Hold It, Holder

Column by Jim Davies.

Exclusive to STR

The great danger of criticizing specific things government does or says or fails to do or say is that readers can reasonably infer that if the opposite were done or said, all would be well. In other words, they can infer that the author envisages the possibility of a satisfactory government. I do not, ever, anywhere; for by definition (of “govern”), government is always and everywhere in violation of the human right of each person to govern himself. Hence, it needs not to be reformed, but to be abolished. I come to bury Caesar, not to improve his image.

Okay, with that vital preamble properly stated, let's check Thursday's “shortest legal opinion ever” from US Attorney General Eric Holder: “No.”

That was his reply to Senator Rand Paul, who had, being troubled by Holder's March 5th refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes on American citizens on American soil, asked a follow-up. Holder then said, “'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.” Paul was pleased. Clearly, however grudgingly provided, that answer is better than “Yes.”

The problem with it is what Holder did not say.

First, it's surprising that he didn't do himself and his boss a favor by adding something like, “Remember, Senator, a prime reason for this government to exist is to protect American citizens from harm, both on US soil and when traveling abroad.” That wouldn't have been true (government exists only so that its members can enjoy power), but it would have looked good. That he didn't write it suggests that the Feds are really scared of the possibility that we peons start discussing what government is actually for. Splendid! Progress!

Second, Holder didn't say that drones would not be used to kill Americans on US soil who are “engaged in combat.” Why not? As Rand Paul remarked on March 5th, that would be “an affront to the Constitutional due process rights” of Americans. And further, what exactly is “combat”? Suppose you're in a demonstration, vigorously protesting the latest outrage, perhaps a new war. You shake a clenched fist in the direction of some government office or official. Is that “combat”? Who decides? Lawyers. Like Holder. And if you take two lawyers, like as not you'll get two opinions. Meanwhile, the drone missile is airborne. Or perhaps the demo turns ugly, and rocks or Molotov cocktails are thrown at a police line. Is that “combat”? Then the military drone may strike before you can say “Posse Comitatus.”

Third, Holder didn't say that drones might not strike peaceful Americans traveling overseas. Perhaps you take a vacation in Cyprus, and perhaps a couple of Al Q'eda planners you never met happen to sit next to you by the pool. Zap, bam, too bad, RIP.

Fourth, he didn't say drones might not strike non-citizens residing on US soil – whether here “legally” or “illegally.” So he left open the possibility of cutting the illegal-immigrant population down to size rather literally . . . as well as disposing of legal immigrants who might be perceived as troublemakers. Or even non-troublemakers; no distinction was drawn. Foreign tourists will perhaps hesitate, now, before setting out to visit America the Beautiful.

Fifth, he didn't say that his President could not assume the power to kill anyone, anywhere, at any time, using weapons other than drones. True, that is beyond the strict scope of the question he was answering; but someone on the receiving end of the shot is just as dead, and there was plenty of space on the page of his letter to add that valuable amplification.

Finally there's Jane Fonda, who paid a visit to Hanoi in 1972 during the war with North Vietnam, and consorted with government officials there, who were certainly in “combat” with the US one. She furthermore met some US prisoners and betrayed one of them. She even, apparently, sat on an NVA anti-aircraft gun, thereby literally taking arms against the US military. If there was ever a US citizen engaged in anti-US combat, she was it. Had drones been available then, would a time-warped Obama have zapped her? Everything that Holder did not say answers “Yes!”

Yet Rand Paul's fellow-Republican John McCain, himself a veteran of the Hanoi Hilton, huffed and puffed and blew down the very notion that such a shocking thing would even be contemplated. Why? Just because she's a good looking, certified Limousine Liberal, and a vigorous supporter of the President's own party? No, wait, that's the rival party to McCain's. Gee, it's confusing.

