Blog Archives

Why the Dems went all-in on Obama’s drone wars

Why did so many Dems go all-in on Obama’s death-by-drone policy?

Easy: because Obama is a Democrat.

Remember the threats of trials for former Bush officials regarding enhanced interrogation? Recall the Obama principle of terrorism being a law enforcement issue that can be addressed in the courts? One doesn’t hear too much of those in these times.

Ignored are previous and sometimes principled Democrat policy disagreement, replaced with Presidential drone-death apologists like Dianne Feinstein, here leading along John Brennan in his recent Congressional testimony:

“And, so, Mr. Awlaki is not an American citizen by where anyone in America would be proud.”

Some New Yorker comment/questioning of Feinstein’s death-by-drone proposal:

“Proud,” “upstanding,” “so-called American”—is this the basis on which the Senate is judging fundamental questions of American rights and due process? Before the hearing, I wondered what picture of Americans we were supposed to have when we heard about the executive giving itself the power to kill them. Feinstein could hardly have given a less reassuring answer.

And more:

The Obama Administration, as far as we’ve seen in a leaked Department of Justice white paper, is making a contradictory case: it claims that it is deliberate and careful, acting only when it must to say lives. But, when challenged, it descends into emotion and an abandonment of law.

The lesson of lawlessness—and hubris—here is obvious. The Administration cannot admit its crimes, its wrongs, or even its contradictions, and if you don’t believe it, just ask chief apologist Jay Carney; somehow this license to kill difficulty will end up as the fault of Congress Republicans. And waiving off such difficulties requires the help of deep-Blue state (and untouchable) Obama boosters, such as Feinstein, attempting to employ Jedi mind tricks in lieu of logic, law, and reason.

And yet while Feinstein doesn’t want you to have a 20-round 9mm clip, she’s OK with the President acting alone as policeman, judge, jury, and executioner. Welcome to the Imperial Presidency, where the king is law.

The bigger revelation? If, like Feinstein, you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.

UPDATE. The last sentence should have read as follows: “If, like Feinstein, you represent only partisan politics, you’ll do anything.”

Advertisements

Bad policy? Lawless policy? Both?

Is the President’s drone-based license to kill good policy or bad policy? Beyond that, is it lawful or lawless?

While it’s unacceptable for terrorists with U.S. citizenship to use that citizenship as a permanent stay out of Gitmo free card or way to avoid the 72 virgins, is it OK for the President’s vaporization via drone policy to be free from Congressional and judicial review?

Me thinks not, despite the Administration’s extralegal assertions. Consider the Administration’s deliberate lawlessness on a number of other topics, as well as its history of poor judgment and non-accomplishment (for example, the economy), which is a matter of record.

Similarly, as a matter of license to kill explanation, the Administration has chosen to lay out an an ill-defined and vague strategy: trust us.

The Administration’s drone-master, one or more high ranking and omniscient government bureaucrat and/or elected official, will make the American terrorist kill/don’t kill call based on pertinent intelligence products and the threat/non-threat of the terrorists intentions and their rank/non-rank within a terrorist network.

While it’s painful to highlight, consider—again—that our intelligence community doesn’t really have a great a record, at least at the strategic level. Think Pearl Harbor, the Bay of Pigs, Soviets in Afghanistan, the collapse of the Iron Curtain, the fall of the Soviet Union, the Indian nuclear program, 9/11, the Iraqi WMD threat, the Arab Spring, etc.. At the non-strategic level, there are stories of massive drone-based collateral damage which could be argued as being well-beyond the proportionality the laws of warfare call for.

And there’s also the whole difficulty in reconciling the Administration’s cognitive dissonance of “Gitmo bad,” “enhanced interrogations bad,” and “Bush bad” with their assertion that the President’s death by drone program is a no-worries success story. Trust us. Remain calm. All is well.

Maybe—with all due respect—the next presidential Administration will consider, as the Obama Administration did for some time, the possibility of criminal trials regarding the prior Administration’s anti-terrorism policies and programs. Although the media asserts some Administrations, like this one, are more equal than others, it would be interesting to see Eric Holder and some of the President’s other minions twisting in the wind.

While I don’t subscribe to the idea of karma or cosmic payback, I do know sooner or later—maybe after they’re done twisting, maybe before—God’ll cut ‘em down.

… sooner or later…

The Audacity of Drone Kills

The Audacity of Hope? Hardly. Instead, consider The Audacity of Death. Or perhaps The Audacity of Drone Kills.

