Monday, May 27, 2013

President Obama's speech on drones and the war on terrorism ignored rule of law


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Last week, President Obama gave a speech on terrorism, the drone attacks and Gitmo, the prison in Cuba where suspected terrorists and around 80 individuals cleared of any wrong-doing are being held. The entire speech is embedded below, but the focus of this speech is the intentional killing an American suspected of terrorist activities, Anwar al Awlaki. Previously, the Review has called for the President's impeachment for this extra-judicial assassination of an American citizen. Glenn Beck? He celebrated when al Awlaki was killed after first pointing out how unconstitutional it would be to kill an American citizen without due process. No one will ever accuse Mr. Beck of consistency regarding principles.

Listen to the Presidents words. Via the White House website:



The relevant passage is as follows:
But when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America – and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens; and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot – his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a swat team 
That’s who Anwar Awlaki was – he was continuously trying to kill people. He helped oversee the 2010 plot to detonate explosive devices on two U.S. bound cargo planes. He was involved in planning to blow up an airliner in 2009. When Farouk Abdulmutallab – the Christmas Day bomber – went to Yemen in 2009, Awlaki hosted him, approved his suicide operation, and helped him tape a martyrdom video to be shown after the attack. His last instructions were to blow up the airplane when it was over American soil. I would have detained and prosecuted Awlaki if we captured him before he carried out a plot. But we couldn’t. And as President, I would have been derelict in my duty had I not authorized the strike that took out Awlaki.
So what is the problem with that?  Libertarian Senator Rand Paul points out as quoted on the media blog Mediaite:
I was pleased with his words. However, there still is a question in my mind, of what he thinks due process is. Due process to most of us is a court of law, it’s a trial by jury, and right now their process is him looking at some flashcards, and a Power Point presentation on Terror Tuesdays in the White House. For a lot of us, that’s not really due process.
Impeachment was ingrained into the Constitution to hold presidents accountable to the rule of law, and in this instance, President Obama clearly violated the 5th and 14th Amendments.

Targeted killings: OK if Obama does it?   
Credit for Obama/drone pic: AP/Isaac Brekken/Lt. Col.. Leslie Pratt                      
President Obama had suspected terrorist al Awlaki, an American citizen, killed

Consider the assertions Obama made as if they had been proven in court:
  • “Anwar Awlaki, the chief of external operations for AQAP”
There is no such title in al Quada in the Arabia Peninsula. The false claim was apparently used to comport with Attorney General standard in the OLC memo for targeted killing. It must be a senior leader who is targeted.
  • “That’s who Anwar Awlaki was – he was continuously trying to kill people. He helped oversee the 2010 plot to detonate explosive devices on two U.S. bound cargo planes. He was involved in planning to blow up an airliner in 2009.”
This is an allegation that was supposedly provided by the Christmas day underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Again, no proof was offered and no due process was undertaken outside of the "Power Point presentation...in the White House" as Senator Paul framed it.
  • “I would have detained and prosecuted Awlaki if we captured him before he carried out a plot. But we couldn’t.”
The U.S. didn't try to capture al Awlaki. It is possible to mount warheads in the hellfire missiles used to kill al Awlaki with knock-out gas. That would give time for an assault team to fly in and scoop al Awlaki up for a trail. Apparently, no one in the CIA or Pentagon has considered this. Furthermore, why was there never an indictment created against al Awaki? DSWright on the Firedog Lake blog conveys the problem with this claim by the President:
Perhaps if he were formally charged, as an American citizen should be, he may have decided to engage the legal system and we would have an actual factual basis to go on rather than unsubstantiated assertions by Obama. None of that happened. Instead an American citizen was killed by the word of one unaccountable man, President Obama.
Senator Rand Paul is not yet saying it (yet); DSWright did not write it. President Obama should be impeached. Let him stand before the jury of his peers, the U.S. Senate, and make his case for trashing the Constitution this way. It's not hard to imagine that liberals and progressives would be calling for President McCain's impeachment if he had won the election in 2008 and ordered al Awlaki assassinated in this extra-judicial manner. The silence heard on the left is the sound of hypocrisy.

