Obama’s and Brennan’s “Kill List”

By lambert strether

It’s amazing, or not, that Obama whacking U.S. citizens without any sort of due process is getting only the most cursory coverage — imagine the pearl-clutching if Bush had done this — so I thought I’d run this fine Real News Network interview with CIA whistleblower Ray McGovern, before the whole issue goes down the memory hole and the idea that the Chief Magistrate of the United States can wake up in the morning and order you or me hit because he thinks that would be a good idea becomes completely normalized. I mean, putting the “execute” in “executive,” or what?

More at The Real News

Here’s the transcript. The word “extraordinary” occurs rather a lot.

So far as I know — readers? — there’s exactly one organized effort to bring a little accountability on this issue to what, back in the day, we used to call “the executive branch of the United States government”: Hilariously, the effort uses the online petition mechanism at whitehouse.gov. Here’s a lightly re-versioned copy of a note I sent trying to get the effort some coverage:

Dear ______:

Not to spam you, but I think this is important:

We petition the obama administration to:

Create a Do Not Kill List

The New York Times reports that President Obama has created an official “kill list” that he uses to personally order the assassination of American citizens. Considering that the government already has a “Do Not Call” list and a “No Fly” list, we hereby request that the White House create a “Do Not Kill” list in which American citizens can sign up to avoid being put on the president’s “kill list” and therefore avoid being executed without indictment, judge, jury, trial or due process of law.

Total signatures so far: 3751 4213* of 25,000 needed to get the White House to respond. Not bad, since one must have a whitehouse.gov account to sign the petition.

* * *

I view the petition as a magnificent piece of irony-drenched japery, a virtual entartisme — a Good Thing, since authoritarian regimes find laughter and ridicule difficult to withstand. For that reason alone, the link merits consideration for exposure in _______.

However, if one looks at the petition without irony — and, after all, Obama has “nominated” US citizens — one could view the 3751 4213* signers as having both identified themselves, by creating their account, and then as having moved themselves to the top of next year’s “kill list,” by signing. They have, in other words, made themselves into targets, for all our sakes, through this act of virtual civil resistance. There being safety in numbers, 25,000 signers are more likely to avoid “disposition” than 3751 4213.

Finally, one might take the simple view that a government ruling with the consent of the governed does not kill its citizens arbitrarily, without due process, by decisions made in secret; see under lettre de cachet. A White House response to the petition might bring clarity to those who are concerned that the White House might be giving consideration to broader, domestic applications of the “kill list” process, under NDAAA, for example, and some comfort to those who have been unsettled by the existence and application of the list.

For those two additional reasons, the link merits consideration by _____, so that the 25,000 threshold for a White House response is reached.

I signed (in RL). Will you?

Thanks for your time!

Nixon famously kept an “enemies list.” Happy, innocent times!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. TK421

    I signed the petition, too. Though I’m told Obama has to blow up innocent people with missiles, because the only alternative is to do nothing and let al-Qaeda kill us. Also, General Sherman said war is brutal, so that makes it alright.

    1. sierra

      General Smedley Butler also said, (and wrote a famous essay) “War is a Racket”

    2. Nathanael

      General Sherman would never have done the kind of crap Obama is doing. For one thing, Sherman knew how to win the trust of his allies, and made a very sharp distinction between friendly/neutral people and hostile people. In contrast, Obama happily murders random civilians.

  2. Middle Seaman

    When you scare the country to death, the least you can do is blow up every hint of danger. If a terrorist is hiding behind every tree, the least you can do is cut the trees down.

    We didn’t scream, and still don’t, when every news bulltine, government annoucement and alert tells you to watch out. Now is kind of late to complain.

    1. another

      “Now is kind of late to complain.”

      This is true, but my time machine is broken. May we borrow yours?

    2. scraping_by

      Oh, but there will certainly be new crap to call out in the future. Bet on it.

      And by the way, who’s “we”? I know a lot of people, even out here in the real world, who showed great suspicion of how the WOT was going from the git-go. They just didn’t get 24/7 cable news coverage.

