Leaked Justice Dept. memo reveals govt. can carry out drone strikes on U.S. citizens connect to Al Qaeda

Obama loves his drone strikes which many people give him credit for using. I don’t, however, because with the death of that terrorist goes everything he knew about what Al Qaeda is doing. Also it’s a bit hypocritical to disavow enhanced interrogation techniques as ‘torture’ yet dropping a bomb on someone’s head is totally fine.

Well apparently they’ve gone a step further and laid out guidelines, a ‘legal framework’, on using a drone attack to kill an American Citizen:

DAILY MAIL – The U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be ‘senior operational leaders’ of the Islamic terrorist organization Al Qaida or ‘an associated force,’ according to a confidential Justice Department memo leaked on Monday.

The U.S. government can do so even if there is no clear evidence that the American targeted is engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

The news was first reported by NBC’s Open Channel, which obtained a copy of the 16-page document.

The undated memo, which is not an official legal document, sheds new light on the reasoning behind a reported increase in the number of drone strikes used against Al Qaida suspects in recent years — including those aimed at American citizens — under the Obama administration.

The memo, ‘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,’ was reportedly provided to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees in June by unnamed administration officials.

It was provided on the condition that authorities keep the memo confidential and not discuss its contents publicly, according to NBC.

‘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.

Read the full Justice Department white paper here.

And this from NBC News explains the conditions used in determining if a strike is necessary:

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.”

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  • Thank you Scoop!!

    Imagine the outrage if this had have been Bush.
    Hypocritical treasonous evil dear leader.

    I’m still a bit amazed that NBC covered this.

    • BlueGood

      My gut feeling on this is that O’Blamo is setting up the “Ground Work” on being able to target American Citizens at home with Drones…

      This is more about clearing the legal way to justify killing Americans than Americans who might be involved with Al Quackers.

      Gun Control is the goal….

      Can you imagine Liberals with X-Boxes taking out Gun owners?? I can….Sorry to say….

      This is very creepy, but coming from the Socialist Administration, not surprising…

      I hope I am way wrong…..

      • Sober_Thinking

        I don’t think you’re wrong. It makes too much sense.

      • sDee

        There is a pattern of this lawless government initiating very real subversive and intimidation activities as a “crisis” and then intentionally putting it out into plain sight.

        What they put out in plain sight is bait. Swallow the bait and then the State Media discredits and ridicules the sentinel as a conspiracy nut.

        It is a dangerous game. They are doing these things in direct, blatant violations of the law and the Constitution, but they are teasing us with them to provoke us. They now just wait -with all their “Right Wing Extremist” acrimony in hand.

        • sDee

          On the news this morning…..that hostage taker in Alabama is consistently labeled a “anti-government”. His message has been fueled by “right wing blogs”.

          Interesting isn’t it how the media “figured” all this out and got a consistent, worldwide script out so fast?

          The narrative is written. In the can. Waiting.

          • Betsey_Ross

            It always has been. It’s what they do.

          • demographicallychallenged

            I first heard it on the radio when he was described as a psychologically troubled Vietnam Veteran with PTSD. Same old $..t, I heard everyday. It must be some tag line they are advised to use when ever possible from Journalism 101. The did change their lead in later to a Vietnam era Veteran, big difference between the two.

          • tinlizzieowner

            Exactly, the ‘spin’ has been in from the beginning.
            “Dysfunctional Veteran”, like the kid who killed the SEAL sniper.
            Shot the bus driver with a gun, like the kid who killed the SEAL sniper.
            Allegedly had ‘anti-government views’.
            Allegedly listened to conservative talk radio.
            These are the only ‘terrorists’ the Obama ‘machine’ is concerned about.

      • Yes, liberals with under-developed upper body strength (didn’t climb trees when they were kids), and over-developed thumbs (from playing video games on those X-boxes for hours on end) are always talking about sending drones our way when we espouse our God-given 2nd amendment rights.

      • RighteousCrow_JustCaws

        “Gun Control is the goal…”
        And a compelling reason to eliminate any firearms which could bring down a drone.

    • sDee

      In some ways this does lead back to Bush2 and the Patriot Act. The left was outraged with it, out of the very real fear of this next step. Crickets now.

      Ironic isn’t it, that Hussein ran on closing Gitmo and the outrage that our captured terrorists were being denied due process AFTER being caught in the process of attacking Americans. Now our regime simply puts people on Hussein’s breakfast hit list list, assassinates them, and poof – no messy trial needed. No due process. No stinlin’ declaration of war or as enemy combatants. Crickets.

      • I was tired when I posted before bed last night sDee, but I did have those thoughts in my head. I wasn’t thrilled with GW and the Patriot act, but am definitely not thrilled now. The stuff dear leader is getting away with so blatantly, and barely a peep…. is it any wonder why so many of us agree with what BlueGood is thinkin’.

  • I understand that there was a bi-partisan request from the Senate for the administration to release more information regarding this leaked memo.

    One would think that finally Obama will be impeached by such gross negligence of the Constitution, but I have no desire to turn blue while holding my breathe.

    • Orangeone

      I’m with you. How much more has to happen before he is impeached. How many more people have to be murdered. Will it take a drone strike in the US, murdering Americans without a trial?

  • aPLWBinAK

    This is scary, because for them, the really neat part is that after they’ve dropped one on you, and your dead, you can never prove you weren’t one of those ‘senior operational leaders’….and even if someone else did prove your innocence after the fact, it doesnt do you any good, because you’re still dead. We have evil people in positions way way beyond their limits of morality.

    • Orangeone

      By the same group that opposes the death penalty because too many minorities are in this group.

      • aPLWBinAK

        That’s to fool their main voting base into thinking that they’re ‘compassionate’….

        • Orangeone


  • US Constitution 5th Amendment “No person shall be…. deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law… ”

    How hard would it be to set up a process to have a judicial review of the decision? Have a Federal Judge on speed dial.

  • colliemum

    This is so vaguely worded – on purpose – that it is very easy to imagine the POS administration using it to kill ‘suspects’ on the US Mainland, and these ‘suspects’ can easily be people other than al qaeda terrorists.

    Why is Congress not standing up against this? Are the afraid of being ‘droned’?

    • 12grace

      If they have the means to do that to us, they probably will…really scary stuff.

      • Orangeone

        One need only look at the # of former Navy Seals that have been killed recently.

    • Orangeone

      It will be repealed when the next potus is elected, along with many of the other dictator rules this admin has put in place. No way they will allow a repub potus to have this power.

    • aposematic

      “Why is Congress not standing up against this?” I remember the Congress’ overwhelming approval of a Bill allowing American citizens to be disappeared indefinitely, basically because the Powers that now be ruling over U.S. don’t like the way they part their hair. Current VA Legislative session had a Bill that would require the Feds to notify VA Gov. Officials if any VA citizen was taken under that Bill. Our turncoat R controled Legislature watered it down to say no VA Gov. Official could assist the Feds. in the taking of a VA citizen. Many other turncoat twisting or outright killing of some really good Bills by our R controled Legislature this session. Meanwhile most likely better than 60% of VA citiens even know or care the Legislature is in session and of those most likely only 10% could name even one Bill the session has brought up. And then people wonder what happened when the bomb drops on them. I’ll also use this as excuse for why I have been so cranky these past few weeks.

      • colliemum

        Gosh. Horrible.

        As for being cranky (not that I noticed!) about people’s deep disinterest in what their elected representatives are doing: I’m permanently cranky, with crankiness hitting the roof on ‘special’ occasions, like today’s vote in Parliament about introducing a bill for ‘Gay Marriage’.
        The LIVs on both sides of the Atlantic are breeding like rabbits, it seems. Feelings are all that matter, and slogans.
        Legal issues – not so much …

  • ApplePie101

    Drone strikes on U.S. citizens are assassinations. The Soviet Union used to do that sort of thing.

    The way things are going, if the earth opened up and swallowed Washington DC, I wouldn’t know whether to feel shocked or relieved.

    • Sober_Thinking

      Spot on.

    • Orangeone

      I’d be relieved!

    • StrangernFiction

      I’d be elated.

  • 12grace

    Anyone know how to disarm a drone if one should happen to come at us? Yikes!

    • Nukeman60

      Hand-held surface-to-air.

      But not to worry. My nephew is in the Pentagon under the Predator drone program. He says the co-ordinates for all US citizens coincidentally match the WhiteHouse golf course (you didn’t hear it from me).

      • Orangeone

        Speaking of the WH, doesn’t the current admin fit into the category?????

        • Nukeman60

          Yeah, I was going to say that, but it would have been construed by the paid WhiteHouse flunky who reads our posts as a threat to the President. Gotta be careful, you know.

          • Orangeone

            It’s only posed as a question, don’t ya know. Hope the admin was studying the Somalians in Mpls while they were here yesterday, we already have convictions on them sending money and their sons back to terrorist organizations.

      • 12grace


    • sDee

      The threat to the target is not the aircraft, it is the pilot.

      Two bases in Nevada run most of our drones. If locally controlled, those locations too will be known.

      As the Oath Keepers ask, will those among us who have taken the oath to defend the Constitution against enemies, foreign and domestic, give such orders? Carry out such orders?

      • Orangeone

        Harry Reid’s Nevada…no wonder they wanted him re-elected so badly, no wonder they are pushing for illegal alien amnesty to keep them all in power.

        • sDee

          And the massive digital intercept complex is in Orin Hatch’s state.

          • Orangeone

            This is no coincidence. My hope is that TX and AZ take out NV if it comes to that.

    • StrangernFiction

      Two words: human shields.

  • B-Funk

    Meaning that if we get too ‘restless’ because of his attack on our 2nd amendment, or any other, he can start attacking us. All he has to do is claim we’re a possible terrorist threat. Remember that schools are starting to refer to the Boston Tea Party as a terrorist action. I smell a set up. I’m starting to think Beck is right. We need to rebel like MLK did… for now.

  • 12grace

    One way to show our disaproval is as follows:

    Invitation: Nationwide Protests Against Barack Obama Sat Feb 16 2013
    by ALIPAC

    Published on 02-04-2013 10:13 AM Number of Views: 1202

    We are supporting nationwide protests against Barack Obama due to his breach with existing laws and the US Constitution by decreeing amnesty for illegal aliens without the required supporting legislation.

    We are also supporting these protests due to Obama’s support for amnesty legislation to rubber stamp his imperial actions and because of the Fast and Furious scandal. Fast and Furious is an Obama administration gun running scandal where official investigations by Congress have determined that at least six different federal agencies under Obama were used to buy thousands of assault rifles for the murderous organized crime cartels that are actively importing most of America’s addictive drugs and illegal immigrants.

    You will only receive one email invitation to these protests on the ALIPAC e-mail alert list.

    If you would like further updates, you will need to join our Facebook Event page and or sign our Impeach Obama petition at…

    Call for the Resignation or Impeachment of President Barack Obama below!

    Facebook Event Page

    The historic and first of their kind protests against Obama will occur in all 50 state capitols on Saturday, February 16, 2013, from 11am to 1pm in your time zone.

    Appropriate signs and flags are encouraged and welcome.

    This will be a picket style protest on public sidewalks where our marches will stay in motion and walk a loop.

    Some states plan to seek permits instead and have guest speakers.

    We need as many people as possible to sign up early as we expect our numbers to grow rapidly in the last 3 days before the event.

    If these protests are well supported and attended, we will then set a date for a march on Washington DC!

    Please save the date, join our online petition, RSVP that you will attend on our Facebook page, and invite others.

    Any other nonviolent and racially inclusive organizations and citizens are welcome to join us.

    It is our understanding that those concerned about runaway federal debt and spending, Tea Party groups, gun rights groups, privacy concerns groups, and other that represent the half of Americans that are disappointed with Obama will be joining us.

    Again, this is the only invitation that will be sent to the ALIPAC.us e-mail alert list about this event. For more details and to participate join us at these two links….

    Call for the Resignation or Impeachment of President Barack Obama below!


  • armyvet10

    Too many liberals like Mr. Morgan asked why citizens need automatic weapons, or if we, the American people should be allowed to have a tank. With stories like this the answer to Mr. Morgan and all the other liberal idiots is hell yes. If a drone strike can be ordered without due process, then we should no longer worry about legal means as this administration is circumventing the law to do as it pleases anyway. Viva liberty.

    • sDee

      There was a time in America that even the hint of such an action would have steeled us in unison. Left, right, black, white, media, politician. All.

      That this revelation sits quietly in the corner of the internet, is testimony that the mind shaping and propaganda has been wholly effective.

  • Sober_Thinking

    Kinda reminds me of HK’s (Hunter/Killers) from The Terminator.

    This is a repulsive option… but I will say, secure the borders and there may be less domestic targets to deal with. Stop spending money you don’t have Obama and we might be able to hire more skilled ground forces to deal with the bad guys. And stop being an idiot… oh wait, that’s probably too much to ask.

  • Nukeman60

    …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.”

    Of course, we know 1) a ‘high level’ official would be Obama, 2) a ‘targeted American’ would be a right-wing conservative, 3) ‘activities’ would include posting on TheRightScoop, and 4) ‘renouncing his activities’ would mean starting to post on MediaMatters and HuffPo.

