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Extrajudicial Execution is a Threat to the Rights of Every Citizen

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The extrajudicial execution of Anwar al Awlaki last week was a reminder of ongoing concerns with the powers granted to the president under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force which was passed at the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also an example of the willingness of this president to act outside the limits placed on his office by the Constitution.

This administration, like its predecessor, has placed a very low value on the protections of the Bill of Rights and has treated due process and the rule of law as inconveniences which they can ignore whenever it is expedient. Under the banner of the War on Terror and the authority of the AUMF they have assumed powers which no government is entitled to and have committed acts against their own people which are utterly unacceptable.

The killing of al Awlaki with a drone-fired missile was done on no greater authority than the scratch of the presidential pen and with no respect for his rights as a human being and a United States citizen. There was no trial, no act of Congress, no revocaton of citizenship, not even an evidentiary hearing or a warrant issued by a judge. No element of the legal system was engaged to determine that al Alwalki should die. The president just decreed it and his robotic executioner did the job.

The evidence suggests that this was done purely for convenience and because the administration was incapable of providing strong enough evidence to bring a case against al Awlaki in a court. Because his role had been primarily to inspire and encourage others through his writing and internet videos, there was little or no evidence which connected him directly to any acts of terrorism. Unable to prove their case, the administration decided to go outside the law and kill him on little more than suspicion, primarily for speaking out against the United States, a fundamental right protected under the First Amendment. It was a cowardly act carried out for convenience by a government which has no respect for the principles on which this nation was founded.

The American public greeted the event with a mixture of complacency and jubilation. There was certainly no reason to waste any tears for the newly emerged spiritual leader of the most extreme elements of the Muslim world. Yet most Americans were dismayingly oblivious to the implications of the extrajudicial execution of an American citizen. If the president can sign the death warrant of one citizen based almost entirely on his writings and public statements, what is to stop him from signing away any of our lives when our criticisms of the government and its policies cross some subjective line?

Objections were raised in some quarters. The American Civil Liberties Union filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to block the president from taking this action without first going through the courts as required by centuries of common law and the Bill of Rights. Two presidential candidates also spoke up. Both Rep. Ron Paul and Gov. Gary Johnson issued statements objecting to the action. Johnson summed up the concerns well, writing:

“If we allow our fervor to eliminate terrorist threats to cause us to cut corners with the Constitution and the fundamental rights of American citizens, whether it be invasions of privacy or the killing of someone born on U.S. soil, I could argue that the terrorists will have ultimately won.

“The world is very likely a better place without al-Awlaki in it, but let us not neglect to ask the tough questions this attack raises and about the laws that allowed it to be carried out.”

Paul touched on the same issues after a speech in New Hampshire, telling reporters:

“We cannot allow the War on Terror to diminish our steadfast adherence to the notion of due process for American citizens…The protections under the Constitution for those accused of crimes do not just apply to people we like – they apply to everyone, including a terrorist like al-Awlaki. It is a question of due process for American citizens.”

Since al Awlaki’s death concerns have been raised that approval for the action came from a “secret panel” of top government officials, acting as a sort of Star Chamber operating outside of the Constitution and the judicial system with no public record of their actions and no accountability to anyone but the president. Speculation has been widespread about the existence of a “kill list” of other terrorists who for one reason or another the administration would like to eliminate without the mess and fuss of a trial or even arrest. This is not how things are supposed to work in America and is more reminiscent of the secret trials of Soviet Russia or even the famous death squads employed by South American dictators in the recent past.

In their statement on the subject the Republican Liberty Caucus summed up what ought to be the main concerns of American citizens in this situation when they asked “Do you want our government to condemn citizens to death in secret and then execute them without a trial or even an arrest warrant? If this is where the War on Terror has brought us, it is time to repeal the AUMF and demand accountability from the government and respect for the Bill of Rights and the rule of law.”

A free nation does not set aside its own laws and kill people for the sake of expediency. Once you start ignoring the law, where do you stop? What limits on government power remain? Last week it was al Awalki, but with no respect for the law or the rights of the people, why shouldn’t it be an outspoken talkshow host or blogger next week?

A nation is only as good as the laws under which it operates and the degree to which it respects the rights of its citizens. When a government sets aside those laws and ignores those rights it is no longer a legitimate government. In fighting the War on Terror, our government and our leaders have themselves become the terrorists.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Dave, I assume you’ve locked the article because you’re busy fixing that buggered-up link on page 1.

    If not, please do so…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I understand your point and agree for the most part with your rhetoric. The problem is, there’s a point of diminishing returns to idealism, and the government must be able to react when someone is a clear and present danger to the American people and the American economy…and Awlaki was both.

    And there is ample precedent for this. In time of war, spying and treason are punishable by death…and someone can be tried in absentia.

    I don’t like the idea of government-sanctioned ‘death lists’ any more than you do – especially considering that Republican administrations have shown themselves to be much more prone than Democratic administrations to commit extralegal actions in other nations – Iran-Contra comes to mind…and there is no crime by a Democratic administration that I can think of since Vietnam that can come close to comparing with Iran-Contra.

    So yeah, having a government-sanctioned ‘death list’ that can contain even American citizens is a really bad idea…

    …but again, when the citizen in question is a clear and present danger to the American people and the American economy, there has to be a mechanism to remove the threat when the threat cannot be captured alive without a significant risk of loss of American life or seriously damaging international relations. For instance, if Awlaki had had a WMD available to use – and you know he would not have hesitated to use one – then in your view, should we still have refrained from assassinating him?

    So Obama’s mistake wasn’t in sanctioning the assassination of Awlaki – his mistake was in allowing it to be known to the general public.

    Even the best and most honorable idealistic policy or law, if carried too far, can be much worse than the problem(s) it was meant to correct. All we can do is hope that the one on whose shoulders lay the decision to break from said idealism has enough judgement and clarity of mind to make the most prudent choice, not only for America but also for the world.

  • Arch Conservative

    Vicki Weaver is a much, much better example of what happens to those who run afoul of Big Brother.

    Alwaki wasn’t even killed within the US borders while Vicki Weaver was assassinated standing in the doorway of her own home while holding her daughter in her arms by Lon Horiuchi, a man who should die a slow painful death of the most severe form of pancreatic cancer.

    Oh there is evil in the world……. and some of it carries around a US Government ID.

  • I agree on Vicki Weaver, Arch. But the key difference was that in the Weaver case they at least had a warrant to arrest her husband and had presented some evidence to a judge to get it. They didn’t just go there to kill people with no legal basis at all.


  • Arch Conservative

    Yeah Dave but after the incident at Ruby Ridge all charges were dropped against the Weavers. Not only that but prior to the incident neither Randy Weaver nor any member of his family had ever killed anyone or been convicted of a violent crime. That remains true to this day. Lon Horiuchi on the other hand, has at least one confirmed kill that we know about, an unarmed woman holding a baby in the doorway of her own home. You’d expect him to be in prison but he’s not. He’s a free man walking around today. The g-men take care of their own, even at the expense of America’s mothers and children.

    What good is a government issued arrest warrant when it’s already written in the blood of those it’s being served upon?

  • zingzing

    “What good is a government issued arrest warrant when it’s already written in the blood of those it’s being served upon?”

    now that’s some runaway rhetoric.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Absolutely incredible.

