’s going to take Dems in Congress to get alarmed about this enough to

    Hahahahaha. DiFi is my Senator and she is every bit the nutcase where ‘State Security’ is the code word. In all honesty I think that very few elected officials are with John on the drone thing. Teahaddists will claim they are but as soon as one of their fundamentalists is running the show they would support the burning of The Bill of Rights just to get the DFHs and howl if their guy didn’t.

    What we need are the Radicle Quakers Brigade.

  18. 18

    @The Other Bob: Lots of variation there, as a drone doesn’t question, it just executes its commands. People make decisions every moment about what happens next.

    @Keith G:

    It’s about decision making and about openness as an executive grapples with intersection of technology, due process and other civil liberties.

    The Legislature has ceded its authority to the Executive, and now we see what exactly that entails. Tech has allowed the commoditization of assassination – it’s like being hit man for the world. Make a phone call, and boom! One less “enemy.” Sorry about the wedding party.

    Two ways out: Congress reasserts its authority, or somehow this tangled web gets set on fire by a Supreme Court decision. Niether of those futures is attainable under current circumstances. I suppose another way is for the Executive to undo some of what has been done. I suppose pigs can also fly outta my ass while I pee rainbows.

    Ah, due process, what a quaint concept. The Sixth Amendment simply does not translate well to a world of GPS targetting systems and a nation of sheep asleep at the fucking switch. All this hand-wringing about “cops kill people every day,” and “It started with Bush/Reagan/Ford/Kent State/Treaty of Versailles/Magna Carta” is all well and fine, but doesn’t answer the question of what citizens choose to do about Executive-sanctioned assassinations.

    Anne Laurie, you’re doing just fine. I enjoy reading your posts.

  19. 19
    p.a. says:

    It certainly is an intractable problem. Paul is perhaps ‘right for the wrong reasons’. But any alliance between left civil-libertarians and right libertarians is impossible because the rightists can’t be trusted to defend them when the Wurlitzer cranks up the ‘Soft on (pick your)-ism meme.

  20. 20
    burnspbesq says:

    Fuck you right back, John. You’re not thinking clearly on this issue, even when you’re sober.

  21. 21
    burnspbesq says:

    but she’s right in many regards

    No, she’s not, not even a little bit, and she continues to double down on the stupidity on a daily basis.

  22. 22
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    Obama and Holder are creating precedents that will send all of you into fits of apoplexy when the next GOP administration endorses them.

    And as has been repeatedly said, that boat sailed when President Washington calmly and reasonably dealt with Daniel Shays by calling up the Continental Army.

    The ‘precedents’ are in American history. The ‘precedents’ are in the AUMF. Hell, the ‘precedents’ were there under Dubya. But as long as Soccer Mom is afraid Abdul and Mohammed are gonna blow up her hair salon, well… I’m sure President Paul and his Four Rights Good, Two Rights Bad approach to government will fix it. Eventually. Someday.

  23. 23
    Cassidy says:

    Fuck you.

    Uh yeah, we get that everyday when your little drawing monkey comes in here and shits all over the place. What else you got cat lady?

  24. 24
    brantl says:

    The whole problem with any of the security measurss is that, untile the citizens of the United States sack up, and realize that there will always be tradeoffs between the so-called “security” we have and the liberties we lose, any security measure taken by any administration will be solely opposed by the ACLU, and no one will back them up. Because, the minute anybody, anywhere gets injured, some shitheel will say, “You shouldn’t have revoked this 1984-esque act!”, every Goddamn time.

  25. 25
    Gex says:

    My biggest issue with this is the glibertarian douchebags who just rail against Obama. Not because they are railing against drones targeting Americans. But because of the fact that the pacifistic component of the Democratic party was beaten out of the body politic by assholes who preferred to vote for tax cuts over these issues all along. How long did they expect Democrats to withstand the weak on security, weak on crime criticisms? Why do we have to hippie punch in our culture? Surely libertarians understand incentives right?

    You want options to chose from? Don’t beat one side up for providing the options you’ll want down the road.

  26. 26
    burnspbesq says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    It’s going to take Dems in Congress to get alarmed about this enough to regulate when drones can be used in this manner and how such actions are monitored.

    No, actually it’s going to require a Constitutional amendment.

    Article III makes the President the Commander in Chief. There’s nothing in there about “subject to such llimitations as Congress may prescribe.” The Commander-in-Chief power is essentially plenary. And yes, I know I just agreed with John Yoo; he may not be right about anything else, but he’s right about that.

    Nothing in Article I clearly states, or can easily be read to infer, that Congress, in declaring war, can put limitations on the scope of that declaration that allow it to micro-manage the conduct of the war. The Framers left those decisions to the Commander in Chief.

    The best you can come up with from a Constitutional perspective is Congress’ ability to impose limitations on the use of appropriated funds. Explain how that’s going to work in real time.

  27. 27
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @brantl: @Gex:

    This and this.

  28. 28

    I don’t particularly care how someone dies, but when you discuss wrongful police,shootings, there is the possibility of accountability.

    As currently construed, if POTUS decided to off someone via death from above, we would have no knowledge of the party’s likely guilt or innocence, no knowledge of why this action and any resultant collateral damage was necessary, and zero accountability beyond that which the executive allowed.

    But Cole is right. Nothing will be done regardless. So welcome to the home of the brave. Try to,avoid any weddings and funerals.

  29. 29
    Face says:

    Has Paul drafted legislation to limit the military in this fashion? If not, why? Oh yeah, because he’s all talk and no action, and really doesnt give a shit beyond the theater of it all.

  30. 30

    Not quite as epic as some of the rants of old but this wasn’t bad for a guy who is out of practice. Get Cole away from the menagerie and the old JC we all knew and loved comes back! Welcome home, brother, I’ve been missing you.

  31. 31
    Rex Everything says:

    Thanks for posting this, Cole. Sooner or later you were gonna have to take a stand. The sociopaths have had their run of this place far too long.

  32. 32
    Alex says:

    @burnspbesq: You’d probably prefer it that this site revert to the ABL and Zandar playbook — “LOOK AT THOSE VENAL RETHUGLICANS, etc.” I have no doubt you relish their posts and “heh, indeed” their propaganda. The facts of the matter are that: (1) Both ABL and Zandar are breathlessly stupid apologists for the Obama Administration and (2) Cole is incontestably right that this administration is involving itself in criminal behavior that would have been called as such under the last administration. Re-examine your priorities.

  33. 33
    Soonergrunt says:

    “And let’s not even delve into the fact that a differing opinion from yours sends you into fits of apoplexy so bad you need to unleash vitriolic bullshit on her”
    Pots, kettles, etc.

  34. 34
    Rommie says:

    If Rand Paul wasn’t lying out of every orifice, I *might* take his argument seriously. But if it’s his side in control of the drones, they’ll crank out so many it’ll look like the 8th Air Force over Europe when they fly, and Paul will wave his pom-poms along with his colleagues.

    Getting the Democratic base upset with Obama is the goal, and it’s working better than some of the other distractions the Republicans have thrown at the wall.

    Do I wish the president had limited, transparent options to use deadly force on his say-so? Absolutely. I also want any actions taken run competently, and not put Beavis and Butt-Head in charge of carrying out the mission.

    But really, until Obama orders the use of Nuclear Weapons on two civilian populations, he’s got a LONG way to go in the ginned-up (almost literally in this case) outrage department. Law and Order: UAV will happen first.

  35. 35
    Ash says:

    Obama and Holder are creating precedents

    Um, except…..they’re not? They’re actually clarifying the policies that have already been in place for years?

  36. 36
    Anya says:

    I wish Paul has continued with his filibuster. We need to have a contestation about these issues. I am so mad at Obama admin for making me support Rand Paul.

  37. 37
    Alex says:

    One can always gauge who the real frauds are in the drone debate by noticing who mentions police brutality or the drug war first. In this context, beyond being the prototypical red herring, the accusation of white privilege is the last refuge of scoundrels. Mentioning it, by definition, removes one as a serious participant in the conversation.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-

    And as has been repeatedly said, that boat sailed when President Washington calmly and reasonably dealt with Daniel Shays by calling up the Continental Army.

