Don’t you love it when the fringe comes at the middle from both sides and calls it “bipartisanship”? Yes, Republicans have finally picked up on the potential political power of drone hysteria — so they’re questioning presidential authority in a way guaranteed to bring applause and acclaim from the Ron Paul antiwar set. Funny how that works out. From Adam Serwer at Mother Jones:
Congress is finally standing up to President Barack Obama on targeted killing. Almost a year after three American citizens were killed in US drone strikes, legislators are pushing the administration to explain why it believes it’s legal to kill American terror suspects overseas.
Get that? The same Congress which obsessed over Solyndra, and held Eric Holder in contempt on the word of two right wing bloggers and a disgruntled ATF agent, is suddenly “standing up” for truth and justice. Further irony from Republican Senator John Cornyn, as reported by MoJo:
“We’re not mere supplicants to the executive branch, we are a coequal branch of government,” Cornyn said during discussion of his amendment in the Senate committee hearing last week. “So it is insufficient to say pretty please, Mr. President, pretty please, Mr. Attorney General, will you please tell us the legal authority by which you claim the authority to kill American citizens abroad?” (Cornyn also noted that just because he wants to see the memo doesn’t mean he’d necessarily disagree with its contents.)
Senator Cornyn is not the commander-in-chief of the armed forces; the president is. Cornyn knows damn well, or ought to know, that legal authority proceeds from the AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) Congress passed in 2001. Nor does the nationality of Anwar al-Awlaki protect him from the consequences of his own warmaking against the United States.
If Congress is suddenly against the killing of Al Qaeda leadership, they can just as easily pass a bill to end that authority. But they won’t, because that is not what this is really about.
None of these Republicans had anything to say when Bush was carpet-bombing Baghdad and ignoring Al Qaeda altogether. Nope, it’s only when a new president adopted a laserlike focus on the terrorist organization, abandoning confrontation with the mirage of ‘Islamofascism,’ that anyone got upset. Remember, this is the same Senator Cornyn who called President Obama “blind to Islamic extremism:”
During an exclusive Newsmax interview, the Texas Republican cites Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent refusal in a Senate hearing to say that radical Islam played a role in recent terrorist incidents.
Holder was “almost defiant in acknowledging that that actually exists, and we see him persisting in really wrong-headed decisions like trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian court in Manhattan,” says Cornyn, a member of the Judiciary Committee.
Yes, the same teapublican Congress which has consistently blocked all attempts to close Guantanamo and process detainees through the civilian court system is now heroically leading the fight to…um, save terrorist lives abroad? Huh?
Peace activists, take note: neocons and teapublicans are not your friends. They are not about to undo the AUMF and give you a more peaceful world. For them, this is merely another exercise in tearing down the black Democrat in the White House, no matter the damage to his office. They worship power, and war is their pornography. If you help them, they will remind you what real warmongers look like. Deep down, their only objection to drone strikes is that thousands more aren’t happening every day.