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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16 Responses to John Brennan Decimates the Logic of Drone Program

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emptywheel @AndyMcCanse Entire attack now on whether Bernie is realistic ignores that part of ACA history (which also legitimized Tea Party). @lhfang
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bmaz In the 60s, Bernie was marching with MLK against segregation; while HRC was a Young Republican Goldwater Girl https://t.co/ljDNVNn9SS
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bmaz So Clinton is attacking @BernieSanders on black/racial issues? Really? https://t.co/9Pui9Szk26
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emptywheel @AndyMcCanse has been ignored. There was a critical moment in 2009 when insurers playing both sides to harmful effect @lhfang
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emptywheel @AndyMcCanse I RTed it bc in discussions of whether ACA was all we could get, degree to which ins people in on deal also ran oppo @lhfang
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bmaz @ggreenwald Good thing there is nothing establishment here.
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emptywheel RT @bradheath: Here's the full #DOJ complaint against the City of Ferguson. https://t.co/yRAVhuLruK https://t.co/gcFFuXURnJ
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emptywheel RT @lhfang: Jill Alper, a "Hillblazer" fundraising for Hillary, is a superdelegate. Her firm was hired by health insurers to undermine Obam…
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JimWhiteGNV RT @_FloridaMan: Florida Man Ordered to Stay Away From Animals After Throwing Live Alligator Through Wendy’s Drive-Thru Window https://t.co
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bmaz @benjaminwittes @csoghoian For my money, think you both would be better for it. And can I come?? I promise to just drink and stay quiet!
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bmaz @benjaminwittes @csoghoian well, you both are quite decent people even if fundamentally disagree on many things.
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bmaz @benjaminwittes @csoghoian Passionate people get ahead of themselves sometimes It runs both ways. (I do it about every day) All should chill
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