Impeachment happy Glenn Beck, the "values and principles guy," is still focused on the "scandals" de jure as framed by the right: Benghazi, the IRS "targeting" of right-wing groups for extra scrutiny, the AP/Fox "journalist" subpoenas for phone records and the "lies" Obama is supposedly telling about them. Liar Beck making accusations at Obama for lying? That, too, is hypocrisy. Beck ignoring this major speech in his newsletters? That is just surprising.

Update, 5/06/13: On The Cycle today, Jeremy Scahill, creator of the documentary "Dirty Wars," was a guest talking about the killing of Anwar al Awlaki without due process. Listen to him not call for the impeachment of Obama on the all-Obama network, MSNBC, although he certainly could have mentioned it.

Via MSNBC, the relevant dialog begins at the 3:00 minute mark.


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Update, 9/07/2013: Listen to this interview with Professor Francis Boyle who lists the killing of Americans in his articles of impeachment against President Obama. Via Next News Network:



Update, 7/24/2014: The "White Paper," authored by David Barron, which provided the legal reasoning for the killing of al-Alwaki, was released in June of this year. Today, The American Conservative published an article entitled "Drones Against the Fifth Amendment" which also makes the case for impeachment of the President. Author Peter Van Buren writes:
You can’t get more serious about protecting the people from their government than the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, specifically in its most critical clause: “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In 2011, the White House ordered the drone-killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without trial. It claimed this was a legal act it is prepared to repeat as necessary. Given the Fifth Amendment, how exactly was this justified? Thanks to a much contested, recently released but significantly redacted—about one-third of the text is missing—Justice Department white paper providing the basis for that extrajudicial killing, we finally know: the president in Post-Constitutional America is now officially judge, jury, and executioner.
Unfortunately, there are too many Democrats who put partisan loyalty above the Constitution, and too many Republicans who fear appearing soft on terrorism, regardless of the constitutional consequences. For more on the rationale offered by Barron, read a related article at Fire Dog Lake.

Update, 12/27/2014: Op-Ed News has been running articles critical of the President, but an originally published Daily Kos article makes a strong case for the impeachment of Presidents Bush and Obama. See "A Decent Nation Would Have Impeached Bush and Obama." The Daily Kos is usually extremely supportive of President Obama. More on the left are waking up and leaving hypocrisy in the real view mirror.

Glenn Beck, meanwhile, wants Obama impeached because...well, just because. Glenn Beck has come up with a novel reason to impeach a president. Via the RWW Facebook feed:



He wants to stain a president's record. Creative fool. Beck's flip flop on the assassination of al-Awlaki demonstrates one of the three main criticisms rendered repeatedly on this Review. He doesn't seem sincere; it's all a performance, a show to keep his listeners frightened and angry. He's a fraud, a charlatan, a front-man for the Koch brothers and other far-right members of the 0.01%.

Beck, like virtually every member of the House of Representatives, does not give the principle behind the Fifth Amendment the seriousness it deserves. From the Daily Kos piece:
Obama and approximately a hundred members of his national security team gather for their "Terror Tuesday" meetings in which they hand pick the next so-called national security "threat" to die by way of the American military/CIA drone program. Obama signs off personally on about a third of the drone strikes: all of the ones in Yemen and Somalia, and the risky ones in Pakistan. ... These "Terror Tuesday" sessions run counter to every constitutional and moral principle that has guided America since its inception. It's not only suspected terrorists whose death warrants are being personally signed by the president but innocent civilians geographically situated near a strike zone, as well, whether or not they have any ties to a suspected terrorist. As an anonymous government official on Obama's drone campaign observed, "They count the corpses and they're not really sure who they are." Indeed, Obama's first authorized drone attack in Yemen led to the deaths of 14 women and 21 children, and only one al Qaeda affiliate....Should we fail to recognize and rectify the danger in allowing a single individual to declare himself the exception to the rule of law and assume the role of judge, jury, and executioner, we will have no one else to blame when we plunge once and for all into the abyss that is tyranny.
Beck has an "excuse;" he's an Islamophobe, or he pretends to be, and al-Awlaki was Muslim. Members of Congress apparently agree for one reason or another that our post-Constitutional "empire" should not be challenged with the instrument of impeachment the Framers made available in the Constitution. This tyranny, along with the NSA intrusion of American privacy, the legal attacks on whistle blowers, the neo-feudal world order and a variety of anti-democratic Supreme Court decisions will require another American revolution to restore the democratic, constitutional Republic that's been lost.

