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(NBC News)   NBC obtains formerly secret memo that lays out the case why the government can assassinate some of its own citizens; with link to actual memo   (openchannel.nbcnews.com) divider line 133
    More: Interesting, NBC News, Justice Department, legal case, Michael Isikoff, Americans, Office of Legal Counsel, targeted killings, right of self-defense  
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12125 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Feb 2013 at 12:51 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-02-05 12:32:43 AM
13 votes:

nmrsnr: Rincewind53: nmrsnr: Is it okay if the American is collateral damage as opposed to being a target? What if the American wasn't the only target?

That's what the central question is: can the government target an American citizen? When the American is unintentional collateral damage, the law is pretty clear that's okay.

Okay, so what about the Al Qaida base in Afghanistan with just the American in it? Okay or not? I don't see how being an American citizen materially changes whether or not the U.S. Government has the right to blow you up or not. Either they have good and just cause to order your death without trial, or they don't, where you were born really doesn't seem to make the slightest bit of difference.


Well, it's about the Due Process clause of the Constitution, which says "...nor shall any person... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

So any time the United States government deprives an American citizen of life, they need to follow the due process of the law, and many people believe that that would require a trial, and that targeted killings of American citizens outside of immediate battlefield is simply not allowed under the Constitution. This memo argues otherwise, and pegs the "Due Process" on a three part test, allowing such targeted killings against senior-level Al-Qaeda officials when "(1) an informed, high-level official of the United States government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; (2) capture is infeasible; and (3) the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles."

Then, later in the memo, the author essentially says (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Well, of course, imminent doesn't mean imminent in the sense that the attack is going to occur in the next day or so, but imminent means simply that the Al-Qaeda official is actively plotting against the United States." Which means that by their logic, an informed high-level official of the United States can simply declare that an American citizen is actively plotting violent attack against the United States and have that person killed, without trial, and without judicial review, so long as capture is not feasible.

And some of us have a bit of a problem with that.
2013-02-05 12:29:07 AM
8 votes:

Somacandra: [www.personal.psu.edu image 226x250]

The Republican Party that cried "Wolf" has done it once too often. No one will care now. Thanks guys. You were too busy crapping over birth certificates, criticism of farking Nazis, fathering only girls, arugula, dijon mustard, Benghazi and President Obama's Magical Time Machine. Now there is a real job to do calling people on the carpet for a serious "Imperial Presidency" issue that needs to be hashed out in public discourse. And you're completely discredited. Thanks, ASSHOLES.


How about what's left of the left steps up and collectively says "This is wrong" for a change.  The President doesn't come close to having the authority to execute American citizens without trial.
2013-02-05 12:25:57 AM
8 votes:
www.personal.psu.edu

The Republican Party that cried "Wolf" has done it once too often. No one will care now. Thanks guys. You were too busy crapping over birth certificates, criticism of farking Nazis, fathering only girls, arugula, dijon mustard, Benghazi and President Obama's Magical Time Machine. Now there is a real job to do calling people on the carpet for a serious "Imperial Presidency" issue that needs to be hashed out in public discourse. And you're completely discredited. Thanks, ASSHOLES.
2013-02-04 10:28:16 PM
7 votes:
1. It is not "assassination"
2. No one biatched at Lincoln when the American troops killed the rebelling Confederacy soldiers. 500k Americans died in that war.
3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.
2013-02-05 01:23:20 AM
5 votes:
Allow me to preempt the derp:

Derp: "Why is this a problem? If you're trying to kill 'MERICANS, you DESERVE TO DIE!"

Answer: WHO said you were trying to kill anyone? Some nameless official? Have they proved it? Have they indicted you? Is there evidence? What if they are wrong? What if they have the wrong person? Has the US Government ever made a mistake? Assuming the guilty are dead--because only the guilty would be targeted--is called "begging the question."

Derp: "Hasn't this been the rule for a while? Why get upset now, lib-tards?"

Answer: The fact that this horrible policy has been drip-fed to the media over the past 4 years does not refute its awfulness or its illegality. This is a non-sequitur.

Derp: "What's the big deal? More people died in WWI, WWII, Vietnam, etc. etc. etc. so I refuse to care about this."

Answer: Let me rephrase: "I refuse to service this faulty airplane engine because no one I know has been killed yet and there have been worse accidents in the past." Perhaps if we let the government lawlessly assassinate people today, there will be bigger, worse abuses and wars in the future and THEN you can get interested. Or we can address the problem now. Your choice.

Derp: "Whatever it takes to keep us SAFE FROM THE TERR'ISTS!!!!"

Answer: You are about 10,000 times more likely to die in a household accident than a terrorist attack in America. If you are willing to give the government carte blanche to assassinate any citizen accused (anonymously) of being "associated" with terrorists in the "recent" past with NO evidence... just to protect yourself from a risk approximately 500 times lesser than that of getting electrocuted while shaving, then you are a coward of the first order or else bad at statistics or else both.

Derp: "But... it's OBAMA. It's OK! It's OBAAAAMAAAAAAA"

Answer: Liberal derp is still derp. Someday someone else will be president. What will (s)he do with that power?
2013-02-04 10:38:08 PM
5 votes:

cman: 1. It is not "assassination"
2. No one biatched at Lincoln when the American troops killed the rebelling Confederacy soldiers. 500k Americans died in that war.
3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.


problem is...the definition of treason gets tossed around rather casually these days.  that's what worries me - that a US president will at some point decide that someone he doesn't like is a de facto terrorist and try to off 'em, legal definition be damned.
2013-02-05 04:29:02 AM
4 votes:

Rincewind53: nmrsnr: Rincewind53: nmrsnr: Is it okay if the American is collateral damage as opposed to being a target? What if the American wasn't the only target?

That's what the central question is: can the government target an American citizen? When the American is unintentional collateral damage, the law is pretty clear that's okay.

Okay, so what about the Al Qaida base in Afghanistan with just the American in it? Okay or not? I don't see how being an American citizen materially changes whether or not the U.S. Government has the right to blow you up or not. Either they have good and just cause to order your death without trial, or they don't, where you were born really doesn't seem to make the slightest bit of difference.

Well, it's about the Due Process clause of the Constitution, which says "...nor shall any person... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

So any time the United States government deprives an American citizen of life, they need to follow the due process of the law, and many people believe that that would require a trial, and that targeted killings of American citizens outside of immediate battlefield is simply not allowed under the Constitution. This memo argues otherwise, and pegs the "Due Process" on a three part test, allowing such targeted killings against senior-level Al-Qaeda officials when "(1) an informed, high-level official of the United States government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; (2) capture is infeasible; and (3) the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles."

Then, later in the memo, the author essentially says (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Well, of course, imminent doesn't mean imminent in the sense that the attack is going to occur in the next day or so, but imminent means simply that the Al-Qaeda official is actively plotting against the United States." Which means that ...


A lot of us have a big problem with it; but  here's the issue:

When President Bush declared A Global War on Terror, and a whole lot of people on both sides of the aisle bought into it (and here we are a decade later with a lot of people still buying into it), he and they created a scenario where the battlefield had no boundaries. This war has no front line, and no country.

Therefore, our country and our leaders are in a position where, if any individual decides he is going to be part of this War, and take a position AGAINST the US, he can go anywhere in the world and still be part of it. And if this US citizen does that, and becomes an alleged traitor and abettor of the foes against the US, our government has only a few options:

1. They can attempt to extradite him by legal means and bring him back to the US to stand trial. Now, this would be preferable; but what if this individual is deemed to be and can be shown to be a "clear and present danger" to US interests? Or what if the nation to which he has fled has no extradition treaty with the US?

2. They can resort to military means to remove him, tantamount to declaring war on the host nation, in order to remove a person who has not yet committed a crime, against a country that has not committed any act of aggression against America. This is not a good option.

3. They can use extra-legal assassination against him, and kill him with minimum collateral damage, based on the theory that by his association with a terrorist organization and acts against the US, he has foregone his right to be treated as a citizen. This is not a good option, but preferable to declaring war against the host nation.

4. They can do nothing, and hope nothing bad happens by his actions, and send a message that the US will do nothing to its traitors. This is also not a good option, as it sends a message to potential traitors (and other criminals) that the US is disinclined to pursue them if it is inconvenient to do so; and sends a message to terrorist organizations that they should feel free to recruit in the US as we will not chase US citizens outside our borders.

I mean, really, which of these options would you prefer? If a known US citizen has joined al-Qaeda or the Islamic Jihad and is just a foot soldier, there is nothing more to be said, perhaps; but if he's moved up to the top command and is working actively against US interests--which option would be best? To ignore him, and hope he does nothing, which tells al-Qaeda that all they need to do is begin actively promoting US citizens to higher positions within their organization? To declare war on Pakistan so we can go get him, and disrupt alliances in the Middle East, exactly like al-Qaeda planned from the start? Try to bully the host nation into accepting an extradition treaty they don't want to accept for OUR convenience?

When the War on Terror was declared, this was a very foreseeable consequence that nobody wanted to see, that we would have a war with no front lines; meaning the war would be in every nation and every city. How can you fight a war whose leaders might be citizens of a nation we aren't at war with? Or citizens who have a right to due process under our Constitution? Answer: You can't. The only real solution is to realize that we are not at war with al-Qaeda and therefore assassinating a leader of such a group, even if he is a US citizen, is wrong, because we don't need to do it. He's just a criminal, and dealing with criminals isn't really a job for a military strike. It's wrong when Israel assassinates the leaders of Hamas, and it's just as wrong when we do it because this should not be war.

But while it is, this will be necessary. The justification will be necessary, I mean. The act will still be wrong.
2013-02-05 04:04:26 AM
4 votes:

cman: 3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.


According to the Constitution, there is this little formality called a trial, before you can be found guilty of treason.

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.

dl.dropbox.com

You can't just claim someone is guilty of treason and kill them.
2013-02-05 12:33:49 AM
4 votes:

Mentat: Even if you trust this President, what about the next?  Look at how easily Bush and the neocons took down the institutional barriers to government power that had been built up over decades.  It's not hard to envision a future President ordering a drone strike on a target within America in the name of national security.  We have to be very careful at establishing precedent, because once that power is granted it's almost impossible to take it away.


It's not about trust. This isn't a blanket license to kill. The three prong test may be broad, but not unlimited. 1) imminent threat, pretty useless, but to even reach this point, Congress needs to pass an Authorized Use of Military Force for the President to even consider a target for striking. 2) Feasability, basically limitiing it only to places where the US doesn't have jurisdiction and doesn't have the cooperation of a friendly government, so we won't be sending drones into Germany. 3) The strike has to be otherwise in keeping with the laws of war, so no undue collateral damage, etc.

