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View Full Version : Does the President have the right to assassinate American citizens



cotts135
01-27-2010, 02:58 PM
Hmmmmmmm this was an interesting article. Can't wait to here what some on the board here have to say about this :p

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

subroc
01-27-2010, 03:03 PM
what article??

without reading the article, the simple answer is yes.

I can't wait to se what "you" have to say about this.

road kill
01-27-2010, 03:25 PM
Hmmmmmmm this was an interesting article. Can't wait to here what some on the board here have to say about this :p

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

It's sad that this is occurring, but evidently OK because Bush started it!!:cry:



rk

cotts135
01-27-2010, 03:42 PM
what article??

without reading the article, the simple answer is yes.

I can't wait to se what "you" have to say about this.

Just wonder how you would feel if say the government said that one of your family members were a terrorist and targeted them?

I guess you don't believe in the Constitutional protections afforded U.S. citizens either.

YardleyLabs
01-27-2010, 03:44 PM
Executive Order 12333, signed by Reagan in 1981, prohibits US agencies and agents from being involved in assassinations. "No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination." This followed similar Executive Order bans by Ford in 1976 and Carter in 1978. Repealing the 1981 ban would require publication of a revised order in the Federal Register. However, such publication can be avoided in the intersst of national security under changes implemented by GWB, and it is possible hat this has happened. Further, many have argued that killings of terrorists do not represent assassinations (i.e. targeted killings of individuals for political purposes) since they are directed at defense of the nation. It seems to me that such explanations fail the test of simple linguistics. A stronger argument would be based on the bill passed by Congress on 9/18/2001 to authorize the "war on terror". It states, in part:

"(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."

Of course, nothing about a Presidential authorization for assassination would have any effect whatsoever on the legality or illegality of the action taken under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the assassination occurred. Thus, if I murder someone in Yemen, I may not be prosecuted in the United States since I have not committed a crime in the US. If I am arrested for murder in Yemen and argue that my activities were authorized by the President, it would be no more valid as a defense than if I said that my dog told me to do it.

There has actually been some friction between the US and Italy after Italy convicted two dozen US agents of kidnapping for their involvement in a "rendition" within Italian borders in 2003. Each agent was sentenced to five years imprisonment. While Italy has not sought extradition, it would be unwise for any of the convicted criminals (an appropriate terms for people convicted of a crime) to travel to Italy unless they are planning a very long trip.

EDIT: There is a good discussion of the assassination ban at http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RS21037.pdf. It was written in 2002, but there have been no subsequent, published amendments to assassination ban elements of 12333 since then.

subroc
01-27-2010, 04:03 PM
Just wonder how you would feel if say the government said that one of your family members were a terrorist and targeted them?

Well, if they were, I hope they are targeted. Is the "American al qaeda" Adam Gadahn a terrorist worthy of being targeted by our military?


...I guess you don't believe in the Constitutional protections afforded U.S. citizens either.

No, I just believe the president is tasked with defending the United States, even democrat president and occasionally extreme measures are needed to accomplish that.

DSemple
01-27-2010, 04:43 PM
I have no problem with Obama targeting terrorist for extermination.

I do think that there is some irony in that on the one hand Obama is perfectly willing to target and kill terrorist along with some innocent bystanders abroad outright, but on the other hand if we capture them he wants to drag them back here and afford them all the rights of our legal system, including a paid for public defender and trial. :confused::confused::confused:

I guess I'm not smart enough to be a Democrat, that is confusing as all hell.

Gerry Clinchy
01-27-2010, 04:47 PM
And the most glaring question for those who critized Bush/Cheney detention policies but want to defend this: how could anyone possibly object to imprisoning foreign nationals without charges or due process at Guantanamo while approving of the assassination of U.S. citizens without any charges or due process?


When I got to this at the end of the article, I was already asking myself about the inconsistency of this ... outrage at Gitmo and bringing a detainee to Manhattan for trial ... but still condoning assassination without ANY due process?

dnf777
01-27-2010, 05:09 PM
Questions are usually never as simple as they are posed.
Okay, let's agree the president has the right to order the assassination of a terrorist. Then what becomes the definition of a terrorist, and who gets to decide. Can the president designate surrogates to make that call? So Rahem Emanuel can make a list? Or Karl Rove?

I learned not to ask questions that I don't want to know the answers to.

subroc
01-27-2010, 05:23 PM
...Then what becomes the definition of a terrorist, and who gets to decide...

I guess it is a lot like what is the definition of torture.



...Can the president designate surrogates to make that call? So Rahem Emanuel can make a list? Or Karl Rove?...

It doesn't really matter who atually makes the list as long as the president does his due dilligence in making the call.