Monday, February 10, 2014

Situation Desperate But Not Serious - Obama Admin's Terrorist Policy Just Droning Along

Obama and his policies regarding drones operations in foreign countries against US Citizens has managed to boomerang nicely and illustrate the trouble with treating foreign terrorism overseas as a law enforcement problem.

The Detroit News: American citizen possibly targeted for U.S. drone attack

An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.

The CIA drones watching him cannot strike because he’s a U.S. citizen and the Justice Department must build a case against him, a task it hasn’t completed.

Four U.S. officials said the American suspected terrorist is in a country that refuses U.S. military action on its soil and that has proved unable to go after him. And President Barack Obama’s new policy says American suspected terrorists overseas can only be killed by the military, not the CIA, creating a policy conundrum for the White House.

Quite the catch 22 - and adding to the fun you'll see as you read the article that currently, only the military by law may try to capture him, but by law the military isn't allowed to go capture him. Yet the CIA drone may lawfully fly there, but can't shoot because that would be unlawful.

So, this fellow is responsible for the deaths of Americans overseas but can't be touched because there hasn't been a domestic law enforcement case made against him, a case that can't be prosecuted as he can't be brought to justice in the US due to his current remote location that would require US troops to have to land and try to capture him, and thus we can't let the CIA go after him, and the military can't touch him because he's not in a conflict zone where they could act.

In other words, a terrorist with American citizenship located outside America may plot and kill Americans with impunity under this policy, and all drones can do is circle around and watch as he does so.

That's quite the policy, and it's an example of the inherent insanity in treating foreign terrorism as a law enforcement problem that can be defeated by pretty platitudes and policies.

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