The US government’s memo authorizing deadly drone strikes on suspected Americans abroad justifies the use of savage brute force, an analyst writes for Press TV.
“This is not the rule of law. This is savage brute force in minimal disguise,” David Swanson wrote in a column for the Press TV website.
The memo was released on Monday by US President Barack Obama’s administration to justify the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen in 2011 on suspicion of terrorism.
The 41-page memo concluded the use of lethal force is acceptable “at least where high-level government officials have determined that a capture operation overseas is infeasible, and that the targeted person is part of a dangerous enemy force and is engaged in activities that pose a continued and imminent threat to US persons or interests.”
Swanson said the memo is a “novel twist, though, for the government to get to use force to violate the law.”
The analyst said the memo’s author has made “murder-by-missile a lawful killing rather than an unlawful killing.”
“Then there are the vastly more numerous killings of non-US citizens, which the memo does not even attempt to justify,” he wrote.
Pardiss Kebriaei, a prominent lawyer following up on the case of Awlaki, said the memo shows the US government’s “drone killing program is built on gross distortions of law.”
Democratic Senator Ron Wyden called into question the legality of the memo, saying, “How much evidence does the president need to determine that a particular American is a legitimate target for military action? Or, can the president strike an American anywhere in the world?”
US citizen Samir Khan was also killed in the strike that killed Awlaki. Moreover, separate US drone strikes have killed two other US citizens.