Bad policy? Lawless policy? Both?
Is the President’s drone-based license to kill good policy or bad policy? Beyond that, is it lawful or lawless?
While it’s unacceptable for terrorists with U.S. citizenship to use that citizenship as a permanent stay out of Gitmo free card or way to avoid the 72 virgins, is it OK for the President’s vaporization via drone policy to be free from Congressional and judicial review?
Me thinks not, despite the Administration’s extralegal assertions. Consider the Administration’s deliberate lawlessness on a number of other topics, as well as its history of poor judgment and non-accomplishment (for example, the economy), which is a matter of record.
Similarly, as a matter of license to kill explanation, the Administration has chosen to lay out an an ill-defined and vague strategy: trust us.
The Administration’s drone-master, one or more high ranking and omniscient government bureaucrat and/or elected official, will make the American terrorist kill/don’t kill call based on pertinent intelligence products and the threat/non-threat of the terrorists intentions and their rank/non-rank within a terrorist network.
While it’s painful to highlight, consider—again—that our intelligence community doesn’t really have a great a record, at least at the strategic level. Think Pearl Harbor, the Bay of Pigs, Soviets in Afghanistan, the collapse of the Iron Curtain, the fall of the Soviet Union, the Indian nuclear program, 9/11, the Iraqi WMD threat, the Arab Spring, etc.. At the non-strategic level, there are stories of massive drone-based collateral damage which could be argued as being well-beyond the proportionality the laws of warfare call for.
And there’s also the whole difficulty in reconciling the Administration’s cognitive dissonance of “Gitmo bad,” “enhanced interrogations bad,” and “Bush bad” with their assertion that the President’s death by drone program is a no-worries success story. Trust us. Remain calm. All is well.
Maybe—with all due respect—the next presidential Administration will consider, as the Obama Administration did for some time, the possibility of criminal trials regarding the prior Administration’s anti-terrorism policies and programs. Although the media asserts some Administrations, like this one, are more equal than others, it would be interesting to see Eric Holder and some of the President’s other minions twisting in the wind.
While I don’t subscribe to the idea of karma or cosmic payback, I do know sooner or later—maybe after they’re done twisting, maybe before—God’ll cut ‘em down.