A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Thursday, February 07, 2013

There Is No Justification

The picture above is hard to look at, and I debated before posting it. But I think Americans need to understand what their government is doing. We are using drones to attack civilian areas and countries we are not at war with -- and too many times the victims of those attacks are children and other innocent civilians. I understand that the supposed justification for these attacks is to kill terrorists, but I still believe attacking civilian areas with drones is nothing short of murder.

The latest outrage on the internet is the fact that the Obama administration has found some dubious lawyers to write them a legal justification for the drone attacks (a justification that they have refused to make public or even show the elected members of Congress). Frankly that doesn't pass the smell test. It has the same stench that was evident when the Bush administration found its own dubious lawyers to justify their use of torture.

I'm not surprised that both the Obama and Bush administrations were able to find some ethically-challenged lawyers to justify their criminal behavior, but that doesn't make it right. I'll bet if you were rich or powerful enough, you could find some lawyers that would justify the eating of human  babies (because of the need for nutrition and population control). All the odious legal justifications for torture and murder prove is that Bush and Obama found some attorneys that should be disbarred on ethical grounds.

There is no moral or legal justification for torture or for drone attacks in civilian areas (and in countries we are not at war with) -- regardless of what any sycophant with a law degree says. We were established to be a nation of laws, governed by the Constitution. Our forefathers fought and died to establish that.

If the government has evidence that someone has broken the law by conspiring to kill American citizens, then they should be apprehended and brought to justice (with a fair trial and the rights guaranteed them by the Constitution). But killing someone by a drone attack just because a "high government official" suspects them of criminal behavior (even without the killing of innocent civilians) is nothing less than a trashing of the Constitution and the rule of law -- and it really doesn't matter whether those individuals are Americans or citizens of another country.

I am a supporter of President Obama, and I believe he is trying to accomplish a lot of good things for this country. But I cannot support his continuing of the useless Afghan War, or his use of drones to attack civilian areas or countries we are not at war with. It is just wrong, and using the fear of terrorism to justify it does not even begin to make it right. We are becoming the evil that we claim to be fighting against.

3 comments:

  1. This will be the single biggest blight on Obama's presidency right behind his failure to criminally prosecute those responsible for the financial disaster that led to the great recession.

    History will only be kind to him in this regard if the books that print this history are funded by the wealthy corporations and financial institutions that benefitted from his inaction.

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  2. These drone attacks are very troubling, troubling being an understatement. They are wrong, no matter how one wants to look at it. For as many "terrorists" as they have killed, they have created twice that number in the families of the victims of these strikes. And even if one wants to overlook that, they are morally reprehensible.

    I also am a supporter of Obama, but this policy casts a pall on his presidency.

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  3. I tried voting as many war happy republicans out of office. But the democratic president has shown himself to be a republican in democratic clothes.
    So what else can be done by a powerless person.? Next time I hope there is a real liberal democrat running. Oh wait! there is no such thing as a liberal in American politics. There are only crazy republicans and not so crazy Republicans.
    Well next time I will go with the GREENs.

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