Wednesday, May 18, 2016

If you’ve ever thought about terrorism in your life we can kill you in a drone strike.


More from  Jeremy Scahill’s talk at the Commonwealth Club.

This from around minute 44:30 of the podcast

Obama has before compared the drone program to dealing with the sniper on a roof of the building who was pointing the rifle at children on a  playground. And he says, 'you know, I understand what the ACLU’s objections are, and human rights people and stuff. But do we need to go to a judge to get authorization to take that shooter down before he kills a bunch of kids on a playground. No, we don’t.' And I think, I would imagine that everyone in this room agrees with that. If you have someone who's going to kill a bunch of kids and they’re a sniper, and they are not responding to any kind of attempts to put the rifle down. People probably in this society overwhelmingly would say, Yes, if we need to kill that person, we’ll kill them.
The problem is that it’s a fake analogy. They have never provided a shred of evidence that a single person they have killed with a drone strike represented an imminent threat to US persons or the security of United States. They have never given a shred of evidence to suggest that they killed someone en route to putting a bomb on a plane. Now if, I guarantee you,  because this White House leaks like crazy, if they had that evidence they would put it out there.
And that’s fine. If their standard was just, We’re killing people that we think maybe in the future might in certain circumstances try to encourage others to commit acts of terrorism. If that was the policy, OK that’s what they’re doing. But that’s not what they say the policy is. They say the policy is we are targeting people who represent an imminent, imminent is their word, threat to US interests, US persons, and US facilities around the world.
If that’s the standard you have to ask what’s the definition of the word imminent. There was a white paper that the Justice Department leaked in advance of John Brennan’s nomination, or confirmation hearing to be CIA Director, that had a definition of the word imminent that not even the most barely literate English speaker would  recognize as the definition of imminent. It basically was like if you’ve ever thought about terrorism in your life we can kill you in a drone strike.

Earlier in the talk he discusses the Terror Watch List. It's an opaque process on how someone gets on, or off the Terror Watch List. Scahill says there are a million people on the list and 20,000 are US citizens.

The Dems in CT are up in arms about people on the Terror Watch List buying guns. I think they are focusing on the wrong issue. The real issue is how people get on the Terror Watch List. What judicial process is used to determine someone should be watched as if he were a terrorist?

So now we should worry about the Trump Kill List AND the Trump Terror Watch List. And electing Hilary doesn't change the fear I have about our Government's increasing infringement of our civil liberties.


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