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Thread: Brennan's Drone Memos and Support for Torture

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    Skeptic Bluegrass's Avatar
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    Brennan's Drone Memos and Support for Torture

    It looks like Brennan's drone memos are being released ahead of his confirmation hearing, in response to growing concern over his role in the drone program, and support for torture during the Bush Admin.

    It's been reported that part of Obama's assassination program has been running from a drone base in Saudi Arabia:

    The facility was established to hunt for members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen.
    A drone flown from there was used in September 2011 to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who was alleged to be AQAP's external operations chief.

    US media have known of its existence since then, but have not reported it.


    Senior government officials had said they were concerned that disclosure would undermine operations against AQAP, as well as potentially damage counter-terrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia....

    ...The Washington Post reported that President Barack Obama's counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, a former CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, played a key role in negotiations with the government in Riyadh over building the drone base.


    Senators are expected to ask Mr Brennan about drone strikes, the memo and the killing of Awlaki when he faces a confirmation hearing on his nomination to become the new CIA director on Thursday.
    BBC News - CIA operating drone base in Saudi Arabia, US media reveal

    FAIR has recalled a 2007 interview with Brennan, and his support for torture:

    That Brennan was a supporter of torture is not a claim or an accusation, though–it's a matter of public record. As we pointed out after Brennan's name was withdrawn in 2009, here's what he had to say to CBS News in 2007 (Early Show, 11/2/07):

    The CIA has acknowledged that it has detained about 100 terrorists since 9/11, and about a third of them have been subjected to what the CIA refers to as enhanced interrogation tactics, and only a small proportion of those have in fact been subjected to the most serious types of enhanced procedures…. There have been a lot of information that has come out from these interrogation procedures that the agency has in fact used against the real hard-core terrorists. It has saved lives. And let's not forget, these are hardened terrorists who have been responsible for 9/11, who have shown no remorse at all for the deaths of 3,000 innocents.

    If the words "support" and "torture" have any meaning, then Brennan is supporting torture there. This is another example of how in order to be an "objective" reporter, you have to deny that there's any such thing as objective reality.
    Brennan's Support for Torture Is Not an 'Accusation'

    Since the torture criteria carried over to the assassination criteria in the drone program, it's logical to have concern about the next door to be opened in future administrations.
    Last edited by Bluegrass; 7th February 2013 at 05:16 AM.
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    Iran has allegedly released video that was extracted from a downed U.S. drone:



    (Reuters) - Iran released what it said was the decoded footage taken by a US reconnaissance drone plane that it captured more than a year ago, Iranian media reported.


    The grainy footage was broadcast on Iranian television late on Wednesday and showed images of what officials said were a US base inside Afghanistan and several other aerial shots.


    It featured narration from the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps aerospace force, Amir Ali Hajizadeh.

    "After we decrypted the data ... we realized that this aircraft had made a lot of flights inside regional countries and was directing much fighting in Pakistan," he said, according to Mehr news agency...
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9160D620130207
    Last edited by Bluegrass; 7th February 2013 at 05:41 AM.

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    Senior Member bajisima's Avatar
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    What really bothers me about the drone argument is we talk about them being necessary for future security. Now sure unmanned drones are great instead of sending actual soldiers in for spying or war but how far does it go? What about a hacker getting in and having one shoot up a bus full of kids and saying we did it? Or how about them being used here by police to spy or go after "supposed" lawbreakers? Also how about the whole issue of sovereignty? Is it right to secretly fly these things into someone elses airspace? How would we feel about the Chinese sending them over here to watch us? Then there is always the corporate game, who makes them and what is their agenda? I think when dealing with the brilliant minds in the military industrial complex the saying "just because we can doesn't mean we should" comes into play.
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    Skeptic Bluegrass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    What really bothers me about the drone argument is we talk about them being necessary for future security. Now sure unmanned drones are great instead of sending actual soldiers in for spying or war but how far does it go? What about a hacker getting in and having one shoot up a bus full of kids and saying we did it? Or how about them being used here by police to spy or go after "supposed" lawbreakers? Also how about the whole issue of sovereignty? Is it right to secretly fly these things into someone elses airspace? How would we feel about the Chinese sending them over here to watch us? Then there is always the corporate game, who makes them and what is their agenda? I think when dealing with the brilliant minds in the military industrial complex the saying "just because we can doesn't mean we should" comes into play.
    It definitely contradicts the "they hate us for our freedom" talking points, parroted by pro-war factions since 9/11.

