With the Department of Justice's release of a "White Paper", the parameters for drones on the use of lethal force against American citizens are becoming a bit more clear, despite the drone program remaining in a state of quantum uncertainty that prevents either confirmation or denial of its existence. Despite much hand wringing by liberals who have gone a little soft and are defending the civil liberties of al Qaeda, the program is not an excuse for wanton death and destruction of anybody anywhere. Quite the opposite, in fact. Lethal force is only ever authorized when a person poses an "imminent threat", a description that places severe, and quite wise, restrictions on whom our Government is targeting for disposal.
You see, the President is hardly simple-minded good ol' boy driven by Ahab-ian levels of obsession and revenge. Already this puts his tactics ahead of Bush's reckless actions, for sure. He's not ordering strikes hopped up on bloodlust and hate. Instead, he is calmly and rationally constructing a legal framework that allows an unprecedented accumulation of executive power so that he can better defend this country. He was president of the Harvard Law Review, as well as a constitutional professor at Chicago Law School, after all, so you know we can trust him.
By limiting the course of lethal action to a person who represents an imminent threat to US security, the American public can rest assured that the use of drone strikes is not an arbitrary act of aggression, but instead a meticulously planned event only ever used in matters of national defense.
Because groups like al Qaeda have such a deep unyielding hatred for American freedoms, they are constantly planning attacks against our great country. The events of 9/11 proved that even with the utmost vigilance tragedy can strike. We cannot stand idly by as evil marshals forces against us. Much like the various "Stand Your Ground" laws on the books around the country, the "white paper" provides legal exemption for preemptive self-defense, proving that the best defense is a good offense.
Despite its best efforts, the defense apparatus of the United States is not omniscient, and therefore can never be 100% sure that some al Qaeda leader isn't holed up in a cave somewhere with a cadre of fanatics, plotting the demise of this beautiful nation. As such, any threat to America must be treated as imminent, and dealt with accordingly. Much like how George Zimmerman dealt with the imminent threat of Trayvon Martin.
Because the DOJ "white paper" makes clear that we now live in a constant state of imminence, the removal of foreign threats is no longer slowed by the tiresome and inefficient slog of due process. There is no wait for a warrant. No dog and pony show of presenting evidence for trial. No opinion of a judge can stay the hand of justice from meting out lethal punishment upon an evildoer. For this we should be very glad.
Americans should be thrilled that quaint twentieth century notions like international law and the Geneva conventions can no longer stall protective action and leave us vulnerable to those who would see us destroyed. We have ceded power to our unitary executive, leaving him to make the determination if a threat is, in fact, imminent. If it is, we can trust our Nobel Peace Prize winning president to protect this country, with lethal force. After all, it was coming right for us!