Update 1/18/15: In a piece republished on Reader Supported News, The Intercept journalist, Jeremy Scahill, reported:
The U.S. government continues to maintain that Awlaki personally directed the Christmas Day bomb plot. Its source for that is an alleged confession given to investigators by Abdulmutallab immediately after he was apprehended. But that confession has serious problems. Marcy Wheeler, an independent journalist who has scrutinized this case more extensively than any other journalist, has written several analyses of this case. “Abdulmutallab gave 3 ‘confessions,’” Wheeler told me. “The first on December 25, 2009, after he was captured. In that he attributed all his direction to ‘Abu Tarak,’ which [the] DOJ would later claim was just a pseudonym for Awlaki, which is impossible.” In Yemen, I asked many sources close to Awlaki if they had ever heard this nickname used or given to Awlaki. None had.
Clearly, Awlaki had joined AQAP; but the case against him, a case that never included an indictment, hearing or trial, is not cut and dry. In our post-constitutional, corporate-state, we have to just take the President's word for it. That's not what the Framers had in mind when they crafted the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"

For a Mormon criticism of Mr. Beck, see "Rough Stone Soaring"

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Biting criticism vs counterpropaganda


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In comments around the Internet, this blogger, commenting as Gadamer_Too, is sometimes called by Glenn Beck's followers a "propagandist." Coming from followers of a blatant propagandist, that's rich. There is a difference between harsh, biting criticism of a propagandist like Glenn Beck or of a politician and counterpropaganda. That difference is factual accuracy. Are criticisms accurate or are they made up, distortions or exaggerations?

Propaganda is "the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person." This Review has used a rumor once to explain why Beck might have told Senator Santorum that he wanted to "kiss you in the mouth," and that was, in hindsight, regrettable. Beck uses misinformation, historical revisionism, false claims and outright lies to injure the President specifically and progressives and their political philosophy in general.


Propaganda expert and author of Debunking Glenn Beck points out that Karl wrote: "Criticism encourages critical thought and reflection, and further questions; counterpropaganda opposes propaganda either by exposing it as propaganda or promoting its opposite. The former encourages learning and rational thought; the latter reinforces prejudices and irrational reactions."

To demonstrate the difference between biting criticism and counterpropaganda, two videos by two different people will be embedded below and contrasted. The first comes from "Anton," who wrote and performed an original song to, hopefully, make people think more critically about Beck's methods and goals.


From "cobblewrite" on YouTube is this clever song entitled "Think:"




One criticism that could be made against Anton's lyrics have to do with the FEMA camps. Beck did, eventually, debunk that conspiracy. Beck also doesn't discuss his "magic underwear," and that is a cheap shot at his Mormon faith. Other than those minor points, this is an accurate and biting criticism of Beck and his paranoid style. The "character" railing against Beck at the end is an impression of Alex Jones, another far-right crank who rails against Mr. Beck.

  
Glenn Beck and Alex Jones: reactionary cranks at each other's throats

In contrast, "Glenn Beck, Conspiracy Nut!!" is packed with misinformation about Beck. See if you can catch the factual errors as you listen to this from SantiagoJJJr on YouTube:



First, although Beck mockingly refers to himself as "crazy," that is an inaccurate assessment. Next, revolution in America scares the hell out of Beck; it's the last thing he would promote. The Tea Party wants to rule the U.S., and the U.S. rules the world.

