2 Oct

Which American citizen will Obama kill next? [Reader Post]

                                       

Barack Obama ordered the assassination of two American citizens. No one is arguing that they weren’t bad, but this is a terrible precedent.

An American President now can order the assassination of American citizens.

An American President can now suspend any American’s constitutional rights at will.

Think about that.

Why did we give Timothy McVeigh a trial?

Why don’t we just kill Case Anthony? We all know she’s guilty.

Why do we even bother having trials?

Over at Huffington Post there is division on this issue. They quote Jane Harman:

“It’s tricky that he was a U.S. citizen, but he clearly stated his intention to kill Americans and the Justice Department thoroughly vetted the legal issues and this strike was within the law,”

The Justice Department vetted this? Holder vetted this?

That borders on insanity. This is the same Holder “Justice Department” who put an end to the Black Panther intimidation case. The is the same Holder “Justice Department” which intentionally sent weapons into Mexico. This is the same Justice Department that sues states for attempting to protect their borders. This is the same “Justice Department” that wants a civil trial for Khalid Sheik Muhammamed.

HuffPo is allowing no comments that question Obama’s decision to assassinate an American citizen. I suspect that even they know how wrong this was.

What is the threshold for ordering the death of American citizens?

Joe Biden likened Tea Party members to terrorists.

Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.

Biden was agreeing with a line of argument made by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) at a two-hour, closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting.

“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”

Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists.”

Golly, if they’re terrorists, then Obama can have them killed, right?

Obama himself called Americans his enemies

“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’

And why not punish them with a nice Predator missile?

In fact, we are “treacherous enemies.”

Obama’s website once trumpeted this:

“All 50 States are coordinating in this – as we fight back against our own Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists who are subverting the American Democratic Process, whipped to a frenzy by their Fox Propaganda Network ceaselessly re-seizing power for their treacherous leaders.”

Terrorists. Terrorists need to be killed, even if they are Americans.

How about killing anyone who is a threat to democracy? Barack Obama once said that the Chamber of Commerce was a threat to democracy. Why not kill them?

David Plouffe said those who support Republicans are a threat to democracy

“They are becoming the central financial actors in the 2010 election,” Plouffe told reporters in Washington yesterday. “What’s happening out there is really a hijacking of our democracy.”

I guess they can be killed as well. Eric Holder would no doubt permit it.

A whole new world of opportunity has been opened up for Obama.

What now is the threshold for an American President to order the assassination of American citizens? Who can Obama have killed simply because he’s in a pissy mood?

Who’s next?

Aren’t we bombing Libya because its leader was killing his people?

About DrJohn

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.
This entry was posted in Anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, Constitution, Culture of Corruption, Law Enforcement, Politics, POWER GRAB!, propaganda bureau, WtF? and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 at 3:01 pm
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192 Responses to Which American citizen will Obama kill next? [Reader Post]

  1. drjohn says: 101

    @Stix:

    Earlier in this thread people were saying if they can do this to the Terrorists, they can do it to the Tea Party, since the people in the GOV called the Tea Party terrorists, a huge straw man if I have ever saw one. And that the EPA can wage war against us because they can call it a war against US citizens.

    All you need is a secret memo.

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  2. drjohn says: 102

    @Randy: Thanks, Randy.

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  3. Randy says: 103

    @Hard Right: There are many sources that define military action. The Geneva Convention may not agree with the definition that many of us here have been using. When we first went into Iraq, our JAG officers spent many hours with us describing rules of war that few of us understood at that time. An example was taking out a sniper with (excessive force) an Apache gun ship with rockets or 30 MM explosive rounds. That rule seems to have been lost in the shuffle.

    I remember in Lebanon, our Marine snipers were viewed with disdain except by a few. 9/11 changed that view. Snipers are an important part of fighting we are involved in now. Because of the current nature of warfare, we do things we would not have done a few decades ago.

    The military works for the civilian government. As a retired military officer, I depended upon the civilian government to define lawful and unlawful orders. I am not sure where I could find the lawful order to execute a US citizen no matter how despicable he was without due process of the law. If this administration has determined that executing a US citizen when I was not under fire by this individual or any otherwise eminent threat to my life is a lawful order, then it should be published.

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  4. Nan G says: 104

    Just as the South rose up against the United States, so, too did al Qaeda.
    The only difference is that al Qaeda did not declare itself a state.
    It did declare its war, however.
    In 1998, Feb, 23rd all the then-leaders of al Qaeda signed the World Islamic Front’s Declaration to Wage War against the Jews and the Crusaders.
    Ehypt’s Ayman al Zawahiri, and Abu YasirRifa’i Ahmad Tahu as well as Pakistan’s Mir Hamza and Bangladesh’s Fazlir Rahman joined Osama bin Ladin as signatories.
    In their Declaration ALL Muslims were called to either fight the Jihad or support it passively.
    All are called but, according to the principle of Fard Kifayah only a few have to actually take up arms.

    Remember your American History when the Barbary Wars were being considered?
    Alexander Hamilton was part of the debate about whether the President had to wait on the Congress to declare war to go after and KILL those Barbary pirates who were commandeering our merchant ships, stealing our goods and holding our crews as slaves/hostages.
    Well…..what did Hamilton say about waiting on Congress?
    He said it would be STUPID and SUICIDAL for the Constitution to be saying that, and that it did not say that.
    He said, in effect, that when we are being treated as if we are at war by attackers, WE ARE ALREADY AT WAR!

    Well, we are at war right now from those who will answer the call from al Qaeda as well as any other Jihadist organization which uses the USA as its scapegoat for its own failure to effectively care for its people.

    Were the sheriffs and marshals of the open West breaking the law when they put out a WANTED – DEAD or ALIVE poster about some US-born outlaw?
    No.
    Anwar al-Awlaki made himself as much an outlaw as any of those wild west bank robbing teams.
    There was usually someone who stayed away from the action although he planned the robbery.
    If caught, he was just as much a part of the ring as the guy with the gun in hand.

    I don’t know why anyone is bellyaching about this.
    According to John W. Chambers, II, ed. in chief, The Oxford Companion to American Military History. Oxford University Press, 1999, ISBN 978-0-19-507198-6. P. 849.
    The South had 72,524 American citizens killed by the USA.
    And the USA lost 140,414 American citizens getting the ”win.”

    One thing I totally agree with Obama about: he is a terrible communicator, for all his flowery speeches.
    He has led Americans to believe that America’s issue with terrorism is some sort of ”law enforcement” issue, when it is actually a war and he is treating it exactly as a war.
    No wonder his base is confused.
    In a war you kill your enemy….foreign or domestic.

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  5. drjohn says: 105

    According to Obama, those same “American values” also demand Miranda rights for jihad terrorists captured in foreign countries. Civilian court indictments and constitutional trial rights in federal court in the United States for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, et al. naturally are in accordance with our values.

