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Saturday, October 01, 2011


Bill Fleming


I can't help but draw parallels between this incident and others like it in recent years, and the strikes from the air on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All in their own way are responses to corresponding enemy air strikes (9/11 and Pearl Harbor respectively). What gives one pause is the contrast between the mass terror of the latter (9/11 and Pearl Harbor) and the extreme personal dread hopefully inspired by the former (drone strikes.)

It strikes me as a singularly appropriate (if somewhat paradoxical) way to make a statement against terrorism. I can imagine a time in the not so distant future where the drones become some sort of shock ray set on stun, or better yet, an instant attitude adjustment. One "bzzt" from above, and the guy suddenly becomes a peace loving hippy.

Of course, I realize after writing tat last sentence, that there are those who would rather just be shot.


I approve (action and analysis).


Perhaps it is a lack of creativity on my part, but I have difficulty imagining a "protocol" to deal with situations like this that would be any more effective than the War Powers Act.


Your analogy between the urgent need to take out the Texas tower sniper and the urgent need to strike at any Enemy of the State like Al-Awlaki is flawed... the major difference between the situations is that in the case of the tower sniper, everyone can clearly see his crime being committed, as it is being done out in the open. So it's ok for police (or even citizens) to shoot back at the source of the shots, because everyone can clearly agree where the shots are coming from (and where the guilt lies). Afterward, they can do ballistics tests and verify the shots came from his rifle, etc etc.

But with international terrorists, their work is hidden, and they are a danger to people everywhere. So IF evidence of guilt has been gathered against them, THEN it needs to be put before the global public, so that we can all agree to put a hit out on the guy. Then all nations can send in our heroic black ops assassins or put a bounty on his head and let mercenaries do it, whatever. Let him and everyone know he's 'Wanted Dead of Alive'. That's what you should do when some terrorist is working against you in stealth. Make all the evidence of his guilt public. Then all kinds of groups will start hunting him for you.

Instead, what does our CIA do? Announce a man's guilt... after his death. And then *withhold* all the evidence against him from the public, declaring it would endanger national security if it were revealed. If this is how it works, then how can we ever know whether someone the CIA assassinates is actually guilty or innocent? What, we should just trust the CIA?

I miss the old days, when the FBI would actually indict (i.e, bring formal charges against) people like bin Laden. Because that meant the feds were willing to show the evidence against him to a judge somewhere. But now the CIA owns terrorism, and the FBI is its slave. And the CIA just shoots first, and lies later.

Remember, Lady Justice is blind so that she is forced to *listen* to arguments from both sides. If she is made deaf as well, then she becomes totally useless.

Ken Blanchard

A.I., I am not sure how the WPA helps here, but in any case it is dead. Obama killed it by contempt in his Libyan war, ah, excuse me, kinetic military action.

Ken Blanchard

ss: you are right that my analogy was not perfectly analogous. It was only meant to illustrate the fact that American citizen is no protection in certain circumstances. Guilt and innocence are appropriate questions in judicial matters. They are not relevant in war. We didn't kill al-Awlaki because he was guilty of something. We killed him because we judged him to be a dangerous enemy.

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