Professor Michael W. Lewis
Ohio Northern University Law School
Mr. Ben Wizner
Litigation Director
National Security Project
American Civil Liberties Union

Professor Michael W. Lewis of Ohio Northern University Law School and Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union recently debated the legal limits and policy considerations of unmanned aerial vehicles in the War on Terror.  Click HERE to listen to the podcast debate.  The debate occurred after Prof. Lewis issued his paper, written with International & National Security Practice Group Chairman Vincent J. Vitkowsky, "The Use of Drones and Targeted Killings in Counterterrorism."

by Michael W. Lewis and Vincent J. Vitkowsky
Shortly after September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush, as Commander in Chief, authorized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, to target and kill enemy leaders pursuant to Congress' Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against al Qaeda.  The President designated "Afghanistan and the airspace above" a combat zone, but the United States also launched drone strikes against al Qaeda targets in other countries.  The drone program received widespread attention in November 2002, when the C.I.A. launched a Predator drone strike in Yemen, killing the mastermind of the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole and six other men.  Following the Yemen attack, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions asserted that the attack was "a clear case of extrajudicial killing."  In response, the U.S. defended the drone strike as permissible under international law of armed conflict, broadly asserting that al Qaeda terrorists who continue to plot attacks may, in appropriate circumstances, be lawful subjects of armed attack without regard to their location. Read on...

To view other articles from Engage: The Journal of the Federalist Society's Practice Groups, please click here.

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