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Justice Department memo detailing Protocol on using Drones to kill Americans

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    Justice Department memo detailing Protocol on using Drones to kill Americans

    Human rights advocates were floored on Monday night when NBC News published the details of an alarming Justice Department memo detailing the protocol for sending drones after United States citizens. It's not as if they hadn't suspected that the Obama administration's top secret drone attack protocol contained some unsavory details. They just didn't expect them to be so frightfully broad. The scoop by Michael Isikoff is actually startling not for the details but rather for the lack of details. It's very vague about a decision-making process that puts American lives on the line. Put simply, the government believes that a lethal drone attack against an American citizen is justified if the targets are a) "senior operational leaders" of al-Qaeda or b) "an associated force."
    RELATED: Pakistani Complaints Led to New Rules for U.S. Drone Strikes
    One of those two qualifiers is infinitely more worrisome than the other. Going after leaders of al Qaeda makes sense. That's what the War on Terror is all about, right? Breaking down networks of violent terrorists and keeping Americans safe. If an American happens to be caught up with al Qaeda, someone like Anwar al-Awlaki, then well? they shouldn't be surprised if they're getting chased by drones. At least that's what we've been told so far. How and why these attacks are carried out by drones is also detailed in the memo, but we'll get back to that in a second.
    RELATED: How Many Times Does Al Qaeda's Number Two Need to Die?
    But what does "an associated force" mean? It seems like the guy who sells the terrorists bomb supplies would probably qualify, but what about the unknowing neighbor or the hired hand? Can we just kill them too in good conscience? Quite unfortunately, the government isn't exactly sure. The memo suggests that anyone who "present[s] an 'imminent' threat of violent attack against the United States" qualifies for assassination "a lawful killing in self defense," but that "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." In other words, an "informed, high-level" official can order the killing of any American citizen that was "recently" involved in threatening "activities." As Isikoff points out, the memo fails to define both of those terms.
    RELATED: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Drones
    "This is a chilling document," said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen. ? It recognizes some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are elastic and vaguely defined, and it's easy to see how they could be manipulated." We've already seen some of this vague authority in action. A couple of years ago, The New York Times provided some insight into how subjective the process of deciding when to kill and when not to kill American citizens based on a top secret memo that justified the killing of al-Awlaki. That document as well as this latest leak from the Justice Department essentially says that a lethal attack, likely by a drone, is the method of choice whenever a capture mission would put other American lives on the line. Again, the documents are very vague about where to draw the line.
    RELATED: Obama to Nominate John Brennan to Run the CIA
    Inevitably, this latest revelation into how the Obama administration runs the War on Terror behind closed doors leads to more questions than answers. How, for instance, do they decided when to kill non-U.S. citizens? Previous reporting on the issue says that the government considers any military-aged male to be an insurgent, so it seems like pretty much anybody in the general region of Afghanistan or Pakistan could expect to find themselves in America's crosshairs. But again, we don't know because the Obama administration is keeping it completely secret, despite years worth of calls to disclose its decision-making process.
    RELATED: The C.I.A.'s Silence on Drone Strikes Is Getting Awkward
    This could be the beginning of an enlightening time for those who demand answers about the government's shady drone program. On Thursday, John Brannan has his confirmation hearing where the Senate will decide whether or not he's fit to run the Central Intelligence Agency. Since he's more or less the architect of America's drone war, we're sure the Senators will have a question or two about this memo and, we hope, some memos that we haven't seen before.
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    "They'd never do this to a US citizen!"

    Oh, really?
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    If the citizen is a muslim and he over in the middle east inciting hate against the homeland, shoot a hell fire misslie right up up his ass, end of story

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    consequences suck sometimes but it doesn't mean you didn't have it coming. i would have sent a drones after kaczynsk and mcveigh if i had to before they killed all those people. if you want to play dirty don't cry foul like a bitch. just sayin'
    Last edited by Little Wing; 02-05-2013 at 07:56 AM.

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    we have the right to shoot and kill someone intruding into our home with intent to cause us harm before a trial too.

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    Not Black Jesus? But...but...he loves the people.

    Oh, wait... He didn't start this, so that makes it okay.

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    if i had the power of the presidency i'd kill a lot of assholes. i'd exterminate all the unreformable shitstains in our prisons just for starters...

    i'm aware it's not that easy but one can still dream

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    Also, this plan has nothing to do with the .

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    if it was MY call? kaboom. carefully pick off the looters. this shit has to stop. animals.

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    you gotta do what you gotta do. you can seriously bet i would not hesitate to send military helicopters in there with armed men to pick off people assaulting other people in a riot like this.

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    if i had the power and could stomp on how things are supposed to be done i'd make Obama look like his balls haven't even dropped yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wing View Post


    you gotta do what you gotta do. you can seriously bet i would not hesitate to send military helicopters in there with armed men to pick off people assaulting other people in a riot like this.
    fucking tell me you wouldn't ok killing the fuckers that dragged the guy out of his truck and beat him? on site, in the act, no trial.

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  13. #13
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    Yes, I agree, those would've been ideal places for a drone strike. Phuquin animals!

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    i guess personal responsibility only applies to discussions about welfare etc but when an american might get killed for his own actions that responsibility discussion becomes merely rhetoric and just fades away. i would be the most blood thirsty potus this country has ever seen. probably wouldn't last long.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr10 View Post
    If the citizen is a muslim and he over in the middle east inciting hate against the homeland, shoot a hell fire misslie right up up his ass, end of story
    The location of their target doesn't matter. Here or abroad.

    Which reminds me, anyone remember that home explosion in Indiana last year? The one that exploded under mysterious circumstances? I don't recall what the "official" cause was supposed to have been.
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