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The Case For Targeted Killing

Attorney General Eric Holder makes the Obama case for targeted killing. A top Bush lawyer and the head of the ACLU debate it with us.

A drone firing a Hellfire missile. (U.S. Air Force)

A drone firing a Hellfire missile. (U.S. Air Force)

President George W. Bush took a lot of heat for a lot of the extraordinary measures he ordered after 9.11 in what was dubbed the global war on terror.  A lot of that heat came from then-Senator Barack Obama.

Now Barack Obama is president, and key, controversial elements of Bush’s anti-terror strategy go on.  At the top of the list:  targeted killing, assassination – even of American citizens.  Last week Attorney General Eric Holder gave his defense.

This hour, On Point:  Anthony Romero, national head of the ACLU, and Bush-era justice official Jack Goldsmith debate Obama-era justice on terror.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jack Goldsmith, a professor at Harvard Law School, he served in the Bush administration as United States Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. He’s the author of Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

From Tom’s Reading List

Salon “When Obama officials (like Bush officials before them) refer to someone “who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or associated forces,” what they mean is this: someone the President has accused and then decreed in secret to be a Terrorist without ever proving it with evidence.

Huffington Post “Ten years have passed since the U.S. government opened the military detention facility at the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, symbolizing an energetic effort to round up suspected terrorists. Perhaps a decade might have been long enough for the constitutional issues over war-on-terrorism policies to get settled. That hasn’t happened, though.”

Washington Post “The U.S. government has the right to order the killing of American citizens overseas if they are senior al-Qaeda leaders who pose an imminent terrorist threat and cannot reasonably be captured, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Monday.”

The New York Times “President Obama, who came to office promising transparency and adherence to the rule of law, has become the first president to claim the legal authority to order an American citizen killed without judicial involvement, real oversight or public accountability. That, regrettably, was the most lasting impression from a major address on national security delivered last week by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. ”

Excerpt: Power And Constraint

[Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.]
http://www.scribd.com/doc/84689597/PowerConstraint-Chapter-1

Video: Holder Talks Targeted Killings

Attorney General Eric Holder discusses national security issues in a speech at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago.

 

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  • Lacaxxx

    I’m reminded of the advice to, “Just keep shooting till you run out of ammo, and let God sort it out.”  This question can be debated endlessly, meaning there will be no end to the debate.

    • Hidan

       Until one of our enemies does the same things.

      • GradyLeeHoward

        Maybe authoritarian Americans assume a “hellfire” missile is too smart to kill Christians, or that it will refuse to launch within US borders.
        We here all know those are superstitions. Drones are already deployed to domestic law enforcement and internal security agencies.

  • Hidan

    “The Case For Targeted Killing”

    People should think really hard about this. Should targeted killing be legal? If yes how does one defend the targeted killing performed by the U.S. as opposed to Iran?Russia? China?Venezuela? Cuba?Burma?  Especially Syria?

    So far everything I read the President, CIA or contracted mercs,etc. don’t have to provided actual proof to back up the assassination and murder, since such claims are secret and based on a person/group saying such and such is a terrorist,etc.

    Syria openly claims that the rebels in Homs are terrorist and if it used the same reasoning the WH and Eric Holder used Assad wouldn’t be required to provide any proof or evidences. He can even use the same line some do like Collateral damage(just another lovely euphemism like enhanced interrogation)

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      The complaints about “targeted killing” remind me of the complaints the British had about the targetting of officers during the American Revolution. How uncouth!

      • Hidan

        Does it? why not drop the “targeted killing” euphemism and call it what it is “Assassination and Murder using secert evidences(if any) to do so.

        To point out the Syrian government is making  same lines for it’s actions in Homs, The  Taliban could makes the same case with it’s IED set to where most likely U.S. forces will go.

         

        • Isaac, in Groton CT

          Targeted assassination, targeted killing, whatever. It’s a wartime killing of a high-level operative. Quoth Wikipedia:

          “By May, U.S. officials believed he had become ‘operational’, plotting, not just inspiring, terrorism against the West. Former colleague Abdul-Malik said he ‘is a terrorist, in my book’, and advised shops not to carry even the earlier, non-jihadist al-Awlaki sermons. In an editorial, Investor’s Business Daily called al-Awlaki the ‘world’s most dangerous man’, and recommended that he be added to the FBI’s most-wanted terrorist list, a bounty put on his head, that he be designated a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ like Zindani, charged with treason, and extradition papers filed with the Yemeni government. IBD criticized the Justice Department for stonewalling Senator Joe Lieberman’s security panel’s investigation of al-Awlaki’s role in the Fort Hood massacre.”

          My point, Hidan, is that it’s one thing to make a random assertion that there’s “secret evidence (if any),” and it’s another to confront that assertion with what we DO know about al-Awlaki.

          • Hidan

            K, so explain the reasons he’s 16 son was killed after Al-Awlaki was?

          • Hidan

             his

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            I don’t know. What was his son’s name? I can look him up on Wikipedia for you, too.

          • Hidan

            So no legal basis in killing his son? Kind of throws everything out you about the folks who are targeted have been (sic) vetted to be on such list. Since his son was not on any and died after his father.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            So, no name on his son? Like I said, give me his name, and I’ll search for him on wikipedia for you.

          • Anonymous
          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            Thanks, Jarek! As promised, I looked him up on Wikipedia: “Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki was killed in an American drone strike on Friday, October 14, 2011, in Yemen, along with alleged al-Qaeda members.”

            It’s that last phrase that reveals why he was killed – because he was standing within the blast radius of folks the President had authorization to blow up.

          • Anonymous

            in Yemen, along with alleged al-Qaeda members.

            It’s that whole “alleged” and not “proven” thing that gives me worries.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            As well it should. I’m all in favor of writing better laws. The President’s power in war are nigh unmeasurable, under our Constitution, and so it remains Congress’ responsibility to limit his scope.

          • Robert Riversong

            “Investor’s Business Daily called al-Awlaki the ‘world’s most dangerous man’ ”

            First, I don’t think Investor’s Business Daily has either the authority or the credibility to rank world dangers (except those that effect investors’ profits).

            But more importantly, the majority of the world’s people believed that G.W. Bush was the ‘world’s most dangerous man’. Would that have justified a targeted assassination? Probably more so than with al-Awlaki. But US principles of “justice” are always unidirectional.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            I don’t think IBD’s a terribly reliable source for much anything; I was simply illustrating the reputation that al-Awlaki had built long before he was put onto the target list.

            What justified a targeted assassination was his prominent association with al-Qaeda, as determined by the President. Once the President made that determination, he had Congressional authority to execute military force against Mr. al-Awlaki.

          • Robert Riversong

            “as determined by the President”

            Judge, jury and executioner. No constitutional checks and balances. No due process.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            When the Constitution says, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States,” exactly what do you think that means?

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think it means he can kill any American on his say-so. 

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            And nobody’s argued that he can. Congress didn’t give him that authority.

          • Anonymous

            Eric Holder has declared that he can. The President has declared that he can. They may say things like, “we’ll make sure to adhere to these certain criteria . . . ” however, they determine whether they adhere to such criteria, they determine what that criteria is, that criteria is secret.

            And even though, Eric Holder has announced as such, his speech has no legal significance. It’s no in court. He’s not formally speaking on behalf of the policy in a court of law. It’s a PR speech. He’s been asked to defend the policy in court and they always get it thrown out on State Secrets grounds.

            You’re getting played here.

            The president is asserting extremely broad powers for himself, and he’s using an extremely unsympathetic character for his test drive. But, once this becomes the status-quo, there’d be no stopping a president Romney or Santorum from using such powers of assassination against, for example, Eco-Terrorists, alleged drug traffickers; Occupy Wall Street Activists . . . etc.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            I don’t believe that either Eric Holder or the President have declared any such thing.

            I’m not getting played for anything. You’re misinterpreting my allegiances.

          • Anonymous

            Well then you don’t know what you’re talking about. And I take it you’re not a lawyer either.

            That is what they’ve declared. And you’re either arguing in bad-faith, or lack the reading comprehension, to follow, that when the President declares, in his own authority, you’re a bad guy, and he can kill you = The President can kill any American he wants and there’s no law to restrain him.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            The President may not kill any American he wants. That’s simply not an accurate portrayal of the authority given to him.

          • Anonymous

            I’m sorry but you’re simply wrong on this.

            There is no law that restrains him. That’s why this is so radical.

            Isaac, in Groton CT, if he believes you’re a threat to the National Security of the United States, under his authority as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, he believes he’s empowered to kill you.

            That’s a fact buddy. He could be mistaken. He could be wrong. But that’s the power they’re asserting. Judge, Jury, Prosecutor and Executioner — All in One.

            That’s simply not an accurate portrayal of the authority given to him.

            THAT’S BECAUSE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY GIVEN TO HIM. HE’S CLAIMING IT AND DARING CONGRESS TO IMPEACH HIM.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            No, he has the authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists. It’s a very short law, but it’s quite simple. He does NOT have authority to kill me if I’m a threat to the National Security. That’s simply not provided for by law.

          • Hidan

             Was thinking the same thing. So far the government has provided no actual proof to Isaac’s claims, this was pointed out by Glenn Greenwald

      • Hidan

         Your comparison would be more in line if you used Americans (sic) Targeted Killing Brits in England by detonating bombs in civilian area’s cause a officer may go back to visit his family while not providing evidence the officer even lives in such area anymore. 

        Besides the two are clearly different since one was fought here in the U.S.(fighting to free oneself of British control) and the other is fought in a country next to the one the U.S. is occupying(where the U.S. is actually occupy/controlling against the  population)

        • Isaac, in Groton CT

          The reasons for a war should have no impact on your analysis of whether a particular tactic is a parallel. And is it your belief that the targeting of the convoy al-Awlaki was traveling in just a guess?

          • Hidan

             Not only did they assassination Al-Awlaki they did the same to his 16 year son and sons young cousin. After Al-Awlaki death.

            Again with no due-process. If your point is the American government knows what’s best and are legally working under the law they happen to hastily write( with little to no debate) than what’s to stop law enforcement from using it on civilians or what’s to stop foreign nations writing and creating the same laws against Americans or our allies?

            I don’t buy the euphemism of “targeted Killing” much like the euphemism of “enhanced interrogation” or ” Collateral Damage” all used to hide the fact there torturing and killing civilians.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            Again, why do you think there was “no due process?” What do you believe “due process” should have constituted?

          • Charles A. Bowsher

            It’s called a trial.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            So we should have had a trial for everyone that was subject to a targetted killing?

          • Hidan

             http://www.salon.com/2011/09/30/awlaki_6/

            http://www.salon.com/2011/10/06/execution_by_secret_wh_committee/

            Greenwald puts it out there. Read up.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            I’m not asking Glenn Greenwald. If you want to quote Glenn Greenwald and agree with him, do that, but I’m not going to try and guess which argument you’re trying to make.

            What makes you so sure that the Fifth Amendment was unsatisfied here? What would have satisfied the Fifth Amendment?

          • Anonymous

            Notice and an opportunity to be heard; an indepedent arbitrator of facts.

            Of course the 5th Amendment wasn’t complied with.

            I’m not fan of the Awlawki’s of the world either.  But, he’s a propagandist, and that’s legal.  As for his alleged “terror activities,” they’re merely alleged. 

            If you believe, like I do, he was targeted for his youtube videos, then that should concern you.  No American should be killed for his views, regardless of how extreme.  Furthermore, if he indeed engage in terrorist acts (which are illegal) then the gov’t should make their case!  The gov’t screams: HE’S A TERRORIST, and that’s somehow supposed to satisfy due-process?  

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            Anwar al-Awlaki wasn’t killed for his views.

          • Anonymous

            Well we don’t really know, now do we.

            Eric Holder gave a speech, not under oath, where he gave general outlines of their policy, but explicitly did not speak about “Anwar al-Awlaki” because it’s all classified.

            Holder could’ve lied. He could be wrong. He’s spinning the policy. We really don’t know why he was killed. We can speculate based on government leaks in newspapers (he was alleged to have a “role” in certain terror attacks) but, those claims, if true, are crimes. The individuals connected to those terror attacks have been charged with crimes. It’s not a great stretch, if true, to charge him with Conspiracy. But, they didn’t go that route.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            They didn’t, and I would have preferred that all of our post-9/11 counterterrorism work was done through police agencies, state and federal, foreign and domestic.

            But Congress chose to authorize military force, and I see no reason why Congress should be prohibited from doing so. It is, after all, one of their jobs.

          • Anonymous

            Notice and an Opportunity to be heard before a neutral arbitrator.

            The government makes mistakes from time-to-time.

            Let’s presume your son made some jokey blog posts and ends up on a hit list (as a threat).  It’s a mistake.  But, he’s still on the list. 

            Under the method you endorse, there’s no way for your son to get off of the assassination list.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            The AUMF wouldn’t authorize that, unless my son made some jokey blog posts that led the President of the United States to determine that my son was a member of al-Qaeda.

          • Anonymous

            . . . and suppose your son made some jokey blog post that led President Obama or his staff to wrongly conclude as such?

