Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

From the Bush Torture Memos to the Obama Kill Memo

President Bush's administration claimed the right to imprison, without charges or trial, anyone that a nameless functionary in the government said was worth locking up. All it took, in that regime, was a simple affidavit from an anonymous bureaucrat and you could be tossed into the American Gulag forever. Under his original order for military commissions, the death penalty could have been handed down by a minority of the so-called jury and the only officials who got to review the results of the commission were SecDef and the Preznit.

This current president doesn't have the excuse that he was a dumb-ass student who got through school on family connections and who was lead around the West Wing by his vice-president. He taught constitutional law. So the fact that he has arrogated to himself the right to order summary executions of Americans is rather incredible.

This is how it works: A nameless drone, supposedly a "high-ranking informed official", says: "That guy is a bad guy. Kill him." Then targeting information is given to another nameless drone, sitting in an air-conditioned trailer in Nevada, who then uses an armed drone to kill the guy. There is no review of the decision. All the "high-ranking" drone has to say is that the guy to be whacked is associated, somehow, however tenuously, with al-Qaeda and that is enough.

The Administration's Kill Memo is, of course, chock full of legal rationalizations worthy of a piece authored by John Yoo. We don't know, of course, what graduate of a bottom-tier law school produced this crap memo. Undoubtedly, they want to keep the authorship quiet since both Yoo and the rest of the Bush Six really can't travel abroad without the risk of being arrested for facilitating the commission of war crimes by writing the Torture Memos.

The Kill Memo is even more vile than the Torture Memos. Eric Holder would be similarly advised to forget about foreign travel once he steps down from being Attorney General.


bearsense said...

and it will live on ...beyoun this administration's tenure.
Imagine Dick Cheney with this option ...... no, I'd rather not.

bob said...

For that matter I would also suggest that Barrack Hussein Obama should also refrain from foreign travel once he is no longer protected by diplomatic immunity. After all as POTUS he is the Commander in Chief.

Comrade Misfit said...

Agreed, and for the same reason that Bush and Cheney have traveled no further than Canada since they left office.

Nangleator said...

Charles Pierce pointed out yesterday that this president is stymied at any attempt to improve the country... but can legally, and without even a moment's effort at justification, murder any American. Any political opponent, even.

The New York Crank said...

While I find it difficult to shed a tear for Anwar Al Awaiki, it's the "any political opponent" that bothers me. Hey, were you demonstrating against my tax bill? You're a clear and present threat. Are you a newspaper reporter about to uncover a scandal in my administration? Zap! Could you beat my House Appropriations Committee sock puppet in the next election? Clearly you are a threat to progress, which makes you a threat to democracy, which makes you an enemy of the United States and a clear and present danger. Bang!

In the end, the Kill Memo may be a bigger threat to the future of the American republic than Anwar Al Awaiki could have ever hoped to be.

Very Crankily Yours,
The New York Crank

Eck! said...

Since 911 There have been many that have said we will die [as a country] by our own hand. And indeed, we have been violating our own laws and ethics such that in fear
of groups like al-Qaeda that they have lost control and are seeing bad guys behind every pole. By doing the unamerican thing we have not become safer and instead we
have made ourselves the tool of our demise.

Its a death spiral, the tighter we go the tighter we have to get to keep the appearing of on track until it unsustainable. Then we get so wound up that
no amount of effort can keep that path. The only thing left is go down the
drain or stop and relax and accept the path was wrong and close down the
tools of our own destruction.