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resolve
26th February 10, 01:32 PM
Dangerous precedent or needed anti-terror swagger?

Right now, the way things are worded, it seems that it only would apply to traitors jumping ship to join terrorist orgs.

Obama administration confirms it:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-02-07/assassinating-americans/
http://washingtonindependent.com/75759/americans-assassinating-americans
http://www.leader-vindicator.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20412448&BRD=2758&PAG=461&dept_id=572980&rfi=6


I mean yes, obviously traitors should be dealt with and swiftly. And yes, Americans have been assassinated by our own government before in the intelligence arena where at least it was considered illegal and kept hush-hush because of it.

But this just kind of says "now we have the power and authority to do it, so NAH!" This just seems like an extension of the Bush-era policy of capturing and detaining individuals for however long they feel like it under the suspicion of terrorism.

Hope and change?

HappyOldGuy
26th February 10, 02:05 PM
Extreme cases make bad precedents. They were targetting one of the senior guys in Al Qaeda in Yemen who had direct contact with the Fort Hood psycho and the Nigerian panty bomber. Personally, I am okay with them doing it, but not with the rules that they are following. To me, the thing that makes it go from unnacceptable extrajudicial execution to legit is that the killing takes place in a battlefield setting. North Yemen qualifies de facto, but there needs to be a process to specify it de jure. And they aren't. It's quite clear that they would just as happily use a drone strike in downtown karachi where there just isn't the battlefield justification.

EvilSteve
26th February 10, 02:10 PM
Obama forgot to mention that he was straight up gangsta.

Robot Jesus
26th February 10, 02:38 PM
this is just setting the necessary precedent to set up an American vampire hunting society without offending the twilight moms.

Ajamil
26th February 10, 02:42 PM
He's from Chicago - I thought that was assumed.

resolve
26th February 10, 03:00 PM
Extreme cases make bad precedents. They were targetting one of the senior guys in Al Qaeda in Yemen who had direct contact with the Fort Hood psycho and the Nigerian panty bomber. Personally, I am okay with them doing it, but not with the rules that they are following. To me, the thing that makes it go from unnacceptable extrajudicial execution to legit is that the killing takes place in a battlefield setting. North Yemen qualifies de facto, but there needs to be a process to specify it de jure. And they aren't. It's quite clear that they would just as happily use a drone strike in downtown karachi where there just isn't the battlefield justification.


That's my biggest problem with it too. I don't have an issue with who they are targetting per se, just how they are going about it and the fact that they aren't using the law to establish them as a traitor beforehand. Although, I will admit I don't know how to go about that legally and what kind of red tape would be involved.

I just see it being something that can be kept on the books and then used to ill effect in the future with a govt less scrupulous about who it takes down. Little paranoid yeah, but I'd rather the original protections for Americans from their own gov't stay in place.

Commodore Pipes
26th February 10, 03:23 PM
This incredibly disappointing. No president willingly gives up power. I didn't expect this one to seek to expand his, though. And few legislators will fight to restrict that power, because they either think "hey, this will come in handy when we win the next election cycle and stumble upon the means to win them in perpetuity" or "this will be awesome when I am president."

So again, in a generation this will just naturally be assumed to be part of the president's resonsibilities, and then it will never be reversed. Wow, the end starts with Obama. I really, seriously, did not see that coming.

EDIT: Oh, it DID start with the last guy. That's no comfort.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012604239_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2010012700394

HappyOldGuy
26th February 10, 03:32 PM
This incredibly disappointing. No president willingly gives up power. I didn't expect this one to seek to expand his, though. And few legislators will fight to restrict that power, because they either think "hey, this will come in handy when we win the next election cycle and stumble upon the means to win them in perpetuity" or "this will be awesome when I am president."

So again, in a generation this will just naturally be assumed to be part of the president's resonsibilities, and then it will never be reversed. Wow, the end starts with Obama. I really, seriously, did not see that coming.

He's not expanding it. If you go to the source Washington post article that triggered this he's just continuing another bad policy from the previous administration. Which still isn't okay of course.

socratic
26th February 10, 05:51 PM
You'd think they'd at least issue some kind of 'he's a traitor, bring him in dead or alive' before they start pwning US citizens.

resolve
27th February 10, 12:51 AM
And I took you off ignore because I thought you'd have something interesting to contribute to the OP...

