• Sticking to Our Rights to Protect Our Rights

    February 8, 2013

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: * Most Popular, Democracy

    Q: If a foreign organization kills an American overseas for political reasons, it is called…
    A: Terrorism.

    Q: If the United States kills an American overseas for political reasons, it is called…
    A: Justice.

    The Government of the United States, currently under the management of a former professor of Constitutional law, is actively killing its own citizens abroad without any form of due process. This is generally seen as a no-no as far as the Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta and playground rules goes. The silly old Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees “no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law” and include no exceptions for war, terrorism, or being a really shitty human being.

    On or about May 7, 2011 a US military drone fired a missile in Yemen (which is another country that is not our country) aimed at American Citizen Anwar al Awlaki, a real-live al Qaeda guy. The missile instead blew up a car with two other people in it, quickly dubbed “al Qaeda operatives” since we killed them. The US has shot at al Awlaki before, including under the Bush administration. In justifying the assassination attempt, Obama’s counterterrorism chief Michael Leiter said al Awlaki posed a bigger threat to the U.S. homeland than bin Laden did, albeit without a whole lot of explanation as to why this was. But, let’s be charitable and agree al Awaki is a bad guy; indeed, Yemen sentenced him to ten years in jail (which is not execution, fyi) for “inciting to kill foreigners” and “forming an armed gang.”

    While the al Awlaki killing is old news, the new news is that the drone that did him fly out of a previously secret U.S. base in Saudi Arabia. Conveniently, that base was secret pretty much only from the American public, as it turns out that an “informal arrangement among several news organizations that had been aware of the location for more than a year.” Those news organizations included the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press and Fox. The limp newsies kept the secret because the Obama administration claimed disclosure might carry “potential national-security risks.” The U.S. militarization of Saudi Arabia after the 1991 Gulf War is often cited by al Qaeda as one of its prime recruitment tools, so the disclosure indeed reveals a significant dumb ass decision by the U.S.

    Attorneys for al Awlaki’s father tried to persuade a US. District Court to issue an injunction preventing the government from the targeted killing of al Awlaki in Yemen, though a judge dismissed the case, ruling the father did not have standing to sue. My research has so far been unable to disclose whether or not this is the first time a father has sought to sue the US government to prevent the government from killing his son but I’ll keep looking. The judge did call the suit “unique and extraordinary” so I am going to go for now with the idea that no one has previously sued the USG to prevent them from murdering a citizen without trial or due process. The judge wimped out and wrote that it was up to the elected branches of government, not the courts, to determine whether the United States has the authority to murder its own citizens abroad.

    Just to get ahead of the curve, and even though my own kids are non-terrorists and still in school, I have written to the president asking in advance that he not order them killed. Who knows what they might do? One kid has violated curfew a couple of times, and another stays up late some nights on Facebook, and we all know where that can lead.

    The reason I bring up this worrisome turn from regular person to wanted terrorist is because al Awlaki used to be on better terms with the US government himself. In fact, after 9/11, the Pentagon invited him to a luncheon as part of the military’s outreach to the Muslim community. Al Awlaki “was considered to be an ‘up and coming’ member of the Islamic community” by the Army. He attended a luncheon at the Pentagon in the Secretary of the Army’s Office of Government Counsel. Al Awlaki was living in the DC area at that same, the SAME AREA MY KIDS LIVE, serving as Muslim chaplain at George Washington University, the SAME UNIVERSITY MY KIDS might walk past one day.

    Even though Constitutional law professor Obama appears to have skipped reading about the Fifth Amendment (release the transcripts! Maybe he skipped class that day!), courts in Canada have not.

    A Toronto judge was justified in freeing an alleged al Qaeda collaborator given the gravity of human rights abuses committed by the United States in connection with his capture in Pakistan, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled. Judges are not expected to remain passive when countries such as the US violate the rights of alleged terrorists, the court said Friday.

    “We must adhere to our democratic and legal values, even if that adherence serves in the short term to benefit those who oppose and seek to destroy those values,” said the Canadian court.

    Golly, this means that because the US gave up its own principles in detaining and torturing this guy, the Canadians are not going to extradite him to the US. That means that the US actions were… counterproductive… to our fight against terrorism. The Bill of Rights was put in place for the tough cases, not the easy ones. Sticking with it as the guiding principle has worked well for the US for about 230 years, so why abandon all that now?