            Does the government ever make such mistakes? Senator Ted Kennedy was on the Do Not Fly list for years. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17073-2004Aug19.html

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            I’m sure it does. But that doesn’t mean that the law was unconstitutionally drafted. Where Congress has, in effect, declared war upon al-Qaeda, the President is free to use military force against it and anybody in it.

            If, in the second world war, an American citizen had wandered into Germany, put on a uniform, and manned a radio and broadcast German propaganda and directed German military units, would President Roosevelt have had to conduct a formal inquiry into the nature of the American’s involvement before targetting that station? What if the station was in France? Switzerland?

          • Anonymous

            Furthermore, the AUMF didn’t cover Awlaki (“AA”). So, I don’t know why you bring it up. Look closely at the language of the 2001 AUMF on Wikipedia (The AUMF as part of the NDAA could possibly cover him, but, that was after he was killed).

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            The AUMF reads: “(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

            If al-Qaeda is determined to be responsible for the attacks on 9/11, and if al-Awlaki is determined to be a member of al-Qaeda, he’s free-game.

          • Anonymous

            The expression is “fair game,” and it’s impossible for AA to have “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001″ as he was in the United States at the time at a mosque in VA and wasn’t involved in 9/11. He’s never been alleged to have been a part of 9/11.

            And again, you jump around the issue and discuss this in bad-faith:
            and if al-Awlaki is determined to be a member of al-Qaeda, he’s free-game.

            If the president determines your son, wrongly, is a member of AQ, then he’s fair game.

            Several hundred individuals were wrongly determined to be a member of al-Qaeda. But instead of having to spend years of their life in GITMO. You’d prefer their execution.

            Shameful.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            I never suggested that al-Awlaki “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks.” I said he was a member of the organization that “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks.” He needn’t have had any part of the September 11, 2001 attacks to be a valid target for military force under the AUMF.

            If the President determines my son to be a member of AQ, then he’s fair game, yes. But that’s only because Congress said that’s the hurdle that needs to be cleared.

            And, once more, you misapprehend my allegiances: this is not my preferred policy in the least. Please focus on, and respond to what I’m actually saying, and not on what you think I mean to say. If you think I mean to say something, ask.

          • Hidan

             As for reasoning understanding why we went into a war is always needed to make a informed decision. Renaming a tactic that is assassination without due process is just as illegal as it was before they changed the name.

            As for Al-awlaki didn’t our government state no such drone attacks where happening prior to wikileaks showing it was? Sure you wouldn’t mind if China or Russia choose to start using drones in the U.S. to target people it sees as terrorist or Ex-Pats? 

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            What should constitute “due process?”

            Of course I’d mind if China or Russia started killing Americans. In the event that we’re at war, though, it’s really something we ought to be expecting.

          • Robert Riversong

            “The reasons for a war should have no impact on your analysis”

            If a war is engaged for illegal purposes  or on a false basis or in violation of international law, then every tactical act within that war – regardless of its legality in itself – is, ipso facto, illegal.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            While that might be true, this action was done comfortably within the confines of Congress’ blessing. I’m not sure what measure of “legality” you’re attempting to employ, but it is just as irrelevant: the rest of that sentence explained that the analysis is of comparison, not of legality.

          • Robert Riversong

            Context is always pertinent. And any act of Congress that violates international law, the UN Charter (a treaty signed by the US), or the Nuremberg Principles (drafted by US jurors) is, ipso facto, illegal. Congress cannot authorize an attack upon and occupation of a nation that did not engage in aggression against the US.

            But the US, being the sole remaining super-bully, has never had any compunction against violating the international standards it imposes on the rest of the world.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            What Constitutional provision, law, or treaty do you believe the AUMF was inconsistent with?

  • Hidan

    While the media dutifully went  with the AP reported claiming drone attacks really didn’t kill that many civilian done by a few reporters with a small sample but openly ignored the far more detailed report that many killed where civilians including women and children.

    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/category/projects/drones/
    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/08/10/pakistan-drone-strikes-the-methodology2/

    Total reported killed: 2,412 – 3,063
    Civilians reported killed: 467 – 815
    Children reported killed: 178
    Total reported injured: 1,158 -1,263
    Total strikes: 316
    Obama strikes: 264

    • Modavations

      Civilians are used as shields.We lose 35-40,000 per annum to car accidents

      • Hidan

         So you agree with the above? or just trolling?

        • Modavations

          Trolling to me is looking for chicks in a bar.Let’s drill baby drill and turn our backs forever,on the middleeast tyrants.

          • Hidan

            60 looking for chicks at a bar is a loser to me.

          • Modavations

            Little boys out of ammo and it’s only 10;30

          • Anonymous

            Except Afghanistan is not in the Middle East.  60 and cruising in bars, somehow I’m getting an image of a wild and crazy guy in a bad shirt…

          • Hidan
          • GradyLeeHoward

            Chicks just wanta get drilled,
            Chicks just wanta get drilled.
            Don’t want your ugly jewelry,
            Chicks just wanta get drilled!

          • Modavations

            Now that’s the racist Hundie Watts we know so well.

      • GradyLeeHoward

        Car wreck deaths are down below your figures.

        Safety devices mandated by law have spared lives.But you do have a point that all Americans are shields for our outlaw wealthy class. (For safety, flee wealth.)

        • Modavations

          Not my point,Hundie Watts.

          • GradyLeeHoward

            hallucinating… talking to spectors

  • Hidan

    Obama terror drones: CIA tactics in Pakistan include targeting rescuers and funerals

    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/02/04/obama-terror-drones-cia-tactics-in-pakistan-include-targeting-rescuers-and-funerals/

    The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of  civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals, an investigation by the Bureau for the Sunday Times has revealed.The findings are published just days after President Obama claimed that the drone campaign in Pakistan was a ‘targeted, focused effort’ that ‘has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.’Speaking publicly for the first time on the controversial CIA drone strikes, Obama claimed last week they are used strictly to target terrorists, rejecting what he called ‘this perception we’re just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly’.‘Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties’, he told a questioner at an on-line forum. ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists trying to go in and harm Americans’.But research by the Bureau has found that since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children.  A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. The tactics have been condemned by leading legal experts.

    Not sure how the above can be legal.

     

  • Ellen Dibble

    Do unto others as you would have done unto you.  If an American presidency takes unto itself this kind of authority, that’s one thing.  But the same could be done unto us.
       There are regimes around the world that seem more trigger-happy than, say, Obama’s, maybe not this year, but maybe in a decade or so, here and there — regimes with different values, values I might not even be aware of.  (And this calculation doesn’t include collateral damage — my neighbors with their radical views.)
        In this shrinking world, I think I am not unlike multitudes of others globally who try to understand and clearly state, pose, argue, share, as many “sides” as possible, which, to me, for me (and for any of us), could plausibly result in me being targeted by several countries at once, for opposing reasons, actually, if I live long enough.  I’d say it’s been worth it.   (But what about my friends and family…)      But I’m not hunkering down vis-a-vis being a potential agent of change just because this “democratic” and flip-flopping, open-minded posture of mine is seen as a little too effective to be safe, either on the right or on the left, by this regime or that, regimes with drones that can hover invisibly anywhere, maybe with a DNA sniffing dog on board with one of my socks — and so on, not too far in the future.  But my gut tells me I’d better start, in a peremptory way, to scale back on my opinions about women’s power over their own fertilized eggs for starters; it’s a trigger issue already, even here.

    • JustSayin

       That word you’re trying so hard to avoid using is Fascism.

      • Modavations

        Ellen loves Big Government,but doesn’t realize you also get Big Brother

        • GradyLeeHoward

          Tom hates the F-word.

          • Modavations

            Are you privy Hundie Watts.Did the tear stains ever c ome off your Birkensocks?

      • Ellen Dibble

        I looked up  Fascism.  I’m not in cahoots with Tom Ashbrook, but I don’t think the word is all that clear.  I know it means bundle of sticks, and was carried around in Roman times by the officials following the emperor, with an ax sticking out of it, the ax symbolizing power of life or death.  The whole bunch symbolized strength through unity, which could be a rallying cry for most any country.  In the USA I find, though the swastika is in disrepute, the fasces are displayed on either side of the flag at the House of Representatives, in the seal of the National Guard, in the Great Seal of the USA, etc., etc; we have Roman roots.  You see the eagle grabbing that bundle of sticks?  Fasces.  
             To me, the word is a little too close to a word for excrement to appeal to my sense of poetry.  
            If I want to refer to unity and commitment, I refer to the Republican party.  ;>)  Just kidding.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      I agree Ellen. We have an incredible double standard on this stuff. We call 9/11 suicide hijackers “cowards” yet sit in bunkers in the US and use drones to kill the bad guys in other countries.

      If Iran puts an American on trial for spying they’re evil yet we use rendition to secretly torture people we suspect of doing same.

      • Isaac, in Groton CT

        Are you sure that’s what rendition is used for? Pretty sure people accused of the crime of espionage in this country get charged and tried.

        • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

          Whatever rendition is used for, it’s pure evil. We consider Iran evil for putting Americans on trial for spying, we don’t consider ourselves evil for using rendition (for anything).

          • William

            I agree. I wish Clinton never started that rendition program.

  • BAS Jamaica Plain MA

    What goes around will INEVITABLY come around.

  • SteveV

    Are we not overreacting. Our President has assured us “Drones have not caused a
    huge number of civilian casualties”. Until we start causing a “huge” number of
    deaths and injuries let’s give our government the benefit of the doubt. As a
    bonus, we can apply this logic in reverse. The Taliban can claim “Our IEDs have
    not caused a huge number of foreign casualties”. Or issues closer to home (the
    death penalty), “Our inept criminal justice system has not caused a huge number
    of innocent casualties”. There’s no limit to the application of such logic.

  • Anonymous

    This is one of the many things about the Obummer administration that makes me nauseously angry. Listen for the deep silence or lame rationalizations from the Obamabots.

    • Modavations

      Silly boy,you’re nauseously angry from the moment you open your eyes till you go to bed

      • Anonymous

        ^ Takes the “useful” out of “useful idiot.”

  • Isaac, in Groton CT

    I can always tell that folks don’t know what they’re talking about when they act like al-Awlaki’s citizenship matters, here. It plainly doesn’t.

    The question we ought to be asking is, “Did Al-Awlaki receive adequate process, under the Fifth Amendment?” That’s the only place where the constitutionality of President Obama’s order on this matter can be questioned.

    On September 18, 2001, Congress provided that the President had the authority to use military action against the persons, nations, or organizations “he determines” to have been responsible for the attacks seven days prior. In April of 2010, President Obama, having apparently made that determination, put him on a list to be killed. The list was sufficiently public for al-Awlaki’s father, the CCR, and the ACLU to all make appeals to have him removed. Was this law, duly passed by Congress and signed by the President, and this determination, made pursuant to that law, sufficient process to satisfy the Fifth Amendment, which reads, in pertinent part:

    “[N]or [shall any person] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

    The “any person” language isn’t invented by me; it’s taken from the Amendment itself, and it’s quite noteworthy. On the matter of “due process,” the Constitution makes no distinction between American citizens and any other person the United States Government might act against. So, the real question that today’s discussion should revolve around is this: “Did ANYONE, killed pursuant to the September 18th, 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, receive due process?”

    It’s possible that this violated the Constitution, but that leads to a troubling conclusion. If al-Awlaki didn’t receive due process, then, clearly, no one did. Is that a position your guests are willing to take?

    • Robert Riversong

      You say: “The question we ought to be asking is, “Did Al-Awlaki receive adequate process, under the Fifth Amendment?” That’s the only place where the constitutionality of President Obama’s order on this matter can be questioned.”

      Wrong – it can also be questioned on the basis of facts, not just procedure.

      You note: “On September 18, 2001, Congress provided that the President had the authority to use military action against the persons, nations, or organizations “he determines” to have been responsible for the attacks seven days prior.”

      Facts: U.S. officials allege that Al-Awlaki spoke with and preached to a number of al-Qaeda members and
      affiliates, including three of the 9/11 hijackers.Guilt by association? Speaking and preaching are capital offenses?

      The FBI never found any substantive evidence of Osama bin Laden’s responsibility for the 9/11 attacks – it was not listed on the Most Wanted poster. And yet Obama executed bin Laden allegedly under this Congressional authority.

      There are two recognized types of due process: procedural and substantive. Procedural due process includes the right to sufficient notice, the right to an impartial arbiter, the right to give testimony and admit relevant evidence at hearings, etc. Neither al-Alwaki nor bin Laden received any such due process. Substantive due process considers the validity of the law itself, regardless of procedural proprieties.

      If the Congressional authorization of a temporally and geographically unlimited war on anyone anywhere even remotely (or alleged to be) connected to the 9/11 attacks is, itself, unconstitutional – then every act undertaken under that authority – regardless of procedural perfection – is an unconstitutional violation of due process. 

      Due process is commonly interpreted as limiting laws and legal proceedings, so that judges – instead of legislators or executives – may define and guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty.

      • Isaac, in Groton CT

        I’m sorry, but your understanding of Due Process law is lacking. While it’s true that procedural due process can include all of those things, it isn’t nearly necessary for it to.

        And if you think the AUMF was an unconstitutional exercise of Congressional power, I’m all ears. Because unless you’re calling the AUMF an unconstitutional law, you’re just wrong on the procedural due process requirements, especially for enemy combatants in wartime.

  • Hidan

    GCHQ civilian staff face war crimes charge over drone strikes in Pakistan

    Human rights lawyers claim in High Court that civilians are ‘parties to murders’http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/11/gchq-staff-war-crimes-drones

    • Modavations

      Some prosecutor in Spain was trying to arrest Pinochet .I think he also tried to arrest Pres.Bush..He is now in jail for assorted and varied corruption.Just leftist Kangaroo Court stuff

      • Ray in VT

        Do you have a problem with attempting to make right-wing dictators pay for their crimes, or do you just want to criticize liberals no matter what they do?

        Also, I’m referring to Pinochet as a right-wing dictator, not former President Bush.

        • GradyLeeHoward

          Bush II openly aspired to become a dictator. He was often wrong wing.

        • Modavations

          Your comments on Fidel Castro,or Hugo Chavez are what.If you have a political vendetta,everyone is potentially a target.Don;’t you think it should have been up to Chile to prosecute.And furthermore,Allende commited suicide

          • Ray in VT

            See my comments opposing government sponsored assassination.

            Chile should have, and Spain should have prosecuted Franco.  Allende may have killed himself, but that doesn’t excuse the people that Pinochet’s regime disappeared.

            But again, do you have a problem with a guy going after dictators?

          • Modavations

            Allende disappeared more people then Pinochet(what do you feel about Che),but Raymundo that’s not the point.Chile,not Spain should have prosecuted.They had no case.The prosecutor in Spain is in jail.Hundie says suspended.That’s just immature semantics

      • GradyLeeHoward

        He’s not in jail, but suspended.
        His being persecuted was analogous to 50s McCarthyism here.

        • Modavations

          His frivolous prosecution was bald faced McCarthyism

  • GradyLeeHoward

    It was a national tragedy when AG Holder instructed us that “targeted assassination” of American citizens fulfills the requirement for DUE PROCESS as written in the Bill of Rights.
    This act alone is grounds for impeachment and prosecution for treason. How can anyone uphold such a redacted document?
    Next he’ll refer us to the corporate employees handbook.

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      What process should be required for “person[s]” targetted for assassination, pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, dated September 18, 2001?

      • GradyLeeHoward

        You know…. that’s for an informed public to determine, not some self-important rogue know-it-all working for corporate welfare.

        • Isaac, in Groton CT

          I don’t understand what you’re on about. You suggest that the process afforded al-Awlaki, through the creation of this law that effectively declares war on al-Qaeda, and through the President’s public determination that al-Awlaki was a member of al-Qaeda, is inadequate.

          Why do you believe it to be inadequate? What do you believe would have been adequate?

          • GradyLeeHoward

            If you think I’m intelligent enough to answer that you better nominate me for Senator.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            Your jib cut: I like it.

  • A Patriotic American

    I love seeing military films from airplanes where the terrorists are scrambling around a terrorist compound and then two seconds or so later, we blow it to smithereens! 

    • A Patriotic American

      Since the ACLU is so concerned about defending terrorists, perhaps members of the ACLU should visit the terrorists in their compounds in Afghanistan.  If visiting members of the ACLU could let the military know the precise date of their visit, that would be helpful!

      • Ray in VT

        If the terrorist in question is determined in advance to be an American citizen, then is that person not subject still subject to the protections and obligations that go along with citizenship?  What about if they are in the U.S. versus abroad?  The government should not be in the position to suspend our constitutional protections to due process when it suits them.

        • GradyLeeHoward

          And “they” could be double agents employed by our covert intelligence unbeknownst to Obama. That’s pretty routine. We have degenerated to Mad Magazine’s “Spy vs Spy.” “I’m gonna get a bigger, bigger drone with nuclear death rays,” threatens one player.

          • Modavations

            Reality son,not degeneration.The helicoptor we left at Osamas compound may well have been a Trojan Horse

          • GradyLeeHoward

            Well at least it has contraceptive value, and horse-sized will fit all.

          • Modavations

            Your humor is too juvenile for me,use it on the College Kids

      • GradyLeeHoward

        Be sure to alert social services if you are going to be around children. They may soon deploy drones to save housecalls too.

        • Modavations

          Hundie Watts with his usual tripe.40 years ago in Long Beach ,a helicopter put me under a spotlight and told me not to move until a police cruiser arrived.40 years ago.I hope you know we are probably monitored right here,right now

          • GradyLeeHoward

            concur, but not Watts.
            Look me up.

          • Modavations

            Bull

      • Modavations

        ACLU is a front for the Communists.They shared an office in the Bronx with an antiwar group.Look it up,my memory is hazy

        • Ray in VT

          Damn those communists!  Always fighting the government for civil rights.  Is there no end to what they will do to undermine our country?

          • Modavations

            Claws in please.You will find the ACLU siding with the Right only under extreme duress.Any one can google and see the history of the ACLU.If was founded by Communists

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve done plenty of work covering the time period when the ACLU was formed, and it was formed in direct response to the civil rights violations of the WWI and post-WWI Red Scare era.  There are plenty of examples of when they have sided with conservatives or people who have no political agenda.

          • Modavations

            name them and then tell me about the founder of the ACLU

        • Robert Riversong

          It’s more than your memory which is hazy.

          The ACLU is a right-wing libertarian organization which supports the equation of money with speech, the “right” of corporations to lie, and the Citizens United abomination which sold democracy to the highest bidder.

    • GradyLeeHoward

      So you believe “Act of Valor” is a real story and not a Transformers cartoon.

      I’ll bet you enjoy stomping ant hills and setting cats on fire too.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    The nihilist mind fixated on video gaming makes a perfect bio-drone for our Oligarchy.

  • William

    During the JFK administration he gave approval of the coup to take out President Diem and later RFK approved “targeted killing” of Castro. So “targeted killings” are not uncommon.

    • Ray in VT

      But of American citizens?  Castro was, and still is, a foreign leader.  I don’t think that we should be in the assassination business be it either of foreign leaders or of American citizens, if you want to call the targeting of Americans acting with terrorist organizations overseas assassinations.

      • GradyLeeHoward

        MLK was a “targeted killing.”

        • Modavations

          Someone beat em to it,that’s all

      • William

        It is a dangerous route to take as a President to authorize killing a foreign leader like JFK and RFK did during their reign.

      • Modavations

        Kennedy had MLK surveilled

        • Ray in VT

          The discussion is over targeted killings, not domestic surveillance.

          • Modavations

            First you surveil,then you assassinate

          • Ray in VT

            So are you arguing that police surveillance of MLK lead to his assassination?

          • Modavations

            correct

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Your history is almost accurate. Actually every US President were involved in assassinating world leaders or famous political leaders. Like Che Guevera killed by CIA hit squads, Hugo Chavez a leader popular to the majority of poor in Velenzuela and hated by the Velenzuelan elite.

      • William

        I would call Che a terrorist and not a world leader or political leader. It was justified for the Army of Boliva to kill him.

    • Modavations

      The military is half the size of JFJK’s.It’s a Machiavellian World.Everything is permissible and has been so since Cain and Abel

      • William

        Bad decisions usually mean bad results.

      • GradyLeeHoward

        So our child soldiers are three feet tall?
        Watch out for Gary Coleman!
        Prince Machebelli made terrific fragrances and cosmetics. 

        PS- Our military is automated.
        Automation displaces laborers.
        We also use mercenaries and contractors now.

        • Modavations

          The American Revolution was fought by merceneries up the yin yang.You’re niavete is breathtaking

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    The difference between terrorist attack and the US soldier rampage in Afghanistan is that Terrorist blows themselves up in public they don’t go inside houses shooting people. That is the difference.

    • GradyLeeHoward

      Laughable!

      • Modavations

        Comment in your racist black patois s’il vous plait.The soldier had a nervous breakdown

        • GradyLeeHoward

          Another argument for gun rights.
          Can’t have a good nervous breakdown without them.
          About the house terrorist and the field terrorist: It was absurdly funny.
          Made all terrorists resemble Steppin’ Fetchit. We really relish dark humor at On Point.

          • Modavations

            Seriously,someone please translate for me

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        @GradyLeeHoward. -I didn’t know killing people are humorous.

        Tell me what terrorist attack in history that went inside in every houses killing people.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    The war is on between Iran and Israel. Palestinians are now starting to attack Israel settlements.

    • GradyLeeHoward

      Are you Zionist?
      When will your illegal settlement house be ready?
      Thank us American taxpayers for your new home.
      State terrorist welfare, that’s our policy.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        I am Roman Catholic. if you don’t know my
        iOnePoint report please keep quiet.
         
        are you anti-jew?

        • GradyLeeHoward

          No, I’m part Jewish.
          Are you against free speech?

          • Modavations

            Free speech no,it’s hate speech we have a problem with.

          • GradyLeeHoward

            You seem really good at it.

        • Modavations

          He’s not just anti-semetic he’s a racist.He posts under Hundie Watts.Check him out during the story about banning the lt.bulb.He uses the patois of an uneducated,street black.I was offended and will not forget

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Especially in terms of foreign policy and “security”, the Obama presidency has just been business as usual and a continuation of the Bush regime policies- as it will be next year, regardless of whether Obama is elected or one of the other candidates.

    • GradyLeeHoward

      But that’s not what Barack promised.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

         Anyone who believes in anyone’s campaign promises is a bit naive.

        • GradyLeeHoward

          And you’re really stupid if you paypal a tenner! After voting you become self-loathing. I’d as soon believe in the Easter Bunny as Campaign Finance Reform. 
          oldman said it,”Every story is about the less than 1%.” OK, go ahead and drone me.

      • Anonymous

        Is anyone still surprised by that?

  • Chris

    Reagan. Bush. Clinton. Bush. Obama. 

    2 parties, 1 master, the criminal elite.

    • Modavations

      Scapegoating by college kids.The break between bullion and Greenbacks was the end

      • Chris

        The end of the rule of law for the elites was the end.

        • Modavations

          When and where has this happened.?

  • JustSayin

    “someone the President has accused and then decreed in secret to be a Terrorist without ever proving it with evidence. ”

    That says it all right there. With revocation of Habeas corpus, they just hand Herr Fuhrer a list of people that need to disappear, and then eventually, the names are replaced with general labels, like enemy of the state, the troublemakers, the lefties, the passionate supporters, the genetically inferior.

    “People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.” – George Orwell, 1984

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      Repeal the AUMF, and this will go away.

      • JustSayin

         I don’t think so… once freedom is given away, its very hard to get it back.

        • Isaac, in Groton CT

          If AUMF is repealed and no other laws are passed giving the President the vague authority to “determine” who’s a member of an organization that committed or aided the organization that committed the 9/11 attacks, then there’s no need to get anything back. The President’s discretion under the AUMF is broad, but the scope of the AUMF is narrow.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    We’re talking about people who have taken the field against America, no?  Does that not qualify them as enemies?  If they’re willing to come home to face trial, they will receive the full list of rights and due process, but so long as they are in the fight, they’re legitimate targets.

    • Ray in VT

      I wonder how individuals who acted in similar ways were dealt with during World War II.  If captured on the battlefield, were they tried for treason?

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        If we can capture enemies, that would make sense.  But capturing them isn’t always possible.  So that leaves us having to decide whether to leave them alone or kill them.  Allowing enemies to continue fighting is the worse of those two.

        • Ray in VT

          How much effort/risk should we put into capturing known individuals?  I think that killing someone on the battlefield, in the heat of battle, is one thing, but if we know where who and where the person is, then what standard should be use to weigh the capture versus kill options and who makes that choice?

          I agree that leaving such individuals to continue to act is the worse option, so the question is how to best remove them.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Yemen isn’t exactly an easy place to serve an arrest warrant.

          • Ray in VT

             That’s for sure.  Do we make the effort, though?

            What are the rules, who makes them, and who watches the watchers?

      • Isaac, in Groton CT

        If captured, I believe so. But up until the point that they were captured (and thus protected by either the Constitution or whatever treaties equivalent to Geneva Conventions we were operating under at the time) the fact that Congress was very publicly at war with the entity to which they had allied themselves should have been process enough to allow our planes to drop bombs on them.

        Similarly, that Congress gave the President the power to wage war against al-Qaeda, and that his name was on a list public enough for his father to ask that he be taken off the list shows that there was at least SOME process.

        Whether it’s sufficient is another question, but I believe the necessities of war require that it be sufficient.

    • GradyLeeHoward

      They so-o-o bad!
      That’s why the CIA funds them.
      To keep you ascared.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         The CIA does not fund al-Qaeda.

        • GradyLeeHoward

          Now here’s naivete’.

  • Anonymous

    Right now, the US military could burst into your studio, kidnap you all, take you to a secret location, torture you all, murder you all, pretend that none of it happened, and it would be completely legal.

    Is that the America the Constitution seeks to protect?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       WBUR is in Boston, no?  That’s within the borders of the United States, not in a foreign country where acts of war are being committed.

      • Isaac, in Groton CT

        Technically, the AUMF sets no geographic boundaries. If the President determines that al-Qaeda is operating in Boston, Congress has given him authority to use military force there.

      • GradyLeeHoward

        Now here’s naivete’.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Care to provide evidence of targeted killing within the United States?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H5FOBERS3GDRZAZ4L6UXO4XSWQ DanW

         Very close.  Jurisdiction is the key, not borders.  We have jurisdiction over our military personnel, and we lack full jurisdiction over foreign ambassadors even when they’re on our soil.

    • Fredlinskip

       IS not military “justice” all about covering up & glossing over and fail to report all “incidents” as much as possible?
      I remember when Rumsfeld testifyied shortly after Abu Ghraib something to effect that, “if it wasn’t for those gosh dern digital cameras, this never would have happened”. I believe a great # of soldiers were no longer allowed to possess cameras after that.

  • Anonymous

    President Obama is continuing the wrong headed response to terror begun by President Bush. The attacks of 9/11 were meant to cause just the kind of domestic upheaval that our government has imposed on us. Our economy is a mess, our soldiers are within gunshot, our reputation around the world has been tarnished, and our rights as citizens have been curtailed and we have become less free. There is no going back. The terrorists have won.

    • goldbug

      As long as I can still get my ipad3 I’m o.k….

      • GradyLeeHoward

        Holder: Just for that; I’m gonna let you have it.

    • Fredlinskip

       W admin could not have reacted more poorly to 9/11 if as our Counter Terrorism Czar at the time has suggested, “Bin Laden had been whispering in his (W’s) ear.

  • Modavations

    The Party of Big Government now worries about Big Brother.World War 111′s been going on for a few years,it’s yet to get hot.Watch Syria-China-Russia against Nato Bloc.Wait till the European banks collapse.It’s going to be 70 degrees in Boston.Today is Mach 12..The Mayans may well be right

    • GradyLeeHoward

      Prophet.

      • Modavations

        I take no orders,I’m God

  • Anonymous

    Killing US Citizens without *judicial* process is quite a slippery slope.  It’s only a tiny step away to killing whistle blowers like Julian Assange.

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      Julian Assange wasn’t an American citizen. You’re saying killing him would be worse than killing al-Awlaki?

      • Anonymous

        I’m sorry I didn’t make myself clear. Without restraint, it’s quite tempting for the Executive branch to kill US whistle blowers because the information that they spill could be deemed a security threat, even if the information reveals government scandal.

        I use to agree with Obama and his action, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized this is too slippery a slope to take.

    • GradyLeeHoward

      Don’t give them ideas.

  • Witterquick

    I think it is ludicrous to think that the Republican’s wouldn’t do the same thing

    • GradyLeeHoward

      Would their God do it?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    It’s all about the 1%. And it’s always been all about the 1%.

  • Andrew from Cambridge, MA

    What happens if/when the administration’s rationale for assassination of American citizens falls apart in the courts? Impeachment? Criminal prosecutions? Who will be prosecuted?

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      There’s no distinction to be made between citizens and non-citizens.

    • GradyLeeHoward

      We will be enjoined from “looking back.”

  • Eric M. Jones

    “Chomping at the bit” Cummon’ Tom; It’s CHAMPING at he bit.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       And Romero needs to know that the “g” in gestalt is a hard g.

  • William

    So using the Obama doctrine of targeted assassinations against US citizens living anywhere, could a foreign country use the same logic and justify their assassination of their citizens living in the USA that they feel are a threat to them?

    • Dennis_in_Omaha

       Hi William,

      If a foreigner came to America after making videos confessing to targeting civilians – a war crime – we would target that foreigner ourselves because we are a strong country.

      But we had an American citizen who professed targeting civilians, in a country that could not defend itself against him.

      If we allowed him to continue, that would be an endorsement of war crimes by our civilians.

      • William

        If a citizen of Saudia Arabia was living here making remarks about the King of Saudia Arabia that he found threating would it be ok for the government of SA to kill him if they consider the USA legal system inept? This is what the guest said is one of the justifications to kill a US citizen in another country. It seems easy to find our legal system inept so a foreign power such as SA could come here and take out a SA citizen they considered a threat.

  • Chris

    I remember an afternoon during the Bush administration when I nearly drove off the road as I was listening to Anthony Romero describe what was in the Military Commissions Act.

    Fascist America is gaining more ground with every passing year.

  • notafeminista

    Cognitive dissonance is a colossal pain in the backside.

  • Mila Strain1004

    I used to think I had all the protections of the constitution that all people born in the US have–citizen by birthright, but since Obama signed the National Defence Authorization Act and the bill prohibiting peaceful protest at government buildings, I can no longer call myself a citizen. As a member of Occupy Des Moines (affiliation of Occupy Wall Street), and a practicing Muslim, do I now have fewer rights then an illegal alien? I thought the Patriot Act Bush signed in 2002 killed my rights…but now I have come to believe I no longer have the legal rights natural born citizens have…and those identification documents issued by the state and federal government are worth less then the paper they’re printed on!

    –former citizen
    Kaylynn Strain

    • Dennis_in_Omaha

       Hey that particular law deserves criticism.  And, you are still free to criticize it.

      you are understandably angry at the moment.  making comments like that doesn’t help fix the law, or help your own situation

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H5FOBERS3GDRZAZ4L6UXO4XSWQ DanW

    NO PERSON shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

    Arresting someone is depriving someone of liberty, but it can be done
    with probable cause at the time and judicial review later.  It follows
    that due process (which must be met before any person can be deprived of
    liberty) is not identical with judicial process (which verifies after
    the fact that police conduct was acceptable).

    An enemy soldier, in a declared war, on the battlefield in the most
    narrowly-circumscribed sense of the word, is still a person.  No
    reasonable person would argue that judicial process is applicable to
    that situation.  But the enemy soldier is a person, and therefore shall
    not be deprived of life without due process.  It’s just that the
    declaration of war and lawful military orders are all the process that’s
    due.

    Due process is not identical with judicial process.

    There are huge civil-liberties issues associated with secrecy and with
    endless war on a global “battlefield”.  There are tough questions. 
    There are claims this administration has made, that will be seen by
    history as unacceptable.  But the bare statement “due process is not
    identical with judicial process” is not one of them.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       That amendment doesn’t apply to enemies on the battlefield.  We deprive enemies of life and liberty all the time in a war.  That falls under the rules of war, not criminal prosecution.

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      Dan, that’s a distinction that really needs to be kept in mind, and I wanted to mark it with more than just a “Like” click. Bravo.

    • Dennis_in_Omaha

       Non-combat civilians of other countries also deserve protection.  Al-awlaki promised publicly continue targeting non-combat civilians.  That is a war crime.

      The civil liberties of his future victims (foreign and domestic) compel us to stop him if we can.  If we don’t then that would be an endorsement of war crimes committed by our own citizens.

      When al-awlaki publicly confessed to war crimes and professed more, he satisfied the due process even if there was not a judicial process.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    Extreme weather phenomenon in Hawaii and Massachusetts.
    As the milkyway galactic alignment is proceeding more extreme weather will develop all over the world before 12.21.12

    The most dangerous is when monsoon season or spring season approaches. More rain will reign around the world.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      The snow in Europe will be melting soon and floods are inevitable.

  • Andrew from Cambridge, MA

    Doesn’t it come down to the fact that our government is supposed to work for the American people, and we as the people are appalled by these assassinations? What gives the president the right to interpret the constitution differently from the way the American people do?

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    This is murder plain and simple.  It also plays in to the Taliban and other extremists hands.  Everyone of them we murder or “Targeted Kill” creates hundreds if not thousands of fanatics worldwide.  If we capture, try and convict or acquit we don’t create hundreds or thousands of new fanatics. Not a tough decision if you think of it rationally instead of fearfully. 

    Senator Joe Biden said it best when he said “We don’t torture, so that they can’t be justified in torturing our soldiers or citizens later.  Yeah, it is a tough and seemingly unfair path to have to tread, but that is sometimes the case if we expect to win hearts and minds instead of just crushing a snake here or their. 

    • notafeminista

      Meaning others can’t be held accountable for their behavior.  Is this EVER not going to be the fault of the US?

      • Modavations

        To a Leftist the answer is emphatically no.After all, to a Leftist 9/11 was our fault

    • Dennis_in_Omaha

       Hi charles,

      This is not murder.  Al-awlaki is a confessed – I mean PROFESSED killer of civilians in his terrorist war.  Killing non-combating civilians is a war crime. He promised to do more.

      Congress approved targeting al-qaida and al-awlaki returned the favor.

      If we did not target al-awlaki, then future non-combat civilians would be victims of an American criminal.  Failing to stop him if we can, is an endorsement of his war crimes.

  • JustSayin

    The caller would be upset if he were assassinated, is himself an  Oxymoron. Yeah, keep trading your childish sense of security for everyone’s freedom… You deserve neither.

    • Ray in VT

      I had a somewhat similar reaction.  He wouldn’t be anything but dead.

  • Frank in Andover VT

    Fully cogizant of the risk of using any comparison between the United States policy now and that of the National Socialist regime of Germany, 1939 – 1945, I’d like to hear Jack Goldsmith provide distance between the “legal” US policies and those of Germany in view of the fact that Germany also had complete “legal” authority to commit nearly every act, including the Holocaust (and I am the son of a survivor).  Where do you see the difference, except as Anthony Romero says, “Trust US!”

  • Karoline

    But by saying the targeted killing is justified in a time of war isn’t the gov’t. also saying that the rights of American citizens are not portable rights? If that is the case than any American in trouble abroad is not entitled to help if they go to an American embassy.   If our rights are not portable then all citizens need to be informed of that whether they are terrorists or non-terrorists. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    I guess the government would have a lot more trouble if they let Awlaki’s exploits go forward (blowing up printers on board airplanes, underwear bringdown of in-flight flights, etc, etc, etc).
        Then we’d be asking them:  What did you know and when did you know it?
        They’d say, we knew but we couldn’t act on it because the ringleader had gone overseas.  So why didn’t Yemen do the drone attack on our behalf?  Aren’t they allies?  Oh, they don’t have drones?  Hmm.
        They’d say if the methods and means of our knowledge had to be aired through the judicial system (taking months and years per incident), we would have no means left.  Secrets would be out.

  • D-gann

    Wow, President Obama and the Democrats condemned the Bush administration for “enhanced interrogation techniques” yet assassinates US citizens on foreign soil with no transparency at all, and clearly no “due proccess”.
     
    What’s to stop the President from ordering the assassination of any US citizen anywhere in the world?

    Remember, the State Department under President Bush made a very good case for enhanced interrogation not being torture.

    Where is the outcry? Where is the press reporting continuously about it, bringing a line of “experts” to tell us how terrible and inhumane this practice is?
    Especially from the left who wanted to charge some in the Bush administration, including the Vice President, with “War Crimes”.Clearly the outcry from the left at the time of the torture accusations was purely political opportunism!
    Clearly the outcry from the left at the time of the torture accusations was purely political opportunism!

    This is clearly the Obama administration making it up as they go.
    How is this attitude any different from Nixon who claimed that just because the President did something, that made it legal?

    • Charles A. Bowsher

      I only wanted to see Cheney charged with treason for outing Valerie Plame as a CIA agent/operative.  By doing so Cheney put all her contacts and their contacts at risk to our enemies.  He is to much of a coward to stand up and face the truth though.

      • Modavations

        Armitage outed her.He wasn’t prosecuted because it was unintentional.You have a chip on your shoulder.Valerie Plame was a total fraud

    • Modavations

      Democrat war good,Republican War Bad.Speaking about making it up,Pres.Obama came up with the concept of Jobs Saved!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    The truth is that we have no evidence — tested in any court — that Al Alaki committed ANY of the alleged acts of terrorisom that Obama used to justify his assassination.

    That makes everything that Mr. Goldsmith is saying in that respect nothing more than speculation.

    Do we really want to sentence people to death based on speculation?

    • Dennis_in_Omaha

       But we have evidence that an American was PROFESSING war with his al-qaida friends.  He was in an al-qaida convoy when he was killed.

      If we had not targeted him, and if he continued to kill people, then victims (foreign and domestic) of his crimes could consider it a passive-agressive endorsement.

      • Anonymous

        Unless the “we” you are talking about is a Jury in a federal court, then the issue of “evidence” is moot.

        Without being heard by an impartial jury of his peers, even in absentia, any evidence against him can amount to nothing more than speculation and accusation.

        It should be noted here that “confessions” are likely one of the least reliable pieces of “evidence” that a court will ever hear, particularly when taking the blame/credit for a crime represents a mark of honor for the “confessor.”

    • Modavations

      Should we have greased Hitler,how ’bout Mengele,Idi Amin,Pol Pot????

      • Ray in VT

        If we were at war with them and they could not , within reasonable circumstance, have been taken alive.

  • Brooks

    there is an easy compromise to this situation. an executive version of the fisa court model should be formed from federal judges (perhaps selected by the supreme court?) to provide a final review to the executive branches decision in these matters. the crucial point is having some semblance of judicial oversight in order to have real due process.

  • Modavations

    Mass. and it’s insufferable Dem.hypocrites is # 4 in military spending.It’s 48th in doing real business.

