Total Oblivion

"A fast-paced, suspenseful dystopian picaresque, part Huck Finn and part bizarro-world Swiss Family Robinson..."



Order online...

Skinny Dipping

Long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Crawford Award. Title short story listed for the 2000 O. Henry award.

Get the fun-sized edition.

Order online...


Goblin Mercantile Exchange

Futures, Options, and Swaps (the weblog of Alan DeNiro)

Trust Them

I’m sure many in the Democratic Establishment are wondering why support and enthusiasm-which had surged in 2008-is now flagging for Democratic candidates. Why the money is drying up. Why the activists are out in lesser numbers.

I might be wrong, but stories like these might be part of the issue:

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) today filed a lawsuit challenging the government’s asserted authority to carry out “targeted killings” of U.S. citizens located far from any armed conflict zone.

The authority contemplated by the Obama administration is far broader than what the Constitution and international law allow, the groups charge. Outside of armed conflict, both the Constitution and international law prohibit targeted killing except as a last resort to protect against concrete, specific and imminent threats of death or serious physical injury. An extrajudicial killing policy under which names are added to CIA and military “kill lists” through a secret executive process and stay there for months at a time is plainly not limited to imminent threats.

Awesome! It’s good that these powers are even expanded more from the Bush era. And that “oversight” is extremely comforting:

“Whether a particular individual will be targeted in a particular location,” says Koh [State Department legal adviser], “will depend upon considerations specific to each case, including those related to the imminence of the threat, the sovereignty of the other states involved, and the willingness and ability of those states to suppress the threat the target poses.” This is a long way of saying “trust us.”

This is a monstrous policy that has not gotten the coverage it has deserved. And yet I am sure that Democrats are banking on the opposition being so crazy and delusional that they will be the only choice “by default.” (I’m too lazy to research this now, but I’d be interested to play the wind-back machine on Obama’s stance on drone killings on U.S. citizens during the campaign).

The point is that the ship of the overpowerful executive branch has long since sailed, and the shore is no longer in sight.

I fear that this not a ship of state we can rely on, as passengers, even in part. We are on this boat. Half the crew is itching for mutiny. The captains want to show they’re “tough”, that they’re in control. Meanwhile those in coach and steerage are getting more restless-and hey, at least the mutineers are showing signs of life.

Meanwhile, overhead, an unmanned drone soars, making its way to a nearby boat of enemies…

Everyone back to the buffets, the shows, the waterslides!

Sat, October 16 2010 » Polis

Leave a Reply