Bart Hawkins Kreps

Bart Hawkins Kreps
November 21
As an American expatriate, I struggled for 30 years with the question of whether to become a citizen of Canada. On the one hand, Canadians still must swear their fealty to a bizarre, outdated, anachronistic medieval figurehead as our "head of state". On the other hand, we Canadians can truthfully state that our monarch no longer claims the right to imprison people indefinitely or execute them without trial.

NOVEMBER 2, 2012 4:38PM

Disposition Matrix could fall into wrong hands, Obama warns

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President Barack Obama is making a last-minute plea to undecided voters, warning that a Republican president could misuse the extraordinary powers contained in his recently publicized “Disposition Matrix”.

The warning came in an exclusive sit-down with an anonymous trusted journalist – the time-tested method for disseminating selected classified information.

The Disposition Matrix, it was revealed by the Washington Post, is a “Kill List 2.0”, detailing people accused by someone of being associated with someone who may engage in activities that some would describe as terrorism.

All deliberations on the fate of these individuals are secret, but the President himself ensures that if listees are targeted for a drone strike, they really had it coming to them.

Reliable Anonymous Stenographer: Mr. President, tell us about this matrix – who developed it, and what exactly does “disposition” mean?

President of the United States: It’s a great name, isn’t it? I can assure you that we had our best people working on this.

RAS: Your top intelligence experts?

POTUS: No, no, our very best branding team! It’s really perfect! It’s got nerd appeal for those Silicon Valley types, a hint of Hollywood thriller, it sounds kind of menacing, so everybody knows that we mean business … but it doesn’t really give away a damn thing.

 (continues below fold) 

 Free Bonus Syllables

 Poster used in focus groups by Disposition Matrix branding team


Now, as for “Disposition”, it’s a mistake to think that just means “land a drone on your head”. We’ve got a whole range of things we can do, like put 'em in solitary till he forgets his own name. But of course all that’s classified, so the short answer to your question is, “I’d like to tell you what ‘disposition’ means, but then I’d have to dispose of you!” Ha Ha!

Speaking of good lines, what about Eric [Holder], when he did that public spiel about our secret drone program? He says, “some people complain that these people didn’t get due process, but due process isn’t always “judicial process”! Cracked us up!

But seriously, you have my word that anybody on that list is a terrorist, and a terrorist is an enemy of freedom, so if they are in the way of a drone, they got their due.

RAS: Mr. President, do you see any dangers in the long term, when these executive powers of yours have become standard policy?

POTUS: Excellent question! I’m so glad you asked. As the nation’s top constitutional scholar, I fully comprehend the dangers. I mean, these are awesome powers, no doubt about it. There is nothing to stop a future president, if he’s crooked, or stupid, or off his meds, whatever – he could lock up or blast people for all sorts of reasons, and just say “we have classified information that these guys were terrorists”, and they don’t have to provide any evidence, and there’s no court in the country that can review the kill order.

So sure, there is some downside. If you, um, in the future if you’ve got a President who isn’t highly principled, and isn’t completely honest, and might not be totally above the corruptions of absolute power, he might not be really wise, far-sighted, someone who doesn’t completely understand all the complications in world diplomacy, someone  …

RAS: You want me to write down all of that?

POTUS: Hey sorry, I was a bit over the top there wasn’t I? But make sure you get this next bit:

I’m Barack Obama, and four years ago you joined me in saying, “The executive power abuses by our Republican president must stop, now!” And together, we made that happen. No Republican president has threatened the foundations of our justice system for four years now!

But today a grave danger faces us. In just three months, America could have a Republican president who claims the right to tap your phone lines and emails without court orders; who says he can capture and detain anybody, anywhere, for as long as he wants, without ever providing any evidence or ever giving that person a chance to defend their name; a Republican President, my fellow citizens, who even claims the right to assassinate anybody, including Americans, anywhere in the world, without review by any court!

I’m counting on you to prevent that from happening. Vote for me, Barack Obama, on November 6, and together we will keep the Disposition Matrix safe.

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The above is a work of satire, except the really weird parts, which are all true.
[R] Bart, this is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Thank you. The Drones R Us pic is a wonderful addition! Reliable Anonymous Stenographer cracked me up! these lines in particular are awesome: "It’s got nerd appeal for those Silicon Valley types, a hint of Hollywood thriller, it sounds kind of menacing, so everybody knows that we mean business … but it doesn’t really give away a damn thing." And the ending doesn't disappoint! Democratic/Obama EXCEPTIONALISM ON STEROIDS. Bart, you so rock. Great sensiblity on this surreal nightmare! Yes, satire is hard in these surreal days but you achieved it. You may not post often, but you totally knocked my socks off! More, more, more!!!!! best, libby!!!!!
rated for how you choose to approach, creatively, a controversial issue
jonathan - many thanks, I had some fun with this, which is some compensation for all the gnashing of teeth when I read the MSM on this topic.

libby - you're too kind! It is all about Exceptionalism, isn't it, and it's just as petty and irrational when it comes from the Democrats as from the Republicans. This piece really grew out of two comments. The first was Obama's joke a couple of years ago about droning anybody who got ideas about his daughters. The second was very recent, right here in OpenSalon comments, when an Obamafan said seriously "if you don't like what Obama does with drones, wait till you see what Romney does!"

The point is well taken: a president who passes along unchecked executive powers can expect his successor to go even farther. Obama has shown that clearly.
An interesting perspective, but again revelatory pf Obama's hesitancy to carry through the full logic of his agenda. If, as he fully implies, a Republican would frightfully misuse the powers he has taken for the presidency, it is his obvious duty to guarantee that this cannot occur. He must immediately enlarge his kill list to absolutely eliminate all possibility of a Republican to interfere with his presidential powers or to misuse them in the future. This means killing off. not only all Republicans now in power but all citizens who have the slightest inclination to vote Republican. No doubt this would speed up Congressional legislation immensely and remove all opposition to Obama's grand view of getting the USA back to being a functioning nation. I'm sure the lobby of funeral directors would be wildly enthusiastic.