Alternate headline: How he stopped worrying and learned to love the drone
Against the backdrop of confirmation hearings for John Brennan for head of the CIA, a memo from the Justice Department was released that claimed there was legal justification for drone strikes against U.S. citizens without traditionally-recognized due process and even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
From NBC News:
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.”
But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.
“The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states.
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.”
We don't know about you but having our lives in the hands of an "informed, high level" official is chilling to say the least even if we did have an operational definition of the same.
Twitter was blowing up yesterday over this and our contributions focused on the potential for abuse of this power (one could make the argument that merely having that power is aubuse of power in itself and we would not object) to the absolute hypocrisy of the left with respect to the current President's predeccessor and the practice of enhanced interrogation/waterboarding.
We’ve ended the heinous Bush-era tactic of waterboarding terrorists by killing Americans instead. #sendinthedrones
Hordes of human rights activists will be descending upon Crawford, TX any minute now. #sendinthedrones
#MartinSheen your little boycott campaign of #ZeroDarkThirty is charming in it’s own special way. #sendinthedrones
What is zero? The amount of information that can be gleaned from waterboarding a corpse #sendinthedrones
Only Nixon could go to China and only a Nobel Peace Prize winner could wack his own citizens. #sendinthedrones
We fully expect a stronger letter to follow from the #ACLU any minute now. #sendinthedrones
The logic of the modern left: enhanced interrogation in order to glean intel: bad. Killing Americans via drone strike: Outfu$kingstanding! #sendinthedrones
Today, the American left confirmed what a bunch of worthless hypocrites we always knew them to be. #sendinthedrones
Administration that has the power to kill its own citizens wonders what we’re doing with an assault rifle. #sendinthedrones
Q for the left: Will u also trust a (R) with this power? We’ll answer that for you: No. So please drop your shameless hypocristy. #sendinthedrones
What fun is waterboarding a terrorist when they’re already dead? #sendinthedrones
Administration that promised to close Gitmo simply kills potential inhabitants. #sendinthedrones
Administration will just kill those that they want to give civilian trials to. #sendinthedrones
Lefties: if you wouldn’t want a (R) president with that power, then it’s a solid bet no president should have that power. #sendinthedrones
We'll say it again: the stunning inconsistencies of how Obama has prosecuted his war on terror points to the man being just lazy. He doesn't want the hassle of actually capturing, detaining and questioning the bad guys lest he look anything like his predeccessor so... he kills them instead. And not just foreigners anymore. If they were still around, you could've asked Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16 yr. old son