Last month, NBC News uncovered a confidential 16-page Justice Department memo that concluded the US government may execute a drone strike on an American citizen it believes to be a “senior operational leader” of al-Qaeda or “an associated force.” The Obama Administration defended the use of drones to kill Americans thought to be working with terrorists. “These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
The question is not if law enforcement can use lethal force to take-out dangerous criminals. They can and should be able to do so—and can now, under the proper circumstances. But, today, in the USA, law-enforcement can’t just ambush anyone who is not an immediate threat—and they shouldn’t be able to do so.
Before officials can even tap your phone they need an order from a court; there must be at least some reason to think that it’s in the public’s interest to do so. Now the White House says that killing an American citizen who is in the United States (not overseas in some terrorist camp or on a terrorist raid) can be done without any review of any sort. That’s just plain wrong. In this situation, anyone the White House “feels” is a terrorist is one—and they need check with no one.
Neither the nominee to head the CIA nor the US Attorney General would answer the question about any review before drones are used to kill Americans in America. I salute Senator Rand Paul for standing up to this—and I wonder why he wasn’t joined by every single member of Congress.
As I’ve discussed before, our Army’s Command and General Staff School has been running planning exercises for years where our military must assist local law enforcement working against terrorists—who are members of a Tea Party group.
Then, the Counter Terrorism Center at West Point is training our cadets and encouraging our soldiers to beware of potential terrorists, naming such groups as pro-life, pro-gun, anti-tax, and conservative Christians.
Well, I’m at least affiliated with all the above mentioned groups that the US Government is calling terrorist—none of which is Islamist (the world’s real terrorists). So, I am worried that my government will call this retired US Army officer a terrorist, and I’m looking for some people who will run for office and stand up for our country. Patriotic Americans may well be about to come under attack..