Beck is not a shill for the GOP; Beck "hates" the Republican Party...until election time. Beck is a shill for corporations. Beck does not want to get people to blow stuff up or create another OK City. That is just a smear on Mr. Beck. The part about sending Beck your money is pretty accurate. Beck is a racist and a hate-filled host. Beck is not "openly trying to get people to be violent." Beck, a stochastic terrorist, is more subtle than that. The line, "you're going to have to shoot them in the head" is taken out of context. Beck was actually addressing what people in the Obama administration would have to do when "radicals" in Obama's White House attempted their "revolution." The full quote is as follows:

The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep's clothing -- change the pose. You will get the ends. 
You've been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You're going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you. 
They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind. And if they feel you have lied to them -- they're revolutionaries.
Beck does not belong in an institution unless it's an institution for the performing arts. Beck's value is "for entertainment purposes only." Pathetically, his followers take him and his nonsense seriously. No argument, no matter how clear and unambiguous can get it through his fan's head that, for example, (<===link to Facebook page) Beck is a liar. They have been programmed through repetition to believe that at Beck's BlazeTV: "The truth lives here." Nothing is further from the truth.

For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"

For a Mormon criticism of Mr. Beck, see "Rough Stone Soaring"

Before more people start tuning into Beck's reactionary, yellow propaganda
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Two narratives, one truth


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"I don't know where [Obama is from]. I don't think he's from where they issue birth certificates. I think he's from hell."
~~Glenn Beck
April 16, 2011
This week, Glenn Beck uses the ongoing witch hunt over Benghazi and it's aftermath and the scandal of the IRS allegedly targeting conservative groups for review of their 501 (c) 4 applications to -- again -- call for the President's impeachment. Following then, are two narratives: the first is a fourteen and a half minute monologue by Mr. Beck from his radio show on May 13th and the second is a fifteen + minute detailed coverage of the IRS scandal by Chris Hayes and guests on his show, All In. Two narratives; one truth. 

Via Glenn Beck's website:



There are a good number of false claims in this monologue. Can you pick them out? "Knowing that help was accessible." Not so much. From Crooks and Liars:
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told CBS News that Republican lawmakers who are blasting President Barack Obama's administration for failing to take military action during last September's surprise attacks in Benghazi have a "cartoonish" view of the military. 
"I listened to the testimony of [Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta] and [Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey]," Gates explained to CBS host Bob Schieffer in an interview that aired on Sunday. "And, frankly, had I been in the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were."
And there's more. Drones were not "in the air" until the next morning after the attack. 

The reason the media doesn't consider Beck "one of theirs" is because news organizations try to get the facts correct. Glenn Beck? Not so much. Beck does not grasp the distinction between a newscast and a program of propaganda. 

In this monologue Beck doesn't even mention the most effective person behind the effort to get him off of Fox: Angelo Carosone and his effort to StopBeck. No one needed to "smear" Mr. Beck. That was his job, and that is why he was targeted, specifically after Beck smeared President Obama as a "racist." No one who lies as much as Glenn Beck has credibility, so he is under an amazingly effect delusion of his own "righteousness." Also, this Review has called for Obama's impeachment over the killing of an American without due process, but there's no effort to "destroy" this blogger. Beck typically states "facts" that have no correspondence to reality, especially with regard to the Obama White House.


tells yet another whopper

Beck understands why the boycott of advertisers for his Fox show was organized; he just doesn't care to admit to any responsibility for his hateful rhetoric, his racism, his vitriol and his deceitful propaganda. Here's the GRAND LIE Beck conveys at the 11:07 minute mark. 
I have not suggested that anything rises to ... the level of impeachment...There's documentation on this. I believe it is time for the American people to demand that a Special Council is appointed ... It is time that the American people demand that the "security system" that has been aimed directly at the American people...be turned on itself....
The lie stems from Friday, April 19th when Beck said, "when America knows the full story on this [Saudi student, Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi] if she doesn't stand up, and quite honestly and demand impeachment and a mass firing ...we don't stand a chance.

The counter narrative come from the May 13th episode of All In with Chris Hayes.

