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The Art of Giving Up Power
Author: Raine    Date: 05/24/2013 13:43:47

Yesterday President Obama gave a powerful speach on his administration's approach to foriegn policy. It was somewhat overshadowed by a protester who ironically was calling on the President to do much of what he was spelling out in his speech such as closing GITMO.
"The original premise for opening GTMO that detainees would not be able to challenge their detention was found unconstitutional five years ago. In the meantime, GTMO has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law," Obama said at National Defense University, according to text of the speech as prepared for delivery. "Our allies wont cooperate with us if they think a terrorist will end up at GTMO. During a time of budget cuts, we spend $150 million each year to imprison 166 people almost $1 million per prisoner. And the Department of Defense estimates that we must spend another $200 million to keep GTMO open at a time when we are cutting investments in education and research here at home."
He is directing the Department of Defense ... "designate a site in the United States where we can hold military commissions. I am appointing a new, senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries. I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen, so we can review them on a case by case basis." Speaking of the DoD, he also revealed to us a major shift in the government drone program.
Faced with criticism about civilian casualties in attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles, Obama said the United States would only use these drone strikes when a threat was "continuing and imminent," a nuanced change from the previous policy of launching strikes against a significant threat.

Under new presidential guidance signed by Obama on Wednesday, the Defense Department will also take the lead in launching lethal drones, as opposed to the current practice of the CIA taking charge.
Perhaps most significant in his speech was this statement:
Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. Thats what history advises. Thats what our democracy demands.
Basically, Mr. Obama is calling for the end of the AUMF
Most importantly, Obama announced that he intends to work closely with Congress to refine, and ultimately repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). Passed in the aftermath of 9/11, the AUMF gave the president broad authority to carry out military action against those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the 2001 attack.

Groups like [Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula] must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States, Obama said. Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we dont need to fight, or continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states.
Rachel Maddow spoke of this in detail last night -- and it is truly worth revisiting. Steve Benen -- her ace blogger -- dissected its importance:
"The AUMF is now nearly twelve years old. The Afghan War is coming to an end. Core al Qaeda is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states. So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF's mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises. That's what our democracy demands."

This is no small moment. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the United States adopted a war footing -- and never stopped. What Obama is describing here is a fundamental shift.
It also rare in modern times that a President is requesting his powers be legally removed by Congress. There has long been a slippery slope to Presidential powers, most visibly felt after September 11, 2001.
Whether it has been Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln sidestepping Congress and suspending habeas corpus to enable the arrests of scores of Confederate sympathizers, or that great liberal Franklin D. Roosevelt placing his imprimatur on the internment in camps of hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor, presidents have often used their power as military commander-in-chief in ways profoundly at odds with constitutional protections of the individual. (...)
The nation had barely begun when Congress in 1798 passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, during a time when the Federalist-led government worried both about an actual French invasion and the French Revolution introducing destabilizing ideas into the new American Republic.

Among other things, the acts made it a crime for anyone to criticize the government. This was seven years after the states ratified the First Amendment, which protected the rights of U.S. citizens to make such criticisms. (...)
The crises at hand were World War I, which was winding down, and communism, which was on the rise. Like Adams' law, it was eventually repealed, but not before U.S. citizens had been prosecuted and imprisoned.

During the Vietnam War, Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon authorized large-scale government violations of the privacy of U.S. citizens.

Both men pushed the FBI and CIA, through COINTELPRO and other covert programs, to spy on and harass anti-war protesters, civil rights leaders, journalists, scholars and others considered insufficiently loyal to the government's prosecution of the unpopular Southeast Asian war. (...)

While Obama has reversed some of the most controversial Bush "war on terror" policies like waterboarding, the current president has vastly expanded the use of drone strikes. Journalist Tom Junod dubbed Obama's tenure the "Lethal Presidency."

