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Thursday speech may shed light on where he stands on warrantless killings on U.S. soil

"I am your judge, executioner, jury, executioner, jailer, and if necessary, your executioner." -Judge Dredd

President Barack Obama's (D) Attorney General, Eric Holder defiantly defended the federal government's "right" to target American citizens with drone strikes.  He argued in recent publications that it might be necessary to kill Americans on U.S. soil with warrantless drone death strikes to prevent "terrorism".

Some Americans felt such killings were unconstitutional, while other Americans defended the President's stance, arguing the Constitution no longer applies in an age of terrorism.

But amidst a slew of other growing controversies including the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting the President's political adversaries and the seizures of Associated Press phone records, the President's drone policies have come under considerable scrutiny.

President Obama
President Obama promises to be "transparent" about drone death strikes on American citizens. 
[Image Source: AP]

After initially trying to cover up his drone deathstrike policy, President Obama will reportedly look to address those controversies this week and attempt to live up to his promises of "transparency".  In a Thursday speech he is expected to "clarify" his position on warrantless drone death strikes on American citizens, according to the Associated Press and The Washington Post.

The President is under fire both from conservatives and members of his own party over his drone policies.

The administration is expected to push for dramatically expanded drone use in the Middle East as it pulls its remaining troops out of Afghanistan by 2014.  Meanwhile domestic use continues to quietly creep, as well, even as some states have passed laws limiting federal drone use.

The speech on drone policy was expected to be delivered earlier this month but the other controversies delayed it, according to sources.

Reaper drones
Armed Reaper drones are currently being used over the U.S. [Image Source: The Real Revo]

In the meantime the U.S. Department of Defense continues work to develop fully autonomous drones capable of killing human targets using facial recognition and other technologies, removing the human hand from the loop.  The DoD has thus far rejected pleas from robotics ethicists -- and even some military experts -- to sign treaties forbidding fully autonomous killing drones.

A fleet of fully autonomous armed drones could prove a powerful tool for Presidents in decades to come.  With a press of a button they could instantly schedule the warrantless death sentence of the President's domestic adversaries (the "terrorists", ostensibly) without the kind of pesky ethical/moral struggles that even elite U.S. troops might have with such policies.

Sources: AP, The Washington Post

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RE: Obama 2.0
By maugrimtr on 5/21/2013 10:49:54 AM , Rating: 3
Idiotic comment at best. Nobody was lining up in the soup lines. Further, if you think record households on food stamps, record households in poverty, record long term unemployment, 9 million jobs lost since Obama took office in 2009, record high gas and energy prices, record high food prices, a dollar and debt rating that continues to plummet with fake money being pumped into the economy by Bernanke is turning around the economy, then you aren't living on this planet.

To be fair, Obama has no control over fuel prices. Those are global commodities at the mercy of a world market. Asia's exploding energy demand drives fuel costs even more than OPEC's limiting of production (which they sometimes relax when oil prices go too nuts).

Food prices - we could do with less subsidizing of the booming corn industry but even then part of the food hikes are down to droughts and other issues (colder winters recently + poor summers in Europe/Asia) which influence supply.

I agree on nearly all your other points. Also, whoever calls killing citizens without warrant using drones a "small thing" needs to carefully assess "reality".

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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