June 12, 2012

Katrina vanden Heuvel: "The problem isn’t the leaks, it’s the policy."

"It’s the assertion of a presidential prerogative that the administration can target for death people it decides are terrorists — even American citizens — anywhere in the world, at any time, on secret evidence with no review."

It's good to see some criticism from the left of a policy that, had George Bush followed it, the left would have screamed about endlessly.


Dante said...

It seems there is a hole in our constitution. Yes, we know that all people on US soil have rights every citizen does (god forbid whoever came up with that nonsense is there when the hordes decide the cost to mirandize will cause the US to merely surrender). But seriously, how does one deal with terrorism? I don't think there is a good answer.

rhhardin said...

The rules are for when the enemy wears uniforms.

When they don't, we don't either.

If you want sovereignty, then control what goes on in your country. Otherwise the US does it for you.

Bob Ellison said...

From the article: It is a policy driven largely by the new technological capacity of pilotless aircraft.

Leftists should attempt to explain why drone-killing is worse than, say, Navy SEAL-drop-in-via-helicopter-and-risk-their-own-lives killing. Clearly they think so. Why?

Chip S. said...

Let's see. A guy runs on a promise to close Gitmo. He wins, thereby becoming responsible for any terror attacks.

What does he do? What does he do?

Fen said...


She really takes herself too seriously.

How long did she practice the "pro-cess" intonation in front of a mirror?

bagoh20 said...

The birth of Skynet.

If you remember, the guy that created the thing in "Terminator" was a dude that looks like Obama. Coincindence?...well yea, I'm sure that's all it is.

edutcher said...

Ms vanden Heuvel and her friends have always thought the War on Terror was icky, anyway.

Christopher in MA said...

The usually execreble Glenn Greenwald has been banging this particular drum for a while. It is disgusting. It is anathema to what a free people should stand for. It's one of the very few times that I agree with Robert Cook - Obama should hang for this. As should Romney, were he to do the same.

But the small, still voices of the Greenwalds are drowned out by the I don't care, Obama is awesome! wailing of the morally bankrupt left.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Leftism is a alternative French bourgeois style. Like the saying goes, 'Imagine whirled peas' or peace. Now if you live in world peace, you don't have anybody trying to blow up people of your description, in this case working Americans randomly or by some theatrical selection. So you don't go and capture those people who you think are and interrogate them, have them around representing the situation. Now, maybe like pregnancy, you can't completely ignore the situation, so the thing you do is stealthily kill/ murder the people on your suspect list. Then you don't have them in prisons representing a question mark in your vision of 'whirled peas.' Like abortion gives you the advantage of going about your life this policy leaves less of a mess in the bourgeois scene. Imagine etc.

Icepick said...

If you remember, the guy that created the thing in "Terminator" was a dude that looks like Obama. Coincindence?...well yea, I'm sure that's all it is.

It must be coincidence, because the guy in Terminator 2 had mad science skills. (And yes, he was also able to cheat because they had equipment from the Arnie-bot in Terminator 1, but he still had mad skills or he wouldn't have been put in charge - which makes that guy's job totally unlike the Presidency.)

virgil xenophon said...

Katrina baby is a perfect example--indeed she seems to follow in a long line of "useful idiot" Nation mag editors--of what Trotsky meant when he said of that Nations editor in the 30s (can't recall his name) who steadfastly continued to defend Stalin's show-trials long after they had been shown to be the sham that they were:

"All of us are entitled to our fair share of stupidity during our lifetimes," wrote Trotsky, "but comrade _____ has seriously abused his privilege."

Hagar said...

van den Heuwel is a nut case, but in this case she is right. "Blind hen..." etc.

I can see using the drone attacks in the present situation, which is unlike any previous war experience, but I think the selection of targets should be run by some sort of public body, and the names of the targets and the reasons why the United States Government has declared them "outlaw" should be published for all the world to see.

The present practice is unseemly to start with and is bound to become misused and corrupted, and will inevitably be suspected of being so,even if it has not gone bad yet.

Robert Cook said...

Glenn Greenwald has been a vigorous critic of Obama's assassination program from the start.

And who says Navy Seal assassinations are any more lawful or less appalling?

Scott M said...

And who says Navy Seal assassinations are any more lawful or less appalling?

They are, by definition, far more cool.

PatCA said...

It's very interesting how the liberal/left media are now, all in a rush, criticizing Obama over the war, which he supposes is his strong suit. Next thing you know, the NYT will be reporting how Obama's drone killed a "wedding party," that staple of Bush-era biased reporting.

Do they want Hillary in 2012 instead? Kucinich? What...?

tim in vermont said...

Cue the list of lefties here who will then publicly declare they won't vote for Obama because of his "Lord High Executioner" peccadillo, but when push comes to shove, Romney the Mormon boogie man will just force them to pull the terminator's lever.

Behold the Lord High Executioner song from The Mikado

tim in vermont said...

"Obama's drone killed a 'wedding party,'"

Don't forget the quaint custom of firing automatic weapons into the air in celebration, that little fact brought the verisimilitude required to make the whole thing believable

Robert Cook said...

"It's very interesting how the liberal/left media are now, all in a rush, criticizing Obama over the war, which he supposes is his strong suit. Next thing you know, the NYT will be reporting how Obama's drone killed a "wedding party," that staple of Bush-era biased reporting.

"Do they want Hillary in 2012 instead? Kucinich? What...?"

