PE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> The White House is "Judge, Jury and Executioner" of Both Drone and Cyber-Attacks

AuthorTopic: The White House is "Judge, Jury and Executioner" of Both Drone and Cyber-Attacks  (Read 1292 times)

Offline g

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Where is the OUTRAGE?   :exp-angry: :exp-angry: :icon_scratch:

    Legal experts expressed grave reservations Tuesday about an Obama administration memo concluding that the United States can order the killing of American citizens believed to be affiliated with al-Qaida — with one saying the White House was acting as “judge, jury and executioner.”

     

    “Anyone should be concerned when the president and his lawyers make up their own interpretation of the law or their own rules,” said Mary Ellen O’Connell, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame and an authority on international law and the use of force.

     

    ***

     

    “This is a very, very dangerous thing that the president has done,” she added.

    Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer who writes about security and liberty for the British newspaper The Guardian, described the memo as “fundamentally misleading,” with a clinical tone that disguises “the radical and dangerous power it purports to authorize.”

     

    “If you believe the president has the power to order U.S. citizens executed far from any battlefield with no charges or trial, then it’s truly hard to conceive of any asserted power you would find objectionable,” he wrote [11].

Senator Wyden said [12]:

    Every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them.

Top constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley notes [13]:

    In plain language, [the Obama administration memo]  means that [any Americans can be assassinated if] the President considers the citizens to be a threat in the future. Moreover, the memo allows killings when an attempt to capture the person would pose an “undue risk” to U.S. personnel. That undue risk is left undefined.

obamawithdrone
obamawithdrone

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-02-05/white-house-judge-jury-and-executioner-both-drone-and-cyber-attacks      :icon_study: :icon_study: :exp-cry: :exp-angry:

Offline Petty Tyrant

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The good news is if you are an enemy of the state you can die quickly which is better than being locked away without a word for the rest of your life. You dont really want to be living in the same apartment building as a DT.
ELEVATE YOUR GAME

Offline Surly1

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Do nothing Congress reportedly raised to a state of near torpor.

Drone Strike Limitations Considered By Congress After Justice Department Memo Surfaces
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/05/drone-strike-congress_n_2627556.html?utm_hp_ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=020613&utm_medium=email&utm_content=NewsEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

WASHINGTON -- Uncomfortable with the Obama administration's use of deadly drones, a growing number in Congress is looking to limit America's authority to kill suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens. The Democratic-led outcry was emboldened by the revelation in a newly surfaced Justice Department memo that shows drones can strike against a wider range of threats, with less evidence, than previously believed.

The drone program, which has been used from Pakistan across the Middle East and into North Africa to find and kill an unknown number of suspected terrorists, is expected to be a top topic of debate when the Senate Intelligence Committee grills John Brennan, the White House's pick for CIA chief, at a hearing Thursday.

The White House on Tuesday defended its lethal drone program by citing the very laws that some in Congress once believed were appropriate in the years immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks but now think may be too broad.

"It has to be in the agenda of this Congress to reconsider the scope of action of drones and use of deadly force by the United States around the world because the original authorization of use of force, I think, is being strained to its limits," Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said in a recent interview.

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said Tuesday that "it deserves a serious look at how we make the decisions in government to take out, kill, eliminate, whatever word you want to use, not just American citizens but other citizens as well."

Hoyer added: "We ought to carefully review our policies as a country."

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee likely will hold hearings on U.S. drone policy, an aide said Tuesday, and Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and the panel's top Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, both have quietly expressed concerns about the deadly operations. And earlier this week, a group of 11 Democratic and Republican senators urged President Barack Obama to release a classified Justice Department legal opinion justifying when U.S. counterterror missions, including drone strikes, can be used to kill American citizens abroad.

Without those documents, it's impossible for Congress and the public to decide "whether this authority has been properly defined, and whether the president's power to deliberately kill Americans is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguards," the senators wrote.

It was a repeated request after receiving last June an unclassified Justice Department memo, which fell short of giving the senators all the information they requested.

First detailed publicly by NBC News late Monday, the memo for the first time outlines the Obama administration's decision to kill al-Qaida terror suspects without any evidence that specific and imminent plots are being planned against the United States.

"The threat posed by al-Qaida and its associated forces demands a broader concept of imminence in judging when a person continually planning terror attacks presents an imminent threat," concluded the document.

