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RPV takes out Talib 2IC in Pakistan


Kevin Parlon

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I think this is significant.

  • It's the first strike since the speech.
  • It's the first strike since the Pak elections
  • It happened inside Pak
  • It took out a big player
From what the early reports say; it couldn't have gone better. No reports of anything but dead Talibs and the 2IC to boot.

I posted on this a while back. RPVs ("Drones") provide the most effective and safe (for everyone) way for us to prosecute this war against religious fascism and to provide to Afghan the best possible chance at going it alone (whether they can or will is something we can only help; not guarantee).

Almost all of the denunciations we hear about this tactic presents itself publicly as concern for innocent casualties and/or recruiting more Jihadis. The reality IMO, is that what these voices actually mean is we shouldn't be there at all. Why? "Drones" have proven to be an order of magnitude better at reducing civilian casualties than the high altitude laser guided bombing and tomahawk attacks they have replaced. More dead Talibs. Less innocent casualties. Less outraged and grieving relatives of the innocents. I am not blind to the fact that use of weapons, no matter how careful, will sometimes result in innocents dying. Either you accept this, or you say that prosecuting war is never justified.

There's nothing 'wrong' about being against the war in Afghanistan. But if you're going to criticize the use of RPVs you need to construct a moral and intellectual case against their use, outside of a general opposition to the war.
 


Thac0man

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Oh if only the evil Drones could have been grounded before such a champion of human rights and female equality was so cruely slain. Oh the humanity! I weep, I weep. If only Barack Obama had paid attention to Amnesty Internationals shrieking protests and daftly inflated civilian casualty claims, it only.

Now the Taliban will have to go to the bother and expense of putting another recruitment add in an Islamabad newpaper looking for another loon who does not mind beheading people. Such a tragedy. :lol:
 

Alan Alda

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The reality IMO, is that what these voices actually mean is we shouldn't be there at all. Why?
But should 'we' really be in Pak ?
It raises many issues.
What with Syria escalating an all.
 

Kevin Parlon

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But should 'we' really be in Pak ?
It raises many issues.
What with Syria escalating an all.
Pak give lip service to being against Drones. This is for domestic consumption. The reality is, they wouldn't be happening without tacit Pak approval.
 

stopdoingstuff

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That paper does no such thing. It sets out the DOJs legal opinion regarding the legality of killing US citizens who are involved with Al Quaeda. Not only that but even then it does not distinguish between accusation and guilt, involves only the executive branch in the process and makes it a de facto judge, does not define "imminence", and it provides that presidential assassinations may be ok even when none of the stated conditions apply:
"This paper does not attempt to determine the minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful....it concludes only that the stated conditions would be sufficient to make lawful a lethal operation
. That is to say that while those conditions may be enough to allow the killing, there is nothing to suggest that those conditions are necessary conditions. The memo also uses rhe exact same justification as Bush and treats the world as a battlefield into which US militsry forces have the right to go without consulting anyone. And it's primary jusification in internatinal law, the principle of self-defence, is mangles and does not even meet the simple terms of the UN Charter:
rticle 51: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of collective or individual self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by members in exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
This document is not a basis for anything other than the end of the rule of law.
 

cnocpm

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That paper does no such thing. It sets out the DOJs legal opinion regarding the legality of killing US citizens who are involved with Al Quaeda. Not only that but even then it does not distinguish between accusation and guilt, involves only the executive branch in the process and makes it a de facto judge, does not define "imminence", and it provides that presidential assassinations may be ok even when none of the stated conditions apply:. That is to say that while those conditions may be enough to allow the killing, there is nothing to suggest that those conditions are necessary conditions. The memo also uses rhe exact same justification as Bush and treats the world as a battlefield into which US militsry forces have the right to go without consulting anyone. And it's primary jusification in internatinal law, the principle of self-defence, is mangles and does not even meet the simple terms of the UN Charter:


This document is not a basis for anything other than the end of the rule of law.
The torture memos writ large.
 

Kevin Parlon

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This document is not a basis for anything other than the end of the rule of law.
Well, firstly I am not a legal expert. Secondly, the OP relates to the moral and intellectual case for the use of RPVs in this conflict. It's a slippery slope to be sure, but it is war we're talking about and not a police investigation where the cops can drop by and ask the folks in question if they wouldn't mind coming down the local barracks to 'assist' them with their investigations into the latest suicide mass murder, targeted teacher killing, or acid throwing incident.

