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Administration Ordered To Divulge Legal Basis For Killing Americans With Drones

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the reason-time dept.

United States 310

An anonymous reader writes "In a claim brought by The New York Times and the ACLU, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the administration must disclose the legal basis for targeting Americans with drones. From the article: 'Government officials from Obama on down have publicly commented on the program, but they claimed the Office of Legal Counsel's memo outlining the legal rationale about it was a national security secret. The appeals court, however, said on Monday that officials' comments about overseas drone attacks means the government has waived its secrecy argument. "After senior Government officials have assured the public that targeted killings are 'lawful' and that OLC advice 'establishes the legal boundaries within which we can operate,'" the appeals court said, "waiver of secrecy and privilege as to the legal analysis in the Memorandum has occurred" (PDF).'"

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SCOTUS (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46807905)

Good it passed appeals; the administration will likely appeal the decision and this is the kind of thing the SCOTUS will take. Frankly it's about time some of the "war on terror" policies were seriously and heavily scrutinized for their legality.

Re:SCOTUS (0)

phrostie (121428) | about 5 months ago | (#46808345)

Those aren't the Drones you're looking for.

someone had to say it

Re:SCOTUS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808615)

someone had to say it

Not really

Re:SCOTUS (4, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#46808617)

Yeah, and if SCOTUS rules against it they can use their many SCOTUS investigators to make sure the administration is complying, and the legendary SCOTUS army to stop them if they're not.

No answer will be given (5, Informative)

operagost (62405) | about 5 months ago | (#46807925)

History dictates that Obama will declare "executive privilege" or some other nonsense. He has already done this for himself and his AG; the latter currently in contempt of an ineffective Congress which is unlikely to do anything about it. With a Democratic Senate, there will be no impeachment.

These are the facts, and I commend all of you who could read them before down-moderation.

Re:No answer will be given (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808011)

You are absolutely crazy if you think anyone in government wants to explain this or be associated with this. All parties want this to go away quietly, because there's a non-zero chance "their guy" will be using this same tactic in the coming years.

This acts to disempower the government, which makes it a natural enemy to anyone working in the government.

Re:No answer will be given (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808047)

Bah, you're an extremist. Even a full Republican Congress would not move to impeach Obama on the basis of targeting Americans that are known terrorist operatives hanging out with other terrorists in Yemen, regardless of the legality. That has way too much potential to backfire on Congress. So if you think that this is even remotely impeachable you are sorely miscalculating the political nature of this.

Obama will declare it, but it's legality and strength is questionable, as every time executive privilege has been invoked the POTUS backed down and provided some documents, effectively sidestepping a true test of the doctrine. So he may invoke it, but history says the POTUS usually backs away from that stance.

Re:No answer will be given (3, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 5 months ago | (#46808261)

> Even a full Republican Congress would not move to impeach Obama on the basis of targeting Americans that
> are ALLEGED terrorist operatives hanging out with other ALLEGED terrorists in Yemen...

FTFY

Re:No answer will be given (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46808517)

> Even a full Republican Congress would not move to impeach Obama on the basis of targeting Americans that
> are ALLEGED terrorist operatives hanging out with other ALLEGED terrorists in Yemen...

FTFY

Sure, but doesn't change anything. I think blowing up terrorists with drones and claiming executive privilege predates Obama by at least one administration. If anything the Republicans are likely to argue he didn't blow up enough of them (what! there are still civilian structures standing in Yemen?!! why aren't there boots on the ground?).

Re:No answer will be given (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 5 months ago | (#46808465)

I don't expect republicans or democrats to be champions of the constitution or individual liberties; they've shown time and time again that they're both full of evil scumbags.

Re:No answer will be given (-1, Flamebait)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46808123)

At least the next election with fix a hell of a lot. Obama really, really, really fucked up because now BOTH parties have 2 options for a candidate.
They can either have the candidate be anti-drone, pro-privacy, anti-NSA spying, and anti-Obamacare
Or
Lose the election
We're not talking about a 1% teetering in the middle. You don't run against Obamacare, you lose 90% of the popular vote.

Re:No answer will be given (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808203)

A lot of people are for Obamacare, I think. Personally, it doesn't go far enough. The government is legally barred from negotiating drug prices, which unjustly raises costs. Countries with nationalized healthcare get better outcomes at lower costs than we do -- it's the way to go.

