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View Diary: Drones "Justified" by DOJ White Paper (45 comments)

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  •  the notion that we can kill al-Qaeda members (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, cryonaut, VClib

    strikes me as pretty uncontroversial.  to the extent there's any room for reasonable disagreement, its about marginal cases: cases where evidence is thin, for example, or where there may be some ability to capture the person in the future.

    this memo isn't about marginal cases, though; the news hook here, from what I've seen, is about an expanded definition of "imminence." what does that mean?  well, it means we could kill bin Laden while he's just sitting on his couch watching porn rather than having to gather clear evidence of a specific strike.

    •  The zeal to kill over capture is revealing (0+ / 0-)

      especially when in the OBL case, it's pretty uncontroversial to note that the "capture" door was wide open.

      •  It goes to the "undue burden" component (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        of the test.  They probably could've captured bin Laden if they were willing to add additional risk for the US troops that were there.  But the overwhelming majority of us would say that we should capture or kill with the least amount of risk to US soldiers.

        •  what is noteworthy is that the tests are all (0+ / 0-)

          very vague and wide open.  They can be interpreted to kill Al Qaeda sympathizers - but frankly anybody can be framed as such using this non-criteria.  It is always amazing to me the level of distrust gun nuts and survivalists have for the government, yet they are happily ceding actual real kill power without any sort of check.

          Considering the batting average of habeas cases when they get to court and the very significant number of folks in Gitmo being held without charges or any real evidence - assuming that the government's inherently infallible is dicey at best.

          That this stuff polls well is not particularly important - people have popularly supported morally repugnant policies throughout American history, so that as a line of argument is fairly shaky.  

          •  I wasn't raising polls as a substantive defense (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chloris creator, VClib

            of drone warfare - I think the latter is pretty easy to defend ton the merits.  I raised polls because of the ludicrous prediction that America would find it scandalous that we're using drones to kill al-Qaeda members even if they were born on US soil or even if we don't know that they're about to blow up an embassy at the precise moment we strike.

            •  maybe - but note the government does not want (0+ / 0-)

              to actually defend the program on its merits.  It wants to shut down any attempt at discussion of the merits.  The problem is not the drones themselves, but the secrecy behind them and the clear lack of due process that Americans get within it.  

    •  US Citizens - overseas - without trial (0+ / 0-)

      No matter the evil done, that is plainly wrong.

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