Skip to comments.Confirmed: Obama Authorizes Assassination of U.S. Citizen
Posted on 04/07/2010 7:24:39 AM PDT by kristinn
In late January, I wrote about the Obama administration's "presidential assassination program," whereby American citizens are targeted for killings far away from any battlefield, based exclusively on unchecked accusations by the Executive Branch that they're involved in Terrorism. At the time, The Washington Post's Dana Priest had noted deep in a long article that Obama had continued Bush's policy (which Bush never actually implemented) of having the Joint Chiefs of Staff compile "hit lists" of Americans, and Priest suggested that the American-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was on that list. The following week, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, acknowledged in Congressional testimony that the administration reserves the "right" to carry out such assassinations.
Today, both The New York Times and The Washington Post confirm that the Obama White House has now expressly authorized the CIA to kill al-Alwaki no matter where he is found, no matter his distance from a battlefield. I wrote at length about the extreme dangers and lawlessness of allowing the Executive Branch the power to murder U.S. citizens far away from a battlefield (i.e., while they're sleeping, at home, with their children, etc.) and with no due process of any kind. I won't repeat those arguments -- they're here and here -- but I do want to highlight how unbelievably Orwellian and tyrannical this is in light of these new articles today.
Just consider how the NYT reports on Obama's assassination order and how it is justified:
The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday. . . .
American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.
It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president. . . .
"The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words," said an American official, who like other current and former officials interviewed for this article spoke of the classified counterterrorism measures on the condition of anonymity. "Hes gotten involved in plots."
No due process is accorded. No charges or trials are necessary. No evidence is offered, nor any opportunity for him to deny these accusations (which he has done vehemently through his family). None of that.
Instead, in Barack Obama's America, the way guilt is determined for American citizens -- and a death penalty imposed -- is that the President, like the King he thinks he is, secretly decrees someone's guilt as a Terrorist. He then dispatches his aides to run to America's newspapers -- cowardly hiding behind the shield of anonymity which they're granted -- to proclaim that the Guilty One shall be killed on sight because the Leader has decreed him to be a Terrorist. It is simply asserted that Awlaki has converted from a cleric who expresses anti-American views and advocates attacks on American military targets (advocacy which happens to be Constitutionally protected) to Actual Terrorist "involved in plots." These newspapers then print this Executive Verdict with no questioning, no opposition, no investigation, no refutation as to its truth. And the punishment is thus decreed: this American citizen will now be murdered by the CIA because Barack Obama has ordered that it be done. What kind of person could possibly justify this or think that this is a legitimate government power?
(Excerpt) Read more at Salon.com
If true, does anyone have the legal process, docs on this?
So ... plug in a different name instead of a Muslim terrorist ... say, a political opponent or other opposition leader ... what do we have?
Wouldn’t there be enough evidence to bag the terrorist and put him on ice? Give him due process?
A liberal rag like Salon is using terms like “unbelievably Orwellian”? Nah - no way a liberal would ever wake up to the reality of “change”...
Hitler, Lenin Stalin Mao... they all had to start the killings somewhere... start with a person on the line - then move up...
It spreads - always does.
How long until "the vast right wing conspiracy" gets hit? How many weeks before it's just plain old Republicans leaders being shot?
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew...
Gee, I wonder how long before this policy is applied to those racist, anti-American “Nazis” congregating at tea party rallies?
I didn’t read that part.
I still hate you.
I hate people who have Latin in their taglines.
Heh! There's a name I haven't heard in awhile! The towel-head isn't a nursing mom married to a "gun nut", so I'm guessing Lon won't be assigned on this one.
The fact that the Court disapproves of trials in absentia only amplifies the unconstitutionality and illegality of denying the individual a trial altogether, by murdering him.
So-called Liberals will talk to the folks at Salon. Maybe some Chicago style pressure if they don't see the logic quick enough.
Who wants to bet Glenn Greenwald doesn't have a job next year?
Nat Hentoff would have been able to fight back - a "Greenwald"? He doesn't have a chance.
>That order came straight from the bj in office at the time...as well as blatantly ignoring the Posse Comitatus Act.
The Posse Comitatus Act pisses me off; precisely because it is either ultimately meaningless OR utterly contra-Constitutional. Consider the Constitution says the following is a power of Congress [Art 1, Sec 8]:
“To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”
As you can see, the purpose of the military [militia, remember the founders wanted no standing Army] is to:
1) Repel Invasion,
2) Suppress Insurrection,
3) EXECUTE THE LAWS OF THE UNION
>Janet Reno couldnt do Waco on her own.
>What happened to bj for that? NOTHING.
Which was, and is, disgusting.
>Precedence was set.
You are correct. The only possible problem is the ‘people’ are questioning the ‘authority’ of the ‘government.’ And to make it worse, the government LOST its case against Randy Weaver. This is the problem they have with people reading the Constitution and other laws, this is why they HATE the tea party. (People roused and investigating WILL see corruption... and to an extent that SHOULD make one sick.)
>You know whats REALLY scary? How many people on this thread have to mentally edit their remarks for fear the wrong people might be watching?
>And you know they are....
Yep. And you obviously noted that I WASN’T editing my thoughts because “people might be watching”.
I am on record as to my “druthers.”
First, pass an act to strip him of his citizenship.
I wonder if this “citizen” has the goods on obama, hence the order...
I don’t usually hold back much either. Just saying.
The Washington Post's Dana Priest had noted deep in a long article that Obama had continued Bush's policy (which Bush never actually implemented) of having the Joint Chiefs of Staff compile "hit lists" of Americans, and Priest suggested that the American-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was on that list.Thanks kristinn.
So how far down this road do we go?
To King Barack Hussein Louis XVI signing Death Warrents on the political opposition./sarc
NO- Americans must be given due process.
Feelings be damned! Justice, in its finest sense, is swift.
Death Camps Warned Being Prepared As Millions In US Left Hopeless
Due process is the law, and the President should not break it.
I shudder to think of how many here would be agreeing with this policy if Bush had conceived of it.
Not all, but at least some, and that is why our country is going to hell.