We are currently debating when a drone can be used to kill Americans in the process of promoting or committing terrorist acts. The President takes the position that it can be done, worldwide, when the threat is imminent and capture can not be accomplished. Eric Holder has indicated that, so long as the individual is not a “combatant” he cannot be killed on US soil.
The issue is, how do we translate the Constitution to the battlefield when the battle field is inside the USA?
So, here, we have another emerging threat the contours of which are amorphous…
And the question is, what constitutes an attack for which an “offensive” response is warranted? And of course the follow up question: what ought to be that offensive response?
Here is a pull quote from an interesting article.
Offensive cyber weapons are growing and evolving, Alexander said, and it is only a matter of time before tools developed by other nations wind up in the hands of extremist groups or even individuals who could do significant harm.
Alexander said 13 cyber teams are being formed for the mission of guarding the nation in cyberspace. He described them as “defend-the-nation” teams but stressed their role would be offensive. In comments to reporters after the hearing, Alexander likened the teams duties to knocking an incoming missile out of the sky before it hits a target. He also said the teams would work outside the United States, but he did not say where.
Another issue that still needs to be settled is what constitutes an act of war in cyberspace, Alexander said. He does not consider cyberespionage and the theft of a corporations intellectual property to be acts of war. But Alexander said, “I think youve crossed the line” if the intent is to disrupt or destroy U.S. infrastructure.