  3. Pitchfork

    I watched the speech In-Action Jackson gave at Northwestern where he said “due process” doesn’t necessarily mean judge, jury, evidence, habeas corpus, Magna Carta and all that, but could be satisfied by the Droner and his lawyer pals having a quick chat in the Oval Office about whether or not to whack you.

    What a F****ING joke! And those morons at that fake Ivy-League law school just sat there and took it. They sat there like good little boys and girls and just took it. When he should have been heckled off the stage.

    Don’t drone me, bro!

        1. Pitchfork

          LOL, one of the options is to complain about a DOJ employee for “waste, fraud, abuse or misconduct.” As far as the Northwestern speech goes, that pretty much covers it.

          1. rotter

            I wanted to copy and paste Holders entire speech and submit it under the link that says “report a civil rights violation”…but im actually afraid to excercise my right of free speech in a way that might attact the attention of my government and its department of justice.

      1. Jeff W

        I believe it’s here (on the DOJ site):

        Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at Northwestern University School of Law
        Chicago ~ Monday, March 5, 2012.

        Some key passages [emphasis added]:

        Some have argued that the President is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces. This is simply not accurate. “Due process” and “judicial process” are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.

        The conduct and management of national security operations are core functions of the Executive Branch, as courts have recognized throughout our history. Military and civilian officials must often make real-time decisions that balance the need to act, the existence of alternative options, the possibility of collateral damage, and other judgments – all of which depend on expertise and immediate access to information that only the Executive Branch may possess in real time. The Constitution’s guarantee of due process is ironclad, and it is essential – but, as a recent court decision makes clear, it does not require judicial approval before the President may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign terrorist organization with which the United States is at war – even if that individual happens to be a U.S. citizen.

        That is not to say that the Executive Branch has – or should ever have – the ability to target any such individuals without robust oversight. Which is why, in keeping with the law and our constitutional system of checks and balances, the Executive Branch regularly informs the appropriate members of Congress about our counterterrorism activities, including the legal framework, and would of course follow the same practice where lethal force is used against United States citizens.

        Now, these circumstances are sufficient under the Constitution for the United States to use lethal force against a U.S. citizen abroad – but it is important to note that the legal requirements I have described may not apply in every situation – such as operations that take place on traditional battlefields.

        The unfortunate reality is that our nation will likely continue to face terrorist threats that – at times – originate with our own citizens. When such individuals take up arms against this country – and join al Qaeda in plotting attacks designed to kill their fellow Americans – there may be only one realistic and appropriate response. We must take steps to stop them – in full accordance with the Constitution. In this hour of danger, we simply cannot afford to wait until deadly plans are carried out – and we will not.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          When a government goes to war — silly me, I almost said “declares” war — against its own citizens, that’s a fine example of the Clang Bird anti-pattern. Brittle, not sustainable, and ultimately a #FAIL, but it’s how that “ultimately” plays out that’s the kicker.

        2. YankeeFrank

          The speciousness of that drivel is shocking. Notice how he never says “due process of law”, which is what the constitution says? Its now “due process”, and it doesn’t mean what a thousand years of legal precedent says it means. It means what Eric Holder and Obama say it means. It is laughable and at the same time horribly fascistic and terrifying. I actually think Obama has a sickness of mind — the puritanical/protestant mindset — where life is a misery of hard work which is the only thing that makes us worthy and our society great. And anything that threatens to weaken our chains is a direct threat to our future power and ambition. Its a pinched and miserable philosophy that you find amongst a certain protestant set, usually wealthy with a strong sense of tradition. You can see it in the way Obama berates his followers to work hard, and the way he recalls his mother waking him at 5am to do his schoolwork with the attitude that “I don’t like this either bub but I’m miserable and you will be too”. This is why he refuses to help the middle class and poor — he believes “the weak” are necessary fodder and there is no sense wasting money on them. He’s a bit mad really and his kill lists are a particularly hideous symptom.

        3. Doug Terpstra

          With tortured logic and doublespeak-newspeak worthy of Orwell, Holder quaffes his own Kool-Aid. How deliriously inebriating it must be.