Re:No answer will be given (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808315)

The problem here is that everyone is required to have health insurance and yet the health insurance companies themselves can still say "screw you" and say that something is either not covered or drop you should you actually "use" said coverage. The problem here is that not a damn thing is changing with the insurance companies and they are using this as a great new profit center as people are now *forced* to be their customers, when said coverage is going up in price to where coverage is now more expensive than one's house payment.

Re:No answer will be given (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808423)

A lot of people are for Obamacare on the internet

Fixed that for you. Its almost right down party lines. The people whos bills went up 3x because they are 60 and have to carry prenatal care sure did not appreciate it much. That 6 million # they brandy about? People who would have renewed medicaid anyway.

Want an easy cheap way to get healthcare in the US? Offer cash up front. They will knock off usually 70-80% off the bill just to NOT deal with the insurance companies. I have been doing this for years. Learned it from my father who sells insurance for a living.

Re:No answer will be given (0, Offtopic)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#46808461)

In other words, the answer is a truly universal system with no insurance middlemen.

Re:No answer will be given (0, Offtopic)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#46808519)

I'd like to see the return of "major medical", or catastrophic care insurance as the norm. For day-to-day health needs, just pay cash up front. Insurance is there for the unexpected, rare, insanely expensive events, not for the stuff we all need every year.

Re:No answer will be given (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808573)

My taxes go to fund the school district but I do not have kids. We pay for things for the greater good of the society even though we my not personally use the services.

Want an easy cheap way to get healthcare in the US? Offer cash up front. They will knock off usually 70-80% off the bill just to NOT deal with the insurance companies.

I will remember that next time I am fainting and being rushed to the hospital. For elective things, you will have to negotiate with the primary doctor, hospital, any secondary doctors (anesthesiologist, third party consultation, etc...), the lab (which is usually run by an outside company and will be billed separately), the pharmacy, etc... Good luck with that.

Re:No answer will be given (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#46808627)

That 6 million # they brandy about? People who would have renewed medicaid anyway.

With an incentive like that, they surely would :)

I try not to be a grammar nazi, but sometimes the idiom nazi in me just has to make an appearance :D

(PS: the word is bandy)

Re:No answer will be given (1, Offtopic)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46808303)

Maybe, but if anti-Obamacare, what are you in favor of? Are you in favor of just rolling things back to what they were? Or are you in favor of trying to fix it, or move to single-payer, or something like that?

Everybody can be anti-Obamacare but that doesn't mean that people agree on what comes next. Nobody could have gotten elected in 2008 without being anti-2008-healthcare.

Those questions weren't directed at you. My point is that being "anti-Obamacare" doesn't really tell you anything.

Re:No answer will be given (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 5 months ago | (#46808427)

You don't run against Obamacare, you lose 90% of the popular vote.

Seriously, change the channel.

Re:No answer will be given (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808435)

Saying it and doing it are two different things and we all know politicians lie to get elected. Obama was talking about the rule of law and transparency, even said those things in his inauguration address. I am still waiting for it. Democrat or Republican, it is say as I do, not do as I say.

The ACA was a give-away to the health insurers and we know they give more to Republicans. As much as people say they hate ACA, they still like many of the provisions. It is no different than those tea baggers protesting to keep the governmen'ts hands off their Medicare. When you ask the Republican Party for their alternative, they have none. Even a Republican will be pro-ACA, because it was their plan originally (came out of the Heritage Foundation and implemented by Mitt in MA). The only reason they are against it now is because the President is black and has a "D" after his name.

So, the person that gets elected next time around will actually be pro-drone, pro-spying, anti-privacy, and pro-ACA.

Re:No answer will be given (4, Insightful)

UconnGuy (562899) | about 5 months ago | (#46808159)

With a Democratic Senate, there will be no impeachment.

American Government fail on your part. The House of Representatives impeaches. The Senate convicts. Clinton was impeached, but not convicted and removed from office.

Re:No answer will be given (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808643)

American Government fail on your part as well. The Senate does not "convict" the impeached. They decide the punishment that will be given. That punishment may include being removed from office, but that does not mitigate the fact that Clinton was impeached.

Re:No answer will be given (0)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 5 months ago | (#46808195)

History dictates that Obama will declare "executive privilege" or some other nonsense

So he'll be like George Bush? After all, the previous administration used every trick in the book to prevent the public from knowing what the White House was doing such as claiming he needed "unbiased" information which is why he refused to turn over the visitor logs when meeting with oil executives on U.S. energy policy, or claimed that by not opening emails they weren't "read" and so the contents didn't have to be turned over to investigators, the public or even backed up for historical purposes.

