Drone warfare has rewritten the military playbook, scrambled the international laws of war and left U.S. laws behind. The Bush and Obama administrations have made up rules as they went along, even classifying as top secret the legal justifications for the use of drones. Drone attacks have grown 700 percent under the Obama administration, and will keep growing in number if it is left up to military and CIA brass. The drones are too easy to use, too casualty-free (if you only count U.S. casualties).
A Justice Department memo has now surfaced that empowers the government to use drones to strike against a wider range of threats, and with less evidence required, than many in Washington had assumed. It even allows targeted drone assassinations of U.S. citizens.
Some members of Congress are belatedly sounding an alarm about the drone wars. “”It has to be in the agenda of this Congress to reconsider the scope of action of drones and use of deadly force by the United States around the world because the original authorization of use of force, I think, is being strained to its limits,” Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) said in a recent interview..
The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to grill John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to head the Central Intelligence Committee, on the topic on Thursday. It’s about time.