“Demand that all public servants, elected or appointed, at all times uphold the Constitution and justify their public and private acts, committed under the pledge of allegiance, loyalty and duty, under the Constitution of the United States.”
Under President Obama there has been a 700% increase in the use of drones since that remarkable leadership decision was shouldered by Bush and so roundly condemned by those who now take refuge in the sanctuary of that policy. The constitution duly restricts the powers of our Presidents by its negative limitations. God bless the constitution!
Three terrorists were water boarded, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Qaeda’s Abu Zubaydah, and Ramzi bin al-Shibh. And they are still alive. Summon up the colossal outrage. As of mid-January 2013 there have been 362 drone strikes, 52 under President Bush, and 310 under President Obama. Total report killed 3,461. The raised “bar” of angry accountability is muted, altered politically, once the hypocrisy has done its damage, the reward of a manufactured crisis and a low information electorate, a political conservatory of the falseness of Benghazi perfidy.
The duplicity is not total. No one is an absolute hypocrite. Enhanced interrogation techniques are replaced with a revised Army Field Manual (no new Intel). Law enforcement is the first approach to apprehending terrorists (Fort Hood work place violence…still no trial). No more capture and interrogate….. supplanted with drone homicides. Global leadership surrendered and replaced with soft diplomacy (Lack of access to Libyan suspect released by Tunisia). No more rendition (that we know of) and less boots on the ground as Syrians die, over 60K. The risks of freedom and liberty, the eternal tempering of our unalienable rights, will always exist…. a challenge for patriots. And the result is the evaporation of supremacy, the vanishing leadership mandate of a noble Republic. Who is filling the vacuum? Please, maybe France, Israel, somebody?
There once was the Nuremberg Trials with an “Opening Address for the United States” by
Robert Jackson. “The real complaining party at your bar is civilization. … Civilization asks whether law is so laggard as to be utterly helpless to deal with crimes of this magnitude by criminals of this order of importance.” This is a teacher’s guide to the Holocaust, that path as we tread on the road to serfdom.
There are those that lead, not seeking credit. And there are those that condemn, embracing the whirl wind of narcissistic accolades, the authority and tribute for Osama bib Laden’s assassination, from the fruits of their condemnation of our own soft rendition. Honesty is all we ask.
Isn’t it puzzling that 80% plus of the population embraces drone killings while that same electorate feigns the “horrors” of enhanced interrogation techniques? Somehow our culture manages to avoid the lightening rod of hard choices; of putting boots on the ground, flesh and blood pilots in the air, dodging the serious business of war; gathering intelligence and facing the morality of what to do with captured terrorists. Where are those folks who once demanded impeachment? Peace for the weak is the pause between hostility. Peace for the strong is eternal vigilance.
The difference between “enhanced interrogation techniques” and “killing” can be debated forever. The hypocrisy cannot. The political way to close Guantanamo Bay, without a bang, even a whimper, is to execute all those who would otherwise pass through those portals, yielding intelligence that would make the world safer for democracy. The obligation of “power” is to “lead.” We rail against the controlled forest fires of intelligence until God ignites a towering inferno of a new Caliphate, and then we ask what?
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Government abuse of power is eternal. It is the job of the People to minimize it. Governmental overreach is today Orwellian.
“Mr. Jay Carney rejected the media criticism of the US drone policy, the day after a Department of Justice memo leaked the conditions in which it viewed drone strikes that targeted the assassination of American citizens engaged in or believed to be eminently involved, in terrorism, now or later, days or years, abroad or domestic. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave….”
In the realm of legal lethal rendition (can we have it both ways?), the “handing over”, dead or alive, controversial, as to originality, policy of General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., when asked about “what do we do with Osama bin Laden, can we forgive him”, the General opined,” “It is God’s responsibility to judge Osama bin Laden, It is our responsibility to arrange that meeting.”
This is a quote more properly attributed to “Semper Fi.” Has not President Obama fully embraced this reality, the continuation of a Bush project? We rightly anguish over Sandy Hook and celebrate 1.3 million abortions in 2012. Total abortions since 1973 now stand at an astounding 54,559,615. We are definitely more comfortable with killing babies than water boarding.
Few conservatives condemn President Obama for carrying on these Bush policies, the war against terrorism, the messy stuff, if in secret, need to know, must be done. Is it the policy of this administration to ignore, to bury the “intelligence” needed to make America “safe” for democracy, the sword being used to obliterate their political hypocrisy, by assassinations? Very few speak truth to power from the grave, an exception, a fervent prayer, Benghazi, the perfect drone justification, but in command, “then there were none”.
