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Military Drone Attacks Are Not 'Hostile'

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the napalm-hugs-and-frag-grenade-kisses dept.

Government 892

sanzibar writes "Not satisfied with the legal conclusion of the DOJ, the Obama administration found other in-house lawyers willing to declare a bomb dropped from a drone is not 'hostile'. The strange conclusion has big implications in determining the President's compliance with the law. If drone strikes are in fact hostile and the Libyan campaign continues past Sunday, he may very well be breaking the law."

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Butters knows this one (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487838)

"You know, you can call a shovel an ice-cream machine, but it's still a shovel, Mom and Dad"

hahahahaha (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487982)

that kid is a genius

Re:Butters knows this one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36488050)

"You know, you can call a shovel an ice-cream machine, but it's still a shovel, Mom and Dad"

http://www.southparkstuff.com/season_5/episode_514/epi514sounds/

Re:Butters knows this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36488122)

Butters is naïve, and obviously not a politician. Shovels can be ice-cream machines when we need them to be.

Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487840)

Pullleeez! If one was used on the US we would absolutely consider it a hostile act.

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (5, Interesting)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487946)

Yeah, doesnt that basically give an open window to terrorists and Iran?
WTF!

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36488112)

No, it doesn't. As per usual it just gives the US permission to continue bombing a country and indiscriminately killing as they please. I guarantee you that if the situation were reversed and a "non-hostile" drone attack was conducted on the Pentagon or the White House, Obama would nuke the countries involved and then beat any survivors left to death with his Nobel Peace Prize.

And you elected him. Not that your votes matter any more, but hey, maybe it's time to start pointing the finger at the asshole that you put in the Oval Office and start taking a hard look in the mirror, at your own values.

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (4, Funny)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488130)

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36488162)

Way to avoid criticism of American ignorance by making a fucking Simpsons reference. As long as you obese fucks are sitting fat and happy in front of your TV's watching the world crumble around you while your own politicians and news organisations lie to you about it, nothing is going to change.

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (-1, Troll)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488210)

Cry more, faggot.

The point is that the two party system is broken, and has been for decades. I never vote for R OR D. Only 3rd party, or nothing. Ron Paul is my only exception.

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487976)

Furthermore I'd say the US would consider an attack on the drone a hostile act.

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487988)

The administration's argument is that the meaning of "hostilities" under the law is any engagement that puts US troops at risk from enemy action. They say that the law was meant to protect US troops from a capricious executive branch that needlessly subjects them to danger. Since soldiers are not endangered by executing drone strikes, that would make the drone strikes not "hostilities."

If Congress doesn't like it, they can very easily put an end to it by clarifying the law. (At least, they can do that more easily than they can impeach Obama for violating the law.)

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488172)

That's a pretty good exclamation and makes me wonder why the summary is so sensationalist. Still it's a shame our laws aren't written in a language resembling English.

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488186)

Make that explanation not exclamation.

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36488198)

If Congress doesn't like it, they can very easily put an end to it by clarifying the law. (At least, they can do that more easily than they can impeach Obama for violating the law.)

No, they'll just declare Obama in non-compliance with the War Power Act and cut off the money supply for all "non-hostile military activities" in Libya. And if Obama doesn't like it, he'll have to take Congress to court to turn the money tap back on, and the courts will clarify the law. It'll take three years, and in the meantime, there will be no money to bomb Qaddafi.

I don't know how Obama thinks he's going to win this kind of showdown. The House of Representatives controls the purse and the GOP controls the House, so it's pretty much guaranteed that they're not going to let Obama get creative with the law. Because, you know, if George Bush had gotten creative like that, the Democrats would have eaten him alive and mocked him endlessly at the same time (the Saturday Night Live jokes practically write themselves) and everyone knows it.

