Drones, Double Standards and the So-Called Mainstream Media

DronesI don’t agree with President Obama on very much, but I agree with him when it comes to using drones to kill terrorists, including American terrorists who are operating on foreign soil.

Like the president I think it’s perfectly okay to aim a drone missile right between the eyes of the terrorist, American or otherwise, and blow his brains out without so much as a judge or jury first declaring him guilty.

The fact that he’s a traitor fighting for al Qaeda means he’s guilty on the face of it.

If President Obama ever decides to go after Americans who are not terrorists, say, while they’re sipping a Frappaccino grande at a Starbucks in Cleveland, then I’ll get excited.  Absent that, drone away, Mr. President. No problem here.

But I am interested in how what passes for the mainstream media have been handling the drone story.

Now that NBC News broadcast a leaked memo about the president’s justification for killing American terrorists with drones, the story is all over the place.  It’s become too tough to play down. There’s even disapproval coming from bastions of liberal journalism, like the editorial page of the New York Times.

But before the secret memo made it on the air, the so-called mainstream media showed precious little outrage over the president’s use of drones, which Mr. Obama is deploying in far greater numbers than President Bush ever thought about.  Certainly the liberal outrage, in and out of the media, never reached the levels that the Left showed over President Bush’s use of waterboarding to get information out of terrorists we had captured.

Never mind that none of the (3) terrorists who were subject to what liberals like to call “torture” ever died because of waterboarding — while many terrorists have died after being blasted by a drone missile.  Besides the terrorists, more than a few innocent civilians have been killed by drone strikes ordered by President Obama, some of them little children.

You’d think that liberal journalists and their civilian counterparts who were incensed over waterboarding – it was a war crime and a violation of American standards and ideals, they told us – might show the same outrage over drone attacks that leave all sorts of people, guilty and innocent, dead.

But they didn’t.  With a few exceptions, the media’s moral outrage went poof?  It evaporated.  It simply disappeared into thin air.

For the most part, they weren’t troubled all that much by the president’s doubletalk on the issue.  Four months after he took office, he said this:

“Now let me be clear: We are indeed at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates. We do need to update our institutions to deal with this threat. But we must do so with an abiding confidence in the rule of law and due process; in checks and balances and accountability. For reasons that I will explain, the decisions that were made over the last eight years established an ad hoc legal approach for fighting terrorism that was neither effective nor sustainable — a framework that failed to rely on our legal traditions and time-tested institutions, and that failed to use our values as a compass.”

As Peter Wehner noted in a column for Commentary Magazine:  “… it is true that there is a serious argument to be made that during wartime targeting terrorists, including Americans, with drones is justified. But that justification probably best not come from someone who has spent much of the last half-dozen years or so sermonizing against waterboarding, accusing those who approved such policies of trashing American ideals and shredding our civil liberties, and portraying himself as pure as the new-driven snow. Because any person who did so would be vulnerable to the charge of moral preening and moral hypocrisy.”

And by sermonizing against interrogation by waterboarding and downplaying killing by drones, members of Mr. Obama’s loyal base – liberal journalists – are no less guilty of moral preening and moral hypocrisy.

There are two reasons for their lack of passion on the drone story. The first has to do with controversy.  The media love controversy – but there was virtually none when it came to drones, except for Code Pink and the ACLU and a few other morally consistent institutions of the far Left. They detested waterboarding and they felt the same away about drone attacks.

But conservatives, by and large, had no objections to President Obama’s use of drones to kill terrorists, including American terrorists.  Except for Ron Paul, none of the Republicans running for president made drones an issue.

So many journalists figured, no controversy, no story.

The second reason is just as empty.  And here it is in three words:  They love him.

Journalists fell in love with Mr. Obama early on and when you love somebody as deeply as they love him, it’s not all that hard to look the other way at the kind of behavior that would make your skin crawl if it came from somebody else.

It’s too bad so many journalists don’t have the capacity to be humiliated.  If they did, they’d be ashamed of how hard they’ve fallen for this politician from Chicago.  I suspect even he doesn’t respect them.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/marijo.oneill Mari Jo O’Neill

    I am so sick & tired of the so called “chuckleheads” that you refer to who cannot even have a thought of their own, then the “nimrods” in the Media who get thrills up their legs everytime Obama speaks. It is so very very pathetic, when all we have ever heard from this “used car salesman” is lie after lie after lie. What I don’t understand about all of these idiots is that if this Country is destroyed by Oabam they all go down to. They will not be spared. So keep it up until we are done and then we will hear these same people squeal like pigs. Thanks Bernie for always being on the money.

