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By wiredog (Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:31:00 PM EST) (all tags)
Assassinating Americans overseas, dreams, and other randomness inside.

Some people on the Left have been going off on how the US Gov targeting al-Awlaki as being wanted dead or alive, but most likely dead is this awful, horrible thing that is completely beyond the bounds of civilized behavior. It's not. The overuse of the state secrets doctrine is an issue, and one that needs to be looked at. But killing Americans who are in arms against the US, or advising those who are, when those Americans are in a place where they can't be arrested? Not an issue.

Anyway, Andrew Sullivan, the Gay Tory, lays out his (and my) reasons for why it's acceptable. As he says it is utterly uncontroversial that the military can kill a US citizen abroad if he is waging a treasonous war against the United States. To which I would add "If he's in a place where we can't easily arrest him."

Once he's arrested he absolutely must get a timely, fair, and open trial.

Thinking about technician's dream. For a few years after I quit drinking I would have dreams about drinking. Not sipping a beer, but getting utterly hammered. I also had many drugging dreams, and a couple dreams where I was definitely tripping in the dream. (Which, when you think about it, is utterly bizarre.) Haven't had those dreams in a few years now.

I quit smoking a few years back, and still occasionally dream I'm having a cigarette.

But the dreams that really mess with me are ones where I'm back in places or situations from decades ago, at the age I was then. Memories replaying in my dreams? High school, with a girlfriend, or just hanging out with friends. Walking around McLean back in 1980. One recently where I was 16, and driving my first car, a 73 Grand Am, around the Beltway. I'm talking to someone and I can't remember, exactly, who it was.

Sometimes I've dreamed I'm back in Basic or AIT, but never at any of the duty stations I went to.

Dreams from college, sometimes. Walking to and from class, or around campus.

I liked high school. I was part of the 'cool crowd' without being, actually, cool. I didn't have to be. LHS, at that time, wasn't as cliqueish as high school seems to be today. Rednecks (we had those in McLean back then), stoners, drunks, jocks, geeks of various sorts, might all hang out together at different times.

So dreams where I'm back with that crowd tend to mess with me. It's a lost world.

The other dreams elicit more of a "huh, that's odd" reaction.

Last week I looked into upgrading my cable service from basic-basic, which is just the over the air channels (including the HD OTA), to the HD service so I could get some shows from the BBC, Hitler History, and other channels. Adds $55/month. For another $20/month I can get the cable company DVR so I can watch those (3 or 4, at most) shows when I want to. $70/month.

So I ordered an AppleTV. Figure $12/month amortized over 8 months +$40/month (at most)for the shows I want. So $20/month cheaper to go online only.


New Twitter worm creates goat sex tweets

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Things, stuff, and things stuffed with other things. | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
tripping dreams by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:13:24 PM EST
I can't recall having any, but where the heck are all those flashbacks we were promised?

Maybe you didn't do enough? by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:22:08 PM EST
About 7 years ago I had a full-blown, walls are melting, flashback for about 2 minutes. During an AA meeting.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
As someone who lives a couple of hours by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:16:09 PM EST
away from Gettysburg, Antietam, and Fredricksburg, I think I've heard of a few compelling case histories to agree with your "attack traitors you can't arrest".

I'm curious about how this would work in practice. I would assume that any assassinated citizen would have as much right to a trial as an executed citizen would have to having DNA check his innocence (i.e. none). State secrets would never come up, because there would be no trials (all citizens would be simply assassinated to prevent trials).

As far as I know, at least some Columbian drug cartels (and others) have already been declared "terrorist". It isn't merely a slippery slope argument, the slope has already been pre-greased. I suspect that future bail hearings won't bother worrying about the defendant fleeing the country, he would only get a bullet in the back as he walked past customs.

The last case might be a bit extreme, but I can't imagine US foreign/secret/DoD departments willingly taking an option involving a trial over sweeping the issue into a grave. Wumpus

how this would work in practice by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:25:18 PM EST
We get intel that $target is in $LawlessLocation (Pakistan's northwest frontier, the remoter parts of Yemen, etc.), drone orbits the area, $target is (positively, we hope) identified, missile is fired.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
It does work that way. by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 10:30:00 PM EST
It also works well if $target is in more or less lawful Saudi. More or less friendly Saudi police takes out citizen with rifle and or missile. No messy legal issues.


[ Parent ]
In that case it's the Saudis doing it. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #9 Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 02:26:17 PM EST
Now, we may have told them that $Target is a Bad Guy. But if they decide to shoot him, rather than arresting him and handing him over, well, that's on them.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Dreaming is my favorite pastime by tuscoops (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:16:35 PM EST
It's the only time I feel I am truly in the moment and simply experiencing the situation. That being said, I think that's why people dream of smoking when they've quit, or doing drugs and drinking when they would never do so in real life; they aren't hindered by thoughts of what they *should* be doing. However, I've never dreamed of killing anyone or committing any real crime for that matter, so I suppose there are limitations on what my brain feels is living in the moment.

goat se..x by yankeehack (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 07:47:06 PM EST
I actually was affected by the goat sex "worm" over the weekend.

