Things in the Memo on the Killing of Americans That Liberals Would Scream About If Bush Was President:
Now that a 16-page memo was leaked to NBC News that details the "legal" justification for targeted drone strikes on American citizens abroad, Obama-supporting liberals (like yours truly) have to confront, in vivid, concrete ways, the actions of a White House that, if a Republican were in office, would cause us to spew blood vendettas against those responsible. Oh, wait. When a Republican was in office, we spewed those oaths over the detention and torture of Americans and others. Now we're up to stone cold murder. We should be even more outraged. The fact that a Democrat is president does not change that.
The memo itself contains chilling passages - denial of rights, bureaucratic redefinitions of words, and the manipulative citing of court cases. Check it out:
1. "Were the target of a lethal operation a U.S. citizen who may have rights under the Due Process Clause and the Fourth Amendment, that individual's citizenship would not immunize him from a lethal operation." Why? Because the government would be "forestalling the threat of violence" by killing the fuck out the American. You got that? Not "forestalling violence," but "forestalling the threat." The Rude Pundit's neighbor is an asshole who owns a gun. He feels the threat of violence every day. Where's his drone strike? Oh, yeah, rights do exist then.
2. "[T]he AUMF [Authorization for the Use of Military Force] itself does not set forth an express geographic limitation on the use of force it authorizes." You got that, right? The memo says we can blow shit up wherever we want. Of course, if an al-Qaida-associated American was in, say, France, we probably wouldn't be using missiles of fiery death because we wouldn't want to upset "civilized" people.
3. "[T]he condition that an operational leader presents an 'imminent' threat of violence attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future." So here, "imminent" doesn't actually mean "imminent." It means "plausible, maybe, given the right circumstances, should the stars align and a crazy goatfucker gives the thumbs-up." But if you said, "Meh, could happen," then murdering the shit out of an American would be a paranoid overreaction at best, an out and out crime at worst. So "imminent" it is. See? The Obama administration has fun with words, too. Remember when the Bush Department of Justice redefined "torture"? We loved that.
4. "[W]here the al-Qaida member in question has recently been involved in activities posing an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States, and there's no evidence suggesting he has renounced or abandoned such activities, that member's involvement in al-Qaida's continuing terrorist campaign against the United States would support the conclusion that the member poses an imminent threat." This is the one that makes the Rude Pundit feel a hot pain in his bowels like after he ate that spicy pork at a Filipino restaurant. The absence of exculpatory evidence is proof that someone needs to be blown to bits. If that doesn't make you queasy, you just don't really care about living in a nation of laws.
5. The use of the Supreme Court decisions in Tennessee v. Garner and Haig v. Agee. The former actually limited the use of deadly force by the police against fleeing suspects, although this memo cites the decision as supporting the killing of Americans abroad. The latter case gave the government broader latitude to take away passports from citizens. Apparently, when an American is made into a meaty paste by a drone missile, the computer jockey who fired it is allowed to say, "Passport revoked" in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice.
6. "A lawful killing in self-defense is not an assassination...a lethal operation conducted against a U.S. citizen whose conduct poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States would be a legitimate act of national self-defense that would not violate the assassination ban." But remember: "imminent" doesn't mean "imminent" in any sense that we would normally understand "imminent." So, hey, why the fuck not say that an assassination is not really an assassination?
Republicans will have hearings when someone in the Obama administration farts too loudly. Think they'll actually have the balls to have a fair hearing on this? And if they're willing to do this, let's not forget about all this shit they let the previous administration get away with. The nation is now filthy with hypocrites.