FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Drone Court to Legitimize Assassination

by NORMAN POLLACK

Soon Brennan will be confirmed, an Obama-Brennan, Brennan-Obama, Obrennan-Brenoma government  which merely compounds the grab for Executive Power already underway, to the prejudice of the US Constitution and flatout affront to humankind’s moral sensibility (presently in short supply in America).  Events move fast, assisted by Gresham’s Law of evil doings which foster a progressively intensifying race to the bottom.

Drone warfare for targeted assassination, slice it any way you want, is Naziism déjà vu all over again [thanks, Yogi], the London blitz in microcosm, the terrorization of a whole people—a war crime, pure and simple, originating at the highest levels of political authority, watched over more or less complacently by the Congress and the American public.  To have a special court scrutinizing (I’m being charitable) each application for the use of lethal force, is a macabre joke—US justice rather than safeguard the law has been in the vanguard of transmogrifying it, to suit a priori Reactionary goals and purposes and/or a national-interest doctrine compatible with US global hegemonic claims, perhaps more than ever being pursued and contested in a multipolar world (which places a seemingly unbearable strain on American institutions unused to experiencing challenges).

Murder from the skies is a (last) desperate attempt to instill fear and respect into an international arena in which counterterrorism is an excuse for something else: to remain unmodified at home (drastic maldistribution of wealth and power), while simultaneously attempting to stabilize the world system on lines advantageous to American capital, itself undergoing transformation into a capitalistic framework, monopoly capital at a highly mature stage, perhaps qualitatively different from the past, although the signs were there since perhaps the close of World War II.  I speak of the militarization and financialization of American capitalism, which makes a more aggressive foreign policy, particularly foreign economic policy, both attractive and imperative, and with drone warfare as suitable illustration, realizable.  We are seeing the logic of counterterrorism unfold, its purposeful incorporation on a political-ideological continuum with counterrevolution.

Brennan is our point man; soon all of America will be waterboarded, with Obama, glibness, erzatz liberalism all polished, teleprompter at the ready, smiling his condescending smile in the wings.  I add my Comment in yesterday’s New York Times on the discussion of a special court:

[NYT, Comment, 2/9/13.  The court a rubber stamp for unconstitutional practices]

Either targeted assassination is legally and morally justified, or it is not. I believe it is not, and to invoke a FISA-like court to pass on drone warfare merely legitimates a practice which, under any circumstance, is reprehensible, the violation of international law, and–if one must be practical–wholly counterproductive. Just say, No.

The discussion has several fundamental flaws, indicative of where we, as a nation, currently are (i.e., falling into a moral void, in which the Constitution itself is openly violated without the slightest misgivings). First, the courts, including that set up under FISA, have lost their way, starting at the top. American justice has been politicized beyond what is acceptable, much less believable. Your point on FISA: 2011, 1,745-0 record of approval on surveillance, with 30 alterations! The court obviously has become a rubber stamp for unconstitutional practices. Why should a drone court be different? It only would serve to legitimate rotten practices.

Second, why does justice stop at water’s edge? Is murdering a foreign national any less heinous than murdering an American? Shame on those who want to limit such a court to assassination of Americans–parochial and xenophobic. Third, we face unbridled Executive Power, yet that is not addressed in the discussion. The whole drone program should be scrapped, its proponents, from Obama down, reigned in, as now in WAR CRIMES territory. Assassination is a moral outrage. Period.

Norman Pollack is the author of “The Populist Response to Industrial America” (Harvard) and “The Just Polity” (Illinois), Guggenheim Fellow, and professor of history emeritus, Michigan State University.

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

More articles by:
June 30, 2016
Richard Moser
Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism
Pepe Escobar
The Three Harpies are Back!
Ramzy Baroud
Searching for a ‘Responsible Adult’: ‘Is Brexit Good for Israel?’
Dave Lindorff
What is Bernie Up To?
Thomas Barker
Saving Labour From Blairism: the Dangers of Confining the Debate to Existing Members
Jan Oberg
Why is NATO So Irrational Today?
John Stauber
The Debate We Need: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
Steve Horn
Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits
Rob Hager
Supreme Court Legalizes Influence Peddling: McDonnell v. United States
Norman Pollack
Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital
Binoy Kampmark
Railroaded by the Supreme Court: the US Problem with Immigration
Howard Lisnoff
Of Kiddie Crusades and Disregarding the First Amendment in a Public Space
Vijay Prashad
Economic Liberalization Ignores India’s Rural Misery
Caroline Hurley
We Are All Syrians
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail