The Killing of Trayvon Martin Was Vastly Different from the Killing of Al-Awlaki’s Son. Obviously.

trayvon_alawlakiThe most inhumane and tragic aspect of any war, noble or nefarious, is the reality of civilian casualties. As long as there’s been warfare, noncombatants have been caught in the crossfire, or even intentionally killed en masse to spur popular intolerance for the continuation of the war. During World War II, for example, the United States and the Allied Forces routinely decimated civilian populations, notably in Dresden, and especially in Japan where scores were intentionally annihilated, first with fire-bombings and, finally, with two atomic bombs.

No such deplorable motives can be attributed to the deaths arising from recent US military strikes, including the dreaded drone attacks abroad approved by President Obama. Recently, noncombatant deaths in war have been either accidental, or contritely admitted as unavoidable collateral damage. This doesn’t excuse it, but it lends perspective — with war, there are unintended deaths.

Such is the case with Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year-old son of Al-Qaida recruiter Anwar Al-Awlaki who was accidentally killed in a CIA drone strike on October 14, 2011. Based on all reliable accounts, Abdulrahman’s death was unintentional, and American officials have said the real target was Al-Qaida operative Ibrahim al-Banna. It’s unclear whether al-Banna was actually at the location and whether he was subsequently killed. But that’s a sidebar to the story of the death of Abdulrahman.

The often-repeated idea that perhaps this teenager was intentionally targeted for assassination, or perhaps that someone misled the officials who greenlit the attack, remains in the arena of speculation and conspiracy theories. For example, here’s Salon.com’s David Sirota last week:

Barack Obama extra-judicially executed Anwar al-Awlaki and then his 16-year-old son, without charging either of the two U.S. citizens with a single crime. The two were simply presumed guilty, without any evidence being officially marshaled against them.

This assumes without evidence that the president deliberately targeted Abdulrahman for assassination.

On top of this, Sirota, in a follow-up post, has drawn a direct comparison between the death of young Abdulrahman and the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of a neighborhood-watch vigilante named George Zimmerman.

Why, you ask, is the institutionalized vigilantism that killed 16-year-old American Abdulrahman al-Awlaki at least as problematic for society as the individual vigilantism that killed 17-year-old American Trayvon Martin?

The conflation of these two deaths is simply ignorant of the circumstances of each incident.

The entire argument hinges on the distinction between intentional, targeting killing versus accidental, collateral killing.

Sirota and others are leading with the assumption that Abdulrahman was intentionally targeted, pursued and killed by President Obama — that the CIA and the Obama administration decided somehow that a 16-year-old American-born kid was a significant terrorist threat. Not only that, but the administration decided that Abdulrahman was in the process of carrying out plans for a terrorist attack, far beyond the point of no return in that endeavor and therefore incapable of being apprehended before it was too late.

If that’s the case, where’s the evidence? Where’s the evidence that Abdulrahman was targeted with the same kneejerk zeal as Trayvon was pursued by George Zimmerman? Or targeted at all, zealously or not? Why does every horrible social injustice in this country that African Americans or women or impoverished people experience at the hands of someone who feels they have a constitutional “right” to do it, somehow have to work its way back to a certain subset of liberal writers and their pet civil libertarian gripes?

Trayvon Martin, armed with nothing but a bag of Skittles and iced tea, was intentionally targeted by a lone, untrained vigilante who racially profiled him. Zimmerman, who wasn’t a deputized member of law enforcement, unilaterally decided that Trayvon looked like a criminal and therefore ought to be pursued as one. Without evidence of a similar circumstances in the death Abdulrahman, there’s no intellectually honest comparison.

Sirota, in particular, observed that there’s a racial component in the killing of Abdulrahman, a “person of color” according to Sirota, and therefore there is a similarity to Trayvon’s racially-motivated death. Sirota wrote that Abdulrahman’s death was a feature of “institutional vigilantism — the kind aimed at people based on their racial, ethnic, religious and geographic profile.”

This argument requires that we accept that Barack Obama, the first African American president, has some sort of roiling, barely unspoken hatred of Muslims — a hatred so powerful that he’s resorted to intentionally killing noncombatant teenagers. It’s a remarkable assertion, carrying with it major ramifications. It not only suggests that the war on terrorism, for all its ugliness, is actually a form of anti-Arab, anti-Muslim ethnic cleansing or genocide, it also requires that we accept that an African American man named Barack, who was hounded about his paternal family’s Muslim background, who has established record breaking progress with regard to legislative tolerance for people of different faiths, ethnicities and sexual orientations, is implementing an administrative institutional policy of racism. From there, there’s no other conclusion to draw other than that the president and his administration are, collectively, war criminals who now exist in a rogue’s gallery of other genocidal regimes. Of course, even if the president was a war criminal, he’d be innocent until proven guilty, even though Sirota, Greenwald and others operate under the presumption of the president’s guilt — the very presumption they claim to hate.

This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so completely insane.

On one hand, we’re told the president is a demonic Islamophobe with an almost genocidal blood-lust against them, while, on the other hand, we’re told he’s secretly an Islamic jihadist sleeper-cell who’s weak on terrorism in order to enable it.

The truth, obviously, is neither. And both halves of that dichotomy are equally ridiculous.

Meanwhile, George Zimmerman was on the look-out for, according to Zimmerman, “real suspicious guy[s]” and “these assholes,” due to a spate of recent burglaries in his neighborhood. He spotted Trayvon’s hoodie and jumped to the horribly inaccurate and racially-motivated presumption of Trayvon’s guilt. We’re expected to follow this analogy and believe that the president exercised the same brand of racial profiling and jumped to the presumption of guilt in the death of Abdulrahman, but there’s nothing to indicate that was the case. Again, the hinge is the racially-motivated, intentional targeting of a victim.

All that remains is that both Trayvon and Abdulrahman were innocent of any wrongdoing when they were killed, and both were teenagers at the time. The rather general similarities end there and specifics are nonexistent.

Without any other serious, non-conspiratorial commonalities, the comparison utterly disintegrates. From there, we have no choice but to wonder why, then, was the comparison made in the first place. I’ll assume that Sirota was being honest in his belief that there are similarities striking enough to serve as the basis for a think-piece, and that he wasn’t being deliberately and cynically incendiary for the sake of traffic. And so if this is what he truly believes — that this is a valid conflation, he’s being horribly stupid about all of it.

In the end, this conflation fails to add any logical insight or resolution to the mutually exclusive factors behind these deaths. Trayvon was yet another casualty of insidious, ages-old American racism. Abdulrahman, and other noncombatant casualties in the war on terrorism (including American noncombatants), are the victims of a conflict that wasn’t started by America, but which should probably be ended or confined to more traditional counterterrorism efforts by America sooner rather than later. By these realistic terms, these deaths are vastly different — not relatively the same. In the meantime, though, is it possible to ever have a discussion about a domestic social injustice without being scolded into talking about the civil libertarian nightmare that a certain subset of liberals consider our president? There are millions of Americans who deserve that we have that discussion.

I honestly can’t believe we have to spell it out, but there it is.

Bob Cesca is the managing editor for The Daily Banter, the editor of BobCesca.com, the host of the Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show podcast and a Huffington Post contributor.

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    • Gunnut2600

      Far be it for me to tell Americans what to do…but here in the Middle East…America could not have a worse public perception. Pretty much it seems like you guys are randomly killing folks. You are all for democracy…until its inconvenient like in Egypt… then military dictatorships are cool.

      At least with Bush, we expected to be treated like cattle and targets. Its hurts that Obama, with all his words, is doing the same thing.

    • Asha N Rahni

      The point is that wars are dumb, because they cause the deaths of the innocent. Truly intelligent people would have figured out another way to resolve conflict other than mass murder, also known as war. But we haven’t. We support wars that only serve the interests of the rich. We run off to “defend freedom” and in truth what we are doing is ensuring that the super wealthy maintain hegemony over the world’s resources and wealth. We human beings are truly lost.

      • missliberties

        Battles and wars have been a constant throughout mankinds history. There are always casualties in war. Period. The idiots equating Obama to Zimmerman are out of their freaking minds.

        When we have man in office who discussed ending the perpetual war on terror you might want to support that.

        • Asha N Rahni

          I am opposed to war and all who propagate it. I am not conflating Obama with Zimmerman. I am objecting to the pathology that informs our decision to participate in violence at any level. I am stunned by your lack of appreciation for human life. So what if people have been behaving like savages for thousands of years? That doesn’t make it right. Dr. King said that we “will live together as brothers(and sisters) or perish as fools.” So many seem intent upon seeking destruction in the name of profit. Worse, there are those who go blindly along, defending the letting of blood and the wasting of life. I’ll quote Bob Marley now, “Wake up and live!”.

    • YesMan4

      Pitches for Bob’s next column:

      Fight them Over There so we Don’t Have to Fight them Here
      Why Bombing Pakistani Children is Better than the Medger Evers Killing
      They Declared War on Us: Why we Must Kill Them All

      • 624LC .

        Pitches for bob’s next article.: do greenwald followers have thoughts of their own?
        If Glenn greenwald shit in the woods, would yesman4 wipe his butt? Would we care?

        How many greenwald acolytes does it take to screw in a lightbulb before they all start whining about shit no one cares about?

        • Fat Pierre

          It’s so cute how you don’t think anyone cares about NSA spying. You really do live in a bubble.

          Hey, I think I heard something… I’m almost certain Sarah Palin said something stupid! You’d better go investigate!

        • YesMan4

          “Greenwald followers” is an interesting concept. But not very interesting.

          Bob Cesca, whom one might correctly label a “party-line hack,” is a clearer concept.

          • kfreed

            We don’t feel the need to apologize for neglecting to join Greenwald’s libertarian cult. If fact-checking bothers you, you should probably head on over to The Blaze or InfoWars.stupid.

