Præsident Obama holder Terror Tirsdage, hvor han bliver præsenteret for en række billedkort med muslimske mænd, udset til likvidering. Kongen af PR giver så enten tommel op eller ned, om de skal leve eller dø. Derefter sender CIA missiler af sted mod deres landsby, bil eller motorcykel – fra fjernstyrede droner. Artiklen beskriver også hvordan Obama og USA nu betegner alle bombedræbte som militante eller formodede militante. På den måde undgår man at dræbe uskyldige i civilbefolkningen. Og er du nabo til en formodet terrorist, eller står du tæt på en i bussen – ja, så er du nok ikke helt uskyldig og kan derfor slås ihjel i terrorbekæmpelsens navn. Du er nu en (død) formodet terrorist.
USA bruger nu ikke længere bare tortur som redskab, men også egentlig terror for at bekæmpe dem som kunne tænkes at tænke på at begå terror mod USA: I sidste uge beordrede Obama to mand på en knallert i Pakistan dræbt. Den klarede CIA med et missil fra en drone. Efter den første raket ramte, og dræbte de to personer, affyrede de endnu et missil mod reddere og folk som havde samlet sig om “ulykkesstedet”. For at fuldende arbejdet, sendte Obama en drone og et Hellfire-missil mod begravelsen dagen efter. Dette er en del af CIA’s nye terror-strategi.
Obama må nu have fortjent endnu en Nobels Fredspris. En mand som har gjort sig til herre over hvem der skal leve eller dø – baseret på en PowerPoint-præsentation? Hvorfor diskuteres disse ting ikke i samtlige medier? Er det her ikke ret alvorligt? Er det ikke i det mindste en interessant historie for presse og TV? Bør vores repræsentanter i Folketinget og regeringen ikke informere os om disse ting? Hvor er public-service DR? Hvor er de kritiske journalister?
New York Times:
WASHINGTON — This was the enemy, served up in the latest chart from the intelligence agencies: 15 Qaeda suspects in Yemen with Western ties. The mug shots and brief biographies resembled a high school yearbook layout. Several were Americans. Two were teenagers, including a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years.
President Obama, overseeing the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meeting of two dozen security officials in the White House Situation Room, took a moment to study the faces. It was Jan. 19, 2010, the end of a first year in office punctuated by terrorist plots and culminating in a brush with catastrophe over Detroit on Christmas Day, a reminder that a successful attack could derail his presidency. Yet he faced adversaries without uniforms, often indistinguishable from the civilians around them.
“How old are these people?” he asked, according to two officials present. “If they are starting to use children,” he said of Al Qaeda, “we are moving into a whole different phase.”
It was not a theoretical question: Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.
Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.
Læs resten af den lange artikel i New York Times her og The President’s Kill List af Amy Davidson i The New Yorker.
Be assured of one thing: whichever candidate you choose at the polls in November, you aren’t just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief. The last two presidents may not have been emperors or kings, but they — and the vast national-security structure that continues to be built-up and institutionalized around the presidential self — are certainly one of the nightmares the founding fathers of this country warned us against. They are one of the reasons those founders put significant war powers in the hands of Congress, which they knew would be a slow, recalcitrant, deliberative body.President Obama being briefed by members of his national security team in the Situation Room (Credit: AP/The White House)
Thanks to a long New York Times piece by Jo Becker and Scott Shane, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” we now know that the president has spent startling amounts of time overseeing the “nomination” of terrorist suspects for assassination via the remotely piloted drone program he inherited from President George W. Bush and which he has expanded exponentially. Moreover, that article was based largely on interviews with “three dozen of his current and former advisers.” In other words, it was essentially an administration-inspired piece — columnist Robert Scheer calls it “planted” — on a “secret” program the president and those closest to him are quite proud of and want to brag about in an election year.
The language of the piece about our warrior president was generally sympathetic, even in places soaring. It focused on the moral dilemmas of a man who — we now know — has personally approved and overseen the growth of a remarkably robust assassination program in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan based on a “kill list.” Moreover, he’s regularly done so target by target, name by name. (The Times did not mention a recent U.S. drone strikein the Philippines that killed 15.) According to Becker and Shane, President Obama has also been involved in the use of a fraudulent method of counting drone kills, one that unrealistically deemphasizes civilian deaths.
The media now knows that “militant” is a term of official propaganda, yet still use it for America’s drone victims
Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that the Obama administration, in order to conceal civilian deaths caused by their drone attacks, “counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants.” Although I wrote at length about the NYT‘s various revelations, I wrote separately about that specific disclosure, in order to emphasize the implications for media outlets reporting on American drone attacks:
What kind of self-respecting media outlet would be party to this practice? Here’s the New York Times documenting that this is what the term “militant” means when used by government officials. Any media outlet that continues using it while knowing this is explicitly choosing to be an instrument for state propaganda.
Early this morning, the U.S. fired a missile from a drone in northwest Pakistan — its first since the NYT story – and killed two people. Here’s how The Washington Post is now touting the article about this attack on its online front page:
Readers who click on that story are greeted by an Associated Press story bearing this headline:
There is, as usual, no indication that these media outlets have any idea whatsoever about who was killed in these strikes. All they know is that “officials” (whether American or Pakistani) told them that they were “militants,” so they blindly repeat that as fact. They “report” this not only without having the slightest idea whether it’s true, but worse, with the full knowledge that the word “militant” is being aggressively distorted by deceitful U.S. government propaganda that defines the term to mean: any “military-age males” whom we kill (the use of the phrase “suspected militants” in the body of the article suffers the same infirmity).
How is it possible to have any informed democratic debate over a policy about which the U.S. media relentlessly propagandizes this way? If drone strikes kill nobody other than “militants,” then very few people will even think about opposing them (and that’s independent of the fact that the word “militant” is a wildly ambiguous term — militant about what? — though it is clearly designed (when combined with “Pakistan”) to evoke images of those who attacked the World Trade Center). Debate-suppression is not just the effect but the intent of this propaganda: like all propaganda, it is designed to deceive the citizenry in order to compel acquiescence to government conduct.
In light of this week’s revelation about what “militant” actually means when used by “officials,” there really needs to be some concerted, organized campaign to target media outlets every time they use the term this way. Because this particular article lacks a byline, one way to start here would be to complain to the Washington Post Ombudsman (whose contact information is in the last line here) and to Associated Press (at the email listed here). In the meantime, I’ve contacted AP requesting a response, and will work on a more organized effort to target media outlets every time they do this. This is nothing short of a deliberate government/media misinformation campaign about an obviously consequential policy.