Skip to comments.Legality of Assassination
Posted on 02/15/2013 10:34:09 AM PST by Tublecane
Sorry if this has been asked and answered a million times, but I'm curious. I distinctly remember assassination by US gubmint being illegal. We can blow up any innocent civilian we want for any old reason, but assassination was off limits. My question is: when did that change, and if it didn't what's the legal rationale behind drone strikes and all manner of targeted killing? Is there an excuse, however flimsy, or doesn't anyone care?
IIRC, the ban was an executive order, and applied as a bright line prohibition on US action against officials of foreign governments. I’ll do some digging to see which president instituted it.
Does anyone wonder what “The One” would say should a foreign entity declare the right to do the same with heads of state, say, here?
The legal theory behind drone strikes of US Citizens in the war on terror, probably cites the mid 19th century handling of the US Civil war.
Is this about Chris Dorner? Or is something else stuck in your craw?
It became a law, my guess it was Ford who issued the executive order, in 1975. In fact, if a US Citizen were to assassinate a foreign leader, he or she would be death penalty eligible in the US.
Generally, that the target is a non-state actor and that killing the target is not a law-enforcement function, rather, it is state security.
Those lines are intentionally made blurry.
"I will MAKE it legal..."
If I’m baiting the arguments accurately, it was a unilateral executive thing, and only applied to officials of legitimate foreign governments. Which makes sense. Kill all the innocent civilians you want, but start killing the ones who actually start wars and they might come after you.
No, although some wish to extend the theater if war to cover the globe and then some, that case quite obviously is a criminal matter. Cops have some license to kill, but not that much.
It occurred to me that killing non-leaders wouldn’t even be considered “assassination,” and that the term is reserved by our betters for big, important people like them.
Even killing civilians on the other guys territory can create problems. I think the written policy was put in place as a function of reinforcing plausible deniability, in case a decision was ever made to use covert means to take out a foreign leader directly.
So if a drone were to assassinate somebody then the drone would be death penalty eligible?
If you are not at war with them, its illegal to assassinate a leader.
If you are at war, its called attacking command and control. Its the first thing you do, if you can.
I can’t believe that’s true. It isn’t as if our presidents live in bunkers during wartime. The allies absolutely refused to lift a finger to help anti-Hitler conspirators with their very plausible and promising assassination attempts.
The drone operator, if he uses the drone illegally.
or doesn’t anyone care?
Well some do care its just that its not that many that do..
Else; Barry Half-White would not be President..
He’s as white as he is black.. you know..
But he was raised by white commies which morphed into black commies as time went on..
Daily less and less people actually CARE!... its getting worse not better..
America is becoming like a chimpanzee troup.. very primitive..
All RAP and posturing.. grunting noises and arm folding..
America is being dumbed down.. logic is despised...
Very true; especially when it comes to Law.
The legal justification is that we are at war with Al Qaeda and its allies, so we are justified in killing its leaders. The problem is Obama says he is not continuing Bush’s global war on terror and claims we are not at war. So, he had DOJ issue a paper setting out a rationale that really makes no sense.