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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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12126 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 01:23:07 AM

Lionel Mandrake: 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.


+1
 
2013-02-05 01:23:10 AM

whidbey: 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.


I agree. The Iraq war was a complete and utter disaster.

Now, what does that have to do with the issue at hand?
 
2013-02-05 01:23:20 AM
Allow me to preempt the derp:

Derp: "Why is this a problem? If you're trying to kill 'MERICANS, you DESERVE TO DIE!"

Answer: WHO said you were trying to kill anyone? Some nameless official? Have they proved it? Have they indicted you? Is there evidence? What if they are wrong? What if they have the wrong person? Has the US Government ever made a mistake? Assuming the guilty are dead--because only the guilty would be targeted--is called "begging the question."

Derp: "Hasn't this been the rule for a while? Why get upset now, lib-tards?"

Answer: The fact that this horrible policy has been drip-fed to the media over the past 4 years does not refute its awfulness or its illegality. This is a non-sequitur.

Derp: "What's the big deal? More people died in WWI, WWII, Vietnam, etc. etc. etc. so I refuse to care about this."

Answer: Let me rephrase: "I refuse to service this faulty airplane engine because no one I know has been killed yet and there have been worse accidents in the past." Perhaps if we let the government lawlessly assassinate people today, there will be bigger, worse abuses and wars in the future and THEN you can get interested. Or we can address the problem now. Your choice.

Derp: "Whatever it takes to keep us SAFE FROM THE TERR'ISTS!!!!"

Answer: You are about 10,000 times more likely to die in a household accident than a terrorist attack in America. If you are willing to give the government carte blanche to assassinate any citizen accused (anonymously) of being "associated" with terrorists in the "recent" past with NO evidence... just to protect yourself from a risk approximately 500 times lesser than that of getting electrocuted while shaving, then you are a coward of the first order or else bad at statistics or else both.

Derp: "But... it's OBAMA. It's OK! It's OBAAAAMAAAAAAA"

Answer: Liberal derp is still derp. Someday someone else will be president. What will (s)he do with that power?
 
2013-02-05 01:24:46 AM

Bucky Katt: 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


The definition of treason is literally written into the Constitution. Also, this memo does not in any way base its rationale off of treason. Treason is irrelevant to the point at hand.
 
2013-02-05 01:25:12 AM

saburai: Liberal derp is still derp.


Yup. Nothing biased about your stance.  Those damn liburuls.  Raisin' yer taxes.
 
2013-02-05 01:27:20 AM

whidbey: saburai: Liberal derp is still derp.

Yup. Nothing biased about your stance.  Those damn liburuls.  Raisin' yer taxes.


Remind me, what is my stance?
 
2013-02-05 01:27:34 AM
Wow I will admit that I didn't read the full thread but the Fark derp is in full effect these days.  If a person knowingly sides with an enemy they are no longer a citizen.  How is this in question?
 
2013-02-05 01:27:38 AM

Rincewind53: whidbey: 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.

I agree. The Iraq war was a complete and utter disaster.

Now, what does that have to do with the issue at hand?


I'm saying we really don't have a choice but to finish the job Bush dragged us into.   That's why we're still there.
 
2013-02-05 01:27:57 AM

Rincewind53: 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.


It's because the direct military power of the American executive has been increasing steadily.  It's a crossed bridge that means the next time this has to go a little further, it will seem reasonable compared to past actions.  It has little to no checks on it anymore, as Congressional approval is largely symbolic now.  The increasing capability of our power to strike against individuals at a whim is also growing.  It represents a symbolic point from which American history suggests no return, because there is no precedent for American executive vacating power.  Once it is done once, it becomes commonplace.  Hence how drone strikes against an individual fell below being noteworthy, now we have the first example of a strike used against an American.  It is a dangerous point.

It's now simple to write a similar memo targeting any other American we regard as a problem abroad.  The singular justification exists, and it is used.  Once it becomes commonplace, the potential for a higher act becomes more justifiable, because it no longer seems so far down the hole.
 
2013-02-05 01:28:43 AM

saburai: whidbey: saburai: Liberal derp is still derp.

Yup. Nothing biased about your stance.  Those damn liburuls.  Raisin' yer taxes.

Remind me, what is my stance?


You've clearly out to give liberals a "gotcha" moment and make us feel guilty for electing this Presidency. Again.
 
