TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
drone_ap980.jpg
The memo asserts that the United States - as part of its right to defend itself - can target al Qaeda operatives wherever they may be if they pose an imminent threat. (AP Photo/File)

This might be bigger than skeet shooting

In 2011, a U.S. drone flying over Yemen, fired a missile and blew up alleged terrorist Anwar Al Awlaki.

"I could not reconcile between living in the U.S. and being a Muslim," Al Awlaki had said.

He was a radical Muslim - accused of inspiring the Times Square bomber, and the underwear bomber who tried to bring down a plane over Detroit.

But he was also an American citizen.

His demise is back in the news because of a Justice Department memo just disclosed by NBC.

The memo asserts that the United States - as part of its right to defend itself - can target al Qaeda operatives wherever they may be if they pose an imminent threat.

But it also states that defining someone as an imminent threat "does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons and interests will take place in the immediate future."

Which would seem rather broad.

The White House doesn't think so but look who does - on the left, MSNBC host Ed Schultz, "This document gives the president the ability act as judge, jury and executioner. I'm troubled by it."

And on the right, Fox's Sean Hannity, "Killing them without allowing any legal recourse, no safe guards in place?"

Hannity, I think it's fair to say is no fan of legal rights for terrorists.

It's one of those strange moments when voices on the right and on the left seem to be in agreement.

They seem to have noticed that in time of war, the law is not so much etched in stone as sketched in the clay of justice department memos - and interpreted in a way that justifies whatever action you've already decided to take.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
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