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The president of the United States may, at any moment, decide that cities -- or for that matter all life on earth -- must perish in flames. We have lived in this world so long that it seems normal, even safe. But our technological situation is in fundamental tension with the rule of law.

As aghast as I am about this assumed power to launch drone strikes to assassinate U.S. citizens abroad without review, I can't help but think about it in this context as well. For my entire life, the president has had the power to launch a nuclear strike that would, in effect, end all human life on Earth. To my knowledge, there's no formal check on that power.
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