Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Loaded term

I was gonna analyze Eric Holder’s state-sponsored-assassination-is-not-only-perfectly-legal-but-also-way-cool speech, but I ran into the problem that it was filled with words and terms I thought I knew the meaning of, but which Holder either stripped of meaning entirely or used to designate something entirely different from my understanding of those words: clear authority, robust oversight, due process, core Executive functions, and so on. It’s hard to debate with someone when you don’t share a common language (although seek out – because I need a nap and don’t feel like looking up the URLs – the responses of Glenn Greenwald, Charles Davis, Charles Pierce, and the ACLU).

My favorite bit, because it was so very like George Bush insisting that the US does not torture because when the US does it, it’s called something else, was where Holder insisted that the killing of people in foreign countries is not “assassinations.” “They are not, and the use of that loaded term is misplaced. Assassinations are unlawful killings.” Instead, this is “use of lethal force in self defense”.

So that’s okay then.

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