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Obama’s DOJ Memo: It’s OK to Kill Americans with Drones

Posted by FactReal on February 5, 2013

OBAMA ERA: DON’T WATERBOARD YOUR ENEMIES; OK TO KILL YOUR CITIZENS.
NBC revealed yesterday a “newly obtained, confidential Department of Justice white paper that hints at the details of a secret White House memo that explains the legal justifications for targeted drone strikes that kill Americans without trial in the name of national security.” The Obama Administration won’t need evidence just an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government to make the determination that “targeted American has been ‘recently’ involved in ‘activities’ posing a threat of a violent attack,” NBC reports.

As if that wasn’t odd enough, liberal media outlets are also reporting this. (See sources below)

ObamaEricHolder
The New York Times via WeaselZippers reports:

WASHINGTON — Obama administration lawyers have asserted that it would be lawful to kill a United States citizen if “an informed, high-level official” of the government decided that the target was a ranking figure in Al Qaeda who posed “an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States” and if his capture was not feasible, according to a 16-page document made public on Monday.

The unsigned and undated Justice Department “white paper,” obtained by NBC News, is the most detailed analysis yet to come into public view regarding the Obama legal team’s views about the lawfulness of killing, without a trial, an American citizen who executive branch officials decide is an operational leader of Al Qaeda or one of its allies.

NBC obtained the memo and provides more details:

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…[A]t 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.” […]

“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.”

As in Holder’s speech, 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 undated memo is entitled “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa’ida or An Associated Force.” It was provided to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees in June by administration officials on the condition that it be kept confidential and not discussed publicly.

READ THE DOJ MEMO
Read the DOJ’s 16-page memo here or here.

SOURCES
NYT: Memo Cites Legal Basis for Killing U.S. Citizens in Al Qaeda
●http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/us/politics/us-memo-details-views-on-killing-citizens-in-al-qaeda.html

NBC: EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
●http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-exclusive-justice-department-memo-reveals-legal-case-for-drone-strikes-on-americans

Take a Rare Look at How Obama Decides to Send Drones to Kill Americans
●http://news.yahoo.com/rare-look-obama-decides-send-drones-kill-americans-031832960.html

US drone strikes: Memo reveals case for killing Americans
●http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-21333570

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