Report Reveals Details of Obama’s Drone Program

originally posted at the New American Magazine

The headline in the Long War Journal reports: “2 al Qaeda leaders reported killed in Mir Ali drone strike.” The story fills in the details — those that can be ascertained without any official recognition of the strike or the deaths — saying:

Two al Qaeda commanders are reported to have been killed in Monday’s drone strike in the Mir Ali area of Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan. The report of the al Qaeda commanders’ deaths has not been confirmed.

Abu Kasha al Iraqi, an al Qaeda leader who serves as a key link to the Taliban and supports al Qaeda’s external operations network, and Fateh al Turki, a previously unidentified leader, are said to have been killed in the Sept. 24 airstrike in the Mir Ali area, Pakistani intelligence officials, Taliban commanders, and local tribesmen told Dawn. Between five and six people were reportedly killed in the drone strike on a compound.

As Pakistan continues to be bombarded by missiles fired from U.S. drones, information revealed in a recent report compiled jointly by the law schools of New York University and Stanford demonstrates that such attacks “cause considerable and under-accounted for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury.”

The report entitled Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan contains tragic details of the myriad ways that President Obama’s death-by-drone program is devastating the lives of ordinary Pakistanis who have no connection to terror other than the fact that they are being constantly terrorized by the government of the United States.


Propaganda against the state

A Vietnamese court sentenced three bloggers to jail sentences between four and 12 years on Monday.

Their crime? Spreading “propaganda against the state.”

Americans tend to recoil at such violations of the basic right to speak and write freely.  The official U.S. response called the sentences “troubling.”

“These convictions are the latest in a series of moves by Vietnamese authorities to restrict freedom of expression. The Vietnamese government should release these three bloggers, all prisoners of conscience, and adhere to its international obligations immediately,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

But as I thought about the charges, I had to wonder just how different we really are here in the United States.  Just a month ago, federal authorities questioned former Marine Brandon Raub about posts on his Facebook page, and police had him involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility for “evaluation” in Virginia.

Granted, Raub’s case was exceptional. Police don’t typically break down Americans’ doors when they criticize the government. But an underlying current, not unlike the one that led to the jailing of those Vietnamese bloggers, runs just below the surface in the United States. Criticizing “the state” just doesn’t sit well with most Americans. Oh, it’s cool to run down the president if he’s a member of the “other party.” And nobody gets too bent out of shape if you slam the IRS or the TSA. Congress? Yeah, its fair game too.  Criticizing the government won’t get you in too much trouble in the U.S.A. Except maybe with some paranoid law enforcement types, or with the folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center.


Why Should Oregon Nullify Obamacare? (When Kitzcare is Still in Effect)

Everywhere I go, I try to build momentum for nullifying Obamacare. People have been surprisingly luke-warm to the idea, however, many say that it’s impossible as long as Kitz is in office. To this I say, Kitz is not a dictator! His veto(s) can be overridden (and even if they couldn’t, that would just mean that we need to go a different route). A ballot initiative, or a referendum can go around the Governor.

Many wonder why we should expend the amount of energy required to try and nullify ‘Obamacare,’ when we’ll still be in the same boat with ‘Kitzcare’ anyway!? This is a good question, and I hope that this article will convince anyone who has any doubt, that this is energy will be well-spent.

First, lets begin with the ethical reasons, that is, the reasons why we should do it regardless of what we actually get out of it: