Dems to Obama: Be more transparent about drones, kill lists. Obama: Nope.

Discuss

89 Responses to “Dems to Obama: Be more transparent about drones, kill lists. Obama: Nope.”

  1. The NSA wiretapping scandal should have been a tipping point. There’s simply nothing that’s going to change.

  2. theophrastvs says:

    Obama never compromises left, only right.

  3. I’m kind of dismayed by the sycophants of the political parties, but Obama’s “Look, he’s doing the best he can!” crowd are really starting to wear thin…

  4. If the Conservatives/Republicans where smart (I know that’s a bit oxymoronic, but stay with me for a sec) they would double down on this issue and hammer the administration hard, even going so far as impeachment. (after all assassinations are much more damaging to America and our reputation than oval office blow-jobs, right?)

    Drones, killings, and secrecy are the issues that divide the White House from the bulk of it’s liberal supporters. There are many here in America in both the left and center who would eagerly support Republican, or anyone’s, efforts to make government mostly transparent. (myself included)
    The problem is of course not ideological, but structural. It doesn’t mater what you think going into the office, the power, sycophant-ism, and getting all our advice from the people you are supposed to control (i.e. the military and it’s civilan industries who fund your campaign) would turn any person evil.

    The solution to the problem is to sharply curtail, both by congressional laws and Constitutional Amendments, the power of the Office of the President. We need to forever limit the scope and duration of things that may be declaied “Secret” by our government, and put into place judicial processes that favor the public release of information by default. But first and formost we must radically alter the way political campaigns are funded and carried out, making the politician subservient to their constituency rather than those that paid for them to run for office.

  5. MrJM says:

    Obama’s gonna need to straighten-up before his next re-election campaign.

  6. anansi133 says:

    Every time they claim another extraordinary war power, I’m reminded that congress never bothered to declare war. Absent that process, all of this stuff is happening in a legal limbo.  What would it look like, I wonder, to bring this government back into compliance with its constitution?

    • It’s not legal limbo, it’s 50+ years of blatant illegality.

    • What would it look like, I wonder, to bring this government back into compliance with its constitution?

      I spent a few years working on solutions to this end. I’m sorry to say it’s not possible, short of a total revolution. My time was wasted, except as self-education. And even if it were possible, the Constitution has either caused the current situation or has been powerless to prevent it – the most a re-adoption of the Constitution would do would be to reset the clock for perhaps 60 years. Even Jefferson felt that the borrowing power in the Constitution was a fatal flaw, and that was just fifteen years in.

      The best chance for a peaceful resolution of the current situation is for the States to secede peacefully (I have no worries about New Hampshire drone-bombing Pakistan). The US Dollar is a house of cards at this point and a perfect storm could see it collapse, and there’s no backup plan, so we’re not talking about the very-far future. I’m afraid if that happens the USG will find a reason to go to war with China rather than go peacefully into the night.

      The world we have in 2013 is not the same as in 1789, in terms of communications, population, or technology. With different needs, different solutions are entirely reasonable.

  7. Bangorian says:

    I think Barry is a bright guy.  And he’s more honest than the last 10 guys that had his job.  And he kicks ass – he played stupid with Trump the night he killed Bin Laden, which is one of the ballsier moves of our generation.

      If he’s not talking about this kill list, there’s a reason and I’m willing to have confidence that it’s a good one.  I recognize that I could look dumb for taking that position, but I’m willing to risk it, because I think Barry is generally trying to do the right thing without screwing anyone unduly.

    • If there’s a reason, and it is a good one, then what harm is it that he tells us the reason?

      Blindly trusting anybody in power is just dumb.

    • Diogenes says:

       When it comes to giving out the power of life and death, I trust no one, especially a politician.

    • “And he kicks ass – he played stupid with Trump the night he killed Bin Laden, which is one of the ballsier moves of our generation.”

      That must have taken a lot of courage alright.  Usually, when I give the go ahead for other people to risk their lives assassinating somebody in a foreign territory, I just can’t keep it to myself!  Especially when I’m clashing with a reality tv star with a dead hamster toupee.  That takes stones.

    • class_enemy says:

      If he’s not talking about this kill list, there’s a reason and I’m willing to have confidence that it’s a good one.

