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(Politico)   "Five questions about Obama's Natl. Sec. address" Who did you drone? Why did you wait so long to tell us? Was Congress involved? Why won't you answer my questions? Hey, what's that buzzing noise overhead?   (politico.com) divider line 76
    More: Interesting, obama, Michael McCaul, National Archives  
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676 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 May 2013 at 8:12 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-24 08:19:04 AM
I'm more curious about the timing of all this. Politicians don't do anything without a reason. Why tell Holder to admit that we've killed Americans with drones?

Is this to make the conversation in the public about drones more accepted so that in the next couple of years when people see them flying down the I-95 corridor it seems 'okay'?
 
2013-05-24 08:19:52 AM
Republicans: "This war will continue whether the president acknowledges it or not."


What the heck does that mean? Taken one way it is inane. Taken another way, it means different branches of government are funding and legislating from different universies.
 
2013-05-24 08:25:09 AM
"2. On Gitmo closure: Does he mean it this time?"

Of course, it was Obama who refused to authorize funds for trials or the purchase of a new prison to relocate them to, not the pants shiatting cowards in Congress.
 
2013-05-24 08:25:27 AM

tfresh: I'm more curious about the timing of all this. Politicians don't do anything without a reason. Why tell Holder to admit that we've killed Americans with drones?

Is this to make the conversation in the public about drones more accepted so that in the next couple of years when people see them flying down the I-95 corridor it seems 'okay'?


He's keeping Republicans from being able to say "why did you keep silent about AMERICANS being KILLED WITH DRONES?!? This clearly confirms ALL OUR CONSPIRACIES AT ONCE!!!"
 
2013-05-24 08:29:58 AM
My one question: Why did you drone Al-Awlaki's son?

I listened to NPR the other day and it was saying that the son hadn't seen his father in 3 years and after hearing about him on the news, he wanted to go see him.  Before he could, however, his father was killed in a drone attack.  Then, the Arab Spring broke out and he got stuck in Yemen, where he was later killed by a drone attack sitting at a cafe.

He had no history of terrorism or a connection to terrorists aside from his father, and he was 16 years old, so if he hadn't seen his father in 3 years then there wouldn't be any reason to believe he was a threat.

On a side note, it's good to hear Obama's at least making an effort to be more transparent regarding drone attacks.  We'll see what happens, though.
 
2013-05-24 08:32:35 AM

tfresh: I'm more curious about the timing of all this.



Changes the narrative away from the IRS and the AP.  Despite the impression internet libertarians leave, drones are something the president scores pretty highly with the public on.
 
2013-05-24 08:34:57 AM

FarkfaceVonClownstick: tfresh: I'm more curious about the timing of all this. Politicians don't do anything without a reason. Why tell Holder to admit that we've killed Americans with drones?

Is this to make the conversation in the public about drones more accepted so that in the next couple of years when people see them flying down the I-95 corridor it seems 'okay'?

He's keeping Republicans from being able to say "why did you keep silent about AMERICANS being KILLED WITH DRONES?!? This clearly confirms ALL OUR CONSPIRACIES AT ONCE!!!"


Why does it have to be a republican thing? I'm not a republican. Do you have to be a republican to be outraged that drone attacks are killing our own citizens?
 
2013-05-24 08:37:27 AM
"Who the fark is this rude biatch who's still bitter Hillary didn't win"
 
MFK
2013-05-24 08:40:03 AM
I usually think Politico is a hack's rag, and admittedly I just skimmed the questions without reading the commentary which may be derpish, i dunno...

but!

These are all very good and legit questions to ask.
 
2013-05-24 08:42:55 AM

tfresh: I'm more curious about the timing of all this. Politicians don't do anything without a reason. Why tell Holder to admit that we've killed Americans with drones?

Is this to make the conversation in the public about drones more accepted so that in the next couple of years when people see them flying down the I-95 corridor it seems 'okay'?


This post smells like tuna.
 
2013-05-24 08:44:43 AM

DarnoKonrad: tfresh: I'm more curious about the timing of all this.


