by Napp Nazworth
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. government can target and kill U.S. citizens believed to be terrorists without due process, even if there is no evidence that they will be involved in a specific attack, according to a secret Justice Department white paper provided to some members of Congress and obtained by NBC News. The document shows a much more expansive justification for when the administration can target U.S. citizens with drone strikes than administration officials have discussed publicly.
“A lethal operation against a U.S. citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qa’ida or its associated forces – a terrorist organization engaged in constant plotting against the United States, as well as an enemy force with which the United States is in a congressionally authorized armed conflict – and who himself poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States, would not violate the Constitution,” the paper states.
Later in the paper, though, it defines “imminent threat” broadly: “The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”
The memo clarifies that the Obama administration believes it has the right to target and kill U.S. citizens without due process as long as they are believed to be a leader in a terrorist organization engaged “recently” in terrorist “activities,” though it does not specify the length of time that would be considered “recent” or what “activities” would qualify.
The legal justification provided by the paper for when a U.S. citizen can be killed without due process is broader than what administration officials have previously discussed. For instance, if trying to capture, instead of kill, a U.S. citizen presents an “undue risk” to the personnel who would attempt the capture, then killing the U.S. citizen is justified, according to the white paper.
The white paper is not a legal document. Rather, it was provided to senators on the Intelligence and Judiciary committees. Those senators were asked to keep the paper secret. NBC News did not reveal their source but stated that someone “with access to the white paper” provided it.
by Napp Nazworth
Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas—Veteran Middle East reporter Lara Logan, who works for CBS’ “60 Minutes,” accused the U.S. government of propagating a “major lie” about terrorism, in her keynote address at Tuesday’s Better Government Association annual luncheon. The lie, Logan said, is that the Taliban and al-Qaida terrorists have softened in recent years.
There has been “a narrative coming out of Washington over the last few years,” Logan claimed, “driven by Pakistani lobbying money and by Taliban apologists,” that “the Taliban today is so unlike the Taliban of 2001. They are just a more moderate, gentler, kinder, Taliban that just can’t wait to see women in the workplace, occupy an equal role in society … it’s such nonsense.”
Logan was speaking about a Sept. 30 segment she reported on for “60 Minutes” about “insider attacks” killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Watch:
Logan also criticized the media who cover terrorism for not paying attention to what the terrorists say about the United States.
“Our way of life is under attack. And if you think that is government propaganda, if you think that’s nonsense, if you think that’s war-mongering, you’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight,” Logan said emphatically.
“In your arrogance, you think you write the script, but you don’t. There’s two sides and we don’t dictate the terms.”
Toward the end of her speech, Logan directed more of her criticism directly at the Obama administration.
“I can’t stand that there’s a major lie being propagated about the real situation. I don’t care who’s in power. I don’t care who’s behind it,” she said.
She also criticized the Obama administration for its misleading statements about the terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the deaths of Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
“When I look at what’s going on in Libya, there’s a big song and dance about whether this was a terrorist attack or a protest and you just want to scream, for God’s sake, are you kidding me?”