"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Monday, October 29, 2012

America's unconstitutional Middle East wars


The Imperial Presidency  -  The US has attacked Libya, Somalia and Yemen with no vote at all from Congress
  • Members of Congress hide under their desks too frightened to go on the record with a yes or no vote on sending American troops to war.
  • Nearly every week the President is assassinating people without a trial on his orders alone.
  • Neither the lapdog Media nor an apathetic public will ask either candidate about the issue and the unconstitutional Imperial Presidency.

DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti — The Washington Post reports that around the clock, about 16 times a day, drones take off or land at a U.S. military base here, the combat hub for the Obama administration’s counter terrorism wars in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.

Some of the unmanned aircraft are bound for Somalia, the collapsed state whose border lies just 10 miles to the southeast. Most of the armed drones, however, veer north across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen, another unstable country where they are being used in an increasingly deadly war with an al-Qaeda franchise that has targeted the United States.

Camp Lemonnier, a sun-baked Third World outpost established by the French Foreign Legion, began as a temporary staging ground for U.S. Marines looking for a foothold in the region a decade ago. Over the past two years, the U.S. military has clandestinely transformed it into the busiest Predator drone base outside the Afghan war zone, a model for fighting a new generation of terrorist groups.

Drones in Yemen
The CIA wants the authority to launch "signature strikes". A signature strike means that they don't have to know the identities of those who could be killed, but can hit targets based solely on intelligence which indicates patterns of suspicious behavior.

The Obama administration has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal the legal and operational details of its targeted-killing program. Behind closed doors, painstaking debates precede each decision to place an individual in the cross hairs of the United States’ perpetual war against al-Qaeda and its allies.

Increasingly, the orders to find, track or kill those people are delivered to Camp Lemonnier.   Virtually the entire 500-acre camp is dedicated to counterterrorism, making it the only installation of its kind in the Pentagon’s global network of bases.

Secrecy blankets most of the camp’s activities. The U.S. military rejected requests from The Washington Post to tour Lemonnier last month. Officials cited “operational security concerns,” although they have permitted journalists to visit in the past.

About 300 Special Operations personnel plan raids and coordinate drone flights from inside a high-security compound at Lemonnier that is dotted with satellite dishes and ringed by concertina wire. Most of the commandos work incognito, concealing their names even from conventional troops on the base.

Other counter terrorism work at Lemonnier is more overt. All told, about 3,200 U.S. troops, civilians and contractors are assigned to the camp, where they train foreign militaries, gather intelligence and dole out humanitarian aid across East Africa as part of a campaign to prevent extremists from taking root.

In Washington, the Obama administration has taken a series of steps to sustain the drone campaign for another decade, developing an elaborate new targeting database, called the “disposition matrix,” and a classified “playbook” to spell out how decisions on targeted killing are made.
For the full story go to The Washington Post.

War of 1812.
President James Madison gives a bloody nose to King George III.

Madison both wrote and followed the Constitution.
Unlike Caesar Obama and many other modern Presidents, Madison asked Congress for a debate and a vote if the nation should go to war or not.

No comments: