The President of the United States' "Kill List"

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PeterCai
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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby PeterCai » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:47 am UTC

This is waay off topic, but the ALL ENEMIES thing was originated like this:
There is an argument that the current way is the best possible, as there is no better alternative;
You argued that capturing the guy is an alternative, and brought up GITMO as an example of this;
I thought your argument was that, since we have GITMO, and since we have captured terrorists in the past, we should be able to do so in this case;
I then argued that not all enemies can be captured, that we have done so in the past is not indication that it can be done here. Which is perfectly reasonable and logical;
You seem to think that I thought you want all enemies to be captured, which is where the misunderstanding arose.

Back on topic:
Telchar wrote:We have declared an equally bizarre and nebulous "War on Drugs". Should the police be allowed to just shoot dealers on sight if a dealer is armed? Again you are trying to justify killing someone because capturing them is too hard. Okay, but then you have to be consistent about it.

Why yes, if he doesn't surrender, it's perfectly reasonable to shoot him right there. In fact, I do believe that's the standard practice.
Telchar wrote:It's almost like we aren't fighting a traditional war here. I think there's a name for it.... Orangutan warfare? No.....Ape Warfare? Not it....if only there was a word for this particular brand of nontraditional warfare that emphasizes exactly what I'm talking about...

Why do you choose to draw the line at gorilla warfare? Is there a justification for this?

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby jakovasaur » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:56 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:gorilla warfare?

Image

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby PeterCai » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:13 am UTC

jakovasaur wrote:
PeterCai wrote:gorilla warfare?

Image

damn it

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:30 am UTC

Picture doesn't make any sense, even by star wars logic. The blue chap can just flip his wrist a bit to cut off the arm and head of the red dude.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby iamspen » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:35 pm UTC

I haven't yet seen this brought up, but I think most peoples' issue with al-Awlaki being killed isn't simply that he's an American citizen, it's that labeling an American citizen as a combatant and summarily executing him abroad is only a stone's throw from doing the same on American soil. That's why the most recent incarnation of the NDAA is terrifying to some of us, because it gives the President the authority to do just that.

Plus there's the broader debate about where to draw the line between enemy combatant and criminal thug.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:35 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Whether he is an American or not doesn't really matter. If he's hiding in such a way to make capture difficult, and if they didn't think they could capture a dangerous guy like that, I'm fine.

So, you believe that the United States has a responsibility to capture suspects and give them a fair trial... unless capture is hard, in which case murder them? Is that how the justice system is supposed to work?

I have no qualms about using the term murder, either. These are civilians suspected of heinous criminal acts, far from any sort of battlefield, in one case having dinner with their in-laws.
Zamfir wrote:Picture doesn't make any sense, even by star wars logic. The blue chap can just flip his wrist a bit to cut off the arm and head of the red dude.
Blue saber gorilla isn't trying to kill evil red gorilla, he's trying to redeem him.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:50 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Whether he is an American or not doesn't really matter. If he's hiding in such a way to make capture difficult, and if they didn't think they could capture a dangerous guy like that, I'm fine.

So, you believe that the United States has a responsibility to capture suspects and give them a fair trial... unless capture is hard, in which case murder them? Is that how the justice system is supposed to work?

I have no qualms about using the term murder, either. These are civilians suspected of heinous criminal acts, far from any sort of battlefield, in one case having dinner with their in-laws.


Sliding scale.

When we have good reason to believe that the "suspect" in question launched at least two bomb plots and was in an operational position to launch more. I do believe we should shoot his car with a missile the soonest chance we got.

Frankly, I'm more concerned about the other American who was in the car, who happened to be with Al Awlaki at the wrong time.
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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:02 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Sliding scale.

When we have good reason to believe that the "suspect" in question launched at least two bomb plots and was in an operational position to launch more. I do believe we should shoot his car with a missile the soonest chance we got.
So if the accusations made against you are serious enough, and the evidence is strong enough, we can skip the indictment, arrest, grand jury, trial, and sentencing and go straight for the kill? I don't think there's any individual crime that's more important than the preservation of the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.
KnightExemplar wrote:Frankly, I'm more concerned about the other American who was in the car, who happened to be with Al Awlaki at the wrong time.
Why? Because you personally don't know how many bomb plots he was involved in? If the President issued a statement claiming that he had been involved in 6 or 7, would that make it ok? If you won't take Obama at his word, would a YouTube confession meet your standard of evidence?

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Telchar » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:13 pm UTC

See, what people are skipping over with this "IT"S HARD!!!" bullshit is that we have a way to try people like this. It's called In Absentia.

Things In Absentia is:a great compromise in a case with weighty political and logistical issues vs moral and legal issues.

Things In Absentia isn't :a perfect solution;the president secretly deciding to execute American citizens based on secret evidence;a water buffalo.

PeterCai wrote:Why yes, if he doesn't surrender, it's perfectly reasonable to shoot him right there. In fact, I do believe that's the standard practice.


Well you're wrong. We don't just shoot drug dealers even if they are carrying a weapon.

Why do you choose to draw the line at gorilla warfare? Is there a justification for this?


You keep talking about how in "traditional warfare x, y, and z" but fail to mention how a "War on Terror" is not even a war, let alone traditional. You keep telling me about how killing enemy combatants is okay but then can't tell me how to differentiate enemy combatants from non combatants. Or where we can kill them and what kind of collateral damage is acceptable, or how we choose targets, or really anything relating to this particular case in this particular "war". So your generalizations about the Civil War seem completely inadequate to make sweeping proclamations about US policy in 2012 instead of 1860.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:17 pm UTC

Also, "enemy combatant" is a made up word. It means nothing.

Civilian. Criminal. Terrorist. These are all real words with actual meanings that you can use.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby PeterCai » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:even if they are carrying a weapon.
Refusing to surrender is the key point.
You keep talking about how in "traditional warfare x, y, and z" but fail to mention how a "War on Terror" is not even a war, let alone traditional. You keep telling me about how killing enemy combatants is okay but then can't tell me how to differentiate enemy combatants from non combatants. Or where we can kill them and what kind of collateral damage is acceptable, or how we choose targets, or really anything relating to this particular case in this particular "war". So your generalizations about the Civil War seem completely inadequate to make sweeping proclamations about US policy in 2012 instead of 1860.

Why is war on terror not a war? A war was declared, an enemy was identified, and troops were deployed, what makes it not a war?
The subsequent question is really not that important if we established the war on terror as an actual war. We had never been able to answer those questions with great clarity, in past wars and wars to come. The civil war was just an example.
In wartime, you really just have to rely on the judgment of your leaders, who are usually qualified and well informed to make these decisions. That's why we have them in the first place.
Yeah, it sounds really shitty and it is, but war is hell.
In Absentia.

That would be a formality anyway. Plus, it can be the case that an enemy combatant didn't commit any crime(for example, a new recruit joined the enemy military, but was never deployed), but killing him is still justified, since he is an enemy.

Heisenberg wrote:Also, "enemy combatant" is a made up word. It means nothing.

It means a guy working for the enemy, there.
P.S: It's pretty funny to me that the 3 examples you listed are pretty vague themselves

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Telchar » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:12 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:
Telchar wrote:even if they are carrying a weapon.
Refusing to surrender is the key point.


Which is still wrong. So your key point is irrelevant. The only time an officer shoots a drug dealer is if he credibly threatens another person directly with a weapon. And even then there are several other steps taken to avoid shootings. Cops don't shoot first. The President does.

Why is war on terror not a war? A war was declared, an enemy was identified, and troops were deployed, what makes it not a war?


Really? Congress authorized a war on an emotion? Why did nobody tell me?
The subsequent question is really not that important if we established the war on terror as an actual war. We had never been able to answer those questions with great clarity, in past wars and wars to come. The civil war was just an example.
In wartime, you really just have to rely on the judgment of your leaders, who are usually qualified and well informed to make these decisions. That's why we have them in the first place.


Right, the fact that you're totally comfortable with the POTUS being able to secretly brand anyone as a terrorist and execute them without review is very evident. What continues to amaze me is the fact that you can't understand why other people would be concerned with that. Beyond that, your idea isn't even internally consistent. There are many other instances of American terrorists that we don't kill and in fact capture, detain, and try. So clearly, the reason we killed him wasn't "because we're at war" otherwise we would've just killed KSM, the Fort Hood guy, and others.

The real reason we killed this guy and not those others is because it would've been risky and dangerous to try and capture him. And apparently, if it's risky and dangerous to capture Americans, executing them is fine as long as the President says they are a bad guy.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby PeterCai » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:20 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:Which is still wrong. So your key point is irrelevant. The only time an officer shoots a drug dealer is if he credibly threatens another person directly with a weapon. And even then there are several other steps taken to avoid shootings. Cops don't shoot first. The President does.

Try telling that to any US judge, see if they care. I did say standard practice. Also, Al shot first.
Really? Congress authorized a war on an emotion? Why did nobody tell me.

The terror part really just mean terrorism.
Beyond that, your idea isn't even internally consistent. There are many other instances of American terrorists that we don't kill and in fact capture, detain, and try. So clearly, the reason we killed him wasn't "because we're at war" otherwise we would've just killed KSM, the Fort Hood guy, and others.

See my posts earlier.
The real reason we killed this guy and not those others is because it would've been risky and dangerous to try and capture him. And apparently, if it's risky and dangerous to capture Americans, executing them is fine as long as the President says they are a bad guy.

See above. TLDR: yeah, that's what I had been saying. And my point is that I am fine with it if it's during a war.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Telchar » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:Which is still wrong. So your key point is irrelevant. The only time an officer shoots a drug dealer is if he credibly threatens another person directly with a weapon. And even then there are several other steps taken to avoid shootings. Cops don't shoot first. The President does.

Try telling that to any US judge, see if they care. I did say standard practice. Also, Al shot first.[/quote]

What does this even mean?

The terror part really just mean terrorism.


And again, can you point me to the congressional act that authorizes a war on terrorism? Cause I bet you can't.

See above. TLDR: yeah, that's what I had been saying. And my point is that I am fine with it if it's during a war.


Right, but we're not. So are you still fine with it?
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Jave D » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:
Jave D wrote:What American citizens? How has one suddenly become plural? To my knowledge there's just al-Awlaki. And calling it an "execution" seems like a pretty awful attempt to ignore the realities of a war against terrorists to demonize Obama as some sort of black-hooded butcher. Which is really the point of this particular angle of criticism, seems to me. You can say this isn't about using deaths to score political points but when you use phrases like "death panels" it's rather hard to swallow.


I didn't realize that the you can totally execute one American citizen without trial and it's still totes cool. I'll have to remember that.


You know, if ordering a military strike on a target is an "execution" now, how do you feel about the "Execution" of Osama bin Laden? He didn't receive a trial. You must be totes cool with that because hey, he wasn't an American and that's what counts?

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby iamspen » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:27 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:See above. TLDR: yeah, that's what I had been saying. And my point is that I am fine with it if it's during a war.


You realize that in some way or another, that violates literally every single priciple upon which our country and our society was founded?

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Telchar » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:30 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:
Telchar wrote:
Jave D wrote:What American citizens? How has one suddenly become plural? To my knowledge there's just al-Awlaki. And calling it an "execution" seems like a pretty awful attempt to ignore the realities of a war against terrorists to demonize Obama as some sort of black-hooded butcher. Which is really the point of this particular angle of criticism, seems to me. You can say this isn't about using deaths to score political points but when you use phrases like "death panels" it's rather hard to swallow.


I didn't realize that the you can totally execute one American citizen without trial and it's still totes cool. I'll have to remember that.


You know, if ordering a military strike on a target is an "execution" now, how do you feel about the "Execution" of Osama bin Laden? He didn't receive a trial. You must be totes cool with that because hey, he wasn't an American and that's what counts?


I guess first off, I'm on record on these fora as saying killing OBL was the wrong thing to do.

Second, and more importantly, if I had been arguing about this guy because I thought killing him was a bad thing and not about a rapid and scary expansion of executive power in secret then you might have a point. Killing this guy represents a line that was crossed that has real implications. If what you want to do is focus on this guy and this killing, then have fun in Myopia, but that's not all this incident represents which is what I'm trying to express.

And military strike? So you'd be okay if the President ordered a military strike on your neighbor because hey, it's the military so it's like they're less dead.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby PeterCai » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:31 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:What does this even mean?

It means that in practice, what I described is closer to reality.
And the president didn't shoot first, the terrorist did.
And again, can you point me to the congressional act that authorizes a war on terrorism? Cause I bet you can't.

The War Power Resolution of 1973 left the president with the power to declare war in case of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."
edit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaratio ... y_Congress
The congress approved the Afghan war. I would argue that this act in effect approves the war on terror.
edit2:
The congress also never disapprove of any act against terrorist. They did so, and cited the War Power Resolution in the case of actions in Libya, but not when we were killing OBL. I think this is very supportive of my assertion in 'edit'.
Right, but we're not. So are you still fine with it?

We are going in circles here. As long as you understand my position I will refrain from repeating it, and try to actually change yours.

I believe your concern is that a line had been crossed, and that the power of the executive branch had been increased. That's simply not the case. The president has always had this power.
Last edited by PeterCai on Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:54 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Jave D » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:37 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:
Jave D wrote:
Telchar wrote:
Jave D wrote:What American citizens? How has one suddenly become plural? To my knowledge there's just al-Awlaki. And calling it an "execution" seems like a pretty awful attempt to ignore the realities of a war against terrorists to demonize Obama as some sort of black-hooded butcher. Which is really the point of this particular angle of criticism, seems to me. You can say this isn't about using deaths to score political points but when you use phrases like "death panels" it's rather hard to swallow.


I didn't realize that the you can totally execute one American citizen without trial and it's still totes cool. I'll have to remember that.


You know, if ordering a military strike on a target is an "execution" now, how do you feel about the "Execution" of Osama bin Laden? He didn't receive a trial. You must be totes cool with that because hey, he wasn't an American and that's what counts?


I guess first off, I'm on record on these fora as saying killing OBL was the wrong thing to do.


I happen to disagree, but it is good to know.

Second, and more importantly, if I had been arguing about this guy because I thought killing him was a bad thing and not about a rapid and scary expansion of executive power in secret then you might have a point. Killing this guy represents a line that was crossed that has real implications. If what you want to do is focus on this guy and this killing, then have fun in Myopia, but that's not all this incident represents which is what I'm trying to express.


I guess I'm just not properly scared enough. Perhaps people need to sling more scary words to describe it, like "execution" and "death panel," or to....

And military strike? So you'd be okay if the President ordered a military strike on your neighbor because hey, it's the military so it's like they're less dead.


...concoct fictitious scenarios for paranoid perusal.

I think it's pretty obvious that this case isn't and hasn't been a precedent for military strikes on US soil for a number of reasons, including the rather obvious fact that if a neighbor was put on the kill-or-capture list he could be easily captured by police or federal law enforcement, but perhaps because I'm myopically focusing on the subject at hand.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Telchar » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:37 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:It means that in practice, what I described is closer to reality.
And the president didn't shoot first, the terrorist did.


I guess 2 things.

1. Clearly because it happens that way means it SHOULD happen this way.

2. This analogy still doesn't hold up because cops don't shoot masterminds for masterminding plots. They shoot people who are directly wielding actual weapons at innocents or cops. That's not what this fella was doing.

The War Power Resolution of 1973 left the president with the power to declare war in case of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."


Right, and we declared war....on Afghanistan and the Taliban. We didn't declare war on Terrorism because you can't declare war on a tactic. It would be like declaring war on blitzkreigs. And even if we did, where is the national state of emergency now? If you believe the POTUS has the power to declare an unending war and, in it's prosecution, declare anyone at anytime to be a terrorist (in secret with no oversight) and kill them with no repercussion then I can't help you and we should stop right here.

Jave D wrote:I think it's pretty obvious that this case isn't and hasn't been a precedent for military strikes on US soil for a number of reasons, including the rather obvious fact that if a neighbor was put on the kill-or-capture list he could be easily captured by police or federal law enforcement, but perhaps because I'm myopically focusing on the subject at hand.


Right, except the entire article was positing the idea that Obama doesn't like indefinite detention so he's opting to kill people instead.

And lets just say it's someone you grew up with who moved to somewhere like Bosnia, or Poland. Now his house gets hit with a cruise missle because....we won't know. Maybe he was actually a terrorist mastermind, maybe he sympathized and posted stuff on the internet, or maybe someone screwed up. The point is that killing people, especially your own people, in secret is never a good thing. It is, in fact, always a bad thing. Especially for the most transparent administration ever that campaigned to stop extraordinary rendition and close GITMO.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Jave D » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:53 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:
Jave D wrote:I think it's pretty obvious that this case isn't and hasn't been a precedent for military strikes on US soil for a number of reasons, including the rather obvious fact that if a neighbor was put on the kill-or-capture list he could be easily captured by police or federal law enforcement, but perhaps because I'm myopically focusing on the subject at hand.


Right, except the entire article was positing the idea that Obama doesn't like indefinite detention so he's opting to kill people instead.


In situations where capture is infeasible. Like this particular one.

And lets just say it's someone you grew up with who moved to somewhere like Bosnia, or Poland. Now his house gets hit with a cruise missle because....we won't know. Maybe he was actually a terrorist mastermind, maybe he sympathized and posted stuff on the internet, or maybe someone screwed up.


Well, as an emotional appeal that might work if I liked a lot more of the people I grew up with. ;) But rationally it doesn't matter - it's a hypothetical situation, and it doesn't really matter what my personal emotional relationship would be anyway.

The point is that killing people, especially your own people, in secret is never a good thing. It is, in fact, always a bad thing. Especially for the most transparent administration ever that campaigned to stop extraordinary rendition and close GITMO.


I'm not sure that this incident really counts as being "in secret." It's not like Pinochet where people (plural) really did just disappear and no one knew about it.
But we're going to agree to disagree that killing people is always a bad thing; I do think it is warranted in situations and this was one of them.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Telchar » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:58 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:In situations where capture is infeasible. Like this particular one.


Why? Nobody has given an explanation for why it was impossible to capture this person instead of blow up his car and why barriers to capture automatically mean it's okay to execute someone without a trial (which, btw, is a thing we can do! As mentioned earlier). I guess I didn't realize the 5th amendment made an exception for "if it's hard then do what you want".


I'm not sure that this incident really counts as being "in secret." It's not like Pinochet where people (plural) really did just disappear and no one knew about it.
But we're going to agree to disagree that killing people is always a bad thing; I do think it is warranted in situations and this was one of them.


Because clearly what I said was killing people is always a bad thing.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby PeterCai » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:I guess 2 things.

1. Clearly because it happens that way means it SHOULD happen this way.

2. This analogy still doesn't hold up because cops don't shoot masterminds for masterminding plots. They shoot people who are directly wielding actual weapons at innocents or cops. That's not what this fella was doing.

No, but it is justifiable that it happened. You said that this was a step backward, it really isn't. I am also pretty sure that the analogy rulebook stated that planning and carrying out terrorism counts as wielding weapons at innocents. Do we need to call a certified analogy judge?
Right, and we declared war....on Afghanistan and the Taliban. We didn't declare war on Terrorism because you can't declare war on a tactic.

See the edits on my previous post. We declared war on certain types of organization, to be exact.
where is the national state of emergency now? If you believe the POTUS has the power to declare an unending war and, in it's prosecution, declare anyone at anytime to be a terrorist (in secret with no oversight) and kill them with no repercussion then I can't help you and we should stop right here.

This is a wild extrapolation of the actual situation. There is oversight, you can choose not to vote for him in the next election, which is coming up I believe; you can write to your congressmen and urge your democratically elected congress to condemn, or even impeach the guy; you can take this case to the supreme court. There are plenty of oversight.
P.S. There is no need to be so unnecessarily hostile, we are just debating, for all you know I could be holding the exact opposite opinion.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Telchar » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:23 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:No, but it is justifiable that it happened. You said that this was a step backward, it really isn't. I am also pretty sure that the analogy rulebook stated that planning and carrying out terrorism counts as wielding weapons at innocents. Do we need to call a certified analogy judge?


Again, this is only analagous if he were carrying out a bombing at the time we killed him. He wasn't. Or at least to the best of our knowledge he wasn't, which is limited because that information is kept secret.

See the edits on my previous post. We declared war on certain types of organization, to be exact.


Actually we declared war on Afghanistan. The President has used his executive authority to springboard that into other military actions.

This is a wild extrapolation of the actual situation. There is oversight, you can choose not to vote for him in the next election, which is coming up I believe; you can write to your congressmen and urge the your democratically elected congress to condemn, or even impeach the guy; you can take this case to the supreme court. There are plenty of oversight.


You're really missing the point. Executive power isn't limited to one person. This is why people were up in arms about the Bush era expansion of executive power and it's why this particular incident raises more expansive concerns. Once a President does X and X isn't contested then any future President has precedent. And you're right, I could do that. But unless other people also see something wrong with it and do these things then my lone voice isn't going to be enough. Hence, my statements here.

And by your definition then everything has oversight all the time. Even PATRIOT act wiretaps which, by their own admission have no oversight, are apparently lying to us because...I guess...the courts and legislators and stuff....

P.S. There is no need to be so unnecessarily hostile, we are just debating, for all you know I could be holding the exact opposite opinion.


I don't really care what you're actual opinion is. The opinion you are expressing is the only one I can know and the only one I care about.
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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:50 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:You know, if ordering a military strike on a target is an "execution" now, how do you feel about the "Execution" of Osama bin Laden? He didn't receive a trial. You must be totes cool with that because hey, he wasn't an American and that's what counts?

These are two very different scenarios.

1) Bin Laden was not an American citizen. Whether or not he had a right to Due Process is at the very least, unclear. It is abundantly clear to the most casual observer that American citizens do have that right. Yet the President is choosing to violate that right in some circumstances.

2) The attack on Bin Laden was performed by Navy Seals, not by a drone strike. While I personally believe the President had no intention of capturing Bin Laden, the mission could possibly have been to capture Bin Laden and give him some sort of trial. Hellfire missiles do not have the ability to capture people, Navy Seals do. If the President was sending Special Operations teams into these locations, it could very well be to capture these criminals and bring them to justice, which is very much in line with our judicial process. In the Bin Laden thread, I referred to that operation as an execution before this point was brought to my attention.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Lucrece » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:18 pm UTC

Not to mention that if people are going to hide behind "he's hard to capture", invading a uncooperative foreign country to storm and abduct Bin Laden in his guarded little barracks were just as passable as "infeasible". An explanation needs to be offered as to why something is "infeasible", otherwise you give the government power to hide behind buzzwords and become immune to scrutiny and oversight by the people who fund and elect its officials.

But this is pretty common in apologist liberal circles. Pound their chests against the horrors of the death penalty, or the casualties of foreign civilians in wars, yet they were quite righteous when a Lybian dictator suffered a gruesome execution despite being captured alive. The people we disagree with and despise deserve death, and the innocents/ignorant we sympathize with deserve life. Nobody pondered for a second that Gaddafi was as much a product of his culture as everybody else.
Last edited by Lucrece on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:27 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:25 pm UTC

And even if there was some sort of reliable, judicial metric for uncatchableness, it doesn't justify execution.

For instance, in the 20s, it was really hard to bring in gangsters and also hard to make charges stick, even though everybody knew they were bad dudes. This is no way gave the cops, the army or the President the authority to drop bombs on their houses.

Due process and the burden of proof put a huge handicap on our civil authorities when dealing with criminals. And that is something we should celebrate, rather than tear down.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:42 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:Not to mention that if people are going to hide behind "he's hard to capture", invading a uncooperative foreign country to storm and abduct Bin Laden in his guarded little barracks were just as passable as "infeasible". An explanation needs to be offered as to why something is "infeasible", otherwise you give the government power to hide behind buzzwords and become immune to scrutiny and oversight by the people who fund and elect its officials.


I've read reports that Bin Laden was sitting in the same compound for years. That means a dedicated strike team, when they finally did find him, could plan and train on the capture.

The circumstances surrounding Al-Awlaki's death (or killing) were different. A drone spotted them while they were at a rest stop. There was no guarantee that we'd see them again. So now lets say you're the operator of the drone, do you let them get away (knowing that you may never see him again), or do you take him out?

I prefer to see him dead, than for them to let him go.
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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Zamfir » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:34 pm UTC

I just saw this piece in the article:

It is also because Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.

Counterterrorism officials insist this approach is one of simple logic: people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good. “Al Qaeda is an insular, paranoid organization — innocent neighbors don’t hitchhike rides in the back of trucks headed for the border with guns and bombs,” said one official, who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program.


That is to me one of the worrying aspects of air bombings, by drone or otherwise. It's eerily much like the helicopter guy in Full Metal Jacket who divides the people below in running VC and disciplined VC.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:18 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:I just saw this piece in the article:
[method for counting causalities]
That is to me one of the worrying aspects of air bombings, by drone or otherwise. It's eerily much like the helicopter guy in Full Metal Jacket who divides the people below in running VC and disciplined VC.

Yeah, that actually bothered me quite a bit as well. It's far too politically expedient (no one wants to state higher levels of civilian deaths), and I dislike the fact that it ultimately presumes somebody was a good target to be killed because we killed them. It's the exact reverse of what it should be (that we killed them because they were a good target to be killed), even ignoring all of the considerations of if we should be killing anyone (or how/why/with what limitations, etc.) at all.

I also personally find the presumption of being a combatant "because you're male" to be horrifying. Though I don't know how much of that is just because I'm male myself.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby addams » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:00 am UTC

sardia wrote:To be fair, extradition treaties are between countries that have decent relations, and even those are stressed. Canada doesn't allow extradition to the US if they face the death penalty, for example.


O.K. What about indefinite detention with torture? The indefinite detention all by its self is a kind of torture. What the Americans are doing is beyond that.

A clean shot to the head is a kinder thing to do. Everyone dies. Not everyone is tortured first.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby LtNOWIS » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:28 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:Not to mention that if people are going to hide behind "he's hard to capture", invading a uncooperative foreign country to storm and abduct Bin Laden in his guarded little barracks were just as passable as "infeasible". An explanation needs to be offered as to why something is "infeasible", otherwise you give the government power to hide behind buzzwords and become immune to scrutiny and oversight by the people who fund and elect its officials.

The Bin Laden raid lost us a stealth helicopter and created a diplomatic crisis. The idea that we could do this with any frequency in Pakistan or Yemen is pretty silly, because those countries wouldn't stand for it.

So yeah, "infeasible" is how I would put it.

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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Kulantan » Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:13 am UTC

Because Pakistan is just fine with drone strikes instead....
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Re: The President of the United States' "Kill List"

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:41 pm UTC

Kulantan wrote:Because Pakistan is just fine with drone strikes instead....

They should be. We only drone strike terrorists (because anyone we drone strike must be a terrorist). Is Pakistan a bunch of terrorist-loving terrorists?


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