Memo backs U.S. using lethal force against Americans overseas
Anwar al-Awlaki died in a September 2011 drone strike in Yemen.
February 5th, 2013
10:18 AM ET

Memo backs U.S. using lethal force against Americans overseas

By Pam Benson

A Justice Department memo determined the U.S. government can use lethal force against an American citizen overseas if the person is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or one of its affiliates.

The paper provides insights into the Obama administration's policy of targeted killings carried out by the use of drone strikes against suspected terrorists. Several of those strikes have killed Americans, notably Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni American who had been connected to plots against the United States but never charged with a crime. Awlaki died in a drone attack in September 2011 in Yemen.

The 16-page white paper - titled "Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qaida or an Associated Force" - is a policy paper rather than an official legal document.

NBC News first reported on the contents of the memo, which was given to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees last June.  A congressional source verified the document's legitimacy to CNN.

WATCH: CNN's Christiane Amanpour interviews Anwar al-Awlaki's father 

The paper states that although U.S. citizens abroad retain their constitutional rights to due process, the U.S. government can use lethal force against a citizen under the following circumstances: "1) where an informed, high-level official of the U.S. government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; 2) where a capture operation would be infeasible - and where those conducting the operation continue to monitor whether capture becomes feasible; and 3) where such an operation would be conducted consistent with applicable law of war principles."

But the document also says the government is not required "to have clear evidence" that an attack against the United States will occur in the immediate future to determine that an imminent threat is posed by a U.S. citizen.

The memo cites both congressional authorization and judicial approval for the use of military force to counter the threat of terrorist attack by all individuals.

The Supreme Court has held that the military may constitutionally use force against a U.S. citizen who is a part of enemy forces.

The document dismisses arguments by commentators that the war against al Qaeda cannot extend outside of Afghanistan, and asserts, "the United States retains its authority to use force against al-Qaida and associated forces outside the area of active hostilities when it targets a senior operational leader of the enemy force who is actively engaged in planning operations to kill Americans."

The American Civil Liberties Union called the document "profoundly disturbing."

Hina Shamsi, the director of the ACLU's National Security Project, said, "It summarizes in cold legal terms a stunning overreach of executive authority, the claimed power to declare Americans a threat and kill them far from a recognized battlefield and without any judicial involvement before or after the fact."

Shamsi called on the Obama administration to release the 50-page legal memo on which the White Paper is based.

A bipartisan group of senators has also called for the administration to release its legal opinions on presidential authority.

In a letter to the president on Monday, the 11 senators said, "It is vitally important, however, for the Congress and the American public to have a full understanding of how the executive branch interprets the limits and boundaries of this authority so that Congress and the public can decide whether this authority has been properly defined and whether the president's power to deliberately kill American citizens is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguards."

The letter is signed by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, Mark Udall, D-Colorado, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, of the Intelligence Committee as well as Mike Lee, R-Utah; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon; Dick Durbin, D-Illinois; Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont; Tom Udall, D-New Mexico; Mark Begich, D-Alaska; and Al Franken, D-Minnesota.

The request comes just days before the confirmation hearing of John Brennan to become director of the CIA. Brennan, who has served as the president's top counterterrorism adviser, is considered to be behind the administration's dramatic rise in the use of targeted killings.

He is expected to be grilled on the policy during his hearing Thursday.

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Filed under: Anwar al-Awlaki • drones • Terrorism • Yemen
soundoff (476 Responses)
  1. Teddy

    why is this in question? what is the difference from Asama Bib Ladden or any other that has declared war in the name of Al Qaeda in a foreign hostile country, that makes it impossible to return him to america with out putting lives in danger, in reality for those that chose too forget its called WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE

    February 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      "wanted dead or alive" is a term often placed on a warrant that was issued by a court after a person swore under oath that the evidence available was enough to convict.

      There were lawyers, judges, D.A.s, and possibly even a Grand Jury that heard evidence, reviewed it, and decided that it was appropriate to bring the person in.

      All of this is called "due process".

      In the case of Anwar Al-Awlaki and his 16 year old CHILD, the only thing that happened was Obama signed an execution order.

      Notice the difference? Checks & Balances are there to protect YOU from the same thing should you ever do anything the current President doesn't like.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • NeilBK

      Hi Teddy,

      Do you remember several years ago when Valerie Plame was outed by the Bush administration? It was an act of retribution for her husband's Op-Ed in the New York Times, which challenged the validity of the case for was against Iraq. Think about the type of people who did this. Now imagine that those same people could any American living anywhere killed by a drone strike for being a terrorist. But here's the best part... they don't actually have to PROVE that the person is a terrorist, and it would be legal! Is that a world you want to live in?

      February 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  2. Kevin

    When a government kills without trial it should not be surprised when it's citizens resort to violence to settle it's disputes....

    February 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  3. Billybob

    "People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both" –Benjamin Franklin.

    February 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  4. bgun2

    Now let's see if I got this straight. Obama wants to take away our guns and at the same time he endorses killing us. Does this not give ever one of you chills in your spine?

    February 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      Yes it does.

      But unfortunately everybody is too scared of "the other side" (GOP or Dems) to vote 3rd party.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • NoJo

      No

      February 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • Jeb

      What scares me is that right wing nuts would mourn the death of a terrorist who's actively engaged in trying to kill Americans. I don't care if he is an American citizen.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Reply
      • tpbco

        NO, it's pathetic liberal hypocrites who would be foaming at the mouth and screaming BLOODY MURDER if a Republican did this, who should be called out and laughed at.....some more.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • askanybody

        You mean left wing nut, don't you?

        February 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • TonyS

        The thing is he never killed anyone, nor did his 16 year old son who was also murdered. Innocent until proven guilty? Or fair game killing US citizens without a trial?

        February 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  5. Bill

    “The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.” – H.L. Mencken

    *ALL* oppression starts with "lets get the bad guys". All the dolts cheering this action on have no clue that the definition of "bad guy" changes.

    "
    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the socialists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.
    "

    February 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  6. W.

    So what is new under the sun? Even in the U.S. this has been the "spirit of the law" for many decades. I think in Texas it is considered just good manners.

    February 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  7. Newmalthus

    And how is it this not your headline story? Oh, your in the tank with Obama, how could I forget.

    February 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • Makes you think

      Funny, now that a NlGGER is president, you're suddenly against the government killing al-Queda terrorists. How convenient.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Reply
      • Newmalthus

        Assuming you are a US Citizen, my response to you is this: They can kill terrorists all they want. I merely object to them deciding that you are one and killing you without due process if you are not on an active battlefield, or even within a combat zone.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  8. Larry Mandrell

    This is going to go against the current of most conservative thinking on this subject. I am damn proud of the job President Obama is doing with the drone war, scre w due process, if a stranger walks into your house and threatens your home and Family kill the sob, then call the law. Obama is simply carrying out the process Bush started when he promised the 911 terrorists that the USA would not give up until the last one had been run to ground, killed or captured, prefer killed!
    The dornes also keep many of our service people from getting killed. Good job Obama.

    February 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • Harvesting

      Only one problem with your anology. I shoot you down the road and say your were party to robbing my house. I do not have to go to trial, and no one can counter my claim you were a robber.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • tpbco

      Pathetic.

      If a Bush did this, you F* liberals would have had strokes

      February 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Reply
      • Sad Panda

        So let me get this straight. The tinfoil hat wearing teabagger nutjobs hate Obama because he is a Muslim (something they love to claim over and over), yet these same idiots (many of them firecly pro-war and anti-terrorist) want to feign moral outrage that the U.S. (which happens to be under a democrat at present) is doing what George Bush promised the U.S. WOULD do: find and kill every last memeber of Al- Queda... Make up your F*#king minds...

        February 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • tpbco

        NO very sad panda, we LAUGH at pathetic liberal hypocrisy on the subject...or are you too st00pid to figure that out.
        Back to your kool aid, liberal drone.

        February 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  9. rad666

    "1) where an informed, high-level official of the U.S. government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States;"

    Same well informed high level officials just knew there were WMDs in Iraq?

    February 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  10. billybill

    I do not normally throw this word around when talking of our nation but killing citizens without their due process their civil rights ensure them sounds a little too close to fascism for me.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Reply
    • genc

      They are not considered Americans Citizens in my book if they are on the other side of the world plotting against America!! I'm sure the due process has been taken and they have intelligence on the one's they are classifying as a threat to America.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  11. bk

    since when do we let lawyers decide who to kill? this is a job for the military. note to military....the first thing yah gottah do, is kill all the lawyers....

