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Should Drone Attacks Be Allowed on American Citizens Overseas Under Certain Circumstances?

Even if they have not been convicted of anything in a court of law but are considered to be terrorists or enemy combatants?

A memo from the Justice Department has surfaced showing that drone strikes can be used against a wider range of threats, with less evidence, even if it involves American citizens overseas, the Huffington Post reports. This information has prompted bipartisan calls from Congress to limit America’s authority to do so.

The drone program has stepped up in recent years, and attacks include the deaths of three American citizens in Yemen last year. According to the Huffington Post, those drone strikes killed Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old-son and Samir Khan. Al-Awlaki was linked to the planning and execution of several attacks targeting U.S. and Western interests and his son was killed in a separate strike on a suspected al-Qaida den.

Not everyone, however, believes these actions are warranted.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to hold hearings on U.S. drone policy, the Huffington Post reports. A group of 11 Democratic and Republican senators have asked that President Barack Obama release classified documents justifying when such measures can be used to kill American citizens abroad.

Without those documents, it's impossible for Congress and the public to decide "whether this authority has been properly defined, and whether the president's power to deliberately kill Americans is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguards," the senators wrote.

U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) said it is probably the time to take it “a serious look at how we make the decisions in government to take out, kill, eliminate, whatever word you want to use, not just American citizens but other citizens as well."

All this follows a continued outcry against the previous administration for using enhanced interrogation tactics.

Do you think a suspect terrorist who operates from bases abroad, even if he or she is an American citizen, shouldn't be excluded from a possible drone strike? And does it matter if that target has not had "due process" as defined by American law?

