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.
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.
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?
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 I as well see no reason the enemy list should not be published like a most wanted list and I would even go so far as keeping score on who is killed and who remains at large.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.
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.
Adam Gahahn? Worthy of an AGM-114 if anyone is.
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.
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.
An event such as this was vivdly portrayed in a scene in Band of Brothers. A German American in Germany after Dec. 11 41' is conscripted and fights with the 352nd Div. He is captured by the paratroopers, bums a cigarette and tells his story. Then with the other german POWs he is machine gunned as the paras cannot be burdened with POWs. as for the Confederates, they were always considered to be "in rebellion" against the Union and were never acccorded the satatus of foreign belligerent.
The very words themselves are DUE (as in required) PROCESS (as in steps to be taken, or laws to be followed). If there are no steps required to be taken to execute a citizen, you have a complete Fascist Dictatorship.
Not taking Due Process is taking the law into your own hands, the right to murder with impunity.
Due Process is taken in war between two opposed belligerent sides, both of your examples. A war is declared, and people make their choices and pay the price for it.
But in this case, there is no process at all, a citizen is thought to be helping someone who we do not have a legally declared war with, and someone somewhere can arbitrarily decide that he deserves execution. That this question can be posed is a indication of how far from the process of Justice and Law this country has fallen.
Sure. IF they fighting for or providing support to enemy forces they should be subject to death. If they’re captured they should be tried for treason and, if found guilty, shot.
But a Declaration of War should be required first. If the enemy is an NGO or NGOs then should be a declaration by Congress roughly equivalent to a Declaration of War to the effect of “Where ever you are, we are going find you. When we find you, we are going to kill you. We are also going to kill your supporters, logistics train, camp followers, financiers, arms dealers, etc.”