Thursday, March 7, 2013

"You Probably Won't Even Know The Guy We Blow Up" By Eric Holder

My fellow Americans: Let's all calm down for a minute, okay? People have completely lost perspective over my letter to Rand Paul stating we could order a drone strike on US soil. So, let's make the facts clear:

We haven't done it.
We certainly don't plan on doing it.
And anyway, when it happens, you probably won't even know the guy we blow up.

Do you know how unlikely that would be? There are more than 300 million Americans right now.  Statistically, we would have to use lethal military force on a massive number of them before you'd have a real chance of being acquainted.
Believe me, we've looked into it.
If we decide, for whatever reason, to send a team of special operators into a house somewhere in the US to shoot someone through the eye, it's not like we're going to pick anyone with a huge number of friends. Paris Hilton isn't going to be Tweeting about it, trust me. The people whose lives might need to be ended in some kind of extrajudicial strike are not connected to a large social network. And that network could be closed off quietly and completely. If it were necessary to do so, which it probably won't be, right?
Did you know there are towns in rural parts of the country where people almost never cross state lines? Seriously. No one would know for days if we got rid of them all. If we needed to that is, in a completely unprecedented and hypothetical scenario, that I have to stress will never ever happen, most likely.

We're being careful about this. I mean, we've killed a lot of people so far. Do you know any of them? I didn't think so. So why is everybody worrying about it now?

Sure, the president has done questionable stuff. We can kill people without knowing exactly who they are. We can kill Americans. We can kill people on US soil. There's this paper we're writing on something called Project Arcturus that I'm hoping won't go public, because if it does I'm going to get a pile of calls from people in Idaho.

The point is, you can trust this president with the ability to use lethal force against people, monitor phone traffic, and possibly also dissolve Congress. You couldn't trust Republicans with these kinds of powers. Could you see a creep like Dick Cheney overseeing domestic drone strikes? Or Ted Cruz?

You know, this is all a great get out the vote program for us. We expand the powers of the president until he's like a modern day Caesar, only with technology for killing and surveillance that borders on magic. And then we just argue that you would never want people who voted for the Iraq war and want to go back to the gold standard in charge. We'll be electing Democrat presidents for the next 30 years! The scarier we make the office of president, the more you'll want only us to hold office. And the Republicans keep playing into our hands. I mean, Rand Paul seems like he's on the right side of this now, but give that guy a couple days, and he'll start saying things about guarding our precious bodily fluids or whatnot.

Now some people are going to say you don't want to give anyone in this country that much power. Checks and balances and all that other Schoolhouse Rock nonsense. Some people will say the other party - the people you don't like or trust - always get back in office eventually. That what we do today will be done by a Richard Nixon tomorrow. And doing these things turns us into Nixon.

There won't be many though. Like I said, you probably won't even know them.

NOTE: Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, and anyone else:
Please tell your Congressperson to stand up against this kind of thing.
Find your Rep:
Find your Senator:


  1. "Someone whose name you don't know, and have never met..."

    This kind of morality tale became a Twilight Zone episode...

    With you on the politics as well--Rand Paul is often wrong, but I supported his (*stated) reasons for the filibuster, and how he went about it--but always loved the story, and its lesson about the unintended consequences of not remaining true to one's principles.

    *There is some argument in one tiny corner of the Right that he's an "America First" isolationist like his father, and his real goal was to say there should be no strikes or other warfare at all with Muslim people or places unless/until they actually attack America, which makes it kind of interesting to watch full throated defenders of Pamela Geller and the like also #StandingWithRandPaul. One presumes they don't agree that Rand Paul's real goal is surrendering to "the imposition of Sharia law here in America," or whatever.

  2. Well, it's not like the slow march back to the imperial Gilded Age has changed direction, but at least it appears that the current Administration isn't willing to declare the ENTIRE world a battlefield yet:

    Whether this is a tonic for those bone fragments scattered around various locations in the Middle East and Central Asia is difficult to determine at this stage...

    1. That is good news. And yeah, like you say, it's sort of not enough. But still.

      I like to think our blogs just turned the administration around on the whole subject. Can I think that?


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