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(NBC News)   NBC obtains formerly secret memo that lays out the case why the government can assassinate some of its own citizens; with link to actual memo   (openchannel.nbcnews.com) divider line 478
    More: Interesting, NBC News, Justice Department, legal case, Michael Isikoff, Americans, Office of Legal Counsel, targeted killings, right of self-defense  
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12122 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Feb 2013 at 12:51 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-05 12:54:51 AM
nmrsnr:

If there is an Al Qaida a buildingbase in Yemen, and there is only oneperson inside, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the person inside?

FTFY so you can understand the issue.
 
2013-02-05 12:55:43 AM

Rincewind53: I think his point was to use sarcasm to point out that the Left in America has been against this from day frickin' one.


Bull farking shiat.  There was about 20 people pissed off, and Chomsky got yelled at by what is supposedly the left.
 
2013-02-05 12:56:23 AM
So any American believed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and having done "recent activities" can be considered an "imminent threat" to the United States and can be subjected to targeted killing if capturing them poses "undue risk" to US forces?

I'm no constitutional or international law scholar, but those quoted words seem to be less than explicitly defined and open to some subjective interpretation.
 
2013-02-05 12:57:14 AM

GAT_00: Somacandra: GAT_00: How about what's left of the left steps up and collectively says "This is wrong" for a change.

I'll get right on the horn to Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman about that. I'm sure this will all be news to them.

How the fark do you not have a problem with the President executing American citizens?  How does everyone not have a problem with that?


I have to applaud you for taking a stand for your principles here. I agree with you, regardless of who is President - he/she should not be deciding who to "take out" unilaterally, period.

Far too many on the Politics tab are polarized political hacks:  "Bush? Drone strikes? EEVILLLLL!"  "Obama? Drone strikes? Eh, they had it coming and he's doing a good job. Non-story."
 
2013-02-05 12:57:15 AM

Rincewind53: tenpoundsofcheese: DamnYankees: I gotta be honest - I don't get why this is new. Hasnt this been the known position of the US government for years?

No.

It is new.   Amazing that 0bama is more like Dick Cheney than Dick is.

It's not new, but you knew that. The only new thing is that the legal document justifying the policy was released to the press.


You are lying again.
It was not "released to the press".
"It was provided to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees in June by administration officials on the condition that it be kept confidential and  not discussed publicly. "
 
2013-02-05 12:57:32 AM

GAT_00: Rincewind53: I think his point was to use sarcasm to point out that the Left in America has been against this from day frickin' one.

Bull farking shiat.  There was about 20 people pissed off, and Chomsky got yelled at by what is supposedly the left.


If you honestly think that the Left in America does not oppose drone strikes and hasn't been pretty vocal about it, then you haven't been following the Left.

Or perhaps you mean liberals. Because liberals are fairly centrist and generally don't oppose drone strikes. But if you mean liberals, and not the Left, then why didn't you just say so?
 
2013-02-05 12:59:07 AM

miss diminutive: So any American believed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and having done "recent activities" can be considered an "imminent threat" to the United States and can be subjected to targeted killing if capturing them poses "undue risk" to US forces?

I'm no constitutional or international law scholar, but those quoted words seem to be less than explicitly defined and open to some subjective interpretation.


The same justification used to kill Awlaki can be applied incredibly easily to drones firing on Americans inside the US who the police deem "too risky" to bring out for trial.  The scenario is effectively unchanged.
 
2013-02-05 12:59:42 AM
I thought NBC was in the tank for Obama.  Why would they want to embarrass their Obamessiah like this?
 
2013-02-05 12:59:56 AM

Rincewind53: cman: These people are in active treason against the US.

Is it actually treason? Treason is defined in the Constution: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. "

Is plotting to blow up a shopping mall "levying war against [the United States]"? Was Timothy McVeigh guilty of treason? How about Adam Lanza? Both employed tactics directly used by Al-Qaeda.  Is Al-Qaeda the kind of "enemy" envisioned by the Founders? Surely they meant enemy nation-states, not political groups.


