News & Politics

Watch: Jon Stewart Rips Apart Obama's Drone Policy

'Broader concept of imminence,' you say?

On his show last night, Jon Stewart took on the Obama administration’s authoritarian justification for assassinating U.S. citizens, as detailed in a memo released to NBC this week.

Stewart ripped apart the memo’s Orwellian rendering of the word “imminent,” which sets an eerily low bar for ordering Americans’ deaths.

Says the Department of Justice memo:

The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.

"Really, because that seems like that if you did that you'd have to create a different definition for the word imminent, a ‘broader concept,’ if you will.” Stewart retorted, referencing what the administration is calling a “broader concept of imminence.”

Stewart recorded last night’s show before the Obama administration announced it would give the Senate Intelligence Committee access to the a complete version of the drone memo. Still, Jon took the opportunity to point out that Obama's drone saga reminds us of a previous administration's legacy.

"Obviously a Democratic administration's White House secret war policy memos are very different from the Bush's secret war policy, in that I assume the Democrats have written them on recycled paper," Stewart said, comparing Obama’s targeted assassination doctrine to Bush’s torture regime.

Watch the full segment below:



Steven Hsieh is an editorial assistant at AlterNet and writer based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @stevenjhsieh.

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