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February 07, 2013 11:35 AM Why the “Drone Doctrine” Is Such a Flashpoint

By Ed Kilgore

As The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf notes, we’re seeing a very unusual set of battlelines developing over the Obama administration’s internal justifications for drone strikes against American citizens:

Some neoconservatives have suddenly begun defending the president. John Bolton, former ambassador to the UN, says the drone program “appears to be consistent with the policies of the Bush administration,” in which he served. Max Boot of Commentary insists Obama’s drone memo is a “careful, responsible document.” I’d half expect John Yoo to start praising Obama if he weren’t busy “turning away in disgust” at the McRib’s disappearance from his local McDonald’s.
Dick Cheney has yet to comment.

Meanwhile, Obama’s beginning to get serious heat over this issue, not just from the antiwar Left or the civil-liberties Left, but from conventional liberals.

It’s worth pondering why this has become such a flashpoint for progressives. Yes, it sits at the juncture that connects the “War on Terror,” extraconstitutional executive powers, and official secrecy—all hallmarks of the hated Bush administration. And yes, this controversy is erupting after Obama has been re-elected, meaning it will not immediately benefit a Republican presidential candidate who would almost certainly double-down on every questionable national security policy of the current administration.

But I think something a bit more subtle is going on under the surface. What a lot of progressives fear—what I fear, for that matter—is that drone technology is facilitating a new kind of warfare whose costs—financial, diplomatic, and yes, moral—are kept out of sight on the grounds that most Americans really don’t care what’s happening so long as direct U.S. casualties are minimized. The secrecy involved in authorizing and executing drone strikes increases that hazard.

But in the current case, we are talking about drones killing U.S. citizens, not foreigners, so that in theory at least brings the practice into the area where Americans view themselves as having some stake. It remains to be seen whether most people will ultimately care about “traitors” being “taken out.” But the issue does provide a rare level of scrutiny over what has been thought to be a sanitized and politically fail-safe form of warfare.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Kevin (not the famous one) on February 07, 2013 11:54 AM:

    Dick Cheney has yet to comment.

    I can just imagine Darth stammering to issue a statement with the word Democrat in it. (see also: movie The Kings Speech)

    I though all our liberties have already been given over on this broader war on/of terror. This can't be anything more than dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

  • Robert Abbott on February 07, 2013 11:56 AM:

    This controversy doesn't have anything to do with whether the American people will pay attention or not. The issue is that the left keeps mischaracterizing what is going on. They have NO evidence that the program is willy nilly targeting Americans. The cause celebre American everyone points to was actively involved in planning terror attacks on the US from a sanctuary in Yemen!! The Yemeni military could not capture him!! Just what citizenship rights does such an individual enjoy? Why should the left take up his cause except for the fact that their a priori position is that the US is THE evil actor in the world. Again, the left has no evidence that this Administration is acting outside the law. I will bet that the justifications they'll release today will follow the law. The notion that the President would capriciously ignore international law on this is a slander. If you think he would, PROVE IT!!! Don't just scream from the rooftops. PROVE IT!!! Of course, it's much easier to demagogue. But for once, just PROVE IT!!!

  • bob atkinson on February 07, 2013 11:56 AM:

    What my fellow travelers on the left are forgetting is that there have been no more "night raids" by Special Ops since the increased use of the drones. This gang of terrorists called al Queda has declared war on America and it is not a war limited to one sovereign nation or any international border at all. We use the drones to take out those who have been identified as leaders or participants in the movement or we use ground troops or we ignore them and let the cancer spread. Being a Viet Nam veteran heavily involved in covert ops into Laos and Cambodia I have real trepidation about the expanding use of the new war machines but I also see no difference between al Queda members from Khandahar or Kansas. We are at war. We have a multi billion dollar intelligence organization and input from allies around the world as threatened and concerned about al Queda as we are who are feeding us intell as well. These drone strikes are being done with the best information available to us and though they have resulted in civilian casualties so too did the "night raids". Don't like the idea of assassination via drones but is it really any different than what the CIA has been up to for decades only with new killing machines?

  • c u n d gulag on February 07, 2013 12:00 PM:

    I'm somewhat conflicted about the use of drones, overall.

    True, they may save some American lives - but at the expense of the lives of some innocent people who had nothing at all to do with the intended target(s), except proximity.

    I'm NOT, however, conflicted about their use on US citizens, here, or overseas.

