Jay Carney: Drone strikes constitutional, ethical, wise, and completely within the province of a Nobel Peace Prize winner
**Written by Doug Powers
At Tuesday’s press conference, Jay Carney was asked about this NBC story:
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.
Carney’s response is tailor made for quick filing under “The opposite of what he’d have said if Bush were president”:
But Carney said strikes against Americans overseas are sometimes “necessary to mitigate ongoing attacks.” The operations are “fully consistent with our Constitution,” he said.
“[The strikes] are legal, they are ethical and they are wise.”
That said, the White House is trying to distance themselves from their own Justice Department (my dog did a great impression of that earlier when he tried to outrun his tail).
Maybe it’s all part of a master plan to arm drones with ambiguity and carpet bomb our enemies with baffling mixed messages:
WH defends use of drones to kill Americans abroad suspected of terrorist activity, but still against use of waterboarding for interrogation.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 5, 2013
**Written by Doug Powers
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