    Our ideals and values also render the enhanced interrogation techniques of the Bush administration “torture.” Regardless of potential life-saving information possessed by a captured terrorist, our American values allow for only constitutional protections and police-citizen-type questioning.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/10/president_obama_and_our_core_a.html

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  6. Wordsmith says: 106

    @Nan G:

    …..what did Hamilton say about waiting on Congress?
    He said it would be STUPID and SUICIDAL for the Constitution to be saying that, and that it did not say that.

    Which reminds me, in the case of the GWoT, didn’t Congress already give its approval through the AUMF?

    SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    @Randy:

    I am not sure where I could find the lawful order to execute a US citizen no matter how despicable he was without due process of the law. If this administration has determined that executing a US citizen when I was not under fire by this individual or any otherwise eminent threat to my life is a lawful order, then it should be published.

    The purpose of the AUMF is to prevent future attacks- the kind which al-Awlaki was calling for. Did you read my links to the Lawfare blogposts (comment #29)? Did President Obama call for the use of lethal force as last resort and exhaust other possible means? (I don’t see this as an “assassination” so much as a military action against a known enemy of the United States; otherwise lets call into question the use of all predator drone attacks in these surgical “killings/assassinations”).

    For due process purposes, one has reached the point of last resort, at which lethal force against a U.S. national becomes lawful, when (1) the suspect has been identified with a high degree of confidence using the best available intelligence subjected to heightened internal review, (2) no option for capture plausibly exists without undue risk to forces or civilians, and (3) the foreseeable consequence of a failure to interdict the suspect will be the loss of opportunity to neutralize the threat he poses and thus presents an unreasonable risk to human life.

    ~~~

    Let’s hold up what we know about the Al Aulaqi case to this test:

    (1) He has clearly been identified with a high degree of confidence using the best intelligence available and a multi-layered review process as a high-level operational terrorist leader in a group that the government reasonably regards as part of Al Qaeda (or at least cobelligerent with it) and who has actually planned attacks on behalf of that group. Critically, this intelligence, some of which has become public, is not simply about his role as a charismatic, inspirational jihadist cheerleader or as an internet propagandist, facts that would not, repugnant though these activities are, be grounds for targeting him.

    (2) Efforts to capture Al Aulaqi have clearly been made. This morning’s New York Times, for example, has a lengthy story about such efforts over a long period of time:

    But in fact, the Yemeni security services, many trained by American Special Forces soldiers, appear to have pursued Mr. Awlaki for almost two years in a hunt that was often hindered by the shifting allegiances of Yemen’s tribes and the deep unpopularity of Mr. Saleh’s government.

    In 2009 and 2010, Mr. Awlaki seems to have been mostly in the southern heartland of his own powerful tribe, the Awaliq, where killing him would have been politically costly for the government, and capturing him nearly impossible. The area where Mr. Awlaki was finally killed, in the remote north, did not afford him the same tribal protection. There are also many tribal leaders in the far north who receive stipends from Saudi Arabia — the terrorist group’s chief target — and who would therefore have had more motive to assist in killing him.

    The hunt for Mr. Awlaki has involved some close calls, including the failed American drone strike in May, and the previously unreported operation in the Yemeni village. Yemen’s elite counterterrorism commandos, backed by weapons from Yemen’s regular armed forces, formed a ring around the town as commanders began negotiating with local leaders to hand Mr. Awlaki over, said one member of the unit.

    “We stayed a whole week, but the villagers were supporting him,” said the counterterrorism officer, who is not authorized to speak on the record. “The local people began firing on us, and we fired back, and while it was happening, they helped him to escape.”

    What’s more, Al Aulaqi has been on notice for quite some time that he is wanted and has not sought to surrender or turn himself in, and the government has made clear it would accept his surrender. So there’s a strong basis on which the government can argue here that it has pursued remedies short of lethal force. It has tried to take Al Aulaqi alive and remained open to the possibility but the chance did not pan out. What did pan out was an opportunity to attack a car from a remote, stand-off position.

    (3) Would the foreseeable result of not taking this chance have been the loss of innocent life? This question seems to me to answer itself. A government worth anything simply has to take seriously a man who has been personally involved in terrorist actions in the past, who promises more, and who is taking active steps to conduct them.

    And the 2nd link again:

    To my mind, at least, the distinction–the legal difference–is one of necessity. Assuming one has properly identified the citizen terrorist (and whether one has presents a separate issue that I will treat later), one is obliged as a matter of due process to neutralize the threat he poses by capture if possible. Only if a capture is not feasible without undue risk to forces or civilians is it consistent with due process to specifically target a U.S. national with lethal force. If the government, instead of capturing Shahzad, had simply shot him dead on the plane in New York, that would have presented a huge constitutional problem–just as I believe it would have presented a big due process problem had Navy SEALS shot Al Aulaqi between the eyes when capture was possible.

    This distinction is, I suspect, as important to the administration’s legal reasoning as it is to mine. The New York Times today, for example, reports that:

    The Obama administration legal team wrestled with whether it would be lawful to make Mr. Awlaki a target for death–a proposition that raised complex issues involving Mr. Awlaki’s constitutional rights as an American citizen, domestic statutes and international law.

    The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel eventually issued a lengthy, classified memorandum that apparently concluded it would be legal to strike at someone like Mr. Awlaki in circumstances in which he was believed to be plotting attacks against the United States, and if there was no way to arrest him.

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  7. Aye says: 107

    @drjohn:

    Where’s the rule for any of that?

    Who decides who is at war?

    Here’s the rule Congress wrote:

    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for Use of Military Force’.

    SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    (b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

    (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

    (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supercedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

    Approved September 18, 2001.

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  8. drjohn says: 108

    @Aye:

    This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for Use of Military Force’.

    OK, you win. That trumps the Constitution, I guess.

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  9. Aye says: 109

    @drjohn:

    Two questions:

    1) Were the US citizens fighting on behalf of the Confederacy given due process rights or were they simply killed wherever they fought?

    2) Were the American citizens who fought for Germany during WWII given due process rights or were they simply killed wherever they were encountered?

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  10. drjohn says: 110

    It can readily be seen that the due process clause of.the Fourteenth Amendment is an important protection of the freedom of the individual from unjustified imprisonment. This guarantee takes up where the guarantees of the original ten constitutional amendments — the Bill of Rights — leave off. It assures us that all procedures entered into by the state in a criminal prosecution are fair, and none of them will deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

    http://members.mobar.org/civics/DueProcess.htm

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  11. drjohn says: 111

    @Aye: 1) Were the US citizens fighting on behalf of the Confederacy given due process rights or were they simply killed wherever they fought?

    I’ve already made clear that if Awlaki was encountered on a field of battle against US soldiers he is fair game. That would not be specifically identifying and targeting a single individual.

    2) Were the American citizens who fought for Germany during WWII given due process rights or were they simply killed wherever they were encountered?

