Reprinted from an inside source.
“Imminence” used to mean something in military terms: namely, that an adversary had begun preparations for an assault. In order to justify his drone strikes on American citizens, President Obama redefined that concept to exclude any actual adversary attack.
That’s the heart of the Justice Department’s newly leaked white paper, first reported by NBC News, explaining why a “broader concept of imminence” (.pdf) trumps traditional Constitutional protections American citizens enjoy from being killed by their government without due process. It’s an especially striking claim when considering that the actual number of American citizens who are “senior operational leader[s] of al-Qaida or its associated forces” is vanishingly small. As much as Obama talks about rejecting the concept of “perpetual war” he’s providing, and institutionalizing, a blueprint for it.
“This is a profoundly disturbing document, and it’s hard to believe that it was produced in a democracy built on a system of checks and balances. It summarizes in cold legal terms a stunning overreach of executive authority – the claimed power to declare Americans a threat and kill them far from a recognized battlefield and without any judicial involvement before or after the fact.” ~ Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project
How is Obama’s Targeted Killing Program Permissible Under International Law?
“One of the most dangerous aspects of the white paper is the claim that ‘there exists no appropriate judicial forum to evaluate these constitutional considerations’ either before or after a killing,” continued Kebriaei. “The heart of our lawsuit is a demand for administration officials to account for these killings in a court of law.”
Greenwald: “The most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice.”
CIA Operating Drone Base In Saudi Arabia, US Media Reveal
The New York Times published its report on Tuesday night, ending an “informal arrangement” among several news organisations not to disclose the location of the base.
The Obama administration’s drone doctrine has been shrouded in secrecy
News organisations had been complying with a request from Obama administration officials, who said it might undermine operations and collaboration with Saudi Arabia, the Washington Post reported.
“The United States prides itself on being a leader in the field of human rights, and now we have courts around the world saying that the United States is a torturer,” Amrit Singh, who authored the report, told NBC News. “Those kinds of findings really undermine the United States’ ability to advocate for human rights around the world.”