The Hit List: The Public Applauds As President Obama Kills Two Citizens As A Presidential Prerogative

Below is today’s column in USA Today (to run in paper form on Wednesday) on President Barack Obama’s claim to the right to kill citizens as dangers to the nation. Ironically, the day after I wrote the Los Angeles Times column on Obama’s disastrous impact on the civil liberties movement in the United States (including his assertion of the right to kill citizens on his own authority), the U.S. killed two citizens in Yemen. Notably, Ron Paul (who has emerged as the only candidate discussing these issues from a civil libertarian perspective) suggested an impeachment inquiry based on the killing of the two citizens. Below is the column in USA Today.

Last week, Americans saw a curious sight for a free nation: their president ordered the killing of two U.S. citizens without a trial or even a formal charge and the public applauded. President Obama never denied that he told the military to kill Anwar al-Awlaki on his sole discretion a year ago. They did so last week in Yemen – and killed U.S.-born cleric Samir Khan for good measure. Two U.S. citizens killed because a president unilaterally declared them to be part of a terrorist organization.

Before the killing, Obama successfully fought efforts by al-Awlaki’s family to have a court review the legality for the planned assassination of their kin. Due to reported prior associations of the U.S. government with al-Awlaki, it was a hearing that the intelligence agencies likely did not want to occur. At the time, the Justice Department argued that if al-Awlaki wanted judicial review, he should file with the clerk’s office himself – despite an order for him to be shot on sight. The Obama administration succeeded in arguing that the planned killing of a citizen on this hit list was a “political question,” not a legal question.

While few people mourn the passing of a figure like al-Awlaki who was accused being a leader in al Qaeda, they should mourn the passing of basic constitutional protections afforded to all citizens. So a president can now kill a citizen without publicly naming him as a target, stating the basis for his killing, or even acknowledge his killing once it has been carried out. Even if one assumes citizens would only be killed outside the country, it would mean that a your life becomes dispensable the minute you step a foot over one of our borders.

At the same time, the government has expanded the definition of terrorism and material support for terrorism, which in turn further expands the scope of possible targets. When confronted on the lack of knowledge of who is on this list and the basis for their killing, the Obama administration simply says that citizens must trust their president. It is the very definition of authoritarian power – and Americans appear to have developed a taste for it.

Obama’s hit list is a continuation of a policy defended by George W. Bush, who ordered an attack that killed U.S. citizen, Kamal Derwish, in Yemen in 2002. While Bush wanted Yemeni Abu Ali al-Harithi (the alleged mastermind behind the 2000 bombing of the U.S. Cole) dead, Derwish was riding in the car with him (as well as four other individuals). Derwish was not even on a hit list, but U.S. intelligence officials said it did not matter because they were authorized to kill Americans in such operations.

The sight of free people applauding the president’s discretionary killing of citizens would have horrified the framers of our Constitution. In conflict with a system based on checks and balances, Obama controls not just who will die but whether a court can review his decisions. Even if the family of these men were to try to sue for wrongful death, the Obama administration insists that they have the discretion to block such cases under the “military and state secrets privilege.” Thus, even if a president arbitrarily were to order the killing of a citizen, neither the victim nor his family could challenge the matter before an independent court (assuming they even knew about the order).

Notably, in the face of this extrajudicial killing of two citizens, Democrats who claim to be civil libertarians like Dianne Feinstein have cheered the president – creating a record for the next president to expand on these acquiesced powers.

No republic can long stand if a president retains the unilateral authority to kill citizens who he deems a danger to the country. What is left is a magnificent edifice of laws and values that, to quote Shakespeare’s Macbeth, is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, is a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors.

141 thoughts on “The Hit List: The Public Applauds As President Obama Kills Two Citizens As A Presidential Prerogative

  1. I agree with you that this policy must change, but I disagree respectfully on your statements concerning Ron Paul. Ron Paul only wants an impeachment for political reasons. Furthermore, this policy will not change until the Patriot Act and its kin are repealed. Besides, if the courts have refused to review the death warrant, how can it be an impeachable offense to carry it out?

  2. Thanks, Professor Turley, for speaking truth to power. It is true that some societies are not yet evolved enough to maintain democracy. They are usually overcome with fear, prejudice, and factionalism caused by an ingrained aversion to Reason and her philosophical cousin, Justice. The world hasn’t seen a great republic devolve into tyranny in decades, but it seems Santayana’s verdict on the historically ignorant is as valid today as it was in 1905.

  3. You’ve touched on the most important lesson of this terrifying new policy, the public’s lack of concern about how Al-Awlaki’s loss of the most basic rights equates to a similar loss of their own rights. Sadly, this assassination means that Obama has effectively killed the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause along with an alleged terrorist, who was killed before the government needed to show a shred of evidence against him in court. A person who promised Hope and Change, and who condemned the extreme policies of the Bush/Cheney administration, has now expanded these policies, the change in this area being one in which Bush’s view that citizens could be held without charge has changed to Obama’s view that they can be summarily killed upon the “battlefield,” which conveniently extends everywhere.

    The cheers that accompany these changes are more terrifying, however, because they virtually guarantee that the policies will expand further, perhaps stretching to alleged “terrorists” living here at home. In fact, last week I read about an ATF raid in Omaha which featured tank-like vehicles and federal officers decked out in military garb enforcing federal gun laws. As I listened to the cheers of most people and all the papers, grateful that the government is getting “tough on crime,” I wondered how long until the local police will follow suit and how long until military tactics overseas become police tactics here at home.

    Now is a good time to revise the old poem about “First they came for the Terrorists, but I did not speak up for I was not a Terrorist,” remembering that our Founders, the drafters of the Bill of Rights, were themselves labelled this way. But it’s hard for people to hear these warnings over all the cheering and I fear the bipartisan stamp Obama has applied to these radical policies now guarantees they will expand in scope and remain for generations, perhaps becoming permanent.

    Sadly, Franklin’s quote about those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither has, at least for me, ceased to be a warning, and become an accurate description of this country ten years after 9/11. It’s as if we’ve completely forgotten the reasons our Founders drafted these rights and feared the expansion of governmental power. How long will it be until we learn how important the rights that we so willingly surrendered truly are?

  4. Obama conceded to George Stephanopolous that he was the underdog in this election.

    Nevertheless, he is the best republican in the race so far.

  5. People’s fear of terrorists trumps anything else in the minds of many. I am not sure how I feel about this. Is he an American first or a terrorist first? Had we warned him he would have run and possibly told his minions to kill Americans as he went into hiding. Maybe he gave up being an American when he decided we were the enemy. The sad part of this as well as we did not hear the outcries when Bush did this. It was as wrong then as it is now but now it is an outrage because it is Obama.

  6. Rafflaw,

    Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich, Al Franken and I believe Professor Turley all attest to Ron Paul’s honesty, intelligence, and integrity. Over and over again. Barry Manilow as well.

