If You Can’t Win the Argument, Pretend it Doesn’t Exist


Ned Resnikoff

I am a freelance writer, researcher for Media Matters for America, and occasional inactive to Salon. Everything written here is my opinion alone, and not representative of the views of my employer.

Related Post Roulette

9 Responses

  1. Avatar Pat Cahalan says:

    Seems to me this is a rather pernicious problem and has been for quite some time now. Obama. Bush II (Basically Everything Obama is Doing Plus Bonus Rounds). Reagan (Iran-Contra). Bush I (Panama).Report

  2. Avatar Creon Critic says:

    Both you and Spencer Ackerman are being unduly uncharitable to Harold Koh, and not just for failing to link to his speech (State.gov). Koh clearly does not say targeted killing is legal merely because the US says so. And Koh is certainly not pretending the argument doesn’t exist, after all, he is giving a speech to the American Society of International Law. Koh argues that the inherent right to self-defense is the core of the legal justification for the drone strikes. Ackerman’s account also fails to realize the import of the criteria Koh outlines. Were the very criteria outlined in his speech negated the drone strikes would be unlawful – disproportionate strikes or strikes made without reference to military objectives are unlawful. Finally, Koh’s speech specifically engages with counterarguments, rebutting four legal objections to drone strikes.* Perhaps Koh’s answers to these legal objections strike you as unconvincing, but ignoring entire passages of Koh’s speech means both you and Ackerman are knocking down a straw man.

    * – A quick rundown and more context of the Koh speech at Inside JusticeReport

  3. Avatar Boonton says:

    as is the case with Anwar Al-Awlaki, who the federal government reserves the right to assassinate,

    In the middle of WWII could someone go to court and demand that the gov’t tell them whether or not the military is targeting their relative who happens to live in Tokyo and if they are produce proof that he is a legitimate military target or that he has been convicted of a crime using due process of law?Report

    • Except that in this case, it’s not the relative of an American citizen we’re talking about, but an actual American citizen. He’s not a national of any country with which we’re at war.Report

      • Avatar Boonton says:

        Not at war? USS Cole? The recent attempt to use UPS to bomb the US?

        You confuse military operations with judicial ones. He is a legitimate military target and no the US has never had to justify military targets, citizen or otherwise, in the judicial branch. And it has never ever had to ‘vet’ military targets first.Report