:-/

kracker
27th February 10, 01:23 AM
terrorist


• noun a person who uses violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Just sayin, that definition DEFINATELY applies to cops and polititians. It just keeps getting more and more apt.

Ajamil
27th February 10, 10:08 AM
If you're going to be so broad with your definitions, then I demand parents be labeled terrorists as well.

kracker
27th February 10, 01:22 PM
Bouncers use violence and threats to protect private property. Parents use threats (and bad parents use violence) to raise their children. Neither do it for political goals, so neither are terrorists in the same way the CIA, local PD, or Osama Bin Laden are. However, I think my point is made. Almost anyone can be called a terrorist and hence these kinds of laws make us less safe, rather than more safe.

Ajamil
27th February 10, 03:39 PM
Bouncers use violence and threats to protect private property. Parents use threats (and bad parents use violence) to raise their children. Neither do it for political goals, so neither are terrorists in the same way the CIA, local PD, or Osama Bin Laden are. However, I think my point is made. Almost anyone can be called a terrorist and hence these kinds of laws make us less safe, rather than more safe.What are political goals other than protecting the sovereign property of the nation, and guiding its citizen's growth? Bit of a stretch (or it should be) in equating citizens with children, but no less than saying the local police have political goals.

Phrost
28th February 10, 01:42 PM
Obligatory:

CHAAAAANGE!

kracker
28th February 10, 07:01 PM
:viking:
What are political goals other than protecting the sovereign property of the nation, and guiding its citizen's growth? Bit of a stretch (or it should be) in equating citizens with children, but no less than saying the local police have political goals.

Political goals include gun control, drug control, etc. The fact that the police constantly lobby for harsher restrictions on these things proves they are not neutral in the matter. The state has the political goal of eliminating these things and do so by way of terrorist acts (ex. home invasion, assaults, murder etc.) They are not in any way protecting anything that can be said to be "sovereign property of the nation."

Ajamil
28th February 10, 07:23 PM
Parents don't have gun and drug control laws? Bouncers don't? If these are political aims, then parents and bouncers certainly use violence/intimidation/threats to enforce them.

Also, I think you are overly simplifying the police concept. Yes police engage in politics - they are a special interest group. Get high enough in the ranks and there's little difference between politicians and police. And yes, police engage in violence and intimidation. However, there are miles of separation between the two. They are sanctioned violence in protection of laws that - as citizens - they have every right to try and change.

The laws give them a monopoly over violence, but not one over laws. I would say the police aren't out there using their badge to force legislation, but I think you'd disagree. If you wish, you can try and chang my mind.

OZZ
1st March 10, 08:46 PM
That's my biggest problem with it too. I don't have an issue with who they are targetting per se, just how they are going about it and the fact that they aren't using the law to establish them as a traitor beforehand. Although, I will admit I don't know how to go about that legally and what kind of red tape would be involved.

I just see it being something that can be kept on the books and then used to ill effect in the future with a govt less scrupulous about who it takes down. Little paranoid yeah, but I'd rather the original protections for Americans from their own gov't stay in place.

No..they are using American Military intelligence..as they should in matters of war.
Being Canadian, I don't usually wade into these kinds of debates with you guys, but these fuckers that killed the people in the Twin Towers don't follow due process and you can't give them the edge by granting them somethiing like that in a conflict like this. They laugh at that sort of shit and would gladly piss on the graves of any US citizen who would fight to uphold these sorts of ideals.
You have to fight these fuckers with the gloves off man..if the intel is good - fucking kill them.US citizen or not..nothing is worse than a traitor.

Lights Out
2nd March 10, 07:38 PM
No..they are using American Military intelligence..as they should in matters of war.
Being Canadian, I don't usually wade into these kinds of debates with you guys, but these fuckers that killed the people in the Twin Towers don't follow due process and you can't give them the edge by granting them somethiing like that in a conflict like this. They laugh at that sort of shit and would gladly piss on the graves of any US citizen who would fight to uphold these sorts of ideals.
You have to fight these fuckers with the gloves off man..if the intel is good - fucking kill them.US citizen or not..nothing is worse than a traitor.

But then, where's the legitimacy of that? If we're the good dudes, shouldn't we be acting like that?

What would the difference between the terrorists and us be then?

What good are our ideals if we have to sacrifice them to win some minor battles?

Ajamil
3rd March 10, 03:23 AM
Who said we're the good guys? We're the guys that won.