You may disagree with the President having this ability, but it's really not that the president can order a drone strike your house because he doesn't like you. It is significantly more strict than that.
2013-02-04 10:29:52 PM
4 votes:
I gotta be honest - I don't get why this is new. Hasnt this been the known position of the US government for years?
2013-02-05 12:41:42 AM
3 votes:

Mentat: cman: 1. It is not "assassination"
2. No one biatched at Lincoln when the American troops killed the rebelling Confederacy soldiers. 500k Americans died in that war.
3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.

Even if you trust this President, what about the next?  Look at how easily Bush and the neocons took down the institutional barriers to government power that had been built up over decades.  It's not hard to envision a future President ordering a drone strike on a target within America in the name of national security.  We have to be very careful at establishing precedent, because once that power is granted it's almost impossible to take it away.


Then what are we to do?

Should we keep them in play plotting or do we capture them with the possibility of even more lives lost than originally planned?

I understand the "give an inch and they take a foot" philosophy. That is what I believe on many things. Thing is is that it is happening in a warzone area. It is war and we are dealing with a very motivated enemy. These people are in active treason against the US. US constitution clearly gives the President power how to deal with this situation.
2013-02-05 12:28:07 AM
3 votes:

cman: 1. It is not "assassination"
2. No one biatched at Lincoln when the American troops killed the rebelling Confederacy soldiers. 500k Americans died in that war.
3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.


Even if you trust this President, what about the next?  Look at how easily Bush and the neocons took down the institutional barriers to government power that had been built up over decades.  It's not hard to envision a future President ordering a drone strike on a target within America in the name of national security.  We have to be very careful at establishing precedent, because once that power is granted it's almost impossible to take it away.
2013-02-05 12:19:28 AM
3 votes:

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Rincewind53: nmrsnr: Is it okay if the American is collateral damage as opposed to being a target? What if the American wasn't the only target?

That's what the central question is: can the government target an American citizen? When the American is unintentional collateral damage, the law is pretty clear that's okay.

We already have - see, War, Civil.  Also, Texas, Waco.


Neither of those examples relates to the question here, which is about targeted killings of American citizens, without trial. The Civil War was a clearly defined war, where killings occurred as they normally do in war; face to face, between uniformed men. Waco was clearly not deliberate targeted killings without trial.
2013-02-05 12:01:19 AM
3 votes:
ok, and this is controversial because???

I don't much care what kind of intel we have.  If you're in league with these asswits, you deserve to get blown up.
2013-02-04 11:58:18 PM
3 votes:
crypticsatellite: I have no words.


Sounds like wise strategy for avoiding drone attacks, Citizen.
2013-02-04 11:20:04 PM
3 votes:
So, I'm generally a libby lib-lib, but in this case I don't have much problem with the government's finding. Where, exactly, is people's problem with this?

In order to help me clarify, tell me which, if any, of the following scenarios are problematic:

If there's an Al Qaida base in Afghanistan, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

If there is an Al Qaida base in Yemen, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

If there an Al Qaida base in Afghanistan, and one of the people in the building is American, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

If there is an Al Qaida base in Yemen, and one of the people in the building is American, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

To me these are all roughly equivalent scenarios, and I do not have a problem with any of them. I may have a problem with a specific judgement call the President may make, but not with the general right of the President to make it. Being American doesn't make you immune from being a target if you side with the enemy in a battle (IMHO).
2013-02-04 11:08:13 PM
3 votes:
 Having just finished reading it, it's clearly the Awlaki memo. Same three-part test that was leaked to the media: 1) high-ranking U.S. official declares the person an imminent threat to the United States, 2) unable to capture the person, and 3) conduct undertaken within laws of war. The legal justification is... shaky, and mostly argumentative. The authors rest their justification almost entirely on Hamdi, Mathews v. Eldridge, ex parte Quirin, and a "public authority exception" to general laws, and also, on the idea that it's war.
2013-02-05 05:10:28 AM
2 votes:

100 Watt Walrus: Excellent points made with a level head. I'll be curious to see if anyone can conjure a 5th scenario that reasonably counters your points.

That's very easy to do.

The claim that it's a problem to send in the marines to arrest a guy in Yemen is rendered nonsensical by actions we had already taken in Yemen.

Here's The Nation's reporter Jeremy Scahil:

"If you go to the village of Al-Majalah in Yemen, where I was, and you see the unexploded clusterbombs and you have the list and photographic evidence, as I do--the women and children that represented the vast majority of the deaths in this first strike that Obama authorized on Yemen--those people were murdered by President Obama, on his orders, because there was believed to be someone from Al Qaeda in that area. There's only one person that's been identified that had any connection to Al Qaeda there. And 21 women and 14 children were killed in that strike and the U.S. tried to cover it up, and say it was a Yemeni strike, and we know from the Wikileaks cables that David Petraeus conspired with the president of Yemen to lie to the world about who did that bombing. It's murder--it's mass murder--when you say, 'We are going to bomb this area' because we believe a terrorist is there, and you know that women and children are in the area. The United States has an obligation to not bomb that area if they believe that women and children are there. I'm sorry, that's murder."

It's OK to murder innocent women and children in Yemen, but it's not OK to send in the marines to arrest someone?

Bullshiat.
2013-02-05 03:19:12 AM
2 votes:

DeathByGeekSquad: Let's do exactly what the politicians want us to do, and get outraged.

A confidential Justice Department memo

+

The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week's hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director.

=

Politically inspired leak.

This sort of leak needs to stop.  This isn't a well-intended 'whistleblower' leak.  This is a strategically timed leak for maximum political upheaval.


How dare they leak information about the government plotting to assassinate american citizens without due process! Such nerve!
2013-02-05 02:57:44 AM
2 votes:
Without reading comments yet, let me guess.

This is the thread where:

1)  Obama supporters are all for unilateral military action to go after american citizens because it makes the country safer, even though this position is opposite of any they have ever held because they cannot POSSIBLY criticize Obama for anything, cause he is on their "team".

and

2) Obama detractors are telling us how tyranical it is to use military might to try and make the country safer, even though this position is opposite of any they have ever held because they cannot POSSIBLY support Obama for anything, cause he is on the other "team".

/ do I really even NEED to look?
// maybe not all, but at least some.
2013-02-05 02:07:49 AM
2 votes:

super_grass: As long as we don't waterboard them, it's a-OK.

People who decide to take up arms against the government are enemies of the state, and should be treated as such.


So you'd be fine with military action used against such "enemies of the state" as gang members, protest groups, or whoever some politician feels like accusing of terrorism this week?
2013-02-05 01:38:27 AM
2 votes:

Mentat: If there's one thing we learned during the Bush Administration, it's that the law can be used to justify anything until it becomes inconvenient, then you just ignore it.  Do you think a future Dick Cheney is going to be deterred by a piece of paper?  That's why you have to be so careful setting precedent.


Well, which is it? Either this memo is horrifying because it sets a dangerous precedent, or it's utterly meaningless because a tyrant will simply ignore the laws and not be deterred by any piece of paper. You can't have it both ways.
2013-02-05 01:31:54 AM
2 votes:

GAT_00: miss diminutive: So any American believed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and having done "recent activities" can be considered an "imminent threat" to the United States and can be subjected to targeted killing if capturing them poses "undue risk" to US forces?

I'm no constitutional or international law scholar, but those quoted words seem to be less than explicitly defined and open to some subjective interpretation.

The same justification used to kill Awlaki can be applied incredibly easily to drones firing on Americans inside the US who the police deem "too risky" to bring out for trial.  The scenario is effectively unchanged.


No. First because capturing them would be a police action, and the police are not part of the US forces this memo relates to. Second, because that would not be pursuant to the laws of war, which are different for US troops when undertaken domestically, and which do not include conducting war at the order of senior government officials no matter how many memo's they have.

Not saying this memo is good in general, just that it in no way could be used to conduct a drone strike on a US citizen on US soil.
2013-02-05 01:27:34 AM
2 votes:
Wow I will admit that I didn't read the full thread but the Fark derp is in full effect these days.  If a person knowingly sides with an enemy they are no longer a citizen.  How is this in question?
2013-02-05 01:16:24 AM
2 votes:

GAT_00: The precedent has been clearly established.


Dude. I thought liberals were against slippery slope arguments. You've jumped so far down that slope it's like an right-winger saying "If it's legal for gays to have sex with each other, then it's legal for gays to steal your children and forcibly rape them in front of their parents." After all, the precedent has been clearly established.

I thought more of you. This memo lays out the legal rationale for a very specific act; the targeted killing of an American citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda in a foreign country, who cannot be captured. For you to get "This is precedent to drone stroke American citizens in the United States who police determine to be "too risky" to bring out for trial" from that is  absurd.
2013-02-05 01:06:13 AM
2 votes:

Rincewind53: GAT_00: Your definitions are reversed from mine.  The Left is the Democratic party.  Liberals are people like Chomsky, Kucinich and Bernie Sanders.

There is nothing "liberal" about the Democratic Party except neoliberalism, yet another misnomer of a name in the American political lexicon.

Well, okay, then we don't disagree, since we both use different words to describe the same thing. I've just never heard liberals being described as to the left of leftists. Normally the spectrum goes leftist<--liberal--<centrist.

But since it's a definitional issue, there's no disagreement between us.


I've always thought of the left as a general ideology, vague and unspecified.  Liberals are the ones who drive it.

Grand_Moff_Joseph: If we have reliable intel that you have become a senior level AQ operative, you pretty much gave up your passport a long time ago.


No, you don't.  What's more, we can't prove that because he wasn't given a trial.
2013-02-05 01:03:22 AM
2 votes:

GAT_00: Somacandra: GAT_00: How about what's left of the left steps up and collectively says "This is wrong" for a change.

I'll get right on the horn to Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman about that. I'm sure this will all be news to them.

How the fark do you not have a problem with the President executing American citizens?  How does everyone not have a problem with that?


If we have reliable intel that you have become a senior level AQ operative, you pretty much gave up your passport a long time ago.
2013-02-05 01:02:01 AM
2 votes:

GAT_00: The same justification used to kill Awlaki can be applied incredibly easily to drones firing on Americans inside the US who the police deem "too risky" to bring out for trial.  The scenario is effectively unchanged.


No. See my previous post. The memo makes it clear that the it only applies to  senior operational leaders of Al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations whose capture is not possible. The scenario you propose is 100% different.
2013-02-05 01:00:12 AM
2 votes:

miss diminutive: So any American believed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and having done "recent activities" can be considered an "imminent threat" to the United States and can be subjected to targeted killing if capturing them poses "undue risk" to US forces?

I'm no constitutional or international law scholar, but those quoted words seem to be less than explicitly defined and open to some subjective interpretation.


The memo does make it clear that its legal rationale only applies to  senior operational leaders of Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups, not just any person belonging to a terrorist organization.
2013-02-05 12:57:14 AM
2 votes:

GAT_00: Somacandra: GAT_00: How about what's left of the left steps up and collectively says "This is wrong" for a change.

I'll get right on the horn to Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman about that. I'm sure this will all be news to them.

How the fark do you not have a problem with the President executing American citizens?  How does everyone not have a problem with that?


I have to applaud you for taking a stand for your principles here. I agree with you, regardless of who is President - he/she should not be deciding who to "take out" unilaterally, period.

Far too many on the Politics tab are polarized political hacks:  "Bush? Drone strikes? EEVILLLLL!"  "Obama? Drone strikes? Eh, they had it coming and he's doing a good job. Non-story."
2013-02-05 12:55:43 AM
2 votes:

Rincewind53: I think his point was to use sarcasm to point out that the Left in America has been against this from day frickin' one.


Bull farking shiat.  There was about 20 people pissed off, and Chomsky got yelled at by what is supposedly the left.
2013-02-05 12:49:28 AM
2 votes:

Somacandra: GAT_00: How about what's left of the left steps up and collectively says "This is wrong" for a change.

I'll get right on the horn to Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman about that. I'm sure this will all be news to them.


How the fark do you not have a problem with the President executing American citizens?  How does everyone not have a problem with that?
2013-02-05 12:41:21 AM
2 votes:

nmrsnr: But not if the dude isn't American? Then it's totally okay


No. It takes a rather deliberately obtuse reading of my post on the Constitutional issues involved with targeted killings of Americans to imply that I'm totally okay with the targeted killings of non-Americans. It's just that the targeted killings of non-Americans does not raise the same Due Process issues.

Somacandra: It was a convoy in transit, not a static base. And since the Yemeni legal system had previously dictated that he be captured dead or alive, I wonder what the domestic reaction would have been if the Yemenis had got to him first.


I know, but I was using his series of examples. And the Yemeni legal system's dictate isn't really relevant here, since this is entirely about America's actions. Incidentally, we have actually accidentally killed two American citizens in drone strikes: Kamal Derwish in 2002, and Samir Khan at the same time we got Awlaki. Both of those were collateral damage and not targeted killings, and so there has been much less attention paid to them, even though the actual cause of death is identical (death by predator drone).
2013-02-05 12:20:50 AM
2 votes:

GAT_00: WTF Indeed: Because once you take up arms against the United States or any nation for that matter, you forfeit your citizenship?

Prove it.


Well, pull a gun on a cop or armed soldier.

The law is people who obey it. Being armed in a war zone makes you fair game.
2013-02-05 12:20:28 AM
2 votes:

Grand_Moff_Joseph: ok, and this is controversial because???

I don't much care what kind of intel we have.  If you're in league with these asswits, you deserve to get blown up.


One of the American citizens in question made the horrible crime of creating YouTube videos. Clearly he deserved the death sentence.
2013-02-05 12:17:26 AM
2 votes:

WTF Indeed: Because once you take up arms against the United States or any nation for that matter, you forfeit your citizenship?


Prove it.
2013-02-05 12:02:21 AM
2 votes:

Rincewind53: nmrsnr: Is it okay if the American is collateral damage as opposed to being a target? What if the American wasn't the only target?

That's what the central question is: can the government target an American citizen? When the American is unintentional collateral damage, the law is pretty clear that's okay.


We already have - see, War, Civil.  Also, Texas, Waco.
2013-02-04 11:29:00 PM
2 votes:
If you don't want to get blown up, don't engage in terrorist activities.

If you don't blow yourself up Uncle Sam will do it for you.
2013-02-04 10:35:42 PM
2 votes:

cman: 1. It is not "assassination"
2. No one biatched at Lincoln when the American troops killed the rebelling Confederacy soldiers. 500k Americans died in that war.
3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.


I think the language of it makes your #3 not necessarily a requirement.
2013-02-05 08:02:17 PM
1 votes:

Serious Black: BullBearMS: Tickle Mittens: There are plenty of occasions where it's legal to kill people, and a few where they haven't even done anything to deserve it.

If you're spotted on an American battlefield, attacking our troops, nobody would give a damn if you were killed.

However, we're talking about killing citizens who are far from any battlefield.

It doesn't matter where in the world you are, our government is not allowed to kill it's citizens on a politician's whim.

The Constitution is pretty damn clear about this.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

We can say certain things are natural rights guaranteed to all humans and chisel them into a piece of stone that will last for all eternity, but in the end, the Constitution is only as strong as the people who enforce it. If Congress gives the President the power to do X and the Supreme Court says X is kosher, it doesn't matter if it's really constitutional or not according to an objective standard.


Over twenty years ago I was critizing the government's habit of stretching the intent of the Constitution to do things (especially interstate commerce and common welfare).  People argued back that what the government was doing was a good thing, so I shouldn't complain.  I tried to explain that allowing the government to ignore the Constitution because they agreed with the intent set a bad precedent.  It breeds contempt for the Constitution and eventually the government will be doing things you find obscene, but by then it will be too late to stop them.

I was right.
2013-02-05 02:20:21 PM
1 votes:

cman: Mentat: cman: 1. It is not "assassination"
2. No one biatched at Lincoln when the American troops killed the rebelling Confederacy soldiers. 500k Americans died in that war.
3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.

Even if you trust this President, what about the next?  Look at how easily Bush and the neocons took down the institutional barriers to government power that had been built up over decades.  It's not hard to envision a future President ordering a drone strike on a target within America in the name of national security.  We have to be very careful at establishing precedent, because once that power is granted it's almost impossible to take it away.

Then what are we to do?

Should we keep them in play plotting or do we capture them with the possibility of even more lives lost than originally planned?

I understand the "give an inch and they take a foot" philosophy. That is what I believe on many things. Thing is is that it is happening in a warzone area. It is war and we are dealing with a very motivated enemy. These people are in active treason against the US. US constitution clearly gives the President power how to deal with this situation.


So, violations of due process in this memo:

1. No review. Nobody's double-checking anything here. If someone at any point makes a mistake, then we could end up shooting an innocent.

2. Let's say someone joins Al Queada and is a chef. Doesn't handle weapons at all. Under this memo, he is classed as the same sort of threat as Osama Bin Laden, which isn't just a violation of due process and appropriate punishment, it's just shiatty organization and someone should get their ass fired for that.

That's two violations of the Bill of farking Rights. What the hell is this plan supposed to be, we destroy the Constitution so they don't have to?
2013-02-05 09:28:37 AM
1 votes:

Grand_Moff_Joseph: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Grand_Moff_Joseph: BraveNewCheneyWorld: If you support the assassination of U.S. citizens who are not involved in hostilities because there is a mere accusation (and yes, without a trial it can only be an accusation) that someone is a terrorist, then you have no business being a U.S. citizen.  That's 3rd world dictator behavior, how on earth can you support that, even if it is your guy in the White House?

Because the alternative is:

1.  Send in troops to take the targeted individual alive  (and likely lose a few of our guys along the way, if the mission is even successful)
2.  Extradite them to the US for trial
3.  Subject said person to a trial, which there is never a gurantee of winning
4.  Assuming you win #3, have him executed
5.  While #1-4 are ongoing, the target becomes a martyr to his cause, and gins up more local support in his home country
6.  #5 creates more targets, see #1, forcing us to do this over and over again, with reduced odds of success going forward

Do you honestly think your speculative scenario is worse than giving all future presidents the authority to kill U.S. citizens at will?

Seeing as the memo specifically states that the targeted people are senior AQ operatives or their partners, I would not consider them to be deserving of the protections of US citizenship to begin with.  So, no, I'd rather not risk more of our armed men/women to go half way around the world to pick up a traitor, all so they can drag him back here for a trial that will take too long, cost too much, and may yet be bungled badly enough to let the accused walk back home and shoot at us again.


Yes, how terrible that someone might be found innocent. We really should get rid of those pesky things called "rights."
2013-02-05 09:12:05 AM
1 votes:

Grand_Moff_Joseph: BraveNewCheneyWorld: If you support the assassination of U.S. citizens who are not involved in hostilities because there is a mere accusation (and yes, without a trial it can only be an accusation) that someone is a terrorist, then you have no business being a U.S. citizen.  That's 3rd world dictator behavior, how on earth can you support that, even if it is your guy in the White House?

Because the alternative is:

1.  Send in troops to take the targeted individual alive  (and likely lose a few of our guys along the way, if the mission is even successful)
2.  Extradite them to the US for trial
3.  Subject said person to a trial, which there is never a gurantee of winning
4.  Assuming you win #3, have him executed
5.  While #1-4 are ongoing, the target becomes a martyr to his cause, and gins up more local support in his home country
6.  #5 creates more targets, see #1, forcing us to do this over and over again, with reduced odds of success going forward


Do you honestly think your speculative scenario is worse than giving all future presidents the authority to kill U.S. citizens at will?
2013-02-05 09:01:09 AM
1 votes:
You people so willing to trade freedom for security, deserve and will receive neither.

Fark all who think this is ok.
2013-02-05 08:44:05 AM
1 votes:
Hmm, I wonder whether this memo has anything to do with why the Obama administration wants to disarm American citizens...
2013-02-05 08:24:10 AM
1 votes:

doglover: If you don't want to get blown up, don't engage in terrorist activities.

If you don't blow yourself up Uncle Sam will do it for you.


The point is the commander in charge of the kill order doesn't even have to prove a link to terrorist activity. There is no judicial hearing. It is the word of an official.

Secondly the strikes generally take out more than only the intended target.

Third the administration put out an order that any male of combat age killed in a strike is a combatant, no other proof necessary.

It is a farked up policy.
2013-02-05 08:05:27 AM
1 votes:
If you support the assassination of U.S. citizens who are not involved in hostilities because there is a mere accusation (and yes, without a trial it can only be an accusation) that someone is a terrorist, then you have no business being a U.S. citizen.  That's 3rd world dictator behavior, how on earth can you support that, even if it is your guy in the White House?
2013-02-05 07:38:32 AM
1 votes:

ThrobblefootSpectre: BullBearMS: I think you're wrong about this, but I also appreciate consistency.


I find it quite funny the people here describing you as "balls-to-the-wall, Obama-is-Satan right-wing lunatic".  Because during the Bush years here on fark, I might have described you as the most extreme fringe left anti-Bush person on fark.  :-)

Regardless, as I said, I now consider you one of the few people on fark I can take seriously.  Because you have a stance on an issue, rather than blindly following a political party or agenda driven opportunism.  In all my years on fark, I've noted maybe 5 people who stick to their principles. You'd probably be one of the few interesting people with whom to have a drink and discuss this face to face.


