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
bmaz @cocktailhag @emptywheel We have a tunnel gap!
9mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Why won't Wolf Blitzer come to my terror tunnel?
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @mattmdiaz: "@thedailybeast: Israel has shrunk #Gaza by 40% in three weeks with its "buffer zone" http://t.co/WaVmFfP58k http://t.co/fqr
12mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @AZ_Dream_Killer: RT @sn_ncaab Calipari reportedly racked up more than $200K worth of private recruiting flights last year. http://t.co/
13mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @adambonin That would be the Shelly Sterling Case, right??
17mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel Had to be. Also, the Tapper big segment today "Exporting Death!" https://t.co/2319TZxJcy
25mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @bmaz Oh, I knew he had gone. But it must have been during the "cease fire," right? And they haven't admitted that.
28mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @joshgerstein Yep, think so. Title suggests hoaxes and language broad enough to cover.
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @bmaz Did they confirm that? @CNN
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JimWhiteGNV RT @gatorhoops: Another Urban recruit --> Colts cut ex Gator RB Chris Rainey for reportedly violating team rules http://t.co/K29REonaix via…
34mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Huh, whatta ya know, @emptywheel noted that ceasefire was probably just to allow @CNN to take IDF propaganda shots of tunnels+she was right.
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February 2013
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