dimanche 11 avril 2010

Is Barack Obama out of his fucking mind ?

This is a joke, right ?

U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric
Published: April 6, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.
It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, (no kidding ?) officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.
(Note : That this guy doesn't know doesn't mean there weren't any : The Washington Post, January 27, 2010 : "In November 2002, a CIA missile strike killed six al-Qaeda operatives driving through the desert. The target was Abu Ali al-Harithi, organizer of the 2000 attack on the USS Cole. Killed with him was a U.S. citizen, Kamal Derwish, who the CIA knew was in the car.
Word that the CIA had purposefully killed Derwish drew attention to the unconventional nature of the new conflict and to the secret legal deliberations over whether killing a U.S. citizen was legal and ethical."
Well, is killing a U.S. citizen legal and ethical ?
I have other questions : Is the sky green ?
Do bears shit in the sea ?
Is killing ANY citizen legal and ethical ?)

But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in February that such a step was possible. “We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community,” he said. “If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.” (Oh, they got permission, that's nice !) He did not name Mr. Awlaki as a target.

The step taken against Mr. Awlaki, which occurred earlier this year, is a vivid illustration of his rise to prominence in the constellation of terrorist leaders. But his popularity as a cleric, whose lectures on Islamic scripture have a large following among English-speaking Muslims, means any action against him could rebound against the United States in the larger ideological campaign against Al Qaeda.
The possibility that Mr. Awlaki might be added to the target list was reported by The Los Angeles Times in January, and Reuters reported on Tuesday that he was approved for capture or killing.
“The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words,” said an American official, who like other current and former officials interviewed for this article spoke of the classified counterterrorism measures on the condition of anonymity. “He’s gotten involved in plots.”

The official added: “The United States works, exactly as the American people expect, ( really ????) to overcome threats to their security, and this individual — through his own actions — has become one. Awlaki knows what he’s done, and he knows he won’t be met with handshakes and flowers. None of this should surprise anyone.” (I am now at a loss for words...)
As a general principle, international law permits the use of lethal force against individuals and groups that pose an imminent threat to a country, (darn, they didn't teach me this at law school...) and officials said that was the standard used in adding names to the list of targets. In addition, Congress approved the use of military force against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. People on the target list are considered to be military enemies of the United States and therefore not subject to the ban on political assassination first approved by President Gerald R. Ford.
Both the C.I.A. and the military maintain lists of terrorists linked to Al Qaeda and its affiliates who are approved for capture or killing, former officials said. But because Mr. Awlaki is an American, his inclusion on those lists had to be approved by the National Security Council, the officials said.

(Note : Structure of the United States National Security Council (Wikipedia)
Chair : Barack Obama (President of the United States)
Statutory Attendees : Joe Biden (Vice President of the United States)
Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State)
Robert M. Gates (Secretary of Defense)
Military Advisor : ADM Michael Mullen (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
Intelligence Advisor : Dennis C. Blair (Director of National Intelligence)

Regular Attendees : James L. Jones (National Security Advisor)
Rahm Emanuel (Chief of Staff to the President)
Thomas E. Donilon (Deputy National Security Advisor)
Additional Participants : Tim Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury)
Eric Holder (Attorney General)
Janet Napolitano (Secretary of Homeland Security)
Bob Bauer (Counsel to the President)
Lawrence Summers (Assistant to the President for Economic Policy)
Susan Rice (Ambassador to the United Nations)
Peter Orszag (Director of Office of Management and Budget)

That's 14 more people out of their fucking minds...)

At a panel discussion in Washington on Tuesday, Representative Jane Harman, Democrat of California and chairwoman of a House subcommittee on homeland security, called Mr. Awlaki “probably the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us.”

Nope : it does not look like a joke, even though Vanity Fair seems to think it is. And it's getting worse :

The Times, March 25, 2010 : "After 9/11, George W. Bush was granted broad executive powers to combat terrorism around the world, and under Barack Obama the programme of killing using drones has accelerated sharply. Unmanned planes are used routinely to pick out specific enemies, not just in the wild Pakistani borderlands but in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.
President Obama has ordered more drone strikes on terrorist targets in his first year in office than President Bush did in two terms. Of the 99 drone attacks carried out in Pakistan since 2004, 89 occurred after January 2008; last year there were a record 50 drone strikes, up from 31 the year before."

And worse :

The Guardian, Sunday 11 April 2010 : "Conservative estimates from thinktanks such as the New American Foundation claim that civilian casualties from drone attacks are around one in three, although this figure is disputed by the Pakistani authorities. According to Pakistani official statistics, every month an average of 58 civilians were killed during 2009. Of the 44 Predator drone attacks that year, only five targets were correctly identified; the result was over 700 civilian casualties."

