January 22, 2013

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: CIA Drone War in Pakistan Exempt From Coming Drone “Playbook.”

Back when Mitt Romney (remember him?) looked like he might’ve been on his way to becoming the next president of the United States, Barack Obama and his team at the White House scrambled to put together some kind of rules for the use of drones to pursue targeted killings. Though Obama made drone warfare a centerpiece of his counterterrorism effort, relying far more heavily on the tactic than his predecessor George Bush ever did, codifying the process didn’t become an urgent concern until it actually looked like Obama’s presidency may have been coming to an end.

It didn’t of course, and Obama instead began his second term this weekend. It wasn’t his own inauguration that forced the codification of drone rules along, though, but the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA. Requiring confirmation by the Senate, the nomination provided the opportunity for senators to choose to question the White House’s drone war. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has asked Brennan to outline the rules for the use of drones in targeted killings. What’s known about the use of drones publicly indicates a “due process” almost entirely self-contained in the White House that’s seemingly immune from disclosure.

Funny, I’d swear that we used to have an antiwar movement that called for war crimes tribunals over stuff like this. I wonder where they went?

UPDATE: Kathy Kinsley emails:

Except for Cindy Sheehan (who I both dislike for her stance, and admire because she’s just not quitting), they all seemed to melt into thin air in late 2008. Perhaps because the anti-war protesters in Lyndon Johnson’s era recalled who won after they made him unpopular?

Peace with honor? I don’t think so. I can forgive Nixon’s Watergate, but I will NEVER forgive him Saigon’s helicopters.

I always suspected that the “antiwar” movement was just a shameful partisan ploy. And I was pretty much right, with the exceptions barely worth mentioning.

Oh, that goes for the press people who covered them, too.