“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We are in the middle of a news tsunami. It is coming at us from every direction. There is no common thread. It is the world of events worthy of the tangled mind and talents of Hieronymus Bosch .


  1. In first public acknowledgement, Holder says 4 Americans died in US drone strikes

    A Killing Puts UK on Guard for Terror

    Lois Lerner invokes Fifth Amendment in House hearing on IRS targeting

    Major Nelson teases E3 for Xbox One news

    Gold Drops for Third Day as Bernanke Hints at Curbing Stimulus

  2. The White House has launched a new effort to draw a line under its controversial drone strike policy by admitting for the first time that four American citizens were among those killed by its covert attacks in Yemen and Pakistan since 2009.

    In a letter to congressional leaders sent on Wednesday, attorney general Eric Holder acknowledged previously classified details of the drone attacks and promised to brief them on a new US doctrine for sanctioning such targeted killings in future.

    Holder claimed one of the US citizens killed, Anwar al-Awlaki, was chief of external operations for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap) and had been involved in plots to blow up airplanes over US soil. However, Holder said three others killed by drones – Samir Khan, Abdul Rahman Anwar al-Awlaki and Jude Kenan – were not "specifically targeted". The second of these victims, Anwar al-Awlaki's son, is said by campaigners to have been 16 when he died in Yemen in 2011.

    The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that between 240 and 347 people have been killed in total by confirmed US drone strikes in Yemen since 2002, with a further 2,541 to 3,533 killed by CIA drones in Pakistan.

  3. … a further 2,541 to 3,533 killed by CIA drones in Pakistan.

  4. Replies
    1. Obama himself may not be certain.

      In a charitable interpretation, he might feel like a perpetual vagabond.

  5. WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to open a new phase in the nation’s long struggle with terrorism on Thursday by restricting the use of unmanned drone strikes that have been at the heart of his national security strategy and shifting control of them away from the C.I.A. to the military.

    In his first major speech on counterterrorism of his second term, Mr. Obama hopes to refocus the epic conflict that has defined American priorities since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and even foresees an unspecified day when the so-called war on terror might all but end, according to people briefed on White House plans.

    As part of the shift in approach, the administration on Wednesday formally acknowledged for the first time that it had killed four American citizens in drone strikes outside the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, arguing that its actions were justified by the danger to the United States. Mr. Obama approved providing new information to Congress and the public about the rules governing his attacks on Al Qaeda and its allies.

    1. .

      ... might all but end...

      Well, that leaves enough wiggle room to drive a truck through.


  6. AMMAN, Jordan — Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the United States was increasingly concerned that the escalating fighting in Syria might slip across the border with Lebanon and destabilize that country.

    “We’re deeply concerned about this spilling over into Lebanon,” said Mr. Kerry, who came to Jordan to attend an 11-country meeting on the deteriorating situation in Syria.

    Lebanon, Mr. Kerry added pointedly, is “at risk.”

    The decision by Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia and Iranian ally, to join the battle for the strategic city of Qusayr in Syria, and the prospect that the Syrian rebels might respond by carrying the fight to Hezbollah operatives in Lebanon, has alarmed the Obama administration.

    Mr. Kerry said that several thousand Hezbollah members were operating in Syria. Members of Iran’s paramilitary Quds force and Iraqi Shiite militia members, some of whom have been encouraged by Iran to fight in support of the government of Bashar al-Assad, are also in Syria, other American officials said, who like several other United States officials quoted spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    The White House has been increasingly concerned that the fierce fighting in Qusayr and the sectarian violence in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli will lead to a wider regional conflict.


    Who would believe anything that John Kerry has to say?

    1. Israel prefers a powerless Assad staying in power and is creating justification for keeping the Golan’s by facilitating the further presence of Iran and Hezbollah in Syria. Iranians do not understand the extend of pain they are creating while empowering Israel to play out as a full fledged nation state. with UN dysfunctional and USA out of the way only sky is the limit.

  7. Syria is a rare instance of agreement across the political spectrum: majorities of independents (65 percent), Democrats (69 percent) and Republicans (70 percent) agree the United States should stay out of Syria.

    Voters who have served in the military also say the U.S. should not intervene (67 percent). It is 100% here.

  8. With pro-government forces close to seizing Qusair, Syria’s main opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, on Wednesday called on rebels from around the country to defend the strategic western border town. The rebels are losing.

    Kerry belittles the accomplishments of the Syrian army, Israel commands the traitors and dupes in the US Congress.

    Arm our enemy? Mossad commands, Early in WWII the Germans invaded the USSR. The communist dupes and traitors became easy to spot as they switched from non-intervention to supporting the war in 24 hours. It is almost that clear today. No loyal (unbought) American wants to spend American lives and treasure in another middle east civil war or an attack on Iran. These who do are dupes or traitors. It really is that simple.

    1. >>> Israel commands the traitors and dupes in the US Congress <<<

      Israel controls the traitors and dupes in Mother Russia as well, do not forget that.

      Unbelievably, they control the Idaho Congressional Delegation, even the Mormon Church.

  9. What happened to my country?

    "American citizens who are deemed to be operational terrorists, who pose an 'imminent threat of violent attack' and whose capture is infeasible may be targeted" and killed in a drone attack. However, we must collect additional evidence on the known perpetrators of the attack in Benghazi which killed our Ambassador in order to prosecute them in a civilian trial in the United States.

    Can someone explain this?

    1. Jenny your people have the power...

      that's why it sucks

    2. Good point, Jenny.

      Bush would have zapped the perps of Benghazi by now.