Lights Out
3rd March 10, 05:10 AM
Who said we're the good guys? We're the guys that won.

What did we fight for? What do we won?

Whe fought for and ideal, or at least a view on the world and society and a lifestyle.

We won the right to continue to be who we are.

We cannot betray this, because if so, we fought for nothing.

OZZ
3rd March 10, 04:26 PM
But then, where's the legitimacy of that? If we're the good dudes, shouldn't we be acting like that?

What would the difference between the terrorists and us be then?

What good are our ideals if we have to sacrifice them to win some minor battles?

I don't see how the ideals of democracy and freedom are being sacrificed by killing PROVEN traitors..as long as there is no reasonable doubt, you are simply fighting a war the way it needs to be fought.
The idea that its not Ok to killl American citizens who are traitors but ok to kill terrorists of foreign nationalities seems quite silly to me.

HappyOldGuy
3rd March 10, 04:29 PM
I don't see how the ideals of democracy and freedom are being sacrificed by killing PROVEN traitors..as long as there is no reasonable doubt, you are simply fighting a war the way it needs to be fought.
The idea that its not Ok to killl American citizens who are traitors but ok to kill terrorists of foreign nationalities seems quite silly to me.

Who is doing the proving, how, and according to what standard of doubt.

You are putting the cart way ahead of the horse here.

OZZ
3rd March 10, 04:33 PM
Who is doing the proving, how, and according to what standard of doubt.

You are putting the cart way ahead of the horse here.

No..I am simply assuming the person has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt according to sufficient, unbiased military intelligence.
I am not going to debate the fine details about methods of proving the person's guilt..that's not my argument. My argument is based on the assumption that the guilt has been conclusively proven.
I'll leave the standards of said reasonable doubt up to you guys to decide..

Lights Out
3rd March 10, 05:03 PM
No..I am simply assuming the person has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt according to sufficient, unbiased military intelligence.
I am not going to debate the fine details about methods of proving the person's guilt..that's not my argument. My argument is based on the assumption that the guilt has been conclusively proven.
I'll leave the standards of said reasonable doubt up to you guys to decide..

Don't american citizens have the right to a fair trial of something?

Basically you're saying that certain basic rights can be overcame in certain situations.

This is a big fuck you to what constitutes the basic foundation of the USA, at least.

And just to save time for those arguing, here's a couple of silly arguments on my favour:

Extrapolate: We'll start by doiung this, and then we will be applying the same logic to other crimes, and in no time, the leagl security of the citizens would mean shit fuck.

American-at-heart argument: The founding fathers would spin on their graves for this.

Ajamil
4th March 10, 12:00 AM
There are situations where our founding freedom - expression - is limited. Why would it be different for a lesser freedom such as due process?

jvjim
4th March 10, 06:23 AM
There are situations where our founding freedom - expression - is limited. Why would it be different for a lesser freedom such as due process?

In what way exactly do you believe due process is a lesser right than freedom of "expression?"

Lights Out
4th March 10, 06:55 AM
In what way exactly do you believe due process is a lesser right than freedom of "expression?"

^This^, oh so this.

I'm sure it is something similar in the USA, but due process is a fucking important right on my country, you know, after enduring absolutist regimes for a big deal oif the XIX century and two dictatorships for a big part of the XX century.

Violating due process is the first step towards tiranny, it is placing the state over individual rights, plain and simple.

I find it hard to beleive that anybody on sociodcide, that with being filled with right wing libertarians, would condone it.

Ajamil
4th March 10, 09:45 AM
I believe you can acquire the right to due process through the freedom of expression. I do not think you can gain the freedom of expression through the right of due process.

I did not mean to give the impression that I thought the right to due process any less important than free expression.

HappyOldGuy
4th March 10, 11:18 AM
I believe you can acquire the right to due process through the freedom of expression. I do not think you can gain the freedom of expression through the right of due process.


If anything, the reverse is true. The rule of law (=due process) is the only thing that makes a legal right of free expression enforceable.




sociodcide, that with being filled with right wing libertarians,
Smile when you say that.

OZZ
4th March 10, 11:36 AM
I was under the impression we were discussing WAR here..not pulling Achmed out of his home and tossing him in a cell with no trial.
What I am defending here is the military's right to make prudent, rational decisions based on the security of the country. Not the government's power to throw out individual right's..

