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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Imminent Threat

Imminent threat

The current buzzword going around in politics and the media regarding the US Administration Use of Lethal Drone Force Legal Review (imprimatur: NBC News).

Apparently none of the sources cited in our posting "Are Drone Strikes a Form of Extrajudicial Killing?" searched their legal dictionaries or other sources for that phrase.

Our blog did that and found possibly two applicable definitions.

The first one comes to us from The Law Dictionary - Imminent Danger.

The other comes from The Free Dictionary - Imminent Threat (via public international law).

Regarding the first definition - you can guess that it concerns incidences 'where a person or persons may be called upon to defend themselves against homicide without protection from the law or other persons'. The intended victim must be "reasonable" and "prudent". A few court decisions are cited with the brief description.

It, of course, mentions nothing about drone strikes and persons perceived to be terrorists. Innocent collateral victims of drone strikes are not mentioned - even though politicos have been seen defending said drone strike practice and policy. For more on that perspective please see the report by Micah Zenko, Council on Foreign Relations. (For just the summary and recommendations go to pp. 22+.)

The implication is that the US Policy requires some oversight by Congress - perhaps even transparency. Also, there could be consequences with our foreign counterparts if the policy does not conform to expectations.

The second definition (Imminent Threat) is defined as a criterion - which makes it, too, somewhat vague as the pundits have been complaining. Criteria like this can make for irreversible consequences and innocent collateral casualties and fatalities.

And some folks don't have a problem with that - and that makes the rest of us weep.

Please note this posting appears in our sister blog: http://americanpoliticalhandbook.blogspot.com/2013/02/imminent-threat.html

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