Yes, I Said We Need to “Move On” From the Russian Hacking Story
Let’s play a game. Imagine just for a moment what the front pages of newspapers or home pages of websites would look like if we removed articles about the hacking of emails in the 2016 election. Now go even further and imagine how a cable news hour and its line up of stories ...read more
Rand Paul Flip-Flops on Drones Again: They Should Be Legal But He'd Shoot One Down Anyway
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has a number of political liabilities to overcome for 2016. In the eyes of the GOP base in states like Iowa and South Carolina, his support for states' rights, nullification and banning abortion might not be hefty enough to compensate for his positions on ...read more
Secret Service On High Irony Alert As Drone Is Found On White House Grounds
President Obama has come under fierce criticism over his stepped-up use of drone attacks, even drawing criticism from kill-crazy Republicans, but sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning, the tables were turned, and a drone made its way through White House air space and ...read more
Rand Paul vs. Rand Paul vs. Rand Paul on Drones and the Militarization of the Police
This can't be repeated enough: don't believe anything Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) says. He's an opportunist and will say just about anything in order to sucker either the far-right and the far-left into supporting him. But for whatever reason, his target audiences are just sucking it ...read more
Rand Paul Takes a Break from Filibustering Drones to Threaten Taliban With a Drone Strike
First, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) delayed U.S. Senate proceedings with an 13-hour "Stand With Rand" filibuster in opposition to the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, also known as "drones," against U.S. citizens. Then, a short time later, he suggested law enforcement use drones to ...read more
Nigerian Kidnapping Response is an Example of Vast and Pernicious Western Imperialism
While the world focuses on Islamist extremist group Boko Haram's plans to sell the 270 kidnapped Nigerian teenage girls into slavery, we should be more concerned with western imperialism. Of course the kidnapping thing is bad, but what about drone strikes? The lap dog media has ...read more
The Young Turks: OMFG! Government Drones Will Steal YOUR Cellphone Info! (Not Really.)
This afternoon, the following tweet appeared in my timeline: Naturally, I thought for sure this was regarding another Glenn Greenwald screed based on an Edward Snowden PowerPoint slide, and so I hunkered down for another mind-numbingly long and hyperbolic read about the ...read more
12 Observations About Greenwald's New Website, 'The Intercept'
(UPDATED below) Glenn Greenwald's new website, The Intercept, launched early Monday. In case you're just joining us, the site is part of Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media, a $250 million investment into the world of software development and digital journalism. The Intercept is ...read more
Buzzfeed and Sirota Resurrect the 'Obama Might Assassinate Snowden' Conspiracy Theory (UPDATED)
(UPDATE below) One of the more Alex Jones'y topics from last Summer at the height of the Edward Snowden NSA story was that President Obama would somehow try to assassinate Snowden. Ron Paul mentioned the use of a drone for such a plot, while others, like Glenn Greenwald and ...read more
Jeff Bezos To Take Control of Drone Fleet, Usher in the Inevitable Skynet Apocalypse
Last night on 60 Minutes, Jeff Bezos revealed that he was actually inside the Benghazi compound as it was under siege on September 11th of last year and single-handedly fought off a member of Al Qaeda while armed only with a Kindle Fire and a copy of Charles Krauthammer's Things ...read more
"I No Longer Love Blue Skies. I Prefer Grey Skies. The Drones Don't Fly When The Skies Are Grey"
The surviving members of a Pakistani family, who were hit by CIA drone attack in 2012, travelled to Washington DC at the behest of Representatives member Alan Grayson to give their testimony in front of US Congressmen yesterday. The attack killed their 67 year old grandmother ...read more
Could This Be The Most Greenwaldian Headline From Glenn Greenwald Ever?
