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DC Court: State Secrets Privilege Trumps Any Citizens' Right To Know Whether Or Not Their Own Gov't Is Trying To Kill Them

from the DFA2K19 dept

The government can try to kill you without due process as long as it can successfully invoke state secret privileges. That's the jist of the decision [PDF] just released by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the DC District Court.

Journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem believes he has been placed on the US government's "kill list." Kareem, due to the nature of his reporting, spends a fair amount of time talking to militants involved with terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda. After a series of Syrian airstrikes that narrowly missed him, Kareem concluded the government must have decided he was a terrorist worth killing, even though he was only reporting on terrorist activity in Syria.

His case was allowed to proceed in 2018 by Judge Collyer (a former FISA judge), but now she is ending it. The state secret privilege invoked by the government is just too high to surmount, even for an American journalist who has expressed legitimate concern his own government is trying to kill him. At least Collyer has the honesty to deliver the crushing blow right up front.

What constitutional right is more essential than the right to due process before the government may take a life? While the answer may be none, federal courts possess limited authority to resolve questions presented in a lawsuit, even when they are alleged to involve constitutional rights. This is such a case. Despite the serious nature of Plaintiff’s allegations, this Court must dismiss the action pursuant to the government’s invocation of the state secrets privilege.

At least this part is blunt, concise, and mostly coherent. Going into greater detail (as Collyer's decision does) just puts the blinding glory of the government's Heller-esque powers on full display.

There is still a question as to whether the unavailability of the requested information is fatal to Mr. Kareem’s complaint. A court must dismiss a case in which a privilege of state secrets is sustained when: (1) disclosure is necessary for the plaintiff to make its prima facie case; (2) disclosure is necessary for the defendant to defend itself; or (3) further litigation would present an unjustifiable risk of disclosure. See Mohamed, 614 F.3d at 1087. The United States focuses on Mr. Kareem’s prima facie case, arguing that Mr. Kareem cannot establish his standing to sue without the information. The Court agrees and notes that all three reasons justify dismissal.

See how that works? If a plaintiff needs certain info to pursue claims against the government, the government can simply declare the info a state secret, instantly depriving the plaintiff of standing. Sure, there are other ways to handle this, like limited release of info to the judge and attorneys with security clearance, but the US is claiming Kareem's possible inclusion on a "kill list" is too secret to discuss even in secret… even when it has discussed its drone strike program publicly before.

It all comes down to this, which is an extremely disheartening thing to read in a nation whose government took the time to establish the rights this same government is now willing to walk all over with its invocation of state secrets privilege:

To prove his prima facie case, Mr. Kareem must be able to show he was in fact targeted by the United States with lethal force. The Court previously found Mr. Kareem alleged facts sufficient, if proven, to survive a motion to dismiss, but having now held that the government is not required to disclose whether Mr. Kareem has been targeted as alleged, it is impossible for Mr. Kareem to obtain the necessary information to prove his claims. Without access to the privileged information, Mr. Kareem is unable to establish whether he was targeted by lethal force or what information was considered in reaching the alleged decision to target him. Mr. Kareem is “incapable of demonstrating that [he has] sustained a violation of” his constitutional rights without the withheld information.

The end result of this circular reasoning is a decision that basically allows the government to act as if no rights violation has occurred. It's a cake and eat it too situation for the US government, which can go forward with any other plans it has to deprive other Americans of their due process rights by targeting them for extrajudicial killings. If any of those find themselves a bit too close to drone strikes, they have no avenue of redress that isn't blocked by state secrets privilege. The house always wins.

Filed Under: bilal abdul kareem, due process, evidence, kill list, right to know, rosemary collyer, standing, state secrets


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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 8:27am

    It is impossible to define impossible when it is possible

    "...it is impossible for Mr. Kareem to obtain the necessary information to prove his claims..."

    It is not impossible, but it would take the government overcoming its embarrassment at possessing lists that they intend to extrajudicialy terminate the life of US citizens who have not been convicted of crimes that carry the death penalty. If all it takes is for the government to claim 'state secrets' to kill anyone at all, then what is to stop them from killing anyone they don't like and claim 'state secret' when brought to trial or sued for violation of Constitutional rights.

