They are not unprecedented - they are in fact very, terribly precedented going all the way back to Ford. That we know of. It very likely goes back to the founding of these United States. Obama's crew were just dumb enough to try and write up some legalese justification.
Which is particularly silly, since Reagan's crew already did that! Clueless folks like to claim Cowboy Ronnie did the exact opposite with Executive Order 12333, which Scott Horton of the venerable Harpers summarized thus - "No one shall be assassinated—unless the president authorizes it, in which case we will refrain from calling it an assassination."
Ya got that? Whacking people has been standard American policy for decades. Obama is breaking no new ground.
"But he's sending drones after American citizens! He's coming for me and all my shiny gold because it has intrinsic value! I'm a fucking moron!"
Yeah, about that whole "Obama First to Whack Other Americans" thing. Kamal Derwish says that's bullshit - or would, if a Predator hadn't zapped him in Yemen back in 2002.
|Because this hardware has existed since the 1980s!|
The ugly truth of the drone non-debate in this country is that Obama is just following the path of those to come before him. He did the same thing on Gitmo and renditions and all the other little evils of the Bush years, probably not because he's a moustache twirling villain but simply because American bureaucracy breeds inertia. It's a holy bitch to get anything started in this system but once it is, it'll run on autopilot even after everyone's forgotten about what brought it about in the first place. Obama inherited these extrajudicial practices and, like any Centrist Democrat, who won't change a goddamn thing!
So stop saying Obama is some executive overreach virtuoso with the whole drone thing. He's not and you sound like an ignorant jackass.