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Drone Killings [Feb. 10th, 2013|04:47 pm]
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[kris_schnee]
It really hit me the other day how far we've gone, when I saw how little concern there was about the president killing American citizens without trial. This society accepts that, now, along with pervasive surveillance and absolute federal regulatory power. Or more precisely, most people don't know and/or don't care. Some people still get that something is horribly wrong, but we're outnumbered and will be more outnumbered each year. You can't fix what's wrong by voting, now; the culture that made freedom work is gone. The people understand "freedom" to mean having a vote, and a master who'll take care of them, and that's the sort of freedom they'll get.

Got an e-mail today asking how come there aren't Tea Party rallies against the president outright murdering citizens, when there were rallies against excessive spending, taxes, and regulation. Good question. My personal answer so far is that I'm not seeing anyone to join me, or any peaceful thing to do besides argue on the Internet or show up at a rally and have it ignored by the bootlicker media.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: world_wanderer
2013-02-11 12:02 am (UTC)

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Conspiracy theories mostly, I'd imagine. People don't actually thing such things can be real, so it's a joke not to be taken seriously.

No matter how many times it's pointed out that it did indeed happen here when it was said "it can't happen here" no matter the 5 Ws of it all, people refuse to believe that it can. And so they ignore it. Doesn't help that the MSM ignores it too.

They will probably ignore it up until a death squad takes a guy on their block, and even then...
From: actonrf
2013-02-11 12:26 am (UTC)

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Eh, could it be the American Citizen is in a foreign hostile region, no Extradition laws exist, actively working for a group that want to harm Americans. The aggressor a la 9 11 have set the rules of warfare. Simply a drone is less expensive that a carrier air group or forward deploying a force, special forces to Apache Helicopter. We a not talking about law enforcement on American Shores but a hostile on foreign battlefield.
[User Picture]From: maxgoof
2013-02-11 09:51 am (UTC)

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If this is the case, that would make sense. Much like someone aiding and abetting an enemy in time of warfare, if they are on foreign soil doing this, military law takes over.

I wish more Americans understood this. If I am in India, I am not protected by American Law. Sorry. If there is no law in a foreign country against the use of heroin, and I take heroin, I cannot be arrested by American authorities. On the other hand, if I decide to break a foreign country's law, I can't claim immunity (unlike diplomats, unfortunately, who ought to be subject to the same laws as everyone else).

It becomes more complex if the American is actively working for a foreign power who is working against the best interests of the U.S. If it were on American soil, it would be labelled treason. He could be arrested and tried. On foreign soil, however, military law takes over. Said American could easily be killed if he is with other foreign enemies who are equally targets.

If we did not target American citizens who are fraternizing with the enemy, all the enemy would have to do is make sure every one of their meeting places had an American citizen there. They simply have covert agents come to the U.S. under student visa, go through the process of obtaining citizenship, then head back home. Voila! You can't attack that installation!
[User Picture]From: kris_schnee
2013-02-11 05:48 pm (UTC)

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As you know, treason is a specifically defined crime in the Constitution. Crimes require some form of trial, normally. You could make a case that if you catch a man on the battlefield, armed, you can kill him then, but that isn't what happened here or the argument that the president is making.

By the way, how do you know these people are guilty, considering that there wasn't any attempt at a trial? Are you trusting the president to decide who lives and who dies, with no oversight? What, logically, prevents me from being shot today and the president saying his secret council found secret evidence he doesn't have to show anyone?
From: actonrf
2013-02-11 06:51 pm (UTC)

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You're not kidding
Take Anwar al-Awlaki an Americana but just happens to be a Senior Al Qaeda leader in Yemen. You expect just the FBI walk into the Al Qaeda compound and knock on the door and arrest MR. al-Awkki. I see no differences between using a Drone strike against him and any Al Qaeda leadership and the US action during the First Barbary War, or any military action since the founding of our nation. You may want to study American history than off the wall conspiracy theories.


By the way you might want contrast how we handled Anwar al-Awlaki a leader in Al Qaeda, to any domestic terrorism cases like Mohamed Mohamud, Richard Colvin Reid and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The differences is the last three were capture on inroute to or on American territory and given our Constitutional rights to trial. it should be note there is a link between Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Anwar al-Awlaki .

The contrast is this if we can capture them we will bring them in but if they are on hostile territory, working for a terrorist organization and capture and extradition is not possible, as in the case in Yemen, then military action is justified as an enemy combatant . We Hung Pirate in the pas we used drones today.
[User Picture]From: kris_schnee
2013-02-11 07:21 pm (UTC)

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As I asked, how do you know he's guilty? Because the president said he was? If the president says you are a terrorist, does that make you guilty and strip you instantly of your rights?

