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Italy's court system has successfully convicted foreign intelligence agents for kidnapping.
The twist is they were tried and convicted in absentia, a technique that might limit the need to make arbitrary targeted assassinations from afar.
The DoJ is reportedly studying the decision to see how it might affect high profile cases, such as the drone killings of American cleric Al-Awlaki and later his 15-year-old son.
While generally an exception to the rule, US officials believe they may now be able to charge supporters and enablers of terrorists and those propagating hate crime with actual crimes under US law in accordance with Constitutional protections and precedent.
Rather than rely on more risky extraordinary rendition or illegal abduction, US and Homeland Security would then able to actually enter charges and have them decided in court, simplifying requests for international extradition such as the high profile case of unindicted criminal Julian Assange, currently seeking refuge in London's Bolivian Embassy.
But current worries are that such a move would force the government to proceed with rapid trials using concrete evidence for Bradley Manning and high profile Gitmo detainees, signaling a drastic departure from long-term strategies in counter-terrorism.
Reached for comment, the President declined to respond in detail on a situation still in "discovery stage", he did note he was "evolving" on the issue while still concerned about "our safety and values abroad".
However, the recent suicide of one Gitmo detainee shows that indefinite detention is still effective and reaping tangible results, so changing tack, especially in an election year, will be difficult, especially for those concerned about being soft on terror.
It also might shatter a fragile and rare bipartisan consensus on foreign anti-terror policy currently allowing resources to flow unfettered to US defense and intelligence priorities.
The alternative, critics fear, would require prioritizing peace-keeping efforts and effectiveness of security methods, a process that might be time-consuming and result in counter-productive methods being axed at a time where jobs are high priority.