Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Misleading summary, as usual (Score 2) 172

Depends on where you are. Flying though Amsterdam there was no opt-out; even for the preggers wife.

Even in the US you an face absurd pressure from the TSA to go through the machine. I have had to wait 15 min+ on an opt-out(causing a run through ORD barefooted to make the flight); insinuations/outright declarations that I must be a "funny man" to want another man touching his "junk" and I must be some sort of queer(the TSA screeners words, not mine; this was ATL); all the opt out point are right next to the input of the X-Ray bag scanner leading a TSA agent(I think at SFO) to tell me that i was exposed to far more radiation waiting here then going through the scanner.

(TL;DR) It's easy to say you opt-out, but it's not alwsy an option and there is still tremendous pressure for you to go though the security theater.

Comment Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score 1) 800

My bad, I did misread your prior statement. Nice to see the ad hominems though.

Page 6 drops the whole al-Qa'ida part and just says a U.S. citizen who is an operational leader. But guess we can chalk this up to a typo.

To split hairs, which I don't think was either of our original intent, it says a

senior operational leader of al-Qa'ida or an associated force

This distinction is kind-of important as AQAP is not an organization designated by the AUMF(that was for 9/11 participants,) and the U.S. citizens we know were murdered, al-Aulaqi and son(so unless your going to argue that a 16 year old boy from Denver is a senior operational leader with AQ we already know that killings occur when even the low bar set by this whitepaper is not met), was part of a co-belligerent force, not AQ. Problem here is associated forces is pretty vague. A link to the circuit court decision about associated forces can be found here. The conclusion of the ruling talks about how determining who is and isn't a member when they are not actively armed is something that needs to be adjudicated on a case by case basis, something those who are assassinated will never get. This is where it comes down to your a member of AQ because we say you are.

I will point out that this document contains

As stated earlier, this paper does not attempt to determine the minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful

so basically as long as you meet these requirements your all set to go killing(at least until a court says you can't at which point, much like the torture memos, this document will be used a legal shield.)

Comment Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score 1) 800

I can't believe I am responding to this but, yes, yes it does. There aren't more items in quote tags because I didn't really want to retype from image verbatim, but I gave page numbers for you if you choose to read it your self. here's the link

It doesn't seem like you are disputing the whole you a member of al-Qa'ida, because we say so. So i'll skip the down to the part i have in quote tags.

Here is where we get to the whole imminent threat part. The quote

The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future

is directly lifted from the document that you don't need clear evidence. 9/11 was used right after this statement as an example of why you can't wait for clear details, except there was evidence of a clear and imminent threat in this case as the 9-11 report details. I used the whole "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" document as an example since it is well known. You are correct that the document asserts that

certain members if al-Qa'ida (including any potential targets of lethal force) are continually plotting attacks against he United States

what you miss is the rest of the rational in the same sentance

; that al-Qa'ida would engage in such attacks regularly to the extent it were able to do so; that the U.S. government may not be aware of all al-Qu'ida plots as they are developing and thus cannot be confident that none is about to occur

. Think about this argument, even if you accept that whole "they are always plotting against us" thing, the rest is there is always an imminent threat because there may be a secret threat that we don't know anything about. By this logic, any time a "sovereign citizen" leaves the country can they be assassinated since that group has a track record of plotting against the US and has engaged in terrorists acts? How about survivalists, another group with a track record of terrorist activities? KKK member leaves the country can we kill them, their certainly they are a terrorism organization who actively plots against the US? Let's set aside the US citizen thing, if someone post to a message board from outside the US how they would like to see the US government fall is the US justified in murdering them? After all, they are outside of the US, probably can't be captured, and to their extent possible would be plotting against the US.

At the top of page 10 we get there is not proper court to adjudicate this.

Finally, the Department notes that under the circumstances described in this paper, there exists no appropriate judicial forum to evaluate these constitutional considerations...Were a court to intervene here, it might be required to inappropriately issue an ex ante command.

Basiclly, there is not court with jurisdiction to adjudicate and if one were to intervene their ruling may not be proper.

And in section III on the same page

Section 1119, however, incorporates the federal murder and manslaughter statutes, and thus its prohibition extends only to "unlawful killing[s]"

Killing someone is only murder or manslaughter if it's unlawful

Section 1119 is best construed to incorporate the "public authority" justification

There is a "public authority" justification that can be used to exempt someone fro the letter of the law

As this paper explains below, a lethal operation of the kind discussed here would fall within the public authority exception

This paper is going to tell you that killing someone falls within this exception

It therefore would not result in an unlawful killing

Therefore it's OK to kill someone(as we saw before the authors already believe there is no court to adjudicate this claim)

In some instances, therefore, the best interpretation of a criminal prohibition is that Congress intended to distinguish persons who are acting pursuant to public authority from those who are not...for example, the application of a speed law to a policeman pursing a criminal or the driver of a fire engine responding to an alarm

An example of the public authority exception is emergency workers speeding.

