Drone court considered
February 9th, 2013
11:48 AM ET

Drone court considered

By Pam Benson

Should federal judges weigh in on a president's decision to pursue and kill terrorists overseas?

The suggestion, raised at this week's nomination hearing of John Brennan to be CIA director, goes to the heart of the debate on whether President Barack Obama or any U.S. leader should have unfettered power to order the targeted killing of Americans overseas who are al Qaeda terrorists.

Some Democratic senators argued there should be a check on the president's authority to use lethal force, particularly against Americans, as occurred in September 2011 when a CIA-operated armed drone killed American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

Al- Awlaki was a senior operational planner for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who had been linked to a number of terrorist plots against the United States.

One solution offered at the hearing was to create a new court to oversee such presidential decisions.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said she would review ideas for legislation "to ensure that drone strikes are carried out in a manner consistent with our values," including a proposal to create "an analogue of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review the conduct of such strikes."

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) is a top-secret body that reviews federal warrants to intercept electronic communications of suspected foreign agents and terrorists. One reason is to protect Americans from improperly or inadvertently having their communications collected.

Creating a similar type of court to oversee lethal actions taken overseas may be easier said than done.

The intelligence panel has yet to begin drafting legislation, a Feinstein aide told Security Clearance. For now, the panel was reading through proposals and suggestions by experts and commentators.

According to the aide, who spoke on condition of not being identified, writing a bill raised "a lot of questions to wrestle with." Consultations with the Judiciary and Armed Services Committees as well as the White House must occur before a final proposal can be developed, the aide added.

Ben Powell, the former general counsel for the Director of National Intelligence, said legislators will have to deal with "a number of thorny legal issues ... with very complex implications" to put an FISC-style court together.

According to Powell, major questions that must be addressed include specifying what the court would rule on, such as whether the target was part of al Qaeda or posed an imminent threat or was unlikely to be captured.

In addition, legislation would have to define whether the court's rulings would cover U.S. citizens who don't belong to al Qaeda but pose an imminent threat, as well as what role it would have in issues outside the United States, he said.

Powell also said legislators would have to clarify how the new court interacted with the president's constitutional power to defend the nation, specifically whether a new law would seek to limit such power.

Some legal experts believe the court's review would be limited to determining whether an individual should be put on a target list.

University of Texas law professor Robert Chesney wrote on Lawfare Blog that the question should be "whether there ought to be judicial review of some kind in connection with the nomination process pursuant to which particular person may be pre-cleared for the possibility of using lethal force, a decision made long in advance of an actual attack decision."

However, Chesney raised the issue of whether such a system would be constitutional, especially if it went beyond just considering American citizens.

Powell questioned whether any court would even accept the role, saying "it would immerse the court deeper and deeper into national security judgments."

At a recent American Bar Association panel discussion, retired federal Judge James Robertson said he would want no part of such a role.

"That's not the business of judges to decide without any adversary party to sign a death warrant for somebody who is on foreign soil, for anybody, but certainly not for an American citizen on foreign soil," Robertson said.

Chesney said proponents of the court should think twice if they expect judges will ever rule against a government decision to target a particular person.

"Judges famously tend to defer to the executive branch when it comes to factual judgments on matters of military or national security significance," Chesney said. "Especially when the stakes are as high as they will be represented to be in such cases."

At Brennan's confirmation hearing, Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, argued for establishing a new court, saying the president should not be the "prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner."

Brennan told King such a court was "worthy of discussion," but added: "The commander in chief and the chief executive has the responsibility to protect the welfare, the well being of American citizens" from terrorist attacks.

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    February 22, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  12. wade

    America’s largest combat veterans group is worried the creation of a new medal for drone strikes and cyber-warfare could bestow higher honor on those using a joystick to kill terrorists than soldiers wounded on the battlefield.

    The Distinguished Warfare Medal, announced Wednesday, would rank higher than the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, which is given to servicemembers killed or wounded in battle. The new medal would rank immediately below the Distinguished Flying Cross.

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    Welcome to Obama FRUIT CAKE L:AND!

    February 14, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  13. him

    Drones good. Terrorists bad. Done.

    February 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  14. Ryan

    Yeah, that won't happen. It is not even on the same planet as a courtroom's agenda. They don't have the required clearances to make an informed decision, nor the field experience. You can't take a battlefield decision away from the Commander. Share your opinions, however, I'm right.

    February 11, 2013 at 9:46 am | Reply
  15. Steve

    Its a start...

