“This site is dedicated to preying on peoples vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.”

Thursday, February 07, 2013

It took until President Bush's second term for the press to become sufficiently adversarial in the realm of foreign policy, where misinformation and implausible arguments were parroted for some years, and the benefits of too many doubts were given. I hope the Huffington Post's tough treatment is remembered as one of the moments when the press stopped trusting Obama too much.



As Neocons Defend Obama, Allies Doubt Him on Drones as Never Before
By CONOR FRIEDERSDORF

ATLANTIC



FEB 7 2013, 6:00 AM ET

The John Brennan confirmation hearings are the biggest showdown yet on extrajudicial killing and executive branch secrecy.

For once, the Obama Administration's drone policy is much in the news. Kill list overseer John Brennan starts confirmation hearings today to determine whether he'll get to be the next CIA director. Everyone is abuzz about a confidential memo that describes some of the scenarios in which President Obama believes that his underlings are empowered to extrajudicially kill Americans. And it looks like the Senate intelligence committee is finally going to be shown the Office of Legal Counsel opinion that sets forth the legal justification invoked to kill Anwar Al-Awlaki (though the Obama Administration intends to keep hiding the legal analysis from the public, as well as Congressional committees that oversee the Pentagon and the Department of Justice).

How is everyone reacting to the unprecedented attention being paid to drone strikes? 

Some neoconservatives have suddenly begun defending the president. John Bolton, former ambassador to the UN, says the drone program "appears to be consistent with the policies of the Bush administration," in which he served. Max Boot of Commentary insists Obama's drone memo is a "careful, responsible document." I'd half expect John Yoo to start praising Obama if he weren't busy "turning away in disgust" at the McRib's disappearance from his local McDonald's.

Dick Cheney has yet to comment.

Meanwhile, President Obama is getting more criticism than usual from normally friendly quarters. The Huffington Post, a sprawling landscape of content, has published criticism of the president on many occasions, but I don't know that I've ever seen its home page go after him like this: 


It was U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon who first compared Team Obama's legal positions to Alice in Wonderland. I'm glad that the phrase has taken told. Here's what the Huffington Post's front page looked like in the wee hours of Thursday morning, having been updated to reflect the fact that Senator Ron Wyden and friends finally get to see the legal opinions:


It took until President Bush's second term for the press to become sufficiently adversarial in the realm of foreign policy, where misinformation and implausible arguments were parroted for some years, and the benefits of too many doubts were given. I hope the Huffington Post's tough treatment is remembered as one of the moments when the press stopped trusting Obama too much. 

The New York Times editorial board is demanding some good questions be asked in today's confirmation hearings:

For years, Mr. Obama has stretched executive power to claim that the 2001 Congressional authorization to use military force against Al Qaeda gives him the unilateral authority to order people, including American citizens, killed away from any battlefield without judicial oversight or public accountability. He took a step in the right direction on Wednesday when he directed the Justice Department to give Congressional committees its classified legal advice on targeting Americans.
Officials say they only target belligerents covered by the 2001 legislation, but the public has no way of knowing under what criteria these targets are chosen. Nor does it know, absent publicly stated rules, how the 2001 law would be interpreted by future presidents. The confirmation hearing provides an opportunity for Mr. Brennan to explain his view on whether there is any check on presidential decision-making, especially when American citizens are targeted, and whether targeted killings are creating more militants than they are eliminating.
But the criticism of Obama's transgressions against the rule of law still aren't nearly as harsh as what the newspaper wrote in 2008, when it endorsed Obama and looked back at President Bush:

Under Mr. Bush ... the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the justice system and the separation of powers have come under relentless attack. Mr. Bush chose to exploit the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, the moment in which he looked like the president of a unified nation, to try to place himself above the law. Mr. Bush has arrogated the power to imprison men without charges and browbeat Congress into granting an unfettered authority to spy on Americans. He has created untold numbers of "black" programs, including secret prisons and outsourced torture. The president has issued hundreds, if not thousands, of secret orders. We fear it will take years of forensic research to discover how many basic rights have been violated. 
Note that imprisoning people without charges, the ability to spy on Americans without warrants, black sites, and secret orders all persist in the Obama era, along with something Bush never managed: the actual, extrajudicial killings of at least two American citizens, one of them just 16-years-old. It's too bad that the NY Times editorial board still isn't able to muster as much outrage for Obama's transgressions as for Bush era steps no more ruinous to the rule of law. But the trend at least seems to be toward greater realization of the need to rein in Obama.