    Meanwhile, I’ll encourage my kids to stay inside when they hear drones overhead.



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    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

  • Recent Comments

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      1

      The precedents for the US “Justice” Department employing this kind of theory of “guilt by association”, go back to the Cold War although their present interpretations are exponentially protracted from those of that relatively lawful era.

      Just one example – and hereby I’m indicating my approximate age, but the Empire’s spooks already know who I am, and I’ve emigrated to another country, so I’ve nothing to lose by telling this story:

      Back in the 1980s, when I was an undergrad college student – age 21 – I was informed that some FBI agents had visited my former high school to ask questions about me. That’s right, the FBI went to my former HIGH SCHOOL, to ask about me! (Let me emphasise what ought to be obvious: In high school I was 14-18 years old, had never been outside the USA, and attended Catholic mass every Sunday with my very White parents who were fourth and fifth generation Americans both descended from veterans of Gettysburg. And Union ancestors, not Confederate.)

      The reason for the FBI’s visit to my high school, in the 1980s? One of my close relatives had applied for a job at the Department of Justice, and the FBI was doing a background check on my relative. While doing so, the FBI found I had signed a document called the “Pledge of Resistance”, basically a pledge to engage in civil disobedience if the USA invaded Nicaragua.

      That was sufficient reason for the FBI to visit a high school in one of the Whitest, wealthiest areas in the country. And that was back in the 1980s when there was still some rule of law.

      02/8/13 3:35 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      2

      A comment about the photo- Is Barack Obama ambidextrous?
      I think I saw a photo of him firing the skeet gun in a left handed position.

      02/8/13 3:44 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Collateral damage: How would the United States react, for example, if Pakistan killed a “terrorist” by adhering to the US “last resort” criteria, that it deemed the terrorist an imminent threat who could not be arrested and American citizens in the vicinity were killed in the process? Given the CIA’s arrest/kill ratio – 1 for 4700 – our embassy would find it difficult to file a formal protest that other measures were not tried. Maybe that’s why we attacked Pakistan on “Last Resort.”

      02/8/13 4:53 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      4

      quote:”I think I saw a photo of him firing the skeet gun in a left handed position.”unquote

      Me too. It’s all part of the pattern. You have to guess which hand he’s gonna pick the next kill list victim with.

      quote:”American Citizen Anwar al Awlaki, a real-live al Qaeda guy.” unquote

      unh huh, I know. The prosecutor at his trial proved it by telling us his picture was on the baseball card. Then that same prosecutor, put on a black robe, and said, with a gavel smack, “Guilty”. Then he took off the robe and put a black hood on and said..”Off with his head!!”

      See…swift. Non of that pesky, expensive due process stuff.
      Damn, ain’t Amerikan justice exceptional?

      quote:” In justifying the assassination attempt, Obama’s counterterrorism chief Michael Leiter said al Awlaki posed a bigger threat to the
      U.S. homeland than bin Laden did, albeit without a whole lot of explanation as to why this was.” unquote

      PVB, don’t you get it yet? We don nee no stinkin explanations! All we nee is stinkin Drones. And quit asking questions too. After all, if ya’ll ain’t with us..then your a terrorist too. Besides… we have your address.

      quote:”Judges are not expected to remain passive when countries such as the US violate the rights of alleged terrorists, the court said Friday.” unquote

      Unless your an Amerikan Judge, who is paid by the same employer as the prosecutor. Besides, we have your address too.

      quote:”Meanwhile, I’ll encourage my kids to stay inside when they hear drones overhead.”unquote

      Give it a few years and that won’t be funny.

      02/8/13 4:57 PM | Comment Link

    • John said...

      5

      Hi Peter,

      I read your columns here and follow you on Twitter. Do you think the FBI or CIA will now be keeping a file on me?

      John

      02/8/13 5:00 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      6

      I flipped the photo so that he is shooting “into” the text. It is the same picture that has otherwise appeared widely on the internet.

      02/8/13 5:41 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      7

      They probably already are watching you, so no point in quitting now.

      02/8/13 6:04 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      8

      PVB, I know you like to laugh. I think you might need one today.

      powerofnarrative.blogspot.com

      02/8/13 6:33 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      9

      PVB your flipped photo still can’t make a lefty become a righty.

      02/8/13 7:55 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      10

      Mr Poole wrote:

      “PVB your flipped photo still can’t make a lefty become a righty”…

      …and as a “Righty” I say the converse!

