On Objections to the White House’s Drone Killing Memo

Look to the Congress. It is Congress which decided individuals who frighten them (terrorists) should be dealt with by military force (the Authorization to Use Military Force) and, at the same time, decreed that our troops were not to be employed in that endeavor. So, there’s really no practical alternative but to hunt them down and expunge them by remote control.

I’ve been writing about this on Hannah Blog since about 2007, when Charles J. Hanley did an in depth report about the process, including the legal vetting, for the AP and the Washington Post.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/15/AR2007071500561.html
There is a tendency for people to think that things don’t happen until they find out about them. The Obama Administration inherited Guantanamo and it inherited the drone program, both funded by Congress, whose appropriations define what can and cannot be done. Pretending that the executive is the decider lets them off the hook for whatever wrong decisions they make. The executive can only be blamed for going along with the pretense that he’s in charge.

However, Obama has been good at making problems obvious. When documents get leaked to the press, that’s purposeful. Poor Manning has been put on ice because putting him on trial would open the can of worms, which is the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of video records that were made of military actions in Iraq, including all the interrogations, which his defense would be entitled to cite in explaining why he didn’t think much about releasing just one. After all, the documentation of actions and atrocities are public records, which can only be withheld for good reason –i.e. to prevent prompting calls for revenge by the Iraqis. You see, they know they were abused and tortured and their relatives murdered. Having the ignominy made public would be adding insult to injury.

Now that it’s Americans that might be targeted, drones are suddenly a problem. When people in foreign countries are summarily executed, it’s OK because there’s an AUMF. That should have been repealed a long time ago–as soon as it became clear the invasion of Iraq had been carried out under false pretenses.

Excuse me if I sound a bit impatient.

  • hannah
  • Rep. Jim Splaine

    Killing people by remote control with our drones makes future terrorists.

    Imagine if Canada in some alternative universe decided it had to “help” the people of New Hampshire and had a war policy that targeted selected “insurgents” for death in our state. They used drones and sometimes their drones missed and killed “good” New Hampshire people.

    Do you think the rest of us “good” New Hampshire people would be thanking our “friends” in Canada? Do you think the children or family members of those “good” New Hampshire people who were killed by our Canadian “friends” would love Canadians in the future? I don’t think we would, any more than the children and family of the “bad” New Hampshire people who were killed by our Canadian “friends” without trial or reason.

    This short-sited policy is making a future of more people who will hate America and Americans. Whether undertaken by an administration which happens to be Republican or Democratic, it is wrong. Terribly wrong. We’re getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Let’s stop the killing while doing so.

  • BobRobertson

    Being anti-war, I was so unhappy to have the anti-war protests stop when Obama got elected.

    Thank you, Hannah, for keeping alive the spirit of peace. Yes, Congress could act to stop this and they have not. They also passed the NDAA with perpetual imprisonment without charges.

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