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Current Events . . . User Group
Thoughts?
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This is a place where we can discuss current events - what happens around the world and is reported in the news. Healthy debates and discussions regarding issues we feel strongly about will be allowed; however, personal attacks will not be tolerated, nor will threads and/or comments that are argumentative, combative, or offensive. You *must* post a link to your source, or indicate if you heard it on TV, read a magazine/newspaper article, and indicate what radio/TV station, magazine/newspaper or your thread will be deleted. Remember, this is "Current Events", not "Current Arguments".

Founded by HelpinUtah on October 14, 2009
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Thoughts?

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Bush administration’s most secretive and controversial polices.

Does anyone think this is wrong?
15 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't know how to sound even reasonably intelligent while trying to explain my opinion but will give it a go.

"Do you think its wrong?"  Flat out with no explanation, yes perhaps because we normally go about things like this in a court to prove or disprove "reasonable doubt".  On the other side... there are millions of things that none of us know (for numerous reasons) in regards to how the government operates.  

I guess I understand both sides of the equation, but I'd really like to believe things like this are done or considered with the idea of the safety of Americans in mind.
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't think the military in a war zone works the same way as civilians do in terms of due process and a court of law.
I am not sure if that is legal or not but it seems to me that they operate differently.
I would like to believe that there was compelling evidence that those two American officers killed by our Government were indeed traitors, but who knows what really goes with the military?
It makes me uneasy.
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179856_tn?1333550962
We'll never know what REALLY happens with most things.  

This week I'm noticing the vebiage on the asteroid that is coming close by. It doesn't say HOW close it just says 'closer than 17,200 miles inside geosynchronous orbit of satellites' now I dont think it's going to hit us - but if it were...would they tell us?

If UFOs and little green men are really walking around Earth...would they tell us?

Nah, hell no.  And it's probably better that way.  If we knew what the President knows most likely we'd all sit in a corner of the looney bin one day.  At least, that is why I think they age so quickly.
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1310633_tn?1289313024
I'd rather bad people, doing & planning bad things, be killed BEFORE they have an opportunity to put their plans into action, and make them reality.

American citizens or not... if you're a "bad guy", to hell with you.

But that begs the question: Who is defining what constitutes a "bad guy"?

I'll leave it at that.
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649848_tn?1357751184
You still gotta have a link.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/05/us-usa-drones-idUSBRE9140X120130205
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Avatar_f_tn
n the unclassified Justice Department paper posted by NBC on its website, the authors laid out three conditions that the executive branch should meet before a drone strike is ordered.

A top U.S. official must determine that the targeted person "poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States," cannot be captured, and that the strike "would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles," the department said.


If these three conditions are met, and there is an imminent threat against us, and they cannot be captured, in other words if it meets the criteria listed, then yep, get em! I would rather see that than the results of what happens to the US  if they dont get them. Different times we live in for sure.
I may not like it but I think I would like the results of not taking them out even less.
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Avatar_f_tn

But that begs the question: Who is defining what constitutes a "bad guy"?

Yes!!

If we knew what the President knows most likely we'd all sit in a corner of the looney bin one day.
LOL!


A top U.S. official must determine that the targeted person "poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States," cannot be captured, and that the strike "would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles," the department said.

Sounds good, but I wonder how much leeway there really is when out in the desert with the troops.
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580755_tn?1357673215
Sorry Barb, thought it posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
While I realize that we're living in a different world than the one envisioned by our Founding Fathers and that the rules of war must evolve to deal with the current threats I nevertheless find this troubling.

1) Who is a "top official"? I have read that it is the President and that is less objectionable than just any "top official". But, it's not made clear just what "a top official" means.

2) What is "imminent"? Is it today, tomorrow, next week, next month or this year? It sounds good but I have no idea what the standard is for determining whether the threat is "imminent". And exactly who determines whether the threat is imminent?

3) What does "cannot be captured" mean? Does is mean that capture is impossible, extremely difficult and dangerous or merely inconvenient? And again, who determines that the citizen cannot be captured?

4) Is there a system for review or are there guidelines for review? This is very troubling for me. Is anyone held accountable for the death of an American citizen? I sure would like to believe that this ultimate sanction would be reviewable but often in areas like this one there is no automatic review and no opportunity for review.

In the famous words of Lord Action:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Mike
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Avatar_f_tn

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Too true.

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148588_tn?1415247401
"4) Is there a system for review or are there guidelines for review?"

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/05/16855539-judge-jury-and-executioner-legal-experts-fear-implications-of-white-house-drone-memo?lite

".........there’s no one outside of the White House who has real oversight over that process. What’s put forward here is there’s no role for the courts, not even after the fact.”
.
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Avatar_m_tn
It never matters who is the President or what party he comes from or how conservative or liberal he appears to be. Once in office he will invariably attempt to expand Presidential power. They all increase as much as possible their executive power - always!

And it's always scary.
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Avatar_f_tn
But John O. McGinnis, a professor of constitutional law at Northwestern University who worked for the White House’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations, said he was persuaded by the arguments in the memo, which he described as “very cautious.”
“If this is someone who has taken up affiliation with an organization attacking the United States, I don’t think it matters whether they’re a citizen — they seem to me an enemy combatant whom the president can respond to,” he said. “I think this is not a hard case.”

Okay, I have serious reservations too but for the purpose of understanding the real threat from this memo, I will defend it.
It really does not matter if the person is an American or a foreigner if s/he is part of a conspiracy to kill other Americans.( I think they are called traitors.) I would assume that before such a killing would take place, there would be compelling evidence against said conspirator.
If people are in imminent danger from attack, the military is obligated to stop it.

I immediately think of all the atrocities we have committed against "enemies" who were actually innocent or guilty by association. It happens in every war. In fact in war it is unclear who is the bad guy. I think we lose our humanity in those situations and it is important to have strict guidelines to keep us in line, so this memo is actually very dangerous in that it gives permission to kill without any sort of accountability.
Wait, I am defending it... Is there not an occasion when there is no time to deal with the courts while in battle, where in order to take down an enemy attack which may include our own people, we must sometimes kill. Kill or be killed?
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1530342_tn?1405020090
IMO, Drone Idea is a good one (as long as civilians are not killed)..I have heard that we have killed civilians. So that part DEF concerns me a great deal...I am VERY disappointed in the Obama administration and their handling of this situation. I am NOT happy with the administration and the lack of transparency on this issue..
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Avatar_f_tn
The thing is I suspect this contents of this memo has been unofficial policy for decades.
By putting it out there Obama is basically averting possible lawsuits after the fact. I am sure there are other motivations as well.

But really folks does anyone really believe that our Government has *not* killed its own people when they were a perceived threat? Does anyone believe that we do not kill civilians in war?
By making it "official" there is no legal recourse but there is also no reason for a coverup, since there won't be any real investigations or consequences.

Yes, it is scary and a damn shame, I do agree but to me it is nothing new and I doubt we will be any more ruthless out in the open than we are under cover.
How is that for cynicism?
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