Via MSNBC:


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Hayes is right. The real IRS scandal is the use of 501 (c) 4 corporations being used, in the aftermath of the Citizens United case to promote candidates. It can't be any surprise that extra scrutiny way given to many of these groups, but the IRS should have added "progressive" to their filters when the were deciding what applications were to be carefully examined. As Jeffrey Toobin states in The New Yorker:
But let’s be clear on the real scandal here. The columnist Michael Kinsley has often observed that the scandal isn’t what’s illegal—it’s what’s legal. It’s what society chooses not to punish that tells us most about the prevailing ethical standards of the time. Campaign finance operates by shaky, or even nonexistent, rules, and powerful players game the system with impunity. A handful of I.R.S. employees saw this and tried, in a small way, to impose some small sense of order. For that, they’ll likely be ushered into bureaucratic oblivion.
Despite the hyperbole from Mr. Beck, the scandal involves incompetence and insubordination, but not much in the way of conspiracy to the White House. If it turns out that someone in the White House issued orders to target conservative groups, then that would lead to Congressional inquiries. Dishonest Beck is in no position to lead the effort, that much is clear.

For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"

For a Mormon criticism of Mr. Beck, see "Rough Stone Soaring"

Before more people start tuning into Beck's reactionary, yellow propaganda
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Beck speech to the NRA smears Mayor Bloomberg this time


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Glenn Beck, who recently came out with a anti-gun control book entitled Control, offered the keynote address to the NRA on May 4th. His speech is offered in its entirety below and followed by the criticism he took for how he depicted NYC Mayor Bloomberg. Beck ushered his faux outrage to claim how the media has the depiction wrong; but in doing so, he makes himself out to be too clever by half.

Via the NRA website:



Instead of picking this completely apart, it's useful to let the professionals take on the false claims made by Mr. Beck.

Via Media Research Center, aka, the Mendacious Reactionary Collaborators:



Matthews was being hypocritical here, but ABC news and other media outlets also picked up on the appearance of that salute. ABC noted:
Glenn Beck roused the National Rifle Association's annual convention this weekend with his attacks on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but he also aroused criticism by a major Jewish group for depicting the mayor giving what appears to be a a Nazi salute.
"...what appears to be." Now listen to Beck's faux outrage at how the media covered his choice of imagery. Via the media blog, Mediaite:

 

Beck picked a rare graphic of Lenin, added an armband, and knew damn well, as he explained, that he thought he was going to trick the media into believing it was a Nazi salute. First, this is what a Soviet salute  actually looked like:



Beck thinks he's owed an apology? ABC was correct; it appeared to be a Nazi salute, not a Soviet one. Beck, who suffers from "Nazi Tourette Syndrome," is being an utter hypocrite when he questions any media outlet's credibility. That is nothing new; Beck is a serial hypocrite. Beck has no credibility. He is still harping on the Saudi student that he smeared in a lame effort to rouse the rabble in his following to have the President impeached following the Boston marathon terrorist bombings. Beck owes Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi an apology, but that won't happen unless he's forced to by a judge in civil court. Beck owes President Obama an apology for calling him a racist. That will never happen either.

Taking Beck at his word for a minute, he cleverly fooled Media Matters, ABC and HuffPo among others by depicting capitalist billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, as a "communist" or Leninist or whatever he thinks he was doing. And Beck sure tricked them. Yep, people thought that the exact same salute was Nazi because Beck is so clever.


So Beck thinks that a capitalist billionaire is Leninist or communist. Right. That, actually, is more absurd than depicting Bloomberg as a Nazi. Either way, Beck is being deceitful. Nazi salute or Soviet salute (it wasn't), Beck was STILL engaging in deceitful propaganda. In other words, same old Glenn Beck.

Oh yes, Beck is so clever. Too clever really. Too clever by half. It's pathetic that no one at Mediaite thought to point this out, but that, too, is same old Mediaite.

The Frenchman, who supposedly refused to cross the line in the sand at the Alamo, had been named to the French Legion of Honor for heroism. There is serious doubts as to whether Moses Rose was even in the garrison that day, but that didn't stop Beck from taking a cheap shot at the French.



During the NRA speech, Beck noted "We tended to get along."  Then Beck was hired by Fox, and vitriolic, race-baiting hate-speech became his modus operandi. In fact, Americans of different political stripes have engaged in angry disputes over political issues for centuries; but facts and Beck's verbiage are not typically in alignment. In other words, this speech was pretty much as expected, i.e. deceitful propaganda.



