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But his new policy complicates that idea

The U.S. government is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to an American citizen who is plotting attacks against other Americans from overseas. 
 
According to ABC News, the American citizen is now a member of al-Qaeda. The Obama administration wants to solve the problem by killing him with a drone strike, but there are some complications that come with that idea.
 
First of all, the CIA drones, which have been keeping an eye on him, can't complete the objective because he's a U.S. citizen and the Justice Department must have a case against him in order to do so. But there currently is no case. 
 
Further complicating the task is the fact that he is in a country that refuses U.S. military action on its soil. 
 
Furthermore, President Barack Obama's new policy says American suspected terrorists overseas can only be killed by the military -- not the CIA. 
 
Obama's new guidelines, which were laid out last year in a speech, say that lethal force must only be used "to prevent or stop attacks against U.S. persons, and even then, only when capture is not feasible and no other reasonable alternatives exist to address the threat effectively." In addition, the person must also pose "a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons."
 

[SOURCE: wikimedia]

This puts some decision-making troubles on the U.S. Department of Defense's (DOD) plate. It's currently deciding whether the man is dangerous enough to justify killing an American without charging him with a crime or trying him. It also has to consider the potential international repercussions of launching the drone strike in a country that has been resistant to U.S. action.
 
The American suspected terrorist has been described as an al-Qaeda facilitator who has been responsible for lethal attacks against U.S. citizens overseas. Reports say he continues to plan attacks against the U.S. citizens using "improvised explosive devices."
 
The suspected terrorist is protected and in a pretty remote location, which makes any attempts for capture by the U.S. military risky.
 
Obama came under fire last year for his drone polices. Some Americans felt the killings were unconstitutional, while other Americans defended the President's stance, arguing the Constitution no longer applies when it comes to terrorism.
 
Meanwhile, the DOD is working on fully autonomous drones that use technologies like facial recognition to kill its targets. For instance, Boeing launched a test flight for its autonomous Phantom Eye drone back in 2012.

Source: ABC News



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Seems odd...
By NellyFromMA on 2/10/2014 1:11:11 PM , Rating: 5
After some thought, it seems rather odd that we can know enough about an overseas target (citizen or not) to feel with enough certainty that we should entertain outright killing them and yet have "no case" against them.

To me, this leaves two primary scenarios:

A) We don't have enough evidence to conclude they are in fact a terrorist so we probably shouldn't just kill them (yet?)

- or -

B) We DO have enough evidence to conclude this person is a terrorist. However, that evidence is obtained illegally (probably hacked, illegal surveillance, etc.) and thus is inadmissible in a court of law, leaving us with no choice but to entertain killing them to stop further atrocities.

American's should really demand a conversation about the reality of this scenario and whether it begs at least a conversation about a different set of criteria to "qualify for elimination" in this specific situation.

I personally find it hard to agree with a sort of precedent setting where we have killed one or two so now we just do it. That is an extraordinarily grim reality to have to accept, perhaps terroristic in its own right.

I don't claim to know the right way to make this judgement, but the citizens should really start having a greater say in the "executive" decisions taking place as of late.




RE: Seems odd...
By Etsp on 2/10/2014 1:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. If we have "no case" against him, why is our government contemplating his death?

I understand that they are in a tough position because they likely have evidence that has convinced them beyond reasonable doubt that this person is a threat to the United States. If their evidence is not admissible in court for whatever reason, but is absolutely trustworthy, that puts them in a tough spot.

That said, I think we should always err on the side of Due Process and the Constitution in these cases, even if it puts American lives at risk.

If they don't have evidence that presentable in a court of law, then they MUST get evidence that is BEFORE taking action.


RE: Seems odd...
By Lerianis on 2/10/2014 11:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
I do not believe intelligence data anymore. After the whole exposure of the "Iraq does NOT have WMD's anymore!", I'm reticent at absolute best to believe our government that someone is a 'terrorist' without a legal civilian trial where all the chips are put on the table.

Hell, they could even try the guy in abstentia! That they do not want to do that reeks of "We do not actually have any evidence that would stand up in a court of law!"

Oh, and newsflash: there is no such thing as 'illegally gathered evidence' when it comes to the CIA and NSA. If they can prove that they could have gotten that stuff in ANY other manner, it can be put forward in a court of law even if it is 'fruit of the poison tree' by the current legal standards.

No, the government should not just be summarily killing people, especially American citizens, overseas without a trial.


RE: Seems odd...
By Ammohunt on 2/10/2014 1:47:58 PM , Rating: 4
Even Traitors are tried before they are executed this is a slippery slope that leads to a dark place.

quote:
don't claim to know the right way to make this judgement, but the citizens should really start having a greater say in the "executive" decisions taking place as of late.


This is what congress is for.


RE: Seems odd...
By Etsp on 2/10/2014 2:31:55 PM , Rating: 3
No, congress is there to represent the people. And by people, I mean corporations. (Because they are people too!!!)


RE: Seems odd...
By TSS on 2/11/2014 1:18:08 AM , Rating: 2
Oh THIS is a slippery slope?

How about the thousands of lives already lost to US done strikes?

Oh wait, they're foreigners, their lives are worth nothing to the mighty "police of the world".

How sad it is that the discussion wether to kill or not only flares up when it's a US citizen. Meanwhile when it's non-US citizens the US is even fine with supporting the usage of gas (like how saddam was supported using gas against iran).

I'd say we're long ways past the slippery slope and are now skating around on thin ice.


RE: Seems odd...
By Ammohunt on 2/12/2014 3:31:47 PM , Rating: 2
Know what a combatant is? AKA Enemy? they are fair game in a battlefield and not subject to the US constitution. Their lives were forfeit when they took up arms against the US and their buddies flew planes into the twin towers. Whenever they want to join the civilized world and stop acting likes savages then and only then will their lives be worth sparing.


RE: Seems odd...
By marvdmartian on 2/10/2014 2:37:59 PM , Rating: 2
It's also possible that the evidence against him is classified, and releasing it publicly would help pinpoint the source of the intelligence.....which could have negative effects on that source, if it's human intelligence (HUMINT).


RE: Seems odd...
By PaFromFL on 2/11/2014 8:39:10 AM , Rating: 2
What really seems odd is that a constitutional law professor does not know about "due process", or does not think the constitution should be taken seriously. This is worse than Alberto Gonzales, an officer of the court by trade and US Attorney General thinking that torture is permissible. Maybe drone strikes and torture should be reserved for public officials that crap on the constitution.


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