I agree, they could have never envisioned non-state terror cells.  But, they do exist, and people subscribe to their mentality.  They have, over time, formed their own identity as a collective group, and are no different than a formalized army with a banner to wave in front of them.
 
2013-02-05 01:00:12 AM

miss diminutive: So any American believed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and having done "recent activities" can be considered an "imminent threat" to the United States and can be subjected to targeted killing if capturing them poses "undue risk" to US forces?

I'm no constitutional or international law scholar, but those quoted words seem to be less than explicitly defined and open to some subjective interpretation.


The memo does make it clear that its legal rationale only applies to  senior operational leaders of Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups, not just any person belonging to a terrorist organization.
 
2013-02-05 01:01:21 AM
So only think of the children who are in class coloring in the lines who get shot by an AR and not the children who live in the same house as the target and get blown up by a Hellfire?

Are the children arbitrary or relative?
 
2013-02-05 01:01:36 AM

tenpoundsofcheese: Rincewind53: tenpoundsofcheese: DamnYankees: I gotta be honest - I don't get why this is new. Hasnt this been the known position of the US government for years?

No.

It is new.   Amazing that 0bama is more like Dick Cheney than Dick is.

It's not new, but you knew that. The only new thing is that the legal document justifying the policy was released to the press.

You are lying again.
It was not "released to the press".
"It was provided to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees in June by administration officials on the condition that it be kept confidential and  not discussed publicly. "


So, basically, someone(s) on the Judiciary and/or Intelligence committees leaked classified information to the press.

Nice job, idiots.
 
2013-02-05 01:01:52 AM

Rincewind53: GAT_00: Rincewind53: I think his point was to use sarcasm to point out that the Left in America has been against this from day frickin' one.

Bull farking shiat.  There was about 20 people pissed off, and Chomsky got yelled at by what is supposedly the left.

If you honestly think that the Left in America does not oppose drone strikes and hasn't been pretty vocal about it, then you haven't been following the Left.

Or perhaps you mean liberals. Because liberals are fairly centrist and generally don't oppose drone strikes. But if you mean liberals, and not the Left, then why didn't you just say so?


Your definitions are reversed from mine.  The Left is the Democratic party.  Liberals are people like Chomsky, Kucinich and Bernie Sanders.

There is nothing "liberal" about the Democratic Party except neoliberalism, yet another misnomer of a name in the American political lexicon.
 
2013-02-05 01:02:01 AM

GAT_00: The same justification used to kill Awlaki can be applied incredibly easily to drones firing on Americans inside the US who the police deem "too risky" to bring out for trial.  The scenario is effectively unchanged.


No. See my previous post. The memo makes it clear that the it only applies to  senior operational leaders of Al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations whose capture is not possible. The scenario you propose is 100% different.
 
2013-02-05 01:02:41 AM
It's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission
 
2013-02-05 01:02:55 AM
dissentingdemocrat.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-02-05 01:03:22 AM

GAT_00: Somacandra: GAT_00: How about what's left of the left steps up and collectively says "This is wrong" for a change.

I'll get right on the horn to Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman about that. I'm sure this will all be news to them.

How the fark do you not have a problem with the President executing American citizens?  How does everyone not have a problem with that?


If we have reliable intel that you have become a senior level AQ operative, you pretty much gave up your passport a long time ago.
 
2013-02-05 01:03:48 AM

GAT_00: Your definitions are reversed from mine.  The Left is the Democratic party.  Liberals are people like Chomsky, Kucinich and Bernie Sanders.

There is nothing "liberal" about the Democratic Party except neoliberalism, yet another misnomer of a name in the American political lexicon.


Well, okay, then we don't disagree, since we both use different words to describe the same thing. I've just never heard liberals being described as to the left of leftists. Normally the spectrum goes leftist<--liberal--<centrist.

But since it's a definitional issue, there's no disagreement between us.
 
2013-02-05 01:04:07 AM

Giltric: So only think of the children who are in class coloring in the lines who get shot by an AR and not the children who live in the same house as the target and get blown up by a Hellfire?

Are the children arbitrary or relative?