    Nearly a full century prior to passage of the Posse Comitatus Act and also before the Insurrection Act became law.

  39. 39
    Rafer Janders says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Article III makes the President the Commander in Chief. There’s nothing in there about “subject to such llimitations as Congress may prescribe.” The Commander-in-Chief power is essentially plenary. And yes, I know I just agreed with John Yoo; he may not be right about anything else, but he’s right about that. Nothing in Article I clearly states, or can easily be read to infer, that Congress, in declaring war, can put limitations on the scope of that declaration that allow it to micro-manage the conduct of the war. The Framers left those decisions to the Commander in Chief.

    Except Article I says that:

    “Congress hall have the power….

    To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

    To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

    To provide and maintain a navy;

    To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

    To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

    Congress has the power “to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.” The Constitution gives the legislature a great deal of authority to control how and when military forces is used and exercised, and the fact that the president is the C-in-C does not mean that Congress has no authority.

    The President may be the CEO. But Congress is the Board. And being CEO does not allow the CEO to do absolutely anything he wants to do without Board oversight. It’s “Commander-in-Chief”, not “supreme warlord” or “Generalissimo.”

  40. 40
    Xenos says:

    @NotMax: You talk about the Posse Comitatus act like it were a good thing meant to protect us from tyranny rather than a license to lynch.

  41. 41
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Hey John, fuck you too.

    But in a good way.

  42. 42
    Xenos says:

    @Rafer Janders: Except Congress gave the President the power to bemb/drone important al-Qaida members, irregarding their citizenship status. Now Obama has this power, guess who can take it away from him?

    I am beginning to warm up to the theory this is all a giant, sustained trolling of Congress to compel them to do their job and end the AUMF. This may well be the only way to get the republicans on board – let the teahadis think Obama is gunning for their hoverrounds.

  43. 43
    kc says:

    John, you are the man.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    @Xenos

    Um, no. Expressed no value judgments one way or the other whatsoever in my comment.

    Merely pointing out that precedent, as suggested in the original comment, is not eternal.

  45. 45
    Cassidy says:

    Oh God! I made a disparaging comment on a blog. I’m going to hide from the drones that are surely out in force looking for me.

  46. 46
    Lee says:

    Obama and Holder are creating precedents that will send all of you into fits of apoplexy when the next GOP administration endorses them. Rand Paul is an opportunistic douchebag. Those are not mutually exclusive concepts.

    I made this point over & over again with my Republican friends when Bush Jr was in office. They were just as clueless.

  47. 47
    uila says:

    Or to quote Bushwick Bill:

    Fuck those unknown motherfuckers

    Here it is to start your day off right.

    You’re welcome.

  48. 48
    Xenos says:

    @NotMax: Point taken. One might also point out that Shays rebellion predated the constitution itself. I suppose someone ought to check out the legal basis for Washington’s response to the Whiskey Rebellion, as that was post-enactment.

  49. 49
    am says:

    Regular lurker here.

    Just poking my head up to say I agree with you. How hard is it to issue an executive order clearly barring the use of drones to kill American people on American soil? The political considerations behind it are irrelevant – if a coalition of Cheney, Ailes, and Addington supported it then I would still have to, also.

  50. 50
    jamick6000 says:

    Charles Krauthammer: In defense of Obama’s drone war

    http://www.timesdispatch.com/o.....10aef.html

  51. 51
    Xenos says:

    @am: Do we need an executive order clearly barring the use of piloted airplanes to kill American people on American soil, too?

    How about an executive order disallowing dropping rebars from orbit on Rand Paul’s district?

  52. 52
    chopper says:

    Obama and Holder are creating precedents that will send all of you into fits of apoplexy when the next GOP administration endorses them.

    since when do GOP administrations give a shit about ‘precedent’ when it comes to military and national security matters? what ‘precedent’ did bush point to when he sold the war in iraq? what ‘precedent’ did reagan point to when he sold arms to iran for hostages and to secretly fund the contras?

    if some future GOP d-bag wants to drone a bunch of shit, the only ‘precedent’ he’ll give a shit about is that the technology exists in the first place. he’d do it whether or not the previous president did or refused to.

    half of the posts on this blog are towards the fact that the GOP plays calvinball on everything. now they’re suddenly going to feel hemmed in by what a democrat once decided? bullshit, cole.

  53. 53
    chopper says:

    @Xenos:

    ah, but you’re both forgetting about the helicopters!

    okay, so manned planes, check. unmanned planes, check. helicopters, check.

    what about an autogyro? shit, as executive orders go this is going to be a ten-pager.

  54. 54
    Hawes says:

    Holder’s answer to Cruz’s question is why nuance is impossible in government. Ex parte Milligan is pretty clear that the military cannot be used where the courts are open. That’s the binding precedent, and Holder acknowledged that in his answer.

    But is there a hypothetical situation where a drone could be used on American soil? Sure. To acknowledge that is to acknowledge that there are an almost infinite number of scenarios that require the use of force. Hey, maybe a hijacked plane headed to the Super Bowl? Maybe Bruce Willis isn’t available for Die Hard 8: The Viagraing.

    Congress needs to write a law making all this clear. But the idea that Holder said drones will kill you in your sleep rejects the idea that a century and half of established law can be overturned by Eric Holder.

  55. 55
    gvg says:

    Drone use in the US would be quite visable and is getting more so. I can’t see any future president having the real power to do secret assasinations. Not if I understand what drones are anyway. The big moral problem with using them overseas is collateral damage-killing lots of bystanders. That seems to add up to how the heck are these things even likely to be useful here except under really dire circumstance (like the 911 hijacked airplane) where anyone smart is likely to order a drone used and when they do we are all going to know about it and if it was stupidly done someone will be held accountable. The 911 airplane scenario was shoot down plane with say 60 innocent passengers versus 1000 innocent people in a giant office building. As I recall the pre fall estimates of the tower population was higher but for some reason a lot of people weren’t in the tower…evacuation partially a sucess and something about the timing I don’t recall. I also recall the reason it wasn’t done was they didn’t actually locate a hijacked plane to shoot down, the orders were after the really hijacked planes hit, it was just we didn’t know if there were more.

    I read somewhere that Jefferson thought sometimes a president might have to do something illegal for the good of all but if he did, he should explain and face the voters after. I’m thinking it was something to do with the Louisiana purchase…opportunity to double size of country fell in his lap, he promised money but Congress could have disavowed it. Leaving him screwed politically. My impression is he had written about the scenario before the purchase thing happened. At any rate I don’t see drone kills within the US as secret. the only reason the public doesn’t know every drone kill overseas is we just don’t follow that news in that kind of detail. Here in the US it would be different and also I think we are each and all more expert in any context of a theoretical use. We know about ourselves and are more likely to know who is a real enemy and what a real danger would be. Overseas we know we don’t know as much so we go with what our government tells us. I worry because I think our government (and military)is us and I think we are not as expert as we should be etc.

  56. 56
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Cassidy:

    Uh yeah, we get that everyday when your little drawing monkey comes in here and shits all over the place. What else you got cat lady?

    lolz

  57. 57
    Xenos says:

    @chopper: What about non-mechanical conveyances? I am concerned about uplifted birds who could drop anthrax-laden feces on Klan meetings. Or burrowing machines like the one in Transformers 2.

  58. 58
    MomSense says:

    @Anya:

    The Obama administration MADE you support Rand Paul?? If you want to support that racist, ass take responsibility for it yourself.

    This whole thing is such BS! There are no new precedents being set here. Even a cursory knowledge of our history would make that plain.

    And I don’t want to hear anything more about how Obama is using drones to kill brown people and somehow we Obots don’t care. You don’t know the first thing about the situation in Yemen or Pakistan. Talk to humanitarian workers–they can’t comment on blogs or write op-eds. They want assassins. Has it occurred to anyone that the same people we are targeting because they plan and execute terrorist attacks on us are also doing incredibly nasty shit to the most vulnerable there? Has that ever occurred to you? If you hate the use of drones in Pakistan–then go there and see what is going on. I have heard the accounts from friends about what happens. It is horrific. If you want to defend the innocent victims of drones, you may want to get to know them first.

