Category Archives: Drone
Budget: The Power of One Man’s Conviction
By: Daniel Horowitz (Diary) | March 7th, 2013 at 01:02 PM
What was it about Rand Paul’s filibuster that has captivated conservatives all over the country and reinvigorated their desire to fight for our Constitutional Republic? The irony is that the drone issue was not even one of the most popular issues among many conservatives until last night. I suspect that many conservatives don’t necessarily agree with some of Paul’s assertions about targeting terrorists like Al-Awlaki overseas, although we are all (everyone except for McCain and Graham) concerned about targeting Americans on American soil. Yet he has become an overnight sensation, not just among his core libertarian base, but among the broad conservative movement.
Conservatives have been starving for a fighter; longing for someone who will do something drastic, engage in a media savvy fight against an imperialistic president who has no respect for checks and balances and an invidious disregard for the separation of powers.
We have witnessed this president shred the Constitution and implement his radical agenda by administrative fiat. We the People stand by flummoxed and frustrated at the lack of courage among Republicans to counter the president with anything more magnanimous than a press release. We have seen him abrogate our immigration laws, grant administrative amnesty, and let criminal aliens out of jail. Yet nobody has used their position and identified a point of leverage at which to take a stand and draw extended scrutiny to the issue or any other breach of authority.
Finally, when administration officials began asserting that the president might even have the power to launch drone strikes on American soil, Senator Paul decided he would hold up a major nomination to command the attention of the entire country. Many of us sat back and watched the impassioned speeches from Paul and the stirring words of Ted Cruz. We wondered why we had not witnessed this sort of spirited opposition during Obamacare.
Yet that is exactly the point. Most of these senators are new to Washington. They have charted a new path forward, one that is not paved with backroom deals but with forthright demonstrations of courage and commitment to the principles that buoyed them into office. Instead of cutting a deal to invoke cloture and having Brennan’s nomination sail to confirmation, Paul has united a fractious Republican Party against this – that is everyone except for Obama’s dinner companion Lindsey Graham.
Republicans have repeatedly entreated us to the tired bromide that they only control one-third of one-half….. What these banal bulls of Washington dealmaking don’t understand is that with complete control of the House and a filibuster strength minority in the Senate there is a lot they can do. With the ubiquitous nature of C-Span and social media, Republicans can use critical leverage points to seize on winning issues and put Obama in the defensive position.
That’s why yesterday’s act of cowardice on the CR in the House was so incomprehensible to many conservatives. Even if they planned to ultimately cave on Obamacare to avoid a shutdown three weeks from now, why not initially bring it to the floor under an open rule and debate Obamacare for a few days? Let’s at least draw attention to the injustice of Obamacare at a time when many people are feeling the pain of higher insurance premiums.
We are also told that the juggernaut of a biased media is too powerful to overcome were we to force some sort of a dramatic battle over critical issues, such as Obamacare or illegal immigration. It’s true in fact that the media is incorrigibly in the tank for the left, and there’s nothing we can do about that. But one thing about the media is that they are impressed by a show of force and stimulated by something new and exciting. Rand Paul proved that last night, as even some mainstream media reporters gave him positive coverage.
When the CR comes before the Senate, conservatives should hold it up at least for a day or two to educate the American people on the ramifications of funding Obamacare. When the nomination of the new radical nominee for EPA director comes before the Senate, they should take turns launching filibusters into the night, educating the public on how that agency has cost jobs and raised the cost of living on the working class. They should draw attention to onerous policies like ethanol mandates.
We didn’t send Republicans like Mitch McConnell to Washington to cut backroom deals and to passively and blithely ignore the injustices that are perpetrated by the statist class on a daily basis. Nor did we send Republicans to Washington to echo those injustices, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham do on a daily basis. It’s no coincidence that this effort was initiated by the disciples of Jim DeMint. And with the 2014 election cycle beginning now, it’s incumbent upon all of us to help send reinforcements to the ranks of our fighters.
AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand
by Larry O’Connor 7 Mar 2013, 4:41 AM PDT
It’s time to name names.
Yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) embarked upon a historic filibuster in an attempt to coax the White House to answer a basic and fundamental constitutional question that affects every American’s 5th Amendment rights. He was joined by thirteen other Republican Senators as well as one Democrat.
While the stand for liberty and government accountability was taking place on Capitol Hill, a handful of Republican Senators were having an off-the-record dinner with President Barack Obama. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) notebaly attended the dinner wiht the President and then made their way to the Senate Chambers and participated in the filibuster.