  7. anon,
    I understand Prof. Turley agrees with Ron Paul on many issues, but Where and when did Bernie Sanders and Al Franken and Kucinich say they attest to his honesty, intelligence and integrity and what do Honesty and Intelligence have to do with it? How can you have integrity and state that society should allow someone to die if they don’t have insurance? And how does Barry Manilow fit into this???

  8. rafflaw:

    it all stems from the same idea of individual liberty and freedom.

    As far as Barry Manilow goes he sings Ron Paul’s campaign song:

  9. Blouise,
    I have to disagree with Kucinich. The only thing Paul has going for him is his opposition to the wars. I still think integrity includes caring for your fellow man.

  10. Thank you professor for your posting and insight…As i have already said this is the American version of the Star Chamber….To know that a self proclaimed democrat did this and it was not even LBJ is reprehensible….

  11. Obama claims to have read up on Reagan for pointers a being a popular president.

    He must have missed the part that shows Reagan would have jailed Cheney, and by extrapolation, probably Obama too.

    The current president, like the former president, is a lawless killer unfortunately.

    It is a systemic corruption.

  12. I agree that this is bad policy and sets worse precedent.
    What I don’t get is why so many people who would (and did) protest if a Republican President declared that he could something like this, are either silent or supportive when a Democratic does it.

  13. Ron Paul has little integrity. First he authored racist newsletters, but they were “taken out of context”, then years later when running for President, he had no idea who wrote them and wasn’t even sure that he knew they existed. That’s integrity you can believe in!

  14. You might be encouraged to know that media coverage of this action in Australia has grasped the concepts Prof Turley has written of.

    I would go so far as to describe the tone as “shock”, even from some of our more rabid Murdochian titles.

    Actually, we’re quite keen on putting the boot into the USofA down here at the moment, which is a significant change from 10-15 years ago I would suggest.

  15. Rafflaw, I thought Kucinich stood for social and racial equality. Guess that is not the case if he would pick a racist disciple of Ayn Rand for a running mate. Neither of these guys are going anywhere. The more exposure Paul gets the lower his poll numbers get. He makes Rick Perry look like he has a heart.

  16. Swarthmore,
    You are right. That is one of the reasons I don’t agree with Prof. Turley about Ron Paul. He has a racist past and I don’t believe that he truly believes in creationism. As a doctor, he should know better.

  17. raf and SwM,

    Gotta tel you that Kucinich clip surprised the hell out of me. I’m backing away from Kucinich because his enthusiasm for Ron Paul is a definite turn off. I even considered not posting the video but in the end … honesty is the best policy and I figured you all should be aware.

    As SwM said, neither one of them are going anywhere.

  18. David1, October 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    You’ve touched on the most important lesson of this terrifying new policy, the public’s lack of concern about how Al-Awlaki’s loss of the most basic rights equates to a similar loss of their own rights.
    —————————————————-
    I don’t think the public lacks concern in the least.
    What we lack is reliable information.
    We have our power vested in those whose statements are contrary to what thier behavior (of late) exhibits.
    There is a contract being broken.

    It is not being broken by the ‘public’.

    The outcry is visible everywhere but the media.

    Where is the coverage of the protests?

    Mr. Turley, that mayt be an excellent column.

  19. Blouise,
    Kucinich is living in a dream world if he thinks it is a good idea to have a Teapublican who doesn’t agree with him on many social issues.

  20. Rafflaw

    I fail to see your rationale in making such a narrow minded statement as Ron Paul advocating to let people who are not insured die? Ron Paul has never advocated such a thing, and I would challenge you to back-up such a childish defamatory remark with actual proof that he has ever advocated such a thing.

    How is it that you fail to grasp the simple fact that if anyone would bear the blame for letting someone die, it would be the profiteering policies of Hospitals, Doctors, and Insurance companies that would make such a call, not Ron Paul?

    Where is your disdain for them, you somehow have managed to give the true despotic villain’s that would and actually do perpetrate these acts a free pass, Why? Perhaps it is politically motivated? It most certainly is not logically motivated.

    It has long been common knowledge, that people will see first in others those things most prevalent in themselves.

    Could it be that your failure to see the honesty and integrity in Ron Paul is a result of you lacking those very qualities with-in yourself?

    Ron Paul has clearly stated that he practiced medicine well before any federal programs or law mandating emergency treatment by way of ETMALA, which is still in place http://www.emtala.com/ but Obama seeks to abolish under Obama Care, as well as long term care which no longer exists today thanks to Hospital and Insurance companies who set max limits of coverage.

    Yes Rafflaw, even those with insurance that contract long term illnesses are being turned out to die, because they have exceeded their life’s value limit.

    Ron Paul is calling for the dismantling of the profiteering at taxpayers expense, of a system that allows such atrocities to happen, he most surely is not supporting such a despotic system as you appear to support.

    If you remove the absurdity of unlimited government funding from our health care industry, all of the parasitic profiteers will flee like ticks from a dead dog.

    When Ron Paul first practiced medicine, hospitals and treatment for such individuals was primarily funded by the charity funded hospitals and clinics. No one went untreated, nor were any left to die like they are today in a medical system hijacked by callus profiteers. A system allowed to exist due to self-servient politicians, placed in power by their Adel minded ill-informed supporters.

    The American people are still renowned for their compassion and generosity throughout the world, it is time that we stop allowing our own to die, just because corporate greed is allowed to dictate the value of our own people’s lives,all thanks to our corrupt political system.

    There is no candidate who has stood firm for his principles as Ron Paul has done for better than three decades. A politician who has refused to take pay raises, or take advantage of tax laws that he deemed to be unjust.

    There is no other that would assure the American people that he would not extend the Patriot Act, and would veto any law that violated our Constitution without following its stated process, No other that will end the empire building and war mongering our nation has been allowed to inflict upon the world. There is no candidate other than Ron Paul that will with the support of the people, begin to dismantle the bureaucratic monstrosity of corporatism that manipulates our very government to work against the will of the people.

    Ron Paul has far more going for him, than all the other establishment backed jokes combined.

  21. There are two Ron Pauls, apparently. There is Dr. Paul who would have done everything in his power to save a patient. Then there is the Rep. Paul who supports polices that are, literally, killing sick people.

    I prefer the former and wish he would place the Hippocratic Oath he took when he graduated medical school above the pledges to the likes of Grover Norquist and the teabaggers.

  22. There is the hippocratic oath and then the hypocrites oath which seems to be the one politicians seem to take, even when they start out with noble intentions.
    Earl, your admiration of Paul is noted but even if he were to become president he is, as president, primarily a figurehead. Congress does the law making and the president has not a whole lot of say in the matter. Look at this congress. Since president Obama was elected it has had only one goal: obstruction of anything he proposes. Do you truly believe the congress would act in a manner any different if it was President Paul?