    Until then enough with this phony defender of the less fortunate schtick. It is pathetic.

  59. 59
    chopper says:

    @Xenos:

    indeed. also, ornithopters.

  60. 60
    MomSense says:

    @am:

    What if one of those Americans had a dirty bomb? What if one of those Americans was about to do something to his/her fellow Americans that was so despicable?

    So are you saying that the American citizens who might be killed or harmed grievously have fewer rights or are less important than the citizen who wants to kill or harm them?

    I truly want to know. Because I think that is all kinds of messed up.

  61. 61
    cleek says:

    Obama and Holder are creating precedents

    no, they aren’t.

    settle the fuck down.

  62. 62
    Freemark says:

    Police don’t kill innocent people, John. If shot they are guilty. Sure, they may not have committed a crime, But damaging a police officers bullet is the same as assaulting a police officer. At least it seams that is how the law reads.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    @chopper

    Blimps, zeppelins, hot air balloons, gliders, radio-controlled hobby units, rocket-propelled Frisbees.

    Not to mention H. G. Wells’ Wings Over the World dropping the Gas of Peace.

  64. 64
    Li says:

    I believe the current statistic is an American is roughly 800 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist, even including overseas killings.

    But let’s keep building an unaccountable police state. Go ahead, give them tanks in every town, and flying death machines. God knows, terrrists might get us!

  65. 65
    burnspbesq says:

    @Alex:

    I’ll “re-examine my priorities” as soon as you show me an error in my analysis.

    Take all the time you need.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    After reading this rant by Cole, I went back and read through the Anne Laurie thread from last night. Unless some people got ban-hammered and their comments were deleted, I don’t see anything different than the usual military/national security thread stuff.

    Also, FWIW, Civil War precedents are perfectly reasonable in a discussion of hypothetical situations in which the US government might use military force against US citizens within the territorial US. The Civil War was, after all, a situation in which military force was used against US citizens within the territorial US. Can one compare and contrast that example with any hypothetical that one creates? Of course, but the Civil War is still a legitimate part of the discussion.

  67. 67
    Peter says:

    Differing opinions send who into fits of apoplexy, again?

    the accusation of white privilege is the last refuge of scoundrels

    Why, because it complicates an issue that you want clear-cut so you can feel morally superior?

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @MomSense

    Those hypotheticals fall under “imminent danger,” which is a whole ‘nother species, involving complicity in actual, not aspirational, activities designed to spread destruction, injury and mayhem.

    So are you saying that the American citizens who might be killed or harmed grievously have fewer rights or are less important than the citizen who wants to kill or harm them?

    What about non-citizens residing here who would also be subject to harm?

    None have “fewer rights” – that’s a specious argument. Legally, they all purportedly have equal rights. Lawlessness is not a right.

  69. 69
    liberal says:

    @MomSense:

    You don’t know the first thing about the situation in Yemen or Pakistan.

    If you knew the first thing about Pakistan, you’d know that our actions there and in Afghanistan are likely contributing to the destabilization of Pakistan.

  70. 70
    Redshirt says:

    I don’t understand what’s going on. Hep!

  71. 71
    liberal says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I might agree, but The Worlds Biggest Blowhard Lawyer is referring to a situation where war has already been declared:

    Nothing in Article I clearly states, or can easily be read to infer, that Congress, in declaring war, can put limitations on the scope of that declaration that allow it to micro-manage the conduct of the war.

    In which case, he’s probably right.

  72. 72
    kindness says:

    OK, so let’s prioritize. I think liberals and libertarians can agree that:

    1) The Patriot Act is an abomination.
    2) The AUMF needs to be scrapped.

    Now, I’m talking little l libertarians, not the Sully ones. So what can be done? Honestly just as pointed out by many nothing until we have some representation in the Senate and the House. Sanders might carry a bill in the Senate. Possibly Frankin but the powers that be on both sides of the aisle LIKE the current status quo. It gives them ‘plausible deniability’. The don’t want their hands publicly dirtied even when we all see they have filthy hands.

    Much of the issue is theater. The potential bad things that can happen to our form of government and rules wrt them being taken to extremes. But both the Patriot Act and the AUMF have already actually subverted our government to a Police State. We know this to be true simply by the court cases that have been thrown out because of those.

    Can anything be done? I for one do not have high hopes.

    Having said that, you all could be nicer to people you don’t agree with. What are you, 13 year olds just getting your first taste at internet anonymity? Flame wars are not a sign of maturity. And I’ll be the first to admit to not regularly being able to follow my own guidance. Now it’s your turn.

  73. 73
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: “…the Civil War is still a legitimate part of the discussion.”
    Unless one is trying to limit the discussion only to grounds upon which one feels one can win without a great deal of effort.

  74. 74
    General Stuck says:

    Oh shut the fuck up you drunken trainwreck. You got some nads though, or courage from the bottle to be calling people sociopaths with your history. We are sorry you are confused and twisted up inside from your past actions and belief, but this bullshit is beyond the pale. Go to an AA meeting and maybe a priest to absolve you from your sins.

    And no, I have never, and will never be sad and protest the death of AQ members by drone or six shooter. Whether a republican president or a dem one. But they need to do everything humanly possible to not make mistakes. The only reason Al Alwaki didn’t bring down two air liners was a shitty bomb maker for a detonator. And really, Rand fucking Paul.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Soonergrunt: Yeah, no legal precedent is ever perfectly on point. No historical analogy is ever perfectly aligned with the present day situation. This doesn’t me that one cannot use them. If they are too far afield, they can easily be knocked down. I am interested in why Cole rejects the Civil War analogies.

  76. 76
    General Stuck says:

    And once again for you information challenger emoters, George Bush was the first to use a drone to kill an American citizen in Yemen. Back in 2002. So the lame precedent setting accusation against Obama is false and lame.

  77. 77
    MomSense says:

    @NotMax:

    Yes it is about imminent danger and if you read Holder’s comment that has Rand so fired up–that is exactly what he was talking about. He cited a Pearl Harbor or 9-11 type of attack!!

  78. 78
    Cassidy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: because he was drunk and it sounded good.

  79. 79
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I didn’t even think it was a bad thread by drone-thread standards. More substance than usual except for “some guy” and his “you all love dead babies, but not me!” routine.

  80. 80
    General Stuck says:

    @MomSense:

    I don’t think there is a court in the world that wouldn’t consider it an imminent danger after two failed attempts with bombs to bring down airliners. So what some are saying is we need to make sure the third bomb is going to go off, and then we can use a drone on the perpetrators. That is insane on its face, especially when Al Alwaki is going on AQ teevee telling the world that basically they are working on it/ Now who again are the sociopaths on this issue?

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I agree with you, but I was a part of what I thought was the “substantive” discussion portion of the thread and didn’t want seem self-congratulatory. I do wonder if there is some stuff that I didn’t see that got deleted though. If not, Cole’s blow-up seems a bit much.

  82. 82
    General Stuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I just got back online and skimmed a few comments from that thread of AL’s. It seems to me that we now have some trollish types that are trolling from the other end of the usual suspect Obama sucks trolls this blog is famous for. Maybe that threw the FSM balance out of whack and Al/Cole got some vapors from it. poor babies.

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @am:

    How hard is it to issue an executive order clearly barring the use of drones to kill American people on American soil?

    Not hard. But would you also bar the use of guns to kill American people on American soil?

    What is it about the word “drones” that gets people all confused and afraid? Isn’t what you’re worried about actually orders to kill that haven’t been reviewed sufficiently? If that’s true, and for most people it is, the problem would be as much of a problem if the killing were conducted by Acme brand anvil as by a missile attached to a funny-looking flying machine. And if the problem is insufficient review, that still leaves open the possibility that a sufficient review might result in someone using a particular weapon, just with more extensive approval. I don’t get what the problem we’re trying to solve is.

  84. 84
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: well, we’ve seen him gallantly rush to Anne Laurie’s defense before. But I doubt that he even read the thread. He’s been taking a Matt Yglesias-on-barbershops approach to “drones” for years, in which he thinks what he thinks and no amount of conversation will ever affect it.