    It's not that I'm surprised that this judge didn't take the time to review the lists as well as the underlying reasoning behind not only the creation of the lists but the reasoning for inclusion of anyone listed, but also that she publicly twisted and turned to justify the governments 'state secret' defense without understanding the necessity of that secrecy. That unexplained 'state secrets' were sufficient to overcome 'standing', where is the hope that anyone else could be safe from government sanctions, up to and including extrajudicial death. I would bet several good Internets that the government could come up with enough weasel words to explain the necessity of the so called 'state secret' without actually revealing the secret. Whether that explanation would pass the laugh test is another story.

    I never knew that they allowed judges to play Twister while on the bench.

    We either live by and respect the Constitution or we turn into an authoritarian state. Edicts like this one show once again that we are on the move toward authoritarianism, which is contrary to the established basis for our country, and a violation of the Judges oath to uphold the Constitution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 26 Sep 2019 @ 9:59am

      Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is possible

      We either live by and respect the Constitution or we turn into an authoritarian state.

      Sure, but that's not the judge's call to make.

      Edicts like this one show once again that we are on the move toward authoritarianism, which is contrary to the established basis for our country, and a violation of the Judges oath to uphold the Constitution.

      Reexamining the laws dictating the judge's course here for constitutionality is only an avenue available to the Supreme Court.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 10:13am

        Re: Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is possibl

        Sorry, while the Supreme Court might be the only judicial avenue available for reexamination, that does not mean that each and every one of us does not have the right, and responsibility to consider the ramifications of totalitarian action by anyone. Nor is it the only recourse. I think submitting to the governments cry of 'state secrets' all the time goes beyond the powers invested in our government.

        While I do think that some things should be closely held for some short periods of time, I do not think the government should be able to act without recourse...in anything. In our system it is up to the courts to aid us in that, and here, the court let us down.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          procopius (profile), 27 Sep 2019 @ 9:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is pos

          If you had done a Google search on "state secrets doctrine" you would have found the precedent this judge is constrained by in the Reynolds decision in 1953. This was one of many Supreme Court decisions I think went against the Constitution and simple justice. Look for many more in coming years as the Federalist Society judges the Republicans have been stuffing into lifetime appointments render their judgments. The doctrine has been used a lot since 9/11

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      • icon
        James Burkhardt (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 10:19am

        Re: Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is possibl

        Reexamining the laws dictating the judge's course here for constitutionality is only an avenue available to the Supreme Court.

        Not true. Any court could examine a fresh law and find it unconstitutional. They are bound by previous decisions made by courts of higher authority.

        But none of that matters as the state secrets doctrine in the US is not a law, but a judicially recognized power of the executive. The issue is that only the SCOTUS can re-examine SCOTUS decisions which established the boundaries of state secrets. The lower courts have been unwilling to challenge state secrets claims at any level, and only a strong precedent from the SCOTUS is likely to give judges any willingness to challenge them in the future.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Tanner Andrews (profile), 28 Sep 2019 @ 5:40am

        Re: Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is possibl

        Reexamining the laws dictating the judge's course here for constitutionality is only an avenue available to the Supreme Court.

        Not so. ``It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.'' Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137,177 (US 1803).

        As part of the judicial department, it was the judge's duty to examine the law including any state secret provisions, to see whether they were authorized by the Constitution. Because the Federal govt is intended to be one of limited and enumerated powers, a thing not within those enumerated powers, or necessary to their function, is probably unconstitutional.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rekrul, 26 Sep 2019 @ 11:15am

      Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is possible

      It's not that I'm surprised that this judge didn't take the time to review the lists as well as the underlying reasoning behind not only the creation of the lists but the reasoning for inclusion of anyone listed, but also that she publicly twisted and turned to justify the governments 'state secret' defense without understanding the necessity of that secrecy.

      My take on the article isn't that she had access to the lists, but chose to defend them instead of reading them. It's that the government told her that all of that information was off-limits to everyone, including her, and with no actual evidence to prove his case, the judge had no choice but to dismiss it.

      You can't base a case on "I think...", you need some kind of proof. You have to have something to show the court and if the government holds all the information that you need and won't give it to you, and the judge doesn't have the power to force them to hand it over, what else can they do?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 11:22am

        Re: Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is possibl

        The judge does have the power. She could just order them to give her the information. Now that order might get appealed, and that appeal might go to the Supreme Court, and they could rain some judicial hell down on the judge, but the statement would have been made. If many judges do the same thing, and call out the Supreme Courts error in giving the government such power in violation of the Constitution, then maybe the Supreme Court will reconsider its position.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      AnonyOps, 26 Sep 2019 @ 4:05pm

      Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is possible

      I.E. See: Katharine Gun,
      British translator

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 4:22pm

      Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is possible

      This is proof by the way that the government has passed its usefulness and is now acting directly against the restrictions it was based on.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 27 Sep 2019 @ 7:03am

      Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is possible

      It's depressing that courts can look at the 5th amendment and decide that it's OK for the government to kill whoever they want for any reason and keep it a secret:

      No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      procopius (profile), 27 Sep 2019 @ 8:55pm

      Re: It is impossible to define impossible when it is possible

      There's nothing new about this. It goes back to the Supreme Court's <i>Reynolds</i> decision in 1953. It's been frequently used since 9/11 to withhold standing from plaintiffs. There was a lot of hope Obama would restrict its use, but he continued it, and then went on to create the "kill list." I have many grievances against Obama, but that one is the greatest. The worst thing is, if you're placed on the "kill list," there's nothing you can do. Back when it was widely known that Anwar al-Awlaki was scheduled to be killed many people were saying he should "turn himself in," but how could he? He was never charged with any crime. "Turn himself in" to whom? For what? Same with Mr. Kareem.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    A-Sbeve-Or-Two (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 9:32am

    This is like a scarier version of The Purge saga, except the government doesn’t want its participants to know their hunting as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      A-Sbeve-Or-Two (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 9:33am

      Correction

      ..except the government doesn’t want its participants to know their hunting as well.

      Correction: ”they’re” not their

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 9:43am

      Re:

      No, it's more like Amoeba #82 where he goes into the slime pit to rescue Amanda Tapping? Only there's that thing with the acid spray? That was so cool.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 9:39am

    You SovCits claiming common law rights above goverment?

    LOL, conspiracy kooks!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 9:39am

    You SovCits claiming common law rights above goverment?

    LOL, conspiracy kooks!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 9:49am

    So we just have to wait...

    ...once he has been killed, then he will have the proof required to show the standing to file suit against being killed...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 9:53am

      Re: So we just have to wait...

      the government will simply claim the killing was just collateral damage.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 26 Sep 2019 @ 10:34am

        Re: Re: So we just have to wait...

        These days the constitution takes a lot of collateral damage from the government's operation. If a parent trusted with their children's well-being divulged itself similarly selectively shoddy with their duty, childcare would get involved.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Hero, 26 Sep 2019 @ 10:34am

    THANKS OBAMA

    (no really, he did set the modern-day precedent for the extrajudicial killing of US Citizens)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 5:39pm

      Re:

      That's true because we've never had a civil war

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Sep 2019 @ 5:19am

      Re:

      "no really, he did set the modern-day precedent for the extrajudicial killing of US Citizens"

      Not really. Patriot Act 1 and 2 were all on Dubya. That's where this spate of placing US citizens outside of constitutional restrictions started.

      That Obama didn't fix this...now THAT is on him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 10:45am

    How's the saying go?

    'I love the smell of stockyards in the morning, smells like piles of bullshit.'

    If the government can claim 'state secrets' on something that is literally life or death, they can use that to hide and get away with anything.

    Is the government trying to kill you? State secrets.

    Is the government spying on you? State secrets.

    Is the government violating your rights? State secrets.

    Was the evidence gathered to convict you of a crime collected legally? State secrets.

    If 'state secrets' can trump someone's life then rights and constitutional protections have been thrown clean out the window, as the government essentially has unchecked power to do whatever they want, and all they have to do is mutter two magic words: 'State Secrets.'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 11:07am

      Re: How's the saying go?

      Is the government extorting foreign nations? State Secrets

      Is there a citizens' secrets?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 11:58am

        Re: Re: How's the saying go?

        Is there a citizens' secrets?

        Not if the government gets it way with encryption and device backdoors.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      AnonyOps, 26 Sep 2019 @ 4:16pm

      Re: How's the saying go?

      Well in my examination the government corruption is actual fraud on different levels and each part was meant to be reported to the Tax and Trade Bureau Officers in the US Treasury Dept. Figure that one out...

      However, I cannot find any sheet of paper document upon which to report the miss use of taxes for these and other high crimes. The the treasury does have a hotline number for the sheeple though.