    February 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Reply
    • SpaceCadet

      It's called the Law of Armed Conflict or LOAC to those involved in such matters. It is lawyers, judges and lawmakers who decide who are lawful enemy combatants, unlawful enemy combatants, medical/clergy personnel and civilians under these provisions which govern armed conflict. Combatant commanders go from there and decide how to go about taking out targets. Without those lawyers, judges and lawmakers, we would be in a pre-WWII state where anyone can get killed without consequence...

      February 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Reply
      • CW

        Your name says it all. Typical Obamabot, who would have railed against this if Bush did it, but since Obama's team is enlightened it is ok. Pathetic.

        February 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • bk

      LOAC is a code of conduct, international agreement on how Military persons conduct war. Justice Department Lawyers who are mostly political appointees, and Judges should not be putting out Hits ave the on ANYBODY. Lawmakers DO the authority to declare war against all enemies foreign and domestic and dispatch the Pentagon to do so. God Bless the military, use Lawyers for Drone target practice.

      February 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  12. Newmalthus

    Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court recognized the power of the government to detain enemy combatants, including U.S. citizens, but ruled that detainees who are U.S. citizens must have the rights of due process, and the ability to challenge their enemy combatant status before an impartial authority. ACLU Analysis: "You can't reasonably read a case that permitted the military detention of an American on an actual battlefield to supply a green light for the extrajudicial killing of American terrorism suspects anywhere in the world."

    February 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Reply
    • Newmalthus

      CNN were is your citation for you statement regarding the Supreme Court,. The "white paper" makes that assertion citing Hamdi, but that is not what Hamdi holds.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • Larry Mandrell

      I was always taught that during a declared war a soldier could be shot for cowardice in the face of the enemy, don't know any chapter or verse, but sounds like it just might be legal. It didn't matter to me I believed it.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Reply
      • Harvesting

        Are we at War with Yemen? The reality is the battlefield is not the same in today's conflicts.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  13. Marsh hen

    It's a matter of checks and balances, and reasonable force. Does the punishment fit the crime, and will it be abused?

    Who determines the strike? Was and is there sufficient evidence to warrant the strike. Each time this power is used, should there not be a hearing to make sure bounds weren't overstepped? This kind of authority over a US citizen can be abused in the wrong hands, with out checks and balance form the other branches of government

    February 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      We only need checks and balances when Republicans are in power. Obama is too saintly to misuse these powers. And since we know there will never be another election and Obama will be president for life, and he's so awesome that he's going to live forever. Hence there is no need for checks and balances. Yay.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  14. Newmalthus

    ACLU Analysis: "You can't reasonably read a case that permitted the military detention of an American on an actual battlefield to supply a green light for the extrajudicial killing of American terrorism suspects anywhere in the world."

    February 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  15. Scott B

    This wouldn't be a problem if we weren't trying to do police work under the rules of war.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  16. Richard

    The memo is even worse than the article states. In fact, even speaking of violence against the US is stated as grounds for legalized murder. Moreover, it not necessarily confined to overseas, as the article stated. Just looking at freedom indices listed in Wikipedia reveals that personal freedoms have declined over both Bush AND Obama administrations. The mainstream establishments of both major parties have been supporting the gradual elimination of our freedom in the name of 'protection' to the point that what we really need protection against is our own government.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  17. Newmalthus

    Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court recognized the power of the government to detain enemy combatants, including U.S. citizens, but ruled that detainees who are U.S. citizens must have the rights of due process, and the ability to challenge their enemy combatant status before an impartial authority.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  18. Newmalthus

    WOW, this is being heavily censored

    February 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply
    • dbrenchley

      "CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service." = BS !!!

      February 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  19. smacknfact

    I hope they do. This will just be spun around another idea obamas big brain farted out.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  20. Rescue 7

    Wow! Finally... A rational responce.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  21. anchorite

    You people are missing the whole point of due process. If we haven't tried and convicted these people, then they're NOT terrorists, NOT traitors, you're just killing Muslim travelers until you can prove otherwise. There are people who post on here every day that would say being Muslim alone is worthy of a death sentence. This is the kind of slippery slope due process is meant to stop.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • Chuck Roast

      Muslim travellers don't provide video tapes to the media espousing their contentions with any government nor do they move money around to factions in other countries to fund killing of innocent "non belivers". These aren't people who are bombed while going to the 7-11 to get some milk.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Reply
      • genc

        My thought as well.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  22. Newmalthus

    Cite your legal sources

    February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  23. anchorite

    Nice, way to justify fatwas to kill us, America.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  24. Rogue351

    We are at war with terrorists. Regardless of their country of origin, if they are a terrorist they should all be dealt with the same way. This includes local terrorist groups inside the USA. KKK, Skin Heads, violent anti government groups. All are spreading terror rather it be based on religious, race or political. Yes, parts of the tea party as well as environmental militant groups should also be included. Basically if you are a group and you are killing or intimidating another group you should be labeled a terrorist organization. The NRA in my opinion is on the very edge currently, regardless of the second amendment, why because there are many more people in the USA that are against guns under the guide lines being pushed by the NRA than are for them.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • IanF

      I am very happy that you are not in a position to dictate policy. Seriously? Comparing the NRA to Al Qaeda? Overreach much? What organization(s) do you belong to? What if someone on the other side of your argument "feels like they're being intimidated"? Do you feel like the government should have the right to terminate them with extreme prejudice? SMDH

      February 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
      • Rogue351

        Yes if they are killing and discriminating against any specific group in the United States then yes the government should treat them like terrorists. The NRA is not acting in the best interest of the United States. They are acting in the best interest of the money going into their pockets at the expense of American lives. The views and policies the NRA are pushing have lead to more gun on the streets of the United Staes. Regardless of who bought the guys they are ending up in the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. No one is saying it but yes gun owners are responsible for the amount of guns on the streets. A "Responsible" gun owner purchase a weapon and does not secure it properly, it is stolen and ends up in the hands of a criminal. How else did all of these guns get onto our streets ? The so called Responsible gun owner was not all that responsible. That is how they ended up there. Now the so called Responsible gun owner wants a do over claiming they will be more responsible this time around. Well the 30000 + thousand people that die because of gun related deaths say differently.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • billybill

      Really the NRA, a difference of opinion is enough to label them nearly terrorists and kill them without due process, you are nuts. Also in America you have a freedom of belief, that belief only becomes a crime when acted upon, and that sort of action must be met with proof in a court of law. To do otherwise starts to see democracy crumble.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Reply
    • bk

      thats a long list of your fellow Americans you wish to murder....Tea Party members? there are about 60 of them duly elected by Americans, serving in Congress....KKK, Skin Heads? stupid people yes...but still covered under the same First Amendment that you enjoy.......anti government groups? kinda sounds like....YOU. NRA? go ahead, call in the Drones, theres only about 75 million of them.........were gonna need alot more drones to kill all the Americans you think deserve to die....you need to get to it....

      February 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply
      • Rogue351

        The one very important "Fact" you you neglected to mention. Had you actually read my posts, I said if they are VIOLENT and threatening. That would classify them as a terrorist and they should be dealt with as terrorists. I did not say every NRA member or Tea Party member. That is the problem with people like you, you automatically go to the extreme and assume. Next time read the facts. The facts are if people are conspiring against our government, acting in a violent manor against the people of the united states. Creating fear, on behalf of political or religious agendas then yes they should be dealt with as terrorists. The NRA is on the edge of this line. They are making loads of money selling weapons to Americans that are they not responsibly securing them. The weapons end up in the hands of criminals and on the streets . So who's fault is it that so many people die in America today because of gun violence ? The main contributors are the for profit NRA that is unwilling to change it's stand on the sale of fire arms. The second responsible party are the owners of the purchased weapons. They allowed the weapon to be stolen. I am not against the sale of guns as long as people are responsible for the gun. If people by gold they do not leaving it laying around their house waiting to be stolen they secure it. People purchasing weapons should be required to have a back ground check, they should be required to insure the weapon against theft and if the weapon is stolen they should be insured for the damage the weapon is responsible for. All I am asking is for is the NRA to side with the best interest of the American people instead of their pockets. The American people who choose to own and buy guns should actually be responsible for those guns and there should be financial responsibilities for those that choose not to be. That is the only way we will ever get the problem of criminals with guns under control, hold the people responsible for their purchase. Because had they not made the purchase, stored the weapon under there couch cushion and been an irresponsible gun owner the guns would not end up n the streets ultimately being used against another person. I don't think we should ban guns, ammunition, sales, etc. All I am asking is that people who claim to be responsible actually be responsible. And, if groups like the tea party and the NRA, KKK, Skin heads step over the line and act against the government in a violent manor they be treated as a terrorist would be treated. So stop accusing, exaggerating, and assuming.