I freely admit that I have not read the paper because, (to be perfectly honest), in this particular case, the minutiae of the legal validity (or otherwise) of the careful, targeted removal of terrorists bent on killing as many thousands of innocent people as possible just doesn't press my 'outrage against injustice' button.

Stuff like this, though, does:



It's the aftermath of Taliban suicide attack. One of hundreds and it killed 70 people. Deliberately. Perhaps there'll be one less this week as a result of the strike in Pakistan. If it did result in one less suicide attack, would it not have been worth it? Even if it didn't (and it is reasonable to conclude that this will disrupt them significantly) In my book, I can happily mark one less room full of homicidal fascists bent on carrying out acts like the above as an unambiguous 'win'. The moral case here simply can not be clearer.

Now, as I understand it, no legal challenge has been successful in halting or stopping the use of RPVs. I feel we can be quite certain this is not due to a lack of people and NGOs willing to take such a challenge. This is slightly off the topic of the OP but, perhaps it would not unfair of me to say that if you believe they are illegal, the onus would be on you set out why that might be the case.

In the meantime, RPVs will continue to disassemble the hyenas who plan events like the above wherever they find them, and I will continue to applaud the people who pay to put those vehicles in the sky and the leadership that keeps them there.
 
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Kevin Parlon

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The torture memos writ large.
I take it you are referring to the 'enhanced interrogation techniques' authorized by the previous administration and immediately terminated by current one? How do missions to kill terrorists engaged in war against the state constitute their being writ large?
 

cnocpm

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I take it you are referring to the 'enhanced interrogation techniques' authorized by the previous administration and immediately terminated by current one? How do missions to kill terrorists engaged in war against the state constitute their being writ large?
Simply the legal basis for such,you are well aware the DOJ wrote both,irrespective of which administration.
In relation to the John Yoo torture memos,they had zero standing under international law,which is why,as Obama has said
There are men at gitmo,who cannot be brought to trial.(torture is illegal)

Now you may want to dispense with international law,in order to defeat these savages,but I can assure you there are many who will
Desist the erosion of democracy's safeguards,which more people died protecting,than will ever die at the hands of lunatics.
The rule of law has stood the test of time,it will outlive these people.
 

Kevin Parlon

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Simply the legal basis for such,you are well aware the DOJ wrote both,irrespective of which administration.
In relation to the John Yoo torture memos,they had zero standing under international law,which is why,as Obama has said
There are men at gitmo,who cannot be brought to trial.(torture is illegal)

Now you may want to dispense with international law,in order to defeat these savages,but I can assure you there are many who will
Desist the erosion of democracy's safeguards,which more people died protecting,than will ever die at the hands of lunatics.
The rule of law has stood the test of time,it will outlive these people.
The case that these strikes are outside the law hasn't been successfully made AFAIK. Why would you assume I would want to dispense with International law? As I replied to SDS, if there is a legal argument against their use, you should probably share it.

Going back to the OP, if you have a moral or intellectual argument against their use, that doesn't include the argument "no war", I would be interested in hearing it.

EDIT: I think we should GTFO ASAP, but as long as we're there, RPVs play a crucial, effective, and morally unambiguous role.
 
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stopdoingstuff

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Well, firstly I am not a legal expert. Secondly, the OP relates to the moral and intellectual case for the use of RPVs in this conflict. It's a slippery slope to be sure, but it is war we're talking about and not a police investigation where the cops can drop by and ask the folks in question if they wouldn't mind coming down the local barracks to 'assist' them with their investigations into the latest suicide mass murder, targeted teacher killing, or acid throwing incident.

I freely admit that I have not read the paper because, (to be perfectly honest), in this particular case, the minutiae of the legal validity (or otherwise) of the careful, targeted removal of terrorists bent on killing as many thousands of innocent people as possible just doesn't press my 'outrage against injustice' button.

Stuff like this, though, does:



It's the aftermath of Taliban suicide attack. One of hundreds and it killed 70 people. Deliberately. Perhaps there'll be one less this week as a result of the strike in Pakistan. If it did result in one less suicide attack, would it not have been worth it? Even if it didn't (and it is reasonable to conclude that this will disrupt them significantly) In my book, I can happily mark one less room full of homicidal fascists bent on carrying out acts like the above as an unambiguous 'win'. The moral case here simply can not be clearer.