2013-02-05 01:28:52 AM
Hell not even the dumbest liebutturd thinks these cocksuckers are hanging out with Al Qaeda because they're trick or treating for UNICEF. If you join even a friendly merc group like the French Foreign Legion you forfeit your citizenship then these people are no longer citizens and it's a moot point. Add to that the fact they're either enemy combatants or traitors depending on your point of view, I think they're both, then there's no problem dispatching them as such.
 
2013-02-05 01:29:33 AM

Somacandra: [www.personal.psu.edu image 226x250]

The Republican Party that cried "Wolf" has done it once too often. No one will care now. Thanks guys. You were too busy crapping over birth certificates, criticism of farking Nazis, fathering only girls, arugula, dijon mustard, Benghazi and President Obama's Magical Time Machine. Now there is a real job to do calling people on the carpet for a serious "Imperial Presidency" issue that needs to be hashed out in public discourse. And you're completely discredited. Thanks, ASSHOLES.


Yea, figures that this is the card that would be blamed. It's the Republican's fault for what Democrats do because Republicans.


GAT_00: How the fark do you not have a problem with the President executing American citizens? How does everyone not have a problem with that?


Because Republicans.

The whole problem with this is there's no review of what is legal when it comes to killing an American by order of the president. It sets up a bad precedent when it's so unilateral even when the guy is a bad dude. While we all may agree the guy was an enemy, there should be some mechanism to check such a power. I think it may be time to directly codify the war powers that allow such in the Constitution. And with all the lefties who callously throw out "traitor" and "enemy of the state" towards the GOP, I'm not comfortable with them having that power due to their zeal to use it.
 
2013-02-05 01:30:13 AM

nmrsnr: Mentat: Even if you trust this President, what about the next?  Look at how easily Bush and the neocons took down the institutional barriers to government power that had been built up over decades.  It's not hard to envision a future President ordering a drone strike on a target within America in the name of national security.  We have to be very careful at establishing precedent, because once that power is granted it's almost impossible to take it away.

It's not about trust. This isn't a blanket license to kill. The three prong test may be broad, but not unlimited. 1) imminent threat, pretty useless, but to even reach this point, Congress needs to pass an Authorized Use of Military Force for the President to even consider a target for striking. 2) Feasability, basically limitiing it only to places where the US doesn't have jurisdiction and doesn't have the cooperation of a friendly government, so we won't be sending drones into Germany. 3) The strike has to be otherwise in keeping with the laws of war, so no undue collateral damage, etc.

You may disagree with the President having this ability, but it's really not that the president can order a drone strike your house because he doesn't like you. It is significantly more strict than that.


If there's one thing we learned during the Bush Administration, it's that the law can be used to justify anything until it becomes inconvenient, then you just ignore it.  Do you think a future Dick Cheney is going to be deterred by a piece of paper?  That's why you have to be so careful setting precedent.
 
2013-02-05 01:31:54 AM

GAT_00: 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.


No. First because capturing them would be a police action, and the police are not part of the US forces this memo relates to. Second, because that would not be pursuant to the laws of war, which are different for US troops when undertaken domestically, and which do not include conducting war at the order of senior government officials no matter how many memo's they have.

Not saying this memo is good in general, just that it in no way could be used to conduct a drone strike on a US citizen on US soil.
 
2013-02-05 01:33:12 AM

arentol: GAT_00: 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.

No. First because capturing them would be a police action, and the police are not part of the US forces this memo relates to. Second, because that would not be pursuant to the laws of war, which are different for US troops when undertaken domestically, and which do not include conducting war at the order of senior government officials no matter how many memo's they have.

Not saying this memo is good in general, just that it in no way could be used to conduct a drone strike on a US citizen on US soil.



yet.
 
2013-02-05 01:34:23 AM

BafflerMeal: Not saying this memo is good in general, just that it in no way could be used to conduct a drone strike on a US citizen on US soil.


yet.


Do you really think some madman of a President would refer to this memo to accomplish such a task?

Tinfoil.  I think I hear it calling.
 
2013-02-05 01:34:37 AM

Sweet Zombi Jesus: Wow I will admit that I didn't read the full thread but the Fark derp is in full effect these days.  If a person knowingly sides with an enemy they are no longer a citizen.  How is this in question?


Is that an actual law, or just a thing people use to make themselves feel better?
 
2013-02-05 01:35:25 AM

whidbey: saburai: whidbey: saburai: Liberal derp is still derp.

Yup. Nothing biased about your stance.  Those damn liburuls.  Raisin' yer taxes.

