I don't think anyone here is going to argue that Anwar al-Awliki was a pleasant person but he was a citizen and it's the responsibility of the government to prove he committed a crime before it punishes him. There are plenty of instances where the government is documented to have gotten it wrong. Look into Khalid el-Mazri for example.
I don't think it's too much to ask that the government follow the rules before it commits acts of violence. There's a reason these procedures were put into place and while nothing is perfect I think we'd all have a hell of a lot less blood on our hands if we as a citizenry insisted upon following them. People demand that the government keep us safe but the ironic thing that rarely makes it to the table is that the power of the United States government is far greater and far more dangerous than a bunch of third world buffoons hiding out in deserts and caves.
Last edited by SomeIdiot; 01-11-2013 at 07:58 PM.
Think about what you're arguing here. How do you know that a "terrorist" is in fact a "terrorist" if there hasn't been proof provided? It isn't as though our government has the strongest track record of getting these things right. Just look at the link I posted above to Phin. They got the wrong guy, dragged him off to a foreign country, held him incommunicado, and tortured him. When a state's attorney accuses a person of a drug related murder in West Baltimore, we say "fair enough, now go in front of a judge and prove it," but when the FBI or CIA says "That person is a terrorist who hates Americans and wants to kill you" we say "do whatever you want, suspend all the rules and don't worry about any accountability".
Does that make rational sense and is it really the approach a nominally free society should be taking to these things? I say the dissonance there is bordering on the schizophrenic. I'm not trying to single you out here but I think these are questions that Obama's supporters need to be able to answer.
Last edited by SomeIdiot; 01-11-2013 at 07:59 PM.
That being said, I hope you trust the next guy (or possibly gal) as much as you trust Obama, because whoever it is they're only going to seize more power in this realm and quite possibly exercise it with no oversight whatsoever. This is why I'll take the transparent rule based approach, even if maybe there is an argument that it renders us slightly less safe from murderous fanatics than we would be otherwise.
With that said, these policies would likely be implemented regardless of whether Clinton, Bush, Obama, McCain, or Romney occupy the White House. I view this not only as a failure of Obama but also a failure of America in general in how we responded to the 9/11 attacks.
I hate to use this cliche'd saying but it applies here; '911 changed everything'.
Similar to the USSR during the Cold War, Al Qaeda is likely to be the boogeyman that the government uses to expand defense spending, military intervention, and executive power indefinitely.
No matter the unlikelihood of another 9/11/01 scale terror attack, the fear of another 9/11 is what gives the WH the privilege to use these extraordinary tactics to prevent the next terror attack. As I said earlier in the thread, I hope Obama decides to bring an end to these policies at some point during his term but that seems unlikely to happen.
So if you still wonder why my thoughts on these issues haven't affected my vote, I will simply say that I no longer view these issues as partisan. It's a wash because whether a Dem or Repub is in the WH, we're going to pretty much have the same national security policies on terrorism. I could choose to vote 'none of the above' but I still agree with Obama and the Dems on at least 80% of the other issues I care about.
More criticism from the Left:
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow hits Obama's 'Orwellian' drone program
"Why are we now supposed to believe that regardless of how things have gone under his leadership so far, it all might change and get a lot more accountable and a lot more transparent if he gets this big new job?" she asked. "It is kind of hard to believe that he's going to go run an agency so he can go give some of that agency's authorities away."
Maddow similarly wondered whether President Obama, "who has been unprecedently aggressive" in his use of the drone program, really wanted to give up the CIA's control over that program.
"Does President Obama appointing John Brennan to appoint the CIA mean that he does care about that critique from the left? Or is it the opposite?" she asked. "By promoting the architect of the drone program we've got now, is this a punch-the-hippie moment? Is this a sign that he is happy for drone warfare to be his legacy?"
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