Drone Strikes on Americans
If you have a few minutes, take a look at a government white paper obtained by NBC news on the lawfulness of lethal attacks on U.S. citizens with attachments to terrorists. NBC has this summary of the test for ordering a killing:
the confidential memo lays out a three-part test that would make targeted killings of American lawful: In addition to the suspect being an imminent threat, capture of the target must be “infeasible, and the strike must be conducted according to “law of war principles.” But the memo elaborates on some of these factors in ways that go beyond what the attorney general said publicly. For example, it states that U.S. officials may consider whether an attempted capture of a suspect would pose an “undue risk” to U.S. personnel involved in such an operation. If so, U.S. officials could determine that the capture operation of the targeted American would not be feasible, making it lawful for the U.S. government to order a killing instead, the memo concludes.
The memo sets out broad authority to authorize a killing even if there is no imminent threat, even if the targeted American has never been charged with a crime, and even if the American is not located anywhere near an actual battlefield. The memo also denies that there can be any judicial review of a decision to kill. “There exists no appropriate judicial forum to evaluate these constitutional considerations.”
In a word, this is disturbing.