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Obama gets "Official" approval to start killing US





coolclay
I am so glad we find out that Obama actually had received "official" approval to start killing US citizens without jury or trial.

So if you're not familiar with the Obama's drone killings, so far several US citizens including a teenager have been killed without any sort of trial, or hard evidence http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/18/us-citizens-drone-strike-deaths. Now as we found out recently the Justice department said it was ok, so he went ahead and made it happen http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-exclusive-justice-department-memo-reveals-legal-case-for-drone-strikes-on-americans?lite

This whole executive branch is getting out of hand. First we start flying into countries and bombing them without a declaration of war (thanks to Bush for starting that one). Now we invade countries airspace with drones and shoot their and our own citizens and claim that because it was "just" a drone so its not an act of war.

If only old B.F. could see our country today! “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

I can't wait for the day when other countries start flying drones into our country and shooting people, we'll see what the Feds have to say about it then!

You can read the actual Justice dept memo here. It's actually quite terrifying really.
http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/020413_DOJ_White_Paper.pdf
deanhills
Excellent post Coolclay and great topic. First a question, is the strike on Ossama Bin Laden also included in those stats? Including that very fast burial at sea.

I agree with everything you say, but even more worrisome to me is people getting desensitized to the invasion of their liberties, to the extent that next time the President can use even more power than he has managed to get away with this time round. I'm referring to the draft legislation for gun control. I'm all for tightening them up, I'm just worried that he is going to use the legislation for a rider for other controls.

Any way, all of this just convinces me more than ever before that the US is not a free country. It has the illusion of people participating in all of the decisions, but in the final analysis those decisions are made by the people who own the US through the large banking and other mega corporations, and the Government system they are sponsoring and "owning" indirectly to do their bidding for them.

Think it is important to also say that this phenomenon is not limited to the US. Other First World Governments are moving exactly in the same direction. The people in the street are becoming more like TV chair observers of important decisions that are made on their behalf that they don't necessarily agree with, becoming more and more invasive of personal freedom.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
The people in the street are becoming more like TV chair observers of important decisions that are made on their behalf that they don't necessarily agree with, becoming more and more invasive of personal freedom.


Because what other choice do they have? Vote for Romney?
...as if that would make things any better.


Once again I lament that the only two electable parties in the US are,
A: The party that says good things and does bad things, or
B: The party that says bad things and does bad things.


And that's why I identify as an anarchist now.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
And that's why I identify as an anarchist now.
Anarchist sounds good. If every one could get there, maybe they could start fresh again.
handfleisch
First of all, I am no fan of the program.

There are legitimate criticisms of this latest development, but as usual, the talk show/FOX crowd is exaggerating this issue into a fake-outrage to bash Obama.

Here's the deal: In WW2, there could have been Americans, living in Germany, aligned with the German government, killed in allied bombing. The US gov't wouldn't have worried about it. For example, if William Joyce, an American citizen who did the "Lord Haw Haw" propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis, happened to live a city that the Allies were going to bomb, do you think the Allies would cancel the bombing because of this American citizen working with the Nazis might get killed? No way.

Now the same thing is happening, but in a much more specific, pinpoint way, and so defining the situation is important. The US administration had a legal responsibility to define what was going on. Someone who is technically an American (born in the USA or whatever), who left long ago, identifies as Middle Eastern, and fights in the war against the USA, on the side of the Taliban or Al Qaeda in the Middle East or North Africa, is possibly going to be killed in the war on terror by a drone. It's important that we set out the legal situation where, when and how this can happen. That's what the Obama admin has done.

Does anyone think that the person in the above example is exempt from actions by the US military just because he is a technically a US citizen?
ateawonton
can this happen in the US? or just outside the US, cause wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the war on terror, if we started using drones as a method of killing US citizens?
coolclay
Quote:
the talk show/FOX crowd is exaggerating this issue into a fake-outrage to bash Obama.


Are they really? Somehow I am not surprised but find it a little funny considering some of those talking heads would probably be gungho to bomb the entire middle east.

I don't watch TV, nor listen to the radio (except Public Radio occasionally) so have not heard the talk show/Fox news commentary. I would not have guessed you as one who does either but hey whatever works for you.

