U.S. Gov Ponders Drone Strike to Kill Suspected American Terrorist Overseas
February 10, 2014 11:58 AM
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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.
, 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."
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.
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RE: Seems odd...
2/10/2014 1:27:36 PM
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...
2/10/2014 11:35:33 PM
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.
"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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