  85. 85
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Also, FWIW, Civil War precedents are perfectly reasonable in a discussion of hypothetical situations in which the US government might use military force against US citizens within the territorial US. The Civil War was, after all, a situation in which military force was used against US citizens within the territorial US. Can one compare and contrast that example with any hypothetical that one creates? Of course, but the Civil War is still a legitimate part of the discussion.

    If armed drone use in the United States ever comes before the SCOTUS, you better believe that the Civil War will mentioned in arguments before the bench.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @celticdragonchick: Of course it will.

  87. 87
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @celticdragonchick: definitely. It’s crucial to the larger discussion of what powers the President has to make and wage war, and how possible it is to cut off Congress and the courts because of them.

  88. 88
    Keith G says:

    For me, drones are the less important feature in any discussion such as this. What is important is who, how, and why, are decisions regarding internal security are made. As as new technologies give new and staggeringly powerful options to decision makers, who will advocate and fight for limits? What should those limits be?

    Imagine if the security state were present in the early sixties and as strong as it is becoming today. Would the civil rights movement as we know it been able to exist and grow? Would would the antiwar movement have spread throughout the country?

    The power dynamic has always favored the government, but there were always enough deficiencies and technical limitations to provide real limits to governmental (especially executive) power. I think we have to be very watchful of changes brought by our brave new world.

  89. 89
    MomSense says:

    @General Stuck:

    I will just add that this is not just hypothetical for me. On the morning of 9-11 my husband was on a flight to PA. I didn’t know which one because we had come back from a trip at 2 am and he had to be out the door in a few hours to make his flight from Portland, ME to Boston–the same flight that Atta was on.

    So after seeing the two planes crash into the towers and then the Pentagon (I didn’t know if he was on one of those flights or not) and then hearing the jets scramble (flight path went over my house) and hearing people on the tv speculate about whether our military would shoot down a plane with citizens on board–I knew what could happen and that it could affect me. And even though I was beyond distraught, I understood why it was a possibility and why it was a justified action.

    I also reject the idea that a US citizen who is about to carry out an attack whether it be a dirty bomb, a regular bomb, a mass shooting, using a plane as a weapon etc -has the SAME rights as me. NO.

  90. 90
    Rafer Janders says:

    @liberal:

    I might agree, but The Worlds Biggest Blowhard Lawyer is referring to a situation where war has already been declared….In which case, he’s probably right.

    Well no, he’s not. The Article I powers granted to Congress nowhere say that Congress shall have the power to, say, “make rules concerning captures on land and water…to support armies…to maintain a navy; To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces” etc. UP UNTIL war has been declared. They nowhere say that, and it is not at all stated in the Constitution that the President becomes supreme warlord with unchallengeable authority as soon as there’s a war on. (Nor have we acted that way throughout our history).

    It wouldn’t even make sense from a logical or drafting perspective. Many of the Congressional powers over the military listed in Article I have to be able to be adjusted or addressed during a time of war (for example, making rules concerning capture, support armies, etc.).

  91. 91
    Redshirt says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yeah, I don’t get what all the emotion is about? There was some debate, back and forth, it continues, and so on. Where’s the outrage?

  92. 92
    Rafer Janders says:

    @MomSense:

    I also reject the idea that a US citizen who is about to carry out an attack whether it be a dirty bomb, a regular bomb, a mass shooting, using a plane as a weapon etc -has the SAME rights as me. NO.

    How do you know — know for sure, with 100% certainty — that they are about to do so?

    It’s a very dangerous logic — or rather illogic — that you are using. It’s not far from that to saying “I reject the idea that a U.S. citizen who is about to kidnap someone, or rob a bank, or kill a drug rival, has the SAME rights as me,” and then using that to justify all sorts of police brutality or violation of civil rights.

  93. 93
    General Stuck says:

    @MomSense:

    Glad your husband survived that day. :)

    We have to find a balance with this stuff, and railing all day about the drones ain’t it, any more than wingnuts seeing terrorists behind every tree.

  94. 94
    am says:

    @Xenos, FlipYrWhig

    I’m generally against domestic assassination and surveillance, so I would support more executive orders limiting them beyond drones. Just not the silly examples you provided.

    @MomSense

    Your argument is identical to the arguments for torture (‘ticking time bomb scenario’), so there’s no need to waste any more thought on such a worn out topic.

  95. 95
    MomSense says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Do you not see a difference in the type of examples you are citing?

  96. 96
    MomSense says:

    @am:

    Really?? WTF??
    Torture doesn’t work–not in a ticking time bomb scenario, not ever. It is never justified. The whole ticking time bomb scenario was always a ruse.

    It is not even remotely similar to the argument that I am making.

  97. 97
    Tonal Crow says:

    Said like a true card-carrying member of the A.C.L.U. and a DFH in the seventh degree. Bravo!

  98. 98
    Cassidy says:

    @Redshirt:

    Where’s the outrage?

    At the bottom of the scotch.

  99. 99
    ruemara says:

    Dude, fuck yourself and sleep it off. The bulk of the thread was nothing that you said it was.

  100. 100
    MomSense says:

    @General Stuck:

    Thanks. It is similar the way the right exaggerates the threat of terrorism just like some exaggerate the threat of drone use.

  101. 101
    Rafer Janders says:

    @MomSense:

    Explain it to me logically.

  102. 102
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Rommie: This. If President Romney were to initiate a domestic drone program that targeted suspected “terrorists” who just happen to be blah or brown American citizens, that sociopathic motherfucker Randy Paul would be right on board with it. Fuck him with a rusty chainsaw.

  103. 103
    Jeffery Bahr says:

    I read dozens of political and economics blogs — and their comment threads — and nowhere do I see so many arcane acronyms used as I do here. I’m supposed to know that “IANAL” means I am not a lawyer? Is there a secret decoder ring that I forgot to send in for?

  104. 104
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ruemara: I just looked again. Unless there were some foul things that got edited out, there was all of one caustic comment about Anne Laurie, and it was by “Todd,” and no one made any of the arguments Cole is ranting about here. Waco came up twice, once as a suggestion that that was what Paul was evoking, once as a suggestion that civil libertarians were in fact aggrieved at what happened there. I don’t know what brought on this scolding, but that thread really can’t have been it. I call pink elephant-style delirium tremens.

  105. 105
    Tonal Crow says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Article III makes the President the Commander in Chief.

    There are two major errors in this sentence. Can you spot them?

  106. 106
    dance around in your bones says:

    Yeah, I don’t get this post at all (in regards to Anne Laurie, who I enjoy reading )and the DROOOOOOOOONZES arguments make me tired and I imagine Cole was just drunk and grumpy when he typed it.

    Of course I regret the innocent lives lost in drone attacks, and having spent quite an amount of time in AFG back in the day I mostly regret that they have been in a constant state of war for the last 3 decades.

    I regret innocent lives lost in any fashion.

    Eta: I also didn’t see much vitriol directed in Anne Laurie’s general direction in that thread, unless it was deleted. So, basically, WTF? over.

  107. 107
    Xenos says:

    @Rafer Janders: I think you going about things in the wrong way, asking about logic. This is constitutional law we are talking about, and you have the relative categories quite mixed up.

    Due process is not an absolute – it is a relative value that largely derives from context. Thus, your due process rights when contesting a $10 traffic ticket are different from the due process rights when defending yourself against a criminal charge.

    In a theatre of war there are no due process rights. It does not matter if someone is a foot soldier, a general, or an innocent civilian – they have no due process rights. Citizenship of a target authorized by law is legally irrelevant. Even if the drone strike is outside the authorization of the AUMF that does not change anything. It might be a war crime, but there is no due process rights that adhere to the target.

    An analogous situation happens during an attack on our soil (which is the example used that freaked people out), lets say, a series of events like 9/11. The perpetrators have a theoretical due process right, but in practice a President is expected to use whatever tools are at hand to try to stop the attack. There is no due process when this happens – as Burns put it, Presidential powers in this context are plenary. The citizenship status of the 9/11 hijackers is irrelevant to a legal analysis of what the President is empowered to do in response to the ongoing hijacking. Indeed, in such a case, sovereign immunity applies. And the final check on the Presidential is an after-the-fact political process of impeachment, and maybe criminal prosecution or war crimes prosecution.