And let's not forget Bush (and Vice-President Cheney) avoided every single Congressional request to testify on the failings of his administration to prevent the 9/11 attacks, including refusing to hand over every document requested by the 9/11 Commission except for one page, heavily redacted, which had the title, 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack the U.S.".

So if you're saying Obama will declare "executive privilege" or some other nonsense, we can safely assume he is following the example of his predecessor

Re:No answer will be given (5, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 5 months ago | (#46808245)

How long does it take before you're no longer allowed to justify what "your guy" does by pointing out the the "other guy" did bad stuff too? Does that end after Obama's current term, or are we still going to be hearing the "Bush did it too" excuse in 2020?

Re:No answer will be given (2, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 5 months ago | (#46808571)

My guy? Who said Obama is my guy? I am only pointing out that people who are up in arms about what he is doing were, for the most part, completely silent when Bush did it.

Pick anything you like: executive privilege, spying on U.S. citizens, signing statements, the list goes on. Everything that he is doing, and the right is complaining about, are the exact same things Bush was doing and the right kept gloating about how well he was doing.

We cannot have it both ways. If you're going to complain about how one person is doing something, you have to do it about the other. If you're not going to complain when your guy does it, you can't complain when someone else's guy does it.

Re:No answer will be given (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808621)

Only until your guy is replaced by the next other guy. Then the people who are for the other guy will be defending his bad actions using the justification that your guy did it, too.

In 2020 we'll be hearing "Obama did it, too" from the Republicans.

Re:No answer will be given (4, Insightful)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 5 months ago | (#46808277)

History dictates that Obama will declare "executive privilege" or some other nonsense

So he'll be like George Bush? After all, the previous administration used every trick in the book to prevent the public from knowing what the White House was doing such as claiming he needed "unbiased" information which is why he refused to turn over the visitor logs when meeting with oil executives on U.S. energy policy, or claimed that by not opening emails they weren't "read" and so the contents didn't have to be turned over to investigators, the public or even backed up for historical purposes.

And let's not forget Bush (and Vice-President Cheney) avoided every single Congressional request to testify on the failings of his administration to prevent the 9/11 attacks, including refusing to hand over every document requested by the 9/11 Commission except for one page, heavily redacted, which had the title, 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack the U.S.".

So if you're saying Obama will declare "executive privilege" or some other nonsense, we can safely assume he is following the example of his predecessor

Please tell me you are not using the wrongs of the past to justify the wrongs of today? Come on now.

Re:No answer will be given (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 5 months ago | (#46808411)

Well it seems a lot of people have no problem with Russia annexing Ukraine because the US invaded Iraq in 2003. And Putin is taking full advantage of this ideology while trying not to laugh to hard.

Re:No answer will be given (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#46808219)

I think this is a little extreme in its assertions. It's not impossible that it's true, but I doubt you'll ever change your opinion if the white house did comply(not that complying would be enough to actually do anything important).

will take down mod (1)

rewindustry (3401253) | about 5 months ago | (#46808433)

as proof, and thank you for the up.

Re:No answer will be given (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 5 months ago | (#46808523)

But the question was already answered long ago. Don't you remember?

YES WE CAN!

Niggerly privlidge (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808525)

who ever knew there was such a thing?

Re:No answer will be given (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 5 months ago | (#46808611)

There wouldn't be an impeachment if the Tea Party controlled both houses of Congress. One of the first things the Obama administration did was get Congress to sign off on everything they were doing including the illegal surveillance.

Re:No answer will be given (1)

houghi (78078) | about 5 months ago | (#46808671)

History dictates that the sitting president will declare "executive privilege" or some other nonsense.
Fixed that for you.

Re:No answer will be given (4, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 5 months ago | (#46808683)

When legal basis is secret, everything is legal... or illegal, as the keepers of the secrets deem fit.

Legal murder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46807937)

The government can kill it's own citizens with drones because it has a legal basis, which it can't tell you, because it's a secret. wat

Secret Laws are Doubleplus Ungood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46807953)

It raises my blood pressure to think that these a**holes believe they have a right to make secret laws. That is all.

above the law (5, Insightful)

dlt074 (548126) | about 5 months ago | (#46807957)

we have not followed the law of the land for some time. why start now?

more meaningless proclamations.

Re:above the law (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#46808323)

We haven't done [principled thing that we have done by-and-large and at tremendous expense] with [notable exceptions that generate tremendous outrage]. I just don't know.

