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Should Drone Attacks Be Allowed on American Citizens Overseas Under Certain Circumstances?

Even if they have not been convicted of anything in a court of law but are considered to be terrorists or enemy combatants?

A memo from the Justice Department has surfaced showing that drone strikes can be used against a wider range of threats, with less evidence, even if it involves American citizens overseas, the Huffington Post reports. This information has prompted bipartisan calls from Congress to limit America’s authority to do so.

The drone program has stepped up in recent years, and attacks include the deaths of three American citizens in Yemen last year. According to the Huffington Post, those drone strikes killed Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old-son and Samir Khan. Al-Awlaki was linked to the planning and execution of several attacks targeting U.S. and Western interests and his son was killed in a separate strike on a suspected al-Qaida den.

Not everyone, however, believes these actions are warranted.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to hold hearings on U.S. drone policy, the Huffington Post reports. A group of 11 Democratic and Republican senators have asked that President Barack Obama release classified documents justifying when such measures can be used to kill American citizens abroad.

Without those documents, it's impossible for Congress and the public to decide "whether this authority has been properly defined, and whether the president's power to deliberately kill Americans is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguards," the senators wrote.

U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) said it is probably the time to take it “a serious look at how we make the decisions in government to take out, kill, eliminate, whatever word you want to use, not just American citizens but other citizens as well."

All this follows a continued outcry against the previous administration for using enhanced interrogation tactics.

Do you think a suspect terrorist who operates from bases abroad, even if he or she is an American citizen, shouldn't be excluded from a possible drone strike? And does it matter if that target has not had "due process" as defined by American law?

Good Grief Y'all February 08, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Thank you.
Bluedobee February 08, 2013 at 02:02 PM
It's amazing how people can turn 180 degrees. I remember after 9-11 and the capture of terrorists that were sent to Guatanamo Bay, and liberals demanding that they have the "right" to due process under our criminal justice system, even though they were enemy combatants from a war and weren't American citizens. Here that....these people were NON-AMERICAN citizens and we were giving them the same protection under the Constitution as we would to American Citizens. But now....it's OK to deny an American citizen their Constitutional rights simply based on the fact that the President "said so". Now that's messed up...... That's screwed up!
Jared Kline February 08, 2013 at 03:10 PM
We have met the enemy, and he is us. Our founding fathers established for us a limited government, if we could keep it. "We the People" have grown so fat, dumb, lazy, and timorous that we let an elite in a distant national capitol do as they please, even though in principle and on paper we put them there. The only limit I see remaining for them is technology, and the drone genie is out of the bottle. One less technical obstacle to total governmental visibility and total control over your lives. It was used effectively against the enemy, and because it was effective against them it will be effective against the entire civilian population. After all, how can you know where the terrorists are hiding unless you can see everywhere? And all of us will accept it, even if all of us do not like it and some of us even ineffectually complain. They have it, we paid for it, and we will not be able to control it. Welcome to the present. Don't expect a better future, and certainly do not expect any privacy.
Tammy Osier March 07, 2013 at 01:14 AM
There is a filibuster going on as we speak on this subject. Senators Cruz and Paul are grilling Holder concerning the constitutionality of striking someone here in the United States. Many didn't have a problem with doing it overseas, but had doubts that having the rules loosen up could mean that we would strike someone here without due process - and here we are getting foggy on what constitutes an actice threat. Paul said, “I have allowed the president to pick his appointees, but I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution,” he said. “I cannot sit at my desk quietly and let the president say he will kill Americans on American soil who are not actively attacking the country.” Paul also recalled Obama’s previous criticism of the Bush administration’s prosecution of the war on terrorism, arguing that if Obama were still in the Senate, he would likely be supporting the effort. “It amazes and disappoints me how much he has changed, " Paul said.
Ed Mahoney March 11, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Drones be used to kill Americains overseas or anywhere else UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. >The answer is NO.< The phrase UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES leaves a lot of questionable possibilities. If Obama or any other Commander-In-Chief has a particular distaste for some American would that qualify for CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES? Until these CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES are fully defined and accepted by THE PEOPLE & CONGRESS the is NO WAY this ruling should be allowed to pass.

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