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Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany

Disregard for the Separation of Powers


By Damir Fras

Translated By Ron Argentati

7 February 2013

Edited by Gillian Palmer


Germany - Frankfurter Rundschau - Original Article (German)

The United States government has made it as easy on itself as possible. It decided that it's simply legal to kill terrorists in foreign countries.


In its quest for a justification for killing suspected terrorists outside the United States, the American government took the easiest road it could find. It simply declared its questionable practice to be legal. Government employees can decide who dies via unmanned drone and who gets to live. No special proofs necessary, according to a memo from the U.S. Department of Justice. Who's a suspect and who isn't a suspect, who gets killed and who's allowed to live — the decision is no longer made by courts of law, as has always been the case.


Of course the United States is allowed to defend against terrorist attacks. That’s not only legitimate, it's also reasonable. But it should stick to using methods that are legally acceptable and, above all, effective. Killing by unmanned drone is neither. Months ago, lawyers determined that killing suspected terrorists in Pakistan had no appreciable effect on the security situation in the United States. On the contrary: Drone attacks actually increase the danger of terrorism. President Obama inherited the drone war from his predecessor, but then proceeded to expand it. The fact is it's a dirty war. But for Obama to violate the principles of the separation of powers is a new development — and one that is unworthy of a democracy.



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