    Head for the bunkers, Scoopers and Scoopettes. It’s time to bugout.

  • Sandra123456

    So can they wack suspected U.S. citizens on American soil?

    • Orangeone

      They are claiming so, without an arrest, probable cause or a trial, let alone a conviction.

  • TickedWhiteDude

    That’s because there is a “drone” in one of the two oval offices dictating orders.

  • Obama thinks like a typical liberal. If you drop a bomb or fire a missile at somebody, it really isn’t murder. But if you get up close and personal and waterboard somebody, then by all means it’s torture. Liberals never want to get their hands dirty when comes to the messy work of anti-terrorism, which is why drone strikes are just fine with them. But if you ever have to do some heavy lifting and actually take out a terrorist on the ground or interrogate them, then let Eric Holder deal (or not deal) with it. I’m only stunned that Obama just didn’t bomb Osama bin Laden rather than attack him with Navy SEALS. That would have been the very liberal thing to do. Oh well, I guess there’s a first time for everything.

    • StrangernFiction

      Soetero would have no problem waterboarding his enemies.

  • mikeinidaho

    Watch for stories on how someone “died mysteriously” with no witnesses and no arrests being made. American Revolution II is coming very soon. Stock up NOW, before it’s too late. Obama hates this country and it’s citizens and will go to any length necessary to destroy us all and put himself and his communist pals in charge forever.

  • dontdrinkthecoolaid

    Drones can go after U.S. citizens connected to Al Qaeda, interesting. Does that mean Al Gore-zeera is on their hit list?

  • NYGino

    Next thing you know there will be the same non restrictions put on every one of those one and a half BILLION rounds of hollow points purchased by the Social Security Administration and Homeland Security.

  • Surely you realize capture is not always an option. There are some situations in which you cannot risk Rangers & Special Forces, and killing becomes the only option. However, Obama is to risk adverse. His lack of understanding of special operations forces is the problem; he has no understanding of their capabilities. As long as we have this lilly covered president, continue fighting the war on terror like a whack a mole game. That, and his willingness to prosecute American servicemen is a threat to military forces and operations, everywhere. While this does eliminate terrorists, this tactic is a threat to national security, not a benefit.

  • Shery Hancock

    What happened to due process? Your neighbor who hates you for witnessing to him, or keeping your yard neater than his could turn you in as a leader of a Muslim hate group and/or plotting a terrorist attack. Would anybody check it out first? Once you’re gone, there’s be no way to defend yourself. This cannot be constitutional. I pray that somebody is taking this to the courts.

    • NYGino

      Constitution? What’s that?

  • sjmom

    Since when does the president have sole authority to spy on or attack US citizens?? Somebody, somewhere needs to find a way to stop Obama from his madman tendencies! I read this last night and when I retired I spoke to the Highest Authority I know; my Lord to save us from this evil known as the Obama administration.

    “But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

  • bjohnson55

    So technically by supporting Morsi in Egypt with tanks and F16 jets Obama is supporting Islamic Terrorists would make him at a minimum ‘an associated force,’right? I think you know where I am going with this, he could be painting himself into a corner.

  • He has already done it. Like it or not Al Zahiri and his 16 year old son were American citizens.

  • Watchman74

    I have mixed feelings about this, On one hand I can can see where it could become a slippery slope. On the other my thoughts are if someone is actively engaging in terrorist attacks on foreign soil against the US government then in essence they have renounced there American citizenship and are fair game. And there are times when due process is suspended when lives are in danger. It’s like if a guy is shooting up a crowded mall, the police are not going to worry about due process or giving him a fair trail, there going to shoot to kill. However the rules for such drone attacks should be clearly defined, and should never be used on American soil.

  • Stehekin912

    Sounds like they can define “associated organizations” or “imminent threat” or “activities posing a threat of violent attack” as anything and anyone they wish..

  • And so it begins.

  • NYGino

    Rush just brought up the fact that had this been the law when Nixon was President he could have sent a hit squad to kill Bill Ayres and his Weather Underground people. Interesting.

    It’s also a thought, and a very disconcerting thought, that this ruling can be interpreted to apply justification for the assassination of anyone who opposes Obama, he being the “leader” of our government.

    This ruling is so open ended and ambiguous that there is no end to how it could be applied.

  • tinlizzieowner

    Bush Drones = Bad. Obama Drones = Good.
    Any questions?