  • BARBBF

    ANOTHER TERRORIST THAT OBAMA KILLED

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqqz_KLU4Ys

  • BenDoubleCrossed

    Read

    No More John David Dyche Columns In The C-J?

    http://www.whas.com/pages/MandyConnell.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Boone/695677833 Stephen Boone

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. Excuse me, MISTER President, but it was settled by George Washington that you should not be addressed as Your Highness, or any other honorific but instead as MISTER President and being deprived of Life by a drone counts and you asking your campaign manager whether there will be political costs to a drone killing some Americans in Brooklyn or Utah or anywhere in the USA is NOT “due process of law”. GOT THAT, MISTER?

  • catholicvoter

    Obama respects nobody other than himself, and he certainly does not respect the liberal media that do nothing but kiss up to him. The liberal media is respected by very few these days. What’s to respect?

  • Brad Ghorn

    We know the mainstream media are nothing more than cheerleaders for Barack Obama. I would not respect them less if they actually did cheers to Obama in their programming. They could say: “Barack Obama, he’s our man. If he can’t do it, no one can.”They are basically pushing that cheer on us on a daily basis anyways, so the cheers would only make them more honest in their reporting. We will not see a serious critique of Obama ever from the mainstream media. Every once in a while they will throw out an entirely scripted superficial criticism, but only so they can feign fairness.

  • http://twitter.com/TOMMYMAY4 TOMMY MAY

    This is pure neglect and proof that thse ships are too big and not built correctly since the Titanic? Years ago it was determined for these large ships to have Auxillary Backup at MIDSHIPS, which would corrected any fires in the rear engine room? It’s how many dumbies they can get on board with min expense >>.

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie: Did I hear Beckel on O’Rielly last night say he knew of not a single conservative who said “I’m good with Obama drone policy”? Might reduce liberal ignorance if they would just…read your stuff!

  • Wheels55

    Obama could crap on the dinner plates of liberal journalists and they would think he served them a 7 course meal. Perhaps, afterwards, they would write a story about recycling.

    I know what I just said is sick, but is it really all that severe when looking at the flock of sheep?

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie: On the first empty reason, the controversy was there, but not between conservatives and liberals, it was between Dems and the left. It was in front of their nose, any news person could have done a story by going first to some code pink spokesperson, or college prof., or Cindy Sheehan, or Dennis Kucinich, there were a few “morally consistent” lefties quite willing to get airtime or ink to express outrage re: drones or Gitmo even at risk some mud would splash onto The One’s trousers. Why did they get no airtime or ink at all? See empty reason # 2. Even for a cynic like me, who sees about a hundred examples of press bias each week, this just takes my breath away. The same press people who spent wks in Wyoming wilderness hoping for a neighbor to say her dog snarled at D. Cheney, then turn that into Nat’l Security/constitutional crises, are putting hands over ears and yelling “la la la, I can’t hear you” if they hear the word “Benghazi” or “drone”.

  • http://apostrophejones.com/ Gloves Donahue, Jr.

    There’s no logic in Libville.
    Why do they demean our friend Israel and celebrate the Muslim Brotherhood, who want us dead?
    Why do they push the gay agenda, but use “gay” as an insult?
    Why do they park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?

  • johnfromil

    During the Civil war, the armies of the North vigorously prosecuted and killed the soldiers that were fighting against the Union.
    During WWI and WWII, there were a few Americans who were traitors and aided and abetted the enemy. Those should have died a traitors death.
    Any who take up arms against the United States or its forces, regardless of their nationality deserve to die.
    As long as Obama does not attempt to stifle political dissent, and execute those that oppose him on policy etc. I’m okay with the US military killing those in arms against the US.

  • trailbee

    The only reason I have a problem with this American terrorist on foreign soil/drone killing is where is this famous need to show the world how compassionate we are? Gitmo was supposed to be closed, and wasn’t because there was no place to house these Muslims, not Terrorists. NY is no longer the venue for 9/11 hearings. The Fort Hood shooter is still bearded. But it’s ok to drop a little something on the head of an American, no matter how misguided he is? How about some compassion and bringing him home and letting him stay at Gitmo until a public hearing? That thing about what’s good for the goose, you know.

    • johnfromil

      Compassion. BS. If you talk to any of these islamic terrorists, they want to kill us all. I think the only way to deal with any of them is with death. Those in Gitmo, should have had a long drop at the end of rope a long time ago.

      • trailbee

        I probably used the wrong word, but do understand your BS. Obama’s compassion for terrorists is (in)famous. “Those in Gitmo” is the exact problem – they’re still there. And will be there until the cows come home. No rope for them. Why drones dropped on home-grown terrorists? They at least have Constitutional rights. It looks like a vendetta on O’s part, when he is trying to repair our image around the world. Do as I say, don’t do as I do.