Re:Of Course Drone Attacks Are Hostile (4, Interesting)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487994)

From Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmanned_aerial_vehicle#Historical_events_involving_UAVs [wikipedia.org]

In October 2002, a few days before the U.S. Senate vote on the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution, about 75 senators were told in closed session that Saddam Hussein had the means of delivering biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction by UAV drones that could be launched from ships off the Atlantic coast to attack U.S. eastern seaboard cities. Colin Powell suggested in his presentation to the United Nations that they had been transported out of Iraq and could be launched against the U.S.[78] It was later revealed that Iraq's UAV fleet consisted of only a few outdated Czech training drones.[79] At the time, there was a vigorous dispute within the intelligence community as to whether CIA's conclusions about Iraqi UAVs were accurate. The U.S. Air Force agency most familiar with UAVs denied outright that Iraq possessed any offensive UAV capability.[80]

Yep, not the change I voted for (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487846)

This is even worse than claiming that waterboarding isn't torture. WTF? I can't believe that I donated money to this douche in 2008.

Re:Yep, not the change I voted for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487880)

LOL, it has been obvious for decades now that Republicans and Democrats are basically the same. Did you seriously not realize that even as recently as a few years ago?

Re:Yep, not the change I voted for (2)

Calos (2281322) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487930)

I think you're looking at it from the wrong direction. The more apt conclusion might be something along the lines of "corruption and self-preservation do not heed party lines." Or maybe that when pursuing an ideal they hold dear, the nuances of the stepping stone get there become blurry to them. An "ends justify the means" kind of approach. Saying Dems and Repubs are basically the same is wrong on so many levels, just being the generalization that it is. This article has nothing to do with philosophy or nuances in positions. This has nothing to do with party at all. It's a human nature problem.

Re:Yep, not the change I voted for (3, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488090)

This just demonstrates that the two parties are just parts of the same machine. I would never donate to either side.

If it's any consolation, here in Oz we switched from right to left (well far right to centre-right) a bit before you guys across the Pacific and it hasn't turned out much better for us.

Re:Yep, not the change I voted for (3, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488144)

You (and a lot of other people) gave money to a guy whose political career consisted of being a first-term US Senator after a couple of years in the state legislature. What did you expect?

Let's see if any Democratic group has the stones to mount a primary challenge. I'm not really impressed by any of the Republican candidates. See if you can get Hillary to give it another go.

Re:Yep, not the change I voted for (2, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488164)

No, it's not. Assisting NATO in overthrowing a cruel dictator is not even remotely fucking comparable to kidnapping and fucking torturing people . There is no comparison. There never will be a comparison. Torture is evil, always.

"Not hostile" (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487850)

The use of explosives by anyone on this forum would be considered "hostile" and would land them in jail. They can label it whatever they want, but you drop a bomb somewhere, you better expect a "hostile" reply.

Simple thought experiment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487966)

Would it be considered hostile if a foreign military began using drones to attack the white house?

Re:Simple thought experiment... (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488088)

Well, yes. Remember that the US government is very pro freedom - the freedom of the US government to do whatever it wants and the freedom of everyone else to shut up and like it.

America, Fuck Yeah!

not if Obama is my lawyer (3, Funny)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488008)

not only does he have some awesome lawyers, he is an awesome lawyer.

jim - "dude i just blew up starbucks"

laywer obama -"its OK! not hostile!"

jim - "but like, eleven people died"

lawyer obama -"chill. did i ever tell you about that time i was bombing libya? well, starbucks is a little bit like libya."

Re:"Not hostile" (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488180)

The use of explosives by anyone on this forum would be considered "hostile" and would land them in jail. They can label it whatever they want, but you drop a bomb somewhere, you better expect a "hostile" reply.

What? Even when you have your fingers crossed when you push the button?

In other news... (3, Funny)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487852)

... a federal court just ruled that a gun fired with your gloves on is not "lethal", finally exonerating O.J. Simpson from the murder he was found guilty of in a civil trial.

Re:In other news... (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487890)

...finally exonerating O.J. Simpson from the murder he was found guilty of in a civil trial.

Just to point out, O.J. was not found "guilty" in a civil trial. Civil courts cannot and do not find people "guilty" or "not guilty." That is up to criminal courts.

Re:In other news... (2)

bp2179 (765697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487912)

Wasn't a knife used in the murder?

Re:In other news... (3, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488012)

It was just a really pointy gun...

if the glove doesnt fit,... (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488022)

do they have to give the money back?