    Okay, Dave and Arch – in your zeal to be one with the black-helicopter crowd in exposing the terrible evil of the government, neither one of you decided to address the hard question I posed, which went something like this:

    There’s a terrorist who has been involved in planning terrorist attacks that were carried out on American soil, one of which certainly resulted in the deaths of thousands of American citizens.

    You have intelligence that shows he’s planning further attacks, and he’s in a country where the judiciary has already called for his capture, dead or alive.

    So what do you do? Wait until he kills more Americans? Risk yet another major international incident by sending ground troops to try to capture the guy (and possibly lose more troops in the process)? Or do you just go ahead and kill the guy even though he’s an American citizen?

    C’mon, Dave and Arch! Answer the hard questions! If you were the president, what would you do? Remember, you’re not only sworn to defend the Constitution, but you’re also tasked with defending the men, women, and children of America…and the guy wants WMD’s and he wants to pull off another 9/11-scale attack, or greater.

    C’mon, guys, have the guts to say what you would have done in Obama’s shoes instead of just griping about how everything he does is evilevilevilbadbadbadstupidstupidstupid!

  • Arch Conservative

    “now that’s some runaway rhetoric”

    Tell that to the baby girl that Vicki Weaver was holding in her arms when she was shot who is now a young woman who’s had to grow up without a mother because the US government assassinated hers.

    It’s not rhetoric. It’s reality.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    Still waiting for you to answer my question. Kenn tried on a different thread – it was a good try…until I schooled him on some of the finer points of military logistics.

    So…when are you going to give it a try?

  • The Military-Industrial Complex gains more ground. You’re performing a Celebration Strut, Glenn?

    This week, ACLU’s Deputy Legal director (hardly part of the “black helicopter crowd”) was debating Al-Awlaki’s killing with former Bush lawyer (and torture memo writer) John Yoo. The people defending the way Bush fought HIS war are the same people defending the way Obama is fighting HIS war. That puts you right smack dab in the middle of the infamous…gasp…”BC cons” camp right now. I can just imagine a couple of inches of BOUNCE coming out of that strut right now.

    Constituent defense contracts are the currency with which the legislative branch has been paid for for decades, in administrations “leftist” and “rightist” alike. The payback is the MIC’s influence on foreign policy decisions, which have created the animosity that fuels the rhetoric of radical Islam’s al-Awlakis and bin Ladins. More animosity makes for more war, and more war is very good for the MIC.

    And did you notice what the offed guy did to offend. He talked LOUDLY. That sends a potent message to people like me who

  • *keels over dead.*

  • I agree, I thought I cured him of it but he’s a backslider.

    BTW, I wasn’t being facetious on the other thread – just offered a re-description.

  • It’s the idea that America has got to be protected at all cost, no matter what it itself had become. The years of having been in the Navy have taken their toll. It’s not easy to shed unless one’s willing to admit it was a misspent career and move on.

    What don’t we do to justify ourselves and our past?

  • I can’t say that I’m thrilled by the whole affair, as it does seem to set a dangerous precedent. However, it’s been made clear in recent years that we good god fearin’ Americans have been killing people in various places around the world for decades either directly via our military and intelligence arms, or indirectly through private entities like Black Water or the agencies of other countries. The manner in which al Awlaki was killed is only worse by degree.

    The fact is the rules of the anti-terrorism game have become quite muddled. It is certainly true that the terrorists observe absolutely no rules. I find the depths to which we as a nation have fallen despicable, yet, what are we to do? There are many who contribute here who fully supported our use of water boarding and renditions which virtually always resulted in torture and in some instances the death of individuals against whom there may have been no probitive evidence. We have become a desparate and far less civil country.

    Dave points his accusations mainly toward Obama. Guilty he may be. Yet, I seriously doubt that either of the Bushies, or Clinton or Reagan would have done anything less given the same set of circumstances. I’d venture to guess that even the likes of Ron Paul, who doesn’t want government to do anything, even to exist it would seem, might well have scratched his pen on the same slip of paper were he now in Obama’s shoes. Given that, it’s doubtful that any of the other Rep candidates, declared or not, would have eschewed the opportunity to get Awlaki and the others. It’s damn sure that they would have been on board with the killing of Bin Laden.

    Dave’s warning:
    “Last week it was al Awalki, but with no respect for the law or the rights of the people, why shouldn’t it be an outspoken talkshow host or blogger next week?”

    I liken this to the warnings of the anti-gay marriage bunch who suggest that if same sex marriages are sanctioned by the government, then inevitably there will be those who want to be sanctioned to marry their favorite sheep or octopus? This is only slightly more outrageous than what Dave suggests.

    I also believe that if Obama had failed to sign al Awalki’s death warrent and news of that hit the air-waves or cyberspace, that all manner of accusations would have been forth coming about how soft he is on terrorism. There is, it seems, no winning scenario.

  • Who cares whether he’d be criticized for doing the right thing? Enough of apologies!

  • STM

    Of course, it does help in your dealings with all those lovely terrorists – especially those with a bent for, say, flying jets into skyscrapers – if you stand around waving flowers at them instead of trying to kill them.

    And anyone of a right-wing political bent – including Dave – who is going to pretend that this hasn’t been happening since the year dot and on the orders of most US presidents, should hang their heads.

    Why would anyone give a shit about how the death of a mass murderer bent on killing people who don’t susbscribe to his medieval world view might undermine the constititional rights of Americans.

    I doesn’t.

    I reckon Americans have a much more important right … the right to go to work in a skyscraper without someone who’s favoured headgear is a teatowel flying a jet through the window while they’re opening their emails.

    That is the real threat to every citizen … and Dave, you know it as well as I do.

  • I agree with Glenn and Stan. It’s almost as if you guys don’t understand how the world actually works because your so infatuated with your idea of it. Do you know what Awlaki you are talking about?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    Then address the question I posed in comment #7. You’re SO positive that what Obama did was evil and that he’s all of a sudden no better than Dubya…

    …but I want to see what YOU would have done if you were in his shoes and faced with the SAME set of circumstances.

    C’mon, show some gumption, some courage. Show how you’ve got a better idea, given the same set of circumstances! Answer the hard question! Or is complaining about it without giving any viable solution all you can do?

    So far, only Kenn has addressed my question – and then he got schooled on how he wasn’t taking into account the realities of military logistics. But at least he tried! How about you?

  • STM

    Thanks EB. BTW, did you try my Aussie seafood cocktail sauce recipe??

  • Awlaki’s killing was a publicity boost for the Drone Missile Program, which had been getting the well-deserved reputation of killing mostly innocent civilians.

    Do I know who Awlaki is? Sure, he’s the guy who got invited to speak at the White House after 9-11, the guy whose records the DOJ, the FBI and the CIA are having a tug-of-war over right now. There’s a bit more to this story than meets the eye, I’m afraid. It’s not as simple as you’re making it.

    Do YOU know, I mean REALLY know, the people pushing the drone buttons? I’d GET to know them. There’s precedent set now for them to act as the Judicial Branch of the government. As I said, this is another victory for the Military-Industrial Complex.

    “When David Petraeus walks into the Central Intelligence Agency Tuesday, he will be taking over an organisation whose mission has changed in recent years from gathering and analysing intelligence to waging military campaigns through drone strikes in Pakistan, as well as in Yemen and Somalia.