As our readers may have noticed, we've done a fair bit of Glenn Greenwald bashing here at The Daily Banter. Our managing editor Bob Cesca has done some excellent work poring through Greenwald's writing on the NSA scandal uncovering error after error in his work, and we've all ...read more
Headline of the Day: Run To the Hills
"Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson Denies Manufacturing Drones for US Military" I get that those are words and that they're arranged one after the other but I can't say that I ever thought I'd see them strung together in exactly that order. Apparently, a tiny online publication ...read more
Send In the Clowns Pt. II: Code Pink Strikes Again
My favorite tweet of the week comes from Dave Weigel of Slate and MSNBC: Yes, if you thought that the Capitol Hill hearings on the Syria crisis were like a patient uprising inside a psych ward with just Congress in attendance, you can imagine how things got once the Code ...read more
Bradley Manning's Stand Against America's Foreign Policy: Both Criminal and Heroic
For anyone versed in the teachings of America's ultimate dissenter, Noam Chomsky, it is difficult to view Bradley Manning as an evil traitor and worthy of hundreds of years in jail. If you have read anything of Chomsky's powerful analysis of state power and international ...read more
Drones: For or Against? Time for Everyone on the Left to Decide
It has been interesting to see the schism that has emerged in the left post the 2012 elections campaign. Freed from the distraction of fending off Mitt Romney and band of legitimate rapists, the likes of Cornel West, Jeremy Scahill and others are increasingly happy to publicly ...read more
The Killing of Trayvon Martin Was Vastly Different from the Killing of Al-Awlaki's Son. Obviously.
The 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 ...read more
Rand Paul's Befuddled, Confused Position on Drones Becomes More Befuddled, Confused
Here's a challenge for your Republican friends. Ask them to describe Rand Paul's position on drones. After all, he's likely to be on their presidential primary ballot in 2016, so they should be aware of who he is and what he's up to. But I'm fairly certain they'll fail the ...read more
Medea Benjamin Makes a Fool of Herself (Again)
This is one of those debates that's almost worthless to have because each side's view is set in stone and there's very little in the way of wiggle room in-between: You either think that Code Pink and Medea Benjamin are courageous warriors for social justice and against ...read more
Quote of the Day: Obama on Redefining the 'War on Terror'
President Obama speaking today on his drone policy and the need to redefine the 'War on Terror': We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us, mindful of James Madison’s warning that “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of ...read more
Obama Administration's Spying on Journalists is a Disgrace
The Obama Administration has found itself in yet another scandal this week after it was revealed that law enforcement officials had obtained records for the telephone lines of journalists at the Associated Press. From the NYTimes: The A.P. said that the Justice Department ...read more
Does Rand Paul Support Using Drones to Kill American Citizens? Yes!
It must be difficult to be a Republican these days. Since 2009 we've witnessed an ongoing strategy by party leadership of taking the exact opposite position of the White House, regardless of whether the opposite position will make Republicans seem unreasonable, ...read more
Glenn Greenwald Opposes Ban on Drones
I'll begin today's column with a serious disclaimer: this is not an April Fools' Day prank. By now, you've probably already stumbled onto three or four prank tweets and Facebook posts, not to mention more than a few headlines, so I'll spare you the silliness. With that out of ...read more
Alex Jones' Latest: Obama is the Leader of Al-Qaida
Remember the days when there were three television networks, you could fill up your gas tank for $15 and Guy Fieri was just a homophobic, talentless, annoyingly "stoked" tween named "Guy Ferry" rather than a homophobic, talentless, annoyingly "stoked" television mogul? Ah yes, ...read more
Greenwald: 'Drone Apologists' and 'Democratic Partisans' Are Racists
Glenn Greenwald's ongoing crusade against anyone who dares to see nuance in the debate over targeted killings and the war on terrorism has risen to a not-so-surprising new level. Namely, Americans who oppose targeted killings of American citizens on American soil today, but who ...read more
The Most Terrifying Drone Ever! Run Away!