This reminds me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487858)

When in doubt, do what the President does - guess. -- Fortune on Slashdot at some point in time.

It doesn't matter. (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487860)

It is a coercive, destructive, military act, 100% consistent with what our Founding Fathers meant when they wrote "war". Therefore I don't give a crap whether somebody re-defines it as "hostile" or "friendly" or a "love tap". It's illegal as hell.

Re:It doesn't matter. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36488062)

Yep. And nothing's going to be done about it either. Not a single fucking thing. Bush did far worse and he's never going to see a day of jail time, let alone a war crimes tribunal. You're forgetting that the last president you elected re-defined torture to suit his own purposes, what's stopping your latest dictator from re-defining "hostilities" for the same purpose?

The answer? You. And since _you_ aren't going to do any more than whine on the web, nothing is ever going to change.

Re:It doesn't matter. (5, Insightful)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488108)

Bush got congressional authorization. Obama thinks he doesn't have to. That's the key difference.

Told You So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487866)

After doing a personality analysis of Obama I knew he was another chump like Bush.

Politicians have become so caught up in the race they've lost contact with reality. It would be less hassle just to quietly push politics off to the side and ring fence it as a TV show like X-Factor. While it's busy attracting all the power crazed attention seeking loony tunes the rest of us can get on with real life.

Pssst. If we keep quiet about it they'll never know...

Re:Told You So (0)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487926)

Pres. Bush got authorization from Congress before starting any wars or doing any extended attacks on nations. Pres. Obama hasn't even tried to get authorization. I'm not arguing whether or not he has to but he could at least talk with Congress and ask for their approval. Of course, this type of bickering between the executive branch and legislative branch has been going on for at least a couple hundred years but there does seem to have been a grab for more executive power in recent years.

Re:Told You So (2)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488032)

He knows this Congress is particularly spineless about taking initiative to deny him - so he'll just continue doing whatever he wants to further his own agenda.

Re:Told You So (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488070)

Pres. Bush got authorization from Congress before starting any wars or doing any extended attacks on nations. Pres. Obama hasn't even tried to get authorization.

It's easy to get Congressional approval when you lie to them, and Obama has until tomorrow. ;)

Re:Told You So (2)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488116)

He's not going to Congress because the majority of Congress won't support it. It seems also that the majority of Congress won't come out and oppose it, as they know that it basically condemns the Libyan rebels to stalemate at best and death at worst; they're generally more upset that Obama is skipping past them. Obama's position is little different from every president since Nixon vetoed the measure, though they have provided reports "consistent with" as opposed to "as required by" the War Powers Resolution. Obama is trying to work with a technicality of language and the separation of powers, whereas previous presidents have tried to be a little more friendly.

I agree with the action in Libya. We can't help everywhere, but we can help here. I'm not sure how I feel about deliberately targeting Qaddafi as the head of another sovereign nation, but he has few friends anymore aside from perhaps Hugo Chavez (numerous countries have already recognized the National Transition Council as the legitimate government and expelled diplomats who continue to back Qaddafi), and not many people will shed a tear over his death, whenever and however it comes. If he's still in power when NATO ceases operations, odds are that a huge swath of the Libyan people will bear the brunt of his anger. Without ground forces, which no one wants to send in, it's only going to be a lucky bomb or someone in his inner circle that takes him out. Otherwise, the rebels remain a poorly-trained force with little discipline whose front-line members think that simply grabbing a gun and shooting in the direction of highly-disciplined, well-trained, pro-Qaddafi forces is sufficient.

It may go a bit better. The rebels have made a few gains recently in western Libya, with pro-Qaddafi forces pulling back rapidly enough that they've left behind clothing and ammo. The major problem now is money and lack of arms flow, something that Tripoli has less of an issue handling.

I guess I should add that to my knowledge base... (3, Informative)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487876)

Enough (of the right) lawyers and you get to modify reality.

That's pretty neat.

"No, dropping a cinder block thru your windshield was NOT a hostile act,
just clumsy, oopsie!"

In all seriousness though, he's exploiting a loophole
it seems, because the law was written in 1973, before
drones existed.