Changes the narrative away from the IRS and the AP.  Despite the impression internet libertarians leave, drones are something the president scores pretty highly with the public on.


That's what I was thinking. It's really a curiosity. Republicans like this them because they represent the pinnacle of the military industrial process. Democrats like them because it can do all the killing the military needs to do without the actual usage of troops which brings unneeded publicity. Out of sight out of mind I guess?
 
2013-05-24 08:45:52 AM
What is the difference between an American citizen and terrorist killed in a drone attack (al-Awlaki) vs. an American citizen and terrorist being shot to death by police officers (Tamerlan Tsarnaev)?

Arguably, both are defensive actions. The second is a more immediate concern (terrorists shooting back at cops) while the first is more preemptive. But besides that, what difference is there really? Governments kill their own people all of the time. Feigning shock and outrage because it's done with a certain tool in a certain way is a biatchildish. There are good reasons to oppose the government's killing of citizens but "but drones!" isn't it.
 
2013-05-24 08:46:04 AM

tfresh: DarnoKonrad: tfresh: I'm more curious about the timing of all this.


Changes the narrative away from the IRS and the AP.  Despite the impression internet libertarians leave, drones are something the president scores pretty highly with the public on.

That's what I was thinking. It's really a curiosity. Republicans like this them because they represent the pinnacle of the military industrial process. Democrats like them because it can do all the killing the military needs to do without the actual usage of troops which brings unneeded publicity. Out of sight out of mind I guess?


Not to mention the fact that American soldiers and pilots are not put in harms way.
 
2013-05-24 08:52:04 AM

tfresh: DarnoKonrad: tfresh: I'm more curious about the timing of all this.


Changes the narrative away from the IRS and the AP.  Despite the impression internet libertarians leave, drones are something the president scores pretty highly with the public on.

That's what I was thinking. It's really a curiosity. Republicans like this them because they represent the pinnacle of the military industrial process. Democrats like them because it can do all the killing the military needs to do without the actual usage of troops which brings unneeded publicity. Out of sight out of mind I guess?


Tactically there is just a lot less logistics involved, and when you can cut down on logistics while still keeping a rather seriously lethal amount of force projection in an area its win-win.
 
2013-05-24 08:53:46 AM

Sock Ruh Tease: What is the difference between an American citizen and terrorist killed in a drone attack (al-Awlaki) vs. an American citizen and terrorist being shot to death by police officers (Tamerlan Tsarnaev)?

Arguably, both are defensive actions. The second is a more immediate concern (terrorists shooting back at cops) while the first is more preemptive. But besides that, what difference is there really? Governments kill their own people all of the time. Feigning shock and outrage because it's done with a certain tool in a certain way is a biatchildish. There are good reasons to oppose the government's killing of citizens but "but drones!" isn't it.


I'm with you only if they think of drones as people - if you wouldn't send a fully stocked-and-staffed military unit to wherever to do whatever, you shouldn't send a drone.

It's easier to send a drone thousands of miles to blow a guy up, because there isn't a grieving family to send a note to if it gets shot down. A drone won't draw VA benefits or suffer expensive PTSD. It shouldn't be easier to extrajudicially kill people just because now we don't have a flesh-and-blood person in harm's way.

To use your examples, al-Awlaki was sitting in a cafe, Tsarnaev was in a car driving toward police fast enough to potentially kill one of them. The one was closer than first base, the other we had to hunt for with the electric eye.
 
2013-05-24 08:54:01 AM

Sock Ruh Tease: What is the difference between an American citizen and terrorist killed in a drone attack (al-Awlaki) vs. an American citizen and terrorist being shot to death by police officers (Tamerlan Tsarnaev)?


One happens in the heat of pursuit, where the apprehending officers are acting  first to protect themselves and nearby civilians, and  second to apprehend the culprit.

The other happens cooly, with all the time in the world to plan and organize, yet mysteriously, no time at all to apply any sort of jurisprudence.
 
2013-05-24 08:54:51 AM

jcooli09: tfresh: DarnoKonrad: tfresh: I'm more curious about the timing of all this.