  • Dh001g

    Far more people have been murdered by states than by by terrorists or criminals. I don’t worry about this administration, but how future administrations without scruples may use the precedents from the war on terror to amass power. It is a slippery slope. Emergency decrees have always been the tools used to destroy democracy.

  • JonW

    I’d prefer to send a drone rather than the Army or Special Forces to get the bad guys.  But shouldn’t they be tried in absentia.  It may be just show trial but it would document the case.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The whole point of avoiding due process is to allow imprisonment and execution without the inconvenience of justification. And the biggest problem with that is the imprisoners and executioners no longer have to provide their motives, which may have nothing to do with justice.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

       Or national security.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    if you watch Al Jazeera news majority of bombs that were dropped in Iraq and Afghanistan the CASUALTIES ARE CIVILIANS NOT TERRORIST.
     
    If one of the family member survive what do you think he/she will do to get even with the Americans?
     
    Of course he/she will join a Terrorist or strap him/herself with a bomb.

    • Modavations

      Most casualties were Iraqi on Iraqi

  • Psaka4

    The problems I see here are two.

    1. There is no legal definition of “terrorist”. The president can brand, or has the power to do so, anyone whom he/she sees as a terrorist. What is stopping this from happening?

    2. Where does this end? Would Americans in foreign land acting as human shields or spouses non-Americans in these warring nations become terrorists? Or reporters who bring to light illegal activities that are done by US armies become dangerous to this country?

    End of the day, Obama is just another dirty politician. I am sad to have worked for him in 2008.

    - Prash.

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      The President can’t kill anyone he deems to be a terrorist. While Congress’s AUMF is incredibly broad in some aspects, in others, it is very narrow: the President may only go after the parties that committed the acts on 9/11, or the parties that aided the parties that committed the acts on 9/11.

      • Psaka4

        As far as I know, this guy wasn’t involved in 9/11. He was the one involved with the underwear bomber guy. But, I could be wrong.

        - Prash.

        • Isaac, in Groton CT

          Prash, you’re not wrong. He wasn’t involved in 9/11. He was killed because of his association with al-Qaeda, which was responsible for 9/11. It’s that association that gets al-Awlaki into the President’s reach through the AUMF.

    • Dennis_in_Omaha

       Mr Psaka,

      1.  He is on record as publicly claiming responsibility for terrorism and threatening to do more.

      2.  If we did not restrain or target a fellow citizen who does that behavior, victims of his crimes could consider that an endorsement.

      You ask where it ends?  When Americans citizens are no longer PROFESSING war crimes, that is a good ending point.  He claimed responsibility for war crimes, targeting civilians.  He promised to do more.  If we did nothing, we would be endorsing that.

      • Prash

        Dennis, I can certainly understand your thinking behind your response. But, I just don’t understand where this ends.

        There are so many Americans, those who are vehemently opposed to Federal government and who terms themselves as militia. They have a ton of guns, go through military style training, etc. Are they termed as terrorists? Should they be killed without any due process? Well, if you say, they are not in foreign land and hence, they can’t be. What if they travel abroad? Can they become valid targets? And, by the way, these federal government deniers are not-Muslim-white people (mostly, as far I know). What about them?Professing war crimes? So, does that mean? An end to free speech? And when does this become something else and what constitutes professing war crimes? If I support Afghan civilians who demand that soldier who went on a rampage today to be killed, would I be professing war crimes? What about those who urinated on dead Afghans? What about asking to impeach a president? Where does this end?

        It is not about endorsing someone or the other; it is about a citizen, no matter how vicious he/she is, getting a day in court. This guy, Al-Awaki, wasn’t tried in any court, even in absentia. Almost everyone is still angry about what happened in 9/11. And I think these politicians, president and Congress, are taking advantage of the anger and doing what they seem right just by quoting national security.

        - Prash.

  • John-Norwich VT

    abbottabad pakistan is considered “un-governed” 

    • John-Norwich VT

      This is a question by the way

      • GradyLeeHoward

        Ungoverned by our Oligarchy.

    • Ray in VT

      Ungoverned, no, but a different discussion when discussing non-citizens?  The standard mentioned would perhaps apply under the conditions of a government either unwilling or unable to act.

      • Isaac, in Groton CT

        The Fifth Amendment makes no distinction between citizens and non-citizens.

        • notafeminista

          But the 14th Amendment does.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            The Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause (1) does not make a distinction between citizens and non-citizens, and (2) is applicable to the States, not the Federal Government.

          • notafeminista

            It does make a distinction and deliberately so as it was written in response to Dred Scott.  With the “re-unification” of the Union post Civil War, it absolutely applies to the Federal Government.

          • Isaac, in Groton CT

            The Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause does not make a distinction between citizens and non-citizens. The Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause is not enforceable against the Federal Government.

            It reads: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”

  • Ellen Dibble

    How much more would we go after a NON-US citizen overseas who was posing a threat to American citizens.  
    This is why I think in terms of ANY country going after ANY citizen who is seen as undermining their interests.

    • Dennis_in_Omaha

       Hi Ellen,

      Usually I agree with many of your sentiments.

      But on this, he is an American citizen who publicly claimed responsibility for war-crimes – targeting civilians in a war.  Then he promised to do more of that.

      If we did not target our fellow citizen, we would be endorsing war crimes committed by private citizens.

  • Anonymous

    This is NOT an authorized war.

    Congress gave its “permission” based on the lie that Hussein had WMD.

    Permission can not be granted based on a lie.

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      You’re talking about Iraq, an engagement that began in March of 2003 (two weeks after my eighteenth birthday, no less). The President acted pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, which Congress passed and the President signed into law seven days after the attacks on 9/11. It allowed the President to determine which organizations, persons, or nations attacked us and to use military force against them.

  • Modavations

    We can put a missile through an apartment bldg. window on the third floor and do so regularly.War started when Eve told Adam I want a diamond.Ask Dr.Freud

    • GradyLeeHoward

      I thought she wanted an orgasm…. but you can’t provide that.

      • notafeminista

        Sure…because that’s really all women need right?

      • Modavations

        Hundie,Hundie it’s too early for Temper Tantrums.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Texas, no, but northern Mexico?  Yes.  There is no functioning government in northern Mexico.

    • Ray in VT

      It sounded like the AG’s statement answered part of our exchange below.

    • GradyLeeHoward

      What about northern central Mexico? Or what about Cabo San Lucas? We just keep escalating.

  • Dennis_in_Omaha

    Al-awlaki was publicly professing continuing war.

    So if we did not target Al-awlaki, and if he continued to kill people on behalf of Al-qaida, could that be considered by some victims of Al-qaida as a passive agressive endorsement of terrorism?

  • Tracey Tanner

    I just muted you all…stop talking over each other. 

  • Doyle Sanders

    Was there a warrant for the arrest of the citizen who was killed?  If so and is he wanted to take advantage of US constitutional due process, I would think that he could have turned himself in.  In stead, he chose to live in the “wild west” of 2011 and take his chances with lawlessness.  He fought the law and the law won.

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      No warrant was issued, as far as I can tell. He wasn’t added to the list of “most wanted.” He was, as a member of al-Qaeda, against whom Congress effectively declared war in September of 2001, a declared enemy of the State.

      Anwar al-Awlaki was killed pursuant to the President’s war powers, not the Justice Department’s criminal prosecution powers.

  • D-gann

    Tom, thank you for having this show.
     
    I find myself agreeing with the ACLU on this one. It’s not a question of this guy being a terrorist or not he most likely was.
     
    This is truely is a Constitutional matter.
     
    Where is the transparency that Obama promised? He has yet to deliver transparency on any issue.

    • Modavations

      All’s fair in love and war.If he’d reentered the U.S. and blown up 1000 guys in Manhattan(Lion King),what would you say.Should we have greased Hitler,or given him to the ACLU

      • D-gann

        The discussion is on the Constitutionality of the actions of our President, not the terrorist.

        • Ray in VT

          There’s also the false equivalency of comparing the killing of an American citizen overseas with the leader of a foreign power.  If Adolf could have been captured, he would have gone to Nuremberg Trials along with Speer and the rest.

          • Modavations

            Suppose we could have nipped him in the bud which was standard operating procedure for millenia.Could you look a Jew in the eye after 2 million had been melted into wax candles and say Oops.Is that what you’d say

        • Modavations

          Nothing but a dodge.This is chess,.We think many moves in advance

        • Dennis_in_Omaha

           
          Would it be constitutional to allow Al-awlaki to continue war crimes?  He specifically targeted civilians in a terrorist war.  Congress declared the war.  Al-awlaki publicly returned the favor.  He claimed responsibility for killing civilians, promised to do more, and professed others to do the same.

          Victims of al-awlaki’s future war crimes would have correctly asked if allowing him to continue is constitutional.

  • Ellen Dibble

    To Afghanistan circa 2002:  Would you rather buy from us some drones and take out al Qaida camps on your turf?  Or would you rather we came over there and droned them into extinction?  Or would you rather have a declared war?

    • GradyLeeHoward

      Not our choice, is it?

      • Ellen Dibble

        Right, and I don’t think our State Department or CIA was in any way equipped to deal with the various countries in that part of the world, neither in official bilateral relationships, nor with NGO’s or spies.  Our understanding of, say, the Muslim sense of the sanctity of the  Koran seems STILL beyond our grasp.  So the decisions then are not really what I’m pointing to.  I’m using that moment in time and extrapolating forward.  The issue seems to be similar.  Would a “legal” war be less costly in terms of life and limb?  In terms of national debt, here and in the countries hosting the war?  (Yeah, I know, “hosting the war”…)  Decisions taken at the White House to take actions that manage to preempt war…
        Decisions taken at the White House to take actions that save us from getting even more  extreme, fearful, hostile, isolationist…
        Decisions taken at the White House with an eye to national and global prosperity and tranquility…
        I know, I know, it sounds like Big Brother doing all the central planning.  But the alternative sounds like a return to the days before The Social Contract, to wilderness lawlessness, in the name of — wait for it — American Constitutional Law.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    One thread that keeps coming up over and over is the justification that people might be terrorists and might be a threat. Pretty flimsy justification to be killed over. Especially since without due process it can applied to anyone.

    • JustSayin

       Anyone who upholds the Bill Of Rights in stark contradiction to the laws passed by Congress and the President would be acting against the government.

      Dare the American people support the Constitution, and risk their lives, liberty and freedom? 

      • Dennis_in_Omaha

         Ugh… you are using my user name for stupid opinions.  And that hurts.

        1. Congress declared war against al-qaida.

        2. al-awlaki returned the favor.  He claimed responsibility for targeting civilians – a war crime by any standard.

        3.  He professed others to do likewise and target civilians in terrorist attacks.

        therefore, if we did not stop him from killing as an american citizen, then that would be considered an endorsement – by the victims of his war crimes.

        • Cory, Lord of the Nerds

          What about the people around him who die in the attack?  Acceptable collateral damage?

          • Modavations

            Human Shields

        • JustSayin

          What’s the difference between al-awlaki and Raymond Davis?

    • Ellen Dibble

      We see how flimsy the term “terrorist” is over in Syria now, where the government is calling the rebels terrorists and blaming them for the same atrocities that the rebels say are actually being perpetrated by the government forces.  And that is an example where thought and intent have already turned into action, Gaalooore.  When we have WMD and weapons that fit in suitcases or laboratory vials or toothpaste squeegees, then thought and intent can be too dangerous to wait for them to come to fruition.  The thought police are coming, it seems to me.
          And the Constitution apparently wasn’t designed for a world like this, a world permeable by thought, by satellite transmissions, to millions, in moments, and so forth and so on.  How could it have been?

    • GradyLeeHoward

      Let’s kill the cooties even if we’re infested.

    • Modavations

      Should we have greased Hitler

  • Modavations

    How many sanctions did Bush get before we hit Iraq?What # is Obama up to with regards to Syria?

  • JP M

    A question was asked about how the US should react if a foreign national assassinated another foreign national on US soil. This occurred in 1976 when a Chilean dissident was blown up in Washington DC by an Allende agent. Don’t have names, please check.
     

    • Dennis_in_Omaha

       I haven’t looked it up yet.  I doubt it has much in common.  Simply being a dissident is different from being a terrorist.

      Al-awlaki claimed responsibility for targeting civilians in war crimes with his al-qaida allies.  He promised to commit more war crimes – targeting civilians.  We correctly restrain our military from war crimes, but if we did not target al-awlaki – it would be an endorsement of war crimes by private citizens.

      I doubt the chilean dissident professed killing civilians like al-awlaki did.

      • Checkit

         I don’t understand your resistance to holding trials.  If Awlaki was so guilty, he’d be easily convicted, right?

        Are you in favor of assassinations because they’re more efficient than arrests trials?  If so, that’s a pretty flimsy argument for throwing out core principles that America was founded on.

    • GradyLeeHoward

      Allende died in 1973 so you must mean a Pinoche’ agent.