  23. Earl,
    I guess you missed the Republican debate where RP said society should let a person die because he chose not to have insurance when he was healthy. The truth hurts sometime.

  24. Paul and Kucinich both have been highly principled in their positions throughout their careers. I respect them both and I see both as individuals who elevate ideals above partisanship. It’s quite a rare attribute on the national political stage.

    At the end of the day I think Paul is wrong on several issues, the foremost among being Paul’s position that abortion could be regulated by the states. No government should have the power to enslave a woman in this manner. Government should have no authority over your person, be it to coerce a vaccination, carry a pregnancy to term, or prevent you from using drugs to end your life with dignity. To me Paul’s outspoken anti-war positions and bold statements about government tyranny outweigh this abortion stance.

    JT is exactly right. Paul’s voice is the sole voice advancing a civil libertarian perspective in the Presidential race. I support Paul raising the question of impeachment, just as I supported the impeachment of Bush.

    I’m sure more impeachable offenses are in our future.

  25. Mildred Gillars, American-born, worked for Radio Berlin during the war as an actress and announcer, broadcasting a show called “Home Sweet Home” aimed at American soldiers. Her May 11, 1944, broadcast against D-Day earned her a conviction for treason in the US after the defeat of Germany.

    How about Coco Channel…..Could she have been? Possibly…but for her paramour that had some degree of Nobility….

    Elizabeth Arden? Maybe she was…..but well connected…

    Hmm….

    What Gillars got was what is called the Fundamental right to Due Process….a foreign concept in America today…

  26. raf,

    That video was my Obama moment. I have always been a big supporter of Kucinich so you can imagine my extreme disappoint to find him to be a genuine Ron Paul admirer. I never expected much from Obama so his actions have never fallen short of my low expectations. But Kucinich’s admiration for Paul runs counter to so much of what I believe is important. Ron Paul’s racist newsletter articles were written over a five-year period, from 1989 to 1994, and long ago I satisfied myself that his comments in those articles were not taken out of context. It is disappointing beyond belief that Kucinich could admire such a man. (I haven’t even mentioned Paul’s books on abortion nor his comments regarding women’s issues.)

  27. Impeach my ass! Obama is just what the GOP ordered. He is a hawk if there ever was one. O got everybody fooled. He comes across as this mild and meek president who takes mad shit off of the Rethugs, but behind the scenes he is lean, mean killing machine. Rule of law aside, you gotta hand it to him though. The man’s got more mettle than he puts on. And we thought GW was a cowboy.

  28. I was going to express my extreme displeasure with Kucinich over his admiration of Ron Paul, but I think Blouise summed it up succinctly so I’ll simply say, “Echo, Blouise.”

  29. What bugs me most about Ron Paul and his son Rand, is both are physicians who claim to be staunchly “pro-life”; and yet, care so little about how inadequate ( going for deliberate understatement) the “free market” is in meeting people’s needs.

    http://thinkprogess.org/health/2011/09/14/318633/ron-paul-campaign-manage-died-uninsured/

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/09/ron-pauls-health-solution-fail

    That and the fact that they are hypocritical “libertarians” who are strongly against a women’s right to choose!

  30. So did no one hear him say “No” when Wolfie asked, “So society should just let him die?” The morons in the crowd responded affirmatively. Ron Paul quite clearly said no. How can you miss that?

  31. Ron Paul ’90s newsletters rant against blacks, gays
    January 10, 2008|From Brian Todd CNN
    http://articles.cnn.com/2008-01-10/politics/paul.newsletters_1_newsletters-blacks-whites?_s=PM:POLITICS

    Excerpts:
    A series of newsletters in the name of GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul contain several racist remarks — including one that says order was restored to Los Angeles after the 1992 riots when blacks went “to pick up their welfare checks.”

    CNN recently obtained the newsletters — written in the 1990s and one from the late 1980s — after a report was published about their existence in The New Republic.

    None of the newsletters CNN found says who wrote them, but each was published under Paul’s name between his stints as a U.S. congressman from Texas.

    *****

    The controversial newsletters include rants against the Israeli lobby, gays, AIDS victims and Martin Luther King Jr. — described as a “pro-Communist philanderer.” One newsletter, from June 1992, right after the LA riots, says “order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”

    Another says, “The criminals who terrorize our cities — in riots and on every non-riot day — are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are. As children, they are trained to hate whites, to believe that white oppression is responsible for all black ills, to ‘fight the power,’ to steal and loot as much money from the white enemy as possible.”

    *****

    Ron Paul’s racist newsletters from the ’90s

  32. I love how a discussion about an incumbent president who murdered two american citizens in another country without trial, evidence, legality, morality, or even the half assed theatrics of due process, turned into how ron paul would be a terrible president because he might have said some rascist things in a newsletter from 20 years ago, and had the audacity to suggest doctors wouldnt just let patients die even if the government wasnt forcing them to provide treatment.

    Do you comprehend the conversation you’re having or does it all just sound like the ocean?

    How is it irrelevant that ron paul doesn’t want the government to have the ability to kill you anywhere on the planet and deny even the responsibility to have to explain why?

    You also seem to accept the idea that the same government that arrogates to itself the right to annihilate you where you stand at any moment, at any location, will simultaneously provide the best healthcare possible, to as many people as possible, because the people providing that care right now don’t care enough to do so with the resources available. Im sorry who exactly has the greater disregard for human life?

  33. Hold up! Did my comment regarding RP being JT’s boy get scrubbed? Noooo, not on this list where freedom of speech reigns.

  34. ekeyra – beautifully said. It’s almost a “shoot the messenger” mentality.

    I didn’t see the comment that was alleged to be removed in this thread, but I’m sure that JT, Glenn Greenwald and others speaking out against the president’s actions will receive heavy criticism from the left… particularly when they call attention to the only national candidate who is actually challenging the president and introducing the impeachment discussion. Partisanship over principle.

    Or perhaps no principle at all.

  35. Mr. Turley. I think that you are very short sighted in your assessment on American turncoats. These people do there best to kill not only our soldiers but attempt to out do the cowardly 9/11 sneak attack on New York. If erasing these turncoats is the way to help protect our soldiers and our country then more power to the American Spirit.

  36. David,

    That was a beautifully written summation of the what we now face as a nation. I think Wootsy makes an important addition to it with her/his reference to our population’s lack of reliable information.

    This murder, and it was a murder, is not really difficult to understand. The president has claimed the right to declare anyone a terrorist, anywhere in the world (including the US) and to kill them (that also includes in the US) on his say so alone. Harold Koh has been laying this “right” out in speech after speech since at least Nov of 2010. This presidential “right” up ends our Constitution, rendering it null and void.