      See: 18 U.S. Code § 245 - Federally protected activities a(1) (2), b 2(E)
      18 U.S. Code § 241 - Conspiracy against rights
      18 U.S. Code § 242 - Deprivation of rights under color of law
      26 U.S. Code § 7214 - Offenses by officers and employees of the United States a (4 thru 9)

      27 CFR 70.333 - Offenses by officers and employees of the United States.
      2 U.S. Code § 192 - Refusal of witness to testify or produce papers
      31 CFR -- Money and Finance: Treasury

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 11:13am

    War zones and pointer dogs

    The reporter was operating in a war zone. Over its history, the USA has killed hundreds of thousands of people in war zones without due process. If they were trying to kill him outside a war zone without due process, however, that would indeed bear the sinister totalitarian overtones invoked here.

    If they are trying to kill him, the best way would be to leak rumors that he is working for the CIA, then furiously denounce the irresponsibility and disloyalty of the rumor-mongers.

    More likely, they have gained respect for his ability to find jihadists, and have been using him as an (unsuspecting) pointer dog to locate them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Wyrm (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 5:41pm

      Re: War zones and pointer dogs

      There are several laws applicable in war zones too.
      Killing of civilians, treatment of prisoners...
      You don't get to kill anyone and say "war, no rules apply".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 9:00pm

        Re: Re: War zones and pointer dogs

        I suspect they are trying to kill the jihadists (enemy combatants) rather than the reporter.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2019 @ 5:09pm

        Re: Re: War zones and pointer dogs

        You don't get to kill anyone and say "war, no rules apply".

        Might as well, the way the rules are applied.

        I remember a US General was being interviewed on TV a few years ago and one of the reporters asked him how they knew that everyone the US killed was a terrorist. The General replied "If we kill someone, then that proves they were a terrorist." So there you go. ipso facto.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 29 Sep 2019 @ 3:17pm

        Re: Re: War zones and pointer dogs

        I suspect they are trying to kill the jihadists (enemy combatants) rather than the reporter.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 26 Sep 2019 @ 11:20am

    Actually, I'd say that he has his answer.

    Man 1: Are you trying to kill me?

    Man 2: Um, I can't answer that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 11:31am

    Personally, I believe that he is not on a US government targeted kill list. However, the government knows that he spends his time talking to terrorists, and he is much easier to track than terrorists are...ergo, they end up bombing wherever he turns up because "Terrists!"

    The reason the government invoked the state secrets doctrine is that they don't want the public and the world to know that they are using US journalists as (unwilling) honey pots to target terrorists. If a journalist happens to be killed, oh well, they shouldn't actually want to report on news in those inhospitable Middle Eastern areas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 11:56am

    Counter-Tyrannically Speaking

    "The government can try to kill you without due process as long as it can successfully invoke state secret privileges. That's the jist of the decision [PDF] just released by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the DC District Court."

    Back at ya, Rosie!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 11:59am

    I have always found it odd that a government of, for and by the people needs to keep secrets from the people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 4:28pm

      Re:

      When they would be torn limb from limb if the people knew what they were doing, you would keep secrets too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 4:54pm

        Re: Re:

        You assume that there are enough citizens who recognize what the government is doing to them. There are a couple of sides to that. There are those that are over the top, and maliciously so, anti government, then there are many, many more who have many more cares than what the government is doing to them. At some point, those two ends will find a middle, and hopefully find a peaceful way to ameliorate the situation. If not, there is the Jefferson solution, and he is attributed as a major contributor to the Constitution:

        "A true patriot will defend his country from its government."

        There is more than one applicable quote at that link.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 30 Sep 2019 @ 5:57am

        Re: Re:

        When they would be torn limb from limb if the people knew what they were doing, you would keep secrets too.

        Unless it's Trump, in which case his rabid supporters would rally round to either dismiss the charges as fake news or deflect by pointing at Hillary, Obama, Biden, or whoever the latest boogeyman is.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      you betcha, 26 Sep 2019 @ 5:59pm

      Re: in memory of murdered reporters

      Bingo!

      Yet, folks keep talking about democracy, as if such can exist where truth is treason.

      Sheesh

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2019 @ 2:48am

      Re:

      War is arson, robbery and murder, but societies that don't find a way to deal with it are destroyed (unless they come under the protection of more warlike societies). Secrecy is a key weapon of war (Google "battle of Midway code-breaking".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 29 Sep 2019 @ 3:16pm

      Re:

      War is arson, robbery and murder, but societies that don't find a way to deal with it are destroyed (unless they come under the protection of more warlike societies). Secrecy is a key weapon of war (Google "battle of Midway code-breaking".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 26 Sep 2019 @ 1:08pm

    Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness (HaHa)

    DC Court: State Secrets Privilege Trumps Any Citizens' Right To Know Whether Or Not Their Own Gov't Is Trying To Kill Them

    It is nice to see that federal court jester Rosemary M. Collyer of the DC District Court is upholding her oath to zealously defend the US Constitution in such an unbiased and objective manner while rendering opinions involving life and death.

