Tuesday, February 26, 2013

President's "No Intention" Comments Are Not Reassuring

Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., says he will block the nomination of the John Brennan confirmation for Director of the CIA until he gets a straight answer from Brennan and the President.

Paul's concern is in regard to the use of drones to track and kill people. Particularly in America, and American citizens in foreign countries.

You would think that would be an easy question to answer with clarity.

And you would think the answer would be, "We will not kill Americans on American soil or elsewhere."

But that is not what he is saying.

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Senator Paul says he wrote a letter asking for clarification and has "not gotten one word of response" from the administration.

He said, "The president says he has no intention, but that's kind of like saying he doesn't like the Second Amendment either, but doesn't intend to overturn it at this time. That's what he's saying. He has no intention of dropping a bomb from a drone on an American right now. He should say he has no right to do so without a trial."

During Brennan's hearing, Dianne Feinstein, D-Ca., and Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked Brennan if the administration would carry out drone strikes inside the United States.

Brennan responded, "This administration has not carried out drone strikes inside the United States and has no intention of doing so."

Paul has also raised concerns that when President Obama was asked about drone strikes in the US during a "Google hangout" on February 16, the President answered, "Well, first of all, there has never been a drone strike used on an American citizen on American soil."

Paul says he will block the nomination until he gets a straight answer.

He's not the only one wondering why the President won't give a straight answer.

Even the New York Times, of all things, published an article last October questioning the secretive nature of Obama's drone program and that he, without any accountability, seems to be the one approving whom drones should kill. And when.

When questioned about his transparency on another online Google "fireside hangout," the President said that "This is the most transparent administration in history."

Really?

But it was his comment this last weekend at the National Governors Association meeting at the White House that caused, not only Rand Paul, but many across the country to once again take notice.

Erick Wemple, writing for the Washington Post yesterday quotes the President saying to the governors, "What I want to do is clear out the press so we can take some questions."

Transparency?

This same Post article also quotes Brennan saying this at his hearing: "What we need to do is optimize transparency on these issues, but at the same time, optimize secrecy and the protection of our national security."

Is this the definition of clarity in the Obama administration?

The question of who is authorized to kill people and where and when, with drone planes, is extremely important to all freedom loving Americans.

I applaud Senator Rand Paul for standing strong on this matter. We elect a president, not a king. He is not sovereign, he is accountable.

However, this whole discourse raises a point that may in fact be even more important to the future of our country and our culture.

This kind of muddled, evasive response at the highest level, highlights, at least in my mind, not only the suggestion of dishonesty, but also the effects of long term exposure to moral and ethical relativism. The philosophy that has been force fed into our culture through government run education for the past several generations-----a philosophy that elevates shades of gray, rather than truthful, definitive answers and statements---expediency rather than integrity.

Remember, Abraham Lincoln said the philosophy in the classroom of one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next generation.

Consider this:

Relativism says that truth may be one thing for me, while it is another for you. Relativism makes each individual the arbiter of truth. The Bible refers to this as "everyone doing what is right in his own eyes."

Judges 2:25 and 17:6 describe such a time that is not so far from where we stand as a nation today. In those days, a judge, appointed by God, gave clarity and God's Truth to a nation. Now there is no judge or spiritual leadership.

Scripture says, "In those days every man did what was right in his own eyes."

This tragic story reveals that Micah so disrespected his mother that he stole from her. His act caused her to become so angry toward her son that she cursed him. They took stolen precious metals and melted them into a false god---an image, that they could worship.

They lost their way.

In some respects our nation and culture reflects such a time as that described in Judges.

The road to relativism leads quickly to denying the core teaching of the Bible, then in a moral vacuum, absent absolute Truth, every person creates their own truth---they become "as God" in their own minds.

And finally it is written in Proverbs, "There is a way that seems right to man, but the end is death."

This is a time when people of faith must persevere. We must not be silenced. Or morally confused by the drumbeat of secular relativism.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks, again, Gary, for the disourse on relatvisim as it applies in today's circumstances

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  2. The drone program needs to be moved out of the secret CIA and into the military where it would be subject to public disclosure and scrutiny. Even Brennan agrees.

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  3. I agree that drones need more transparency in their usage. They should not be used on American soil as offensive weapons, however; when an American citizen takes up arms for a foreign power (country or organization) on foreign soil he forfeits his citizenship in my book. If he can't be captured and brought to justice, his blood is on his own head.

    Craig in Lacey

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  4. Except that we're killing civilians in collateral damage. I don't think we'd react very well if Mexico sent a drone over Phoenix to kill a drug lord and took out some innocent bystanders as well. I don't care how guilty the drug lord was, we'd be screaming about it.

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  5. Your point is taken, I would hope that our drone strikes take that into account, it's counterproductive not to do so. Even the best intelligence can't tell you how much collateral damage will result. This is a by-product of any military action.

    It is unfortunate, but unless the people rise up and expel the cowards hiding among them, I don't see how it can be avoided entirely. If we sent in troops, innocents would still die.

    Man is such a tragic creature.

    Craig in Lacey

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