    February 10, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  16. Skorpio

    The cheapest way to eliminate terrorists is to pay BOUNTIES to Muslim women so they can get rid of Islamic clerics, terrorists and devout Muslims. Empowering Muslim women is the solution, if women are in control of Islamic societies and have the same absolute power as any emir, caliph or sultan, Muslim societies could have long lasting peace, freedom without discrimination. Don't forget that Osama Bin Laden was captured because he was betrayed by his wives.

    February 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  17. Alex279

    So the idea behind Dianne Feinstein's proposal is basically to create a special committee who will review each case referred to them and issue a judgement approving the execution for the terrorists. Or, in some cases decline to issue such judgement if they find that evidence is not sufficient. The proceedings are to be done without bringing is the defendant who is considered unavailable in all the cases for obvious reasons.

    Actually not a bad idea, except that is not original - We seen it before, did not we? In 1940 L. Beria creased such a commission to handle a large number of enemy combatants identified among imprisoned polish officers. The this consisted of Beria himself, and comrades Kabulov and Merkulov. They were very efficient in issuing nearly 20,000 sentences in about couple month.

    February 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  18. Walter LeFlore

    I don't get it ... if there was an American terrorist around Osama ... we would have two different approaches in trying to capture Osama & the American terrorist? The American would have civil rights so let's go to Plan B. The Seal team had to make sure the American civil rights are protected?

    I would think the Seal team would be justified in taking out the American too.

    If I'm the high profile terrorist ... then always have an American terrorist with you. Then the American govt won't use deadly force to eliminate you.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:17 am | Reply
  19. massoud

    collateral damage (translation) = killing innocent people, and to not be held accountable for the death of a innocent civilian or innocent civilians. Drone strikes under Obama have killed 200 innocent Pakistani Children so far. Apparently Obama will not be nominated for A Nobel Peace Prize this year

    February 10, 2013 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • Kerry

      Let's just hope that you're right massoud about Obama not winning the Nobel Peace Prize this year. With all the corruption going on nowadays, you might be wrong. With enough money, you can almost but that prize although very few deserve it less than Barack Obama. He butchered far too many people with those horrific drones of his!

      February 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
      • George Patton-2

        Quite true Kerry, quite true.

        February 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • massoud

        Lets not forget about the thousands of innocent civilians (men women and children) who Obama killed with US Missiles in Libya. Obama also bypassed Congress and more importantly violated the War Powers Act by attacking Libya with out a vote of approval by Congress. Libya posed no threat to the USA and was planning no threat to the USA when Obama violated the War Powers Act by bombing Libya with $200 million dollars worth of USA missiles

        February 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  20. Flash321

    The window of opportunity may be just a few minutes.
    Are you going to convene a court in that time?
    It's a battlefield. You have to act quickly.
    Since when does the whining of terrorists and their sympathizers make government policy?

    February 10, 2013 at 1:44 am | Reply
  21. mew

    Drone court sounds so more friendly than assasination court.

    February 10, 2013 at 12:31 am | Reply
  22. allenwoll

    The rules should be changed so as - prior to offensive military action - to permit and indeed to require a formal declaration of war not only against states where applicable but also against organizations such as al Qaeda. . Then there generally can be no discussion or claims of war crimes.

    February 9, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  23. allenwoll

    What about privately operated drones ? ?

    February 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply
    • Alex279

      Not a bad idea. And the process of nominating which terrorists should be terminated and in which order, and well as establishing rating how particularly bad each individual terrorist is should be outsourced to credit reporting companies - Eqperian, Equifax, and Transunion.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  24. DickPerry

    UN is currently investigating the drone killings and as a neutral observer i can't see that the findings can be anything but that USA is committing war crimes with its assassination program.

    February 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Reply
    • Kerry

      Unfortunately Dick, I'm afraid that some U.N. investigators may be on the take. They may be successfully bribed to declare these drone strikes legal and above board. Even if that's not the case, those thugs in Washington won't abide by any ruling against this heinous policy!

      February 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • franklovesfl

      If you think that, after 9/11, the US will stand for ANY interference by the UN, you are NUTS.

      February 11, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  25. Russ

    If someone affiliates himself with an enemy of the US/terrorist group, has inspired others to commit attacks on the US, and or has committed them himself, he no longer should enjoy the protection of civil rights accorded to law abiding citizens of the US. In my mind, he is no better than a foreign enemy of the US and should be subject to the full force of the US to neutralize his threat.

