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.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+2Email to someone

16 Responses to John Brennan Decimates the Logic of Drone Program

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV Been focusing on the negotiations in Vienna for so long that my addled brain went to this on worst possible outcome: http://t.co/VqwM3utTbg
2mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Cite for last tweet: http://t.co/LtgbcFFWAh
2mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz There's "not “a single case in which a state secrets assertion actually made by the Govt in civil litigation was finally rejected by courts"
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Apparently you can be smart AND make great beer. http://t.co/9w220yz7gf
40mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Suggestion for journos on the GOP Trial Lawyer beat: Ask whether they have problem w/Executive not prosecuting any banks.
42mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @johnson_carrie Agree. Someone should do a lovely send off profile! ;p Also think they defy claim you gotta be bankster to investigate them
45mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @Pedinska I have some road time this afternoon, but will check in later.
48mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @davidcnswanson: Democrats ran a torturer for Congress in Michigan if anyone cares http://t.co/egS8LDH5fz
49mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel What is the background of Levin's PSI staffers who do such a good at digging out this crime?
51mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @alexisgoldstein "And boyohboy I'm not going to commit to do that again any time soon because look at the nightmare it has caused me."
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @brianbeutler A lot of us said this about Gruber from the outset. He is duplicitous and ethically dubious. Ocare sold on the wings of lies.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@michaelbkiefer @azcentral Thank you for including the source document, the legal motion, in your article. I wish more journalists did that
1hreplyretweetfavorite
February 2013
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728