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Memo link.
NBC Link.

Quote:

[...]

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, 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 secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week’s hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director. Brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge drone strikes in a speech last year, calling them “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense.” In a separate talk at the Northwestern University Law School in March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”

But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.

“The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states.

Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”

[...]

Although not an official legal memo, the white paper was represented by administration officials as a policy document that closely mirrors the arguments of classified memos on targeted killings by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which provides authoritative legal advice to the president and all executive branch agencies. The administration has refused to turn over to Congress or release those memos publicly -- or even publicly confirm their existence. A source with access to the white paper, which is not classified, provided a copy to NBC News.
“This is a chilling document,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, which has sued unsuccessfully in court to obtain administration memos about the targeted killing of Americans. “Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen. … It recognizes some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are elastic and vaguely defined, and it’s easy to see how they could be manipulated.”
In particular, Jaffer said, the memo “redefines the word imminence in a way that deprives the word of its ordinary meaning.”

[...]

I'm still reading through the memo, but this is effectively breaking news and wanted to post it at ED-P. The DOJ is making broad assertions about federal power to kill American citizens. What are your thoughts? Is this justified? If it's not, should it be?

I know posts usually require some more thought but that's slightly more difficult when the information was just released, so hopefully the mods will be understanding. :-/
Heimdalr's avatar

Mega Noob

So it was the word "imminent" they re-interpreted to suit their purposes. I will imminently feel shocked.
Quote:
Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”


Holding the debt ceiling hostage does violence to the United States' credit rating. Other Republican policies could also be considered to be violent activities against the American people. There is no evidence they have renounced or abandoned such policies. Therefore, by the criteria of that memo, why can't Obama just wipe out the Republicans? They sure sound like a bunch of terrorists to me.
azulmagia
Quote:
Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”


Holding the debt ceiling hostage does violence to the United States' credit rating. Other Republican policies could also be considered to be violent activities against the American people. There is no evidence they have renounced or abandoned such policies. Therefore, by the criteria of that memo, why can't Obama just wipe out the Republicans? They sure sound like a bunch of terrorists to me.

One, why would you cut off your own hand because you don't like the glove it's wearing? Two, high-profile targets would call way too much public attention to the fact that the government just seized the right to kill anyone for no reason and not have to extricate itself from lawsuits afterwards.
The Danguy's avatar

Tipsy Explorer

azulmagia
Quote:
Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”


Holding the debt ceiling hostage does violence to the United States' credit rating. Other Republican policies could also be considered to be violent activities against the American people. There is no evidence they have renounced or abandoned such policies. Therefore, by the criteria of that memo, why can't Obama just wipe out the Republicans? They sure sound like a bunch of terrorists to me.
I knew you were going to give Obama a ******** pass on this. People like you who give him a pass when you'd be calling for a Republican president's blood really irritate me.
The Danguy
azulmagia
Quote:
Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”


Holding the debt ceiling hostage does violence to the United States' credit rating. Other Republican policies could also be considered to be violent activities against the American people. There is no evidence they have renounced or abandoned such policies. Therefore, by the criteria of that memo, why can't Obama just wipe out the Republicans? They sure sound like a bunch of terrorists to me.
I knew you were going to give Obama a ******** pass on this. People like you who give him a pass when you'd be calling for a Republican president's blood really irritate me.


It's not a pass, it's a "modest proposal".
The Danguy's avatar

Tipsy Explorer

azulmagia
The Danguy
azulmagia
Quote:
Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”


Holding the debt ceiling hostage does violence to the United States' credit rating. Other Republican policies could also be considered to be violent activities against the American people. There is no evidence they have renounced or abandoned such policies. Therefore, by the criteria of that memo, why can't Obama just wipe out the Republicans? They sure sound like a bunch of terrorists to me.
I knew you were going to give Obama a ******** pass on this. People like you who give him a pass when you'd be calling for a Republican president's blood really irritate me.


It's not a pass, it's a "modest proposal".
Horseshit. If a Republican administration had released this bullshit saying "We can murder civilians" you'd be at their throat. Just like with the kill list you're ignoring the fact that Obama is acting just as bad if not worse than Dubya while whining about Republicans.
Just goes to show, it doesn't matter whether it's the right or the left hand that the puppet's on, the puppeteer's still the same.
The Danguy
azulmagia
The Danguy
azulmagia
Quote:
Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”


Holding the debt ceiling hostage does violence to the United States' credit rating. Other Republican policies could also be considered to be violent activities against the American people. There is no evidence they have renounced or abandoned such policies. Therefore, by the criteria of that memo, why can't Obama just wipe out the Republicans? They sure sound like a bunch of terrorists to me.
I knew you were going to give Obama a ******** pass on this. People like you who give him a pass when you'd be calling for a Republican president's blood really irritate me.


It's not a pass, it's a "modest proposal".
Horseshit. If a Republican administration had released this bullshit saying "We can murder civilians" you'd be at their throat. Just like with the kill list you're ignoring the fact that Obama is acting just as bad if not worse than Dubya while whining about Republicans.


What's funnier than ******** that they can't seem to grasp is all these powers they are thrilled to pass off to the great and powerful Obamasiah will be inherited by the other side when they come back into control, which inevitably does happen, and then they'll be screaming bloody ******** murder.
Old Blue Collar Joe
What's funnier than ******** that they can't seem to grasp is all these powers they are thrilled to pass off to the great and powerful Obamasiah will be inherited by the other side when they come back into control, which inevitably does happen, and then they'll be screaming bloody ******** murder.

Provided that some viable third party doesn't slip in and steal the Dems and Repub's "Presidency ball".

Who am I kidding? We'll all most likely be dead by the time any viable third party breaks the two-party stranglehold on the Executive office.

And yeah azulmagia, I'm with Danguy on this. You are full of horseshit.

So, anyone want to bet that the outrage over this memo won't translate into anything long lasting? Although Aaron Swartz's death caused a massive outcry that lasted for over a week and has resulted in a couple Congressmen demanding answers (which probably won't amount to much in the long run either).

As the Zen Master says, "We'll see."
METALFumasu
And yeah azulmagia, I'm with Danguy on this. You are full of horseshit.


Well in that case you and Danguy are incredibly thick schmucks for thinking I was in earnest. Characterizing what I said as "giving Obama a pass" is sorta like saying that the Indian gang rape victim was a little sore in the p***y after they'd done with her.

To be honest, I haven't seen any liberal blogs giving Obama a pass on this. What's even more disconcerting, 62% of Americans are okay with the drone program. If anything, the leak has helped Obama. Now that I find amazing, and not in a good way.

You Americans are a bunch of slaves at heart. Enjoy your Caesar.

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