            • YesMan4

              This isn’t fact-checking, and Greenwald doesn’t need it anyway… and certainly wouldn’t profit from Bob Cesca’s advice on anything. I’m sure Bob’s enjoying his readership of 300 O-Bots.

      • kfreed

        “Yes Man” suits you. Henceforth: Greenwald’s Paulbots will be deemed Rand-waldian Yes Men

        • YesMan4

          I’m a socialist but whatever you say, boy.

    • YesMan4

      I won.

      • blackdaug

        Is there a trophy for most persistent stupid troll?

        • YesMan4

          Yes, and I won it.

          • blackdaug

            There ya go…

          • kfreed

            “How wude.” You make a splendid victim. You’ve got the Randwaldian pout down cold.

        • kfreed

          Let’s sculpt an ass with ears and present it:)

      • Claude Weaver

        Oh I don’t know about that…you seem to run out of steam when folks were just getting started.

        • YesMan4

          Oh really? I seem to be the only one left after wearing all the shills out with knowledge.

          • blackdaug

            Idiot. I left for most of the day, and came back…and you were still here!
            No go up there and get that trophy, I am sure it is a good likeness of you …and you earned it.

            • YesMan4

              Not referring to you (never a threat)

          • Claude Weaver

            Well, I much rather like battling the trolls in Torchlight II than here, so I’m waiting on that. And I think most of the day, people were, you know, working at their jobs and stuff.

            And really, you weren’t that good of a troll. You didn’t get anyone riled up, you didn’t get reported or banned, you kinda just sat there and rambled on. Oh, and obstinate, but that i just basic training there.

            You did fulfill the troll role (hee!) of not changing a damn person’s mind because of your tactics and somewhat dubious information. But no real troll tries that. hell, no real troll announces they won. Because it is never about making people leave. It is about making hem stay and argue and get angrier and angrier.

            Now I do see something. You replied to every single last response to you. You doubled down and went out of your way to do so, and I am pretty sure you are the one giving everyone who disagreed with you a downvote. Now that sounds a bit more involved than a real troll would be. But hey that’s just me.

            And now Torchlight II has finished loading. So now I have something far more interesting to do that chat with you. Ciao.

            • YesMan4

              OK, good chat, I still won.

            • Lady Willpower

              You don’t like being called a troll, but you certainly don’t mind labeling anyone who disagrees with you a “shill.”

            • YesMan4

              Yes, party-line hacks whose opinions are 99% predictable deserve that label

            • Lady Willpower

              Heh. Over on Planet Greenwald, that’s just the way you talk to people. It’s such an infantile worldview. You simply can’t wrap your head around the idea that there are decent, sensitive, intelligent people who just happen to have a different opinion than you.
              NOPE. They must be hacks, and shills, and DNC propagandists. That’s the only way you can accept the world as it is. Everyone must be paid operatives.
              There’s a reason people like you gravitate towards misanthropic creeps like Greenwald and Sirota. You all have the same complete lack of social graces, the same childlike view of the world, and the same inability to have a decent conversation with someone who disagrees with you.
              And then you all wonder why no one in the real world likes you.

            • kfreed

              The I’m-Rubber-You’re-Glue debate strategy is brilliant if you’re in the third grade. You’ve just been annointed King of the Monkey Bars. You should be proud.

            • YesMan4

              I am proud, thanks.

      • kfreed

        Do they give out medals for being the dumbest person in a comment thread? Congrats:)

    • Lady Willpower

      There’s no point in trying to argue any of this with the Greenwald/Sirota faction of pseudo-liberal nihilists.
      Here’s why: these are people who actually believe that Barack Obama is absolutely, categorically, undeniably guilty of CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, yet Anwar Al-Awlaki is not.
      How do you argue with that level of denial?

      • YesMan4

        “Pseudo-liberal nihilist” is a strange way to type “morally consistent progressive.”

        • Lady Willpower

          Your consistency is turning me on, big man.

      • Claude Weaver

        Because Al-Awlaki isn’t the president of the United States.

        See, you can bitch about the president being evil no matter what he looks like, but saying a man might be kind of a bad guy because of silly things like video showing him promoting violent rhetoric is unconscionable. That’s what’s so great about freedom of speech! You can call him every ugly name in the book, and he can’t do anything about it, except all the insane conspiracy shit they keep saying he does, which would preclude any freedom of speech argument they make!

        Besides, anti-American terrorists are known worldwide for their discretion concerning their beliefs and well-researched precision attacks on actively hostile forces that never hurt innocent people.

        Here’s a brainteaser for you: if Obama is really that bad, and really willing to come after those who question his almighty power, why the hell do these guys still pop up here? You think Grand Central Station for the Obamabot Regime, I mean The Daily Banter, would be the last place they want to be…

        • YesMan4

          O-bot circular firing squad?

          • Claude Weaver

            Come now. Remember the average American is stupid enough to believe Obama isn’t an unrepentant sociopath. So he wouldn’t trust us with something that important.

            And really, you want to bypass the drones NOW?

        • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

          Yeah. What Obama should really do— if he wants “Progressive” street cred— is stop all spying, give U.S. citizens who have armed themselves and joined a terrorist group whose stated goal is to destroy the U.S. carte blanche to do so without interference; so that all anti-U.S. terrorist groups know that recruiting U.S. citizens into their jihad is a priority that would give them cover from armed attack anywhere in the world, plus it would encourage them to base their operations in the U.S. because being an American citizen is a pass to do whatever you want to anyone you want and expect to be politely hauled into court.

          The Ugly American rules! What a wonder it is to be an American citizen. Kill at will and don’t let anyone in the U.S. government interfere because AMERICAN CITIZEN. That whole thing about providing for the common defense is just an excuse for the government to kill people.

          • kfreed

            He’s already got progressive street cred among actual progressives. Who needs a bunch of know-nothing Libertarian concern trolls?

    • Fat Pierre

      I take no position on whether the Trayvon/Abdulrahman comparison is valid. However, there were a few eyebrow-raising lines here:

      1. “Based on all reliable accounts, Abdulrahman’s death was unintentional, and American officials have said the real target was Al-Qaida operative Ibrahim al-Banna.”

      American military and intelligence officials are NOT “reliable” sources when it comes to accurately reporting on civilian deaths. There are many examples, but since I’m bust today, I’ll only mention one particularly egregious lie:
      December, 2009: An American airstrike kills 41 people in Yemen, including 14 women and 21 children. In January, David Petraeus claimed that only three civilians had been killed. The claim was made that this was a Yemeni operation. Thanks to Wikileaks, we know that was a lie.

      Amnesty International summarizes the cable as follows:

      A leaked diplomatic cable has corroborated images released earlier this year by Amnesty International showing that the US military carried out a missile strike in south Yemen in December 2009 that killed dozens of local residents.

      In the secret cable from January 2010 published by the organization Wikileaks, Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh is reported as having assured US General David Petraeus that his government would “continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours”.

      According to the cable, this prompted Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister Rashad al-‘Alimi “to joke that he had just ‘lied’ by telling Parliament that the bombs in Arhab, Abyan, and Shebwa were American-made but deployed by the ROYG [Republic of Yemen Government]”.

      2. “Recently, noncombatant deaths in war have been either accidental, or contritely admitted as unavoidable collateral damage. ”

      Unavoidable?!?! How are these deaths”unavoidable?” I think the word you’re looking for is “inevitable.” When you try to kill individuals by dropping bombs on groups, it is inevitable that other people will be killed. When you have a policy that targets people whose names you don’t even know based on a secret behavioral profile (“signature strikes”) and treats all military aged males who are killed as “suspected militants” it is inevitable that you will kill innocents.

    • 624LC .

      I can’t believe you have to spell it out either, but if you take a gander of a whole lot of stupid coming from yesman4 (please tell me that there is not 1,2,or 3 out there. Our nation is trying to climb up from ignorance) then yes, you have to not only spell it out, but use semaphore flags.

      • YesMan4

        Shut up.

        • Claude Weaver

          The next member of the Algonquin Round Table, ladies and gentlemen!

          • YesMan4

            Strangely enough, there was no moral or substantive difference in our two comments. I just saved more time.

            • Claude Weaver

              Ah, but there was. It was longer, used a nerdy semi-obscure reference, and didn’t sound like petulance.

            • YesMan4

              Right, but none of those things make a substantive difference, sorry.

            • Claude Weaver

              No, you see, more words means more substance. It is science.

            • Bubble Genius

              There is absolutely nothing substantive about you.

            • YesMan4

              Oh, okay, you probably prefer Bob Cesca’s nuanced apologia for Obama.

        • 624LC .

          No, you shut up
          No, you shut up
          No, you shut up…
          Thanks for the debate, Pee Wee Herman

          • YesMan4

            I like what you did there, but you could still save typing:
            1. Drop the illusion that you’re clever.
            2. Don’t make 20-year-old references.
            3. Type things one time instead of three.

            • 624LC .

              Here are my tips for you to save typing:
              1. When you start to type anything, take a hammer and beat your fingers.
              2. When you start to think, beat your head against the wall to knock out the hamster running the wheel.
              3. Repeat often

            • YesMan4

              I think you forgot Rule 1.

            • 624LC .

              No, you did
              No, you did
              No, you did
              Knock harder. You are still conscious

      • blackdaug

        God is it still fucking here? When I clicked on this moron’s name this morning, he had 65 comments…now he has like 250 (with almost exactly the same up votes..how mysterious). That has to be like….2000 comments in troll comment years…
        I am now officially in favor of droning american citizens on American soil!!
        ….as long as it is yesman4
        In fact, fuck drones lets b-52 his repetitive dumb ass…..

        • YesMan4

          You don’t get up-votes provoking O-bots on a DNC shill site, but someone’s gotta do it…

          • blackdaug

            That someone being you..

            • YesMan4

              Oh, were would that it be, lest it be that someone be me…

            • kfreed

              Bingo.