Which part of what I said is a "conspiracy theory"? I'm not sure which part you're denying:
1) That the president executed several American citizens, on purpose, not on a battlefield
2) That this would be called "murder" if I did it
3) That he says he can do it again
4) That the exact legal rules and restrictions, if there are any, are secret
5) That if nobody challenges a vague power to kill people without trial, it's probably going to be abused

Is your theory, for instance, that we're safe from murder because the president can only do this to people on foreign soil? Because again, the official legal reasoning is being kept secret and has never been tested in court. Would it be fair to say that your position is, "The murder of American citizens, convicted of no crime and despite specific Constitutional law saying it's forbidden, is okay so long as ______?" Where the blank is maybe, "they're on foreign soil and the president says they're evil"? On a related note, does your position on torture match yours on killing?

By the way, I did a college undergrad thesis on the Barbary Wars and concluded after months of research that there was very little similarity between those wars and modern terrorism beyond the "Muslims attacking Americans" angle. Among other differences, the Barbary Pirates were specific national navies and I know of no American turncoats involved, though there was a prominent Scot. I've also read a bit about piracy in general, and recall that pirates were typically given trials and sometimes even set free if they convinced the court that they'd been forced into it.
[User Picture]From: world_wanderer
2013-02-12 01:45 am (UTC)

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There are several laws on the books extending US jurisdiction that way. Just because you're in a foreign country doesn't mean they won't try to get you.
[User Picture]From: kris_schnee
2013-02-11 05:45 pm (UTC)

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Oh, it's okay because he's guilty? How did you determine that? He wasn't put on trial even in absentia. The president just decided unilaterally that he's a terrorist and should die. Does it not frighten you that the president can have you shot without trial, then declare that you were a terrorist and that he doesn't have to prove it?

By the way, see the references I posted below. He killed a 16-year-old boy who was also a US citizen, so it's not just "senior operational leaders". And even the FBI director wasn't able to say that this secret doctrine -- remember, the details and limits are secret -- doesn't apply within the US.

"The aggressor a la 9 11 have set the rules of warfare."
So, we should restructure the basis of our legal system to be based on a bunch of savages' beliefs, rather than on the last thousand years of Western criminal law?
[User Picture]From: maxgoof
2013-02-11 09:41 am (UTC)

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I continually see mention of these, but no links to news articles about them. This post, unfortunately, is no exception.
[User Picture]From: kris_schnee
2013-02-11 05:41 pm (UTC)

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Here's some information:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15121879 -- About Anwar Al-Awlaki, one of those murdered.
http://www.propublica.org/article/everything-we-know-so-far-about-drone-strikes -- "a U.S. citizen who is a "senior operational leader of al-Qaida or an associated force" can be targeted..."
http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-justice-department-memo-reveals-legal-case-for-drone-strikes-on-americans?lite -- More details leaked about the secret memo explaining the rationale for murdering US citizens; this isn't even the original memo, just a summary. Mentions offhand that the president murdered his 16-year-old son, also a US citizen, shortly before that. Was he a "senior operational leader"?
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/world/middleeast/with-brennan-pick-a-light-on-drone-strikes-hazards.html -- On the drone killings in general, not specifically of citizens.
http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/01/summary-judgment-for-the-government-in-targeted-killing-foia-request/ -- FOIA demand denied for info re: the killings. The judge cites "Alice In Wonderland" and "Catch-22" in exasperation, concluding that the president may "proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret."
http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-10-09/fbi-director-i-have-check-see-if-obama-has-right-assassinate-americans-us-soi -- Do the new, secret rules make it okay to murder citizens inside the US, too? The FBI director says he's not sure.
http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_Am5.html -- "No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

Conclusion: The president has begun executing American citizens who have not been charged with or convicted of any crime, not on the battlefield or in the heat of combat. He is also taking the position that this killing is perfectly legal, and that the exact legal reasoning and boundaries of this power are secret, so that for all we know any of us are valid targets.
[User Picture]From: brombear
2013-02-14 01:49 am (UTC)

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I think a lot of it has to do with the media spin on the entire issue. There are a lot who think that it applies only to those who have thrown in their lot with anti-American forces, but don't want to even consider that it could happen here. I would counter with "Where is the outcry from those that protested Dubya in Iraq?" and then wait for the silence. Personally, I'm completely disgusted with all of DC.