This is probably the best compliment I have seen on Fark in a long time.
2013-02-05 07:13:27 AM
1 votes:
I don't know what's scarier, this memo or the people in this thread who have blind and utter devotion to a political party.
NFA [TotalFark]
2013-02-05 06:20:48 AM
1 votes:

cman: 1. It is not "assassination"


Correct, It's Murder

2. No one biatched at Lincoln when the American troops killed the rebelling Confederacy soldiers. 500k Americans died in that war.

They chose to fight on a battle field against fellow American's.

3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.

You can be targeted by accusation only.  Much like many of the GITMO prisoners will never see a trial because there is no evidence against them, except that a neighbor accused them of being a terrorist or a sympathiser.  In some cases it was just so the neighbor could steal their possessions.

If a citizen has committed treason then take them to court and let justice run it's course.  Murdering people based on speculation and accusation is immoral and anti-American.
2013-02-05 06:10:06 AM
1 votes:
Seems like drone or other military attacks create just more people pissed off at us. Never ending.
2013-02-05 06:06:17 AM
1 votes:

evil saltine: Anyway why is it only on NPR I hear anything about us drone bombing places? Why not on ABC News or whatever? "Hey we used YOUR tax dollars to KILL 20 people today if they were Americans we would have a reporter there repeating the same shiat once every half-hour but you know they're some foreign people they got in with a bad crowd oh well"
I'm not saying Obama is doing a bad job necessarily but we should be a little more aware of what they're ordering on our behalf, right?


One of the truly evil things that has leaked out is that the official US policy has been to claim that anyone we kill in one of our attacks is a "militant".

newspaper revelations last week about the "kill list" showed the Obama administration defines a militant as any military-age male in the strike zone when its drone attacks

Here's one of the "militants" we murdered.

dl.dropbox.com

The attentive, unassuming young man sitting near me in the pictures is Tariq Aziz.

He was 16 when we met last October, just a year older than my own teenage son, although with his neatly trimmed beard and traditional shalwar kameez he looked more like the grown men alongside him.

Tariq had travelled many hours to the relative safety of Islamabad from his home in Waziristan, a rugged Pakistani tribal area on the border with Afghanistan.

He was there to join a protest about the plague of American 'drones' - the remote-controlled aircraft that have left a bloody trail of death and fury among the innocent villagers who struggle to earn a living in the unforgiving mountainous region.

I was there to distribute digital cameras so that the people from Waziristan could record the damage and death caused by the drones, as part of a campaign to prove that innocent civilians are dying.

Three days later he was dead. Like his cousin, who had died in April 2010 and whose identity card he clutched when we met, he was blown to pieces by a drone strike. The appalling irony of how his young life ended will stay with me for ever.

According to Tariq's family, at about noon on the day he died he had been driving with his younger cousin Waheed to pick up an aunt after her wedding.

A few hundred yards from his aunt's house, one homed in and struck Tariq's car. Both boys were dead, their bodies badly burned, when people arrived from the village. The rescue party had held back at first, as drones frequently strike again at those who come to rescue the injured, in what have become known as 'Samaritan attacks'.


Let's see if this child and his younger cousin were branded "militants" by the Obama administration.

In response to the death of Tariq, an anonymous US official was quoted in a piece carried on ABC News saying that the car was targeted by the CIA because 'the two people inside it were militants'.

Why yes. Yes they were.

Let's not even go into how morally bankrupt it is to routinely order a second missile strike on the people who attempt to render humanitarian aid to the targets of our first strikes.
2013-02-05 05:55:13 AM
1 votes:
My oh my, how the prevailing winds of fark have changed.

I remember back, not long ago, when just detaining a citizen without a trial was the absolute worst barbaric outrageous thing ever, and had all of fark at a high pitched scream.  Now - it's okay to just kill them without a trial.

I remember back when the idea of merely  wiretapping a citizen without a warrant was the absolute most outrageous thing ever, and had all of fark howling, absolutely  howling, about civil rights.  Now - it's okay to flat out kill them without a warrant.

Killing citizens is pretty much THE final frontier.

There's nothing in the patriot act that even comes close to being this contentious.  All other previously contentious actions - detaining citizens, spying on them, wiretapping, planting tracking devices on them, searching their houses, all without a warrant, all take a  distant back seat to this.  If you are okay with this, you are flat out okay with everything else.
2013-02-05 05:28:55 AM
1 votes:
Here's the truth about the guy we murdered.

NYTimes:
in truth Mr. Awlaki is hardly significant in terms of American security. Contrary to what the Obama administration would have you believe, he has always been a minor figure in Al Qaeda, and making a big deal of him now is backfiring.

Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents in 1971, left the United States for good in 2002 before eventually settling in Yemen in 2004. He is believed to be hiding in the southern province of Shabwa, where his tribe, the Awaliq, holds sway.

He is far from the terrorist kingpin that the West has made him out to be. In fact, he isn't even the head of his own organization, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. That would be Nasir al-Wuhayshi, who was Osama bin Laden's personal secretary for four years in Afghanistan.

Nor is Mr. Awlaki the deputy commander, a position held by Said Ali al-Shihri, a former detainee at Guantánamo Bay who was repatriated to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and put in a "terrorist rehabilitation" program. (The treatment, clearly, did not take.)

Mr. Awlaki isn't the group's top religious scholar (Adil al-Abab), its chief of military operations (Qassim al-Raymi), its bomb maker (Ibrahim Hassan Asiri) or even its leading ideologue (Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaysh).

Rather, he is a midlevel religious functionary who happens to have American citizenship and speak English. This makes him a propaganda threat, but not one whose elimination would do anything to limit the reach of the Qaeda branch.


The man was guilty of talking smack about the US. Something well within his First Amendment rights.
2013-02-05 05:27:49 AM
1 votes:
thismodernworld.com
Yeah, there's no way this power will ever be abused...
2013-02-05 05:22:34 AM
1 votes:
Can't we just have a government who will stop bombing the crap out of people in foreign lands?

I was against it when Bush did it, I am against Obama doing it.

And what is the deal with you Farkers and blaming people who speak out against this as being for/with the other political party?

I don't have to like Pepsi to not want to drink Coke.  I can hate all soft drinks equally and want something healthier.
2013-02-05 05:13:31 AM
1 votes:

BullBearMS: Tickle Mittens: There are plenty of occasions where it's legal to kill people, and a few where they haven't even done anything to deserve it.

If you're spotted on an American battlefield, attacking our troops, nobody would give a damn if you were killed.

However, we're talking about killing citizens who are far from any battlefield.

It doesn't matter where in the world you are, our government is not allowed to kill it's citizens on a politician's whim.

The Constitution is pretty damn clear about this.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law


We can say certain things are natural rights guaranteed to all humans and chisel them into a piece of stone that will last for all eternity, but in the end, the Constitution is only as strong as the people who enforce it. If Congress gives the President the power to do X and the Supreme Court says X is kosher, it doesn't matter if it's really constitutional or not according to an objective standard.
2013-02-05 03:37:52 AM
1 votes:

Ilmarinen: This part of the thread was awesome. Rarely are people I have in green arguing with eachother. Notice how civilized the discussion is.

[i6.photobucket.com image 799x442]

/then it got polluted by red posts from tenpounds, and some others.


You should have compressed the jpegs a bit more, that was almost legible.
2013-02-05 03:26:14 AM
1 votes:

GUTSU: How dare they leak information about the government plotting to assassinate american citizens without due process! Such nerve!


Ha, nice.
2013-02-05 03:01:31 AM
1 votes:

Giltric: Bush considered himself a businessman but ran busineeses into the ground and was a C student.

Obama considers himself a constitutional scholar yet constantly attacks the Bill of Rights.

Is it any wonder he doesn't want his transcripts released?


Not sure if herp  or derp.
2013-02-05 02:41:32 AM
1 votes:

Giltric: Lionel Mandrake: Giltric: The first footnote in the white paper refers to Hamily vs Obama. This was not written under Bush this is from the Obama administration.

But don't let that stop the But Bush party.

Own it libs.

You seem to be ignoring the fact that most of the libby lib lib libs around here are very opposed to this practice.

You have an extra lib in there...it doesn't roll off the tongue as well.


Well, the important thing is that you continue to feel superior by condemning the made-up libs in your head for not opposing this practice while the real-life libs in here are doing just that.  Enjoy!
2013-02-05 02:36:43 AM
1 votes:

super_grass: Giltric: The first footnote in the white paper refers to Hamily vs Obama. This was not written under Bush this is from the Obama administration.

But don't let that stop the But Bush party.

Own it libs.

Torturing the enemy is wrong, bombing them isn't. Bush was a war criminal, Obama is well within the law.

Try again.


...it seems obvious that the misapplication of torture should be far less troubling to us than collateral damage: there are, after all, no infants interned at Guantanamo Bay. Torture need not even impose a significant risk of death or permanent injury on its victims; while the collaterally damaged are, almost by definition, crippled or killed.
2013-02-05 02:32:38 AM
1 votes:

Serious Black: Rincewind53: Let me add one more thing. As someone who has talked with individuals who have been directly involved in high levels of the US government's national security policy, and who has attended numerous talks on the issue, if you honestly think that the President and high-ranking American officials genuinely don't give a shiat about fitting their actions to a legal framework, you're just wrong. The very existence of this and the torture memos indicate that they desperately need legal cover and a framework by which to operate in. This framework can come for OLC (The Office of Legal Counsel), but OLC's opinions are not binding on the President, and like always, we have both Congress and the Judicial Branch to act as checks and balances against executive power.

If you're envisioning a world where we're  bombingAmerican citizens  in America, and Congress and the judiciary all go along with it, then this memo is really the least of your dystopic worries.

Yeah, that's why Congress has taken all kinds of actions to stop the President from torturing people or launching Hellfires on people's heads. And it's also why hundreds of court cases that have reach the Supreme Court were decided in favor of protecting people from these ridiculous injustices. Oh, no, wait, that's a parallel universe!


I think someone just learned how checks and balances work!

When everyone agrees with the actions of one party, they don't check them. Checks and balances are to limit one governing body from unilateral action. They are no guarantee actions are good.
2013-02-05 02:27:13 AM
1 votes:

detritus: Rincewind53: detritus: saburai:
Who is "the enemy"? Would Hezbollah count? Would Hamas count? Would going to a "free Palestine" rally count?

Dont forget Occupy Wall Street.  I hear those guys want to blow up bridges because the FBI says so.

None of those groups are considered Al-Qaeda affiliates for the purpose of the AUMF, which grants the President the authority to fight al-Qaeda and undergirds this memo.

Do you know what Al-Qaeda even is?  It literally means "the base" as in database.  It's the Mujahideen, the soldiers of engage in jihad.  The ones we hired to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan and are now actively helping fight the Syrian regime.  So in other words, Obama, by his own definition, is an Al-Qaeda affiliate.