  • Dee

    Tom, 

    I don’t know why your distinguished guests didn’t refer to the Right 
    to Life Law as it seems to me that is where their argument against Obama’s call to act unlawfully against any persons perceived as a 
    threat should be curtailed. Plus , of course, the due process aspect
    of the law. See my post script below…..Dee

    According to the International Human Right to LIFE LAW  , article 6 
    “Every human being has an inherent right to life.  This will be protected by law. No one shall arbitrarily deprived of his right to life ” 
    The comment made in the General Comment 14 of the UN Rights Commission explains the importance of this right and it emphasizes that no derogation is not permitted either. Quoting that source now “……..the right to life enunciated in the first paragraph of article 6 of the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is the supreme right from which no derogation is permitted even in times of public emergency.” Thus it seems to me even during a public or national emergency the United Army or US Special Forces have no legal right to kill anyone or to take preemptive action that would endanger their right to life law under the law…Dee

    • notafeminista

      How does the International Human Right to Life Law apply to abortion?

      • Ray in VT

        Article 1 says “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”, so probably not at all until one is born.

        • notafeminista

          Well that settles it then.  The UN has determined that a fetus is not alive.  Done.

          • John in Amherst

            The topic of extrajudicial killing of enemies of the state is a topic far removed from bortion, Ms. Notafeminista, but since you want to go there:  When a couple celebrates a child’s birth, they do not simultaneously
            mark the births of their grandchildren.  A lot must transpire before a
            child becomes a parent.  So, too, between the union of a sperm and egg
            and the birth of a child.   Choosing to believe a human life begins at conception, as
            opposed to the first breath, is an article of religious faith.  In some
            cultures, where infant mortality is high, a child is not named – does
            not fully attain personhood or life – until they are 1 month or even 6
            months old.  Religious conservatives are pushing hard toward the other
            extreme: pre-birth personhood for a single cell.  In doing so they are
            both redefining what it means to be human, and they are attempting to
            enforce their views on sexual morality: remain celibate, or “sin” and
            risk what, for many, is the hell of an unwanted pregnancy.  It is true
            in some sense this has always been so.  It is also true that regardless
            of societal norms, women in considerable numbers have always sought
            dominion over their wombs, sometimes regardless of potential ostracizing
            or serious health consequences.  This was the reason that the legal ban
            on abortion was lifted: large numbers of women died or were rendered
            sterile through unsafe illegal abortions.   It is bitterly ironic that many religious conservatives who decry the
            rise of the liberal socialist “nanny state” and hold personal
            responsibility a paramount virtue see no contradiction in imposing their
            sexual morals and religious beliefs & restrictions on women.  Nor
            do they have a problem with “playing God” when it comes to capitol
            punishment.   In this light, the claim of being “pro-life” is as hollow
            as it is repugnant.  It is quite possible to be ardently pro-life AND to
            believe life begins with the first breath.  It is also possible to call
            one’s own views “pro-life” and actually mean that you do not care about
            the lives of women who do not follow your religion, or about children
            who are born unwanted to a parent or parents who will not share
            nurturing, love, family life or financial support through choice or
            necessity.  Indeed, the Righteous Right often implies many who choose
            abortion do so glibly, even gleefully.  Legal abortion is never a happy
            option.  Making abortion illegal only compounds the tragedy.

          • notafeminista

            But how long before the fetus/embryo/zygote becomes a life?

          • Ray in VT

            External viability maybe.

          • notafeminista

            Lots of folks on the planet who are significantly physically and/or mentally challenged. (think: least of us)  Calling them viable would be a stretch.

          • Anonymous

            Calling the viability of physically or mentally challenged individuals  a stretch? Hmmmm, Now what great mid-twentieth century European power adopted that same philosophy?

          • notafeminista

            How right you are.  Let’s define viability and go from there…shall we?

          • John in Amherst

            wrong.  and repugnant.  if they were born and survived they share the gift of life

          • GradyLeeHoward

            Set your oven timer.

          • John in Amherst

            at birth.  First breath.  Too young to take a first breath?  Still the woman’s responsibility.  Science will soon deliver the possibility of cloning – potentially making life from stem cells.  What then?  all our stem cells are independent living beings meriting full citizenship?  Look, we celebrate birthdays, not conception days.  The Pope turns 85 on April 16th.  He will not turn 86 on August 16th, his approximate conception day.  Birth of a viable fetus is the beginning of life.

  • Cory, Lord of the Nerds

    It is sad and curious that John Ashcroft and Eric Holder both feel the same way about this issue.

    • notafeminista

      Hardly – the Left engages in situational ethics constantly.  It’s not surprising in the slightest.

      • Ray in VT

        And so does the right.  It’s not a political thing.  It more generally a human thing.

        • notafeminista

          But it is the Left to claims to be smarter, better and more enlightened, all the while engaging the same tactics for which they disparage the Right.

          • Ray in VT

             Some on the Left may certainly argue that, while many on the Right like to promote how they are more Godly, righteous or moral.  It varies from person to person.  Hypocrisy is rampant among pretty much all segments of the population, and it should be called out when found.

          • notafeminista

            Thanks.  I just did.

          • Ray in VT

            My father always thought that hypocrisy was one of the worst human traits.

          • Gregg

            I knew a guy 30 years ago who was a drug counselor. He won awards and was very good. He spent most weekends locked in his house with his Great Dane shooting coke and hiding under his bed. A bigger hypocrite never existed. But he was a great counselor and turned countless lives around.

          • Ray in VT

            It never ceases to amaze.  At least he was able to perform good works, despite his conflict and addiction.  I hope that it worked out well for him in the end and that he kicked his habit.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Thanks for that, a plus for hypocrisy,and I hope you hone that view.  It needs voicing.

          • GradyLeeHoward

            Laptops get dusty under the bed.

          • GradyLeeHoward

            Implausible story below. Where’d he get his coke? And how’d he afford it on counselor’s pay?

          • Gregg

            It’s a true story. 

          • GradyLeeHoward

            Hookme up, then.

          • Ellen Dibble

            I think you go to school to become a situational thinker (situational ethics), rather than a herded sheep, and the right resists this, losing head count.  But you go to school for knowledge which equals power, and soon you swing from left to right, and after all, you didn’t go to school to join the gutter.  You went to school to join the elite.  You went to join the right (those with something to lose, something to conserve), not the left (those pushing for liberating the as yet unliberated; the dead-enders).  
                Go figure.  

          • notafeminista

            I would sincerely hope no one goes to go school to become a situational thinker.  What then is the point of having principles or convictions?

          • Anonymous

             Au contraire. Situational thinking is vitally important in a democracy. I’m sure you’ve heard the same old examples, over and over. I guess they bear repeating. Until early in the last century, many folks had the highly principled conviction that men were superior to women in every way. So much so, women weren’t even allowed to vote. Thankfully the nineteenth amendment changed that situation. Slavery was legal in the south until the civil war was fought. Most people in the south held the conviction that Black people were of an inferior race and that slavery should be their lot in life. It was the situational thinking of the anti-slavery movement and the big bad federal government that abolished slavery. In my own lifetime, blacks in the south were refused a seat at the front of the bus, in the diner, a bed at the motel, a drink of water from the white man’s fountain, the right to VOTE. Many, if not most, of white southerners believed this to be the natural order of things. One might even call these  principled convictions. Even Prohibition was enacted on the basis of puritanical principles. Thankfully, the conviction that wasting millions of law enforcement dollars was stupid changed that foolishness. Unless one believes these were bad changes to make, I can’t see how one would condemn the situational thinking responsible.

          • Ellen Dibble

            I took a course on situational ethics once, and it is all based on principles and convictions.  Totally.

          • Modavations

             As the LEFT so often says.Do As I Say,Not As I do.They are Orwells Politboro.All Animals are equal but some,more so

        • GradyLeeHoward

          It’s a 1% thing.

          • notafeminista

            Ha! Okay that actually did make me laugh loud! 
             

      • Cory, Lord of the Nerds

        Hardly sad or hardly curious?

        • notafeminista

          Either. Both.  Take your pick.

    • Isaac, in Groton CT

      Not really, when you get down to the actual legal questions they’re being asked to answer.

  • Cory, Lord of the Nerds

    I’d like to mirror the sentiment expressed previously that if we are okay doing this, we must not be suprised when others do this to us.

    We do it, with impunity, because we can.  We also do it because we don’t believe it can be matched by others .

    • Gregg

      Surprised? They already are. Hussein tried to assassinate Bush. Al Qaeda assassinated 3000 on 9/11. Gaddaffi assassinated a Pan Am flight. And Obama targeted for assassination the black Muslim teenagers in his first months in office.

      None of this happens in a vacuum. It kinda matters what the circumstances are, doesn’t it?

      • GradyLeeHoward

        You’ve just been selected Miss Information of 2012. Here’s your sash and tiara.

        9/11 was an inside job.

        • Ray in VT

          That’s a bit uncalled for, isn’t it?  I would have said that Al Qaeda murdered 3000 people on 9/11, but one could argue that that is just semantics.

          Context and situations are important, because we don’t operate in a vacuum.

          • GradyLeeHoward

            Yar- it was an Inside Job.
            Look at #7- like a pancake.

          • Modavations

            Raymundo,go to the story on the light bulb ban.Check the posts by Hundie Watts.This guy is Hundie Watts.A racist to the core.

        • Gregg

          Thanks Mr. Howard. I want to thank the academy, my employers (David & Charles) and all the Chinese kids who made the tiara.

          How are you doing these days? I worry about you. Or is this Gladdie? If so, I’d love an update. The news a couple of months age seemed somewhat dire. I hope all is well.

          • GradyLeeHoward

            Going to Switzerland Monday for two week acting workshop with exceptional and differently abled colleagues. Leg gets me tired, kidneys cleared up, still in rehabilitation (but so are other communist notables). I’ll be 57 April 1st. Hope you have an excellent spring, Pianoman. I may stay in Europe indefinitely if opportunity arises. I will make a mint on oil futures if prices don’t crash soon thanks to my adviser Madame Doozy.

          • Modavations

            And I pictured you as a 22 year old mommas boy

          • Modavations

            Hundie Watts let’s have some racist black patois.This guys a pip

    • Dennis_in_Omaha

        Hi Cory,

      Al-awlaki satisfied due process when he made videos confessing targeting civilians – a war crime.  He also made videos PROFESSING more targeting of civilians.

      In response to your question, if a foreigner made videos like that, we could take him out ourselves if he showed up in Oregon.  But Al-awlaki was operating as a war criminal in an area that was powerless to stop him.

      So, if a foreigner, say a Frenchman, made videos about killing non-combat americans, and shows up in Oregon, and if the French special forces killed him before we could, we could get really upset… but no americans were killed.

      But if an American professes killing foreigners, in an area that is powerless to stop him, and we don’t stop him even if we clearly can, then that would be an endorsement of war crimes when committed by american citizens.

      It wouldn’t REALLY be that.  But it could feel that way to a family member (foreign or domestic) of a terrorist attack.

      • Edward

         “Al-awlaki satisfied due process when he made videos confessing targeting civilians”

        No, that’s not how it works.

  • Cory, Lord of the Nerds

    If your best argument here is that the ends justify the means, you might be a troglodyte.

    • Modavations

      Your momma told me to tell you to hit the books

  • Anonymous

    Per Holder’s dissembling:
    Blah. Blah. Balh.
    Obama is a murderer.
    Holder is his conspirator.

    • Modavations

      Come kid,give us a break.Try being President for a week and then tell us your thioughts

  • Modavations

    Should we premptively have greased Hitler,how ’bout Mengele,how ’bout Idi Amin,perhaps Pol Pot???

    • Ray in VT

      You continue to argue the false equivalency that killing the leader of a foreign country (in your first case) is the same as killing a U.S. citizen engaged in unlawful acts against the U.S.

      The case being discussed today is fundamentally different than the examples that you give.

      • Gregg

        IMO it has nothing to do with anything “unlawful”, it’s an act of war.

        • Ray in VT

          I had an exchange about this with Greg Camp this morning.  It’s near the bottom of the comments, and I pretty much stand by it. 

          I think that there are issues with knowingly targeting and killing a citizen overseas, no matter how they are conducting themselves.  There were guidelines given as to when this would be done, but I’m still concerned and think that it should be discussed.

          • notafeminista

            Should have just aborted them.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that that is relevant to the topic at hand.

      • Modavations

        I disagree Raymundo.When Hitler started,Chamberlin(?) said,awww can’t we all just get along.

  • TnTeacher

    Corruption is rampant in our society, from top to bottom. It is a measure of our corruption the articulate elaboration which justifies it. 

  • dmnolan

    Targeting civilians? You mean like carpet bombing population centers to terrorize an opponent into surrender?

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  • notafeminista

    To Isaac in Groton, CT below:   You left a bit out…

    Text
    Section 1. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”Persons born or naturalized are citizens.  The first section (in its entirety) clearly states this.

    • notafeminista

      And since, post Civil War, thanks to the re-unification of the Union and the incredible trampling of civil rights by President Lincoln, the Union was The United States rather than (these) United States ..an important distinction, the 14th Amendment absolutely applies to the federal government. 

  • Dee

    Here is Ralph Nader & Bruce Fein at Harvard Law School 2012.