As Human Rights First put it, "Only complete public disclosure of the legal justifications behind the U.S. targeted killing program can assure Americans that the United States is complying with the law and established rules. The United States targeted killing program is setting a precedent for the rest of the world. We have to get this right." As yet, Obama has gotten it wrong.

Neocons to the rescue:


42 comments:

  1. " If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. " ― George Orwell

    Does this mean you only allow those comments that agree with you?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing that the trend of the last two presidents have been on course with subverting the constitution.
    Two sides of the same coin.
    why, one could say there's a conspiracy afoot.
    Things that make you say, hmmmm.

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  3. STAY THE COURSE!

    John. Bolton supports President Obama ...

    So. Should You.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the Conservatives should just shut up and allow Obama and the Democrats to do whatever and appoint whomever they want......and let the cards fall where they may.

      Drunks, I am told need to hit rock bottom before they seek help earnestly. Unfortunately the same must happen to the US. Lots of PAIN will be required. And it's coming.

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    2. .

      There are few Conservatives in D.C., merely neocons and nitwits ensconced in their sinecures.

      It is interesting that the only voices just now starting to be raised against Obama's abuses are those of some Democrats.

      .

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  4. Replies
    1. Well, jack, now you are up to speed.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for being honest. This blog seems to blame the Jews and Israel for most of the world's faults.

      Are least you are consistent.

      Delete
  5. Spam this thread again and you will be jack shit.

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  6. DeuceWed Feb 06, 06:20:00 PM EST
    "Interesting, Mark Levin is calling for state defiance of federal law! Love it."


    I've always foound it interesting the tendency to more local rule in America. So much so that for many the 'rule' should lie with the individual yet on the other hand there is a strong tendency to make individuals follow 'rules' (laws). The net result seems to be a labryntyh of competing visions and rules ranging from Municipal jurisdictions, through State and Federal (you can also toss in neighborhood associations as well).

    Many a conservative, like Rat for instance, answers that decisions should be made at State level as opposed to Federal. Why not at Municipal level? That bible of all answers "The Consitution" would be his reply I guess.

    Why am I blathering on like this? Well, I read an interesting bit on gun control recently. It seems the NRA has been busy these last few decades getting States to pass pre-emption laws that force municipalities to conform to State law. So, if a municipality does not want to allow gun supermarkets in their jurisdiction they are threatened with law suits from the State.

    Quite the tangled web we weave...

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    1. Why organize power at the State level?

      Easy. It is where the ordinary citizen can have real political impact, while the States are the primary foundation of the Federal government.

      It is the United STATES of America.

      As for devolving power lower than the State level ...
      On the Federal level the idea is laughable. The States do not compete with the Feds on a level field, I cannot imagine Heber, AZ standing a chance. In fact the Federals have about starved that and other small towns out of financial viability.

      The US does not hold a National election.
      Even the President is chosen by Represenatives sent by the States to the fourth branch of the Federal government, the Electoral College.

      As. I've said, the States are the building blocks of the Federal government.

      If you have a better system ...
      Run it up the pole, we'll see who salutes

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    2. The power, in reality, is distributed amongst the various levels of government and tensions arise where there is overlap. They fight for jurisdiction and the poor individual is caught in the a web of jurisdicitons.

      If most power were devolved to individual States yet mobility between States is not controlled it will be hard for any individual State to enforce their laws withing their jurisdiction.

      Why should the State but not the Federal Gov. have the power to override a zoning issue within a Municipality?

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    3. .

      Why should the State but not the Federal Gov. have the power to override a zoning issue within a Municipality?

      What overriding interest would the FEDS have in doing so? Not sure, but I would assume the Feds are pretty much free to zone as they wish on federal property (as long as it doesn't result in damage to individuals or their property) but municipal property?

      If there is no overriding interest then the Constitution clearly states it's the prerogative of the states not the FEDS.

