Last Updated:September 2 @ 08:32 pm

Secret courts could rule on drone strikes

By United Press International

Congress is considering creation of secret courts to rule on whether drones can be used to kill terrorist suspects on foreign soil, lawmakers and experts say.

The idea was voiced during a Senate committee hearing on the confirmation of John Brennan to be the director of the CIA, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The courts could be similar to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act courts established in 1978 to approve domestic national security surveillance.

During the hearing Thursday, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., complained the White House would not give him even a list of countries where drone strikes had been conducted, while Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., criticized the strikes as substitutes for capturing terrorists.

How the U.S. determines whom drones target became a public question after a drone killed U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who was a member of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

"Having the executive being the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner all in one is very contrary to the traditions and the laws of this country," said Sen. Angus King, Ind-Maine.

Brennan said the Obama administration had held internal discussions on the issue, which he said was "certainly worthy of discussion."

Experts say such a court probably could not act with the speed that might be required in some rapidly developing situations. Rather, the court might rule on whether there was enough evidence to put a suspect on a kill list.

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35 Comments

  1. bigskycountryComment by bigskycountry
    February 11, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    (allahu akbar) Brennan ? Our concern should be when BHO, Jarrett, Brennan, et al, hold secret “Situation Room” meetings planning hits on “Domestic (Constitutional patriot) Terrorists.

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    • doncskiComment by doncski
      February 11, 2013 @ 10:07 am

      We shouldn’t make this personal to just Obama. While it is scary to have this policy with a president that many feel, myself included, is capable of many misdeeds, we are not aware of what type of future Presidents the US could produce. Remember, the most destructive leaders have also been the most charismatic, thus the most dangerous. The policy should be for now and for the future which is unknown. Sounds like we might to need to call upon our forefathers. They were masters at writing policy to prevent future dilemmas. Too bad we don’t all listen to them.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (17 votes cast)
    • bna42Comment by bna42
      February 11, 2013 @ 10:46 am

      “Having the executive being the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner all in one is very contrary to the traditions and the laws of this country,” said Sen. Angus King, Ind-Maine.

      NO ONE individual should have the ability to decide who lives and who dies, especially if the victim is a U.S. citizen guaranteed Constitutional protections of due process.

      Obama keeps pushing the envelope while Congress keeps ignoring his plans and he is slowly setting himself up as King or dictator. I don’t want to live under either of those and shouldn’t be required to in the U.S.

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    • moeysComment by moeys
      February 11, 2013 @ 11:58 am

      Bigskycountry: If the Congress does not dig deep into this man’s past and ask some very pointed uncomfortable questions during his confirmation hearings – this country is in for some very very tough times!

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    • kid721952Comment by kid721952
      February 11, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

      If we do not stop him NOW,there will be NO MORE ELECTIONS,NO MORE PRESIDENTS,JUST ONE DICTATOR obama for life

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  2. gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
    February 11, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    I have a name for this ‘death panel’, call it ” The All-Seeing Eye of Horus” chamber.

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    • bowler1hatComment by bowler1hat
      February 11, 2013 @ 11:23 am

      We already have a name for for death panels, “Obamacare”. Obama’s supporters are good at spending to create something; usually something useless and contrary to American ideals lile another secret level for this post-racial and most open and transparent for this self proclaimed 4th best president.

      The trouble is that with his drone program, he may even be a danger to the one who could become the next president who could expose the fraud of this administration and put this regime in its true position somewhere below Carter.

      I suppose Obama may try to save taxpayers money in one area, having his supporters pay for his green fees for his rounds of golf, while the nation suffers. How about it Clooney, Beyonce, or Jackson?

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  3. rzraickComment by rzraick
    February 11, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    The entire concept of secret kill lists is horrendous in the first place. The main objection is that there is no due process. But a secret court doing the same thing hardly answers the question. This is still not due process in any way. The fact that it is done in secret and that the victim is absent and cannot know the evidence against him, nor present a defense or have a lawyer or a jury still makes this approach a tyrannical practice of murder plain and simple.

    This is so very wrong and changing its form or its method does not change what it is.