    Note their case against the Obama Administration Lawless 
    http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2012/02/10_nader-fein-americas-lawless-empire.html

    Prosecuting a criminal Administration , HARPER’S MAGAZINE 
    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/12/0082303
    SEE THE FRONT PAGE BELOW IN THE TEXT….IT SAYS IT ALL.

    A Criminal Administration (Bush) by Paul Craig Roberts 
    http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=8329
     

    Dee

  • Mgwallace

    Under the guise of spreading democracy, we are loosing the very values we espouse.

  • dmnolan

    “Mistakes will be made.” There you go. Sounds like hiding behind the passive voice to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/curiousdwk David Kimball

    How many high school civics books will have to be replaced in order to strike out all references to “innocent until proven guilty”, “right to a fair trial”, “right to a speedy trial”, etc.  My reaction to Obama’s and Holder’s lies?  “NOT IN MY NAME”

    • Vernon-Lewis

      Apparently you have never had any contact with the American Judicial system.  You have no rights you can’t pay for, up front.

  • http://www.facebook.com/curiousdwk David Kimball

    We have been promoting this concept for years with our support of Isreal’s illegal killings in Palestine.  This is nothing new.  The only new thing we are saying is that it is now okay not only for Israel but also for the US. 

    • William

      Those are in response to direct attacks on Israel. Obama is killed a US citizen in a foreign country.

  • Anonymous

    Just once in my lifetime I’d like to see The United States elect a president who values principle over expediency. Just once, for Christ’s sake. I guess I’ll have to write in Dennis Kucinich in November.

    • Gregg

      He couldn’t even win his primary.

      • Anonymous

         That vote would be me valuing principle over expedience.

      • Anonymous

         He should have tried a little less principle, and lot more expedience.

    • Modavations

      Are you Ultrax

    • notafeminista

      The President is us.  The United States got exactly for whom it asked.

      • Anonymous

         The United States almost NEVER gets “exactly” for whom it asked. It gets politicians instead of statesmen. Dilettantes, instead of honorable public servants. We get PRODUCT, sold to us by insipid political advertising.

        • notafeminista

          We are a nation of hypocrites, with no particular need for conviction or principles (as observed right in this forum).  It is no surprise we elected someone just like us.

          • Vernon-lewis

            “A nation of 300 million used car salesmen with enough lawyers, guns money, and dope to kill anyone we want, get away with it, and not feel a thing.” – HST 2012

    • nj_v2

      There are decent folks that are actually running.

      Rocky Anderson!!http://www.voterocky.org/Or even Jill Steinhttp://www.jillstein.org/

      • Modavations

        Let me write Sen.Browns ads against Ms.Warren.It would be footage of men in white Hazmat suits,picking up syringes,feces etc,from an emcampment. The script would read, Ms.Warren claims to be the spiritual leader,the fount,the patron saint of OWS

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  • Sarah, a future former lawyer

    The ‘reason’ given for these actions is to protect our way of life.    If this is what we do, what way of life are we protecting?

    • Anonymous

       Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. You just don’t get it, do you? We’re protecting the way of life all the super patriots hold so dear. You know. The chest pounding tough guys who howl to the rest of the world about how great we are. The people who remind us of the sacrifice made by hundreds of thousands of military men and women in order to preserve our “freedom.” The same freedom lovers who declared that “everything changed after 9/11.” Oops, sorry. All those freedoms for which so many made the ultimate sacrifice? Well, I guess we’ll have to rethink those inconvenient rights. We can’t have too much freedom around if we’re going to have a war on terror, now can we?                                                            Osama pushed the button. The tough guys did the dance. Any one who claims the tactic of terror is ineffective on freedom loving countries need only study early twenty first century American history.

      • Modavations

        Are you Ultrax

        • Anonymous

           I’m Spartacus.

          • Modavations

            Are you Ultrax

          • Anonymous

             Caligula?

  • Fredlinskip

    What kind of precedent does this set as other countries better develop their own drone technology?
    Would we have a problem with Pakistan drone attacks in America (and the “collateral damage”) if they discover someone in America has bad intentions towards Pakistan?

    • Modavations

      Under Reagan GDP to Debt went as high as 6% and ended with a perfect 3%.I think you make things up.You’ve had a night to sleep on it.I asked you 4 times,why did FDR say No Public Unions.I also asked you a number of times, why you think JFK lowered taxes.

      • nj_v2

        Endless tiresome dispatches from a confused mind. No one can tell the troll why FDR said no Public Unions [sic], because FDR never said “no Public Unions” [sic].

        • Modavations

          Here’s what he said.Public Unions can negotiate pay.They can not negotiate benefits.FDR said Public Union strikes would never be tolerated.Furthermore at the end of the 50′s,Meanys(?)AFL-CIO said “In terms of accepted Collective Bargaining,govt workers have no right beyond the authority to petition congress.A right available to every citizen.FDR and Meany(?) would have said of the Madison Storm Trooper,NYET,NYET,NYET.

    • Modavations

      My mistake.At it’s height GDP to debt(deficit) ratio under Reagan went to 4.2%.His term ended at 2.9%.No one has ever had the rates of 20 odd % that you quote

      • Fredlinskip

         See other (Friday news) thread.

        • Modavations

          Why bother,just spinning and dodging.Who doesn’t know Gold,Oil,Pork Bellies,Copper,etc, are traded on world Bourses.

  • Modavations

    I leave you guys to it.When Feet-Ultrax shows up, the forum becomes nothing but innanity and cerebral violence.

    • Anonymous

       Ahh. Sweet success.

  • Dee

    People should be discussing who Obama and Eric Holder 
    are bowing down to as they are the real culprits there. 

    Yes, Obama and Eric Holder are guilty of being hand 
    maidens but it seems to me their crimes are petty in relationship to John Mc Cain , Lindsey Graham, Jon Kyle 
    and others n the House who introduced resolutions favor-
    ing Israel and cutting off Americans rights and dissent to
    get what it wants from US officials….

    Has anyone notice how John Mc Cain and Lindsey Graham 
    are taking the leading role daily in the news waging a cam-
    paign to force the Obama Camp to arm “the free Syrian 
    Army (see the URL below on Global Research on this ) and 
    how along with Joe Lieberman this same group advocated arming the insurgency in Libya and overthrowing Giddafi.
    Little wonder Syrian officials are intent upon flushing out 
    “the infiltrates’ and are killing innocent civilians at the 
    same time…Those US lawmakers are pulling the trigger 
    there –and then they profess to want to “save” the Syrian
    people from the Assad Regime…

    I would like to know where were their voices to arm the 
    Palestinians while the Israelis bombed Gaza for 21 days
    in 2009 .I believe I was reading in the Israeli Lobby by 
    John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt when Condi Rice 
    tried to introduced a resolution to stop the bombing cam-
    paign in Gaza in the UN –the neocons (zionist apologists ) ganged up on her and put an end to it…. 

    I am all for banning those apologists from the Whitehouse 
    and charging US lawmakers for corruption of government
    in Israel’s name….. 

    Senator Fulbright had their number in the early sixties 
    when he suspected their money laundry of funds in the Congress for the state of Israel and the pressuring of 
    US politicians to do their bidding on the senate floor
    and with allocations in the budget……  

    And this is still rampant –when Netanyahu was in Wash-
    ington last week. He asked Obama & Congress to release 
    the 3 billion dollars in funds Bush promised Israel (30 
    billion over 10 years ) It didn’t matter that many American
    workers and families and state were facing great financial hardships. Israeli officials were still looking for funds and 
    arms and I am willing to bet they got it too…Dee 

    The Israeli Lobby by John Mearsheimer & Stephen Walt
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby (note how the Zionist apaologists told Syrian officials
    they were “next” after Iraq in the column)  

    Read Syria: “The Next” Humanitarian Crisis…Global Research
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29234

    Senator Fullbright , an American hero standing for the truth & taking on The Zionist Lobby (later AIPAC )on the Senate floor.
    http://www.thephora.net/forum/showthread.php?t=39164

    History of the Zionist Lobby (later to AIPAC ) in US Politics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_lobby_in_the_United_States

    Zionist Lobby paid US journalists to sell Israeli Foreign Policy 
    http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1167086/pg1

    Dee

  • Bob Gardner

    The late Congressman Helen Chenowith was rumored to have links to the Oklahoma City bombing.  Ultimately, nothing happened to her because because you needed evidence back in the old days.  Under this new policy the president could have just decided to have her killed.

  • notafeminista

    To feettothefire below:  I beg to differ.  There is a marked difference between critical thinking and situational thinking in the context of situational ethics.

    Those engaging in situational ethics are either unable or unwilling to apply the principles/convictions they claim to hold in any type of consistent fashion and often use the comment “X behaved (or acted) in this way, therefore I am free to do so as well.”  

    • Anonymous

       I think we’re simply having a debate over two different ideas. Situational thinking is not situational ethics. In your post earlier you expressed disregard for the notion of situational thinking, when almost all the decisions we make are based on situational reality. I may have a hard and fast ethical belief that killing is wrong, but if someone has a gun to my daughter’s head, my situational determination is, he’s a dead man. This abdication of my firmly held ethical stance does not make me a bad person. It makes me a good father. The idea that strongly held ethical convictions can never be compromised is inconsistent with all of human history. War is a good example, as is capital punishment and every other word ever spoken by political candidates. Your final paragraph can just as easily be stated as “I behaved (or acted) in this way, but what makes X think he has the freedom to do the same?

      • notafeminista

        I did not say they cannot be compromised.  In fact they are compromised more often than not – with no apparent stress, strain or discomfort.  

        Does killing the man who is holding a gun to your daughter’s head make you a bad person? No.  But it is worthy of taking into consideration when a group (or state) might be doing the same thing to the US. 

        In other words, when you justify killing the man holding the gun to your daughter’s head, it makes it almost impossible to take seriously any opposition you might have to targeted killings committed by the US.

        We already know what kind of woman you are.  Now we’re just negotiating price.

        • Anonymous

           When I justify killing the man holding a gun to my daughters head, I’m justifying the killing of a man I know to be undeniably guilty. He’s standing right in front of me. I can see him. There is no ambiguity. Apparently your trying to tell me that American intelligence agencies are flawless gatherers of information, and gigantic, embarrassing intelligence flaws, such as the ones that plagued our adventuring in Iraq, are to be ignored. Perhaps you can justify the incarceration of the many innocent “enemy combatants” in Gitmo. What the Hell. They got out. Eventually. What’s the big deal with losing years of your life because of where you lived? Your apparent faith in the American intelligence communities unfailing ability to get it right is amusing. They don’t even trust each other. Remember the terms “failure to connect the dots” and “slam dunk?” Unfortunately, many like you believe that if the C.I.A. says it, it must be so. If it isn’t, and we kill or incarcerate innocent people, I guess folks who think like you will simply chalk it up to being a necessary evil. Evil, maybe. But the killing of innocent people should never be necessary.

          • notafeminista

            And maybe the gun to your daughter’s head is a toy. 

          • Anonymous

            Alas, I thought ,perhaps you and I were engaged in a thoughtful discussion. What a boob I am.

          • notafeminista

            Suddenly the individual in front of you isn’t so undeniably guilty is he?

          • Anonymous

             Why, of course. No one can tell a toy gun from a real gun. Can they? Why must every conversation I have with you end in what you obviously consider to be cute oneupsmanship, but is really nothing more than a diversionary tactic which would get you booted off a junior high debate team?

          • notafeminista

            Nothing cute intended.

            As I said..we’re just negotiating price.

          • Anonymous

            Nothing cute intended, nothing cute accomplished.

        • Gregg

          Well put.

  • Modavations

    Riddle me this.If given the chance should we have nipped Hitler in the bud???Could you look a Jew in the eye after 2 million had been melted into Candle Wax and said Oops,sorry for the miscalculation,we should have “offed” him

    • Ed Lover

       Would I have assassinated Hitler?  Maybe, if I knew what he’d do in advance.  But that’s a ridiculous scenario.  Due process, evidence, and the rule of law are absolute musts for a civilized society.

      • Ray in VT

        You beat me to a bit of my punch.  Certainly by the time Germany declared war on us in December 1941 we should have known what the Nazis were doing, and the Allies should probably have known something of their crimes at the outbreak of war in 1939.  Who knew what and when has been debated, although not here (as far as I know).

        Should we have killed him if we could during the war.  Absolutely.  He was a viable target.  Before the war?  If so, then when?  He pretty much laid out his plans in Mein Kampf in the 1920s.  People just didn’t think that he’d actually do it.

        With the knowledge of hindsight, and without getting all sci-fi with timelines, someone probably should have, but we don’t have that power.  Without it, was it our role before the war?  We weren’t the world’s policeman then, and there’s certainly been a lot of talk about getting out of that role.

        There’s also been the law of unintended consequences, which has been often cited here.  Goring was #2.  Was he as fanatical?  I don’t know.  Would he have carried out the Final Solution?  Maybe.  Take out Hitler and that’s who would have been at the helm.  Hitler, by all accounts, was a poor military commander.  Maybe if Goring had been running the show then the Wehrmacht would not have made some of the mistakes that cost them the war.

        • Modavations

          We had spies everywhere.We knew all about the camps.Sometimes you take your shot.History is nothing but assassination and assorted  intrigues.Furthermore FDR knew what Stalin was about.

