Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Slippery Slope Down Towards Domestic Totalitarianism

By Michael Isikoff “Holder: No drone strikes in US, except in 'extraordinary circumstance'” OpenChannel NBC,

[Excerpted] The Obama administration has "no intention" of carrying out drone strikes against suspected terrorists in the United States, but could use them in response to “an extraordinary circumstance” such as the 9/11 terror attacks, according to a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder obtained by NBC News.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who received the March 4 letter from Holder, called the attorney general’s refusal to rule out drone strikes in the U.S. “more than frightening.” [end] 

Majia here: Terrorism is the ‘grand exception’ for most recent infringements against civil liberties.

We must take a stand NOW against domestic drone surveillance and we must ban altogether armed domestic drones. 

(We should also ban all armed drones everywhere)

The risks to democracy are clear and present. Drone surveillance and “policing” will constitute a significant fall down the slippery slope of domestic fascism.

The article also notes that the Senate Intelligence Committee looks as if it will approve John Brennan for the head of the CIA.

This guy was the person who engineered US foreign drone use. He is a creepy guy.

Exceptions within Democratic Government Usually Signal Creeping Authoritarianism

Exceptions to (classical) liberal notions of rights are typically authoritarian in essence. Power is transferred to the decider when s/he makes exceptions to agreed-up laws of a democratic society.

Legitimation often comes from “liberal police” made up of political, medical, and academic authorities, who are often beholden to, or allied with, powerful government interests and BIG MONEY more generally.

Accordingly, the political theorist Giorgio Agamben suggested that (authoritarian) sovereignty entails withdrawal and suspension of law, in the decision of the state of exception (following Carl Schmitt, 1985). (for background see here)

Agamben explains that those who live under the state of exception have no rights, including the most basic one of life.

To repeat: Those who live under the state of exception do not have the right to life, even when having committed no crimes. 

In my opinion, this exceptionality will encourage drone operators to represent human deaths caused by drone attacks in the US as 'collateral damage.'

This is precisely the attitude that is governing US drone attacks in the Middle East and now North Africa. See Living Under Drones
Exceptions to Liberal Rights and to Human Rights Universally must DESIST or we will descend further in our path toward violent annihilation.

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