        February 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  25. Fr33th1nk3r

    It is foolish that this even needs to be specified– seems like common sense. If a former American is actively working with, aiding, and fighting for the enemy– they are a legit target for military action.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  26. Choir Loft

    MURDER BY MEMO and presidential edict without congressional oversight or approval! Sounds like a dictatorship to me. When the rule of law is superceded by executive action, then democracy dies. Sieg Heil Fuhrer Obama.

    but that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    February 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • lordnimrond

      If you can't tell the difference between Hitler and Obama,...you aren't qualified to even vote....

      February 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • brad

      Every president does this, haven't seen a dictator yet.....Amazing how much Fox can brainwash people.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Reply
    • Rogue351

      How many US service mens lives are worth the alternative to killing an American that is working with or enemy as apposed to attempting to capture and bring this person home for trial ? Just because it is Obama and the media has led you by the nose to believe he is on the way to becoming a dictator you are willing to risk more lives to capture a person that has obviously turned their back on America. That is just wrong.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • anchorite

      I'm a liberal but in this case the parallel to Hitler is totally justified. Obama has basically declared war on Muslims like Hitler declared war on Jews, even his own German citizens. He had a legal obligation to protect them and instead declares war on them without having to prove they're criminals.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Reply
      • Rogue351

        I have yet to see Obama carpet bombing entire muslim cities. If a Muslim belongs to a group that has taken up arms against america they are "at war with america". Obama has not and will not set up concentration camps for american muslims. Your comments are once again misguided because of the information put fourth by hate groups, against our president such as FOX news, Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity. The one thing everyone on the right fails to recognize is that these groups are making millions going AGAIST our president. So at what point does making money come before patriotism ? obviously for a large majority of the GOP supporters money comes well before a united country.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • ORChuck

      What it sounds a lot like to me is what police officers sometimes face in the field, when an obviously-dangerous suspect poses an immediate danger and the only option the officer has is to shoot that suspect. We recognize that in such extreme cases, an officer may have to do so without much "due process."

      February 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Reply
      • Josh

        Please explain how an unarmed 16 year old American child out to dinner was such an immediate danger to the United States that he had to be assassinated in violation of our highest laws. The assumptions made to justify this ridiculous overreach by the executive branch are stunning. They refused to allow any possible evidence they had be reviewed by a court. They refused to even charge the people assassinated with a crime. The government now openly employs a policy that they have still never given a reasonable explanation to how it's legal. They refuse to show any evidence against those on the kill list by using the catch-all claim "national security." Strangers in suits have the power to assassinate Americans, don't have to file charges or even show any evidence, and that's okay? What is going on in this country?

        February 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  27. DarkMarcsun

    This is not a new practice, it's just a new policy. Hundreds of Americans born to German immigrants returned to fight on the side of the Nazis during WW II. Should we have brought them home to face a trial? No, of course not, we just shot back at them. It's called "war" for a reason.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • anchorite

      First of all that's not true. Second, we're not talking about refraining from killing people on the battlefield. We're talking about assassinating these people in their beds. Killing enemies off the battlefield is illegal under treaties we've signed, just like Palestinians cannot legally blow up a bus full of Israelis, even if they are uniformed soldiers.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
      • IanF

        Thank goodness the Palestinians always adhere to that rule. I mean, where would we be if they didn't? Rockets fired indiscriminately into population centers, people sneaking across borders to attack cafes and supermarkets, etc. Glad that's not our reality now.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  28. The Patriot

    Ask yourself this... why don't these US traitors, or Al Q in general step out of the shadows and offer up a field battle? Instead of holding entire areas, or towns, hostage and use them as shields. War would be much simpler if they stepped out onto a battlefield? The US unfortunately has to follow the lead of AL Q because that is what the world expects. When in fact the US should say, you know what, you called us in, this is what you get when we are footing the bill.. and do what has to be done.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • IanF

      Yeah, because that worked so well for us against the British.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Reply
      • The Patriot

        Don't believe everything you see in movies....

        February 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  29. Choir Loft

    MURDER BY MEMO and presidential edict without congressional oversight or approval! Sounds like a dictatorship to me. When the rule of law is superceded by executive action, then democracy dies. Sieg Heil Fuhrer Obama.
    but that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    February 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • lordnimrond

      If you can't tell the difference between Hitler and Obama,...you aren't qualified to even vote....

      February 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Reply
      • Choir Loft

        The actions are the SAME. Look it up. Do your homework. How did Hitler actually come to power and what method did he employ? Hint: Google the Reichstag Fire and the Enabling Act. The latter gave him carte blance rule without the oversight of elected representatives. Its the same thing Obama is doing now. Look it up. Do your homework.

        For the love of God – THINK.

        it's me again, hollering from the choir loft...

        February 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  30. Willie12345

    Here I thought Jimmy Carter pardoned all those traitors that fled to Canada.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  31. Willie12345

    Try them in absentia and if convicted, deal out the punishment.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  32. Citizen

    Majority of the humans are law abiding citizens. Most us talk about freedom of speech and upholding the freedom of speech. However, people like Julian Assange, Aaron Schwartz have been punished for practicing freedom of speech becuase it was against the interest of the establishment. The whole establsihment/system works against a single individual. This article highlights the same issue where the establishment/government does anything they want with out any checks and balances. The judicial system should be stopping this kind of thing but they are baised based on race and religion and turn a blind eye to this issue.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  33. James PDX

    I keep trying to have a problem with this, but the alternative would have been to attempt a capture. Capturing an Al Quaeda leader would likely have cost the lives of American soldiers and quite possibly civilians as collateral damage, and has no guarantee of success. Of the two choices, the one we took is clearly the better one.

    As to whether this policy is justifiable, I would have to read everything pertaining to it to be absolutely sure. But provided this isn't being used indisciminately, I would have to side with it. The more we can take out the leaders of our enemies with minimal loss to the lives of loyal Americans, the better.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • clinky

      James, I still say do it the old-fashioned way. Go out and round up your suspect, and bring that person to trial. If you really have so much to protect at home (like a judicial system, for example), then you'll place enough resources to capture your suspect and formally charge them.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  34. clinky

    Liberals and conservatives can agree this is an odious law. Within ten years' time it will be cruelly and routinely abused on Americans, at home and abroad, who are politically disliked or simply don't fit the current profile of "patriotic" American. I can see it now. Didn't sign a loyalty oath? Kaboom!

    Liberals can continue to support President Obama while denouncing this targeting policy. Liberals don't expect a president who is always just, simply an improvement over what we had the last time, and Obama still comes out way ahead in leading for fair justice over any Republican.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  35. Newmalthus

    toad

    February 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  36. Sheila

    Our government has always allowed the targeting of traitors. Why is this news?

    February 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      Our government has always tried traitors. Nice try but simply because Americans are ignorant of their history doesn't mean that history never happened.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Reply
      • Bob

        Sure they have, sure they have.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
      • Matt

        Who?

        February 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
      • Larry Mandrell

        Do you cut the head off a snake before or after it bite's, "I vote for before".

        February 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • James PDX

        The snake in question had already struck many times.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  37. El Flaco

    These men are trying to kill innocent Americans, American soldiers, and innocent citizens of other nations. It is not practical to capture and try them. More Americans would probably be killed in the effort.

    Our choice is to kill them with drones or let them kill some of us. I vote for drones.

    People who object to the use of drones should join the Army and try to capture those villains and bring them back to the US for trial.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • Cody

      @El Flaco: While I sympathize with what you're stating, what makes these folks different than run of the mill criminals who may be targeting American citizens here in the states? If we allow these types of attacks on non-charged non-convicted criminals, how do you draw a line in the future? It gives implicit authority to use a drone to attack the neighborhood of an inner city drug dealer or something along those lines–because he is 'targeting' American citizens. At the very least, we need to charge and convince in absentia these folks before sending the drones.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Reply
      • Cody

        *convict, sorry.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • Larry Mandrell

        Cody, I understand exactly what you are saying, but I bet the drones would cut down on criminal activity.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
      • The Patriot

        You are never going to see a drone strike on US soil unless its at the border crossing. They will not be used in the defense of inner city crime. Its a shame more force isn't used in inner cities because there are major cities in the US with sections that rival the red zone in Bahgdad.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • JMO

      Who decides when someone is a traitor? Would a sniper killing Assage be acceptable? What about the captain of a Greenpeace ship? What about the collateral deaths? Once we get comfortable with the idea of the courts not being necessary when dealing the highest punishment, anything is possible.