PTwiss February 07, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Don't you see the coincidence of Increased Gun Control (large cap magazines and black guns) and now killing Americans with a button from a Command center... The excuse now is "no reason for the public to have scary black guns and its some radical Muslim" What's next? Writing in opposition on some blog...
Crystal Huskey (Editor) February 07, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Did anyone else watch Rise of the Drones on PBS?
Jared Kline February 07, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Who is "suspected of being a terrorist"? Anyone can fit the description of a "suspect." I am against this whole idea. America was not a police state when I woke up this morning, or at least I did not think that it was.
Good Grief Y'all February 07, 2013 at 09:02 PM
If the President's policy didn't include use of drones, there would be controversy about that. Just more propaganda-produced paranoia.
Good Grief Y'all February 07, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Not "killing Americans" killing suspected terrorists, enemies of peace based on intelligence agency activity and reports - the press is just making it sound like any American, to create more sensational headlines. Seems to be working around here. Guess it would be better to put troops on the ground to blow up countries suspected of harboring these monsters. That would be okay - putting our own people in harm's way so they can eyeball the enemy?
Harnett Hawkdriver February 07, 2013 at 09:16 PM
At the point of commiting these crimes they should no longer be considered Americans. Enemy combatants is a more accurate term. Which places there status as targeted
Good Grief Y'all February 07, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Personal arsenals would be no match for the U.S. military, drones or not. You'll get to keep and buy more of any type of gun and ammo you or any crazed madman may want. Not enough lawmakers in Congress have the guts to get the killing machines off the market. They won't jeopardize their Congressional elections and miss out on lifelong "public service".
Chuck Cimarik February 07, 2013 at 09:34 PM
What about "Due Process" and "Innocent until proven guilty". Are you saying that as soon as an American citizen travels abroad and is suspected of terrorism they no longer are afforded the protections of the US Constitution? If so; when will the act of traveling abroad no longer matter? I would suggest that we don't be so quick to throw away the Civil Liberties and protections afforded by the Constitution....
Good Grief Y'all February 07, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Suddenly strange bedfellows - Republicans or "conservatives" and the ACLU.
flyinby February 07, 2013 at 10:27 PM
constantly missing from the arguments re drone killings and targeting without trial or due process is this disgusting, insane administration's re-definition of "terrorist": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0kiSGKbljs&feature=related Veterans quietly forced into mental hospitals http://www.examiner.com/article/veterans-quietly-forced-into-mental-hospitals?CID=examiner_alerts_article Homeland Security Funded Study Lists People Reverent of Individual Liberty as Extreme Right-Wing Terrorists http://www.theblaze.com/stories/homeland-security-funded-study-lists-people-reverent-of-individual-liberty-as-extreme-right-wing-terrorists/ DHS Study (& training video produced): People "Reverent of Individual Liberty" may be "Extreme Right-Wing" Terrorists http://www.joemiller.us/2012/07/dhs-study-people-reverent-of-individual-liberty-may-be-extreme-right-wing-terrorists/ http://www.examiner.com/article/army-colonel-ignites-firestorm-with-article-on-crushing-a-tea-party-insurgency A retired U.S. Army colonel who now teaches modern warfare to soldiers at the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. has Obama Pulls Terror Training Manuals Referencing Islam http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/149042
flyinby February 07, 2013 at 10:32 PM
evidence abounds re pResident going around Congress and working to make Congress irrelevant, so that's no security blanket.with this admin.
Tammy Osier February 07, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Chuck C. - exactly. What kills me is that we've come to a place where terrorists have more constitutional rights than actual citizens. But then, we saw this coming and those who voted for this can't say anything when it gets worse. When we were actually smack in the middle of war, the left crucified President Bush for the Patriot act. Yet....now...
Tammy Osier February 07, 2013 at 10:59 PM
As an after thought....when the ACLU has a problem with it the far left is really out to sea. LOl Bludobe - good points.
Good Grief Y'all February 07, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Oh, goody, the TPers are out in force.
flyinby February 07, 2013 at 11:31 PM
yup, amazing, isn't it? Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window Official Blog of the ACLU http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/senators-demand-military-lock-american-citizens-battlefield-they-define-being I’m in Shock — ACLU Supports Chick-Fil-A! When mayors of major cities came out and said that they would deny a business license to Chick-Fil-A because of the beliefs of the president of the company http://godfatherpolitics.com/6363/im-in-shock-aclu-supports-chick-fil-a/#.UBWBfOoBIt8.facebook and on the other hand: ‎'The ACLU prevented Lanza's mother from institutionalizing him' A Connecticut mental health bill was recently defeated, because the ACLU said the bill would infringe on patients' privacy rights. That bill was defeated by the same vermin on the left who are trying to take your guns away. The people who have destroyed America are very much in charge of this government. The Supreme Court has a card-carrying member of the ACLU, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Obama administration is peopled by ACLU clones. And these are the people who are telling us to give up our right to defend ourselves." ~M.Savage ACLU Threatening NC General Assembly for saying Jesus Christ!! http://ncrenegade.com/editorial/news-observer-aclu-threatening-nc-general-assembly-for-saying-jesus-christ/
flyinby February 07, 2013 at 11:40 PM
"That’s No Angry Mob. That’s My Mom: Team Obama’s Assault on the Tea Party Talk Radio Americans" Michael Graham uses his wit and humor like a club to give the arrogant left the beatdown they deserve. at least we back up our well-thought out arguments with timeless documentation; we don't just spout off time-wasting unfounded, idle rantings and supposition. Who made that brilliant comment? What insightful American leader make that comment?
Good Grief Y'all February 08, 2013 at 12:10 AM
What Americans should really be worried about are the home-grown, anger- broadcast-fed terrorists on US soil. Like the crazy monster who shot the heroic bus driver in Alabama, grabbed a 5 yr. old, imprisoned him in an underground bunker for 7 days . . . the one who terrorized the neighbors including kids - threatening them with guns, beat a neighbor's dog to death with a pipe, and who was known to play anger radio constantly. Or the rogue former cop/military man in California now being hunted by LE after killing one cop, critically injuring another and killing the women's basketball coach and her fiance. All the paranoid anti-govt, anti-law enforcement broadcasting and blogging is breeding killers who hoard guns and terrorize their communities. This drone chatter is just another distraction from what's really wrong in America - hate. Hate talk and writing by Christians is particularly despicable.
Jason Hawke February 08, 2013 at 12:58 AM
So...what "Christians" out there are "hate talking" and "hate" writing there, chief? Give us some specific examples where these alleged "Christians" are doing so in the name of CHRIST (like say, radical Muslims do in the name of Muhammed). Go ahead, I'll wait....
