Skip to comments.Is there ever a good reason to allow the killing of American citizens without due process?
Posted on 02/07/2013 6:40:48 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Congressional intelligence committee members are going to find out today how the Justice Department has rationalized the killing of Americans by drone strike without due process. The Obama administration has authorized the release of a classified report that goes into detail about how DoJ arrived at their controversial conclusions on not only drone strikes, but rendition and certain "enhanced interrogation techniques."
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a committee member who had pressed the administration to provide the opinion, left open the possibility he might still try to block Brennan's nomination. He said turning over the opinion was a good first step.
"I'm committed to making sure that we get all the facts," Wyden said on NBC's "Today" show. "Early this morning, I'm going to be going in to read the opinion. We'll go from there."
Wyden said "there are still substantial questions" about how the administration justifies and plans drone strikes. "The Founding Fathers thought the president should have significant power in the national security arena. But there have to be checks and balances," Wyden said. "You can't just skirt those checks and balances if you think it's inconvenient."
An unclassified memo leaked this week says it is legal for the government to kill U.S. citizens abroad if it believes they are senior al-Qaida leaders continually engaged in operations aimed at killing Americans, even if there is no evidence of a specific imminent attack.
That unclassified memo is based on classified advice from the Office of Legal Counsel that is being made available to the intelligence committees' members, the official said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the decision and requested anonymity.
You wouldn't hesitate to kill a fellow American if you were facing him on a battlefield.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
SOME HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE:
* The Killing of Confederate Soldiers during the Civil War. Were they considered American Citizens then, or fighters from another country?
* There were a few instances in World War II where German American citizens, fighting for the Nazis were killed by American troops. Nobody was concerned then about whether the enemy’s constitutional rights had been respected.
Is there EVER a good reason?
On the battlefield fighting against the US
When in the midst of any crime from treason to threatening the life of another.
Never for any political or ideological reason. Treason ONLY when it is in the act of being carried out and lethal force must be used.
I do not worry about Americans being killed on the present context. If they are targeted, they are allied with our enemies, who have such low morals that they make nazis look good.
What I worry about is the Obamadork’s group of felon/cretins making plans to do anything of this sort here in the mainland.
Sure there is! Enemies of the US don’t need any due process of law. Nazi, Soviet and Japanese soldiers during WWII, Al Qaeda fighters today. President Obama.
I’m more worried about the use of drones over U.S. soil.
Just look at all those red light and speed cameras. Pretty soon they’ll be using drones to send you tickets for not wearing your seat belt.
More seriously, considering how the FBI overreacted a bit in arresting the Michigan Militia folks, imagine had they decided to perform a drone strike instead?
I’d say something like that is within the realm of possibility. After all, those no-knock warrant situations are very dangerous for the officers involved.
Killing someone on the battlefield is one thing. Killing them because you suspect they may be plotting something is a whole other ball game.
After all, we’re now one step away from doing this here in America. Think about it. The Hutaree were accused of plotting against America and all were acquitted.
A drone strike could have saved government of all the embarrassment of getting caught setting up American militia members.
Only if they are trying to kill you.
Its a very difficult problem. If an American citizen goes abroad and gives aid, comfort and advice to an enemy who is trying to kill US soldiers or citizens, is that person a legitimate target? Better ask John Kerry, Bill Ayers, and Jane Fonda. Why only drones, why not CIA assassins?
Weird thing is we are sending gold and arms to our enemies. And our rulers refuse to declare our enemies as "enemies".
You mean like Keith Ratliff and John Noveske?
RE: Only if they are trying to kill you.
Does this include giving AID to people who are trying to kill you?
Not American citizens. But the threat of drones to motivate illegal immigrants to hustle home is worth considering.. ;-)
Nobody was checking passports either. In combat/warfare all enemies on the field are fair game because of imminent danger and self defense.
What is the issue being discussed is kill lists targeting US citizens -joy stick killings in non combat areas where the only imminent danger is the loss of a drone.
I can accept executions as long as those executed are provided some form of due process that extends beyond just the Executive branch. I as well see no reason the enemy list should not be published like a most wanted list and I would even go so far as keeping score on who is killed and who remains at large. IF all is really above board then there is no reason to hide this US citizen kill list from the public to scrutinize or our enemies to fear.