Now, as I understand it, no legal challenge has been successful in halting or stopping the use of RPVs. I feel we can be quite certain this is not due to a lack of people and NGOs willing to take such a challenge. This is slightly off the topic of the OP but, perhaps it would not unfair of me to say that if you believe they are illegal, the onus would be on you set out why that might be the case.

In the meantime, RPVs will continue to disassemble the hyenas who plan events like the above wherever they find them, and I will continue to applaud the people who pay to put those vehicles in the sky and the leadership that keeps them there.
If you think relying on a picture of an atrocity is any justification then you are wrong, but if is something you want to get into, I have a long list of atrocities and casualties I can get into. But obviously in the official narrative, casualties caused by the USA matter a lot less and are really just unhappy side-effects of the totally noble mission to rid the world of the Taliban and Al Quaeda..........while secretly negotiating with one in Afghanistan and openly funding the other in Syria.

I am also glad you feel it necessary to shift the burden of proof on the paper to me, though perhaps should leave that argument to the ACLU:
Some of the white paper's key legal arguments don't stand up to even cursory review. The paper omits crucial language from Mathews v. Eldridge, a case in which the Supreme Court held that the question of what process must be afforded to a person before he is deprived of life or liberty must take into account "the risk of an erroneous deprivation of such interest through the procedures used, and the probable value, if any, of additional or substitute procedural safeguards." The white paper skips over this language, like the attorney general's speech did. While the white paper does acknowledge "the risk of erroneous deprivation of a citizen's life," it doesn't grapple with the possibility of additional procedural safeguards. And when the white paper dismisses the possibility of judicial review, it does so in a single paragraph that fails even to acknowledge the possibility of after-the-fact judicial review of the kind that our courts routinely provide in other contexts.

(Incidentally, this after-the-fact judicial review is what the ACLU and CCR are seeking in Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta, a case now pending before the district court in D.C. We'll be filing our principal brief in that case tomorrow).

The white paper also suggests, incorrectly, that the courts have endorsed the view that there is no geographic limitation on the government's exercise of war powers. In fact all of the cases in which the D.C. Circuit has upheld the detention of a prisoner held at Guantanamo involved a connection of some kind to Afghanistan. And, more important, the Supreme Court case on which the white paper relies most heavily involved an American who was detained in Afghanistan. You can't reasonably read a case that permitted the military detention of an American on an actual battlefield to supply a green light for the extrajudicial killing of American terrorism suspects anywhere in the world.

Finally, the white paper assumes a key conclusion: It takes as a given that the target of the strike will be a "senior operational leader of al-Qa'ida or an associated force of al-Qa'ida," and it reasons from that premise that judicial process is unnecessary. This is a little bit like assuming that the defendant is guilty and then asking whether it's useful to have a trial. Perhaps the white paper omits analysis that appears in the Justice Department's legal memos, but again the legal memos are, inexcusably, still secret.
Not a leg to stand on really. If the superpower kills with no due process and in the process kills more innocent people than the terrorists, then how is the superpower better than the terrorists?
 

Kevin Parlon

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Moral inversions

If you think relying on a picture of an atrocity is any justification then you are wrong,
I don't. I am pointing out that a numerical and moral chasm exist between the actions and intent of both sides.

but if is something you want to get into, I have a long list of atrocities and casualties I can get into.
There are three problems you're going to run into if you do that I think. In Afghan, the list of casualties caused by the Talibs is 8 times longer and growing. You didn't bother point this out. Does this count for nothing?

Then, you're going to have to tackle the problem that one side in this conflict is trying to kill as many innocents as possible whilst the other goes to enormous lengths, risks and expense to do the opposite. Can you see the moral difference between these two objectives? We have to wonder, because you didn't point that out either.

If you get past that point you're going to have tackle the problem that one side in this conflict is fighting and dying to murder their way to power so they can inflict their barbarism on entire nations. The other side, is doing its best to help the country become a democracy where girls aren't slaves and where the people get to pick who runs government. Again, you skip over this difference. A trifling detail? Doesn't matter?

No. It does matter. It makes all the difference in the world.