Ajamil
4th March 10, 11:36 AM
Rule of law without expression is fascism, is it not? Expression without rule of law is anarchy. Which would you prefer?

And I thought the problem here was they were expanding war rules into non-war situations.

HappyOldGuy
4th March 10, 11:52 AM
Rule of law without expression is fascism, is it not?

No, not really at all. Fascist dictators are not well known for their adherence to the rule of law.

OZZ
4th March 10, 12:03 PM
I am going to give you guys a concrete example of how following all the 'due process' dittyramb in a fucking warzone has tragic consequences..
I just finished reading that book 'Lone Survivor' written by Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell - the only survivor of Operation Redwing. in that book he details the following account, which involves following 'due process' and leads directly to everyone else in his unit being killed.
The unit is moving along a mountain trail in Afghanistan headed towards their destination when they come across a group of 'innocent' goat herders. They know that if they let them go, they will give their position away to the enemy, however, since the Liberals in Washington will shit all over them if they do otherwise, they let them go.
Within two hours they are attacked by over 100 enemy soldiers from above, who were tipped off by the 'innocent goat herders'. The unit fights valiantly, but everyone but Luttrell is killed, who just barely survives, after a firefight that lasts a few hours.
I am not going to suggest anything either way about what should have been done, or whatever..but in his book , Luttrell writes about his frustration regarding this particular situation and how he felt like his hands were tied by men in the gov't who had never seen, and would never see, a war zone in their lives.
In his view, his buddies and comrades were killed because they followed 'due process' by letting the 'innocent goat herders' go about their business - as the bleeding heart Liberals in Washington wanted them to. His argument is that the men on the ground whose lives are at stake, should be given the power in extrenuating circumstances, to do what is neccessary and make decisions based on their military expertise and the situation at hand.
So, my question is this - what do you say about 'due process' in this sort of scenario? What would you say to Marcus Luttrell? What would you say to the widows of the men who were killed?

resolve
4th March 10, 12:55 PM
I'd say it's getting off topic. The topic here is the government's right to assassinate its own people under the guise of defense.

Defense IS needed and desperately in these times of war. I agree that traitors should be found and dealt with in the most expediant way possible to ensure the safety of those fighting the wars and those back home who would gain ill effect from said treachery.

However, the implication with these new laws is that the government can simply designate anyone a 'threat to be removed', move along sideways with organisations specialising in wet work like the CIA, and it doesn't have to be in a battlefield or warzone to do it. I'm NOT saying that it is used that way or that it would be used that way in the future.

What I am saying is that's f'ing scary simply for the precedent.

HappyOldGuy
4th March 10, 01:44 PM
I am going to give you guys a concrete example of how following all the 'due process' dittyramb in a fucking warzone has tragic consequences..
I just finished reading that book 'Lone Survivor' written by Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell - the only survivor of Operation Redwing. in that book he details the following account, which involves following 'due process' and leads directly to everyone else in his unit being killed.
The unit is moving along a mountain trail in Afghanistan headed towards their destination when they come across a group of 'innocent' goat herders. They know that if they let them go, they will give their position away to the enemy, however, since the Liberals in Washington will shit all over them if they do otherwise, they let them go.
Within two hours they are attacked by over 100 enemy soldiers from above, who were tipped off by the 'innocent goat herders'. The unit fights valiantly, but everyone but Luttrell is killed, who just barely survives, after a firefight that lasts a few hours.
I am not going to suggest anything either way about what should have been done, or whatever..but in his book , Luttrell writes about his frustration regarding this particular situation and how he felt like his hands were tied by men in the gov't who had never seen, and would never see, a war zone in their lives.
In his view, his buddies and comrades were killed because they followed 'due process' by letting the 'innocent goat herders' go about their business - as the bleeding heart Liberals in Washington wanted them to. His argument is that the men on the ground whose lives are at stake, should be given the power in extrenuating circumstances, to do what is neccessary and make decisions based on their military expertise and the situation at hand.
So, my question is this - what do you say about 'due process' in this sort of scenario? What would you say to Marcus Luttrell? What would you say to the widows of the men who were killed?

Has absolutely nothing to do with the subject under disucssion. I kinda doubt he even used the phrase "due process" but if he did then he doesn't understand it any better than you do.

Lights Out
4th March 10, 07:40 PM
I am not going to suggest anything either way about what should have been done, or whatever..