      • kfreed

        Rand-waldian Yes Men generally travel in sock puppet packs, so yes, there are 1, 2 and 3 out there:)

        • 624LC .

          LOL!! I know…

    • BlueTrooth

      Sirota only marginalized his “base”. I read his article and could only respond that Abdulrahman would still be dead if he were white with red hair.

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      Isn’t it just a little bit obvious that people in terrorist training camps shouldn’t bring their children to work?

      I think there is a real problem with our intelligence and targeting, but there is also a real problem with Taliban and Al Qaeda members bringing their family members along for the ride.

      • YesMan4

        Disgraceful comment bordering on pro-genocide speech.

        • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

          Yeah. Because holding people accountable for their children’s safety is evil.

          • YesMan4

            “Holding them responsible” is one thing. Assassination is another.

            • Claude Weaver

              Nobody said anything like that. Stop being obstinate.

            • YesMan4

              John Brennan didn’t create a Kill List for imagined enemies of the state? Robert Gibbs didn’t dismiss concerns about the al-Awlaki killing by saying he “should have had a more responsible father?”

            • Claude Weaver

              You said Felonious Grammar’s comment was “disgraceful”, “bordering on pro-genocide speech”, and pretty much said that that comment supported assassination. Basic reading comprehension can show your statements are ridiculous.

              And even if you want to pretend you are incapable of understanding anything but the most literal applications of English, those quotes you pulled out (of where I don’t dare speculate) still do not indicate a desire from anyone that a man should be assassinated for being a bad father.

            • YesMan4

              Felonious Grammar obviously does support Obama’s global assassination program, and I’m merely pointing out the obvious moral objection to that. You need to make sure your point comes through the blustery denigration next time because the rest of your comment reads as white noise.

            • Claude Weaver

              Ah yes, now comes the “so I pretend someone is speaking gibberish” tactic. I am so fond of that one, because it is a nice way to shut down any dissent or argument. But if used incorrectly, it makes the wielder look like a moron.

              I don’t see anything in FG’s comment that says that. In fact, he does criticize the intelligence and targeting involved. So he does have some objections to said program. He simply says that the terrorists aren’t doing any favors by, you know, killing people and then hiding amongst other innocent people. As for the “obvious moral objection”, considering the logical leap you had to make, I wouldn’t be so fast to call it obvious.

              But please continue with your diatribes. You are clearly representing the very folks mentioned in this piece, and it is quite educational to see such things in action.

            • YesMan4

              I can tell you’re fond of it, considering you used it in the prior comment I replied to.

            • Claude Weaver

              I called you obstinate, not gibberish.

              I could understand exactly what you were saying. It is just what you were saying was designed with a specific idea in mind (one that was not supported by the evidence), that was not going to be changed or deviated from, and said as much. Hence “obstinate”.

            • YesMan4

              I’m not afraid of debate and never use smarm unless smarmed against. If you want to coolly debate the facts of Obama’s global assassination program in a relatively disinterested fashion, I’m happy to. It’s almost like getting to debate a Nazi in the early 40s. Very instructive.

            • Claude Weaver

              Oh Good Lord. Godwin this early? I thought we could hold out just a bit longer. Now it just seems silly.

              Also, what you did wasn’t smarm. It was a bit condescending, yes, but not smarm.

            • YesMan4

              Oh, yes, Godwin’s Law exists, but this doesn’t apply. Godwin himself said it shouldn’t apply when discussing political regimes. From Wiki:

              The law and its corollaries would not apply to discussions covering known mainstays of Nazi Germany such as genocide, eugenics, or racial superiority, nor, more debatably, to a discussion of other totalitarian regimes or ideologies, if that was the explicit topic of conversation, since a Nazi comparison in those circumstances may be appropriate, in effect committing the fallacist’s fallacy.

            • Claude Weaver

              Except you inferred that I was the Nazi for what, calling you obstinate? Which you are, and proudly declared yourself so in several comments here?

              How is that anywhere near the same as genocide or eugenics?

              I mean, unless you believe “anyone who doesn’t believe what I do = Nazi”, which means a significant population of the world needs to be doing the Sieg Heil, and man, did I call it with the “obstinate” label, or what?

            • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

              Danke. As masculine as the name “Felonious” may appear to be, I’m a woman— a content crone.

            • Claude Weaver

              I do apologize. Obviously you are aware of the vagaries of Internet screen names.I shall try to remember in the future.

              Funny enough. I keep imagining Frasier Crane tearing a tag off a mattress when I read yours.

            • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

              No big deal. I have a bigger dick than YesMan4, so it’s an understandable assumption.

            • Claude Weaver

              Now who would vote down for that?

            • Bubble Genius

              Let’s hear it for the ladiezzzzzzz. :)

            • Bubble Genius

              Is “obstinate” synonymous with “asshole” here?

      • Fat Pierre

        Abdulrahman wasn’t killed at a terrorist training camp. He was killed at a public cafe.

        • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

          Well, that is different. I’m going to look that up.

          • Fat Pierre

            Apparently there is some debate about exactly where he was killed. CBS news reports:

            “It is not clear where the young al-Awlaki was when he was killed. Some reports say that he was in a cafe with friends; other reports that he was sitting by the road eating with friends. His family said that he had run away from home and was trying to find his father. He had no known ties to terrorism.”

            In either case, neither of these locations could remotely be described as “terrorist training camps.”

            • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

              According to his wikipedia entry:

              On September 30, 2011, in northern Yemen’s al-Jawf province, two Predator drones, based out of a secret CIA Base in Saudi Arabia, fired Hellfire missiles at a vehicle containing al-Awlaki and three other suspected al-Qaeda
              members. A witness said the group had stopped to eat breakfast while traveling to Ma’rib Governorate. A Predator drone was spotted by the group, which then tried to flee in the vehicle. According to U.S. sources, the strike was carried out by Joint Special Operations Command, under the
              direction of the CIA.

              There was no doubt that he was a terrorist. If anything, he should have been arrested much earlier in his jihadi career.

            • YesMan4

              There is “no doubt he was a terrorist” in people who can’t think for themselves and let unelected military shills define who lives and dies.

            • Fat Pierre

              That report is referring to Anwar, the father. We were discussing Abdulrahman, the son.

            • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

              I thought he was killed in the same strike that killed his father.

            • Fat Pierre

              No, he was killed about two weeks after his father in a separate attack.

            • Fat Pierre

              Yes, he should have been arrested. The problem is that that would have required that the government actually go to a court and present evidence that he had an operational role that went beyond making (deplorable but constitutionally protected) YouTube sermons.

              Instead of securing an indictment, the government decided that they would apply secret procedures based on secret evidence to kill him. That they have the nerve to argue that this constitutes due process is truly shocking.

          • Badgerite

            Not really. It depends on who he was having lunch with and what, if any, were their connections to Al Qaeda. The Government claims that someone else was the target of that strike. And that is not an implausible or impossible explanation. His father was in the leadership hierarchy of Al Qaeda. That, to me, would mean that the son probably had such contacts as well.

    • YesMan4

      The Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik has stated that 336 American drone strikes in Pakistan claimed over 2,300 victims, 80% of whom were innocent civilians.

      A Pew Research Center poll shows that 74% of Pakistanis believe that America “is the enemy”, an increase from prior years.

      • YesMan4

        List of children killed by drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen

        Compiled from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports

        PAKISTAN

        Name | Age | Gender

        Noor Aziz | 8 | male
        Abdul Wasit | 17 | male
        Noor Syed | 8 | male
        Wajid Noor | 9 | male
        Syed Wali Shah | 7 | male
        Ayeesha | 3 | female
        Qari Alamzeb | 14| male
        Shoaib | 8 | male
        Hayatullah KhaMohammad | 16 | male
        Tariq Aziz | 16 | male
        Sanaullah Jan | 17 | male
        Maezol Khan | 8 | female
        Nasir Khan | male
        Naeem Khan | male
        Naeemullah | male
        Mohammad Tahir | 16 | male
        Azizul Wahab | 15 | male
        Fazal Wahab | 16 | male
        Ziauddin | 16 | male
        Mohammad Yunus | 16 | male
        Fazal Hakim | 19 | male
        Ilyas | 13 | male
        Sohail | 7 | male
        Asadullah | 9 | male
        khalilullah | 9 | male
        Noor Mohammad | 8 | male
        Khalid | 12 | male
        Saifullah | 9 | male
        Mashooq Jan | 15 | male
        Nawab | 17 | male
        Sultanat Khan | 16 | male
        Ziaur Rahman | 13 | male
        Noor Mohammad | 15 | male
        Mohammad Yaas Khan | 16 | male
        Qari Alamzeb | 14 | male
        Ziaur Rahman | 17 | male
        Abdullah | 18 | male
        Ikramullah Zada | 17 | male
        Inayatur Rehman | 16 | male
        Shahbuddin | 15 | male
        Yahya Khan | 16 |male
        Rahatullah |17 | male
        Mohammad Salim | 11 | male
        Shahjehan | 15 | male
        Gul Sher Khan | 15 | male
        Bakht Muneer | 14 | male
        Numair | 14 | male
        Mashooq Khan | 16 | male
        Ihsanullah | 16 | male
        Luqman | 12 | male
        Jannatullah | 13 | male
        Ismail | 12 | male
        Taseel Khan | 18 | male
        Zaheeruddin | 16 | male
        Qari Ishaq | 19 | male
        Jamshed Khan | 14 | male
        Alam Nabi | 11 | male
        Qari Abdul Karim | 19 | male
        Rahmatullah | 14 | male
        Abdus Samad | 17 | male
        Siraj | 16 | male
        Saeedullah | 17 | male
        Abdul Waris | 16 | male
        Darvesh | 13 | male
        Ameer Said | 15 | male
        Shaukat | 14 | male
        Inayatur Rahman | 17 | male
        Salman | 12 | male
        Fazal Wahab | 18 | male
        Baacha Rahman | 13 | male
        Wali-ur-Rahman | 17 | male
        Iftikhar | 17 | male
        Inayatullah | 15 | male
        Mashooq Khan | 16 | male
        Ihsanullah | 16 | male
        Luqman | 12 | male
        Jannatullah | 13 | male
        Ismail | 12 | male
        Abdul Waris | 16 | male
        Darvesh | 13 | male
        Ameer Said | 15 | male
        Shaukat | 14 | male
        Inayatur Rahman | 17 | male
        Adnan | 16 | male
        Najibullah | 13 | male
        Naeemullah | 17 | male
        Hizbullah | 10 | male
        Kitab Gul | 12 | male
        Wilayat Khan | 11 | male
        Zabihullah | 16 | male
        Shehzad Gul | 11 | male
        Shabir | 15 | male
        Qari Sharifullah | 17 | male
        Shafiullah | 16 | male
        Nimatullah | 14 | male
        Shakirullah | 16 | male
        Talha | 8 | male

