BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
IN HIS SPEECH AND SWIMSUIT COMPETITION AT FORT MCNAIR YESTERDAY, CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O DECLARED THAT THERE HAD BEEN NO MAJOR TERRORISTS ATTACKS ON THE US SINCE HE BECAME PRESIDENT.
REACHED FOR COMMENT BY THESE REPORTERS, BARRY O FIRST ASKED IF HE SHOULD LET HIS HAIR GROW UP, "I'M THINKING CORN ROWS." THEN HE ASKED IF WE HAD SEEN POLIFACT'S 'TRUTH' RATING ON THIS?
We see two terrorist attacks during Obama’s tenure that could be considered "large scale."
One is the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, that left 13 soldiers and civilians dead and more than two dozen others wounded. Nidal Hasan, a psychiatrist and major in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, is the only suspect and is now awaiting a military trial.
The other incident is the bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, that killed three and injured more than 260. Officials are still determining the extent of the role played by Islamic extremism in the accused bombers’ motivations. (We aren’t including the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya, because it didn’t take place on the U.S. mainland.)
"CAN YOU BELIEVE THOSE JOKERS?" HE ASKED US. "THEY SAID 'HALF-TRUE.' NOW SOMETHING IS EITHER TRUE OR IT IS FALSE. THERE'S NO 'HALF-TRUE.' EVEN I KNOW THAT!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today, US President Barack Obama blathered on in that self-justifying way that War Criminals all seem to naturally shift into. Like many a president on the ropes, he elected to give his speech at a military base, Fort McNair, where he hoped (wrongly) he would be better able to manage the crowd. The main topic was The Drone War.
Yesterday, as part of the roll out for today's speech, the Justice Dept's admission of 4 Americans killed by drones in The Drone War suddenly made the news. As The Progressive's Matthew Rothschild observes in a radio commentary ("Tony Sopranco in the Oval Office") observes today, "And it claims with very little credibility that it didn't mean to kill three of the four which I'm sure provides great comfort and solace to their families."
Admitting to four known murders was seen by some, such as the weak CCR, as good news -- as though Barack was the friend you were launching an intervention on and not the man who has, as The Bureau of Investigative Journalism notes, ordered 316 drone strikes in Pakistan alone, resulting in the deaths of at least 197 children. In a speech of nearly 6,500 words (I count 6,494), he never noted what Alice K. Ross (Bureau of Investigative Journalism) reported earlier this month, that a Pakistan Peshawar High Court had ruled that these Drone Strikes were "criminal offences," a "war crime," a "blatant violation of basic human rights" and that the judge called for the United Nations Security Council to step in.
Though he spent a great deal of time making glib remarks about other countries, he never noted that the US had popularized The Drone War and made it an 'acceptable choice' for other countries, or that the US was providing drones with kill capacity to other countries. He never acknowledged, for example, Nathalie Guibert (Le Monde) report, from earlier this week, that France will be purchasing drones from the US -- two Reaper drones which will have to be 'European-ized' due to the fact that the drones are illegal as is in Europe. Germany has already spent $400 million to purchase several drones from Northrop Grunman Corporation.
Dan Murphy (Christian Science Monitor) offers this take of today's speech, "But if the speech is remembered for anything years hence it will be as the moment when the president declared 'The war on terrorism is dead! long live the open-ended game of whack-a-mole against diffuse networks!' Yes, that's right. Obama has rhetorically put to bed the frankly silly GWOT terminology -- while obliquely calling for years of low-grade conflict."
Barack's nearly 6500 words included:
From our use of drones to the detention of terrorist suspects, the decisions we are making will define the type of nation -- and world -- that we leave to our children. So America is at a crossroads. We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us, mindful of James Madison’s warning that "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." Neither I, nor any President, can promise the total defeat of terror. We will never erase the evil that lies in the hearts of some human beings, nor stamp out every danger to our open society. What we can do – what we must do – is dismantle networks that pose a direct danger, and make it less likely for new groups to gain a foothold, all while maintaining the freedoms and ideals that we defend. To define that strategy, we must make decisions based not on fear, but hard-earned wisdom. And that begins with understanding the threat we face.
"We" did not make a decision on The Drone War, no vote from the American people was sought, no judicial review of The Drone War took place and, until last month's Senate hearing, there has been no little Congressional acknowledgment, let alone review. And on that US Senate hearing last month? Alice K. Ross (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) observed that "the government [White House] refused to send a representative to yesterday's hearing."
At the heart of the objection to what Barack has done is the US legal concept that a democracy does not allow any one person to be judge, jury and executioner. But that's what Barack has done and been as he has overseen The Drone War.
He had the audacity to invoke the phrase "rule of law" twice in his speech early on -- once to take a swipe at his predecessor, once to praise himself. Rule of law does not allow one person to be judge, jury and executioner. Rule of law has not been followed in The Drone War. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments Due Process Clauses have been ignored and broken.
He has ignored rule of law and the notion of democratic consent. He has completely confused his role and the powers granted the office by the US Constitution as evidenced by his ridiculous assertions such as, "For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred through conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. But as Commander-in-Chief, I must weigh these heartbreaking tragedies against the alternatives." You are commander in chief of the US military. You are not allowed to start a war, only Congress is.
Yes, Barack's administration made very clear in statements to the press that that had no respect for The War Powers Act but what Barack's actions with regards to The Drone War have made clear is that he has no understanding of what the Constitution allows a president to do or what it does not allow a president to do. Either he has no understanding or just doesn't respect the Constitution. He is not the commander in chief of the United States. That title applies to his position over the military only. As a person who lectured on the Constitution to college students, he should be aware of that fact.
In addition to not being commander in chief of the American people, his role as commander in chief is not supreme. The US is not a military junta. We have civilian control of the military which includes oversight of all actions built into the Constitution -- and that includes oversight of anyone in the Oval Office invoking the title commander in chief.
Terming it a "rebranding of the Bush era policies with some legalize," Jeremy Scahill shared his impression of the speech with Jake Tapper (The Lead with Jake Tapper, CNN) noting, "But effectively Obama has declared the war a battlefield and reserves the right to drone-bomb countries in pursuit of people against whom we may not even have direct evidence or that we're not seeking any indictments against."
In addition, as Julie Pace and Lara Jakes (AP) point out, the CIA controls the Yemen 'front' in The Drone War. The Central Intelligence Agency -- like the Justice Dept -- is not part of the military. Invoking 'commander in chief' with regards to his interaction and orders to the CIA is clearly violating "the chain of command" and militarizing a civilian agency, as well as disregarding the Constitution. Before an e-mail comes in -- and some foolish people will -- the CIA is not needed by the military. The military has intelligence units. If you're unaware of them, for starters, you're unaware of how they were used to spy on American protesters during Vietnam. But, for example, the US Army alone has MI, the Military Intelligence Corps, its own branch of the Army.
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