Friday, February 8, 2013
On his show Wednesday night, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart ripped into President Barack Obama for not releasing a classified memo that provides legal justification for the use of drone strikes against suspected terrorists.
Recently, a confidential document was leaked to the press that outlined some of the legal arguments contained within the secretive memo. The document said the United States could strike leaders affiliated with al Qaeda and associated terror groups who were an “imminent threat.”
However, Stewart noted that the definition of “imminent threat” in the leaked document wasn’t particularly imminent.
“So ‘imminent threat,’ in other words, imminent or not imminent,” Stewart explained. “Broadly speaking, imminent in the geological sense. So, wait, we can kill an American who is in al Qaeda or al Qaeda-adjacent if they pose an imminent danger, and by ‘imminent’ we mean eventual?”
He added that drone strikes had an “open admissions process” without due process and with little oversight.
Stewart pointed out that Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden, had railed against the Bush administration for not releasing legal memos that justified the use of torture against terror suspects. Once Obama entered office, he made those memos public.
“We don’t mind you knowing about shit we do once we don’t do it anymore,” he mockingly concluded. “We’re happy to share irrelevant information with the public. We told you we were going to be transparent, we just didn’t tell you it was going to be about the last guy’s secrets.”