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
This is a STUNNING article from Salon....pass it on via Facebook etc.
Shocked beyond words. Bush never did this and Obama outright said he wouldn’t even detain Americans without charges.
Now he says he has the right to just kill them at will?
It is fun seeing the liberals forced at last to deal seriously with the issues that we conservatives have been working on for almost ten years. Welcome to the grownup table, guys. If you don't like the food, we'll send you back to the kids' table in November.
President huh authorized the what to kill who?
Only other example that I can think of is the lib's all-time favorite prez...President Bartlett wrestling with this issue from his post on the West Wing.
I rarely go to DU but went there the other day to see the reaction on the new Nuclear response policy and even some of those people had second thoughts. But I only stayed for a short time and there were not that many posts on the subject yet.
Great concept, until you realise that Obama decides, on October 4, 2010, that a fellow by the name of OldNavyVet on Free Republic is an enemy of the state, and must be killed.
OOPS, that didn't work out too well for ya, did it?
Really good question.
I am all for killing on the battlefield, but random assassination just anywhere....no.
Even someone as pro-war on terrorism as me says no to that.
That’s not acceptable. Now, if the person is actively involved on a plot on U.S. soil, say about ready to blow up a bomb right in front of you, yeah, kill.
But otherwise....this gives the government way too much power.
But thanks for playin'.
Plots to participate in Tea Party rallies.
Plots to oppose/repeal Obamacare.
Plots to post anti-Obama comments on-line.
Plots to purchase firearms and ammunition.
Good point. Obama needs to get the courts spun up and start trying all these terrorists in absentia so he can say they are guilty before he kills them.
That should make for some interesting antics. Trying an empty chair for terrorism.
Bottom Line folks?
Each and every FReeper participating in these forums, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment, is a potential target for the 0bamunist thugs, if any one of us is deemed to be a ‘terrorist’ due to our non-support of, and opposition to, this illegal regime in Washington.
If it were a Republican President, there would be a 24/7 frenzy from the lamestream media for a special prosecutor, articles of impeachment, and removal from Office.
Being that it is the Dear Comrade, and said media just cannot service the Kenyan Usurper enough, such policies will be silently condoned, and the liberal talking heads will look the other way.
False accusations can be made and evidence can be manufactured so that “anyone” can become an “unconvicted” criminal. THE bedrock of our Republic is the rule of law and the mandate that a “CITIZEN” be given a trial before his peers. Do you really want to give President Obama the right to kill anyone he deems (there is that word again) an enemy of the US. Really!!!
How long before, “Those who will not take the Mark, will be executed.” is heard coming from the White House?
Demonstrating his boldness while flying so squarely in the face of the Constitution is a raw show of power not seen on Earth in 65 years.
Without using due process, Zero's claim for such an authorization alone is a direct violation of the Constitution and impeachable. The trial deserves to be short.
“I never thought I’d see members of FreeRepublic advocating for the rights of a terrorist imam”
The next step up from this is targeting a US citizen not in Afghanistan, identified as a dangerous enemy of the state by state decree. Sounds reasonable to target a dangerous imam overseas who happens to be a citizen, less reasonable to target a “terrorist” in West Virginia, but the logical and legal concepts points to being able to do just that.
I mean, imagine if Clinton or Bush I had targeted the dangerous terrorist Terry Nichols and authorized his death far from a battlefield, based on what he was planning and advocating. Lives would have been saved! Childrens lives! A drone in Prescott AZ could have taken him out as he was testing fertilizer mixes. What could be wrong with that?
The Feds said (during Bush’s term) that calling Islamic terrorists, ‘terrorists,’ was a bad thing and they changed it to ‘militant.’
Today I hear that ‘islamic radical’ is now a no-no word. But the Feds freely love to use the word ‘Christian terrorist’!
American Christians (and Jews) who speak the truth (which brings terror into the hearts of those in the District of Criminals) will be labeled terrorists and be subject to...’liquidation.’ Yeah, that’s the ticket!
Now that’s the regime change I can believe in!
