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Rebecca Gordon, professor of philosophy at University of San Francisco, offers sharp legal and moral criticism of Obama's targeted killing program using aerial drones.Gordon wrote this essay, The Trojan Drone, for TomDispatch.com Details of the White House report on deaths of innocent civilians are here. Her latest book is American Nuremberg: The US Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes.
We open with discussion of the low-ball estimates of civilian deaths released by the White House on July 1, 2016, and Gordon zooms out to a big-picture look at the extralegal process and results of Obama's expansive use of the new technology. We note that Congress has never authorized the use of drones or the secret policies of the Administration regarding who is placed on the "kill list".
We touch on the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, without any legal process, and how Obama has set new precedents for the use of lethal force in a secret manner--which may be expanded further by the next president.