Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Rule of Drone Law
Joe Scarborough has been on a weeklong rampage after NBC’s Michael Isikoff found a memo that authorized the president to target American civilians abroad if they pose an imminent threat to our country. The word imminent is not clearly worded, and the definition is left to those who can order a drone kill. It doesn’t even say if the president is limited to killing suspected citizens in the United States.
I don’t mind Joe Scarborough being upset by this, but he keeps saying that liberals were outraged when President George W. Bush used to enhance interrogation methods (torture); however, now they remain silent. He doubled down by saying that we owe John Woo, the man who wrote the memo that authorized torture, an apology because it pales in comparison to drone strikes on American citizens who are denied due process. Joe’s apples and oranges analogy doesn’t hold water, even though both are unconstitutional. Joe Scarborough is not known for his thorough investigation of the facts, but he only has the look in his own network. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, the New York Times, Chris Hayes and Katrina Vander Heuvel have been complaining about the drone strikes killing American citizens and innocent civilians, ever since Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son Samir Khan, were killed by a drone strike. Rachel challenged the president last night. Republicans like Joe Scarborough always play the victim card and will never admit that the invasion of Iraq was a blunder from the start to the end. He thinks that this memo Isikoff found is some sort of vindication for the use of torture by the previous administration.
I’m still deeply troubled that we are still holding some detainees indefinitely without giving them their day in court. We have a little over 50 detainees who are ready to be released because we could not find anything to them charge them with, but we can’t find a country to take them. I believe in our justice system, so I don’t see why we don’t try the remaining detainees in Federal courts, close Guantanamo Bay and send those who we find guilty to our super Max prisons. I don’t know what to do with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who plotted 9/11, because we tortured him, so any hopes of convicting him in civilian court is impossible, unless we throw out the constitution.
I’m delighted that Congress is looking to limit America’s authority to kill suspected terrorist and US Citizens. The Senate Foreign Relations will probably have a hearing, and they should insist that the administration let them see the classified Justice Department legal opinion justifying the drone strikes and especially those that target American citizens. I can see the justification for killing American citizens who are affiliated with groups who want to attack our country, but we still need to give them due process; whenever possible. I understand that Anwar al-Awlaki was always on the move, so we had to take him out at the first opportunity available. Congress needs to exercise its authority and uphold the rule of law and not use this occasion to make political points.
This the United States of America, a nation of laws, and not some third-world country that relies on memos as justification to circumvent our constitution. Upholding our laws and constitution does not weaken us; just the opposite. We can’t expect other countries to look up to us if we are doing the same things rogue nations do.