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The Secret Memo That Explains Why Obama Can Kill Americans
The Atlantic ^ | 10/03/2011 | Conor Friedersdorf

Posted on 10/03/2011 8:02:55 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan

Outside the U.S. government, President Obama's order to kill American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without due process has proved controversial, with experts in law and war reaching different conclusions. Inside the Obama Administration, however, disagreement was apparently absent, or so say anonymous sources quoted by the Washington Post. "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 newspaper reported. "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."

Isn't that interesting? Months ago, the Obama Administration revealed that it would target al-Awlaki. It even managed to wriggle out of a lawsuit filed by his father to prevent the assassination. But the actual legal reasoning the Department of Justice used to authorize the strike? It's secret. Classified. Information that the public isn't permitted to read, mull over, or challenge.

Why? What justification can there be for President Obama and his lawyers to keep secret what they're asserting is a matter of sound law? This isn't a military secret. It isn't an instance of protecting CIA field assets, or shielding a domestic vulnerability to terrorism from public view. This is an analysis of the power that the Constitution and Congress' post September 11 authorization of military force gives the executive branch. This is a president exploiting official secrecy so that he can claim legal justification for his actions without having to expose his specific reasoning to scrutiny.

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alawlaki; alqaeda; bhocia; bhodoj; bhogwot; corruption; democrats; doj; dojisajoke; govtabuse; holder; imperialism; imperialpresidency; obama; socialistdemocrats; transparency; tyranny; wot
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1 posted on 10/03/2011 8:03:04 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan
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To: BuckeyeTexan

One could not make this stuff up.


2 posted on 10/03/2011 8:10:44 AM PDT by phormer phrog phlyer
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Nothing on this from hollywood liberals, e.j. dopey, michael moron, the view chicks, roseanne. Its like it never happened


3 posted on 10/03/2011 8:11:16 AM PDT by reefdiver ("Let His day's be few And another takes His office")
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To: BuckeyeTexan

I don’t see where the article establishes any duty to explain why this was done. I think most people can figure it out.

Just as there are some ideas so preposterous that only an intellectual could believe them, there are other ideas so self-evident that only an intellectual can be befuddled by them.


4 posted on 10/03/2011 8:13:10 AM PDT by Flash Bazbeaux
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Fleeing felon s can be killed if they pose a danger to the public. This is the use of force policy in every state and the federal system. Look at the killer they shot in Northern Cal the other day by three Sac snipers.


5 posted on 10/03/2011 8:15:38 AM PDT by Domangart
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To: BuckeyeTexan

How can there be any dissent about killing an “American” who is serving as an officer in the enemy’s staff and command?
He’s an enemy, and you kill him, just like any other enemy commander or staff officer.


6 posted on 10/03/2011 8:16:33 AM PDT by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Regardless of my disdain for this administration there are some things which should not be revealed to the public. I don’t really care what legal reasoning they used to take this guy down. In my mind he was a legal target and a combatant....further his ordering the panty bomber to use a plane to “bomb” our nations soil is enough an act of war for me.


7 posted on 10/03/2011 8:17:24 AM PDT by caww
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To: phormer phrog phlyer

If you go and fight for the other side don’t you automatically lose your citizenship?


8 posted on 10/03/2011 8:18:23 AM PDT by edcoil (The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital. -- Joe Paterno)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

It was justified, the drone hit, as well as withholding the reasons.


9 posted on 10/03/2011 8:21:44 AM PDT by SouthTexas (You cannot bargain with the devil, shut the government down.)
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To: Little Ray

It’s the hypocrisy.

Hammered Bush over treatment of terrorists at GITMO and water boarding of terrorists. Wanted to close GITMO over rights violations. Wanted to have civilian trials of terrorists. Wanted to give full rights to terrorists to the point of absurdity. Wanted Bush and Cheney prosecuted over water boarding terrorists.

Now they blow up a citizen without a care about his rights or due process...or whether he suffered before dying...

Just blow him up, it’s okay now, we won...


10 posted on 10/03/2011 8:23:17 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: Domangart
yep, i fail to see any problem with killin a guy, citizen or not, if hes an avowed enemy...

sadly, we all will be in that boat sooner or later as der bambam circles his camels...

11 posted on 10/03/2011 8:24:35 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: ltc8k6

We should have just blown up Abu Ghraib...


12 posted on 10/03/2011 8:24:58 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: BuckeyeTexan; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; stephenjohnbanker; DoughtyOne; calcowgirl; Gilbo_3; ...
RE :”Isn't that interesting? Months ago, the Obama Administration revealed that it would target al-Awlaki. It even managed to wriggle out of a lawsuit filed by his father to prevent the assassination. But the actual legal reasoning the Department of Justice used to authorize the strike? It's secret. Classified. Information that the public isn't permitted to read, mull over, or challenge..

What's the big deal? it‘s not like Obama committed a actual war crime doing something 'illegal' (we were lectured) like water-boarding or easedropping on his phone calls. He just killed a US citizen. Code Pink and Micheal Moores say to move on, nothing to see here. Legal justidfication classified.

13 posted on 10/03/2011 8:28:06 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Over-taxed means 'paying too much in taxes', not zero taxes)
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To: sickoflibs

It’s friggin’ amazing isn’t it?

Total outrage with Bush/Cheney over the treatment of terrorists...and terrorist’s rights...

Now they don’t give a damn...


14 posted on 10/03/2011 8:30:30 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Why is it completely ignored that there were two U.S.citizens killed?


15 posted on 10/03/2011 8:31:56 AM PDT by muddler (Diligentia, Vis and Celeritas)
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To: Gilbo_3
A few of the problems are as follows:
1. The Executive branch carries out the laws and court orders - it is not the office of an elected king or tyrant.
2. Given the ease with which Executive branches all over America, from the Presidency to the local “Drug Warrior Forced Entry Teams”, manage to find compliant judges to issue warrants or “findings of law”, it is impossible that this “Regime” couldn't have gotten legal justification from a court.
3. Since no court was asked, it becomes both clear and unambiguous that the “Regime” wants to establish the president for what amount to executive executions.

I am all for killing Moslim terrorists, but to avoid having anyone the “Regime” doesn't like being dubbed a terrorists and summarily executed, what happened with
this case should cause America to demand open and transparent laws be passed.

16 posted on 10/03/2011 8:33:05 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles.)
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To: ltc8k6
It's the hypocrisy.

That's my take too. The killing was justified. But the secrecy flies in the face of everything Obama shouted in his 2008 campaign about the Bush Administration's handling of terrorists.

17 posted on 10/03/2011 8:33:46 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: ltc8k6; GOPJ
RE :”Total outrage with Bush/Cheney over the treatment of terrorists...and terrorist’s rights... Now they don’t give a damn...

I have noticed a difference in how Dems and Republicans fight politically. Dems have no reservations about calling Republicans out for doing things that they are generally for. If a Republican raises taxes Democrats will use that to beat them in the next election, even when they were previously beating the drum telling the media it was irresponsible that they (same Republican) were opposed to raising taxes.

Alternatively Republicans are hesitant to call out Dems for violating their own rules, for being hypocrites.

18 posted on 10/03/2011 8:38:20 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Over-taxed means 'paying too much in taxes', not zero taxes)
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To: phormer phrog phlyer

George W Bush can’t waterboard 3 high value targets who are still alive waiting for trial, but Obama can just kill people, including American citizen’s without a due process. Typical liberal.


19 posted on 10/03/2011 8:39:08 AM PDT by No Socialist
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To: ltc8k6

I’ll forgive an awful lot, including hypocrisy, if it results in dead jihadis.


20 posted on 10/03/2011 8:39:21 AM PDT by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: ltc8k6

What about collateral damage? I’m sure some innocent people have been killed by these drone strikes. Guess we don’t care about them anymore.


21 posted on 10/03/2011 8:41:15 AM PDT by No Socialist
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To: Little Ray

Okay, but we still have jihadis at GITMO, being treated considerably differently...


22 posted on 10/03/2011 8:42:35 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: sickoflibs; All

I told anyone who would listen that the 2006 Congressional Elections were going to be the most important elections of our lifetime.

If the media could convince the sheeple that 4.5% unemployment, a 14,000 DOW, and a job for anyone that wanted on was the “WORST ECONOMY SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION!”, as Pelosi and the Dems said, this nation was truly screwed.

They did, and look what happened in 2008.

America.. It was good run, while it lasted.


23 posted on 10/03/2011 8:44:29 AM PDT by tcrlaf (Election 2012: THE RAPTURE OF THE DEMOCRATS)
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To: edcoil
Does not matter.

The law passed by Congress in Sep 2001 provided the President(s) all the authorization he would ever need to kill anyone, U.S. citizen or not, stupid enough to call themselves “Al Queda”.

In the Civil War the U.S. Army killed U.S. citizens who had taken up arms against the USA en mass. I do not hear anyone arguing that these were “assassinations” or “illegal”, or that any member of the Confederacy lost their citizenship.

24 posted on 10/03/2011 8:46:18 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: ltc8k6

Well, it WOULD be nice if somebody was mixing up concrete overshoes for them. Then we could say “We let them go” while not mentioning that it was in the middle of the Atlantic...


25 posted on 10/03/2011 8:46:27 AM PDT by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: reefdiver
Nothing on this from hollywood liberals, e.j. dopey, michael moron, the view chicks, roseanne.

I'm sure Code Pink with the Sheehan woman have issued statements, right?

I'm also sure that the ACLU is suing the administration, right?

Changing the subject, good kill Zoomies.

5.56mm

26 posted on 10/03/2011 8:49:15 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: sickoflibs
Even if we called them hypocrites it wouldn't matter.

Dems have the weight of the 'press' behind them - ready to yuck it up and spread the word. It's different when we call them hypocrites - the press isn't with us - and our message doesn't go anywhere.

Anyone who doesn't hate liberal elites isn't paying attention.

27 posted on 10/03/2011 8:54:05 AM PDT by GOPJ (Bibi would go toe to toe with the devil if it was the only way to save his beloved Israel.)
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To: GOPJ
RE :"Even if we called them hypocrites it wouldn't matter. Dems have the weight of the 'press' behind them - ready to yuck it up and spread the word. It's different when we call them hypocrites - the press isn't with us - and our message doesn't go anywhere."

Not only do Dems call Republicans hypocrites, but they call Republicans hypocrites in response to them (Dems) being caught for being obvious hypocrites.

Example : If you call them out for this (killing) they will call Republicans hypocrites for supporting Bush water boarding and wiretapping while (Republicans) complaining about Obama doing this this(the killing). They are self appointed hypocrite judges.

Back to my point, Republicans need to fight back. The MSM is not as predictable as you might think listening to Rush.

28 posted on 10/03/2011 9:15:04 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Over-taxed means 'paying too much in taxes', not zero taxes)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Let me get this straight. We have to close down Gitmo which simply detains foreign terrorists b/c it somehow violates their rights. And we must allow or furnish them with legal counsel even though they were detained on the battlefield. But, we can kill an American terrorist without any due process whatsoever. How is such an act Constitutionally justified? It’s not morally or legally consistent.


29 posted on 10/03/2011 9:22:55 AM PDT by Crucial
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To: GladesGuru; sickoflibs
no doubt that the 'precedent' of the resident can and will be used against us in the future...

but really, weve all known for a looooong time that the POTUS or any other uber ranking politician can and does participate in thinning the herd whenever it wants...see waco and ruby ridge for a couple examples of this that were fortunate enuff to make natl nooooze...

we're all just a reichstag from the coupling of cattle cars...'for the children' of course...

30 posted on 10/03/2011 9:25:12 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: sickoflibs

The Left is pretty upset than an enemy of America was killed:

ACLU Condemns Killing Of Anwar Al-Awlaki…

weaselzippers.us/2011/09/30/aclu-condemns-killing-of-anwar-al-awlaki

Code Pink has nothing specific that I can find, but they have condemned drone strikes for a long time. The left is always mad when American enemies are killed. I am happy Al-Awlaki is gone.


31 posted on 10/03/2011 9:25:43 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: BuckeyeTexan

I wouldn’t shed a tear over this guy that they just took down, US citizen or not.


32 posted on 10/03/2011 9:26:51 AM PDT by Scythian
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To: Gilbo_3
RE :”we're all just a reichstag from the coupling of cattle cars...’for the children’ of course

LOL,

33 posted on 10/03/2011 9:31:20 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Over-taxed means 'paying too much in taxes', not zero taxes)
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To: ilovesarah2012; Gilbo_3
RE :"Code Pink has nothing specific that I can find, but they have condemned drone strikes for a long time. The left is always mad when American enemies are killed. I am happy Al-Awlaki is gone."

Please dont start telling me '..but Obama kept you safe' because I am at risk of chucking my cookies.

34 posted on 10/03/2011 9:34:37 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Over-taxed means 'paying too much in taxes', not zero taxes)
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To: BuckeyeTexan
While I believe that the death of this man is justified, I am appalled that our government would kill a citizen without a trial when the citizen was not physically harming any citizen. I am also shocked that so many here are not concerned with the opportunities for future killings. I know that the man was a supporter of al-Qaeda, I do not believe that there is any information that has him personally attacking the US or our troops. If there is info out there then this would be justified.

If this goes unchallenged then what is to stop the government from doing this to anyone whom they deem as a problem. With the people in control of the government at this time I worry that the Tea Party, Free Republic, middle age white males or I could all be next on the list.

35 posted on 10/03/2011 9:35:43 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: phormer phrog phlyer

What is sad, truly sad, is that conservatives who think that they are Constitutionalists are totally down with the idea that the President can kill an American citizen at will.