    The president is engaged in torture, extraordinary renditions, the protection of war and financial criminals and illegally spying on our population. Again, these actions are not justified by our Constitution, they shred it to pieces. Yet, too many Americans will support and applaud each of these actions and the man who engages in them. That support and applause is our worst problem, worse even than having a president who murders and tortures.

    As our population supports the dismantling of the rule of law, we will all come under the effect of having no law. Few will be spared, for even current sycophants may offend someday, finding too late, that they too are expendable after all.

    Our media serves their masters to obfuscate simple, but profound truths. There is also the denial of Democrats, just as there was with Republicans when Bush was president. Republicans said, Bush is a nice guy. He wouldn’t do anything wrong, he wouldn’t make a mistake. He wouldn’t lie to us. Under Obama, these are now the words of too many Democrats.

    Denial must end. Partisanship must end. We need every person of conscience to speak out on behalf of our nation and what it should stand for.

  37. Jeff H.,

    What you are advocating is a form of: “we must destroy the village to save it”. We have a Constitution. The president took an oath to protect and defend it. Instead he has destroyed it. Here are the legal, Constitutional options that Obama should have taken in this case.

    Mr. al-Awalki should have been charged with a specific crime if there was sufficient evidence to legally charge him with that crime. The charge should have been clearly laid out in public.

    He should then have been arrested. Arrest is not impossible. Dangerous conditions for arrest exist every day. Law enforcement officers have taken an oath to uphold our Constitution, therefore they take the risk, even of their own death to follow that oath. We owe them a debt of gratitude for abiding by their oath. Further, the FBI had al-Awalki arrested by authorities in Yemen in 2006. (They also had him tortured, with their full knowledge, at that time.) We see then that even Mr. al-Awalki could be arrested.

    After 9/11 the govt. had a legal method for dealing with terrorists, one that has served the US well for a very long time. That method was to use the criminal justice system to try terrorism cases. Instead the govt. choose war and a host of illegal and immoral actions which have resulted in so many deaths, both of civilians and soldiers. It has also resulted in the destruction of our Constitution. The govt. needlessly put our soldiers in harm’s way. Actually, they criminally put our soldiers in harm’s way because they lied us into a war of aggression against Iraq.

    The American spirit consists of the willingness to hold fast to the rule of law, even when we are frightened, especially when we are frightened.

  38. puzzling,
    most of the people on this blog seem to agree that the citizen hit list is unconstitutional, but the issue of Mr. Paul being the shining light is up for discussion. I also agree with Mr. Paul that we should have never gone into Iraq and we should be out of Afghanistan, but that does not hide the fact that he is speaking from both sides of his mouth on other issues. The integrity issue is what I have been responding to.

  39. S.M.,

    What’s interesting about the occupy wallstreet protestors is their lack of partisanship. They realize that the social injustice which is in force in the US came about through the work of Democrats and Republicans alike. This is not a movement for the election of Romney, Obama or anyone else. It is a movement for social justice on behalf of the people of the US by the people of the US.

  40. I have been saying for years, this is the year the people will come to the streets. The protests are spreading. If the younger people come out they will become protests that can make a statement and change. Bloomberg’s arrests and the apparent forcing of illegal activity (the Brooklyn bridge issue where protestors say they were corraled into impeding traffic so cops would arrest for that exact infraction.)will also be a help in fomenting interest and action.

  41. Jill, That is right. It is not partisan, but Romney’s remarks could change that in the future. He may have made a mistake.

  42. S.M.,

    This protest is much deeper than which Wall Street/MIC complex lackey gets elected for office. Clearly, electing Democrats and Republicans has been a failing strategy for most people in our nation. We have war and financial criminals running the show. The point of the protest and I believe, of JT’s column is that it will take the people of the US to make things right again. We must stop supporting war and financial criminals of any party and work to restore the rule of law and social justice.

  43. Jill1, October 5, 2011 at 10:41 am ~ …………..Mr. al-Awalki should have been charged with a specific crime if there was sufficient evidence to legally charge him with that crime. The charge should have been clearly laid out in public. [ yup]

    He should then have been arrested. Arrest is not impossible. Dangerous conditions for arrest exist every day. Law enforcement officers have taken an oath to uphold our Constitution, therefore they take the risk, even of their own death to follow that oath. We owe them a debt of gratitude for abiding by their oath. Further, the FBI had al-Awalki arrested by authorities in Yemen in 2006. (They also had him tortured, with their full knowledge, at that time.) We see then that even Mr. al-Awalki could be arrested.
    ………….
    ——————————————————————————
    We are living in a time of serious corruption. What is not tenable, or even wise, is to follow the letter of the law and leave behind the purpose for that law. That is the doorway that opens to the corrupt so they can move things to thier own purpose.

    A ‘debt’ of ‘gratitude’ is a fart in the wind.

    Why would you expect people to put themselves in harms way to protect those whose ‘interests’ run solely to the economic and without any regard at all for thier safety or God-given rights and purpose(or natural and innate rights and purpose if you are atheist…).

    Why would you so automatically dismiss the actions, difficulties and usary of those that

    you admit abide by thier oaths….while so many in office and high hallowed halls so easily break thiers with impunity, with ease, and mostly…without even RECOGNITION of them. [or healthcare, or economic viability, or fill in the blank if you have brain cells…..]. It must be so nice to be able to play on a field with those who don’t cheat….it must be so……………easy……………

  44. Jeff H.1, October 5, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Mr. Turley. I think that you are very short sighted in your assessment on American turncoats. These people do there best to kill not only our soldiers but attempt to out do the cowardly 9/11 sneak attack on New York. If erasing these turncoats is the way to help protect our soldiers and our country then more power to the American Spirit.
    ———————————————-
    What the ‘American’ spirit is about resides in the light of day as well as the hearts of the American people.

    It is not a puppet on strings. One of its very foundational ideals is respect for the very people that our Constitution was written to protect.

    That’s why so many people in the world STILL WANT TO BECOME AMERICANS! It has to do with somthing you probably can’t see. They are fleeing governments who have little regard for themand thier property and thier lives. And they recognize who and what is trying to take that same hold here.

    America is still here. We are all still here. It’s just another attempt by rats to ruin the grain. They failed. Even without the media. Even without the protection of those they had a right to expect it from. So go home and try to behave.

  45. Wootsy,

    You wrote a post to me at 11:46 a.m. I am having some trouble understanding what you are saying to me. If you can, would you please rephrase it? Thank you.

  46. Jill1, October 5, 2011 at 11:17 am

    S.M.,

    What’s interesting about the occupy wallstreet protestors is their lack of partisanship. They realize that the social injustice which is in force in the US came about through the work of Democrats and Republicans alike. This is not a movement for the election of Romney, Obama or anyone else. It is a movement for social justice on behalf of the people of the US by the people of the US.
    ————————————————–
    That’s right!
    People should remember that while politicians live on the furthest spectrum of the poles….that which is often black or white…..98% of the world lives between those 2 poles….and they have been sorely abused of late!