"It should come as no surprise that there would be some disagreements, even within an administration, regarding the application of a statute that is nearly 40 years old to a unique and evolving conflict. Those disagreements are ordinary and healthy," he added.

-AI

Re:I guess I should add that to my knowledge base. (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487968)

Further, if it was a law from 1973 that was addressing copyright and technology it would be a priority for congress to close the loop hole. Basically people in power want something a certain way it will be that way irregardless of the law and the interests of the people. Money really is king.

Wonder if I could do this too... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487878)

Step 1: Buy one of those remote controlled helicopters.
Step 2: Jury rig a water balloon bombing system.
Step 3: Drop a paint filled balloon on my boss's car.

so lets drop a bomb on the white house from a dron (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487884)

and it won't be a problem right? A small pulse jet powered drone can be built cheaply and a pipe bomb should do the trick. It won't be hostile at all. Obama is a jack ass and his supporters are all idiots.

that would be wrong. (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488028)

and immoral.

Simple standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487898)

Why not adopt a simple standard. If some other country did X to America would you consider it an act of war.
I know Americans rarely want to judge their own actions by the standards they apply to others but it does help keep things simple.

hopey change (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487904)

Bush at least consulted with Congress. All the rubes who bought all of Obama's hopey change, please feel free to self-identify.

Re:hopey change (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487936)

Consulted Congress? He had congressional authorization for Iraq and Afghanistan... hell, Obama has in effect begun two new wars, and without any Congressional approval (not that it is required).

I can only hope that the Congressional leadership will grow a pair and cut off funding for some of these new kinetic military actions.

Re:hopey change (1, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487984)

I can only hope that the Congressional leadership will grow a pair and cut off funding for some of these new kinetic military actions.

And they would, too, if BO were a Republican. For that matter, 2/3 of the comments on this story would be angry demands that he be impeached if he weren't a Democrat. And, for that matter, where are all of the anti-war protesters? Why aren't they up in arms because we're "fighting a war in Libya?" Are they really against war, or only against any military action by a Republican? Enquiring minds want to KNOW!

don't you mean "contingency operations" (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488064)

'kinetic military action'. .. it sounds so, you know, dirty! like someone might get hurt!

Re:hopey change (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488138)

What is the other war that was started? Bush authorized strikes in Yemen with the consultation of the Yemeni government, and there's some evidence that at least one was performed by manned aircraft. An AC-130 was used in several strikes in Somalia under Bush and I think also under Obama. The US armed forces have been engaged in several countries, but since we find out after the fact (if we find out) and it's usually somewhere between days and months between activities, most people don't stress much over it.

rube here (4, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488054)

i heard that Bush's people were harassing journalists, specifically Greg Jackson, a research assistant for Ron Suskind, who was writing Way of the World, a bit if an expose about the pre-Iraq war intelligence.

they, according to suskind, detained Jackson, took his notes, and confiscated some of his stuff.

i voted for Obama so that kind of thing would stop.

and so the war would stop. and so that the assault on civil liberties would stop.

im a 100% fucking idiot. i am voting for uhm... oh wait, we don't have write-in ballots here, and we barely have 3rd parties allowed on the ballot.

Re:rube here (3, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488160)

You thought the guy in office was a thug, so you voted for a Chicago machine politician hoping the thuggery would stop?

Oil (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487906)

We need the oil. Every thing is made from it. Even our food. Everything runs on it. If access to this resource is not kept secure, whether it's in Libya or the Middle East, the economy will completely collapse. Obama knows this and will do everything he can to prevent.

facepalm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487908)

...but unauthorised computer system access is an act of war?..

It's not a law! (0)

DaHat (247651) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487910)

It's called the War Powers Resolution for a reason... it was a resolution, of Congress... which does not have the signature of a President... it was not vetoed... or even pocket vetoed... because it was never presented to a President for his signature... preventing any possibility of a veto override.

As much as I loathe this President... I do have to give him credit for standing up against the WPA... it’s a shame he’s not competent enough to recognize the reality of the WPA and state it... rather than playing these games.

Re:It's not a law! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487928)

You're wrong, it is a law.

