The DOJ’s position that Americans can be murdered by drones if the Preznit wants them murdered by drones is founded on a tortured and torturous expansion of the definition of “imminent threat,” “self-defense,” “senior operational leaders,” “feasible capture,” and probably several other plain-meaning words and phrases I’ve missed in the Isikoff article because my head is about to explode. In the end it doesn’t really matter what words, phrases, legal doctrines, and common-sensibly agreed-upon definitions they’ve subverted in order to legally break the law; it’s just a means to the end of maximum executive power. Ambitious, amoral lawyers have always delighted powerful men by coming up with newer, more clever ways to twistify the rules in order to make those men more powerful and this is no exception. I dunno what to do about it; no, Mr. Sobchak, no one gives a shit about the rules.
Lawyers will be lawyers, Presidents (at least, post-Nixon) will be authoritarian bastards, and psychopaths will be psychopaths; corrupting, in respective order, words, power, and human moral decency. A select few manage to do all three. Here’s the Shorter version of Michael “Jennifer” Rubin’s exercise in Orwellian Bugfuckery:
Immoral human rights activists, if they succeed in stopping or curtailing the use of drones, will bully terrorist-hunting governments into killing even more civilians.
And then here’s an excerpt of Crazy Davey Horowitz’s non-drone-related but just as Orwellian description of what happened to African-Americans when the housing bubble burst (as pasted by Powertool Scott Johnson):
Defending the victims of job destroyers is morally and emotionally stronger than defending rich “job creators.” It creates sympathy and arouses anger. It inspires concerns about justice. It’s how the Democrats’ recruit and energize their troops. It’s the way — the only way — Republicans can neutralize the Democrats’ attacks on them as defenders of the rich, and return their fire: by framing them as the enemies of working Americans and the middle class.
During Obama’s four years in office, African Americans – middle-class African Americans – lost half their net worth as a result of the collapse of the housing market. That’s one hundred billion dollars in personal assets that disappeared from the pockets of African Americans because of a 25-year Democratic campaign to remove loan requirements for homebuyers. Yet in 2012, Republicans were too polite to mention this!
The fingerprints of Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barney Frank were all over the subprime mortgage crisis. The campaign to remove loan requirements for African American and other minority borrowers started with Jimmy Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act. It snookered thousands of poor black and Hispanic Americans into buying homes they couldn’t afford, which they then lost. How traumatic is the loss of one’s home?
By securitizing the failed mortgages, Democratic bundlers on Wall Street who had poured $100 million into the 2008 Obama campaign made tens of millions off the misery of those who lost their homes. In other words, with the help of Clinton, Frank and Obama, Wall Street Democrats made massive profits off the backs of poor black and Hispanic Americans. But Republicans were too polite to mention it. Here was a missed opportunity to neutralize Democrat attacks on Republicans as the party of the rich and exploiters of the poor. It was an opportunity to drive a giant wedge through the Democratic base.
The whole thing (distributed in pamphlet form by Freepers near you) is like that. Kudos to Horowitz for combining the Hitlerian Big Lie with the Orwellian Inside-out Lie so grandly that it amounts to an artificial singularity of dishonesty, overwhelming and impervious to any rebuttal, sucking-in all orbiting truths until maximum entropy is achieved. Sure, you could throw Matt Taibbi’s entire archive at it, but for the people Horowitz is targeting who are already True Believers or nearly so, it wouldn’t make a dent.
Also, too: I’d forgotten I wrote this.