Yeah, no. Nice try. Al-Qaeda is a discrete organization founded in the late 1980s by Abdullah Azzam and others. If you think that Al-Qaeda encompasses all of the global jihad, then man, have you got the wrong idea. And the State Department keeps a list off specific Al-Qaeda affiliates, which is publicly available (go look it up if you want to). These affiliates are included in the GWOT because of the specific language of the post 9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which gives the president the power to use military force against Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

/worked for two years studying Islamic terrorism.
//I know what I'm talking about.
2013-02-05 02:26:35 AM
1 votes:

super_grass: Serious Black: super_grass: As long as we don't waterboard them, it's a-OK.

People who decide to take up arms against the government are enemies of the state, and should be treated as such.

That argument was used by the FBI and CIA in their spying operations against members of the Occupy movement. They were attacking the foundation of our government and should be treated as enemies of the state. All for exercising their right to free speech in speaking out against injustices perpretrated by the government and the market.

But Occupiers never attacked Americans, nor did they ever advocate the violent overthrow of the American government or acts of terror.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
2013-02-05 02:24:51 AM
1 votes:

Man On Pink Corner: Just one question.

When does the "War On Terror" end?  Who is a "terrorist," and why should an accusation of terrorism carry any more judicial weight, by its mere utterance, than an accusation of bank robbery or jaywalking?

Which "terrorists" are authorized to sign an armistice in this "war," or to sue for peace on behalf of their organization?


This is really just a CYA memo; its leak is probably intended to dull any future criticism should an event cause a large amount of media attention. Given that "state secrets" will prevent any evidence from reaching a future plaintiff there's no possible way that a crime could be judged.
2013-02-05 02:24:16 AM
1 votes:

bk3k: First, that this isn't really new in concept.  If you have a hostage situation - for example - and a sniper has the shot... you don't say "but that man is probably a US Citizen and we need to arrest him no matter what."  You tell the sniper to take the shot and hopefully save lives of other people who are probably also US citizens.


Strawman. This is more akin to somebody buying a knife, so we take him out with a sniper rifle because he might have used that knife against a US citizen at some indeterminate point in the future.

You don't shoot the guy who just bought the knife. You keep him under damned careful surveillance, learn what he is up to, gather as much information as possible on other contacts you should be surveilling, attempt to arrest and try him *legitimately* where possible if you have proof that he's really planning something, and kill him only as a last resort once he becomes an imminent danger to others.

It is, after all, perfectly possible that your original information was wrong and that he was never actually a threat, or that he could've been caught legitimately or turned sides and brought you a major intelligent coup that foils a larger plot, or even that he could be the person who one day sees the error of his ways and is able to persuade his fellow men to set down their arms and abandon their plans.

You don't kill somebody who is not an imminent threat. It doesn't make sense on any level.
2013-02-05 02:20:25 AM
1 votes:
The first footnote in the white paper refers to Hamily vs Obama. This was not written under Bush this is from the Obama administration.

But don't let that stop the But Bush party.

Own it libs.
2013-02-05 02:19:53 AM
1 votes:
Let me add one more thing. As someone who has talked with individuals who have been directly involved in high levels of the US government's national security policy, and who has attended numerous talks on the issue, if you honestly think that the President and high-ranking American officials genuinely don't give a shiat about fitting their actions to a legal framework, you're just wrong. The very existence of this and the torture memos indicate that they desperately need legal cover and a framework by which to operate in. This framework can come for OLC (The Office of Legal Counsel), but OLC's opinions are not binding on the President, and like always, we have both Congress and the Judicial Branch to act as checks and balances against executive power.

If you're envisioning a world where we're  bombingAmerican citizens  in America, and Congress and the judiciary all go along with it, then this memo is really the least of your dystopic worries.
2013-02-05 02:18:35 AM
1 votes:
The government has the same right to assassinate citizens as non-citizens.

Most restrictions on government power in the constitution are not reserved for actions against citizens.

Be as upset about gov assassination as you like, but stop thinking a USC al quaeda operative deserves any different treatment because of his birthplace. That makes no sense either morally or legally. Hell from an international law standpoint a country has more standing to harm its own people than those of a foreign country.
2013-02-05 02:15:13 AM
1 votes:
Several herpers and derpers in this thread have brought up the question of what it takes to forfeit one's citizenship in connection with terrorist activitities.  Here you go:

Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (specified acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Briefly stated, these acts include:

obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon one's own application after the age of 18 (Sec. 349 (a) (1) INA);taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or its political subdivisions after the age of 18 (Sec. 349 (a) (2) INA); entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (3) INA); accepting employment with a foreign government after the age of 18 if (a) one has the nationality of that foreign state or (b) an oath or declaration of allegiance is required in accepting the position (Sec. 349 (a) (4) INA); formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer outside the United States (sec. 349 (a) (5) INA); formally renouncing U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for implementing this section of the law) (Sec. 349 (a) (6) INA); conviction for an act of treason (Sec. 349 (a) (7) INA).Can you lose it for taking up arms against the US government?  Yes... after your conviction has been processed.
2013-02-05 02:15:03 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: detritus: saburai:
Who is "the enemy"? Would Hezbollah count? Would Hamas count? Would going to a "free Palestine" rally count?

Dont forget Occupy Wall Street.  I hear those guys want to blow up bridges because the FBI says so.

None of those groups are considered Al-Qaeda affiliates for the purpose of the AUMF, which grants the President the authority to fight al-Qaeda and undergirds this memo.


Do you know what Al-Qaeda even is?  It literally means "the base" as in database.  It's the Mujahideen, the soldiers of engage in jihad.  The ones we hired to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan and are now actively helping fight the Syrian regime.  So in other words, Obama, by his own definition, is an Al-Qaeda affiliate.
2013-02-05 02:15:03 AM
1 votes:

nmrsnr: In order to help me clarify, tell me which, if any, of the following scenarios are problematic:

If there's an Al Qaida base in Afghanistan, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

If there is an Al Qaida base in Yemen, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

If there an Al Qaida base in Afghanistan, and one of the people in the building is American, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

If there is an Al Qaida base in Yemen, and one of the people in the building is American, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

To me these are all roughly equivalent scenarios, and I do not have a problem with any of them.


To me, they're not roughly equivalent scenarios,  because as others have already said, the fifth amendment says that:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

This would seem to fly directly in the face of that.

And yes, as it happens, I would have a problem with the other two scenarios where no American is present, as well. The reason being that the "war on terror" is not a real and declared war, and that being the case, we don't have any more right to strike targets in somebody else's sovereign territory than they do in our own. If Joe Ihatemooslums goes and blows himself up in Yemen or Afghanistan tomorrow, would we believe Yemeni or Afghanistani strikes on US soil to kill Joe's co-conspirators to be legitimate? I rather doubt that.

Either the bases are there without the permission and aid of the state in question (in which case we should be working with those states to fight terrorism, giving them full access to our intelligence data to enable them to do the job themselves, and in whatever role they request us to take part, doing so while giving full deference to their own rights as a sovereign state and in complete abidance with their own laws), or those states are permitting and aiding the terrorists (in which case we should be declaring a real war, and putting an end to state-sponsored terrorism).

What we are doing now is -- and I believe quite intentionally so -- merely stoking the fires of whole new generations who hate us for our arrogance and the fact we believe we are entitled to strike anywhere we want to, when we want to, all the while telling ourselves that we are superior to the governments of every other nation.

That will not end the "war on terror", because it isn't actually a war and cannot be won, as such. It will merely ensure that it continues to be even more bitterly fought in the future; fought by generations of people raised on seeing their neighbors killed in anonymous drone attacks, living in fear of dying in the next attack themselves, and all along watching their government being treated like an unruly child.

And that, while it's great for those turning huge personal profits off our military machine, is not in the best interests of the country or its people.
2013-02-05 02:14:23 AM
1 votes:

super_grass: As long as we don't waterboard them, it's a-OK.

People who decide to take up arms against the government are enemies of the state, and should be treated as such.


That argument was used by the FBI and CIA in their spying operations against members of the Occupy movement. They were attacking the foundation of our government and should be treated as enemies of the state. All for exercising their right to free speech in speaking out against injustices perpretrated by the government and the market.
2013-02-05 02:13:58 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: The idea that this memo is "dangerous precedent" is simply wrong. The actions by the president are the dangerous precedent, not the legal rationale, which I suggest you and the other people in the thread actually take the time to read through (it's only 16 pages)


You can't separate the actions from the legal rationale.  The Bush Administration couldn't just come out and say "We're torturing people".  They had to have the political cover that came from the Justice Department's memos on interrogation.  No, this particular memo won't allow future President's to launch drone strikes on Americans within US borders.  But it does give the President the legal cover to utilize drones against American citizens and THAT precedent will be passed on to future Presidents.  History suggests that they will try to expand that power, often incrementally, and often with the best of intentions.  And the Bush Administration proved the old adage about good intentions.
2013-02-05 02:13:31 AM
1 votes:

Arumat: I know I'm probably just looking down the slippery slope here, but how long until this sort of doctrine is used to target citizens domestically?


Literally never. Read the memo. It's extremely specific about how and where and why it applies.

And those of you accusing me of being naive, well, let me just point out that this is a  memo. That does not bind any person. That is not law. That is not a court decision. That does not create legal precedent.

People, the law is not Harry Potter. There is no "Legal-Theory-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named." This memo laid out to the President a legal theory by which he could kill Awlaki with a drone strike without going through the courts. His decision to act on the theory is what creates precedent, but it does not make this memo either precedential or correct.
2013-02-05 02:13:07 AM
1 votes:

ordinarysteve: Or stating that he would go to war with Iran.


Stating you want to go to war with Iran is essentially mandatory for entrance into the lowest floor of the Republican treehouse. Promising to ban porn and carving the ten commandments into Mount Rushmore will get you into the atrium.

The penthouse requires serious derpular fortitute

/can you say Randian Moonbase colony?
2013-02-05 02:04:50 AM
1 votes:
You know when I first heard about this, I was really not receptive to the idea of this being acceptable in any way, shape, or form for the US Government to authorize a kill order on a US Citizen.  But then I thought about it for a while, and I realize some things.

First, that this isn't really new in concept.  If you have a hostage situation - for example - and a sniper has the shot... you don't say "but that man is probably a US Citizen and we need to arrest him no matter what."  You tell the sniper to take the shot and hopefully save lives of other people who are probably also US citizens.

Someone who is actively engaged in trying to get US Citizens killed and you can't really arrest him without getting other US citizens (in this case US soldiers) killed - then kill him.  It is the best of all the bad options.

That said, all these cases need to go through a court after the fact to make sure that no impropriety has taken place.  If someone in power misused this to get someone "unfavorable" to get killed, then they need to be tried for conspiracy to commit murder and no possibility to downgrade charges nor receive parole/sentencing reduction

In this case, I would say that not having preponderance of evidence showing that the target for drone death is indeed intent on killing US citizens, then the person who made that call should be found guilty - on the lack of a preponderance of evidence alone.  That should act as the safeguard on something like this - which sorely needs a safeguard.
2013-02-05 02:03:43 AM
1 votes:

Mentat: Rincewind53: Mentat: If there's one thing we learned during the Bush Administration, it's that the law can be used to justify anything until it becomes inconvenient, then you just ignore it.  Do you think a future Dick Cheney is going to be deterred by a piece of paper?  That's why you have to be so careful setting precedent.

Well, which is it? Either this memo is horrifying because it sets a dangerous precedent, or it's utterly meaningless because a tyrant will simply ignore the laws and not be deterred by any piece of paper. You can't have it both ways.

Our system of government represents a social contract.  At the end of the day, the Constitution is just a piece of paper.  What makes it work is that we generally agree on the meaning and voluntarily choose to abide by its precepts.  That hasn't stopped Presidents, Congresses or Supreme Courts from trying to get around its restrictions though.  Whether it's FDR trying to pack SCOTUS or Nixon waging war against his enemies or Reagan selling arms to terrorists or Bush authorizing torture, Presidents will try to take on more power.  But the nature of our social contract is so strong that none of them can simply toss the system aside.  They have to use these memos or executive orders to provide enough Constitutional cover to push through their agenda.  That's what makes memos like this so dangerous, especially if they survive a court challenge.  It's easy to give the government power, it's harder to take it away.  That's why so much of the Constitution is dedicated to telling the government what it can't do.


Actually, your description of the Constitution as having a lot of language saying what the government cannot do essentially only applies to the Bill of Rights. The Constitution without the Amendments is a document of enumerated powers, saying only what the government can do and operating on the rule that if the Constitution doesn't say that the government can do something, it can't.

But that doesn't really address the problem with your statement. If legal precedent does not matter because in the end, a tyrannical president will ignore all precedent and simply act without regard to the Constitution, then why argue against this at all? Is the existence of a legal memo like saying "Bloody Mary" three times in front of a mirror, thus summoning a demon into the world that cannot be exorcised?

This memo lays out the President's rationale for why he thinks it was legal to use drone strikes against Awlaki. As far as we know, this rationale has not been used in any other circumstance in the last two years; although Awlaki's son was later killed by a drone strike, the US claims to have been targeting someone else and that he was collateral damage.

The idea that this memo is "dangerous precedent" is simply wrong. The actions by the president are the dangerous precedent, not the legal rationale, which I suggest you and the other people in the thread actually take the time to read through (it's only 16 pages)
2013-02-05 01:52:47 AM
1 votes:

detritus: saburai:
Who is "the enemy"? Would Hezbollah count? Would Hamas count? Would going to a "free Palestine" rally count?

Dont forget Occupy Wall Street.  I hear those guys want to blow up bridges because the FBI says so.


None of those groups are considered Al-Qaeda affiliates for the purpose of the AUMF, which grants the President the authority to fight al-Qaeda and undergirds this memo.
2013-02-05 01:52:06 AM
1 votes:

Mrbogey: whidbey: I'm not sure what's more laughable, your shameless whiteknighting of the most morally bankrupt political party in history...

That bad? Man, Obama should just order them executed. Of course, the trick is waiting till they leave the country so as to justify it.


The only thing I got out of this comment is that you still refuse to acknowledge the utter worthlessness of the Republican Party even when confronted.
2013-02-05 01:50:56 AM
1 votes:

whidbey: saburai: whidbey: saburai: Liberal derp is still derp.

Yup. Nothing biased about your stance.  Those damn liburuls.  Raisin' yer taxes.

Remind me, what is my stance?

You've clearly out to give liberals a "gotcha" moment and make us feel guilty for electing this Presidency. Again.


Any "liberal" who voted for someone who advocates totally scrapping the 4th and 5th Amendments, assassinates citizens who were never charged with crimes, and launches multiple undeclared, lethal air wars that destabilize known extremist hotbed countries, including some with nuclear weapons... yes... SHOULD probably feel incredibly guilty.

Unless they believe in these actions, in which case the word for them is not "liberals", it is "neocon conservatives."

So, are you a liberal who has betrayed your own beliefs? Then go feel guilty. Don't yell at me for reminding you what a compromised person you are and pointing to the tattered pile of principles that you tossed in the fire for Obama.

On the other hand, if you are a neocon supporter of the imperial presidency, then you're getting everything you ever wanted so I don't see why anything I say should upset you.
2013-02-05 01:42:54 AM
1 votes:

GAT_00:
It's because the direct military power of the American executive has been increasing steadily.  It's a crossed bridge that means the next time this has to go a little further, it will seem reasonable compared to past actions.  It has little to no checks on it anymore, as Congressional approval is largely symbolic now.  The increasing capability of our power to strike against individuals at a whim is also growing.  It represents a symbolic point from which American history suggests no return, because there is no precedent for American executive vacating power.  Once it is done once, it becomes commonplace.  Hence how drone strikes against an individual fell below being noteworthy, now we have the first example of a strike used against an American.  It is a dangerous point.

It's now simple to write a similar memo targeting any other American we regard as a problem abroad.  The singular justification exists, and it is used.  Once it becomes commonplace, the potential for a higher act becomes more justifiable, because it no longer seems so far down the hole.


Because A, therefore B, C, D... X, Y, Z, is a very weak argument. You act as if this memo is somehow dispositive on the issue, as if because we killed Awlaki, the next thing, we're killing Americans on American soil with drone strikes.

As Justice Scalia would say, that's "Reduction ad absurdum", and I recall you coming down rather hard against him for his use of it.
2013-02-05 01:40:44 AM
1 votes:

WTF Indeed: Because once you take up arms against the United States or any nation for that matter, you forfeit your citizenship?

When this anti-war pussies going to realize that sometimes people need to die, and most the time innocent people dying is worth the cost.


So Jefferson saying dissent is the greatest form of patriotism now means I renounce my citizenship?

I can't tell if I'm the confused derp, or you failed to get your point across.
2013-02-05 01:40:05 AM
1 votes:
I have no problem with this.
2013-02-05 01:39:41 AM
1 votes:

Sweet Zombi Jesus: Wow I will admit that I didn't read the full thread but the Fark derp is in full effect these days.  If a person knowingly sides with an enemy they are no longer a citizen.  How is this in question?


What is "siding"? Taking up arms? Sending money? Writing a favorable comment on YouTube that gets 10,000 up votes? Does criticizing US forces count, if you don't advocate violence? What if you DO advocate violence, but not directly against the US? What if you advocate violence against a US ally in Saudi Arabia? What about against an ally in Libya (i.e. Kadaffi in 2008).

Who is "the enemy"? Would Hezbollah count? Would Hamas count? Would going to a "free Palestine" rally count?

What is an "associated force"? Would contributing to Wikileaks count if the government said it was a hostile organization?

What does it mean to do something "knowingly"? What if you wrote a short story, meant to be fiction, that was interpreted as a call to action by a violent kid somewhere who cited you and blew up a bus? What if you donated to a cause that was LATER determined to have been a terrorist group for many years prior, including when you donated? See MEK.

And finally: Who decides these things? A court? A judge? A nameless official looking at your name in a binder somewhere?

Does Sweet Zombi Jesus decide?

"How is this in question?" Christ, man, how is this anything but a LONG SERIES OF HUGE QUESTIONS?

Are you really as incurious, unimaginative, and trusting of the government as you try to sound? And are you actually accusing OTHER people of derp?
2013-02-05 01:39:06 AM
1 votes:

ElLoco: whidbey: saburai: whidbey: saburai: Liberal derp is still derp.

Yup. Nothing biased about your stance.  Those damn liburuls.  Raisin' yer taxes.

Remind me, what is my stance?

You've clearly out to give liberals a "gotcha" moment and make us feel guilty for electing this Presidency. Again.

Stupid is as stupid does. The last 4 presidential elections should be proof enough of that.


If you're talking about Bush not actually being elected,  foolhardily getting re-elected, Sarah Palin and Mittens, I would agree.   Otherwise, that is a very cryptic comment you're making.
2013-02-05 01:37:12 AM
1 votes:

Mrbogey: And with all the lefties who callously throw out "traitor" and "enemy of the state" towards the GOP, I'm not comfortable with them having that power due to their zeal to use it.


I'm not sure what's more laughable, your shameless whiteknighting of the most morally bankrupt political party in history, or your paranoia regarding what "all the lefties" are going to do, as if  Democrats are "lefties" to begin with.
2013-02-05 01:35:25 AM
1 votes:

whidbey: saburai: whidbey: saburai: Liberal derp is still derp.

Yup. Nothing biased about your stance.  Those damn liburuls.  Raisin' yer taxes.

Remind me, what is my stance?

You've clearly out to give liberals a "gotcha" moment and make us feel guilty for electing this Presidency. Again.


Stupid is as stupid does. The last 4 presidential elections should be proof enough of that.
2013-02-05 01:33:12 AM
1 votes:

arentol: GAT_00: miss diminutive: So any American believed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and having done "recent activities" can be considered an "imminent threat" to the United States and can be subjected to targeted killing if capturing them poses "undue risk" to US forces?

I'm no constitutional or international law scholar, but those quoted words seem to be less than explicitly defined and open to some subjective interpretation.

The same justification used to kill Awlaki can be applied incredibly easily to drones firing on Americans inside the US who the police deem "too risky" to bring out for trial.  The scenario is effectively unchanged.

No. First because capturing them would be a police action, and the police are not part of the US forces this memo relates to. Second, because that would not be pursuant to the laws of war, which are different for US troops when undertaken domestically, and which do not include conducting war at the order of senior government officials no matter how many memo's they have.

Not saying this memo is good in general, just that it in no way could be used to conduct a drone strike on a US citizen on US soil.



yet.
2013-02-05 01:29:33 AM
1 votes:

Somacandra: [www.personal.psu.edu image 226x250]

The Republican Party that cried "Wolf" has done it once too often. No one will care now. Thanks guys. You were too busy crapping over birth certificates, criticism of farking Nazis, fathering only girls, arugula, dijon mustard, Benghazi and President Obama's Magical Time Machine. Now there is a real job to do calling people on the carpet for a serious "Imperial Presidency" issue that needs to be hashed out in public discourse. And you're completely discredited. Thanks, ASSHOLES.


Yea, figures that this is the card that would be blamed. It's the Republican's fault for what Democrats do because Republicans.


GAT_00: How the fark do you not have a problem with the President executing American citizens? How does everyone not have a problem with that?


Because Republicans.

The whole problem with this is there's no review of what is legal when it comes to killing an American by order of the president. It sets up a bad precedent when it's so unilateral even when the guy is a bad dude. While we all may agree the guy was an enemy, there should be some mechanism to check such a power. I think it may be time to directly codify the war powers that allow such in the Constitution. And with all the lefties who callously throw out "traitor" and "enemy of the state" towards the GOP, I'm not comfortable with them having that power due to their zeal to use it.
2013-02-05 01:28:52 AM
1 votes:
Hell not even the dumbest liebutturd thinks these cocksuckers are hanging out with Al Qaeda because they're trick or treating for UNICEF. If you join even a friendly merc group like the French Foreign Legion you forfeit your citizenship then these people are no longer citizens and it's a moot point. Add to that the fact they're either enemy combatants or traitors depending on your point of view, I think they're both, then there's no problem dispatching them as such.
2013-02-05 01:27:57 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: GAT_00: The precedent has been clearly established.

Dude. I thought liberals were against slippery slope arguments. You've jumped so far down that slope it's like an right-winger saying "If it's legal for gays to have sex with each other, then it's legal for gays to steal your children and forcibly rape them in front of their parents." After all, the precedent has been clearly established.

I thought more of you. This memo lays out the legal rationale for a very specific act; the targeted killing of an American citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda in a foreign country, who cannot be captured. For you to get "This is precedent to drone stroke American citizens in the United States who police determine to be "too risky" to bring out for trial" from that is  absurd.


It's because the direct military power of the American executive has been increasing steadily.  It's a crossed bridge that means the next time this has to go a little further, it will seem reasonable compared to past actions.  It has little to no checks on it anymore, as Congressional approval is largely symbolic now.  The increasing capability of our power to strike against individuals at a whim is also growing.  It represents a symbolic point from which American history suggests no return, because there is no precedent for American executive vacating power.  Once it is done once, it becomes commonplace.  Hence how drone strikes against an individual fell below being noteworthy, now we have the first example of a strike used against an American.  It is a dangerous point.

It's now simple to write a similar memo targeting any other American we regard as a problem abroad.  The singular justification exists, and it is used.  Once it becomes commonplace, the potential for a higher act becomes more justifiable, because it no longer seems so far down the hole.
2013-02-05 01:24:46 AM
1 votes:

Bucky Katt: Weaver95: cman: 1. It is not "assassination"
2. No one biatched at Lincoln when the American troops killed the rebelling Confederacy soldiers. 500k Americans died in that war.
3. If you are in active treason against the United States and planning attacks on them, you make yourself into a military target.

problem is...the definition of treason gets tossed around rather casually these days.  that's what worries me - that a US president will at some point decide that someone he doesn't like is a de facto terrorist and try to off 'em, legal definition be damned.

yep


The definition of treason is literally written into the Constitution. Also, this memo does not in any way base its rationale off of treason. Treason is irrelevant to the point at hand.
2013-02-05 01:23:10 AM
1 votes:

whidbey: Rincewind53: This memo lays out the legal rationale for a very specific act; the targeted killing of an American citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda in a foreign country, who cannot be captured. For you to get "This is precedent to drone stroke American citizens in the United States who police determine to be "too risky" to bring out for trial" from that is absurd.

To be fair, though, this is what happens we we allow a Presidency like the Bush administration to lie to the American public and launch an all-out illegal unjustified war.  The result has been fallout for over a decade, even after the conflicts are supposedly winding down.

It's long out of the bottle.


I agree. The Iraq war was a complete and utter disaster.

Now, what does that have to do with the issue at hand?
2013-02-05 01:20:19 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: This memo lays out the legal rationale for a very specific act; the targeted killing of an American citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda in a foreign country, who cannot be captured. For you to get "This is precedent to drone stroke American citizens in the United States who police determine to be "too risky" to bring out for trial" from that is absurd.


To be fair, though, this is what happens we we allow a Presidency like the Bush administration to lie to the American public and launch an all-out illegal unjustified war.  The result has been fallout for over a decade, even after the conflicts are supposedly winding down.

It's long out of the bottle.
2013-02-05 01:15:07 AM
1 votes:
1 - Are they hanging out with the enemy?  If "no", stop.  If "yes", continue.

2 - Are they operating as our spy or as a journalist?  If "no", then continue.  If "yes", stop.

3 - Are they being held prisoner by said enemy?  If "no", then bombs away.  If "yes", stop.

Seems simple enough to me.
2013-02-05 01:14:55 AM
1 votes:

GAT_00: whidbey: Oh look. It's time to try and make liberals feel guilty for voting for Obama again!

Did so well the last time.

I didn't vote for Obama in November, so...


Actually he still won.  Overwhelmingly.
2013-02-05 01:12:34 AM
1 votes:

miss diminutive: True, but how do they define "senior operational leader"? Is it based on how many underlings they have working for them? How long they've been in the organization? How close their reserved parking space is to the camp?


The closest to a definition I can directly find is on Page 8, paragraph 2, where it says "an individual poses an 'imminent threat' against the United States where is an operational leader of al-Qa'ida or an associated force and is  personally and continually involved in the planning of terrorist attacks against the United States."

There may be another definition in there I'm missing.
2013-02-05 01:10:59 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: GAT_00: The memo said an American can be killed without trial, without proof of their crimes, on the order of the President.  Their position is irrelevant.

Uh.... no. Read the memo before you say something that's proven wrong in the first damn paragraph.

"This memo sets forth a legal framework for considering the circumstances in which the U.S. government could use lethal force  in a foreign country outside the area of active hostilities against a U.S. citizen  who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda or an affiliated force of Al-Qaeda--that is, an Al-Qaeda  leader... This paper does not attempt to determine the minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful;  nor does it assess what might be required to render a lethal operation against a U.S. citizen lawful in other circumstances..."


The precedent has been clearly established.
2013-02-05 01:10:25 AM
1 votes:

Man On Pink Corner: When does the "War On Terror" end? Who is a "terrorist," and why should an accusation of terrorism carry any more judicial weight, by its mere utterance, than an accusation of bank robbery or jaywalking?


False equivalence is false.
2013-02-05 01:09:25 AM
1 votes:
Huh and here I've always thought that taking up arms against the US government makes you an enemy of the US government and that the US government, its legislators & military are duty bound to take you out.  "All threats, foreign and domestic", blah, blah.

I don't have a problem with the government / military targeting American citizens if they are active enemy combatants and I'm a dirty dirty lib.
2013-02-05 01:08:44 AM
1 votes:

GAT_00: The memo said an American can be killed without trial, without proof of their crimes, on the order of the President.  Their position is irrelevant.


Uh.... no. Read the memo before you say something that's proven wrong in the first damn paragraph.

"This memo sets forth a legal framework for considering the circumstances in which the U.S. government could use lethal force  in a foreign country outside the area of active hostilities against a U.S. citizen  who is a senior operational leader of Al-Qaeda or an affiliated force of Al-Qaeda--that is, an Al-Qaeda  leader... This paper does not attempt to determine the minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful;  nor does it assess what might be required to render a lethal operation against a U.S. citizen lawful in other circumstances..."
2013-02-05 01:07:54 AM
1 votes:
Just one question.

When does the "War On Terror" end?  Who is a "terrorist," and why should an accusation of terrorism carry any more judicial weight, by its mere utterance, than an accusation of bank robbery or jaywalking?

Which "terrorists" are authorized to sign an armistice in this "war," or to sue for peace on behalf of their organization?
2013-02-05 01:07:25 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: miss diminutive: So any American believed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and having done "recent activities" can be considered an "imminent threat" to the United States and can be subjected to targeted killing if capturing them poses "undue risk" to US forces?

I'm no constitutional or international law scholar, but those quoted words seem to be less than explicitly defined and open to some subjective interpretation.

The memo does make it clear that its legal rationale only applies to  senior operational leaders of Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups, not just any person belonging to a terrorist organization.


True, but how do they define "senior operational leader"? Is it based on how many underlings they have working for them? How long they've been in the organization? How close their reserved parking space is to the camp?
2013-02-05 01:05:37 AM
1 votes:
I'm a dirty pinko commie socialist libtard and even I have a hard time getting worked up over it.
2013-02-05 01:04:20 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: GAT_00: The same justification used to kill Awlaki can be applied incredibly easily to drones firing on Americans inside the US who the police deem "too risky" to bring out for trial.  The scenario is effectively unchanged.

No. See my previous post. The memo makes it clear that the it only applies to  senior operational leaders of Al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations whose capture is not possible. The scenario you propose is 100% different.


The memo said an American can be killed without trial, without proof of their crimes, on the order of the President.  Their position is irrelevant.
2013-02-05 01:02:55 AM
1 votes:
dissentingdemocrat.files.wordpress.com
2013-02-05 01:01:52 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: GAT_00: Rincewind53: I think his point was to use sarcasm to point out that the Left in America has been against this from day frickin' one.

Bull farking shiat.  There was about 20 people pissed off, and Chomsky got yelled at by what is supposedly the left.

If you honestly think that the Left in America does not oppose drone strikes and hasn't been pretty vocal about it, then you haven't been following the Left.

Or perhaps you mean liberals. Because liberals are fairly centrist and generally don't oppose drone strikes. But if you mean liberals, and not the Left, then why didn't you just say so?


Your definitions are reversed from mine.  The Left is the Democratic party.  Liberals are people like Chomsky, Kucinich and Bernie Sanders.

There is nothing "liberal" about the Democratic Party except neoliberalism, yet another misnomer of a name in the American political lexicon.
2013-02-05 01:01:36 AM
1 votes:

tenpoundsofcheese: Rincewind53: tenpoundsofcheese: DamnYankees: I gotta be honest - I don't get why this is new. Hasnt this been the known position of the US government for years?

No.

It is new.   Amazing that 0bama is more like Dick Cheney than Dick is.

It's not new, but you knew that. The only new thing is that the legal document justifying the policy was released to the press.

You are lying again.
It was not "released to the press".
"It was provided to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees in June by administration officials on the condition that it be kept confidential and  not discussed publicly. "


So, basically, someone(s) on the Judiciary and/or Intelligence committees leaked classified information to the press.

Nice job, idiots.
2013-02-05 01:01:21 AM
1 votes:
So only think of the children who are in class coloring in the lines who get shot by an AR and not the children who live in the same house as the target and get blown up by a Hellfire?

Are the children arbitrary or relative?
2013-02-05 12:59:56 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: cman: These people are in active treason against the US.