Not only within the realm of possibility. It’s the plan. Federal agencies have got billions of rounds of hollow-point bullets to use in the metropolitan areas when TSHTF, but they need an efficient way to “take care of” those who prepared ahead of time and went off the grid.
Just be sure we don’t waterboard them.
If American “citizens” actively aiding and abetting the Enemy overseas, then they get what they get. To me, once someone crosses that line, that is a defacto renouncement of their citizenship. I would have shed zero tears if the likes of John Walker Lind get killed by a drone strike or other military means.
In both of those examples, it was clearly a war zone, and it was man-to-man combat, so that’s one obvious difference of many that have been brought up in this discussion.
Here’s one that isn’t making the rounds yet: What if China, for example, gets a fleet of drones and decides to do the same thing, ‘cuz hey, the US says there’s no problem, right? How cool would any of us be with any number of drones from any number of countries raining down bombs on any number of people in any number of countries?
In both the cases you cited, those American citizens were part of an organized opposing force in the uniforms of an enemy power.
What Obama just gave himself is the power to target any American at any time anywhere who is deemed to be potentially involved in a future terror attack operation.
This... remember how in 2009, when the Tea Party came about, this administration determined libertarians, veterans and pro-lifers to be “potential extremists (read: Terrorists).”
Anyone who’s not alarmed by this isn’t paying attention.
I don’t see why Americans truly fighting against us cannot be tried in abstentia for treason when we know who they are.
I see the need for a quick trial, but I do not see the need to eliminate trial by one’s peers.
Of course, this only applies to targeted killings. Americans that are in effect embedded with foriegn enemies are running the chance of being killed in a general fashion.
For instance, had we mounted a specifc raid to kill Tokyo Rose during WWII (like Reinhard Heydrich and Admiral Yamamoto were specifically targeted), and we knew that she was a U.S. citizen, we should have tried her in abstentia first to establish that she was guilty of treason. However, if the mission were simply to destroy the Japanese radio stations and she were killed in the process, then it would not have been a targeted killing.
Right... and the determination they're aiding and abetting the enemy will be arrived at by some in the bowels of this administration that may very well be lacking concrete proof.
Interesting that overseas telephonic surveillance of a US citizen requires a hearing and order from a FISA judge, but not killing them.
I doubt many of us grieve the loss of terrorists, but a lack of due process opens the Pandora’s Box of who determines the terrorist status. This slippery slope almost surely will end in abuse of power.
Bingo. All military technology finds its way into domestic police use just as quickly as the military allows it to.
You know if drones became another tool for domestic law enforcement, another Waco or Ruby Ridge situation wouldn’t go on for days, or maybe even for one day. After a couple of hours, somebody would simply make the call, “drone ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out”.
Well, if they’d had drones up, Waco and Ruby Ridge could have been written off as “gas explosions”. Anyone who said any different would have been written off as “conspiracy theorists” or had their own isolated incident which never made the newspapers outside their county.
From the US Code,18 USC § 2381 - Treason
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
From Art. 3, section 3 of the US Constitution:
"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 dead "American" terrorists most certainly have levied war against the US and adhered to our enemies, and are according to the US Code "guilty of treason and shall suffer death".
They probably couldn't meet the two-witness standard put forth in the Constitution, but IMHO, that doesn't change the fact that they were actively engaged in treasonous activity, and it doesn't require that they be brought to trial. They are enemy combatants.
It really sticks in my craw to hear these maggots described as "Americans", because as far as I'm concerned that's an honor they forfeited when they signed up for Al Qaeda. They should have been brought to justice, whether that's a military trial or a smoking hole in the desert. Kill them all. Death to traitors.
US uses Tony Blair defence to justify drone killings
A defence of Britain’s role in the war on terrorism given by Tony Blair’s government after the invasion of Iraq is secretly being used by the Obama administration to help justify its drone campaign against al-Qaeda, it has emerged.
As long as they start with liberals I’m fine with it.../s
Adam Gahahn? Worthy of an AGM-114 if anyone is.
Bingo. Bears repeating.
