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Drone Strikes & War Crimes

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By William Boardman 

Samir Khan (left) and Anwar al-Awlaki, both U.S. citizens, were killed in in Yem by NBCNews

Down the Rabbit Hole With Jabberwock and Drone Strikes   

When it came to the Senate filibuster on drone killings, the stupid party held the floor, the craven party mostly kept quiet, and the victims had no voice -- just another exceptional day in the contemporary clown show of American democracy

In the second minute of his half day filibuster February 6, Senator Rand Paul, R-KY introduced an apt reference to one of the absurdities of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," illuminating the abuse of unchecked absolute power.  He started reading from Chapter XII, after the King says, "Let the jury consider their verdict" --

"No, no!' said the queen. "Sentence first -- verdict afterwards.'

"Stuff and nonsense!' Alice said loudly. "The idea of having the sentence first! ' 

"Hold your tongue!' said the queen, turning purple.

"I won't!' said Alice.

"Release the drones,' said the queen, as she shouted at the top of her voice." 

"Release the drones," was Paul's interpolation of the Queen's original order, "Off with her head!"  And that's where the Kentucky Senator stopped reading, still solidly rooted in the Wonderland of the U.S. Congress, a collective mad tea party of March hares, mad hatters, and dormice. 

The Wonderland quality of Rand Paul's theatre of the imaginary is clear from his focus on the threat that the President might kill Americans on American soil.  And, while Paul didn't mention it, the President might also take a feline crouch on his executive branch, smiling down and slowly fading from view till there was nothing left but his smile. 

In reality, if this president -- or any president -- decides it's necessary to kill an American on American soil, he will get her done one way or another.  But wouldn't a killer drone have made a neater job of it at places like Waco or Ruby Ridge? 

Don't Drone Me, Bro -- I'm American! 

Given the non-existence of the imagined threat, Paul's performance amounted to little more than a solipsistic ceremony of American exceptionalism, pottering on sometimes incoherently about the fundamental non-threat of killer drones in America despite the paranoid assurance of some Rand Paul followers that the government is coming for them soon.   That's why Americans should be exceptions to presidential drone policy, Paul argues, just because we're Americans.  He offers no other rationale. 

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)

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George W. Obama by Facebook  Greetings, citiz... by Deborah Dills on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 1:54:57 AM