Print 28 comment(s) - last by Ammohunt.. on Feb 12 at 3:31 PM

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.

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.

When you become one, you're treated like one.
By Kafantaris on 2/10/14, Rating: 0
By bah12 on 2/10/2014 12:49:29 PM , Rating: 4
Generally I'd agree, but the foundation of our country demands he be brought to trial and not summarily executed without due process. I'm all for killing him, but doing so at the cost of shredding just a little bit of our Constitution is not worth it.

By crimson117 on 2/10/2014 1:15:51 PM , Rating: 3
When you allegedly go abroad and allegedly plan terrorist attacks against the United Sates -- when you allegedly talk and act like a terrorist; you allegedly keep company with terrorists -- then you deserve a trial to defend yourself against these allegations

If found guilty, sure, hang him.

By Lerianis on 2/10/2014 11:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hate to tell you guys, but one persons terrorist is another person's freedom fighter wreaking justified karma on the United States.

That is speaking as an Atheist America born citizen by the way.

The United States is NOT the white hat in all of this. We have numerous instances in our past where we have done the wrong thing and now? It's coming back to bite us in the butt in the form of 'terrorism'.

People are getting seriously tired of people saying "The American people didn't do this!"

There is actually an argument (and a fricking good one) that since we allowed our government to do this bad stuff in the past, we are JUST as guilty as our government is.

my fearless leaders
By chromal on 2/10/2014 12:13:40 PM , Rating: 3
There are people in Detroit who have killed more than this man, and yet we want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on ordinance and mission support to violate his constitutional rights?


RE: my fearless leaders
By BSMonitor on 2/10/2014 2:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
People in Detroit no longer threaten the 1%'s financial hoards.. They aren't worth wasting prison space on.. They took care of the auto union in the early 80s without drones..

RE: my fearless leaders
By Spuke on 2/10/2014 7:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't the governments job to enforce laws. That's what the police is for. It IS there job to provide for the common defense.

RE: my fearless leaders
By Spuke on 2/10/2014 7:13:59 PM , Rating: 1
fuck me... their

Just go get him
By kfonda on 2/10/2014 1:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
They should just go in, get him and, and bring him back here to stand trial. If the country he is in doesn't like it, they should not allow Al-queda terrorists in their country.

I'm pretty sure the CIA is still capable of performing a rendition. At least, I hope they are.

RE: Just go get him
By mackx on 2/10/2014 1:26:22 PM , Rating: 3
not allow terrorism? how about the terrorists in the US? toes the US government allow that to happen?

how about when americans funded the IRA? did the government let that happen? going by some modern criteria of vaguely supporting terrorists then the US is (or at least was) a terrorist state

RE: Just go get him
By kfonda on 2/10/2014 1:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
Since when did Al-queda vaguely support terrorism?

If another country wants to try and come here to capture terrorists they should be prepared for the consequences of such an act. Just as we should be prepared for the consequences of getting our citizen back.

Too late now
By Solandri on 2/10/2014 1:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
Next time the government faces a situation like this, they should just make a faux leak of some documents saying the guy is a CIA plant. If he's really involved with terrorists, then they'll take care of the problem for us.

Of course the flip possibility is that he really is a CIA plant, and the government is making a big deal about this to give him some "street cred".

American Terrorist in ?
By ptmmac on 2/10/2014 2:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
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.

Define the word terrorist
By Cluebat on 2/10/2014 2:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
I am all for sending hellfire missiles at people (including our own citizens) plotting serious attacks against our country. But oversight of the in-camera process must be stringent and hold authorities accountable for misuse. I have heard the term terrorist thrown around rather loosely, and I believe mainly for public consumption. Tea party? IRA? PETA?

No execution should be outside of the judicial process, but that process may be kept out of the public in order to facilitate a successful operation.

As far as whether the operation is worth spending the money on it- my feeling is that a few well placed missiles are well worth their weight in gold just to demonstrate our reach.

Why do we need drones?
By MrBlastman on 2/10/2014 4:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
We're America, darnit! We've got the best humans the world can offer here. Drones schmones. Why don't we send over John Rambo and Chuck Norris. Together they'd be unstoppable!

Peace love and other crap
By Tupoun on 2/10/2014 11:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
I still can't decide which one of the Nobel Peace Prize winners I like the most. Barak Obama or Yasser Arafat? Gosh! They made it so hard for me to decide! Did Mao Zedong win something? If yes I'd vote for chairman Mao, but still mister Obama's still alive and could surprise me!

Anyone is fair game now
By superstition on 2/11/2014 11:16:02 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently killing a 16 year old boy because he happened to have a father the government didn't like is considered OK so don't be surprised if anyone else is considered fair game.

So is...
By Spookster on 2/10/2014 5:16:49 PM , Rating: 1
Tiffany Kaiser one of Jason Mick's pseudonym's?

Beat the dead horse
By BSMonitor on 2/10/14, Rating: 0
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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