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View Diary: "Drone Rule Book": It Doesn't Exist, Except on the New York Times' Front Page (115 comments)

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  •  Obama himself asked for the drone rules (1+ / 0-)
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    From the NYT...

    WASHINGTON — Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.


    Though publicly the administration presents a united front on the use of drones, behind the scenes there is longstanding tension. The Defense Department and the C.I.A. continue to press for greater latitude to carry out strikes; Justice Department and State Department officials, and the president’s counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, have argued for restraint, officials involved in the discussions say.


     The attempt to write a formal rule book for targeted killing began last summer after news reports on the drone program, started under President George W. Bush and expanded by Mr. Obama, revealed some details of the president’s role in the shifting procedures for compiling “kill lists” and approving strikes. Though national security officials insist that the process is meticulous and lawful, the president and top aides believe it should be institutionalized, a course of action that seemed particularly urgent when it appeared that Mitt Romney might win the presidency.

    “There was concern that the levers might no longer be in our hands,” said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity. With a continuing debate about the proper limits of drone strikes, Mr. Obama did not want to leave an “amorphous” program to his successor, the official said. The effort, which would have been rushed to completion by January had Mr. Romney won, will now be finished at a more leisurely pace, the official said.


    I think it's very positive that these rules are being codified, since it's hard in general to support more than a very limited and transparent use of drones. Since they've been in use since 2002, developed during the Bush years, one can only wonder what's happened with it then. Horrifying. I respect that the President wouldn't want the drone program to fall into other, more hawkish hands. To me, it sounds like this is his idea, to have more drone rules on the books.

    "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

    by mahakali overdrive on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:34:56 AM PST

    •  As for future Presidents changing the rules (0+ / 0-)

      How does anyone get around that?

      Honest question because I don't know the answer here.

      Is the point of an election not, in part, saying "I trust you to represent me, including to protect me"?

      I think that's why it was so hard to swallow the stuff Bush did; total frustration that there was no way to get around what he was doing.

      The UN checking in is a good step, I feel. Otherwise, have the rules not always been changed and is this not the very nature of war itself? I'm entirely anti-war. But if having to be strategic and the CIC, each one is subject essentially to their own laws, aren't they, without violating international laws?

      So I don't see how it's different here whatsoever. And I say this as someone definitely not in favor of drones.

      "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

      by mahakali overdrive on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:47:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know how Drones could land in more (0+ / 0-)

      "hawkish hands" than those of Obama,where there have been records set one year after another and it has been 'horrifying" for victims of over 300 strikes and over 2,500 deaths under Obama.
      I don't know of Bush ordering strikes on weddings, funerals, and on first responders but that has been method of operation for the Obama administration (from the CIA report).

      The result is that, for so many, it is genuinely inconceivable that a leader as noble, kind and wise as Barack Obama would abuse his assassination and detention powers. It isn't just rank partisan opportunism or privilege that leads them not to object to Obama's embrace of these radical powers and the dangerous theories that shield those powers from checks or scrutiny. It's that they sincerely admire him as a leader and a man so much that they believe in their heart (like Obama himself obviously believes) that due process, checks and transparency are not necessary when he wields these powers. Unlike when a GOP villain is empowered, Obama's Goodness and his wisdom are the only safeguards we need.

      Thus, when Obama orders someone killed, no due process is necessary and we don't need to see any evidence of their guilt; we can (and do) just assume that the targeted person is a Terrorist and deserves death because Obama has decreed this to be so. When Obama orders a person to remain indefinitely in a cage without any charges or any opportunity to contest the validity of the imprisonment, that's unobjectionable because the person must be a Terrorist or otherwise dangerous - or else Obama wouldn't order him imprisoned. We don't need proof, or disclosed evidence, or due process to determine the validity of these accusations; that it is Obama making these decisions is all the assurance we need because we trust him.
      Similar sentiments shaping the Bush era

      This mindset is so recognizable because it is also what drove Bush followers for years as they defended his seizures of unchecked authority and secrecy powers. Those who spent years arguing against the Bush/Cheney seizure of extremist powers always confronted this mentality at bottom, once the pseudo-intellectual justifications were debunked: George Bush is a Good man and a noble leader who can be trusted to exercise these powers in secret and with no checks, because he only wants to keep us safe and will only target the Terrorists.

      (emphasis mine)

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:32:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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