    But the transformation of the CIA did not simply follow the expansion of the drone war in Pakistan to its present level. CIA Director Michael Hayden lobbied hard for that expansion at a time when drone strikes seemed like a failed experiment.

    The reason Hayden pushed for a much bigger drone war, it now appears, is that it had already created a whole bureaucracy in the anticipation of such a war.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    You still didn’t answer the question, did you? AGAIN, if you think that what Obama approved was so evil and wrong, then give us a better idea, a better solution, instead of simply complaining about it.

    Given the SAME set of choices that Obama faced (with the knowledge that Awlaki has been involved in or connected to at least six acts of terrorism against the United States) – either:

    (1) kill the guy who was a clear and present danger to the American people and the American economy, or

    (2) tell the Yemenis where he was at (and watch Awlaki mysteriously realize that we know where he is), or

    (3) simply wait until Awlaki exits the country into another country where we could get him (which he might NEVER do), or

    (4) just wait until he trained some more terrorists to commit yet more terrorism against America.

    Those are the choices, Irene – what would YOU do? Unless, of course, you can think of a different choice, but I want to see you step up and tell us what you would do differently than Obama.

  • zingzing

    if one american soldier had been grazed by an errant bit of sand during any attempt to capture this guy, obama would have faced criticism from the right. nothing obama does can ever be correct in any way. that’s the only thing that’s certain here.

  • The American people, the 99 percent, aren’t the target; they’re themselves are rebelling against their government. The American economy is a joke or soon to become one. There’s nothing medieval about these realizations. What is medieval is to keep on pretending the world isn’t changing before our very eyes and that we shall continue on our merry way.

    A tyrannical and corrupt governments deserve to be done away with, whether they be in Arabia or in the West. That’s the only justifiable stance and the only part of “the American way” that’s worth preserving. Everything else is bullshit.

  • So Obama’s mistake wasn’t in sanctioning the assassination of Awlaki – his mistake was in allowing it to be known to the general public.

    That is insane and very liberal of you.


  • zing too…


    (are you seeing what is the problem I am having with liberals? you are caught in the defense of bullshit because you are not independent of the political structure and prefer to defend it rather than promote change)


    (screamed with a light heart through a cheerful smile)

  • zingzing

    cindy, seems to me that the absurdity of the situation is the point.

    Roger, you’re reminding me of ruvy… Without the same level of batshit.

  • And there is ample precedent for this. In time of war, spying and treason are punishable by death…and someone can be tried in absentia.

    This the necessity for everything to be a war on something.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy –

    That is insane and very liberal of you.

    Actually, no. That is very conservative of me. Hiding questionable military actions from the public has normally been the province of conservatives for generations – see “Iran-Contra” and “Oliver North”.

  • zingzing

    cindy, do you know my opinion of this thing? obviously not. but you’re not naive enough to believe this is anything new. should it happen? no. are we now living in some new, suddenly more threatening world? no. but if you want to walk around feeling threatened all the time, say hi to ruvy and the kill em all crowd.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Cindy –

    You still haven’t even tried to answer the question, have you? Given the SAME set of circumstances and choices, and given the same set of problems that WOULD arise from each of those choices, what would YOU have done in Obama’s shoes, and why?

    Just answer the question, please, because I’m not going to let anyone just call the decision of any leader (regardless of party or personality) stupid or insane or illegal if that someone cannot suggest a reasonable AND practical alternative.

    So…what reasonable AND practical alternative did Obama have, Cindy?


  • Not at all, no Ruvy. I’m not defending “the American way.” I’m condemning it. And you should to. America doesn’t mean jack shit to me, not any more than any other people or nation. To be defending it is insanity.

  • …. and you should too … if there’s any fiber left in your body (I should add).

  • zingzing

    you don’t really seem to pay much attention to what people say. and i’m very fibrous. i’ve got my problems with various parts of the american ”way,” but other parts are fine by me. if you had an ounce of fiber in you, you’d believe exactly as i do, i guess. is that how it is? shrug. you do what you want, but leave me be to do what i want.

  • I have no choice but to leave you be, and that’s quite alright with me. As to keeping some parts and rejecting others, obviously we have a disagreement. A cancer in the body has to be surgically removed in its entirety, there are no halfway measures. And the present-day America is surely a cancer and the main obstacle to human future.

  • And BTW, zing, my reference to “fiber” wasn’t uttered in any descriptive kind of sense. I was an exhortation. I hold no ill will.

  • They’ll all be strung from the nearest lamp post or their heads chopped off, mark my words.

    Hope zingzing won’t be among them.

  • zingzing

    ”all or nothing” will usually get you nothing, roger. both in society and in conversation. just because i’m not on your side doesn’t mean i’m on theirs. and i think you’ve misrepresented or distorted the views of these protesters. there are many povs on display and you’re trying to claim all of them as your own, which is dishonest. you can’t just make this thing whatever you want just because you want to. doesn’t work that way.

  • Yes it does, in times of crisis, and we’re certainly in the midst of it if you were only to realize it. There is a push from both the Right and the Left to overturn the regime, the Tea Party and the present movement. Both are fed up with government and they’re not too far from total convergence. And when that happens, the world will shake and tremble.

    The French Revolution was anything but moderate, it was all or nothing at all.

    Prepare yourself or perish.

  • Stan, please give me the recipe again. I haven’t had any raw shrimp since that conversation.

    “It’s not as simple as you’re making it.”

    I didn’t make it out any way in my comment, so not sure what you think you are responding to. I did read that he was at the White House but from all the things I have read I don’t think his death was related to stealing a napkin ring or hand towel from his visit.

  • zingzing

    these same arguments have been had in this country several times. but you can go on with your prophecies of doom, ruvy. do you suddenly believe that the rest of america, nay the world, has become radicalized like you? here’s a hint: stop sending pizza. hunger drives revolution, and that dominos supreme with the cheesy crust will only cause indigestion and longer lines at the rented port-o-potties and mcdonalds.

  • Except I don’t see it as doom but as a bright new beginning. And fuck McDonald’s or Domino. They’re emblems of decadence.

    I can easily do without them, and I do.

  • What I really wonder about, what is it exactly that you’re defending? The explosion of culture?

    I’m not denying, or ever have, that America served as a fertile environment.

  • zingzing

    roger, i’m not sure what that second comment means, or quite why you felt the need to make the first. what am i defending? specific things i lke about life in america. what are you trying to destroy?

  • Here is the best mainstream understanding of OWS that I have come across: Whose Side Are You On: The Moral Clarity of Occupy Wall Street.

    And here is the best one comparing OWS and the Tea Party: Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party compared.

  • 31 – His choice? How about–not kill an American citizen without due process?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy #47 –

    That’s a very simplistic answer for a not-so-simple situation.

    What happens if we cannot capture him because we cannot risk sending yet more ground troops into another Middle East country? And if he decides to stay there out of our reach?

    What happens, Cindy, is that he is able to continue to train terrorists, and some of those terrorists will be successful. And if he’s able to plan and carry out another 9/11, which in direct damage to our economy alone cost at least $100B?

    So in YOUR opinion, Cindy, as long as he remains out of our legal reach, he is free to continue to train terrorists and help them plan catastrophic attacks against America’s people and the American economy.

    So that’s your solution, Cindy? That the president should sit on his hands until Alwaki was either in international waters or actually entered American airspace or soil?

