The Department of Justice has developed a white paper outlining the specific circumstances under which the United States can conduct a lethal drone strike against an American citizen, a copy of which was obtained Monday by NBC News.
The paper provides the first detailed look at the criteria the Obama administration uses to judge if it can legally kill American citizens traveling abroad without the benefit of due process.
Further: Here’s a long version from the left (Glen Greenwald). Throwaway line: ‘The NYT quoted a Bush intelligence official as saying “he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president”.’ Greenwald, who sure hated W, doesn’t challenge the assertion. Maybe killing Americans abroad isn’t any worse than killing foreigners – but inside the legal context it sure looks pretty bad.
What always gets me when I read these stories is reading about Awlaki’s 16 year old (American citizen) son. Not collateral damage with his father – he got a drone of his own.