John Yoo, the Bush administration lawyer who became well-known for his legal memos justifying torture, also justified the use of drones in targeted killings, like one in Yemen in 2002 of a U.S. citizen, Kamal Derwish, identified by U.S officials as an al-Qaida operative.
As of yesterday, The President has asked Congress to revise or remove the AUMF. He is limiting his drone operation and bringing it under the umbrella of the DoD as opposed to the dark area of the CIA. These are big things. I believe that as of May 23, 2013 we took our first step into a post-post-9/11 world. From a 2012 policy review published by Stamford University:
It has been in this manner that, over the last 100 years, the scope of the presidency has grown: Enterprising chief executives innovate new pathways of power, are met with little resistance, and thus the innovations soon become norms. Most presidents since tr have contributed to this process, regardless of party or ideology. No president or political movement has ever reversed the trend, nor really ever tried..
It would appear that yesterday one President stepped forward to reverse this trend. Let's hope Congress will as well. Yesterday was important. Despite protestation, yesterday was a big fucking deal.

and

Raine

56 comments (Latest Comment: 05/24/2013 21:33:55 by Mondobubba)
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Comment by wickedpam on 05/24/2013 12:57:51
Morning

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 12:59:39
In honor of your use of hit me, I give you Ian Dury and the Blockheads:



Mondo recommends "Sex and Drugs and Rock n' Roll" the biopic of Ian Dury staring Andy "Smegol/Gollum" Serkis.

Comment by TriSec on 05/24/2013 13:37:41
Morning, comrades.

In the wake of my local problems, I'm finding yesterday's news about the BSA to be strangely anti-climactic.

I am resolved not to read any news reports about it, or especially the comments.

As for me, I'll leave you with the point of contention; draw your own conclusions.


. . . and morally straight.
To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.



Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 14:02:57
****BLOG POSTED****


Comment by wickedpam on 05/24/2013 14:04:33
sounds to me like a classic example of working smarter not harder

plus it'll be interesting to see if the Repubs trip over themselves to limit this presidents power as he requested.



On a personal note - it looks like my aunt will have to be moved to a nursing home as a bed as come available - not happy about this but she's supposedly not eating or drinking and we are here and Lois is there and she Lois is 85 and uuggghhhh - 2013 just another year of suck it seems

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 14:17:41
Quote by TriSec:
Morning, comrades.

In the wake of my local problems, I'm finding yesterday's news about the BSA to be strangely anti-climactic.

I am resolved not to read any news reports about it, or especially the comments.

As for me, I'll leave you with the point of contention; draw your own conclusions.


. . . and morally straight.
To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.




Your post on the Book of Faces from last evening summed it up nicely. It has begun.

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 14:20:01
I am toying with being a total dick and doing a Star Trek Into Darkness spoiler... I don't know why I want to be a dick today.

Comment by wickedpam on 05/24/2013 14:21:47
Quote by Mondobubba:
I am toying with being a total dick and doing a Star Trek Into Darkness spoiler... I don't know why I want to be a dick today.




lalalalallalalalalal not listening *sticks fingers in ears* lalalalalalalalala

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 14:23:10
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
I am toying with being a total dick and doing a Star Trek Into Darkness spoiler... I don't know why I want to be a dick today.




lalalalallalalalalal not listening *sticks fingers in ears* lalalalalalalalala



Dickishness is vanishing. Thanks, Mala.

Comment by wickedpam on 05/24/2013 14:25:32
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
I am toying with being a total dick and doing a Star Trek Into Darkness spoiler... I don't know why I want to be a dick today.




lalalalallalalalalal not listening *sticks fingers in ears* lalalalalalalalala



Dickishness is vanishing. Thanks, Mala.


thanks


Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 14:26:13
Did anyone click on the protestation link I posted in the blog??

Comment by TriSec on 05/24/2013 14:29:34
Quote by Mondobubba:
I am toying with being a total dick and doing a Star Trek Into Darkness spoiler... I don't know why I want to be a dick today.


Sarek is Spock's father.

wait, what?



Comment by wickedpam on 05/24/2013 14:30:00
Quote by Raine:
Did anyone click on the protestation link I posted in the blog??




Comment by TriSec on 05/24/2013 14:36:57
From Dr. Holmes, my friend. (Crew 56, Cambridge)


GRAPEVINE, Texas — The Boy Scouts of America’s lifting the ban on openly gay youth Thursday came 12 years after I received this charge:

"Change will only come from the inside."

It came from a silver-haired man who wore his Boy Scout uniform. Despite a lifetime of service to the Boy Scouts of America, he had been kicked out a few months prior for being gay. He exhorted me not to leave the organization.