The 02/06/13 Justice Department leak of a White House memo caused “Obama to Provide Drones Memo to Congress”, Huff POST Politics. “…a classified memo outlining the administration’s legal justification for targeted (drone) killing”. The administration is outrunning its cover provided by a thoroughly disingenuous outrage over waterboarding.
There is a furor over the assertions of “These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise.” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told a briefing in Washington, “The US government takes great care in deciding to pursue an Al Qaeda terrorist, to ensure precision and to avoid loss of innocent life”, the Constitution is however there, as a constitutional hurdle when American citizens abroad, their rights collide with national security. And yet, for national security purposes, constitutionally constrained, we support both President Bush and President Obama for their primary responsibility is to protect Americans, us all. So who is uncomfortable?
The White House is reported to have told several Federal Judges that if this memo came out it would reveal secrets. This memo, a position paper, is essentially a diatribe, an invective denunciation against the Constitution of the United States, those obsolete documents in the trash bin of history.
We can’t water-board, done to three terrorists, with measurable results, nothing harsher than a navy seal training exercise, but we can murder anyone with immunity if the “cause” is properly “worded” and “sanctioned” by President Obama, a man tall against torture, psychological or physical, exception, authorized by his “appointed” terrorist inquisition operatives. The very slippery slope, the “authorized by his “appointed” ”. The problem is what they “do” while condemning “same.” We elect presidents to do the messy stuff, we being cowards, but we constrain them with the constitution.
This “paper” is chilling in that it says a “High U.S. Government Official”, without saying who that high U.S. government official is, can strip an American, suspected of any activity or association with terrorism, defined by some sort of an “actionable intelligence” rationalization, these selected one or few can shred an American of their constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom and privacy without due process.
Should this unconstitutional executive kangaroo court decide that eminent danger now or in the future can be argued, they have the right to sanction a “kill” rather than capture. This is a sure and unexpected way to close Guantanamo Bay detention center and lose a treasure trove of intelligence. Is it “giving a command” while walking away from responsibility. Lincoln, FDR, Truman and Johnson did not delegate this answerability.
The “threshold standard” is nothing more than “eminent danger”. This is a power claimed by kings and tyrants and specifically denied by the Constitution. If the government wants to interfere with our lives, liberty or property, it must do so through the judicial process of a jury trial or a declared war. But then the constitution is only limited “rights”?
There is a Bush legacy. One might have heard John Yoo, Former Justice Department Attorney remark: “It should be clear by now that President Obama and his terrorism advisors are hypocrites…But I (John Yoo) am glad they are hypocrites because the choose to keep the policies (of George W. Bush) that have kept us safe these 12 years instead of sticking to their misguide principles….If the Obama folks ever had the good graces to thank President Bush, I am sure he would say “You’re Welcome.”
Hypocrisy need not be contagious. The President should have the authority to use drones to kill terrorists. The President, the Commander in Chief, conducts war. Lincoln, FDR and every president is the highest authority for the decisions of who lives or dies. Linden Johnson picked the targets in Vietnam. FDR and Truman decided what cities to bomb and there was no oversight. We anguish for congressional oversight.
“The Authorization for Use of Military Force is a joint resolution passed by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizing the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001. The authorization granted the President the authority to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against those whom he determined “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups. The AUMF was signed by President George W. Bush on September 18, 2001.”
The “war on terror” is a declared war by authorization of the use of force passed three days after 9/11/2001. As in the Gulf and Iraq conflicts, these congressional “authorizations” are the equivalent of a “Declaration of War.” Terrorists of 9/11 and all those individuals and nation states that aid and abet are “enemy combatants”.
The opposition to drone attacks is principled and respected but not persuasive enough beyond the indiscriminate. The lack of liberal outrage is duplicitous silence, the pinnacle of political hypocrisy but, in this instance, morally on the correct side of patriotism. Often people do the right thing for the wrong reason. This is evolving tyranny, if for the tortured and twisted logic of hypocrisy; it cannot be sustained as the foundation of our Republic governance.
Our conundrum, the responsibility of the low information voter, is to elect morally “good”, not necessarily personally “great”, often exclusive, individuals. And yet “The constitution duly restricts the powers of our Presidents by its negative limitations. God bless the constitution!
Hypocrisy in Washington is endemic. The era of existential panic when President Bush was going to kick down the doors to our homes and eat our children is mollified into Drone Murder Inc.? A president cannot just “kill” someone, anyone. Only a jury, or the Commander in Chief, during war, has that prerogative….or so says the Constitution. And let the distinction be sacrosanct.
But we are most certainly at “war” with terrorism and the Constitution provides for our national security, still maintaining a fierce firewall always against kings and tyranny who might venture into the realm of our unalienable rights.