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Old 02-05-2013, 03:13 PM   #1
D-Rose
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Default Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...rone-memo?lite
Quote:
'Judge, jury and executioner': Legal experts fear implications of White House drone memo
By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News

Legal experts expressed grave reservations Tuesday about an Obama administration memo concluding that the United States can order the killing of American citizens believed to be affiliated with al-Qaida — with one saying the White House was acting as “judge, jury and executioner.”

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The experts said that the memo, first obtained by NBC News, threatened constitutional rights and dangerously expanded the definition of national self-defense and of what constitutes an imminent attack.

“Anyone should be concerned when the president and his lawyers make up their own interpretation of the law or their own rules,” said Mary Ellen O’Connell, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame and an authority on international law and the use of force.
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“This is a very, very dangerous thing that the president has done,” she added.

The memo, made public Monday, provides detail about the administration’s controversial expansion of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens.

Among them were Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, who were killed by an American strike in September 2011 in Yemen. Both men were U.S. citizens who had not been charged with a crime.

Attorney General Eric Holder, in a talk at Northwestern University Law School in March, endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans provided that the government determines such an individual poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”

But the memo obtained by NBC News refers to a broader definition of imminence and specifically says the government is not required to have “clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”

RELATED: Read the memo on drone strikes against Americans

Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer who writes about security and liberty for the British newspaper The Guardian, described the memo as “fundamentally misleading,” with a clinical tone that disguises “the radical and dangerous power it purports to authorize.”

“If you believe the president has the power to order U.S. citizens executed far from any battlefield with no charges or trial, then it’s truly hard to conceive of any asserted power you would find objectionable,” he wrote.

The attorney general told reporters Tuesday that the administration’s primary concern is to keep Americans safe, and to do it in a way consistent with American values. He said the administration was confident it was following federal and international law.

“We will have to look at this and see what it is we want to do with these memos,” he said. “But you have to understand that we are talking about things that are, that go into how we conduct our offensive operations against a clear and present danger.”

The drone strikes, and now the Justice Department memo, are expected to figure prominently Thursday when the Senate takes up the nomination of John Brennan, the White House counterterrorism adviser and architect of the drone campaign, to lead the CIA.

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, and 10 other senators wrote to President Barack Obama on Monday asking him to release all Justice Department memos on the subject.

The senators said that Congress and the public need a full understanding of how the White House views its authority so they can decide “whether the president’s power to deliberately kill American citizens is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguards.”

Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, described the memo as reckless. He wrote that assuming that the target of a strike is an al-Qaida leader, without court oversight, was like assuming a defendant is guilty and then asking whether a trial would be useful.

But John O. McGinnis, a professor of constitutional law at Northwestern University who worked for the White House’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations, said he was persuaded by the arguments in the memo, which he described as “very cautious.”

“If this is someone who has taken up affiliation with an organization attacking the United States, I don’t think it matters whether they’re a citizen — they seem to me an enemy combatant whom the president can respond to,” he said. “I think this is not a hard case.”
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Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a Democrat and chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued a statement Tuesday saying that her committee received the memo last year and wants to see other administration memos further explaining the legal framework for carrying out strikes.

At the same time, she appeared to defend the killing of al-Awlaki. She said that al-Awlaki was external operations leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and directed the failed attempt to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day 2009.

The memo lays out a three-part test for making targeted killings of Americans lawful. The suspect must be deemed an imminent threat, capturing the target must not be feasible, and the strike must be conducted according to “law of war principles.”

Naureen Shah, a lecturer at Columbia Law School and associated director of the Counterterrorism and Human Rights Project at the school’s Human Rights Institute, said that she was deeply troubled by the contents of the memo.

“We should be concerned when the White House is acting as judge, jury and executioner,” she said. “And there’s no one outside of the White House who has real oversight over that process. What’s put forward here is there’s no role for the courts, not even after the fact.”

Very dangerous stuff from the U.S. Government. And before longhorn gets in here, this would come from any administration of any party.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Rose
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...rone-memo?lite


Very dangerous stuff from the U.S. Government. And before longhorn gets in here, this would come from any administration of any party.