      .

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    4. What constitutes the FEDs interest? Is it the FEDs responsiblity to ensure constitutional compliance?

      I'm trying to puzzle through these pre-emption laws which seem primarily concerned with Municipal vs State pecking order. Similar concepts would also apply, I think, with the State - Fed power order.

      SUMMARY

      State preemption laws prevent local jurisdictions from enacting ordinances that irreconcilably conflict with state statutes or address matters in an area in which the legislature has demonstrated the intent to occupy the entire field of regulation. Preemption may be expressly stated in a statute or constitutional provision or implied from the statute's construction and purpose. It is up to the courts to determine if a statute preempts an ordinance."



      http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/rpt/2011-R-0137.htm

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    5. .

      While you might not think so from the current conversations at the national level we are (or at least were designed to be) a nation of laws.

      At times, you seem to mock our Constitution or its importance. Yet any group of people who come together to form a society agree to live together under certain guiding principles. In our federal system, those principles and the laws that assure them are laid out under a constitution, one that is reached by consensus and one that can be changed if that consensus changes.

      The federalism at the state level is merely an extension of federalism at the national level. The state constitutions are formed by consensus and can be changed by consensus at the state level. Changes in the state constitution usually occur more rapidly than at the national level.

      The same checks and balances occur in both systems, the legislatures pass the laws, the courts determine if they are constitutional, and the executive executes the law.

      So yes, if there is a difference of opinion on who can do what or what is constitutional, it usually ends up in the courts at one level or another.

      I recognize the frustration of some that complain of how difficult it is to change laws or even the constitution; however, if there is a consensus there exists the ability to change both. As for the NRA position on guns, while many may decry its positions it is hard to blame them for working effectively within the system.

      .

      .

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    6. .

      The NRA won't change until our current system changes. And that will be tough.

      .

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  7. I was up an hour and half ago and read all of Jack's comments. I don't see why those were taken down. They were polite, intelligent etc.

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    1. jack smithThu Feb 07, 08:00:00 AM EST

      " If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. " ― George Orwell

      Does this mean you only allow those comments that agree with you?

      ......

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    2. jack's comments WERE NOT taken down, proving you are a boob.

      One who fails to read AND percieve.

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    3. .

      Oh yeh, well they were taken down in Bob-World.

      .

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    4. Deuce stated he didnt cotton to foreign governments like Israel "meddling" in the USA

      I provided links of the USA meddling in Russia, Egypt, Libya, Israel and of course the 1953 meddling in IRan.

      Of course that forbidden to discuss.

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    5. The USA is certainly a meddlesome nation!

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    6. I wish you would provide us with the links again, Jack. So we could all read them.

      Delete
    7. .

      Unless I have missed it, I haven't seen jack smith post here before this stream; therefore, I haven't seen the links you have posted. Of course, you nay have listed them under another name or the catch-all Anonymous.

      Regardless, the proposition you just laid out is silly. There are those here, many here, who have complained about U.S. meddling in other countries for some time. And the complaints have been becoming louder as time passes. I don't recall it being a forbidden subject at all.

      However, with your statement

      This blog seems to blame the Jews and Israel for most of the world's faults.

      you point out the fact that this blog reflects the politically bifurcated world we live in.

      It is true that there are some here who clearly do not like the policies of Israel and say so. They form one side of the coin. Then you have people like WiO, Bob, yourself who are perfectly willing to point out the shortcomings of the US but who I have never heard utter one comment disparaging Israel or its policies. In fact, every comment is a rationalization or justification for those policies.

      Telling.

      Is Israel perfect?

      Your arguments are purely subjective, panegyrics to Israel, never questioning any of her policies or showing the slightest concern as to how those policies might possibly negatively affect the U.S. If you were a little more objective in yours views on Israel, I could take them a little more seriously.

      As I said, you and the others are merely the opposite side of the same wooden nickel.

      .


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    8. .

      I wish you would provide us with the links again, Jack. So we could all read them.

      :)

      .

      Delete
    9. quirk: who I have never heard utter one comment disparaging Israel or its policies. In fact, every comment is a rationalization or justification for those policies.

      Telling.