    That’s your solution? Really?

  • “How about–not kill an American citizen without due process?”

    where in his sermons justifying violence by Muslims against the United States did Anwar al-Awlaki suggest the American citizens who would be victims of terrorist attacks deserved due process?

  • It’s a tug of war, LB, no one’s a winner or a loser, just the way the chips fall.

    As you sow, so you shall reap.

  • 49 So, you prefer picking and choosing who deserves due process?

  • I despise the guy. That’s not the point though, is it?

  • “As you sow, so you shall reap.”

    That’s what the guys involved with Al Queda are learning, aren’t they? If you want to take their side, you are free to do so, though I don’t understand why you would.

    “you prefer picking and choosing who deserves due process?”

    Prefer, no, but that’s the way the world works as much as you may dislike it. If someone is going to take part in killing citizens of a country as powerful as the U.S., not sure they should expect any better than treatment. At least in the U.S., I have some hope of changing these things I don’t like. That’s doesn’t appear to be the case with Al Queda, though I’ve not read their literature.

  • You’re brave to respond, LB. Not necessarily to my posts but in general

    It all depends on what we think of America in the final analysis, don’t you think? If we happen to think her time is long past, that it no longer serves any purpose, they why hold on to the idea?

    You tell me!

  • @55

    I’ve just given one. The ball is in your corner, Mr. Federer.

  • There seems to be a tendency for liberals to excuse authorities from breaking their own laws. I hear zing and El-B and Glen all saying the same thing. All apologize for the way things are and accept, tolerate, and even support abuses of power.

    Al Queda has nothing to do with it. Due process is due process. It means if you take seriously the constitution then Charles Manson, Goeffrey Domber, Ted Bundy, and Hitler all should be guaranteed due process.

    Freedom of speech should make one free to say things you personally find deplorable or there is no reason to have an amendment guaranteeing it. There is zero reason to guarantee due process unless there is someone authorities think shouldn’t be protected by it! That is the whole point of the guarantee.

  • Cannonshop

    Contrarian defending “Security Theater?” Oh, yes. Yes in deed.

    Him being right while doing so? that’s a new one.

    Did anyone bother to check and see if Alwaki renounced his American Citizenship? A lot of these radicals who join ‘progressive’ organizations have done so in the past, in which case the discussion of Constitutional Rights becomes less than academic-as it did for the handfull of U.S. persons who joined the SS and the Wehrmacht in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

    You don’t extradite such persons, you shoot them-as enemy combatants.

    In this case, non-uniformed enemy combatants.

    If he did NOT, then there IS a legal and ethical issue-but not one Statists are loathe to embrace and, in doing so, ignore-inevitably, creepy views justify state sanctioned murder, as in the case of Vicki Weaver or the non-survivors of Mt.Carmel in Waco Texas.

    One might consider the possibility that, if it were to come out that Awlaki had renounced his citizenship, many of the backers of this action would reverse themselves-Lefties tend to look with great favour upon the use of military force against American Citizens, while pewling for “Justice” and “rights” to be applied to foreigners who target American Citizens.

    Part of that worship of the Third World’s ‘progressive elements’, or maybe just an attitude based on opposing “Imperialism” whilst practicing it.

  • If I be allowed to put my two-cents worth, Contrarian didn’t do such a great job defending the military personnel under his command, not when it counted.

    It’s of course so much easier to play brave with other people’s lives and resources, when you own life in not on the line and you risk nothing.

    But then again, the Contrarian ought to know since he’s an expert on “mental cowardice.”

  • zingzing

    low, roger…

    And cindy, where did i defend this killing? you need to start reading words again. i said i’m ambivalent. i don’t quite know what to think. am i glad the guy’s no longer active? sure. do i like how that was accomplished? no. so stop with the fucking putting words in my mouth, okay? it reflects poorly upon you.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I guess Roger’s “disgruntled homo” comment has been deleted. Too bad. I found it very revealing.

  • What I find revealing, Jordan, you must be suffering from a hormonal imbalance since you got back from Seattle. Are you certain you haven’t caught anything?

  • @59 No lower than what you oftentimes resort to — as a matter of fact quite to the point since Glenn is so free dispensing with other people’s lives.

  • Oh, that famous “moral ambivalence” defense. I’m certain many of the convicted Nazis tried it too.

    Well, at least it beats the Twinkie defense.

  • Roger,

    You are needed on more important business. This is a board full of liberals who don’t really comprehend what is happening, but really want to.

    See, you don’t even have to go to New York.

  • And cindy, where did i defend this killing?

    where did I say you did? and do you realize you capitalized ‘And’?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    You don’t extradite such persons, you shoot them-as enemy combatants.

    You and I agree wholeheartedly. But some here don’t get that. Well said.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    If I be allowed to put my two-cents worth, Contrarian didn’t do such a great job defending the military personnel under his command, not when it counted. It’s of course so much easier to play brave with other people’s lives and resources, when you own life in not on the line and you risk nothing. But then again, the Contrarian ought to know since he’s an expert on “mental cowardice.”

    When it’s the other person’s career OR it’s your career – and the health care for your wife and sons – then the choice ain’t so clear-cut.

    There are some out there who would sacrifice the well-being of their own families to stand up against injustice…but I chose instead to protect my own family first. And – seeing as how since then my wife’s life has been saved twice (and mine once) by the health care I have as a military retiree, I don’t regret it one whit.

    There’s a time and place for idealism uber alles…but rare indeed is the time that idealism should trump the health of one’s family.

  • Cannonshop

    Roger, Glenn…

    stop getting personal.

    seriously. This isn’t a popularity contest, nor is it a game of dirty laundry between posters, nor are either of you fourteen year old girls in a middle-school hallway, so let’s try and keep this both civil, and on-topic, ‘kay?

  • I wish I were though …

  • Dillon Mawler

    Attention strict constitutionalists:
    A secret panel of the executive branch whose members, rules, and decisions are unknown to the country has apparently performed strictly judicial functions — assessing criminal guilt and issuing sentences for such — based on secret evidence we can’t see. This plan is clearly unconstitutional and hence illegal.

    This extrajudicial killing also clearly breaches the fifth amendment’s protections against loss of life without due process of law. An open-ended, vaguely worded AUMF hardly supercedes the BIll of Rights — right, strict Constitutionalists?

    The Fourth Amendment calls for warrants to be issued in the cases of government arrest. If this happened, it happened in secret, like all of the actual evidence against Awlaki.

    Note that the Bill of Rights, and indeed all of the Constitution except specs for voting or holding office, apply to everyone, not just American citizens.

  • Hey, Cindy, it’s great link you posted in #64. I’m going to try it, for I definitely would like to have my input.

    The tweets on the Global Revolution site are just too fast for my taste, can’t really handle them, and they’re more on the order of first-gut reaction, not enough time or space for expressing a developed thought.

  • Glenn, I’m not out to get (or even impeach) Obama. I’m really not. With my comments on this thread, I’m out to protest the influence the Military Industrial Complex has on directing foreign policy, budgets, and in the last two administrations, the judicial process.

    Look again at the article I posted about the CIA pushing for arenas for drone wars so it could use its fancy new equipment (and justify the attendant bureaucracy). You were angry at the influence of the Military Industrial Complex during the Bush administration, Glenn. That’s GOOD. All I’m asking is that you STAY angry, because they ain’t moved, even though they’re calling the shots to a Democrat’s administration now.