Jason Hawke February 08, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Meanwhile in other news, Homeland Security has been buying millions upon millions of rounds of ammunition over the past several months. What, pray tell, do they know that we civilian citizens do not? Where is our media on this story? Can you IMAGINE the outrage if Bush were president and we had drones over the skies of America and millions of rounds of ammo? But nary a peep under Obama from all but his most ardent followers. It's stunning and amazing to watch how quickly people change their views on issues depending on when "their guy" is in the White House.
Good Grief Y'all February 08, 2013 at 01:06 AM
All you gotta do, is look at these Patch comment threads on any political hot button issue, and some that are not at all political for some local evidence, chief. Lots of evidence all over the news and internet. Be my guest - see and hear for yourself. It's plentiful, chief.
Jason Hawke February 08, 2013 at 01:38 AM
Yeah that's what I thought. Not only can you not give a S-P-E-C-I-F-I-C example of someone (again, to quote myself) 'some specific examples where these alleged "Christians" are doing so in the name of CHRIST', but apparently you can't even define "hate." Or can you at least take a wag at that?
Tammy Osier February 08, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Jason, the only people I can think of are skinheads (who claim to be) and the Westboro bunch. But there's not a single christian that I know that supports them. Not one. They are not christians, but do these things hiding behind the name of Christianity. But they are not christians - just say they are. Always judge by the fruit whether out there doing evil things in His name or writing on Patch. :) Jason, president Bush was crucified by the same bunch that is defending obama from doing something far worse. When Homeland security was created, we were in the middle of a war, and have far less reason to be doing any of it now. Hypocrisy at its best.
flyinby February 08, 2013 at 02:20 AM
"Hate" is completely opposite of what a Christian is. and there's "paranoid" ... and then there's willfully ignorant. disorganized, disconnected acts are obviously not the major threat. a certain # of people are psychologically challenged, will never understand common sense & resort to name-calling to avoid overt truths. we must focus on those who just haven't been getting the information now readily available to us all, especially those of us who have finally found the time to absorb it. it's up to us to help inform those who are just too busy to have discovered it &/or are public school products (like myself in the past). 3 things you (probably) don't know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgsrnmzxEUY well illustrates plan & progress country by country http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtgUURsUydk A 1400 Year Secret, Dr Bill Warner http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPwZ7MC3YPU and, coming from another angle, working just as hard for the prize: Open Thread – Grinding America Down 6 min synopsis http://www.therightscoop.com/open-thread-grinding-america-down/ looking at their own list here, you will recognize most all have steadily been being accomplished, culminating and accelerating at a breakneck pace in the past few years: http://beingamotherwhoknows.blogspot.com/2011/01/marxism.html Changing a Republic into a Monarchy http://www.constitution.org/cmt/freneau/republic2monarchy.htm ignore at risk of all our children.
Glen February 08, 2013 at 11:39 AM
If you LEAVE the country and adopt ANOTHER'S whose philosophy is to destroy the U.S. you relinquish your civil liberties. How hard is that to figure out or how can you even defend it? This has been generalized given people the impression that its any American? Americans aren't going to Afghanistan, Somalia, and or Iraq to vacation at the Hilton......they are going to join a groups whose sworn enemy is the U.S. throw your rights out the window.
Good Grief Y'all February 08, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Jason, if I give you local specifics I would be accused of "whining" and "nannie, nannie boo boo" taunting :D I don't want to be in violation of Patch TOS. Look at Fox channel with a pretend Dem eye, listen to Limbaugh, Boortz, Cain, Preacher Mike Huckabee, et al with a Dem ear. The hate is there, brother. Wishing over half the US population didn't exist - that's pretty hateful. Judging someone else's faith and trying to humiliate them on a public forum - local hate. That's also Bible-thumping hypocrisy. Beyond that, I'm not getting into another bad exchange with you or anyone else. Fun though it may be, it's too time consuming.
Good Grief Y'all February 08, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Thank you.
Bluedobee February 08, 2013 at 02:02 PM
It's amazing how people can turn 180 degrees. I remember after 9-11 and the capture of terrorists that were sent to Guatanamo Bay, and liberals demanding that they have the "right" to due process under our criminal justice system, even though they were enemy combatants from a war and weren't American citizens. Here that....these people were NON-AMERICAN citizens and we were giving them the same protection under the Constitution as we would to American Citizens. But now....it's OK to deny an American citizen their Constitutional rights simply based on the fact that the President "said so". Now that's messed up...... That's screwed up!
Jared Kline February 08, 2013 at 03:10 PM
We have met the enemy, and he is us. Our founding fathers established for us a limited government, if we could keep it. "We the People" have grown so fat, dumb, lazy, and timorous that we let an elite in a distant national capitol do as they please, even though in principle and on paper we put them there. The only limit I see remaining for them is technology, and the drone genie is out of the bottle. One less technical obstacle to total governmental visibility and total control over your lives. It was used effectively against the enemy, and because it was effective against them it will be effective against the entire civilian population. After all, how can you know where the terrorists are hiding unless you can see everywhere? And all of us will accept it, even if all of us do not like it and some of us even ineffectually complain. They have it, we paid for it, and we will not be able to control it. Welcome to the present. Don't expect a better future, and certainly do not expect any privacy.
Tammy Osier March 07, 2013 at 01:14 AM
There is a filibuster going on as we speak on this subject. Senators Cruz and Paul are grilling Holder concerning the constitutionality of striking someone here in the United States. Many didn't have a problem with doing it overseas, but had doubts that having the rules loosen up could mean that we would strike someone here without due process - and here we are getting foggy on what constitutes an actice threat. Paul said, “I have allowed the president to pick his appointees, but I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution,” he said. “I cannot sit at my desk quietly and let the president say he will kill Americans on American soil who are not actively attacking the country.” Paul also recalled Obama’s previous criticism of the Bush administration’s prosecution of the war on terrorism, arguing that if Obama were still in the Senate, he would likely be supporting the effort. “It amazes and disappoints me how much he has changed, " Paul said.
Ed Mahoney March 11, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Drones be used to kill Americains overseas or anywhere else UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. >The answer is NO.< The phrase UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES leaves a lot of questionable possibilities. If Obama or any other Commander-In-Chief has a particular distaste for some American would that qualify for CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES? Until these CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES are fully defined and accepted by THE PEOPLE & CONGRESS the is NO WAY this ruling should be allowed to pass.

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