The Drone War On Trial

The relatives of Americans killed in drone strikes are suing the government. Given my support of drone war due process, Greenwald thinks I should cheer the lawsuit:

[F]or the moment, let’s put aside the question of whether Obama’s drone assassinations are justified. Shouldn’t we all be able to agree that the power to order people executed (including U.S. citizens) is far too extreme and dangerous to vest in one person without any checks, review, oversight or transparency? After all, it was a consensus among Democrats that George Bush should be forced to obtain judicial review before merely spying on or detaining people, let alone ordering them executed by the CIA. If Andrew and other Obama defenders agree that “judicial scrutiny” is necessary, then they should cheer this lawsuit, which seeks judicial review, and more importantly, should condemn efforts by the Obama DOJ to argue that courts have no role to play here, either in assessing the legality of these actions or in compelling basic disclosure.

I favor judicial pressure for the latter. I believe the executive branch should have operational autonomy in fighting a Congressionally-authorized war, but that doesn't mean the courts cannot press for disclosure and challenge the constitutionality of the program and its execution. The process is also a good way for a democracy to understand better the actions of its government in national security. So, yes, Glenn. If this lawsuit leads to more transparency and shared responsibility across the three branches, I'm for it.