    As far as “clear and present dangers go”, the drone program has killed so many civilians, and created so much ill-will towards the US, that every drone dropped will MAKE many more terrorists than it kills. The blood of innocent civilians has a voice ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE louder than al-Awlaki’s.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    When I defend Obama, it’s because he either made the right decision…or he really had no other choice. All too often, it’s been the latter.

    I’ve been aware of the problem with the military-industrial complex for a long, long time, and the last president who showed enough courage to make real defense cuts was not a Democrat – it was George Bush Sr.

    After he made the defense cuts back in about 1990 or so, the Navy town I’m in went in two years from being named by some magazine as the most livable town in America to having its city center become a ghost town. But that was necessary, because Reagan’s dream of a 600-ship Navy was far too expensive to be practically achievable.

    Of course I was a Republican at the time and was eager to see that 600-ship Navy…but as the years went by and I became liberal, I understood what Bush Sr. did and why.

  • zingzing

    roger, as far as i know, i’ve never used personl detail someone has revaled in good faith to publicly humiliate them. that’s a step too far. i’ll sometimes make fun, but that’s where i draw a line.

    Cindy, you’ll have to refer me back to the sentence. ”and” is most often inclusive, but i’m not sure what you’re referring to.

  • zingzing

    oh. i’m on a bus. typing on my phone. thats why i caitalized it. phon did it. you said i defended this action somewhere upthread. the connection nd the mechanics of this phone make it hard to find…

  • Why would you? Why would anyone?

    Anyway, my personal finances are not any sore spot with me or object of humiliation. I made personal choices and I have nothing to apologize for.

  • zingzing

    comment 56, cindy.

  • zingzing

    roger, you did. to glenn. maybe i’m mistaken in your intentions, but i found it mocking something glenn has expressed doubt and maybe regret about.

  • Maurice

    Dave – great article and confirms my conviction that this is the ‘killingest’ president we’ve ever had.

  • Costello

    Am I seeing this right? Cindy thinks Hitler didn’t get a fair shake?! Congrats that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read on this site.

    Maurice, how many people died when Truman dropped the bombs to end WW2?

  • @ 78

    Well, maybe I stepped over the line now and then, but let him tell me!

  • @80

    Is that what Cindy said?

  • zingzing

    roger, your insulting is a threat to us all! and all i said is that it was low. maybe glenn has enough dignity to ignore it.

    maurice, don’t make up words and history.

  • Get rid of the “us” pronoun or it’s the end of conversation. And if you won’t, kiss off.

  • zingzing

    roger, it’s a reference to the title. sense of humor, please. no reason to get all uppity. and drop the “kiss off” thing. it’s not the 80s and you aren’t too young to be cursing.

    and realize that you’ve been co-opting various points of view to be in line with your own pretty heavily during this occupywallstreet thing…

  • Fail to get your hyperbole, zing, you’re gonna have to enlighten me. And know, I don’t want to use fuck words unless it’s absolutely necessary.

    I don’t think I’ve been co-opting anything. And if you’re referring to my take on OWS, that’s how I see it. If it isn’t like then, then it ought to be.

    I suggest you listen to today’s Amy Goodman show, in particular, her interview with the publisher of The Nation regarding the dangers of OWS being hijacked by the Establishment. That would be co-opting in derailing the movement into meaningless, piece-meal platform of reforms, whereas nothing short of complete overhaul is what the doctor ordered.

  • zingzing

    “Extrajudicial Execution is a Threat to the Rights of Every Citizen”: the title.

    “And if you’re referring to my take on OWS, that’s how I see it. If it isn’t like then, then it ought to be.”

    i am, and it’s not, and maybe so, but not now.

    “nothing short of complete overhaul is what the doctor ordered.”

    that’s your opinion, but it’s not the opinion of many in the ows thing. i have more optimisim than you, certainly. you’ve gotten to the point where everything appears simple, but it’s not… humans are capable of fixing complex problems, and creating them. beyond your simple solution lies just another set of complex problems, but i doubt you’ve got much to say about that side of the equation.

  • troll

    zing – the process of consensus based direct participatory decision making on which ows is founded and on which there is general agreement in the movement worldwide does entail a complete overhaul of the democratic process…such a changed process will impact society at many levels including its ‘economics’

    I assume that you’ve read the anti-corporatist declaration of the occupation that this process produced in nyc

  • zingzing

    the “manifesto” roger linked to a few days ago? yes… if you’re referring to something different, link to it.

    “the process of consensus based direct participatory decision making on which ows is founded and on which there is general agreement in the movement worldwide does entail a complete overhaul of the democratic process.”

    it would be somewhat different.

    “such a changed process will impact society at many levels including its ‘economics’.”

    but could it work on a societal level? and if so, how? and what problems would such “direct” participation run into on a scale of hundreds of millions rather than thousands? that which works on smaller scales often does not transcend the barriers inherent in larger scales (and vice versa). and even at this level, i wonder if there are any disgruntled people who feel their voice has not been heard… i’d be willing to bet there are.

  • troll

    take your questions to the ga in your area to work on answers

    picking nits w/you would prove less than useful and you’re close enough to the source in your own community…enroll in a few courses at liberty university perhaps

    occupy wallstreet/liberate albuquerque was rousted by the police in a midnight raid w/overwhelming force…through negotiations we have regained the space during the daytime and are maintaining a 24/7 sidewalk protest at the site buying time to grow…worked the graveyard shift last night and am beat

    honk for non-violent revolution

    the powers-that-be in many cities experiencing occupations are responding w/similar force

  • Exactly, buying time to grow. The only thing to do right now.

  • zingzing

    liberty university? you know what that is, don’t you?

    “take your questions to the ga in your area to work on answers”

    and here i thought you knew what you were talking about. you seem to have beliefs, so don’t you have the answers?

    tell me, troll, what would happen if similar democratic measures were instituted on a national level? what do you imagine would occur? that’s a serious question. i don’t mean to lead in any way. i just want to see your answer.

    i hope you weren’t surprised by the response (from the powers that be) that you received. i hope you were prepared to deal with them as they should be dealt with. the moral high ground is a place of great power and it’ll only take a moment to lose it.

  • And the moral high ground is being exercised and put to use daily.

  • The same kind of doubts you’re expressing about the present system as incapable of being uprooted were surely held by lots of people until the French or the Russian Revolution caught them with their pants down.

  • @90
    You’re a poor strategist, troll for discussing these matters in a user-unfriendly context. In so doing, you provide aid and comfort to the enemy for allowing them to couch the problems in their terms. It’s a fatal mistake.

    You must make them come to you, and my article is a place to start.

  • zingzing

    true, roger, but that was monarchy. although you could, if you wanted to, say that we’re living in a similar system, i think you’ll find this system has a little something more to it. we’re all completely wired into it now, whether we like it or not. where’s your money? under your bed? what’s it worth when there’s nowhere to spend it? oh, you don’t care? well, boogers. your landlord cares. so does your neighbor.

    and how did the french (years of totalitarianism and warmongering, followed by a return to the monarchy before peacefully evolving into some form of democracy,) and the russian (totalitarianism, famine, political purges, more totalitarianism and warmongering before peacefully evolving into some form of democracy,) revolutions really work out? are decades of totalitarianism and hardship what you want? you’ll be dead by the time you see any pluses, if that’s the history you’re referencing.

    a democratic revolution against a democratic society (no matter how much you think it isn’t one,) should take place in a democratic fashion. i want to see change as well. but let’s do it in a way that doesn’t completely fuck everyone’s life up. because a fucked up person will eat your goddamn brains.