I follow a few twitter employees and one of them tweeted the WTF link.

So, me trusting his link, clicked it. However, the second part of the worm didn't work on my firefox install, so the world didn't get to know how much I liked goats.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

Heh. How long has it been since you've been by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #10 Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 02:27:50 PM EST
goatse'd? A decade or so?

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
i think by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #11 Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 04:41:25 PM EST
back in the day on /. there was some forewarning...
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
[ Parent ]
Try them in absentia. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 09:34:04 PM EST
Book it. Done. That's a wrap. Put it in the can.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

I don't revert in age in my dreams. by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 02:04:36 PM EST
For decades after leaving school, I still had dreams about being in school - no matter that in my dream I had family.

The dreams went away, I don't remember when, but the day I was accepted to grad school, at the age of 43, the dreams came back - there I was, trying to find my dorm room, or trying to figure out how to squeeze my family into the room I rented near Clark Park in Philly.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
Assassinations by duxup (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 05:22:34 PM EST
I think a lot of folks on the left heard a lot of stuff and then made a lot of assumptions.  I didn't hear nor expect any significant change when it comes to the shitpiles we're already in, nor did I think there were many other viable options after we stepped in them.

I also do not object to killing dudes you can't capture and who are taking military / terrorist actions against whatever nation is looking to kill them.  Simply having been / being an American at some time doesn't give you a free pass (that concept seems a bit stupid to me if it has some legal legs).

Has Awlaki been charged with a crime? by nstenz (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:36:54 PM EST

The last I read, he hasn't- so there's nothing to turn himself in for. Even if he has been charged, would you waltz up to guys who have orders to kill you?

The Constitution is very specific on the whole situation:

Article III, Section 3

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Even if the guy is committing treason, he has to actually be charged with the crime and be given a fair trial. Unless he is actively attacking our forces, there is no legal basis to kill him as "an act of war". Giving "aid and comfort" should get you captured, put on trial, and hung, but not shot or blown up without proof and the chance to defend yourself. The president does not have the right to assassinate whomever he wants without due process. As I understand it, this guy is not on the battlefield.

By asserting the so-called "state secrets privilege", the president is effectively saying "I can kill whomever I want, whenever I want, for whatever reason I feel like." There's no way to tell whether the person actually committed a crime if no court is allowed to convene a trial. The constitution couldn't be any more clear on this. If the president can order Awlaki be killed for any reason whatsoever, he can order the same for you, or for your loved ones, and you have no recourse.

I can't believe we're having the discussion at all. If he's shooting at us, of course we can shoot back. If he isn't, we can't just kill him. Hell, we gave Saddam a trial, and you're arguing that a U.S. citizen shouldn't get one. It's absurd.

So, to take an extreme example by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 11:17:05 AM EST
If an American Citizen had joined the Wehrmacht in 1939, and been stationed on the Normandy Coast, it would've been illegal for American soldiers participating in Overlord to shoot him unless he was first given a trial?

The "state secrets" issue is, in my view, a separate thing. We can debate whether or not you can shoot at someone who is helping the enemy without having to debate whether or not the method of determining that he is helping the enemy needs to be secret.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Of course not by nstenz (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 04:57:43 PM EST

If he was on the battlefield, shoot him. The Constitution makes an exception for just that case. Otherwise, he has the right to a fair trial.

If he's sitting in his living room with his children having a spot of tea while telling his buddy on the phone that he hates America, don't just drop a bomb on his house. Capture him, drag him back here, and put him on trial. If we can use "extraordinary rendition" to snatch random people off the street who pissed somebody off and throw them in Gitmo, surely we can snatch people we have tons of evidence on and get them to a courtroom.

Government makes too many mistakes to trust them to kill certain people without due process. That's why the Constitution expressly forbids it.

[ Parent ]
The problem with this guy by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:45:03 AM EST
is that he's in a place where the local government has no control, so we can't just snatch him, or use "extraordinary rendition". We'd have to send in heavily armed special ops types to grab him, who might have to fight their way past heavily armed pissed off locals, resulting in more people killed all the way around.

It's a pretty rare situation, actually. If the guy was hiding out in a country whose government that had control of the entire country it would be an obvious diplomatic issue. If he were hiding out in the mountains of Afghanistan it would be an obvious military issue. Where he is, it's a grey area.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Things, stuff, and things stuffed with other things. | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback