John Brennan Decimates the Logic of Drone Program

John Brennan will be confirmed as CIA Director.

But along the way he has utterly decimated the drone program’s legitimacy.

Twice in his confirmation hearing, he insisted he was not a lawyer. Most notably, Carl Levin went to some length to try to get Brennan to admit waterboarding was torture. Brennan said that he thought it was reprehensible, but he repeatedly stopped short of saying it was torture because “I’m not a lawyer.” Over and over again, he is not a lawyer.

He is, however, almost certainly, the “informed, high-level official of the US government who [determines] that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States.” That person not only determines whether capture would be “feasible” and what “imminent” means. But he decides whether killing the person would be “consistent with law of war principles.”

In other words, this man, who can’t (or refuses to) say whether waterboarding is torture because he is not a lawyer, is entrusted every Tuesday to make far more difficult legal decisions, both on the subjective feasible and imminent questions, but also on specific international laws.

In other words, according to the guy who has been acting as judge and jury for the last four years, the guy who has been acting as judge and jury is completely incompetent to act as judge and jury.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV Having fantasies about that kayak the #Rays just gave Jeter being full of fire ants the first time he hops in...
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @billmon1 Cruz just got to the Senate too late: remember when they were hunting AQ defense attys? @DanielLarison @Ali_Gharib
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel So after we impose 100% tax on Liz Cheney's inheritance and .1% net worth taxes on politico use of "homeland" THEN we can tax DOD contrators
42mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Actually I think these are better taxes to pay for Get-Your-War-On: 1) Liz Cheney's inheritance. All of it 2) Pols using word "homeland"
44mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @repjustinamash Is anyone asking who will pay for this yet? Can we impose a tax on defense contractors to pay for it?
46mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Atrios The Barnacle Branch. Get it straight!
58mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @attackerman Glad that Dempsey being too honest in Senate testimony and therefore bolloxing Get-Your-War-On becoming yearly event.
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emptywheel @onekade Also small and boney. Like rabbit. Not very easy to cook with. @jilliancyork @tinyrevolution
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Imagine if Admin wanted to kill US ISIS member. They'd throw wall-splat of Awlaki memos w/wall-splat of IS war memos http://t.co/kg5njzG26r
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bmaz @bmaz Kiki says "come visit me!" http://t.co/6t88fTyVIi
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel And then replaced by Condi. RT @shrubfree: no, [Goodell]'d be appointed viceroy of baghdad. #ageoffail
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emptywheel If Goodell were to lose non-profit status AND Anheuser-Busch, THEN would he get fired?
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