By Matthew Rothschild on February 07, 2013

1. What gives you or the President the right to kill U.S. citizens abroad?

2. If you say those citizens have to be senior operational officials of Al Qaeda, then how can you explain or justify why you killed 16-year-old Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and was hardly a "senior operational official of Al Qaeda"?

3. The Obama Administration claims that no judge can rule on whether these assassinations are legal or not. Doesn't make you above the law then?

4. You've been behind the cyber warfare efforts of the Obama Administration. What gives you the right to launch such warfare without Congressional approval?

5. Won't such cyber warfare lead to a dangerous proliferation of cyber attacks around the world?

6. And won't some nuclear powers, like North Korea or even Russia or China, worry that the United States might use cyber warfare as a first strike in a nuclear attack, which would make those countries more eager to launch their own weapons against us in a use-them-or-lose-them scenario?

7. Why did you say that no civilians were killed by our drone strikes over almost a one-year period?

8. How many civilians have our drones actually killed?

9. How many of these were children?

(With apologies to Medea Benjamin, who posted her own excellent list of 10 questions for Brennan: http://www.commondreams.org)

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "The Dangers of Obama's Cyber War Power Grab."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.

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By Julia Burke
Ali Abd ElRahman believes the United States has the potential to take a leadership role in food...

A plea to United States citizens to work for peace

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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