He told me this as we stood in protest in Copley Square outside the BSA’s 2001 national annual meeting, held in Boston. I had in one hand a rainbow sign that said “Den Mothers for Inclusion,” and in the other hand my blue-uniformed 10-year-old Cub Scout son. I was heavy-hearted at the Supreme Court decision the year before allowing the BSA to ban gays from membership. We were an outdoors and craft-oriented family and my son loved Scout activities, which I had introduced him to. But how could I allow him to participate in an organization that would discriminate against our gay and lesbian family members and friends?

The silver-haired gentleman provided a startling new way to look at the issue. He said, “If people like you who support people like me do not stay to press change from within, it will never happen. The Supreme Court has assured that. If a boy who begins as a 7-year-old Cub Scout realizes he is a 13-year-old gay teen, who will he turn to if there are no sympathetic adults?”





Comment by Scoopster on 05/24/2013 14:42:36
Mornin' all & Happy Fridee!!

A friend of mine brought a six-pack of these to the game shop last night..
http://drinkitslowly.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/sucks.jpg?w=302&h=403


Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 14:43:34
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:
Did anyone click on the protestation link I posted in the blog??


I was really surprised with that.

Code Pink does a lot of good -- an awful lot, but yesterday was strange.

Now here is something else. She is kinda pally with Adam Kokesh... You know, this guy.... (they changed the name of this event btw...)

“The thing about Adam is he’s a publicity hound. He loves the attention. He’s got a huge ego,” said Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of the women’s peace group Codepink, who has worked with Kokesh on past protests. “And I think he’s really enjoying this one.”

In 2007, for example, Kokesh protested the Iraq war in his U.S. Marine uniform. In 2008, he heckled GOP presidential nominee John McCain at the Republican convention. And in 2011, he was arrested along with liberal activists for an unauthorized dance party inside the Jefferson Memorial.

Today, he’s planning a pro-gun protest that even some gun activists think is risky.
From WaPo and there is this:
“I think Adam at this point has taken it too far,” said Codepink’s Benjamin, who was with him at the Jefferson Memorial. And she was watching as Kokesh mocked then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales by tabulating how many times Gonzales said “I don’t recall” during a congressional hearing in April 2007.

“The cameras loved it,” Benjamin said. “I remember thinking, ‘Adam’s pretty savvy about this stuff.’ ” With the rifle march, however, Benjamin thinks Kokesh is courting forces he can’t control.
I;m disappointed in her. and it goes to the point I used to make that some people will go so far left that they will actually meet up with the far right.





Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 14:48:50
Quote by TriSec:
Quote by Mondobubba:
I am toying with being a total dick and doing a Star Trek Into Darkness spoiler... I don't know why I want to be a dick today.


Sarek is Spock's father.

wait, what?



Cumberpatch's character is really (really really long prime number)!

Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 15:06:19
I also find that picture curios as Code pink was protesting the NRA regarding Newtown -- and Rand Paul is against GUN CONTROL MEASURES

This is just inconsistent in my mind.

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 15:14:18
Tri, would you happen to know what the policy of the Scouts in the UK is on "the gays?"

Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 15:23:19
Comment by Scoopster on 05/24/2013 15:24:55

To be fair, let's also blame the idiot truck driver who didn't notice that his trailer was higher than the damn bridge limit..

Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 15:26:53
Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 15:27:15


You know if we still had earmarks, we wouldn't have shit like this happening. Also, earmarks would allow the Boner to corral the Tea Party Morons.

Boner: cut the crap or you will not see dime one for bridges, roads or damns in your district.

TPM: How high to you need to me to jump?

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 15:31:20
Quote by Scoopster:

To be fair, let's also blame the idiot truck driver who didn't notice that his trailer was higher than the damn bridge limit..


I think if the bridge was obsolete, that wouldn't have brought it down.

Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 15:31:31
Quote by Mondobubba:
Tri, would you happen to know what the policy of the Scouts in the UK is on "the gays?"
here:
Homosexual people are not restricted from membership or leadership positions in Scouts Canada, the Baden-Powell Service Association in the United States, Scouts Australia, and most European associations, including The Scout Association of the United Kingdom, Ring deutscher Pfadfinderverbände of Germany (German Scout Federation), and the Swedish Guide and Scout Association.


Comment by TriSec on 05/24/2013 15:32:45
Quote by Mondobubba:
Tri, would you happen to know what the policy of the Scouts in the UK is on "the gays?"


Open and above board. They are also co-ed and welcome atheists.

