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Lisa Longo Headshot

The Answer Is No

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This entire "debate" actually just annoys me -- what is the real issue here? This debate was on my Facebook page last night, and this blog is mostly comments from that debate. It won't be popular with liberals or conservatives, but I find the whole thing pretty despicable, and what Rand Paul did most of all. To accuse our president of plotting to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil as part of a publicity stunt? Well, I think Rand Paul needs to resign. He is a man on a mission, but the mission is not what is true or in the best interest of "we the people," the day after his little stunt he sent out a totally false fundraiser letter claiming his inability to shut up somehow altered U.S. policy. Honestly, this egomaniac is actually an elected official.

What is going on? Why the sudden questions? Well, it all started with a letter Rand Paul wrote to our attorney general. And in his first reply Attorney General Eric Holder said, well under certain circumstances, I guess there might be circumstances where we could use a drone on U.S. soil. What circumstances? Could you be in danger of a drone strike? Well, have you plotted the death of Americans and destruction of our government? If not, you are safe.

I've read many different reports on this, and at the end, they all come down to the same thing, the answer is no. Here is my question: If Timothy McVeigh had been killed by a drone because he was about to blow up a federal building, would that have been justified? What if he was "just" shot? What about the guy in California who was burned in that cabin? Where was his due process? Our government has always had the right to use lethal force against enemies, this is a new weapon, not a new policy. I see it as just another red herring to try to make people distrust the black man in the White House and the other black man in charge of the Justice Department.

Feel free to comment, I am well aware I will bring on the ire of both sides on this issue, conservatives and liberals both, and here is the thing, I don't agree with the use of drones, but guess what? No one asked if I approved, and no one asked if I approved of the invasion of Iraq either.

There are lots of policy issues I disagree with, but this week we did have one other announcement that made news, the decision to try a terrorist in New York, not Guantanamo. Why and who is for it, who is against it? Well, our president has wanted to close Guantanamo and move these trials to New York for some time now. Did you know that in fact, the military tribunals at Guantanamo have been largely symbolic? That in fact, trying terrorists in a U.S. Court of law has actually been seen as not only more "successful" but seems to provide due process to terrorists.

What? Who is responsible for this? Our president. This is what he has been doing, against the objections of the GOP, who want to continue with what has been described as little more than a "kangaroo" court.

And yet, so many people want to believe that this same man, who is fighting to offer due process to non-U.S. citizens would order a drone strike against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and that he is trying to allow indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.

It simply boggles my mind.

I continue to research, so far, nothing I have read has given me any reason to change my opinion, the facts are quite clear. I think that we will need a few more court cases to ensure people understand, our Constitution is stronger than the GOP games, it was McCain who helped write the original language in the NDAA and it was our president who said it would never withstand Court challenge, and it has not. And Attorney General Holder was clear, drones will never be used against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. If a citizen is engaged in terrorism or treason, they have given up protections under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, it has always been this way, and will always be this way. Unless "we the people" decide to change it. And would we change that? Really?

And let me ask this, why would anyone try to ferment discontentment on this issue? Since when are we asked if we agree with policy? Let's face it whether I agree or not is not the point, the point is, why is it a big deal now? And who benefits?

I have written repeatedly on the NDAA. There is no such thing as indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. It simply doesn't exist. And people keep saying but, what about Chris Hedges? What about the ACLU? What about the lawsuit. Well, I don't agree with Hedges et al, period. I am not sure what they are doing, but I can tell you for sure, there is no such thing as indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. I have read the NDAA, the change our president insisted on that specifically excludes U.S. citizens is there, the signing statement, transcripts and many, many articles. Please, go to the actual bill and read it, then please post where exactly it allows for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. Not an article, but the actual bill. Not a blog, not an opinion piece, but go find the actual bill and read it.

I have read the wording of the law, and it is clear, especially given the context of our Constitution, this is not a question to be debated, we have a law. There is no such thing as indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and the answer to the question, can the President use drones against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil is no. Not maybe, not sometimes, the answer is no.

Can the president, or the police, or our military kill someone engaged in terrorism or who is deemed dangerous and an enemy of the state? Yes. Absolutely. That has always been our law. Nothing has changed.

I don't think our president is trying to expand executive power or infringe on our civil rights. I think he is a good man in the most difficult job in the world surrounded by people who promised to obstruct everything he did and who are backed by some of the biggest industries, with the might of their money and their media against him. It is sad, and sick. And I don't agree with everything he does, I don't even agree with the drone policy, but this fake indignation, the rampant ridiculousness of the conservative angst on this issue, the obvious hypocritical hysteria, it is simply mind-boggling.

Post the links and sources, what UN investigation? What documentation exists that our president is plotting to kill American citizens on U.S. soil? And since no one is calling for Bush to be tried for invading a sovereign nation I guess we are going to just ignore that and pile on the maybe future mythical crimes of our current president, sure, because that makes so much more sense.