Photo
copied from Santiago James Chavez' FB page

Update, 5/09/2013: The following fantasy is from SantiagoJJJr's YouTube site, referenced in the comment below:



It would have been preferable, if this video were Review produced, to have all of those Beck cited but One agree that Beck has the right to say whatever he wants to say so long as he does not yell "FIRE" in that crowed venue or incite armed insurrection against the state, something he often comes too close to. All but One would walk away leaving Jesus to alone to offer a prayer for Mr. Beck to stop using His name to promote gun ownership as the talisman of freedom.


For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"

For a Mormon criticism of Mr. Beck, see "Rough Stone Soaring"

Before more people start tuning into Beck's reactionary, yellow propaganda
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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Beck's employee, S E Cupp, asks a great question on The Cycle


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For some time now, Glenn Beck's employee, conservative journalist S E Cupp, has been on an MSNBC program called The Cycle. Considering the utter dud of a story Beck crashed with recently, i.e., the non-suspect Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, as the center of a conspiracy that was to arouse the American people to call for President Obama's impeachment, it is useful to see that Cupp is focused on a story that actually would lead to President Obama's impeachment if the House Republicans actually cared about the Constitution.

  
Glenn Beck and his employee, S E Cupp

The Monday in July of 2010, when the Shirley Sherrod story -- about the department of agriculture employee who was quoted out of context to make her seem like a racist -- broke, Beck ignored that fake controversy and instead "broke" the 7 and 1/2 month old news that the President had a kill list and an American citizen was on it. It is a rare instance that Beck is actually on the right side of history or the Constitution.  On that one concern Glenn Beck would have been on solid constitutional reasoning to call for the impeachment of President Obama when this American, an al Queda propagandist named Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed, as he was in September of 2011. However, when Beck discussed assassination on his radio show, he said, "Dingdong, the witch is dead. Anwar al-Awlaki is dead." So much for "principles" and the Constitution.

Instead of using the "extra-judicial" killing of an American to call for Obama's impeachment, Beck chose an absurd conspiracy theory that exploited a Saudi national's circumstance around the tragic Boston terrorist bombings. That turned out to be a huge bust since Alharbi was cleared by the FBI and Beck's "evidence" against him did not make any sense, according to Beck's own guest, Bob Trent.

Cupp has been addressing the topic of Obama's "extra-judicial" killing of Americans without using the word "impeachment." Unlike Mr. Beck, Cupp seems to have integrity as a conveyor of actual facts. This MSNBC segment, concerning national security, ties right into Glenn Beck's absurd attempt, last week, to get his gullible followers angered and riled up to demand Obama's impeachment. Listen to SE Cupp's question and discussion about Obama's drone war in particular.

Via MSNBC:


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The drone strikes that are creating "resentment" are actually undermining American security with the killing of many innocent people, so-called "collateral damage." This includes two other Americans, Samir Khan, who was with al-Awaki when his vehicle was slammed by a hellfire missile and Abdulrahman al-Awaki, Anwar's 16 y/o son. As 9-11 was a backlash against the first Gulf War and U.S. troops based in Saudi Arabia, these drone strikes are making enemies of the United States. That is the best reason that this program should be grounded and reviewed by Congress. As Yemini activist and journalist, Ferea Al-Muslimi, argues, the predator drone approach to counter-terrorism is akin to reading from a manual '10 Steps on How to Lose a War.’ ”

Because of loyalties and ideological bias, congressional supporters of President Obama appear to refuse to consider what seems obvious. By having al-Awaki assassinated without due process, Obama apparently has violated the 5th and 14th Amendments of the Constitution. Cupp mentioned this in an earlier episode of The Cycle, but Beck never picked up on this solid and principled reason to not just oppose the President, but to call for his impeachment as he did recently for dishonest reasons. Like most of Obama's supporters, Beck supported the killing of al-Awaki, but in Beck's case, only after he initially opposed it.

Abdulrahman al-Awaki

The point is not just that Beck is a hypocrite. Big deal; that is nothing new. The point is not that Beck's dissent against Obama is dishonest. That is nothing new either. The point is that Glenn Beck has had solid reasons to call for the President's impeachment since September of 2011, but remained supportive of the extra-judicial killing of an American citizen off the battlefield. Instead, Beck chose a completely bogus reason to call for Obama's impeachment.

