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Apparently the Mafia gang in the oval office decided it would be a good idea to employ the same tactics used by those they decide to ‘off’. As in the days of yore when Romans would usurp a foreign army and incorporate the best of that foe’s weapons and tactics, so it is that the American Empire follows in the footsteps of its long deceased predecessor, the Roman Empire. It’s called the “double tap” — sending in a second predator drone strike shortly after the first responders come to the scene of the initial assassination strike to rescue any survivors or retrieve the dead, including the mourners of resultant funerals held days later. This is a policy of treating the population as guilty by association, exterminating any and all who might be linked, however remotely, with the intended target:

According to the NYT, the Administration assumed that, “people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good” and therefore all military age males in a strike zone could be targeted. A former senior counterterrorism official calls earlier drone targeting, “guilt by association.” Of signature strikes in Pakistan, a senior (apparently still-serving) official joked “that when the C.I.A. sees ‘three guys doing jumping jacks,’ the agency thinks it is a terrorist training camp.” And one of Obama’s top political advisors, David Axelrod, was attending targeting meetings, injecting a political taint on the program…

There is no due process for a “suspicious” person to be marked for death by drone. Ask George Zimmerman about that. The only requirement is vague and ethereal intelligence information which, if it’s as reliable as the Iraq WMD intel, appears by all accounts to be radicalizing the affected population tenfold. This boomerang effect will inevitably please our Military Industrial Complex’s constant search for new enemies to grind into profits of war. Death by Drone smacks of a street thug mentality similar to some cheesy gangster movie script. Francine Prose notes :

As drama, the scene is reminiscent of great moments in cable TV: Tony Soprano and his colleagues deciding whom to whack, The Wire’s Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell conferring on which of their child employees must be eliminated. But it’s one thing to see murders planned on television and quite another to read that this planning session is occurring in the White House Situation Room in January, 2010, and that President Obama has assumed the grim responsibility of casting the final vote on every death sentence that this jury (so obviously outside traditional legal channels) is handing down…

..[consider] the following quote from Michael Leiter, former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center:

You can pass a lot of laws,” Mr. Leiter said, “These laws are not going to get Bin Laden dead.

Get Bin Laden dead? With its execrable grammar, its calculated thuggishness, and, for all that we have been reading about the assumption of personal responsibility, its euphemistic avoidance of what is really at issue (to get dead is not the same as to kill, and it’s never laws but people who get other people dead), the quote suggests a new dispensation in which our government, at the highest level, has given Tony Soprano license to ignore the rule of law and murder actual human beings, some of them harmless civilians. Shouldn’t we feel more frightened than reassured by the knowledge that the leader of our country holds himself accountable for every one of these deaths?