      The idea of extra-judicial killings based on "informed, high-level official of the U.S. government" should send shivers down the spine of anyone who loves liberty.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Reply
      • Cody

        II completely agree, JMO. I can see the point that the likelihood of crime decreases by their use–and maybe can even buy into that...but at what price? I'm afraid that I believe in liberty too much to allow for this to be a part of my worldview. It is akin to using abortion in inner cities as a crime preventative measure (which grows out of the research from the Freakonomics guys)...I just can't support the idea of fear-induced obedience to law, or the notion that we exact the harshest penalties without court convictions, first.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Cody

        All of this is very 1984-ish.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  38. lewtwo

    These are not Americans. They are traitors.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      Benedict Arnold was given a trial. As a matter of fact every traitor in American history has been given a trial.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • Chuck Roast

        we were a kinder and gentler America then.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • Matt

        Much kinder and gentler. Just ask the native Americans or African slaves of the time. They benefited greatly from how gentle we were then.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Chuck Roast

        If you don't like it here or are ashamed of the history, feel free to go where you feel more comfortable.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • Nodack

        Benedict Arnold wasn't in some MidEast country planning to kill Americans.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • Matt

        @Nodack: No. Mr. Arnold was just collaborating with the British in an attempt to make sure there were never any Americans to begin with.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • Chuck Roast

        Benedict Arnold also was not a civilian. He was a military officer who was caught providing aid to the enemy force and hung according to military law of the time.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • Matt

        Which required a military tribunal, the military equivalent of a trial by one's peers, to determine he was guilty.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • Matt

        Either way traitors are still innocent until proven guilty. That is the law.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • BBCBlogger

      Are the people here posting against the policy also traitors?

      Are the people hiding their income overseas traitors as well?

      Are the people watching AlJazeera network news also traitors?

      Who gets to decide, some bureaucrat in DC?

      February 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  39. Ketsui

    If cops can shoot crazies in bunkers trying to harm innocents then I see nothing wrong with taking out crazies in foreign countries planning to murder Americans. He renounced his citizenship when he pledged himself to an organization that has killed thousands of Americans and plans to kill more.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      And did his son?

      February 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
      • Chuck Roast

        One of the hazards of working the "Family Business".

        February 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • Matt

        @Chuck: His son was a child.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • lordnimrond

        Many, many innocents die during a war... War is heII... There was no intent to kill his child, it was collateral damage in a war being fought overseas. This man was a traitor, a defector, and had become, in all ways important, a denzen of another country, and a primary functionary in a terrorist organization targeting and killing Americans... The man himself was involved in, and responsible for many deaths himself.

        He deserved to die.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  40. What!?

    It's amazing how many people have no idea what they're talking about. Liberals blaming this on conservatives. Conservatives blaming this on liberals. If you ask me, both parties should be considered terrorist organizations – they both are clearly trying to rip this country apart.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  41. Joe B

    If this was Bush, the liberals would be up in arms. Where are the liberals and their morals now?

    February 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • What!?

      At taco bell. Celebrating diversity.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        Racism. Providence of the ignorant.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Wow1234

      Reminding conservatives that President Obama is not a liberal...

      February 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  42. Funny how the right-wingers now suddenly CARE about due-process!!!!!

    If Obama came out for "blue skies" – Republicans would lobby for rainy days.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • Joe Mama

      Is this where I'm supposed to point out that you are a "left-winger" (since, as we know, every human is a member of one of two possible hive minds) and yet you apparently DON'T care about due process?

      February 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • BobPitt

      Who did kill enemies of the state without process, let see...
      Mao
      Stalin
      Hitler
      Pol Pot
      Franco
      Pinochet

      Did I missed a few? provably..!!

      February 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Reply
      • InFormed

        The State of Israel

        February 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  43. Kevin

    Slippery slope... next, they will be permitted to kill Americans inside America who pose the same threats. Then, before you know it, Judge Dreads will be walking teh street, passing out sentences and executing on sight

    February 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • They can start with Republicans

      Wipe them off the streets & clean the country up!

      February 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
      • Joe Mama

        Watch out 49%! Here comes the 51%! Kill all who don't agree with us! That's the only way to create a better world for all mankind!

        February 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • M green

        If you start with the repubicans then who will pay for your GOV. hand outs?

        February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • InFormed

      The slippery slope argument is always overused

      February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  44. Bill Gannon

    Enemies of the State come in all flavors.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • Joe B

      They sure do.

      Terrorists
      Liberals
      Progressives

      They should all be treated the same.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        You forgot Conservatives there Joe B. After all terrorists are trying to "destroy our freedoms" and no one has tried harder in the last 70 years to destroy freedoms than the Conservatives.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • frontgate

        Progressives kicked booty in the last election. Perhaps suicide is the best solution for you.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  45. humtake

    This is how you know when the people of a country are truly the cause of its downfall. There is nothing wrong with the memo. It makes perfect sense that if there is a person who has declared you as their enemy can be shot down if they are a plausible threat. The problem comes in when the people come up with all kinds of imaginative situations that might happen, but won't because they never do. Once all of the whining dies down, everyone will forget this ever happened and in the span of our lifetimes there *MAY* be one or two instances where an incident happens that is blamed on this memo.

    If it didn't happen over and over and over and over in every civilized country, I'd be worried. But this is nothing new. Someone declares themselves our enemy, we will attack them. You can hide in your house with your tinfoil hat on all day and think the government is watching your every move...but it will still not take away from the fact that you give the government too much credit.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • BBCBlogger

      The problem here is that American Citizens who did not declared themselves enemy of the US got assassinated by orders of the President (Tyrant) of the US simply because some da mn bureaucrat in DC decided. That is not how our Country is supposed to work!

      February 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • Joe Mama

      Love the subtle error you made. Was it intentional? Declared themselves to be our enemy? That's not at all what this memo is about. It says we declare them to be our enemy. I hope you're right and the definition of enemy never changes too much. Also I had to laugh about the "watching your every move" comment. Nothing tin foil about big data my friend. I think you underestimate what technology exists in 2013.

      When Franklin and other founders were talking about liberty OR safety, they were just being paranoid. Probably watched too much Fox News or something.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  46. Slippery Slope Alert

    It is always unlawful for the American military to kill an American citizen. All Americans are innocent until proven quilty by a jury of our peers. This is a gradual implementation of US martial law on all citizens.

    Just yesterday, Defense Secretary Leon Penetta, authorized military drones, personnel and other specialized war equipment to capture a hostage taker....in Georgia. This is the definition of martial law. Why couldn't a very competent civilian law enforcement organizations (like the FBI) deal with this domestic issue?

    February 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • ElDestroyer

      Dude, go take a hike. Fear mongoring like this is what America needs the least right now. These people are not Americans, I don't know what you are talking about. And if they are, they are American in paper only. America needs less people like you.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        Are you an idiot?

        February 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Joe B

        Kind of like liberals.... So are you saying we should use this same approach towards liberals? They create more destruction of America than a terrorist does. Are you okay with that approach? It's the law, he cannot target American citizens at all. I'm not saying this is a bad thing to do, but correct the law so it allows for this type of action. If this was Bush, you would be crying foul all day long. Libs and progressives are a bunch of hypocrits....

        February 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • John

      I thought you were some nutjob conspiracy theorist, but then you ended with that great joke in the last line. Thanks for the laugh.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
      • Slippery Slope Alert

        Thanks for offering nothing to the discussion other than an insult.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Thomas

      If it is unlawful the Federal government murdered hundreds of thousands between 1860 and1865.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Ding

      I want to agree, but isn't this covered in the 5th amendment, "except in ...public danger"

      February 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • InTheKnow

      Really? Using military equipment/resources for civilian use is now Martial Law? I guess the Internet is an exception..... We pay hard-earned tax dollars for the military to advance its technology. Much of this technology is then adopted for civilian use. I say that's a good investment on my part. However, I do believe we should either convict overseas "American's" or revoke their citizenship before blasting them. Bad form killing without having a strong legal claim to it. This is a land of laws afterall.....

      February 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  47. Wow

    To Biker and others...

    go read the docs. No where...not one single place...does it say anything about WHERE these actions can take place.

