Three good articles of interest from the BBC today, all with some points to dwell on:
- A leaked memo from the U.S. Justice Department revealed the legal basis for drone strikes overseas, including on American citizens. One part of the article should be the most scrutinized piece of the memo:
The paper adopts a broad definition of “imminent threat”, saying it is not necessary to produce evidence that a specific attack is being planned if the target is generally engaged in plotting against the US.
This sounds as if the choosing of the target and the decision to commence a deadly drone attack is actually quite vague. Since we allegedly believe in the rule of law and giving people a fair shake when it comes to justice, we must question the wording of this part of the memo. In fact, considering we are carrying out capital punishment without a trial, we should conduct the operation with only the most concrete of evidence, if at all. This wording suggests there needs to be almost no evidence given or certainly none that would lead to a conviction in a court of law.
- The U.K. seems to be on its way to passing a gay marriage legalization bill. But critics have brought up one of the strangest positions to try to block the bill:
Current legal definitions of adultery and consummation are based on sexual contact between a man and a woman. Without these legal definitions, critics argue that same-sex marriage will be open to those who do not have a sexual relationship.
What makes this so strange to an American like me is that it is a viable legal reason to criticize the bill. I’m just so used to only seeing symbolic arguments, such as “I believe in the sanctity of marriage”, it’s stunning to see a somewhat reasonable legal one. I’m sure this will not be much of an issue for Britain and they will be one step ahead of the United States on marriage equality, just as they are in other areas like health care.
- The United States has asked Egypt to investigate its police force over a horrendous beating of a naked man by law enforcement. One must question how closely Egyptian officials will (or should) listen to the U.S. after its well-documented financial and military support of former dictator Mubarak. It would also be hard to ignore the hypocrisy of the U.S. telling Egypt to control its police officers from abusing people when the U.S. used Egypt as one of its rendition countries to conduct torture on terror suspects. I do believe that would be the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.