      It's interesting. So let me get this straight. If I, Bob, WiO and others that support Israel and the Jewish POV come up with a "wart" list we will not be taken seriously and are just the "other side" of the wooden nickel.

      That is telling.

      The issue that lays before us is not one of IF Israel is perfect, IF Israel's policies are in America's interests.

      The issue, as I see it, is that this blog, along with a sizable portion of this nation seek to "de-ligitimize" the modern State of Israel's right to be a sovereign nation. It applies one standard of measurement to Israel that it doesn't use on it'sself or the actual enemies of BOTH Israel and the USA.

      Deuce posted a point of the logic of a nation (Iran) wanting to acquire nuclear weapons when it's "enemy" Israel had "150 nukes". But the logic was short lived since it was the USA in 1953 that "meddled" in the Iranian democracy and that America had THOUSANDS of nukes. Hence Iran views America as the "great Satan" and Israel as the "little satan". This is part of the reason that Iran is already at war with the USA.

      Want a list of Israel's faults? Read any Israeli newspaper. It it the most robust news system in the world. Yes, far more robust than even America.

      But don't expect those of us that are "pro-Israel" folks to flagellate ourselves proving how unworthy we are.

      Rather expect when hostile, ignorant and propaganda from those that seek the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel is spewed that a vigorous defense will be launched and that defense excludes "equivalency"

      I expect this post, as those on the last thread will be deleted by your leader.

      Delete
    10. I would be very surprised to see any post of a nature as this deleted.

      WiO, errrr Jack Smith wrote:

      "The issue, as I see it, is that this blog, along with a sizable portion of this nation seek to "de-ligitimize" the modern State of Israel's right to be a sovereign nation."

      I don't think many here want to "de-ligitimize" Israels right to exist, and I surely don't. The key questions, though, are - what constitutes Israel in both a geographical sense and a political sense.

      Delete
    11. ash: WiO, errrr Jack Smith wrote:



      shhh, ash it's my super secret new persona since deuce banned access of WiO

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    12. I don't think many here want to "de-ligitimize" Israels right to exist, and I surely don't. The key questions, though, are - what constitutes Israel in both a geographical sense and a political sense.

      Look harder.

      Deuce, Rat, Jenny? That is the daily dribble.

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    13. it appears to be working! Ain't SI a gas!?

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    14. .

      You just made my point, jack.

      You are merely the opposite side of the same coin.

      The issue that lays before us is not one of IF Israel is perfect, IF Israel's policies are in America's interests.

      Why is that excluded from discussion?

      The issue, as I see it, is that this blog, along with a sizable portion of this nation seek to "de-ligitimize" the modern State of Israel's right to be a sovereign nation.

      Nonsense. What I and others here have stated is that Israel can do what she wants as a sovereign nation as long as it doesn't negatively impact the US.

      It applies one standard of measurement to Israel that it doesn't use on it'sself or the actual enemies of BOTH Israel and the USA.

      Again the points I made were:

      1. The current US policies are constantly criticized here, foreign policies, domestic policies, social issues, you name it.

      2. You are perfectly willing to join in the criticism of the US, but eschew the mention of problems in Israeli foreign policies, domestic issues, or social issues.

      Want a list of Israel's faults? Read any Israeli newspaper. It it the most robust news system in the world. Yes, far more robust than even America.

      Of course I see Israeli newspapers and what they say. Yet, when any item from those newspapers are mentioned here, you and your compadres claim the views are not legitimate, just an example of selective reading, that Israel has 'enemies' even is Israel. If we are to believe it, you guys are the arbiters of what is right policy for Israel. Any dissenting voices can be ignored.

      You claim we complain about Israel but never mention the dicks in the ME. The other day I was accused of complaining about a specific incident (the Liberty) yet didn't have anything to say about the 60,000 people who were killed in Syria.

      First, like many of the arguments you guys present here, within the context of the conversation, the connection between the two issues was tenuous at most and likely non-existent. At any rate here was my response'

      As for Syria, get real, you don't give a flying fuck about the 60,000 people killed in Syria and neither does WiO. You would rather both sides just killed each other off. I know that's true of WiO. He has said so. Why don't you tell me what you want to see happen there.