IMO if you take up arms against the United States over seas...you deserve a warhead on your forehead!
I am afraid I bought into the scare tactics of the GOP during the last 12 years or so that compared what we are facing then and NOW with Hitler and Tojo. There is NO comparison. Yet we are willing to give the govt MORE power in some regards than it had then? This is just natural extension of what the govt has been doing for a while.
This is an after-the-fact consequence of not answering the question, “Should we be examining access to citizenship more closely?”
Another problem is that we can’t trust our government even a little. We can’t trust them not to kill us.
A president who's word is worth less than the contents of my sock drawer.
Plus, for all we know, he believes 2nd Amendment supporters are terorists too, especially us at Free Republic.
Yup. The short answer is hell, yes. Particularly when their citizenship is in name only. When you make war against your country or your constitution, you've effectively renounced that citizenship if, indeed, you didn't lie when accepting the citizenship in the first place.
The real question is who should make that determination. Unless there is eminent danger such as a battlefield situation, it shouldn't be one person alone, no matter what their rank.
Even a president (especially this one) is unlikely to show any more restraint than an FBI agent aiming at an unarmed woman holding an infant at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
I read through the “evidence” against the Hutaree and it was tame compared to some of what I see posted at FR every day. Folks will have to excuse me if I don’t automatically assume the government will do the right thing.
That case was so bad that a black, female, Clinton appointee acquitted all members and slapped the feds for trying to convince her that the Hutaree were guilty of anything more than being rednecks. Thank God the feds couldn’t just kill them.
Sadly, many Americans gave them an unwarranted trust, instead of de facto viewing it with suspicion.
Count on it.
Obamas’ drone strikes are illegal, using drones to kill American citizens even more so.
Apparently if they’re in the womb it’s okay... or so says the government.
RE: What if China, for example, gets a fleet of drones and decides to do the same thing.
Well forget China, what if IRAN or NORTH KOREA or YEMEN gets a fleet of drones? Are they even going to agonize about killing any American elected official?
I believe it. The thing that concerns me most is that people seem to think a battle with the government can be won with bullets. If we don't start thinking logistically and start stocking food in secure locations, no amount of ammo will matter. Never has this nation been so terribly unprepared to survive any kind of real conflict.
Few realize that true security is found in caring for the people on the land. It's Biblical, in fact, once one takes a serious look at the Hebrew, one realizes that it is the essential point made in the old "Cain and Abel" story and thereafter the Sabbath for the Land. I've been trying to teach that here, to little avail.
RE: Obamas drone strikes are illegal,
Even when killing Taliban and Al Qaeda combatants?
RE: . With drone assassinations, you’re hitting people in a country we’re not at war with, no declaration of war per the U.S. Constitution
Well, we killed Osama Bin Ladin IN A COUNTRY WE ARE NOT AT WAR WITH ( Pakistan is officially an ally ). Was that illegal too?
If someone is plotting to hurt my family let me push that drone button.
Killing people on the battlefield is entirely different from what Obama is doing. He is able to target any US citizen he deems to be guilty, now that the whole USA has been declared a battlefield.
Out side of a real battlefield, American Citizens are entitled to due process, a finding of guilty or not guilty, and sentencing. They are not to be targets of assasination, just because they happen to be over seas, and certainly not while in the USA.
I have no problem taking them to Gitmo and facing a military tribunal, if they are part of a terrorist organization. That is still a form of due process, wherein they get to answer the charges and are given an opportunity to refute the evidence.
We fought a war to capture and try Sadam Hussein, instead of just assassinating him, but we will just assassinate a citizen? Obama’s justice department believes that the enemy combatants captured in Iraq should be tried in a court of law, but yet he has the right to just kill American Citizens?
No It is not constitutional, lawful, or ethical. It is just plain wrong.
The most damning “evidence” against the Hutaree was the result of the undercover informant leading them into a conversation about a fantasy scenario about how they would fight police if they had to.
David Stone, the leader says that there’s a big difference between an alcohol fueled bull session in the woods and reality. He knows there is no hope in a direct armed confrontation with government. Its better to work within the system and let your actions prove your case to others.
(Stone was elected constable in his hometown last fall)