Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name (Can Be Secretly Targeted For Assassination Without Judicial Review)

I've made no secret of my love for Glenn Greenwald in this space, as he's probably the one national political writer I ever regularly agree with. Mostly because he, unlike most political commentators, calls everyone out for abusing our constitutional freedoms, regardless of whether their name is followed with an R or a D.

To wit, check out this superb article about how that great progressive Obama and his staff have defined the word "militant." It turns out that our government now officially defines as a "militant" any adult male who dies in an attack, unless there is specific evidence to prove otherwise. So in other words, all adult men who live in any nation we don't like are now literally guilty until (post-humously) proven innocent.

This stretchy and sketchy (ooo! rhyming burn!) counting method has a lot of implications. The first and hopefully most obvious is that this runs directly against pretty much everything in our constitution and judicial history.

But the bigger story is how this ridiculous definition allows for some amazing propaganda. For instance, the Obama administration is able to claim that of the now hundreds of people killed by drone strikes in Pakistan, less than 10 of those people are counted as civilians (the rest being militants on account of their having a penis and being over 18, not to mention being all brown and scary), a number so low even administration officials have publicly expressed concern over how obviously bullshit this is.

What's even crazier about this is it really highlights how complicit and subservient our media has become. Because this absurd definition is actually public knowledge and has been reported on a handful of times. So even though any human being with basic mental faculties could see at the very least that you can't take administration claims about militants at face value (since they're more or less admitted they're just making this shit up), newspapers all across the nation continue to trumpet our continual killing of "militants" without any mention of the obvious civilian deaths or even the fact that we don't have any reason to believe the people killed were actually militants.

But hey, thank God we don't have state-run media, or we'd all be in danger of only getting propaganda instead of the hard-hitting, fact-finding reports we're used to...

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