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Do Drone Attacks Violate The War Powers Act?

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posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 12:42 PM

Originally posted by jam321
or is the legality of drone attacks based on SJ Res 23?
Yes, at least that’s the basis of the argument this and the previous administration used to justify the legality of the drone attacks. But it depends on who is being targeted.

The President, as per the language of the resolution — more widely known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) — is authorized “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.

If the targets of the attacks fall within these stipulated characteristics in the AUMF then the attacks are legal, at least from a domestic (Constitution, WPR) perspective.

However, SJ Res seem to say that we will go only after those involved on 9/11. What does Anwar al-Awlaki have to do with 9/11?
The US government accuses al-Awlaki of being an al-Qaeda operative, that he had knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, and that he met and inspired some of the 9/11 hijackers.

Doesn’t mean I buy the argument, I’m just saying what their argument is.

If somebody is accused of committing a crime against the US, then why kill them before giving them a chance to prove their innocence?
I’m of the opinion that the US government cannot kill al-Awlaki — unless he is participating directly in the hostilities in the battlefield, making him a legitimate military target — and must try to capture him first. If he is armed and resists apprehension then he can be killed.

These are the only two circumstances, I believe, where it would be lawful to kill al-Awlaki, contrary to the administration’s contention that they can kill him wherever he is, regardless of what he’s doing, without even trying to capture him.

What makes drone attacks legal?
Even accepting the administration’s argument, it doesn’t mean drone attacks are legal in relation to international law. I believe that using the CIA to conduct the drone attacks could be in violation of the laws of war.

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 12:27 PM

Originally posted by The Old American
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the sole power to declare war.

Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the President the power to direct troops.

Article 1:
No war has been declared in Libya. Officially it is US participation in the enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. No Fly Zone.

Article 2: "troops"
No troops are engaged directly in the conflict...again what defines engagement? Manning a joystick on a Navy vessel?

Is the CIA or the Military directing these missions. The drones have almost exclusively fell under the purvue of the CIA even when used for military pusposes.

I am not disputing your sentiment, but it is not clear that anything unconstitutional or illegal has happened.

I do think that we need to press hard to pass laws and acts that clarify what constitutes "war" and "military engagement", but as it stands on the books now, it is very murky at best as to where these actions fall.

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