    Ibid.

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  12. Nan G says: 112

    To include context I have quoted an entire paragraph from The Founders’ Constitution
    Volume 3, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11, Document 11.
    The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. Edited by Harold C. Syrett et al. 26 vols. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1961–79.
    Found in many places on the web.
    Here is one link:
    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_11s11.html

    It will be readily allowed that the Constitution of a particular country may limit the Organ charged with the direction of the public force, in the use or application of that force, even in time of actual war: but nothing short of the strongest negative words, of the most express prohibitions, can be admitted to restrain that Organ from so employing it, as to derive the fruits of actual victory, by making prisoners of the persons and detaining the property of a vanquished enemy.

    Our Constitution happily is not chargeable with so great an absurdity.

    The framers of it would have blushed at a provision, so repugnant to good sense, so inconsistent with national safety and inconvenience.

    That instrument has only provided affirmatively, that, “The Congress shall have power to declare War;” the plain meaning of which is that, it is the peculiar and exclusive province of Congress, when the nation is at peace, to change that state into a state of war; whether from calculations of policy or from provocations or injuries received: in other words, it belongs to Congress only, to go to War.

    But when a foreign nation declares, or openly and avowedly makes war upon the United States, they are then by the very fact, already at war, and any declaration on the part of Congress is nugatory: it is at least unnecessary.

    This inference is clear in principle, and has the sanction of established practice.
    It is clear in principle, because it is self-evident, that a declaration by one nation against another, produce[s] at once a complete state of war between both; and that no declaration on the other side can at all vary their relative situation: and in practice it is well known, that nothing is more common, than when war is declared by one party, to prosecute mutual hostilities, without a declaration by the other.

    What does Hamilton say here?

    War, of itself, gives to the parties a mutual right to kill in battle, and to capture the persons and property of each other.
    This is a rule of natural law; a necessary and inevitable consequence of the state of war.
    This state between two nations is completely produced by the act of one–it requires no concurrent act of the other.
    It is impossible to conceive the idea, that one nation can be in full war with another, and this other not in the same state with respect to its adversary.
    The moment therefore that two nations are, in an absolute sense, at war, the public force of each may exercise every act of hostility, which the general laws of war authorise, against the persons and property of the other.

    In other words, we are at war.
    All fighters in al Qaeda (not declaring itself a ”nation” because it pines for a worldwide caliphate, btw) are legitimate targets for our military.
    A person can be a member of al Qaeda AND a natural born US citizen.
    One is by an accident of birth, the other by choice.
    No one is accidentally a member of al Qaeda.

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  13. Aye says: 113

    @drjohn:

    Non-responsive to both of the questions.

    They’re not really difficult. History 101.

    I’ve already made clear that if Awlaki was encountered on a field of battle against US soldiers he is fair game. That would not be specifically identifying and targeting a single individual.

    A distinction without a difference because you’re attempting, rather unsuccessfully, to argue denial of due process.

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  14. drjohn says: 114

    @Aye:

    A distinction without a difference because you’re attempting, rather unsuccessfully, to argue denial of due process.

    I think not. We are not in any sort of battle in Yemen. We bomb them, with dubious legality. Active combat is wholly different from assassination.

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  15. Nan G says: 115

    @drjohn:
    Asymmetrical warfare against a stateless sworn enemy is bound to look unusual to a classically educated person.
    But then, trench warfare would have probably looked pretty darn off-bounds to the likes of a Napoleon or a Caesar.
    Times change.

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  16. Aye says: 116

    @drjohn:

    We are not in any sort of battle in Yemen. We bomb them, with dubious legality.

    Sigh.

    Perhaps you should refer back to post #107.

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  17. rumcrook says: 117

    absolutely obtuse thread and all your narrow answers.

    I told you to put a number on american deaths to “aprehend” him. you didnt. your position is one of a strident fool. its foolishness.

    anywhere awalaki was in the world we call third world shitholedom would instantly become a battlefield if you tried to aprehend him that makes him a combatant.
    soldiers are not police and I wont put them in the position of trying to take this scum on the ground just to preserve his rights. we had a chance to kill him and we took it. you, by your position have made it clear any number of deaths of american service mewmbers would be all right by you to preserve awlakis “rights” most of the rest of us dont, and we think its just fine to hellfire his ass instead.
    we have clarity.

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  18. Richard Wheeler says: 118

    Dr.J. I would again suggest you seek immediate treatment for O.D.S. Your support of these terrorists and The Mad Colonel simply because BHO SEEKS THEIR TERMINATION suggests you are not of sound mind.

    Semper Fi RJW

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  19. When an “American” gives AWAY their entitlements of CITIZENRY, (http://bensguide.gpo.gov/9-12/citizenship/responsibilities.html), as in the acts of the wanton/ ideological destructions of their former residence the repercussions become equal to those acts that the offender exhibits in most cases. This new “rule” that we’ve witnessed is the culmination of recent historical events of “home-grown” terrorists counting on the sympathies of former friends and neighbors. In this GENERATION the X-factor is that of a belief that they can “DO” what they feel . That idea is now being squelched. DRASTICALLY, YES, but how many of our “born-and-bred” should we allow to TARGET and TAKE the lives of a possible classmate who is ‘SERVING’ against the ideals of the offending “CITIZEN”?

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  20. drjohn says: 120

    This is not worth the trouble. I will ask Curt to delete this post.

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  21. John Cooper says: 121

    Well Dr.J, since Curt didn’t delete this post, have you considered that al-Awlaki legally renounced his citizenship the moment he took up arms against America? Read the Fourteenth Amendment again:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States

    When you refuse to be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, you aren’t one of us any more.

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  22. John Cooper says: 122

    @Nan G: Bravo!

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  23. Aye says: 123

    @John Cooper:

    I found it interesting that A a-A enrolled in college using a student visa which listed him as a citizen of Yemen.

    The guy was born in NM but moved to Yemen with his parents when he was six.

    At best he had dual citizenship as allowed by Yemeni law.

    Plus, and I don’t think this has been mentioned yet, Judge John Bates ruled against the ACLU when they brought a case on behalf of A a-A’s father. Seems that Judge Bates found the decision of the Executive to be “unreviewable” by the Courts:

    …this Court recognizes the somewhat unsettling nature of its conclusion — that there are circumstances in which the Executive’s unilateral decision to kill a U.S. citizen overseas is “constitutionally committed to the political branches” and judicially unreviewable. But this case squarely presents such a circumstance. The political question doctrine requires courts to engage in a fact-specific analysis of the “particular question” posed by a specific case, see El– Shifa, 607 F.3d at 841 (quoting Baker, 369 U.S. at 211), and the doctrine does not contain any “carve-out” for cases involving the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens. While it may be true that “the political question doctrine wanes” where the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens are at stake, Abu Ali, 350 F. Supp. at 64, it does not become inapposite. [p. 77 opinion, emphasis added]

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  24. Aqua says: 124

    For the record, I think killing A a-A was justified and within the boundaries of the WPA.
    I find it hilarious that Greg, liberal1, and Rich have all sounded off in favor as well. If it had been Bush that had done this, they all would be beside themselves and firing off letters to their representatives for immediate impeachment.
    Oh, and now the left is touting the Op-ed by John Yu as conservative backing for the decision. Yu, the man the left wants in prison for eternity is now the voice of reason. Hypocrits.