          Of course he may be right. It could well be that the founding slavers insinuated just such a glaringly self-contradictory loophole in order to foster the rise of a Caesar with absolute power who could prosecute a self-sustaining, permanent, Global War on Terra.

        4. sierra

          Dr. Joseph Goebbels couldn’t have said it any better!
          The crux is who defines “….senior leader of (an) Al Queda group?
          Time for the guillotine!!

  4. stevefraser

    So you tell me that the readers of NC aren’t aware the Left has taken over 99% of the media….and they are furious Russ Limbaugh still lives….From the point of view of the Progressive/Fascists, a person only should exist to further the aims of the State (or the “Federal Family”). Get used to it, alot more is of this is coming down the pike.

      1. rotter

        Give him a break. When he saw the header “NAKED CAPITALISM” he probably clapped his hands (pinkys extended), and gave out a loud. “ooooooooooooooeeeeeeeeewwwwwww” and added it to his favorites before he realized where he was.Most of them move on quickly but some i think, are so stunned to discover this that isnt a right wing loony site, or a site with nudie pics of michelle malkin and laura ingraham that they have to interject something like …”WAKE UP PEOPLE, before we have to raise the minimum wage and the commies are making your children go to school with black people”

    1. YankeeFrank

      Yes… the corporate police state loving left. Obama’s shock troops — the occupy movement. I sure do hope the republicans come in soon to save us from the awful police state that fake republican W began. Who but a freedom loving republican will save us from corporate and police terror? Please lord send us back the rotting corpse of Reagan to right this ship one more time!!!

      1. rotter

        The Anti librul-communist-fascist-progressive brigade probably think they arrived at their opinions through keen observation..bwaaaaaahahahahha …when every single message sent out Via Televison and Radio is driving them to those opinions…my reactionary freinds, as an ARCH LEFTIST, I genuinely truly wish some fascist-communist (jumbo-shrimp?) WOULD pull the plug on the “librul media”..then many of my programmed fellow Americans would have a chance to actually think things through without their hourly regime of conditioning.

    2. TK421

      I know, the media is so liberal! On “Meet The Press” today they debated whether or not the government should implement a minimum income, and on “Face The Nation” they discussed the merits of nationalizing the health care system.

  5. btraven

    Are you the same Lambert Strether who slayed publicly all Obama opponents on the left in 2008?

      1. ambrit

        Sr. Strether;
        No, nobody does. Now it’s official, “We Homeland Security don’t need no steenkin badges!”

  6. OpenThePodBayDoorHAL

    They’re coming, they’re coming soon, and they’re coming for YOU. When they do you need only look one place to find out why: a mirror.
    This is beyond surreal. Are there no adults in the room to stand up and ask “Um sir but what happens when the other side, the ones who hate us because we’re free, gets drones just like ours? Sir?”
    Or maybe “Sir, have you no decency?”

    1. Jim Haygood

      From a Guardian article on the same subject:

      The drone operation now operates out of two main bases in the US, dozens of smaller installations and at least six foreign countries. There are “terror Tuesday” meetings to discuss targets which Obama’s campaign manager, David Axelrod, sometimes attends, lending credence to those who see naked political calculation involved.

      Obama has shown himself to be a ruthless projector of national security powers at home and abroad.

      “Whoever gets elected, whether it’s Obama or Romney, they are going to continue this very dangerous path,” said Radack. “It creates a constitutional crisis for our country. A crisis of who we are as Americans. You can’t be a free society when all this happens in secret.


      When the U.S. nuked two Japanese cities in August 1945, many complacently assumed that the U.S. would enjoy a decades-long nuclear monopoly. WRONG! It took only four years for the Soviet Union to test its first nuclear bomb.

      Drones are no different, especially since Iran captured an intact U.S. drone for reverse engineering.

      Thanks to Peace Laureate Hussein O’Bugger’s sociopathic state terror campaign, a future hostile drone attack against a U.S. site is not much in doubt. The only question is whether our overlords will invoke the ‘lone wolf’ theory — blaming some hapless Oswald, McVey, or Sirhan from an RC airplane hobbyist club — or pin the massacre on an outlaw regime such as Iran, Syria or North Korea.

