A Justice Department white paper leaked last week describes death by drone as an "act of national self-defense," part of an "armed conflict" with Al Qaeda and its allies. Yet the white paper also speaks of due process for suspected terrorists condemned to death by the president, a requirement it says can be met through secret discussions within the executive branch. Senior Editor Jacob Sullum says this contradiction at the heart of Obama's "targeted killing" policy combines the rules of the battlefield with the rules of the courtroom, making a muddle of both.
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