I don't like the failures, but everyone going "We don't actually obey the constitution anymore" don't put forth any meaningful metrics to show that it changed, and a subjective examination of American history shows lots of abuses from day 1.

Suppose you have my, and a couple hundreds of other dedicated peoples' promised assistance to fix the problem. Propose a first step.

Re:above the law (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 5 months ago | (#46808707)

We haven't done [principled thing that we have done by-and-large and at tremendous expense] with [notable exceptions that generate tremendous outrage]. I just don't know.

I don't like the failures, but everyone going "We don't actually obey the constitution anymore" don't put forth any meaningful metrics to show that it changed, and a subjective examination of American history shows lots of abuses from day 1.

Suppose you have my, and a couple hundreds of other dedicated peoples' promised assistance to fix the problem. Propose a first step.

Indeed. The difference between the past decade and the previous centuries is that now, a sizable number of people can become easily aware of these issues, and can also be easily impacted by them.

Think of it this way: the Constitution was drafted by slave owners, and yet by today's interpretation, it prohibits slavery and racial discrimination (even without amendments). What changed the interpretation? Society as a whole becoming fed up with how key bits were interpreted (such as "people").

I think you'll find the same situation with the current issues. Once people realize that it applies to them and their constitutional protections, not just some guy who "decided to become a terrorist in some other country," you'll find that things WILL change. First you need a Rosa Parks as a catalyst to sway popular opinion.

Lets see what hapens (5, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#46807961)

I wont hold my breath that he wont hide behind executive privilege or use bushes favorite "Turruiists!!!" but one thing I do know is that obama will find some way to avoid having to explain himself. Most transparent president in history and all....

Citizenship Is Not A Shield (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46807969)

Just because some of these so called "Americans" had a US passport doesn't mean they can take up arms against their country without consequences. I'm glad we can just blow these fuckers to smithereens and save taxpayer money on these enemy combatants. They should know not to fuck with US and should scare their buddies from thinking they can do the same.

Re:Citizenship Is Not A Shield (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808041)

You sure understand what it means to be living in a country that's supposed to be filled with free and brave people. You're an ally of democracy, due process, and individual liberties in general.

Re:Citizenship Is Not A Shield (5, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 5 months ago | (#46808057)

Just because some of these so called "Americans" had a US passport doesn't mean they can take up arms against their country without consequences. I'm glad we can just blow these fuckers to smithereens and save taxpayer money on these enemy combatants. They should know not to fuck with US and should scare their buddies from thinking they can do the same.

Yeah, fuck due process, fuck the constitution! The United States Constitution is un-American!

stop being a pussy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808289)

Just because some of these so called "Americans" had a US passport doesn't mean they can take up arms against their country without consequences.

I don't think anyone's suggested otherwise. But we enacted laws that say what the consequences are, and all the evidence suggests the laws are being violated.

I'm glad we can just blow these fuckers to smithereens and save taxpayer money on these enemy combatants.

That would be an example of ignoring the laws. Thing is, what you're talking about isn't necessarily a bad idea, but nobody ever enacts a new law making that become legal. YOU puss out in the voting booth every time, and pick the R or the D instead. And that's the problem: you talk tough, but you always act like a pussy and vote for someone else. So intead of making it legal for the government to just kill anyone suspected of crimes, you are keeping it illegal, thus this court case is happening and someone might get in trouble for doing what you say you want. In other worse, being a pussy isn't working out for you. Maybe it's time to change how you vote.

Or change how you think and reconsider how bad that whole "trials" idea really is.

Re:stop being a pussy (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 5 months ago | (#46808637)

To maintain a some what effective justice system centered around upholding the US Constitution requires examining existing precedents raised in similar but possibly very different circumstances where a particular law or protected right has been applied. I think the killing of a US citizen who is located in a foreign state who is preaching violence and providing religious indoctrination for those carrying out acts of violence against the state and it's citizens is an exceptional case that does not lend itself to being judged by the same laws he would face in the US had he been located there. If the countries where the known terrorists groups are located cannot or will not make an effort to handle the matter it leaves a gigantic loop hole where a US citizen could break any number of laws and be assured safe heaven in another country. Had the Afghani, Iraqi, Yemini, or Pakistani governments been able to capture and prosecute or extradite the alleged offenders the US would not have to take matters into it's own hand. The fact that one or two US citizens have been targeted under these circumstances does not mean the government is throwing all citizen rights and protections out the window. It means there was really no other viable alternative to reaching this person.