War Powers Resolution [wikipedia.org]

The War Powers Act was passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate but was vetoed by President Richard Nixon. By a two-thirds vote in each house, Congress overrode the veto and enacted the joint resolution into law on November 7, 1973.

Re:It's not a law! (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487964)

If I had karma, I'd mod you up. Interesting story, I wasn't familiar with the origins.

Re:It's not a law! (5, Informative)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487972)

It's called the War Powers Resolution for a reason... it was a resolution, of Congress... which does not have the signature of a President... it was not vetoed... or even pocket vetoed... because it was never presented to a President for his signature... preventing any possibility of a veto override.

As much as I loathe this President... I do have to give him credit for standing up against the WPA... it’s a shame he’s not competent enough to recognize the reality of the WPA and state it... rather than playing these games.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong.

It passed the House on July 18, 1973.
It passed the Senate on July 20, 1973.
President Nixon vetoed it on October 24, 1973.
His veto was overridden by the Senate on November 7, 1973. Thus immediately the bill became law, without the need for Nixon's signature.
And this [archives.gov] is a high resolution scan of the final bill.

Re:It's not a law! (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488042)

I like the bit about how it's been argued (repeatedly) that the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional. I wonder if Obama will play chicken with a GOP that hates him so dearly.

My preference is for the argument that since we have a standing Army, it is the President's to command and if Congress doesn't like it, they can cut funding and force the President to bring the military home. Unfortunately, they wouldn't dare cut defense. Well, they might dare if they hate the president enough.

Re:It's not a law! (1)

SOOPRcow (1279010) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487974)

You need to do some reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Powers_Resolution [wikipedia.org] Vetoed by President Richard Nixon on October 24, 1973 Overridden by the House on November 7, 1973 (284â"135) Overridden by the Senate and became law on November 7, 1973 (75â"18)

Set an iron-clad precedent (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487914)

At some point we're going to get another irrationally warmongering hawk president. Can we get an iron-clad precedent set that in matters that matter the president isn't above the law, and can't just run around making stuff up?

It's too bad that would have to happen with this president and not the previous one, who happened to be Houdini of inventing BS from thin air. Free-speech zones. WMD. Blocking Scientific Papers. Etc. But we can't just agree to ignore the law for presidents we like.

Re:Set an iron-clad precedent (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488076)

No. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans want such a law. The last one did lawyer-shopping until he got an opinion he liked, just like this one is doing.

Maybe the Department of Justice wasn't run by the President...except it would be an obvious conflict of interest for it to be under the Judicial branch, and it would be a train wreck if it was under either Congress or the Senate...

Re:Set an iron-clad precedent (2)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488086)

>>It's too bad that would have to happen with this president and not the previous one, who happened to be Houdini of inventing BS from thin air. Free-speech zones. WMD. Blocking Scientific Papers.

The free speech zones really came to pre-eminence at the 1999 WTO talks, not the 2004 Democratic convention. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone) I know that "blaming Clinton" isn't nearly as popular as trying to pin everything on GWB, but it's not good to live in fact-free zone, either.

He didn't invent the idea that WMDs would be found in Iraq (again, Clinton - http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp [snopes.com] ). Also, minor stockpiles of WMDs were found in Iraq (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/wikileaks-show-wmd-hunt-continued-in-iraq-with-surprising-results/).

While I agree with you on the anti-scientific behavior relating to the AGW paper squelching, you should be careful yourself to make sure you've got your fact right.

Spaceballs THE FLAMETHROWER! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487916)

p.s. not hostile!

How does this differ from a nuclear cruise missile (2)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487920)

Other than the size of the delivered bang?

Re:How does this differ from a nuclear cruise miss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487962)

Other than the size of the delivered bang?

there are no collateral damages, for sure!

Terrorists everywhere rejoice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487922)

Terrorists everywhere rejoice: so long as they strap bombs onto unmanned vehicles, they aren't being hostile!

Not a war, but a police action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487944)

"When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean," said the President.

