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Guantanamo, Drone Strikes and the Non-War Terror War: Obama Speaks


As one of the 1,200-plus signatories to the full-page ad that appeared in  mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
border:none windowtext 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none windowtext 0in;padding:0in”>Torture and Indefinite Detention at Guantanamo
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
border:none windowtext 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none windowtext 0in;padding:0in”>The Non-War Terror War
none windowtext 0in;padding:0in”>Proportionality
 means that an attack cannot be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage. Yet when drones are used to take out convoys, large numbers of civilians will be, and have been, killed.   mso-border-alt:none windowtext 0in;padding:0in”>self-defense is defined by the leading Caroline Case of 1837, which said that the "necessity for self-defense must be instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation." The Obama administration has provided no evidence that the people it targeted were about to launch an imminent attack on the United States.

 

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> of using drone strikes to kill rescuers and attendees at funerals after the original strike killings.

Preconditions for using lethal force include:

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>1.    The requirement of a "legal basis" for the use of lethal force. It does not define whether "legal basis" means complying with ratified treaties, including the UN Charter, which prohibits the use of military force except in self-defense or when approved by the Security Council.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>2.    The target must pose a "continuing, imminent threat to US persons." The Fact Sheet does not define "continuing" or "imminent." The recently leaked Department of Justice White Paper says that a US citizen can be killed even when there is no "clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons and interests will take place in the immediate future." 

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>3.    There must be "near certainty" that the terrorist target is present. Neither the Fact Sheet nor Obama in his speech addressed whether the administration will continue "signature strikes" (known as crowd killings),  which don't target individuals but rather areas of suspicious activity.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>4.    There must be "near certainty" that noncombatants will not be injured or killed. This is apparently a departure from present practice, as numerous noncombatants have been killed in US drone strikes. The Fact Sheet changes the current policy of defining noncombatants as all men of military age in a strike zone "unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent."

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>5.    There must be an assessment that "capture is not feasible" at the time of the operation. It is unclear what feasibility means. The White Paper appears to indicate that "infeasible" means inconvenient.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>6.    There must be an assessment that relevant governmental authorities in the country where the attack is contemplated cannot or will not effectively address the "threat to US persons," which is left undefined.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>7.    There must be an assessment that no other reasonable alternatives exist to address the "threat to US persons," also left undefined.

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
border:none windowtext 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none windowtext 0in;padding:0in”>The Unanswered Questions
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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> yelled out several questions before being escorted out of the room.

She asked the President:

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the editor of