Comment Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score 1) 800

Not really this is lifted from the document itself.

The first paragraph says the only burden to someone being a member of al-Qu'ida is a informed, high-level official of the U.S. government. It was only a decade ago that we had "informed" high-level officials claiming Iraq had a stockpile of WMDs and was producing more. So, if an entire weapons program could be missed/fabricated, what are the odds of the classsification being screwed up. Further, on page 10 we get that judicial over site is unconstitutional. So you can be placed on the kill list because a high-level offical says you are a member of a group and there is no appeal or review process permitted."

Paragraph 2 on page 7:

The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future

Although it goes on to cite 9/11 as reason why immanence cannot be used, it does not address the whole issue of clear evidence. In the case of 9-11 there was clear evidence of "Bin Laden determined to strike in US." (Not that the US didn't already try to kill him after the USS Cole and Embassy bombings) Top of page 8 gets even more specific with, and i am paraphrasing, [because some leaders may always be plotting, and the US government may not be aware of all al-Qu'ida plots, and thus cannot be confident none are about to occur]. The logical inference here is that, without clear evidence, we can assume they are always scheming for an imminent plot so an imminent threat always exists.

The paragraph at the top of page 10 lays out that because the military may do the killing, in response to the hypothetical threat, judicial over site would be unconstitutional.

Later in page 10(under III) we get the rational that these killings would not be unlawful because this paper says they and not unlawful, and as we just discussed not subject to judicial review. And at the bottom of page 12 we get the suggestion that we should think of this like a speeding by a fire engine responding to an alarm.

Comment Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score 1) 800

No. Try reading the memo. From the very first page it mentions it is for high level ranking al-Qa'ida located outside of the US.

I think the ACLU summed up your statement nicely with:

[T]he white paper assumes a key conclusion: It takes as a given that the target of the strike will be a “senior operational leader of al-Qa’ida or an associated force of al-Qa’ida,” and it reasons from that premise that judicial process is unnecessary. This is a little bit like assuming that the defendant is guilty and then asking whether it’s useful to have a trial.

So, basically all it takes is the government/president to say your al-Qa'ida and they are allowed to murder you far from any battle field and as the original NBC piece put it:

The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future

They don't even need to have clear evidence you are a member of al-Qa'ida or planning anything.

Remember, as a result of signature strikes any male "of military age" is declared to be a combatant and can therefore be murdered regardless of what they are doing or where they are. And they don't even have to be of militay age as evdinced by the killing of three children who were gathering firewood last Decmber

Three individuals hit were 12, 10 and 8 years old, leading the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul to say it may have “accidentally killed three innocent Afghan civilians.

So yes, it is for high level ranking al-Qa'ida located outside of the US, but the government, who is then conducting the assassination, gets to decided who is al-Qa'ida. Nobody get to review the decision and no evidence ever has to be put forth before or after the killing.

Comment Re:Papermate (Score 1) 712

I had the same problem as OP, and used to use far more expensive drafting pens. My brother gave me a few PaperMate InkJoy 500 RT 0.5 XF a few years ago and I have used nothing else since. A given pen last for months, never clogs on me, at .5 I can write as small as I want(typically 3 to 4 lines per college ruled line), and at under <$1 per pen I am not too worried about breaking or losing it.

I know this may sound a little overboard, but I really like these pens.

Comment Re:...and half the comments make the same dumb jok (Score 2) 633

But Standard American Lager is a recognized type of Beer, like IPA or Pilsner Although not the only type of beer produced in the US (and one I prefer not to drink), it is the style most commonly associated with US beer. Do all American beers suck? Defintally not. Does the beer type closely associated with the US, bears the name America, and the top 3 brands, BudLite, Budwiser, and CoorLite, which account for 50.1% of the US market, suck? Depends on your taste.

But like it or not, and I am guessing you do not, this popular(in the US) style of beer is what is meant by American beer.

BJCP Standards for judging American Standard Lagers

Comment Re:Does this relate to... (Score 1) 300

Yes, I am aware of the issues with starvation in poverty in most of Africa and other parts of the non-industrialized world. Somalia also covers the Horn of Africa and is a prime staging ground for pirates attacking ships heading through the Suez. I also have seen sporadic coverage throughout the years that tends to peak when some sexy news story hits about pirates or something else, black hawk downs incident was what, 2 decades ago?

Point taken though, this was probably the wrong story to comment on this about. I think I am just confused that a non-story about the relaties of maritime activity in the region, that probably would have been ignored a few weeks ago, happens to rise to a point of note.