“More pertinently, by waging war on us he is committing insurrection against the United States.”
I’m not sure if you knew this or not but the Left has been waging a covert war on America for the past 100 years or so. Now it will become a little more overt.
Perhaps on a bit of a tangent, or perhaps relevant — when did the “wanted, dead or alive” notices so notable in the old West finally disappear? And what brought about their disappearance? Is there some old, moldy, but unrepealed law that Obama has dredged back up? (Funny that Dinner Jacket should have called him a “cowboy.”)
They are very nasty, ugly and hateful people.
0bama could do anything and they would condone it and rationalize that it was justified in some warped way.
I guess so.
Unless... somehow Obama armtwisted the USSC into it?
Ziiiing! Not many people will recall Ruby Ridge.
We already know that Hassan(the Ft. Hood shooter) was involved with both Obama and this American iman. Obama is protecting himself from further revelations.
Sedition is Constitutionally protected?
Well, if he is still hiding but in communication somehow, there is a dreadful lot he could tell without showing his face.
“So when does the left LOSE IT, and demand Obama’s impeachment?
Or must there be an additional factor of Aggravated Unlicensed Republicanism in the Third Degree?”
And for that remark, Comrade, you name has been added to the “To Be Vaporized” list.
Would like your input, sir.
Kill them with kindness?
Makes Bush’s waterboarding look like childs play.
“The point is being made that an American citizen is being targeted for assassination (i.e., complete denial of all Constitutional rights) away from the battlefield solely on assertions without the barest of judicial proceedings.”
While the ROE instruct our troops to read enemies on and off the battlefield their rights. While Khalid Sheik Mo lives like a king at Gitmo and abu wobbles forth and back on whether he sould be tried in a Military court or a civilian court after he had already pled guilty.
abu stopped that trial PERSONALLY while it was already underway.
While he refused to allow Navy Seals to shoot freaking pirates who were holding Americans hostage.
WHAT is the difference in abu’s mind between this guy and THOSE guys? There has to be something more to the story.
I find it strange in the max that the “Christmas bomber,” (who was mirandized almost instantaneously,) was allowed to proceed as far as he did. We KNOW abu was briefed on this guy as far back as November, but still he made it all the way to Detroit, and only by the grace of G-d was the death and destruction his mission would have accomplished unsuccessful.
Hassan’s mission was successful...yet abu refused to call it a terrorist act.
WHAT does Al Awlaki know...and when did he know it?
This thing reeks of CYA.
The knees are jerking big-time on this thread but I cannot fault this decision. Awlaki needs to go.
And the precedent is set....
Should have read the thread further before I posted. This thing is absolutely rank with a personal coverup. There is no other explanation for it.
You didn't complain then, did you!?
"So quit complaining about Rush meeting his maker before he did more harm to the regime!" (the FCC might say in a press release somewhere down the road.)
Kill them with socialism - the same way Lenin killed 20 million of his own citizens/subjects.
C’mon guys... if this article appeared during the previous administration we’d be in full support mode. If this American is fully cooperating and participating in terrorist activities, he should be targeted... no matter who the current President is.
Awlaki needs to say right out loud what he knows. He has already given hints in a couple of his audios that he knows more than he has said. this guy has connections here. Powerful ones. Many of the SAME connections abu bama has. He knows too much to be taken alive.
They don't need the fairness doctrine anymore. They can simply declare Rush a terrorist and have him shot on sight.
Is a trial “in absentia” even possible today?
I would think it would be easily challenged.
A lawyer would be appointed to the defendant but that lawyer would not have access to his client.
I agree... if you willingly participate in terrorist activities you should be targeted by our armed forces, no matter your nationality.
I doubt there would be much opposition if Bush were President. We’d be raving against those left-wing lunatics who work at the NY Times, Washington Post, Salon, etc...
You are not wrapped too tight.
Yeah man, the pits of hell aren’t deep enough for Lon’s cold, soulless heart.
All the people here who normally want to nuke Mecca (even if some Americans are among the casualties) seem to be suddenly getting religion about due process.
word games is all it is