      It don’t really matter, because the conclusion is the same: we will need a multi-trillion dollar anti-drone defense system, supplied by the usual suspects, and paid for by the usual victims.

      It’s Terror Tuesday, comrades — if you see something, say something!

        1. ambrit

          Mr. Strether;
          One of my brothers-in-law is a copper in a mid sized Midwestern city and he assures me, “The absolute worst, most dangerous cases to go out on are the Domestic Disturbance ones.” We now have a disturbed domesticity, with all the danger that suggests.

        2. Nathanael

          Remember, the other countries which get drones will be less stupid about their use than the US.

          If Iran targets the US with drones, it will most likely carefully hit its targets *without* killing random neighboring civilians.

          1. Nathanael

            Heck, once the US government starts murdering people with drones in the US (as it seems to be planning to do), people will probably cheer if a foreign government moves in to attack the US government.

            The people in power really don’t know what kind of forces they’re messing with. Governmental legitimacy rests on the consent of the governed and they’ve been doing their best, since 2000, to make sure that people will withdraw that consent — which is INSANE.

      1. C

        Do not forget stuxnet. While the U.S. has not admitted to running the virus-based attack on Iran a new book by David Sanger called “Confront and Conceal” reveals that we have been developing and deploying “the world’s most sophisticated computer virus” in Iran. This was a policy began under Bush and continued by Obama.

  7. Bob Andray

    One question for anyone still planning to vote for Obama on the “lesser of two evils” rationale:

    What would it take for you not to be able to vote for him? What thing could he do at this point that would make you say, “That’s it”? Is there anything he could possibly do?

    Silly question, I know.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Would already launching war on Iran in 2010 do it?

      “The Obama administration, allowing ‘unnamed officials’ to speak with the [Neocon] Times, has taken direct responsibility for launching a series of cyber attacks against Iran, including the Stuxnet virus attack that took place in the summer of 2010.”

      Meet the new boss, same as worse than the old boss.

      And who could have imagined that Barack Obama would assume the mantle of an imperious Caesar, Nero perhaps, presiding in the coliseum and delighting in his absolute power to kill with the turn of his imperial thumb.

      To answer your question, no, our first fascist black president can do no wrong.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Hussein O’Bugger has taken to quoting former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards:

      “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a live boy or a dead girl.”

    3. TK421

      Great question, Bob Andray.

      Getting caught in bed with a boy wouldn’t hurt Obama’s chances that much. And if he were caught with a dead girl, Tbogg would still support him.

        1. CB

          I stopped reading when I realized how loony it all was. No question, anywhere, of the premise that we have to be in these countries, just “boots on the ground” or drones, as if there are no other options. Empire is a mental disorder.

    4. Synopticist

      I dont have a vote, but his opponent not being an asset stripping, job exporting, serially lying, wingnut 1%er with the most pro-super rich tax plan in US history would be one.

      Oh, and the other guy wants to attack Iran.

      1. Sycophant

        The other guy who looked the other way at civil liberties, war crimes, financial fraud, social security, nedicare and defense spending all while conducting mulitple undeclared wars of aggression. He wants to attack Iran as much or more as the other guy, when politically epxpedient.

  8. traitorsall

    Lesser of two eveils? One Rmmeny is not evil; 2) Obama is evil.

    You people just cannot grasp what the Left is and has always been about. When the left scream about “Bush-hitler” they are really just projecting their won vileness on that “other” they keep ranting about.

    1. scraping_by

      No. Romney is evil in that pretty boy, shit-don’t-stink, stand and watch sort of way. With no pretension of being a mensch, he will have around him people who do awful things while he has poses. Whether instigator or follower, pretty much the public face for other people’s attacks.

      If politicians keep doing what they’ve always done (see Barry’s campaign for the Harvard Law Review and the way it turned out) Mittens won’t soil his hands beating up losers. He’ll just hand over the scissors.

