Don’t worry. I’m sure the Obama administration would never abuse this power.
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” – even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.
The money phrase here is “an associated force.” That’s a little too vague for my tastes, because any group of Americans can be described as an associated force, depending upon the person currently in power.
I remember the halcyon days when liberals went to water over the Patriot Act – an act Barack Obama has kept alive to this day. They were freaking out about the government’s ability to monitor personal phone calls. I wonder if they’ll show the same outrage at this story?