  47. Thanks Jill. I agree with you about partisanship needing to end as the Democrats’ ability to justify Obama’s behavior shortly after condemning Cheney’s demonstrates simply that both parties tend to believe their ‘King is law’ rather than that “In America, the law is king,” to paraphrase Paine’s Common Sense. Underneath this belief, however, lies a false framing which tells a story of “our party vs. theirs” when such a belief only serves to uphold the status quo whose two arms (and parties) lead to the same corporate heart. I recently relistened to George Lakoff’s “The Political Mind,” which is a partisan look at the Bush Administration’s use of neuroscience and a call to the left to embrace similar techniques. However, listening to it now, it is clear that each criticism he makes against the Cheney Administration (I say this knowing that the Secret Services’ nicknames for Bush and Cheney were “Charlie” and “Edgar”!) applies to Obama’s administration. In short, “meet the new boss, [pretty much the] same as the old boss.” The main problem is that the public seems unable to shed the Bush and Obama administration’s similar framing which states: “trust us, we have evidence, but these Terrorists are so scary that we can’t even reveal it in court.” Occupy Wall Street seems like a positive indication that a significant segment rejects this as well as the cries for sacrifice on the part of all those except the ones we bailed out already, but it remains to be seen whether this movement will be coopted by the establishment or turn into a force for real change. I hope it brings real change and think it’s made up of a lot of the same people who were energized by Obama’s campaign but shocked by his audacity of quickly embracing Cheney’s policies and abandoning his promises. His main tactic now seems to be pointing out how scary a Republican nominee might be, and calling himself an underdog, but most people have now realized that, when judging Obama, you must believe your eyes over your ears. I fear that he’ll lose and those partisan Democrats who overlooked how dangerous these imperial presidential policies might be will end up witnessing them wielded by someone from the party that nominated prompted even Romney to publicly call for “Sheriff Joe’s” assistance on immigration. Now that’s really scary, right?

  48. “The main problem is that the public seems unable to shed the Bush and Obama administration’s similar framing which states: “trust us, we have evidence, but these Terrorists are so scary that we can’t even reveal it in court.”” -David

    And the approach is quite similar here in the U..S. — many just don’t realize it yet.

  49. David,

    I have a lot of hope concerning occupy wallstreet. They know that Obama and other Democrats are trying to co-opt the movement for their own benefit. Knowing this will, I hope, help keep it from happening.

    I am very frightened for our people. There is use of extremely sophisticated propaganda/manipulation going on. It is difficult to find actual information. Jeremy Scahill studied Blackwater for a long time and said at the end of writing his book that that he thought he probably knew about 3% of what was going on. Lakoff seems particularly odious to me. He argues that people should speak with the intent of manipulating others. I believe we have had quite enough of that! The signs held by many protesters at occupy wallstreet are just the opposite– they speak from the reality of people’s lives. In fact, I would say a good way to spot the political minions is to look for manipulative slogans, those will be very different from people speaking out of their lived experience.

    Yes, the Democrats use many scare tactics about the right to help them get elected. More importantly, worrying about Republicans keeps Democrats from worrying about Democrats! When your party’s president is committing war crimes it’s important that the base be distracted and never confront what their own guy is doing.

    In the movie, “Why we Fight” one person talked about how war loving Americans are. He said we didn’t like to admit this to ourselves, but if you looked at the evidence, you can’t really conclude otherwise. There does seem to be a blood lust in this culture. It needs to be confronted and we need to rid it from our hearts and minds. Blood lust makes people so easy to manipulate. It is the basis of all totalitarian systems because it is essential to an authoritarian mindset and actions.

    I hope dearly that the protests stay non-authoritarian and true to social justice.

  50. David1, October 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks Jill. I agree with you about partisanship needing to end as the Democrats’ ability to justify Obama’s behavior shortly after condemning Cheney’s demonstrates simply that both parties tend to believe their ‘King is law’ rather than that “In America, the law is king,” to paraphrase Paine’s Common Sense.
    —————————————

    more bullcrap.
    more “Iknow you are but what am I????”

    Dick Cheney was not President.

  51. Tuesday, Oct 4, 2011

    Andrew Ross Sorkin’s assignment editor
    By Glenn Greenwald

    http://politics.salon.com/2011/10/04/andrew_ross_sorkins_assignment_editor/singleton/

    Excerpt:

    The Occupy Wall Street protest has been growing in numbers, respectability, and media attention for several weeks now. Despite that, The New York Times‘ financial columnist who specializes in Wall Street coverage, Andrew Ross Sorkin, has neither visited the protests nor written about them — until today. In a column invoking the now-familiar journalistic tone of a zoologist examining a bizarre new species of animal discovered in the wild, Sorkin explains what prompted him to finally pay attention (via Michael Whitney):

    I had gone down to Zuccotti Park to see the activist movement firsthand after getting a call from the chief executive of a major bank last week, before nearly 700 people were arrested over the weekend during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge.

    “Is this Occupy Wall Street thing a big deal?” the C.E.O. asked me. I didn’t have an answer. “We’re trying to figure out how much we should be worried about all of this,” he continued, clearly concerned. “Is this going to turn into a personal safety problem?”

    How interesting that when a CEO “of a major bank” wants to know how threatening these protests are, he doesn’t seek out corporate advisers or dispatch the bank’s investigators, but instead gets the NYT‘s notoriously banker-friendly Wall Street reporter on the phone and assigns him to report back. How equally interesting that if this NYT financial columnist can’t address the concerns and questions of a CEO “of a major bank,” he hops to it to find out what was demanded of him. Sorkin did what he was told, cautiously concluding:

    As I wandered around the park, it was clear to me that most bankers probably don’t have to worry about being in imminent personal danger. This didn’t seem like a brutal group — at least not yet.

    As I noted last week when critiquing the patronizing, dismissive and scornful attacks on these protests from establishment circles, the “message” is clear and obvious enough, and Sorkin had no trouble discerning a significant part of it: “the demonstrators are seeking accountability for Wall Street and corporate America for the financial crisis and the growing economic inequality gap.” He added: “that message is a warning shot about the kind of civil unrest that may emerge — as we’ve seen in some European countries — if our economy continues to struggle.” His CEO banking friend is right to be concerned: if not about this protest in particular then about the likelihood of social unrest generally, emerging as a result of their plundering and pilfering. That healthy fear on the part of the oligarchs has been all too absent. (…and the article continues)

    I’ll repeat that last line:

    “That healthy fear on the part of the oligarchs has been all too absent. “

  52. A timeline…”the most prominent dates in the life of al-Awlaki”:

    http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/09/ap-look-at-life-al-qaida-cleric-al-awlaki-093011/

    A look at the life of al-Qaida cleric al-Awlaki

    The Associated Press
    Posted : Friday Sep 30, 2011 9:06:56 EDT

    The Yemeni government said U.S.-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in an airstrike Friday in the eastern province of al-Jawf.

