Skip to comments.Judge: Feds can hide rationale for killing U.S. citizen
Posted on 04/14/2014 4:22:52 PM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer
A Bay Area federal judge says the Obama administration can keep secret a memo spelling out the legal rationale for a 2011 drone attack in Yemen that killed a U.S. citizen and alleged terrorist mastermind.
The ruling dismissed a suit by the First Amendment Coalition, an open-government advocacy group in San Rafael. The organization sued after a September 2011 drone strike in Yemen that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Muslim cleric whom authorities suspected of organizing an attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009. Another U.S. citizen was also killed in the drone attack, and Awlaki's U.S.-born, 16-year-old son was killed by a drone in Yemen the following month.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
It may not be a popular POV on FR, but I can find nothing in the Constitution or the laws whereby the military of the US is obliged to inquire into the citizenship of legitimate military targets before attacking.
Whether they are actually legitimate and legal targets is an entirely different question, of course, and this sort of targeted attack is certainly open to abuse. But if they are proper targets, and they are American citizens, they are traitors as well as enemies, and I’ll lose no sleep over their demise.
I'm guessing the man owned ranch land in Nevada.
I think you are confused.
These are not people killed on a battlefield, but in their homes.
I do remember the Constitution saying quite a bit about due process for citizens.
If they plan to take a human life,the least they can do is justify their actions.Anything less causes a loss of confidence among the citizens.
You better read the Constitution again. The military has NO authority to kill any US citizen who is guilty of nothing but having an asshole for a father.
These were (or at least were claimed to be) enemies of the United States at active war with us. They were attacked in a foreign country under the terms of a congressional authorization to use force, the functional equivalent of a Declaration of War.
Is there some law of war of provision of the Constitution of which I’m not aware whereby enemies aren’t to be attacked in their homes?
As I said, I have no way of determining whether these were legal targets, but if they were what do you you think the procedure for attacking them should be?
For some obscure reason, people get all bent out of shape by the use of drones. But a drone attack is no different in principle from a fighter strike, a commando attack like the one that killed Osama, or a sniper attack. If any of those are justified, then so is use of a drone.
The Constitution does not specify due process for “citizens.” It specifies, in both 5A and 14A, that “no person” is to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process.
Since military action is by definition the opposite of due process, the condition obviously does not apply.
As I’ve said before, whether a given military strike is proper and legal is an entirely different question.
However, while I don’t know anything about how such targets are selected, I suspect explaining the process in detail would give the enemy useful intelligence.
The military claims the death of the son was collateral damage in at attack aimed at another individual. This may or may not be true, but that is the claim. \
Please cite the evidence that Al Awlaki was an active participant in battle against us.
If he was shooting at our troops, then that is clear self-defense. This was not that.
Second, threats against the government or US citizens is not justification for assassination....which is what this was....the assassination of a US citizen and his son, away from any known combat area, under the order of one man.
If that was the case, many FReepers would be eligible for assassination by this President today.
I guess you do not think such awesome power to declare a citizen “an enemy” and order their assassination should have any checks or balances.
“drone attack in Yemen”
Why is this a big fuss over a drone attack in freakin’ Yemen?!
The US government, for whatever justification, can kill foreigners whom it deems a threat. Nobody forced the “American” to live in Yemen, so it is a moot point. Don’t want to die from the hand of your gubmint? Don’t plot terrorist activities from Yemen.
If Yemen did not like it, then they could declare war on the US. In fact, I could see it being fair if Yemen had its panties up in a bunch, but why are Americans acting like it is sand up their collective vaginas?
Let it go. A terrorist “American” gets smoked in the foreign soil. Boo freakin hoo!
For all we know this "terrorist" beat "da Prez" at golf So Barry decided to get even using a hellfire missile.
The president who won a preemptive Nobel Peace Prize now cannot promise he won’t kill Americans on American soil via drone stikes.
Kinda ironic, is it not?
Was Osama actively shooting at our troops when a commando raid attacked and killed him?
Were any of the 9/11 hijackers shooting at Americans prior to their initiating the hijack? Should they therefore have been exempt from attack up until that moment?
In your world, are is the US military limited to defensive action? We’re not allowed to attack the enemy?
Has any military operation of the USA ever had anything resembling due process proceedings for enemies, or have they just been located and attacked as possible? Before attacking enemy forces in WWII, due we carefully screen thru them to make sure there weren’t any US citizens among them?
OK, that last one’s a little hyperbolic. But the point remains. These guys are continuously plotting attacks on Americans. Doesn’t anybody else remember the first few days after 9/11, when we all assumed we’d have such attacks weekly or monthly?
We haven’t had those attacks. Is that because they’ve lost the desire to kill Americans, or is it because our intelligence and military have disrupted their attacks?
Can you define another way by which enemies of the United States, hiding out among the civilian population in distant lands, should be attacked? Should we invade Yemen, as we did Afghanistan and Iraq? What would that do, except cause the enemies to flee elsewhere?
I find the process disturbing, but I see no other logical method of carrying the fight to the enemy. I also see no part of the Constitution that requires the President or military to treat citizen enemies of the United States overseas differently from non-citizen enemies. If you know of such, feel free to post it.
That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
One can make a decent argument that this functional declaration of war against "international terrorism" should be re-examined, that these powers are too great and should be subject to checks or balances, but one simply cannot claim that the President's actions aren't authorized by them in a fully Constitutional way.
To arrest me, all they have to do is drop by the house.
Do you have a similar procedure you’d like to suggest by which Awlaki could have been taken into custody?
The guy was an open and avowed enemy of the United States, a leader in the group that launched 9/11, yet we’re not supposed to attack him in the same way we’ve attacked our other enemies for almost 250 years?
Sounds to me like your argument is not with the method of attack here, or whether he’s a citizen or not, it’s with the president exercising his war powers as duly authorized by the Constitution and by Congress in a functional Declaration of War.
AFAIK, these methods are only authorized for use outside the US, specifically in countries where the local authorities are not able to arrest and extradite. Their use inside the country, where other methods are available, would I suspect be neither wise nor legal.
If an American citizen can be legally and properly taken out by a sniper, as in a hostage standoff situation, then he can be legally and properly killed by a drone strike. The weapon used is immaterial. The legal issues are exactly the same.
Very scary....link it to Obama AND the Dems,,100%