        YEMEN

        Afrah Ali Mohammed Nasser | 9 | female
        Zayda Ali Mohammed Nasser | 7 | female
        Hoda Ali Mohammed Nasser | 5 | female
        Sheikha Ali Mohammed Nasser | 4 | female
        Ibrahim Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 13 | male
        Asmaa Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 9 | male
        Salma Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 4 | female
        Fatima Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 3 | female
        Khadije Ali Mokbel Louqye | 1 | female
        Hanaa Ali Mokbel Louqye | 6 | female
        Mohammed Ali Mokbel Salem Louqye | 4 | male
        Jawass Mokbel Salem Louqye | 15 | female
        Maryam Hussein Abdullah Awad | 2 | female
        Shafiq Hussein Abdullah Awad | 1 | female
        Sheikha Nasser Mahdi Ahmad Bouh | 3 | female
        Maha Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 12 | male
        Soumaya Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 9 | female
        Shafika Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 4 | female
        Shafiq Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 2 | male
        Mabrook Mouqbal Al Qadari | 13 | male
        Daolah Nasser 10 years | 10 | female
        AbedalGhani Mohammed Mabkhout | 12 | male
        Abdel- Rahman Anwar al Awlaki | 16 | male
        Abdel-Rahman al-Awlaki | 17 | male
        Nasser Salim | 19

        • Badgerite

          Can you also post a list of the men, women, children killed by Al Qaeda or Taliban or other fundamentalist strikes in Pakistan Except, of course, you probably run out of room. One of the people killed, indeed , was Benhzar Bhutto herself. She returned from exile to run for president there and even someone in her position was not safe. Let’s see, who else was in Pakistan. Osama Bin Ladin was one. And then there was Khaled Sheik Mohammad, the operational head of Al Qaeda who planned 9/11. . How many children are dying in Syria now. Quite a few. And you know what. The war there continues. Al Qaeda declared WAR on the United States. If they would like to UNDECLARE it, , that would be great. But they are not now, nor have they ever been, interested in negotiations. Kind of like you. Al Awlaki advocated more death, not less. He did not advocate tolerance, or negotiation, or anything of the kind. When they start to do that, if ever, then you can try to guilt trip me out. Not before. You twit.

          • YesMan4

            Al Qaida isn’t a country, it’s a relatively unimportant death cult. I’m sick of people like you promoting $1T/yr in military/defense/”homeland” spending just because creepy fascists in power tell you that’s the right thing to do. Syria’s a mess but we have a role in that, by refusing to back Assad’s peace plan. The other things you mention aren’t very convincing. The Algerian civil war is a better instance of un-provoked jihadist violence, the other instances are usually justified. Bhutto was probably killed by our strong-man Musharraf, by the way.

            • Lady Willpower

              “Assad’s peace plan.”

              Bwa-hahahaha.

    • http://albatross.org/ Albatross

      “This assumes without evidence that the president deliberately targeted Abdulrahman for assassination.”

      Until these killings are processed in open court, there is no opportunity for any real ‘evidence’ to be presented. That’s why these killings are dead wrong. This is WHY we have the Rule of Law and an open judicial process.

      And note that such a procedure is there to serve BOTH SIDES of the issue. If the Executive Branch doesn’t like and doesn’t want people speculating that Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki was deliberately targeted, it is in their best interests to promote an open review of the case which presents their evidence otherwise. And in the case of Abdulrahman’s family, there is the cause of justice.

      Until that open judicial review happens, excuse me, but I’ll speculate whatever I damned well please. Because without evidence that’s all I can do. And if you think I’m offering the Executive Branch the benefit of the doubt regarding its role in the death of a child, you grossly misunderstand how a democracy is supposed to be run.

      • YesMan4

        Since this is the Daily Banter, a DNC PR operation, appeals to rationality and the Rule of Law won’t have any effect here. A terse lecture that this is the Global War on Anyone and that’s what the law is in America (love it or leave it!) is imminent.

        • http://albatross.org/ Albatross

          I get it. It’s the schism between the partisans and the principled. If one holds to the Party and believe it can Do No Wrong, that’s partisanship prevailing over Law, and is not healthy for the nation. If one holds to principle then one understands that there are times when one Party or another may make mistakes, and those mistakes need to be addressed for both the good of the nation as a whole and even for the Party. And it’s healthier for everyone if this difference in approach and emphasis – this support of either party or principle – is understood as a necessary dynamic that helps everyone, rather than viewed as a dysfunction of one side or the other.

          • YesMan4

            that’s why I’m here: to inform the 300 party-line hacks at Daily Banter that some people actually care about the buzz words they use, as principles instead of talking points.

        • Badgerite

          Again. The presidential power to order drone targeted killings is authorized by the AUMF which was enacted in 2001 and is still in force. President Obama has called for its repeal. Bob Cesca has called for its repeal. You don’t even know what it is. And Glen Greenwald never says much about pesky legal things like that that run counter to his narrative.

          • YesMan4

            Obama’s entire foreign policy is based on AUMF01, on what planet did he “call for its repeal?”

            • nathkatun7

              When you were busy kissing Glen Greenwalkd’s ass!

            • Fat Pierre

              Obama gave a very pretty speech and then did… nothing? Well that certainly doesn’t sound like something he’d do!

      • i_a_c

        For all the talk about the Rule of Law, there seems to be little understanding that no court in the country has jurisdiction to hear the case you describe.

        • http://albatross.org/ Albatross

          The Supreme Court and Congress are supposed to be a check on the Executive Branch (and each on each other), so I have a hard time believing that the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to rule on Executive Branch actions and policies. However I’m a layman so you certainly might be correct. In that case it is reasonable to suggest that the case be taken out of “the country” and before an international court of some sort. The Executive cannot be elevated above all law – that way lies madness, or at least despotism.

          • i_a_c

            Congress has oversight responsibilities over the executive’s use of war power. No court has any business in that process. Truman never got a court order to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nor could he get one even if he wanted one. Courts don’t issue advisory opinions. Just to give a more relevant example, Anwar al-Awlaki’s father went to a court to challenge his son’s placement on the “kill list” (as it’s called by some), and the court dismissed the case, saying first that Anwar’s father had no standing to bring the case, and second that the court lacks the jurisdiction to decide the question–it was a “political question” to be handled between Congress and the executive branch.

            So no, there is no court that can hear these questions. And yes, war power is the proper context from which to view these actions. I think that rather than pining for a judicial process that doesn’t exist, it’s more useful to ask to what extent the executive should be able to exercise the war power, because right now the president has pretty much carte blanche authority to go after anyone “he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons” (AUMF 2001). The president himself made a speech in which he expressed a desire to roll back these war powers and constrain the president’s authority to go after any group of thugs that calls itself al-Qaeda. That’s the solution, and it has to be done in Congress.

            • http://albatross.org/ Albatross

              Thanks for the clarification and education. I am reminded that the 2001 AUMF has not been repealed. Distressing.

            • i_a_c

              Thanks for a productive discussion.

            • Badgerite

              If you had read Bob Cesca’s blog you would have known about it because he, along with none other than President Obama have been calling for its repeal for some time now. It is a point he raised REPEATEDLY!

            • http://albatross.org/ Albatross

              If Bob Cesca had spent more of this post explaining the AUMF and less time clutching his pearls in defense of the President, I wouldn’t have had to. And he might have persuaded me to read other of his blog posts. Instead he repeatedly attacks a straw man by calling for “evidence” regarding the younger Al-Awlaki’s killing – obviously no evidence can be presented in the case when the administration invokes wartime privileges and state secrets.

              I don’t personally subscribe to conspiracy theories – I subscribe to incompetence theories. For example, I don’t believe 9/11 was an “inside job.” I am strongly of the opinion, however, that Cheney knew a terror attack was planned and decided to let it proceed in order to generate PNAC’s much sought after “new Pearl Harbor” to justify his imperial ambitions. I think he was caught flat-footed by the scope of the attack, however. I believe the the Bush administration was venal and incompetent enough for 9/11 to occur.

              Likewise I don’t think the Obama administration knew they were going to kill Abdulrahman when they fired that missile. I believe the Obama administration was incompetent enough to kill an innocent US child based on thin intelligence on the ground. On the other hand, that doesn’t excuse his killing, not even “in wartime,” from any but a legal point of view. If I set out to shoot my enemy, and I instead shoot an innocent, I am culpable for that error and should answer for it. This administration has not answered, and has hidden behind the AUMF as justification, to its great and lasting shame.

              Regardless of what the AUMF permits, we aren’t “in wartime.” We are in a state of supreme national arrogance coupled with a lack of anybody to stop us. Our drone policies are morally indefensible even if the laws have been so flensed of justice as to make the indiscriminate murder of civilians “legal.”

        • Fat Pierre

          You know who seems to disagree with you? A federal judge. From the NYT:

          WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Friday sharply and repeatedly challenged the Obama administration’s claim that courts have no power over targeted drone killings of American citizens overseas.