Remind me, what is my stance?

You've clearly out to give liberals a "gotcha" moment and make us feel guilty for electing this Presidency. Again.


Stupid is as stupid does. The last 4 presidential elections should be proof enough of that.
 
2013-02-05 01:37:12 AM

Mrbogey: And with all the lefties who callously throw out "traitor" and "enemy of the state" towards the GOP, I'm not comfortable with them having that power due to their zeal to use it.


I'm not sure what's more laughable, your shameless whiteknighting of the most morally bankrupt political party in history, or your paranoia regarding what "all the lefties" are going to do, as if  Democrats are "lefties" to begin with.
 
2013-02-05 01:37:23 AM

whidbey: BafflerMeal: Not saying this memo is good in general, just that it in no way could be used to conduct a drone strike on a US citizen on US soil.


yet.

Do you really think some madman of a President would refer to this memo to accomplish such a task?

Tinfoil.  I think I hear it calling.


Standards of Conduct for Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. sections 2340-2340A
 
2013-02-05 01:37:42 AM

Lionel Mandrake: Sweet Zombi Jesus: Wow I will admit that I didn't read the full thread but the Fark derp is in full effect these days.  If a person knowingly sides with an enemy they are no longer a citizen.  How is this in question?

Is that an actual law, or just a thing people use to make themselves feel better?


Actual law.
 
2013-02-05 01:38:27 AM

Mentat: If there's one thing we learned during the Bush Administration, it's that the law can be used to justify anything until it becomes inconvenient, then you just ignore it.  Do you think a future Dick Cheney is going to be deterred by a piece of paper?  That's why you have to be so careful setting precedent.


Well, which is it? Either this memo is horrifying because it sets a dangerous precedent, or it's utterly meaningless because a tyrant will simply ignore the laws and not be deterred by any piece of paper. You can't have it both ways.
 
2013-02-05 01:39:06 AM

ElLoco: whidbey: saburai: whidbey: saburai: Liberal derp is still derp.

Yup. Nothing biased about your stance.  Those damn liburuls.  Raisin' yer taxes.

Remind me, what is my stance?

You've clearly out to give liberals a "gotcha" moment and make us feel guilty for electing this Presidency. Again.

Stupid is as stupid does. The last 4 presidential elections should be proof enough of that.


If you're talking about Bush not actually being elected,  foolhardily getting re-elected, Sarah Palin and Mittens, I would agree.   Otherwise, that is a very cryptic comment you're making.
 
2013-02-05 01:39:41 AM

Sweet Zombi Jesus: Wow I will admit that I didn't read the full thread but the Fark derp is in full effect these days.  If a person knowingly sides with an enemy they are no longer a citizen.  How is this in question?


What is "siding"? Taking up arms? Sending money? Writing a favorable comment on YouTube that gets 10,000 up votes? Does criticizing US forces count, if you don't advocate violence? What if you DO advocate violence, but not directly against the US? What if you advocate violence against a US ally in Saudi Arabia? What about against an ally in Libya (i.e. Kadaffi in 2008).

Who is "the enemy"? Would Hezbollah count? Would Hamas count? Would going to a "free Palestine" rally count?

What is an "associated force"? Would contributing to Wikileaks count if the government said it was a hostile organization?

What does it mean to do something "knowingly"? What if you wrote a short story, meant to be fiction, that was interpreted as a call to action by a violent kid somewhere who cited you and blew up a bus? What if you donated to a cause that was LATER determined to have been a terrorist group for many years prior, including when you donated? See MEK.

And finally: Who decides these things? A court? A judge? A nameless official looking at your name in a binder somewhere?

Does Sweet Zombi Jesus decide?

"How is this in question?" Christ, man, how is this anything but a LONG SERIES OF HUGE QUESTIONS?

Are you really as incurious, unimaginative, and trusting of the government as you try to sound? And are you actually accusing OTHER people of derp?
 
2013-02-05 01:40:05 AM
I have no problem with this.
 
2013-02-05 01:40:44 AM

WTF Indeed: Because once you take up arms against the United States or any nation for that matter, you forfeit your citizenship?

When this anti-war pussies going to realize that sometimes people need to die, and most the time innocent people dying is worth the cost.


So Jefferson saying dissent is the greatest form of patriotism now means I renounce my citizenship?

I can't tell if I'm the confused derp, or you failed to get your point across.
 