    Here are the most prominent dates in the life of al-Awlaki:

    • April 22, 1971, born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents.

    • In 1978, family returns to Yemen where father serves as agriculture minister, professor at Sanaa University.

    • In 1991, al-Awlaki returns to U.S. to study civil engineering at Colorado State University, then education studies at San Diego State University and later does doctoral work at George Washington University in Washington.

    • In 2000, al-Awlaki starts preaching in San Diego mosque where he met two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi.

    • Al-Awlaki becomes preacher at Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, outside Washington.

    • After Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, al-Awlaki was interviewed at least four times in two weeks about his dealings with three of the hijackers aboard the flight that slammed into the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 Commission report said al-Awlaki was also investigated by the FBI in 1999 and 2000. None of the investigations led to criminal charges against him.

    • Returns to Sanaa in 2004.

    • In 2006, Yemeni authorities arrest al-Awlaki with a group of five Yemenis suspected of kidnapping a Shiite Muslim teenager for ransom. He is released without trial after a year in prison following the intercession of his tribe.

    • In 2007, after release from prison, al-Awlaki moves to the Awalik tribal heartland in eastern province of Shabwa, an al-Qaida stronghold, living in his family home in the mountain hamlet of Saeed and occasionally preaching in a local mosque.

    • Exchanged up to 20 emails with U.S. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, alleged killer of 13 people in the Nov. 5, 2009, rampage at Fort Hood.

    • On Dec. 24, 2009, al-Awlaki was believed to be at a gathering of al-Qaida figures in Yemen’s Shabwa mountains, a day before the Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up the airliner near Detroit. Yemeni warplanes, using U.S. intelligence help, struck the tents but al-Awlaki and others were believed to have driven off hours earlier.

    • In New York, the Pakistani-American man who pleaded guilty to the May 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt said he was “inspired” by al-Awlaki after making contact over the Internet.

    • Al-Awlaki is believed to have had a hand in mail bombs addressed to Chicago-area synagogues, packages intercepted in Dubai and Europe in October 2010.

    • In March 2010, an al-Awlaki tape was released in which he urged American Muslims to mount attacks in the U.S.

    • In April 2010, President Barack Obama makes al-Awlaki the first American placed on the CIA target list.

    • In May 2011, as Yemen is gripped by an uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime, a U.S. drone targets al-Awlaki but again the mission fails.

  53. Jill 1, October 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    “There does seem to be a blood lust in this culture. It needs to be confronted and we need to rid it from our hearts and minds. Blood lust makes people so easy to manipulate. It is the basis of all totalitarian systems because it is essential to an authoritarian mindset and actions.”

    I’m seeing in on a daily basis… it’s rough on the streets of America these days… I never imagined that I would see this kind of evil — modern-day witchhunts… that are cruel and sadistic…

  54. Anon, I hate to sound like an old fogey but I have felt that a big part of this is from playing the video games and seeing so much bloodlust on Tv as well as the ads with people walking across the screen, often humorously; an ad for Psych for instance, as you are watching something somber. The minute you start to feel the emotion it is interrupted by these ads, people, esp teens and younger have learned, are learning, that violence is only a game (but then go all the way back to Kitty Genovese in NYC, no one bothered then). It has no repercussions, emotions are fleeting so if someone is hurt or they see violence that flash of empathy and compassion is gone in a second and no more worries.

  55. • In April 2010, President Barack Obama makes al-Awlaki the first American placed on the CIA target list.

    • In May 2011, as Yemen is gripped by an uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime, a U.S. drone targets al-Awlaki but again the mission fails.
    ———————————-
    so, loss of citizenship….with due process prior to… is there some reason this wasn’t considered????
    what was ‘saved’ by silencing this man in this fashion?

    I am not a fan of the ‘gangsta’ approach….

  56. anon nurse1, October 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm
    ——————————————————
    I hink the culprit is greed, not blood lust. People are righteously indignant. And fear, tha is also a red flag, is growing because people are not just sitting back and ‘taking’ the lawlessness. It has gone too far and for the wrong reasons.

  57. Woosty,

    I don’t disagree I think that greed is one of the root causes that fuels blood lust… and ramps up the fear level, as well…

    Regarding, “what was ‘saved’ by silencing this man in this fashion?”

    What was “saved” in my opinion, was the insane “war on terror.” Kill one and how many more are become radicalized?

  58. Wootsy, the problem I’m pointing out is that when we identify exclusively with one party, we tend to overlook the traits our candidate exhibits and and only see them in the other parties’ candidate. Think of all the Democrats who were shocked at Bush’s policies but think they’re fine in Obama’s hands. Or picture all those Tea Partiers who cried out for the expansion of governmental power after 9/11 but were shocked when Obama exercised the same power they so willingly surrendered to Bush.

    My point isn’t “I know you are but what am I” (although I am a big PeeWee fan) but that both parties (and human nature) seems to think this way as we often clearly see the speck in the person in the other parties’ eye but fail to notice the beam in our own candidate’s eye, to paraphrase Matthew 7:3.

    Also, I know Cheney wasn’t President. My point is that he knew how to manipulate the man who was, hence the Secret Service nicknamed him “Edgar” and called Bush “Charlie,” obviously pointing out that while Cheney wasn’t President he knew how to use the POTUS the way a ventriloquist speaks through a dummy.

    I’m not being partisan here and wonder if Obama isn’t similarly influenced by a giant many-handed ventriloquist named Goldman Sachs. He’s the perfect Goldman President as he mollifies the masses while enriching the banksters, campaigning on change and governing the same old way. Even the masses see through this act now though and I feel like a dummy for ever falling for it. I won’t get fooled again though and I think a lot in the Occupy movement feel the same way, not caring which party it comes from but demanding an end to the corporate control of our democracy, no matter which party is in power.

    Strangely, in this way this group seems to have something in common with the Tea Party, or at least elements of it, which might lead to some real change. Hopefully, we as a nation and as two separate movements, can look past labels and see the principles that this country was built on and which are rapidly fading away.

  59. “Hopefully, we as a nation and as two separate movements, can look past labels and see the principles that this country was built on and which are rapidly fading away.” -David

    My solemn hope…

  60. David1, October 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Wootsy, the problem I’m pointing out is that when we identify exclusively with one party, we tend to overlook the traits our candidate exhibits and and only see them in the other parties’ candidate.
    ———————–
    there is no doubt that there is projection at play…..some are blinded by it and some are blinded to it….but not all are blind.

