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.”