Perhaps the sickest aspect of this controversy is that it tests the extent to which government considers itself entitled to use a very sophisticated weapons system to assassinate anyone it deems appropriate, at the very time that it and its media spokesmen shriek hysterically that those whom it supposedly serves, and who supposedly appointed it to office, should be denied the right to own and operate certain types of repeating rifle. What could more clearly demonstrate that government is lethal, far beyond any hope of taming?

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Jim Davies's picture
Columns on STR: 243

Jim Davies is a retired businessman in New Hampshire who led the development of an on-line school of liberty in 2006, and who wrote A Vision of Liberty" , "Transition to Liberty" and, in 2010, "Denial of Liberty" and "To FREEDOM from Fascism, America!" He started The Zero Government Blog in the same year.
In 2012 Jim launched http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov , to help lead government workers to an honest life.
In 2013 he wrote his fifth book, a concise and rational introduction to the Christian religion called "Which Church (if any)?"

Comments

Thunderbolt's picture

Jane Fonda is still a hero to me, after all these years. You are the new Bastiat: What is said and what is not said. Nice article, Jim.

Jim Davies's picture

Vous êtes très aimable, mon ami.
 
Fred

Glock27's picture

**Paragraph 3: Because a girl says no dosen't really mean she dosen't want it. Holder is a liar and I believe even this open statement continues to reflect his true nature; When he says yes he means no, when he says no he means yes and sometimes they are mixed around so you can't distinguish the difference. I amnot sure he even knows the difference. I think he is confused, frustrated and disoriented when he gets before people smarter and pushier than he is.

FIRST: I dont believe it was splendid progress unless you believe Holder. He had lied perpetually about fast and furious, adamantly will not apologize to the border agents family who died from one of the throusands of guns he let cross the boarder. I would give FIRST some deeper and more serious thought rather than a first blush glance to make a deduction. Look at the content of the man's character. I would be ashamed to be affiliated with the lying bastard.

SECOND: Not much argument with except Posse Comitatus. Honestly that dosen't even really exist any more. Go out an try to use it and see what happens. News in the past has demonstrated that to use it as . I assume they are still in prison. Where there's a way there's a will with the government and there dosen't always need to be a way--just a will!

THIRD: We obviously read different articles. One I read Holder was clear that it was possible for a drone strike to hit an American setting in a cafe having coffee on foreign soil. It had something to do with Imminent danger. It was a bit confusing and I am not sure I fully understood the statement.
Next I think you are giving Holder way too much credibility?

FOURTH: No disagreement here Holder is a flat out assed liar. Let me suggest one really positive thing Senator Levin of Michigan is not going to run again (Liberal Jewish Democrat). I am impressed with the idea if a good, strong libertarin in republican disguise were to get the nomination and election it would be a great day. I think Rand Paul is a libertarian like his dad but hiding under republican disguise. I hope he stays hidden. Its the best espionage.

Closing was an epee strike and slash like in Vendetta. I gave you an 8 on this one Jim despite our differences and how petty they are. This was a good read. You do have talent!

Glock27

Jim Davies's picture

I bow, Glock, to your close understanding of the fairer sex.

Jim Davies's picture

After reflection, I'd like to apologize for posting this comment.
 
It was intended as a lighthearted response to Glock's assertion that "Because a girl says no dosen't really mean she dosen't want it" - which may also have been less than serious. And of course there can be an element of truth in what he wrote, such is the subtle complexity of relations between the sexes.
 
But when a girl says "no" the presumption should be that she does mean it. Almost ten times an hour in the USA, however, the male imposes his will on her anyway and she later reports the encounter as rape. No doubt, there are some such cases where she is lying, the truth being that she later regrets having given her consent. There are others, though, that are never even reported; while by definition nobody can know how many, I can well believe that such unreported rapes greatly exceed the number of those that are reported falsely.
 
Each one of these cases is traumatic for the girl, scarring her for life. It is just not a joking matter.
 