  • zing, my position is that overthrowing monarchy was a more monumental type of change than one which would bring about an overthrowing any other kind of government.

    My first point of disagreement with you is — it’s no longer a democratic society and the very strength of the OWS, while it builds momentum, lies in undermining all pretensions to legitimacy on the part of our government.

    I argue to that effect in “The New York Autumn,” published yesterday.

  • zingzing

    look at this country in the late 1800s, roger. everyone working six 12 hour shifts a week only to be owned by the company store, women and minorities regularly and openly discriminated against with the full consent of the gov’t… in the middle of this past century, much of that changed.

    since that time, things have begun to swing the other way, although strides have been taken in other areas. we’re in a place that’s not quite fair to a vast majority of people, and we need to change that.

    but how did we change it before? did we dismantle and destroy the entire framework, or did we within and change ourselves for the better without destroying everything?

    democracy evolves. we’re at a tipping point, and that means that we may have a way towards a better life within a structure that has worked. it’s not quite working the way we want it to right now, so let’s right the ship instead of sinking it. there are so many things right and so many things wrong right now. fix what’s wrong, don’t destroy what’s right.

  • zingzing

    “zing, my position is that overthrowing monarchy was a more monumental type of change than one which would bring about an overthrowing any other kind of government.”

    why? i don’t think overthrowing a monarchy, which totally (and i mean totally) disenfranchised people from both the political and economic systems they used, is the same or harder than overthrowing a democratic society. you’d take jobs away not only from the politicians, but also from millions and millions of american workers. and the effect would spiral in myriad directions. the economic effects of a overthrowing a monarchy would be mostly targeted on a small level of society, while the economic effects of taking out capitalism would affect us all. i don’t see your reasoning. i don’t think you have any.

    “My first point of disagreement with you is — it’s no longer a democratic society and the very strength of the OWS, while it builds momentum, lies in undermining all pretensions to legitimacy on the part of our government.”

    well, it’s a representative democracy, not a democracy, there’s no pretension of anything but. i would say our representatives have obviously been slack in their full representation of us. and that needs to change. no corporate sponsorship. strict campaigning laws. end lobbying groups (sorry guys). term limits on congressmen.

    fix what’s wrong with gov’t. tell big business where they can shove it. make the bankers understand they’re here to serve us, and yes they can make money, but not at our expense–it’s our money. (btw-i’m moving my money out of bofa tomorrow. joining a credit union… that will pay any atm fees. no more six block walk for me, mr. bank.)

  • The overthrow of monarchy and of democratic capitalism really aren’t that different to my mind.

    Prior to the Renaissance (and even for a considerable time afterwards), the overwhelming majority of the world’s governments ran on the monarchic model. Kings had absolute power which was often said to be God-given. Although individual kings could be overthrown, the assumption that absolute monarchy itself was the natural and best form of government was rarely if ever questioned.

    Yet today there are a scant couple of dozen monarchies in the world and most of those are constitutional. The remaining absolute monarchs can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

    The same is true today of capitalism. Almost the entire human world is constructed around capitalist principles, including most of the bits that claim not to be. It’s been argued – not least here at BC – that capitalism is the truest and purest politico-economic system; the natural, supreme and final product of social evolution. So pervasive is it that it’s difficult to imagine a world running any other operating system.

    So I do think that the abolition of capitalism would be as monumental as the end of monarchism – but if it’s going to happen, it will do so just as gradually. After all, monarchy as the default system of government persisted into the 20th century.

    And even the non-capitalist future universe of Star Trek has some persistent capitalist elements: think Harry Mudd and the Ferengi, for example.

  • @ 99 & 100

    Apparently, we disagree.

  • #100

    Reference was made to a political, not the economic system. And yes, the shift to a non-capitalist based economy can only proceed in stages (excepting the possibility of violence associated with appropriating the capital and means of production — which is not the course I’d recommend). We don’t know, however, how the things will turn.

  • @100

    As a counterpoint to the Harry Mudd example, consider the lines by the character named “The English Bob” in Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.

    It’s only a side point, however, not crucial to my argument. Brought it up only because it think it rather intuitive.
    If you don’t think so, so be it.

  • zingzing

    unforgiven is a perfect movie.

    but, you say the “reference was made to a political, not the economic system.” yet, you say that “liberalism,” which is apparently the political wing of capitalism, if i recall your words correctly, and nothing more. how can you get rid of one, or move “in stages” on one, while totally getting rid of the other?

    i’m just poking at holes. don’t assume hostility.

  • Liberalism is an ideology on behalf of capitalism, not any wing (as though identifiable by a political party). I believe I made my position quite clear in “The Portrait …”

    A revolution, such as in 1917, would bring about an “instant” change in both the political and economic structure. A formation of a formidable third party — call it “The People’s Party” for short — would bring about a significant restructure of the political landscape with no small repercussions for the economic sphere (e.g., nationalization of certain industries). A wave of local, community-organizing type of activity would bring about a major restructure of economic and political institutions on the local level, and that would be gradual and piece-meal.

    There are three major possibilities, and of course they may come in all sorts of combinations to booth. I’m not a mind-reader. I have no idea how it will turn.

    And zing, I never presume hostility when we’re discussing matters of substance. That’s communication and dialogue. It’s only when we go into the penny-ante El Bicho’s mode of discourse, focusing on the personal, that I get pissed. There should no time for that.

  • honk for non-violent revolution

    Police to protest supporters: Honk if you’d like a ticket (Seattle)

    Lousy bastids…

  • Would you believe that I have never seen Unforgiven? Please forgive me…

    Yes, monarchism is a political system and capitalism an economic one (although in the latter case especially, politics and economics are intimately intertwined). The parallel deals more with the perceived unthinkableness of any alternative to a particular system.

  • Later, Cindy. I’m checking out. Been at the computer for too long.

    Support OWS and fuck the pigs (though they are part of the 99 percent).

  • I’ll look up the line and post it tomorrow.

  • zingzing

    doc, unforgiven is a great post-western, if you can forgive the term. a western about westerns, i suppose. but it’s also a movie where every scene both develops character and moves the plot perfectly. there’s very little that’s extraneous.

    roger: “A wave of local, community-organizing type of activity would bring about a major restructure of economic and political institutions on the local level, and that would be gradual and piece-meal.”

    i’m cool with that. gradual, the quicker the better, and one that separates the good from the bad, and keeps the good, would totally be in keeping with what i believe. but let’s not descend into chaos in the meanwhile. i’ve got a long way towards retirement and death, and i’ve got to think about things. yes, i want change, but no, i don’t want to lose everything i have for the future’s benefit.

  • Could I remind folks that democracy is a posh term for the tyranny of the majority and that the United States isn’t a democracy for that very reason; it is a representative republic.

    It was the author of this article that first made me aware of this important distinction as, based on the continuous pro-democracy propaganda and efforts to export the system to other countries, I had innocently assumed it was a democracy.