"He has a pen and a phone" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46807979)

Laws? We don't need no stinking laws!

We have Obama the Lightbringer to save us!!!!

Re:"He has a pen and a phone" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808473)

Who was led by George the Baptist.

Re:"He has a pen and a phone" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808585)

Laws? We don't need no stinking laws!

We have Obama the Lightbringer to save us!!!!

interesting note Lucifer translates as light bringer

Obligatory (4, Insightful)

Lumpio- (986581) | about 5 months ago | (#46807991)

So let me get this straight, it's perfectly OK to kill people with drones as long as they're not American citizens?

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808051)

So let me get this straight, it's perfectly OK to kill people with drones as long as they're not American citizens?

Welcome to Planet Earth.

AKA "The REAL World!"

It ain't a nice place, and it ain't gonna be a nice place, in spite of all the sheltered urban first-world fantasies you can conjure.

Re:Obligatory (1)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 5 months ago | (#46808283)

So let me get this straight, it's perfectly OK to kill people with drones as long as they're not American citizens?

Welcome to Planet Earth.

AKA "The REAL World!"

It ain't a nice place, and it ain't gonna be a nice place, in spite of all the sheltered urban first-world fantasies you can conjure.

Right. You have no right to complain unless your country is a third world shithole. It's just stupid to think that things could be better. Our founding fathers had it all wrong. People in other places have no rights so why should we? Thank you so much, AC. Without your wisdom and foresight, we would all be lost.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808097)

So let me get this straight, it's perfectly OK to kill people with drones as long as they're not American citizens?

No, it's apparently perfectly okay to kill American citizens too, as long as somebody can roughly pronounce the word "terrorist."

Re:Obligatory (4, Informative)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 5 months ago | (#46808135)

So let me get this straight, it's perfectly OK to kill people with drones as long as they're not American citizens?

Yes

And yes American citizens abroad as well.

http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2014/mar/19/kesha-rogers/four-us-citizens-killed-obama-drone-strikes-3-were/ [politifact.com]
http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/18019-federal-court-drone-killing-of-u-s-citizens-is-constitutional [thenewamerican.com]

... well, as long as you are on a terror watch-list which automatically removes your rights or aren't the "intended" target.

Re:Obligatory (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46808137)

It'd certainly be a good border security method against Mexicans. In fact, they could start by just targetting drug runners and practically solve the drug problem overnight. Drug dealers cost America more money and kill more americans than terrorism by about 100000x

Re:Obligatory (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 5 months ago | (#46808209)

It'd certainly be a good border security method against Mexicans. In fact, they could start by just targetting drug runners and practically solve the drug problem overnight. Drug dealers cost America more money and kill more americans than terrorism by about 100000x

When did drug smuggling become a capital crime?
And when did suspicion (probable or not) of capital crime put aside the requirement for due process?

Re:Obligatory (1, Offtopic)

TheCarp (96830) | about 5 months ago | (#46808339)

Bullshit. The so-called "drug problem" is 99% caused by prohibition itself. Prohibition has consistently failed to even influence overall addiction rates; much less drop them. It has consistently created perverse markets for low quality unsafe manufacture. It CREATED the problem of meth labs, and thus created the situation where we have half the people in burn units around the country in there for cooking meth. You asshole prohibitionists did that...its on your head.

Never mind that the next 3 major drugs of abuse combined don't have HALF the users of fucking pot...one of the most innocuous drugs ever, safer than alcohol. But I know you prohibitions are the kind of scum who lament that we gave up on that crudade too. So what if it cost lives as long as they are lives you can discount for being users and addicts.

Re:Obligatory (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 5 months ago | (#46808505)

More importantly, it infringes upon people's individual liberties. "Land of the free and the home of the brave" my ass.

Re:Obligatory (4, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | about 5 months ago | (#46808271)

So let me get this straight, it's perfectly OK to kill people with drones as long as they're not American citizens?

It should be the other way around. A country should only be permitted to kill its own citizens, not citizens of other countries.
The former is acceptable, given the citizens in question are part of the electorate who sanctioned the laws and government, giving them powers over their lives.
The latter is an act of war and trespasses on the sovereignty of other countries and its citizens.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808705)

What about children, felons, and those who are not old enough to have a) voted and/or b) had their elected representatives in office for long enough to change the laws. That is of course operating under the assumption that we did vote to have our citizens subject to execution at random, which we didn't.

