Department of Defense should handle drone attacks, not CIA


An unmanned drone flies a training mission over Victorville, California, on January 9, 2010. 

The Obama administration has come under attack for its controversial policy that legally justifies the killing of American citizens who may be terrorists.

This policy was uncovered by NBC News when they obtained a Justice Department document detailing the lawfulness of the killings, according to the New York Times.

The White House’s stance on killing Americans abroad who are suspected of being terrorists without a trial may be considered by some of going too far and going against the Constitution, but this policy is needed albeit there must be some changes.

An attack will only occur if the target poses an imminent threat to the U.S., and if he cannot be captured, according to the New York Times.

One of the highest covered killings by the American government was the drone attack that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a leading figure of an Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen. Awlaki was a radical Muslim cleric born in New Mexico who was killed in an American drone attack in Yemen in September 2011.

There were two other Americans killed in this drone attack. One was his 16-year-old son, and the other edited Al Qaeda’s online magazine, according to the New York Times.

Awlaki was involved with the planning of a failed attack of an American plane in Detroit, and was in contact with Nidal Malik Hassan, the shooter of the attack at Fort Hood.

Drone attacks, like the one on Awlaki, are justified. These are American citizens plotting attacks against their own country. This is the ultimate type of betrayal of one’s country—treason.

While the Fifth Amendment guarantees an American’s right to the due process of law these American terrorists have basically renounced their citizenship by joining terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.

Now some say that these attacks kill the person targeted while also killing some that are not targets and could possibly not be involved in terrorist activities. These people are right, but these innocent people’s lives were not killed in vain.

Their lives were sacrificed for the safety of the world. Sometimes a few lives must be sacrificed to save tens, hundreds, or even thousands of people.

The drone attacks are conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency without any type of oversight. Instead the drone attacks should be handled by the Department of Defense where these attacks can be handled by the people who conduct wars, and there can be oversight by a variety of people.

During the Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing of C.I.A. director nominee John Brennan, several protesters interrupted by shouting “Assassination is against the Constitution!” and signs saying “Drones Fly Children Die,” according to the New York Times.

This program is needed for the safety of the United States and other countries, but the White House needs to make serious changes to it.