Killing in Lieu of Surveilling

Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c140629.tif

Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles deserves another Pulitzer Prize for this superb cartoon.  Some people are singing hallelujahs over the Supreme Court’s recent decision that police cannot automatically search people’s cell phones.  However, the Supreme Court has done nothing to negate the government’s prerogative to kill people based on secret memos, secret evidence, and utter bunk.

I started ragging on the U.S. government’s assassination policy long ago when Obama was a presidential candidate who pledged to obey the Constitution. A 2011 story I wrote for the Christian Science Monitor (“Assassination nation: Are there any limits on President Obama’s license to kill?”) evoked a torrent of testy online comments:

* “Hopefully there will soon be enough to add James Bovard to the [targeted killing] list.”

* “We need to send Bovard and the ACLU to Iran. You shoot traders and the ACLU are a bunch of traders.”

* “Now if we can only convince [Obama] to use this [assassination] authority on the media, who have done more harm than any single terror target could ever dream of…”

* “James bovard… We would all be better off if bigots like you stopped writing crap.”

* “You guys who are against killing these guys are going to be the death of all of us.”


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9 Responses to Killing in Lieu of Surveilling

  1. Tom Blanton July 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    Them Christian Scientists say the darndest things! They must be Christian Rocket Scientists they is so smart. I like where it is suggested that you and the ACLU go to Iran to do some trading. Be careful, sanctions could foul up a decent trade especially if “you shoot traders”.

    • Jim July 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

      Actually, the vast majority of comments came from, which reposted the CSM article. CSM readers are probably significantly less homicidal.

      I’ve always been opposed to shooting traders, even when I was being overcharged.

  2. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit July 7, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    I agree. You shouldn’t write crap. We know you can produce The Good Stuff, so get to it!

    I like commenters [sic] like that – they’re always the ones with the biggest surprised looks on their faces when *they* get hauled away by the regime they supported. Kissin’ cousins to the Libs who are happy establishing a police state to take away firearms (and other liberties) but then have a fit when that same state stomps on them….

    • Jim July 7, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

      I am tempted to take the “bigots… crap” line and post that as the top header quote at

      I have been surprised how many liberals have cheered Obama’s assassinations. They seemed so sincere in 2008.

  3. Jim July 7, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    It is one of life’s little blessings when your self-proclaimed enemies do not use Spellcheckers.

    • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit July 8, 2014 at 10:41 am #

      “Autocomplete” is just another brick in the wall of illiteracy.

  4. D.W. Sabin July 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    I’ve been stunned into speechlessness by what seems to be a headlong dive into a low rent TV drama loosely based upon Kafka with a hint of Chekov for just that right little bit of Russian auto-humiliation.

    We are Stark Mad at the present, trying to achieve the goal of being Stark Raving Mad.

    • Jim July 14, 2014 at 7:51 pm #


      If only Romney had won in 2012. The entire world would be at peace.


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