Top Links: Reaction to White House drone policy after NBC News’ scoop somewhere between contempt and outrage

Updated
NBC News report on U.S. policy regarding drone strikes against U.S. citizens has provoked a backlash against the White House.
NBC News report on U.S. policy regarding drone strikes against U.S. citizens has provoked a backlash against the White House.
AP Photo/Armando Babani

Top story: NBC News has obtained a damning memo about the United States’ seemingly vague policy on using drone strikes against U.S. citizens abroad—and the outrage is fairly uniform.

  • Here’s the article that started it all: “A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be ‘senior operational leaders’ of al-Qaida or ‘an associated force’” (NBC News)
  • And if you have the time, here’s the 16-page Department of Justice memo. (NBC News)
  • “The scoop by Michael Isikoff is actually startling not for the details but rather for the lack of details.” (The Atlantic Wire)
  • “Membership in al Qaeda is seen as tantamount to being in a car when someone decides to shoot someone on the street, even if the other occupant had no knowledge beforehand that the drive-by shooter would act.” (The Week)
  • Eight Democratic and three Republican senators are demanding the White House provide legal justification for these killings. (Politico)


More background on drones …

  • Pro Publica has a helpful, detailed list of everything we do—and don’t—know about drone attacks to date. (Pro Publica)
  • During one recent interview, Defense Secretary “Panetta offered several revelations, including that drones strikes were not authorized ‘if there were any women or children that were involved’—a view that was later corrected by a U.S. official.” (Council on Foreign Relations)
  • “For all the alleged successes of our expanded drone program (i.e., degrading al Qaeda in various locales, providing battlefield intel in Afghanistan, etc.) in the end the United States failed to achieve its core objectives in either” Afghanistan or Iraq. (Stephen Walt)
  • “With drones, we can pretend to have peace while actually having perpetual war.” (Foreign Policy)
  • A list of the number of people killed via drone strike so far in 2013; how many countries have access to drones; and the one Twitter account you can keep tabs on who’s been killed and where. (Buzzfeed)
  • “As France limits its involvement in Mali, America readies its drone fleet. North African kill lists coming soon?” (Walter Russell Mead)
  • The drone story also is the latest example of supposedly “liberal” media policing the Obama administration better than “conservative” media. (On Media)

Top Links: Reaction to White House drone policy after NBC News’ scoop somewhere between contempt and outrage

Updated