Saturday Morning Drone Mini-Post.
To go with your morning coffee, black pudding, eggs, bacon and sausage. (Plus copy of Financial Times, and your TV set to the premiership matchups for the day).
Over at the Danger Room, Spencer Ackerman has an exclusive statement from UN Special Rappoteur Ben Emmerson on the John Brennan nomination. The precis version of Emmerson’s is summed up best by this line:
“Obama has had one term in which to try to impose presidential, democratic authority over this program,” Emmerson says. “The decision to put Brennan as director of the CIA is a decision to stamp presidential authority over the agency, and to bring it firmly under control.”
Which sounds remarkably like the logic offered by a more humble commentator on the subject.
I recommend reading the full thing, then following up by Jack Goldsmith’s critique at Lawfare. Goldsmith like Abu Muqawama’s piece earlier in the year about the CIA’s role in targeted killings throws some cold water on the notion that the problem is solved simply by taking the CIA out of the drone strike business and moving it into JSOC.
Overall these and other national security law debates (such as Chesney’s note on adding judicial review, or Andrew Kent’s take on due process on the battlefield) focus more on the issue at hand than the majority of the noise emanating from the recent memo release. They’re all worth a read and this is a good time as any to do so..