Will President Obama's drone strike policy spark outrage?
Reaction from Karl Rove
- Duration 9:17
- Date Feb 5, 2013
Reaction from Karl Rove
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Back to the breaking news on our big story that was White House spokesman Jay Carney less than an hour ago responding to a series of questions.
After we got our first look today at and the administration's legal arguments behind the president's drone strike policy.
At the top of this hour fox judicial analyst judge and a -- -- told us his reading of this policy seems to give the president the power to kill almost indiscriminately.
And all day -- for people point out the amount of heat the Bush Administration took a decade ago for policies that were much more limited.
Karl Rove as a former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to president George W.
Bush also a Fox News contributor Carl good to see today.
-- and are you I -- very good and I ask you Bellamy you've got in trouble for eavesdropping on people what do you think events.
Well first -- I'm not a lawyer.
I do think that the deal with these American citizens who -- actively involved in with terrorist groups abroad.
-- the devil is in the details these memos.
I have to be very carefully crafted by the office of legal counsel Department of Justice was careful attention to law international commitments precedent.
They have to be very specific and outlining what can be done and what cannot be done we don't know what's in the memo all we know as -- in a memo that.
Is based on the memo.
So I think as if this is appropriately briefed to congress -- You know then then I think the government needs a tool if we have American citizens who were active in terrorist groups abroad.
Who don't want to be the targets of a drone strike they've got two options they can come home facing music.
Be charged with aiding and abetting materially.
And suffer the consequences or.
They can go to a country without an extradition treaty and renounce violence against United States and -- -- their lives but we do need a tool like this having said that.
Two things one is.
This it is unclear how well this was briefed to the senate and house Intelligence -- congress has a right to know about these things -- to be briefed about it.
And second -- you're right it's interesting.
I remember -- out attorney general Alberto Gonzales three heads of the office of legal counsel John you judge.
The General Counsel DOD -- behavior Douglas fight today at defense and David -- to the vice president's office were excoriated by.
You know Talking Heads on television these men were -- they and others were hounded.
There were demands that they be charged with war crimes that their law licenses be.
Be taken away and anybody who did that kind of stuff -- against those men during the bush years if they're not as soon as.
As as equally harsh on president Obama's administration.
Then we can just -- up as crass hypocrites and hyper partisans because what they did to those good man who served as patriotic.
Americans in the in this in a time of difficulty and danger for our country.
Was of of was of great importance to us and they didn't deserve the kind of treatment they had at the hands of the of the of the -- walls on the left of American politics.
And and we have are our research team put together just a few of those quotes -- objections ever made by people like senator Dianne Feinstein.
The -- is now the attorney general Eric Holder and other -- We're very angry about on people being held -- in a war being -- that kind of thing but what this new policy is that we're talking about today is actually the ability to kill people that are American citizens and to be fair.
What we know so far about the memo says their you know or three very specific criteria including -- an immediate threat.
There's no way to capture these people and they you know have some connection to what we believe is terrorist activity that threatens.
In the US.
But there are those who are critics with CNET since say there's a lot of latitude in here there's a lot of gray area about how you define these things.
And who gets to make those decisions about how -- to find.
Do you think there will be as intense.
Criticism and questioning from the mainstream media about this as you faced.
You know while -- obviously not because the media was.
Hypocritical and callow and cowardly when they took on people like Alberto Gonzales and John -- endgame by -- Steve Bradbury.
And and and they did so because it was George W.
Bush Republican and conservative.
In these men were in the service of his administration so no they won't because as pres Obama remember.
President Obama excoriated the Patriot Act in 2006.
Fought against its renewal and yet has routinely use the tools of the Patriot Act to do it.
His press spokesman.
Jay Carney said was it one of his principal duties which was to keep America safe so.
You know area right Eric Holder was one of the people baying for that law licenses and and -- premature end of the career of these patriots who served in the Bush Administration.
He's now the attorney general the United States and the people who work directly for him.
