Here is an excerpt from a story being reported by CNN.
Amid new controversy over his administration’s targeted killing of American citizens overseas by drones, President Barack Obama has yielded to demands that he turn over to Congress classified Justice Department legal advice seeking to justify the policy, an administration official said.
The president’s move comes on the eve of confirmation hearings Thursday for his CIA director nominee John Brennan and amid complaints from senators, including several Democrats, about secrecy surrounding the drone policy.
I would like to point out a little fact that some people overlook. When a U.S. citizen is outside of U.S. jurisdiction, that person does not have the protections provided by the U.S. Constitution or U.S. laws unless a treaty says otherwise. For example, if a U.S. citizen in Afghanistan were to commit murder, then that person would not be able to demand his Miranda rights, because Miranda rights (to the best of my knowledge) aren’t applicable outside of U.S. jurisdiction.
Now, I could be mistaken on this point. However, if I am correct, then a U.S. citizen who is outside of U.S. jurisdiction may not have any constitutional protection against a drone attack taking place outside of the USA.
Suppose that during WWII a person born and raised in the USA had donned a German army uniform and aided the German army in fighting against Allied troops (as depicted in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers). Would it have been illegal for U.S. soldiers to shoot and kill that particular American wearing a German uniform? No, of course not, because the person would still be an enemy combatant regardless of where he was born and raised.
So, if a person born and raised in the USA were to move to another nation and begin participating in terrorist activities aimed at harming the USA, then that person would still be an enemy of the USA. What then would be the legal difference between killing such an enemy with an army rifle and killing the person with a drone?
Now, some people are criticizing the use of drones to kill people because a 16-year-old person born in the USA was allegedly killed by a drone by mistake. Supposedly the person killed was a child of a person who was aiding terrorists. How is the death of that person any different when compared to the deaths of German civilians during WWII? During that war, plenty of civilians were killed when American aircraft dropped bombs on targets in Germany.
Again, I am not a legal expert, and I could be mistaken about the facts. Yet, I cannot at this time criticize the use of drones to attack terrorists who are residing outside of U.S. jurisdiction.