    Simply spells out WHY they can take place.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  48. Michael Nunn

    Selective assassination is a tactic the U.S. has picked up from that middle East bastion of democracy, Israel. Along with several other technologically-superior corporate-run nations (most notably, France and Britain), the U.S. has no problem murdering those who are "suspected" of carrying out hostile activities no matter where they may reside. I ask you this: How willing are you to take the word of intelligence operatives (i.e., spies) in making unilateral life-or-death decisions? The very nature of these individuals' activities abroad involves lying and deceit. What is happening here is the establishment of precedent that will become the new norm, and from which further precedent (such as using drones to hunt and kill domestically "wanted" individuals or groups right here in the U.S.) will be advanced. If this is not stopped now, it will be impossible to stop when it matters most.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • George wASHINGTON

      So who's word would you take to make these decisions? Senators or House members? Members of a terrorist group?
      You act like there is some prefect information and we should let the terrorists blow up our world until we get that perfect info.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  49. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    You right wingers are asking for due process to protect criminals who target Americans? Well, why don't you ask the NRA where was the due process that was supposed to protect the kids in Newtown???

    February 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • The Patriot

      Stop bringing those poor kids in Ct, into these discussions. Due process, how about the due process that allowed that nutty 20 year old to stay out of a hospital? Fact is had he been in the hospital, the guns would have been dormant in the gun safe where they belonged.
      As far as the US having the ok to go after imminent threats to the US, good. Don't be a terrorist and you won't get whacked. They should drone Bill Mahr, while they are at it. Seriously, how about the issue that if you kick a dog, he is going to bite you. The dog was kicked on 9/11 and he is not finished yet. The US should stop trying to pacify the rest of the world, and end this quickly with any means necessary.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • VIC_MORROWS_HEAD

      How dumb are you?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  50. DARNELL

    It doesn't say "overseas", folks. They can kill you in your BACK YARD if obama says you're a terrorist.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • omen

      i thought the police can do that in the USA. isn't it the same thing?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        Well police add a secondary part that states you need to be a minority or poor.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Andi

      Actually, it does say overseas

      February 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • heywood

      so if you dont plot a terrorist attack against the U.S you dont have anything to worry about, do you. Try the thought process sometime, it works.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Reply
      • tex from Virginia

        What if you have absolutely no plans for any kind of violent action against the United States, but an "informed high level official" says you do? Sounds like a place I dont want to be....first they came for the (______)......

        February 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • palintwit

        Actually you do, since they can declare anyone to be a terrorist at any time for any reason, with no safeguards in place.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      I disagree though. If that was the case, Crawford Ranch would be atop the list followed by the NRA.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • Wow1234

      First sentence...

      "A Justice Department memo determined the U.S. government can use lethal force against an American citizen OVERSEAS if the person is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or one of its affiliates"

      February 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Reply
      • Chuck Roast

        That's not part of the white paper. It's the reporters words to summarize what they feel the white paper is about. You'd have to have the whole paper to see if it says 'overseas" or not. But "the United States retains its authority to use force against al-Qaida and associated forces outside the area of active hostilities when it targets a senior operational leader of the enemy force who is actively engaged in planning operations to kill Americans." which is a quote from the white paper basically states they don't care where you are.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  51. question

    So does this mean that when the local patriots in a place our plutocracy is at war with get a drone it will be OK for them to target DC?

    February 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  52. nonyabidnes2

    How does one differentiate between an American on vacation and a terrorist?

    February 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • badcyclist

      The difference is in the memo: 1. Are they declared terrorists abroad? 2. Is it unfeasible that they can otherwise be arrested, captured, or detained?

      I'm not defending the content of the memo, but it clearly differentiates ordinary Americans (even accused terrorists) traveling abroad from those who are hiding deep inside, say, Yemen or the Tribal Territories and outside the reach of either ordinary law enforcement agencies or conventional military operations.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • Chuck Roast

      The terrorist is the one without the camera and sunglasses.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  53. BBCBlogger

    Fair warning: Anyone here posting messages against The Tyrant of the US policy is to be considered an AlQaeda affiliate. No due process for you either.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      Due process is so 1776...

      February 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • eatchikin

      exactly, not its just a matter of the administration decides to classify individuals.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
      • Yugo

        based on the ignorance level of some of the people here... maybe that will reduce the risk of the movie "idiocracy" actually becoming a real event...

        February 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • heywood

      i nominate YOU to go to foreign countries and bring any wanted terrorists back to face justice. Agreed??? Your so worried about these animals due process then do something about it. Go get them from wherever they are and bring them back. its easy, right? You can do it.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Thank you, BBCBlogger. This again proves just how much of a right-winger Obama truly is!

      February 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  54. Joseph McCarthy

    Whoever wrote this memo needs to be indicted and taken to the I.C.C. in order to be prosecuted for crimes against humanity! All these idiotic right-wing comments here cheering this ignominy are enough to make even a billy goat want to puke and only proves just how ignorant these people making them are!

    February 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • Yugo

      calm down... you just need to learn how to read. Nothing wrong about the memo.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • heywood

      Jealous because they actually have a spine and testicles?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • heywood

      jealous because they posess a spine and testicles unlike yourself?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  55. Gary

    Ah, the days before the internet... when memos floating around of spys and espionage were thought of only in movies. I hope that people will understand that this is not something new. Look at American History.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  56. Halkes

    Technically, a US citizen declaring war against the US is grounds to have his/her citizenship revoked. However, it does require a legal process that is very rarely used since citizenship is very rarely revoked. All this paper does is authorize the military/CIA/whoever to treat such individuals as though they did go through the entire legal process. I'm all for civil rights, human right, etc. but this is a really straightforward situation. It's not like some small town sheriff in Mississippi is infringing on the rights of a black man, the US is targeting people who have declared war on them, who cares where they were born at that point?

    February 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Bret

      Hey Hank,

      The problem with your theory is that the memo and underlying legal opinion justify the government making that determination without sufficient evidence or due process. If a U.S. citizen is killed by the U.S. military on a battlefield while actively engaging in hostilities against the U.S. then it is justified. But in this case the government basically has the right to (i) determine a U.S. citizen is a threat and (ii) act on it, all without any verification that the citizen was a threat to begin with. It's exceedingly disturbing and completely unconsistutional.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Reply
      • Halkes

        Not Hank, but that's OK. No offense, but your post wasn't really relevant to mine, my point is that the declaration of war on one's own country effectively nullifies one's citizenship to that country. Also, this is not unique to the US, it is the norm among modern states. Once the person in question ceases to be a US citizen, this entire issue becomes moot, yes?

        February 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Bret

        How do you prove they have stopped being U.S. citizens? Who gets to decide? Do you really trust the government with that responsibility? If so, you're extremely naive. And in that regard, my previous comment was relevant.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • Wingman

        Halkes, when did this guy officially declare war on the US? When did his child? I must have missed that part...
        Oh, wait, he didn't. And such a declaration isn't a requirement of this policy. In fact, it requires no sort of due process at all.

        Its assassination of Americans abroad that someone in the administration THINKS is guilty, without requiring any minimum level of proof.
        I'm sure that those enforcing this policy today would probably not wish to abuse it... The problem is there is nothing *stopping* them from doing so!

        February 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • Halkes

        He was a self-proclaimed member of Al-Qaeda, I don't have time to find the exact date Al-Qaeda declared war on the US or to engage in this conversation further, though I would like to. If an American joined the Nazis during WWII, it would be no different.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  57. TheCrow

    Why the picture of AlJaharra from the Jewel of the Nile??

    February 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  58. Farrok

    If you go around killing and harming other you will be tracked down and delt with. Nothing new here.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Josh

      Okay. Show me where Al-Awlaki killed someone. Show me the evidence that his 16 year old American kid who was also assassinated killed someone. If the Americans murdered by the government were such bad people then why could Obama and others not even be bothered to have them charged? Why not even a review of the evidence by a court? The justification for Al-Awlaki was written up by just two lawyers, and even they admitted it could only be twisted as legal if he could not be captured, and we're not allowed to know if capture was ever even considered.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • Yugo

        if you're a terrorist, would you take your kid to your job knowing you could be the target of a gun fight?
        your statement only proves how inresponsible the terrorist are; it's not the drone's fault.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • Matt

        No one is blaming the Drone Yugo. They aren't even blaming those that pilot them. They are blaming the cowards who command those that pilot them.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • Yugo

        @Matt exactly, that's what i'm saying. It's still not their fault either; they can't control inresponsability. They can, on the other hand; take an oportunity to get a terrorist which is the whole point of this.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • Josh

        @Yugo, except for the fact that they weren't assassinated together. The child was targeted months after his father was killed. Nowhere near a battlefield or anything like that. Is a 16 year old child really such an imminent threat that due process and our highest laws have to be tossed out the window? A minor according to American laws, who was never charged with a crime and was nowhere near a battlefield, was assassinated by order of the US government. How is this not concerning to people? The worst is when people just write it off as collateral damage or justify it by claiming that since the apple doesn't fall far from the tree it's all okay.