      • BARBBF

        Predator Drone Strikes 36 Civilians Are Murdered For Every Terrorist Killed By a Drone

        “Did we just kill a kid?” Brandon Bryant, a drone operator working for the Air Force, realized aloud.

        “Yeah, I guess that was a kid,” another pilot replied.

        “No. That was a dog,” someone answered via computer from a distant military command center.

        Bryant’s scenario is an all-too-common occurrence in the War on
        Terror. Under President Obama, the use of military drones to conduct
        targeted assassinations against terrorists has exploded. More than 300 drone strikes have been conducted, killing some 2,500 people.

        That is not even the worst of it. A recent Marine Times article ran the alarming headline “Some Afghan kids aren’t bystanders”
        on December 3, reporting on the death of three children in Afghanistan who were guilty of the crime of appearing to dig a hole in a road. Army Lt. Col. Marion Carrington, quoted in the article, said that “It kind of opens our aperture” that children are being used in the conflict. “In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s looking for children with potential hostile intent.”

        Obama has authorized 193 drone strikes in Pakistan – 4 times the amount authorized by George W. Bush.

        According to Global Research, over the past 4 years Obama
        has authorized attacks in Pakistan which have killed more than 800
        innocent civilians and just 22 Al-Qaeda officers. That constitutes at least 36 civilians per target. This is grotesquely unacceptable. Even if we accept the logic and rationale of drone strikes – which I do not – we should be shooting for zero civilians killed per target.

    • BARBBF

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/under-fire-from-afar-harrowing-exhibition-reveals-damage-done-by-drones-in-pakistan-2327832.html

      If you want to understand the impact of the
      “war on terror” on America’s ally, Pakistan, look no further
      than Noor Behram’s photographs which show, he says, collateral
      damage as a result of US drone strikes in the tribal area.
      Behram, who is from Waziristan, has spent the past four years
      interviewing survivors of drone attacks, shooting video footage
      and close-up stills of the damage. The photographs – part of a
      new London exhibition – are gruesome.

      Images of a severed hand, a child with half
      his head blown off, mangled body parts, demolished homes, a
      mosque reduced to rubble and the blood-splattered clothes of a
      woman held aloft by her widower have been converted to QuickTime
      films by the Beaconsfield gallery and projected, unedited, on to
      a giant cinema screen which plays on a loop. There is video
      footage of a lone drone hovering above a village in Miranshah,
      which resembles a fly on the camera lens. The background noise
      is of children playing and a rooster crowing.

      There is another image, of an empty grave.
      Eighty mourners attending a funeral were struck by a missile and
      killed before they could bury the body. A local man who was
      digging the grave lies mutilated beside it. Similar images are
      regularly printed in local Pakistani papers, fanning the flames
      of anti-Americanism. A recent Pew poll found that 97 per cent of
      respondents viewed drones negatively and 69 per cent now view
      America as the enemy.

      Since President Obama came to
      office, the use of unmanned aircraft has drastically
      increased. Bush used unmanned predator drones 45 times in
      his eight years in office, while Obama unleashed 118
      drones on Pakistan last year alone.

  • stmichrick

    The real issue with the drone strategy has more to do with our one dimensional strategy of killing those demonstrating profiled behavior in contrast with seeking to capture some for interrogation. God forbid we swell the population at Gitmo for some more hijinx with the wet face towels.

    How anyone can say that it is immoral to subject selected terrorists to the uncomfortable procedure that is part of American military pilot training is posturing, pure and simple. The secret is out; waterboarding has worked in some key instances. The media caricature of torture; sadistic, vindictive, conducted by goons named Igor is naive.

  • joer1

    Bernie, I do not know of anyone who objects to killing Terrorists … American Citizens or not. I don’t think that is the issue. It seems to me that the issue is whether a President … any President should get to make that call by himself. Congress needs to be involved and the American Judiciary needs to be involved through trials in “ABSENTIA”…. then, a kill order can be issued. Picture the reaction if Richard Nixon or George Bush claimed the power to order the assassination of Americans because they were dangerous people ….. or some future president, now unknown. Consider the “intelligence” we could gather from these Terrorists. We are here even talking about the HYPOCRISY inherent in the Liberal objection to enhanced interrogation techniques but, we think it’s ok to “assassinate” these folks ????????? If necessary, some folks need to die but if we can capture and interrogate in a “Black site” … that’s ok … we ARE on a slippery slope but all is fair in love and WAR!