2013-02-05 01:42:54 AM

GAT_00:
It's because the direct military power of the American executive has been increasing steadily.  It's a crossed bridge that means the next time this has to go a little further, it will seem reasonable compared to past actions.  It has little to no checks on it anymore, as Congressional approval is largely symbolic now.  The increasing capability of our power to strike against individuals at a whim is also growing.  It represents a symbolic point from which American history suggests no return, because there is no precedent for American executive vacating power.  Once it is done once, it becomes commonplace.  Hence how drone strikes against an individual fell below being noteworthy, now we have the first example of a strike used against an American.  It is a dangerous point.

It's now simple to write a similar memo targeting any other American we regard as a problem abroad.  The singular justification exists, and it is used.  Once it becomes commonplace, the potential for a higher act becomes more justifiable, because it no longer seems so far down the hole.


Because A, therefore B, C, D... X, Y, Z, is a very weak argument. You act as if this memo is somehow dispositive on the issue, as if because we killed Awlaki, the next thing, we're killing Americans on American soil with drone strikes.

As Justice Scalia would say, that's "Reduction ad absurdum", and I recall you coming down rather hard against him for his use of it.
 
2013-02-05 01:43:28 AM

cman: 1. It is not "assassination"


No, just cold blood murder.

2. No one biatched at Lincoln when the American troops killed the rebelling Confederacy soldiers. 500k Americans died in that war.

Yeah, plenty biatched at Lincoln.  He jailed thousands of Union disloyalists and critics without trial and tortured them with water.  Sound famliar?

3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.

Right, so..  you read this document.  Be prepared to be targeted, traitor.  You've put our troops at risk with this newfound knowledge.
 
2013-02-05 01:45:04 AM
Reductio. Not reduction. Stupid autocorrect
 
2013-02-05 01:45:44 AM
Smoke and mirrors, stripes and stars
Stolen for the cross in the name of God
Bloodshed, genocide, rape and fraud
Written to the pages of the law, good lord
The Cold Continent latch key child
Ran away one day and started acting foul
King of where the wild things are, daddy's proud
cause the Roman Empire done passed it down
Imported and tortured a work force
and never healed the wounds or shook the curse off
Now the grown up Goliath nation
Holdin open auditions for the part of David, can you feel it?
Nothing can save ya, you question the reign
You get rushed in and chained up
Fist raised but I must be insane
cos I can't figure a single goddamn way to change it

Welcome to the United Snakes
Land of the thief home of the slave
The grand imperial guard where the dollar is sacred and power is God
 
2013-02-05 01:45:52 AM
This thread: Exhibit A for how far right the Democratic party has been dragged.
Ironically, some of the only compassionate liberals left in Washington are the religious types i.e. the Quakers and other left-leaning pacifistic church denominations. The "new" left could learn a lot from them.
 
2013-02-05 01:46:02 AM
saburai:
Who is "the enemy"? Would Hezbollah count? Would Hamas count? Would going to a "free Palestine" rally count?

Dont forget Occupy Wall Street.  I hear those guys want to blow up bridges because the FBI says so.
 
2013-02-05 01:46:57 AM

whidbey: I'm not sure what's more laughable, your shameless whiteknighting of the most morally bankrupt political party in history...


That bad? Man, Obama should just order them executed. Of course, the trick is waiting till they leave the country so as to justify it.
 
2013-02-05 01:47:06 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.


Definitely - there are far too many times in history when those speaking against government actions have been construed as giving aid and comfort to enemies of the US.
 
2013-02-05 01:47:13 AM

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.


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.


Oh really?

encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com
 
2013-02-05 01:48:11 AM

Rincewind53: Mentat: If there's one thing we learned during the Bush Administration, it's that the law can be used to justify anything until it becomes inconvenient, then you just ignore it.  Do you think a future Dick Cheney is going to be deterred by a piece of paper?  That's why you have to be so careful setting precedent.

Well, which is it? Either this memo is horrifying because it sets a dangerous precedent, or it's utterly meaningless because a tyrant will simply ignore the laws and not be deterred by any piece of paper. You can't have it both ways.


Our system of government represents a social contract.  At the end of the day, the Constitution is just a piece of paper.  What makes it work is that we generally agree on the meaning and voluntarily choose to abide by its precepts.  That hasn't stopped Presidents, Congresses or Supreme Courts from trying to get around its restrictions though.  Whether it's FDR trying to pack SCOTUS or Nixon waging war against his enemies or Reagan selling arms to terrorists or Bush authorizing torture, Presidents will try to take on more power.  But the nature of our social contract is so strong that none of them can simply toss the system aside.  They have to use these memos or executive orders to provide enough Constitutional cover to push through their agenda.  That's what makes memos like this so dangerous, especially if they survive a court challenge.  It's easy to give the government power, it's harder to take it away.  That's why so much of the Constitution is dedicated to telling the government what it can't do.
 