      Reagan, when confronted about lies he’d told or the damage he’d caused, would just shrug and grin, then walk away. Mittens seems to give a boyish leap and hoot out some irrelevant neoliberal slogan. Same thing.

      1. Nathanael

        Romney “likes firing people”, impersonated a police officer in order to harass motorists, enjoyed steering his blind teacher into doors so he could laugh about it, tied a dog in a carrier to the roof of his car for a many-hour-long trip, and when the dog peed itself in fear, just hosed it down, etc. etc.

        Yes, Romney’s evil. Unlike Obama’s cold, calculating evil, Romney appears to be a sadist.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      So a kill list is not evil?

      Both Romney and Obama support murder. That makes them both evil. We can quibble about degrees of culpability.

      But the media is right-wing fascist, not left. The fact you erroneously think the media is left-wing is an indication of its success.

      Another indication of media success is that you think murder is okay.

      You’ve been bamboozled into supporting murder because you got suckered into a silly tribal fight over colors–you’re no different than the crips and bloods arguing whether the color red (Romney) is cooler looking than the color blue (Obama).

  9. Hugh

    From that well-known treatise on the modern world:

    Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.

    Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed.

    Michael: Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?

    1. scraping_by

      I hope they’re PR flacks for large financial firms trying to keep their head bootlicker Barry in office. It offends me to think of my fellow workers working for billionaires for free.

      1. Synopticist

        That might actually be a fair comment, if he wasn’t running against Mitt Romney.

  10. scraping_by

    The WOT is theater. Therefore, our only defense against it is bad reviews.

    By continuing to play the role of Bravely Defending the Innocent, Barry continues Shrub’s least credible trope. The Golfer in Chief hides behind faked hysteria to keep the drone bombing of Muslim villagers, the foreign wars in Africa and Asia, the hand rapes in the airports, the militarization of America’s local police forces, the proxy wars against socialist parties in Libya and Syria, and all the other outrages that are our daily experience. Soon, to be expanded into an unprovoked invasion of Iran at the behest of our employers in Saudi Arabia on the pretense of a script that even they have agreed is fact-free.

    By and large, those killed in the Persian Gulf region are troublesome to the Sunni regimes in the area. When they weren’t innocent men, women, and children. If Barry really wanted to end the war on terror, persuading the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to stop funding and directing Al Queda terrorists would be enough.

    It’s hard to clean up lesser lies without losing sight of the Big Lie. Remote control murder without due process on tenuous intelligence covered up afterwards by claims of military necessity is a symptom, not the disease.

    1. Nathanael

      “The WOT is theater. Therefore, our only defense against it is bad reviews.”

      That’s a great line.

      It’s already getting really bad reviews; check the polls. The Pakistanis are about ready to kick it out of the theater.

  11. Warren Celli

    I applaud the intent of the petition but personally I remain adamant in my position that when you voluntarily interact with the self anointed elite immoral psychopathic gangsters in government you only serve to validate and legitimize their power. So I will not sign the petition.

    I would like to suggest an additional outside the system approach however. Lambert is right that laughter and ridicule is difficult for authoritarian regimes to withstand. One form of ridicule is to compare and liken them with obviously repulsive figures in the national psyche so as to paint them as the perverted psychopaths that they are. This revelation of Obama’s hands on perverted and aberrant micromanagement of the selection for execution of fellow human beings — that he and his gangster cronies alone have pre-demonized in the public’s mind — poses an opportunity to reverse the intended effect which is in its essence further incremental fear building and creation of divisiveness. We are supposed to be quietly afraid.

    Instead of being afraid, let me suggest that in order to really draw attention to this piss ant coward Obama and his chickensh#t gangster buddies, we do a reverse psychology move, and embrace wholeheartedly the fear building and all that it entails. But we take it all even further. We one up the sicko Prez and act very, very, serious about it. So, let me suggest that all of the readers of NC get together and create and produce a game to be vigorously promoted all over America, especially on the talk shows, like Oafrah, The Today Show, and especially the Christian broadcasting networks. This would require actually producing the game and also selling it to the public. Yes, you will be able to root out the few real losers who would buy it for their kids, but more important you will also get public attention to the depravity as many good citizens will work to ban it. The name of the game would be “Psychodronepath”,
    here’s some copy and a description…

    Do you want your child to grow up and be like the President of the United States?
    Do you want your child to grow up and be like the President of the Greatest Nation on Earth?
    Do you want your child to grow up and be a perfect role model for all of humanity?

    Then your child needs to be playing — “Psychodronepath” — A Kill and Torture Game For All Ages…

    • Get your child on the road to being Presidential

    Playing this game will teach your child to be just like really famous torturers and serial killers!
    Yes! Its True!
    Your child can be just like; Charles Manson, George Bush, Ted Bundy, Barrack Obama, Jeffrey Dahmer and many, many, many, more…

    Teach your child to be just like President Obama…

    • How to pick the photos of the victims as described in the NY Times.
    • How to get crooked lawyers to validate and justify the evil.
    • How to act Presidential while murdering and torturing.
    • Smiling while lying techniques.
    • How to create fictitious demons and make others hate.
    • How to use the Noble Lie to make others believe you are normal.
    • How to keep the military in line.

    This exciting game includes the following; miniature drones and drone rockets that actually shoot across the room, little fake Military General figures that are really rubber stamps that say; Approved to Kill! (stamp pad and red ink included); Miniature car batteries, electrodes, genital clips, whips, knives, etc.

    Being dipstick serious about this game, really embracing the depravity of it, will require a few people that can keep a straight face while promoting it.

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    1. Jack M. Hoff

      • How to pick the photos of the victims as described in the NY Times.
      • How to get crooked lawyers to validate and justify the evil.
      • How to act Presidential while murdering and torturing.
      • Smiling while lying techniques.
      • How to create fictitious demons and make others hate.
      • How to use the Noble Lie to make others believe you are normal.
      • How to keep the military in line.

      You didn’t miss much Warren. But this isn’t ridicule about Obama, its simply a description of his traits, the truth…

      1. Warren Celli

        D e f i n i t i o n o f R I D I C U L E
        : t h e a c t o f r i d i c u l i n g : d e r i s i o n , m o c k e r y

        This is ridicule Jerkoff, especially more so when so many people do not know the “truth”;

        “Playing this game will teach your child to be just like really famous torturers and serial killers!
        Yes! Its True!
        Your child can be just like; Charles Manson, George Bush, Ted Bundy, Barrack Obama, Jeffrey Dahmer and many, many, many, more…”

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  12. George Stephandoufalis

    All this dronin’ and wackin’ isn’t the way to do it. Wall Street is legendary for media whoredom. Digitize a denial of mobility and access. Play one against another, white collar crimes aren’t as vivid or lucrative as an ounce of pot potentially is. The New York Fed has vendors to help it monitor online conversations about the Federal Reserve. Who might they be?

  13. Jill

    In Michigan they have a billboard with a number to call to report a crime! I think the petition and Lambert’s publicizing of it are both great ideas. I also understand Warren’s objection and applaud his idea. There are many ways to go and we should use them all.

    Some of my feelings upon hearing this propaganda were: 1. clearly, the military is in charge of this nation’s govt. No matter how hard the writers worked to hide this fact, it is Brennan and friends who are doing this. Obama is their willing tool. Who knows? He likely thinks he’s making the decisions. He certainly seems proud of his work.

    In hiding both the military’s actual running of the program and to obliterate the horrendous nature of it, readers are treated to heaping doses of religiosity. This was the palliative to cruelty, lawlessness and insanity. Traditionally, religiosity has smoothed away the cares of those on the left and the right equally when it come to atrocities.

    Obama has been sold as a religious figure from the beginning. Lambert provided some quotes a while back that showed this. There were write ups such as; “he is our first Bodhisattva president” and the like. Now we are told that Obama is a student of Aquinas and Augustine’s just war and Brennan is the “priest” at his side. It really doesn’t get more explicitly religious than this article.

    Obama supporters are willing to do that extra mile on his behalf because he is their religious leader. They are doing good by helping him to do good. I’ve seen this too many times to dismiss how powerful the religious connection to him is.

