Slog Comments


Comments (24) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I am so disturbed that even the New York Times blithely uses the word "assassination" as if it is perfectly okay for any American, under any circumstances, to kill someone on foreign (or domestic!) soil. I am old enough to remember the shock of the American people when we learned of our government's attempts to assassinate Castro. In some ways, the 1950s got it right -- AMERICANS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO UNILATERALLY KILL PEOPLE.
Posted by bareboards on June 1, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
eclexia 2
This kind of power is too much to be vested in a president. It should only be given to the reigning Miss America.
Posted by eclexia on June 1, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 3
That photo in the article of the Oval Office is shocking. I've seen that wallpaper but those red drapes look strange. Also strange is a wooden bowel of apples. OK for a bed and breakfast but a crystal bowel would be more fitting.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on June 1, 2012 at 9:51 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 4
I can sum it up in other two word phrases "President Bush" or "President Obama"

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on June 1, 2012 at 9:53 AM · Report this
lark 5
I'm against ANY President having that kind of power. Our current President is Obama. That's more worrisome.
Posted by lark on June 1, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 7
Yeah, I wish we didn't assassinate people.

I also wish there was no prejudice or discrimination anymore. And no more religious bigotry. And everyone helped others if they needed it, with food, clothing, shelter, etc... not just friends and family, but helping people they'd never even meet. And I wish we, as humans, would work towards cooperative goals together instead of selfish ones. And I wish people would be more kind to all animals.

I'll keep hoping for all those things... but I don't expect any of them will ever actually happen in my lifetime.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on June 1, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
how can this be anything but utterly, absolutely, and obviously unconstitutional, even if there were a properly declared (by congress) war against an identifiable enemy? American presidents believing they are entitled to commit war crimes... despicable; that it's a nominally "liberal" president... horrifying.

Whether or not a war on terror can be "won" at all, killing American's in this way won't add anything worthwhile to that calculation. Jeez, I miss the Warren court - they'd have this sorted out in about five minutes.
Posted by myr on June 1, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
@7 I don't see the connection... I hope for all the things you mention, and they require behavior change by large groups over time - and I'm pessimistic. A government is designed to be better than the worst traits of the mob - that is precisely what the Framers were doing when they created this one - and elected officials ought to be, and held accountable to be, on better behavior than the hoi poloi
Posted by myr on June 1, 2012 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Reality Chronicles

Before you can understand their Great Game, you must understand their Grand Design.

The Corporation

The oldest corporation, of Anglo-Dutch origin, is also the longest enduring corporation in the Western Hemisphere, perhaps the world, predating the Norman Conquest of 1066, officially the City of London Corporation (“The City”), owner of property in the financial districts of Wall Street, Hong Kong, Sydney and Dubai.

The City and the City Cash. (City Cash may well be the longest continuing financial fund in history, going back at least eight centuries.)


The process whereby the Transnational Capitalist Class colonizes the planet.
It’s really that simple.


Securitization and resecuritizations take place on Wall Street (although usually legally recorded in Delaware), then they are transferred to The City, or London, for further leveraging through their process of rehypothecation.

The Corporation, Globalization and Ultra-Leverage.

Their Grand Design, their Great Game.

In economic warfare, sides must be chosen.

Of course, there is the human factor; there have been mistakes.

Hitler, Stalin and Mao veered off course.

Nixon was supposed to have been elected president originally in 1960, not 1968, but a crafty criminal mastermind named Joe Kennedy altered that.

Inexorably though, their power and wealth and extreme criminal ways too often succeed.

Sides must be chosen.

(Parochial-minded and egocentric types who have never read foreign news, news and publications outside their mother countries, won't be aware of the international scope of things, the obvious patterns.

They won't be familiar with the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Taxpayer Union, and a host of other global associations which serve as the guiding templates to national and local associations.)
Posted by sgt_doom on June 1, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 11
And we used to think Nixon was evil for having an "enemies list." At least he didn't kill them.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on June 1, 2012 at 10:28 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 12
Well. At least he’s not water boarding them…

Shit, if this story had come out about Bush at the end of his first term the media would have burned him in effigy as a craven, blood thirsty psychopath. Obama pretty much gets a pass. Love the fact that he has also redefined Collateral Damage to exclude any male over the age 18 so he can claim “cleaner” kills.

