Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Who's Defending the Targeted Executions of Americans?

As regular readers know, the U.S. government's drone program isn't that controversial to me, except for the fact of the Obama administration's enormous moral bankruptcy and political hypocrisy. I would admit, however, that the killing of Awkaki's 16-year-old son is problematic. It seems to me that if the U.S. Supreme Court is willing to prohibit capital punishment for minors, then there needs to be something above and beyond the raising-arms-against-the-U.S. argument for such a targeted killing. And was the kid even himself a terrorist? Or he was unlucky enough to have a father who was alleged to be a terrorist?

In any case, if waterboarding was justification enough for progressives for the Bush/Cheney "regime" to face war crimes trials, then Obama/Bidens's targeted assassinations should be worth even more under international human rights law. I'm still reading around the horn on this, but with Brennan's hearings tomorrow the story's going to be prominently featured in the news for the next few days, at least. Meanwhile, a number of folks on the right are defending the president's prerogatives and justifiable national security measures. So, it's quite the assortment of backers and opponents of these due process-free killings of U.S. citizens.

The neocons at Commentary are defending the program, for example, Max Boot, "Obama Drone Memo is a Careful, Responsible Document"; Jonahthan Tobin, "Obama Is Hypocritical but Right on Drones"; and Peter Wehner, "Drone Strikes, Waterboarding, and Moral Preening."

Meanwhile, here's Nick Gillespie at Reason, "Do You Agree With White House that Drone Strikes are 'Legal,' 'Ethical,' and 'Wise'? You Shouldn't."