by lizard

I don’t blame Brandon Bryant for carrying out orders. As a civilian who hasn’t directly experienced the conflict between unaccountable leadership and a binding oath to the constitution, I can’t imagine what existing in that kind of murky environment does to the psyche.

Brandon Bryant’s job was operating drones, something Obama is now getting “serious” heat for officially sanctioning with—gasp—A MEMO!!!.

Apparently, because it’s impossible to deny the frankenstein unitary executive created by Obushma, there can finally be a bit of pressure-valving from the duplicitous Democrat stronghold. From MSNBC, it seems there’s a shocking realization going on that their commander-in-chief resolved his predecessor’s problem with torture by just deciding to kill them instead, citizenship be damned!

Of course not everyone at MSNBC is feigning shock for the cameras for a few news cycles. In fact, Touré, co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle, has been popping off some Foxilicious bullshit via twitter:

He’s the Commander in Chief. RT @kirstenpowers10: You are fine w the White House deciding who is guilty and who should die?

There is no contradiction in opposing the drone killings of innocent civilians and supporting the drone killings of Al Qaeda leaders.

Obama as Commander in Chief is tasked with leading our war against Al Qaeda. He can & should kill AQ leaders whenever possible.

No. RT @mchastain81: Dear @Toure. A US citizen is allowed due process no matter what they have done, even an AQ leader.

Amazing. Also, disgusting.

I’d like to gracefully pivot from the drone memos to the 2nd amendment standoff emerging between sheriffs and the feds. Our very own Sally Mauk did a phenomenal interview with Lake County’s Sheriff Doyle on MPR (listen here).

Here’s the setup for the interview:

Five Montana sheriffs so far have publicly stated they will not enforce new executive orders or laws that seek to confiscate or control guns. The sheriffs from Sanders, Ravalli, Powell, Wibaux and Mussellshell counties believe such laws are a violation of the Second Amendment. Lake County Sheriff Jay Doyle has also sent out a press release saying law-abiding citizens have the right to own firearms, whether it be “one or one hundred.” He also vows to stop any federal effort to take guns away.

All of this is in reaction to proposed new legislation to once again ban so-called assault weapons, and tighten federal gun control laws. In tonight’s interview, Sheriff Doyle of Lake County talks with Montana Public Radio News Director Sally Mauk about his concerns, first outlined in his recent press release.

I share the sentiment, from the dejected left, that our constitutional crisis is the president’s justification for executing US citizens without due process based on “imminent threat” legal speak.

And, as I understand it, the constitutional crisis most consuming the right is the right to bear arms guaranteed by the 2nd amendment.

Between those two positions, I think we can find lots of common ground if we try.

  1. The “right to bare arms?”

    You mean like tank tops?

    The founding fathers wanted that?

    Who knew?

  2. Tim in MT

    Hate me if you want to, but part of the reason I wanted Romney to win this last election was because of the press’ inclination to actually serve its watchdog role when there is a Republican administration. Under a Democrat you see the same policies, as indicated here, but a completely complicit, and as demonstrated, even cheerleading press.

    These are the same people who dutifully marched to ever anti-war protest, no matter how small, to plaster on the front page of every newspaper in the run up to the Iraq War. Now they are defending the guy who drone bombs children and US citizens without trial. :( The powerful hand of the military industrial complex truly does cross party lines. Good post.

    • lizard19

      before the election, I said similar things to friends and colleagues, but ultimately it was Mitt’s relationship with Netanyahu that concerned me most about a Romney presidency.

    • JC

      Yeah, the press really did its watchdog role on Bush in the run up to the iRaq war. [/snark]

  3. Jack Ruby

    If we assume, hypothetically speaking, the facts as the executive claims are true: 1) an American citizen is located overseas 2) there is no viable way for the individual to be apprehended 3) there is clear and credible information that the individual is engaging in action that does pose an imminent threat to the safety or security of us citizens (again we are assuming these are true) and 4) the only reasonable available alternative to mitigate the threat is immediate military action of some sort……..is it your position that the only option available for mitigting this threat is a “lawful arrest”? If a lawful arrest cannot be made should the us gov allow an attack to take place that it otherwise is capable of stopping?

    • lizard19

      how can a person be both unreachable and an imminent threat? at some point this person must come to America to be an actual threat to Americans, like on a boat or plane. if our vast security state can’t apprehend him/her/them at that point, then billions are being wasted.

      Obama should be impeached over this.

    • Jack Ruby

      Not really, when you take into account Americans living or traveling overseas. So basically you dispute the above facts could ever be true.maybe you are right. If you suspend your disbelief for a minute how would you answer the question above? To your question I think there are many hypothetical situations one could come up with to fit the scenario of imminent threat, all of which would also require you to suspend your disbelief I’m sure.

      • lizard19

        there has to be judicial oversight and a reasonable definition of what “imminent” means.

        was Al-Awlaki’s 16 yr old son an imminent threat?

        • Al-Awlaki’s son was not the prime target of the assassination. It was another “al Qaida in Yemen” honcho and he and others who were not connected with AQ were “collateral damage,” I think, hit in a restaurant.

          I don’t think there could have been legitimate justification of him as a “threat” at all. It takes proof of action or intent.

      • Jack Ruby

        I agree completely. It is the burden of our esteemed congress to create such a mechanism.

        • I can’t imagine this congress doing anything useful, giving the enormous divide in both houses. So nothing that really protects civil liberties or the rule of domestic of foreign law is sacred right now. Don’t get your hopes up.

    • But how and where do these “high government officials” get this “clear and credible information”? Is it good info? Is it obtained under torture in which a person will say anything?
      After all the lies from the invasion of Hawaii to Iraq including the Gulf of Tonken, why would any American put their trust in high muckety mucks. (Read Stephen Kinzer’s “Overthrow” and Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s “The Untold History of the United States.”

  4. Turner

    I’m troubled by the rather incoherent official justification for drones. I don’t want to minimize the problem, but I’m aware of only two American citizens who’ve been killed by drones in foreign countries. Have there been others?

    Two is too many, of course, unless there’s evidence that they were busy plotting to kill people in our country. And it’s possible that there is such evidence. I’m not sure how much transparency is possible without revealing info sources.

    The larger issue of the American Empire is most troubling to me.

    • lizard19

      the number of US citizens killed by the Obama administration is 3. Samir Khan, an alleged Al Qaeda “propagandist” was killed with Anwar al-Awlaki. Kahn was from North Carolina.

      I also recommend reading Greenwald’s piece about the transformation of al-Awlaki from a person invited to the Pentagon after 9/11 to a target of extra-judicial assassination just 10 years later.

  5. Big Swede

    From Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope.

    “Ultimately, though, I have to side with Justice Breyer’s view of the Constitution—that it is not a static but rather a living document, and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.”

  6. Also on Medicare and SS from transcript of speech yesterday by Obushma:
    “The proposals that I’ve put forward during the fiscal cliff negotiations, in discussions with Speaker Boehner and others, are still very much on the table.

    I just want to repeat; the deals that I put forward, the balanced approach of spending cuts and entitlement reform and tax reform that I put forward are still on the table.

    I’ve offered sensible reforms to Medicare and other entitlements and my healthcare proposals achieved the same amount of savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms that have been proposed by the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission.”

    He can’t be more clear what he wants to do.

  7. As long as Congress allows open-ended executive authority to prosecute “the war” on terror there is no rational reason to debate the details. SEE: PUBLIC LAW 107–243—OCT. 16, 2002

    Congress abdicated. It can regain its war powers authority with another vote, otherwise the killing, rendition, torture, warrantless surveilance, indefinite detention, and God knows what else will continue with impunity.

  8. Big Swede

    “When I killed people it was face to face, up close and personal.”

    — John F. Kerry, War Hero

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