      “This has nothing to do with left or right. Rather it’s simply Truth versus Lies!”

      In my prior comments on this forum, I have identified myself as a “conservative” AND a Catholic AND an occasional “left-winger” who has opposed the American Empire!

      In light of all the above, I submit this very simple short video (half a minute):

      http://vimeo.com/2326004

      02/8/13 8:06 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      11

      quote:”PVB your flipped photo still can’t make a lefty become a righty.”unquote

      “PVB your flipped photo still can’t make a wrongy become a righty.

      There..fixed it.
      :)

      02/8/13 9:09 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...

      12

      Meloveconsul,

      That is quite a story; thanks for sharing.

      and thank you, Peter, for pointing out,

      “after 9/11, the Pentagon invited [al Awlaki] to a luncheon as part of the military’s outreach to the Muslim community”

      U.S.A. — fair-weather friends, all-in, when one is useful. Not that we are the world’s sole hypocrites, it’s just we pretend we are better, and that galls.

      Like you say, duck-and-cover when you hear the drones fly by.

      02/9/13 2:49 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      13

      “Is Barack Obama ambidextrous?”

      Dunno, but suddenly I imagine him using both hands to loosen up the nation’s anal sphincter.

      Not safe for work, includes obscene language and descriptions of prison rape, in other words a metaphor for what Obama and his goons are doing to the USA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQZu7EcPvQY

      02/9/13 8:41 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      14

      NYT: “Obviously, it’s a delicate balance, because we believe deeply in reporting information to facilitate public knowledge and debate, but we also want to be very careful about any situation involving security.”

      This would come as a complete surprise to Judy Miller.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/07/saudi-arabia-drones-media-concealment

      02/9/13 1:31 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      15

      Which again suggests that the combination of powerful pen guys hired or owned by the sword guys can trump even an army of pixel guys. Will the truth set us free? That may be another broken axiom/proverb.

      02/9/13 1:59 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      16

      Lisa- you may not hear the drones near you if the military truly perfects “whisper mode” an aspect of quieting the rotors for the manned surveillance chopper in BLUE THUNDER a B movie I thoroughly enjoyed viewing.

      02/9/13 4:47 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...

      17

      John Poole,

      It is amazing how much info we may glean from literary fiction (as opposed to the governmental sort). Did you read recently about the linked-in suspense writer Gerard de Villiers?

      Per, “Will the truth set us free?” As always, it is knowing the truth which will do that … believing (with discretion), removing suspension of disbelief and denial. The truth is all ’round us. Our job is to distinguish what it’s being boxed as; maybe not an easy feat, but one of which we are capable.

      02/9/13 5:44 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      18

      Lisa- critical thinking is not being taught today in most schools. Each generation seems less prepared to discern the truth on their own. Wish it weren’t so.

      02/9/13 5:50 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...

      19

      @ J.P.,

      I agree with you. We want it pre-digested, and are told we are pious and patriotic when we “receive” the word from on-high.

      Truth is a pathless land, as Indian thinker Krishnamurti said. But you have to know even that before you venture forth.

      02/9/13 8:27 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      20

      More accurately, the path to truth is through a graveyard of untruths.

      02/10/13 5:31 AM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...

      21

      meloveconsul,

      Yes, it is a brambly briar patch shot through with people who find it sport to distract and waylay you. I cloverleaf my way there.

      I believe the truth always outs, and even when we can’t arrive at a satisfying revelation, we have the intimation of the facts, and the liar is destined to live a very uncomfortable life (not that it is just rewards for harming another.)

      02/10/13 2:37 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      22

      “… and the liar is destined to live a very uncomfortable life.”

      Assuming the liar has a conscience.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RjzLLHBCBM

      02/10/13 2:55 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      23

      Lisa, your metaphor is good too, however mine of the “graveyard of untruths” refers to (what I believe is) the fact that in the LONG run, lies are essentially corrupt and therefore always doomed to die…in the long run. Often after the liar has died to this world, but in the long run his lies die too.

      Conversely, the truths that men speak live long after them – again in the long run.

      Good examples of the latter: Hundreds of years after their physical deaths, the reputations of Jesus and Muhammed and Siddharta the First Buddah, remain unstained, and the majority of the World’s population still love the words of one or more of those prophets. (The example of Jesus is especially poignant in light of his being executed as a criminal in the most shameful way in his time.)

