Skip to comments.Can U.S. legally kill a citizen overseas without due process?
Posted on 09/30/2011 6:48:51 PM PDT by chuckee
Sources to NBC News are reporting Samir Khan, editor of Inspire Magazine, is another American citizen that was killed in the air strike in Yemen, along with Anwar al-Awlaki. NBC's Bob Windrem reports.
By Pete Williams, NBC News justice correspondent
Is it legal for the federal government to kill a U.S. citizen overseas, someone who has never been charged or convicted of a crime? Civil liberties groups are condemning the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, but many legal scholars say it is justified.
No U.S. court has ever weighed in on the question, because judges consider these sorts of issues exclusively matters for the president.
Anwar al-Awlaki's father, Nasser, with the help of the ACLU, sued President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and CIA Director Leon Panetta a year ago, when it became clear that the U.S. was targeting the younger al-Awlaki. But U.S. District Judge John Bates threw the case out, ruling that federal courts were in no position to evaluate whether someone was a terrorist whose activities threatened national security and against whom the use of deadly force could be justified...
(Excerpt) Read more at openchannel.msnbc.msn.com ...
I believe we just proved we can.
Let’s ask the “victim”. LOL
Can we? Yes.
May we? I guess its ok, but it sure makes me feel uneasy.
Just send a cop over, they don’t need due process.
OH boo hoo
The short answer is... No. It is illegal for the federal government of the United States to kill a citizen without trial and conviction.
Yes we can.
I think your question has been answered in a most delightful way. Calling this thing an American is a insult to logic.
I could see one point in all this, they should have stripped his citizenship....what I don’t know is if he would have to be present because he was born in the US.
I feel that we should be stripping 100s of citizenships a week from people for violations of law and treason.
:) A first grade nun’s voice popped into my head with her can vs may argument after reading the headline. The empirical evidence suggests we ‘can.’
Is the man legally dead?
I rest my case.
Makes me think of the Civil War. Where was the ACLU back then?
As a member of Al-Qaeda he took a loyalty oath to that organization, which holds itself to be at war with the U.S. Under (2) and (3) he had renounced his American citizenship rights and had no Constitutional rights. Poof. He made himself into a free fire zone. I hope he enjoyed it.
Tell it to the thousands dead in civil war cemeteries all over the eastern United States. As far as I know there wasn’t any attempt to arrest and prosecute rebels. They were simply shot and killed. Were they not?
Really? Ron Paul is a effing moron. I don’t care who is POTUS killing the enemy is a good thing.
See post #15. He stripped himself of U.S. citizenship by his own actions.
“The short answer is... No. It is illegal for the federal government of the United States to kill a citizen without trial and conviction.”
I heard Krauthammer today cite the legal argument on the other side that we killed plenty of citizens during the civil war because the union never recognized the confederacy, still considered confederates US citizens who were “insurgents”.
As long as you don’t elect him as president first... it’s ok.
The basis for the question is incorrect.
This dude was not engaged in simple acts of criminal nature. If he was, then he was certainly owed due process and a trial.
He was actively engaged in acts of war against the United States. The only thing owed here was elimination.
If it is a battlefield/conflict situation and that citizen is on the other side, yes, yes they can. BTW, our Constitution does not apply in foreign lands that would be colonialism and the ACLU-leftists usually oppose that.... most of the time.
If you, by direct combat action or non-combat planning and support, wage war against the U.S., you are an enemy combatant and can be legally killed.
So, the Vichy French forces could legally kill the Free French forces, and vice versa, for the same reason?
Yes. Next question.
So, the Union forces could legally kill the Confederate forces, and vice versa, for the same reason?
Yes. Next question.
The President, when waging war, is free to attack any enemy abroad. If Congress thinks that he has waged war against American citizens without cause, it can impeach him. I'm sure Ron Paul is willing to introduce articles of impeachment, against B.O. for killing this guy. Perhaps Dennis Kucinich will support the resolution. The House can vote on it, and it will lose 433-2. That is due process.
What a stupid thing to arghue over.
This man needed killing.
Now get Muckie.
The key word in the question was “legally”. ColdSteelTalon has the correct answer to that question. Should the question have had the word “justified” in place of legally, then the answer would have been no.
The key word in the question was “legally”. ColdSteelTalon has the correct answer to that question. Should the question have had the word “justified” in place of legally, then the answer would have been yes.
The Union and Confederate Lawyers Duke It Out in Court
Legally or not, he’s sho nuff dead
Yes, if the target declares he is at war with the U.S. and commits acts of war against the U.S. This is not complicated.
That’s the best way in my opinion!
Even a citizen can’t attempt acts of war against America and expect criminal due process. The Constitution is not a suicide pact.
We at at war.
In war the goal is to kill the enemy.
The man was the enemy.
He was killed.
Sounds good to me.............
Bingo! That is the remedy. Thus, it would probably take a heinous due process violation, or a series of them, in order for the Chief Executive to ever be held accountable.
It doesn't mean that this practice is the best idea though. I, for one, have some pretty serious misgivings about such policy, and the potential undesirable consequences of its broad application against more sympathetic rebellious elements of society. As Americans, we should never be too dismissive of the assertion that Constitutional due process may have been violated...
Obama can do anything he wants to do, no one cares, nobody tries to stop him. All media is in the tank including Fox News for the chosen one. Congress is worthless the GOP is weak. The only one standing up gets blasted by both sides.
The USA are not in a state of war with any country on this planet.
The problem here is that if this reasoning stands then the President can order *anyone* killed at any time for any reason. All he needs to do is "determine" that John Q. Public is an agent of AQ. The reasons will be forever secret. That's exactly how Stalin's NKVD operated.
All bad ideas are sneaked in this way. You find a case that nobody can support (CP, for example) and make a new law. There are bad people in the country that "need killing" but that doesn't allow a vigilante or an LEO to hunt them down and terminate. We arrest them and put them on trial. If they are found guilty they get their punishment.
In this particular case an LEO hunted a person down and killed him without a trial. Again, that particular person may have been a bad guy and ultimately should have been removed from the society, one way or another. However he haven't had his day in court. Tomorrow another US citizen, an innocent one, will be similarly killed because of a mistake. If he had a trial he'd show his innocence. But there was no trial. This is a troubling precedent. If this stands, all I can say is "Welcome to GULAG, US style." We will be all one signature away from execution.
If you join a foreign army at war with the USA, you can expect to die like a member of a foreign army at war with the USA.
So, let's say a bunch of German Americans in 1939 went to Germany and become Nazi soldiers...should we shoot the hell out of 'em just like the rest of the Nazis?
Weird that anyone even has to ask the question.
Ask all the nazi americans
who went to fight for the fatherland in WWII.
The USA are not in a state of war with any country on this planet.
Al Quada declared war on the USA. I do not recall a cease fire or a peace treaty. They are open season.
“Yes We Can!”
Yes, we Khan!
Therefore, phock him. Rest easy, for crying out loud.
I agree with Ron Paul on about 80% of his issues, but boy, that other 20% is something else.
Agree to that! If a citizen has betrayed his country, he is an enemy soldier and does not warrant justice other than his death.
Police have the authority to use lethal force against a citizen if he is actively posing a danger to public safety.
In my opinion, this is no different.
/I have no problem with this.
If you engage in unlawful rebellion and treason, yes.
He waged war against the government of the United States with the intended purpose of overthrowing it and imposing in it’s place an Islamic state, an act unlawful rebellion. It is not relevant how remote the chance of him succeeding was, he clearly committed the act.
He also committed treason per Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution:
“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”
Had he been captured he would have been remanded to the civilian court system to face a charge of treason, but since he was killed by the United States Air Force in battle, he is a casualty of war.
Mr. Anwar al-Awlaki pretty much was no longer an American citizen, since he gave up that privilege when he took up arms against the U.S. and became an enemy combatant. As an enemy, he was fair game, and at least he is no longer game!
But moreso, he wasn’t ever an American citizen. When he was born his student parents added his name to their family visa as required by law.
Note that American citizens don’t need visas.
The issue here is that whether we are at war or not, the other guys are at war with us. They want to kill you. I am sorry they did not get around to try it so you could be personally convinced of that, but that's what they do.
We had them in this neighborhood. On 9/11 they were the ground support team for the air attack on the Pentagon and Capitol Hill.
For the most part they failed but should they have been killed on sight?
They should still be shot down like the dogs they are ON SIGHT. This guy was their leader. He could have arranged to surrender and begun negotiations to cease hostilities.
He didn't do that.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.