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Americans killed by American drones

March 12th, 2013
12:07 PM ET

Can the United States government use a drone to kill an American citizen sitting in a cafe who doesn't pose an immediate threat? That’s precisely what U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican of Kentucky, recently asked the United States government. The U.S. Attorney General answered the question, declaring any such action unlawful.

But the U.S. Justice Department did develop a legal analysis that cleared the path for the U.S. to use a drone to kill U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, accused of plotting the so-called underwear bombing of a plane in 2009.

The Obama administration won't be able to keep the secretive, targeted assassination drone program, as closely under wraps any more. It's erupted into a full public airing over Obama's new CIA chief, John Brennan. In the video above, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour speaks with Pulitzer prize winning New York Times reporter Charles Savage, who has uncovered many of the details of the U.S. drone program.

Filed under:  Drone • Latest Episode
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. oneSTARman

    Has No One ELSE been Troubled by Holder's very NUANCED Response being Taken as an Absolute by most? Holder ONLY said that " American NOT 'engaged in combat' on American soil..." – Won't be Hell-Fired from the Clouds – but we have learned that ANYBODY can be declared an 'Enemy Combatant' and have their Human Rights revoked in Eternal GITMO so what does that mean?

    March 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  2. jimmy lim

    What a stupid question. If you cannot trust your President, CIA and MOD to make the right decision, why have them in the first place? This is simply gutter politics. Wasnt the killing of Al-awalaki by drones the right decision? If not for drones, maybe more americans would die in the future bcos of his evil plotting. Can you americans think straight without politics for a change?

    March 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Justifying the murdering of other people based on unproven claims from government is illogical. Maybe the United States government should just start dropping bombs around the United States as well so people can experience what they justify.

      March 14, 2013 at 10:17 am | Reply
  3. alumette

    Kind of difficult to identify human beings from the remote cameras of a drone. We all look alike.

    March 13, 2013 at 2:48 am | Reply
  4. Bayo Adeniji

    The use of drones in fighting war against terrorism must be properly monitored to ensure that casualities are minimized and that the authorities ensures that only targetted zones where actual terrorists are dealt with! Senate should ensure proper provision is made in law to forestall grievous implications...

    March 13, 2013 at 5:07 am | Reply
  5. SAS

    As a non American, I find it downright amusing that this question is even being posed. It is a well known fact that every year the US State Department releases it annual report on the State of Human rights worldwide, scrutinizing and often berating the human rights actions of other countries. All at the time when the US government hunts down and assassinates its own citizens in the name of fighting terrorism, keeps close to 200 men at Guantanamo under lock and key without charges, uses drones on civilians in Pakistan and Yemen, and subsidizes Israel's vile atrocities against Palestinians to the tune of $ 3 billion per year.

    Aside from this the so called " War on Terror" has been an unmitigated disaster for global human rights and with the astonishing hypocrisy of the US government, holding the rest of the world to a different standard as everyone else, perhaps they would be well advised to stop commenting on other countries' human rights issues completely.

    March 15, 2013 at 10:25 am | Reply
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