Republican members of the House of Representatives walked down the hall to support Sen. Paul. Rep. Louie Gohmert even brought the weary senator some chocolate bars and cough drops.
But what about the Republican senators who had something better to do Wednesday night?
The following Republicans were at the Washington Wizards game or were attending to some other pressing issue that was more important than supporting a member of their party who had the audacity to expect the White House to answer a basic, fundamental constitutional question.
Alexander, Lamar – (R – TN) Class II
455 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Ayotte, Kelly – (R – NH) Class III
144 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Blunt, Roy – (R – MO) Class III
260 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Boozman, John – (R – AR) Class III
320 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Burr, Richard – (R – NC) Class III
217 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Coats, Daneil – (R – IN) Class III
493 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Coburn, Tom – (R – OK) Class III
172 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Cochran, Thad – (R – MS) Class II
113 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Collins, Susan M. – (R – ME) Class II
413 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Corker, Bob – (R – TN) Class I
425 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Crapo, Mike – (R – ID) Class III
239 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Enzi, Michael B. – (R – WY) Class II
379A RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Fischer, Deb – (R – NE) Class I
825 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Graham, Lindsey – (R – SC) Class II
290 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Grassley, Chuck – (R – IA) Class III
135 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Hatch, Orrin G. – (R – UT) Class I
104 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Heller, Dean – (R – NV) Class I
361A RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Hoeven, John – (R – ND) Class III
120 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Inhofe, James M. – (R – OK) Class II
205 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Isakson, Johnny – (R – GA) Class III
131 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Johanns, Mike – (R – NE) Class II
404 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
McCain, John – (R – AZ) Class III
241 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Murkowski, Lisa – (R – AK) Class III
709 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Portman, Rob – (R – OH) Class III
338 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Risch, James E. – (R – ID) Class II
483 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Roberts, Pat – (R – KS) Class II
109 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Sessions, Jeff – (R – AL) Class II
326 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Shelby, Richard C. – (R – AL) Class III
304 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Vitter, David – (R – LA) Class III
516 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Wicker, Roger F. – (R – MS) Class I
555 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Obama’s Assassination Drones
(FFF) – The Power to Assassinate a Compliant and Submissive People
President Obama’s nomination of John Brennan is being held up over Brennan’s refusal to state whether the president’s power to assassinate Americans (and others) extends to American soil. The controversy is summed up in a great article by Glenn Greenwald.
The fact that Brennan could not bring himself to immediately say that the president doesn’t have the power to assassinate Americans (and others) right here within the United States is revealing. He undoubtedly knows that the president does claim to wield such power and that the president just doesn’t want to alarm Americans by informing them that he now wields the power to assassinate anyone he wants, including Americans here in the United States.
I can’t see how there’s any room for doubt here. Ever since President Bush claimed extraordinary powers after the 9/11 attacks, we here at The Future of Freedom Foundation have been pointing out that the powers were not limited to foreigners or to foreign lands. When U.S. forces, both military and CIA, were kidnapping people, torturing them, and incarcerating them without trial, we kept emphasizing that such powers were not limited to foreigners. By following the logic employed by Bush and his associates, it was clear that those extraordinary powers extended to Americans as well, both abroad and here at home.
But all too many Americans comforted themselves by thinking that those extraordinary powers applied only to foreigners and that the powers were necessary to keep them “safe.” Therefore, they endorsed what was going on with much enthusiasm, simply blocking out of their minds that they were also endorsing the most revolutionary change in the relationship between the federal government and the American citizenry in U.S. history.
Then came the case of Jose Padilla. He was an American who was accused of conspiracy to commit terrorism. Rather than have him indicted and then prosecute him in federal court, the feds whisked him away to a military dungeon, where the Pentagon tortured him and threatened to keep him incarcerated for the rest of his life as an “enemy combatant” in the “war on terrorism.” We took a leading role in opposing that extraordinary exercise of military supremacy over the American citizenry. We continually pointed out that what they did to Padilla, if upheld, they could then do to all other Americans. But because Padilla was not the most sympathetic character in the world, all too many Americans were happy over what the feds were doing to him, blocking out of their minds that the feds could now do the same thing to all other Americans.
And sure enough, the federal courts, in the fear-ridden environment of post-9/11, upheld what the president and the Pentagon did to Padilla, which means that they can now do the same to every American — and some 12 years after the 9/11 attacks! And now we have the president’s assassination program, in which the president, along with his military and CIA, now wield the power to assassinate anyone they want, no questions asked. They’ve already killed countless foreigners as well as at least three Americans, including a 16-year-old boy. They do it all in secret and are not required to answer any questions as to who they have assassinated or why. Their power to kill people is omnipotent.