[...]

So, my question is this - what do you say about 'due process' in this sort of scenario? What would you say to Marcus Luttrell? What would you say to the widows of the men who were killed?

No, you're not suiggesting anything, but the implication is clearly there.

Wanna talk about killing goat herders at war? Fine, but as HoG said, that has nothing to do with due process.

What we're talking about is granting the government power enough to overcome individual rights. Rights which are there to prevent tirannical behaviour suich as the one which is being discussed.

I'll say it again: I cannot beleive anybody on this site, filled with people who like to trhow around words like 'nanny state', 'our right to defends ourselves from the govenrment' and tear their clothes when talking about taxes, are not trhowing a tantrum over this.

Hell, I'm a commie compared to most of you and I see this as going too far. As in a thousand miles too far.

OZZ
5th March 10, 03:50 PM
Okay..if what we are talking about is 'the power of the gov't to overcome individual rights' :
The goat herders were allowed to go free because the Washington fatcats wanted to make sure that their individual rights were not sacrificed - and the troops were ordered to place the goat herders' individual rights over the best interests of the soldiers in the field. Instead of having their hands tied, shouldn't these men have had the freedom to place the security of the troops above the individual rights of the goat herders?
And if the answer is yes..shouldn't there be room for similiar overcoming of individual rights in other, war -related circumstances?
Remember I am only talking about war and the security of the nation here...



BTW - all 'due process' means to me in this context is adhering to a predetermined set of standards set down by the powers that be..but I'm sure you have a definition that is much more satisfactory, eh HOG?

HappyOldGuy
5th March 10, 03:53 PM
No, the goatherders were allowed to go free because the generals in the theatre feel that civilian casualties prolong the war by alienating tribal leaders who are on the fence about supporting the central government.

They may or may not be right, but it has fuckall to do with what you think it does.

OZZ
5th March 10, 03:55 PM
No, the goatherders were allowed to go free because the generals in the theatre feel that civilian casualties prolong the war by alienating tribal leaders who are on the fence about supporting the central government.

They may or may not be right, but it has fuckall to do with what you think it does.

Not according to Marcus Luttrell..maybe you should read the book.

Apparently you know more about military policy in Afghaniatan than a Navy Seal who has fought and almost died there..wow.
Again, read the WHOLE BOOK.

Adouglasmhor
5th March 10, 04:05 PM
It may or may not have been tried in Gibraltar by the British and in Northern Ireland. It didn't help in hte long run.

HappyOldGuy
5th March 10, 04:14 PM
Not according to Marcus Luttrell..maybe you should read the book.

Okay, I just looked. The book doesn't say one fucking word about any orders from washington. The liberal in question was himself, because he decided not to kill those shepherds,


I looked Mikey right in the eye, and I said, We gotta let em go.
It was the stupidest, most southern-fried, lame brained decision I ever made in my life. I must have been out of my mind. I had actually cast a vote which I knew could sign our death warrant. Id turned into a fucking liberal, a half-assed, no-logic nitwit, all heart, no brain, and the judgment of a jackrabbit.

Lights Out
5th March 10, 06:17 PM
Okay..if what we are talking about is 'the power of the gov't to overcome individual rights' :
The goat herders were allowed to go free because the Washington fatcats wanted to make sure that their individual rights were not sacrificed - and the troops were ordered to place the goat herders' individual rights over the best interests of the soldiers in the field. Instead of having their hands tied, shouldn't these men have had the freedom to place the security of the troops above the individual rights of the goat herders?
And if the answer is yes..shouldn't there be room for similiar overcoming of individual rights in other, war -related circumstances?
Remember I am only talking about war and the security of the nation here...


BTW - all 'due process' means to me in this context is adhering to a predetermined set of standards set down by the powers that be..but I'm sure you have a definition that is much more satisfactory, eh HOG?

I beleive you don't understand what due porcess means.

I'm not law expert, but any self-worhty democracy has more or less this as due process:

-You cannot be arrested for no reason.
-You cannot be held captive for more than X amount of time (usually somewhere beteen 48 or 72 hours in most countries) without formal accusations being made.
-Where you're being held and why cannot be secret. That means the government cannot detain you for undisclosed reason at some undisclosed location.
-You cannot be sentenced without a proper trial.

This, while taken for granted nowadyas, was in its day a big step towards individual rights and freedom. It is one of the cornerstones of democracy, the way I see it.

