Friday, March 26, 2010


Reductio Non Absurdum

I was listening to NPR this morning (it happens) and they seemed to be agonizing over one of the few things President Obama is getting right, the use of drone aircraft to kill our enemies in Pakistan and Afghanistan (and Yemen and Somalia, und so weiter). Here is some of the Obama Administration's justification, via Harold Koh:

The U.S. is in armed conflict with al-Qaida as well as the Taliban and associated forces in response to the horrific acts of 9/11.

Right as rain. And he goes on to mention the declaration of war that Congress passed, nearly unanimously, called the Authorization for Use of Military Force. But then he went on and on about minimizing civilian casualties and the many considerations that go into deciding whom to strike.

And if that hand-wringing wasn't bad enough, here is the nearly unbelievable other side, from a Ms. O'Connell at Notre Dame Law:

It really is stretching beyond what the law permits for this very extreme action, killing another person without warning, without a basis of near necessity, simply because of their status [membership in al Queda or related terrorist group].

She seems to be adamant about our inability to fight back, at least in a way to her liking.

But what is that internationalist talking about? Warning? Near necessity? They're the enemy. Since when do we have to warn the enemy of our attacks? If we warned them we'd lose the element of surprise.

Here is my very brief answer to the question, what legal justification does our drone campaign have?

Two sentences: Al Qaeda (and its ally and enabler the Taliban) declared and waged war against us. They are all illegal combatants.

There's nothing else to say. That we tend to blow up the terrorists at their homes and kill a few of their families from time to time is just so much Gadsden flag gravy.


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