The memo was immediately decried by civil liberties groups as "flawed" and "profoundly disturbing" – especially in light of 2011 U.S. drone strikes in Yemen that killed three American citizens: Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old-son and Samir Khan. Al-Awlaki was linked to the planning and execution of several attacks targeting U.S. and Western interests, including the attempt to down a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009 and the plot to bomb cargo planes in 2010. His son was killed in a separate strike on a suspected al-Qaida den. Khan was an al-Qaida propagandist.

White House spokesman Jay Carney, echoing comments Brennan made in a speech last April, called the strikes legal, ethical and wise and said they are covered by a law that Congress approved allowing the use of military force against al-Qaida.

"And certainly, under that authority, the president acts in the United States' interest to protect the United States and its citizens from al-Qaida," Carney said Tuesday.

"It is a matter of fact that Congress authorized the use of military force against al-Qaida," Carney said. "It is a matter of fact that al-Qaida is in a state of war against us and that senior leaders, operational leaders of al-Qaida are continually plotting to attack the United States, plotting to kill American citizens as they did most horrifically on September 11th of 2001."

Three days after 9/11, Congress approved a law authorizing the military to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against al-Qaida and other groups believed to be helping or harboring the global terror network, including the use of drone strikes. In the decade since the attacks, U.S. intelligence officials say, al-Qaida has splintered into a number of affiliates and allied sympathizers. That means the current laws could allow military force against thousands of extremists across the Mideast and North Africa who have limited or no ability to strike the United States.

Currently, both the CIA and the U.S. military are authorized to remotely pilot unmanned, missile-carrying drones against terror suspects. It's unknown exactly how many strikes have been carried out, but experts say that drone attacks in Pakistan are conducted by the CIA, while those in Yemen and Somalia, for example, are by military forces.

The drones have strained diplomacy between the U.S. and the nations where the strikes are carried out, as civilians have been killed alongside the targeted terrorists, even though most nations have given Washington at least tacit agreement to carry out the attacks.

A Middle Eastern diplomat said that in Yemen, for example, an uptick of U.S. drone strikes last month have killed dozens of people and upset the local public, leading some leaders in Sanaa to reconsider how often they should be used. The diplomat spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity to avoid political retribution from the Obama administration.

The Pentagon is also considering basing surveillance drones in Niger to monitor on burgeoning extremist violence in North Africa, but it's not clear if they will be armed. Scaling back the use of drones also would hamper war plans in Afghanistan after combat troops are scheduled to withdraw in 2014. Drones represent a major thrust of the post-troops campaign to help the limited number of special forces units that remain there keep the Taliban from regrouping.

Brennan, who currently serves as the White House counterterrorism czar, has signaled he is prepared to turn the CIA from carrying out lethal drone strikes and hand over those missions to the U.S. military. Sen. Ron Wyden, a senior Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence panel, declared himself unsatisfied Tuesday with the Justice memo and said he will press Brennan at the confirmation hearing about the administration's current policy.

The drone debate puts Obama – himself a former civil rights lawyer – in the awkward position of carrying out lethal attacks in secret and bucking his political allies in the Democratic Party. Democratic lawmakers were incensed by the refusal of the Republican administration of President George W. Bush to hand over classified Justice Department opinions justifying the use of waterboarding, the harsh interrogation tactic that critics call a form of torture. Obama repudiated those methods – and released those opinions – when he took office in 2009. The use of drones proved to have no political cost to Obama in his re-election campaign.

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., defended the use of deadly drones, calling it "a lawful act of national self-defense."

"When an individual has joined al-Qaida – the organization responsible for the murder of thousands of Americans – and actively plots future attacks against U.S. citizens, soldiers, and interests around the world, the U.S. government has both the authority and the obligation to defend the country against that threat," Rogers said in a statement.

But Rep. Keith Ellison, said the new Justice memo could spur lawmakers into taking a fresh look at deadly drones, and what he called an outdated policy guiding them.

"We are sort of running on the steam that we acquired right after our country was attacked in the most horrific act of terror in U.S. history," said Ellison, D-Minn. "We have learned much since 9/11, and now it's time to take a more sober look at where we should be with use of force."
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Surly1

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Why the White Paper Is So Terrifying
By Stephen Marche
February 6, 2013
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/white-paper-targeted-killings-15067416?src=spr_FBPAGE&spr_id=1456_6853646


The white paper is unconstitutional, not in the sense that it violates any particular tenet of the American Constitution, but in that it doesn't respect the premise of there being a Constitution in the first place.