There’s this from the New York Times on the President’s self-authorized/self-certified/unreviewable license to kill:

The paper’s sweeping claims of executive power are audacious. For a threat to be deemed “imminent,” it is not necessary for a specific attack to be under way. The paper denies Congress and the federal courts a role in authorizing the killings — or even reviewing them afterward. In doing so, it cites the authorization of force that Congress granted to President George W. Bush after 9/11.

The Time’s blurb is fascinating at several levels. First, they dare to publicly question their great god, Barack Obama. Next, President Obama’s policy refers back to a Bush-based standard—while twisting it into a wholly unrecognizable shape—to justify his kill program. Finally, is the author goofing on Obama’s Audacity of Hope?

Has the Administration–and the Times–somehow forgotten Bush all bad, Obama all good?

Audacity, indeed.

Obamaworld: Total Information Awareness program on Steroids, EPO, and Growth Hormone

Isn’t it interesting that when the Total Information Awareness program was shut down, it was due to a great media outcry over devious government intrusion, spying, and constitutional violations?

And now that things have gotten far worse… crickets. (Crickets, at least as compared to the outrage TIA generated.)

Or to summarize: four legs good, two legs Bush (and also consider that some Presidents are more equal than others).

The bumper-sticker summary of what’s going on:

The [new record-gathering] rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them…

Now, NCTC can copy entire government databases—flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others…

The changes also allow databases of U.S. civilian information to be given to foreign governments for analysis of their own…

“It’s breathtaking” in its scope, said a former senior administration official familiar with the White House debate.

But to paraphrase from Some Like It Hot, aren’t there laws, conventions, and traditions against such things? There are, but they’re toothless (and ignored).

…the Federal Privacy Act allows agencies to exempt themselves from many requirements by placing notices in the Federal Register, the government’s daily publication of proposed rules. In practice, these privacy-act notices are rarely contested by government watchdogs or members of the public. “All you have to do is publish a notice in the Federal Register and you can do whatever you want,” says Robert Gellman, a privacy consultant who advises agencies on how to comply with the Privacy Act.

obeyBroncobama wants us to have personal freedom and to keep the government out of our bedrooms homes. Surely he would never lead America down such an Orwellian path… would he?

To fix problems like these that had cropped up since the [2009 underwear-bomber] Abdulmutallab incident, NCTC proposed the major expansion of its powers that would ultimately get debated at the March meeting in the White House. It moved to ditch the requirement that it discard the innocent-person data. And it asked for broader authority to troll for patterns in the data.

Well, it’s all for our own good, right? And it makes us safer… right? (Emphasis added.)

At the Department of Justice, Chief Privacy Officer Nancy Libin raised concerns about whether the guidelines could unfairly target innocent people, these people said. Some research suggests that, statistically speaking, there are too few terror attacks for predictive patterns to emerge. The [real] risk, then, is that innocent behavior gets misunderstood—say, a man buying chemicals (for a child’s science fair) and a timer (for the sprinkler) sets off false alarms.

An August government report indicates that, as of last year, NCTC wasn’t doing predictive pattern-matching.

So we’re left with this question: why does the Obama Administration spy on its citizens? The answer is it’s for the very same reason the Administration pursues its other failing progressive (progressive is code for totalitarian) policies. Because it can.

People died, Obama lied

Benghazi is the Administration lie that won’t stop giving.

Reuters reports the White House and State Department knew the Benghazi debacle was a terrorism event within two hours of the attacks.

Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

So what was the purpose of the Administration, its surrogates, and the President, wrongly and longly claiming the attack was a spontaneous protest caused by a low-quality YouTube video? Simply this: their lies were an attempt to keep the truth from coming to light.

First, what is the truth with regard to Benghazi? That the President’s Middle East foreign policy hasn’t done what he says it’s done.

Next, what was the purpose of blaming the intelligence community (and later, the State Department) for the Administration’s lies? To attempt to shift the blame for their own unethical behavior onto others.

Finally, what was the purpose of attempting to shift the blame for their own unethical behavior? To win the election.

And elections, to the left, are all about power and using it to force their worldview on everyone else.

Chris, what I’m saying isn’t really a lie if I’ve been told I believe it…

Intel community doesn’t like being blamed for the the Administration’s Middle East failures

i have a lie newSome in the intelligence community aren’t too happy with UN Ambassador Susan “Fried” Rice, White House spokesman Jay Carney “Worker,” Secretary of State Hillary “Stand By Your Man” Clinton, or Director of National Intelligence James “In The” Clapper. 

Why? Because those four—and there have to be more—were participants in what looks like a determined and coordinated attempt to paper over the truth of the President’s Middle East policy failures.

The Administration is likely living in fear that the world will discover they’ve birthed an uglier  Middle East policy baby than George W. Bush—and of course, there’s still Iran—with just a month left until the presidential election.