    I don’t know if there are other such modified political systems in the world but am rather concerned about the seeming rise of “mob rule” both in the USA and other places around the world…

  • troll

    zing – “and here i thought you knew what you were talking about. you seem to have beliefs, so don’t you have the answers?”

    this is too stupid for words not to mention snide – I thought that my comment made it clear that imo answers to your questions need to be developed w/in your community

    oh and thanks for sharing the lecture on moral high ground – I’ll be sure to pass on your concerns which no one has considered at the next ‘messaging working group’ meeting

    Rog #95 – the albq ga agreed to proceed w/ transparency…

    Cindy – things have been a bit rough in albq…when inclement weather failed to drive the group out the authorities turned to low intensity violence

    …privilege workshop hasn’t come off yet…we’re making it up as we go along and so far seem to be developing a functional ‘contact zone’ w/in a total consensus environment

    while we have been prevented from providing a safe place for the poorest of the poor to sleep at least we’re still able to feed all comers based on support from the community at large

    Chris – the movement is a whirlwind…it could turn ugly very quickly as lots of folks are extremely angry about things these days

    I suggest (and implore) you get your moderate voice heard w/in it

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    …democracy is a posh term for the tyranny of the majority and that the United States isn’t a democracy for that very reason; it is a representative republic.

    That’s the upside of having a representative republic. But there’s a downside as well…and our current political mess where the 1% has somehow become more important than the 99% is a great example.

    There’s a REASON why great inequality is bad for economies and leads to unrest. Our current economic inequality is worse than anytime we’ve seen since the Depression. But an even greater danger is the anger that such economic difficulty brings. It’s not that bad in America – not yet! Think back to the Weimar Republic…and how their crashed economy led to the rise of the far-right National Socialist Party (and no, the ‘socialist’ in the NSP had little to do with the reality of its fascist philosophy).

    Now look at today’s Republicans, who are MUCH further to the right than Dubya or Reagan or Nixon or even Goldwater! They’re nowhere nearly as bad as the Nazis were, of course…but then, except for their anti-Semitic rhetoric, neither were the Nazis in the beginning.

    Hermann Goering’s quote rings true today as it did then:

    “Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    Sound familiar? Can you say ‘Iraq’? And then there’s the almost-weekly claims by the GOP candidates how Obama is assaulting our freedoms, how America ‘cannot survive another four years of Obama’ (that was Chris Christie yesterday as part of his endorsement of Romney).

    Great economic inequality leads to fear and anger…and this gives golden opportunities for the fear-mongers to rise.

  • @112

    #95 was in no way advocating anything but transparency. Quite the contrary, it was in favor of stating the problem in the clearest possible way as to the overriding objectives lest there be any kind of misunderstanding.

  • troll

    regardless of venue even in ga the ‘enemy’ will “couch the problems in their terms.” in attempts to intimidate and keep the discussion w/in their comfort zone – baffle ’em with bullshit debate remains a standard response from many prior agenda folks – so there’s no point in avoiding them

    the ‘enemy’ are those w/ feet of clay

    the shit ain’t rocket science – the way we make decisions about production and distribution doesn’t work… so now what? let’s get together and talk to each other about solutions

    another fav sign that gets good honks:

    we can make it better

  • troll

    hold up a ‘honk if ur underpaid’ sign and you’re mr popular guaranteed

  • zingzing

    “this is too stupid for words not to mention snide – I thought that my comment made it clear that imo answers to your questions need to be developed w/in your community”

    don’t be an ass. what were you referring to with “ga” then? and no, you did not make it clear. what is my “community?” is it a small town? an apartment building? i asked what would happen on a national level and this is what you give me? what next, we elect representatives from our community to represent us in some sort of national convention? come on, troll.

    “oh and thanks for sharing the lecture on moral high ground”

    for fuck’s sake, troll. obviously you’ve got no problems with taking offense and responding in a callous manner. it wasn’t a lecture, it was a sincere wish for your well-being and the continued success of your cause, but damn if you can’t fuck that up. good job… can’t believe you sometimes.

  • @115

    I buy that, of course they will. I’m just tired of having to repeat myself time and again when faced with those who are unwilling to listen. It’s like talking to morons.

    The worst part of it, it’s not a logic failure, it’s a moral failure. And against that, I’m afraid, there are no remedies. You can’t discuss morality with, say, Nazis.

    Perhaps there’s something to be said for the biblical distinction between the wicked and the righteous. One wonders.

  • troll

    zing – thanks for your statement of sincere wishes etc…pardon my callous response

    sorry I was unclear – define your community as you want to and work with that group to answer your questions about what will happen as participatory decision making takes over

    I think you are foolish if you imagine that a few whitish guys with a liberal perspective are going to have a meaningful discussion about ‘the situation’ on this site – you’ve got the opportunity that has presented itself in this time to interact w/ a far more diverse group in person in real time because people who don’t normally relate to each other are doing so in Manhattan right now

    I can only report what I see developing as groups within the community in albq grow larger which seems to be some kind of lose affinity group system

  • zingzing

    well. apology accepted. i think what we’re seeing at these events is admirable, although i’d bet it’s a far from perfect system. and i don’t know how to translate it to larger groups, and i don’t think you do either. maybe i’m wrong.

    there is a loose affinity going on right now. they’ve got a common enemy, but i don’t know that they have a common goal. the enemy provides a focus, but once (if) that enemy is defeated (or tamed, i suppose), the loose affinity you see will probably become a lot more demanding that separate and mutually exclusive goals be met. it might not break down, but without a singular focus, it’s going to get a lot more testy.

  • troll

    zing – i don’t know how to translate it to larger groups, and i don’t think you do either

    that’s the point…the learning how is in the doing – we have to try not to prejudge the changes that are going on

    models will emerge

    it’s hard but energizing work even for an old fart like me

  • troll

    ammend 121 – models will emerge…or they won’t and disunity will fragment the movement

    there’s nothing sure-thing about all this

  • zingzing

    yes, troll, models will emerge. unfortunately, the only way this can effectively continue the way it is is for everyone to be knowledgeable about the issues… and that’s not going to happen.

    you could put every decision up for referendum, but that will completely bog down the political process. also, people will slowly (or quickly) lose interest, or their voice will be co-opted by whomever can control whatever system develops. in the end, the system will become unwieldy and the most likely development is that representatives will be elected to carry “the people’s” voice… sound familiar?

  • troll

    consensus has held together so far as the guiding principle…I see little reason to decide at this point what’s possible

  • zingzing

    that’s a little like getting in the car and driving off into the desert without knowing where you’ll next find water or gas, but i guess that’s ok for now. if actual progress is made, however, it may be time to start thinking about such things.

  • troll

    more like getting in you car and fleeing a city that’s been nuked without knowing what’s waiting out there

    again – don’t imagine that folks in each occupy aren’t considering this stuff zing

  • zingzing

    “more like getting in you car and fleeing a city that’s been nuked without knowing what’s waiting out there”

    zombies, obviously…

    “again – don’t imagine that folks in each occupy aren’t considering this stuff zing”

    i know… i just want to know if they’ve gotten anywhere with it. if they do, and i like what they have to say, that’ll change the game as far as i’m concerned. meaning as far as i’ll be willing to participate in something like that. i’m a cautious guy sometimes… gotta have a backup plan.

