34 1 min 9 yrs

Cenk Uygur neatly rounds up the significance of Rand Paul’s filibuster against the imperial presidency. Along the way he notices that some Dems, liberals and progressives, people who’d have gone up like their hair’s on fire if a certain ex-president had behaved like Obama, have suddenly gone AWOL.

GOP drones shouldn’t get off lightly either. They stood mute while a certain ex-president committed constitutional atrocity after constitional atrocity. Yet it’s only with a Dem in the White House that they’ve discovered a concern for such outrages. Whose shoulders do they think Obama stands on? Power-worshipping hypocrites, every last one of them.

Meanwhile, what state propaganda media machine?:



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  1. When did these “drone strikes on Americans without due process” take place?

  2. Fews — Nobody said it happened. Do you think the president should have the power to do so?

  3. Americans have already been killed on US soil without due process by local, state and federal government.

  4. It is a manufactured issue, created by those who traffic in such things.

    I totally love that CNN banner, BTW. I am amazed that they had anyone clever enough to write it.

  5. this is important.

    No it isn’t.

    This is about a lawyer’s answer to a hypothetical question.

  6. Every word Cenk Uygur says in that clip is correct; but the kool-aid must be left aside in order to see that.

  7. Senator Paul has been criticized by the adults in the Republican Party for yesterday’s juvenile stunt

    To this extent that this causes division in the Republican Party over anti terrorist tactics that will be bad for the country, and will be another nail in the Republicans’ coffin. The issue of terrorism won’t go away. Obama can continue to be decisive on this matter, and he will continue to have solid majorities in the country to support him on it.

  8. The Constitution of the US grants the American citizen due process. The fact that some Republicans like Lindsey Graham in Washinton DC don’t give a hoot about due process is nothing new.

    the left has been bitching and moaning about this issue for years – Bush started the drone issue and now Obama is doubling down.

    what is new in the past 5 years is that there is a renewed interest on the Right in the Constitution and the limited government it spells out for us.

    Many on the Right think the Bush Admin. was wrong to expand government as he did – and they now think Obama is doubling down.

    that the Establishment Right in Washington DC and the Establishment Left with the Obama Admin. see eye-to-eye on the drone issue says more about them than the issue itself. Let’s face it, the Establishment Elite on either side of the aisle in Washington DC seem to have more in common with themselves than the country they supposedly represent.

    They care first and foremost about their own personal power – on both sides of the aisle.

  9. “the adults in the Republican Party”

    As a rhetorical devise for discrediting a political opponent, the “adult in the room” slur has seen it’s expiration date come and go.

  10. I will relunctantly concede that Rand Paul is a lot smarter than the likes of Sarah Palin and Rick Perry, the true children.

  11. 2 things

    If you support the US military action in Afghanistan then surely the use of drones cannot be condemned as they effect that military action at minimum risk to American service lives which is surely the desire of any American .

    secondly, does anyone here serioulsy think there are any plans by the US government to start using military drones to kill Americans on US soil. If so, please explain how you reach that conclusion. If not, then this is an argument about nothing.

  12. Colm:

    1. one of the rationales for support of drone use overseas at war is the fact that targets cannot be arrested and tried overseas and perhaps cannot be extradited to the US for trial. Also, there is the whole issue of military trial versus civilian due process. in my opinion, the oversea drone killings are now a scandal and should stop – rather than few and far in between, it sounds like drone killings are now used as an easy way out, a way to avoid Gitmo.

    BUT – killing Americans on American soil is ridiculous. If you can kill someone in America with a drone you should be able to arrest them and allow them due process. There is no reason for drone killings in America.

    I mean – why bother with a drone ? cheaper to hire an assassin – in other words, the fact that the govt. will not say that this is an impossibility is outrageous. Who the hell do they think they are?

    2. regarding the possibility that the US government would kill American citizens – it’s been done before – the government recently fabricated a story about a riot started by a youtube video and they now hold in prison the unlucky man who made the video. Total BS – but he sits in jail.

    Sure, he’s in jail for a parole violation – he wasn’t supposed to upload videos and he did – but no one else sits in jail for this type of thing – just him – wrong place, wrong time.

  13. Colm –

    1) That’s legally and morally dubious, or at least debatable. The American military and everyone in it is boud by the laws of war, including the Geneva Conventions. This confers a legal obligation to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties, up to and including not engaging the enemy if civilians would be endangered. Using a drone in a particular situation might be convenient and safe for the drone operator, but if civilians are endangered then there can be no mission. Since very many civilians have been killed by drones, possibly the laws of war aren’t always seen as important.

    2) A couple of days ago the Attorny General wrote to Rand Paul. He suggested that there might well be situations in which lethal force can be used against Americans, on American soil, even though they present no immediate danger. This is a clear violation of the 5th Amendment and prompted Rand Paul’s filibuster.

    The question wasn’t whether there were any plans within government to start attacking Americans. Rand Paul was trying to establish the government view of whether or not it had the legal power to do so. The White House could answer yes or no, and the discussion would lead on from that answer.

    As a side note, a 16 year old American boy was recently killed by a drone strike while he was sitting at a cafe in Yemen. It’s not a great leap to start doing at home what you do abroad. By 2020 there will be 30,000 drones in the air above America, on current estimates. Many will be capable of being equipped with small arms and missiles. It’s a perfectly legitimate concern to establishment what the law allows the government to do with them before someone gets excited and shoots up Bubba on the highway because of some minor infringement.

