Saturday, October 24, 2015

This day ... three years ago (2)

(Re-posting from 2012)

It is ok for Obama to kill people because he is not Bush?

This graphic ((ht) says a lot, right, about how we have escalated the killing campaigns?:

As if the old stories on the kill list (have my colleagues nominated my name to be in the list?) were not enough to make us worry about due process and the constitution, the Washington Post reports:
Over the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the “disposition matrix.”
The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the “disposition” of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.

I thought "kill list" was enough of a new and unwanted phrase in our dictionaries.  "Disposition matrix"???

As I expected, Glenn Greenwald is furious about this, and he is way smarter and informed than I ever can be:
The Post's Miller recognizes the watershed moment this represents: "The creation of the matrix and the institutionalization of kill/capture lists reflect a shift that is as psychological as it is strategic." As he explains, extra-judicial assassination was once deemed so extremist that very extensive deliberations were required before Bill Clinton could target even Osama bin Laden for death by lobbing cruise missiles in East Africa. But:
Targeted killing is now so routine that the Obama administration has spent much of the past year codifying and streamlining the processes that sustain it.
To understand the Obama legacy, please re-read that sentence. As Murtaza Hussain put it when reacting to the Post story: "The US agonized over the targeted killing Bin Laden at Tarnak Farms in 1998; now it kills people it barely suspects of anything on a regular basis."
Oh my freaking lord!

To hell with Obama and Romney!

More Greenwald:
It is literally impossible to imagine a more violent repudiation of the basic blueprint of the republic than the development of a secretive, totally unaccountable executive branch agency that simultaneously collects information about all citizens and then applies a "disposition matrix" to determine what punishment should be meted out. This is classic political dystopia brought to reality (despite how compelled such a conclusion is by these indisputable facts, many Americans will view such a claim as an exaggeration, paranoia, or worse because of this psychological dynamic I described here which leads many good passive westerners to believe that true oppression, by definition, is something that happens only elsewhere).
Need I remind you that Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize . What a wonderful living illustration of George Orwell's 1984 scenario ofwar is peace :(


Anne in Salem said...

Much for a conservative to love in this, as repugnant as it is to human nature. Why isn't the existence of this list more well-known? Are the media protecting the president? Do we need more proof of the left-leaning of most media? But why aren't Fox, Krauthammer, GOP candidates, etc., trumpeting this on a regular basis?

I can only imagine the hue and cry if such a list were discovered during Bush's tenure. He'd have been excoriated, and people would have demanded Cheney's head on a silver platter.

Obama has made a practice of bypassing all legislative rules in the last few years, ruling by executive order instead. Sounds like this is further evidence of his disregard for the Constitution. Why would a "leader" who disregards his own country's laws care anything for the laws and conventions of any other body?

Obama must be a lousy commander in chief given how poorly the list has been executed (word chosen intentionally). Perhaps, just perhaps, he realized the horror of what he was considering and ended the program before it began.

His receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize was a joke even before this was known.

Ramesh said...

Reposting my comment from three years ago.

You are absolutely right. This would have been a massive outcry if Bush was doing this - its now barely a squeak since its Obama.

Yes, we live in a scary world where terrorists plot from a million miles away. In the rarest of cases, I would support action like this. But to codify it and institutionalise it, is an appalling act. What has happened to the America we know and love, the America that is a beacon for human rights ???

Sriram Khé said...

Anne, for one, this post is from three years ago. You may have noticed that the last few posts were all from the very date two or three years ago. I did this because I was away at a conference, and once I set it up, Blogger automatically published them at the designated times. Also, I was mighty impressed with my own posts, even from three years ago!
The people and Faux News that you list do not care much about all these because they are all pro-war, even more than Obama is. If at all, their criticism is that Obama has not killed enough and has not tortured enough people! It is only the liberal wusses like me who are all fired up about the killing and the drones. Be happy that Obama is one of the best Republican presidents ever on these issues ;)

America as a beacon for human rights has always been questionable. Internally, the country has enough from its past that will make any sane person wonder why the US is considered a standard bearer on this. Externally, the US has backed enough dictators and thugs and anti-democratic regimes even when they were widely known for human rights abuses. I suppose because conditions are worse in most other rich and powerful countries, the US continues to be the shining city on the hill?

Most read this past month