I seem to be, if not a lone wolf, a pretty damned lonely wolf in my protestations about American drone strikes murdering alleged terrorists. To me there is a fundamental flaw in just about all the arguments currently being presented, even those joining me in objecting to them.
What is this flaw? Well it is the mistaken notion that somehow terrorist acts…which are nothing more than regular criminal acts of a more specialized nature…have been relegated to a category of misconduct that seemingly permits all manner of counter-behavior that would most definitely be deemed unconstitutional if utilized against…say…serial killers or, in a better analogy, against potential mass slaughterers on the order of the late unlamented Adam Lanza.
Note this passage from a story today about some blowback regarding the release of memos outlining the administration’s position.
Legal experts expressed grave reservations Tuesday about an Obama administration memo concluding that the United States can order the killing of American citizens believed to be affiliated with al-Qaida — with one saying the White House was acting as “judge, jury and executioner.” http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/05/16855539-judge-jury-and-executioner-legal-experts-fear-implications-of-white-house-drone-memo?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=1
That is if these “terrorists” residing in foreign countries are merely assumed to be entertaining notions of plots to use “terror” to kill Americans anywhere, the President, in effect, can sign their death warrant and order a drone strike to take them out.
That is the equivalent to the government learning or suspecting that Adam Lanza had a desire to carry out a suicide attack against first graders so while walking down the street in Newtown, Connecticut..unarmed and nowhere near Sandy Hook Elementary School…a drone is sent to assassinate him before he can act.
No charges, no arrest, no indictment, no trial, no verdict, no sentence
JUST A COLD-BLOODED MURDER!
I get tired of saying this but the 9/11 attacks differed from the WTC bombing, Weatherman bombings, the Unabomber, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Puerto Rican Nationalist shootings in Congress, the SLA, ad infinitum only in method and number of victims.
THEY WERE CRIMINAL ACTS! All their predecessors were treated as criminals in our justice system and, if captured alive, were afforded all the rights of any criminal charged with any crime be it murder or grand larceny.
I cannot argue with those who maintain the impracticality of arresting these criminals in foreign lands and returning them to the U.S. for criminal proceedings. But that happens frequently with run-of-the-mill murderers and..to my knowledge…no one has ever suggested (seriously) that we just find a way to execute them in their place of exile.
No point of discussion on drone attacks should be contemplated until this fundamental flaw is addressed.