"Harold Koh, the legal adviser to the US state department, explained the justifications behind unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) when addressing the American Society of International Law's annual meeting on 25 March 2010 :
"[I]t is the considered view of this administration … that targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war … As recent events have shown, al-Qaida has not abandoned its intent to attack the United States, and indeed continues to attack us. Thus, in this ongoing armed conflict, the United States has the authority under international law, and the responsibility to its citizens, to use force, including lethal force, to defend itself, including by targeting persons such as high-level al Qaeda leaders who are planning attacks … [T]his administration has carefully reviewed the rules governing targeting operations to ensure that these operations are conducted consistently with law of war principles …
"[S]ome have argued that the use of lethal force against specific individuals fails to provide adequate process and thus constitutes unlawful extrajudicial killing. But a state that is engaged in armed conflict or in legitimate self-defense is not required to provide targets with legal process before the state may use lethal force. Our procedures and practices for identifying lawful targets are extremely robust, and advanced technologies have helped to make our targeting even more precise. In my experience, the principles of distinction and proportionality that the United States applies are not just recited at meeting. They are implemented rigorously throughout the planning and execution of lethal operations to ensure that such operations are conducted in accordance with all applicable law."

This is complete bullshit. This is bullshit at a level that not even Condoleezza Rice dared to approach in her most brazenly creative attempts at reinventing international law.
I will repeat it, with The Guardian of civilized London : "The laws of war do not allow for the targeting of individuals outside of the conflict zone" like Yemen, Somalia or Pakistan.)

NY Times U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric (this article)
Wahington Post : Muslim cleric Aulaqi is 1st U.S. citizen on list of those CIA is allowed to kill
Salon : Confirmed: Obama authorizes assassination of U.S. citizen
Vanity Fair : What Does a U.S. Citizen Have to Do to Make Obama Want to Kill Him?
The Guardian : The 'Obama doctrine': kill, don't detain
Washington Post : U.S. military teams, intelligence deeply involved in aiding Yemen on strikes
Gawker : Obama Does Something Bloodthirsty Enough to Please the Psychos
National Review : Obama OK's Targeted Assassination of Awlaki, a U.S. Citizen
The Washington Independant : Why Is It Legal to Kill Anwar al-Awlaki ?

vendredi 2 avril 2010

Blasphème de Pâques

Christ Getting In Shape For Second Coming
April 4, 2007
ISSUE 43•14

HEAVEN—Emerging from a grueling 90 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and light lifting for tone, Son of God Jesus Christ said Monday that He is "definitely on track" to achieve peak fitness condition for the Second Coming.
"If every eye is going to see Me, and all the tribes of earth are going to wail on account of Me, I think I owe it to them and to Myself to be in the best shape of My life," Christ said. "Right now I'm up to 35 minutes at seven [miles per hour] on the treadmill and benching about 165 [pounds]."
"I'm really starting to feel like I'll have the strength and endurance to move every mountain and island from its place," Christ added.
Since His birthday last Dec. 25, Christ has committed Himself to a demanding daily regimen of exercise and prophecy fulfillment. Each of His workouts, Christ said, starts with an hour of cardio, after which He focuses on two muscle groups, replacing conventional free weights with the Rod of Iron with which He intends to rule all nations.
"There can be no day of rest," said Christ, His eyes filled with flaming fire. "Rest is for mortals."
The determined Savior has also forsworn His favorite high-calorie, high-carb foods such as fatted calf, loaves, and even His own body and blood, instead embracing muscle-building high-protein shakes and electrolyte-replacing sports drinks. And when temptation calls, Christ need only look at two pictures taped to His refrigerator: an icon of Himself prior to starting His regimen and a reproduction of Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" fresco torn from a magazine.

"The thought of being unable to seize the seven-headed serpent and hurl it into the abyss really keeps Me motivated," Christ said.
The Lamb of God said He made the decision to get in shape late last year when, after two millennia of relative inactivity, He realized that at His age there was "no way" He could return to Earth, judge the souls of the innocent and wicked alike, and reign over the Kingdom of God for 1,000 years without prior conditioning.
"The Second Coming isn't just Me sitting on a great white throne and judging away," Christ said. "I also have to make all of the stars fall and shake all the powers in Heaven. That's why I've been working a lot with the medicine ball."

Christ, however, admitted that centuries of heavenly grace had enabled Him to "really let [Himself] go."
"I can't lead the armies of Heaven looking like some flabby slob," said Christ, who declined to disclose His "before" weight. "That guy can't be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The faithful want a Messiah they can truly fear, not someone who's afraid to take off His shirt in public."
At first, Christ said He thought such a physical transformation would "take a miracle." During the first couple weeks of His exercise program, He couldn't work out on the treadmill for more than 10 minutes without gasping for breath and aggravating the old spear-point injury in His side. Now that He can deftly complete 20 ab-bench push-ups on the highest incline and almost as many chin-ups, Christ said, He feels more energetic than He has since His early 30s.
And not only has frequent exercise made Christ feel more healthy and confident, it's "cleared [His] head, which will really help [Him] deal with the massive amount of smiting and condemning."
Encouraged by His progress, particularly the increased definition in His pectoral and abdominal muscles, Christ is focusing all of His attention on visualizing the success of His Second Coming.