          How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs (March 10, 2013)
          Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the United States District Court here was hearing the government’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by relatives of three Americans killed in two drone strikes in Yemen in 2011: Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical cleric who had joined Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; Mr. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, who had no involvement in terrorism; and Samir Khan, a 30-year-old North Carolina man who had become a propagandist for the same Qaeda branch.

          Judge Collyer said she was “troubled” by the government’s assertion that it could kill American citizens it designated as dangerous, with no role for courts to review the decision.

          “Are you saying that a U.S. citizen targeted by the United States in a foreign country has no constitutional rights?” she asked Brian Hauck, a deputy assistant attorney general. “How broadly are you asserting the right of the United States to target an American citizen? Where is the limit to this?”

          She provided her own answer: “The limit is the courthouse door.”

          • i_a_c

            A different federal judge took my view. http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/07/new-challenge-to-drone-killings/
            Wait until she issues her ruling.

            • Fat Pierre

              The issue is contentious. What I object to is your decision to characterize what is actually an extremely controversial position as the obvious, undisputed truth.

            • i_a_c

              IMO it could not be more clear. The Constitution puts foreign policy and warmaking in the hands of Congress and the President. Courts have no capacity to decide the merits by which the executive branch determines war targets, and to do so would effectively create policy which tramples on the Constitutional responsibility given to the executive branch.

              I will bet a hundred internets that this judge will register her dismay but dismiss the case anyway.

            • Fat Pierre

              We will have to wait and see, but the judge seems to be highly skeptical of this reasoning:

              Mr. Hauck acknowledged that Americans targeted overseas do have rights, but he said they could not be enforced in court either before or after the Americans were killed. Judges, he suggested, have neither the expertise nor the tools necessary to assess the danger posed by terrorists, the feasibility of capturing them or when and how they should be killed.

              “Courts don’t have the apparatus to analyze” such issues, so they must be left to the executive branch, with oversight by Congress, Mr. Hauck said. But he argued, as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has in the past, that there are multiple “checks” inside the executive branch to make sure such killings are legally justified.

              Judge Collyer did not buy it. “No, no, no,” she said. “The executive is not an effective check on the executive.” She bridled at the notion that judges were incapable of properly assessing complex national security issues, declaring, “You’d be surprised at the amount of understanding other parts of the government think judges have.”

            • i_a_c

              She also asked devil’s advocate type questions of the plaintiffs, as you might expect. We shall see.

    • http://johnstephendwyer.com/ John Stephen Dwyer

      I reject the argument that says “war is hell, this is business as usual, tough sh*t, stop picking on Obama.” Jimmy Carter rejects it too and writes “We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have
      been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest
      authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous
      times.”

      • i_a_c

        No offense to President Carter, but he’s completely full of shit. We firebombed Tokyo and Dresden, and we dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That’s engaging in quite the whitewashing of history.

        • Jeremy Grunloh

          But liberal sacred cows FDR and Truman presided over those instances, and pointing out the actual mass death they are responsible for blows apart manic-progressives’ historical comparisons about how “Obama is a conservative”… and therefore must be ignored. Although my favorite is when they demand Obama act more like Lyndon “hey hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today” Johnson.

          Plus, they were all white, and Obama is a black man. Manic-progressives would like us to believe that has nothing to do with their impossible standards for the president, but they are completely full of shit.

          • YesMan4

            Agreed but don’t slur “progressives.” I’m a progressive, and unlike these Daily Banter hacks, I’m consistent. See also: Cenk from Young Turks, Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, the EFF, etc.

            • Jeremy Grunloh

              No, you’re a socialist and a free speech absolutist. Said so yourself.

            • YesMan4

              You’re a progressive? What’s with the “manic-progressive” slur?

            • Jeremy Grunloh

              I can be a liberal/progressive and ridicule certain other liberal/progressives at the same time. Isn’t it amazing?

            • YesMan4

              That’s not shocking to me at all, since that’s what I’m doing. I am the progressive here, just to be clear. You’re the party-line hack liberal.

              Lean Forward™ (and kiss Obama’s feet).

            • Jeremy Grunloh

              I accept your concession.

            • YesMan4

              I concede that you like using the name “progressive” but couldn’t define it to save your life and wouldn’t last 5 minutes debating a real one.

            • Jeremy Grunloh

              I accept your concession.

            • YesMan4

              that’s right you do.

            • Bubble Genius

              I know you are, but what am I?

            • nathkatun7

              So dear wise one why don’t you define for us the term “progressive.”?

            • nathkatun7

              You need to study the history of the Progressive movement. If you do you will find out that many progressives were rabid racists.

            • nathkatun7

              Do you even know the history of the Progressive movement? For your information Cenk was a rabid right winger who supported Republicans. I don’t know much about Taibbi, but Greenwald is no progressive. He is a Ron Paul Libertarian.

            • Fat Pierre

              A Ron Paul libertarian who is a vocal OWS supporter, right?

            • nathkatun7

              YEP!

          • nathkatun7

            Actually I read a Greenwald groupie who is absolutely convinced that Richard Nixon was more liberal and more progressive than Barack Obama. Then there other “holier than thou progressives” who assert that Obama is worse than George W. Bush.

        • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

          El Salvador and Nicaragua alone disqualified him on this issue. Obama is the first President I’ve like since Carter, and I like him more.

      • http://johnstephendwyer.com/ John Stephen Dwyer
    • blackdaug

      When most people have a bad idea, they think it though, appropriately dismiss it and move on to better ideas. Increasingly, some on the left are foregoing those last two steps and going straight to “publish bad idea online”, “submit bad idea to editor”, and “cash check for bad idea”.
      Sirota, had an extremely bad idea for a simple analogy, and then he built a big rambling crazy movie out of it
      He not only claimed some equivalence between the President, Zimmerman and two deaths, he expanded upon the idea, by suggesting it was an “attitudinal” or societal shift in perception.
      That this President’s wanton, reckless mayhem, had somehow dulled all of our senses to the point that we did not even recognize this change in the culture.
      This form of “…what people don’t realize” or “if only people understood” fable ism, appeals to a growing audience of fearful, paranoid tabloid level journalism consumers.
      It serves only to feed their unfounded suspicions that a world they don’t understand, is being secretly run by cabal of shadowy figures and the public puppets under their control.
      It is the lowest form of journalism, appealing to the lowest common denominator: the perpetually frightened.
      That fact that this, and many other “bad ideas”, are being expanded upon, and churned out daily, by what formerly were, at some level respectable sources, should in itself be the frightening story here.
      Sharks scare people, so do tornadoes…..lets combine them and make a…..
      Naw…..bad idea!

      • Bubble Genius

        I beg to differ. Sharknado was hilariously bad, at least. Which is more than one can say for Sirota.

        • blackdaug

          Probably didn’t have to watch it with the lights on though….
          Sirota is stepping out from the “hilariously bad” to the “tragically bad”…expanding his horizons.

          • Bubble Genius

            *******************
            SHARKNADO SPOILER
            *******************
            *
            *
            *
            Perhaps we can ask Ian Ziering if he’ll chainsaw his way out of Sirota.

      • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

        …what people don’t realize” or “if only people understood” fable ism…

        “Wake up sheeple!” I know, let’s use contempt for the unwashed masses to build a movement! How can this go wrong?

      • js hooper

        I love it!!! The Sharknado Left…professional “journalists” who will say anything to appeal paranoid and resentful audience.

    • wefearwhatwedontunderstand

      I agree wholeheartedly with what this article says. It’s about having a discussion, and those who are focused on this civil liberties issue won’t allow a discussion to occur outside their own narrow framework. I think we all agree that the civil liberties issue is vitally important and that the laws need to be updated to reign in the technology and the surveillance industry that has gone gaga over the opportunity presented after 9/11 to expand exponentially.

      But every time anyone tries to make larger points about the context of all of this or criticize the hypocrisy of free-speech advocates being all gung ho about China, Russia, and Venezuela winning propaganda points on civil rights when they have dismal records themselves, we are somehow part of the evil government conspiracy to crush free speech. (for example, see – http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2013/07/latin-america-and-edward-snowden)

      I think it is helpful to frame this attitude as free-speech fundamentalism and make the argument that fundamentalism of any kind is the enemy of democracy. The world is too complicated to paint in black or white, and the grey area that Obama dwells in as he attempts lead a large and diverse nation is just too difficult for many people to grasp.

      • http://www.dlancystreet.com reginahny

        Very well said, and I think your fundamentalist frame idea is spot on — I’ll be using it for sure.

      • YesMan4

        You’re cute. You think Obama is a “grey area” thinker?! What a joke!

        He’s a moderate Republican who’s accomplished exactly ONE THING: a gift to the insurance industry, once known as RomneyCare and promoted by the Heritage Foundation and other GOP front groups in the 90s. He has exactly ZERO ELSE to show for his half-decade in office, with major setbacks in civil liberties, the failed Afghan surge and resultant civilian deaths, the illegal drone assassination programs, labor rights, environmental progress, etc.

        But, here at Daily Banter, the 90 IQs will cheer him at every step, since he’s a D. And that’s exactly what the establishment wants.

        • blackdaug

          Out of curiosity…what IQ does it take to be a 160 comment troll?
          91?

          • YesMan4

            Is a “troll” now defined as someone you disagree with?

            • blackdaug

              So I have to define troll for you? I am guessing….92?

            • YesMan4

              warmer…

            • Bubble Genius

              88. Or perhaps 9+0. Yeah, that’s it.

        • wefearwhatwedontunderstand

          thank you for making my point

          • YesMan4

            Your “point” was that one shouldn’t have values, much better to sort of lurk in a gray area where you can defend or criticize any politician at any time and then evade charges of “fundamentalism,” meanwhile distorting that word from any discernible definition.

            • wefearwhatwedontunderstand

              no, my point is that the world is not black and white, and those who see it in those terms are unwilling to use critical thought and think outside of their narrow framing of the world.