    This is not a logical argument; this is the basic structure of American government.

    Given this reality, what is your theory of what s wrong here?

  108. 108
    Tonal Crow says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Nothing in Article I clearly states, or can easily be read to infer, that Congress, in declaring war, can put limitations on the scope of that declaration that allow it to micro-manage the conduct of the war.

    Micro-manage, no. Manage — not day-to-day, but by setting outer limits on conduct — absolutely. I quote Art.I s.8 cl.14:

    [The Congress shall have Power] To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.

    That’s where, for example, the UCMJ comes from, and the Convention Against Torture, and Geneva, and….

  109. 109
    kc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am interested in why Cole rejects the Civil War analogies.

    Because they’re ludicrously far-fetched?

  110. 110
    Xenos says:

    @Jeffery Bahr: There is a lexicon in the upper-right part of the page. It may take a half-hour to read through it, but it would save some confusion.

    This commentariate has been around for a while. We have worked over some arguments in incredible depth. Last night Cole went out for drinks with Kdaugh, who I think has been commenting here for a decade.

  111. 111
    kc says:

    @General Stuck:

    George Bush was the first to use a drone to kill an American citizen in Yemen

    .

    Oh! Why didn’t you say so. Okay, I’m cool with it now.

  112. 112
    kc says:

    @Keith G:

    As as new technologies give new and staggeringly powerful options to decision makers, who will advocate and fight for limits?

    Apparently, not us.

  113. 113
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    There are two major errors in this sentence. Can you spot them?

    1. It’s not Article III, but rather Article II.

    2. The President is not “Commander in Chief” of the United States, but rather “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.” Most constitutional experts and scholars construe this provision fairly narrowly, asserting that the the President has the C-in-C title for the purpose of preserving civilian supremacy over the military (so that, for example, a general does not declare himself C-in-C during wartime), rather than instead providing the executive additional powers superseding a legislative authorization or declaration of war.

  114. 114
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Xenos:

    In a theatre of war there are no due process rights.

    But that’s assuming something that’s not at all settled. Is the United States of America a theatre of war? Even citing September 11th, I was in Manhattan on September 11th, 2001 — does that mean I had no due process rights on that day? Could I have been murdered by any passing soldier on Wall Street with no legal recourse?

  115. 115
    Jeffery Bahr says:

    Thanks, Xenos. I’ve finished speed-reading the lexicon(s) and was familiar with 90-95% of the references. Some of the acronyms and abbreviations seem a little silly still (e.g., DIAF).

  116. 116
    srv says:

    Great post, John. But I understand why you do less of this.

    I don’t think your readers really get how disconnected this stuff must make you feel. You get drunk, rant about it, and most think that you’re trolling – not knowing that this kind of stuff set you off even when you were a wingnut.

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MomSense:

    So are you saying that the American citizens who might be killed or harmed grievously have fewer rights or are less important than the citizen who wants to kill or harm them?

    To be fair, this is the exact same argument the NRA makes when it comes to guns.

  118. 118
    shorter porter says:

    Fuck you too fat boy. After you sleep it off, why don’t you give us another post where you tongue-worship Chris Christie’s asshole.

  119. 119
    Xenos says:

    @Rafer Janders: @Rafer Janders:

    Could I have been murdered by any passing soldier on Wall Street with no legal recourse?

    There would be legal recourse in terms of criminal or administrative remedies, but that would not involve a due process rights analysis. The context is an utter clusterfuck of confusion, panic, and ongoing death all around – indistinguishable, really, from a combat zone. What process is due in such a context?

    This is not my area of expertise in the law, so if anyone knows if there is some sort of doctrine that applies here, help me out.

  120. 120
    Seanly says:

    The militarization of our police has been going on a lot longer than the Obama (and Bush & Clinton) administrations. My father was ranting about the increasing prevalence of military tactics & small arms in our police in the late 80’s. Local law enforcement & the FBI shouldn’t be given armed drones – not now, not 10 years from now, not 100 years from now.

    I have a few nutty libertarian friends and the only place I find common ground with them is IRT the erosion of privacy & the militarization of our police. However, I am okay with cameras for survelliance of public spaces – streets, parks, public lands. The problem with drone survelliance is that it’s not a camera aimed at a stretch of sidewalk or an intersection – it’s over both public & private space.

    We need to dial back on the ever-increasing militarization of the police. The heavy-handed SWAT tactics & increasing prevalence of military small arms are troubling with or without drones. SWAT & heavy firepower do unfortunately have a place, but they shouldn’t be the default response.

  121. 121
    Cassidy says:

    @Xenos: Simple answer, if Soldiers were deployed in the wake of 9/11 for some sort of peacekeeping/ disaster response, because it was US soil, the ROE would have been very strict. Any investigation after the incident would start with was ROE followed and did the citizen pose a threat per the ROE. If those questions can be answered yes, then that ends it and the Soldier will be deemed to have acted accordingly. If ROE was violated, the Soldier will be appropriately punished and the ROE, training, etc. reviewed to find out where it can be improved. Due process has nothign to do with it. An ROE [ Rules of Engagement] has a specific set of action(s) as responses to certain behaviors and criteria leading to deadly force. In an actual combat zone, most of those steps can be skipped based on judgement, but it is highly unlikely that would be allowed here in the States, short of some sort of large scale insurrection or military action.

    Tl;dr: the fog of war you describe is an acceptable reason for killing if the Soldier can show they were within the ROE. On US soil, short of military action, the fog of war wouldn’t be an excuse.

    ETA: and to answer your original question (sorry) there is no due process in ROE. Someone high up the food chain has determined what specific kinds of action can be met with incremental uses of force. If you do those things, you will be met with the appropriate force. You are not entitled to anything.

  122. 122
    Keith G says:

    @Seanly: Well, sooner or later another innocent dog will be offed by an over zealous SWAT officer and this blog will once again become concerned with the abusive use of military tactics in our civil society.

  123. 123
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Keith G:

    @Seanly: Well, sooner or later another innocent dog will be offed by an over zealous SWAT officer and this blog will once again become concerned with the abusive use of military tactics in our civil society.

    Yep. But the outrage will last only as long as the thread, and soon many commenters will be right back to defending creeping militarization and bashing “Greenwaldism”. This is one of the many reasons I love the ACLU: they fight the good fights, over and over and over again, in victory and in defeat. They could use your support.

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Keith G:

    Well, sooner or later another innocent dog will be offed by an over zealous SWAT officer and this blog will once again become concerned with the abusive use of military tactics in our civil society.

    Wait, you mean people will be more upset about existing military tactics being used against American citizens right now than they are about the theoretical use of drones at some undetermined time in the future?

    I can’t imagine why people would be more upset about current abuses happening right now than about potential future abuses. It must be because they’re Obots.

  125. 125
    MomSense says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    No actually the NRA is making the argument that their right to have any firearm including modified military weapons with unlimited magazines and carry anywhere at any time without background checks or restrictions is absolute.

    It seems that some here also believe that if a person carrying a dirty bomb with intent to do harm is a US citizen- than their right is absolute. So they can detonate first so we are really, really, really sure they are doing harm and then we should afford them due process.

  126. 126
    Xenos says:

    @Cassidy: Thank you for the clarification.

  127. 127
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    I sorta like drones. They’re like an ICBM with a built-in “oopsie.” They can at least be called back. Also, too, I love the commentariat here, not for the name-calling (which at least entertains) but for the clarifications such argumentativeness often lends to the various issues discussed.

    But I have to wonder if the drone folx would be condemned if Timothy McVeigh was suddenly discovered before he blew up the building, and droned into powder beforehand. Hmmm…American citizen on US soil…. I don’t think anybody would have regretted the lack of due process in that case. I think thass what Holder was tawkin’ ’bout.

  128. 128
    kc says:

    @MomSense:

    It seems that some here also believe that if a person carrying a dirty bomb with intent to do harm is a US citizen- than their right is absolute

    BULLSHIT. You can’t possibly be that stupid.

