Sunday, February 17, 2013

Is that a black helicopter?

Analysis: Secret memos expose Obama's double-standard on 'targeted killings' - Defense -
Where is the outrage? For all the anger over Bush-era torture policies, where is the commensurate condemnation over President Obama’s justification for killing American citizens with no due process, no transparency, and no accountability?

An administration memo uncovered by NBC reporter Michael Isikoff strips the veil from the Obama’s oft-Orwellian justification for assassinating American citizens believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or an associated force--even if there is no evidence of an imminent attack against the U.S.

Strike that: Killing suspected terrorists who happen to be American “is not an assassination,” according to the president’s Justice Department. “In the Department’s view, 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.”

Oh, and disregard that part about imminent threat: Although Attorney General Eric Holder told the public in March that killing Americans could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack,” his memo creates a massive loophole. It coins a chilling little phrase--“broader concept of imminence”--to absolve the government of the responsibility to find a clear and present danger.
Analysis: What's Wrong With Having a Secret Assassination Court? - Defense -
At least the president's appropriation of power to summarily kill Americans is extra-legal. It hasn't been codified or approved by any other branch of government. In justifying assassinations, Obama can't invoke any congressional or judicial actions; he can only repeat Richard Nixon's infamous maxim: "If the president does it, it's not illegal."

So it's not surprising to learn that the Obama Administration has considered establishing a special, secret court to authorize targeted killings. Modeled after the FISA court, which authorizes national-security-related domestic surveillance, a Targeted Assassinations Program (TAP) court -- my name for it -- would provide judicial cover for the president's actions without providing substantive judicial review.

"Having the executive being the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner all in one is very contrary to the traditions and the laws of this country," newly elected Maine Senator Angus King asserted, in support of proposals for a TAP court.

But in essence, the executive would remain prosecutor, judge, and jury, even if the law required a little judicial approval.
Instapundit » Blog Archive » FBI: Our Surveillance Strategy Is “Privileged And Confidential.”
[The] Obama administration’s surveillance strategy in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision that the installation of a GPS tracker on a vehicle amounted to a search under the Fourth Amendment remains “privileged and confidential,” the Justice Department claims in newly released memos.
What has been made public is that, following the high court’s Jan. 23 decision, the Federal Bureau of Investigation pulled the plug on some 3,000 GPS trackers. The bureau’s general counsel, Andrew Weissmann, acknowledged that fact while speaking at a legal symposium at the University of San Francisco last year.
He also said the government issued two memos on how to proceed following the so-called “Jones” decision — memos the government now claims are not for public consumption. What that boils down to is this: If the government told you how it was spying on you, it would have to kill you.
Very funny, Wired. As Professor Reynolds aptly noted, "They have drones for that." On a not-entirely-unrelated subject: Instapundit » Blog Archive » IT’S MOSTLY JUNK SCIENCE: Jacob Sullum: The Problem With the ‘Public Health Research on Gun Violence’ That Obama Wants You to Pay For.…
CDC research on guns and violence has been dishonest, and debunked as such in the past. Why is it likely to be better? It’s not. As Sullum says: “Why would Obama want to waste taxpayer money on this sort of tendentious, prejudice-confirming research? I bet you can figure that out—without a government grant.”
I know far more about firearms and firearms safety, and firearms law, for that matter, than anyone the CDC is likely to select for any such study. And yet I don't get to make public health policy...

Why should self-defense and firearms policy be treated as a "public health" measure, anyway? I mean, it's not like they're going to declare their political opposition insane and ship them off to Siberia, is it...?

And as for the gun banners' favorite argument (well, second favorite, if you consider "for the chiiiiildren!" to be an argument), "I suppose you want a nuke, too?", Milt Wolfe has some advice on How to crush Democrats' dumbest (but pervasive) gun control argument
The limits of the Second Amendment is a fair question that deserves an answer. It's simple: Law-abiding, free people should have the right to arm themselves with whatever weapons their government would use against them.

If the world is sufficiently dangerous that the police require semi-automatic rifles with large-capacity magazines, then do not the free citizens who are sovereign over the police and who also live in the same dangerous world deserve to similarly protect themselves from it? In fact, are not the citizens -- not the police -- always the first ones who are forced to face those dangers?
Read the whole thing, and admire the photo collection...

In a post aptly entitled Unicorn salesmen, Robb Allen noted the following quote a while back:
The Brady bill will make the streets of America so safe that our nation's police will not even need to carry guns anymore.
William Jefferson Clinton, on TV, while signing the Brady bill in 1993

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