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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:36 PM

Truthout/Eugene Robinson: Wrong on Drone Hits

Wrong on Drone Hits
Friday, 08 February 2013 09:40
By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Writers Group | Op-Ed

Washington, DC - If George W. Bush had told us that the "war on terror" gave him the right to execute an American citizen overseas with a missile fired from a drone aircraft, without due process or judicial review, I'd have gone ballistic. It makes no difference that the president making this chilling claim is Barack Obama. What's wrong is wrong.

< . . . >

But one of the few bright lines we can and should recognize is that in the exceedingly rare instances when a U.S. citizen may be targeted, our government bears a special burden.

The Obama administration acknowledged as much in a secret Justice Department "white paper" obtained this week by NBC News. The document laid out a legal argument that the president, without oversight, may order a "lethal operation" against a citizen who is known to be a "senior operational leader" of al-Qaeda or an affiliated group.

< . . . >

. . . I accept that Awlaki was a legitimate target. What I don't accept is that the president or a "high-level official" gets to make the call about without judicial oversight. When the government wants to violate a citizen's right to privacy with wiretaps and other forms of electronic surveillance, a judge from a special panel -- the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court -- has to give approval. Surely there should be at least as much judicial review when the government wants to violate a citizen's right not to be blown to smithereens.

< . . . .>


Full article at http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14428-wrong-on-drone-hits

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Reply Truthout/Eugene Robinson: Wrong on Drone Hits (Original post)
markpkessinger Feb 2013 OP
limpyhobbler Feb 2013 #1
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #2
pscot Feb 2013 #3
truth2power Feb 2013 #5
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #6
ProSense Feb 2013 #4
WillyT Feb 2013 #7

Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:41 PM

1. kicking for honesty

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:41 PM

2. Have we gone over completely to the dark side? nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:45 PM

3. Yep

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:08 PM

5. Yes, we have. And what about Awlaki's son? Was he a legitimate target? This is wrong, wrong, wrong.

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Response to truth2power (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:10 PM

6. I think the policy is that those killed that are not the intended target are considered

guilty until proven innocent.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:57 PM

4. Robinson makes

But one of the few bright lines we can and should recognize is that in the exceedingly rare instances when a U.S. citizen may be targeted, our government bears a special burden.

The Obama administration acknowledged as much in a secret Justice Department "white paper" obtained this week by NBC News. The document laid out a legal argument that the president, without oversight, may order a "lethal operation" against a citizen who is known to be a "senior operational leader" of al-Qaeda or an affiliated group.

< . . . >

. . . I accept that Awlaki was a legitimate target. What I don't accept is that the president or a "high-level official" gets to make the call about without judicial oversight. When the government wants to violate a citizen's right to privacy with wiretaps and other forms of electronic surveillance, a judge from a special panel -- the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court -- has to give approval. Surely there should be at least as much judicial review when the government wants to violate a citizen's right not to be blown to smithereens.

...a good point, and this is the debate that we should be having.

In 2002, another U.S. citizen was killed in Yemen, though it was originally stated that he was not the target.

Kamal Derwish (also Ahmed Hijazi) was an American citizen killed by the CIA as part of a covert targeted killing mission in Yemen on November 5, 2002. The CIA used an RQ-1 Predator drone to shoot a Hellfire missile, destroying the vehicle in which he was driving with five others.

Derwish had been closely linked to the growing religious fundamentalism of the Lackawanna Six, a group of Muslim-Americans who had attended lectures in his apartment near Buffalo, New York.

That an American citizen had been killed by the CIA without trial drew criticism. American authorities quickly back-pedaled on their stories celebrating the death of Derwish, instead noting they had been unaware he was in the car which they said had been targeted for its other occupants, including Abu Ali al-Harithi, believed to have played some role in the USS Cole bombing.

<...>

On November 3, 2002, Derwish and al-Harithi were part of a convoy of vehicles moving through the Yemeni desert trying to meet someone, unaware that their contact was cooperating with US forces to lure them into a trap. As their driver spoke on satellite phone, trying to figure out why the two parties couldn't see each other if they were both at the rendezvous point, a Predator drone launched a Hellfire missile, killing everybody in the vehicle. CIA officers in Djibouti had received clearance for the attack from director George Tenet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamal_Derwish


Human Rights Watch issued this statement about the target:

The line between war and law enforcement gained importance as the U.S. government extended its military efforts against terrorism outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan. In November, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency used a missile to kill Qaid Salim Sinan al-Harethi, an alleged senior al-Qaeda official, and five companions as they were driving in a remote and lawless area of Yemen controlled by tribal chiefs. Washington accused al-Harethi of masterminding the October 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole which had killed seventeen sailors. Based on the limited information available, Human Rights Watch did not criticize the attack on al-Harethi as an extra-judicial execution because his alleged al-Qaeda role arguably made him a combatant, the government apparently lacked control over the area in question, and there evidently was no reasonable law enforcement alternative. Indeed, eighteen Yemeni soldiers had reportedly been killed in a prior attempt to arrest al-Harethi. However, the U.S. government made no public effort to justify this use of its war powers or to articulate the legal limits to such powers. It is Human Rights Watch's position that even someone who might be classified as an enemy combatant should not be subject to military attack when reasonable law enforcement means are available. The failure to respect this principle would risk creating a huge loophole in due process protections worldwide. It would leave everyone open to being summarily killed anyplace in the world upon the unilateral determination by the United States (or, as the approach is inevitably emulated, by any other government) that he or she is an enemy combatant.

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/wr2k3/introduction.html

It reiterates the conditions for action ("al-Qaeda role," "no control over area" and "no reasonable law enforcement alternative," but it also stresses the risk of a slippery slope.

Remembering Bush, accurately
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022343435

Obama’s Smart Move on Drones - by Michael Tomasky
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1251285628


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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:16 PM

7. K & R !!!


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