Obama Personally Approves Ex-Judicial Killings

Via Adam Serwer at MoJo:

In an interview with CBS 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta revealed more about the secret process the Obama administration uses to kill American citizens suspected of terrorism without trial. According to Panetta, the president himself approves the decision based on recommendations from top national security officials.

“[The] President of the United States, obviously reviews these cases, reviews the legal justification and in the end says, go or no go,” Panetta said.

“So it’s the requirement of the administration under the current legal understanding is that the president has to make that declaration, not you?” Pelley asked. Panetta replied, “That is correct.”

But you and I are not allowed to know the legal justification or process for putting American citizens on a kill list without trial, it’s a national secret. So all we’re left with is hoping that Obama spends more time on each case than Dubya or Perry ever did in Texas death sentence appeals where there’d already been a trial.

Comforting…

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Charles Manson never actually killed anyone and he was saving us from Satan’s spawn…

    PS. Perhaps this is inappropriate. Manson was (is) one crazy, sick dude. But the size and scope of his crimes pale in comparison to those of recent American presidents, the current manifestation included.

    I did inhale.

  • Obama admits Pakistan drone attacks

    US president says use of drones is “kept on very tight leash” in rare acknowledgement of controversial missile strikes.

    Al Jazeera, January 31

    US President Barack Obama has confirmed that unmanned drones have regularly struck Pakistan’s tribal areas in his government’s efforts to dismantle what it alleges are al-Qaeda sanctuaries in the region.

    Obama’s rare public acknowledgement of the US drone programme in Pakistan came on Monday during an hour-long online video chat with users of the Google+ social network.

    Obama said the strikes were a “targeted focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists”.

    The president said “a lot” of the strikes had targeted “al-Qaeda suspects who are up in very tough terrain” in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), along the border with Afghanistan, long believed to be a hub of activity for armed groups.

    “For us to be able to get them in another way would involve probably a lot more intrusive military action than the ones we’re already engaging in.”

    […]

    A spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry reiterated the government’s public protest in response to Obama’s comments.

    “Notwithstanding tactical advantages of drone strikes, we are of the firm view that these are unlawful, counterproductive and hence unacceptable,” Abdul Basit said.

    The New America Foundation, a think tank in Washington, says drone strikes in Pakistan have killed between 1,715 and 2,680 people in the past eight years.

    According to the AFP news agency, the number of missiles that struck the tribal region went down from 101 in 2010 to 64 in 2011.

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