When I began the day, I promised myself I wasn't going to write about drones or Glenn Greenwald or the war on terrorism again, but after I read a tweet he posted today I simply couldn't help myself. In fact, I started an entirely different post today until the following tweet ...read more
The Endless Drone of Sirota and Greenwald
This has been alluded to a couple of times here over the past two days, mostly by the always thoughtful and analytical Bob Cesca, but as usual I'll be the one to dispense with all the pleasantries and just come right out and say it: Fuck Glenn Greenwald and David Sirota. Fuck ...read more
My Continuing Adventures in the Drone Debate
Over the weekend, I spent several hours debating the overlapping topics of drones, the war on terror, Eric Holder, Rand Paul and, yes, semantics with Glenn Greenwald on Twitter. Not shockingly, several of my closest friends wondered out loud why on Earth I would engage in such ...read more
More Support for the Filibuster
Richard A. Arenberg has written a much more eloquent defense of the filibuster than mine. He is a former Senate staffer for Senators Paul Tsongas, Carl Levin and George Mitchell (who spent time as majority leader -- all three senators were Democrats.). "The right in the Senate ...read more
Mr. Paul Goes to Washington
He may not be Mr. Smith but Senator Rand Paul did exactly what I like to see Senators do, he executed an old school filibuster. Sorry, Bob Cesca but I read the Eric Holder letter and to be honest, I think Paul has a point. Here's the actual letter. The language that started ...read more
And, No. Drones Will Not Kill You While You Drink Coffee at Starbucks.
Every time I write about predator drones or anything associated with the technology, it seems I have to write two back-to-back items: one post laying out what I believe to be a rational, reasonable, historically-sourced argument which, at the end of the day, is skeptical of the ...read more
Rand Paul's Filibuster Ends After 13 Hours
The Daily Banter Headline Grab from TPM: Libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)'s filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency ended after nearly 13 hours on Thursday morning after a contentious debate on civil liberties, namely ...read more
No. Holder Didn't Say Obama Can Use Drones To Kill Citizens on American Soil.
As I've written before, it's becoming increasingly difficult to carry on a rational discussion about the use of lethal force against enemy combatants born in the U.S., as well as the use of drones as a military weapon. To backtrack by way of re-emphasizing my view: the president ...read more
How Does the U.S. Mark Unidentified Men in Pakistan and Yemen as Drone Targets?
By Cora Currier, Pro Publica Earlier this week, we wrote about a significant but often overlooked aspect of the drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen: so-called signature strikes, in which the U.S. kills people whose identities aren’t confirmed. While President Obama and ...read more
Drone Danger: Making War Too Easy
U.S. Marine uses the optic lens on his M4 carbine to scan the area in the Kajak district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province on Feb. 8, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kowshon Ye) By Ivan Eland Although so far, President Barack Obama seems to have less warlike ...read more
I Evidently Have to Scream 'Baby Killer!' or I'm an Obamabot
The harshest critics of my column, "No, President Obama Is Not 'Worse Than Bush' on National Security," posted both here at The Daily Banter and on The Huffington Post, were anti-Obama screechers to my left (I evidently have a left) and the most common refrain was that I'm an ...read more
Obama Defends Drone Program in Google Hangout
The Daily Banter Headline Grab (from the Yahoo! News): President Barack Obama defended his administration’s use of drones to target and assassinate Americans overseas believed to be working with terrorists, insisting the government is following the law on what it can and ...read more
Assessing the Laws of the Drone Wars
President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary (and former CIA Director) Leon Panetta review troops at Joint Base Myer-Henderson in Arlington, Virginia, Feb. 8, 2013. (White House Photo by Pete Souza) By Dennis J. Bernstein New disclosures regarding President Barack Obama’s use ...read more
No, Obama Is Not 'Worse Than Bush' on National Security
Just when I thought it was safe to carry on a conversation on the left about various Obama administration policies, the phrases "same as Bush" or "worse than Bush" have skulked back into popular use thanks to the leaked Office of Legal Counsel white paper on the targeted killing ...read more
The '60s Brand of Protesting Doesn't Work Anymore
I've said this sort of thing before many times. Matt Taibbi's said it. David Cross does an entire bit about it. But no matter how often it's repeated, there are still those out there on the left who live in their own little epistemic bubble and don't seem to get something: ...read more
The Daily Banter Mail Bag! Gun Control! Eternal Elections! Drones!
Welcome to this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mailbag! Today, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss the loss of momentum in the gun control debate, endless presidential campaigns, and the White House drone memo. The questions: 1) It feels like the momentum gun control advocates had ...read more
CIA Director Nominee Defends Drones, Targeted Killing of Americans
The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From AP: CIA Director-designate John Brennan strongly defended anti-terror attacks by unmanned drones Thursday under close questioning at a protest-disrupted confirmation hearing. On a second controversial topic, he said that after reading a ...read more