    February 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Reply
    • Alex279

      It is interesting to see where exactly you want to draw the boundary between exercising free speech and associating themselves with enemy of the United States.

      The truth is that there are many people around the World who do not like United States and curse at United States (an personally curse State Sec. Hillary Clinton) all the time, day after day. Do you want to do after them as well?

      This al Maliki guy you see on the photograph, who was born in United States, but later decided that he likes Islam better. All his crime is basically talking: he did not kill anyone, nor did he even stole anything. Or yeah, he may potentially "inspire" someone against United States, is this a crime?

      What about Oliver Stone? He does seem to not like United States as well.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  26. redbaron120288

    this conversation should not be happening, not only are these people terrorists, but they are also traders. now given they are terrorists, and have commited treason they deserve to get droned. once you get affiliated with the taliban, or alqada, or any other terrorist group thats reason enough.

    February 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Another idiotic comment above from another weak minded Tea Partier like this so-called redbaron120288! With people like these, no wonder they regard ours as a sick society!

      February 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Reply
      • redbaron120288

        I am not tea party. im democrat. you seem to object to killing terrorists? why is that? these drones are the best thing to happen. it means we dont have to put boots on the ground.

        February 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Like, Trader Joe's? Also, you can't have "commited treason" unless you are a citizen of the US. If you are a citizien, you are afforded rights under the const.itution, like due process. There are a number of reasons why ANY US President should not be lobbing missles at US Citizens without so much as a court order.

      February 9, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Reply
    • cybermonkeytech

      Traders? Seriously? Traders buy/sell/barter things. Traitors commit treason. Even with the correct words, your argument is hard to take seriously; without them, it is just kind of sad.

      February 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Reply
      • redbaron120288

        well thank you for correcting my grammer. but you get my point regarldless of how I spelled it.

        February 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
      • cybermonkeytech

        Grammar would be correcting you if you said 'they is traitors' instead of 'they are traitors.' Spelling would be telling you that it is spelled 'grammar,' not 'grammer.' What I did was tell you you were using a completely different word with a different meaning, because doing that makes it sound like you're trying to type words you've heard spoken, but haven't read, or don't understand. (For instance, that you can only be a traitor against a country that you're a citizen of. In the case of the United States of America, if you're a citizen, you're guaranteed due process. That means you have to be proven guilty of a crime before you are punished (read: executed) for it.)

        February 9, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
      • redbaron120288

        ok my bad grammer, spelling what ever aside, were not in school. not all of us are expert spellers like you. lol. alright now on my question. those that oppose the drone's, what is your answer to all of this? and I mean an indepth view of it. we going to put boots on the ground on go on a man hunt? we going to send it to a court and let it take 6 months to year? while there planning?

        February 9, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
      • cybermonkeytech

        I'd think a court like the FISA court (that approves wiretaps) could oversee. The FISA court is fast, doesn't take months like you say, and hasn't gotten in the way, it approved nearly all (or is it still actually all?) requests.

        February 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Alex279

        Traders deserve to die. Especially sub-prime debt, derivative, and Bernard Madoff kind of traders.

        February 11, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • redbaron120288

      I cannot think of anything so low as to become a terrorist, and do harm to your own people. that is treason. how someone can object to killing people so low as this is beyond me. what? you think we should put boots on the ground and go on a man hunt, then arrest them, then haul them into a high court? then let them go sit in guantonimo bay for the rest of there life?

      February 9, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
      • Sane Person

        I think citizens are due thier rights, that is what I think. If we can prove they are terrorists, then, by all means we take care of them. But no, I do not wish to give the president the ability to kill anyone, anywhere, by simpling say "he was a terrorist".

        February 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • redbaron120288

      ok so lets get this straight, we should let them live so they can strike another day? and being a US citizen it would be more easy for them to gain entry back into the country. and while there case is tied up in the court they can move around and slip under our radar cause we want to be diplomatic about it. and by the time they are found guilty we've lost them. all I can say to this is wow.

      February 9, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • Walter LeFlore

      redbaron I agree. I'm no tea partier ... I'm a former Marine sgt, Viet Nam vet, African-American ....

      You become a terrorist you pay the price.

      From the other side ... give all the high profile targets to the American ... if we gonna make sure his/her civil rights are protected his/her changes of succeeding increases cause we won't eliminate the American terrorist without due process.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • Alex279

      So because they are traders, they deserved to die? How about derivative traders? They are definitely the worst of the worst. Drone The Wall Street! Down to Trader Joe!