This does not suggest that Beck is stupid; he did not want to alienate his followers who were glad that al-Awaki was killed, legally or not. This is likely the reason why the Republican House has not impeached the President for the assassination of an American. Beck is a savvy businessman and excellent salesman who tells his customers what they want to hear. On the other hand, Beck is no Rhodes Scholar or anything close to it.

There are two points here, one for the general public happening upon this post and one for Beck's supporters who assume that anyone pointing out Beck's dishonest propaganda against Obama must be a supporter of the President. President Barack Obama should be impeached for the "extra-judicial" assassination of an America off the battlefield. Perhaps the President has a perfectly legal rationale for this apparently unconstitutional crime, but he is not conveying it to the American people. So much for transparency. President Obama should stand before a jury of his peers, the U.S. Senate, and make the case for this killing of an American without apparent due process. Otherwise, we can kiss our Republic farewell; we are now an empire, just as Beck adviser Karl Rove stated in 2004.

Despite the false claims of Beck's followers on comments around the Internet, this Republican blogger is no supporter of President Obama. His foreign policy behavior is in some ways better than President Bush's and in too many ways worse. Obama is too integrated with technological solutions and technical rationality which ignores the reasons why some reactionary Muslims are plotting against the U.S. It is our "foreign policy" that creates non-domestic terrorist plot against Americans. This was covered by reporter and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald in a recent interview with Bill Moyers. Via The Guardian:



What we need to do as a nation is to use a broader form of rationality, rationality proper, to come up with a new foreign policy that would reduce America's strategic footprint, roll back the American "Empire" and allow all nations the right to self-determination. Yes, sometimes we need to kill those who would (or have) do(no) us harm, but until we radically reduce or otherwise modify the drone program of terrorism from the sky and generally stop giving Muslims reasons to hate the American "empire," the U.S. is expending resources that would be better directed at "combating" climate change which has the potential to do far more damage to the United States and all civilizations than what a tiny minority of angry, reactionary Muslims can do to their Western enemies. The best way to fight terrorism is to stop making enemies!

You won't read this on Beck's neo-conservative website nor in the mainstream media, but the United States needs to employ a broader form of reason (rationality proper) and deconstruct the "empire" that has been growing since the late 19th Century. No empire has lasted forever; and the U.S. is no exception, no matter how deluded the overly narrow practitioners of technical rationality are about "American exceptionalism." Impeaching President Obama would send a message to future presidents. We the people will not tolerate it when a president ignores the Constitution in pursuit of temporary, technological military advantages that are as likely unconstitutional as the assassination of al-Awaki, an alleged but never even charged "direct plotter" against the United States. 

No illusions here: the peaceful deconstruction of the American "empire" will not happen and thus the United States will continue to drift, as we have been for over the last century, toward greater militarization of our society and toward the inevitable result of military hubris, i.e., the collapse of power and influence that accompanies the twilight of an empire. The Soviet Union demonstrated that this process need not be violent, but do not expect the American elite to follow their example. We need new leaders with new (rationality proper) thinking. For that, we need a broadly enlightened base of American voters no matter what their Party affiliation, to support such leaders. Therefore, in the name of peace, please share this URL: http://tinyurl.com/c4zz4ep

Update, 5/13/2013: Now that Beck's effort to have Obama impeached because the FBI cleared the Saudi student, Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, after the Boston bombing attack, he's now on another track to push for Obama's impeachment. Listen to this:

Via Right Wing Watch:



"I have not suggested that anything raises to the level of impeachment..." WTF? He just did claim that Obama should be impeached a few weeks ago! Starting this call for a Special Council by stating a bold-faced lie is not exactly making an honest argument. 

Beck had a legitimate reason to call for Obama's impeachment in 2011, but making the case that the IRS mishandling of Tea Party tax status is an impeachable offense is reaching. And it would be stupid. That last thing that the Republican Party wants is an incumbent President Biden to try to defeat in 2016.



For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"
For a Mormon criticism of Mr. Beck, see "Rough Stone Soaring"
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