Comments: Regarding the Obama administration's institutionalized, systematic program of murder by secret decree
I'm not sure the author of this piece has thought this issue through. While there is no doubt that extrajudicial killing in the absence of war in murder, it only muddles the issue to react with horror at the thought of state violence qua state violence. The state IS violence, das Monopol legitimen physischen Zwanges. It can be nothing else. The state - no matter what its political form - is that power that can coerce obedience within a certain physical space. No power to kill, no state.
That being said, we had better get a handle on this thing now and enact legal and procedural safeguards on the state use of new technologies to coerce and kill. The use of these technologies to fight the Bad Guys is perfectly moral so long as the identity of the Bad Guys is determined by legal and procedural means and not by ideology, political expediency, or the whims of any one man or small group of men.
If we fail to safeguard these technologies in this way, we risk a nightmarish scenario of tyranny. The ability to mete out instant death to one's enemies from a silent, invisible flying robot is too tempting a power to be treated casually.
Posted by B Lewis at June 10, 2012 9:20 PM
However, and it is huge "however," this is no excuse or explanation whatsoever for the lack of sustained, outraged response to the Times article, and I'll return to this point shortly.
The explanation is simple -- the NYT exercises its institutional right to apply a double-standard whenever the Democrats are in power.
As the corporate punchline says, "There's no excuse for it -- it's just our policy."
Posted by BillT at June 11, 2012 1:21 AM
...identity of the Bad Guys is determined by legal and procedural means and not by ideology, political expediency, or the whims of any one man or small group of men.
Name a 'State' that doesn't use ideology, political expediency, or the whims of any one man to commit mayhem.
Drones in our skies, cameras on the street corners and swat teams in every PD.
Officer Krumpke on steroids with much backup.
Posted by Peccable at June 11, 2012 4:06 AM
All states abuse their powers from time to time. It is when such abuse becomes the rule rather than the exception that tyranny exists.
Posted by B Lewis at June 11, 2012 11:00 AM