    So much for three separate but co-equal branches of government.

    Reaffirmed:

    The United States Government is a criminal enterprise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 4:53pm

      Re: Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness (HaHa)

      The United States Government is a criminal enterprise.

      Not when the government gets to judge itself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 26 Sep 2019 @ 6:31pm

    Thinking that there actually are state secrets is the first delusion. More accurately, frightened little men and women who can't handle accountability for the evil they do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 6:35pm

    Are there any questions as to whether the government of the United States has been usurped?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2019 @ 7:45pm

    "It's a cake and eat it too situation for the US government, which can go forward with any other plans it has to deprive other Americans of their due process rights by targeting them for extrajudicial killings."

    Rights of non-Americans don't count apparently? It's OK for the US government to kill anyone they want?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Sep 2019 @ 5:24am

      Re:

      "Rights of non-Americans don't count apparently? It's OK for the US government to kill anyone they want?"

      Ironically, no. Constitutional protections also apply when the person in question isn't a US citizen.

      However, the equation comes out differently when that shit goes down in another jurisdiction. That's why the US drags its dissidents and "terrorist suspects" into places such as Abu Ghraib and Gitmo when they feel the need to torture someone they incarcerated without any sort of due process - or even any reasonable suspicion.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2019 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Hell, the government is killing its own citizens EN MASSE. Flouridated water is everywhere. Statin drugs are killing half the male population above 45. The dicks are spraying the atmosphere above us with aluminum oxide, radionuclides, fibreglass nanoparticles. At gunpoint forcing un time tested vaccinations on our kids. Allowing industry to spike lethal ingredients in the food we ingest. Corporations are spraying the most poisonous chemicals on our vegatables. Cell towers every two miles apart... who needs enemies?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 27 Sep 2019 @ 1:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And don't forget all the cancers caused by the sound of windmills.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2019 @ 8:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I was going to include it in the list, but I had never heard of it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2019 @ 7:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sure, you could get hit by a boat crossing the Delaware, but chances you don't take shouldn't be more likely to kill you.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2019 @ 12:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Its a really sad thing when reporting truth on techdirt it is immediately followed by some anti truther attempting to defunct it exactly like those who commit these atrocities.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 30 Sep 2019 @ 6:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That's how those who commit these atrocities get away with it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 30 Sep 2019 @ 9:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Its a really sad thing when reporting truth on techdirt it is immediately followed by some anti truther attempting to defunct it exactly like those who commit these atrocities.

              Are you suggesting windmill cancer is not a real issue? HOW DARE YOU.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2019 @ 1:12pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I'm simply trying to point out that if you stood too close to a windmill, you could get seriously injured quicker than if you had to listen to it squeek constantly throughout your lifetime.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 1 Oct 2019 @ 6:36am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I'm simply trying to point out that if you stood too close to a windmill, you could get seriously injured

                  How, by a dead bird falling on you?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2019 @ 2:48pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Sorry, I was thinking of getting clunked in the head by the blades, but I guess the modern windmills are up there a ways. So, yeah, a dead bird, why not?!

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JdL (profile), 28 Sep 2019 @ 8:04am

    If they are going to kill us whenever they please

    ... why should we not start doing the same to them??

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2019 @ 10:16pm

      Re: If they are going to kill us whenever they please

      Because they're patiently waiting for you to die of measles, sweet cheeks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2019 @ 10:11am

    A Government that can kill you, without judicial oversight, and then have said order or actual killing declared a state secret, never having to be held accountable. A militarized police force where a 2 man sheriff department gets a tank, and machine guns. No knock warrants where a platoon of idiots can knock down your door without any warning, and because they have the wrong address, either end up getting shot as intruders, or killing your whole family. Whole swaths of border areas where your constitutional rights no longer apply.

    I don't identify with the gun nutz, but damn guys, how does any sane American think citizens giving up their rights to bear arms is a good idea? This is terrifying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 28 Sep 2019 @ 7:22pm

      Re:

      If we have the right to bear arms and all that is still happening, is that right really helping anything?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2019 @ 12:22pm

      Re:

      This happened to the citizens of nazi germany.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 30 Sep 2019 @ 6:04am

        Re: Re:

        Still waiting for the citizens' uprising to take effect despite the erosion of their constitutional rights. Remember Ferguson? Govt. 1, people nil.

