Government claims right to assassinate citizens abroad

Early in February, our country’s top intelligence official, Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), testified to the House Intelligence Committee, that the US government asserts the right to kill US citizens travelling, working or living abroad, if the government had evidence those citizens were in some manner involved with terrorist activities.  Such assassinations could be carried out without providing a court any evidence that the targetted persons are in fact guilty of any terrorist or terrorist-related activities; and without providing to such person any of the constitutional guarantees to due process, right to trial, right to confront witnesses, and so forth, which they normally would enjoy if charged with offenses while in the United States.

This startling position continues a policy reportedly instituted by the administration of President George W. Bush in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  The policy also is contrary to the long-established view that those rights such as guaranteed a person under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, are not limited to the place in which a person is found at any particular time; but rather are to be enjoyed by U.S. citizens wherever in the world they may be, by virtue of being Americans.  Apparently, even during times of declared war, such as World War II, the US government did not practice assassination of its own citizens who might have gone over to the other side.

Already, according to former CIA official Philip Giraldi, writing in the April 2010 issue of The American Conservative, three American citizens have been placed on the list for possible assassination.

62 comments Add your comment

Joel Edge

March 19th, 2010
6:20 am

Good lord!!!!

jt

March 19th, 2010
7:07 am

Welcome to this brave new world.

“Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato”

Scout

March 19th, 2010
7:46 am

If a known “American Citizen” is sitting with the Taliban loading a mortar and a Marine sniper takes him out …………………. that’s fine by me. If we find out the day before he had been doing that or was going to do that in the future ………….. that’s fine with me too !

It’s kind of like the “fleeing felon” laws we used to have in this country. Never should have done away with those either. Pop of few of those people and the felonies go way down.

Sorry Bob. This is not “law enforcement” over there …………. it’s war!

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 19th, 2010
7:49 am

Too many of the pro israel crowd are calling the shots in Washington today. The Mossad has for decades engaged in the summary execution of Arab youth in Gaza and elsewhere, picking up teenagers at random and murdering them along side the road. Gen Daggan is a psychopath, imho, and his followers are everywhere in AIPAC and official Washington. Until we get rid of these traitors, our values will continue to be sacrificed on the alter of Israel Uber Alles.

deathportal

March 19th, 2010
8:04 am

Scout, you may think me a “pu$$y” and that’s fine by me if ya do, but I believe that there are certain basic rights that should not be taken away REGARDLESS of the offense in question. My opinion has as much, if not MORE to do with thinking about law-abiding citizens than it does sticking up for the criminal. But we have seen, and are on here almost daily decrying, plenty of government abuses. So I don’t trust them NOT to apply this at some point to ordinary American citizens. Do I lose sleep at night thinking they WILL? No, but this is the same government so careless with the lives of its own troops…would anything surprise you?

Avery Bundren

March 19th, 2010
8:10 am

Why am I not surprised to learn that this policy began with the administration of Sheriff Bush and his faithful accomplice Shooter Cheney? Both should be in prison as war criminals.

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
8:14 am

Americans have always killed Americans. does it really matter if the killing is endorsed or sanctioned by an executive order? Scout, your post (and your previous military service) kinda put light on the mess. I am sure you are familiar with the term “fragging”. Some think Pat Tillman was fragged. how is this type of murder different from some politician authorizing the murder of a terrorist (American, or not)? As you say, this is a “war” but Americans have always enjoyed the “right” to kill other Americans (with the blessing of the law) in cases of self-defense, capital punishment, etc. and if anyone is worried about “due process” hire a lawyer if it makes you feel better because due process does not exist beyond the pages of the Consitution. it’s a concept and nothing more. when a Predator takes out a high value target, but also a family of four, is this somehow more/less Constitutional than the specific targeting of a suspected/confirmed terrorist (American citizen, or not). Ask JFK about the Assasination of American citizens? this stuff makes for good blogging and barroom/dinner table debates, but it’s been going on since day one.