Because as long as I'm not breaking the law, the government has no right to prevent me from doing anything like, I dunno, disagreeing with it.

Now, the example you posted has nothing to do with due process, not in the context we're talking about.

Also, if said soldiers would have gone Rambo on the goatherders they would had be commited a crime under Geneva Convention.

Not to mention what HoG said and the political clusterfuck they would have placed their own country if the incident became known all around the world.

OZZ
5th March 10, 09:16 PM
Okay, I just looked. The book doesn't say one fucking word about any orders from washington. The liberal in question was himself, because he decided not to kill those shepherds,


Nice read...
No mention about Liberals in Washington and their having an effect on military policy over there ?
You better read the WHOLE book.

OZZ
5th March 10, 09:22 PM
I beleive you don't understand what due porcess means.

I'm not law expert, but any self-worhty democracy has more or less this as due process:

-You cannot be arrested for no reason.
-You cannot be held captive for more than X amount of time (usually somewhere beteen 48 or 72 hours in most countries) without formal accusations being made.
-Where you're being held and why cannot be secret. That means the government cannot detain you for undisclosed reason at some undisclosed location.
-You cannot be sentenced without a proper trial.

This, while taken for granted nowadyas, was in its day a big step towards individual rights and freedom. It is one of the cornerstones of democracy, the way I see it.

Because as long as I'm not breaking the law, the government has no right to prevent me from doing anything like, I dunno, disagreeing with it.

Now, the example you posted has nothing to do with due process, not in the context we're talking about.

Also, if said soldiers would have gone Rambo on the goatherders they would had be commited a crime under Geneva Convention.

Not to mention what HoG said and the political clusterfuck they would have placed their own country if the incident became known all around the world.

I made it clear I wasn't referring to due process in the traditional sense.

I am making a point about how extrenuating circumstances can make it possible to consider suspending the right's of others an option.

Never mind...

OZZ
5th March 10, 10:22 PM
Okay, I just looked. The book doesn't say one fucking word about any orders from washington. The liberal in question was himself, because he decided not to kill those shepherds,

You are pretty stupid, aren't you?
You know you haven't read the whole book..so why go and pull out a particular quote to try and shoot down an argument? "The book doesn't say...." after reading , what, two pages?
You are an ignoramus.Now I see what everyone else has been saying.I gave you too much credit.
Try reading pgs. 40-44 genius, and the specifications for ROE as per orders from Washington.

HappyOldGuy
6th March 10, 12:00 AM
You are pretty stupid, aren't you?
You know you haven't read the whole book..so why go and pull out a particular quote to try and shoot down an argument? "The book doesn't say...." after reading , what, two pages?
You are an ignoramus.Now I see what everyone else has been saying.I gave you too much credit.
Try reading pgs. 40-44 genius, and the specifications for ROE as per orders from Washington.
Pages 40-44 are freely available on B&N preview and are him reminscing about flying into afghanistan in a c-130. Stop digging yourself in deeper.

http://search2.barnesandnoble.com/BookViewer/?ean=9780316067591

Anyhow, anybody who wants to read the part you think you are talking about can read it on pg 37, and then the account of the actual incident that you brought up and realize that they have absolutely nothing to do with eachother. The account you were talking about is really tragic, because it is so obviously his own conscience that lets those guys off, and he has to live with that every day.

Lights Out
6th March 10, 05:23 AM
I made it clear I wasn't referring to due process in the traditional sense.

I am making a point about how extrenuating circumstances can make it possible to consider suspending the right's of others an option.

Never mind...

So basically, you admit you brought an example that has nothing to do with the matter at hand. Can't blame you, though, I'm all for thread derailing if it raises something interesting.

My beef with "extrenuating circumstances" is that it means jack shit. Extrenuating can be applied to almost anything.

Usually tyrants do not say "we're gonna opress the fuck out of people... and terrorists too, while we're at it".

An example, during Franco's dicatatorship, any sort of political opposition to the regime was considered treachery. The thing is, words like "traitor", "terrorists" and "extrenuating circumstances" can have their meanings expanded to almost whatever stretch the people using it want. And if they get enough support, well, that can lead to pretty fucked up situations.

Excuse me, but I'd rather not give the government more power to forfeit my individual rights, specially those that secure my very basic freedom and form the base of many other rights.