2013-02-05 01:48:11 AM
Is there a formal declaration of war?  If there is not, then treason can not be applied.  If there is, then shoot the bastards who target our troops, civilian citizens, allies, or installations.
 
2013-02-05 01:49:06 AM

Seth'n'Spectrum: This thread: Exhibit A for how far right the Democratic party has been dragged.


Far right? I'm not a kin to that, no sirree.
 
2013-02-05 01:49:07 AM
This is a seriously dangerous precedent to set up. Applying the argument to Al Qaeda is fine and dandy because they are unpopular, but there's an awfully big grey area on what classifies one as a "leader" or "providing aid". Is a soldier defecting a leader? What about releasing military memos to the press? Does treason apply to exclusively military secrets (if I find a bug in the NASDAQ that lets me make billions and I sell that secret to the Russians who pour the money back into terrorist groups, does that make me an accomplice to terrorism)? How much intelligence is considered "reliable" - proven reports verified by the UN or eyewitness testimony from on the ground contractors?

I trust Barack Obama to not extend the abuse of power. I don't trust US Presidents #45 through infinity
 
2013-02-05 01:49:14 AM
I'm thank Obama for taking out al-Awlaki with a drone strike. Seriously, if nothing else, go read Awlaki's wiki page and tell me that al-Awlaki's American citizenship should've stood in the way of the fateful drone strike, keeping in mind that other options simply didn't exist.
 
2013-02-05 01:50:56 AM

whidbey: saburai: whidbey: saburai: Liberal derp is still derp.

Yup. Nothing biased about your stance.  Those damn liburuls.  Raisin' yer taxes.

Remind me, what is my stance?

You've clearly out to give liberals a "gotcha" moment and make us feel guilty for electing this Presidency. Again.


Any "liberal" who voted for someone who advocates totally scrapping the 4th and 5th Amendments, assassinates citizens who were never charged with crimes, and launches multiple undeclared, lethal air wars that destabilize known extremist hotbed countries, including some with nuclear weapons... yes... SHOULD probably feel incredibly guilty.

Unless they believe in these actions, in which case the word for them is not "liberals", it is "neocon conservatives."

So, are you a liberal who has betrayed your own beliefs? Then go feel guilty. Don't yell at me for reminding you what a compromised person you are and pointing to the tattered pile of principles that you tossed in the fire for Obama.

On the other hand, if you are a neocon supporter of the imperial presidency, then you're getting everything you ever wanted so I don't see why anything I say should upset you.
 
2013-02-05 01:51:21 AM

Mentat: the Constitution is just a piece of paper.


Any person in an elected office who calls it that should immediately be removed from office.

It is not just a piece of paper.  It is the very foundation of our society.  Without it, we are no different from any other country and the people in positions of power are no better than tin-pot dictators.
 
2013-02-05 01:52:06 AM

Mrbogey: whidbey: I'm not sure what's more laughable, your shameless whiteknighting of the most morally bankrupt political party in history...

That bad? Man, Obama should just order them executed. Of course, the trick is waiting till they leave the country so as to justify it.


The only thing I got out of this comment is that you still refuse to acknowledge the utter worthlessness of the Republican Party even when confronted.
 
2013-02-05 01:52:47 AM

detritus: saburai:
Who is "the enemy"? Would Hezbollah count? Would Hamas count? Would going to a "free Palestine" rally count?

Dont forget Occupy Wall Street.  I hear those guys want to blow up bridges because the FBI says so.


None of those groups are considered Al-Qaeda affiliates for the purpose of the AUMF, which grants the President the authority to fight al-Qaeda and undergirds this memo.
 
2013-02-05 01:54:05 AM

Rincewind53: Because A, therefore B, C, D... X, Y, Z, is a very weak argument. You act as if this memo is somehow dispositive on the issue, as if because we killed Awlaki, the next thing, we're killing Americans on American soil with drone strikes.

As Justice Scalia would say, that's "Reduction ad absurdum", and I recall you coming down rather hard against him for his use of it.