That's what I was thinking. It's really a curiosity. Republicans like this them because they represent the pinnacle of the military industrial process. Democrats like them because it can do all the killing the military needs to do without the actual usage of troops which brings unneeded publicity. Out of sight out of mind I guess?

Not to mention the fact that American soldiers and pilots are not put in harms way.


Yeah its actually pretty brilliant. It could have been 40 citizens that they've killed or even 100. No one cares because they just want out of the middle east and so send in the drones to clean up the rest... collateral damage be damned. He'll hang his head low for about 30 seconds, say, 'I'm sorry.. okay no more killing citizens' and then 2 weeks later we can go back to launching them from air craft carriers to quietly obliterate our enemies.
 
2013-05-24 08:57:07 AM

tfresh: DarnoKonrad: tfresh: I'm more curious about the timing of all this.


Changes the narrative away from the IRS and the AP.  Despite the impression internet libertarians leave, drones are something the president scores pretty highly with the public on.

That's what I was thinking. It's really a curiosity. Republicans like this them because they represent the pinnacle of the military industrial process. Democrats like them because it can do all the killing the military needs to do without the actual usage of troops which brings unneeded publicity. Out of sight out of mind I guess?



It always has been.  I'm not sure why "drones" have come to embody all the military power of the presidency -- which is immense.  There's just no way to read the Constitution without the president having very wide latitude in utilizing force.  In the past they've used black ops and cruise missiles to do what drones do now.   It's hard to deny the considerable advantages drones bring to making war.
 
2013-05-24 09:02:23 AM

DarnoKonrad: tfresh: DarnoKonrad: tfresh: I'm more curious about the timing of all this.


Changes the narrative away from the IRS and the AP.  Despite the impression internet libertarians leave, drones are something the president scores pretty highly with the public on.

That's what I was thinking. It's really a curiosity. Republicans like this them because they represent the pinnacle of the military industrial process. Democrats like them because it can do all the killing the military needs to do without the actual usage of troops which brings unneeded publicity. Out of sight out of mind I guess?


It always has been.  I'm not sure why "drones" have come to embody all the military power of the presidency -- which is immense.  There's just no way to read the Constitution without the president having very wide latitude in utilizing force.  In the past they've used black ops and cruise missiles to do what drones do now.   It's hard to deny the considerable advantages drones bring to making war.


Absolutely. The only problem I have is that they're still $11 million each. Granted that includes the pilot facilities but still! My bonanza cost $110k and has an autopilot. A brand new Cessna CJ4 doesn't even cost that much!
 
2013-05-24 09:08:18 AM

Sock Ruh Tease: Governments kill their own people all of the time. Feigning shock and outrage because it's done with a certain tool in a certain way is a biatchildish.

 There are good reasons to oppose the government's killing of citizens but "but drones!" isn't it. 

I think how they are killed does matter quite a bit, really.   Jewish holocaust comes to mind.

Shooting your people in the back of the head and tossing them en masse into a pit?  Terrible.
But trucking them off to be gassed in a death factory?  Farking whole 'nother level of gruesome.
 
2013-05-24 09:08:55 AM
Dr Dreidel:
I'm with you only if they think of drones as people - if you wouldn't send a fully stocked-and-staffed military unit to wherever to do whatever, you shouldn't send a drone.

It's easier to send a drone thousands of miles to blow a guy up, because there isn't a grieving family to send a note to if it gets shot down. A drone won't draw VA benefits or suffer expensive PTSD. It shouldn't be easier to extrajudicially kill people just because now we don't have a flesh-and-blood person in harm's way.


Actually there has been research done to suggest that drone pilots suffer the effects of PTSD at a higher rate than actual combat pilots among USAF personnel. 

And because a citation is always spiffy:  http://timemilitary.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/pages-from-pages-from - msmr_mar_2013_external_causes_of_tbi.pdf
 
2013-05-24 09:43:49 AM

tinderfitles: Dr Dreidel:
I'm with you only if they think of drones as people - if you wouldn't send a fully stocked-and-staffed military unit to wherever to do whatever, you shouldn't send a drone.