              Discernible definition of “fundamentalism”:

              (religion) The tendency to reduce a religion to its most fundamental tenets, based on strict interpretation of core texts.

              Strict adherence to any set of ideas or principles.

            • YesMan4

              Fundamentalism is a problem, but idealism is not. Fundamentalism is when someone adheres to a Holy Text, reading it as precisely dictated morality.

              The type of heroic whistle-blowing that Edward Snowden did is idealism, not fundamentalism, since there is no text involved. You could also call it absolutist morality. Other individuals or organizations who are absolutist in some way include: John Brown, Voltaire, Marx, the ACLU and the Civil Rights movement.

            • wefearwhatwedontunderstand

              The second definition is the one that applies here – “strict adherence to any set of ideas or principles.” – A synonym would be orthodoxy, which applies outside of religion, as well.

              You are mistaken to say that the Civil Rights movement is absolutist. There is a difference between being principled and being fundamentalist, and being a progressive means embracing the former while eschewing the latter, because in order to build better societies, people need to be flexible. That is precisely what is wrong with the Tea Party politicians. They are horrible legislators because they are not flexible. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is principled, yet flexible. And the Civil Rights movement cannot be fundamentalist because the whole point is to challenge the fears of racists and bigots that those who they have been subjugating for hundreds of years are not out to destroy them. It’s all about gaining trust, which is done by being flexible and reaching out, not by being inflexible. This is what I am talking about, here.

            • YesMan4

              Right, but the Tea Party isn’t really a political party, it’s a PR campaign for Big Business. People who vote for them are brainwashed and make themselves expendable. I actually don’t agree that it’s a politician’s responsibility to be flexible — in most countries there is no “reaching across the aisle.” It’s about getting the best possible result for your voters, or get voted out. The problem with Bob Cesca fans is you don’t want anything except to be a “winner,” or be the party in power that people like. That leads to triangulation (Dick Morris’s M.O. during Clinton), and stasis.

            • wefearwhatwedontunderstand

              Well, you see, I think you are mis-characterizing us in the same way that Zimmerman mis-characterized Martin and the same way that those who hold all of the power in U.S. society mis-characterize the intentions of those who have been closed out of the seats of power. See how you are putting things in black and white? Life is not always a win-or-lose proposition, and at least for progressives, it is not always about being the “winner” all the time. It is about keeping the big money from being the winner all the time. How can you even say that about the Democratic Party when everyone thinks they are such wimps for capitulating all the time?

            • YesMan4

              What exactly is political life about if not winning? Staying in power (Clinton’s answer)?

            • wefearwhatwedontunderstand

              This is the first I am hearing about Clinton being autocratic. Wasn’t it the Bush II administration that tried to stack the justice department and had a policy, under the guidance of Karl Rove, of achieving single-party rule? And let’s not forget Tom DeLay’s hyper-partisanship – he is an alumnus of ALEC, by the way, which is way more corrosive to democracy than the NSA spying is. It is the conservatives who have set the winner-take-all tone in Washington of late. Once upon a time, believe it or not, politics was about statesmanship.

            • YesMan4

              All you’ve got is “the other party does it too.”

            • wefearwhatwedontunderstand

              Do you know what ALEC is? Can you tell me about a left-wing group that meets in secret to write legislation for Democratic state legislatures to pass?

            • YesMan4

              There is no left-wing group in the US. There are two branches of the Business Party: The Democratic Business Party, funded by Wall St and the CFR, and the Republican Business Party, funded by capital-intensive industry and the American Enterprise Institute/ALEC. If you want to see who wrote everything the Clinton Admin championed, I’d refer you to Treasury Sec./Citigroup Exec. Robert Rubin.

            • 624LC .

              corporatist blah blah blah…all you armchair Che Guevaras with your bullshit blathering. I’d say stand up and fight, but Idoubt you could wrestle yourself out of your computer chair for more than cup of Starbucks. Unless you grow your own coffee beans in your self actualizing Peoples Republic center. No wonder the President doesn’t take you nuts in the far left seriously.

            • YesMan4

              I’d say stand up and fight to you, but I know you’re too bloated from Coors and bringe-watching Obama’s YouTube channel to stand on your own two feet for more than ten minutes. And, let’s say we did start an actual movement, e.g. the Occupy movement I was a part of until Obama’s DHS illegally shuttered the entire thing with mass arrests and police oppression. Where would that get us?

              No, you’re right, better to just praise Dear Leader and wait for change from above.

            • 624LC .

              “We” – please, you didn’t do shit. Oh, I bet you occupied things – like the booth at the all you can eat dinner at Ponderosa, the stool at some bar, creeping the ladies out with your socialist blathering and B.O., but a movement? One that didn’t begin and end in your bathroom? LOL! Whatever you need to say to make yourself important, I guess. And of course you are one of Greenwald’s fanboys – what a surprise…

            • YesMan4

              You can’t possibly know that, which I’ve noticed is your consistent policy for things to comment on.

            • wefearwhatwedontunderstand

              I am baffled at how anybody can believe that Obama was responsible for the overreaction of the police to the Occupy Wall Street movement. He supported it! He tried to get Elizabeth Warren to head up a consumer advocacy group, which was blocked by the corporate right wing, who accused Obama of being mean to the bankers, after he gave them everything they wanted. Now try to tell me that Elizabeth Warren could get elected as a Republican just as easily as a Democrat. No? Well, that is just one bust of this whole meme about the two parties being one and the same. They’re not! The political system is broken. We need to have campaign finance reform and limit lobbyist influence. Why is it so hard for people to see that it is the system that is corrupt, not necessarily all of the people – and the US government is a giant behemoth, where not everything that happens is Obama’s fault! Sheesh – read Dana Priest’s article out today in the Washington Post. The surveillance state is something that is massive, pushed forward by inertia – and yes, it is probably true that Obama’s reaction to the leaks that had become such a problem, in part because there are so many secrets, was a mistake. But he can’t just say, “OK – I don’t like this program and that program – Off with their heads!” It doesn’t work like that. Things are not all black and white. The “you’re either with us or against us” is insane.

            • YesMan4

              Obama’s DHS first spied on and then supported and organized the massive police crackdown on Occupy. I was there and can tell you firsthand. Read what Truthout has reported on this.

              You have to remember that OWS threatened the Democrats just like Nader did. So the Democrats (who are half-underwritten by Wall St in the first place) had the most to gain by a successful Occupy movement.

            • wefearwhatwedontunderstand

              I’m familiar with Jason Leopold’s reporting, and frankly, I think he is barking up the wrong tree. The point I am trying to make is what Dana Priest has been saying for years now, which is that the system is a behemoth that is out of control (despite their denial). They were out of control with J Edgar Hoover’s FBI and when MLK and JFK and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, so why is it so hard to fathom that they may also be out of Obama’s control now? I think the crackdown on leakers was one way for him to try to reign things in, but again, it has proven to be a mistake. Read Dana Priest’s reporting, especially on “Top Secret America.” It puts into context the scope of all of this and how it began before Obama came along.

              I disagree that OWS threatened Democrats. Again, there is the example of Elizabeth Warren, which you conveniently skirted. Watch this woman, and watch for more politicians like her. There will be a backlash against conservatives over these ALEC-supported socially conservative, corporatist laws.

            • YesMan4

              The corporate friendly Dems didn’t promote Warren, that was the people of Massachusetts, and the husk of Occupy Boston. We’ll see what happens if she runs in 2016.

              Everything else you said, I completely agree.

            • Bubble Genius

              You couldn’t Occupy a bowel movement.

            • nathkatun7

              I bet you the only fight you’ve ever been engaged in is the one you wage on your keyboard. I doubt you have any idea about the struggles of ordinary people who know the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

            • nathkatun7

              We get It. You’ve mastered the progressive lingo. No more need to think on your own.

            • nathkatun7

              YesMan doesn’t even know the meaning of “autocratic.” He is just throwing out words and half-baked ideas that he hears all the time from the so called “pure progressives,” including people like Cenk who was, until recently, a rabid right winger.

            • Bubble Genius

              I dunno, you’ve just described leftertarians pretty well. I’d say you were pretty brainwashed, since a lot of this is a PR campaign for Sirota and Greenwald.

            • nathkatun7

              If Snowden is so “heroic” why did he run away like a coward? You think by throwing out names makes you come across as intelligent. For your information people in the Civil Rights Movement did not run when they courageously confronted unjust laws; and neither did John Brown!

            • nathkatun7

              You are asking YesMan to think when he already knows the truth according to the progressive gospels Cenk, Sirota, Greenwald and Taibbi!

        • Badgerite

          There is no such thing as a ‘moderate Republican’. Contradiction in terms.

          • YesMan4

            Obama is a 1990s Republican in almost every metric, call it what you will.

            • nathkatun7

              Where did you hear that from Cenk or Sirota? I am certain that you are incapable of reaching that conclusion on your own. You don’t even have an idea about the progressive movement.

        • Badgerite

          By the way, here is the name of a cleric, Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, who was part of Al Qaeda but was too moderate for them. He advocated not attacking the US but consolidating power in the country they did control, Afghanistan, and building their Islamic paradise there. I guess that was just too much heresy for them for they killed him and his young son, 15 year old I think, who was with him. This was a member of their own team, as it were, and his young son. If they expect the US, whom they have declared unending war on, to avoid ‘collateral damage’ shouldn’t they first be willing to set an example by not killing their own?

        • nathkatun7

          You are a joke!

    • Kitty Smith

      No, because the only things that matter in the universe is drones and Snowden. You know, shit white “progressives” can use to club the president.

      • YesMan4

        Can you think of a better cause to rally behind than protecting US citizens from assassination?

