Right Hooks

Court on Drone Strikes

Legal basis needed to kill citizens.

Apr. 22, 2014

When you kill American citizens in a drone strike, you should at least disclose the legal basis for doing so. That’s essentially what the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday, slapping the Obama administration for its use of drone strikes to kill terrorists who are U.S. citizens. Though the administration argues that the targeting should remain secret, the Court ruled, “After senior Government officials have assured the public that targeted killings are ‘lawful’ and that [Office of Legal Counsel] advice ‘establishes the legal boundaries within which we can operate,’ waiver of secrecy and privilege as to the legal analysis in the Memorandum has occurred.” The fundamental problem is that we have a commander in chief who can’t be trusted to uphold Rule of Law or maintain national security.

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