          • Ray in VT

            True, sometime you do take your shot, and sometimes you don’t.  I wouldn’t say that history is nothing but assassination and intrigue, but there has certainly been enough of that.

            I’m not sure what we knew about the camps and when.  That’s not quite my area of historical expertise.  I do believe that many of the stories that did come out were not believed by some because it may not have been believed that people would stoop to such a level of inhumanity.

            FDR, I’m sure, did know what Stalin was all about,  but sometimes war, like politics, makes strange bedfellows.  We needed the Russians in WWII.  It was that simple.  Stalin was the lesser evil to the West in 1941.

          • Modavations

            Again it’s a Machievellian world.The Axis powers had spies all over America too.I knew a guy Bernie Eibn– who was an Englisnman of German extraction.He  worked for the Brits evesdropping on Germans in London.By the way,as we speak the US and Europe are overrun by spies from absolutely everywhere.There are spies from Alpha Centauri in St.Tropez.My darling is a Swedish Spy.She claims innocence,but I know better

      • Modavations

        Sometimes you take your shot.Now tell me,what would you say to the Jews,when they say to you,you could have nipped him in the bud.Would you have said,I was worried what the ACLU would say AND WE WEREN’T 100 PERCCENT SURE..I would have said,blast his as-.And if you had an operative in Paris who knew the whereabouts of an A-Bomb in London.Would you torture him till he talked,or would you be disuadeed by the acLU AND tell AN INCINERATED lONDON,SO SORRY?And Osama,should we have offed him, or turned him over to the ACLU.

        • Anonymous

           Why not. We have the wonderful success of the Iraq fiasco to use as a template. Over four thousand dead Americans. Tens of thousands wounded. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians killed. Billions of dollars wasted. But, hey. We knew what was what. Of course we had to “take our shot.” How else would we have stopped Hussein from using all of those Weapons of Mass Destruc…..Um…Er….well….never mind.

          • Anonymous

             I forgot to mention the mushroom clouds. Who could possibly have been opposed to eradicating that intelligence verified threat.

          • Modavations

            Don’t bother me Ultrax.There are plenty of others to pick a fight with.I don’t read you,you’re way to violent.

          • Modavations

            too

          • Anonymous

             You keep making this promise, but you just can’t keep away. Why, I think yer sweet on me.

    • Buddhaclown

      If someone like Hitler becomes president of the USA and the laws are as they are now, then that person could legally kill all the Jews in America all over again in the name of national security.

      If the government can kill anyone it wants without law, that government is by definition a dictatorship.

      • Modavations

        You know a real Buddhist would not harbor the hate that’s in your heart,but then again you’re as fake as a three dollar bill in my opinion

  • Buddhaclown

    Right now we have a rational president so these laws don’t scare anyone so much. But what happens if we get some nutcase in there using this assassination power?

    People who are for this are just for dictatorships in general and are part of the problem. 

    • Hidan

       So right,

      Many folks in there rush to defend the democrat in office are thinking short term politically and when a new president(we have a few nutcase running now) comes in(which will happen ) and abuses the policy/tactic. These same people defending this wouldn’t have a foot to stand on since they so adamantly push it to a bipartisan policy/tactic.

    • Ray in VT

      I like the current President, and I would have worried more if his predecessor had been in office at the time of the incident in question.  But here’s the thing, this issue still concerns me, and what’s good for the goose has to be good for the gander.  We can’t give one guy the latitude because we like him.  That’s just not the way that it should work.

    • Modavations

      Reasonable people would say “in my opinion we have a rational pres…..

  • Hidan

    Jack Goldsmith kind of defeated his own claims when asked to explain about Anwar al-Awlaki 16 year old son being killed. I think the word was mistakes happen. who last I heard was a citizen.

    Jack claims 27:05

    -Pose a serious threat
    -Threat has to be imminent
    -Come part of the war authorized.
    -Government must not have any feasible means addressing that threat.

    Al-Awlaki underage son didn’t meet the above but was still killed by a drone. Mr Goldsmith response mistake happen.

    http://www.salon.com/2011/10/20/the_killing_of_awlakis_16_year_old_son/

    News reports, based on government sources, originally claimed that Awlaki’s son was 21 years old and an Al Qaeda fighter (needless to say, as Terrorist often means: “anyone killed by the U.S.”), but a birth certificate published by The Washington Post proved that he was born only 16 years ago in Denver. As The New Yorker‘s Amy Davidson wrote: “Looking at his birth certificate, one wonders what those assertions say either about the the quality of the government’s evidence — or the honesty of its claims

  • Snausagehead

    Alexander Hamilton Disagreed. (Unsurprisingly).

    Alexander Hamilton, Remarks on an Act for Regulating Elections, New York Assembly

    6 Feb. 1787 Papers 4:35
    We had in a former debate, travelled largely over the ground of the
    constitution, as applied to legislative disqualifications; He would not
    repeat what he had said, but he hoped to be indulged by the house in
    explaining a sentence in the constitution, which seems not well
    understood by some gentlemen. In one article of it, it is said no man
    shall be disfranchised or deprived of any right he enjoys under the
    constitution, but by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.
    Some gentlemen hold that the law of the land will include an act of the
    legislature. But Lord Coke, that great luminary of the law, in his
    comment upon a similar clause, in Magna Charta, interprets the law of
    the land to mean presentment and indictment, and process of outlawry, as
    contradistinguished from trial by jury. But if there were any doubt
    upon the constitution, the bill of rights enacted in this very session
    removes it. It is there declared that, no man shall be disfranchised or
    deprived of any right, but by due process of law, or the judgment of his
    peers. The words “due process” have a precise technical import, and
    are only applicable to the process and proceedings of the courts of
    justice; they can never be referred to an act of legislature.
    Via Wikipedia

     

  • Hidan

    Coming to a town near you.

    Drones Over America: What Can They See?

    http://www.npr.org/2012/03/12/148293470/drones-over-america-what-can-they-see

    Just wait until law enforcement starts arguing the use of drone weaponry to stop criminals or suspects….oh wait they already started. 30k by 2015 of course the rational will be along the line of safety and security and the “trust us” we wouldn’t abuse it until a large body of evidences comes out showing the abused it.

    Nice 4 minute ad.

    Look, Up In The Sky! It’s A Drone, Looking At You

    http://www.npr.org/2011/12/05/143144146/drone-technology-finding-its-way-to-american-skies

  • Dr. Z

    I just wanted to compliment the two speakers (Jack Goldsmith and Anthony Romero, particularly the latter) for carrying on a remarkably restrained yet heated debate on this vitally important topic. Their points never got lost because they kept the emotional content out of this conversation. Bravo. 

  • L Christina

    It’s good to hear this topic finally being addressed.  I was horrified when I learned of it by way of an ACLU petition.  Listening to this show I can understand points from both sides, but in my opinion – the precedence this is setting is terrifying – as your show is just now addressing.

  • Ken S

    Perhaps the problem stems from the political spin that has shied away from seeing the policy as “Police Action” instead of the more politically useful rhetoric of a “War on Terror”.

    No one says a police officer cannot use lethal force to stop a criminal in act of threatening the life of innocent citizens.  

    Calling the US military the global police, especially when the question of “jurisdiction” is subject to international law, is the political dilemma.  We do not want to answer to international law or the “International Court of Justice”.  We as a nation seek to retain the power to act unilaterally and with impunity.

    In my opinion we are in a global “Police Action” that must inevitable fall back on some form of “Due Process” albeit a fiction of what is traditionally meant.

  • Gregg
    • Hidan

       The top commenter on your link answered your question


      Absurd, in training we teach our soldiers that the basic
      school of thought in warfare isn’t to kill as many combatants as you
      can, rather, it’s to take the will to fight out of the enemy before
      you’re ever engaged. If that fails, the goal becomes to effectively put
      more rounds downrange and flank the enemy to kill/capture. It’s easy to
      speak of ‘war’ and killing I suppose when you’ve never seen it in
      person.  I’m US Army Intelligence vet Mark Griggs and I’m voting for
      the vet/doctor. DR Paul!

      Spartacus32145″

      • Gregg

        What does that comment have to do with what Newt said? Zip.

  • Samwise9

    I was appalled at Bush’s records and actions, and admit that
    Obama doesn’t look good.  But I wish people would give Obama a break.  Maybe the situation REALLY is such that these

    types of actions REALLY ARE warranted, and maybe it REALLY
    SHOULDN”T be publically discussed.  I do trust Obama more than Bush to make that decision.  

    • notafeminista

      Because…………….?

    • William

      Give him a break? He is doing the exact same thing Bush was so loudly critized for and we should give him a break?

  • Modavations

    To the niave ones.Assassination is as old as Cain and Abel.When Lee Harvey got greased ,that was an assassin hitting an assassin.Rumor says LBJ…As for Hitler,Mr.Chamberlain said Hitlers not such a bad guy,cut him some slack.ACLU would say Mirandize,Moda would say get ‘im and 2 million Jews would have lived a prosperous life.Now as for Americans fighting with our enemies and giving succor,I’d grease him in a second and I’d imprison the parents that sired such a whelp.

  • Modavations

    Pres.Clintons CIA guy was the one who said it’s a slam dunk Mr President.Over 30% of the guys freed from Gitmo went right back to the battlefield

    • Anonymous

       Was Tenat George Bush’s guy during the runnup to the invasion of Iraq? Or is this another attempt to blame Clinton for Bush’s actions? I can’t quarrel with your 30% figure. I don’t know the numbers. My better judgement tells me you just pulled a number out of your ass. But, what about the 70% who didn’t go to the battlfield? You know, the INNOCENT ones. Do we owe them an apology for the massive disruption to their lives, or is a Muslim a Muslim and Damn them all to Hell?  

    • Anonymous

       Except of course there’s zero truth to it

  • Drenaud09

    Excellent discussion.  Making the argument to separate the right to due process from “judicial process” is shocking.  The continued concentration of power in the office of the President alone with erosion of checks and balances, as well as civil liberties, under the “framing” of an un-ending global “war on terror” lasting perhaps decades more (anyone remember the “war on drugs” is still rolling on three decades later) sticks a dagger into the heart of the US Constitution.  I believe we as a country have skidded along the slippery slope up to a transformational threshold blurring the line between a republic and, perhaps the desire for an imperial presidency to keep us safe while hoping for a measure of benevolence depending upon the office holder.  We’ve seen it before as democracies and/or republics can no longer sustain these systems of government.  The legacy of Rome is alive and well and with us.

  • Pingback: Great piece on war and justice | The Social Justice Journey Blog

  • Pingback: The Case For Targeted Killing

  • Tim E

    Unless I misunderstood, Professor Goldsmith indicated that the legal precedent for these targeted killings of U.S. citizens, under the defined constraints, was forged largely under the George W. Bush administration.  He stated that President Obama was under obligation to this legal precedent to continue the practice.  It gives great pause to consider that the lawyers and zeitgeist of a single administration can construct a legal precedent by which the Constitution must subsequently be interpreted.

  • Pingback: VIDEO: Presidential Power and the Targeted Killing Debate | FavStocks

  • Buddhaclown

    Who is more of a threat to this country, Al Qaeda, or people like Anthony Romero?

    • Dr. Z

      WTF??? “…people like Anthony Romero”???  Careful, your racist homophobia is showing!

  • rosebud

    what “I” heard Holder say was that in those cases where IMMINENT danger was a factor and live capture and containment was not an option, that an individual with the ability AND INTENT to commit VIOLENT ACTS should be targeted and stopped. the President would be acting in concert with the att. general and other counsel to take such actions as his responsibility as commander and chief. 
       i do think that the FISA court should still be allowed to give its final approval to these proposed actions if time permits (in the past under GW Bush there was indeed time to do this). 
       it also should be considered necessary to target extremely dangerous individuals and/or groups as an alternative to invading foreign territories with thousands of troups a week later. 
       in any event top attorneys on both sides of this issue without any hidden agendas should carefully examine and continually RE-EXAMINE over time these types of actions as part of any legislative or executive decisions, lest some possibilities are overlooked, or if dangerous individuals engage in new strategies that circumvent current defense capabilities. lastly,
    if the “War on Terror” becomes an anachronism (perhaps when many potential “terrorists” find employment in some of these countries where at present only a handful of super-rich people live in comfort) maybe we can end all the “war talk” for good.
    because WAR is unacceptable to begin with. get rid of the conditions making it inevitable and we don’t have to butcher one another for another thousand years. 
       -or are “some of us” making too much MONEY keeping this crap going no matter how well we’ve “learned from past lessons”?  

  • Anonymous

    This is like Time-travel. Almost like listening into some academic conversation from the end of 1930′s Nazi Germany.

  • Vulturesign

    “Targeted Killing” is a loaded term suggesting restraint. Extrajudicial killing is far more accurate. 

  • Caleb

    I was very pleased with the tenor of this conversation.  This issue is one that could have quickly become heated and ugly, but your guests are to be congratulated for their civility and restraint.  They gave an excellent example of how respectful disagreement is possible.

  • mozart nicolas

    that’s pretty cool ,i love the video and the formal attire, can some one tell me where is this formal dress from, 
    http://www.queen-dresses.com

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