Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rdowns, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. rdowns, Feb 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2013

    macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Talk about presidential overreach. I get that Obama is trying to define US engagement with drones but this reads like it came our of a Republican administration.

    Mod note: The source link is here.
  2. macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    I would like to see this discussed in public in a rational way. Long before drones and targeted airstrikes, these doctrines already existed in some form when citizens of one country would become soldiers in a foreign country. I believe (constitutional lawyer needed here) that they were effectively held to be non-citizens of their country during a military engagement. And, of course, if they were actively fighting directly against their own country, traitors, and if caught, subject to immediate execution. And I know that historically, people have lost their citizenship by fighting in the army of a non-allied country.

    Well, that's the old, old days anyway. The "battlefield" is a remotely-controlled drone strike, and the traitors may be plotting in a remote location. What rules apply, that distinguishes somebody working for al-Qaeda from someone on a beach holiday in Yemen? A secret finding? It does seem to me that there should be some public declaration that could be legally challenged-- in case, you know, someone made a mistake?
  3. Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    Yeah, I'm not a big fan of using drones to kill US citizens. It's got a few problem, if you will.
  4. macrumors 68020

    Jan 22, 2009
    I would be amazed if assassination of US citizen by US gov in foreign land has not happened before.

    The use of armed drones does not change the equation.

    The only part troubling is no indictment or arrest warrant was issued before the strikes (yes, more then one attack).

    It IS concerning the extent of the drone strikes. Can they use drones on people in US property?
  5. macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    If this is allowed to be used in the united states I'm joining Ted Nugent's militia.

  6. macrumors 68000


    Jun 8, 2009
    I have a more global worry about drone strikes. The obvious idea behind these strikes is to eliminate a perceived enemy without risk to military personnel of the country launching the strike. I have no desire whatsoever for US or UK military personnel to undertake unnecessary risks. However, I see these drone strikes occurring on other countries' soil, as though the US does not care about national boundaries. I think international law is an utter joke, but these strikes makes the US vulnerable to charges of breaking the law. My worry is that someday another country, or a group of extremist lunatics, will make one of these cheap drones and use it on the US or the UK. During the morning of 9/11 the US could not track passenger airliners and intercept them before they reached major cities. Imagine trying to defend against smaller, stealthier drones.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2010
    But, it didn't. If it had come out of a Republican administration, the media, and people on this forum would be hysterical.

    Regardless of party, this is a slippery slope, and should be challenged by Congress.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2010
    It's an interesting issues.

    Drones are a technological advance and as such the issue needs to be examined carefully.

    Electronic eavesdropping devices are a relatively new and yet valuable tool that we've come to accept as part of police / government use. The recent rescue of the 5 year-old kid in the bunker was AFAIK partly achieved by the authorities sneaking a camera in.

    So if drones are employed for intelligence gathering then there's a pretty gray area between what's already being done and adding drones to that.

    Likewise, in a hostage situation snipers have been used to take out suspects. If a drone were able to get positioned where a human could not, wouldn't that be a valid use to take someone out?
  9. macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    If the drones don't get you, the black helicopters will.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2010
    It will be interesting to see what happens when another country uses a drone to kill a U.S. diplomat, member of the military, or a citizen.
  11. macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Why ? The mindset of USA is everybody's a terrorist cept'un us mericans.

    /southern speak
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2010
    I guess Obama does have a slight twang to his accent. :rolleyes:

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