MSNBC’s The Cycle erupted into a heated verbal battle over the ethicality of drone warfare on Tuesday. Co-hosts S.E. Cupp and Steve Kornacki expressed serious reservations over a memo leaked to NBC News by the Justice Department detailing the legal framework that allows for the targeting and killing of an American citizen abroad by an unmanned drone. Touré, however, found his fellow hosts’ objections to be misguided, and repeatedly said he was “comfortable” with the White House’s guidelines governing drone warfare.
“It’s hard to say, ‘let’s not do things because we might radicalize other people,’” Touré said of his co-host’s objections to drone strikes.
“But that was the argument under Bush,” Cupp interjected.
“But when we say, ‘this person is leading Al Qaeda to do things’ – as soon as you join Al Qaeda, you become an imminent threat,” Touré added as his fellow hosts exploded.
Kornacki countered by saying that he was uncomfortable with the language in the DoJ memo which makes it clear that a drone strike can be authorized even if the subject of the strike does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. interests or personnel.
“I’m comfortable with that,” Touré said. “As soon as you join Al Qaeda, you are posing an imminent threat to the United States.”
“We’re in a post-geographical war with people who don’t wear uniforms and don’t play by the traditional rules of war,” he continued. “If we don’t attack them in the best way that we can…”
“Where are the limits?” Kornacki asked.
The panel erupted as the hosts wondered whether there is a bad precedent that has been set and other nations may deploy drones against U.S. servicemen or civilians in the future.
“Al Qaeda attacked this nation. We are attacking Al Qaeda back,” Touré explained. “There is no equivalent to Yemen attacking us.”
But wait! There’s more!
TOURE NEBLETT: We’re at war with al Qaeda right now, and if you join al Qaeda, you lose the right to be an American. You lose the right to due process. You declare yourself an enemy of this nation, and you are committing treason. And I don’t see why we should expand American rights to people who want to kill Americans, who are working to kill Americans, who are committing treason. This is not criticizing the United States. This is going to war against the United States.
See, the Obamadministration isn’t breaking the law – they just declare someone to be a non-person and then the constitution no longer applies.
Seriously though, how do you “join” al Qaeda? Is there an application you have to fill out? Is there an initiation? What about dues? I wonder about this because I’ve seen how easy it is for a kid to get assigned a “gang jacket” by the cops.
All they have to do is get identified hanging out with a “known gang member”. So if they are stopped while walking down the street with a cousin who is a “known gang member” guess what?
If belonging to al Qaeda is defined as “a Muslim who hates America” then that organization has millions of members.
Shouldn’t there be some due process rights for being stripped of your citizenship? Shouldn’t a court of law have to find you guilty of committing treason? Or does the President simply declare that you are no longer a citizen?
Someday there will be a Republican in the White House and Touré Neblett will care about the constitution again.