Sunday, July 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Is ‘targeted killing’ appropriate U.S. policy?

By
From page A8 | February 12, 2013 |

The issue: Many questions remain to be answered before this becomes official

The 9/11 attacks, and the desperate efforts to prevent a repeat, have forced the United States into a series of moral choices it didn’t want to make and, for the most part, had hoped to avoid.

NONETHELESS, as a matter of official and unofficial policy, we embraced the concept of pre-emptive wars; in the case of Iraq, it was declared on the flimsiest of grounds. Vital constitutional protections were selectively suspended (such as indefinite detention without right to trial). Traditional safeguards of privacy were overruled by the Patriot Act. Targeted assassinations — extrajudicial killings, if you will — and “enhanced interrogation techniques” amounting to torture became part of our anti-terrorism arsenal.

These policies originated in the George W. Bush administration. Candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign rhetoric led many supporters to believe he would abandon or soften many of the policies.

However, with a few exceptions where Congress thwarted him — closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and trying its inmates in civilian criminal courts — President Obama not only embraced Bush-era surveillance and anti-terrorism policies, he expanded on them.

One such expansion has just come to light: an internal Justice Department memo saying it is legal for the administration to kill U.S. citizens abroad if an American is a senior member of al-Qaida or an allied terrorist organization and is believed to pose an “imminent” threat of violent attacks against other Americans.

THE MEMO APPEARS to be justification for continued lethal drone attacks and a belated legal rationale for the 2011 drone strike in Yemen that killed two Americans: Anwar al-Awlaki, 40, who preached a virulently anti-U.S. version of jihad; and Samir Khan, the 25-year-old publisher of a how-to terrorism magazine.

No one outside radical Islamic circles seems to have mourned their passing, and it can be convincingly argued that we were justified in killing them before they incited followers to begin killing some of us.

But we are a nation of rights and laws, and this memo is distressingly broad about the process of selecting Americans to assassinate. The memo says that an “imminent threat” need not be based on any specific information and that certain al-Qaida leaders are acceptable targets, on the grounds that al-Qaida leaders are always and continually plotting against the United States.

News accounts, reflecting the memo, are vague about who exactly can order a strike, referring to “an informed, high-level government official” or simply a “decision-maker.” And the memo says these projected assassinations should not be subject to judicial review; thus, the decision would solely be the prerogative of somebody in the executive branch.

NOT SURPRISINGLY, 11 senators who will weigh in on Obama’s nominees to the Pentagon and CIA have demanded to see the secret legal memos supporting the conclusions in the Justice memo that became public.

There remain many, many questions to be answered before targeted killings, basically on one person’s say-so, become official U.S. policy.

Comments

comments

.

News

Zombies by rail: It’s not just a show, it’s a trip

By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Community gardens stretch food dollars, study finds

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Humphrey Fellows will host Global Forum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Fatal Covell Boulevard crash recalled in court

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

Wildfire spurs evacuation of 700 homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Israel extends Gaza truce through Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Ukraine launches offensive to retake Donetsk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Rairdan joins race for Davis school board

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
State can’t say if it’s meeting drought goal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Luna family matriarch turns 100

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
New ordinance aims to prevent nut thefts from orchards

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Mace Innovation Center is focus of meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Affordable housing forum planned in Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
 
Discussion of oil by rail EIR planned Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Freeway crash injures two drivers

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

 
Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

State awards $40,000 for historic property survey

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A8

 
Protesters gather at Primate Center

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

Get a sneak peek at documentary trailer

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Free blood pressure screenings offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Davis Chamber Choir sings short summer program

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

 
Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A9

Vanguard hosts economic development director

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
At the Pond: From Davis, it’s easy to get back to nature

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Tickets on sale now for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Forum

 
Feels like a million miles away

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

Check doctors’ vitals before they check yours

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Here’s what you need for a perfect wedding

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

Husband’s let himself go

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

 
So, what’s in a week’s worth of waste?

By Michelle Millet | From Page: A16

Questions on water rights

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

 
Golf tourney was a big success

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16

Campus turns on the tap

By Our View | From Page: A16

 
Pat Oliphant cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A16

New playground is wonderful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

 
Just Us in Davis: Little Rock Nine hero to celebrate with Davis youths

By Jann L. Murray-Garcia | From Page: A17 | Gallery

We can do more to help

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

 
.

Sports

Gray wins 6th straight, A’s 4 HRs beat Texas 5-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Kershaw throws 2-hitter as Dodgers beat Giants 5-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Furyk opens 3-shot lead in Canadian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
New Korematsu teacher is an American Ninja Warrior

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sutherland presents 1st clinic; golf column on its way

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Nibali set to cruise to Tour victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Area sports briefs: River Cats take Game 1 of doubleheader

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Companies will collaborate on crop insect control

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

 
Developer’s commitments: affordable and green

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13 | Gallery

UC Davis Health System earns ‘Most Wired’ award

By Charles Casey | From Page: A15

 
Bartholomew hires new associate

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A15

 
Go back to school with Great Clips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

Lagerstrom represents Davis at Mary Kay seminar

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

 
.

Obituaries

Jonathan Eric Hollander

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Carlton Hope Meister

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, July 27, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A6