The Obama administration defended a Justice Department document saying it is lawful to use a drone strike to kill an American citizen if a “high level” government official believes the target is an operational leader of al-Qaeda who poses an “imminent threat” to the U-S, and if capture is not feasible.
If we consider ourselves “at war” with al-Qaeda … and one of their people appears to be a threat to our nation … shouldn’t we kill that person, if possible … without regard to their nationality? Treason can’t hide behind citizenship.
Yet, putting a government drone operator in the position to act as judge, jury, and executioner for a fellow American citizen is chilling. Drones are already targeting people in foreign lands, based on intelligence evidence … and taking those people out. We consider them “combatants” … enemy “soldiers”.
It’s a tough call. The threat posed by an American toward his nation would have to be sure and terrible, if that drone operator were to pull the trigger.
Our thought for today is from Stephen W. Comiskey:
“You can delegate authority, but not responsibility.”