The USA is the only worldwide scout organization that maintains "Boy" and "Girl" scouts. Everywhere else it's just "Scouts". Canada went through the change about a decade ago and somehow failed to be destroyed.



Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 15:36:16
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Tri, would you happen to know what the policy of the Scouts in the UK is on "the gays?"
here:
Homosexual people are not restricted from membership or leadership positions in Scouts Canada, the Baden-Powell Service Association in the United States, Scouts Australia, and most European associations, including The Scout Association of the United Kingdom, Ring deutscher Pfadfinderverbände of Germany (German Scout Federation), and the Swedish Guide and Scout Association.

and here.

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 15:54:05
Quote by TriSec:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Tri, would you happen to know what the policy of the Scouts in the UK is on "the gays?"


Open and above board. They are also co-ed and welcome atheists.

The USA is the only worldwide scout organization that maintains "Boy" and "Girl" scouts. Everywhere else it's just "Scouts". Canada went through the change about a decade ago and somehow failed to be destroyed.




The only thing that might destroy Scouting here is whining conservative christian aholes leaving and setting up a rival organization.

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 15:58:19
Thank you to both Raine and TriSec. I am enlightened on Scouting's LGBT policies world-wide. I must say we are backwards aren't we?

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 16:08:30
Comment by TriSec on 05/24/2013 16:39:36
I suppose it's his aide's fault for not telling him that smoking crack on camera is probably a bad idea.

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 16:59:04
Louie Gohmert, insensitive fucking asshole.

Along with being the stupidest member of the House.

Comment by livingonli on 05/24/2013 17:17:45
Louis Gohmert makes me wonder if there should be an IQ requirement for members of Congress. That could probably get rid of at least half the Tea Party members.

Comment by Scoopster on 05/24/2013 18:20:50
Comment by TriSec on 05/24/2013 19:12:58
Them's fightin' words, bucko!

Besides, everyone who remembers knows that only the Mets are truly Pond Scum.



Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 19:16:31
Quote by TriSec:
Them's fightin' words, bucko!

Besides, everyone who remembers knows that only the Mets are truly Pond Scum.




Sparky, linkee no workee!

Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 19:26:48
Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 19:27:43
Quote by Mondobubba:
Louie Gohmert, insensitive fucking asshole.

Along with being the stupidest member of the House.
that's not insensitive, that is cruel and heartless.


Comment by TriSec on 05/24/2013 19:27:54
Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 19:33:06
Quote by TriSec:
Is Scum of Pond, OK?



That is one dirty race, innit?

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 19:34:27
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Louie Gohmert, insensitive fucking asshole.

Along with being the stupidest member of the House.
that's not insensitive, that is cruel and heartless.



Stupid, insensitive, cruel and heartless? Stupid, cruel, heartless and insensitive? All of them in any order I think.


Comment by livingonli on 05/24/2013 19:37:56
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Louie Gohmert, insensitive fucking asshole.

Along with being the stupidest member of the House.
that's not insensitive, that is cruel and heartless.



Stupid, insensitive, cruel and heartless? Stupid, cruel, heartless and insensitive? All of them in any order I think.

I think with Gomhert, you have to put stupid before everything.

Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 19:55:21
Randi just said that James Rosen (fox) source was indicted -- I can't find a link on her page -- can anyone else find one?

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 19:59:46
Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 20:01:49
Quote by Raine:
Randi just said that James Rosen (fox) source was indicted -- I can't find a link on her page -- can anyone else find one?



Nooooope!

Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 20:24:57
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Randi just said that James Rosen (fox) source was indicted -- I can't find a link on her page -- can anyone else find one?



Nooooope!
Strange. Rosen wasn't indicted -- his emails were subpoenaed in order to find the source of leaks about North Korea...

(which makes perfect sense imo) His source seems to have been working as a state dept.contractor.


Comment by Raine on 05/24/2013 20:25:23
Randi is totally right about people failing upwards.

Comment by Mondobubba on 05/24/2013 20:36:37
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Randi just said that James Rosen (fox) source was indicted -- I can't find a link on her page -- can anyone else find one?



Nooooope!
Strange. Rosen wasn't indicted -- his emails were subpoenaed in order to find the source of leaks about North Korea...

(which makes perfect sense imo) His source seems to have been working as a state dept.contractor.



What I am not understanding here is why is everybody getting the knickers knotted up over stuff that happened like 2 or 3 years ago?