Institutionalizing Drone Murderby Will Grigg
Feb. 12, 2013
Two years ago, the Obama administration was denying the existence of a “kill list” containingU.S.citizens. Since then, it has executed at least three Americans – one of them a 16-year-old boy. Now supporters of the drone program are seeking to institutionalize the practice and make it permanent.
Freshman Senator Angus King, an Independent from Maine, has proposed the creation of a special federal court to oversee drone strikes againstUS citizens suspected of terrorism. That proposal grew out of confirmation hearings for CIA Director nominee John Brennan, who supervised a secretive White House panel that maintained the “kill list.”
The so-called “assassination court” would be modeled after an existing special-purpose federal tribunal created under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. Under FISA , federal officials can conduct surveillance of suspected foreign agents and then obtain a warrant from the FISA court after the fact. In similar fashion, a secret drone court could approve of presidentially-ordered assassinations after they occur. Authorizing a strike, Senator Young claims is “a commander-in-chief job.”
The Framers of the US Constitution wouldn’t recognize what our government has become. However, Josef Stalin certainly would.