DITTOhead: AJC Truth Detector

March 19th, 2010
8:21 am

FUNNY…..Don’t hear a peep from the Left…or the ACLU on this one…..AS long as we have a black president…..the Left will tolerate the loss of most civil liberties..

JM@50

March 19th, 2010
8:28 am

This is the problem with many “conservatives”. They only want to defend and uphold the Constitution when it’s convenient to them. THAT is “what’s wrong with America”. If these conservatives are so quick to discard the Constitution, then by their own argument doesn’t that mean they are enemies of America and could justifiably be assassinated by the government? No, the greatest civilized nation in the history of the world has to resist the slippery slope of convenience and expediency and uphold the standards of liberty, justice and freedom that made us great to begin with.

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
8:37 am

dittohead, this is because when it comes to “freedom” or “liberty” there is no difference between right and left. excuse my failure to articulate (I am not a “great communicator”). we (the People) don’t have “civil liberties”. to cite George Carlin, we have “owners”. ALL governments exist for the benefit of the government (ruling class), not the citizens. The Bill of Rights (any “rights”) for that matter are little more than a pacifier or table scrap tossed to the unwashed masses to keep us at bay while politicians and the special interests to which they pander consolidate wealth and power. this is no different in Venezuela, Iran, the United States, the U.K, or Japan. If a government has to levy taxes, for whatever reason, or “defend” itself, any citizen who surrenders his/her wealth for the benefit of the State does not enjoy “freedom”. think about North America circa 1491. the indigenous peoples formed social units. they waged wars against each other and struggled with “the environment” and “healthcare” etc., but it seems to me that their “civil liberties” were a tad more “real” than the mythical freedoms of 2010.

Matthew

March 19th, 2010
8:40 am

I’m with Bob on this one. Assassination of random Americans overseas is horrendous. If the evidence is compelling, arrest the guy and bring him back for trial. My fear is that no one will ask questions about the veracity of the evidence if you’re just gonna shoot him in the back anyway.

Jefferson

March 19th, 2010
8:44 am

A mule in a suit is still a mule.

Jeff in ATL

March 19th, 2010
8:47 am

“If a known ‘American Citizen’ is sitting with the Taliban loading a mortar and a Marine sniper takes him out …………………. that’s fine by me.”

That’s way off from the topic of Bob Barr’s opinion piece; what you described is not an assassination. Heck, a cop here in the states could shoot someone doing that on your street this afternoon and it wouldn’t be considered an assassination.

Think of what the Mossad did in Dubai earlier this year — but instead of the Mossad it was the CIA and the target was an American Citizen, that is to what Barr is objecting.

Avery Bundren

March 19th, 2010
8:56 am

So you think that freedom is possible only in a primitive, virginal, pre-industrial, pre-democratic setting.? It is easy to be cynical and skeptical. One has to continually battle with that. Government can be and often is corrupt, but to denigrate the Bill of Rights as merely a scrap tossed to the masses is moronic. One has to look at what the plight is of other people in the world and compare it to our own. Utopia does not exist; nor will it ever. George Carlin was an individualist who often used hyperbole to enliven discussion. Can you imagine a George Carlin living and thriving in one of those societies which you say is no different, basically, from our own? (e.g. Iran, Venezuela, etc).

Liking Barr more every day.

March 19th, 2010
8:59 am

I hope Jihad Jane is on the list, not for any possible terrorism she might commit, but rather for that stupid name. I see, it’s a play on GI Jane! Wow, so clever and I love how it totally trivializes the war on terror.

A moron can never rise above being a total moron even in the war on terror.

Un-f’n-believa-f’n-ble!!