Wrote the underline memo now remember we don't know what's in the in underlined -- all we know is what's written.
In a memo that describes in general terms what's -- -- -- I suspect that mammal is far more precise and far more detailed.
And spells out what can be done and what cannot be done but but.
You know hopefully that has been briefed to the members of the senate and and House Intelligence Committee at least the leadership those committees and they thought carefully about him but no -- to -- your original question.
I don't expect senator pat Leahy chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
To come out and say as harsh things about the -- attorney general in the current administration as he did when George Bush was president.
Because this was all about politics for him it wasn't about a principal.
I have to take my hat off to the ACLU at least they're being consistent.
They they've they went after George W.
Bush and are going after.
Barack Obama probably with a with a little bit less intensity in the case of President Obama but at least.
They put out a statement decrying this policy where the others are silent -- -- -- the defense in the administration.
Yeah I wanted to ask you about that because I don't imagine it's often that you and the ACLU are hanging out together.
They do called this what they know that the policy so -- chilling.
Yeah well I want to be clear I'm not with him on the side of believing that this is -- wrong policy I wanna give the president the benefit of the doubt I do believe the president.
Has to have tools like this to deal with people like -- -- -- this was a US citizen admittedly.
But he was part of the Al -- leadership in Yemen he was a prime mover he appeared in -- videos we had solid evidence that he was an activist in the leadership of of al-Qaeda in in the Arabian Peninsula.
And he was a threat to the United States -- god bless President Obama.
For having the courage to take him out but you don't did again the devil's in the details of the question is what's in this memo how precise a limited.
How well based in law and and and international commitments as it.
And an end when we got a divorce that issue from the issue of if you were critical of George W.
Bush for being harsh in the war on terror.
Are you equally harsh and President Obama and are you calling for the same kind of treatment of the people.
In the office of legal counsel into the Department of Justice wrote this -- as you were in the bush years that's a separate question from whether this is a good policy or bad policy.
I frankly -- myself in the position of disagreeing with the ACLU on whether it's good policy but -- green.
With the ACLU that they have every right to come to be consistent in criticizing.
Both President Bush and President Obama for being tough on the war on terror.
Let me mention a name that and that you brought senator Patrick Leahy who was -- obviously -- he he was very critical of what the Bush Administration decided to do and a number of these cases.
It'd be fair he's actually signed on to this letter with a number of other senators Republicans and Democrats alike.
-- not endorsing a policy not shooting it down but saying -- -- TV's legal papers could you Koppel mop and to -- that sounds like.
These senate leaders weren't consulted about this there's some talk that maybe what's been seen out there the -- is in draft form.
How critical is the role of congress in making decisions about this kind of stuff.
Well we also have here potentially haven't seen a list of all -- -- the people who signed the letter but -- may also have a -- eight turf dispute on Capitol Hill.
By law the president is required to brief these kind of activities to the leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee.
Senator Leahy is chairman of the Judiciary Committee and what he may be trying to do is to say okay.
I know -- have a statutory responsibility which you may have meant to the intelligence committee but I want a piece of this action to.
So -- I'm I'm I'm a little bit restrained here yet on on.
That this letter from from the -- Members and have made it may have something to do with turf as well we just need to know more.
But I will be watching senator Leahy in the days ahead to see if he's as critical of the Department of Justice in the office of legal counsel and this president.
As he was of the predecessor president and predecessor attorney general and predecessor office legal counsel.
When they made serious tough decisions about how America should conduct itself in the war on terror let's see if he's going to be an equal.
You know an -- and an equal complainer or whether he has he's gonna be restrained in his comments and not demand you know the removal of law licenses and you know -- federal charges to be brought about a save somebody's Talking Heads on the left are calling for President Obama to be.
Charged as a war criminal as they were President Bush we well as they learn a lot more we'll see what their reaction is Karl Rove thank you start.
You -- thank you are coming up a cool.