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Senate to Obama: Drone, Baby, Drone

Five years of Obama drone strikes, at least 2,500 people in their graves, and none of the transparency promised has materialized.

Remember around this time last year when President Obama gave his big ballyhooed Drone Speech, promising more transparency to the citizen-consumers of America about who, when, where and why he obliterates and maims with his flying missiles?

How time does fly, just like a Predator. Five years of Obama drone strikes, at least 2,500 people in their graves. That’s assuming they could find any body parts to inter.

Meanwhile, buried deep in the cyberspace of Tuesday’s online New York Times (so as not to inordinately clash with another, bigger front page bullshit story about Obama the Peaceful) is this piece by Mark Mazzetti:

The Senate has quietly stripped a provision from an intelligence bill that would have required President Obama to make public each year the number of people killed or injured in targeted killing operations in Pakistan and other countries where the United States uses lethal force.

The move highlights the continued resistance inside the government about making these operations, primarily carried out using armed drones, more accountable to public scrutiny. In a letter to the Senate earlier this month, James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, expressed concern that a public report would undermine the effectiveness of the operations.

Clapper, who still has his job despite his perjury before Congress on that whole massive phone eavesdropping debacle, is perfectly correct to say that confession to mass murder by a sitting president would probably put a damper on the killing spree. I mean, it’s one thing for information on Obama’s drone kills to be readily available from such activist groups as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Wikileaks and such whistle-blowers as Brandon Bryant. It’s another thing for Obama to publicly sign a confession, or a rolling series of confessions, to massacres of wedding parties and women and children, and have the butchery actually covered on cable TV.

The article continues,

The provision, passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee last year as part of its authorization bill, required Mr. Obama to make public an annual report on “the total number of combatants killed or injured during the preceding year by the use of targeted lethal force outside the United States by remotely piloted aircraft.” The provision was the same for civilians killed or injured. But officials said that the provision encountered almost immediate resistance both from intelligence officials and Republican lawmakers, some who have fought against any changes to the way the targeted killing program has been managed.

No Republican lawmakers were named. But they are probably the same Republican lawmakers whose job description is going on TV every Sunday to bitch about Obama not using enough lethal force in Ukraine, Iran and Syria. If Obama were forced to openly brag about the people he does kill, it would make them look like liars and spoil the whole canard that Obama is a peacenick with a manhood problem. Just who do they think they’re kidding?

Mazzetti continues:

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the Intelligence Committee and who originally offered the provision, agreed to take it out of the authorization bill to enable it to be passed unanimously.

Dianne, who made such a big impassioned Senate floor speech about being spied upon by the CIA over the torture report, and who recently wrote a strongly-worded letter/op-ed to Obama demanding he turn over said torture report post-haste, appears to have received the apology from on high she’d so strongly craved. She is back on the dark side. The light must have hurt her eyes. And that torture report is not forthcoming from the White House…. no doubt because it is extremely damning to all concerned, who still have their jobs, power, and perks.

In a speech last May, Mr. Obama pledged to make drone operations more transparent, and administration officials said that the White House would like to gradually shift drone operations away from the C.I.A. — partly to allow targeted killing operations to be discussed more freely.

But nearly a year later, there has been little movement on the proposals. Some powerful lawmakers, including Ms. Feinstein, have opposed moving drone strikes out of the C.I.A. and managed to blunt any momentum to enact the White House proposals.

It’s the tired old Good Cop/Bad Cop kabuki. Obama wants to do the right thing, wants to be honest, wants to play Shuffle the Psychopath, but DiFi, and Hillary’s pal John McCain, say no way. Because the Times wants you to believe these doddering fools have more power than God — or more accurately, the authoritarian state breviary known as Disposition Matrix.

Mr. Clapper said in a letter that the executive branch was exploring ways to “provide the American people more information about the United States’ use of force outside areas of active hostilities.”

They’re wracking their brains to come up with more propaganda, but not wracking them too hard.

Because for the most part, the citizen-consumers of America don’t give a shit about brown-skinned foreigners being rendered into bug-splat far, far, far away. And the executioners’ branch knows it.

As Spencer Ackerman points out in The Guardian, the Senate very carefully and very specifically excused Obama from disclosing the names of the civilian victims he wrongfully kills in the drone strikes:

The bill authorizing intelligence operations in fiscal 2014 passed out of the Senate intelligence committee in November, and it originally required the president to issue an annual public report clarifying the total number of “combatants” and “noncombatant civilians” killed or injured by drone strikes in the previous year. It did not require the White House to disclose the total number of strikes worldwide.

And what Ackerman also writes about, and the Times does not, is that “another provision, which would require alternative intelligence analysis, as well as commensurate congressional notification should an intelligence agency consider legal action against a US citizen, has been moved to a classified annex of the bill.”

In other words, if Obama decides to kill (“legal action”) an American citizen, he won’t have to tell us about it. He’ll whisper it in DiFi’s ear, though. Because she just loves being kept in the cozy classified annex.

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