You know, we already have something. It’s called the Constitution and due process, and the war approval powers of Congress.

Via The Raw Story:

Former US defense secretary Robert Gates on Sunday endorsed the idea of having a special court review drone strikes as a check against a president’s power to, in effect, execute Americans.

The issue came to the fore last week during a Senate hearing to confirm John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism chief, as director of the CIA.

Gates, a former CIA director who served as defense secretary under both Obama and former president George W. Bush, said the rules followed by the Obama administration “are quite stringent and are not being abused.”

“But who is to say about a future president?” he said in an interview with CNN’s State of the Union.

“I just think some check on the ability of a president to do this has merit as we look to the longer-term future,” he said.

Gates referred to the targeted killings as “being able to execute in effect an American citizen, no matter how awful,” and said some third party should have a say in it, with the intelligence committees of Congress kept informed.

He noted that there is already a foreign intelligence surveillance court that approves the use of electronic surveillance of American citizens, and something similar could be created to review targeted killings of Americans.

“Something that would give the American people confidence that there was, in fact, a compelling case to launch an attack against an American citizen,” he said.

During Thursday’s confirmation hearing, Senator Dianne Feinstein said she would introduce legislation to create such a court to review drone strikes.

Keep reading…