From the Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz:

Officials say the ODNI’s false information was either knowingly disseminated or was directed to be put out by senior policy officials for political reasons, since the statement was contradicted by numerous intelligence reports at the time of the attack indicating it was al Qaeda-related terrorism.

Post-Benghazi, post-debate, the President and his Administration seem diminished every day. Don’t forget the President told us at the Democrat Convention that al Qaeda was on the run. The reality?

In recent months Egypt-based al Qaeda terrorists were dispatched to Libya and Syria, where they have been covertly infiltrating Libyan militia groups and Syrian opposition forces opposing the Bashar al Assad regime.

In addition to Egyptian government backing, intelligence from the region has revealed that operatives from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the main spy service, and from Iran’s Quds Force paramilitary group and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are also facilitating al Qaeda terrorists based in Egypt that are preparing to conduct operations to increase instability throughout the region.

And if this were a Republican administration, this—along with Fast and Furious—would be bigger than Watergate.

Around the internet: world news today

From Virginia, the state’s U.S. Senate candidate, Tim Kaine, a Democrat, said that he’s open to having a “minimum tax level for everyone.” Kaine went on to say he feels the minimum tax level should be an individual $2000 tax credit, a position largely consistent with President Obama and his economic advisors. Obama team insiders are said to be debating a minimum tax ranging from Kaine’s $2000 tax credit to a $10000 tax credit per household. Policy makers are also considering allowing qualifying households to opt for a Chevy Volt in lieu of the minimum tax tax credit.

On the campaign trail, the President decried the “bitter clinging” of mob violence, intolerance, mayhem, and destruction of property said to be planned by Mormons in response to the hit Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon.” Internet sources reveal the President is said to have his concerns sharpened based on Homeland Security briefings which relied upon unimpeachable Southern Poverty Law Center and The New Republic sources for their conclusions.

Appearing on Fox News, Presidential advisor David Axelrod responded to The American Spectator’s challenge to Name a single thing that has improved under his [President Obama’s] rule. Axelrod told host Shemp Smith that many things have increased under the President’s governance including gasoline prices, unemployment, food stamp usage, and the federal debt. Smith then challenged Axelrod saying, “While those are increases, almost no one views them as improvements.” Axelrod countered with, “This campaign won’t stoop to partisan politics,” and walked off the set in apparent disgust as soon as the show went to break.

In Washington, several high-level GOP senators emerged from a top secret briefing with senior Administration officials, incensed that the Obama team offered no new information while failing to answer questions regarding the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans. In response, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Adm. Sandy Winnefeld told the media they felt the briefings—which in an unusual turn, had been outsourced to the Southern Poverty Law Center and The New Republic—were “accurate, timely, and well received.”

It’s now been more than 100 days since U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. began a “medical leave of absence.” Jackson’s staff has not disclosed when he may be able to resume his official duties but denied that his absence is related to alleged drug abuse. Skeptics have questioned this assessment with the revelation that Jackson has already been announced as starring in the season premier of the A&E Network’s popular reality show Intervention.

In the debates associated with the hotly contested campaign for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts, Senator Scott Brown was said to have dismantled his foe, Elizabeth Warren. Warren surprised—and terrified—observers by showing up in a Cherokee head dress, Prada shoes and matching bag, and nothing else. For her part, a Warren campaign spokesman said Warren scored points by saying Brown “spoke with forked tongue.”

In a move disquieting to knowledgeable economists, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has decided to skip QE3, 4, and 5 and proceed directly to QE6. Bernanke said, “Tripling our money supply in six years has clearly not done the trick. I hope QE6 will.” When asked by CNBC host Larry Kudlow later that day, “Just what is the trick you’re trying to accomplish, Mr. Chairman?”, Bernanke shrugged. Bernanke soon departed the CNBC set for a fundraiser for President Obama intended to dishonor street economists Fo’pak (University of Chicago) and Notorious H.A.Y.E.K. (University of Freiburg).

Stay tuned for updates which will occur as time and conditions permit.

When it OK to kill U.S. Citizens Abroad?

The Washington Post asks when is it okay for the U.S. government to kill Americans abroad?

Their answer comes in two parts: one, an endorsement of the administration’s position when

such strikes would be carried out only if the targeted individual presented an imminent threat, the foreign country in question was unable or unwilling to act, and capture was not feasible.

Part two, unstated it would appear, is when a Democrat president has signed off on the order. In that case, such as we now have, the Posters just want the “framework” the Justice Department drafted explaining the criteria. I don’t think they’ll get it.

In the mean time, expect either silence or Bush-did-it-first as an explanation.