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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American Terrorist in ?
2/10/2014 2:09:13 PM
I believe they are saying that they are going to try him in a military court in abstencia. The military does not yet have all the data the CIA has, so they don't have a case against him yet. The CIA and the President have to decide it is worth doing this to order it done. The political costs, plus the risk of disclosing a source, and the cost to American legal traditions, plus the cost of the military hardware have to be considered verses the strategic value of having an officer who is untouchable. None of those costs are trivial.
It should be noted that this could easily be a disinformation campaign for a current agent in al Qaida. A disinformation campaign would also let the country come to a decision for the legal protocol on these types of campaigns without risking missing a real target. The idea that capture is always possible really claims knowledge of military issues that the average person doesn't have.
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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