But obviously in the official narrative, casualties caused by the USA matter a lot less and are really just unhappy side-effects of the totally noble mission to rid the world of the Taliban and Al Quaeda
Where did I say they matter less? Where in the "official narrative" does it say this? Nowhere. You actually make the important distinction above yourself, though, in a fit of pique, you seem to have not noticed you were doing so.

It is precisely that. It is precisely that civilian deaths are unintended side effects that marks the two apart. Again, one side tries to kill as many innocents as possible and the other tries to kill as few as possible.

Ignoring this difference and attempting to make some sort of equivalence is intellectually weak and morally reprehensible.


The graph speaks for itself. The deranged murderers who were killed yesterday are responsible for this dismal increase in death. Our side took them out without a single innocent casualty (AFAWK) and you collapse in a fit of the vapours over the sheer (arguable and unproven) illegality of it all. Look, I am all for holding our countries to higher standards than the Talibs and we do, but I genuinely struggle to understand a POV that comes to this story shrieking about the guys actually trying to stop the slaughter. I really do.

..........while secretly negotiating with one in Afghanistan and openly funding the other in Syria.
They are trying to bring the war to an end. They are trying to ensure the country isn't left to the jackals and perverts that ran it before. They will talk to them to see if they can agree and they will continue to kill them until they do or until they leave. I don't see a problem with this.

Don't drag in Syria. This is about Drone usage in Afghan/Pak. I don't know what can be done in Syria but I think you're guily of being simplistic. What do you think we should do?

I am also glad you feel it necessary to shift the burden of proof on the paper to me
I can shift that burden onto you as you are the one making the claim it is illegal. As I pointed out, no case has been successfully brought. If it should be found to be illegal, I have no doubt the US will stop it immediately.

Not a leg to stand on really.
If that is the case, why hasn't the UCLA won this case and stopped it? Can't be bothered? Not enough time?

If the superpower kills with no due process and in the process kills more innocent people than the terrorists, then how is the superpower better than the terrorists?
Look at the above graph from the BBC. It renders your piece of profundity moot.

You object to us being there, full stop. The OP is about the moral and tactical case for drones. You're approaching this OP from the "We shouldn't be there so everything we do there is wrong", which is talking past the OP; which is about the moral and tactical case for the use of RPVs.
 

cnocpm

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The case that these strikes are outside the law hasn't been successfully made AFAIK. Why would you assume I would want to dispense with International law? As I replied to SDS, if there is a legal argument against their use, you should probably share it.

Going back to the OP, if you have a moral or intellectual argument against their use, that doesn't include the argument "no war", I would be interested in hearing it.

EDIT: I think we should GTFO ASAP, but as long as we're there, RPVs play a crucial, effective, and morally unambiguous role.
I don't make any "no war" argument,nor is it moral or intellectual,but rather the upholding of the law,a law which affords you the right to a trial,something dispensed with in the case of drone strikes.
Many individuals have been captured in some of the most dangerous places for U S forces,brought back,stood trial and sent to prison
U S forces carry out such raids nightly.
Legality?.no case has been made that this is illegal?,so under international law it is legal to kill someone,who has never been charged or tried.
I also never assumed anything about you,which is why I used the word "May",but we can explore that,the legal safeguards afforded one,are dispensed with in the case of drones,that's not in question,no one for or against debates that,yet you state that you "stand up and applaud those who put them in the sky",had I assumed you supported killing people without due process,that assumption would hardly have been erroneous.

I have no problem with hunting these people down and bringing them to justice ,justice being the operative word,it should not be jettisoned for anything,least of all these low life's.
Somewhat strange to hear many individuals extolling the virtues of drone strikes,whilst railing against,IRS targeting,or journalists phone records being seized,why?,because one must uphold the latter of the law in those instances, dripping with hypocrisy.
(I hasten to add,I don't level that charge at you)
 

DuineEile

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I think this is significant.

  • It's the first strike since the speech.
  • It's the first strike since the Pak elections
  • It happened inside Pak
  • It took out a big player
From what the early reports say; it couldn't have gone better. No reports of anything but dead Talibs and the 2IC to boot.
Glorifying violence again? Ugh.

I posted on this a while back. RPVs ("Drones") provide the most effective and safe (for everyone) way for us to prosecute this war against religious fascism and to provide to Afghan the best possible chance at going it alone (whether they can or will is something we can only help; not guarantee).