    Good points, and considering that our defense spending per year is now over $1 trillion, it's absolutely amazing that in the richest country in the world, any public access to things like healthcare and education is met with not only shrugs, but outright hostility. I mean, it's actually jaw-dropping. The public is working longer and longer hours with decreasing benefits, and lawmakers are barely tinkering with the system.

    If someone can't give a good reason why the most wealthy country in the world can spend 50% of the world's defense spending, bail out criminal financial corporations with billions of taxpayer money, and not provide basic access to things like healthcare and higher education, then it's obvious whose interests are being met.
    Last edited by Bluegrass; 7th February 2013 at 06:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    What really bothers me about the drone argument is we talk about them being necessary for future security. Now sure unmanned drones are great instead of sending actual soldiers in for spying or war but how far does it go? What about a hacker getting in and having one shoot up a bus full of kids and saying we did it? Or how about them being used here by police to spy or go after "supposed" lawbreakers? Also how about the whole issue of sovereignty? Is it right to secretly fly these things into someone elses airspace? How would we feel about the Chinese sending them over here to watch us? Then there is always the corporate game, who makes them and what is their agenda? I think when dealing with the brilliant minds in the military industrial complex the saying "just because we can doesn't mean we should" comes into play.
    Excellent questions. I wish you were on the Intelligence Committee. That hearing starts at 2:30 ET today, I hope it doesn't turn out to be a lot of okey doke, "I'll get you an answer in writing" because none of us who pay for all this crap are allowed to know anything about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass View Post
    It definitely contradicts the "they hate us for our freedom" talking points, parroted by pro-war factions since 9/11.

    Good points, and considering that our defense spending per year is now over $1 trillion, it's absolutely amazing that in the richest country in the world, any public access to things like healthcare and education is met with not only shrugs, but outright hostility. I mean, it's actually jaw-dropping. The public is working longer and longer hours with decreasing benefits, and lawmakers are barely tinkering with the system.

    If someone can't give a good reason why the most wealthy country in the world can spend 50% of the world's defense spending, bail out criminal financial corporations with billions of taxpayer money, and not provide basic access to things like healthcare and higher education, then it's obvious whose interests are being met.
    You forgot "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here" which I'm beginning to think may have actually meant "Use them over there for target practice and when you get good enough at not hitting innocent bystanders we'll let you go after the high value targets here in the US."

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    Senior Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueneck View Post
    Excellent questions. I wish you were on the Intelligence Committee. That hearing starts at 2:30 ET today, I hope it doesn't turn out to be a lot of okey doke, "I'll get you an answer in writing" because none of us who pay for all this crap are allowed to know anything about it.
    It probably will be more of the same head nodding and yes sir stuff. It really makes my blood boil. Maybe I have seen way too many apocalyptic sci fi movies but this whole drone thing could end very badly..considering how everyone is already on edge all over the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass View Post
    It definitely contradicts the "they hate us for our freedom" talking points, parroted by pro-war factions since 9/11.

    Good points, and considering that our defense spending per year is now over $1 trillion, it's absolutely amazing that in the richest country in the world, any public access to things like healthcare and education is met with not only shrugs, but outright hostility. I mean, it's actually jaw-dropping. The public is working longer and longer hours with decreasing benefits, and lawmakers are barely tinkering with the system.

    If someone can't give a good reason why the most wealthy country in the world can spend 50% of the world's defense spending, bail out criminal financial corporations with billions of taxpayer money, and not provide basic access to things like healthcare and higher education, then it's obvious whose interests are being met.
    I hope I don't change the subject, but I hope we always continue to spend big on national defense to the detrament of healthcare. We need to protect our national security while we are in our most productive and lively years. To a point, leave it each individual's responsibility to live in a manner that promotes vibrant, long-term health. Why risk our nation's security to produce only a few last years of struggling with our health when death is inevitable anyway.

    Now, drones?...yes, keep an eye on these things. But is it already too late?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    What really bothers me about the drone argument is we talk about them being necessary for future security.
    So? Its a weapon like any other, the only difference is that the weapon is being flown by wire.