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    • roscoeComment by roscoe
      February 12, 2013 @ 1:51 am

      and obama will appoint the ones on the panel that decide to use a drone strike and they will do as he says,just like nlrb

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  4. thedoveComment by thedove
    February 11, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    “Secret Courts” to determine whether someone the “government” considers an enemy of the state can be murdered. What a brilliant idea. It’s a wonder no nation has thought of that before now. Oh, wait …

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    • moeysComment by moeys
      February 11, 2013 @ 11:06 am

      I agree “the dove” Are peoples’ memories that short – does anyone remember Germany in the 40′s. We live in a free Republic – where in the constitution does it authorize or condone ‘secret courts’? As far as I am concerned there is too much ‘secret’ stuff done behind the backs of the electorate now – he certainly does not need ‘secret courts’. Wake up America before it is too late!

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  5. rightlane1111Comment by rightlane1111
    February 11, 2013 @ 10:06 am

    What are we really doing with SECRET COURTS? I thought he said..The One…that his administration would be the most transparent. BTW…we are using drones to hunt down the serial killer in LA. I wonder how many are flying around the country…just a thought…and for what reason.

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    • moeysComment by moeys
      February 11, 2013 @ 11:29 am

      He is as transparent as mud. That is the way he wants it. His whole life is non-transparent. We know less about this President, his past, his schooling than we do about all the past presidents put together. Just look at the appointments and their backgrounds and the way things are secretly handled – this man is a chameleon. Does he not realize why we have THREE branches of power??? Why does he think the founding fathers set the government up in that manner. The perception is that he believes he is a ‘ruler’ and he is able to do anything by going around Congress with Executive Orders and any other way he can think of accomplishing his goals to change this country. WHEN IS AMERICA AND THE CONGRESS GOING TO WAKE UP??? Please Congress – take a fine tooth comb loook at the two appointments now up, especially Brennan and of course Hagel.

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      Rating: 4.4/5 (13 votes cast)
  6. giant33Comment by giant33
    February 11, 2013 @ 10:12 am

    The star chamber comes to life. Their was a movie where judges secertly ruled who should die.

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    • capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
      February 12, 2013 @ 6:53 am

      i think the third reich comes to mind.

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  7. middlegroundComment by middleground
    February 11, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    You have to love this suggestion. Instead of the knock on the door at 2:00 AM with Gestapo waiting to arrest you, the entire house is blown up when a Star Camber drone hits it. Just imagine the possibilities for abuse, e.g. “pay up or we put you on our enemies list”.

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  8. anestatComment by anestat
    February 11, 2013 @ 10:30 am

    I agree that we’ve had enough secrecy. Look at the dangerous changes obama has made in secret, and we citizens only know about them after the fact. Obama and his criminal crew should not be allowed at all to use killer drones on American citizens. Obama was against waterboarding under the Bush administration, and NOW in his presidency it’s O.K. to hunt American citizens down, even within the U.S., with a drone and kill them without due process and trial.

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    • thedoveComment by thedove
      February 11, 2013 @ 10:52 am

      >> and we citizens only know about them after the fact. <<

      More importantly, and to Obama's advantage, we citizens know about them only after the presidential election.

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      Rating: 3.7/5 (9 votes cast)
    • moeysComment by moeys
      February 11, 2013 @ 11:55 am

      Right, and think of all there is that we don’t even know about yet. Good gosh, we can’t even get answers about Benghazi! We get pictures (photo ops) of him allegedly skeet shooting – looks more like target practice to me! I don’t believe a word out of Washington – either side of the isle! They all like and line their pockets with special interest money. I agree with the book, Throw Them All Out – and start from scratch. Especially get rid of every lobbyist on the state or federal that exists!

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  9. joe23006Comment by joe23006
    February 11, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    Sounds a bit like the Soviet ‘Gulag Archipelego” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I was reminded of the opening chapter and the cry, “You are under arrest!” No reason given, no defense necessary, you have already been judged and off you go, never to heard from again. In this case, it seems even more effucient and cost effective, you are dead, no long years of expensive imprisonment.
    Will they come to your home or business and make it appear to natural causes, of remove you to a suitable facility where what’s left of you van be recycled into the earth?
    This is a usurpation of power, attack upon the foundations of our government and The Constitution, it is no less than treasonable and should be the subject of impeachment for many, and once found guilty in a public court and removed from office they can be used to test the effectiveness of the system they want to put in place.

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    • ChewyBeesComment by ChewyBees
      February 12, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

      The whole thing is based on fear. Masked men can infiltrate any home and any business because the “neighbors” of the people being kidnapped will cower in fear, hoping somehow that the Gestapo wont come after them. The same people will turn in their neighbors, even if not guilty of anything, in order to secure their spot as the last to be collected. The final nail in the constitutional coffin is that all constitutional law has been superseded by Federal law, overwhelmed if nothing else, by a landslide of de facto legislation by men that have dedication and oath to anything but the American people.

      What Joe23006 writes is no joke. There is no “vote” that changes this. You cannot pull out your Republican “papers (please!)” and expect to survive this. This is the greatest factor in the evolution of deceptive men. You are a cow to them. Moo or start bucking. Whatever you do, stop submitting to being milked until you are a downer…

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  10. maisyandmollyComment by maisyandmolly
    February 11, 2013 @ 10:52 am

    I was wondering if a drone that is computer controlled could be logged into & controlled by an enemy or a nerd or a foreign enemy who hates someone & reset it to kill his or her enemy. Also do our enemies like Iran have drones, I read Iran had captured or shot down one of our drones over Iran. It could be a war of drones if so, then wars would be fought with them trying to kill each countries leaders. Also I read that barack hussein obama asked for Iran to return the drone they shot down, LOL what a dopey question.

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    • ChewyBeesComment by ChewyBees
      February 12, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

      Without a doubt any drone can be hacked and the control of it subverted. It may not mean taking it over and using it against its current mission, but if nothing else the wireless signals used to fly it can be scrambled and the jet forced to crash. Any papers or statements contrary are founded on hearsay statements by the profiteering manufacturers of these weapons of death.

      There is a buildup of technology that is a house of cards rivaling a Brady Bunch episode. It all relies on microchips. Microchips are as fragile as the finest crystal in a hurricane, when it comes to electromagnetic energy. We delude ourselves into the belief that hurricanes, or electromagnetic blasts don’t exist. What a comfort.

      One thing I firmly believe: there is no lock that cannot be picked. There is also no level of authoritarian fraud that doesn’t exist.

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  11. bizzybuzzerComment by bizzybuzzer
    February 11, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    It could work for a sound minded president but not this one, and who can say who the next ne will be. There is a build up of terrorists here and no sign of improved borders so we just keep letting them in and killing us or we go after them after we let them in. No matter what is decided it will be screwed up as soon as congress gets their hands on it.

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  12. my04301933Comment by my04301933
    February 11, 2013 @ 11:28 am

    Obama has been a dedicated student and admirer of the German Third Reich, and has often handled many circumstances using Hitler’s experiences as a guide.

    This is not to say that some of these were not effective, but most were as such that we recognized them as socialist type of governing…which has always been a precursor for a dictatorship.

    Regarding this “Secret Courts” proposal…I am reminded of another type of “secret committee” which was formed by Hitler and his propaganda machine run by Goebbels gave it a immense amount of fanfare.

    Hitler decreed this group as the “Secret Cabinet Council” . whose purpose was to give him “guidance in the conduct of foreign policy”…

    …and to divert the German citizens’ attention from unpopular military matters that were causing them alarm…he wanted to rid himself from potential interferences of the German populace, allowing him to do as he wanted.

    Goebbels gave the “Secret Court” a lot of public praise and visibility, and Hitler even selected a “president” who had “chiefs” and other important members of the cabinet (Congress??).

    But it was a FAKE!

    It was simply a false body of people, selected to hold false positions, with a false mission,…except to fool the German citizens…it even fooled Britain’s Prime Minister Chamberlain who was briefed on the mission of the “Secret Court”, thus making him certain Germany meant no harm to Britain which he told everyone upon returning.

    While everybody’s attention was on the new “Secret Cabinet”, Hitler, now unopposed, started atrocities such as enslaving and cremating the Jews in Germany.

    Now we have similar “Mickey Mouse” distractions….while our attention is on the “Secret Courts” with members of Congress duped into being members…

    ,,,Obama continues to ObamaDrone American citizens…and others of his choosing…judge, jury

    EXECUTIONER!

    All you have to do is list the “distractions” fabricated and real, brought upon us by Obama since entering office…all based on lies, …and now a new way to distract us until his vest for complete power is complete!

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    • moeysComment by moeys
      February 11, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

      very well said. I encourage all patriotic US Citizens to read, read, read, read. there are thousands of pages written with documented footnotes about what this man is really up to and it’s not ‘pie in the sky’. It is really happening but it seems as thought there are not a lot of people paying attention. When they wake up it is going to be too late!

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    • my04301933Comment by my04301933
      February 11, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

      Moeys…

      Thank you…I can’t help from recognizing similarities to other dictators of past times…of course that’s why we have history professionals who read, read, as you point out.

      Obama studies: Roosevelt (who was encouraged to become a “benevolent dictator” to get us out of the depression); Hitler; Stalin;…even Caesar.

      It seems however, that I’ve found little evidence that he is a student of Jefferson, George Washington, and founders of our country…

      …he does, however, use Lincoln,not a role model, but to be compared to as one who “freed the slaves”…actually, he can’t hold a candle to any of them, not even the immoral dictators of past.

      But, sir, HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF, both by the politicians who come to office over their heads and must find something written in history that will furnish a “quick fix”…or by ignorance and stupidity.

      Obama fits both of those categories. You can almost track”his moves before and after…by simply reading.

      And…it is getting scary…very very scary.

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  13. myronjpoltroonianComment by myronjpoltroonian
    February 11, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

    The “Star Chamber” analogy is pretty much right on the mark. Seems we already have one with the Jimmy Carter era’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, ” … courts established in 1978 to approve domestic national security surveillance”. Even the name “Foreign” is misleading, since it’s established to adjudge American citizens here on our own soil, not abroad. This one will be no different, unaccountable, unstoppable and unAmerican.

    And they accuse conservatives of having a “Vigilante Mind-Set”? Go figure. Bye the bye; When this speech is deemed illegal, I’ll be declared a criminal: “I may become an enemy of the state, but never of the people”. Remember this, always aim just below the blue helmet, no matter what color it is.

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  14. moonshineComment by moonshine
    February 11, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

    How naive can you be people? Just connect the dots.
    This is the Imperial Presidency. Do you think that Obama might be setting the stage to use the American military against citizens who dare to resist his tyrannical government?
    Lets explore the facts to date. The DHS has purchased millions of rounds of hollow point (anti-personnel) ammunition. Why? American military officers are being asked whether or not they would have any reservations about firing on citizens (those who do are being relieved of command). Legal precedent is being obtained to use drones (and perhaps troops?) against citizens who are deemed to be “terrorists”. Does Obama solely decide who is and who is not a “terrorist”? Is a “terrorist” any citizen who refuses to relinquish his liberty and freedom to a tyrannical government? Obama has shredded the US Constitution, which he took an oath to uphold; and now he wants to deprive US citizens of due process, which is guaranteed under the Constitution. This is tyranny!
    Give up your guns and you give up your liberty and freedom.

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    • moeysComment by moeys
      February 11, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

      I agree with you for the most part. There is a lot more to this President than meets the eye. the appointment of Brennan to head of the CIA needs to be scrutinized very very very closely and I’m not sure the Congress is up to the task or that he won’t pull a fast one!

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    • kid721952Comment by kid721952
      February 11, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

      Brenan has converted to islamic faith years ago and now will have a top seat next to the muslium president,anybody who believes obama is a U.S. citizen is a fool or is getting entitlements from the government and don’t give a damm about the rest of the country,if brenan and hagel get in we may NEVER get our country back,I just can’t believe people SELL THEIR FREEDOM AND THEIR FAMILIES FREEDOM for money to the government,I’d be so ashamed I couldn’t look my family in the face knowing what the government will do to them if they don’t support obamas socialistic way of life including the islamic faith

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  15. nateComment by nate
    February 11, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

    So now we just scratch the 6 th amendment as well as the 2nd ?

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  16. thomasjeffersonComment by thomasjefferson
    February 11, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

    Hows that “transparency” working out for you?

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  17. kskiddComment by kskidd
    February 12, 2013 @ 4:14 am

    If this question had come up a few years ago and George Bush had considered executing people on foreign soil with drone strikes, any body out there doubt that then Senator Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and the entire democrat party would be raising hell at the very thought? If there had been secret discussions in some court to decide the issue, anybody doubt there would be hell raised about that as well? This administration, on the one hand wants to devoid the 2nd amendment to save lives and at the same time is seeking sanction to kill people in foreign nations with out any kind of consideration about what that would mean to the so-called “world community” ?

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