  • troll

    political discussion is constant – questions like what does it mean to represent are being hotly examined and I cannot speak for any group as few ideas have been agreed on

    I think you’d have a hell of a good time

  • zingzing

    heh, well, this is coming at a bad time for me… my pay has doubled in the last month… feeling pretty high on good ol’ capitalism right now. much better than i was last month at any rate.

  • Igor

    Extrajudicial Execution: Isn´t that what the Iranians just tried to pull on the Saudi Ambassador in DC?

  • @130

    There’s a delicious irony, though, exhibiting our double standard. We’re up in arms over attempted assassination of a political figure — the only proper target of assassinations — while we routinely set drones to execute our own citizens (who aren’t protected by any diplomatic immunity but only by our Constitution).

  • One only wonders — is the administration and our DOJ so arrogant in presumption that the American people are incapable of connecting the dots?

    Most likely, they’re correct in their presumption.

  • “my pay has doubled in the last month… feeling pretty high on good ol’ capitalism right now.”

    Selling your soul to the company store, Zing?

    Just kidding!

  • Regarding possible outcomes, why not re-invoke the old Roman proverb, Vox populi, vox dei?

    It’s also a counterpoint to Chris’s earlier articulated fears concerning “mob rule.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Not too many people remember the ‘sixteen tons’ song – you’re showing your age.

    But again, Awlaki had publicly chosen to fight for the enemy and assisted in planning operations that took many American lives. It was NOT a matter of law, but of war. He publicly chose to be on the enemy’s side, and as such he was treated as any other enemy combatant. It IS that simple.

    And I still have yet to see anyone present a reasonable and workable alternative that Obama had other than killing the guy. So eager people are to condemn one’s choices…and they never seem to sense the hypocrisy when they’re not able to present any other choices available to the one they condemned.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    Congratulations! One piece of advice – plan for your retirement…because it’s very nice. I am officially retired as of eleven days ago (not even in the Fleet Reserve anymore), even though I’m still earning a living wiping butts. But retirement is nice.

    One suggestion – at least what I’m trying to get into my sons’ brains – is to take a long, hard look at other nations like Australia or Canada. Both are fairly easy to emigrate to, and quality health care is available to all, even if one isn’t a citizen.

    Just a thought….

  • I’ll bypass your the bulk of your comment. As to the song, I thought Tennessee Ernie Ford was immortal, just as I am immortal. So it’s not my age I’m showing but my infinite wisdom.

    It is frustrating, though, having to impart little tidbits of knowledge to mere pups who are all so impressed with their ignorance.

    When will they ever learn?

  • zingzing

    roger: “Selling your soul to the company store, Zing?”

    hell, no. doing what i enjoy, reading and writing about music. finally found some sucker who’s willing to pay me ridiculous amounts of cash to do it. it’s ridiculous.

    and glenn, tennessee ernie ford was on i love lucy, so therefore, everyone knows him. as for your idea of moving out of the country. nah. nyc until it kills me.

  • zingzing

    it’s double ridiculous! hahahaha! i’m going to become a straight-up alcoholic.

  • Dillon Mawler

    None of those condemning Awlaki know what they are talking about, since no evidence against him of actual crimes has been publicly produced; it is secret. A secret panel of the executive branch decided he should be killed, in secret. That’s the point.
    It is troubling that so many still blindly believe what the government tells them about these wars. Amazing, in fact.

  • So since you haven’t seen the evidence either, you don’t know what you are talking about either, right?

  • Kind of chummy, LB, don’t you think?

    So what’s the next step? I’m dying to ask.

    I’d be censored if I suggested the obvious, but just out of curiosity, is that how you form your affinities?

    The inquiring minds want to know.

  • Dillon Mawler

    El Bicho:
    Actually, since I’m talking about my opposition to unconstitutional secret state murders, I do know exactly what I’m talking about.

    But thanks for the chuckle at perhaps the stupidest response I’ve read recently.

  • zingzing

    is this one secret?

  • Sorry, Rog, but I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Dillon, your comment would provide a chuckle for its stupidity if it weren’t for how troubling your ignorance is in both thinking your opposition matters to the powers that be and how the would actually works.

  • I take it back. I was in the fighting mode.

  • Dillon, I don’t think LB disagrees with the thrust of your argument, only with certain circularity which, as a result of your hapless phrasing, attends it.

  • Dillon Mawler

    Sad that demanding adherence to the Constitution is deemed ignorance. Sad also that the level of discourse here is so frustratingly low. Authoritarian arguments and fallacious bullshit reigns, I guess.
    So wise, Bicho, to put me in my place as a loser opposing an omnipotent government who doesn’t care about my opinions. I wonder why anyone bothers to comment about politics on a website.

    Of course there’s nothing circular about my argument, that the state may not deprive anyone of their life without due process of law. The response that I “don’t know what I’m talking about either” is just incredibly stupid and illogical. Pretending to not understand this or that it wasn’t expressed clearly is intellectually dishonest and crazily boring.

  • I understand your argument, Dillon, and so does LB. And I certainly don’t disagree with you (and I’m certain neither does LB).

    The circularity? You kind of set yourself up by using the term “secret.” LB’s response, as I understand it, had more to do with play on words than anything else.

    Personally, I find it abhorrent that we engage in such acts and justify them to boot. The uproar on the part of this administration and our DOJ in the case an an alleged attempt at assassination on a Saudi diplomat is full of ironies, all speaking to our “holier than thou” attitude.

    I’m with you on this one.

  • It is ignorant. You can demand all you like, Dillon, but unless you are one of the five SC judges that makes the determination, your opinion of what’s constitutional is absolutely worthless, as is mine, which is why the document is a joke and not some holy relic to be worshiped.

    And yes I do disagree with the thrust of his argument, Roger. Unfortunately, the choice seems to be to trust our government or trust terrorists and people running with them. I totally understand why everyone is fired about about the way the govt handle this, but after 9/11, Al Queda is going to lose that contest with me every time as long as they behave the way they do, unless I see some evidenced they have changed their ways.

  • Dillon Mawler

    El Bicho:
    Do you really prefer ad hoc secret decisions like this to following the law, which is completey clear? I realize that you are not on the Supreme Court, but I don’t consider your opinion worthless despite that fact.

  • So LB, do you entirely disagree with Ron Paul’s points in the recent debate that if we were to pull our troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, the anti-American sentiments in parts of the Middle East might wane? Don’t you think there is some connection?

  • Prefer, absolutely not, but then Al Queda are other terrorists aren’t fighting by The Marquess of Queensberry rules. Unless you can show me differently, I am accepting the fact the people in charge of protecting this country and its citizens are doing what they have to. And obviously someone found a loophole.

    Roger, while I am all for pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan, I have no idea what popular opinion of the U.S. in the Middle East is. If our presence is an issue with a person, obviously our leaving will hopefully change their mind. But surely the women in Afghanistan who don’t have to suffer under the Taliban’s mistreatment aren’t all anti-American now.

  • Dillon Mawler

    Now we find out that the US government has killed Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, also an American citizen, in Yemen.

    Evidence that the boy committed crimes punishable by death is, of course, secret, and the decision to kill him, along with his cousin and friends, was made by the Executive Branch, who won’t tell us who decided and on what basis.

    These are the actions of a lawless, authoritarian government. Shit is illegal.