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
9:17 am

AB, yes, I believe “freedom” only exists at the individual or what you call “primative” setting. beyond the family, any social unit (and those who assume the role of “leader”) are nothing more than herds. herds exist for the benefit of the herd and not the individual. so, while we may have a “better mousetrap” over here, as opposed to North Korea or Iran, the fact that George Carlin plied his trade in the USA is something of a moot point. forget about George Carlin, how about Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali). do you remember his line about his refusal to fight in Vietnam? “No Viet Cong ever called me a n…..”. in a truly “free” society there would be no healthcare debate. there would be no wars. there would be no cap and trade, beyond the most primative, individual level. this whole idea of a “Bill of Rights” is almost theological (”endowed by the Creator”, as it were). so, whether it is some white, slave-owning entrepreneur who seeks to define “freedom” or some politically-slanted politician who seeks to define “terrorist” or “assasination”, when somebody speaks for ME, I have lost my freedom. and that’s not to say I want to go back to mud huts and loin cloths, but let’s not go patting ourselves on the back just yet. wasn’t it Jefferson who said “dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”?

No More Progressives!

March 19th, 2010
9:27 am

deathportal

March 19th, 2010
8:04 am
Scout, you may think me a “pu$$y” and that’s fine by me if ya do, but I believe that there are certain basic rights that should not be taken away REGARDLESS of the offense in question.

So, if a Marine (or Ranger or SEAL) sniper has a bead on Osama Bin Laden, you’d want to lawyer him up first, right? Afford him a battalion of lawyers from the ACLU and defend his “rights. 3 hots & a cot, TV, library & all the trappings of a highly successful mass-murderer.

What are Osama’s “rights?”

Yeah, you are a pu$$y.

No More Progressives!

March 19th, 2010
9:34 am

JM@50

March 19th, 2010
8:28 am
This is the problem with many “conservatives”. They only want to defend and uphold the Constitution when it’s convenient to them. THAT is “what’s wrong with America”. If these conservatives are so quick to discard the Constitution, then by their own argument doesn’t that mean they are enemies of America and could justifiably be assassinated by the government?

It’s your hero Little Barry Soetoro giving the orders to fly an explosive drone into a suspected terrorist hideout. Funny, I bet you were one of the screaming “Code Pink” fanatics when GWB went after the terrorists.

What’s wrong with America is that you’re a pu$$y, too.

Avery Bundren

March 19th, 2010
9:34 am

Hey, neo, you do confuse me. You say that in a truly free setting there would be no war but then you allow that the pre-1492 peoples enjoyed freedom but yet they fought one another. Is war any different if you are killing your brother or neighbor instead of someone across the Atlantic?

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 19th, 2010
9:34 am

At least one of the Mossad murders from the recent crime in Dubai appears to be a dual citizenship American. Why has the FBI not investigated this as an act of terror by an American abroad? If Hammas and Hezbollah are labeled “terrorist” organizations, then why is the Mossad not also labeled as a terrorist organization? They both commit the same crimes, murder, and use terror as a weapon.

GEORGE AMERICAN

March 19th, 2010
9:35 am

COME ON BARR!!! FOR AMERICAN AND FREEDOM’S’ SACK!!!!

“DUE PROCESS” IS FOR THE ACLU, LIBERALS AND PU$$IES!!!

Corey

March 19th, 2010
9:39 am

You know how to avoid this….don’t get involved in terroristic activities

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 19th, 2010
9:45 am

Dear Bob, your essay is a jaw-dropper. Many comments prior to mine appreciate the distinction between killing a treasonous American on the battlefield vs a planned assassination of an American citizen overseas. Surely the administration spokesman mis-stated policy.

No More Progressives!

March 19th, 2010
9:53 am

Liking Barr more every day.

March 19th, 2010
8:59 am

A moron can never rise above being a total moron even in the war on terror.

Like Ron White said: “You can’t fix stupid.”

Kuncous

March 19th, 2010
10:02 am

Call me synical but really what’s the big deal here? Police kill innocent people everyday and get away with it, at least when their vicitims are miniotiries. Call me synical but really what’s the big deal here? Police kill innocent people everyday and get away with it, at least when their victims are minorities. Our politics kill people everyday – denied healthcare coverage, unjust tax codes favoring the rich and penalizing the poor – subjecting the poor to PURE capitalism… Wake up people you are being killed at home all the time, just slowly.