Your concern for children is touching.
 
2013-02-05 01:04:20 AM

Rincewind53: GAT_00: The same justification used to kill Awlaki can be applied incredibly easily to drones firing on Americans inside the US who the police deem "too risky" to bring out for trial.  The scenario is effectively unchanged.

No. See my previous post. The memo makes it clear that the it only applies to  senior operational leaders of Al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations whose capture is not possible. The scenario you propose is 100% different.


The memo said an American can be killed without trial, without proof of their crimes, on the order of the President.  Their position is irrelevant.
 
2013-02-05 01:05:37 AM
I'm a dirty pinko commie socialist libtard and even I have a hard time getting worked up over it.
 
2013-02-05 01:06:13 AM

Rincewind53: GAT_00: Your definitions are reversed from mine.  The Left is the Democratic party.  Liberals are people like Chomsky, Kucinich and Bernie Sanders.

There is nothing "liberal" about the Democratic Party except neoliberalism, yet another misnomer of a name in the American political lexicon.

Well, okay, then we don't disagree, since we both use different words to describe the same thing. I've just never heard liberals being described as to the left of leftists. Normally the spectrum goes leftist<--liberal--<centrist.

But since it's a definitional issue, there's no disagreement between us.


I've always thought of the left as a general ideology, vague and unspecified.  Liberals are the ones who drive it.

Grand_Moff_Joseph: If we have reliable intel that you have become a senior level AQ operative, you pretty much gave up your passport a long time ago.


No, you don't.  What's more, we can't prove that because he wasn't given a trial.
 
2013-02-05 01:07:25 AM

Rincewind53: miss diminutive: So any American believed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and having done "recent activities" can be considered an "imminent threat" to the United States and can be subjected to targeted killing if capturing them poses "undue risk" to US forces?

I'm no constitutional or international law scholar, but those quoted words seem to be less than explicitly defined and open to some subjective interpretation.

The memo does make it clear that its legal rationale only applies to  senior operational leaders of Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups, not just any person belonging to a terrorist organization.


True, but how do they define "senior operational leader"? Is it based on how many underlings they have working for them? How long they've been in the organization? How close their reserved parking space is to the camp?
 
2013-02-05 01:07:26 AM

Lionel Mandrake: Giltric: So only think of the children who are in class coloring in the lines who get shot by an AR and not the children who live in the same house as the target and get blown up by a Hellfire?

Are the children arbitrary or relative?

Your concern for children is touching.



Doesn't seem like you are concerned for them anymore, so someone has to pick up the slack.

Banning firearms is just like domestic drone strikes...neither one will save a childs life.
 
2013-02-05 01:07:54 AM
Just one question.

When does the "War On Terror" end?  Who is a "terrorist," and why should an accusation of terrorism carry any more judicial weight, by its mere utterance, than an accusation of bank robbery or jaywalking?

Which "terrorists" are authorized to sign an armistice in this "war," or to sue for peace on behalf of their organization?
 
2013-02-05 01:08:09 AM
"The Constitution does not  require the president to delay action until some theoretical end-stage of planning, when the precise time, place and manner of an attack become clear,"  he said.
But his speech did not contain the additional language in the white paper suggesting that  no active intelligence about a specific attack is needed to justify a targeted strike.


Come again?  I'm disturbed by this reporter's abject failure to read the quote he typed directly before his own half-assed comment.
 
2013-02-05 01:08:43 AM

Lionel Mandrake: I thought NBC was in the tank for Obama.  Why would they want to embarrass their Obamessiah like this?


Sweeps.
 
2013-02-05 01:08:44 AM

GAT_00: The memo said an American can be killed without trial, without proof of their crimes, on the order of the President.  Their position is irrelevant.


Uh.... no. Read the memo before you say something that's proven wrong in the first damn paragraph.

"This memo sets forth a legal framework for considering the circumstances in which the U.S. government could use lethal force  in a foreign country outside the area of active hostilities against a U.S. citizen  who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda or an affiliated force of Al-Qaeda--that is, an Al-Qaeda  leader... This paper does not attempt to determine the minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful;  nor does it assess what might be required to render a lethal operation against a U.S. citizen lawful in other circumstances..."
 
