Mideast Expert Rabil: Limit Drone Use Against Americans

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 03:34 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Dr. Robert Rabil, professor of Middle Eastern studies at Florida Atlantic University, says that while he thinks drone attacks against U.S. citizens fighting alongside terrorists have their place, their use should be regulated.

"If those drones are used to eliminate someone who is posing a real and imminent danger to American citizens, my personal opinion is, if someone of high authority gives them the go-ahead, then we have to do it," Rabil told J.D. Hayworth and Morgan Thompson on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV.

Rabil gave the example of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American who was killed with a drone strike in 2011 in Yemen.

"We know from his past that he has been really working with al-Qaida, and he posed as, I believe, and I could be wrong, but he posed an imminent threat to American citizens," the professor said Wednesday.

"So, what do you do about it? You wait until American citizens die until you do something about it?"

Story continues below video.



However, even though drone strikes may be necessary in such situations, Rabil says that "we have to regulate it."

"Somehow the Obama administration . . . used [it] as a policy," he added. "It shouldn't be used as a policy to go ahead and use it so much."

The Senate is expected to approve the judicial nomination of Harvard Law professor David Barron to the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston on Wednesday.

The Obama administration has said it will allow a memo Barron wrote to be released. The administration used the memo to justify its use of drone strikes on Americans who are working as terrorists overseas.

Rabil said he thinks Barron will be approved.

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