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This is from a NY times editorial, Do you agree? How do you feel about it?
“It has been clear for years that the Obama administration believes the shadow war on terrorism gives it the power to choose targets for assassination, including Americans, without any oversight. On Tuesday, The New York Times revealed who was actually making the final decision on the biggest killings and drone strikes: President Obama himself. And that is very troubling.”
-- New York Times editorial, “Too Much Power for a President.”
AV, Do you have a link to the whole article? Heck, I can look it up, too!
for those of you who don't have it, link is:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/opini … .html?_r=1
Isn't that decided by the military (intelligence plus defense department) as approved by the Commander in Chief when he sees that there is an immense danger to the people.
Clearly people like terrorist leaders are being taken out. Whether that is troubling depends on your perspective. Pakistan finds it rather troubling that they do it in their sovereign territory without notice or permission.
I find it troubling that Pakistan knowingly harbors terrorist leaders in the first place.
'Knowingly' would be an overstatement I think. There is enough corruption that it is not safe to share the info with them, but the official government does not want them there. Regardless, lethal actions taken in another country that is theoretically an ally--not a clear cut right.
Based on a similar argument the French government once blew up a ship in New Zealand harbor and killed an American. I am sure they felt Greenpeace's 'terrorist actions' and NZ government cooperation with them justified it. I very strenuously disagree.
You do raise an interesting argument there, psycheskinner.
It is unfortunate that al-Quaeda leaders don't hide themselves in neutral places where they can neatly and cleanly be found, arrested and brought to trial.
In a perfect world.
Oh wait -- in a perfect world there would BE no al-Quaeda!
It's interesting to me that we consider assassination a greater evil than war.
In assassination, you take out a target like Bin Laden and mimimize other casualties. it's especially effective in fighting terror, where small cells of enemies inhabit a larger and largely oblivious population, like termites within a house.
In war, you cost the lives of thousands, even millions on both sides: soldiers and civilians. Infrastructure is ruined, societies are plunged into chaos and take decades to rebuild, hazards like weapons and land mines are left behind to cause more collateral damage (put faces on that damage: children with missing limbs or Agent Orange cancer), a generation of young people spend their best earning years as soldiers and come home with inner scars that impact them and their families all their lives (my grandfather, a wwii vet, came home a different person, my grandmother recently told me, and she said that I might have liked the man she married), and the warring countries are plunged into massive debt to foot the bill.
Assassination is, of course, murder. So is war, on a more massive scale.
It is a slippery slope, isn't it? State-sanctioned assassination smacks of a police state, of an inner governmental or military circle acting as judge, jury and executioner without regard for the law, of vigilantism.
But why? Why does assassination seem more ethically clouded, and why do we so often define wars as just, as patriotic, as something to celebrate?
Assassination as a preferred military tactic raises alarm bells for me. Nonetheless, when I consider war vs. assassination as a tool to fight terrorism, liberal as I am, I can't help seeing the latter as (literally) the lesser of two evils.
But then I think of the precedent it's setting, and I wonder about presidents to come and whom they may define as terrorists or appropriate targets, and I feel uneasy.
The ends justifies the means? How many have horrors have been launched on that premise? I don't see a clear link between assassinations and an end to wars either.
I agree with Geoffrey Robertson, who said:
“If we believe in the most basic of moral principles, we will surely conclude that assassinating suspected criminals without trial is an abrogation of universal human rights, and therefore unconscionable.”
There is no evidence. We are supposed to TRUST the federal government? We are in big trouble.
Diminishing the right to life etc....
“Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future.”
Name one American president who has not authorized assassination of people they consider to be terrorists or a danger to the USA.
One individual making life and death decisions without the need to provide evidence is very easily abused. What is a terrorist, and how does one know what an individuals future intentions are? We now assassinate human beings because of something they might do?
Many Presidents have probably abused their office, but I do not know of one that has openly admitted to murdering American citizens without Due Process or Habeus Corpus.
I hold no illusions concerning the terror that the United States is guilty of creating in human beings. The Federal Government of the United states is the largest terrorist organization this world has ever known!
Have American citizens been assassinated by the government?
As knolyourself already posted Al-Awlaki and his teenage son! Even one American citizen murdered by this tyrannical government is more than the people should accept! Dropping tons of explosives on a sovereign nation that the U.S. has no dispute with is another atrocity the likes of which have not been seen since the Vietnam conflict.
"The Assassination of Al-Awlaki, American Citizen and al Qaeda Martyr". Yes.
Above: Obama admits to being a Muslim, communist, socialist, fascist, racist, Kenyan and also a Ninja
On a more serious note I agree we should not be assassinating people in sovereign countries, I did not catch anyone complaining when it was done to Osama though? Long story short the US need to stick to US business and stop messing with the rest of the world, we can't afford it anyhow.
There were plenty of people who complained about that, outside of the US at least, believing it would have been far better to bring him to trial:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 … illed.html
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