2013-02-05 01:09:18 AM

Grand_Moff_Joseph: GAT_00: Somacandra: GAT_00: How about what's left of the left steps up and collectively says "This is wrong" for a change.

I'll get right on the horn to Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman about that. I'm sure this will all be news to them.

How the fark do you not have a problem with the President executing American citizens?  How does everyone not have a problem with that?

If we have reliable intel that you have become a senior level AQ operative, you pretty much gave up your passport a long time ago.



Grand Moff sounds like a title a senior operative would have.
 
2013-02-05 01:09:25 AM
Huh and here I've always thought that taking up arms against the US government makes you an enemy of the US government and that the US government, its legislators & military are duty bound to take you out.  "All threats, foreign and domestic", blah, blah.

I don't have a problem with the government / military targeting American citizens if they are active enemy combatants and I'm a dirty dirty lib.
 
2013-02-05 01:10:25 AM

Man On Pink Corner: When does the "War On Terror" end? Who is a "terrorist," and why should an accusation of terrorism carry any more judicial weight, by its mere utterance, than an accusation of bank robbery or jaywalking?


False equivalence is false.
 
2013-02-05 01:10:47 AM
Oh look. It's time to try and make liberals feel guilty for voting for Obama again!

Did so well the last time.
 
2013-02-05 01:10:59 AM

Rincewind53: GAT_00: The memo said an American can be killed without trial, without proof of their crimes, on the order of the President.  Their position is irrelevant.

Uh.... no. Read the memo before you say something that's proven wrong in the first damn paragraph.

"This memo sets forth a legal framework for considering the circumstances in which the U.S. government could use lethal force  in a foreign country outside the area of active hostilities against a U.S. citizen  who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda or an affiliated force of Al-Qaeda--that is, an Al-Qaeda  leader... This paper does not attempt to determine the minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful;  nor does it assess what might be required to render a lethal operation against a U.S. citizen lawful in other circumstances..."


The precedent has been clearly established.
 
2013-02-05 01:11:29 AM
I want so badly to watch this thread but I'm out of popcorn and liquor.
 
2013-02-05 01:11:34 AM

whidbey: Oh look. It's time to try and make liberals feel guilty for voting for Obama again!

Did so well the last time.


I didn't vote for Obama in November, so...
 
2013-02-05 01:12:34 AM

miss diminutive: True, but how do they define "senior operational leader"? Is it based on how many underlings they have working for them? How long they've been in the organization? How close their reserved parking space is to the camp?


The closest to a definition I can directly find is on Page 8, paragraph 2, where it says "an individual poses an 'imminent threat' against the United States where is an operational leader of al-Qa'ida or an associated force and is  personally and continually involved in the planning of terrorist attacks against the United States."

There may be another definition in there I'm missing.
 
2013-02-05 01:12:50 AM

Giltric: Grand_Moff_Joseph: GAT_00: Somacandra: GAT_00: How about what's left of the left steps up and collectively says "This is wrong" for a change.

I'll get right on the horn to Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman about that. I'm sure this will all be news to them.

How the fark do you not have a problem with the President executing American citizens?  How does everyone not have a problem with that?

If we have reliable intel that you have become a senior level AQ operative, you pretty much gave up your passport a long time ago.


Grand Moff sounds like a title a senior operative would have.


lulz.  Increase firepower to the forward batteries - I don't want anything to get through.
 
2013-02-05 01:12:53 AM
It is the absence of a check and balance, not the existence of the policy.
 
2013-02-05 01:13:08 AM
It's only a big deal because the GOP is worried that someone might look at what they've been doing for the last 4 years and decide that it fits the description of economic treason.
 
2013-02-05 01:13:53 AM
ts4.mm.bing.net
 
2013-02-05 01:14:47 AM
I find any inconvenience of anyone to be outrageous and demand the destruction of the inconveniencerer.
 
2013-02-05 01:14:55 AM

GAT_00: whidbey: Oh look. It's time to try and make liberals feel guilty for voting for Obama again!

Did so well the last time.

I didn't vote for Obama in November, so...


Actually he still won.  Overwhelmingly.
 
2013-02-05 01:15:07 AM
1 - Are they hanging out with the enemy?  If "no", stop.  If "yes", continue.

2 - Are they operating as our spy or as a journalist?  If "no", then continue.  If "yes", stop.

3 - Are they being held prisoner by said enemy?  If "no", then bombs away.  If "yes", stop.

Seems simple enough to me.
 
2013-02-05 01:16:24 AM

GAT_00: The precedent has been clearly established.


Dude. I thought liberals were against slippery slope arguments. You've jumped so far down that slope it's like an right-winger saying "If it's legal for gays to have sex with each other, then it's legal for gays to steal your children and forcibly rape them in front of their parents." After all, the precedent has been clearly established.

I thought more of you. This memo lays out the legal rationale for a very specific act; the targeted killing of an American citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda in a foreign country, who cannot be captured. For you to get "This is precedent to drone stroke American citizens in the United States who police determine to be "too risky" to bring out for trial" from that is  absurd.
 
2013-02-05 01:19:49 AM
I wonder if the uber-patriotic preppers and teabaggers will complain about this.
 
2013-02-05 01:20:13 AM

Rincewind53: GAT_00: The memo said an American can be killed without trial, without proof of their crimes, on the order of the President.  Their position is irrelevant.

Uh.... no. Read the memo before you say something that's proven wrong in the first damn paragraph.

"This memo sets forth a legal framework for considering the circumstances in which the U.S. government could use lethal force  in a foreign country outside the area of active hostilities against a U.S. citizen  who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda or an affiliated force of Al-Qaeda--that is, an Al-Qaeda  leader... This paper does not attempt to determine the minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful;  nor does it assess what might be required to render a lethal operation against a U.S. citizen lawful in other circumstances..."


You are wrong.
All you need to do is accuse someone is a "senior operational leader" of a group that you claim to be is an "affiliated force" of Al-Qaeda.

That description could easily fit the description of the Time Square (attempted) bomber. In an organization that is organized as cells, he is a leader of his cell and he clearly was affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
 
2013-02-05 01:20:19 AM

Rincewind53: This memo lays out the legal rationale for a very specific act; the targeted killing of an American citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda in a foreign country, who cannot be captured. For you to get "This is precedent to drone stroke American citizens in the United States who police determine to be "too risky" to bring out for trial" from that is absurd.


To be fair, though, this is what happens we we allow a Presidency like the Bush administration to lie to the American public and launch an all-out illegal unjustified war.  The result has been fallout for over a decade, even after the conflicts are supposedly winding down.

It's long out of the bottle.
 
2013-02-05 01:20:33 AM

miss diminutive: Lionel Mandrake: I thought NBC was in the tank for Obama.  Why would they want to embarrass their Obamessiah like this?

Sweeps.


Must be...hell, Michael Isikoff was even on with Comrade Rachel Maddow (did you know that she's gay?)  talking about all of this stuff, even though I've been told that MSNBC is so in the tank for Obama that they never criticize him.  I guess Obama's checks to the lamestream drive-by liberal MSM media bounced this month.
 
2013-02-05 01:21:49 AM

Weaver95: cman: 1. It is not "assassination"
2. No one biatched at Lincoln when the American troops killed the rebelling Confederacy soldiers. 500k Americans died in that war.
3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.

problem is...the definition of treason gets tossed around rather casually these days.  that's what worries me - that a US president will at some point decide that someone he doesn't like is a de facto terrorist and try to off 'em, legal definition be damned.


yep
 
2013-02-05 01:22:02 AM

zedster: Rincewind53: Neither of those examples relates to the question here, which is about targeted killings of American citizens, without trial. The Civil War was a clearly defined war, where killings occurred as they normally do in war; face to face, between uniformed men. Waco was clearly not deliberate targeted killings without trial.

What about the Whiskey Rebellion?


You had me at "Whiskey"
 
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