      February 11, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  27. Neun Stein

    Please folks, don't pay any attention to what my dimwitted brother Zwei posts here. Ever since he joined the right-wing Tea Party Movement, he believes that everything this government says is the gospel truth like every other Tea Partier. We are the only country on earth to murder people with this obscene technology and that makes us all look bad as Americans!!!

    February 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Reply
    • geraldhintlian

      What is the possible difference with killing wackos with a drone rather than an F-15 or other American fighter? Please enlighten me, I have no clue!!!

      February 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Reply
      • Sane Person

        Proving that they are in fact guilty of a crime, prior to blowing the hell out of them.

        February 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
  28. lerianis

    Correction: The key term is ACCUSED. They have never had their day in court, even in absentia, and I am very leery of giving anyone the right to extrajudicially say that someone is 'too evil to live' and kill them summarily.

    I didn't like it when it was done with Osama, I would rather have put his butt on trial and gotten a legal conviction against him, then stuffed him in the coldest, darkest cell we could find for the rest of his life if he was convicted.

    February 9, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Reply
    • JBphnx

      @Ierianis- It is not illegal to use deadly force if the situation warrants it. For example, if a man is accused of murder, then the police must ensure that he is arrested so he can stand trial- unless, of course, the man starts shooting at people. Then the police must try to arrest him if possible, but if their lives, or the lives of anyone else are in immediate danger, the suspect will generally be put down. The US Military would argue that this is the exact reasoning Obama uses in determining drone strikes. Al- Awlaki was deemed to be an immediate threat to national security NOT because Obama said so, but because his writings were used to recruit Al Qaeda operatives whose sole agenda are to wage war against the United States and its citizens. And since arresting him or extraditing him was impossible, he was put down. He may not have been directly shooting at Americans, but he was recruiting people to wage war against Americans. In the eyes of this Administration (and in my own opinion as well), that is the same thing.

      February 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Reply
    • Josh

      The drones seem to be saving lives. If there wasn't always a threat there , we wouldn't needs drones there.

      February 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        Whose lives are safer? You certainly dont mean the plethora of innocent civilians killed in these drone attacks. Oh wait, they're not Americans so doesnt matter. lol To think I actually value a Pakistani's life the same as an American. muwhahaha

        February 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
      • cybermonkeytech

        That kind of logic is up there with police saying, if you aren't hiding anything, you should let me search you/your car/your house without a warrant. It doesn't hold water.

        February 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Thank you, Ierianis. I couldn't agree more. Who are those right-wing thugs in Washington to judge who is to live and who is to die anyway? It is they who need to be indicted and prosecuted at the I.C.C. for cold blooded murder!

      February 9, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  29. Ted

    Drones are legal, moral and wise.

    February 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • lerianis

      No, they aren't legal, moral or wise. They are murder weapons used without a trial that have a habit of killing innocent civilians while trying to kill the person who we are trying to kill.

      Imagine if the tables were turned and these drones were being used against Americans by Afghani's or Al-Qaeda. Would you not be complaining about that?

      February 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
    • cybermonkeytech

      Drones are machines, controlled by people, at the orders of other people. They may be legal, but they are only as moral or as wise as those controlling them and/or ordering the strikes.

      February 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  30. Maximumbob62

    If Diane Feinstein has anything at all to do with this, it will certainly be FUBAR.

    February 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      lol – sadly this was so right on....

      February 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  31. Tracy

    Imagine, 7 years from now, You are in a strip mall parking lot. All of a sudden you hear sirens and see a car driving in really fast. A man jumps out and starts running towards a store. You hear a buzz of a lawnmower overhead.

    Suddenly, two wires shoot out from above, and hit the man. He screams, shakes and falls to the ground. Two police cars roll up, and cops jump out. guns drawn. They handcuff the man while yelling the Miranda speech and throw him in the back of the car. One cop tells you to move the *curse* along. You mumble "yes officer" and comply as quickly as possible... That is basically what is gonna be new normal.

    February 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • Ted

      This could have prevented loss of lives on 9/11, if we were catching Islamists quickly. If the man you described were an Islamist, then it would have been an awesome response from the law enforcement. Thank you.

      February 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
    • AmericansForSensibleGovernment

      If only! You guys with your paranoid fears. And yet when Bush was in office passing the "Patriot" act you didn't seem to mind..

