John Oliver on the drone selection process

God, I love this guy:

In a Congressional hearing last year, Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown professor and former Pentagon official under President Obama, explained how the administration sees drone strikes thusly: “Right now we have the executive branch making a claim that it has the right to kill anyone, anywhere on Earth, at any time, for secret reasons based on secret evidence, in a secret process undertaken by unidentified officials. That frightens me.”

It frightens John Oliver too, who spent fifteen minutes last night laying out exactly why the US drone program is so disturbing. Among the highlights:

* Military-age males killed in strikes are allegedly considered guilty of being “militants” by the CIA until proven innocent.
* The US government doesn’t actually know the specific identities of many people it kills, or indeed how many people it has killed overall.

According to the Justice Department, for something to be an imminent threat justifying a strike “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,” despite, as Oliver notes, that being “what the fucking word imminent means.”

“It is completely natural for us not to want to think about the consequences of our drone program,” Oliver concludes, after airing testimony from a 13-year-old drone strike survivor. “But when children from other countries are telling us we’ve made them fear the sky, it might be time to ask some hard questions.”

3 thoughts on “John Oliver on the drone selection process

  1. Eric Holder is the worst protector of our civil liberties of any attorney general in our history. Two weeks ago Obama said that Yemen was a success story. This past Saturday our embassy in Yemen’s capital was attacked by “an al-Qaeda slinter group.” (Jeez, another splinter group?) Last Friday the State Department “warned all Americans to leave Yemen ASAP.” To say that Obama is a big fat liar is an understatement. It appears that the oligarchy (1%) has divorced itself from reality completely.

  2. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. – See more at:

  3. How are the concepts of double jeopardy and eminent domain relevant here? Isn’t this a debate about due process? Which according to Eric Holder has a completely different definition than every first year law student is forced to memorize by their instructor. Holder may know something about civil rights, but that about as far as his knowledge of the law goes. What a dangerous jackass Holder has been.

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