Do they claim the power to assassinate Americans right here at home? How can there be any doubt about it? From the very beginning, they simply converted a standard federal crime — terrorism — into an act of war. They called it “the war on terrorism,” and said that this war was just like World Wars I and II. They said that in war, they have the right to take captives, torture them, and execute illegal enemy combatants, and also to assassinate the enemy. They also said that this war would go on forever or for at least the lifetimes of everyone living today, given that there were so many terrorists in the world. As part of that war, the president, the military, and the CIA would have to assume extraordinary powers, they said, ones that were inherent to the most extreme dictatorships in history.
Significantly, they repeatedly emphasized that in this war, the battlefield wasn’t limited to the Middle East or surrounding regions. Instead, in this war the entire world constituted the battlefield. That, of course, included the United States. Thus, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to draw the logical conclusion — whatever extraordinary powers were being exercised against foreign “enemy combatants” in the “war on terrorism” could be applied against people right here on American soil, including Americans. Of course, as we have also been pointing out since 9/11, the entire matter is just one great big sham and fraud.
They took a federal criminal offense — terrorism — and used it a ruse to claim that America was now “at war” and then claimed extreme dictatorial powers in the process. It would be no different if the president used another federal war — the “war on drugs” — as a ruse to assume extraordinary dictatorial powers, such as the power to kidnap, torture, execute, and assassinate suspected drug users and dealers. Our American ancestors tried their best to prevent this dictatorial nonsense. That’s why they used the Constitution to bring into existence a government of limited, enumerated powers. Notice that the dictatorial powers claimed by Bush and Obama are not among those enumerated powers.
To make sure that federal officials got the point, our ancestors demanded the enactment of four separate amendments to the Constitution — the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments. Those amendments stated that with respect to federal crimes, people would be guaranteed the protections of criminal indictments, due process of law, trial by jury, freedom from cruel and unusual punishments, and other protections. And there is another important thing to note about those four amendments. Notice that the protections and guarantees apply to people in general, not just to Americans. That’s because our ancestors understood that justice requires that the rules apply to everyone equally, not one set of rules for foreigners and another set of rules for Americans.
Thus, under our system of justice, President Obama has no right to be assassinating anyone or torturing anyone or incarcerating anyone without due process of law and trial by jury. And it must be emphasized: terrorism is, in fact, a federal crime. That’s why they ultimately made Padilla a criminal defendant. That’s why terrorism is listed in the U.S. Code as a criminal offense. That’s why they have terrorism cases in federal court all the time.
The truth is that there is no real war and there has never been one, any more than there has been a real war in the “war on drugs.” After all, how is the enemy supposed to surrender in this “war”? Where are the transport ships bringing invading troops to America? Where are the supply lines? And let’s not forget something else of equal importance — the only reason that people are killing U.S. troops over there is because they’re over there interfering with the affairs of other countries.
That’s what the killing is all about on both sides —not because people are trying to conquer America and enslave Americans but simply because they want the U.S. government, especially the U.S. military and CIA, out of their countries. And the more the Pentagon and the CIA continue to kill people in the process, the more they generate an endless supply of terrorists, which they then use to perpetuate their dictatorial powers. As I have long pointed out, the U.S. government is the greatest terrorist-producing machine in history.
It’s all been a sham, a fraud, and a ruse to enable the U.S. national-security state to adopt the same powers of dictatorship that it has long supported and trained, such as Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile, the military dictatorships in Guatemala, the Shah’s dictatorship in Iran, Mubarak’s dictatorship in Egypt, and many more.
But Brennan shouldn’t been concerned about alarming Americans about Obama’s power to assassinate them on American soil. As we have learned since 9/11, the American people are among the most compliant, cooperative, and submissive people on the planet.
All the feds have to do is say that they are doing it to keep them safe, and except for libertarians and (a few liberals and conservatives), unfortunately all too many Americans continue to fall for anything and agree to anything the government wants to do to them.
The Future of Freedom Foundation
- Drones, Assassinations, and the Drug War (fff.org)
- Obama Officials Refuse to Say if Assassination Power Extends to US Soil (thelibertybeacon.com)
- Brennan Refuses to Rule Out Drone Assassinations Within the US (globalresearch.ca)
- US silenced ex-White House official on terror drone program (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)