In response to a leaked U.S. memo giving legal rationale behind the C.I.A.’s drone operations against terrorists in countries such as Pakistan and Yemen, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough said that U.S. drone policy is far more questionable than President George W. Bush’s much-criticized interrogation/torture policies.
“Here you’ve got a situation where the U.S. government is killing Americans without judicial review, without any crimes being charged against them,” Scarborough said. “It’s hard to say how many stop signs were blown through here. But for those that were shocked at the Bush administration ‘torture memos,’ they must be really stunned by this.”
In a report by NBC News’ Michael Isikoff on Sunday, the memo showed that the U.S. had expanded the definition of what is acceptable practice in regards to drone strikes.
According to the memo, the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are suspected “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force,” even if there is no evidence of an actual plot.
Watch the panel discussion below.