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Cornel West: Obama is a ‘war criminal’ who has killed ‘over 200 children’

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Appearing on the radio Thursday with host Tavis Smiley, professor Cornel West argued that President Barack Obama is, like Presidents George W. Bush and Richard Nixon before him, a “war criminal” uniquely responsible for the deaths of “over 200 children.”

West’s words were in response to a question about the administration’s seeming preference for killing terrorism suspects from the air rather than risking American lives to take them prisoner and hold them for an indefinite amount of time in military custody. A legal whitepaper obtained by NBC News recently exposed the Obama administration’s once-secret justification for the program, which authorizes a deadly airstrike if intelligence officials believe it may take out any “senior operational leaders” of al Qaeda or “associated forces,” even if that includes an American citizen.

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“I think, my dear brother, the chickens are coming home to roost,” West told Smiley. “We’ve been talking about this for a good while, the immorality of drones, dropping bombs on innocent people. It’s been over 200 children so far. These are war crimes.”

Troublingly enough, West is right on the number: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that up to 216 children have died in three countries the U.S. is not formally at war with — Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia — as a result of suspected U.S. drone strikes starting in 2002 and dramatically escalating during Obama’s first term. Out of an estimated 451 total drone strikes during that period, over 300 were ordered by Obama against Pakistanis alone. The Bureau estimates that up to 4,643 people in all have been killed by drone strikes in those three countries.

Similarly, a United Nations committee said this month that “hundreds” of children have been killed by U.S. drone strikes since 2008, many which are personally approved by Obama, according to The New York Times.

“I think we have to be very honest, let us not be deceived: Nixon, Bush, Obama, they’re war criminals,” West said. “They have killed innocent people in the name of the struggle for freedom, but they’re suspending the law, very much like Wall Street criminals. The law is suspended for them, but the law applies for the rest of us. You and I, brother Tavis, if we kill an innocent person we go to jail, and we’re going to be in there forever.”

Despite the largely unchecked, secret military campaigns abroad, Obama said in a recent public discussion on Google Plus that no drone strike has ever killed an American on U.S. soil, and said he’s pushing Congress for enhanced oversight of the program.

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“I am not somebody who believes that the president has the authority to do whatever he wants, or whatever she wants, whenever they want, just under the guise of counter terrorism,” he said. “There have to be checks and balances on it.”

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, along those same lines, endorsed the idea of establishing a secret drone court that would weigh the evidence against an American citizen abroad who officials suspect is involved in terrorism, potentially shutting down a planned drone strike if the proof is not compelling enough.

John Brennan, Obama’s nominee to lead the CIA, was a key architect of the administration’s drone program. His confirmation hearing was delayed this week until after a recess by Senators demanding Obama release more information on the drone program and last year’s attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

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This audio is from “Tavis Talks,” aired Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, snipped courtesy of Mediaite.


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Photo: Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com


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‘Bulletproof from a pardon’: Fox News analyst says judge in Stone case just made things tough for Trump

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In the wake of Roger Stone's sentencing of 3.5 years in prison this Thursday, Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano posited that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson's choice to go along with Attorney General Bill Barr's sentencing recommendation could have been an effort to pardon-proof the sentence from President Trump.

"[Jackson's] trying to make this bulletproof from a pardon," Napolitano said. "Because she went along exactly with what [Barr] requested."

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Adam Schiff sends signal that a Roger Stone pardon would be another impeachable offense

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Rep. Adam Schiff suggested that a presidential pardon for Roger Stone would be an impeachable offense.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced the longtime Republican operative to 40 months in prison, saying Stone had lied to Congress and threatened a witness to cover up possible wrongdoing by President Donald Trump -- and Schiff sent a warning against a pardon.

"Roger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and threatening a witness," Schiff tweeted.

Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry and trial, agreed with Jackson -- whose language echoed the lawmaker's "corrupt scheme and cover-up" indictment during the Senate trial.

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WATCH: Roger Stone greeted with ‘Lock Him Up!’ chants after getting sentenced to 40 months

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Trump ally Roger Stone frequently led chants of "Lock her up!" about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign -- but on Thursday, the table decisively turned.

After Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison for charges of perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice, a crowd of people greeted the right-wing dirty trickster by chanting, "Lock him up!" outside the courthouse.

At least one supporter of President Donald Trump tried to get a "pardon" chant going, but they were drowned out by the louder "Lock him up" chants.

Watch the video below.

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