  • gizmo

    Bernie, as much as I’d LIKE to agree with you, we cannot stoop to the level of taking out our own citizens without a trial. That’s not Rule of Law, that’s despotism or tyranny. The major reason is that then the guy with the buttons controlling the drone, gun or whatever is the one choosing who gets the working end of it! There is no American that should have that power over another American citizen without a trial, unless possibly this is in time of war & the target is obvious.

  • Roadmaster

    You’ve certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of “A Slobbering Love Affair,” Bernie, but on and on it goes – it’s the Never Ending Story! I used to think, then hope and pray these people could be shamed or humiliated. HA! They have no shame and are the opposite of humble, being supremely arrogant in their ability to control and manipulate. How on earth the Down Stream Media still holds sway over public opinion, with all of their ignorance, rank hypocrisy, blatant lies and misdirection is a wonder to behold!

    Keep swinging away at ‘em – hopefully more people will see the light.

  • Venter

    SECRET MEMO scares me more than the Drone. We know from what the SECRET HEALTHCARE BILL has done. What happens if the American is SECRET agent acting like a terrorist. Maybe this Drone plan should be handled by a seasoned military men. If i wrap myself in foil, will it protect me from a Drone coming in the window because I wrote this.. Excuse me I am a little paranoid??

  • chuck tatum

    “I don’t want my president to go ‘all cowboy.” -my family’s sentiments 4 years ago.
    Today,,,”YeeHaw!”

  • nickshaw

    I think your suspicion is absolutely correct, Bernie.
    If there is any “class” Skeeter doesn’t have any respect for, it would be the lapdog “journalists” of the left.
    Oddly, despite his disdain, I believe he grudgingly holds just a little for those who would dare to point out his faults!
    If you think about it, that’s exactly how any thinking human would feel in his place.

    • ksp48

      How could Obama have any respect for such useful idiots and otherwise useless tools as the Media. They mistake his using them as some kind of reciprocal love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1560111594 Robert Blum

    The achilles heel yet to be honestly recognized and discussed openly is that the liberal strategy implementing drones by the US can be easily implemented in the US by unfriendly factions and enemy forces.

    • nickshaw

      Now that’s an interesting hypothesis, Bob.
      I wonder what Skeeter would think of that?

  • ted

    Bob Hadley: you write that the drone strikes kill the “enemy”. You don’t know that! Only Obama and a few of his killing-cronies do. They decide, arbitrarily, based, I guess, on CIA intelligence. Certainly that has proved to be inaccurate at best, and political at best. Doesn’t anyone understand that the drone weapon in the hands of people who don’t truly believe in the Rule of Law or the United States Constituion is way beyond dangerous.
    Get a clue
    http://www.periodictablet.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Curt-Parker/1267641897 Curt Parker

    I invite liberals in this audience to compare Hitler’s inner circle of generals and abettors with those in Barry’s inner circle, including the media. I see little difference. Both are the same type of hangers-on who will do anything their leader asks through blind allegiance to a dictator they believe to have Messianic powers. The ability to denounce water-boarding while approving the killing of alleged terrorists without due process is truly irrational and can only be the thought-process of a ideological slave.

    • nickshaw

      What do you think of people who approve the use of waterboarding and killing of alleged terrorists by drone, Curt?
      Just askin’.

  • ted

    In supporting the arbitrary killings by droneyou forget that everything a Democrat starts, grows and grows and grows. So while perhaps killing Arabs who might hate America, or American citizens who might wander the deserts with those same Arabs, seems OK today. When it expands — as it always does, always — into arbitrarily killing Arabs in America, then Arab Americans in America and so on, then it’ll be too late. So I vehemently disagree with allowing a president to arbitrarily select and have killed human beings. (I might be next.)

  • GlenFS

    I believe it is moral to kill American terrorists abroad during “wartime”, but am troubled about its constitutionality. So part of me says, “hurrah, good riddance” while another part says, “hmm, wonder if I should watch what I say about Obama?”!

  • Paul Union, Ky.

    Bernie; Again you are on the mark. The liberal press has a slobbering love affair with President Obama. As usual the lame stream media has a double standard for those they are in awe of.