The administration's white paper on targeted killings, which was released yesterday, has provoked some intense and entirely justified expressions of fear and loathing. There was Tom Junod's piece on this site, which outright accused Obama of coveting kingship, and there was Ta-Nehisi Coates over at The Atlantic, who found an apt comparison with Orwell's work on language and totalitarianism. Both are great pieces, and terrifying enough. But I think one other vantage point makes the discussion even more frightening, showing just how high the stakes really are. It's from the contemporary political philosopher Giorgio Agamben, and his study of the modes of sovereignty, Homo Sacer, from 1995. He wrote:

    The paradox of sovereignty consists in the fact the sovereign is, at the same time, outside and inside the juridicial order. If the sovereign is truly the one to whom the juridicial order grants the power of proclaiming a state of exception and, therefore, of suspending the order's own validity, then "the sovereign stands outside the juridicial order and, nevertheless, belongs to it, since it is up to him to decide if the constitution is to be suspended in toto." (Schmitt)... The sovereign, having the legal power to suspend the validity of the law, legally places himself outside the law.

Where are we going to find a better description of what the Obama administration is doing with their legal defense of targeted killing? They have made the president into a sovereign. Their language hides this basic fact: The president now gets to decide when the law doesn't apply. The vague terminology in the white paper — "imminent threat" and "national self-defense" — is intended to be meaningless. Threat and self-defense can be defined in any way the president likes. He gets to choose.

Now from the Declaration of Independence:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

The authors of that document could not have been clearer. There are no exceptions under the law. There are no sovereigns. There is equality under the law and that's it. Nobody gets to decide who doesn't have rights under the Constitution. What's so terrifying about this white paper is that it's unconstitutional, not in the sense that it violates any particular tenet of the American Constitution, but in that it doesn't respect the premise of there being a Constitution in the first place. The whole idea of having a Constitution is that no individual gets to decide what's an exception to it.

What is so extraordinary about this moment in American life is that tens of millions of people are ferociously defending the Second Amendment, and throw the name of the Constitution around like it's sacred, and yet they utter not one peep when its basic principles are shaken to their foundation. And let's be honest about why the right doesn't attack Obama for this outrageous violation of the founding principles of the country: They don't want to look weak, and they think that it only affects people they don't mind seeing die anyway. As for the idea that Al-Qaeda is so much of a threat that it requires extraordinary extensions of the president's powers, I can only say that the United States didn't need a sovereign while facing the Nazis or Communist Russia, both of which were infinitely more resourceful and threatening than a bunch of camel-humpers living in remote caves in the most desolate places on earth. Rome didn't need a sovereign for five hundred years, while facing half a dozen truly existential threats. We all know how that turned out. At least they knew when they had an emperor. They had a ceremony and everything. Obama just has a white paper.


"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline WHD

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LOL.

I'm listening to NPR right now, their pledge drive. Just heard a great description of the oceans. Otherwise, the programming shall continue, as if the President has not just declared the Presidency, Emperor of the World. Fuckin Genius. It would take a Constitutional lawyer cynical enough to pull it off. What next? Declare himself President for Life? Would that be more ridiculous than him declaring he can kill whoever he likes?

I'm reminded of that FBI paperwork about OWS that got "de-classified" recently, and that paragraph on page 61, about shooting OWS leadership in the head. To wit, you can say what you like (until we take over the Internet), but if you resort to violence, we will kill you. And then we will use your uprising to lock-down the country entirely. Check.

Offline g

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LOL.

I'm listening to NPR right now, their pledge drive. Just heard a great description of the oceans. Otherwise, the programming shall continue, as if the President has not just declared the Presidency, Emperor of the World. Fuckin Genius. It would take a Constitutional lawyer cynical enough to pull it off. What next? Declare himself President for Life? Would that be more ridiculous than him declaring he can kill whoever he likes?

I'm reminded of that FBI paperwork about OWS that got "de-classified" recently, and that paragraph on page 61, about shooting OWS leadership in the head. To wit, you can say what you like (until we take over the Internet), but if you resort to violence, we will kill you. And then we will use your uprising to lock-down the country entirely. Check.

I think I know now what it must be like to be an orphan put up for adoption. No mother or father, no order or stability, no love or understanding, just a useless eater in the way of the great men. How awful to be abandoned by your president, your congressman, your Supreme court, your country and it's citizens, all for the love and worship of Mammon and the joy and ecstasy of being able to watch the next fucking ball game.   :'( 

 

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