It is ok to kill outside of a citizenry BECAUSE of the act of war and trespass. In other words a citizen can only look to his government for protection. If you attack another government's citizens then its that government's responsibility to protect them (if they think it is a prudent decision and the citizen isn't an idiot). If your government attacks you, you have no options but to abandon your citizenship and you still have no protection.

There is a huge difference between a government being able to legally to kill their own citizens without due process and a government being able to "legally" (term doesn't matter) being able to kill the citizens of another nation. The latter government can respond with force, the backing of other nations, etc, regardless of "legality". In the former situation the citizens must suck it up and take it.... its legal and anyone who disagrees is next.

Re:Obligatory (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46808361)

How is it different from killing them without drones?

What the fuck does a drone (just tool) have to do with it other than its a new reason to be uppity?

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808497)

A drone obeys orders. I human could possibly decide following the orders is wrong and not do them, or tell others what he did. Oh sorry, the drone malfunctioned, crashed and exploded, there is no information available on what happened.

Re:Obligatory (1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 5 months ago | (#46808371)

I had the same thought. It feels good to be so privileged but it feels bad its at the expense of terrorists and their families

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808403)

Cue everybody missing the point. Killing innocent people is never OK and nationality has nothing to do with it.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808437)

it's perfectly OK to kill people with drones as long as they're not American citizens?

Whether or not it's "OK" isn't the topic of discussion. Court case is about whether what's legal. And it's about citizens, not non-citizens.

It's a relatively simple issue, compared to the complicated one that you're bringing up. And despite its apparently simplicity, people are arguing over it. Thus, your question is totally something we're not prepared for. Some other time, maybe.

Secret Laws? (4, Interesting)

Anna Merikin (529843) | about 5 months ago | (#46808021)

I am -- and the court seemed -- appalled at the idea that "secret laws" can apply in a constitutional republic.

I doubt SCOTUS will touch this, as they tend to kick the can down the road on big issues like this, which, of course, will let it stand.

Re:Secret Laws? (5, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 5 months ago | (#46808485)

Who says we're a Constitutional Republic any longer?

Secret Laws, Secret Warrants, Secret Detention and Secret Courts have been the norm since the Patriot Act, which was signed when we lost the War on Terror in 2001, by submitting to the terrorists and renouncing our freedoms in exchange for "Homeland Security".

And we love it. Notice how many TV shows are about Law Enforcement these days?

There's a broader question to be addressed here... (4, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46808037)

Since when is it permissible for any government to employ military force against its own (civilian) citizens? I'm pretty sure that armed (combat) drones are military technology.

Re:There's a broader question to be addressed here (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 5 months ago | (#46808109)

Since when is it permissible for any government to employ military force against its own (civilian) citizens?

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them

Re:There's a broader question to be addressed here (2)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46808193)

The act of treason arguably means the convicted is an enemy combatant.

Note that "convicted" doesn't mean "we know" - it means there was a trial of some sort, with rights preserved and arguments presented before sentence is carried out.

Re:There's a broader question to be addressed here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808155)

Since when is it permissible for any government of the United States to employ military force against its own (civilian) citizens? I'm pretty sure that armed (combat) drones are military technology.
fixed that for you.

Re:There's a broader question to be addressed here (1)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46808343)

No, since when is it permissible for any government to employ military force against its own (civilian) citizens? Unless you're saying it's okay for other nations, but not for the US.

I did say it was a broader question.

Re:There's a broader question to be addressed here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808179)

Since they've got the guns, and you don't. That means they can do whatever they want. All of Amerikan history is the task of keeping that knowledge from the proles. Most of you still don't seem to get it.

Re:There's a broader question to be addressed here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808321)

the law that prevented using the military inside the US was repealed under the Bush administration.

Re:There's a broader question to be addressed here (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 5 months ago | (#46808385)

"Military (force|technology)" is an arbitrary distinction. "law enforcement" agencies of all sorts, national and local, use all sorts of technologies. As far as i have heard there is no legal distinction between a military and non-military technology. For example. The proliferation of violent commando raids against non-violent suspects.

its really rather simple. (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 months ago | (#46808099)

its easier to simply do something and say you're sorry later than to ask for permission or follow the rules. We've locked up japanese americans during the second world war for nothing more than being japanese. We've tortured and detained without trial in secret military prisons the nationals of other countries in which we've declared a war upon something so ephemeral as 'terror.' We shackled and enslaved thousands of africans throughout our history in direct defiance of the charter that all men are created equal. We exterminated more native americans than hitler killed jews, an entire race of natives, just because we could. We branded countless celebrities communist, forever obliterating both their good name and their gainful employment.

in short, this administration as every one before it will invoke the same rhetoric to assert the privilege of spying on, and murdering, american citizens. that to think otherwise is unpatriotic, that to question it at all is tantamount to unamericanism. "Because fuck you, thats why."