Please stop the first lie, the war on terrorism is no war at all. Define terrorism please? CIA never had to ‘ask’ before and believe me, Backwater never asks. Consider this a WARNING my fellow Americans!Our politics kill people everyday – denied healthcare coverage, unjust tax codes favoring the rich and penzlizing the poor – subjecting the poor to PURE capitallism… Wake up people you are being killed at home all the time.

Please stop the first lie, the war on terrorism is no war at all. Define terrorism please? CIA never had to ‘ask’ before and beleive me, Blackwater never asks. Consider this a WARNING my fellow Americans!

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
10:26 am

AB, for the sake of argument, yes, pre-1492 wars between tribes were much different than the 2010 war between much bigger tribes. interesting you use the term “brother”. my point exactly, there is a MAJOR difference when the Hatfields are fighting the McCoys. Brothers have been fighting each other since Cain slew Abel, I guess. It’s how INDIVIDUALS resolve differences. When a government is formed, and a head of state, or a monarch or a dictator starts conscripting others to wage war (and couches it as national defense, or homeland security, or a “war on terrorism”), those whom he/she conscripts, and those whom he/she professes to “represent” surrenders freedom. the House is about to pass a trillion dollar “healthcare reform” bill against MY wishes. just as it endorsed the Bush-Cheney plan to invade/occupy Iraq agains MY wishes. I understand the difference between democracy and our Republic, and I am not even suggesting that homosapiens can thrive in a truly free society. I’m just tired of the Patrick Henry nonsense and all the tea-party stuff. How old are you? Do you remember Kent State? Jackson State? My point is; the “values” (rights) supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution are subjectively offered and enforced. is a politician (or a lawyer/judge/jury) any better suited to determine when homicide is an act of patriotism, and when it is a crime? as stated, they’re pimps. I have more respect for the enlisted man who frags his C.O., because his “boots are on the ground”. I trust his judgment before that of some desk-driver or bureacrat signing a memo in DC.

No More Progressives!

March 19th, 2010
10:32 am

Kuncous

March 19th, 2010
10:02 am
Call me synical…………..

No, you’re not synical. Not partictularly bright, perhaps………………

Scout

March 19th, 2010
10:46 am

To deathportal : You help make my point. These inane policies cost innocent American lives.

To all: I wonder what we called Rebels shooting Tories and Confederates shooting Yankees? War, murder or assassination? Especially, those “long-range” shots at some poor general just sitting on his horse. Those instances were even in the United States ………. the difference ………. then a war zone!

A long range shot at an NVA in Nam cooking his rice was “fair game” because he could kill you the next day. Taking out a treasonous American citizen who has gone over to the enemy (especially in the war zone of another country) is “more than fair game” in my opinion ………. anywhere, anyway and anytime you can find him (or her). This is WAR not law enforcement.

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
10:58 am

Scout, again, who makes the call? Please excuse this second hand war story, but many years ago I was in a bar in Alaska (many vets live there). so I chat up this guy who was a Ranger/LRRP or Force Recon guy from Vietnam. I bought him a shot and we started talking about war and death and killing and he said, “when we got a cherry, especially an officer, me and the other guys would evaluate him on the first couple patrols and we would decide if we were gonna frag him, or not, because we preferred to kill when doing so served our interests, as opposed to the interests of some politician in Washington or even Saigon…” my point is, American have always killed Americans. hanging “terrorist” or “traitor” or “murderer” on the target is just window dressing. I don’t like the idea that George Bush, or Barrack Obama, or LBJ or Leon Panetta to tell me who is a threat and who is not. When you zeroed in on that “NVA soldier cooking rice” did you ask Richard Nixon or Westmoreland for permission to take the shot? I hope not, ’cause that dude wasn’t worried about “the law” when he was shooting at you (or his fellow citizens). Longitude and latitude and/or a passport don’t determine when lethal force is justified (in my opinion).

Scout

March 19th, 2010
11:22 am

neo-Carlinist:

A couple of points:

1) First of all, any “supposedly” ex-Ranger, etc. who would even talk about fragging or killing an officer is an idiot, a fake or both. There are many fake “veterans” out there. That is murder – plain and simple.