In the instant case the dead American seems to have been a terrorist, a really bad actor. However, the President refuses to deliver the evidence of his allegations, to permit representation of his target before any judicial authority, to allow a hearing of his case in any forum, or even to provide an explanation of his constitutional authority to kill American citizens. This makes the President the functional equivalent of a king with supreme powers as long as he alleges that the target for killing is a terrorist.

What about the President’s next target? Remember that the President’s allies refer to Tea Party members as terrorists and, like jihadis, they tend to be armed. Many of the Tea Party terrorists also adhere to a fundamentalist religious faith and these bitter clingers oppose Obama’s vision for fundamental transformation of America. Conservatives should be interested in learning Obama’s legal rationale for killing American citizens, and ought not to assume that they know it if it is intentionally kept secret.


36 posted on 10/03/2011 9:35:47 AM PDT by Skepolitic
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To: sickoflibs

The CIA kept you safe. Obama didn’t do crap.


37 posted on 10/03/2011 9:38:40 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: Ratman83

There is public knowledge of him helping two of the 911 pilots, the fort hood shooter, the underware bomber and more, he’s on youtube preaching and teaching that America must be destroyed. The truth is you engage in such activities you’re going to wind up dead, courtesy of the US Military, which is exactly what happened here. He chose to follow a path that leads to death, and it did.


38 posted on 10/03/2011 9:39:17 AM PDT by Scythian
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To: Skepolitic

I guarantee you that if Bush did this you wouldn’t be so “hot” on this issue, let’s all be intellectually honest here.


39 posted on 10/03/2011 9:40:34 AM PDT by Scythian
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To: Scythian

Yes he talked, yes he provide religious preaching. I have not seen anything the claims physical attacks. We do allow the government to kill without an actual threat, otherwise we could be next.


40 posted on 10/03/2011 9:48:55 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: BuckeyeTexan

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2786240/posts


41 posted on 10/03/2011 9:51:19 AM PDT by GregNH (Re-Elect "No Body")
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To: Ratman83; Scythian

Yes he talked, yes he provide religious preaching. I have not seen anything that claims physical attacks. We do not allow the government to kill without an actual threat, otherwise we could be next.


42 posted on 10/03/2011 9:51:52 AM PDT by Ratman83
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The problem is the War on Terror has an asymmetric battlefield where the theatre of war spans every country on the globe.

The legal reasoning behind the targeted killing of this guy would be the same if he was in Yeman or Kansas. That is why the Administration won’t release the policy paper.


43 posted on 10/03/2011 9:53:54 AM PDT by RC51
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To: ilovesarah2012
Obama's politics trumps national security. In years past, new of such events as this hit never saw the light of day. We always tried to kept our domestic and foreign enemies confused in the fog of war. In his case, heroic Obama displays himself as a fearless leader with his foot on a corpse. Unleashing the ACLU and other wannabees .

Tactical achievements are nothing to celebrate given the global big picture.

44 posted on 10/03/2011 9:56:22 AM PDT by Broker (USNR-Retired)
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To: Scythian

You mistake me for a Bush fanboy. I am always a skeptic when it comes to government regardless of whether its authority is exercised by Democrats or Republicans. I certainly would have criticized Bush for this. I would have criticized Reagan for this. The President is not supposed to be a king.


45 posted on 10/03/2011 10:11:30 AM PDT by Skepolitic
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To: Skepolitic

Well, I can say is you find yourself siding with the ACLU on this one ...

We’ll just have to disagree on this, which is fine.


46 posted on 10/03/2011 10:15:14 AM PDT by Scythian
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To: Broker

So you don’t think he should have been killed?


47 posted on 10/03/2011 10:16:40 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: BuckeyeTexan
"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,"

Let's see if I understand this?

If I want to bump someone off, it will be okay as long as my daughter says my wife gave me permission.

ML/NJ

48 posted on 10/03/2011 10:50:00 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ilovesarah2012

Glad he be dead. Who needs to know about it?


49 posted on 10/03/2011 10:53:47 AM PDT by Broker (USNR-Retired)
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To: Flash Bazbeaux
Just as there are some ideas so preposterous that only an intellectual could believe them

You mean like the idea that a President has absolutely zero Constitutional authority to act as judge, jury, and executioner of an American citizen who had never even been indicted, must less convicted of a single crime.

Nor was his American citizenship revoked, ever.

Maybe your comfortable with the idea that a President can, without any sort of judicial review at all, order the killing of a US Citizen and then claim that the entire process is completely secret and subject to no public or judicial scrutiny at all.

Today it's this Alwaki nut job, next year it will be Tea Party types. I'm willing to bet you'll be singing a different tune when that happens.

50 posted on 10/03/2011 11:28:39 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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