Not just US. (2)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46808177)

I don't know of any national entity anywhere on Earth (now or historically) which has obeyed its own rules. And I happen to love my country, the USA.

We're not really better, I guess. Just different.

Re:Not just US. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808273)

We're not really better, I guess. Just different.

In fact, you're well on your way to being far far worse.

Because you justify what you do as OK, and somehow different when other countries to it.

The hypocrisy of America is become pretty brazen. You claim to support one set of principles, but actively work to undermine those principles around the world.

You feel self entitled to do these things, and think the rest of the world should accept it because America is awesome.

To the rest of the world, the US is rapidly becoming like a rabid dog roaming around the neighborhood.

Xenophobic, whiny bitches, who work to undermine science, reason, and facts. Your propaganda machine is in full swing, and your citizens have been kept ill informed and in the dark.

You're a fucking joke.

Easy there, A/C. (2)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46808317)

You do your beliefs ill service by rabidly posting invective. 'Speak' more calmly - less people may hear you, but more will listen.

Re:Easy there, A/C. (2)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 5 months ago | (#46808543)

People who would ignore the validity of someone's arguments because they don't like how they worded it are idiots who aren't worth having on your side, anyway.

Re:its really rather simple. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808293)

its easier to simply do something and say you're sorry later than to ask for permission or follow the rules. We've locked up japanese americans during the second world war for nothing more than being japanese. We've tortured and detained without trial in secret military prisons the nationals of other countries in which we've declared a war upon something so ephemeral as 'terror.' We shackled and enslaved thousands of africans throughout our history in direct defiance of the charter that all men are created equal. We exterminated more native americans than hitler killed jews, an entire race of natives, just because we could. We branded countless celebrities communist, forever obliterating both their good name and their gainful employment.

in short, this administration as every one before it will invoke the same rhetoric to assert the privilege of spying on, and murdering, american citizens. that to think otherwise is unpatriotic, that to question it at all is tantamount to unamericanism. "Because fuck you, thats why."

No. This administration is WORSE.

They seem to actually believe their own rhetoric.

Reagan in Iran-Contra - where they were bending and breaking laws trying to free Americans held hostage in Lebanon? North and Poindexter fall on their swords, Reagan uttered a sheepish, "Mistakes were made." Never did I get the impression they actually believed the crap they were saying. Fast and Furious - where Obama was running guns to Mexican drug lords (WTF for??!? No one knows...), we wind up with Holder held in contempt of Congress and "the most transparent administration in history" totally stonewalling like nothing happened. And I get the impression that the derps working for Obama actually believe the tripe they spew.. Same with the IRS targeting Tea Party groups - we have emails linking senior IRS leadership to the actions, and again, total stonewalling by True Believers.

Hell, look at Bill Clinton - the damn reason Lewinsky didn't get him impeached for perjury is because everyone knew Clinton was a liar about cheating on Hillary and everyone knew Clinton knew he was a liar about it - and they voted him into office anyway.

But Obama? He seems to really think he's the best at everything he tries. Hell - he's SAID that. He's a better speechwriter than his speechwriters: [politico.com]

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

All Obama, All the time (1, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | about 5 months ago | (#46808105)

The funny thing is that this is one of the two things that Obama can't blame Bush for, the other one being ObamaCare. So it'll be interesting to see what happens when the administration loses.

Re:All Obama, All the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808151)

The funny thing is that this is one of the two things that Obama can't blame Bush for, the other one being ObamaCare. So it'll be interesting to see what happens when the administration loses.

Wanna bet?

I thought there were rules about this already? (2)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46808149)

Governments are generally forbidden (by who, I don't know) from employing military force against their own citizens, as well as against civilian populations.

Nobody (including US) seems to obey that rule, however . . .

Re:I thought there were rules about this already? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46808399)

They aren't forbidden, its just a bad idea, it turns the country against its military and the members of the military generally are going to question attacking their dads, mothers, brothers and sisters.

Once the military starts acting as a police force, countries fall.

