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+1Email 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
bmaz The modern police, cops first citizen's lives second, state is pervasive+invasive: We need to step, and get, back: https://t.co/W6CdD0Np3f
5mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Also, anyone want to start a pool on how long Bandar will really be booted this time?
18mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Can someone ring me when the definitive account of the Bandar booting is done?
18mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @biasedreporter Huh. For how long, this time?
26mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel If we had 5 Judge Rakoffs in every federal courthouse this country would be in better shape.
28mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @biasedreporter Whatever. @AC360 did a fantastic job with Marissa Alexander and @JeffreyToobin They really did given TV constraints.
55mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz It is 70º and dry where I am in Phoenix. I'm a punch the next pasty ass visitor from Seattle or New England that complains about the weather
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charliearchy Man, who do I ask to be able to use "fucked" in a Salon headline?
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz If you all in the Beltway think Loretta Lynch is grand bi-partisany nom, and not the worst of Holder without the best of him, quit you jobs.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Walter Pincus apparently wasn't not watching the trial I actually watched. https://t.co/DdM3C20iFV
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz If Orrin Hatch will support+McConnell will let through, Lynch's nom, that is NOT a sign of "bi-patisanship" you Beltway morons. Wake up.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @electrospaces Plurality of orders used by FBI to get Internet data not available using NSLs. That FBI gets directly. @dametzger
1hreplyretweetfavorite
February 2013
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728