Leaked Obama administration memo sets out case for killing US citizens

The detailed circumstances in which a US government may order…

The detailed circumstances in which a US government may order the killing of an American citizen who is a high-ranking member of al-Qaida have been revealed in a leaked memo prepared by Obama administration lawyers.

The document, acquired by NBC and dating from 2011, lays out for the first time the precise rationale for carrying out targeted killings of senior al-Qaida members who are US citizens, and who are believed to pose an “imminent threat of violent attack” against the United States.

Although the white paper deals specifically with the issue of when and how the president can order the killing of a US citizen who is a member of al-Qaida, it also provides one of the most comprehensive accounts of the wider international legal framework the US believes supports its controversial drones policy.

Although the paper does not specify the “minimum legal requirements” for launching such an operation, it insists that the killing would be constitutionally justified as the United States is engaged in an “armed conflict”, as defined by international law and authorised by Congress, with al-Qaida and its affiliates.

Read more at The Guardian

Load Comments
  • I don’t mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist , for which im not, but who is to say that they wont abuse this power and take out someone that isn’t a threat at all like you or me. Then later give the mainstream media false information about how a regular law abiding citizen was an al-qaida terrorist cell living in the U.S. for the past 26year years. The American people wouldn’t think twice to look into something like this because they would think to themselves ” the government wouldn’t do this to its own citizens, the person they killed must have been a terrorist.” I don’t know know, maybe its just me thinking that if they got the AWB passed we would all be enemies of the state for possessing banned firearms if it ever came to registering our firearms with the atf and for those of us that refused would become “terrorists”.

  • Matt in Oklahoma

    The smaller ones have live feed and NV already. I’m all for the use of them in Military applications and in SOME cases LEO. I think we need to get on the ball asap on ROE. I love the tools of the trade but as an American who also enjoys his rights this can be an issue and misuse is a given from common eavesdropping authored by the department to spying on the ex girlfriend by the drone operator.
    Insofar as the scum overseas who has removed himself from CONUS and graduated from common street thug to enemy combatant well you are the proverbial “foreign or domestic” and I have no issue with offing you or even being the one to do so though I cant run a gaming console but have skills in other places. I know I’m probably alone on this.
    Insofar as the document, well it was written for a purpose but like many documents, it is not well written and leaves too much open for the long term and needs a lot of work.It should have never been an open ended document and should have only been applied to the mission then later modified but laziness prevailed.
    It is good that many watch and discuss and don’t leave it all in someone else hands. After all it is “We The People” right? I don’t trust the babysitter that much so why trust anyone with my child’s future and my today that much? It doesn’t have to be a drudge konspiracy boogieman rant either just stay with the facts and make it right.