  129. 129
    kc says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    But I have to wonder if the drone folx would be condemned if Timothy McVeigh was suddenly discovered before he blew up the building, and droned into powder beforehand.

    Good Christ. I feel like I’ve been transported back in time and I’m arguing with wingnuts about torture.

  130. 130
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    But I have to wonder if the drone folx would be condemned if Timothy McVeigh was suddenly discovered before he blew up the building, and droned into powder beforehand. Hmmm…American citizen on US soil…. I don’t think anybody would have regretted the lack of due process in that case. I think thass what Holder was tawkin’ ’bout.

    What if the drone blew up Tom McVeigh, who was mistakenly identified as the attacker because of a typo? Would anybody be upset then? What recourse would Tom McVeigh’s family have?

  131. 131
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    But I have to wonder if the drone folx would be condemned if Timothy McVeigh was suddenly discovered before he blew up the building, and droned into powder beforehand. Hmmm…American citizen on US soil…. I don’t think anybody would have regretted the lack of due process in that case.

    Objection, assumes facts not in evidence. We don’t have a God’s-eye view of the world. Presumably evidence would be produced in the aftermath, but — as is very frequently the case — it would most likely be ambiguous, leaving us once again in the situation of being forced to trust the authorities. The ACLU would object, the Republican Supreme Court would refuse to hear the case, most of you (and nearly every Republican) would defend the action, and we’d take another step down the slope to Minority Report. FSM many of the commenters here nauseate me.

    Shorter: you just said, “He must be guilty because the police arrested him.”

  132. 132
    am says:

    @MomSense

    Best regards, didn’t realize you were a troll. A tip of the hat for reasonably good ratf***ery.

  133. 133
    Paula says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    No one other than Todd said anything bad about AL.

    It was mostly “some guy” and others baiting the other people into responding.

    As for the charge that it was mostly ludicrous comparisons to the Civil War, there has been at least some discussion of the AUMF and Iraq. But I guess Cole supported those at the time, so they are not worth mentioning.

  134. 134
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Tonal Crow: I kinda agree. To me it’s a bit of a dilenima [SC]*. Preemptive killing is I guess as bad as preemptive wars.

    *spelt correctly

  135. 135
    General Stuck says:

    @kc:

    Fuck off clown. That was to destroy the argument that Obama is setting the precedent for using drones on citizens. You can’t make an honest argument. Among all the other stupid arguments you clowns come up with. I don’t think any of you gives a flying fuck about drone use, and whether people are killed or not. You found a moral soap box to elevate yourselves and are impervious to factual argument, and are running on some lame idea of snot nose liberal purity. You are in favor of Al Alwaki having the opportunity to build a bomb that actually goes off on an airplane. You own that. as do the rest of you cheese dick motherfuckers running around calling people sociopaths. look in a mirror, you too Tonal Crow.

  136. 136
    General Stuck says:

    @am:

    momsense is a regular here, you are the new asswipe to arrive today. Where from? FDL?

  137. 137
    Hawes says:

    @Rafer Janders: No, a soldier could not have shot you for no reason on 9/11. But the air force could have shot down United 93 before it got to the Capitol if they hadn’t rushed the cockpit.

    Is that even controversial?

  138. 138
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @General Stuck: Damnation, but I’m still trying to find that there “moral soap-box.” Lots of givvantake here, but no real solution to any side of the argument. But frankly, I don’t think the hypothetical will ever be a reality. Windmill tilting, anyone?

  139. 139
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @NotMax: Yeah, and when Debs was imprisoned (or the leaders of the IWW, or those guys in Oregon when the cops shot the strikers, etc, etc) THAT WAS TIME FOR A FRIGGING LEFT WING FREAKOUT.

    So why is there a left-wing freak-the-fuck-out going on now? Because Obama used some of their language and then turned out NOT to be a power-grabbing revolutionary? The left knows he didn’t start it; they’re mad he didn’t shut it all the way down. Never mind I don’t think one president has the power to, say, turn off the lights at the CIA. (CIA ought to be 1/10th of its current size, play better with others, and have completely different internal policies.) And the low-info lefties get swept up in the hysteria. Instead of taking advantage of the current political environment for the causes they care about (or waking the fuck up about women’s rights right here in their home state), they’re sitting out politics and wading in bad feelings all the time. Or joining 9/11 tw00f! conference calls. Like Sheila Broslowski cried, it’s important work!

  140. 140
    General Stuck says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    No one is ever clean in such sordid business. You can reason out the best course of bad choices for yourself, and live with the downside, or you can scream dronnnnnnnnnnzes all day, that Obama is murdering precious and exceptional American citizens. And I could be next

  141. 141
    taylormattd says:

    Or maybe some of us don’t appreciate Anne Laurie’s not-infrequent sucking up to literal psychopaths at FDL, or her failure to publicly apologize for a drunken, front-page trashing of ABL for the crime of not sufficiently hating Obama.

    Also, John, have you read what Holder actually said, or are you right now just as full of shit with a fact-free knee jerk opinion as you were back in your pro-Bush days?

    I’m asking because the size and scope of the current freak out over what Holder wrote to Rand Paul is a little baffling. This is the offending part that has everyone screaming Obama wants to drone innocent American citizens on American soil:

    The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941 and on September 11, 2001.

  142. 142
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @BruceFromOhio: Ah, due process, what a quaint concept. The Sixth Amendment simply does not translate well to a world of GPS targetting systems and a nation of sheep asleep at the fucking switch. All this hand-wringing about “cops kill people every day,” and “It started with Bush/Reagan/Ford/Kent State/Treaty of Versailles/Magna Carta” is all well and fine, but doesn’t answer the question of what citizens choose to do about Executive-sanctioned assassinations.

    Yeah, I was, like, so outraged when Obama droned the shit out of some Wall Street firms instead of having his AG pursue them for years with some very complicated cases and then end up dropping them in front of Grand Jury because they were too complicated.

    It’s the SUPREME COURT that’s been chipping away at the Bill of Rights when you deal with officers of the law. As for Obama, he’s been playing by gentlemens’ rules here with his enemies.

    Why this fantasy that Constitution grants Obama the power to zap his enemies until Congress stops him? It’s so fucking illogical. And US Citizens who take up arms against the lawful authority of the USA are going to continue to get shot, DRONES OR NO DRONES, NDAA OR NO NDAA. That’s basic social contract shit!

  143. 143
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @taylormattd: or if, say, Rand Paul decided to declare that the Kentucky hill country was now the sovereign nation of Randistan and retreated there with a few dozen heavily armed chuckleheads. Would it make sense to forbid using a drone against them? Would it make sense to forbid using a bomb against them? The hypotheticals aren’t hard to imagine, though their likelihood is pretty much nil. And that’s what Holder was saying. And the rest is just warming up old objections out of boredom, frustration, and anomie.

  144. 144
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Does the president have the power to mint a trillion dollar platinum coin? Of course, don’t be a fool, he should use every power at his disposal. Does the president have the power to use a drone to shoot a missile at an American? No, it may be in his power to do it, but he can’t and should admit he can’t.

  145. 145
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Comrade Dread: As currently construed, if POTUS decided to off someone via death from above, we would have no knowledge of the party’s likely guilt or innocence, no knowledge of why this action and any resultant collateral damage was necessary, and zero accountability beyond that which the executive allowed.

    Okay, so is this like a 2000s era novelty? Is this the crux of it? Documentation? Review? Congressional review? I mean, that’s a simpler issue, isn’t it?

    What kind of paperwork is being asked for? How would it apply during a time of war?

    We’ve tried to require that Congress control military action before, but they all run around and wet their pants and cede that to the executive branch.

    Presidents are accountable to Congress. They can be impeached and removed from office.

  146. 146
    kc says:

    @General Stuck:

    What a hysterical ass you are.

  147. 147
    MomSense says:

    @taylormattd:

    Thank you. I think I have been participating in too many of the threads on this topic. The point is that Holder was talking about an extraordinary circumstance-prevention of a catastrophic attack. There have been many comments on the drone threads that there should be no use of drones on US soil against an American citizen ever. One person said that the President should sign an Executive Order to that effect.