It's easier to send a drone thousands of miles to blow a guy up, because there isn't a grieving family to send a note to if it gets shot down. A drone won't draw VA benefits or suffer expensive PTSD. It shouldn't be easier to extrajudicially kill people just because now we don't have a flesh-and-blood person in harm's way.

Actually there has been research done to suggest that drone pilots suffer the effects of PTSD at a higher rate than actual combat pilots among USAF personnel. 

And because a citation is always spiffy:  http://timemilitary.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/pages-from-pages-from - msmr_mar_2013_external_causes_of_tbi.pdf


I've gotten PTSD from some of my own posts on Fark.
 
2013-05-24 09:49:21 AM

Sock Ruh Tease: What is the difference between an American citizen and terrorist killed in a drone attack (al-Awlaki) vs. an American citizen and terrorist being shot to death by police officers (Tamerlan Tsarnaev)?

Arguably, both are defensive actions. The second is a more immediate concern (terrorists shooting back at cops) while the first is more preemptive. But besides that, what difference is there really? Governments kill their own people all of the time. Feigning shock and outrage because it's done with a certain tool in a certain way is a biatchildish. There are good reasons to oppose the government's killing of citizens but "but drones!" isn't it.


Technically, Tsarnaev was killed by being run over by his little brother. His gunshot wounds were not fatal.
 
2013-05-24 09:50:10 AM
why doesn't google have drones for updating google earth? something with cameras, GPS, time stamps, communicating the images down to servers that stitch them in, all using some sort of 'avoid other drones' flying software?
 
2013-05-24 09:57:07 AM

utah dude: why doesn't google have drones for updating google earth? something with cameras, GPS, time stamps, communicating the images down to servers that stitch them in, all using some sort of 'avoid other drones' flying software?


You understand that the drones aren't flying death robots, and that they are controlled by human throughout their flight, right?
 
2013-05-24 10:00:46 AM

Philip Francis Queeg: You understand that the drones aren't flying death robots, and that they are controlled by human throughout their flight, right?


yeah, but i bet google, of all people, could develop a cute little 'how to fly' A,I, chip. c'mon, man, they've got the engineering resources to pull that off - - heck, they even made a car that drives itself, right?

oh, and don't give the google drones weapons of any kind. maybe airdrop some Papa John's coupons, but that should be the limit of their physical interaction with the environment.
 
2013-05-24 10:01:00 AM

Sock Ruh Tease: What is the difference between an American citizen and terrorist killed in a drone attack (al-Awlaki) vs. an American citizen and terrorist being shot to death by police officers (Tamerlan Tsarnaev)?

Arguably, both are defensive actions. The second is a more immediate concern (terrorists shooting back at cops) while the first is more preemptive. But besides that, what difference is there really? Governments kill their own people all of the time. Feigning shock and outrage because it's done with a certain tool in a certain way is a biatchildish. There are good reasons to oppose the government's killing of citizens but "but drones!" isn't it.


Imminent danger is a factor, as you pointed out. And yes, out government kills people once there has been a trial, conviction and appeals process which are supposed to afford them both substantive and procedural due process. We are killing people from the sky because one branch of the government has unilaterally decided they need to die for crimes they probably committed or may commit in the future.
 
2013-05-24 10:06:36 AM

MFK: I usually think Politico is a hack's rag, and admittedly I just skimmed the questions without reading the commentary which may be derpish, i dunno...

but!

These are all very good and legit questions to ask.


2 is willfully ignorant at this point.
The answer to 4 is obviously "no" and should be "no"
3 is misleading. After all, POWs are indefinitely detained, and no one thinks we should return POWs to their combatant commands if there isn't an end to the war.

The other two ar good questions.
 
2013-05-24 10:07:32 AM

Nabb1: We are killing people from the sky because one branch of the government has unilaterally decidedbeen authorized by another branch of the government to determine that they need to die for crimes they probably committed or may commit in the future.

Fixed for accuracy.

If you're interested in a real solution to the problem instead of hand-waving over Obama while leaving the powers intact for the next President, then we need to get Congress to rescind the force use authorizations.
 
2013-05-24 10:08:32 AM
I love how that the conservatives have recently come around to their strong support for universal human rights and p pacifism. Their sudden revulsion at the killing of civilians in the course of the War on Terror is a wonderful development. The pressure they will apply to eliminate the killing of civilians by the US and it's allies like Israel in the effort to stamp out terrorist will be a major help in bringing about a more just and peaceful world. I am certain that this new dedication will last long after this administration is out of office.
 
2013-05-24 10:10:51 AM

qorkfiend: Nabb1: We are killing people from the sky because one branch of the government has unilaterally decidedbeen authorized by another branch of the government to determine that they need to die for crimes they probably committed or may commit in the future.
Fixed for accuracy.

If you're interested in a real solution to the problem instead of hand-waving over Obama while leaving the powers intact for the next President, then we need to get Congress to rescind the force use authorizations.


Yes, but if you believe that's going to happen... well I wish I had your optimism.
 
2013-05-24 10:11:52 AM

Nabb1: Sock Ruh Tease: What is the difference between an American citizen and terrorist killed in a drone attack (al-Awlaki) vs. an American citizen and terrorist being shot to death by police officers (Tamerlan Tsarnaev)?

Arguably, both are defensive actions. The second is a more immediate concern (terrorists shooting back at cops) while the first is more preemptive. But besides that, what difference is there really? Governments kill their own people all of the time. Feigning shock and outrage because it's done with a certain tool in a certain way is a biatchildish. There are good reasons to oppose the government's killing of citizens but "but drones!" isn't it.

Imminent danger is a factor, as you pointed out. And yes, out government kills people once there has been a trial, conviction and appeals process which are supposed to afford them both substantive and procedural due process. We are killing people from the sky because one branch of the government has unilaterally decided they need to die for crimes they probably committed or may commit in the future.


Government kills people all the time without trial. Think police snipers are there for sport? People get killed when they are a threat and put themselves in a position where arresting them is simply too dangerous. Flying bombs here from backwater Yemen qualifies.

The issue here isn't whether government has the right, but whether it has the legitimate circumstances. The lack of transparency or apparent oversight into these determinations are the problem, not the killing.
 
2013-05-24 10:15:17 AM

neversubmit: qorkfiend: Nabb1: We are killing people from the sky because one branch of the government has unilaterally decidedbeen authorized by another branch of the government to determine that they need to die for crimes they probably committed or may commit in the future.
Fixed for accuracy.

If you're interested in a real solution to the problem instead of hand-waving over Obama while leaving the powers intact for the next President, then we need to get Congress to rescind the force use authorizations.

Yes, but if you believe that's going to happen... well I wish I had your optimism.


I don't think it will happen, I'm simply pointing out that anyone who wants truly solve this problem (and many others) should be looking at Congress.
 
2013-05-24 10:16:31 AM

Sock Ruh Tease: What is the difference between an American citizen and terrorist killed in a drone attack (al-Awlaki) vs. an American citizen and terrorist being shot to death by police officers (Tamerlan Tsarnaev)?

Arguably, both are defensive actions. The second is a more immediate concern (terrorists shooting back at cops) while the first is more preemptive. But besides that, what difference is there really? Governments kill their own people all of the time. Feigning shock and outrage because it's done with a certain tool in a certain way is a biatchildish. There are good reasons to oppose the government's killing of citizens but "but drones!" isn't it.


There would have been such a simple work around to this.  Simply target the infrastructure, vehicles and foreign enemies working with Anwar al-Awlaki with prejudice.  Bingo.  Anwar Al-Awlaki is now collateral damage.  Same result, no hassle.
 
2013-05-24 10:32:50 AM

utah dude: Philip Francis Queeg: You understand that the drones aren't flying death robots, and that they are controlled by human throughout their flight, right?

yeah, but i bet google, of all people, could develop a cute little 'how to fly' A,I, chip. c'mon, man, they've got the engineering resources to pull that off - - heck, they even made a car that drives itself, right?

oh, and don't give the google drones weapons of any kind. maybe airdrop some Papa John's coupons, but that should be the limit of their physical interaction with the environment.


Well there's this little organization called the FAA that controlls the national airspace.  They are incredibly risk adverse, anything new flying goes through extreme scrutiny.  And assuming you could even get approval to fly UAVs (incredibly unlikely), you'd have to file a flight plan and avoid all major airline routes, have contingency plans, insurance, inspections, mandatory regular training, etc.
 
2013-05-24 10:41:25 AM

neversubmit: qorkfiend: Nabb1: We are killing people from the sky because one branch of the government has unilaterally decidedbeen authorized by another branch of the government to determine that they need to die for crimes they probably committed or may commit in the future.
Fixed for accuracy.

If you're interested in a real solution to the problem instead of hand-waving over Obama while leaving the powers intact for the next President, then we need to get Congress to rescind the force use authorizations.

Yes, but if you believe that's going to happen... well I wish I had your optimism.


The AUMF is ridiculously broad, and what congresscritter wants to vote to rescind it? If there's a foreign terrorist attack again, anyone who voted for rescinding it can be accused at being partly to blame for it. In the meantime, any flak while it's in power lands on the president while the congresscritter gets to wring their hands about their colleagues not having enough votes to rescind.

I'm prepared for it to be there for the foreseeable future.
 
2013-05-24 10:42:15 AM

mrshowrules: Sock Ruh Tease: What is the difference between an American citizen and terrorist killed in a drone attack (al-Awlaki) vs. an American citizen and terrorist being shot to death by police officers (Tamerlan Tsarnaev)?

Arguably, both are defensive actions. The second is a more immediate concern (terrorists shooting back at cops) while the first is more preemptive. But besides that, what difference is there really? Governments kill their own people all of the time. Feigning shock and outrage because it's done with a certain tool in a certain way is a biatchildish. There are good reasons to oppose the government's killing of citizens but "but drones!" isn't it.

There would have been such a simple work around to this.  Simply target the infrastructure, vehicles and foreign enemies working with Anwar al-Awlaki with prejudice.  Bingo.  Anwar Al-Awlaki is now collateral damage.  Same result, no hassle.


That is less tolerable than simply killing him, because now the government is doing it intentionally without telling us.
 
2013-05-24 10:45:30 AM

PanicMan: utah dude: Philip Francis Queeg: You understand that the drones aren't flying death robots, and that they are controlled by human throughout their flight, right?

yeah, but i bet google, of all people, could develop a cute little 'how to fly' A,I, chip. c'mon, man, they've got the engineering resources to pull that off - - heck, they even made a car that drives itself, right?

oh, and don't give the google drones weapons of any kind. maybe airdrop some Papa John's coupons, but that should be the limit of their physical interaction with the environment.

Well there's this little organization called the FAA that controlls the national airspace.  They are incredibly risk adverse, anything new flying goes through extreme scrutiny.  And assuming you could even get approval to fly UAVs (incredibly unlikely), you'd have to file a flight plan and avoid all major airline routes, have contingency plans, insurance, inspections, mandatory regular training, etc.


Small planes do not have to file flight plans in all circumstances. But not only that, if Google could afford drones for mapping, they would happily file any flight plans to begin with. There is that one place that wanted drone-delivered tacos but apparently can't get the idea off the ground (pun intended) with the FAA, but those are definitionally flying at levels that can interfere with power lines and so on, so there may be other differences involved.
 
2013-05-24 10:47:55 AM
he didn't declare the war to be over - or really explain how we'd know when it was.

That's probably because it is completely impossible to do so. It's the same reason why there was no explanation for what 'victory' would look like in Iraq and all we hear year after year is that we'd have to stay until the 'job is done' with no explanation of what that would look like.
 
2013-05-24 10:48:43 AM

vygramul: neversubmit: qorkfiend: Nabb1: We are killing people from the sky because one branch of the government has unilaterally decidedbeen authorized by another branch of the government to determine that they need to die for crimes they probably committed or may commit in the future.
Fixed for accuracy.

