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.