      Quite right. If Mitt Romney was issuing those kill orders, the victims would be much deader and the survivors would be much more upset.

    • Stephan says:

      Congratulations on your confidence.
      I guess you wouldn’t have it if Romney was in charge.
      And trust me there will be a Romney in charge in the future.
      And guess what the precedent set by the guy you rust so very much will still be around.

  8. Finnagain says:

    It might help if the DoJ would define their terms. What do they mean when they say “combat”? And for extra credit, define “imminent”. (hint: it doesn’t mean “immediate’.)

  9. Brandon Wright says:

    Hey Democrats here’s an idea: IMPEACHMENT!

    You tried it with Clinton over a sexual scandal, but you won’t try it over a president who thinks it’s OK to drone Americans…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Citizens can’t impeach a President; only the House of Representatives can. And they’re more likely to impeach him for not killing more people.

      • class_enemy says:

        Note that Rand Paul’s filibuster was joined in by a dozen Republicans and only one Democrat.  If you think that Republicans are in lockstep support of Presidential power to assassinate, you are very much misinformed.

        • tré says:

          Note that Rand Paul’s filibuster was of a an appointment, not any drone policy (even though he did, yes, make it about drone policy, it was also a good opportunity to throw a tantrum because Barack Obama wanted something).

          • dems ? Do U have any thoughts on Obama’s transition from a progressive academic humanist 2 a regressive corporate warlord?— @johncusack:disqus

          • tré says:

            Don’t quite know why that’s a reply to my post, and I’m not who the question was directed at, so I’ll just say “he’s following party lines.”

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Except for turning out to be a gay rights advocate, President Obama is doing exactly what I expected he would do. Not sure why anyone expected him to do anything differently. I would have voted for Hillary, who would be just as bad on warfare issues, but would probably have fought harder on the economy and health care.

        • wysinwyg says:

          Yes, and that’s plausible because the Republicans have such a fantastic voting record when it comes to civil and human rights.

          If you kept a straight face through that then you’re either a stronger person than I am or a much more poorly informed person than I am.

          Chances are pretty good Republicans oppose Obama because he’s Obama and would happily bend over if it was a Republican president claiming these powers.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            This dude tries so very, very hard. He really thinks he’s blowing the minds of everybody by pointing out “left” hypocrisy, when most of the time he’s just talking about a bunch of right-ish Democrats and Obama-crats. Whoa dude! You’re blowing my mind! Always careful to not allude to his own political alignment as well…

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          Confederate garbage like Paul’s completely cool with drones when they’re killing brown people either overseas or at our borders. Even a scummy broken clock who’s against people’s rights when they’re aren’t about securing white priveledge can be right from time to time. Even if it’s for bullshit, dishonest reasons.

          • Keep an eye on how Rand does consensus building on drones over the next two years.  You may wind up being right, but at least allow the possibility that this is an opening salvo in a larger battle.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            Border security, including drones, satellite and physical barriers, vigilant deportation of criminals and increased patrols would begin immediately and would be assessed at the end of one year by an investigator general from the Government Accountability Office. – Rand Paul

            I’m glad that he’s inadvertently bringing attention to this while trying to embarrass The President, but let’s not pretend there’s morality or ethics behind it.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Keep an eye on how Rand does consensus building on drones over the next two years.

            You mean like compromising to allow drones to bomb family planning clinics?

      • Shohanna says:

         Ah no, we are allowed to take our grievances to the government. Wouldn’t that be covered under the First Amendment? I would HOPE that would be the case, but no one has the balls to do it.

        • IronEdithKidd says:

          What, exactly, would be the point of taking our grievances to a political body that’s beholden to moneyed interests, not the citizens?  It might make you feel better, but nothing will come of it.  

        • tré says:

          One problem with that (apart from @IronEdithKidd:disqus ‘s point) is that in this environment, when anyone with substance between their ears sees “petition for Obama impeachment” they immediately think of agitated (not agitating), confused old white folks who at one point self-identified as “tea baggers” and immediately close tab.

  10. Thebes42 says:

    It is really getting to be time to discus impeachment.
    Obomba’s murderous actions and positions are a blatant violation of everything our nation is supposed to stand for.
    If we can impeach a POTUS for fibbing about a BJ, why can’t we impeach one for seizing powers and killing?