    I do see te sense in what you are saying in the rest of your post….but the biggest problem IMHO is the inequality of the enforcement…there always seems to be some powerless slob that gets thrown to the wolves in these arenas, I have been one, I think the behavior has been outed…now what?

    in short, games over, play fair isn’t viable….

  61. Swarthmore mom1, October 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I like this article….! I feel the air turning…..fresh!

  62. I also noticed that nowhere in the list of demands made by occupy wall street, did they even mention the wars being waged… Seems a very large oversight for a group claiming to want justice and equality and blah blah blah.
    Wall street has nothing to fear from these protests. Why would they when the very authority the protesters are seeking to redress their greivances, is the same authority that looted them and middle class to bail out the firms they are protesting! No matter who wins, we all lose. Dont you get that yet? If these protests had any chance of changing anything, they would have been infiltrated long ago and had acts of violence attributed to them to discredit them. The fact that they havent is testament that the powers that be in wall street and washington dont care enough to disrupt their message.

    http://mises.org/daily/5746/Occupy-Wall-Street-A-Story-without-Heroes

  63. Sure she’s running, SwMom. Just not for an office she knows she has zero chance of winning. Palin is running after that 15 minutes of fame that she feels pulling away from her though. You betcha.

  64. ekeyra1, October 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I also noticed that nowhere in the list of demands made by occupy wall street, did they even mention the wars being waged… Seems a very large oversight for a group claiming to want justice and equality and blah blah blah.

    ——————————————
    this is a home soil war Ekeyra. The fact that they are there disproves everything you just said in this post. There is no spin.

    and dear….the blah blah blah says it all……

  65. Woosty

    One of the demands is the forgiveness of all debt in a global sense. Even if you agree with it that will never happen. So yea blah blah blah. The only exception would be the open borders policy which I have been for. However even that one ids supposed to be to fill all the job openings that will occur when they pay everyone 20 dollars an hour whether not they are employed or not. These people have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

    As for it being a “war in homesoil” why not carry it out in the same fashion. Shock and awe and Fuck counting the bodies after as long as the natives know your in charge. Would you afford them the same lack of accountabilty that lead to the very wars they chose to ignore as a substantial source of human suffering.

  66. Based on the book by Naomi Wolf, “The End of America” is a 2008 documentary by filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern.

  67. TPM News
    Secret Panel Can Put Americans On ‘Kill List’
    Mark Hosenball
    Reuters US Online Report Top News
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2011/10/secret_panel_can_put_americans_on_kill_list.php?ref=fpc

    Oct 05, 2011 19:59 EDT

    Excerpt:
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

    There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

    The panel was behind the decision to add Awlaki, a U.S.-born militant preacher with alleged al Qaeda connections, to the target list. He was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen late last month.

    The role of the president in ordering or ratifying a decision to target a citizen is fuzzy. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to discuss anything about the process.

  68. A new bill before the Senate is attempting to deal with the incredible fact that employers are instructing their agents not to hire anyone who has been unemployed … employers refusing to hire the unemployed – simply because they are unemployed.

    ” … U.S. employers of all sizes, staffing agencies and online job posting firms are using recruitment and hiring policies that expressly deny employment to the unemployed—simply because they are not currently working. In other words, at a time when the competition for jobs is extraordinarily intense—with more than nearly five unemployed jobseekers for each new job opening—some businesses and recruitment firms are telling would-be job seekers that they can’t get
    a job unless they already have a job. ”

    “More than 14 million Americans are counted as officially unemployed (a number that excludes those who have given up looking for work), and more than six million of those have been jobless for longer than six months”

    http://www.nelp.org/page/-/UI/2011/unemployed.discrimination.7.12.2011.pdf?nocdn=1

    Email your representative … help to fix the mess the young people Occupying Wall Street are addressing.

  69. Elaine,

    To add to your article, when I heard Harold Koh speak on the issue of the president’s “right” to ordain and kill anyone he declares a terrorist, I believe one of the most chilling aspects of that speech was his statement that he had looked over all the files at the president’s request and he could vouch for the fact that they were all bad guys.

    What struck me about this statement, was: 1. that Koh thought his actions had anything to do with Constitutional law and 2. that he seemed utterly convinced of both his right to make the determination and 3. that his determinations were absolutely, unquestionably correct.

    Apparently, unlike even the Bush administration, there has been no dissent in giving the executive and his minions this new “right”. Evidently, Obama didn’t even have to shop around for his own John Yoo. His people all thought it was a fabulous idea.

    The public has yet to see any “legal” memos justifying these actions because they are declared, “state secrets”. Thus, as JT pointed out, these decisions have effectively written out judicial review of executive actions.

    There is no part of this that is in our Constitution. In fact, our Constitution was designed precisely to prevent such things from occurring. I find it all terrifying, especially because too many in our population do not question what is going on. Left and right, many behave as authoritarian good Germans. Support for this illegal and immoral action must end.

  70. Jill,

    Too many in our population look at issues like this simplistically. “We got the bad guys–good for us!” Too many don’t stop to think how dangerous it is that a president of this country thinks he has the right to–as you said–ordain the killing of an individual whom he determines–with the help a secret panel–is a terrorist/threat to our country.

  71. I was at ‘occupy Philadelphia’ yesterday. Unfortunately the news does not care that this is spreading from city to city. It is a hodge podge, for sure, and does in fact include anti war protestors _ you just aren;t seeing it.
    To me the point isn’t the ‘list’ that is a non starter, it is the fact that what is happening primarily, it appears and to my interpretation of it, to have been a seedling with the Citizens United ruling and goes to the fact that no jobs or jobs bill seems to be forthcoming, the congress prefering to be in a partisan gridlock (which amazingly Scalia thinks is a good think and what the framers wanted). Vietnam protests were because each of us was impacted, we all had brothers, sons, nephews, good friends who were, would be, or could be drafted. Finally this has come to the streets as people realize it is affecting each and every oone of the 99%. Protest is a good thing (when there are legit issues, which there are whether you agree with them or not, (someone yesterday told me the protests were merely the ‘tools of the unions’.) and what democracy looks like.

  72. Blouise,I wish more people wouold call their reps and pres (numbers at congress.org) Re: jobs the idea of a tax on millionaires to pay for the jobs bill makes sense, after all the repubs rationalization to keep it was the rish create jobs. They have not. This way they pay for the jobs bill and are creating the jobs the repubs said they would be.

  73. The Moral Imperative of ‘Activism’
    October 6, 2011

    “On Sept. 18, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern gave a talk about “activism” to a conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, focused on the need to confront the military industrial complex. Now, as the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington gets underway, his words take on a special resonance.”

    by Ray McGovern

    http://consortiumnews.com/2011/10/06/the-moral-imperative-of-activism/

    (Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army officer and a CIA analyst and now is happy to be described as an “activist.”)

  74. Déjà vu … same rhetoric I encountered during my Civil Rights and Nam days …

    What I find most interesting is all the failed attempts to assign faces and names to the leadership thus failing to find individuals to vilify.

    Some very smart people ……. ;)

  75. Blouise , Do you remember the “love it or leave it” folks? They are the same people that are in the tea party.

  76. SwM,

    Love it or leave it … lord, yes … I also remember the Smothers Brothers numerous comedy sketches on the love it or leave it folk.

    Nixon shut the brothers down, then deep throat shut Nixon down … good times ;)

  77. And who will help to restore our republic this time around? (I think that we may be seeing some movement in the right direction… but we have miles to go…)

  78. I will be goiing again today. The chant is (one of them) “This is what democracy looks like.) The first amendment makes this the most American of activity. Freedom of speech, right of assembly, right to petition gov’t re our grievances. The gov has not listened despite phone calls, emails, snail mails, talking directly to senators and reps, individually and in groups. They force us to petition in the streets.
    The tea party started because they were not being heard. Why are we “Un American” and mob (re Hatch, Cantor, et al,) while the tea party was applauded?

  79. A hand gun permits suggest that you are legally eligible to vote, why? Because its only issued to citizens of that state. A Student ID suggests that you are a student at that particular institution. I think I can see the rational for that and most other folks can as well.

  80. I can see the rationale,too, as more students vote for democrats and more hand gun owners vote republican.

  81. I don’t agree…when I moved to Austin I had not changed my Voter registration…I had my student ID and Texas Drivers licenses. I was working for the Majority Leader and did not get a mail in ballot….I was not allowed to vote in any of the local elections but could vote state wide and national. I voted democratic that year. I wonder really how much this has changed….

  82. SwM,

    We fought that battle here in Ohio … and won, for now, but the suppress the vote republicans are still trying. One can use a provisional ballot (all info is checked before vote is counted) if one doesn’t have an I D.

    In Ohio one has to have resided at the address 30 days before the election and a college student may vote using his or her Ohio school residence address. However, the student may not also vote an absentee ballot where he or she last lived (e.g., with one or more parent or guardian). When a college student votes from his or her school address, the school residence is considered to be the place to which the student’s habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the student is absent, the student intends to return, and is considered by the student to be his or her permanent residence at the time of voting.

  83. AY, the purpose of the photo ID is to show who you are, not where you live. And last I heard, Texas is one of the states that honors CC permits from other states.

    The poll tax was set up to disenfranchise minorities, mostly black, from voting. That was struck down as unconstitutional. The state issued voter ID law was set up for exactly the same purpose by the Republican power brokers. Most vote fraud is not voter registration activity, but caging, which is an official/unofficial policy of the Republican party.

  84. We lost the battle in Texas, Blouise. The only hope is the Justice Dept but right now they are just looking at redistricting.

  85. I suspect one of the republican’s worst nightmares is a bunch of college kids empowered by Occupy Wall Street rallies turning out to vote in states across the country. If I were a republican I’d want to suppress that vote too.

  86. It all happens at the state level and that’s where we have to concentrate our efforts.

    My mother used to say when she was instructing my brothers and me on housecleaning, “Clean the corners first, the rest will come easily.”

  87. OS,

    I found out about the “honoring” the validity of concealed weapons permits for a different reason….This keeps them from being classified as criminals in this state…FWIW, you don’t need a permit if you are going to or from work…. If someone is suggesting that a person that had a valid out of state hand gun permit with out a valid Texas ID can be turned away from voting, this is true….THEY are not Resident that are entitled to Vote… The Sct has stated that the state can restrict voters so long as it does not infringe on the Federal laws….Hence the state makes the rules…and if someone is Legally registered to vote in San Saba, Texas why should they be able to vote in Travis County Elections….Seems to be a legitimate state interest in halting some voter fraud….

  88. OS,

    I think it also has something to do with a Student ID does not contain a signature….whereas a CCW does…

    raf,

    If you read the article….and I am sure you did….Texas is not alone…It includes a lot of Midwestern State….that have disfranchised much more than Texas….

  89. Blouise, et al,

    I remember reading about a college town somewhere in the northeast that decided to enlarge their tax coffers and pump up the census by making all the local college students citizens of the town.

    The students, who outnumbered the local residents, had a referendum that authorized the building of a new city hall. It was to be one inch square and one mile high. There was also something about a giant monument to the college mascot on the town square as well. At the very next city council meeting they revoked the new mandatory citizenship ordinance for college students.

  90. Blouise1, October 6, 2011 at 10:03 am
    —————————————————
    There are many tactics being emplyed by the corporate and business overlords. I have run into, for years, only being given ‘per diem’ work, and then worked to death…if I allowed it. It is just an end run around the labor laws and giving healthcare…having to pay overtime etc. Where has Washington been to allow this behavior for so long?????

  91. Woosty’s,

    That is indeed a serious problem many ‘per diem’ and “contract” workers encounter. It’s morally wrong but legal (lawyers finding loop-holes). The problem, as I see it, is, once again, money. Corporations and even small businesses through their networking professional groups are able to contribute money to law makers and then demand quid pro quo by influencing the laws written to favor their pocketbooks.

    My son-in-law experienced this problem. He finally incorporated himself and drew up a contract that factored in his cost for healthcare etc. He’s a computer guy … don’t ask me what kind because I don’t understand the systems he maintains.

    This is of course for regular workers who face the problems you face, the value of a union … they collectively contribute money to law makers and thus attempt to influence laws written and the contracts they negotiate for their members have the force of law.

    Should lawmakers be addressing these problems, especially at the state level … yeah, right … only if you pay them. Bastards.

  92. Charlie Savage: Secret U.S. Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen

    But the document that laid out the administration’s justification — a roughly 50-page memorandum by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, completed around June 2010

    It was principally drafted by David Barron and Martin Lederman, who were both lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel at the time, and was signed by Mr. Barron.

    the Justice Department concluded that Mr. Awlaki was covered by the authorization to use military force against Al Qaeda that Congress enacted shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — meaning that he was a lawful target in the armed conflict unless some other legal prohibition trumped that authority.

    It then considered possible obstacles and rejected each in turn.

    Among them was an executive order that bans assassinations. That order, the lawyers found, blocked unlawful killings of political leaders outside of war, but not the killing of a lawful target in an armed conflict.

    A federal statute that prohibits Americans from murdering other Americans abroad, the lawyers wrote, did not apply either, because it is not “murder” to kill a wartime enemy in compliance with the laws of war.

    Then there was the Bill of Rights: the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee that a “person” cannot be seized by the government unreasonably, and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that the government may not deprive a person of life “without due process of law.”

    The memo concluded that what was reasonable, and the process that was due, was different for Mr. Awlaki than for an ordinary criminal. It cited court cases allowing American citizens who had joined an enemy’s forces to be detained or prosecuted in a military court just like noncitizen enemies.

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