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Congressional Research Service document on legal basis for drone strikes


By NicolasDavies - Posted on 12 September 2012

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/target.pdf   This document by CRS Legislative Attorney Jennifer Elsea makes it clear that the US Government's drone program is based on the ancient legal principle of "shoot first, ask (legal) questions later".  Her analysis demonstrates that these killings run afoul of almost every legal principle regarding the use of lethal force outside of a declared war between nations, from the Caroline principle to the UN Charter to the specific provisions of the 2001 AUMF.  And of course it speaks volumes that the CRS has to speculate on the U.S. government's justification for killing people in the first place - this is the extent of our democracy, that Congress employs people to parse speeches by administration officials to find out what the policy of our country is regarding our right to not be killed in cold blood.

 

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