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:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 08, 2016
John W. Whitehead
Power to the People: John Lennon’s Legacy Lives On
Mike Whitney
Rolling Back the Empire: Washington’s Proxy-Army Faces Decisive Defeat in Aleppo
Ellen Brown
“We’ll Look at Everything:” More Thoughts on Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
John Stauber
The Rise and Fall of Obamacare: Will the Inside Story Ever be Told?
Ted Rall
Ameri-Splaining
Michael J. Sainato
Mainstream Media Continues Absolving Itself From Clinton, Trump Election Failures
Ralph Nader – Mark Green
Divest or Face Impeachment: an Open Letter to Donald Trump
Gareth Porter
US Airstrikes on Syrian Troops: Report Data Undermine Claim of “Mistake”
Martha Burke
What Trumponomics Means for Women
Ramzy Baroud
Fatah, Hold Your Applause: Palestinian Body Politic Rotten to the Core
Steve Horn
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General Pick, Introduced First Bill Exempting Fracking from Drinking Water Rules
Joe Ware
The Big Shift: Why Banks Need to Stop Investing Our Money Into Fossil Fuels
Juliana Barnet
On the Ground at Standing Rock
Franklin Lamb
Aleppo Update: An Inspiring Return to the Bombed Out National Museum
Steve Kelly
Hidden Harmony: on the Perfection of Forests
December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba After Fidel
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewal of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail