U.S. Congress Mulls Creation Of Drone Court To Authorize Killings

Who lives and who dies? The drone court will decide. Via Reuters:

During a fresh round of debate this week over President Barack Obama’s claim that he can unilaterally order lethal strikes by unmanned aircraft against U.S. citizens, some lawmakers proposed a middle ground: a special federal “drone court” that would approve suspected militants for targeting. The idea is being actively considered, however, according to a White House official.

At Thursday’s confirmation hearing for CIA director nominee John Brennan, senators discussed establishing a secret court or tribunal to rule on the validity of cases that U.S. intelligence agencies draw up for killing suspected militants using drones.

Senator Angus King, a Maine independent, said during the hearing that he envisioned a scenario in which executive branch officials would go before a drone court “in a confidential and top-secret way, make the case that this American citizen is an enemy combatant.”

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  • InfvoCuernos

    I don’t see how a secret military tribunal is any better than what’s happening now.

  • InfvoCuernos

    I don’t see how a secret military tribunal is any better than what’s happening now.

    • emperorreagan

      It would create jobs! A couple of jurists making six figure salaries to rubber stamp kill orders!

      Really, though, the only reason I would personally think it matters is that it would create a bigger document trail. A larger document trail increases the possibility of things being leaked or inadvertently revealed. Also will be nice to leave behind for historians to write about the US after it fails.

      • InfvoCuernos

        My knee-jerk reaction to the document point was that they wouldn’t be stupid enough to leave documents around, but then I remembered Operation Northwood. I should never underestimate the stupidity or arrogance of the govt.

      • InfvoCuernos

        My knee-jerk reaction to the document point was that they wouldn’t be stupid enough to leave documents around, but then I remembered Operation Northwood. I should never underestimate the stupidity or arrogance of the govt.

        • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

          It’s basically the only thing common people have in their favor. Fortunately, it’s hard to over estimate just how incompetent the ‘people in charge’ really are.

        • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

          It’s basically the only thing common people have in their favor. Fortunately, it’s hard to over estimate just how incompetent the ‘people in charge’ really are.

    • smooth_operator

      A secret military tribunal is democratic window dressing. It’s meant to give the appearance of oversight. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s frightening the rationalizing that’s now taking place in regards to the drone program.

  • Audio7

    We should consider the FISA court that was set up decades ago by Congress for government wiretapping oversight, and how Dubya’s Administration unilaterally circumvented it whenever it decided it didn’t want to bother with the legalities of that court.

    A so-called drone court would likely pose a similar non-threat to future presidents who wished to maneuver around it. And depending on which party controlled Congress, the oversight might not be too stringent.

  • Audio7

    We should consider the FISA court that was set up decades ago by Congress for government wiretapping oversight, and how Dubya’s Administration unilaterally circumvented it whenever it decided it didn’t want to bother with the legalities of that court.

    A so-called drone court would likely pose a similar non-threat to future presidents who wished to maneuver around it. And depending on which party controlled Congress, the oversight might not be too stringent.

  • BuzzCoastin

    the Chinese government already has secret tribunals
    for people who oppose its reign
    though I’m not sure
    I think they also torture their prisoners
    but the big difference between Totalitarian China & Der Homeland of the Free is
    Homelander’s can elect their per-selected candidate of oppression
    the Chinese can’t

  • “Big” Richard Johnson

    I only wish I profited from the use and manufacture of drone mounted missiles (currently AGM-114 Hellfire, although who knows when you might read this), so that I might have a say in this Court.

  • rtb61

    Catch, the court will also have to authorise collateral damage.

    Yes, we pronounce the coloured person guilty and you can execute them on the proviso that you execute no more than 10, ‘er’, 20, ‘er’ just to be safe? ‘FIFTY’ other people at the same time by ‘er’ ‘um’ accident. This excludes all non-lethal injuries and property damage from reckoning as collateral damage because ‘er’ ‘um’ it will make us as in the US look even fucking worse.
    Children do not count unless the public can be convinced that the terrorist was using them as antimissile shields, you know tossing them up into the air with catapults so that the missiles explode prior to hitting the target because you know they are terrorist and evil and they don’t care how many children they kill.

  • Juan

    Excellent idea! It will make it all better.