        Divide and conquer tactics prevent the groundswell required for a popular revolt. Result: anyone who does rise up is quickly cut down, and the beatings will continue until morale improves. Meanwhile, enablers gonna enable.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Oct 2019 @ 7:31am

      Re:

      "I don't identify with the gun nutz, but damn guys, how does any sane American think citizens giving up their rights to bear arms is a good idea? This is terrifying."

      Simple.

      The police are currently armed with outright military weaponry. Sniper rifles, light tanks, antitank and full automatic weaponry, and, of course, an practical immunity to prosecution.

      All the second amendment does for you is to enable police to claim a reasonable suspicion that you were armed in order to justify gunning you down like a dog without asking a single question.

      It would be good to make americans give up their guns as a whole but until the second amendment and the myth of the gun as the great equalizer goes away...I'd expect to see elves and dragons walking the streets before seeing THAT fantasy realized.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2019 @ 7:48am

    I think we will need to agree to disagree. You can't compare the U.S. with any other country because it's not like any other country. Our culture, history, and values are unique to us. Historically speaking; When you give our particular government power, they abuse it. As obvious by this very story.

    "police seem to me less abusive"

    I would normally challenge you on this assertion and request sources. However, because the U.S. is unique, you won't find any. You can't compare the U.S. with any other country again because again, it's not like any other country. I will say this; Our police do not discriminate based on the fact your not carrying a gun/weapon, they kill hundreds of unarmed people every year. You honestly can't believe that would change with gun control. Look at the history of the U.S. when we've tried to ban things. Prohibition and our drug war are two great examples. Both failed, and badly. I would argue both alcohol and drugs kill way more people than guns. One is regulated, the other (until recently) flat out illegal, but still they manage to kill by the thousands?

    "So I would want to see some good evidence that it would be worse."

    So I would like to see some good evidence that it would be better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2019 @ 12:28pm

      Re:

      Pure bullshit. What makes this country unique to other countries? Othe citizens have fought hard for the lies and propaganda their governments spewed. People with heart and courage and creativity and muscle have done everything people do all over the planet. It is the powers and principalities at war with each other that is destroying life on earth. It is hopeless. It is only going to get worse.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Sep 2019 @ 10:55pm

      Re:

      Our police do not discriminate based on the fact your not carrying a gun/weapon, they kill hundreds of unarmed people every year. You honestly can't believe that would change with gun control.

      So your solution is to let the status quo continue where the police shrug and say "Every civilian probably has a gun, we can't help but go into every situation with bullets flying"?

      Prohibition and our drug war are two great examples. Both failed, and badly. I would argue both alcohol and drugs kill way more people than guns. One is regulated, the other (until recently) flat out illegal, but still they manage to kill by the thousands?

      ...How is this an argument for less gun control? The amount of actual control in the States is laughable. We have a President who literally thinks managing the access of guns for people with known violent tendencies and issues would not have stopped shooting, and the NRA ate it up as a celebration of the status quo. The two examples you brought up were improved because access to alcohol and drugs are, to a degree, regulated.

      What is it about you gun fanatics that any attempt to say "guns should probably not land in the hands of violent people or criminals" suddenly morphs into "the police will rape us without lube if we don't have guns"? Do you want to sodomize yourselves with your firearms that badly?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 30 Sep 2019 @ 9:50am

      Re:

      You honestly can't believe that would change with gun control.

      You're the one claiming things would change with gun control, not me (maybe - you're both anonymous so I can't tell if it's the same person).

      So I would like to see some good evidence that it would be better.

      I would like to see where anyone claimed it would be better. I don't think I've ever seen anyone claim that stricter gun control would improve the abusive police issue. I have seen claims that it would make it worse, but I don't recall any evidence for them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Oct 2019 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      "You can't compare the U.S. with any other country because it's not like any other country. Our culture, history, and values are unique to us."

      Not exactly. You'll find, through history, dozens of countries with much the same origin story as the US. What eventually became the Roman republic being one of the early well-documented examples.

      And for a century or two that works. Then it goes to shit and you end up with some form of pompous semi-feudal oligarchy or dictatorship which, umpteen bloody revolutions down the line finally ends up with a sort of hammered out democracy continually balancing on a disaster curve.

      But it was roughly 800 years ago that european countries went down the same road the US did, so it can be forgiven if history has been forgotten.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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