Is it actually treason? Treason is defined in the Constution: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. "

Is plotting to blow up a shopping mall "levying war against [the United States]"? Was Timothy McVeigh guilty of treason? How about Adam Lanza? Both employed tactics directly used by Al-Qaeda.  Is Al-Qaeda the kind of "enemy" envisioned by the Founders? Surely they meant enemy nation-states, not political groups.


I agree, they could have never envisioned non-state terror cells.  But, they do exist, and people subscribe to their mentality.  They have, over time, formed their own identity as a collective group, and are no different than a formalized army with a banner to wave in front of them.
2013-02-05 12:59:07 AM
1 votes:

miss diminutive: So any American believed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and having done "recent activities" can be considered an "imminent threat" to the United States and can be subjected to targeted killing if capturing them poses "undue risk" to US forces?

I'm no constitutional or international law scholar, but those quoted words seem to be less than explicitly defined and open to some subjective interpretation.


The same justification used to kill Awlaki can be applied incredibly easily to drones firing on Americans inside the US who the police deem "too risky" to bring out for trial.  The scenario is effectively unchanged.
2013-02-05 12:57:32 AM
1 votes:

GAT_00: Rincewind53: I think his point was to use sarcasm to point out that the Left in America has been against this from day frickin' one.

Bull farking shiat.  There was about 20 people pissed off, and Chomsky got yelled at by what is supposedly the left.


If you honestly think that the Left in America does not oppose drone strikes and hasn't been pretty vocal about it, then you haven't been following the Left.

Or perhaps you mean liberals. Because liberals are fairly centrist and generally don't oppose drone strikes. But if you mean liberals, and not the Left, then why didn't you just say so?
2013-02-05 12:57:15 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: tenpoundsofcheese: DamnYankees: I gotta be honest - I don't get why this is new. Hasnt this been the known position of the US government for years?

No.

It is new.   Amazing that 0bama is more like Dick Cheney than Dick is.

It's not new, but you knew that. The only new thing is that the legal document justifying the policy was released to the press.


You are lying again.
It was not "released to the press".
"It was provided to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees in June by administration officials on the condition that it be kept confidential and  not discussed publicly. "
2013-02-05 12:56:23 AM
1 votes:
So any American believed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and having done "recent activities" can be considered an "imminent threat" to the United States and can be subjected to targeted killing if capturing them poses "undue risk" to US forces?

I'm no constitutional or international law scholar, but those quoted words seem to be less than explicitly defined and open to some subjective interpretation.
2013-02-05 12:54:51 AM
1 votes:
nmrsnr:

If there is an Al Qaida a buildingbase in Yemen, and there is only oneperson inside, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the person inside?

FTFY so you can understand the issue.
2013-02-05 12:54:12 AM
1 votes:

tenpoundsofcheese: DamnYankees: I gotta be honest - I don't get why this is new. Hasnt this been the known position of the US government for years?

No.

It is new.   Amazing that 0bama is more like Dick Cheney than Dick is.


It's not new, but you knew that. The only new thing is that the legal document justifying the policy was released to the press.
2013-02-05 12:52:28 AM
1 votes:

DamnYankees: I gotta be honest - I don't get why this is new. Hasnt this been the known position of the US government for years?


No.

It is new.   Amazing that 0bama is more like Dick Cheney than Dick is.
2013-02-05 12:52:06 AM
1 votes:

Somacandra: Depending on the legal agreement that exists between the countries, its not irrelevant. If certain contingent commitments are made and the conditions that trigger those commitments are reached, then the follow-through it does indeed matter as a principle of international law too.


Okay, you're right, the third part of the proposed test (dictates of international law) do make the Yemeni law relevant.

nmrsnr: Which is kind of my point, you're hinging your argument on whether or not the target is American, I'm arguing that, in the abstract (that is, what power the President should be capable of wielding), whether or not the target is American is irrelevant. If it's okay to target people in a base (or a convoy, for Somacandra) then it's okay to target people.

So I'm going to ask again, which scenarios do you have issue with (and not have a legal argument for) targeting people in Afghanistan, targeting people in Yemen, Targeting an American in Afghanistan, or targeting an American in Yemen? And, if you are not against all of them, what distinction are you seeing that I'm not, because to me, they all seem pretty similar.


I'm against drone strikes in general. I believe them to be ineffective in the grand scheme, creating more enemies as a side effect of their use than are killed by their intended use. I think the use of drone strikes in Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali, and other countries, is often a violation of territorial sovereignty forced on other countries through muscle.

That being said, I believe that drone strikes targeting foreign nationals does not raise the same kind of Constitutional questions as drone strikes targeting American citizens, and that the latter are accorded more protection under the laws of the United States as a result of our Constitution, the document we are supposedly protecting through the Global War on Terror.
2013-02-05 12:47:44 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: No. It takes a rather deliberately obtuse reading of my post on the Constitutional issues involved with targeted killings of Americans to imply that I'm totally okay with the targeted killings of non-Americans. It's just that the targeted killings of non-Americans does not raise the same Due Process issues.


Which is kind of my point, you're hinging your argument on whether or not the target is American, I'm arguing that, in the abstract (that is, what power the President should be capable of wielding), whether or not the target is American is irrelevant. If it's okay to target people in a base (or a convoy, for Somacandra) then it's okay to target people.

So I'm going to ask again, which scenarios do you have issue with (and not have a legal argument for) targeting people in Afghanistan, targeting people in Yemen, Targeting an American in Afghanistan, or targeting an American in Yemen? And, if you are not against all of them, what distinction are you seeing that I'm not, because to me, they all seem pretty similar.
2013-02-05 12:44:35 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: And the Yemeni legal system's dictate isn't really relevant here, since this is entirely about America's actions.


Depending on the legal agreement that exists between the countries, its not irrelevant. If certain contingent commitments are made and the conditions that trigger those commitments are reached, then the follow-through it does indeed matter as a principle of international law too.
2013-02-05 12:42:15 AM
1 votes:

nmrsnr: I think we both knew that, he was responding to my hypothetical, but do you believe that the distinction that it was a convoy to be material?


You were setting out the scenario of what this "actually pertained" to--that's not really a hypothetical. I do think its material. Its a lot easier to pinpoint strike a specific figure from a distance in a line of vehicles than a specific figure inside any kind of reinforced base. The collateral damage (and therefore damage to multiple possible Americans who might or might not be targets) will necessarily be larger in the latter case.
2013-02-05 12:38:01 AM
1 votes:

GAT_00: How about what's left of the left steps up and collectively says "This is wrong" for a change.


I'll get right on the horn to Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman about that. I'm sure this will all be news to them.
2013-02-05 12:35:23 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: "If there is an Al Qaida base in Yemen, and we want to kill the American citizen in it, is it okay if we target that American citizen?"


It was a convoy in transit, not a static base. And since the Yemeni legal system had previously dictated that he be captured dead or alive, I wonder what the domestic reaction would have been if the Yemenis had got to him first.
2013-02-05 12:32:30 AM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: zedster: What about the Whiskey Rebellion?

An armed response to a rebellion is not the deliberate targeted killing of one person.

From Wiki: Before troops could be raised, the Militia Act of 1792 required a justice of the United States Supreme Court to certify that law enforcement was beyond the control of local authorities. On August 4, 1794, Justice James Wilson delivered his opinion that western Pennsylvania was in a state of rebellion.[80] On August 7, Washington issued a presidential proclamation announcing, with "the deepest regret", that the militia would be called out to suppress the rebellion. He commanded insurgents in western Pennsylvania to disperse by September 1.[81]


my bad, I was thinking of Shays' Rebellion but looking back that was pre-constitution

//always finds it funny Tea Party identifies with the Boston Tea Party and not Shays' or Whiskey Rebellion which is more in line with their issues since they do have representation
2013-02-05 12:25:53 AM
1 votes:

zedster: What about the Whiskey Rebellion?


An armed response to a rebellion is not the deliberate targeted killing of one person.

From Wiki: Before troops could be raised, the Militia Act of 1792 required a justice of the United States Supreme Court to certify that law enforcement was beyond the control of local authorities. On August 4, 1794, Justice James Wilson delivered his opinion that western Pennsylvania was in a state of rebellion.[80] On August 7, Washington issued a presidential proclamation announcing, with "the deepest regret", that the militia would be called out to suppress the rebellion. He commanded insurgents in western Pennsylvania to disperse by September 1.[81]
2013-02-05 12:19:11 AM
1 votes:

nmrsnr: zedster: are we still droning on about this crap?

We're pretty much on autopilot at this point.


I find myself unmanned by these conversations.
2013-02-04 11:58:58 PM
1 votes:

nmrsnr: Is it okay if the American is collateral damage as opposed to being a target? What if the American wasn't the only target?


That's what the central question is: can the government target an American citizen? When the American is unintentional collateral damage, the law is pretty clear that's okay.
2013-02-04 11:42:25 PM
1 votes:

Rincewind53: "If there is an Al Qaida base in Yemen, and we want to kill the American citizen in it, is it okay if we target that American citizen?"


What is the distinction between this and my 4th scenario? Is it okay if the American is collateral damage as opposed to being a target? What if the American wasn't the only target?

How about these:

If there an Al Qaida base in Afghanistan, and the only person in the building is American, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the person inside?

If there is an Al Qaida base in Yemen, and the only person inside, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the person inside?
2013-02-04 11:35:11 PM
1 votes:

nmrsnr: So, I'm generally a libby lib-lib, but in this case I don't have much problem with the government's finding. Where, exactly, is people's problem with this?

In order to help me clarify, tell me which, if any, of the following scenarios are problematic:

If there's an Al Qaida base in Afghanistan, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

If there is an Al Qaida base in Yemen, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

If there an Al Qaida base in Afghanistan, and one of the people in the building is American, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

If there is an Al Qaida base in Yemen, and one of the people in the building is American, do you have a problem with the US military launching a missile to blow up the people inside?

To me these are all roughly equivalent scenarios, and I do not have a problem with any of them. I may have a problem with a specific judgement call the President may make, but not with the general right of the President to make it. Being American doesn't make you immune from being a target if you side with the enemy in a battle (IMHO).


Except none of what you describe is the scenario. The scenario proposed by the memo is:

"If there is an Al Qaida base in Yemen, and we want to kill the American citizen in it, is it okay if we target that American citizen?"
2013-02-04 10:54:15 PM
1 votes:
Because once you take up arms against the United States or any nation for that matter, you forfeit your citizenship?

When this anti-war pussies going to realize that sometimes people need to die, and most the time innocent people dying is worth the cost.
2013-02-04 10:30:51 PM
1 votes:
If this is the memo I'm thinking of, the guy who wrote a lot of this, Marty Lederman, is actually a very nice guy who teaches at my law school. I've chatted with him.

It's very awkward chatting with someone who wrote something like this, when you're not sure if he even believes what he wrote.
 
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