DOJ: Drone Strikes On Americans Is “Legal”

Predator Drone

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?

21 thoughts on “DOJ: Drone Strikes On Americans Is “Legal”

  1. Jim Scrummy

    Wordsmithing at it’s best, “associated force”. Amazing, considering how bad the left hand of the gubmint doesn’t communicate with the right hand of the gubmint. So, an operative for the U.S. gubmint, who has penetrated an “associated force” could get killed in the crossfire when a drone launches a hellfire. I’m sure they’ve game theoried out that idea.

  2. John D

    “…because any group of Americans can be described as an associated force…”

    Let’s not get carried away here. I trust the government to limit their attacks to actual extremist groups. Like the NRA. And the GOP. And any gathering of the “Tea Party” movement. Besides, if the government steps out of line, I’m sure the news media would call them on it. That’s their job, right?

  3. marguerita farrell

    dam! when i saw this earlier today i was like hell no not america, lets hope the american news media stays strong enough to balance this one, and is there an over sight by the legal boys? or is it just left up to the “govenment” which is not really clear who makes the decision and on what basis – hmmm the more i look at this the more i’m like this does not smell good!, well it will all come out in the wash…you all have a great day.

    1. Jim Scrummy

      Media. The same media that is in the tank for zero? Okay, an that unicorn that just landed in my front yard will take me to the pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow. The media would be doing a rectal exam on an R-prezzy if this had come out during an R-administration. With zero…crickets chirp. Pravda on the Potomac.

  4. Jon Brooks

    Oh well as much as I will hate to, I guess I have to start hanging out with liberals, that way when they launch their strike against me It will work out that I can take a bunch of them with me, and also if any of their cancerous ideas had rubbed off on me whilst hanging around them, those can be purged by fire.

  5. Ingineer66

    Can you imagine if this came out when W was President? There were would be 4 inch letters across the top of the New York Times about it. This President not only has this program, but he violated Federal Law by not consulting with the Senate Intelligence committee. But we know this guy does not let the law get in his way.

  6. toothy

    I don’t mean to be an a-hole, but how many here were for the original Patriot Act, and bashed the libs for being against it? Again, not to be a jerk, but just curious.

    The reason I ask this is because for most of the people I interact with in various settings (real-life and teh interwebs both), almost anything goes, as long as it’s their team that is in charge…

    1. Wyatt Earp Post author

      I was much less wary about the Patriot Act – listening in on phone conversations – than I am with this. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, but I see the dichotomy of eavesdropping and assassinations. Obviously, both are wrong, but if I had to choose . . .

      And I thought Bush was a disgrace when it came to spending and enforcing the borders.

  7. metoo

    Fear and loathing….pretty much describes how I feel about this administration. Who is determining threats? I mean, we sold guns to the Mexican drug cartels but are going to send drones to kill Americans on foreign soil deemed a security threat. O thinks anyone who didn’t support him is a threat, for Pete’s sake. Guess this sheds some light on the whole Benghazi debacle.

  8. Jim Scrummy

    I haven’t been a fan of the Patriot Act (or the Cheatriots) for years. Gives the gubmint too much leeway into my privacy (not a big fan of illegal search and seizures). Oh, I haven’t liked a Prezzy in 24 years (and he had his flaws too). I just want to be left alone, period.

  9. Bob G.

    Why do I feel the camel’s nose is in the tent on this one…
    Also, we need to stop allowing this administration to play with corked bottles…
    Genies tend to get OUT whenever that happens.
    And it’s a bitch to get them the hell back INSIDE.

    Good post.

    Stay safe out there.

  10. DocRambo

    Why do I think this is just the beginning? OK on foreign soil, with decisions made by proper authorities as to who is a threat? Next it will be the domestic threats and we’re all screwed. Would a 10 ga. shotgun reach them?

  11. Wyatt Earp Post author

    Jim – That’s what bothers me. An “associated force” could be any group of people whom the government does not agree with. That’s a scary precedent.

    John D – Ironically, Joan Walsh – libtard of all libtards – was wholly against this. Her reasoning was if they would decry this under a GOP administration, they should doubly do so under a Dem administration.

    I mean, when you’ve lost Joan Walsh . . .

    Marguerita – Sadly, our national media caved a long time ago.

    Jon – That’s not a bad plan. Not bad at all.

    USAdmiral – In all seriousness, I have never seen a president show such blatant disregard for the rule of law – and the Constitution – in my entire life.

    Old NFO – Her home state is probably first up.

    Ingineer66 – It truly is amazing. And no one will call him on it – not even the GOP.

    Dr. Evil – You actually could become one.

    Metoo – Obama let our Libyan ambassador die. What’s he care about John Q. Public?

    Doc – Well, this week Jesse Jackson said assault weapons could shoot down a helicopter. (True story.)


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