  14. Pete

    I certainly am not in favour of the casual unrestricted use of drones in Afghanistan by the US military and I most definitely do not adopt the ‘shit happens’ attitudes of those like Troll regarding civilian casualties, I was just making the point that in terms of properly targetted use of such weapons with due regard to civilian safety they do make sense in light of the duty of any military commanders and leaders to minimise their own sides casualties.

    If the Attorney General has verbally violated the 5th amendment then that is just an expression of his opinion, if he or any governtment or military officials effect that violation physically then that is when the proper due legal process should penalise them.

  15. Americans who present no immediate danger are being killed at this moment on American soil. Contributors here, and not just me, have been linking to police shooting innocent people in their bedrooms, their cars, crossing the street, in malls etc. It’s no great step to using a drone ‘piloted’ by some spotty youth at a computer terminal in Maryland as a weapon on American soil. The extrapolation is easy and obvious.

  16. Colm –

    Its not “just an expression of his opinion” when the AG speaks. He’s the government’s senior legal officer. When he wrote to Rand Paul he was stating the government view.

  17. “The Constitution of the US grants the American citizen due process. ”

    The UNDHR, to which the US is a signatory, grants everyone due process. There is nothing special about Americans or American soil.

    If it’s OK for America to kill people abroad with drones then it’s equally OK for America to kill Americans at home with drones, and for that matter it’s equally OK for anyone else to do so. Everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law.

    In any case killing after due process is not OK either. The only justification for killing anyone is if they pose a threat and there is no alternative. There is never a need to kill anyone who is already in captivity and poses no threat.

  18. Pete supports the death penalty, a Grand Canyon sized chink in the ” anti state ” armor. I’ve never heard Patty speak against it.

    The Death Penalty is not immoral – not in serious cases – but it can’t be permitted because cops / soldiers / witnesses can lie, people can screw up, juries and judges can be morons and often more.

    The fetishization of drones here is just because it is the new sexy thing. Same old moral inconsistencies, just new technology to focus on.

  19. //If it’s OK for America to kill people abroad with drones then it’s equally OK for America to kill Americans at home with drones//

    You’re perfectly right in a moral sense, Frank. But there is a legal difference here: one is a wartime measure while the other is police action at home, and obviously has to be subject to different controls.

    I havent read or heard the original statement and don’t really know what all the fuss is about, but if someone in DC is seriously considering a scenario where the US govt could fire drones within the US (which I doubt), then that would certainly be something quite new.

    But in general if this focuses attention on the use of drones in war, it’ll be a good thing. There have been far too many of those wedding party mistaken for an AQ cell type attacks, usually with them then being shrugged off with a “shit happens in war” ramark. As long as intelligence is so faulty, such weapons should not be used.

  20. Terrorism is war. A dishonorable form of war, but war.

    War does not only happen ” over there “. When I joined the military, I took and oath to protect the country and its Constitution against ” all enemies, foreign and domestic ”

    US citizens who take up arms against the US government should be dealt with in identical fashion to foreign enemies, as has been the case in all prior wars.

  21. //US citizens who take up arms against the US government should be dealt with in identical fashion to foreign enemies//

    Did you see this, Phantom?

    I was surprised that there are so many of these groups in sunny California.

  22. Phantom –

    “Pete supports the death penalty ..”

    That’s a highly qualified support. I certainly don’t support it where the judicial system is corrupt and rigged.

    “US citizens who take up arms against the US government should be dealt with in identical fashion to foreign enemies ..”

    Sounds like someone’s saying King George’s cause against the colonists was righteous. They certainly took up arms against the government.

    And what qualifies as “taking up arms”? Is, say, a woman who is violently assaulted by an armed assailant allowed to use arms in her defence? If so, and if that violent assault is perpetrated by a heroic late responder, isn’t she taking up arms against a government apparatchik? Can government do anything it likes? Surely it must be able to if taking up arms against government is never justified.

    And since you took an oath to defend the constitution against domestic enemies, could they ever be found in government?

  23. Noel Cunningham –

    “Experts”? What state propaganda media machine?! Let me correct that CNN headline:

    “Anti-government extremist groups reach record levels, say experts wacko Marxist nutjobs”

  24. It’s so telling and confirming of the hypocrisy of those that cried outrage over the patriot act, trivialize this.

    You reveal yourselves for what you are over and over again.

  25. Noel

    The superduper self styled patriot-traitors are in a lot of places. They’re sad cases. They may do the occasional murder, and the occasional Oklahoma City atrocity, but they are no threat beyond that.


    You’ve spoken in favor of juty nullification, which is the rigging of trials! If each individual gets to judge whether a system is rigged or not, there is no system that can work.

    The execution of captured persons is the ultimate exercise in state power. And even if there is zero corruption and zero stupidity among the cops, witnesses, district attorneys, judges, etc there willl be error, because every person and every group of persons makes mistakes. The Death Penalty is the ultimate expression of state power against one who cannot resist.

    Do reconsider this.

  26. I don’t see how you can be for capital punishment – which comes after due process – and yet not outraged by drone killings of on American soil where there is no due process at all.

  27. “The Constitution of the US grants the American citizen due process. ”

    The fifth and fourteenth amendments use the word “persons” not “citizens” so those protections don’t just apply to citizens.

  28. A smarter writer than I has pointed out that people get caught up with the word drones. It sounds sinister, scientific and hi-tech.

    Lets say baseball bat instead. Does the Government have the right the kill someone with a baseball bat without due process? No.

    The use of drones program has expanded well beyond the military use for imminent threats to national security. As such it needs to be strictly reviewed and curtailed. There may very well be instances when their use is not only correct, but also necessary and proper. But that just doesn’t seem to be the case now.

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