2) What we are talking about here is totally different ……… an American citizen who has gone over to the enemy on a foreign battlefield. In my opinion, that person is fair game.

No More Progressives!

March 19th, 2010
11:24 am

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
10:58 am

When you zeroed in on that “NVA soldier cooking rice” did you ask Richard Nixon or Westmoreland for permission to take the shot?

This is symptomatic of the effort in Viet Nam. LBJ micro-managed the effort, overuling the commanders on the ground.

The US Military has 3 basic functions: kill people, break things and acquire real estate under hostile conditions. This is a nasty business; if you don’t have the stomach for it, watch Oprah.

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
12:13 pm

Scout, I did not serve in Vietnam, but I have relatives who did. One of my best friends served from ‘64-’66 (’…when it was a good war, before Tet in ‘68…’ he used to say. I did my thesis on the war. I have read over 200 books, and I am well aware of the “fake vet” cottage industry. My friend said it best, “over 1 million Americans passed through SE Asia between 1960 and 1975 and every one has a different story,.” Not every instance of “friendly fire” was a fragging, and just because your experience may or may not have exposed you to fragging, I believe it happened, and I believe my friend from Alaska. but that is not my point. I know war is a “nasty business” (No More Progressive). what makes it “nasty” in my book, is not the “war” (killing), but the “business”. those who wage wars are not the same as those who fight/kill/die in war. So, be it a scout sniper on a hill in the DMZ with a bolt action Remmington, OR a CIA asset in a back alley in Prague, with a silenced .22 pistol, or garrot; we need to stop playing this game of red light/green light when it comes to national security or wars on terrorism – because I don’t trust some politician to sanction murder. Oh, and NMPs, the function of the US Military is to defend the nation against all enemies, foreign AND domestic. it is a defensive army, not offensive (”acquire real estate”). but again, that’s my point. I much prefer my soldier, sailors and marines to defend MY real estate, as opposed to occupying Ho Chi Minh’s, Saddam Hussain’s or the Taliban’s.

Jonathan

March 19th, 2010
12:21 pm

We’re talking about actual, real, US citizens here. And not even people who’ve been convicted of anything (and thus stripped of some of their rights), but full blown citizens. And they are not afforded protection by the constitution. I am a conservative and I find this appalling and not just because it happened under Obama. This goes beyond politics. Some of you conservatives out there need to pay attention to the details here. These are not former citizens, these are current citizens to whom the constitution is supposed to apply. and like it or not the people who can give this order are the same ones who define the term “terrorist”. How long do you think it will take before part of the definition for “terrorist” becomes some form of “one who incites a riot” (one of the few exceptions to the 1st Amendment)? How long till anyone with known religious beliefs is a terrorist? Try to think about the future for once!

Jonathan

March 19th, 2010
12:28 pm

And we’re also not talking about a soldier or group of soldiers coming upon a taliban hideout and, in the process of engaging the enemy, they take out a US citizen who is actively working with the taliban. We are not talking about that. We are talking about the Government(!) Deciding that a US Citizen needs to be Specifically Assassinated because of their suspected beliefs/activities (regardless of the proof involved, we’re talking about as little as “suspected”. If they want to change it to say “known” or “demonstrably involved with” then that’s different. But right now it’s “suspected”). If you can’t see the difference between assassination of a US Citizen and an actual military action because you’re on the ground in the middle of a war and you have to make a decision because of a situation you’ve encountered and a US citizen ends up dead then you’ve got a serious problem and you might want to just take a step back for a minute and reassess your reaction to what’s going on in our country.

No More Progressives!

March 19th, 2010
12:31 pm

Jonathan

March 19th, 2010
12:21 pm
Try to think about the future for once!

Eliminating terrorists today makes tomorrow safer. Can you grasp that thought? It’s a work in progress.

Jonathan

March 19th, 2010
12:34 pm

For the love of God! WHO LEGALLY DEFINES THE WORD “TERRORIST”? And after you’ve answered that do you think you are always 100% going to agree with them?

