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  (Source: Reuters)
Classified document defines under what circumstances a death strike is warranted

The Senate Intelligence Committee will this morning receive a classified document that provides a more formalized version of the policies contained in a white paper 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" -- which leaked to the press earlier this week.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) -- chairwoman of the committee -- cheered the release, commenting, "I am pleased that the president has agreed to provide the Intelligence Committee with access to the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) opinion regarding the use of lethal force in counterterrorism operations.  It is critical for the committee's oversight function to fully understand the legal basis for all intelligence and counterterrorism operations."

The committee had already received the memo, but did not receive its more highly classified counterpart, which was responsible for actual policy decisions.

The Obama Administration looked to put a positive spin on the release, commenting, "Today, as part of the president's ongoing commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters, the president directed the Department of Justice to provide the congressional Intelligence committees access to classified Office of Legal Counsel advice related to the subject of the Department of Justice White Paper."

President Obama
President Obama says killing American terrorists without a warrant is the kind of "tough decision" you sometimes have to make. [Image Source: AFP/Getty Images]

The U.S. has to date killed over 28 al-Qaida terrorist leaders under the Bush and Obama administration using drone strikes.  Among those was U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a Sept. 2011 drone strike in Yemen.

The controversy over al-Awlaki's death was that no warrant or indictment had been issued against him. And while he was intimately involved with al-Qaida, U.S. intelligence did not indicate he was directly involved with a current terror plot.  The question was whether Mr. al-Awlaki received his Constitutionally guaranteed right to due process.

Despite the controversy, President Obama is finding some surprising support.  House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) agreed with his political foe this time, commenting, "[al-Awlaki was] somebody who had said that he didn't want his U.S. citizenship anymore.  He had officially joined al Qaeda.  Al Qaeda had declared war on the United States."

"The legal basis of this goes back many, many years when U.S. citizens would go and fight for foreign nations that were engaging in combat with the United States. So what they were saying is, once you've made that choice, you no longer get the protections that you would. I mean, if you join the enemy overseas, you join the enemy overseas. And we're going to fight the enemy overseas."

On Jon Stewart's Daily Show, President Obama indirectly defended the policy in a guest appearance, stating:

There are times where there are bad folks somewhere on the other side of the world, and you've got to make a call and it's not optimal.  And sometimes you've got to make some tough calls. But you can do so in a way that's consistent with international law and with American law.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) calls death strikes on Americans without indictments a "chilling" precedent.  They and the President's critics fear that the Obama administration or future administrations could arbitrarily label political enemies "terrorists" and target them with unconstitutional death strikes.
 

Reaper drones
Reaper drones are currently being used over U.S. airspace. [Image Source: The Real Revo]
 
The issue may be rectified if Congress steps in and pushes a more concrete definition of what constitutes a "terrorist".

Source: CNN



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RE: Due process is dead
By othercents on 2/7/2013 5:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
So now the question is if the person was a citizen. Since the constitution only address the general idea of natural citizenship in the 14th Amendment, the Immigration and Nationality Act specifically states how one becomes a citizen and how one can lose their citizenship. The question now becomes, who determines someone is no longer a citizen and was that process followed and can that be determined as due process?

Once you are no longer a citizen you fall under international law. Another question is if a rocket into a crowd of people is the correct response to kill one person. Obviously it would be better if we used other means to take out a single target without the extra casualties.

BTW. The 16 year old was a casualty of war, not someone targeted. He happened to be with a group of people where someone was a target.


RE: Due process is dead
By hero_of_zero on 2/9/2013 5:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
"BTW. The 16 year old was a casualty of war, not someone targeted. He happened to be with a group of people where someone was a target."

I never knew the USA at war with Yemen.I know Yemen getting paid per day for the USA to go blowing sh1t up in there btw.Funny seems like the usa only 1 to my current memory that can be allowed on other nation lands n kill people in the open with their military and not even be at war with the said nation.
Man going to be fun when china get in the game of playing this war on terror and flying shit in in other nations and openly killing people when they not even at war with the nations they are blowing people up in .


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