The New Drone War, Same as the Old Drone War?

President Bush started the drone wars, but Mr. Obama vastly expanded them. Almost entirely on his watch, United States strikes have killed as many as 5,000 people, possibly 1,000 of them civilians. The president approved strikes in places far from combat zones. He authorized the C.I.A. to carry out “signature strikes” aimed at people whose identities the agency did not know but whose activities supposedly suggested militancy….

Via The Next President’s Drone War @ American Civil Liberties Union.

Paul over Rubio

As I and others have noted elsewhere on numerous occasions, Rubio’s name-calling reveals the shallowness of his understanding of history and world politics. Defenders of the status quo can be counted on to shout the “isolationist” epithet whenever they want to discredit any challenges to it. Despite his relative youth, Rubio has adopted the foreign policy of men nearly twice his age. He seems blissfully unaware even of recent history. His campaign slogan calls for “A New American Century.” Sound familiar?

Via Paul vs. Rubio on Pentagon Spending | Cato@Liberty.

Coalition Against Billions for ‘Overseas Contingency Operations’

Congress may consider the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report as early as this week. Sadly, but not surprisingly, this year’s NDAA increases spending by “hiding” $38 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations Fund (OCO). Since OCO spending is considered “emergency spending,” these funds do not count against the budget caps. So OCO enables the defense hawks to increase defense spending while pretending to be complying with the law.

Campaign for Liberty has joined a coalition of groups across the political spectrum in a letter urging members of Congress to vote against the NDAA because of the OCO funding. Of course, this “stealth” spending increase is far from the only reason to oppose the NDAA. For example,the NDAA authorizes the President’s power of’ “indefinite detention” and authorizes US Military intervention around the world.

 Via Campaign for Liberty joins coalition against increasing spending @ Campaign for Liberty.

Government employee defies orders

“I don’t see how Hobby Lobby applies here. Sterling was not only a government employee, rather than the private citizen running a public accommodation, but a uniformed member of the armed forces. Government employees have substantially less expressive right in the workplace than is typical in the private sector, simply because our expression might be…


“In a last-ditch effort to scare lawmakers into preserving unpopular and much-abused surveillance authorities, the Senate Republican leadership and some intelligence officials are warning that allowing Section 215 of the Patriot Act to sunset would compromise national security. (One particularly crass example from Senator Lindsey Graham: “Anyone who neuters this program is going to be…

More war, less debate

“…. the House majority slipped into the military spending bill an extra $89 billion for an emergency war fund. Such “emergency” spending is not addressed in the growth caps placed on the military under the 2011 budget control act. It is a loophole filled by Congress with Fed-printed money. Ironically, a good deal of this…


Via Obama Apologized for the Drone Killings of Two Western Victims. What About Everyone Else? @ American Civil Liberties Union

Cronies of the Surveillance State

“If journalists are writing about this they should not be naive about the immensity of the security establishment,” said Columbia Journalism School professor Todd Gitlin. Gitlin says that he understands why media outlets would call upon former government officials to discuss NSA issues given that they have “earned their expertise by virtue of their institutional…

$8,800,000,000 and no safer for it

The Pentagon’s internal watchdog has questioned the air force’s need for 46 armed Reaper drones, and suggested the flying service is wasting $8.8bn on superfluous aircraft. As purchases of General Atomics’s MQ-9 Reaper ballooned from 60 aircraft in 2007 to the current 401, air force officials did not justify the need for an expanding drone…