Such a proud national moment. (Can’t wait for the Russians, North Koreans, Chinese and Iranians to get hold of a drone and adopt Obama’s assassination policy.)
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on June 1, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
The President has always had that power, so you're about 236 years late on that.
Posted by K on June 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this

(special thanx to Wm. Banzai)
Posted by sgt_doom on June 1, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
If the people on the list are actual terrorists plotting mass murders, I'd kill them myself. I prefer strategic drone strikes to those Bush era shock and awe carpet bombings of entire cities.
Posted by randomitis on June 1, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 17
Actually, think about it: President Biden.

Now if that doesn't make you wake up, I don't know what would.
Posted by Will in Seattle on June 1, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 18
Yea? So... I just re-read Article II of the Constitution, and I’m having trouble finding the part that gives the President the power to order the execution of US Citizens. Would you please kindly point that clause out to me?
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on June 1, 2012 at 10:52 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 20
This kind of thing is not new at all. The only thing that is new is that with the current technology, we can find and eliminate these people without resorting to putting thousands of boots on the ground. Is it better that we send 80,000 soldiers to kill them, rather than an unmanned drone?

The only thing that is different is that Obama has asked to have personal say regarding it, instead of allowing DOD officials to do so on their own. Where was the outcry when we were doing this to terrorist leaders under Bush, or even just earlier in this presidency.

Only after a journalist called it a "kill list," was there an outcry.

We can debate the basic design of how we fight terrorism in this protean and endless war, but there is no need to pretend this is something new.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on June 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 21
hey, it's not like facial recognition and transponder codes can easily be faked and used to have your enemies target the wrong person and think they got you, right?

That GPS in your cell phone? It's a tracking device, but you don't know it - every cell tower has logs that are searchable by the sniffer programs.
Posted by Will in Seattle on June 1, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 22
If it's a Democrat it's okay. That's why you want to make sure we never let a Republican become President ever again.

And good luck with pulling THAT off.
Posted by Last of the Time Lords on June 1, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 23
I'm sure they justify this shitty practice by saying it's either that, or conventional military intervention.

This is benevolence on the part of the Ministry of Fear and Permanent War.

This war will never end. There's too much money in it.
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on June 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
@7, because not allowing the government to choose to kill individuals without due process is the same as achieving utopia.

All the governments in the world that don't kill individuals without due process would be surprised to hear this.

Seriously, though, what a ridiculously dishonest argument.
Posted by LJM on June 1, 2012 at 12:21 PM · Report this
This is the precise sort of policy that the system of 'checks and balances' envisioned by the framers was supposed to address. As the Judicial branch traditionally (and correctly) grants very considerable deference to the Executive branch when it pertains to national security issues, it is the Legislative branch's responsibility to pass laws to regulate, ban, and/or curb practices such as this. And that isn't happening, for the same reason that that long-term solutions to a broad range of issues aren't happening: Congress is paralyzed and can't get ANYTHING major accomplished.

That Republicans ideologically like the idea of a hyper-muscular Presidency on national security issues (since they like wielding that power when one of their own holds that office) and the Democrats don't want to look weak, or to criticize a sitting President of their own party, which makes this issue even less likely to be addressed by Congress actually doing its job and passing laws.

Personally, I think targeted drone strikes are generally preferable to boots-on-the-ground operations (the Bin Laden raid was an appropriate exception given that particular target's unique status as Most Wanted Man in the World), and also preferable to a Jimmy Carter-style refusal to use deadly force , but I've always been a hawkish liberal rather than a pacifist liberal.

Posted by Functional Atheist on June 1, 2012 at 4:13 PM · Report this
venomlash 27
@21: Stop watching 24.
Posted by venomlash on June 1, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 28
What Venomlash said.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on June 1, 2012 at 6:40 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters.