January 3, 2013
The Atlantic

How Obama Decides Your Fate If He Thinks You're a Terrorist

by Daniel Byman and Benjamin Wittes

Over the past two years, the Obama administration has begun to formalize a so-called "disposition matrix" for suspected terrorists abroad: a continuously evolving database that spells out the intelligence on targets and various strategies, including contingencies, for handling them. Although the government has not spelled out the steps involved in deciding how to treat various terrorists, a look at U.S. actions in the past makes evident a rough decision tree. . . .


Suzanne Goldenberg, "More Than 80,000 Held by US Since 9/11 Attacks," Guardian, November 18, 2005

"The Obama Letdown," The Wisdom Fund, November 26, 2008

"Reflecting Upon Independence Day: Justice in America," The Wisdom Fund, July 4, 2009

Yvonne Ridley, "Aaafia Siddiqui: The Truth About Justice," The Wisdom Fund, February 8, 2010

Ralph Nader, "As the Drone Flies: War By 'Lethal Autonomy'," CounterPunch, September 27, 2011

Trevor Aaronson, "How the FBI's Network of Informants Actually Created Most of the Terrorist Plots 'Foiled' in the US Since 9/11," Mother Jones, October 9, 2011

Greg Miller, "U.S. Intends to Keep Adding Names to Kill Lists," Washington Post, October 23, 2012

Joshua Kopstein, "Editorial: the one thing Congress can agree on is violating your privacy,", December 29, 2012

Craig Whitlock, "Renditions continue under Obama, despite due-process concerns,", January 1, 2013

Glenn Greenwald, "The 'war on terror' - by design - can never end,", January 4, 2013

Jonathan Hafetz, "The importance of European court's ruling against extraordinary rendition: It's the first time a court has expressly found that the CIA's extraordinary programme constituted torture,", January 7, 2013

"The Erosion of Civil Liberties: Why All Americans Should Care," The Wisdom Fund, January 21, 2013

Ian Cobain, "CIA rendition: Report finds at least 54 countries co-operated with global kidnap, detention and torture operation mounted after 9/11 attacks,", February 5, 2013

"US drone strikes: Memo reveals case for killing Americans,", February 5, 2013

[Whether a person believes the official story of 9/11 which rests on unproven government assertions or believes the documented evidence provided by a large number of scientists, first responders, and structural engineers and architects, the result is the same. 9/11 was used to create an open-ended "war on terror" and a police state.--Paul Craig Roberts, "It has happened here: The police state is real,", February 7, 2013]

[Al-Qaida was too good at concealing imminent attacks. Therefore, all its attacks would now be classified as imminent. . . . To save lives and win the war, the meaning of imminent had to change.

The meaning of sovereignty had to change as well. . . . Under this interpretation, a country infected by militants associated with al-Qaida could consent to American military action, in which case the United States was entitled to strike. Or it could forbid American military action, in which case the United States was entitled to strike. Or it could offer to oust the militants itself, in which case, if it failed, the United States was entitled to strike.--William Saletan, "Editors for Predators: To justify drone strikes, the Obama administration is twisting language and the law,", February 8, 2013]

[The US prosecuted Omar Khadr in Guantanamo for not being a lawful combatant. Exactly the same applies to the civilian CIA.--Morris Davis, "The law of war does not shield the CIA and John Brennan's drone kill list,", February 8, 2013]

[But in our democracy, it can never be permissible for the president to identify an American citizen for extinction, place him on a "kill list," authorize a CIA agent or military officer to kill him - and then refuse to admit that it was done. Whether the killing is legal or not, accountability is impossible absent a public statement of responsibility for the act.--David Cole, "President Obama, did or did you not kill Anwar al-Awlaki?,", February 8, 2013]

[The president may only lawfully kill after due process, in self-defense or under a declaration of war.

The federal government only has the lawful powers the states delegated to it. As the states cannot kill Americans without due process, neither can the feds. Congress cannot create this killing court, and no judge on such a Stalinesque court can authorize the president to kill.--Andrew P. Napolitano, "Obama's Secret Court for Killing,", February 14, 2013]

Robert Fisk, "War on Terror is the West's New Religion,", February 26, 2013

EDITORIAL: "Repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Law,", March 9, 2013

[As combatants, drone operators are targetable at any time.--Aroop Mukharji, "Drone Operators: Soldiers or Civilans?,", March 28, 2013]

Glenn Greenwald, "FISA Court Oversight: A Look Inside a Secret and Empty Process," Guardian, June 18, 2013

[Gen. Keith B. Alexander admitted that the number of terrorist plots foiled by the NSA's huge database of every phone call made in or to America was only one or perhaps two - far smaller than the 54 originally claimed by the administration.--Shaun Waterman, "NSA chief's admission of misleading numbers adds to Obama administration blunders," Guardian, October 2, 2013]

[What has America gained in return for $6 trillion and one million injured soldiers, many very severely?

. . . The Bush/Obama regimes have come up with various cover stories: a "war on terror," "we have to kill them over there before they come over here," "weapons of mass destruction," revenge for 9/11, Osama bin Laden (who died of his illnesses in December 2001 as was widely reported at the time).--Paul Craig Roberts, "What Is The Real Agenda Of The American Police State?,", November 13, 2013

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