      In contrast, look what has happened to the reputations of tyrants, within living memory of their deaths! Hitler’s name has become accursed, and Lenin has become a joke even in Communist China. Karl Marx retains some marginal respect due to his marginal truthfulness. Communism is dead, Nazism is a byword for evil, all within a short time after they were powerful ideologies.

      That’s what I mean by “the graveyard of untruths”.
      Christianity and Islam and Judaism and Buddhism survive because they’re truthful. Communism is dead, and the lies of today’s American Empire will die too, sooner than most people expect.

      Although I’m not a great fan of Gandhi – rather I agree with Orwell’s respectful criticisms of him which ended, “but oh what a clean smell he has managed to leave behind!” – still I agree with this truthful bit he wrote:

      “Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always.”

      02/10/13 4:10 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      24

      PVB said:
      quote:

      “Q: If the United States kills an American overseas for political reasons, it is called…
      A: Justice.” unquote

      Q: If the United States kills an American on American soil for political reasons, it will be called…
      A: A mistake

      Just look what they’ve done in two days searching for Christopher Dorner in LA.

      http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/2-Shot-in-Case-of-Mistaken-ID-in-Ex-Officers-Manhunt-190238221.html

      http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/San-Diego-Police-Investigate-Possible-Lead-in-Manhunt-190234531.html

      I’d bet $1k one or more innocent people will be killed before this is over, and not one of the murdering cops will see a day in court. They’ve gone completely nuts. I submit there is a real bad reason they want to find this guy BESIDES his murder escapade. Think corruption on a massive scale.

      HOWEVER…that’ll look like child’s play once these type operations turn real.

      http://blurbrain.com/military-helicopters-buzz-downtown-miami-firing-machine-guns/

      http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=8971311

      Yesireeebob..child’s play. Orwell on steroids has arrived to a neighborhood near ya..just like I predicted a year ago. I give it less than a year till they vaporize one or more citizens…and it will all be explained away just like this….

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joCaUrRLB1Y
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLB2MrzgxRw
      or this…
      http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/local/east_central/explosion-levels-home
      However, some people have other ideas. Shades of Oliver North and Operations Mockingbird/Northridge

      I don’t put anything past these sub-human murderers anymore.

      02/10/13 5:15 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      25

      Pitch- the misguidedly shot up car in the Dorner search situation explains why none of my windows is tinted. It is very clear who is driving a 2002 Jetta wagon.

      02/11/13 12:16 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      26

      Well sooprise sooprise sooprise. My prediction happened on the same day I predicted it.

      quote:'”Yesterday, as a task force of 125 officers, some riding Snowcats in the rugged terrain, continued their search, it was revealed that Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil.”unquote

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-10/us-use-drones-chris-dorner-manhunt

      Well folks, buckle up. Here we go..and it ain’t gonna be a nice ride.

      02/11/13 12:23 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      27

      I like the idea of Americans drone-bombing other Americans, as per the precedent set by Obama. I look forward to munching popcorn on the other side of the world while I watch reports of a domestic drone war between the FBI and CIA.

      02/11/13 2:07 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      28

      melove, your post will go down in history as the day an inspired Hollywood producer had a light bulb moment due to your post. Coming soon on NBC…

      DRONING FOR DOLLARS!

      Btw Peter, here’s a little contrast to the pic of Obomination…

      http://httpics.com/is.php?i=1839&img=Barrettwithyoun.jpg

      Feinstein would have a meltdown.
      :)

      02/11/13 2:32 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...

      29

      meloveconsul,

      I am absolutely in agreement re. your long view of the graveyard of untruths.

      And I wish I, too, were able to much on some delectables from afar as the crudeness and devolution spins out. Instead, I must read how hard Beyonce works to shake her money-maker, with nary a misstep at the Super Bowl.

      02/12/13 7:05 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      30

      Beyonce five years from now, ff to 0:35

      http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/155188/peppermint-hippo

      02/12/13 8:09 AM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...

      31

      Meloveconsul,

      I must say, that is off da chain, and you vie with Peter for hipness quotient. Yes, that is Beyonce henceforth, unless she can manage like Madonna to adopt many Malian babies and preserve her uterine tone.

      I just wonder, what really separates her from the poor lass working it on the corner in the snow in the Bronx … packaging, nice clothes, plastic surgery and gym membership. And the thought I’m left with is, not that she’s a real piece of work, but that we all are for buying into it.

      02/12/13 4:47 PM | Comment Link

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      32

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