If you're interested in a real solution to the problem instead of hand-waving over Obama while leaving the powers intact for the next President, then we need to get Congress to rescind the force use authorizations.

Yes, but if you believe that's going to happen... well I wish I had your optimism.

The AUMF is ridiculously broad, and what congresscritter wants to vote to rescind it? If there's a foreign terrorist attack again, anyone who voted for rescinding it can be accused at being partly to blame for it. In the meantime, any flak while it's in power lands on the president while the congresscritter gets to wring their hands about their colleagues not having enough votes to rescind.

I'm prepared for it to be there for the foreseeable future.


That's my point. No one is actually interested in removing this power from the Executive Branch, which means that all this hand-waving about "Obama is using DROOONES (that we authorized him to use)" is an attempt to get him to stop while simultaneously preserving the power for future Presidents. Surely someone concerned about the possibility of abuse would want to remove the power entirely, no?
 
2013-05-24 10:55:09 AM

qorkfiend: remove the power entirely, no?


What power would that be?  *Any* armed force congress raises and equips has only one commander in chief, whether we're in a state of official war or not.  The mere act of buying a bunch of drones of nuclear bombs means only one guy has the power to use them.  It's kind of insane, but that's the constitutional power delegated to the president.
 
2013-05-24 11:02:20 AM

vygramul: mrshowrules: Sock Ruh Tease: What is the difference between an American citizen and terrorist killed in a drone attack (al-Awlaki) vs. an American citizen and terrorist being shot to death by police officers (Tamerlan Tsarnaev)?

Arguably, both are defensive actions. The second is a more immediate concern (terrorists shooting back at cops) while the first is more preemptive. But besides that, what difference is there really? Governments kill their own people all of the time. Feigning shock and outrage because it's done with a certain tool in a certain way is a biatchildish. There are good reasons to oppose the government's killing of citizens but "but drones!" isn't it.

There would have been such a simple work around to this.  Simply target the infrastructure, vehicles and foreign enemies working with Anwar al-Awlaki with prejudice.  Bingo.  Anwar Al-Awlaki is now collateral damage.  Same result, no hassle.

That is less tolerable than simply killing him, because now the government is doing it intentionally without telling us.


Why couldn't they tell people.  Government official "We have targeted and successfully killed terrorists working directly with  Anwar al-Awlaki."

Press: "Was Anwar al-Awiake also killed".

Governemnt:  "Probably"
 
2013-05-24 11:03:18 AM

qorkfiend: vygramul: neversubmit: qorkfiend: Nabb1: We are killing people from the sky because one branch of the government has unilaterally decidedbeen authorized by another branch of the government to determine that they need to die for crimes they probably committed or may commit in the future.
Fixed for accuracy.

If you're interested in a real solution to the problem instead of hand-waving over Obama while leaving the powers intact for the next President, then we need to get Congress to rescind the force use authorizations.

Yes, but if you believe that's going to happen... well I wish I had your optimism.

The AUMF is ridiculously broad, and what congresscritter wants to vote to rescind it? If there's a foreign terrorist attack again, anyone who voted for rescinding it can be accused at being partly to blame for it. In the meantime, any flak while it's in power lands on the president while the congresscritter gets to wring their hands about their colleagues not having enough votes to rescind.

I'm prepared for it to be there for the foreseeable future.

That's my point. No one is actually interested in removing this power from the Executive Branch, which means that all this hand-waving about "Obama is using DROOONES (that we authorized him to use)" is an attempt to get him to stop while simultaneously preserving the power for future Presidents. Surely someone concerned about the possibility of abuse would want to remove the power entirely, no?


Oh, I'm agreeing with you and expanding on the subject. If they really wanted him to stop, there would be as many votes on rescinding AUMF as there have been on Obamacare. They don't because they can't go on record as supporting Obama's actions, and they're too damn cowardly to modify it. It should NEVER have been passed without a sunset clause to begin with.
 
2013-05-24 11:05:21 AM

mrshowrules: vygramul: mrshowrules: Sock Ruh Tease: What is the difference between an American citizen and terrorist killed in a drone attack (al-Awlaki) vs. an American citizen and terrorist being shot to death by police officers (Tamerlan Tsarnaev)?