What media are you referring to, exactly? I hardly see much criticism of Obama for his assassination programs.
And how do you know reports of Bush having bombed "wedding parties" were "biased," (by which I assume you mean "untrue")?

There is no viable or desirable candidate for President. We're in the shit and there's no digging out of it.

Geoff Matthews said...

This is one of the things that I like about Obama. More dead terrorists, please!

Kirk Parker said...


Serious question, not a rhetorical one: if this is war, why isn't the day-to-day conduct of it--including generally the targeting decisions--being made by the commanders on the ground? (Though of course with reports to CENTCOM as to what they're doing and why.)

cubanbob said...

As much as I dislike Obama even a broken clock is right twice a day. Make war on the US and don't be surprised if the US makes war on you. As for the drone strikes, good. IF AQ is operating in a supposedly neutral or friendly country then that country is commiting a hostile act or acts of war against the US. If an America joins the enemy, then he is the enemy and no different to an enemy soilder killed in battle. As for colleteral damage, as long as we do not purposefully set out to kill inocent civilians, the fault is entirely that of the enemy by virtue of they surrounding themselves with hostages.

X said...

A consistent kill terrorists policy would have his crony Bill Ayers targeted.

frank said...

@ Robert Cook/others. Re: useful idiots and 'wedding parties'. Unless you are a combat vet of the wars tou totally miss the meaning of the term 'wedding paties'. There is no more righteous target than 'wedding parties'. It's an inside joke among warriors. A special operator team will spend the necessary time, trouble and danger to 'fix' the location of the enemy. They call in fire support to destroy the target. Invaribly the MSM goes with the PR agent that it was a 'wedding party'-- kinda/sorta back in my day when only schools and hospitals were bombed in VN, LOL. Thus those who 'know' who were 'there' made it an inside joke--another 'wedding party' successfully eliminated, funny, but not as funny as 'stopping the ocean's rise' or 'hope and change'.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Keith Ogremann and Rachel Maddow milked their phony outrage over 3 guys who masterminded 9/11 having their heads dunked in water into multi-million dollar compensation packages spanning about half a decade. Their daily dose of phony outrage helped spawn the phony outrage cottage industry.

I suspect the careers of Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert peaked when the phony outrage about head dunking peaked. Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, and Bob Herbert probably were never as widely read as they were when they were writing columns pretending to be outraged about terrorists who were directly responsible for killing 3000 innocents had their heads dunked.

Now, only the farthest left of the far left (who I think probably were genuinely outraged about head dunking), like Glenn Greenwald, vanden Hueval, Digby, and Firedoglake care about Obama being the judge, jury and executioner of certain people who he thinks are bad guys.

Nearly all of the rest are partisan hacks cheerleading whatever Obama decides he wants to do - including assassinating whoever he wants.

rick said...

What's the gripe. Zero has just evolved.

Community organizer to President to Nobel Peace Prize winner to Kill List Manager.

PatCA said...

Robert Cook, one, several of Ann's posts today are from WaPo and their criticism of the prez.

If the rash of "wedding parties" bombed under Bush was not a biased report, why have they suddenly stopped?

Hagar said...

Because this is not a nation war with generals and recognizable battlelines and supply trains, etc.
It is more like fighting organized crime, here, there, everywhere, and anywhere, and you don't know who is going to turn up on what side when.

This country is so vast that the concept of other nations also being sovereign in their territories is difficult for Americans to understand, but crossing into another country really is quite different from crossing a state line within this country.

Among states, there is no such thing as "international law;" only conventions and treaties. If the U.S. takes it on itself to assassinate citizens of other countries within those contries' territories, then those countries are also entitled to retaliate in kind. In this conflict, that "right" will also be claimed by the NGO's such as "al Qaeda," "the real al Qaeda," "al Qaeda of Outer Slobbovia," etc.

The best antidote I can think of is to use the ancient concept of "outlaw" and clearly and publicly explain why these malefactors are declared "outlaw" by us.

There is also precedent in the traditional "Law of the Sea," where piracy is universally condemned by all seafaring nations, and all join in suppressing such activity by any means available.

Robert Cook said...

"If the rash of "wedding parties" bombed under Bush was not a biased report, why have they suddenly stopped?"

Before this can be considered a legitimate question, we must first know how many such news reports were published during Bush's terms in office, contrasted with the number published during Obama's term.

Cedarford said...

OF course the Left would have been screaming endlessly if McCain had been elected and doing the same thing..
(And the Progressive Jewish-dominated media would still be giving us weekly treats of dead soldiers caskets arriving at Dover, the latest dead US soldier tally, and young people holding candlelight vigils to end the "Insanity" of being in Afghanistan - all which disappeared when their Black Messiah gained office)

But that doesn't mean Vanden Heuval and the usual suspects are right about war actually being a law enforcement exercise where no enemy can be killed save with full due legal process of in self-defense.

They are called enemy, not criminal suspects. And enemy that happen to be US citizens are not unusual in our wars. They are treated no different than other enemy, though after the conflict, unlike other enemy - they may face treason charges of they are not killed but captured.

Washington, Madison, McKinley, TDR, Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, LBJ, Nixon, Clinton, Dubya, and Obama all ordered actions on targets, or delegated the actions and targeting - designed to kill lots of people without trial.
That is what happens in war.
Sorry Lefties, but people will die under the convention of war without warrants, lawyers, juries having the lead.

joeshmo99 said...

Cedarford, just STFU about the Jews already!