Death From Above, Rot From Below

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Memo to America: ENJOY YOUR "SAFETY".

I guess the universe felt the gun control debate, where, a month after an elementary school massacre, the right is convinced Obama has already confiscated their guns and the left has already conceded that we'll keep selling assault weapons forever, wasn't depressing enough.

Now we get to have the drone debate.

Don't get me wrong. I'd love to have a real drone debate. Or, more accurately, an executive extrajudicial murder debate, since, as we all know, drones don't kill people, someone we're not allowed to know about decides through a process we're also not allowed to know about to kill people. They just use a robot death plane to do it.

But we're not going to have a real drone debate. We're going to have a shitty, post-9/11, post-Bush, post-War-On-Terra drone debate, in an environment where all things, from torture to murder to the TSA knowing what your penis looks like are perfectly acceptable as long as they're done in the name of the safety and security of America.

It's a debate between "Hey, the guy I voted for promises he's killing bad guys, and I can pretend that when he kills the bad guys he's not also killing the friends, relatives, associates, and... adjacents of the bad guy, so I'm fine with it." and "Hey, don't suggest I don't like killing bad guys. I love killing bad guys. But maybe there should be a secret court that can tell us the guys we kill are really bad just so we're more comfortable."

Nowhere in the debate is the idea that we don't get to do this. At least, not to American citizens. I don't care if they're brown, they speak Arabic, and they hang around terrorists, the president doesn't get to order death-by-robot-plane on anyone he feels needs killing. Even if it would make the world a better place, which is debatable, he doesn't get to do it. And like torture, it doesn't matter if he gets his lawyer to write something up that says he can, he can't.

It's very telling that the wingnut community, which has spent the last four years coming up with the most ridiculous of pretenses for threatening the impeachment of Obama, are ignoring what is easily the best possible reason to do so. The game, as always, is rigged.

Not that impeaching Obama over this would help. It's not like Romney would have been a bold defender of due process. And Biden wouldn't be either. But it's still wrong, and it still needs to stop, and those two facts aren't even going to be part of the debate going forward. It's just going to get normalized, like torture, rendition, Gitmo, and every other un-American byproduct of our post-9/11 insanity.