Death by drone, and the sliding scale of presidential power

Daniel Farber and John Yoo cited in National Public Radio, It’s All Politics blog, February 8, 2013

In an interview, Farber said…. “Presidents, regardless of political party, or liberal versus conservative, they just don’t seem to have a lot of qualms about doing what they think is necessary for national security. So it doesn’t surprise me [that Obama has allowed Americans to be targeted in drone strikes overseas]. There have been very few exceptions.”

In his 2006 book, War by Other Means: An Insider’s Account of the War on Terror, Yoo argues that killings in the context of a war is what legitimizes the federal government’s actions: “When a nation goes to war, it seeks to defeat the enemy in order to prevent future harms on society inflicted by enemy attacks…. The military bombs a building when it estimates with varying degrees of certainty that enemy soldiers or munitions are there. It does not wait to attack until it has proof beyond a reasonable doubt or probably cause.”