        • Kitty Smith

          Certainly: protecting US citizens from being shot by Joe Psychopath and his shiny new penis extension, allowing US citizens to utilize safe, legal medical procedures without Joe Legislator from demanding they stick phallic sonogram wands into them to shame them and excite themselves, allowing US citizens to have adaquate food, shelter, and other resources without having Joe Six-Pack scream about how taxes are teh debil and they should pull themselves up by the bootstraps. That’s just a start.

          I WOULD say “protecting US citizens from assassination”, but it’s clear you mean to say “protecting US citizens who are engaged in recruiting and planning for an organization who wishes and have carried out explicit harm against US citizens and others and would otherwise be extremely difficult and costly to capture from assassination”, but quite frankly I stopped giving a shit after “explicit harm to US citizens and others”.

          Seriously, President Obama is not coming to kill you. He’s not even sending dudes to kill you. You’re a dude on a keyboard masturbating to Sirota and Greenwald.

          • YesMan4

            It’s clear that you mean to say “protecting US citizens who are accused by some random unelected body in the Defense Department of being a so-called terrorist.” The fact that you have faith in this body’s sense of judgement proves what a dolt you are. And that’s before considering your facile dismissal of Obama’s claimed power to assassinate US citizens, which frankly isn’t worth consideration.

            • Bubble Genius

              So, waitnow – are you denying that Anwar Al-Alwaki is well-documented in his proselytizing against America? Are you denying that he spoke of a jihad against America on video and trained potential terrorists? That he was called the Bin Laden of the internet?

            • YesMan4

              I’m questioning who gets to make that claim. In civilized countries, an impartial judge signs warrants, even “death warrants.” In Obama’s world, defended at every step but the mouth-breathing hypocrites at Daily Banter, some unelected bureaucrat makes that decision (google Disposition Matrix) and PR flaks like Bob Cesca put out propaganda so that the mouth-breathers will defend the assassination without trial. That’s where you come in.

            • blackdaug

              72?

            • YesMan4

              69, dude.

            • blackdaug

              Flattering yourself is unbecoming of such a deep thinker.

            • YesMan4

              Using SAT words is not going to get you anywhere with me, young man.

            • Lady Willpower

              You must have taken the SAT for special kids, if you think any of those words were on there.

            • YesMan4

              http://www.freevocabulary.com/
              unbecoming adj. Unsuited to the wearer, place, or surroundings.

            • Lady Willpower

              Yeah, I know what it is. My point is that it’s not a word you use to impress people.

            • YesMan4

              It’s a pretty obnoxious word to use in any conversation, never mind in two-bit political rants…

            • Bubble Genius

              Sorry. Do you not understand the concept of “video?” You are saying we’re making claims that are untrue about Al-Alwaki when there is actual documentary evidence backing this up.

            • YesMan4

              Oh, so if I make an anti-US video, you’re fine with me getting droned?

            • blackdaug

              Dont trouble yourself. I am fine with it right now….
              In fact, yesterday would have been preferable.
              When is good for you?

            • 624LC .

              I am happy with it now…bye…

            • YesMan4

              No doubt, you’d love it.

            • 624LC .

              Would so youtube it: “Stupid self important guy sits in field waiting for imaginary drone”

            • YesMan4

              I’m under no illusions about my personal safety. I, unlike O-bot party-line Liberals, just care for the least among us.

            • Jeremy Grunloh

              No, you don’t. You’re nothing more than a leftier-than-thou douchebag. You have never done a fucking thing for anyone in your life.

            • YesMan4

              You couldn’t possibly know that.

            • nathkatun7

              Well tell us what you’ve done right here in the good old U.S.A. for the “least among us.” Of course if you lie its your guilty conscience that you have to deal with.

            • 624LC .

              Oh, how noble you are( in your mind). I hope you will be around in time for next Easter – give your brother Jesus a break.

            • YesMan4

              I will be, I am greater than Jesus though.

            • 624LC .

              Oh good, something to leave us with …more deluded thoughts. Get help

            • nathkatun7

              Sure! when is the last time you volunteered to take in the homeless in need of food and shelter?

            • nathkatun7

              Dude, honestly you are safe!!! No one is droning you! All you need to do is to stop smoking what ever you are smoking that is hallucinating you.

            • i_a_c

              In the United States, there is no “death warrant.” There is literally no oversight by the judicial branch over the war powers of the executive branch, granted by Congress, and there never has been. The president could not ask for a court order even if he wanted to–courts do not give advisory opinions and thus do not issue orders willy nilly. Regardless, courts do not have any jurisdiction at all over war powers. None.

              So what you’re talking about is totally divorced from the actual reality in this country. The president himself is responsible for executing war powers, with Congress providing the oversight, and that’s the way it has always been.

              I mean, Congress could in theory create a court that looks at this stuff and issues a sort of warrant, if they wanted, but it’d be secretive and more powerful than the FISA Court, so if the drone program ever got any oversight, I doubt that purity leftists would be happy with what they got.

            • YesMan4

              What you’re describing is an endless global War on anyone. If you think that’s legal, that’s all we need to know.

            • i_a_c

              I just described the reality in this country. You clearly have no concept of what’s legal and what’s not. Believe it or not, the law is frequently not what leftists think it should be.

            • YesMan4

              The reality is illegal.

            • nathkatun7

              You need professional help! You are totally losing your mind.

            • Badgerite

              Not anyone. Al Qaeda.

            • YesMan4

              Is the Taliban = AQ?

            • Badgerite

              No, that is what Al Qaeda is waging, an endless global war. Let’s see, where have they struck. France, Holland, England, Spain, New York and Washington. When you are fighting someone who is waging a global war on whoever, you fight them where you can find them.

            • nathkatun7

              No one is waging war on you, except may be all those voices you hear in your deranged state?

            • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

              Yes. And the administration did go through proper channels to get authorization, including the U.N. Security Council (loaded as it is) and the Yemeni government. In Yemen, he was also a criminal guilty of kidnapping for ransom— one of the charming ways in which Al Qaeda raises funds.

            • Norbrook

              I love the way people like you come up with imaginary Constitutions, imaginary laws, and imaginary procedures which you then paint as “reality” to justify your idiot proclamations.

            • YesMan4

              You must love Kill List author and Obama’s [counter-]terrorism adviser John Brennan.

            • nathkatun7

              I don’t have to love Brennan to know that you are a total idiot!

            • Lady Willpower

              Hey, I have asthma! That “mouth-breathing” crack of yours is very ableist.

            • Lady Willpower

              Oooh, a down vote! Ouch, that stings.

            • Claude Weaver

              Don’t worry. Being a supporter of asthma rights, I won’t let him keep you down!

            • Bubble Genius

              Isn’t it vexing that they show you who gives you up-votes but not down-votes? I’ll bet I can guess who down-voted you… :)

            • Lady Willpower

              Whoever it is, they’re really breaking my will.

            • Badgerite

              Who you gonna believe? Me, or your lying’ eyes?

            • Badgerite

              ‘Death Warrants’ ? No such thing. The only entity entitled to hand down a sentence of death is a jury. There is a death sentence but there is no such thing as a death warrant. You are confusing the executive war powers with the judicial powers of issuing search and arrest warrants. Not that I am surprised at that.

            • nathkatun7

              You are an idiot! In war judges do not sign warrants! I suppose you think Abraham Lincoln should have obtained a warrant before he waged war against Southern rebels because they were citizens of the United States. The last time I checked, President Obama was elected by the majority of the people in the United States. Bureaucrats serve to carry out policies formulated by elected leaders (The President and Congress).

            • Badgerite

              The phrase you use, ‘so called’ terrorist , is a tell, you know.
              There is nothing ‘so called’ about the terrorism and murder that Al Qaeda supports and engages in.

            • YesMan4

              My point is who gets to decree whom is a terrorist or not? Cause right now it’s unelected military bureaucrats and contractors. I’ll remind you that Mandela was officially a “terrorist” under US policy until 2007. Besides, what about the terrorism and murder Obama supports and engages in?

            • Badgerite

              Well, I’m quite sure Obama would be open to peace negotiations if they various an sundry leaders of Al Qaeda and affiliates would actually like to have peace. You cannot say the same about Al Qaeda.

            • nathkatun7

              “‘ll remind you that Mandela was officially a “terrorist” under US policy until 2007. ”

              This is a bold- faced- lie! Do you even know when Mandela was set free and then subsequently elected the first Black President of South Africa? You must think everyone here is as ignorant as some of you who blindly mouth off things you hear from your “holier than thou progressive” leaders, many of whom are nothing but grifters.

            • Badgerite

              Really. You do know that when the decision was made to go after the compound in Pakistan where Osama Bin Laden was hiding, some in the intelligence community only thought that there was a 50% chance that it was him hiding there. This is a covert war with a covert and deadly organization. They do not broadcast where they are. They do not tell us, “Meet us on the battlefield and here are the Rules of Engagement’. In order to fight them, and I personally don’t think that not fighting them is a realistic option, we have to find them. And frequently that means making educated guesses, like the one they made that finally brought Bin Laden to justice. By the way, the Marines killed anyone who got in their way that night, including one of Bin Laden’s young sons. Do you think, that since they did not know FOR SURE who was in the compound that they should have not taken action. That is, after all, the real choice. Where the opposition might be amenable to negotiations, the US has shown a willingness to engage. That is certainly the case right now in Afghanistan. But Al Qaeda has never shown any interest in peace. They are all about jihad. So be it.

            • Fat Pierre

              Hello, President Bush. Long time no see.

            • nathkatun7

              What does the history of Mandela have to do with Al Qaida terrorists? Or you just have to drop a black name to use in savaging PRESIDENT Obama.

        • nathkatun7

          Yes I can.
          #1 Protecting innocent U.S. citizens from terrorist attacks.

          #2. Protecting the right to vote for all citizens irrespective of race

          #3. Creating Jobs for those unemployed

          #4, Health insurance for the uninsured

          #5. Defeating teabaggers and their leftists enablers.

        • nathkatun7

          If you declare war against the United States you are a traitor and thus not entitled to citizenship rights.