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  25. Aye says: 125

    Also from Judge Bates’ ruling:

    For his part, Anwar Al-Aulaqi has made clear that he has no intention of
    making himself available for criminal prosecution in U.S. courts, remarking in a May 2010
    AQAP video interview that he “will never surrender” to the United States, and that “[i]f the
    Americans want me, [they can] come look for me.”
    See Wizner Decl., Ex. V; see also Clapper
    Decl. ¶ 16; Defs.’ Mem. at 14 n.5 (quoting Anwar Al-Aulaqi as stating, “I have no intention of
    turning myself in to [the Americans]. If they want me, let them search for me.”).

    Looks like we took him up on that request.

    The United States has, however, repeatedly stated that if Anwar Al-Aulaqi “were to surrender or otherwise present himself to the proper authorities in a peaceful and appropriate manner, legal principles with which the United States has traditionally and uniformly complied would prohibit
    using lethal force or other violence against him in such circumstances.” Id. at 2; see also Mot.
    Hr’g Tr. 15:2-9.

    …as the D.C. Circuit has explained, “[i]t is not the role of judges to second-guess, with the benefit of hindsight, another branch’s determination that the interests of the United States call for military action.” El-Shifa, 607 F.3d at 844. Such military determinations are textually committed to the political branches. See Schneider, 412 F.3d at 194-95 (explaining that “Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution . . . is richly laden with the delegation of foreign policy and national security powers to Congress,” while “Article II likewise provides allocation of foreign relations and national security powers to the President, the unitary chief executive” and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy).

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  26. John Cooper says: 126

    Aye– I think that settles the matter.

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  27. Smorgasbord says: 127

    @rumcrook: #117
    You reminded me of a question I have for those who say we should send in troops instead of bombs or artillery to prevent the deaths of “innocent civilians?” The question is, “How many ‘innocent civilians’ is one soldier’s life worth.” In other words, if your son or daughter died in a fight, how many “innocent civilians” saved would it take for you to say it was worth it? Since the enemy doesn’t wear uniforms, how do we tell them apart?

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  28. That low life gave up his citizenship when he tried to get other Americans, and people to kill Americans. Back in the day these people could be shot for doing what he did if they were caught. Also, I like to think that they saved some lives by taking this wacko out. Our government actually took some proactive instead of waiting for the dead, and injured bodies to pile up as they argued back and forth for years as “what to do!” They wear no uniform, represent no recognized country, adhere to no civilized rules of war, kill women, children, the elderly, and anyone else just to make a point. If he would have been captured and shipped here for a trial, it would have taken decades if ever. He may even have been released. he would have had the power of the ACLU, and Human Rights groups behind him and every step of the way, oh and Ron Paul too. And trust me these people have deep pockets, and powerful people in the right places, not to mention the media. So yeah, I am tickled pick that he got a taxpayer ride to Terrorist Heaven, along with another slimebag.

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  29. Dc says: 129

    I look at it this way:
    If some German American US citizen in WWII had become 3rd in line to Hitler and was “openly”, in SS uniform, trying to recruit other americans to attack the U.S. during time of war, helping the riech organize attacks against us, there would be no “question” that that person would be treated as an enemy combatant and not as a US citizen. Under such circumstances, you are no longer a US citizen. You can’t claim rights and protections of US citizenship as you try to destroy and attack the US on behalf of a foreign entity that is openly at war with US.

    The US is currently (still) operating under an authorization for use of force against AlQueda affiliates for the purpose of preventing further attacks on US soil. Mr Alwaki is not just someone who went to training camp in Pakistan of Afghanistan and dreamed of jihad or got caught up in the moment. He’s part of the leadership of AlQueda and one of the inspirational imam’s preaching jihad against the US and helping to send attacks here (although we’ve thwarted everything thus far).

    This is also what makes Adam Gadhan different from John Lynde. Truth is, it’s to their discretion how they want to treat them, depending solely upon what kind of threat they feel that they pose to security. Bush signed Gadhan’s death warrant a long time ago.

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  30. Marine72 says: 130

    @rumcrook: Like you have a clue.

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  31. Nan G says: 131

    To become a naturalized US citizen, one must SWEAR loyalty to the USA and show understanding of and respect for US law.

    But people lie.

    Amina Farah Ali is a naturalized American of Somali descent.
    She is on trial for sending men and money to fight jihad in Somalia.
    During her trial she is refusing to stand for the entrance and leaving of the judge and jury.
    Her ”rationale” is that Mohammad told people not to stand for him so somehow that means she should never stand for anyone.
    When sentencing Amina Farah Ali on the contempt charge, Judge Davis said he would allow her to speak with some imams while in custody to see if their interpretations of Islam might change Ali’s views.

    Each terrorism count carries a 15-year maximum prison sentence.
    Ali is charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
    Ali also faces 12 counts of providing such support for allegedly sending more than $8,600 to the group from September 2008 through July 2009.

    15 years maximum times 13 total terrorism counts equals a potential for 195 years.

    We are being very understanding of this woman.
    She is getting every due process and then some.

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  32. Skookum says: 132

    Nan, that is great news, but something tells me we are not going to prosecute the wealthy “Bundlers” who contribute money to Jihad; especially, if they are major contributors to the Obama campaign.

    Are our judges aware of the fact that Muslims are supposed to lie to the Infidel to advance Jihad? Will the Muslim clerics advise her to have an epiphany or revelation to receive a lesser sentence?

    Keep us informed Nan, this will be a good one, no matter how it plays out.

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  33. Blake says: 133

    @drjohn: Dr. John, I do believe that when a man turns traitor to his native country, he (or she) has abrogated his/her rights as a citizen of said country. At that point, fighting and killing members of the US, and aiding and abetting, not to mention exhorting others to do the same, is traitorous, and should get the death penalty, no matter what form it comes in.
    If there was some doubt, then I would be all for a trial, but in his case, there was clearly no doubt, reasonable or otherwise.

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  34. MataHarley says: 134

    Oh my… negative feedback leads to a request that a reader’s post is deleted? Should I, Aye and Wordsmith plead with Curt to delete all the Cordoba House/GZ mosque debates last year (where we took far more serious heat for our opinions), merely because it’s too much “trouble” or there is a disagreement where we became unpopular for our stance?