    Many of us have tried to point out that there are times when we feel that the use of lethal force against a US citizen is justified–ie: a catastrophic attack. We have also tried to point out that this is not a new policy.

    I can’t remember which commenter–but it was suggested to me that we should protect the due-process rights of US citizens no matter what. I think that is insanity.

  148. 148
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @taylormattd: It seems like Obama and Holder’s mistake is a degree of disclosure that was simply lacking in previous administrations. Now that people are becoming aware of the scope of things that only their imagination could provide before, their terrors are made manifest. Or something. Plus, glibertarians are glib. If they really believed what they say they do they’d be supporting efforts to fight stop & frisk in NYC. Because a law-abiding citizen ought to be able to walk down the fucking street not bothering anybody without being hassled and humiliated by police.

    If they could fix that shit, taking on the TSA would be a cake walk.

  149. 149
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Rafer Janders: The President may be the CEO. But Congress is the Board. And being CEO does not allow the CEO to do absolutely anything he wants to do without Board oversight. It’s “Commander-in-Chief”, not “supreme warlord” or “Generalissimo.”

    So… if you beef is with Congress… while all the vitriol at Obama? I mean, the way you tell it, he hasn’t done shit that’s blameworthy, except tell the truth about the situation.

  150. 150
    lojasmo says:

    @Alex:

    accusation of white privilege

    Says the guy who just called two of the only three black front pagers “blindingly stupid”

    Bravo, you win a negative internet.

    Asshole.

  151. 151
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Halocene Human: people don’t like that the president and executive branch have, when asked directly, had a tendency to assert an authority to do things, things other presidents have also had the authority to do but haven’t been asked about. And I think they’re answering honestly: yes, there are things we COULD do, i.e. that we have the constitutional and legal authority to do, that we have no intention of ever doing, but could under some kind of far-fetched circumstance feel the need to do. That really doesn’t freak me out, personally. The way to fix it, though, as any number of people have said, is to make a new law, then get it to pass muster constitutionally in the courts.

  152. 152
    am says:

    @General Stuck:

    No, sadly not – I don’t frequent FDL at all. I really am exactly what I said I am, a longtime lurker, going on a decade. Around the time of the Shiavo incident.

    I don’t read the comments as often as I once did, and didn’t recognize the MomSense handle. I do recognize yours, of course. Regardless, the argument that MomSense was making is so obtuse I made the troll conclusion based on the principle of Occam’s razor. I’m disappointed that I am wrong.

  153. 153
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Xenos: Hmmm.

    @MomSense: So are you saying that the American citizens who might be killed or harmed grievously have fewer rights or are less important than the citizen who wants to kill or harm them?

    Same logic that says AR-15’s are fit and fun to carry by anybody. With plenty of bullets to spare.

    It’s like a complete moral and philosophical breakdown where we completely disavow the social contract and the notion of general welfare and the construction of government authority. I mean, what the fuck is this? If we can’t provide for our mutual safety and wellbeing, why did we form this organization? Why are we paying taxes and trying to shape its direction?

    And, yeah, I am willing to give up the “little liberty” of toting around anti-personnel devices for the “safety” of having a lower gun homicide and suicide rate. Or the “little liberty” of gun dealers not having to run background checks or keep records. Gee, I give up the “little liberty” of not wearing flip flops at work for “safety”.

    Some liberties are fucking important. Like the right to be left the fuck alone. Clarence Thomas thinks cops ought to be able to strip search you on a traffic stop. I have a problem with that. What that has to do with the price of Rand Paul on K St I will never know.

  154. 154
    General Stuck says:

    @kc:

    What a dishonest piece of shit you are.

  155. 155
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Li: Yeah, it’s ALL CONNECTED. So let’s bring down any mildly progressive admin that shares our concerns and promote sociopathic liars who only want power (gee… what’s that group called? authoritarians? you say they approve of the brutal use of state power?) and get a “libertarian” Republican in office and basically fuck any chance we have of getting a liberal majority on the SCOTUS and pushing back against the utter prostitution of the Bill of Rights under these conservative hacks for the last few decades.

    All of this police brutality shit has been AIDED ABETTED VETTED by the Supreme Court.

    You know who selects Supreme Court justices?

    The President and the Senate.

    Oh yeah, I want Rand “End the CRA!” Paul in charge of that shit. Not.

  156. 156
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’m having a hard time seeing this Congress get that done, as admirable as the thought is. They’re just grandstanding.

    And I can’t help but think that Obama and Holder are facing this scrutiny because of the color of their skin.

    Obama has anticipated his critics at every turn and scaled back almost anything you can think of (except high speed rail, hehe). But it’s not enough for some people. There’s a basic level of distrust. If Congress weren’t so dysfunctional, maybe we would get a law. Don’t see it happening.

    Also, fear level has to drop to unravel the security state. Obama is doing his darndest but this stuff doesn’t happen overnight.

  157. 157
    Alex says:

    @lojasmo: Breathlessly stupid – might as well get the phrasing right. Which they are, of course, and your failure even to challenge the criticism leads me to infer you agree as well. Of course, my criticism had nothing to do with race (didn’t even know Zandar was African-American). It has to do with the fact that both FP’ers emit low-grade propaganda on behalf of the current administration that is, at best, tolerated around here. To use an apt analogy, if the President raped a nun, they would find a way to contextualize or otherwise rationalize the act.

    This is putting aside the fact that they manage to rationalize the fact that the President has incinerated, maimed, and killed hundreds of innocent men, women, and children. In real life.

  158. 158
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Er, there really isn’t Kentucky Hill Country like in Texas. There is the Appalachian mountains in the east that transforms into Bluegrass country. Which is rolling pasture land with a lot of Bluegrass species, in most places. The area around Lexington is some primo pasture land in the US, and why they raise Thoroughbreds there

  159. 159
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @liberal: If you knew the first thing about Pakistan, you’d know that our actions there and in Afghanistan are likely contributing to the destabilization of Pakistan.

    I do know the first thing about Pakistan, not the second thing perhaps, but the first thing, and that is an utterly ludicrous comment.

    It’s like blaming the fucking Mexicans for Jim Crow and the KKK terror.

    Rural rightwing fucksticks in a state of rebellion against their legitimate government… where have we heard that tune before? And people trapped in those regions praying the government WILL call in the fucking Arkansas National Guard… oh, and don’t forget the John Wilkes Booth wannabees who assassinated the president. Ya, guesswhat, for once the CIA might have been in there like a foul odor but they weren’t toppling a government 1950s style.

    I read once that Pakistan’s problems stemmed from never having had land reform. Hmm, sounds like any region, formerly in rebellion, that we know?

  160. 160
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @General Stuck: I don’t think there is a court in the world that wouldn’t consider it an imminent danger after two failed attempts with bombs to bring down airliners. So what some are saying is we need to make sure the third bomb is going to go off, and then we can use a drone on the perpetrators. That is insane on its face, especially when Al Alwaki is going on AQ teevee telling the world that basically they are working on it/ Now who again are the sociopaths on this issue?

    Is this like a giant revulsion/reaction to state overreach?

    Why isn’t all this energy being directed against the insane abuse of the federal courts to punish commercial enemies of big business (“hackers”) or the mundane, everyday outrages of police stopping, stripping, and searching people without a whiff of probable cause as we once understood it?

    Too abstruse? Too many steps before we can blame Obama?

    I mean, the admission is already out there that Rand Paul was grilling Holder over an issue that is really Congress’ to solve. One degree of separation: ALL OBAMA’S FAULT. Those other things? TOO HARD. I GIVE UP.

  161. 161
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Stuck: I was thinking of mountain men, I guess, but point taken.

  162. 162
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Jeffery Bahr: That one’s older than the internet!

  163. 163
    Redshirt says:

    In the spirit of things: FUCK EVERYONE! Myself included, of course. :)

  164. 164
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Seanly: We need to dial back on the ever-increasing militarization of the police. The heavy-handed SWAT tactics & increasing prevalence of military small arms are troubling with or without drones. SWAT & heavy firepower do unfortunately have a place, but they shouldn’t be the default response.