Almost all of the denunciations we hear about this tactic presents itself publicly as concern for innocent casualties and/or recruiting more Jihadis. The reality IMO, is that what these voices actually mean is we shouldn't be there at all. Why? "Drones" have proven to be an order of magnitude better at reducing civilian casualties than the high altitude laser guided bombing and tomahawk attacks they have replaced. More dead Talibs. Less innocent casualties. Less outraged and grieving relatives of the innocents. I am not blind to the fact that use of weapons, no matter how careful, will sometimes result in innocents dying. Either you accept this, or you say that prosecuting war is never justified.
Interesting. When was the Court trial to determine legal innocence or guilt held?

There's nothing 'wrong' about being against the war in Afghanistan. But if you're going to criticize the use of RPVs you need to construct a moral and intellectual case against their use, outside of a general opposition to the war.
What war? Congress has to declare wars, or do you only enforce laws (lethally it seems) that suit you?



D
 

Kevin Parlon

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I don't make any "no war" argument,nor is it moral or intellectual,but rather the upholding of the law,a law which affords you the right to a trial,something dispensed with in the case of drone strikes.
If this is the crux of the anti-drone argument then it doesn't strike me as being very strong. If it were possible to arrest the types of people being targetted, it would be done. It isn't possible. RPVs are used to attack and kill enemy combatants who are engaged in war. It doesn't matter that the fellow might happen to be having a nice cup of tea at the time of the attack. They are combatants and it is legal to kill or capture them, regardless of whether they're on a day off or no.

Many individuals have been captured in some of the most dangerous places for U S forces,brought back,stood trial and sent to prison
U S forces carry out such raids nightly.
Yes, but where it is not possible, or too risky to do this, they use an RPV. There is nothing wrong with this. They didn't take out Bin Laden with a drone because they needed to proove 110% that they got their guy. I think that, if it were possible to have a drone that would net the combatant and bring him back, they might elect to use that. It isn't. So turning them into chuck steak will do.

Legality?.no case has been made that this is illegal?,so under international law it is legal to kill someone,who has never been charged or tried.
In certain circumstances it is. This is one of those circumstances.

I also never assumed anything about you,which is why I used the word "May",but we can explore that,the legal safeguards afforded one,are dispensed with in the case of drones,that's not in question,no one for or against debates that,yet you state that you "stand up and applaud those who put them in the sky",had I assumed you supported killing people without due process,that assumption would hardly have been erroneous.
You're confusing war with civil arrests and the rights you typically enjoy then. By engaging in war against the state it is they themselves who are dispensing with their rights to a trial. If they want a trial, they could simply hand themselves in. But they're not doing that. Instead they are sating their bloodlust by blowing up as many innocent people as they possibly can week after week after week after blood soaked week.

I have no problem with hunting these people down and bringing them to justice ,justice being the operative word,it should not be jettisoned for anything,least of all these low life's.
This argument doesn't make sense. First of all, it assumes persons in open, violent insurrection against the state are entitled to due process. They aren't. Secondly, it isn't always feasible to hunt them down and bring them justice. That's why drone strikes are only done where necessary.

Somewhat strange to hear many individuals extolling the virtues of drone strikes,whilst railing against,IRS targeting,or journalists phone records being seized,why?,because one must uphold the latter of the law in those instances, dripping with hypocrisy.
(I hasten to add,I don't level that charge at you)
No, one of them occurs in the context of war and the other doesn't.

This is going to sound pedantic, and I don't mean it to, but could you please fix your comma syntax. It makes your posts hard to read.
 

Kevin Doyle

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In the meantime, RPVs will continue to disassemble the hyenas who plan events like the above wherever they find them, and I will continue to applaud the people who pay to put those vehicles in the sky and the leadership that keeps them there.
Jesus Christ, you really haven't got a f*cking clue what you are talking about.
 

Kevin Parlon

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Jesus Christ, you really haven't got a f*cking clue what you are talking about.
And from your contribution we are to take it that you do? :)
 

Kevin Doyle

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Glorifying violence again? Ugh.

Interesting. When was the Court trial to determine legal innocence or guilt held?

What war? Congress has to declare wars, or do you only enforce laws (lethally it seems) that suit you?



D
That is the crux of the issue, little things like extra judicial executions matter little to chicken hawks.
 

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