This post at Esquire is required reading, and no, it is not Charlie Pierce.
I believe that Presidents probably always had secret kill lists. What is new and disturbing here is that the kill lists now include US Citizens, and that our president now has notches in his belt from killing US citizens over seas with drone strikes.
It is all so antiseptic: no invasion, no strategy, no derring-do. Just a push of a button to launch the drone. I suppose that there must be some rational reason for killing a 16-year old American boy, and maybe a moment or two of regret. But overall, the whole process seems too easy and too easily abused. I mean, where does it end? This has such a dystopian quality to it, it would not be hard to imagine these things flying around America looking for political enemies.
I keep returning to my basic civics class from my school days: the Congress writes the laws, and the executive branch enforces them. Killing US Citizens by drone appears to be legal because no one has said that it is not illegal. This is the stratagem of bratty middle school kids to test their limits.
It is time for Congress to curtail this ability. It needs to explicitly state that targeting US Citizens for drone attacks is illegal, just the way that wiretapping us was illegal. Oh, yeah.
The criminals known as congress won’t do anything to stop the killing because they all dream that they might become potus someday and would like to be able to kill also.
This is the stratagem of bratty middle school kids to test their limits.
No, this is Human Nature 101.
The Executive Branch does not have a history of giving up powers already granted to them by Congress. If you are outraged about the current administration’s use of drones, then tell your congresscritter to do something.
Me? I’m against the practice. But I’m not going to join my hand-wringing liberal sisters and brothers who are disappointed that Obama isn’t doing the right thing. He is doing the right thing. He’s doing the thing that Congress has told him it’s OK to do. This isn’t morality, it’s politics. They rarely go together.
P.S. Still voting for him in the Fall, no matter how many more drone strikes he orders.
Fully agree with you, and that was my point.
It’s repugnant and repellant and completely legal. The only way to end this is through legislation. Soooooo… everyone who finds this as troubling as I do, make sure to let your representative know and VOTE in November.
“If the President does it than it is not illegal.” Nixon.
Nixon could never dream of doing what Obama is doing. And in a nation of men, not laws, yeah it’s legal. If we were a nation of laws, we would have to empty the prisons of all the poor mooks jailed for selling dime bags to make room for (almost) every politician and high level official in that viper den called D.C. And then we could turn to the state legislatures…