      You hate that the black man is the President, isn't that the real issue?

      February 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
      • JBphnx

        @AFSG- don't oversimplify the issue by playing the race card. It has nothing to do with Obama being black. It has to do with him being a Democrat. The Right-wing was just as hostile to Clinton. If a Democrat is seen being weak, then he is labelled a Socialist. If he is seen being strong, he is labelled a Fascist. If he is seen trying to compromise, he is labelled a Liberal.

        February 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
      • Bob

        No that has nothing to do with it.

        February 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
  32. Tracy

    US police are getting more militarized by the. All this talk is to get you used the inevitable. "If you aren't doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about, right?" Well, they keep changing what "wrong" is. Protesting and thought crime is on the horizon.

    February 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • Ted

      The US police are innocent until proven guilty.

      February 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  33. Joe Smith

    Yeah, let's get congress involved. The next potential target will die of old age before they decide on anything.

    February 9, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      I agree but if the President was right 50% of the time would you be ok with it? I find this is an important question whether you agree or disagree. How many innocent is a fair sacrifice and how do we really know if someone is innocent or not if all we have to go on is the executioners word?

      February 9, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Reply
      • cassius

        we are at war. Should the military ask a court every time they shoot at an enemy? If you are actively participating in treason and planning or training to murder americans, yes you should be killed. If I remember right zakawi's lawyers had already asked a us court to put a restraining order on our govt to prevent them from attacking him. He could always have come and filed in federal court and taken care of things. he chose to remain in the middle east planning terrorist attacks. he chose poorly.

        February 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
  34. Josef Bleaux

    I have no problem with targeting terrorists of ANY nationality with drones.

    February 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  35. Jimh77

    An American Terrorist with Al Qaeda should be considered a Non America who gave up his/her citizenship when they joined a terrorist group. Is no longer an American and is subject to termination by what ever means necessary.

    February 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • Joe Smith

      It's even simpler than that. An American citizen who participates in terrorist attacks on the United States has committed treason, and is subject to the death penalty.

      February 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Reply
      • Zoop

        After trial.

        February 10, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • DickPerry

      Its still an suspect until they have been found guilty in a court of law.

      February 9, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
      • Ted

        Good point. We should let a "suspected drone" kill him in a "suspected drone strike" like it is allowed to happen in Pakistan everyday. Please do not blame the drones when you have no real evidence that a drone did that. Drones are innocent until proven guilty.

        February 9, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
      • Lawless4U

        I think most of these terrorists had enough time to turn themselves in if they wanted a trial. They are merely being apprehended with overwhelming force.

        February 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • crabapples12

      good idea....except now people are being targeted by association. That is a slippery slope that shouldn't even be considered. Sorry, i like freedom and i don't fear al queda is under my bed. 8 billion a year for DHS and they have caught ZERO terrorists.
      The US domestically is getting more and more militarized. People act as if the FBI and CIA did not have intel and warnings prior to 911. They did. Now i get my junk grabbed to board a plane... How many has TSA caught? ZERO.

      February 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
      • Lawless4U

        Flying isn't a right.

        February 9, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  36. Zwei Stein

    Terrorists do their dirty work anywhere, anytime they want. No judicial review...just expediency. I say, continue with what we're doing, that is the reason we have a Commander In Chief. It works as needed, when needed! If you get congress involved, nothing will ever get done.

    February 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • DickPerry

      Thats the same as saying criminals don't care about the law so lets skip the law.

      February 9, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • Lawless4U


      February 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  37. 28Mamerican

    The question is simple.

    Do we want to kill terrorists before they commit acts like 911 or after.

    February 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Reply
    • DickPerry

      Thats usually not the question. I would say that Obama or his henchmen can't produce evidence that anyone has been a immediate danger to US that has been drone killed.

      February 9, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Reply
      • Ted

        @ Dick - You have no evidence that drones killed your Islamist friends. Prove it.

        February 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
      • Lawless4U

        Dick, do you think that they just pick out cars or houses on satellite and decide "Thats the one we're gonna hit"?

        No, they listen in on communications and gather other intel and decide who to target. So, YES the terrorists that have been killed have either been implicated in prior attacks or are in the planning stages of future attacks.

        February 9, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  38. George Patton

    Use of drones, in just last 4 years, have made all rats to go under ground, back into their holes. Keep flying drones.

    February 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • DickPerry

      Drones are a terror weapon which makes USA a terrorist state.