        February 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  59. Zack

    I love the liberal thought process... This is how ridiculous you people are. I'm going to paint a clear picture for you, and then I want you to look yourself in the mirror, and say, "what the he l l is wrong with me!?".. This is how crazy you are...

    You have a problem with the US (indefinitely) holding terrorists at Guantanamo Bay; have a problem with the use of "torture" and "enhanced interrogation methods" being used on terrorists; have a problem with these terrorists not being afforded "due process"; have a problem with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; etc... but you have NO issue with the US using drones at will, Obama having a "kill list", and now it's legal to use these drones on US citizens?

    Look, for me personally, I'm all about being proactive instead of reactive, especially when it comes to terrorists, or anyone trying to bring harm to the USA or it's people... but the HYPOCRISY you liberals demonstrate is absolutely UNREAL

    February 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Halkes

      Who do you mean? Almost half the article is about all the different people and groups that are opposed to it, like the ACLU, which in case you didn't know is vilified by conservatives for being too liberal.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Reply
      • Zack

        I was referring more to the comments of the people who post, with comments like "I have no problem with this", followed by some support of Obama comment... I, probably more than anyone else, was shocked to see the ACLU getting involved. And Matt, that's a great comment man. You can't argue against anything I've said, so you call me names? That's pretty rich.

        February 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Matt

      You're an idiot. Not a moron though. Morons can't string that many words together into a coherent sentence.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Reply
      • lordnimrond

        Is that all you've GOT Matt? Name-calling? Half of your posts are just you calling others names...

        Well, here,...try THESE on..:

        Are you a D O U C H E Matt?

        How about a total t@rd?

        Are you an eater of a HUGE bag-o-diques?

        How about a gigantic (0(K?

        All of the above?

        How about,...get a new tactic, Matt...?

        February 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Zack

        Feel free to bring intelligent conversation to my comment, Matt... I mean, if I'm wrong, feel free to "educate" me, since, I'm an idiot and all.

        February 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • 5thgenaz

      The real threat by these people (so called terrorist, and subversives to our puppet governments) is on oil companies, Jewish interest and their profit margins; our response is also a road to potential ruthless justified dictatorship into the future for the USA

      February 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • Slippery Slope Alert

      Im a liberal...and I agree with the double-standard you point out. Any and all American military kills of American citizens are completely illegal. Kill lists are illegal. And any unwarranted wars (like lying about WMDs) are also absolutely illegal.

      Right now, our country is being completely abused by a select few with power and agendas to obtain even more power. Honestly the whole "Left versus Right conflict" is a distraction they throw at us to keep us from uniting against the power-entrenched.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • Wow1234

      I'm a liberal and I'm not condoning this... Nor are others – that I can see.

      The problem you face is that President Obama is not a liberal. He's very similar to President Reagan in his foreign policies.

      If a real progressive were elected – you'd flip your lid.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  60. freddy

    I see black helicopters over my house every day. Men in black at night. They are coming for me I tell you .......COMING FOR MEEEEEEE ! ! ! ! !

    February 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • Biker

      Dude.... get out of the ghetto.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  61. empresstrudy

    I just want to vote for Obama a million times harder than before.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  62. DavidInNC

    If a person is a member of a group that has declared war on the US, then that person is a legal target for killing. Al Qaeda declared war when they attacked us. I see no problem with this policy.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • everettreb

      I think the worry here is that by it being from the executive branch alone there are no safeguards to assure that innocent Americans are not targeted.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Reply
      • griz5106

        Please read the article again. It clearly states that these operations require congressional and judicial approval.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
      • Wingman

        Griz, perhaps YOU should read the article again. The President does NOT have to get approval from the Congress or the Courts before killing an American abroad. The memo states that such power has ALREADY been granted to the Executive branch by the other two. Re-Read:

        "The memo cites both congressional authorization and judicial approval for the use of military force to counter the threat of terrorist attack by all individuals."

        February 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • lordnimrond

        No,...I think that's YOUR "worry here",...not THE worry here...

        Let's put this into perspective...

        February 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  63. Beavis

    MEET KING OBAMA, WORSE THAN HIS PREDECESSOR GEORGE DUBYA BUSH

    February 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • 5thgenaz

      2 thumbs up!

      February 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  64. bt

    When you win that magical, All-Expenses Paid Vacation...THINK TWICE.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • Yugo

      think twice if you're a terrorist* 🙂 if not, feel free to go if you're stupid enough to go on a vacation to a war zone.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  65. Wow

    So what if they had found him on American soil?

    Same rules still apply.

    And what if that drone killed the Americans around him...instead of some other people in another country.

    That's just the way it goes apparently. Glad to see you are all in agreement with it.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • Biker

      Even though is says OVERSEAS you still come out with a stupid what if comment. What if you had half a brain, or what if you thought things through.... hmmmmmm what if.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • ann

        It's called setting a precedent. If you set a precedent, then someone will use that to justify doing something that is a step further then the precedent. It is a bad habit to start.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Yugo

      really....

      February 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  66. brick

    so, all the people saying good, here is the issuse: It's the precedent which has been set which should scare you here...

    Senior Operational Leader of Al Qaida or an "Associated Force" <– changing the name of either of those sections to the flavor of the month, essentially, what's to keep the government from associating the bloods or the latin kings with Al Qaida, then they have the right to kill them outside of US soil?

    This should be completley unacceptable no matter what side of the issues that you consider yourself affiliated with...

    No I'm not particularly worried about this guy getting killed, but what about the fact that his young son, also an American citizen was killed? How far can this definition get stretched (I'm assuming the patriot act gives them some liberty in defining affiliate.

    We shouldn't be worried about repercussions of this now, we should be worried about the repercussions of this decision 20, 50 years from now.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Reply
    • Yugo

      why was he there knowing he's a wanted man? a caring father takes care of his son... he would've left him somewhere else. An associated forse is an associated forse; confirmed by search intel... they wont' just kill random people... or are you calling the military system stupid? The main targets must be proven terrorists; the fact that thay use drones is even better since they can review every operation... it won't be a blind spot for crazy commandos that enjoy killing people go and cause havock; associated force is a confirmed force associated with the enemy. If you give a gun to a serial killer, you are a force associated with him; it's not a hard thing to knwo what they mean with this... the military has a lot of proceses to make sure they are targeting the right people and the risks of casualties it could bring; it's not someone sitting on a chair throwing a die around to see who he kills next.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Reply
      • eatchikin

        So what your saying is: you don't understand the concept of precedence?

        February 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • lordnimrond

      Pure fear-mongering using assumptions, what ifs and speculation stretching credibility WELL beyond the pale...

      February 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  67. Grumpy2012

    Finally, an Obama foreign policy. War is bad but taking out civilians in foreign countries with Hellfire missiles shot from a drone is good.

    I wonder if there is a Nintendo controller sitting next to the kill list in the WH Op's room.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Reply
    • Beavis

      You're a complete and utter moron.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • eatchikin

      actually they use Logitec flight simulator controllers !

      February 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  68. GT66

    That's our government – employing the most advanced legal minds to twist and justify anything they want to do!

    February 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • GT66

      Just to add: I guess we're all Al-Qaida now.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        Have been since WWII. Fire bombing of Dresden and the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima really amounted to nothing more than terror campaigns to get the populaces to no longer support their governments. It's not wrong until it's directed AT America though. Then terrorism is bad.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • 5thgenaz

      We elected smoke and mirror politicians to do as they please....time to elect honest people without money

      February 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  69. bad2worse

    Slippery slope????????

    February 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • lordnimrond

      In this case, "slippery slope" has become a lame argument for fear-mongerers....

      February 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  70. 5thgenaz

    If you do not agree with the Jewish interest, you will be a drone target. If you question the people in power, you will be a drone target. So listen and agree with all those righteous media owners that have divided this Nation with the help of a white guy born for an African in Africa or Hawaii? He traded his soul to be a subservient puppet with five strings leading up to a five-pointed star...
    From the future: I am a Rural Arizona Resident from the future – dated January 01, 2042.
    Oh yeah, can you make those 24 hour helicopter gunships patrolling over Phoenix metro a little quieter?

    February 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • dack maddy

      When you decide to go into your bunker, please do not take any children with you.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
      • 5thgenaz

        Ha! Ha! HO! LOL....still laughing. The dogs and cats?

        February 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  71. tiktin

    Abroad today, at home tomorrow.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • GT66

      +1

      February 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Realist

      Nailed it! And this from a (ahem) "Legal Skolar"?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  72. mudbone9

    If a person threatens violence within the US borders a SWAT team will come and quickly dispatch them. What's the difference here other than it’s outside of our borders. If we can't extradite or arrest them this is the best solution.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  73. lance

    I'm sure if a U.S. Marine defected to North Korea and was fighting for them, no member of congress would have a problem targeting him.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Lance, they'd have a problem fighting a defected American Marine in NK as long as the Commander-in Chief's last name is Obama. Even when the President appoints republicans to positions in his administration, the envy jealous bigoted racist right wing losers have a problem with these appointments. Jim Crow is alive and well in America here in the 21st century.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      You right wingers are asking where's the due process for those who target Americans? Why don't you ask the NRA where was the due process that was supposed to protect the kids in Newtown?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Reply
      • eatchikin

        So I gather from your post: You have no idea what due process means.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        I know what due process means. But my point is I find it deceitful that while conservatives are asking for due process to protect domestic terrorists who target Americans they at the same time defend the right of criminals to bear deadly assault weapons to kill more Americans without a background check. That's outrageous.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • palintwit

        You're so clueless. Do you even have any idea what Due Process is?

        February 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • Chuck Roast

        They're not defending the right of criminals to own assault rifles. They're defending the right of law abiding gun owners to own them.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  74. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Saddam Hussein's two son's never ever threatened America but where was GWB's due process and proof that these young men ever targeted America??? And after the GOP found NO WMD's in Iraq, the shameless deceitful coward right wing war criminals changed their mission to Enduring Iraqi Freedom. But did the Iraqi people ever come to the UN asking for a change of regime or liberation from anything??? Of course not. Please go cry me a river you right wing losers.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      Your right but the gov shouldn't be allowed this authority democrat or republican

      February 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • its all mine

      Don't deflect this issue back to George W. This is a real time issue that has Presidential approval right now. If the media does not cover this and the people of this great nation do not whole heartedly oppose this administrations view on killing American citizens, we are all in real trouble.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  75. Jason M

    Drone technology is universal. What is to stop another country from targeting Americans? This sets a bad precedence, of course brought to us by a Democrat hypocrite. I thought Oba-mao was against these wars? Now he has a kill list? Liberals are cool with this because it is ‘their guy’ doing it, the same people who would be protesting ‘Bush the baby killer’ about 9 years ago.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • lance

      your racism and disrespect is disgusting.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
      • Zack

        Lance, your inability to see that statement as 100% fact is ridiculous and disgusting. Everything he/she said is true. Not to mention, they didn't say one thing about race, but because they are criticizing Obama, or Holder, or any other African American, it HAS to be a race issue... Grow up

        February 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • palintwit

        This playing the race card to defend this failed administration's policies is getting old.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Organic1

      Drone technology is not universal by any stretch of your imagination. If you think the little RC flyers are drones, you are badly mistaken, along with the rest of your verbiage.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • Jason M

        Lance-typical liberal knee jerk response because you lack the cognitive skills to interpret something, you go "he disagree with my Messiah Obama, he be racist." Maybe you lack the basic skills to comment on the internet?

        Organic1-I agree, we are the technical top dog. But that technology becomes more available as time passes.
        http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/27/growth-in-chinas-drone-program-called-alarming/

        http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120205/DEFREG03/302050002/North-Korea-Developing-UAV-Based-U-S-Drone-Report

        February 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Yugo

      Obama is against these wars.... Using drones lowers the need of on-the-ground humans fighting against people that are stupid enought to take the lifes of others thanks to a grudge. Drone's are used to avoid casualties for "our" side, lowering the man power from the "terrorists"; a war is a war, the only way of avoiding wars is ending the ones that are already happening... or do you prefeer we get killed of?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        Anyone who thinks an external terrorist organization has the ability to challenge the US government on any real level is ignorantly mistaken.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • palintwit

        For someone who is "against" these wars. Obama sure does seem pretty blood-thirsty.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  76. JohnRJohnson

    Quite a stretch to say that Al-Awlaki was an American citizen. He had renounced his US citizenship, declared war on the US, and perpetrated attacks on American soil. What more does someone have to do in order to be recognized as a stateless terrorist?

    February 5, 2013 at 11:59 am | Reply
  77. Bob

    Sounds like a good memo to me.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:57 am | Reply
  78. Mike in SA

    Screw the traitors.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • GT66

      Right. Even before anyone has proven that they are traitors.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
      • Yugo

        you clearly didn't read the memo....

        February 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
      • Keith Long

        You want terrorists to have due process? Okay, court is in session. The defendant has the right to one armed hellfire missile. Next case.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  79. snowdogg

    "A Justice Department memo determined the U.S. government can use lethal force against an American citizen overseas if the person is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or one of its affiliates..."

    What's the problem with this policy?

    February 5, 2013 at 11:55 am | Reply
  80. Yugo

    if you play with fire you get burned.. better to kill them from a sit behind a computer than risk the lives of a platoon for 1 criminal that'll still get killed...
    be it an non american or a traitor american... i'm happy about this.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:54 am | Reply
  81. Gmask

    got a good laugh from most of you psychos who need some meds or something, seriously we have it lucky here and if that guy was trying to kill Americans so i say let him die, and no revolution because no one is gonan help each other and you'd be crushed under tanks and i'd laugh at you Rdavid, you idiot and i know people will call me some nut job too but that's because i speak the truth about you people and if i offend anyone good, you need some offense in your life!

    February 5, 2013 at 11:54 am | Reply
  82. Jon

    The dude was a known, and admitted terrorist.

    Who cares if he was an American citizen by birth? By the time of his death, it is obvious that he wasn't.

    Our goal is to continue to cut the heads off of the terrorist snakes. There's absolutely no reason why this guy should have been treated any differently.

    If American citizens are taking this to mean that they have to fear the U.S. Government killing them overseas, I have some helpful hints for you:

    1) Don't join a terrorist organization while you're on vacation overseas.
    2) If you DO join a terrorist organization, don't make videos about how you want the U.S. to crumble and for Americans to die.
    3) If you DO make videos, try not to publish them worldwide.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Matt

      Personally my concern is about the innocents that tend to die along with these "known terrorists" due to our cowardice. I'm sorry... I meant technological superiority.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
      • Jon

        If you're hanging out with a terrorist, you're not than innocent.

        February 5, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • Yugo

        that's inresponsibility on his part... if he knows he's a terrorist and that being that has consecuences, why take his childern with him? use them as shields? pity?.. why put the whole fault on the guys that are doing the right thing if he could've avoided all that from the start?

        February 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • enemymine

        go lay by your dish

        February 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • Matt

        You know Jon you are totally right. Children do deserve to die for no reason than being with their parents. How could I have been so blind as to think the lives of children should be held in any regard. Must be one of those symptoms of not being a d-bag.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
      • Matt

        And honestly Jon, if that's your position then you are perfect Al Qaeda material as that is their belief as well.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  83. Gbwarren

    What's odd is people's absolute respect for due process and fairness for citizens plotting against America abroad...but willingness to ignore millions of Americans screwed by the legal system here every single day....

    February 5, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
  84. Joe Devola

    It's just a semantic adjustment from Due Process to Do Process. Nothing to see here...

    February 5, 2013 at 11:48 am | Reply
    • Ding

      Doesn't the fifth amendment allow for this though..."public danger"

      February 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  85. Pat

    Even Bin Laden was convicted in the Court of Law. What this memo says is that Americans deserve less than a terrorists.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:48 am | Reply
  86. Dan

    How convenient... have Al Qaeda whom are on the hijacked U.S. govt payroll anyway, kill American citizens abroad.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:47 am | Reply
  87. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Shouldn't you bigoted racist envy jealous right wing losers be at some gun range instead of spewing your crap on the internet?

