Thursday, February 07, 2013
There Is No Justification
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.