Wall Street Journal Defends Killing Americans With Drones

by Gary North via The Tea Party Economist

Senator Rand Paul filibustered yesterday for 13 hours against John “Drone  Man” Brennan’s nomination to run the CIA. This outraged the Wall Street  Journal.

Give Rand Paul credit for theatrical timing. As a snow storm descended on  Washington, the Kentucky Republican’s old-fashioned filibuster Wednesday filled  the attention void on Twitter and cable TV. If only his reasoning matched the  showmanship.

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY).

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY).

It was great showmanship indeed. He delayed the nomination. He also got  enormous national publicity for a key issue: a statement by Attorney General  Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder that he sees no reason why drones should not be  used to kill Americans inside the borders of the United States.

The Wall Street Journal sides with Holder.

Holder tried to weasel out of the government’s position.

Senator Paul had written the White House to inquire about the possibility of  a drone strike against a U.S. citizen on American soil. Attorney General Eric  Holder replied that the U.S. hasn’t and “has no intention” to bomb any specific  territory. Drones are limited to the remotest areas of conflict zones like  Pakistan and Yemen. But as a hypothetical Constitutional matter, Mr. Holder  acknowledged the President can authorize the use of lethal military force within  U.S. territory.

The Journal is unconcerned. It’s all a tempest in a tea pot, we are  assured.

Calm down, Senator. Mr. Holder is right, even if he doesn’t explain the law  very well. The U.S. government cannot randomly target American citizens on U.S.  soil or anywhere else. What it can do under the laws of war is target an “enemy  combatant” anywhere at anytime, including on U.S. soil. This includes a U.S.  citizen who is also an enemy combatant. The President can designate such a  combatant if he belongs to an entity—a government, say, or a terrorist network  like al Qaeda—that has taken up arms against the United States as part of an  internationally recognized armed conflict.

Who decides who is to get himself “droned”? The President. To whom does he  answer? Nobody. Who is to say who is guilty or innocent? The President. What if  he’s wrong? Tough bananas.

Such a conflict exists between the U.S. and al Qaeda, so Mr. Holder is right  that the U.S. could have targeted (say) U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki had he  continued to live in Virginia. The U.S. killed him in Yemen before he could kill  more Americans. But under the law Awlaki was no different than the Nazis who  came ashore on Long Island in World War II, were captured and  executed.

No different? Really? Those spies were captured, tried, and executed.  Not all of them were executed. The government appointed seven generals to try  the case in a military court. (The accused had initially come ashore in military  uniforms.) There were 3,000  pages of trial transcripts. Two of the eight were given prison sentences.  They were released early.

Yet the supercilious writer for the Wall Street Journal insisted that  there is no difference between this and the President’s ordering an  assassination by a drone — a drone that will probably kill innocent bystanders,  as American drones usually do in the Middle East.

Wedding party, anyone? Watch your invitation list. It could be a killer. It  is in Pakistan.

Yet the supercilious hack who wrote the editorial thinks he scored big.

The Wall Street Journal, compared to the influence of Matt Drudge, is  a backwater. Here was Drudge’s lead headline this morning.

DroneWars There was a large photo of Sen. Paul.

The Wall Street Journal is an Establishment outlet. Its influence,  minimal now, will fade.

Four decades ago, I wrote book reviews for the Journal. It was an  influential newspaper back then. Today, it is a struggling shell of its former  self. It has not brought its paper-based profits with it in the transition to  digital. For this, we should rejoice.

Continue  Reading on online.wsj.com


About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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