    Ralph Nader wrote an excellent analysis of this article on Counterpunch. I also recommend the write up by John Pilger and of course, Glen Greenwald.

    The US paper of record should be ashamed to publish such a shoddy, suck up piece. It just shows how well integrated the press is into the propaganda machine.

  14. Dan B

    This Kill List and drone attacks makes sense if you want to provoke a retaliatory response against American civilians. Relatedly, in my classes this year I had students list major social problems; economy, finance and health dominated. When I asked them, “What about terrorism?” they giggled and said they never thought about it as a social problem. Further, with governments increasingly hostile to their citizens’ economic plight and constitutional rights, this story then additionally looks like a subtle form of domestic intimidation by the government.

  15. sierra

    First the qualifier: I’m a non-partisan voter who has come to absolutely despise both major political parties.
    What do you think would have happened if GW Bush had a “well publicized” “kill list” appropriately publicized by the nation’s “newspaper of record”, the NYT?
    Ih I forgot; millions marched against his murderous invasion of Iraq in 2003 but it still happened.
    Get used to all this killing; that’s our country. It’s called, “Friendly Fascism” (an actual book title published decades ago).
    Coming Soon: You own “personal drone” to shadow you.

  16. Daily Kos commenter

    Hey, everybody! I’m a Daily Kos commenter who supports President Obama as the lesser evil.

    I get all my information from the Main Stream Media, such as Wolf Blitzer and Ezra Klein, as they’re the only ones I trust!

    Like 100 percent of MSM reporters I support Obama’s Power Point Death List. Even if Obama decides to kill a terrorist and a drone strike kills dozens of women and children standing near the terrorist I would support that as well.

    If someone is standing next to a terrorist and gets blown away too, they deserve it because why else would they be next to a terrorist if they were not a bad person themselves?

    If the MSM supports something, then that makes it true, and if the MSM supports Obama, well, who am I to question it?

    Durr, durrr, my brain is so tiny and small, I can’t even tie my own shoes. Oops, I just pooped my pants.

    I don’t even know what a toilet is, but I know how to read the New York Times and Daily Kos, and how to listen to NPR and Charlie Rose. That’s how I became a Daily Kos commenter myself, even though I understand Obama is not perfect.

    But no one is perfect.

    This is war. I favor killing terrorists where you find them including those who have U.S. citizenship. If the terrorists hide behind civilians and a few hundred civilians are killed the net number of lives saved will still be positive. And if those civilians were so innocent, then why were they standing near the terrorist in the first place?

    Time to stop criticizing the Commander in Chief, if he decides to kill a terrorist we should applaud. The President knows best, and if you doubt this, you should spend more time reading Daily Kos.

    Durr, durr, look at my stupid, lumpy face and my badger-butt ugly hair. Doesn’t it just make you want to punch me? You could. I’m such an idiot, I can’t even figure out how to not get punched. I just sit around all day typing quietly on my keyboard ’cause I’m El Ugly Nerdo Supremo Numero Uno.

    I support Obamacare instead of Single Payer, I supported his choice of Larry Summers as economic advisor, I support trillion dollar bailouts for those savvy businessmen on Wall Street. And did I mention that I read Daily Kos!

    Time to sing my stupid song! Doy, da-doy doy, doy, da-doy doy — oh, no, I forgot the rest of the words because I’m a big dick-munch whose breath reeks like rotten mashed potatoes and sewage, but worse.

    Obama is the lesser evil! In fact, he’s not evil at all, he means good, and this is what I love about him!

    Here are some more facts about me: I eat cow turds, nobody likes me except Daily Kos commenters, NPR listeners and progressive Libs who support NDAA, as well as war and torture and endless bailouts for Wall Street.

    I’m probably the biggest, stupidest moron in all of North America. Maybe even the world. They’d make me King Moron, except I’d probably try and stick the crown up my butt!