    I have a solution.

    Raise taxes. I mean redistribution. Income tax, capital gains, financial transaction tax, chase down corporations and beat money out of them, etc.

    Redistribute. Lift all boats. Education, nutrition, housing, transportation, economic stimulus. Good jobs for Americans.

    Strong ban on peonage/modern slavery/using immigrants with stolen papers for coerced labor/abusing farm labor. This means changing a lot of laws and prosecuting these fuckers.

    Watch crime rates go down.

    Reduction in force of police by attrition, scrap military equipment gradually and crime rate reduces.

    Oh, and don’t forget criminal justice reform–more money for public defenders and courts, decriminalize drug use, stop stop & frisk, the strip searches for flimsy reasons, no more mandatory sentencing, up the minimum wage in prison, quick restoration of felons’ rights, and strong in-prison vocational training and educational opportunities to reduce recidivism. Oh, and let’s fight the shit out of some pollution, too, so less kids are prone to criminal behavior.

  165. 165
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Hawes: Apparently, yes. Because in some situations we don’t know or we can’t know, so apparently we can never know.

    Let God sort out His own.

  166. 166
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Why isn’t all this energy being directed against the insane abuse of the federal courts to punish commercial enemies of big business (“hackers”) or the mundane, everyday outrages of police stopping, stripping, and searching people without a whiff of probable cause as we once understood it?

    Fortunately, the ACLU is on all those issues, as well as the topic of killing Americans without due process. The world would be better if we were all active on all of those topics.

  167. 167
    NotMax says:

    @MomSense

    The rarefied view from atop that high horse must be breathtaking.

  168. 168
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    So… if you beef is with Congress… while all the vitriol at Obama?

    Where is my vitriol at Obama? Please point it out.

  169. 169
    TG Chicago says:

    @Xenos:

    Aside from Alaki, name a citizen he has targeted?

    One of the big problems here is that Obama has a secret kill list. There’s no way for any of us to know who is on it.

    Let’s imagine that a wingnut wins the presidency. This wingnut mainlines Pamela Gellar’s BS and decides that Huma Abedin is an Al Qaeda terrorist. So the president puts her on the secret kill list and, when she is overseas, has her assassinated. Do you think that this president has broken any laws? Are you satisfied with the fact that there were no checks in place to prevent Abedin’s murder?

  170. 170
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Because it’s not rhetorical ground on which he can win. He’s not the first one to try to prevent the discussion from going there. Not even on this blog.

  171. 171
    moderateindy says:

    @Seanly:

    The problem with drone survelliance is that it’s not a camera aimed at a stretch of sidewalk or an intersection – it’s over both public & private space.

    While I agree with you that the militarization of our civilian police force is alarming, the truth is cops already use helicopters that fly over private space, so how drones are something new or different seems a silly argument. They are just another device to do the same thing that is already being done. I’m not happy about it but it isn’t something that I can reasonably argue against in context of what is already reality

  172. 172
    Tonal Crow says:

    @moderateindy:

    While I agree with you that the militarization of our civilian police force is alarming, the truth is cops already use helicopters that fly over private space, so how drones are something new or different seems a silly argument. They are just another device to do the same thing that is already being done. I’m not happy about it but it isn’t something that I can reasonably argue against in context of what is already reality.

    1. We should not meekly acquiesce to a reality we dislike or consider unwise. 2. Helicopter surveillance requires a qualified pilot, who are relative expensive and in limited supply, and a helicopter, ditto. Drone surveillance requires a drone operator and a cheap drone. Big difference. Also, drones can be tiny, and thus unlikely to be noticed by their targets, and they can be equipped with a variety of sensors (such as microphones, infrared sensors, etc.) These factors make drone surveillance far cheaper, easier, and more invasive than helicopter surveillance.

  173. 173
    NotMax says:

    @moderateindy

    One glaring difference being the existence of publicly accessible rules and court decisions regulating surveillance of private space by helicopter.

    No such thing yet exists for drones.

  174. 174
    dollared says:

    @burnspbesq: @Rafer Janders:

    Burns, how did you get a law degree? You are wrong and Rafer is right. Yes, the President is CinC. As such, he can only exercise powers granted to organization he commands, the military. For example, if Congress prohibited the military from conducting sonar operations in a sensitive marine mammal sanctuary, could the President override that with his “plenary powers?”

    No. End of discussion.

  175. 175
  176. 176
    Tonal Crow says:

    @dollared: Ya. I quoted Art.I s.8 cl.14 to him before. The crickets were deafening.

  177. 177
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NotMax:

    I don’t really see why the rules for helicopters can’t also be applied to drones since the technology is so similar. Add “and drones” to the existing legislation and I think a lot of the privacy concerns could be mitigated.

    This is why it drives me nuts that people talk about drones as “killer robots” that are some brand-new super-scary technology. They’re small remote-control airplanes. Regulate them like the other aircraft we use for domestic surveillance and apply the same laws to them.

  178. 178
    dollared says:

    @Tonal Crow: Burns is all about comforting the powerful. I would love to know what he would consider an actual violation of the Constitution.

  179. 179
    Jeffery Bahr says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Actually, now that I KNOW that I shouldn’t necessarily recognize the various terms, acronyms and abbreviations, I have to admit that it’s kinda fun. Almost makes up for those bastards at The Atlantic dropping the cryptic Puzzler and letting Emily and Henry go.

  180. 180
    Rex Everything says:

    @Soonergrunt: Are you fellas saying President Lincoln targeted civilians for execution during the Civil War?

  181. 181
    General Stuck says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Probly so he is saying, since Lincoln did not legally acknowledge the Confederacy or its army as such. It was an insurrection using military methods and weapons of the day. Or, to use today’s lingo, unlawful combatants/terrorists etc….

    Targeting, or rules of engagement of the day was directed at those confederates that had armed themselves . Versus the un armed and otherwise not participating in said illegal armed insurrection.

    IOW’s, heretofore citizenship is no guarantee for safe harbor when you have taken up arms against your country, at home or abroad. Every dead confederate soldier was testament to that.

  182. 182
    Tonal Crow says:

    @dollared:

    @Tonal Crow: Burns is all about comforting the powerful. I would love to know what he would consider an actual violation of the Constitution.

    Breaking up the big banks?

  183. 183
    Rex Everything says:

    Every dead confederate soldier was testament to that.

    Yeah, so your whole case rests on conflating targeted civilians with soldiers on a battlefield. We all knew that, but I just wanted to make sure.

    Fuckin’ WEAK, by the way.

  184. 184
    General Stuck says:

    @Rex Everything:

    I gotta be stupid responding to a pea brain parody troll like you. Forgive me FSM

  185. 185
    mclaren says:

    And goddammit, John Cole is just about the only person on this entire blog who ever talks about this shit!

    People, even William the Conquerer never claimed executive powers as extreme as the powers Eric Holder and Barack Obama are claiming. William the Conquerer asserted that he had the power to murder his own subjects without trial…but he at least agreed with his barons that he owed them an explanation when he did it.

    Barack Obama and Eric Holder claim they don’t even owe us that much!

    (“White House wins fight to keep drone killings of Americans secret”)

  186. 186
    mclaren says:

    @Rex Everything:

    No, Soonergrunt is telling us he’s a sociopath who swoons with delight over the murder of innocent civilians as long as anyone with a badge does it. No wonder he’s a front-pager. Now, if he’d come out in favor of dragging babies behind motorcycles, the Democrats would make him the head of the DLC…

  187. 187
    Rex Everything says:

    @General Stuck: Kisses back atcha, Stucky.

  188. 188
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Rex Everything: No. Please try reading what I actually wrote as what I actually wrote. And nothing more than that. Don’t be that intellectually challenged blowhard mclaren. TRY. TO. BE. BETTER.

    ETA:@mclaren: Speak of the dumbshit…

  189. 189

    […] Later Night Open Thread (balloon-juice.com) […]

  190. 190
    Rex Everything says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Please try reading what I actually wrote as what I actually wrote. And nothing more than that.

    I did. And your whole case rests on conflating targeted civilians with soldiers on a battlefield. Which is crap.

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