Boehner Backs Obama on Targeted Killing

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 6 2013 11:20 AM

Boehner Backs Obama on Targeted Killing

160764481
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) listens during a news conference in the U.S. Capitol on February 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Here's one reason why drone warfare and targeted killing don't really get discussed in Washington unless there's a memo leak or a protest: There's bipartisan consensus to whistle awkwardly and let the system continue. At John Boehner's weekly press conference, PRI's Todd Zwillich asked whether the most powerful Republican in the country, a "constitutional officer," had any concerns about targeted killing. After all, Congress could hold hearings. Congress could cut funding.

"[House Intelligence Committee] Chairman Mike Rogers put out a statement yesterday," said Boehner, "and I agree with that statement."

Advertisement

He didn't quote the statement, but what Rogers said yesterday was that targeted killing of American citizens was a "lawful act of national self-defense." Via the AP:

When an individual has joined al-Qaida — the organization responsible for the murder of thousands of Americans — and actively plots future attacks against U.S. citizens, soldiers, and interests around the world, the U.S. government has both the authority and the obligation to defend the country against that threat.

In general, Republicans agreed with the legal theories behind all this when George W. Bush was president. They agree with the theories now. They might call for more transparency, as Sen. John Cornyn is doing, but they don't do so because they question the basis for the attacks.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.