While your WWII example is good it is still far from a similar situation. I truly believe that any citizen (unless they have gained citizenship in another country and renounced their US status) should be guaranteed a fair trial. We loose every ounce of credibility (not to mention recruit more extremists) for every UAV strike we implement especially those on our own citizens. I guarantee if I had drones flying over my head and shooting at me I'd despise whoever sent them too!

Yes, Deanhills the amount of control that the executive branch seems to be gaining year after year terrifies me. All the checks and balances are getting overhauled, and there seems to be very little accountability in a broad sense.

While we still live in a relatively "free" country our freedoms have substantially dwindled in the last 100 years or so. I do however make it a habit of correcting anyway who calls us a "free" country.

Wow, Ocalhoun an anarchist hugh? While at one point in my youth I would have said such things, nowadays I feel like true anarchy would be disastrous in every way shape and form and that any form of government would probably be better, but that's another discussion for another post!

ateawonton, I don't think the memos released mention anything about location, so there is nothing to stop those in the know from conducting UAV strikes in the US.

On a side note anyone see Argo, it's a really good (if not dramatized) look at the Iranian Hostage crisis.
ocalhoun
coolclay wrote:

Wow, Ocalhoun an anarchist hugh? While at one point in my youth I would have said such things, nowadays I feel like true anarchy would be disastrous in every way shape and form and that any form of government would probably be better, but that's another discussion for another post!

Anarchism =/= anarchy.
Dissolving government doesn't have to mean dissolving society.
...and I'll just leave it at that, since it's off-topic.
Quote:

ateawonton, I don't think the memos released mention anything about location, so there is nothing to stop those in the know from conducting UAV strikes in the US.

And that's what concerns people the most, I think, when combined with the total lack of any due process.
nickfyoung
Things have changed. The new war of terrorism is completely different to anything experienced before. I suppose the first suicide bombers could be the kamikaze Japanese flyers but at least you could see them coming and shoot at them.
Today, the defense departments are all up in the air trying to devise ways around the new warfare styles. It is going to take them a while to get it sorted and undoubtedly they will make many mistakes along the way.
Whats is the alternative, just let twin towers happen as they see fit.
ocalhoun
nickfyoung wrote:

Whats is the alternative, just let twin towers happen as they see fit.


The alternative?

1- Due process and keeping the moral high ground.
2- Stop interfering with the affairs of other countries -- take away much of the motivation for being targeted.
3- Good old fashioned police/intelligence work. Infiltrate their organizations, bribe informants, make arrests.

Terrorism can be fought without reprehensible tactics.
nickfyoung
ocalhoun wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:

Whats is the alternative, just let twin towers happen as they see fit.


The alternative?

1- Due process and keeping the moral high ground.
2- Stop interfering with the affairs of other countries -- take away much of the motivation for being targeted.
3- Good old fashioned police/intelligence work. Infiltrate their organizations, bribe informants, make arrests.

Terrorism can be fought without reprehensible tactics.



Israel seems to be covered there but it doesn't seem to make a difference. The US is targeted partly because it supports Israel.

The biggie at the moment is Iran's nuclear program. Do we let it happen or do something about it. Israel has been quoted as saying that it is not if they will do something about it but when.
ocalhoun
nickfyoung wrote:


The biggie at the moment is Iran's nuclear program. Do we let it happen or do something about it. Israel has been quoted as saying that it is not if they will do something about it but when.

Let Israel and Iran fight it out amongst themselves and don't get involved.

Problem avoided.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:


The biggie at the moment is Iran's nuclear program. Do we let it happen or do something about it. Israel has been quoted as saying that it is not if they will do something about it but when.

Let Israel and Iran fight it out amongst themselves and don't get involved.

Problem avoided.
Can't help but think that Israel's problem is also the US's problem. I.e. it's the US who has a problem with Iran and it's quite useful to piggy back on Israel while they are working on the problem.

Here's a good article to illustrate my point - "It's not just about Israel" by Christopher Hitchens:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2010/08/its_not_just_about_israel.html

Quote:
Is it not obvious that the international interest in facing this question squarely, and in considering it as "existential" for civilization, is far stronger than any political calculation to be made in Netanyahu's office?
Christopher Hitchens
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