Arguably, both are defensive actions. The second is a more immediate concern (terrorists shooting back at cops) while the first is more preemptive. But besides that, what difference is there really? Governments kill their own people all of the time. Feigning shock and outrage because it's done with a certain tool in a certain way is a biatchildish. There are good reasons to oppose the government's killing of citizens but "but drones!" isn't it.

There would have been such a simple work around to this.  Simply target the infrastructure, vehicles and foreign enemies working with Anwar al-Awlaki with prejudice.  Bingo.  Anwar Al-Awlaki is now collateral damage.  Same result, no hassle.

That is less tolerable than simply killing him, because now the government is doing it intentionally without telling us.

Why couldn't they tell people.  Government official "We have targeted and successfully killed terrorists working directly with  Anwar al-Awlaki."

Press: "Was Anwar al-Awiake also killed".

Governemnt:  "Probably"


Do you really want government aiming for an American citizen and refusing to tell you they're doing that? I'd rather they not do that.
 
2013-05-24 11:17:46 AM

DarnoKonrad: qorkfiend: remove the power entirely, no?

What power would that be?  *Any* armed force congress raises and equips has only one commander in chief, whether we're in a state of official war or not.  The mere act of buying a bunch of drones of nuclear bombs means only one guy has the power to use them.  It's kind of insane, but that's the constitutional power delegated to the president.


Specifically, the 9/11 AUMF, which people have been saying for years is far too broad and would lead to precisely this situation. More in general, as you point out, Congress is the one who raises and equips the army. If they don't want the President to have an army or drones armed with nukes, they don't have to give him one.
 
2013-05-24 11:21:18 AM

vygramul: Do you really want government aiming for an American citizen and refusing to tell you they're doing that? I'd rather they not do that.


The only thing that gives me pause is that this is something that would have been done under Dubya.

However, let's say a kill order of Anwar al-Awlaki is in fact illegal.  The people in Yemen working with him would most certainly be valid high-priority targets.  The order to go after these people with the only priority being killing them would be valid.  It would be something you would expect your Government to be doing if it was an actual war.

I think Obama is ballsy to be honest about it.  However, it is almost like he also sent a message that being an American citizen cannot be used as a shield anymore.  Was that deliberate?
 
2013-05-24 11:21:27 AM

qorkfiend: DarnoKonrad: qorkfiend: remove the power entirely, no?

What power would that be?  *Any* armed force congress raises and equips has only one commander in chief, whether we're in a state of official war or not.  The mere act of buying a bunch of drones of nuclear bombs means only one guy has the power to use them.  It's kind of insane, but that's the constitutional power delegated to the president.

Specifically, the 9/11 AUMF, which people have been saying for years is far too broad and would lead to precisely this situation. More in general, as you point out, Congress is the one who raises and equips the army. If they don't want the President to have an army or drones armed with nukes, they don't have to give him one.


Not only that, but so long as the War Powers Act is in effect, the president isn't completely free to act. The AUMF, however, gave him just that power.
 
2013-05-24 11:22:59 AM

mrshowrules: The only thing that gives me pause is that this is something that would have been done under Dubya.


WOULD have been done?
 
2013-05-24 11:23:51 AM

vygramul: War Powers Act is in effect, the president isn't completely free to act.


Never been tested, and likely unconstitutional.  Authorizations of force are largely window dressing to show the world congress and the president are on the same page, but it's not what really gives power of command to the president.
 
2013-05-24 11:29:15 AM

DarnoKonrad: vygramul: War Powers Act is in effect, the president isn't completely free to act.

Never been tested, and likely unconstitutional.  Authorizations of force are largely window dressing to show the world congress and the president are on the same page, but it's not what really gives power of command to the president.


If the War Powers Act is unconstitutional, it's because it delegates too much Congressional authority to the Executive. We're not really talking about the power of command here - no one disputes that the President is Commander-in-Chief - we're talking about what the President has to command and the scope under which he can issue legal commands, both of which are powers Constitutionally delegated to Congress.
 
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