Re:I thought there were rules about this already? (3, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 5 months ago | (#46808647)

If there citizens are required to be afforded due process by constitution and can not be shown to receive such, it's forbidden. The actual question is how far they can/will go before there's enough push back to either make them decide to stop or face repercussions. All of this secrecy nonsense is simply meant to avoid some of the push back by implying there is legitimacy. So long as that strategy keeps working nothing is going to change.

Re:I thought there were rules about this already? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808667)

there/their. Sorry /. pedants, was up all night with a sick child. Who of course I told, "it'll be alright, their their" ;)

Re:I thought there were rules about this already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46808591)

Posse Comitatus Act. I'm not sure what other countries have a similar law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act

I'm sure they can "order" it all they want... (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 5 months ago | (#46808165)

That doesn't mean that it will actually happen though.

Booo, America sucks (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46808171)

Oh wait, that's right, in China you can deploy the military against anyone you want and kill someone for a blog post and in North Korea, they can kill you for absolutely any reason and in most Middle East countries it's very similar and um...yeah, so everywhere else is as or more fucked up than the US.

Re:Booo, America sucks (4, Insightful)

qbast (1265706) | about 5 months ago | (#46808257)

Bravo! USA is finally taking its well deserved place among countries like China and North Korea.

Re:Booo, America sucks (3, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | about 5 months ago | (#46808259)

Really, that's your ad campaign? "USA: It's not as bad as China or North Korea?"

You're just the spiritual successor to Steve Rogers there, aintcha?

Re:Booo, America sucks (2)

Wahakalaka (1323747) | about 5 months ago | (#46808409)

What kind of rationalization is that? So as long as we're one step ahead of North Korea, it doesn't matter? Land of the not-quite-as-repressive-as-China? =\

"Johnny did it first." (1)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46808449)

Didn't work with my parents, either.

I'll consider it a personal favor... (2)

Trashcan Romeo (2675341) | about 5 months ago | (#46808425)

... if you Democrats and you Republicans will, just this once, stop trying to frame this massive criminality as something that Those Awful Others are chiefly to blame for. On this matter - as in all matters of true importance to the Empire - the two wings of the Money Party are in complete, intimate, and profound agreement.

My Guesss on the Administration's Answer (2, Insightful)

GlennC (96879) | about 5 months ago | (#46808445)

If I had to venture a guess, the Obama administration would say, "We did it because we can. Who's going to stop us?"

I am confused on this issue (2)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 5 months ago | (#46808469)

I am confused on this issue. I'm not sure I even understand the question. Here is my thinking, so please comment:

Suppose the US was at war with Country X. Men with guns attacked a US military base in Country X. The US troops fire back, killing the forces of Country X. But aha! One of the enemy was actually a US citizen! So does that mean the US troops cannot shoot at that one person?

Suppose the US was at war with Country X. Country X had terrorists bombing buildings in Country X. The US send drones to shoot at the men who have been bombing buildings. But aha! One of the bombers was actually a US citizen! So does that mean the US troops cannot send drones to shoot at that one bomber?

I'm unclear why the citizenship of the person has anything to do with the military action used against them. I am also unclear why the method used to fire upon the person changes anything either. Would it make a difference if the person was a US citizen because they were born here but left 2 days after birth? What if they were a naturalized citizen who was a resident for more than 7 years?

Why is it okay to target non-US citizens with drones, but not US citizens? Why is it okay to shoot them, but not with drones?

Re:I am confused on this issue (5, Insightful)

jittles (1613415) | about 5 months ago | (#46808603)

Well, in one case specifically the US was targeting a US Citizen who was overseas and supposedly involved in terror campaigns. He had no trial, even in absentia, which convicted him of the crime. The administration just decided it was okay to find him, launch a Hellfire missile at the vehicle he was in, and end the problem for good. It's entirely different if you find out ex post facto that one of the participants was a US citizen.

Re:I am confused on this issue (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 5 months ago | (#46808665)

Most of the commenters are ignoring the ambiguity of anti-terrorist operations when American citizens might be involved. Say, it's 1999 and Osama Bin Laden is spotted in an Al Qaeda camp sitting at his workbench building IEDs. Most Americans would scream for a drone strike.

Now, what if Joe Smith from Arkansas is sitting right next to OBL building IEDs? Now, lose OBL and it's just Joe the Terrorist from Arkansas in an Al Qaeda camp? How does the law apply? Most Americans seem perfectly fine with the idea of hitting terrorist organizations in whatever country supports them.

I have no clue what the answer is because I can see all kinds of loopholes where permissive laws could be abused.

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