Ed Morrissey links here to one of the most chilling things I’ve heard in ages:
Worth watching in its entirety, as Joe Scarborough pings the consequences of the drone-strike memo back and forth with Michael Isikoff, but the best reactions take place near the beginning of the video. Isikoff points out that the restrictive language in the memo is almost meaningless, and that it shifts the burden of proof to the target rather than the government. Scarborough calls this “frightening,” and argues that it far surpasses anything done by the Bush administration in the war on terror…
I can’t get the video to embed, so you’ll have to go over to Hot Air to watch it. I urge to do so, but while Ed says the “best reactions” take place near the beginning, I think some of the most revealing stuff comes near the end. I’m staggered to see Harold Ford not only say he supports the killing of American citizens without evidence, solid intelligence or due process, but also to suggest that politicians and ideologues who were relentless in claiming that “enhanced interrogation” shamed America might find themselves in sympathy for the Bush position, for the current sake of Obama. Suddenly, the idea that we had standards that should not be abandoned, even in times of war, should be set aside.
But here’s what really got me: The panel discusses the meat and potatoes of this thing — the fact that you can have a perfectly innocent association with someone deemed a whackable terrorist by this administration, and find yourself killed right alongside him. “You could be sitting in a terrorist’s living room, with no idea that he’s a terrorist…” and the association alone could be enough.
Harold Ford — whom I’ve always rather liked, btw — gets almost cavalier about this. “Hey, if you have a suspected terrorist in your living room, you might have issues, yourself…I’ve never had one in my living room.”
Which made me think, Golly! does this mean that President Obama could conceivably have affected the breathing capabilities of Community Organizer Obama for the innocent act of sitting in the living room of Suspected Terrorist Bill Ayers?
I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it. Like Stay Puft Marshmallow man and Ray Stantz, “it just popped in there.” I know this policy only applies to suspected terrorists abroad. For now.
But, as Daffy Duck would say…hmmmm…somethin’ amiss here.
UPDATED: Hey, take a look at the Q&A Obama completed in 2007:
1. Does the president have inherent powers under the Constitution to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?
The Supreme Court has never held that the president has such powers. As president, I will follow existing law, and when it comes to U.S. citizens and residents, I will only authorize surveillance for national security purposes consistent with FISA and other federal statutes.
2. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)
The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
As Mr. Bennett would say…read on!
The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has released a new report, Challenges from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right(pdf). Got that? Bait is being thrown. Someone will be stupid enough to take it.
I don’t feel good about any of this.
Jay Carney: Hey, we’re doing it, so you can be sure it’s legal, ethical and wise!
Reason disagrees pretty vehemently