    These are extra-judicial executions.
    And even traitors deserve trails.

    And, since I'm against the Death Penalty in ALL cases, there's no way that I can defend what President Obama and the US government are doing here.

    And if lower-cost, more automated wars, are easier to wage, because there'll be less casualties, then I'm mostly against them.
    Wars, for the most part, should not be fought on the cheap.

    For better or worse, I still wish we had a draft (with virtually NO exceptions - so that, before our politicians got us involved in battles, they had to defend their actions to the voting public, who'd have a hell of a lot more skin in the game, in some way other than, "Well, these people volunteered, so they had to know that fighting, getting wounded, and/or dying, were possibilities."

    Mind you, I'd prefer no wars at all, and a draft for young people who should be given a choice of the military (for defense only - like the old militia's), or some sort of civic outreach, nationally and internationally, because I think this all-volunteer military was a great way for the politicians and military to distance themselves from the consequences of wars and occupations.

    I can almost guarantee you, that if we had a conscripted military, that we'd never have gone into Afghanistan, and especially, not into Iraq, because too many peoples family members and friendswould have been affected.

    I could be wrong, since public sentiment at the time, driven by propaganda, was for military action. But, it was easier to get more people aboard, since few of them had any family or friends in the military, and, since it was an all-volunteer military, they figure they could keep the folks they know far from harms way.

    In my minds eye, the only worthwhile wars we have ever fought, were, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and WWII.

  • schtick on February 07, 2013 12:07 PM:

    So when are we going to use these drones on the congresscritters that go to foreign countries to promote anti-Americanism? Aren't they traitors, too?

  • T2 on February 07, 2013 12:09 PM:

    If a drone could have taken out the shooter at Sandy Hook, an American, would that have been ok? When a US citizen plots to kill other Americans, he accepts the fact he might get killed......how he's killed I really don't care.

  • Lifelong Dem on February 07, 2013 12:10 PM:

    Did everyone forget about the PATRIOT Act? It gives the president sole power to designate anyone in the world, including American citizens, as "enemy combatants." Anyone deemed to be an enemy combatant under that law has no right to, well, anything. No right to due process or a lawyer or anything.

    For the record, I'm just as opposed to provisions of that law now as I was when it was passing through Congress. But I'm not caught up in the current angst over the targeting of American citizens as part of the "war on terror" that we continue to fight whether the President of the United States speaks the phrase or not.

  • Moderator on February 07, 2013 12:20 PM:

    [A long copy-and-paste from Robert Abbott was removed. It would have been removed anyway, but since the parrot posting didn't even bother making sure the paragraphs were separated properly to make the screed readable, the decision was automatic. -- Mod]

  • Mitch on February 07, 2013 12:21 PM:

    There's a very simple test here: Step back and in your mind replace Obama with George W. Bush, pretend that Bush is in power right now. Then imagine Bush doing these things with drones (or whatever, this test works for every aspect of politics).

    If it would upset you for Bush and the Repugs to do something, then it should be equally upsetting when Obama and the Dems do it. If it does not upset you in equal amounts, then—no offense—you're acting out of tribal loyalty to a political party, and behaving the same as the Tea Partiers who rage about government intrusion, but are fine with vaginal probes.

  • Mimikatz on February 07, 2013 12:24 PM:

    I'm also conflicted about drones. They thed to have less collateral damage than, say, Israeli-type home demolitions or search-and-destroy missions. But they do really inspire anti-American sentiment abroad, more than most of us appreciate. Which gets us back to the question whether all of our efforts from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and drone strikes and allied actions are creating more and more anti-American jihadists to the point of being counterproductive. That is what we never confront. Would we be safer without the foreign ops but just better intel? And why do we get so hysterical if guns kill ten times the casualties of 9/11 every year and that is acceptable to "preserve our freedom".

  • Amusing Alias on February 07, 2013 12:28 PM:

    The Dems need to back down on this "controversy" very quickly. The justification for killing American traitors, even on American soil, was settled during Civil War. Sherman's March to the Sea, for example, was not about destroying forces actively engaged in hostilities, but destroying traitorous American citizens who were potentially hostile.

    We've never given due process to traitors who support military action against the United States, and the courts nor any one else has ever objected.

    Dems need to remember this tradition and get on the side of America not the traitors. It's goofy moves like this that make voters believe Dems are weak on defense.

  • Anonymous on February 07, 2013 12:31 PM:

    @Mimikatz

    "Would we be safer without the foreign ops but just better intel?"

    I could hug you for that post, and especially this simple question. Let us never forget that paying attention to the Intel may have very well prevented 9/11 altogether.

  • CharlieM on February 07, 2013 12:37 PM:

    I have no doubts that some of these people needed/deserved to be eliminated - that they were clearly a case of imminent danger. Hard to feel sympathy for anyone actively engaged in terrorism.
    But what I think is the greater danger is having this unilateral power to decide vested in a single person without any sort of formal process or oversight. It in effect means that we all enjoy our citizenship/rights solely at the discretion of a single person. This makes a mockery of any semblance of due process or constitutional rights.
    What good is the constitution or the rights enumerated in it when one person gets to decide (unilaterally and without review) that, well, it just doesn't apply to you anymore (along with same "decider" claiming by action that it doesn't really apply to them either).

  • Robb on February 07, 2013 12:45 PM:

    The reason is fairly obvious.
    Polls show that drone attacks are unpopular and particularly unpopular amongst Democrats.
    Of course Democrats in Congress will distance themselves.

    I don't think it has as much effect on the President because (in addition to being a lame duck), a Republican Presidential candidate is likely to take the same position or harsher, making it a nonpoint.

    From my own perspective, I think foreign policy has less to do with who is President than what the culture is of the defense bureaucracies and the experts it produces to advise the President (who is almost always a novice in such matters).

  • Josef K on February 07, 2013 12:57 PM:

    A scene from Robert Heinlein's novel "Friday" comes to mind, wherein the titular character is witness to temporary global chaos caused by corporate terrorism. One of her castmates outlines the hazards they now face thus:

    "One gang wants to shoot me on sight, another merely outlaws my profession and my art, and the last, by threatening without specifying, appears to me to be even more dreaded."

    I paraphrase here, but the bolded passage is the key. The current Administration, like its predecessor, has claimed the authority to designate any American citizen and taxpayer an "imminent threat". The very authority is, by definition, an unvoiced threat against any and all, and the lack of specificity is something we should all object to just on basic principle.

    Perhaps the Obama Administration is more rigorous in its determination of who is/isn't a credible threat (never mind an "imminent" one) than the Bush Administration was. But just allowing that authority to be vested to any one office is dangerous in the extreme; the line can be easily blurred or ignored entirely, as it seemed to happen so often since 9/11.

  • Speed on February 07, 2013 1:09 PM:

    For god's sakes, all you "liberals," these drones will soon be flying around in our skies - belonging to the police/FBI/ATF/CIA/Homeland Security/Blackwater/whoever - and then you'll have a lot more to worry about.

  • Ron Byers on February 07, 2013 1:13 PM:

    I am a firm believer in the rule of law. That said, the single case cited doesn't give me any pause. The president is charged with protecting America. The particular terrorist killed in Yemen was a known terrorist official and was by all accounts actively planning future terrorist attacks. There was no reasonable way to arrest him. He had to be stopped. The drone stopped him. The president did his duty.

    That said my view would change completely if he could have been arrested using reasonably safe means or if he had been in the process of giving himself up. By the way, the police kill American citizens all the time when they are treatening imminent harm to others and there is no way to safely arrest them. That is why SWAT teams have snipers.

  • Mitch on February 07, 2013 1:15 PM:

    @Josef K

    Excellent statement. I, personally, like Obama and doubt that he would use the powers for any malicious purpose. No doubt many Republicans felt the same about the expanded powers under Bush. They trusted him to use them wisely and only for defense.

    But do we trust that future Presidents will all be worthy of such powers?

  • Bob M on February 07, 2013 1:18 PM:

    I don't like extra-territorial state killing in third party countries. How you do it is irrelevant. You Americans gotta realize that other peoples just aren't that into your wee wars and try to contain yourselves.

  • sapient on February 07, 2013 1:32 PM:

    Mitch: But do we trust that future Presidents will all be worthy of such powers?

    Mitch, I don't trust "future Presidents" just as I didn't trust some past Presidents with the powers of the Presidency. It's a hugely powerful position, and when our country elects bad people, bad things happen. "Precedent" doesn't matter to a reckless wrong-headed president, as we saw with Bush. That's why it's so important to elect good people, and why it's so abominable when people pretend that there's no difference between candidates.