    • YesMan4

      Most people attracted to power are at best mediocre (Obama) or venal (Bush)
      — Chris Hedges

      • drsquid

        So you can plagiarize from conspiracy theorists. Congratulations. Would you like a chewy?

        All this is about is you taking personal potshots at someone you personally don’t like. You couldn’t give two shits about anyone living or dying.

        • YesMan4

          Hedges isn’t a “conspiracy theorist.” Congratulations.

          • YesMan4

            Does anyone down-voting this care to provide evidence that long-time NYT war correspondent and Iraq War critic (before it was popular) Chris Hedges is a conspiratard?

      • Claude Weaver

        I can do it too!

        Most people attracted to power are at best mediocre (Sirota) or venal (Greenwald)
        — Chris Hedges

        Most people attracted to power are at best mediocre (Nader) or venal (The Pauls)
        — Chris Hedges

        Most people attracted to power are at best mediocre (Salon) or venal (HuffPo)
        — Chris Hedges

        Most people attracted to power are at best mediocre (DC) or venal (Marvel)
        — Chris Hedges

        Most people attracted to power are at best mediocre (Roland Emmerich) or venal (Michael Bay)
        — Chris Hedges

        Most people attracted to power are at best mediocre (Easter Bunny) or venal (Santa Claus) Track the cookies, man.
        — Chris Hedges

        Most people attracted to power are at best mediocre (Barney Fife) or venal (Sherriff Andy) WE KNOW ABOUT THE PIE PAYOFFS!!!!
        — Chris Hedges

        It is fun substituting words!

        • YesMan4

          lulz

        • nathkatun7

          You are mean! YesMan did not come prepared to think on his feet. He came prepared to regurgitate everything he hears from Chris Hedges, David Sirota, Glenn Greenwald, Cenk Uygur, etc..

    • YesMan4

      The daily Bob Cesca apologia tour continues…

      • Razor

        The professional left’s reductio ad absurdum continues.

        • YesMan4

          “Professional left?” Is that another one of Wall St. Shill Rahm Emannuel’s cute slogans used to sell out his base?

          • Badgerite

            Oh, Che Guevera, don’t you have somewhere to be. Like Bolivia or something.

            • YesMan4

              No, that’s where he was assassinated by CIA killers — you know the type of advisers Obama promotes…

            • villemar

              Why are you even on the grid if the CIA crypto-Nazis under OHitlermba himself are waiting to drone you while you’re sipping your mocha frappucino at Starbucks?

            • Lady Willpower

              I’m convinced that YesMan is actually YesTeenager, because nobody over the age of 14 actually uses the term “crypto-Nazi.” Not if they expect to be taken seriously by the adults in the room.

            • YesMan4

              Hey, if it was good enough for Gore Vidal…

            • Lady Willpower

              “I really don’t give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s been taken advantage of?”

              That’s Gore Vidal’s description of 13-year old rape victim Samantha Geimer. You might want to re-consider the kind of person you look up to.

            • Bubble Genius

              I knew Gore Vidal, and you are no Gore Vidal. (Apologies to Lloyd Bentsen)

            • nathkatun7

              You just love dropping big names!

            • blackdaug

              Just keep him blathering. I have almost got his IP address locked in. Drones are being deployed. Repeat. Deploy the drones to yesman4’s parent’s basement! Roger!

            • YesMan4

              Hilarious joke… worthy of a Bushie circa 2004… you’ve come so far…

            • blackdaug

              That’s right…focus on the screen…ignore that noise in the sky…just crop dusters….

            • YesMan4

              Ellipsis… ellipsis… ellipsis…

            • blackdaug

              You might want to send your grandma, and any pets, out for Red Bull or something.

            • YesMan4

              You might want to do a sit up.

            • blackdaug

              I wont need to do a situp to stomp your pussy ass…

            • YesMan4

              Internet Tough Guy alert.

            • blackdaug

              Comment section moron alert.

            • YesMan4

              Yet all my comments are factually proven. All you have left are threats of violence. Tant pis pour toi

            • blackdaug

              “Yet all my comments are factually proven”.

              Back to just lying now are you?

            • YesMan4

              Back to just lying now are you?

              Learn how to use Disqus, much?

            • blackdaug

              Still having a problem with English much?

            • YesMan4

              When was I, a Lit major from an Ivy school, having a problem with English?

            • blackdaug

              I didn’t know clit was a major?

            • YesMan4

              That was a painful pun.

            • nathkatun7

              Probably when you started consuming stuff that are hallucinating you.

            • nathkatun7

              “…all my comments are factually proven.”

              I bet they are in the hallucinating state your in. My advice: stop what you are smoking and go get some rest. Hopefully when you wake up you’ll be back to reality. Because no one is interested in droning you. You are just a harmless keyboard revolutionary.

            • nathkatun7

              This dude is not drinking Coffee! This dude is smoking something deadly! That’s why he thinks drones are coming to get him.

          • nathkatun7

            Get it in your head: You and your fellow “holier than thou progressives” are not the base of the Democratic party! You are the deluded fringe! Besides, some of you, like Greenwald, are Libertarians.

      • Lady Willpower

        No one’s making you read it.

    • AKRNC

      To refer to Anwar al-Awlaki, a man who took up arms against the U.S., as an American citizen, is an insult to real Americans who are fighting for the U.S. We lose our rights as a citizen of the U.S. when we join with the enemy in a war against U.S. military.

      • YesMan4

        You’re a typical Daily Banter reader on display for all to see. Thank you for being honest.

        • Bubble Genius

          And what the fuck are you? A “My Pet Goat” reader? Have you even gotten that far yet?

          • YesMan4

            Nice 12 year old Bush reference.

            • Bubble Genius

              I tried to stick with something that wouldn’t tax your so-called brain.

            • YesMan4

              No, it’s just that you no doubt formed your political “philosophy” (in much the same way sports fans form their dedication to cheering their home team) in 2000-2004, and now can’t understand why some liberals/progressives have some kind of nuance that you lack, and criticize the same policies under a different president.

            • blackdaug

              Yes, because your philosophy is so nuanced.

            • YesMan4

              I’m actually a socialist and a Free Speech absolutist. I don’t think “nuance” is useful in general, just consistency, which party-line hacks might mistake for nuance.

            • blackdaug

              ” I don’t think “nuance” is useful in general.”

              Yes, we have noticed that…..

            • YesMan4

              Yes, a party-line hack would “notice” “that.”

            • blackdaug

              So 55 is it then. You must be drooling on your keyboard.

            • YesMan4

              Yea, come mop it up. I have a protective helmet on, so you should bring something to polish that too.

            • blackdaug

              Keep that helmet on, with the tinfoil liner…the drones are coming for you….

            • YesMan4

              Good work on taking my joke and somehow making it less funny.

            • blackdaug

              You made a joke?

            • YesMan4

              Yea, I was riffing off your clever retard references. Please don’t down-vote every comment in this discourse, it’s getting embarrassing.

            • blackdaug

              I never said you were a “clever retard”?…

            • YesMan4

              I never said you said that. Is English your first language, pinche cabron?

            • blackdaug

              Is it yours?

            • YesMan4

              No, my first language is Esperanto but I still speak English gooder than you.

            • blackdaug

              Then I take it back, in your words…you are a clever retard.

            • Bubble Genius

              No. No, he’s not. Not even that.

            • nathkatun7

              It was never funny to begin with.

            • YesMan4

              Yes it was

            • nathkatun7

              NEVER! Except, I suppose, for people like you who have no sense of humor.

            • nathkatun7

              Go ahead and yell fire in a crowded theater and see if your free speech absolutism will save you from spending some nights in a slammer.

            • Bubble Genius

              Well, you lose. No doubt you weren’t even born when I started forming my political philosophy, somewhere around the beginning of the Nixon era.

              You are the least nuanced person I have had the misfortune to stumble upon in some time.

            • nathkatun7

              Didn’t you just cheer for Kos, Cenk, Greenwald etc.? Admit it. You are nothing but a follower because I’ve yet to see one original idea from you.

        • 624LC .

          And you are dumbass DKos mouthbreather who needs to feel important somewhere. And?

          • YesMan4

            DKos = millions of readers
            Daily Banter = 300.
            Sometimes you just need to follow the crowd.

            • Badgerite

              So, follow it!

            • Lady Willpower

              This is the same justification Bill O’Reilly uses, BTW.
              “I have higher ratings than MSNBC, therefore I’m right.”

            • YesMan4

              Right, but what you just said is the same justification that Alex Jones uses to explain away his 2000 listeners.

            • nathkatun7

              Finally the truth came out! You are just following the crowd while pretending to be a thinker.

    • kfreed

      Hadn’t we already established that Sirota’s a colossal arse for basically implying we should all ignore the murder of Trayvon Martin and pay attention to David Sirota instead? This supposed journalist can’t tell the difference between a war zone and the average American neighborhood? For all the concern trolling over privacy issues Sirota has no clue that his idol Rand Paul is a religious fundamentalist with no interest in preserving anyone’s privacy?

      2014 Pulpit Electioneering: “Ted Cruz, Rand Paul Rally Right-Wing Pastors in Iowa”
      http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ted-cruz-rallies-right-wing-pastors-iowa

      How is it possible that Sirota is this clueless? He’s not. He’s a propagandist. That is all.

      • nathkatun7

        Sirota is not clueless. Sirota was using the death of a young black boy to attack a President who is black. Emoprogs do this all the time.

    • Badgerite

      I get a little tired of this attempt to make the liberal/progressive community feel like they are engaging in blatant hypocrisy because they can make a distinction between:
      1) Someone who lives in Florida vs someone who lives in Yemen
      2) Someone whose father is in the hierarchy of Al Qaeda in Yemen and who presumably would have as acquaintances dangerous members of that organization vs someone in Florida who has just gone to the store to buy skittles and a can of iced tea. These are not parallel cases.