Jonathan

March 19th, 2010
12:38 pm

Do you own any guns? Are you a member of the NRA? Do you think there’s any reason, any reason at all that the Federal Government might have reason to label you a terrorist in the future? I’m sure it seems crazy right now and maybe it won’t happen in your lifetime but you can’t honestly believe, as a conservative, that our country is heading in a “smaller government” direction right now. That is not the trend.

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
12:41 pm

Jonathan, you need to get out more. ever been: profiled at a TSA checkpoint at the airport? stopped at a DUI roadblock? served on a jury or even worse, been the defendent in a civil lawsuit? these are all distinctly American experiences and while the stakes are much higher if you are a “suspected” terrorist living abroad, don’t think for a minute there is any logic or reason behind the drafting and enforcement of ANY laws. this stuff (Americans covertly killing other Americans in the name of spy vs. spy or national security) has been going on since well before the “war on terrorism”. you have any Japanese-American friends or relatives? Ask them about what life was like on December 8th 1941.

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 19th, 2010
12:49 pm

Does fighting against Israel make an American a traitor to America? I view Israel as a foreign power that has placed its agents in high American government offices, where they commit crimes against America in favor of Israel. The cowards in Washington will not defy this occupying foreign power, so it is up to each and every one of to do so. America for Americans and to he ll with Israel and the pro Israel American-Jewish traitors!

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
1:07 pm

just a Friday afternoon rhetorical fart. the gentleman whose name appears on this blog was himself employed at one time by what some refer to as “the large government agency located in Northern Virginia” (CIA). I believe he was an analyst, which means in time of war (or not), he was called upon by his country to “analyze” HUMINT (human intelligence) SIGINT (signals intelligence) and COMINT (intercepted communications intelligence). the sources of this data knows no boundaries, nor do intelligence operaions. ergo, based on BB’s analysis, a CIA operative or contractor may have been called upon to to “neutralize” an American target in the interest of national security. of course, it is doubtful BB would ever know the identity or nationality of the target (something called “compartmentalizing” or “need to know”), but does anyone thing an operation (assasination) would be scrubbed or aborted because the target turned out to be an American? I think what concerns most true libertarians is what concerns US about the death penalty. in theory it makes sense, but in practice there are way too many opportunities for human error (or malice), which result in killing the wrong person. hey Scout, any experience with the Phoenix Program? made sense on paper, but by the time it was over people were being killed over “drug turf” or village-level family squabble. “yeah, that guy is VC…” (in reality, he is schtupping my wife and I want him dead)

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 19th, 2010
1:17 pm

neo-Carlinist – The more I read about our country, its crimes, and the foreign power currently controlling America, the more I support the right to keep and carry arms – we most likely will not survive, but at least we can take some of them with us!

No More Progressives!

March 19th, 2010
1:54 pm

Jonathan

March 19th, 2010
12:34 pm
For the love of God! WHO LEGALLY DEFINES THE WORD “TERRORIST”?

Trundle on down to Barnes & Knoble; spend $9.95 on a Webster’s collegiate paperback dictionary & LOOK IT UP!!!!

Scout

March 19th, 2010
2:07 pm

To No More Progressives! : Ooo Rah!

To neo-Carlinist : I don’t disagree with much of what you say when it comes to some of the philosophy of war but regarding your friend ………… there is a big difference between friendly fire (I have been on the receiving end) and the intentional “fragging” of an officer. If your “friend” did that then he should no longer be your friend. That is MURDER and there is no statute of limitations.

P.S. Marine is always capitalized ………….. :o

Scout

March 19th, 2010
2:08 pm

P.S.S.

Out on patrol for the rest of the day …………… be nice to each other.

dewstarpath

March 19th, 2010
2:35 pm

I have a question regarding this topic:

– How can you (in this case the “triggerman” – whether it be
a sniper or a UAV pilot) tell if someone is or is not a US citizen?