This is nothing new. Those of us old enough to remember the Korean war (or to have watched M*A*S*H, I suppose) will remember that Truman refused to consider it a war, preferring the term "Police action". This of course made no difference to all those who were killed or crippled.

Um... does that mean laser attacks aren't hostile? (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487948)

I was just thinking after my last post... if we are
exploiting a loophole based on lack of technology
at the time of writing of the law... then there are
many, many things... that are VERY lethal yet,
not hostile.

I would presume lasers aren't hostile either since
the earliest military use (documented) that I have
found with a light google scrub is late 70's, early
80's.

Any others want to chime in with new military tech
that comes after the 1973 War Powers Resolution?

Duh, robots! When they say drones, do they mean
piloted or unpiloted? So... Skynet will be able to
purge the world of humans in an unhostile fashion.

-AI

Obamacare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487956)

...doesn't have any punitive taxes either!

What's the argument that manes it not a hostile ac (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487986)

I'm sorry, I'm reading the article, and a few offshoots, but I'm honestly not seeing it: What's the basic argument that makes it NOT a hostile action?

Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36487990)

This doesn't seem in any way different than what the previous guy would have said in the same situation.

Re:Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss (4, Informative)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488082)

Maybe you were unaware that "the previous guy" disagreed on this point, and took a very careful view of complying with the "War Powers Resolution". In other words, unlike Obama, Dubya got congressional approval for his war(s). Whatever vague point you were trying to make, your post is factually misleading.

If drone strikes are in fact hostile??!? (2)

commandermonkey (1667879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488018)

I am at a loss for words. That has to be one of the stupidest thoughts I have ever read.

I can't wait until the first poor defendant goes before a judge as says "If crack was in fact a drug" then of course id be a drug dealer.

It makes me sad to begin thinking that the set of birthers who think Obama never went to law school may be on to something.

Re:If drone strikes are in fact hostile??!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36488140)

It makes me sad to begin thinking that the set of birthers who think Obama never went to law school may be on to something.

Hardly. This is lawyery bullshit to the hilt - "Well, you see, it says 'hostile', but since 'kicking puppies and eating babies' isn't listed in the definition of what 'hostile' is on page 362, clearly, those actions are not hostile under this legislation."

Slick Barry's got it covered, yo.

Not Hostile? (2)

Ross R. Smith (2225686) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488024)

hos-tile
adjective /hästl/ /hästl/

Unfriendly; antagonistic
- a hostile audience
- he wrote a ferociously hostile attack

Of or belonging to a military enemy
- hostile aircraft

Opposed
- people are very hostile to the idea

Is this even debatable?

Why doesn't the president just take it to Congress (3)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488026)

Would the republicans actually vote against war in Libya? Why would they do that?

Re:Why doesn't the president just take it to Congr (1, Insightful)

Gryle (933382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488174)

Yes, actually. Many of the new Republicans that got elected in 2010 feel Afghanistan and Iraq are the limits of what we can do and that the US is spending too much blood and treasure on foreign matters when we can't get our own house in order. I'm willing to bet they could get a non-negligible number of Democrats to agree with them.

Re:Why doesn't the president just take it to Congr (3, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488184)

To fuck over Obama, same reason they do everything. They demanded that he intervene in Libya specifically so that they could use it against him. If he had refused to intervene, they would have used that against him too. Their one and only goal is to destroy him. They've come out and said so on multiple occasions. People just tend to assume it's a joke, or something.

Re:Why doesn't the president just take it to Congr (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488204)

They wouldn't, because they know how unpopular foreign military actions are among segments of the Democratic party. They're not worried about losing those votes, since they'd never have them in the first place, but Obama certainly would, which is undoubtedly why he doesn't want to take this to Congress in the first place. The masterstroke is of course the cognitive dissonance this bit of news is causing in liberal circles - lacking Congressional approval for the war in Libya, he ends up looking worse than Bush, at least on this one point (Bush actually sought and got Congressional approval for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq). If he were to seek Congressional approval, he'd get it - from the Republicans, which would only serve to further alienate him from the anti-war segments of his party.

Basically, Obama has dug himself into a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" hole by going to war in the first place, and it behooves the Republicans to capitalize on it.

How is that... (5, Funny)

Mark Atwood (19301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488034)

How's that Hope & Change working out for y'all?

He should take ethics advice from Kissenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36488048)

We should just elect Kafka.

The larger story is nothing new (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488078)

While this particular episode seems bizarre in isolation, it's just part of a larger battle (no pun intended) that has been happening for a long time now - the battle between the legislative branch and the Executive branch regarding ultimate control over the military. It is up to Congress to declare war - however presidents, as the head of the US armed forces, have the right to deploy troops into hostile situations without declaring war. Congress has voted that these deployments can only last a certain number of days before they must be declared an act of war (or, more accurately, before Congress must approve the continuation of the deployment). No president has been willing to recognize that congressional act as valid.

It doesn't matter whether Congress and the Presidency are of opposite parties or of the same party - in this situation the two branches have consistently disagreed.

Nothin New Here (2, Interesting)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488092)

This is not surprising in the least. The United States government once went into a fisheries dispute with Canada claiming the scallops were a migratory species of marine life because they could propel themselves using water squirts.

It's NOT hostile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36488096)

But hacking a governmental system IS.

Get it straight, guys.

ICBMs are non-hostile? Who'd thunk it. (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488098)

ICBMs are only big drones that launch warheads at a target.

This never would have happened... (1)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488104)

...if Obama had been elected.

Cyber attacks (1)

faulteh (1869228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488118)

How can a drone attack not be hostile, but a hack / cyber-attack be defined as an act of war? (ref http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/pentagon_declares_cyberattack_an_act_of_war.php [readwriteweb.com]

Please order drone attack on the "lawyers" who are making this assertion, because after all, it's not hostile.

Hahahaahahahahahahahaa (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488124)

This is the point where it passes into 'hilarious' .....

we are now living in a monty python comedy skit - not real life any more.

Hi, old boss! (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488126)

Oh, wait, it's the new one.

Hostile Act or Act of War? (1)

RCC42 (1457439) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488132)

So dropping a physical bomb from a physical drone flying above a group of physical people who get turned into smaller physical components when the bomb lands is not a hostile act against the nation that it happens in YET hacking into or damaging a computer network in a nation is an act of war?

So it would be legal for terrorists to use drones to drop bombs on americans but an act of war for the US to release Stuxnet against Iran.

Woohoo?

I mean, I'm just a jobless IT professional in Vancouver, Canada and I figured these 'loopholes' out, how the fuck could the people making these kinds of declarations not realize the potential flaws here?

Unless this article is complete rubbish: (1)

Geirzinho (1068316) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488150)

In the gentle words of the virgin mary: COME AGAIN?

Yeah, huge lie (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488168)

This is beyond disgusting. I think it would be considered a hostile act if someone sent a drone at the white house right? Not just hostile, but an act of terrorism. Where are they coming up with these ridiculous ideas and what makes them think any of them will fly?

More of the same (2)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488178)

This demonstrates how Obama's presidential behavior is in reality not significantly better than the behavior of Bush. He talked a very different game, but in practice he winds up making the same sort of unethical choices as Bush. Political parties are irrelevant when they both breed and foster this same bad behavior.

so I'm going to use my drone (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488200)

To drop bombs on the US. It isn't hostile so don't worry about it. Have a nice day.

Living, breathing document.... (2)

JDAustin (468180) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488202)

That's what liberals consider the Constitution. If they are willing to bend the Constitution on matters such as interstate commerce or or various amendments, you knew it was only a matter of time when they redefined what a war was (ie its only a war when we say its a war).

Obama still doesn't understand our system of gov't (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36488206)

He seems to think the Executive Branch gets to decide when it is and is not in compliance with the Law, and that the Exec is responsible for interpreting Laws... and making them for that matter.

A prime example of his autocratic approach is that he has dozens of Tsars exercising unilateral, unaccountable control over everything.

Now, he thinks he can just invent facts, such as "dropping bombs from drones isn't hostile, and therefore I am in compliance with the Law."

When I was younger, I thought that Jimmy Carter was the worst president ever. I feel good for JC that he's going to get to go meet his maker knowing that is definitely not the case.

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