    Seriously, drj… buck up. You wrote it. You own it. There is no “delete” in the cyberworld. Cache abilities are alive and well. Simply doesn’t go away because you run into dissent.

    But INRE the original content. It’s quite a leap of ODS to assume because there was yet another successful predator bombing in Yemen… just like there is daily in Pakistan, and has been done so under the prior POTUS… that Obama is going to order assassinations of political enemies.

    I don’t like this POTUS and his policies, but even I don’t buy into that nonsense. Unless he pulled the trigger himself, there would have to be cooperative military or intel/law enforcement agencies in targeting a political enemy. And frankly I doubt our intel agencies or law enforcement officers, or military, are on board with what is so overtly incorrect. The suggestion that is what would happen is just one more leap too far into the abyss.

    I’ll agree with many here that risking lives, and State diplomatic relations, by conducting yet another raid on foreign soil with boots on the ground would be nothing short of foolhardy. And on that note, I would only like to say to Marine72 that it’s most likely that prudent intel was obtained.. with a high degree of probability… prior to unleashing the drone missiles. US operations are generally more successful and cautious than NATO’s. Tho I do understand that you want more stringent criteria with such a hands off type of warfare. But as Nan G says, thus is the nature of today’s battle against the enemy. Stateless, hiding in urban areas, not following any rules, and certainly not wise to play Miranda Rights on the battlefield.

    Back to the original subject… you did sundry posts back in May after the UBL raid, drj. Mostly you were annoyed about where Obama decided to show up for ceremonies (which you, yourself, linked to that thread but not the dissenting commentary pointing out your errors), and the fact that he didn’t give credit to Bush for the UBL kill. Because of that, I have to assume that you have no problem with officially authorized Predator drones – and even boots on the ground in another State’s sovereign territory – in order to get a bad guy.

    So I would assume this particular new indignant tangent of yours rests solely on Awlaki’s citizen status, and whether it’s legal to target him – as well as the NC born Samir Khan, also killed simultaneously and not mentioned here – on foreign soil, without a reasonable attempt to capture, extradite and detain them in some Gitmo type facility.

    So the first question that would need to be asked is whether you, drj, would be just as chagrined had Dubya done the same in his waging of war? You should ask yourself that question seriously because it was George W. Bush who laid the groundwork for the shoot to kill terrorists via a directive back in Sept 2001. You can also read about this directive at sundry other sites like History Commons, the UK’s Telegraph, or WaPo’s version that also ties it to a Clinton directive in 1998 as well.

    As a few publications have pointed out, neither directive differentiated such authorization to kill or capture the enemy based on their nationality. Therefore an American “citizen”… Awlaki or Khan – can be considered for that hit list when they meet the criteria for waging open war against the US. If you find such a directive offensive, then you are really late to the party in joining the lib/prog voices whining about it back then. In fact NYU law professor, Philip Alston, has been lobbying the UN to get involved in int’l predator drone rules.. which would not only crimp the US response that minimizes the risk to our military, but also not do sheeeet to stop the bad guys from not following those same rules.

    And ya know, I don’t have a problem with it at all. Good on Awlaki and Khan’s death. Good on UBL’s death. The latter I had a problem with only because it further damaged an already tenuous relationship with Pakistan, and entailed US troops/boots on the ground in foreign sovereign territory… without even a tacit nod of approval. I’d like the same outcome, but handled differently as it relates to Pakistan State officials.

    And good on Obama for not reversing that directive that two POTUS before him exercised.

    I suspect you don’t have a problem with the “principle” of waging war either. But in your attempt to link this to Obama, supposedly desiring to sanctify the legal assassination of political enemies – of which there is absolutely no indication of this – you simply stepped out of the realm of reality, and into the world of ODS hyperbole.

    There is no legal authority to assassinate political enemies and I highly doubt those ordered to do so would comply. On the other hand, there is ample legal authority to kill enemies of the US – regardless of their nationality – when they are actively waging war on the homeland. Such killing can be done via drones or face to face battle… the former used especially if it’s reckless endangerment to troops for capture, and involving boots on the ground in a foreign nation.

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  35. Richard Wheeler says: 135

    Mata Excellent To Dr.J. “Physician heal thyself”
    Aqua These traitors deserve” termination with extreme predjudice ” whether by BHO OR “W”

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  36. MataHarley says: 136

    BTW, just to correct some erroneous information in the original post… specifically:

    The Justice Department vetted this? Holder vetted this?

    No, Holder was opposed to the action and took the same view as the ACLU.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA director Leon Panetta, according to one account related to me, were the “war wing.” They took the hardline view that Americans who seek to kill other Americans can themselves be killed to save lives. After all, it is war. And, the Fifth Amendment was never successfully used in court to limit a president’s war-fighting powers.

    Attorney General Eric Holder and other lawyers close to the president took a view similar to the ACLU’s. Congress authorized war in Afghanistan, they said, not Yemen. So the “battlefield exception” does not apply. And killing a U.S. citizen was simply wrong.

    Ooops… guess political lynching of Holder is out of the question here. Fear not… there’s much more around to sink that one.

    However there was, indeed, a judicial review by senior lawyers across the administration.

    The Justice Department wrote a secret memorandum authorizing the lethal targeting of Anwar al-Aulaqi, the American-born radical cleric who was killed by a U.S. drone strike Friday, according to administration officials.

    The document was produced following a review of the legal issues raised by striking a U.S. citizen and involved senior lawyers from across the administration. There was no dissent about the legality of killing Aulaqi, the officials said.

    Obviously, Holder was not one of those “senior lawyers” involved in the opinion.

    As the WaPo article I linked above quoted from a senior CIA official:

    The operation to kill Aulaqi involved CIA and military assets under CIA control. A former senior intelligence official said that the CIA would not have killed an American without such a written opinion.

    In this case, the intel agencies receiving the orders act as a checks and balance. However, considering that a predator drone killed a US citizen in Yemen back in 2002, and the courts have opined that natural security matters and POTUS authority to wage war are beyond their judicial review, there was a form of review with the unanimous justices’ opinion. As former Condi Rice legal advisor, John Bellinger, said in his WaPo op-ed that opinion was likely to pass muster for “due process”… especially for a guy who knew he was hunted, and refused to turn himself in and instead continued to actively wage war against the US.

    The killing of Awlaki raises additional legal concerns because U.S. citizens have certain constitutional rights wherever they are in the world. Some human rights groups have asserted that due process requires prior judicial review before killing an American, but it is unlikely that the Constitution requires judicial involvement in the case of a U.S. citizen engaged in terrorist activity outside this country.

    Administration lawyers undoubtedly reviewed the targeting of Awlaki even more carefully than of a non-American, and the Justice Department reportedly prepared an opinion concluding that his killing would comply with domestic and international law. This is likely to be considered sufficient due process under U.S. constitutional standards.

    As I said, this has been a directive and POTUS authority under two prior POTUS. Then, of course, as I mentioned above… this isn’t even the first predator bombing of an American in Yemen. Ahmed Hijazi, an American citizen suspected of leading the captured cell near Buffalo, NY, was killed in a drone attack conducted by the CIA in Yemen in 2002. Hijazi wasn’t the primary target, but I read an account that the CIA well knew he was also present in the convey, and let ‘er fly anyway. I’ve read other accounts where they denied knowing he was there. Certainly wasn’t something they wanted to offer up for debate.

    The point remains the same. The courts leave the national security reasons/evidence for terrorists waging war within the powers of the CiC, as it should be. The CIA reviews and updates the “hit list” regularly for changes, adds or removals from the list. And apparently they don’t just do a blind “yessir” for an assassination when there is an American citizen involved.

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  37. MataHarley says: 137

    BTW, Stix… nice to see you back. Where the heck ya been all these years??

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  38. Stix says: 138

    @MataHarley: I have been busier than hell. Still always lurk around here and check stuff out though.

    Been the webmaster for The Minority report and a few other blogs

    Right now I am helping a friend run for the Senate against Olympia Snowe in Maine and then another for the House in California.

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  39. drjohn says: 139

    I did not ask Curt to delete this post because I thought I was wrong. I do not feel I was wrong. It simply became too burdensome.

    The point remains:

    Due process is dead.

    The arguments here are that it was acceptable to kill Awlaki because it was hard to apprehend him.

    In principle, and law is all about precedent, is that anyone may be killed because it would be difficult to apprehend him.

    In principle. anyone may be assassinated outside the country because it is problematic to apprehend him.

    And yes, Constitutional rights do follow one outside the country as far as the US is concerned.

    If not, then there is no basis for extradition from other countries for crimes committed here.

    There have been many rationales for why this was acceptable, the underlying premise being that Awlaki was disliked.

    Awlaki was not convicted of anything. He was never shown to be guilty of anything in a court of law. There was no effort to apprehend him, and democrats sought to protect his communications when he was in this country.

    That “we know” he was guilty would not ever pass muster in a court of law.

    The bottom line is that this sets a precedent- a precedent that allows an American to be killed without due process.

    Period.

    I never said that Obama was going to kill Boehner, but the fact remains that he could do so with only a “secret memo.” Especially if Boehner left the country.

    Mata was kind enough to bring up an irrelevant death consequent to American action not intended to target the individual. This was different. It was an assassination- of a specific American , like it or not.

    It was stated that Holder was not responsible to vetting this decision. Holder is AG of the US, and ultimately the responsibility is his.

    This

    especially for a guy who knew he was hunted, and refused to turn himself in and instead continued to actively wage war against the US.

    permits the use of lethal force against anyone designated as “actively continuing war against the US” and that includes a broad definition.

    “Actively continuing war against the US” is an interesting term.

    Strictly speaking, others conducted war. By all accounts, Awlaki did not. Saying things is not a crime, according to the First Amendment. It’s comforting to broaden terms in order to distract the truth. This is about the law, not about feelings.

    A precedent has been set. Now we will all have to live with it.

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  40. just me 95 says: 140

    Thank you, Dr John. After reading every comment, I still agree with you. Just wanted you to know that.

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  41. TheTruth says: 141

    @Mataharley: A number of your comments require correction.

    “In this case, the intel agencies receiving the orders act as a checks and balance. However, considering that a predator drone killed a US citizen in Yemen back in 2002, and the courts have opined that natural security matters and POTUS authority to wage war are beyond their judicial review, there was a form of review with the unanimous justices’ opinion.”

    The assertion that national security matters and the POTUS authority to wage war are beyond the judicial review of the Courts is false. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held precisely the opposite in Hamdi v. Rumsefeld, holding that: We have long since made clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation’s citizens. Youngstown Sheet & Tube, 343 U.S., at 587. Whatever power the United States Constitution envisions for the Executive in its exchanges with other nations or with enemy organizations in times of conflict, it most assuredly envisions a role for all three branches when individual liberties are at stake. Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 380 (1989) (it was “the central judgment of the Framers of the Constitution that, within our political scheme, the separation of governmental powers into three coordinate Branches is essential to the preservation of liberty”); Home Building & Loan Assn. v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 426 (1934) (The war power “is a power to wage war successfully, and thus it permits the harnessing of the entire energies of the people in a supreme cooperative effort to preserve the nation. But even the war power does not remove constitutional limitations safeguarding essential liberties”).

    The central holding of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld was that a citizen may not be deprived of life, liberty or property (in this specific case, liberty) without due process. The Court ruled that a US citizen who has been designated as an “enemy combatant” by the federal government has the right to challenge that designation before an impartial judge.

    “As a few publications have pointed out, neither directive differentiated such authorization to kill or capture the enemy based on their nationality. Therefore an American “citizen”… Awlaki or Khan – can be considered for that hit list when they meet the criteria for waging open war against the US. If you find such a directive offensive, then you are really late to the party in joining the lib/prog voices whining about it back then.”

    In Hamdi, the government argued that it had a right to indefinitely deprive the petitioner of his liberty and that his status as enemy combatant meant that it had met the standards required by due process. This is where the Court’s ruling becomes very important: “Under the definition of enemy combatant that we accept today as falling within the scope of Congress’ authorization, Hamdi would need to be “part of or supporting forces hostile to the United States or coalition partners” and “engaged in an armed conflict against the United States” to justify his detention in the United States for the duration of the relevant conflict. Brief for Respondents 3. The habeas petition states only that “[w]hen seized by the United States Government, Mr. Hamdi resided in Afghanistan.” App. 104. An assertion that one resided in a country in which combat operations are taking place is not a concession that one was “captured in a zone of active combat operations in a foreign theater of war,” 316 F.3d, at 459 (emphasis added), and certainly is not a concession that one was “part of or supporting forces hostile to the United States or coalition partners” and “engaged in an armed conflict against the United States.” Accordingly, we reject any argument that Hamdi has made concessions that eliminate any right to further process.”

    In other words, the allegation by the executive branch that a citizen is an enemy combatant DOES NOT mean that the citizen has lost his due process rights. In order to satisfy due process and deprive the citizen of his liberty, the government must prove before an impartial judge that the citizen was, in fact, an enemy combatant.

    What of his reasonable capture? Our forces captured Saddam Hussein. They captured Khalid Sheikh Muhammed. They nearly captured Osama Bin Laden. For you to argue that a capture is suddenly “too dangerous” is disingenous. This is precisely what certain military assets are designed to do.

    Every day, we ask police officers and SWAT team members to go into situations in which they may be attacked and killed in order to apprehend individuals. Are you going to argue that it is permissible to send those individuals into such situations in spite of the danger, but that it is not permissible to do the same thing with military personnel who are specifically trained for such a purpose because of the danger? Such an argument is preposterous.

    I will finally point you to Justice Scalia’s dissent in Hamdi, in which he went further in protecting the rights of citizens. “Where the Government accuses a citizen of waging war against it, our constitutional tradition has been to prosecute him in federal court for treason or some other crime.”

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  42. TheTruth says: 142

    @Mataharley: Here is another part of your post that seems to give you little concern, although it should.

    First:
    “Attorney General Eric Holder and other lawyers close to the president took a view similar to the ACLU’s. Congress authorized war in Afghanistan, they said, not Yemen. So the “battlefield exception” does not apply. And killing a U.S. citizen was simply wrong.”

    Then:
    “The Justice Department wrote a secret memorandum authorizing the lethal targeting of Anwar al-Aulaqi, the American-born radical cleric who was killed by a U.S. drone strike Friday, according to administration officials.
    The document was produced following a review of the legal issues raised by striking a U.S. citizen and involved senior lawyers from across the administration. There was no dissent about the legality of killing Aulaqi, the officials said.”

    How did we suddenly go from dissent to no dissent? Did the president intentionally exclude those with dissenting views from the official review? Because, as your first cite clearly indicates, there was dissent in the administration. In light of the presence of dissent, I would think that the assertion that there was no dissent would raise a red flag to even the least skeptical individuals.

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  43. Randy says: 143

    Now you see what legal issues our soldiers face without written guidance. In this climate, if Bush were president and this happened in Yemen by a special operations team, I am afraid that team members could be prosecuted like the Navy Seals were for roughing up a prisoner. I still believe the SOB belongs where he is, but we need to see the documents that Obama sealed that justified this action. Why are they sealed if it is a onetime deal? If it is not and represents a new US policy of flying drones anywhere in the world and killing who we think is guilty, then we should look at this document. While I hope there was evidence presented that would prove him guilty before the operation was approved, was there? Maybe we should send a drone to kill Roman Polanski for raping a 13 year old girl?! We cannot apprehend him in France or Switzerland and he has been judged guilty. He has fought his extradition to the US.
    There has been a lot of comments that chastised Dr John for his comments. There have also been comments that the US Constitution does not follow US citizens throughout the world. If that was so, then why did we prosecute contractors for bribing officials in Iraq to get their work done? That is accepted procedure in Iraq and other Middle East countries, but they were prosecuted under US law.
    My position and that of some others who posted at this site is that the bastard is better off dead, but the issue is much more complex than just killing him with a missile. Does approval of this action mean that any administration has the power to determine what US citizens deserve to live or die? That is why we have three branches of government and a governing document called the Constitution.

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  44. just me 95 says: 144

    @Randy:

    Why are they sealed if it is a onetime deal?

    Because all Obama knows how to do is seal documents pertaining to anything he’s done./sarc

    I didn’t think this was a one time deal. My understanding is that the DOJ found a legal writ allowing them to kill US citizens without due process. It was in a ‘memo’.
    I know they write laws all the time that are unConstitutional, but I think we usually find out about them and they’re usually passed by Congress. Obamacare is now going to SCOTUS for such a decision.
    I think it very strange that so many on this thread seem to have no problem with a secret law/memo that removes ‘due process’.

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  45. Skookum says: 145

    The secret panel that determines who dies and what Americans can be assassinated is explained. It is a big secret and you are not allowed to participate, but if the President decides that someone shouldn’t be on the list, the name will be removed. Now, we understand the justification for legal assassination and the oversight required, it is all prescribed in the Constitution and the sealed documents of Obama.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/05/us-cia-killlist-idUSTRE79475C20111005

    Now if someone will point out the Constitutional justification of “secret death panels.”

    Today we kill badasses; tomorrow, is another story indeed. If the panel is secret and no one knows when they meet or how they decide whom should be executed and the president sees the list, how much better can it be?

    Do we allow our blood lust for the enemy to cloud our judgement?

    I will volunteer to squeeze the trigger on these guys, if it is done legally, but to compromise our principles or to allow Obama to keep everything under lock and key, has the potential for tyranny. Have we grown immune to this sealing of documents from Obama sealing his past from public scrutiny. If we are to be kept in the dark on this rather serious and dubious potential for abuse of power, what powers will you be willing to cede to this president in the future?

    Is it possible, that if the system is secret, perhaps the system is circumspect and corrupt or has the glaring opportunity for corruption; especially, since everyone is praising Obama for his ruthless killing ability and utter disregard for the rule of law. If there is a rule of law or just precedents, precedents that can now take tangents, since Obama’s wisdom in selecting targets is never to be doubted. He is after all killing enemies, but the term enemy may have broad connotations in the future, the sealed nature of the selection process will guarantee that fact.

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  46. Gerry says: 146

    Awlaki never relinquished his citizenship. Nor was his citizenship revoked. The Obama administration was well aware of this fact. Therefore, as an American citizen, he was still entitled to the protection of the U. S. Constitution. Despite the fact that he was a potential danger to the world and the people of the United States, and as much as we might not care for the facts, his constitutional rights were probably violated. I have spoken to a Constitutional Lawyer who says this is a questionable point as he could be considered a “Combatant” is which case things are not so cut and dried.

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  47. MataHarley says: 147

    drj: In principle, and law is all about precedent, is that anyone may be killed because it would be difficult to apprehend him.

    In principle. anyone may be assassinated outside the country because it is problematic to apprehend him.

    Oh lawdy, the desperate lengths to which you leap in order to defend the indefensible. No… “anyone” may NOT be assassinated. There is a criteria/standard of intel to which one must rise to be on the hit list directives that Clinton, Bush and Obama use. That criteria of intel, and current status of the target, is reviewed by the CIA/FBI regularly.

    You clearly misrepresent this as your fantasy – that some innocent political dissident, traveling abroad, will be legally getting flattened by a drone missile because he/she is a Tea Party participant. Get serious, drj.

    Like I said, if you are so bothered by this terrorist directive, used by two prior POTUS, then you are way late to join your lib/prog/ACLU friends who have been whining for the duration. And you are just enough ill-informed to lay this as a policy all on the current POTUS.

    @TheTruth: : The assertion that national security matters and the POTUS authority to wage war are beyond the judicial review of the Courts is false. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held precisely the opposite in Hamdi v. Rumsefeld, holding that: We have long since made clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation’s citizens.

    Mercy… you can’t just pull any terrorist related SCOTUS decision out of your hat, and expect this to be your template. SCOTUS addresses only a particular argument presented, and that was Hamdi’s unlawful detention. Or are you confusing it with Hamdan vs Rummy, which was about whether Congress could pass legislation preventing the SCOTUS from hearing Hamdan’s case before his tribunal?

    This relates to a CiC national security directive INRE capture and killing of terrorists, regardless of nationality, how?

    Now if you want to play the opinion game, it would be more prudent for you to refer to the federal case that actually deals with *exactly* the issue… i.e. the legal targeting of al aulaqi/awlaki, and Judge Bates 83 page opinion on the lawsuit brought by Awlaki’s father.

    The only relevance that Hamdi has to this is INRE the standing and next friend status issue… that unlike Awlaki, Hamdi had no ability to appear before the courts. Awlaki not only could peacefully turn himself in, thus being protected from lethal force (where the only relevance Hamdan has in applying the Geneva Convention Common Article 3 to the borderless battle with the global jihad movement), he refused to comply with both US courts and the Yemeni courts as well.

    Might I remind you of the obvious? That if an American citizen is, for example, holding hostages and threatening harm, and refuses to peacefully surrender, law enforcement officers are well within their legal rights to “assassinate” or kill the guy on the spot. There is little difference.

    The flaw both you and drj suffer from is the assumption that a secret directive… of which you and I are not privvy to the specific details AND has been enforce in some degree thru three admins…. did not allow for the peaceful surrender and detainment of this so called “American” citizen.

    As for judicial review, of which you attempted to evoke the irrelevancy of Hamdi, as you would know had you read the federal court 83 pg opinion, there is SCOTUS precedent that keeps the court from crossing the separation of powers that affects the duties of a CiC… which is what I said when mentioning that some things are beyond judicial review. (illegal detainment and habeas corpus not some of those outside their jurisdictional review… i.e. Hamdi)

    Excerpts from the opinion:

    The Supreme Court has repeatedly acknowledged the separation-of-powers concerns posed by any judicial attempt to “‘enjoin the President in performance of his official duties.’” See Franklin, 505 U.S. at 802-03 (quoting Mississippi v. Johnson, 74 U.S. 475, 501 (1866)); see also Massachusetts v. Mellon, 262 U.S. 447, 488 (1923) (noting the “general rule . . . that neither department may invade the province of the other and neither may control, direct, or restrain the action of the other”). Just as the issuance of “injunctive relief against the President personally is an extraordinary measure not lightly to be undertaken,” Swan v. Clinton, 100 F.3d 973, 978 (D.C. Cir. 1996), so, too, would it be extraordinary for this Court to order declaratory and injunctive relief against the President’s top military and intelligence advisors, with respect to military action abroad that the President himself is alleged to have authorized. Given that there is no clear waiver of sovereign immunity permitting such “extraordinary relief,” and that “[t]he Alien Tort Statute has never been held to cover suits against the United States or United States Government officials,” see El-Shifa Pharm. Indus. Co. v. United States, 607 F.3d 836, 858 (D.C. Cir. 2010) (en banc) (Kavanaugh, J., concurring),12 this Court declines to exercise its equitable discretion to grant such relief here.

    I suggest, INRE judicial review, you continue to read from pg 65 in the opinion about “The Political Question Doctrine”.

    As to the below:

    @TheTruth: How did we suddenly go from dissent to no dissent? Did the president intentionally exclude those with dissenting views from the official review? Because, as your first cite clearly indicates, there was dissent in the administration. In light of the presence of dissent, I would think that the assertion that there was no dissent would raise a red flag to even the least skeptical individuals.

    Not sure what “we” you are speaking of, Kemo Sabi. What you think I said, and what I said bear no resemblance.

    What was provided per news sources was that the WH senior legal advisors were not in dissent in their opinion of legal targeting. What has this to do with the fact that Holder, as the AG for the DOJ, disagrees? And where did I say this was a slam dunk legal opinion from every possible legal source the POTUS may have drawn on for advice?

    Do either you or drj (and I should probably include WaPo writer, Peter Finn) realize that WH legal advisors are a different critter than the DOJ? And that a POTUS may, and usually does, solicit the opinions of both? Currently the Obama admin has at least 20 legal counsels on staff. How many participated in the opinion he ultimately decided upon is not known.

    Therefore, this brings me to another error of drj’s research when he says:

    It was stated that Holder was not responsible to vetting this decision. Holder is AG of the US, and ultimately the responsibility is his.

    No. The ultimate responsibility is the Commander in Chief. A POTUS seeks the advice of his legal advisors, cabinet members… anyone he wants. However as CiC only he can authorize such a military operation. A seriously ill-informed statement. If you’re out for Holder’s head, not a quest with which I disagree, it ain’t gonna be found here. Stick to Fast & Furious, the Black Panthers, etc etc.

    You will never find the entire legal community in unison on the subject at hand. There will always be dissent… therefore your comment about “dissent to no dissent” is something you can only have imagined you read.

    However this thread seems to have several different aspects, and more than one foolhardy ODS conclusion.

    Was the targeting of al Awlaki legal? Most likely, altho up for debate over specifics of how “guilty” Awlaki was via classified intel that should only be released on a “need to know” basis. However it’s just as unlikely this will end up again in the federal courts because of this separation of powers and judicial hands off on a CiC’s decisions authorizing military combat actions.. I even doubt it will end up in the ICC.

    Is this form of waging war all confined to Obama and Holder? Absolutely not, contrary to what the original post’s sketchy research concludes. Nor does it even recognize that law enforcement engages in a form of “assassination” often when capture of an American citizen proves fruitless. Many citizens are killed by “government” without trial, based on their cooperation to participate in the system. Awlaki has refused publicly on multiple occasions, as is noted in the Bate’s opinion.

    And lastly, the other leap to fantasy is that this somehow allows for political enemies or others to randomly be assassinated sans any oversight. Absurd. Unless a citizen rises to the status of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (created designation by a GWB EO back in 2001), and now included under the more recent Treasury list, called Specially Designated Nationals, such a “dead or alive” type approach to their capture (if feasible) or kill is not applied to what has been suggested… political enemies.

    And under all circumstances, any US citizen wanted always has the option to surrender peacefully, and run thru the system…. just as any criminal standing on US soil, threatening others, has the right to do before legally being shot dead.

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  48. Stix says: 148

    @MataHarley: do not know if I can add anything to that. Excellent

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  49. MataHarley says: 149

    One more thing about this “due process” bit… while the Constitution does provide for due process, it does not designate the specifics about what due process is owed.

    If a common American thug murderer, holding hostages, refuses to surrender and is therefore legally killed by law enforcement, is he denied his “due process”? Or did he just refuse to participate in the due process that was extended by US law? Just as Awlaki refused his due process rights, nor sanctioned his own father’s lawsuit on his behalf, he also can be killed like the common thug who refuses to surrender.

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  50. MataHarley says: 150

    Oh yes, drj… about this comment of yours:

    I did not ask Curt to delete this post because I thought I was wrong. I do not feel I was wrong. It simply became too burdensome.

    If it’s too burdensome for you, simply stop replying. Simple enough. However a request to “delete” seems overkill as a kneejerk reaction to dissenting opinions. Because you don’t want to be “burdened”, you want to erase other valuable perspectives of others in the content?

    Chutzpah. You are not being honest with yourself in your initial desire for a “delete”.

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