Unless you have some type of actionable intelligence you can
access in real-time, how can this be determined in any way other
than after the fact? And if you DO have the info, why would the
fact that they are American make a difference? There are shootings
like that all the time in this country – that doesn’t make it right, but
US citizens are more of a target HERE than overseas, IMHO.

The ONE

March 19th, 2010
2:39 pm

Scout, thanks for your service! Now go kick some ass and let GOD sort them out1

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 19th, 2010
3:29 pm

Dear The ONE: or Allah, we still do not know who the true God is, or if he/she/it even exists.

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 19th, 2010
3:34 pm

Certainly dewstarpath, any American who opposes Israel here is a target of the pro israel lobby, AIPAC, and American Jews in general. Israel Israel Uber Alles is the operating principle of American Jews, period, and I do mean PERIOD. What is wrong with that? Should it not be America Uber Alles, and not Israel?

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
3:39 pm

dewstarpath, good points. and even with “actionable inteligence” you must consider the source. let’s not forget about the Jordanian double-agent who wiped out a CIA team in Afghanistan. the CIA and Jordanian intel types who recruited him obviously thought he was a “good guy”. Scout, sorry for the lower case M (I sometimes miss the “shift” button when, and ignore it other times). I know it was “just a movie” but your observation reminds me of the line in Apocalypse Now; “…charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500…” if “the mission” comes first and a grunt is willing to sacrifice his life for the mission, I am OK with grunts sacrificing other lives for the mission. I cannot speak for my acquaintence in Alaska, but my feeling was he was not talking about fragging some guy because he made you clean latrines. his comments seemed to suggest that if a dude is not “squared away” and his incompetence or unprofessional behavior endangered the lives of others in the unit, the unit had it’s own “laws”. again, it’s all predicated on the very weak premise that people tell the truth (in Washington, DC or Warizstan)

dewstarpath

March 19th, 2010
3:56 pm

- Actually, Tar and Feathers, there have been a number of Jewish
Americans who have been convicted in this country, accused of
spying for (and transferring technology and information to) Israel,
most notably in the case of Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted
in 1987.
My point was that the “fog of war” doesn’t always allow for timely
assessment when it comes to identifying who is a “friend” or “foe” –
particularly when it comes to the presence of civilians in a war zone.
John Walker Lindh was caught by chance, and the problem of knowing
who is on our side in some parts of the world is still a vexing one in
urban terrain.

dewstarpath

March 19th, 2010
4:11 pm

neoCarlinist:

– Great quote from the beginning of one of my favorite movies. And I agree
that the recent CIA tragedy is but one of many examples of battlefield
obfuscation. It happens even when there’s no outright conflict, as in training
exercises stateside, or, for example, the April 1994 incident involving two US
helicopters being misidentified by AWACS, and shot down by two F-15s with
more than two dozen people on board the Blackhawks.

joan

March 19th, 2010
4:50 pm

Kuncous go back to school and learn to spell. Oh, I forgot, government schools are incapable of teaching spelling.

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
5:13 pm

dewstarpath, and therein lies the rub (my original point), who get’s to determine good guys from bad guys, and is the determination made before or after the fact? and even more disturbing, when/if we do get the wrong guy (fog of war OR double agent doublecross), the politicos (Cheneys and Rumsfelds of the world) throw the guys in the field under the proverbial bus.

007

March 19th, 2010
6:15 pm

This is a none issue. Why? Because, How would you know! Its not like some government official would report to another government official “We killed so in so, because he was doing such and such” AND that conversation would be recorded in some shape or form so that it would become knowledge to the masses. Indeed, it would not surprise me if we have already assassinated an American abroad, under some reason(s) because that is what power and evil do. The next time your read or hear of a report of an American killed (or Murdered) in another country it could be your government at work protecting and/or securing your right to be free from terrorist, or a government sanction killing to allow a corporation to expand its operations, or a government sanction killing to appease the son of a king of a country in which our national interest is at stake, or……..

neo-Carlinist

March 20th, 2010
7:31 am

007, I agree with everything but your first “it could be…” a government that sanctions murder for the purposes of furthering the interests of a corporate citizen, or to appease a nation with whom it shares common or reciprocal interests does not “protect” or “secure” the freedom of its individual citizens. I agree that these scenarios are ALL very likely, and very likely as far as the USA goes, but my point is, if this is the case, it is the government (State) which protects and secures its own freedom, and the idea that individual liberty is part of the equation is more of a political poker chip or bartering tool (elections, social order/stability), as opposed to a matter of policy (”inalienable right”, as it were).