    As to the core of the drone issue, thank you T2 and Ron Byer for getting this right. In addition, we are currently in a declared war. True, the declaration of war (AUMF) is vague and unsatisfying - maybe it should be amended by Congress (how many people have been clamoring for that? ... crickets). But killing enemies in war has always been the whole point. And there's never been a war without civilians having been accidentally killed. Drone technology actually improves the situation from the perspective of killing real enemies and sparing civilians.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on February 07, 2013 1:39 PM:

    Drone strikes, per se, don't concern me as much as drone strikes in the current framework (or lack thereof) of international law regarding drone strikes.

    As one Dem from Minnesota pointed out on the box, it's pretty much open season for US drone strikes because, as of now, we're the only people doing it. But what if some other undesirable state manages to take advantage of the technology? Everything's all well and good when the US's default defense is "there ain't no law saying we can't", until we have to justify when someone else can't do drone strikes...

  • jjm on February 07, 2013 2:22 PM:

    I'm most curious about the specifications for drone attacks that the WH wrote down in the event someone other than Obama got elected, i.e., Romney. I think they must feel that it's being used judiciously by him but might well not be by the 'other guys.'

    I liked the sentiments expressed by @Robert Abbott on February 07, 2013 11:56 AM.

    I'm also a little concerned that reporting on this yesterday the NYT profiled a preacher who was preaching against al Quaeda, who noticed him and asked to meet with him. They met outside town under a tree and all were killed by a drone strike. Is this literally the case? It sounds a bit sketchy; after all, usually AQ would ordinarily just cut this guy down, no? Hmmm. Sets one to wondering.

  • Sisyphus on February 07, 2013 2:26 PM:

    Ah, I do like the tribalism on display. It confirms my view of the world. People, Obama's not a saint. His record on civil liberties is, in fact, pretty awful and in many ways worse that George W. Bush's. He hasn't closed Guantanamo. He not only signed, but actively campaigned for the NDAA (http://www.aclu.org/blog/tag/ndaa). On this specific subject, Obama is at least as bad as Bush, if not worse. And he's not going to change as long as even the most vociferous responses have a "It's not that we think Obama will misuse this power..." He's already misused it. He's executed American citizens without due process. THIS IS WRONG! Stop providing cover. Stop equivocating. Stop defending a policy that is as wrong when someone with (D) after their name on the news does it as it is when someone with (R) after their name does it.

  • Buhallin on February 07, 2013 2:55 PM:

    "What a lot of progressives fear—what I fear, for that matter—is that drone technology is facilitating a new kind of warfare whose costs—financial, diplomatic, and yes, moral—are kept out of sight on the grounds that most Americans really don’t care what’s happening so long as direct U.S. casualties are minimized."

    While I sympathize with this in concept, and agree that this prerequisite for concern is a bad thing, I don't believe this is a defensible reason to do or not do something.

    By most accounts, the reduction in casualties between Vietnam and Iraq had nothing to do with difference in the level of combat, but was instead largely due to improvements in battlefield medicine and triage. Do you fear battlefield medicine because it reduces the casualty counts, thus making the American public less interested? Should we intentionally take actions to increase our casualties to get them to take notice?

    It's right to be concerned about the indifference of the American public to military action. But taking military options off the table because of that is effectively saying "If we're going to do this, more of our people need to die so that the public appreciates the weight of what we're doing." I don't think that's a morally defensible position.

  • HDMK on February 07, 2013 3:18 PM:

    Buhallin.

    Yeah, turn that the other way, and it makes getting into wars that much easier.
    And yes, removing any responsibility for war from the people who set it in motion is pretty disgusting.

  • Buhallin on February 07, 2013 3:24 PM:

    Well, in general the people who set the wars in motion are rarely the ones who pay the consequences.

    Again, I'm not disagreeing that "free war" is problematic and risky. I just don't think "Make sure more of our people die" isn't much of a solution.

    It's also not a winning argument. "We shouldn't use this tech because it would keep our troops from dying and that's bad" not only won't convince anyone, it's likely to cause a pretty nasty backlash. I do believe we need to make sure that the public that supports a war understands the costs of that war... but this is not a good way to do so.

  • bdop4 on February 07, 2013 3:24 PM:

    "It’s worth pondering why this has become such a flashpoint for progressives. Yes, it sits at the juncture that connects the 'War on Terror,' extraconstitutional executive powers, and official secrecy—all hallmarks of the hated Bush administration."

