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Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans

Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
A secretive memo from the Justice Department, provided to NBC News, provides new information about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration's controversial policies. Now, John Brennan, Obama's nominee for CIA director, is expected to face tough questions about drone strikes on Thursday when he appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee. NBC's Michael Isikoff reports. By Michael Isikoff, National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week’s hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director. Related:  US citizens dronedGun Grab & Civil war 2013

States join battle over drone flights - The Hill's RegWatch The nascent drone industry is coming under threat from lawmakers on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures who are weighing restrictions on their use in the United States. Eighteen states have considered bills that would limit the use of unmanned aerial systems, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and more are likely to follow suit. In Washington, meanwhile, lawmakers are pushing for new civil liberties and privacy protections to ease fears about invasive surveillance from the skies. Manufacturers of unmanned aerial systems say there is vast potential for police departments and law enforcement officials to use drones in their work. Several states — including California, Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Missouri — are considering a moratorium similar to Virginia’s. The drone industry fears lawmakers will enact overly restrictive regulations that prevent law enforcement from taking advantage of the technology.

US draws up battle plan to stave off digital attack cyberstrikes - Americas - World The rules – the country’s first on how it defends or retaliates against digital attacks – are expected to be approved in coming weeks, and are likely to be kept under wraps, much like the policies governing the country’s controversial drone programme. A secret legal review into the new guidelines has already decided that President Barack Obama has the power to order such pre-emptive strikes if faced with credible evidence of a looming attack, according to the New York Times, which quoted unnamed officials involved in the review. The revelations come just days after an array of American media organisations, including the New York Times and The Washington Post, said their computer networks had been infiltrated by Chinese hackers. The US, meanwhile, is known to have conducted cyber attacks of its own, with President Obama reported to have approved a wave of assaults against Iran during his first term.

A Senator's Lonely Crusade to Learn the CIA's Secrets - Conor Friedersdorf Ron Wyden is entitled to know the rules that surround targeted killing and all the countries where America is killing people. But no one will tell him. Reuters Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, has sent an extraordinary letter to top White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, President Obama's choice to lead the CIA. The letter poses questions about executive power, like "How much evidence does the President need to determine that a particular American can be lawfully killed?" The body he sits on, the U.S. Understand that the CIA's capacity to commit abuses is anything but theoretical. Even after Congress committed to more vigilant oversight of the CIA, it continued to operate with far less transparency than other federal agencies. Though the Iran-Contra affair was run out of the White House, the CIA was complicit in parts of it, and several agency staffers were disciplined in its aftermath for withholding information. Despite all that, Obama is stymieing oversight efforts.

How To Kill A Drone: Since Drones Can Kill Americans, Americans Can Kill Drones, Here’s How February 10th, 2013 (BeforeItsNews) – Since Barack Obama recently took it upon himself to label himself ‘dictator’ with free will to kill Americans with drones, isn’t it time that Americans learn how to fight back and kill drones? Where there is a will, there is a way! This excellent article informs Americans who are completely disgusted with the ‘Police State’ our once free nation has become on how to kill UAV’s. If UAV’s are going to be used to kill Americans, Americans need to learn how to fight back. The UAVs have two alternative systems for communication. Line of sight radio : In the military C-Band 500 – 1000 MHz that can be jammed with simple spark-gap radioSatellite communication : In the Ku-Band between 10.95 – 14.5 GHz, and the satellite can be jammed. The satellite link system is from L-3 Communications.Specifications.pdf Surprisingly, the resistance can tap off the military’s video feeds But now the communication is perhaps encrypted. Source: Before Its News

U.S. Drone Strikes: White House Takes Lead On Drone Process WASHINGTON -- White House counterterror chief John Brennan has seized the lead in guiding the debate on which terror leaders will be targeted for drone attacks or raids, establishing a new procedure to vet both military and CIA targets. The move concentrates power over the use of lethal U.S. force outside war zones at the White House. The process, which is about a month old, means Brennan's staff consults the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies as to who should go on the list, making a previous military-run review process in place since 2009 less relevant, according to two current and three former U.S. officials aware of the evolution in how the government targets terrorists. In describing Brennan's arrangement to The Associated Press, the officials provided the first detailed description of the military's previous review process that set a schedule for killing or capturing terror leaders around the Arab world and beyond. The new Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen.

Obama gun control gambit covers his attack on Medicare President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, Friday, December 14, 2012, in the White House briefing room in Washington. After the horrific massacre of 20 little children at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut in December, US society is undergoing another phase of acute polarization pitting right wing gun fetishists against what we may call centrist and leftist gunophobes. This conflict is being orchestrated by cynical political manipulators. Tragic mass shootings like Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and Aurora, Colorado deserve to be thoroughly investigated, and the default explanation of the deranged lone gunman needs to be subjected to critical scrutiny. Guns are a classic cultural populist wedge issue Guns, we must never forget, are a wedge issue. A classic American wedge issue has always played on the white-black racial divide, now supplemented by similar divisions involving Hispanics, Asians, and others. Origins of gun fetishism M.

Holder Letter on Counterterror Strikes Against U.S. Citizens - Interactive Feature Facebook Twitter Google+ E-mail Share Published: May 22, 2013 The day before President Obama’s planned speech on drone policy, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. wrote a letter to members of Congress acknowledging the deaths of four Americans, including Anwar al-Awlaki, in counterterrorism strikes “outside of areas of active hostilities.” <a href=" Letter 5 22 13 (PDF)</a><br /><a href=" Letter 5 22 13 (Text)</a> DHS Supplier Provides Shooting Targets of American Gun Owners Company produces cardboard cut-outs of “non-traditional threats”: Pregnant women, elderly & children Paul Joseph Watson Prison February 19, 2013 A provider of “realistic” shooting targets to the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies has created a line of “non-traditional threat” targets that include pregnant women, mothers in playgrounds and elderly American gun owners. Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. is a 21-year designer and full service provider of training targets for the DHS, the Justice Department and thousands of law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The company’s website offers a line of “No More Hesitation” targets “designed to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training.” In comparison, during the height of active battle operations in Iraq, US soldiers used 5.5 million rounds of ammunition a month. Tags: constitution, gun rights, police state Affirmative.

Holder: We've Droned 4 Americans, 3 by Accident. Oops. | Danger Room In an extraordinary admission, Attorney General Eric Holder has told Congress that U.S. drone strikes since 2009 have killed four Americans — three of whom were “not specifically targeted.” For all the effort that the Obama administration has gone to in asserting that its drones only kill the people that the administration intends to kill, Holder wrote in a letter today to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that Samir Khan, 16-year-old Abdulrahman Awlaki and Jude Kenan Mohammad were “not specifically targeted by the United States.” The fourth American to die in a drone strike since 2009 was Abdulrahman’s father Anwar Awlaki, a radical propagandist whom the U.S. killed in Yemen in 2011. The five-page letter, obtained and published by Charlie Savage of The New York Times, does not explain the circumstances that led to the unintentional killings of Khan, Mohammad and the younger Awlaki. Only the concept of “imminence” here is far broader than its conventional definition. Go Back to Top.