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Legal case for drone strikes on Americans : Swingers Discussion 216430
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TOPIC: Legal case for drone strikes on Americans
Created by: Nkenswing
Original Starting post for this thread:
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.

The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week’s hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director. Brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge drone strikes in a speech last year, calling them “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense.” In a separate talk at the Northwestern University Law School in March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”

Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”

As in Holder’s speech, the confidential memo lays out a three-part test that would make targeted killings of American lawful: In addition to the suspect being an imminent threat, capture of the target must be “infeasible, and the strike must be conducted according to “law of war principles.” But the memo elaborates on some of these factors in ways that go beyond what the attorney general said publicly. For example, it states that U.S. officials may consider whether an attempted capture of a suspect would pose an “undue risk” to U.S. personnel involved in such an operation. If so, U.S. officials could determine that the capture operation of the targeted American would not be feasible, making it lawful for the U.S. government to order a killing instead, the memo concludes.

The undated memo is entitled “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa’ida or An Associated Force.”

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If an American agent is found to be passing critical secrets to the enemies of America, shouldn't it be in our interest to neutralize that operative? If it's easier to kill him than to capture him, and this is carried out, is anything gained by divulging all the details to the public?

How is a drone strike against an al Qaeda "American" any different?

Flat Rock NC
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"The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue..."

If an American agent is found to be passing critical secrets to the enemies of America, shouldn't it be in our interest to neutralize that operative? If it's easier to kill him than to capture him, and this is carried out, is anything gained by divulging all the details to the public?

How is a drone strike against an al Qaeda "American" any different?

Flat Rock NC
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Well said, Sedu, you've clearly and completely proven my point better than I could hope to. Thank you.

Easton PA
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Should I use simpler words to describe the typical hypocritical liberal that you are, unable to swallow his own meds? What is so complicated about the fact that you feigned some kind of bullshit disapproval about how others are arguing, only to engage in the same behavior yourself? It's quite on topic, unfortunately, you feel uncomfortable with the truth, like most liberals that take part in the political fora.

Allenhurst NJ
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JJ, you can't fix stupid, and psychosis is incurable.

Rosemont IL
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Sweettart....Democracy in Egypt is a zygote, and lest you think the opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood are some pro western loyal American allies, you could not be more wrong. The countries of the middle east will never be Sweden, but they don't have to be. What they have to be are stable, sovereign and not a haven for terrorists The alternative to a well armed American supported Egypt is a pre Camp David state of perpetual nation state war. I know that is what Bibi, Likud and the radical Zionists want, but bit is important the US prevents it. President Obama has done an admirable job of keeping the neo fascists who currently hold power in Israel at bay as well as killing the radical Islamists

Rosemont IL
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Don't hold your breath, JJ

Flat Rock NC
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Still waiting on you to come up with something tangible. You're very good at the ad hominems and assertions, thought!

But can we get an ETA on when you may ever post something on-topic and with a point?

Easton PA
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if you behave the way you criticize others of behaving, what does that make you?

It makes you a liberal ;)

Allenhurst NJ
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It is great to watch folks argue about the argument.

Red Bluff CA
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TOPIC: Legal case for drone strikes on Americans