  • Kathie Ampela

    Bernie, Bernie, I have to say, I’m sick, a little nauseous, exhausted and bored to tears by hypocrisy of the Left over national security issues (not just the drones), I’ve said it many, many, MANY times. I have to give Marc Lamont Hill credit for is commentary on O’Reilly last night. At least he was honest. An intellectual debate over national security vs. individual civil liberties during the Bush era would have been fine, even welcome. In a free society, we must always safeguard those in power. But that’s NOT what we saw during the Bush years and anyone who’s honest will admit it. They SMEARED, SLANDERED and were looking to DESTROY the Bush administration and it wasn’t for the nobility of civil liberties (or at least for many on the Left, maybe not all) but for partisan politics and power. The phony outrage over Bush anti-terror policies is what gave birth to the bitter partisan divide we see or at least it planted the seeds for it’s growth. The Democratic Big Media Complex drove the engine during the Bush years just as they are driving the engine now. Sorry, Bernie, I have to disagree with you to some extent on the “falling in love” with Obama explanation for the Media’s hypocrisy because it only tells half the story. The provincial elites in the Big Media machine happily co-exist with the Liberal Washington Establishment and would NEVER, EVER apologize or own up to their hypocrisy. HORRORS! And watch their social lives go up in flames…no more cocktails and sophistication at the WH on the taxpayer dime!

    Sorry if I sound bitter, but it’s just that I am. Playing politics with national security is a game that the citizens, not the provincial elites sipping Cristal, end up paying for.

    • nickshaw

      You may sound bitter, Kath but, it was well earned!

      You are spot on that it was liberals who opened the wound and continue to pour salt in it.

  • West Virginia Matt

    As always, perfectly accurate and articulate, Mr. Goldberg. Here in West Virginia, I don’t have to go far to witness the slobbering love affair; the Charleston Gazette has demonstrated that they are completely incapable of the shame and humiliation you described. For eight years the Gazette bashed the president all day long, every day. How compassionate Americans could elect a silver-spoon dolt with the intellect and charm of a mule was beyond their comprehension.

    But thank God the Messiah has come! Finally, a President who doesn’t play partisan politics, someone who’s gonna close Gitmo, someone who won’t raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000 a year, someone who’s not a warmonger, someone who won’t allow vicious attack ads, someone who will reduce the national debt! Where would we be without Him? The slobbering continues all day long, every day.

    Don’t get me wrong. Certainly Bush deserved his share of criticism. And Obama deserves his share of praise, particularly with the war on terror. But it’s hard to take this newspaper seriously about ANY subject since they giddily sacrificed their own credibility on the altar of political correctness decades ago.

    • Bob Hadley

      Bernie, your trigger fingers are much too itchy. Comparing drone strikes and waterboarding of prisioners is mixing apples and oranges.

      Drone strikes are a method of conducting a war. They eliminate enemies who are dangerous to the U. S. Drone strikes are much more accurate and involve much less collateral damage than other methods. BTW, the few who advocate not killing these terrorists because they may give-up valuble info if and when they are captured are crazy.

      On the other hand, waterboarding pertains to what are, in essence, prisioners of war. POWs (or whatever you want to call them) do not pose the danger that they did before their capture.

      That said, I favor waterboarding and other froms of enhanced interrorgation, even torture, of POWs under certain limited and carefully controlled conditions by trained interrorgators. If there is time, I think the interrogators musty go up the chain of command at least a level or two. If not or, perhaps, in any case there should be an automatic review, at least internally.

      I think John McCain’s suggestion of the “kill list” and drone strikes being the responsibility of the DOD may well be good. There are more checks and balances there.

      • Bob Hadley

        P. S. This is the same position i took when Pres. GW Bush was in office.

        • gbandy

          Well Bob if waterboarding saved the life of just one Soldier or Marine I say have at it. Waterboarding is not life threatening or fatal. Saving the lives of our troops is far worth the price.

          • Bob Hadley

            I’m glad you agree with me

          • nickshaw

            I’d say most here do, Bob.
            And, truth be told, I’ll bet a good number of liberals do too but, they’ll be damned if they appear to agree with us!

      • BobinVT

        The POW analogy is interesting to me. In traditional wars, both sides are in uniform, and any combatants caught in civlian clothes were treated as spies and liable to be executed as such. Our enemies in the war on terror do not wear uniforms, they blend into the civilian population, making it all the more difficult to find and capture them. So it is they who have violated the laws of war, and therein, to me at least, lies the justification for the use of drones to eliminate them, as well as for the use of waterboarding to elicit information. They can’t violate established norms of war and then expect to be protected by same. I agree that there must be strict controls and limited use of such methods. The fact that only three individuals were waterboarded, and that the tactic did yield information crucial to gettting OBL tells me that the waterboarding policy was reasonably applied.

        • Bob Hadley

          I was speaking in terms of essence – agents of foreign source who purpose is to kill us. In terms of International Law, etc., yes, it’s a different story

      • ksp48

        Ridiculous.

        • Bob Hadley

          Infantile