McClatchy reporter Jonathan Landay's article on the "white paper" justifying assassinations of U.S. citizens with no due process contained a significant error. He stated that three conditions must be met: (1) target has been determined by an informed, high-level official to pose an imminent threat of violent attack against the U.S. (2) capture is infeasible (3) the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles.
However, the memo clearly states that this is not the case.The first paragraph states: "This paper does not attempt to determine the minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful." Landay has confused necessary and sufficient conditions.
From the conclusion: "It (the paper) concludes only that the stated conditions would be sufficient to make lawful a lethal operation." This means, in the opinion of Obama administration, it is not the case that the conditions must be met.
This distinction matters because it means the Obama administration is leaving open the possibility that they believe it is lawful to kill a U.S. citizen with no due process, even if that person isn't an imminent threat and when capture is feasible.
I weep for liberty.