    Get real, Ed: these are hallmarks of the Obama administration as well. This recent Justice Dept. memo is Bush's "pre-emptive doctrine" on steroids, reducing the "imminent danger" threshold to practically nothing.

    It's also disheartening to see so many buy into the GWOT meme hook, line and sinker. AQ is not a nation with boundarie. It is an internation organization perpetrating the crime of terrorism, and should be prosecuted as such. By agreeing to the war meme, you grant the executive branch powers and authority far beyond what it would otherwise have, and invite its abuse of that power.

    I always thought being an American was accepting a degree of personal danger in the service of a larger principle (due process and personal liberty in this case). All the billions spent, thousands killed and civil rights ceded in exchange for the perception of safety.

  • bdop4 on February 07, 2013 3:26 PM:

    "It’s worth pondering why this has become such a flashpoint for progressives. Yes, it sits at the juncture that connects the 'War on Terror,' extraconstitutional executive powers, and official secrecy—all hallmarks of the hated Bush administration."

    Get real, Ed: these are hallmarks of the Obama administration as well. This recent Justice Dept. memo is Bush's "pre-emptive doctrine" on steroids, reducing the "imminent danger" threshold to practically nothing.

    It's also disheartening to see so many buy into the GWOT meme hook, line and sinker. AQ is not a nation with boundarie. It is an internation organization perpetrating the crime of terrorism, and should be prosecuted as such. By agreeing to the war meme, you grant the executive branch powers and authority far beyond what it would otherwise have, and invite its abuse of that power.

    I always thought being an American was accepting a degree of personal danger in the service of a larger principle (due process and personal liberty in this case). All the billions spent, thousands killed and civil rights ceded in exchange for the perception of safety.

  • Buhallin on February 07, 2013 3:28 PM:

    Well, in general the people who set the wars in motion are rarely the ones who pay the consequences.

    Again, I'm not disagreeing that "free war" is problematic and risky. I just don't think "Make sure more of our people die" isn't much of a solution.

    It's also not a winning argument. "We shouldn't use this tech because it would keep our troops from dying and that's bad" not only won't convince anyone, it's likely to cause a pretty nasty backlash. I do believe we need to make sure that the public that supports a war understands the costs of that war... but this is not a good way to do so.

  • Anonymous on February 07, 2013 3:39 PM:

    @bdop4

    Great post! I would add that the "War on Terror" doesn't really make us safer. Better intelligence stops terrorist attacks (has, does and will—and would have if Bush & friends had listened to it back in 2001). This "War" is a sop. Reminds me of teenage boys getting into fights to prove something. Might has never made right, and it sure as hell heals nothing.

  • HMDK on February 07, 2013 4:11 PM:

    Well, Buhallin, we can sidestep most of it, by allowing people cheering for a war to serve in it. They want it, the "other they" got it.

    What I find most confusing is the idea that we must always either BE at war or at least monstrously overpreparing for one.

  • Robert from upstate on February 07, 2013 4:19 PM:

    Let's try to clarify the issues in this discussion by an analogy. In WW 2 there were a number of US citizens who fought with the Germans (primarily with the SS) against the US forces in Europe. Some of them were carrying rifles, etc., but some were engaged in intelligence and counter intelligence. So let's assume that the US was able to identify the location of a few of these citizens in a farm house behind German lines and the question was whether to send in a fighter bomber to rocket or bomb the farm house and kill the US citizens fighting for the Germans.

    Questions:

    1. What do we think the US military decision makers would have done?

    2. If they decided to send in the aircraft and the strike was successful, do we think the killing of the those US citizens was legal under all applicable laws?

  • Gitmo on February 07, 2013 4:31 PM:

    Progressives, relax. When Obama and Co. behave this way, everything is cool. Just blame Bush and ignore the shootings in Chicago. Things are cool with Corn and Carney as well, so move along, move along. These aren't the drones you're looking for.

  • HMDK on February 07, 2013 4:39 PM:

    Rob from upstate, I think it would depend a really great deal on what other options they had. And on wether the traitors had any important secrets. And is this a "24" plot?

  • Gitmo on February 07, 2013 4:40 PM:

    Progressives, relax. When Obama and Co. behave this way, everything is cool. Just blame Bush and ignore the shootings in Chicago. Things are cool with Corn and Carney as well, so move along, move along. These aren't the drones you're looking for.

  • Buhallin on February 07, 2013 4:44 PM:

    @HDMK: So you're basically saying that anyone who believes a war is just and right should be required to fight in it? Do we really need to list off all the things that are wrong with that idea?

