From: A Man for All Seasons (1966)
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
–Attributed to Sir Thomas More, in the film A Man for All Seasons (1966)
[Developing–please check back for updates. Update June 4, 2012.]
Paul Harris, “Drone wars and state secrecy – how Barack Obama became a hardliner; He was once a liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war. Now, according to revelations last week, the US president personally oversees a ‘kill list’ for drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. Then there’s the CIA renditions, increased surveillance and a crackdown on whistleblowers. No wonder Washington insiders are likening him to ‘George W Bush on steroids’,” The Guardian, June 2, 2012 (15.56 EDT).
Medea Benjamin, “Obama and Drone Warfare: Will Americans Speak Out?” CODEPINK, May 30, 2012.
Daphne Eviatar, “Obama’s drone policy misreading international law,” Politico, May 3, 2012 (opinion).
Doyle McManus, “Coming clean on drones,” The Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2012 (op-ed).
Earlier Trenchant Observer Articles on Targeted Killings
President Obama as “Executioner in Chief”
June 1, 2012
Attorney General Eric Holder offers legal justification for targeted killings of U.S. citizens abroad
March 24, 2012
Obama’s foreign policy juggernaut, including Tom Donilon, and the risks of hubris (updated)
January 27, 2012
Drone Attacks and Other “Targeted Killings” — State Department Legal Adviser Invokes International Law Limits
September 24, 2011
International Law and the Use of Force: Drones and Real Anarchy Unleashed Upon the World
July 17, 2011
Strategic disarray in Afghanistan
October 3, 2010
UPDATE: Anwar al-Aulaqi: Targeted Killings, Self-Defense, and War Crimes
August 6, 2010
Targeted Killings: U.N. Special Rapporteur Alston Publishes Report to U.N. Human Rights Council
June 2, 2010
Targeted Killings by Drone Aircraft: A View From India, and Some Observations
May 20, 2010
Anwar al-Aulaqi: Targeted Killings, Self-Defense, and War Crimes
April 7, 2010
Targeted Assassinations: Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, International Law, and Strategic Implications
February 17, 2010
U.S. Targeted Assassinations Violate Citizen’s Right to Life and Due Process, Undercut International Law
February 3, 2010
The Trenchant Observer
For links to other articles by The Trenchant Observer, click on the title at the top of this page to go to the home page, and then use the “Search” Box or consult the information in the bottom right hand corner of the home page. The Articles on Syria page can also be found here. The Articles on Targeted Killings page can also be found here.