Comment Does this relate to... (Score 0) 300

The Nation's article on CIA black sites? I may have been in a bubble, but I don't recall many articles mentioning Somalia until The Nation ran their article about the US Torture camps in Somalia.

Now I see article, after article, about how there is a humanitarian crisis in that country is caused by people the US want to torture/murder and now an article about how climate change research is being hampered by evil people in the area. It all seems a little much.

I really want to stay away from tinfoil hat material but, when a story about torture camps run by the US gov seems to be ignored and then humanization problems seems to appear at the same time, I can't help but wonder if a counter information campaign, like what the hack on HBGary help to expose may be responsible.

Comment Re:Yep, not the change I voted for (Score 3, Interesting) 892

I cant really agree with either of you. Killing poor people because they were born in the wrong part of the world is EVIL. Kidnapping, torturing and, in some cases, killing people because they share the same name/alias(in that a guys alias is actually their name)/religion/sold to by tribal rivals is EVIL.

Both acts are disgusting.

To be clear, the Bush torture program found some random low ranking lawyer to sign off, but we haven't seen reports that his attorneys general, office of legal counsel and [major governing agency] disagreed. To equate this asinine legal opinion to Bush we would have to go to the domestic spying program.

This illegal wiretap program had the counsel of the FBI, OLC and the attorneys general saying that its incredibly illegal. You know, the program that Ashcroft refused to sign off on and was visited in a hospital room and refused to sign? The one that Bush modified to get Ashcroft to sign off on, that the NYT sat on until the end of the election, and that even after being modified(so that Ashcroft would signoff on)was still illegal.

Like Bush's unmodified wiretap program, Obama had his OLC, Pentagon Legal Counsel and (as the NYT buries on A6 in the second to last paragraph of a 21 paragraph article) the Attorneys General.

tl;dr Both obscene decisions come at the objection of the Attorneys General;OLC and [major governing agency],

Comment If drone strikes are in fact hostile??!? (Score 2) 892

I am at a loss for words. That has to be one of the stupidest thoughts I have ever read.

I can't wait until the first poor defendant goes before a judge as says "If crack was in fact a drug" then of course id be a drug dealer.

It makes me sad to begin thinking that the set of birthers who think Obama never went to law school may be on to something.

Comment Re:Sounds like they're got inside access (Score 1) 353

Maybe, I think the leading causes will be debated by historians for decades. Wired has a summary(wordpress link to the same story, after wireds part in Bradley Manning and their smear job of Bruce Ives I have a hard time sending traffic there) and a google search will pull open more debates and comments about the link between anthrax and the Iraq War.

From what I remember about late 2001, the events of 9/11 were traumatic and confusing, but not really fear inspiring. It felt more like a one off, more similar to the Cole, embassy bombings or all the hijackings/bombings of planes in the decade before. Getting on a plane was scary for a few months, but that was about it. The anthrax was completely different.

With the anthrax we had a few weeks of new reports that people were getting sick or dying. And unlike working in a fancy highrise in New York City, everyone gets the mail and everyone could be a potential victim. Anthrax brought about a sustained fear of terrorism where anyone could be a victim, and made people afraid that they could be the victim of WMD's that would kill, not a few thousand, but millions.

I am sure the discussion as to the major cause of Iraq will continue for decades for many reasons least of which is probably not that the national science foundation doesn't accept the FBIs conclusions where the science is concerned, and that aside from Bruce Ives was creepy the anthrax investigation pointed back to government labs.

tl;dr Powell didn't go before the security council with a toy plane but with a vial of anthrax.

Comment Re:Sounds like they're got inside access (Score 4, Interesting) 353

One of the few times? Seriously??

Can you name one "terrorist" attack that hasn't been severly one sided in terms of cost?
  • Oklahoma city - for less than $5k there was 82.5Million in investigative cost alone
  • 9/11 -4 Planes, Several buildings, more expensive airport security, loss of jobs, etc have been estimated at over 2 trillion. +10 years of expensive war in Afghanistan
  • Anthrax Attacks - for the cost of 7 letters we got a clean up that the FBI put over 1billion and the war in Iraq
  • Liquid bombers - didn't even happen and we got more security theater and still have restrictions on liquids
  • Times square bomber - unsuccessful attack that got politically elites talking about suspending Miranda
  • Underwear bomb - Super expensive scanners and more security theater.

Seriously, what "terrorist" attack in the last 10 years were you thinking of that hasn't caused a serous disproportionate response? Why do you think there seem to be more attacks in the last few years? For every couple thousand spent blowing, or attempting to blow, something up we spend hundreds or millions/billions/trillions reacting to it and every few large attacks causes the US to give away more of the "freedom(s)" that the terrorists hate. Over the last decade

the "terrorists", so to speak, [have] won.

Slashdot Top Deals

Established technology tends to persist in the face of new technology. -- G. Blaauw, one of the designers of System 360