    February 5, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • Pat

      Too busy at your mother house. She says Hi though.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • Matt

        Wow... your mom jokes. Are you trying to prove the man's assumption of your ignorance correct by using the wit of middle school students everywhere? Or are you just a middle school student wanting to seem like a big man on the internet? Oh the possibilities....

        February 5, 2013 at 11:51 am |
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Sure wish you were there too though. You'd have a hole in your empty right wing head by now.

        February 5, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • Pat

        @Matt, it's not a joke. I was seriously at his mother house. Coming to your boyfriend's is admirable though.

        February 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • Pat

        @Blah, you don't even own a gun, and even if you did, you wouldn't know how to use it.

        February 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • snowdogg

      What?

      February 5, 2013 at 11:56 am | Reply
  88. Chuck Fulton

    Good! Side with the enemy, whether your an American or not and get a US made drone shoved down your throat! Every president would approve something like this anyways, so get over it!

    February 5, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • JimTheo

      I don't want ANY American president or ANY American Federal Gov't of ANY party to have this ability. IF they can kill US citizens without a trial outside the US borders, how much of a leap will it be for the Feds to do the same within the borders? Do you REALLY want to take that chance? Are YOUR kids lives worth the risk for a runaway Fed?

      Right now you may have all the faith in the world in THIS POTUS, but let me ask you a question- Did you like Bush?? (I suspect that you didn't; I for one thought he was NOT a good POTUS). Well, just imagine there WILL come a time when someone you dislike intensely will become POTUS and they will have this authority. What will you say then?

      Whatever freedom you so easily give up will NEVER easily be returned.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Reply
      • Chuck Fulton

        I LOVED both Bush's...so whats your point? They did things just like this as well, whats your point? So your saying if we went to wr with Iran and I moved there and joined thier military the US would have no right to kill me, you are an idiot!

        February 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
      • Chuck Fulton

        And for the record, I personally dont like Obama, I voted for Romney. So what is your point???

        February 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  89. George Patton-2

    Good, another way to justify murdering American citizens abroad. For those who call Barack Obama a left-winger, this memo proves otherwise!

    February 5, 2013 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • Kinoeye

      Yeah, because those Americans were just on vacation and staying with a terrorist host family. I can see your point... oh no, wait, I can't.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:49 am | Reply
      • Jason

        Drone technology is universal. What is to stop another country from targeting Americans? This sets a bad precedence, of course brought to us by a Democrat hypocrite. I thought Obamao was against these wars? Now he has a kill list? Liberals are cool with this because it is ‘their guy’ doing it, the same people who would be protesting ‘Bush the baby killer’ about 9 years ago.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Chuck Fulton

      Drones, there have been sightings of drones flying in Oklahoma. I have personally witnessed one flying above I-40 twice. And yes, I know what drone is, I worked around them when I was in the military.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  90. RDavid

    Hang on. This is just the first step into this Odumbo criminal administration turning all this back onto legal American Citizens. If that idiot #2, OHolder can just write a memo justifying killing Americans overseas, how hard will it be for that criminal to just change a few words and claim any legal American Citizen who disagrees with ODumbo is considered an enemy of the state. Get your AR15's ready, another revolution is brewing.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • Reality Check

      You, sir, are a moron. Please refrain from voting in the future.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
      • DA BMAN

        Have any of you bothered to READ the memo? I doubt it.Read it first,then make your comments..Even lefty libs are concerned with this turn of events.

        February 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • litmus

        LOL...History is full of US of A stories. Groups of people setting up wonderful governments that lost their way . It happens with every good government and every incredible country that pushed civilization forward and then lost its way. The middle east, the far east, now the west. We will be in the history books as one of those renaisaance periods that ate itself up just like each and every sun that will burn itself out. One has to laugh because people, as a group, tend to believe the stock market will never fall, the stock market will never rise, our country will always be even while we read and learn of all the cycles before us. What is it with people thate we are afraid to see there is an end to everything and sometimes that is a good thing because it gives somethng better a chance to emerge. Drone use will change the face of so many things and it will change the relationship between those who wield the power of the drone and those who must succomb to it. Every new weapon puts us through this cycle. Thos one will be no different except we may usher it in because we believe it will only get the BAD guy. Only problem is, we are all bad guys to someone.

        February 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Matt

      A-hahahahahahahahahaha.... A-hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahah. Oh that's rich. Thank you. I haven't laughed like that in a long time.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • Kinoeye

      Why is it that every gun-lover sounds like an idiot every time they open their mouths? Too much lead inhalation at the gun range? I don't know, but I sure know these are not the people I want "protecting" us in the event of a foreign invasion.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
      • Matt

        Unfortunately, with most of the US military continually abroad they pretty much would be our only line of defense in the event of a foreign invasion. But we have troops in Germany in case.... you know.... they try taking over Europe again?

        February 5, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  91. James H

    Wow, seat belt citations will only be issued in conjunction with other violations, (NOT). How long before there's a drone over your house?

    February 5, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  92. sohaib

    Great, sounds like our Bush, if you are not with us, you are against us. This man never killed anyone, if he was proven to be guilty of treason then he should be captured and brought in and should have a legal trial. He would have been convicted anyway since most American are just anti Muslims and jury would have given him a verdict anyway. But just in case, this would have been the proper way to kill an innocent man. After-all, He was American citizen and he was anti US foreign policy and sounded very similar to RON PAUL.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
  93. Alex

    Why o why the hell CNN and every war crime protecting agency out there do you not mention Al-ALawaki's 15 year old American son that was killed by Obama's drone strike too!? was he an Al-Qaeda leader? Did he pose an imminent threat that one day he and his 15 year old cousin were having a bbq when their bodies were blown up? Nobel Peace Price Laureate blows up a 15 year old american kid.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • Alex

      http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2235-the-way-of-the-drone-emblem-for-an-empire-of-cowards.html

      February 5, 2013 at 11:29 am | Reply
      • Alex

        Please read this, as if written in prose: http://chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2251-unspeakable-things-the-liberals-clumsy-dance-across-obamas-killing-floor.html

        February 5, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • stan

      he is responsible for the death of his son just as if he tied a bomb to his back and sent him on a suicide mission. time to blame the right guy.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Reply
      • Smithy

        Agree 100%.

        1) Declare war on the US (our drone program isn't exactly a secret)
        2) Bring your son with you overseas and expose him to danger
        3) Watch idiots on the internet defend him???

        This is what terrorists do, they use human shields, use collateral domage as propaganda, and this conversation is a perfect example.

        Collateral damage is a sad, unfortunate byproduct of war, which is itself a sad byproduct of humanity. It should always be minimized and avoided. Hopefully we can have a more peaceful world with no conflict.

        However, it is foolish to think that al-Awlaki is a victim here. He should NOT have brought his 15 year old son into a part of the world where terrorism is sympathized with, he should NOT have brought his son into "his world" period. He is directly responsible for his son's death. The fact that people on here are trying to use that one example into stopping the program (a program which is objectively less dangerous than ground forces) shows that you're playing right into the hands of madmen like al-Awlaki.

        I have my own reservations about the drone program, but using al-Awlaki is a terrible exampe in criticizing it and hurts the argument against it

        February 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • enemymine

      just because you are born in america doesn't mean you are AMERICAN. if you were born in the water it doesn't make you a fish. as far as i'm concerned, anyone with AL-ANYTHING isn't and never will be an american

      February 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
      • david

        Yes while being born American does not make u American (its allegiance, not birth) that doesnt mean someone wil an al in their name or any other middle eastern name isnt an American ( where u one of those racist to obama because of the name he was given, that he had no control over?) its allegiance people, there are people who werent born here who think the world of America and some people born here who have little or no regard for America...its allegiance, simple as that!

        February 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • heywood

      one less future terrorist slime ball for your kids to deal with later. a simple thank you would work

      February 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  94. Concerned Laywer

    So much for due process of law.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:11 am | Reply
  95. Phillip

    Americans overseas who are participating in warring against America are called treasonists. Treason is a punishable offense...by death. If they choose to fight for the other side they are the ENEMY and are guilty of treason.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • MrAirForcevet

      If you choose to side with the enemy during war time you get killed like them.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • Pat

      @ Phillip; Even treasonists deserve a trial!

      February 5, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
      • Ben

        I told you not to be stupid, ya moron!

        February 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • JeanneLH

      Couldn't have stated it any better. Drones have successfully targeted individuals rather than invade countries...like Geoge W.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • JimTheo

      You try them in abstentia (sp?), find them guilty, THEN proceed. At least that process would smell better.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
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