Sheesh. I’ll skip my little opener and get right to it. Thanks to the awesome Mark Shea, I got to read all about how according to Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama has the authority to use drone strikes to kill Americans on U.S. soil. From The Telegraph:
Eric Holder argued that using lethal military force against an American in his home country would be legal and justified in an “extraordinary circumstance” comparable to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“The president could conceivably have no choice but to authorise the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland,” Mr Holder said.
Uh huh. “Extraordinary circumstance” as determined by who? Oh yes, the same person who will decide to blow you up. I’m not the only one who finds Mr. Holder’s words disturbing:
His statement was described as “more than frightening” by Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, who had demanded to know the Obama administration’s position on the subject.
“It is an affront the constitutional due process rights of all Americans,” said Mr Paul, a 50-year-old favourite of the anti-government Tea Party movement, who is expected to run for president in 2016.
Pay attention here:
Mr Obama has been sharply criticised for the secrecy surrounding his extension of America’s “targeted killing” campaign against al-Qaeda terrorist suspects using missile strikes by unmanned drones.
The secret campaign has killed an estimated 4,700 people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. A quarter are estimated to have been civilians prompting anger among human rights campaigners.
According to research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, drone strikes killed between 474 and 881 civilians – including 176 children – in Pakistan between 2004 and last year.
So just to be clear, in our hunt for suspected terrorists, we’re going into foreign countries and blowing up indiscriminately thousands of people, many of whom are innocents, including kids.
Lord, have mercy.
I know this puts me as an outlier in my circle of friends and family, who wholeheartedly support Obama, seemingly no matter what. But quite frankly, I don’t care. I called out Bush back in college for his warmongering, and I’m not giving O a pass.
Interestingly, if not surprisingly, according to this Salon piece, a lot of people will do just that-give the Prez a pass- because it’s Obama ordering the attacks.
Civil libertarians have worried that some of President Obama’s comparatively hawkish national security policies are silencing “liberal” Democrats who would have opposed such measures under President Bush or another Republican. Now there’s new evidence that Obama’s support for such policies isn’t just silencing them — it’s winning them over.
That’s the finding of new research by Brown University political scientist Michael Tesler, who studies what he calls the “racialization” of political issues in the age of Obama: mainly, the way voters’ attitudes about race can make them more or less likely to support policies once they know those policies are supported by Obama. Last year he made headlines with an American Journal of Political Science article about the way racial attitudes shaped opinions on the Affordable Care Act.
In a YouGov poll of 1,000 voters last August, Tesler found significantly more support for targeted killing of suspected terrorists among white “racial liberals” (i.e., those liberal on issues of race) and African-Americans when they were told that Obama supported such a policy than when they were not told it was the president’s policy. Only 27 percent of white racial liberals in a control group supported the targeted killing policy, but that jumped to 48 percent among such voters who were told Obama had conducted such targeted killings (which Tesler refers to as the “Obama cue”). He found a similar difference among African-Americans, but cautions that the sample size, of 60 in a control group and another 60 who were given the “Obama cue,” is small. “We can be pretty confident that blacks are more supportive when given the Obama cue, but not at all confident about how precisely large that difference is,” he told me via email.
White “racial conservatives” were more likely than white racial liberals to support the targeted killing policy overall, and Obama’s support for it didn’t affect their opinion, as it had on issues like healthcare reform.
Oh, goody gumdrops! Droning: because it can bring the libs and cons together! Yeah, I’ll continue to walk the line, even if it’s a pretty lonely trip.