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Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

[TBT] President Obama’s Question: To Kill or Not to Kill?

February 18, 2014 Leave a comment
All this past week, the President has been faced with a bit of a dilemma coming from overseas.
Full story from RT
 
There is a United States citizen (name not known to the public) in a foreign country (country not known to the public) who has been suspected of plotting terrorist attacks against the United States.  The man in question has been accused of being an Al-Qaeda facilitator.  As of now, this person is still alive (to our knowledge) and is bunkered down in a remote area. Complicating the matter is the fact that the unknown country in which the accused currently resides will not permit U.S. military forces to enter. According to the damning accusations, this person has planned multiple other terrorist attacks against the U.S. in the past. President Obama’s problem is the question of whether or not he should execute that person -by drone- or capture him and put him on trial.
 
If the Constitution was given a voice in the matter, the question would have already been answered. The clause “No person…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;” is very clear and precise. It requires that if an individual is going to have his life taken away from him, he is to be granted due process of law to determine if such an action is justified. If the man being targeted by the Department of Justice is in fact guilty of everything he has been accused of, it should be determined in court – as opposed to a single decision by the executive branch of the federal government. Not being able to forcefully enter the country he is hiding in is not a legitimate excuse to circumvent the law.
 
Unfortunately, the current Administration has already demonstrated that it feels it has the justification to execute American citizens without trial. Sadly, if the President decides to assassinate the unknown alleged terrorist, it would have precedent. The good news is that political pressure from outside the White House over the previous murders have brought a magnifying glass over the President in his current dilemma; perhaps causing this balk by the administration.
 
 Last year’s policy standards and procedures issued from the White House included a piece that stated “If the United States considers an operation against a  terrorist identified as a US person, the Department of Justice  will conduct an additional legal analysis to ensure that such  action may be conducted against the individual consistent with  the Constitution and laws of the United States,”
 
While that is encouraging, feet must be held to the fire in order to ensure those words are adhered to. We are watching, Mr. President!
 
Ben Swann gives his take:

[Tru Blu Tuesday] Are We Terrorists?

March 26, 2013 4 comments

Are we, the United States of America, terrorists?

I’ll spare you the suspense and tell you right now that the answer is no. You and I, as citizens, are not terrorists. Relieved? You’re welcome. The reason I ask this question is because in my past discussions on the subject of Iran, many people point to the terrorist group Hezbollah, which they sponsor, as evidence that they have the worlds worst intent at heart. Truly it is a shameful fact, one which should not be taken lightly, but what if we held up our own actions against the same measuring stick?  This isn’t an attack on our service men and women, and should not be construed as such. What this is, is a hard look at some terrible things that have been done under the guise of democracy and freedom, that should never have happened. More importantly however is the question of how people of other nations view us, based on our interactions with them.

Disclaimer: I fully recognize that the United States has done many positive things in the Middle East. I acknowledge the fact that much of what is done is performed with the right intentions, but have horrendous consequences. Again, this is a critique on aspects of our foreign policy and not our service men and women.

 

The definition, for clarity’s sake, must be stated before anything else is said. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, terrorism is  “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion“. The U.S. Law Code similarly states “the term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents.” With that in mind we may continue.

U.S. assault on civilians and non combatants through the use of drones.

Since the invention of the drone, and more specifically its use as a weapon of war, life for civilians in the middle east has become increasingly hazardous. Despite the claimed intentions of drones as a “surgical” answer to finding and eliminating high level targets in the field, an embarrassing amount of innocent people have died. To illustrate this tragedy, I’d like to bring to your attention a very well done graphic that shows the casualty data in the country of Pakistan. In this country alone, 175 children and 535 other civilians have been essentially murdered, or in political terms are considered collateral damage. Yes, our leaders have determined that it is acceptable for innocent people to die if it means they can nab their target. As dangerous as terrorist groups may be, are we really improving the world’s condition if we kill off the children as well? Forget for a moment that these people speak a different language, practice a different religion and dress in different clothes than you. These are real families with real lives that are being destroyed. What does it matter to them if they are ripped apart by a local terrorist cell or a drone from distant empire? If you were in the shoes of a father or mother who just lost their child to a hellfire missile, you just might consider the country that sent it to be just as evil as a terrorist. Explain to them that it was for the good of the mission. They will not listen.

Did I mention that we are not at war with Pakistan? Technically we are at peace with them. Unfortunately you might have to work to convince their citizens of that fact. Imagine all the loss of life in the actual war zones!

Here is a link to the graphic: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

U.S. involvement in the creation of terrorist groups.

It is a little known fact that, in the 1980’s, the United States government, specifically the CIA, sponsored and trained terrorist groups. The goal of doing so was to combat enemies, namely Soviet Russia, and create resistance by proxy. It is much easier to pay someone else to do your dirty work than to wade through the mud yourself. It is common sense to believe that the CIA did not intend for these groups to become anti-American, but they did capitalize on the nationalistic and religious enthusiasm of the Islamic participants in order to achieve goals beneficial to the United States.

This specific account of CIA-created terrorism is the birth of the Mujaheddin in mid 1979. Used to contest the Soviet Russian presence in the middle east towards the end of the Cold War, this group effectively aided in the failure of the Russian invasion.

From http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-and-the-war-on-terrorism/

Brzezinski: According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, [on] 24 December 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979, that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the President in which I explained to him that in my opinion, this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Question: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Question: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Question: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War? ( “The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser”, Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998, published in English, Centre for Research on Globalisation, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html, 5 October 2001, italics added.)

For more on the subject Ben Swann breached the topic a few months ago on his Reality Check series. Watch it here!

So I ask you,

Considering the actions taken by our military against non-combatant citizens and the shady involvement in the creation of Al Qaeda, is it justifiable for the U.S. to be thought of as a form of state terrorism? Gut reaction says no, it cannot be so. The evidence implies an ugly suggestion however. A suggestion that people in other countries take very seriously. Try to think from the perspective of a citizen of one of those nations. Is it any wonder that they hate us?

Oh, and one more thing….your tax dollars pay for this.