Skip to comments.Secrecy of Memo on Targeted Killing Is Upheld (drone killing)
Posted on 01/02/2013 8:54:15 PM PST by Seizethecarp
A federal judge in Manhattan refused on Wednesday to require the Justice Department to disclose a memorandum providing the legal justification for the targeted killing of a United States citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret, she wrote.
The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me, Judge McMahon wrote, adding that she was operating in a legal environment that amounted to a veritable Catch-22.
When United States citizens are targeted for killing, Mr. Holder said, the Constitutions due process protections apply. But due process does not require judicial process, he added.
On the one hand, Judge McMahon wrote, the speech constitutes a sort of road map of the decision-making process that the government goes through before deciding to exterminate someone with extreme prejudice. On the other hand, the speech was a far cry from a legal research memorandum.
The governments public comments were as a whole cryptic and imprecise, Judge McMahon said, and were thus insufficient to overcome exemptions in the freedom of information law for classified materials and internal government deliberations.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Iranian Al Quds has been experimenting extensively with drones. So have Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda operatives and wannabes. Keep alert! (see my tag line)
I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret,
So what, exactly, will keep Barry and Holder from bringing the drone war back home to deploy against perceived enemies foreign and domestic inside US borders? For example, those opposed to seizure of emergency powers imposed if the budget ceiling isn’t raised by Congress “in time of war.”
Not too long ago, I’d have thought this happening in 2013 was just the plot of a paranoid Oliver Stone movie.
What a lousy report by the Slimes (precisely as they intended).
What a judicial farce. She denounced the government’s arguments as inadequate, and then ruled in their favor. And over what? Oh, you know, just some trivial things... like letting the government kill citizens without trial, explanation or admittance, from the sky, with high explosives.
The judge’s ruling is absurd, and all of her hand-waving doesn’t mask the stunning dismissal of Constitutional due process protections she just rubber-stamped, while literally justifying her ruling BY claiming not to understand it! WTF?!
What the hell is happening to America?
I think that sums it up quite well. She seems particularly confused by the proper role of the Constitution.
Oh, you mean something like:
Amendment VAnd what does that entail?
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
What an idiot of a judge.
Probably why they gps'd every home in the US during the last census.
Not that one should give a crap about al-alwaki— who is/was in a foreign land advocating attacking the US, buuut...
there is some bizarre pretzel logic applied to the notion of
an American citizen receiving “due process” of the Constitution but NOT requiring JUDICIAL process in being targeted for extermination by the citizen’s government.
The concept of a Bill of Attainder could, maybe should be applied in extreme cases legislatively in secret and give the executive authority and the “offender” time to turn themselves in for judicial treatment under the law. But for the Executive to just “declare” for secret reasons— that a citizen be killed? This is just not right.
And this judge is just too stupid to fight the fait accompli. There is no sense in the ruling.
NY Times has changed the title of the article to:
“Secrecy of Memo on Drone Killing Is Upheld”
“A lawsuit for the memorandum and related materials was filed under the Freedom of Information Act by The New York Times and two of its reporters, Charlie Savage and Scott Shane. Wednesdays decision also rejected a broader request under the act from the American Civil Liberties Union.
“David E. McCraw, a lawyer for The Times, said the paper would appeal.”
“A version of this article appeared in print on January 3, 2013, on page A17 of the New York edition”
Curiously, the NY Times will sue and appeal under FOIA, but won’t attack Barry and Holder for usurping unconstitutional powers and buries the story on page A17!!
Legislation from the bench has now come fully to rubber stamping of government defining our rights, and not the rights from God being untouchable by government.
Necessary steps to totalitarianism. Incidentally, in that movie the nazi judge's defense lawyer quoted from decisions from Oliver Wendell Holmes in support of eugenics and selective termination of the "defective", good Progressive that he was. Eerie view into the socialist elite of progressives in the US. Been at it a while.
Awlaki was an enemy combatant as far as I am concerned and could have been whacked at will anywhere outside the US by US forces, but why hide “the memo” that provides the constitutional protections against frivolous determinations by the President that any Joe Blow is an enemy combatant?
“Trust but verify” is needed, not “Trust me”!
The US has had “long arm” law for over a century, so killing Al-Awlaki is within historical precedent. I don’t care if he was an American citizen (in name only), he was our sworn enemy and we need to kill our sworn enemies who are actively at war with us. End of story.
PS: We executed the Rosenbergs, Soviet spies, so what is there to complain about? They were American citizens, only secret members of the Communist Party USA and willing Soviet agents.
It is a shame that we didn’t take out members of the Hanoi Lobby when they went to No. Vietnam during the war. The hardcore reds didn’t go to So. Vietnam because they knew that they would be arrested and at the least deported.
I kept telling the So. Vietnamese that if you catch them, kill them. They are your enemy. The So. Vietnamese were a lot more humane than Tom Hayden’s friends in Hanoi.
PS: Tom, you were on the “detain list”. And there might be an ARVN vet who still remembers who you are and what you did to his country and fellow soldiers. Why don’t you try visiting the South today. And bring that ex-commie wife of your’s along. Would make better targets.
If it weren’t for Watergate, you would have been exposed by Congress for the traitors that you are.
How come nobody brings up the ban on assassination? Isn’t that still the law? Not that I agree altogether, but a law is a law.
Not Republicans, obviously. Unless Democrats trade it for still more tax hikes. I want to say the press, but who knows? They haven’t made anything a scandal yet.
That would require an amendment, as bills of attainder are illegal. And thank God they are, because we may be liable to explode at any moment, but at least Congress can’t officially badmouth us.
Maximian Schell made some good points, especially considering freaking soviets were sitting in judgement.
Don’t you have to be in combat to be a combatant? You know, like on a battlefield or something? Wasn’t this just a guy saying stuff somewhere outside the US?
The Rosenbergs were put on trial, you maniac. We didn’t just hit their house with a mortar.
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