    As for the idea that we're always either at war or "monstrously overpreparing" for one, I think that ignores history. Prior to WWII, we were neither. Following it led to the cold war buildup, and I think it's hard to say we were overprepared for what Russia did. Over the last 20-30 years we haven't managed to draw down to the level of the threats we currently face. There are a variety of reasons for that, but I think presenting this as something permanent and centrally-defining to America is cherry-picking a pretty limited (and recent) development.

  • HMDK on February 07, 2013 5:08 PM:

    Buhallin.

    So, in other words, the U.S. managed to mobilize and fight in WW2 VERY quickly. But after the cold war, drawing down was so damn difficult... and so hard.

  • JohnR22 on February 07, 2013 5:12 PM:

    Oh c'mon. There's no "flash point" on the Left at all. There are a few pro-forma squeaks from the ACLU and one or two other organizations; just so they can later claim they held the moral high ground.

    But the truth is, the Left REALLY doesn't care about this at all, because they hold power in the US right now and therefore pretty much anything Obama does is OK by them...god forbid they slag Obama lest it hinder his grand mission of bringing us european style socialism.

    Now, if Romney was president, then the noise from the Left over the drones would be deafening.

  • HMDK on February 07, 2013 5:27 PM:

    JohnR22, are you a bad joke?
    Because, seriously.
    And what the hell is "european style socialism"?
    Please be specific because, as a Dane, I'm laughing my ass off.

  • Southside on February 07, 2013 5:55 PM:

    HMDK on February 07, 2013 5:27 PM:

    If only you could see the success of progressives in Detroit, Chicago, East St. Louis...

  • HMDK on February 07, 2013 6:03 PM:

    Southside.

    Yes, that has so much shit to do with...

  • Doug on February 07, 2013 6:53 PM:

    For what it's worth, I'm with Ron Byers @ 1:13 PM on this. Al Qaeda is nothing more than a criminal organization using extortion, threats and violence. As such it should be fought with police, using police methods.
    The problem that has developed, however, is not due to the actions of the Al Qaeda members, but because of where those members choose to locate themselves - places where quite often the military of that nation doesn't have any control, let alone the niceties of every-day policing.
    In other words, we can't send four or five policemen to collect the accused, transport him back to the US and then give him a trial. Nor do we usually have the option of sending in a detachment of SEALs. By the time an agreement has been hashed out with the government of the nation concerned, the likelihood of someone spilling the beans reaches nearly 100%; allowing the suspect to disappear. To do so (send in SEALs) without an invitation, is an invasion of a sovereign nation and is considered an act of war (see, Afghanistan, Pakistan).
    As for the legal position, it would seem to me that by physically removing themselves from the United States the person involved has already shown their willingness to NOT be subject to US laws. This is true of tourists as well, although often without their realizing it! The presumption is, however, that tourists AREN'T planning any criminal activities and therefore any problems that might develop can, and will, be handled without anyone suffering more than a fine (and maybe a good scare).
    Personally, I have no opposition to someone being tried in absentia in OPEN court. However, ss much/most/all the evidence would be based on intelligence, I don't see that happening. Nor do I like the idea of any one person having the power to investigate, try, convict and execute someone. I also do not like the idea of NOT being able to prevent a terrorist from organizing and carrying out a criminal act simply because that person is a US citizen currently residing someplace that is, literally, inaccessible to police authority.
    Squaring a circle indeed...

  • Cranky Observer on February 07, 2013 8:01 PM:

    = = =issue, not just from the antiwar Left or the civil-liberties Left, but from conventional liberals. = = =

    Grifters gotta grift, haters gotta hate, and neliberals gotta neolib I guess. Be interesting to see if any Washington Monthly regular can write about any topic at any length without using a phrase such as "antiwar Left". How's that Bush/Cheney Iraq War thing working out for you, WaMo?

    Cranky

    eaturra Personal - 1st try

  • Southside on February 07, 2013 10:53 PM:

    "Yes, that has so much shit to do with..."

    Indeed it does. Indeed it does. A real shame Kabul is safer than Chicago.

  • HMDK on February 08, 2013 9:47 AM:

    Oh, Southside, you were an unfunny troll all along. What a twist!

  • HMDK on February 08, 2013 9:51 AM:

    Oh, Southside, you were an unfunny troll all along. What a twist!