The entire Bush Administration was reducto ad absurdum.  When a President of the United States gets his Attorney General to write a set of memos that allow the United States to circumvent the Geneva Conventions prohibition on torture, I think it's safe to assume that something like that could happen again in the future.  The same neocons who were responsible for that almost came to power again last year.  The Republican Party is currently engaged in a nationwide campaign to disenfranchise millions of voters.  Yet somehow, the idea that a future President could justify a drone attack on an American citizen within the borders of the US is absurd?  This isn't debate class, this is the real world.
 
2013-02-05 01:55:01 AM

saburai: whidbey: saburai: whidbey: saburai: Liberal derp is still derp.

Yup. Nothing biased about your stance.  Those damn liburuls.  Raisin' yer taxes.

Remind me, what is my stance?

You've clearly out to give liberals a "gotcha" moment and make us feel guilty for electing this Presidency. Again.

Any "liberal" who voted for someone who advocates totally scrapping the 4th and 5th Amendments, assassinates citizens who were never charged with crimes, and launches multiple undeclared, lethal air wars that destabilize known extremist hotbed countries, including some with nuclear weapons... yes... SHOULD probably feel incredibly guilty.

Unless they believe in these actions, in which case the word for them is not "liberals", it is "neocon conservatives."

So, are you a liberal who has betrayed your own beliefs? Then go feel guilty. Don't yell at me for reminding you what a compromised person you are and pointing to the tattered pile of principles that you tossed in the fire for Obama.

On the other hand, if you are a neocon supporter of the imperial presidency, then you're getting everything you ever wanted so I don't see why anything I say should upset you.


Whidbey always seemed like more of a leftist and hardcore Democrat as opposed to a liberal.
 
2013-02-05 01:55:41 AM

Rincewind53: I thought more of you.


Did you learn anything? I'm absolutely certain that you shouldn't do that. Though age has mellowed him in some areas he's still not all that bright. 'Tis sad but true.
 
2013-02-05 01:56:32 AM

OgreMagi: Mentat: the Constitution is just a piece of paper.

Any person in an elected office who calls it that should immediately be removed from office.

It is not just a piece of paper.  It is the very foundation of our society.  Without it, we are no different from any other country and the people in positions of power are no better than tin-pot dictators.


I think that was kind of the gist of my post, but thank you for ignoring everything else I wrote.
 
2013-02-05 01:56:36 AM

saburai: What is "siding"? Taking up arms? Sending money? Writing a favorable comment on YouTube that gets 10,000 up votes? Does criticizing US forces count, if you don't advocate violence? What if you DO advocate violence, but not directly against the US? What if you advocate violence against a US ally in Saudi Arabia? What about against an ally in Libya (i.e. Kadaffi in 2008).

Who is "the enemy"? Would Hezbollah count? Would Hamas count? Would going to a "free Palestine" rally count?

What is an "associated force"? Would contributing to Wikileaks count if the government said it was a hostile organization?

What does it mean to do something "knowingly"? What if you wrote a short story, meant to be fiction, that was interpreted as a call to action by a violent kid somewhere who cited you and blew up a bus? What if you donated to a cause that was LATER determined to have been a terrorist group for many years prior, including when you donated? See MEK.

And finally: Who decides these things? A court? A judge? A nameless official looking at your name in a binder somewhere?

Does Sweet Zombi Jesus decide?

"How is this in question?" Christ, man, how is this anything but a LONG SERIES OF HUGE QUESTIONS?

Are you really as incurious, unimaginative, and trusting of the government as you try to sound? And are you actually accusing OTHER people of derp?


Actually, the most important question is:
The answers to all of those questions above -- do you want them publicallly discussed, voted on in Congress, and reviewed by the courts, or do you want to let the executive branch answer all of them by itself with no debate, no review, and no disclosure?
 
2013-02-05 01:56:44 AM

saburai: You've clearly out to give liberals a "gotcha" moment and make us feel guilty for electing this Presidency. Again.

Any "liberal" who voted for someone who advocates totally scrapping the 4th and 5th Amendments, assassinates citizens who were never charged with crimes, and launches multiple undeclared, lethal air wars that destabilize known extremist hotbed countries, including some with nuclear weapons... yes... SHOULD probably feel incredibly guilty.


I didn't vote for Bush.  And you're clearly trying to paint the actions of the current administration  who is being forced to deal with the farkups of the past  in the same light, which is bullshiat.

The fact is we broke it, we bought it.   The trick is to not elect any more Bush types who would lie to this country and set off another offensive.
 
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