Judge ‘Troubled’ by DOJ Position in Drone Strike Case
The government argued the court should dismiss a lawsuit brought by the families of American citizens killed in Yemen in 2011 by targeted missile strikes. Justice Department lawyers argued the court was barred from hearing a case that would require an assessment of sensitive military and political issues far outside its purview and ability to review.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer repeatedly expressed concern that the government’s position would essentially strip U.S. citizens abroad of their constitutional rights. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Hauck argued there was a difference between having a constitutional right—which he said could be protected by the executive and legislative branches—and being able to make constitutional claims in court.
I am appalled.
The government’s argument here is basically “you have whatever constitutional rights we decide you get to keep.” Given the administration’s history of dodgy answers to the “would you strike at US citizens on US soil” question, that statement can’t even be qualified with “when overseas.”
Lets be clear here: all the evidence points to Anwar Al-Aulaqi being a very bad man, and for all I know the two kids with him were to. But all I know is what the administration has agreed to talk about *after* they blew them all up.
The US “War on Terror” has become an exercise in terror, killing people we don’t like without warning, without due process, without an imminent threat.
We have to be better than our enemies. Otherwise, what’s the fucking point?
I love my country
By which I mean
I am indebted joyfully
To all the people throughout its history
Who have fought the government to make right
Where so many cunning sons and daughters
Our foremothers and forefathers
Came singing through slaughter
Came through hell and high water
So that we could stand here
And behold breathlessly the sight
How a raging river of tears
Cut a grand canyon of light
–Ani Difranco, Grand Canyon
This video is just over an hour long, but well worth every second. He makes it understandable and funny enough that you don’t cry.
“Democracy is asset insurance for the Rich–don’t skimp on the payments! That’s what was going on in the 20s and that’s what’s going on today. Redistribution and debt is reinsurance for Democracy and austerity is anorexia for the economy. That was what was learned by 1940. Oh how we forget.”
Today is Barack Obama’s second inauguration day. Four years ago, I sat in a McDonald’s watching it online and wrote this. Today, I’m in a bagel shop (or at least I was when I started this), but I’m not watching. I’m not celebrating. And I’m not hopeful.
Those of you who know me may have noticed that I was pretty quiet during the election, not just on the blog, but everywhere. The simple fact is, that while he was orders of magnitude better than Mitt Romney, I simply couldn’t bring myself to support Obama. So I didn’t go out and knock on doors. I didn’t pass on much in the way of political information.
I didn’t even vote.
Here’s the bald simple truth: Obama’s political career should have ended in disgrace today. He shouldn’t have even been the Democratic nominee. His and his administration’s failures in policy and action are too numerous to give but a partial list of here, and range from disappointing and astonishing to comical. But ultimately, my decision was made by his failure to close the Guantanamo detention camp, and his failure to conclusively put and end to the United States’ use of torture, and to prosecute those individuals who committed it and those who ordered it.