When MSNBC’s Touré Neblett tried Wednesday to defend certain aspects of the Obama administration’s use of unmanned drone strikes, he probably wasn’t prepared for the pushback he received from The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill.
“I’m curious, Jeremy, as to how you think we should be doing this,” Mr. Neblett asked Scahill. “If you were the commander-in-chief entrusted with keeping Americans safe, and your legacy is on the line, and all those sort of things, how do you prosecute this war?”
“I believe that we, like all nations around the world, have a right to self-defense,” the journalist responded. He also claimed that no evidence of wrongdoing was ever presented before the White House decided to incinerate American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki with a drone strike in 2011.
“They did present evidence, Jeremy, you know that, in a Yemeni court,” Neblett said.
“What was the evidence, Touré?” Scahill asked. “Would you want to be prosecuted in a Yemeni court?”
“This is a country that set up a tribunal to prosecute journalists for crimes against the dictator,” he continued. “If you’re holding up the Yemeni justice system as a place where you think an American citizen is going to get a fair trial, then I would advise you to go to Yemen and start jaywalking and see what kind of treatment you’re going to get in those courts.”
“You can’t have it both ways, man,” Scahill added. “If you want to act like Yemen’s courts are legitimate, then you better act like they’re legitimate when they put political prisoners in there or they put people in there for crimes against the dictatorship.”
An outgunned Neblett didn’t have much to say to that:
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