Are Drone Strikes and Kill Lists The New Normal?

Q and A w Newsweek's Eli Lake


Disturbed by extra-constitutional U.S. drone strikes in countries such as Yemen and Pakistan? Presidential "kill lists" of suspected terrorists and security threats raise endless ethical and constitutional concerns?

A decade-plus after the 9/11 attacks and the launching of a vaguely defined and expansive global "war on terror", Americans are grappling with appalling revelations that the president claims the right, without any sort of judicial or legislative review or approval, to assassinate individuals (even American citizens) and groups he believes are national security threats.

Reason's Nick Gillespie talks with Eli Lake, the senior national security correspondent for The Daily Beast/Newsweek (and an occasional Reason contributor) and discusses the effects of technological developments and power grabs by both President George W. Bush and Barack Obama on military action.

Lake believes that a tentative consensus has formed around the use of drone strikes and targeted killings. "I think there's a much better chance, if libertarians are worried about it," he says, "of introducing some sort of oversight…and some degree of transparency in that process than it is to say we can't do it."

About 6 minutes. Produced by Joshua Swain, with camera by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, and Swain.

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