I apologize particularly to any rape victim who encountered my post here in STR, and would like to assure her that anarchists are 100% opposed to the initiation of force in all its forms, and very much regret the implication that for a girl to "say no" is in any respect comparable to the duplicity of a creep like Holder saying "no" when he really means something close to "yes". I hope you will forgive the lapse and keep reading here.

Glock27's picture

**College campuses' probably have the highest rates of rape incidents than all other rapes that occur, but we will never know because neary 99.9999% of them will not report it due to the manner in which the wanna be cops react to the woman. My remark was euphamistic because the contrary belief continues to this day, but mine was a political context issue. I have to lay 98% of the blame on the pornographic industry. I find it remarkably shameful that there are some women whom will expose themselves internationally in the way they do. I couldn't find a situtation that express a woman wants it even when she says no. Any male who watches this S**t will not take no for an answer.
Holder is the porn star for the administration playing the part of the poor innocent girl.

mhstahl's picture

Glock,

I do believe that the highest levels of rape are thought to be in prisons, amongst men...just something to consider-most of those are un-reported, of course, but they certainly happen.

I cartainly agree with you about the way the "justice system" deals with reports of rape and sexual imposition-there is no question that there remains a powerful stigma attached to reporting a rape.

Do you really believe pornography has anything to do with rape? I am not seeing the connection, porn depicts fantasies and is produced overwhealmingly voluntarilly by well compensated actors and actresses-just like regular movies and television. It is big business, and conducted aboveboard. If anything, porn tends to depict women as more sexually independant and capable than say, Gone With the Wind.

As far as the old chestnut that a male can't tell when a woman really means "no", I'm sorry but that is simple gibberish. Everyone, male and female has been in a situation where thier attraction and advances are un-requited...it can be embarrassing, certainly, but it is really rather easy to know the difference. Even if you watch porn...:)

What is NOT easy is for a court to later determine such a thing. Most human communication is non-verbal, yet the bureaucratic court system can only rely upon verbal statements. Since the system, somewhat absurdly, insists upon intent to define a crime, rather than the actual action, it essentially permits such rediculous defenses-and thereby protects perpetrators. This is one reason why I believe that true "justice" simply cannot occur within such an arbitrary system where force is monopolized by sober bureaucrats.

If the ability to exact justice-to retaliate or compel restitution-were returned to the victims of aggression, where it belongs (and once was, btw) such preposterous word games designed to impress pencil pushing bureaucrats would cease, and victims would be free to act reasonably. I suspect reasonable action in response to rape would involve, at least, a knife...and possibly carpentry tools. Non-aggression does not equal pacifism, after all.

Just something to think about,

Mike

Glock27's picture

I had it all down and I thought was well put but I got wiped clean. Learning my lesson to do it on word first just won't catch. I am very sorry but I cannot go back through all of it right now. Maybe later with a pm. I will tell you that I can demonstrate the porn part. I'm really pissed at myself right now so later.

Glock27's picture

**P.S Just finished chatting with a fellow on line from another site who spent time in prison for being a meth lab cook. Said he was never bothered either. Now I know these are some unusual cases and it does not mean the event never occurs. Seems like there may be some relationship to state and your cell location. I have no idea. Just noted the Stubenville, Ohio case with a sixteen year old girl and a flock of jocks. Trial is going on now. Some states will not let you have pepper spray until you are 18. Does that make sense. The girl in Stubenville could have used a gallon of the stuff/

Glock27's picture

Thanks, despite the fact I think Holdr is sexless!

Samarami's picture

Well written, Jim!

To wiggle one's way upwards (presuming you consider US presidents and attorneys general "up") into what is considered top ranking psychopaths making up that awful abstraction called "government" -- to arrive at the top of the slime heap is is totally based upon his or her ability for obfuscation and prevarication.

So Holder's opinion ranks "A".

Sam

Jim Davies's picture

Thank you, Sam!
 
However, I forgot something else that Holder didn't say.
 
After his "No", he might have added "but that won't stop us."
 
Jim