      February 9, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Reply
      • JBphnx

        Actually that is incorrect. By definition, a 'Terror Nation' uses fear as a primary means of warfare. Drones do not fit this definition as they are designed to hone in on a specific target as a means to minimize collateral damage, not to scare the bejesus out of a civilian population. That is not to say that drone operators don't make mistakes. Nor does it mean that drones don't inflict any collateral damage at all since no weapon is 100% accurate. However, President Obama has made it very clear that if and when the US is engaged in war, it will do so as efficiently as technology allows. In other words- the exact opposite of a 'Terror Nation.'

        February 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
      • Lawless4U

        Dick, terror attacks generally involve killing or harming innocent people. Bug difference here.

        February 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
      • T.Clancy

        Careful, Dick – you may have just smeared drone-honey all over yourself, watch out for the angry buzzing from above! 😉

        February 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
      • DickPerry

        I'm not scared by americans. I know the drone killings isn't about terrorists as much its about killing opposition to US and its allies. Thats the american way. Drones are used as terror weapons and that is also looked into by the UN investigation. I just hope they have the balls to charge the criminals of US for their war crimes. Obama should be in Hague for harboring war criminals and also for his war crimes.

        February 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
      • DickPerry

        You are wrong. They are considered to be weapons of terror by those who have to live with the fear of them. And those are mostly civilians. And don't forget that almost 30 percent of those killed by drones are civilians.

        February 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
      • George Patton

        Dick, if civilians don't invite "wanted people" to their wedding parties, or don't accept them as paying guests, I am sure they have no reasons to fear drones. Drone are used based on ground intelligence provided by local people only, in most cases IIS informants.

        February 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Ted

      @George - Driving the filthy terrorist rats underground is awesome - some in the holes and the rest in their graves underground.

      February 9, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Reply
      • Phunnie boy

        Thank you Ted for agreeing with me in my post above. Like I said above, we need to kill as many of these towel heads as possible. Adolf Hitler had it wrong since the towel heads are worse than Jews. That's the difference between we Tea Partiers and the Nazis. We persecute towel heads!!!!!!!

        February 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  39. Phunnie Boy

    good ost, Good job, Agree 100%, blah blah blah, approving your own post under different name Phunnie boy? Is John sitting next to you George? ha ha ha ha, Just use you own handle you gutless piece of s-h-i-t.

    February 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  40. tex from Virginia

    Part of me thinks that this was just a test to judge our reactions. It starts with a terrorist in a foreign country, but how long before it is an "enemy of the state" in your own backyard? But thats crazy right?

    February 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  41. massoud

    I suggest we have a direct democracy and we get to vote and decide domestic and foreign policy and we send all of these incompetent bought off members of Congress out into the real world, not only that but we end their pension and health care benefits for all of the National Debt they are responsible for.

    February 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  42. George Patton-2

    Does anyone here truly believe that any of these federal judges are going to do anything to stop the obscene butchery brought on by those cursed drones? I do not, anymore that the ones at the I.C.C.!!! At any rate, this obscene butchery is truly a national disgrace no matter how you slice it!!!

    February 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • John Geheran

      Good post, George. I couldn't have said it better. Thank you.

      February 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • 1371 U.S.M.C.

      Why would you stop something that's working? Oh we will stop when the belivers of in a false religion stop murdering us just because we don't believe in the writings of a inbred.

      February 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Reply
      • Silence Dogood

        Do you have proof that ANY of them are "true?" And what's a beliver? If you are bedazzled you have become dazzled; I suppose you were once a piece of liver and become belivered...

        February 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
      • DickPerry

        Its illegal and its a terrorist action by a terrorist state US..

        February 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
      • AmericansForSensibleGovernment

        Another FAKE VET here posting.. Shouldn't you be on FauxNews nation posting your pretend background? Stop pretending to be someone of the service. It dishonors those of us who DID serve.

        February 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Ted

      The federal judges are very responsible people. These are noble people. They do feel that they have the responsibility not only to protect Americans but also they want to protect the peaceful, innocent people all around the world from these Islamic terrorist people. So, please do not expect federal judges to stop drones.

      February 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
      • Joseph McCarthy

        Not all of them Ted, not all of them! Some are open to bribery while others have no moral principles at all.

        February 9, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
      • Ted

        May be. In the name of diversity, there are some Muslim judges too. So, I am not surprised.

        February 10, 2013 at 12:01 am |

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