This post at Esquire is required reading, and no, it is not Charlie Pierce.
I believe that Presidents probably always had secret kill lists. What is new and disturbing here is that the kill lists now include US Citizens, and that our president now has notches in his belt from killing US citizens over seas with drone strikes.
It is all so antiseptic: no invasion, no strategy, no derring-do. Just a push of a button to launch the drone. I suppose that there must be some rational reason for killing a 16-year old American boy, and maybe a moment or two of regret. But overall, the whole process seems too easy and too easily abused. I mean, where does it end? This has such a dystopian quality to it, it would not be hard to imagine these things flying around America looking for political enemies.
I keep returning to my basic civics class from my school days: the Congress writes the laws, and the executive branch enforces them. Killing US Citizens by drone appears to be legal because no one has said that it is not illegal. This is the stratagem of bratty middle school kids to test their limits.
It is time for Congress to curtail this ability. It needs to explicitly state that targeting US Citizens for drone attacks is illegal, just the way that wiretapping us was illegal. Oh, yeah.