    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Now sure unmanned drones are great instead of sending actual soldiers in for spying or war but how far does it go?
    Anytime that you can keep your forces out of reach of the enemy, that's to your advantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    What about a hacker getting in and having one shoot up a bus full of kids and saying we did it?
    That's a false flag attack, the most notorious example in recent history was Germany's invasion of Poland where concentration camp inmates were dressed up as Polish soldiers and executed around a German radio station near the border for purposes of propaganda to at least try to justify the invasion of Poland. It didn't work of course. During war, combatants have been capturing uniforms, weapons etc from the other side since the beginning of warfare, there's nothing really different here except the mode -- hacking. If the platform is susceptible, truly susceptible to hacking, well, then you simply have a weapon's platform that isn't actually effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Or how about them being used here by police to spy or go after "supposed" lawbreakers?
    NYPD has helicopters, I see them, they're up there. They're in boats too. Now don't get me wrong, if they start using it as a military weapon then you have a problem because the enforcement of civil law and the utilization of military force are two different kinds of force. You couldn't use the drone to fire a missile at a car that had been stolen blowing the car and the grand theft auto suspect into smithereens, that doesn't work.

    As long as the drone's senses AREN'T ENHANCED, ie with X-Ray or infrared (which you would need a warrant for)

    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Also how about the whole issue of sovereignty? Is it right to secretly fly these things into someone elses airspace? How would we feel about the Chinese sending them over here to watch us?
    Right now the Iranians claim they shot down one of our drones. Maybe they did, I really don't know, but note how we're not really claiming that Iran's action was an act of war -- of course not, we flew in, they shot the fucking thing down. Iran would be within their rights to view the intrusion as a military threat and respond accordingly. Whether its right or not? That's up to Congress and the President.

    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Then there is always the corporate game, who makes them and what is their agenda?
    No different agenda than that expressed by Eisenhower's military-industrial complex speech, right? They want to make them because they can sell them for a profit. That's no different from any other military contractor really. Don't get me wrong, I hope they slash the military budget down to $150 billion per year, but the 'pilotless' aspect of this weapon isn't an objection to me. It seems the word 'drone' has people in a tizzy.

    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    I think when dealing with the brilliant minds in the military industrial complex the saying "just because we can doesn't mean we should" comes into play.
    Well, fair enough, and I actually agree their devilish creations lead me to believe that they're all pretty sick in the head. But this weapon isn't particularly destructive relative to the other devilish creations they have made. In a certain sense its actually more precise and less destructive than its predecessor, the cruise missile. If the Predator were manned, its performance capabilities wouldn't be impressive at all when compared to any other manned aircraft in our arsenal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass View Post
    It definitely contradicts the "they hate us for our freedom" talking points, parroted by pro-war factions since 9/11.
    Well they do to a certain extent because their freedom is subject to the Sharia (see Cairo Declaration) and our paradigm challenges that notion and many don't care for that one iota.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrass View Post
    Good points, and considering that our defense spending per year is now over $1 trillion, it's absolutely amazing that in the richest country in the world, any public access to things like healthcare and education is met with not only shrugs, but outright hostility. I mean, it's actually jaw-dropping.
    Last year it was a little over $700bn and this year its between $650-$700bn (a little less?), but while off a little bit the point is still the same, and frankly its not jaw-dropping, its just fucking insane.
    Last edited by NewPublius; 7th February 2013 at 07:23 AM.

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    Skeptic Bluegrass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewPublius View Post
    Well they do to a certain extent because their freedom is subject to the Sharia (see Cairo Declaration) and our paradigm challenges that notion and many don't care for that one iota.
    Fundamentalists may embrace Sharia law and have contempt for the civic functions of free speech and religion, but to use that as rationale for why they would invest resources into terrorism, thus opening the door for U.S. occupation, doesn't make sense. What makes sense is the angry desperation provoked by U.S. foreign policy for decades. When they see the U.S. embrace "democracy" only in proportion to those countries that serve power, they know that actual democracy works against U.S. objectives in the region.

    Many of those oppressive governments have been fully supported by the U.S. The Arab Spring alone illustrated this, as U.S. allies squashed democratic uprisings in Bahrain. The Obama Admin literally said of the Saudis that "this isn't an invasion." Egypt's government was militarily supported by the U.S. This is the story across the region.

    Last year it was a little over $700bn and this year its between $650-$700bn (a little less?), but while off a little bit the point is still the same, and frankly its not jaw-dropping, its just fucking insane.
    If you total all defense-related expenditures for 2012, the total comes out at over $1 trillion dollars, which also includes interest on war debt. And yes, it's crazy.

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