      I, like most of the people at the Bar, stated my views on Syria when the trouble started. Mine hasn't changed. How many times do I have to say them before it sinks into that dull mind of yours? 10? 20? Is there some standard you would like to propose
      .

      I repeat, opposite side of the same coin.

      .




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  8. Iran's supreme leader shuts down possibility of direct nuclear talks with US

    'Negotiations will not solve the problems' between Iran and the US, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today, squashing one-on-one nuclear talks proposed by the US.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2013/0207/Iran-s-supreme-leader-shuts-down-possibility-of-direct-nuclear-talks-with-US

    Why wouldn't they. They have nothing to lose.

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  9. .

    Warren Buffet is in line to lose about $300 million on an investment he made in Moody's. Somethibg to keep in mind when considering Rufus' comment about how a smart guy like Buffet was now investing big in solar.

    On the other hand, given the subject of today's stream, I am nostalgic for one fo his 'party of stupid' rants.

    Then on the other other hand, he was always wont to say he really didn't care who was killed as long it didn't directly affect his family or some Marine.

    The bad, the good, and the ugly. Ye takes what ye can get here.

    .

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  10. Dragging a branch over the footprints


    Dempsey: State Department never asked us to respond to Benghazi
    posted at 12:41 pm on February 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/02/07/dempsey-state-department-never-asked-us-to-respond-to-benghazi/

    Recent Benghazi testimony.

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  11. Ideas & Innovations

    How to Save a Dying Language
    Geoffrey Khan is racing to document Aramaic, the language of Jesus, before its native speakers vanish

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ideas-innovations/How-to-Save-a-Dying-Language-187947061.html?c=y&story=fullstory


    This reminds me of the Japanese guy who came here, made a dictionary of the Nez Perce language, talking with the remaining native talkers. It is saved, at least in a dictionary.

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  12. Texas 'Anti Drone' Laws Would be Toughest in Nation...drudge

    Again, going to show it's the more conservative states and areas that are best at protecting your political freedoms.

    If totalitarianism really catches on in the USA ir will be brought to you by the left, not the right.


    http://radio.woai.com/cc-common/mainheadlines3.html?feed=119078&article=10784277

    While it is not law yet, the bill has been introduced. Sounds like a good bill to me.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Yikes! Cop gone bad:

    "In his Facebook manifesto, Mr. Dorner bragged about his abilities. “Hopefully you analyst have done your homework,” he wrote. “You are aware that I have always been the top shot, highest score, an expert in rifle qualification in every unit I have been on.”

    “I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in the L.A.P.D. uniform whether on or off duty,” he wrote. "

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/us/former-los-angeles-police-officer-sought-in-shootings.html?hp&_r=0

    ReplyDelete

  14. The Blog
    Panetta: Obama Absent Night of Benghazi
    12:05 PM, Feb 7, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER

    Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified this morning on Capitol Hill that President Barack Obama was absent the night four Americans were murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012:

    Panetta said, though he did meet with Obama at a 5 o'clock prescheduled gathering, the president left operational details, including knowledge of what resources were available to help the Americans under siege, "up to us."

    In fact, Panetta says that the night of 9/11, he did not communicate with a single person at the White House. The attack resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

    Obama did not call or communicate in anyway with the defense secretary that night. There were no calls about what was going on in Benghazi. He never called to check-in.

    The 5 o'clock meeting was a pre-scheduled 30-minute session, where, according to Panetta's recollection, they spent about 20 minutes talking a lot about the American embassy that was surrounded in Egypt and the situation that was just unfolding in Benghazi.

    As Bill Kristol wrote in the month after the attack, "Panetta's position is untenable: The Defense Department doesn't get to unilaterally decide whether it's too risky or not to try to rescue CIA operators, or to violate another country's air space. In any case, it’s inconceivable Panetta didn't raise the question of what to do when he met with the national security adviser and the president at 5 p.m. on the evening of September 11 for an hour. And it's beyond inconceivable he didn't then stay in touch with the White House after he returned to the Pentagon."

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    1. Panetta: Obama Absent Night of Benghazi...

      Hillary AWOL...

      GENERAL: 'We Never Received Request for Support'...drudge

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