  11. cstatman says:

    so,  maybe its me getting older,  but I feel my vote no longer counts, and my representatives are not really representing me.    on any part of the spectrum

    •  Think about what would happen if a lawyer tried to represent both sides in a trial, or if a realtor represented a buyer and seller – they would be guilty of professional misconduct.

      Now take any given issue and any “Representative” will have constituents with valid arguments on both sides of it.  He must choose to represent one group and betray the other.  He may think it’s for their own good, that they’re too stupid, or make up some other ends-justify-the-means argument, but nonetheless he is betraying their goals – the opposite of representing them

      The whole construction is built on a fallacy – results are as expected.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Realtors represent both sides all the time. Doesn’t mean that it’s good, but it’s not misconduct.

    • Cowicide says:

      Trust me, your vote counts.  By voting you show the corporatists that the bewildered herd is at least watching them.

      Without that, they’ll go buck wild and this will seem like nothing.  In other words, it could be worse beyond your wildest nightmares.

      Keep that in mind before you choose not to vote.  It’s also important that you get involved in your government beyond voting as well.

  12. Diogenes says:

    If just the idea of possible drones can trigger the first real filibuster in decades, with even a Democratic senator in support, try to imagine the effect constant hovering drones have on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  We are teaching multiple generations of people to despise us.  We are death from above, any time, any where.  It is estimated that we have killed 176 Pakistani children with drone strikes.  It the situation were reversed, how many Americans wouldn’t be looking for a way to strike back?  We will pay for this, in blood and treasure, and it will be a very high price.

  13. I have to be honest: I am not so worried about drones, per se. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like them…but I think it is because the act of flying around dropping bombs on people is already pretty damn disassociationg. I mean, would we have murdered any more civilians with napalm in, say, North Korea or Vietnam if we had had drones? Those wars were totally analogue, and the civilian death toll in both was horrendous.

    No, what really creeps me out is this new generation of killer robots, ie the DARPA super dogs. Those things terrify me. Up until now, the last line of humanity in war were the actual guys themselves. Somewhat paltry, and they have sure committed fear/PTSD/drug fueled massacres themselves.

    But the idea that we are developing, right NOW, relentless, never sleeping, unable to feel mercy killer robots – which will certainly have the capability to act autonomously, look at DARPA’s other research with driverless cars navigating the Baja – simply terrifies me. Looking at America’s track record of backing up the worst sorts of dictators against civilian population, the idea of made in USA robots hunting down those who see themselves only as fighting for justice and self-rule horrifies me.

    Among Obama’s many failures of leadership and kowtowing to the War Party, I think history will remember these robots being born under his watch with nary a word spoken as among the worst.

  14. Drabula says:

    A very cynical person might think – Cold War is over. How are we going to keep justifying feeding the military industrial complex? I know. Let’s do some stuff that causes a whole generation of dark-skinned people to hate us and want revenge. – Note: cynical person is not me. Nope. I’m all apple pie and pledge of allegiance (don’t leave out the God part!)

    • The USA has never stopped propping up dictators as a way to smooth commericial enterprise, then losing control of said dictators and later invading to take them out: Noriega, Saddam, the Taliban…and these are just recent examples. These are not actions to enrich the MIC; taking on the deliberate role of the World’s Police Officer is how that is accomplished. Have you seen the tv commercials for the US Navy? A Global Force…for good

  15. SedanChair says:

    “This is not Dick Cheney we’re talking about here,” he said

    Inconveniently, at that exact moment a man-sized document safe in the corner murmured “Waaaugh.”

  16. Jean Baptiste says:

    I consider myself to be a Hawk on matters of defense.  But I have a big problem with the very idea of drone technology.  They seem cowardly and sneaky (and misusable/ corruptible/ concealable) in a way that regular bombing missions or operations aren’t (or aren’t as much.)

    Yes, I know my opinion on this seems cockeyed, but it’s how I feel.

    I’m betting that our politicians are going to continue to think that drones are just fine and dandy, until one of them becomes the casualty of a drone that was improvised by a private individual (i.e. an assassin.)  Just sayin’…

  17. Brainspore says:

    “Increased drone transparency? You mean like equipping them with some kind of cloaking device?”

  18. Eric Hunting says:

    I wish President Obama a very long life, and an eidetic memory. 

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