Yup. No different than Bush for sure.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

Obama mein fuhrer!
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

Quote:
“If this is someone who has taken up affiliation with an organization attacking the United States, I don’t think it matters whether they’re a citizen — they seem to me an enemy combatant whom the president can respond to,” he said. “I think this is not a hard case.”

Quote:
“We should be concerned when the White House is acting as judge, jury and executioner,” she said. “And there’s no one outside of the White House who has real oversight over that process. What’s put forward here is there’s no role for the courts, not even after the fact.”

I dont see how the white house figures it can just decide on its own who is and who isnt a terrorist without the proper due process that Americans are entitled to.

I also wonder why it took so long for the media to begin to focus on this issue.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

Not that his tendencies to use drones on other countries weren't sick...but this is sick.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

The legal claim of executing US citizens without any court proceedings, or over sight, in total violation of the US constitution. I'm disgusted.

Last edited by longhornfan1234 : 02-05-2013 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

I think this was released to get it out before the John Brennan hearings to be the new CIA chief. I'm not sure if it was pro or anti Brennan forces who released the memo.

It sounds like an authorized administration leak.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

We also just killed the major Taliban fighter in South Waziristan.

Quote:
The highly controversial American drone programme added perhaps the most prized feather in its cap.
Taliban warlord Maulvi Nazir Wazir, also known as Mullah Nazir, a powerful elder of the Wazir tribe, was killed when a US drone fired two missiles at a double-cabin pick-up vehicle in the Sara Kanda area of Birmal tehsil in Wana subdivision, South Waziristan around 11 pm on Wednesday night, security and intelligence officials confirmed to The Express Tribune.
Officials said a total of seven militants, including Nazir, his deputy Ratta Khan, and commanders Kochai and Chewantee were also killed when the missiles struck the pick-up in the mountains of Sara Kanda.

http://dawn.com/2013/01/04/mullah-na...evelopment-us/
Quote:
“If the reports are true, then this would be a significant blow, and would be very helpful not just to the United States but also to our Pakistani partners,” spokesman George Little told reporters.

Nazir sent insurgents to Afghanistan to wage war on Nato-led troops and operated out of the tribal zone where militants linked to the Taliban and al Qaeda have bases on the Afghan border.

Pakistani officials said the drone strike on Wednesday killed Nazir and five of his loyalists, including two senior deputies.....

He was understood to be close to the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, a faction of the Afghan Taliban blamed for some of the most high-profile attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan in recent years.

“This is someone who has a great deal of blood on his hands,” Little said. “This would be a major development.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20896755
Quote:
He was leader of one of four major militant factions in Pakistan and was accused of sending fighters to Afghanistan in support of the Taliban.

Mullah Nazir is one of the most high-profile insurgents killed by drones
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

Edited

Last edited by KevinNYC : 02-05-2013 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

jeez this is pretty nasty
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasheed1
I dont see how the white house figures it can just decide on its own who is and who isnt a terrorist without the proper due process that Americans are entitled to.

This is my problem as well. I liked the drones when it's against our enemies, but how is the determination made over which US citizens are affiliated with terrorist organizations? Especially since it says "believed to be affiliated with al-Qaida."
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

MSNBC is blasting Obama right now. Maddow destroyed Obama the other night. Libs are taking off their Obama glasses...

Last edited by longhornfan1234 : 02-05-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

lol y'all thought you were safe in your home while drones were raining hellfire upon poor souls thousands of miles away, well here comes what has gone around.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

Maddow has been on this for a long time. However, it never became a political liability for Obama, because the Republicans never made it become a debate. For one, they basically support the program and for two they mainly were trying portray Obama as weak on National Security.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Obama Administration's dangerous memo on drones released

[quote=KevinNYC]Maddow has been on this for a long time. However, it never became a political liability for Obama, because the Republicans never made it become a debate. For one, they basically support the program and for two they mainly were trying portray Obama as weak on National Security.[/QUOTE

No one believed this.
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