    Obama hasn’t prosecuted any bankers on Wall Street but he means well. Just listen to NPR’s Adam Davidson!

    aSJGUA$*9wrg9j afdasf ag =a=a===== Whoops! Forgot how to type for a second there and just started banging my empty, fat head against the keyboard. I forget things like that all the time — how to type, how to use soap to wash my smelly armpits, people’s birthdays. Probably because I’m soooooo stupid!

    Well, I’m all done writing another one of my comments. Better get on with the rest of my stupid day reading Daily Kos. And if any commenter gets out of line and tries to criticize Obama, I will be there to defend him!

    I suck so bad.

    1. Salsa Wired for Ofraud

      The world needs more self-deprecation. The Junta has no sense of humor. Not sure where the punch line is with public announcements of a kill list.

  17. Calgacus

    Yeah, we already have a do not kill list, called the US Constitution. 20 years ago, anybody who made the Obama & Bush administrations’ legal arguments would be thought insane.

    The acts of Mr. Obama & his henchmen are nothing but murder. Were there an (insanely) honest DA in the country, they would be indicted for that.

    1. TK421

      Yes, this wouldn’t fly 20 years ago. But for decades many good Democrats have asked only that their party be a little better than a party that gets worse all the time, so here we are.

      1. Land Grabs

        It’s a generational thing. The kids who were comin’ up back in the 70s and 80s are working the boiler plate of uber militarism as they lead with more aggression and paranoia than ever before. Think about it – evangelicalism, fatigues and greed is good. Forget about subtlety. Remember that Sigmund Freud and Aldous Huxley were among the many on the “Gestapo kill list” many years ago.

      2. Nathanael

        The generation under 30 feels differently and is tired of getting screwed no matter how they vote. I think the oldsters in power may have some subliminal inkling of what this portends, because their paranoiac fear reaction indicates that, but they certainly don’t understand at a cerebral level what this portends.

  18. rotter

    @Lambert Strether
    “Use a proxy service? In any case, the more this is done, the harder it is to single any one person out.”

    I wound up doing that..not the proxy but the copypaste thing..the proxy idea would normally be a fairly safe one, but we are talking about an entity here that could see through my proxy misdirection, seize control of my machine and then order me to put my hands on my head and wait for the SWAT team to kick in my door..about 3 minutes later..you are right, the only safety is in numbers, as it ever has been.

  19. McWatt

    The bottom line in all of these threads, under all these different headlines, on all web sites like this one, is that a great number of people are daily being taken advantage of by a small number of people. That’s not fair. Until someone at the helm understands this we are nothing but prey.

    You can take all of these issues, and all of these threads, and all of your thoughts and all of your comments and throw them out the window as far as I am concerned.

    Right now, the only thing I want for me and my family, is to be put on the “do not kill list”.

    “Catch-22 says they can do anything we can’t stop them from doing”.

  20. stripes

    The most open and transparent White House in history….AmerCIA ……black is white. Secrets, lies and deception to commit fraud is all they do.

  21. reason

    1. This policy (kill list) stinks
    2. Hasn’t America always done this. The only difference now is that people are talking about it. Somehow, I seem to remember in Westerns that the baddies are always wanted “dead or alive”. So what is the difference exactly?

    1. rotter

      the difference – and smart people, not me, consider it HUGE, is that the president is claiming openly the authority to assasinate anyone he decides is a “terrorist”. Beyond the obvious problems with the whole concept of “terrorist”, this is illegal. No US president has ever claimed this authority in fact, not even during the cold war. Be careful about normalizing this kind of behavior with your words. There are now many very confused and badly informed young people with no memory of country the way it was prior to the great and wonderous , capitalists “end of history” (the end of the cold war)

    2. beowulf

      “Somehow, I seem to remember in Westerns that the baddies are always wanted “dead or alive”.”

      The Old West lives on only in Bon Jovi videos. This is the practice that was once called Outlawry and yes, its quite illegal. There’s a Volokh thread on the topic if you want to drill into it.

      1. beowulf

        “Wantonly to kill the greatest of malefactors, a felon or a traitor, attainted or outlawed, deliberately, uncompelled, and extrajudicially, is murder.”
        Blackstone, book 4, c. 14 (above link)

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