Liking Barr more every day.

March 20th, 2010
9:11 am

Yes, indeed, NMP, it seems we live in a world populated by individuals who are stuck on stupid. I’m probably the most stupid, but the difference between me and Jihad Jane is that I would never presume to imply myself in another’s destiny.

The Tea Party is not a party. It’s a symptom. It’s the advanced stages of a disease called Viral Ego. This disease is contracted during the contagious quest for fullfillment of the Scriptured Birthright of Fame ordained by the prophet Worhol.

Of course the fifteen minutes of fame was calculated in dog years, which means it’s actually 105 minutes of fame for you and me. It’s not fair that Lassie, the Taco Bell dog, Benji and Rin Tin Tin got more than 15 dog-minutes of fame while I’ve never gotten even one millisecond of notice from anyone. I can’t even get noticed at McDonalds to give my order. The clerk looks right past me every single time, I swear. I raise my hand, “Um, I think I’m next, sir….” Nothing. The person behind me goes, “Yeah, I’ll have the #3 and supersize it.” I look around and people are like, “Why don’t you stand up for yourself? Speak up, man”. And I’m like, “I’m not going to start a fight over french fries.” And they always say, “You don’t have to start a fight, just speak up. HEY! This man was in line here. Sir! This man was next.” Then I go, “Shhh. You wanna relax? It’s alright. I’m not in a hurry.” Then the manager comes out and goes, “IS there a problem? What’s this all about here?”

Of course THATS when I get noticed. IT only takes one guy to point at me and say, “This man here, he started it all. He’s trying to cut in line. He thinks his time is worth more than us.” I lamely objected, “But I was just trying to get a meal, and the lady didn’t notice me but I said it was okay and then the guy behind me started yelling and I didn’t do nothing and…”

Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.

Everytime. I haven’t had a big mac since 1974. Fact.

jack.

Now THAT’S stupid.

No More Progressives!

March 20th, 2010
1:30 pm

Jonathan

March 19th, 2010
12:38 pm
Do you own any guns? Are you a member of the NRA? Do you think there’s any reason, any reason at all that the Federal Government might have reason to label you a terrorist in the future?

Owning a firearm (or an arsenal) does not make you a terrorist. Your behaviour with the firearm(s) is what may make you a terrorist.

Yes, Liking Barr, the propogation of stupid people has reached an exponential level. McDonalds is a good training ground…………………..

SouthernGal

March 20th, 2010
2:16 pm

Oh my….they want to give U.S. citizen rights to terrorists yet the want to deny the same due process to citizens!

Port O'John

March 21st, 2010
2:33 pm

Is this really surprising? Its from the George W. Bush administration: torture, extraordinary rendition — any means to justify the pursuit of power.

And its sounds sadly too much like conservative policy-makers in the GOP today.

Liking Barr more every day.

March 21st, 2010
3:12 pm

“Killin’ Americans is okay if it’s good clean killin’.” (Ma Barker, Bonnie Parker, Sarah Palin).

No More Progressives!

March 21st, 2010
7:57 pm

Port O’John

March 21st, 2010
2:33 pm
Is this really surprising? Its from the George W. Bush administration: torture, extraordinary rendition…

Torture is being duct-taped to a chair and made to watch Rosie O’Donnell re-runs for 24 hours.

You big wussy.

What Me Worry

March 23rd, 2010
3:20 pm

Yeah, I’m a pu$$y because I don’t want to give up my rights for a completely false sence of security. Or are you the pu$$y because you would give up your every right and march lock step with big brother for nothing more then a pat on the back and a tussling of your hair.