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October 07, 2011

There really are death panels

Unlike the ones that exists only in the fevered imagination of opponents of health care reform who labor under the delusion that these panels exist to decide who should get medical treatment and who should be left to die, these death panels are real and consist of people who decide in secret which Americans deserve to be killed by the president, using the entire military apparatus at his disposal.

This report confirms what was reported as far back as in February 2010 when Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, said in a Congressional hearing that the intelligence community had the right to kill Americans abroad who have been deemed to be a threat.

So our government thinks it has the right to send roving gangs of assassins anywhere in the world to murder anyone whom the president has decided must die. It is astonishing to me that people are not outraged.

Glenn Greenwald has more. As usual, political cartoonist Ted Rall nails it.

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Comments

I really don't see any difference in this and how the CIA acted in various countries (see: Philip Agree's "CIA Diary").

It's not the first time members of the US government killed Americans on another country's soil. The only difference is the direct involvement of the white house instead of third hand involvement with plausible deniability.

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Posted by P Smith on October 7, 2011 02:34 PM

That is a huge difference. When it was covert and considered illegal, there was always the possibility of bringing people to justice even if that threat was rarely carried out. Without that threat, there will be no restraint at all.

Posted by Mano on October 7, 2011 02:45 PM

I am no longer shocked by anything the US President or its various arms of Government does. However, I believe that the conventions and applicable laws in wars between nation states must be reviewed to ascertain whether its full and complete applicability is appropriate, in the face of terrorism. Terrorism is such a game changer that the old rules maybe completely impractical and ineffective. Having said that, the question is who decides on the composition of an independent body which can handle the job.

Posted by Manik on October 8, 2011 02:48 AM

A side note: Rall screwed up in his analogy.

Keanu Reeves is Canadian.

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Posted by P Smith on October 8, 2011 04:15 PM

I do find this somewhat alarming that the president is able to possess this level of power without any scrutiny or objection from others. People must be brought to trial and sentenced, otherwise what message does this send out to the rest of the world and how do such actions promote democracy in the eyes of former dictatorships?

Posted by durham on October 13, 2011 06:11 AM