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Last updateThu, 02 Jul 2015 6pm

LOS ANGELES Thursday, July 2nd 2015 7:35

 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Who Will the President Kill Next?

WAR’S TERRIBLE DECISIONS - The revelation that President Barack Obama is personally selecting names for a kill list of suspected al-Qaida terrorists is a striking illustration of what actually occurs behind the White House’s closed doors.

The New York Times revealed Tuesday how the president “has placed himself at the helm of a top secret ‘nominations’ process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical.” He insists “on approving every new name on an expanding ‘kill list,’ poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre ‘baseball cards’ of an unconventional war.”


The Times described how more than 100 members of “the government’s sprawling national security apparatus” meet in a video conference to go over potential nominees for the death list and “recommend to the president who should be the next to die.” The nominations then go to the White House where Obama, guided by his top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, approves names added to the list.

Brennan, without mentioning the president’s role, had outlined the process in an April 30 speech to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, posted on the Lawfare website. Those who make the list, he said, pose “a significant threat to United States interests.” In such cases, he said, stopping them would prevent attacks, and capture is “not feasible.” Each nominee “will go through a careful review and, as appropriate, will be evaluated by the most senior officials in our government for decision.” The most senior, of course, is the president.

The idea of Obama picking out individuals for the death list brings back memories of President Lyndon B. Johnson selecting targets for bombing in Vietnam. So intent was Johnson on micromanaging the war that he lost sight of how the bombing strengthened the will of North Vietnam.
Like Johnson, Obama micromanaging the drone attacks, with their killings of noncombatants, may be strengthening our foes.

In his first campaign for the presidency, Obama pledged to pull most troops out of Iraq and concentrate on Afghanistan, capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and defeating al-Qaida. It was his promise to end the Iraq War that got the attention and affection of liberals, who ignored the underplayed but consistent warlike aspects of his foreign policy pitch.

But even those of us who took note of that militaristic strain were surprised by the way Obama eased into the war president’s role so quickly, and with methods that would have sent liberals into fierce protest were it the George W. Bush years.

With drone technology growing more refined and deadly, Obama has dispatched the robotic killers on an increasing number of missions. Two of those assassinated by the machines were Americans—Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric, and Samir Khan, a U.S. citizen traveling with him. Awlaki, a propagandist who called for more attacks on the United States, had plotted with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the “underwear bomber” whose attack on an airliner bound for Detroit failed.

The Justice Department produced a memo justifying the killing of citizen-terrorists, saying that internal, secret executive branch deliberations satisfied Fifth Amendment requirements for due process. Such reasoning seems to constitute a threat to the freedom and the lives of any American targeted by the government as a terrorist or an accomplice. The Justice Department memo remains secret.

Obama’s drone attacks have also killed innocents, despite his efforts to prevent such deaths. Brennan defended the administration in his speech, saying that government “standards—for identifying a target and avoiding the loss of innocent civilians—exceed what is required as a matter of international law on a typical battlefield.”

But the Times’ story reported that Obama has approved “signature” strikes against training camps and compounds that American security personnel consider controlled by militants. Men loading fertilizer into trucks could be bomb makers, but they could also be farmers, the paper noted. In theory, a broad definition of a potential terrorist could mean attacks on compounds and villages with many fighting-aged men, as a way of eliminating them.

Pre-emptively killing potential fighters was a motive for the Balkans’ ethnic cleansing. We can assume that’s not going on with our government, but we have a right to be certain. With Obama’s secrecy, we’ll never know the criteria he uses for his death lists.

He and the rest of his administration brag about the killing of bin Laden as a justification for these deaths. But that was different. Bin Laden had been the subject of great public discussion for years. He was not some anonymous person put on a death list or an innocent killed in a drone attack.

In this election year, the Times story is probably a plus for Obama and his effort to project a tough image. If the process were put to a vote, most Americans would probably agree with his decisions.

But in 1942, most Americans agreed with President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he sent Americans of Japanese descent to prison camps. In the end, the imprisonment, planned in secret and sprung without warning on the victims, stained an otherwise admirable record. The secretive death list may do the same to Obama’s legacy.

(Bill Boyarsky is a journalist and blogs at truthdig.com where this column first appeared.) Photo credit:  Pablo Martinez Monsivais
–cw

Tags: Bill Boyarsky, President Obama, Franklin Roosevelt, terrorists, kill list, Lyndon Johnson, Iraq war, Afghanistan war, war







CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 44
Pub: June 1, 2012

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