Presidents Have Lots of Options for Killing People

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I know this is pretty obvious, but I just want to ask a question—or maybe make a point—very clearly: when it comes to the authority of the president to assassinate American citizens on American soil, drones are just a sideshow, right?

What I mean is that if the president wants to kill someone on American soil, he already has loads of options. This is because, unlike Yemen or Pakistan, we control our own territory. If Obama wants to kill someone at no risk to U.S. troops, he can scramble jets; use a sniper; order a helicopter strike; lob some mortars from a safe distance; or fire off a missile from a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher.

Right? There’s really nothing new here. Presidents have always had the physical means to kill people safely, and the availability of drones doesn’t really change anything. It’s just one more weapon in their arsenal.

Or am I missing something? Is there something truly special and different about drones that I’m not getting?

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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