The crimes committed by the White House through its drone policy have been receiving an impassioned defense by the media.
Over the past week, we’ve heard from the two major proponents of the Obama administration’s international assassination campaign. Justifying the use of drone strikes by voicing their unremitting support for the mafia-style targeting system, the complacent liberal media and Democratic public relations operatives had high goals.
The first is explaining why a 16 year old boy can be murdered without the due process of law. Putting aside the fact that he is an American citizen, which is essentially irrelevant (whether or not the boy is an American has no bearing on the moral significance of his death), he happens to have been the son of Anwar-al Awlaki, a US terror suspect. This was his crime; and his disassociation with his father’s ideology and terrorism wasn’t recognized by the administration. Except that it was, and he was still murdered.
via Andrew Kirell:
The night the 16-year-old was killed in Yemen, he was reportedly saying goodbye to his second cousin who had temporarily housed him during his search to find his (unbeknownst to him) already-dead father. He was seated on the side of the ride, eating dinner over an open flame. An American drone appeared in sky and killed everyone there.
This chilling story was brought to former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs by a journalist for We Are Change, who predictably answered in Soviet commissar fashion:
ADAMSON: …it’s an American citizen that is being targeted without due process, without trial. And, he’s underage. He’s a minor.
GIBBS: I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don’t think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.
The crime committed, according to Gibbs, is that aw-Awlaki’s son just happened to be born into the wrong family. Therefore, he was sentenced to death by the expert foreign policy team in Washington. Could the Soviet Union have gotten away with such a murderous policy—which this being just one small example in an expansive policy of drone warfare—in the 1980′s? It’s difficult to say whether or not the Soviet commissar class was more or less civilized and domesticated than its American counterpart as it entered the modern age.
Joe Scarborough recently pondered the moral significance of “using a joystick in California” to kill “bad people” with liberal columnist Joe Klein, an editor at Time Magazine. ‘This is offensive to me, though. Because you do it with a joystick in California – and it seems so antiseptic – it seems so clean – and yet you have 4-year-old girls being blown to bits because we have a policy that now says: ‘you know what? Instead of trying to go in and take the risk and get the terrorists out of hiding in a Karachi suburb, we’re just going to blow up everyone around them.’
As The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald points out, Klein’s defense of drone policy was sociopathic. The “bottom line in the end is - whose 4-year-olds get killed? What we’re doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror.”
Greenwald further illustrates:
Obama has led all sorts of progressives and other Democrats to be the most vocal supporters of unrestrained aggression, secret assassinations, and “crippling” the Iranian people with sanctions. It is completely unsurprising that the most sociopathic defense of drones comes from one of the most committed Obama supporters, and that it’s now left to a former GOP Congressman to raise objections. As much as anything, that is the Obama legacy.
It is important to note, however, that this should not technically be the Obama legacy. He hasn’t led the liberal press at gunpoint or by executive threat to diametrically support his foreign policy. Obama hasn’t demanded the intellectual community’s subservience to US power, or the intellectual justifications for his targeted assassinations. They have happily subscribed on their own, taking up this task and then going the extra mile. And this isn’t Obama’s legacy precisely because this is not new. When Clinton was bombing pharmaceutical sources in the Sudan, and Carter was firmly upholding the Indonesian invasion in East Timor with crucial diplomatic and arms support, where was the liberal media?
Were they on the side of justice, holding Democratic leaders accountable? No. Were they absent from public discourse? No, they were far from absent. They were on the front pages, passionately articulating Joe Klein’s morally insatiable defense of indiscriminate deaths for which the United States is responsible and asking the same critical questions: whose 4-year-olds get killed?