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The Military United States Politics

Leaked: Obama's Rules For Assassinating American Citizens 800

cathyreisenwitz writes "For over a year now journalists, civil liberties advocates, and members of Congress have been asking the Obama administration to release internal memoranda from the Office of Legal Counsel justifying Obama's targeted killing program. While the White House continues to deny that such memos exist, NBC is reporting that it has acquired the next best thing: A secretish 16-page white paper from the Department of Justice that was provided to select members of the Senate last June." Spencer Ackerman at Wired says the leaked rules "[trump] traditional Constitutional protections American citizens enjoy from being killed by their government without due process" by redefining the concept of "imminence."
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Leaked: Obama's Rules For Assassinating American Citizens

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  • the police... (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:10PM (#42797397)

    ...can already kill people.
    They have guns. Some have pepper spray or tasers alongside, but they all have guns.
    Guns aren't there as visual deterrent (they're loaded). Guns aren't for putting down rabid dogs or server as a warning sound.
    They're designed for the specific purpose to kill, and the police are trained to use them as the last option. The police are public servants funded by the govt (via taxpayers).

    Anyways, I digress. The president having the authority to kill American citizens sounds like a huge groundbreaking breach of civil rights, but it isn't. There's just more formalities to go through (as some other poster said, "Clear and Present Danger").

    Blah blah blah. De gubmint iz out to git us!! Wear tinfoil hat! Arm yourselves!
    Fuck you, paranoid fucks.

  • by Loadmaster ( 720754 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:14PM (#42797473)

    Good question. You should have brought it up when the legislation was passed in September 2001. Here's the applicable language from the Authorization to Use Military Forced (AUMF):

    (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.

    You see the "he determines?" The Obama administration didn't make that up, because it's currently valid law. And it will be valid law until it is defeated in court or repealed. Section (b) says the AUMF complies with the War Powers Act which is complete BS, and the AUMF in total is an over delegation of congressional power a la Chadha.

    But I don't make the rules.

  • Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score:1, Informative)

    by watice ( 1347709 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:22PM (#42797581)
    huh? The assassinations DID happen in other countries, to Al Qaeda & the like. RTFA? Hell, the memo title should be a huge clue! "Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa’ida or An Associated Force"
  • by Loadmaster ( 720754 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:30PM (#42797717)

    Well, sub-section 3 says "entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state" which Al Qaeda is not a foreign state. This is the same reason we keep detainees in Quantanamo instead of prisoners of war or prisoners. The Bush administration claimed they weren't enemy combatants because they didn't fight for a foreign state (standardized uniform and all that). Number 7 is more applicable, because it allows citizenship to be stripped for "bearing arms against the United States." However, section (b) states that the burden to prove loss of citizenship is on the party claiming the loss not on the supposed, um, loser. That's basic due process. Essentially if the government said he was no longer a citizen they have to prove it first.

  • Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jmc23 ( 2353706 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:53PM (#42798027) Journal
    No. Try reading the memo. From the very first page it mentions it is for high level ranking al-Qa'ida located outside of the US.
  • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:59PM (#42798129)

    Bullshit. The 5th Amendment protects US citizens, PERIOD. You really have no fucking clue, do you?

    It's just a piece of paper that people lie in their oaths about protecting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:00PM (#42798147)

    "Nobody at this point actually thinks their pathetic handgun is going to protect them against tyranny by a government armed with SWAT teams, drones, and nuclear missiles, do they?"

    Yes. Actually taking out an entire army strike team is pretty easy with the right stuff. Full armor, It's not hard at all to injure the lot of them and then use them as bait to get more. Drones are zero effort to take down. 30-06 hunting rifle will down one in seconds. Or are you brain dead and think the US army drones are like what you see when you play Black Ops II.. Sorry kid. But a lot of hunters have guns that make the army's M16 a girly gun. I hunt bear and use a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.700_Nitro_Express [wikipedia.org] 700 Nitro Round in my rifle. That round will kill someone in armor because it will be the same as a sledgehammer to the chest. Buddy of mine has a Barret 50. That will take out most helicopters and hit a target behind a brick wall by shooting through it.

    I suggest you look at how the Taliban has pretty much spanked the US army really hard in Afghanistan with only rocks and mules. In the USA there area LOT more resources for an uprising to decimate the Military and police. Plus you have the problem that it's hard to make a soldier kill his own family and friends, so the US army sent in against the American citizenry will end with a lot of officers accidently killed by grenades. In viet-nam officers were fragged by the troops quite a bit.

    So the fools like you that have zero education in history and negative education in combat or even firearm use have no clue at all.

  • Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score:4, Informative)

    by b5bartender ( 2175066 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:19PM (#42798463)
    One should keep in mind that the NDAA defined "battlefield" to mean domestic [aclu.org] as well as foreign soil...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:28PM (#42798625)

    >You are delusional and so are democrats.

    When people make statements like this, I know to no longer take them seriously. The fact is that health care is a right and on that issue, I don't care if the Hillbillies in the Southeast don't want it. They can say that they don't need a dentist through their broken teeth all day. The fact is that the vast majority of bankruptcies in the US occur due to healthcare costs. People may say they don't need it, but they damn well do.

  • by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:31PM (#42798685)

    You're really part of the problem with American politics (assuming you're American). You jump on the right vs left bandwagon just as fast as anybody else, only in different terms. "Oh, Fox News, they must be the bad guy, boo to them" ignoring that politics aren't black and white. I somehow doubt that everybody who watches Fox News has the same view on everything (from what I gather, none of the Fox News personalities even share the same views, with many of them being democrats especially) never mind that they can be lumped into one category.

    It's especially ironic that CBS and NBC both have been empirically shown to be more biased. NBC in particular having deliberately altered news stories to fit their message twice in recent history ("he's up to no good, he looks black") and in spite of that, Fox News is the enemy of the people.

    Feel free to bow to your king now.

  • by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:48PM (#42798911)

    I say that YOU are a senior operational leader of al-Qa'ida or an associated force (like WikiLeaks, Anonymous, OWS or some other evil group plotting against Western economic interests).

    Want to see the evidence against you? Sorry
    Want your lawyer? Sorry
    Want a trial before a jury of your peers? Sorry

    In our Constitutional Republic it is illegal for the government to murder people simply because of the command of some bureaucrat. What the government "believes" about an accused "terrorist" could easily be based on false or fabricated evidence. That's why the government brings their evidence before a grand jury and IF an indictment is issued, the accused has a right to confront the evidence against them in a court of law.

    If the government thinks they have enough evidence to KILL someone, surely they could get a damned indictment!

    This is an impeachable offense. Too bad that there isn't a shred of integrity left in Washington DC.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:58PM (#42799085)

    The "original design" did not depend on the labor of certain "3/5 people". It's easy to document that most founders, including Jefferson, opposed slavery. The situation they were in was that the Constitution needed to be ratified by all the colonies so that the whole would be greater than the sum of the parts. So, while they wrote the Constitution with certain compromises so that they could get citizens to ratify it, they incorporated sunset clauses to certain parts of slavery.

    You need to do some deeper research rather than make broad assumptions based on certain, pragmatic, compromises.

  • by flaming error ( 1041742 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @02:38PM (#42799645) Journal

    The original design was sovereign States who delegated a small, well-defined subset of their powers to a common body

    That common body was structured so as to make it somewhat self-limiting, somewhat difficult to expand its reach..

    It was also structured with layers of increasing responsibility that theoretically would help elevate the finest people to higher offices, even as it filtered out to a degree some of the more extremist voices.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @03:56PM (#42800713)

    Nice bit of revisionist history. The 3/5 compromise was forced by the non-slave states to reduce the power of the slave owning states, not out of some secret desire to help the slaves' votes from being used against themselves.

  • Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score:5, Informative)

    by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @04:19PM (#42800981) Journal

    How about American Citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki? He was born in Denver, Colorado on August 26, 1995 at 1:16 PM [washingtonpost.com]. He was killed by an American drone strike in Yemen on October 14, 2011. He was 16 years old at the time. Does anyone have any evidence that this teenager posed an imminent threat to the US?

    Oh, yes, as Robert Gibbs said in an interview [theatlantic.com], it was Abdulrahman's fault that his father - who he hadn't seen in over two years - was an alleged terrorist. That's the threat he posed to America, and that's what justified killing him.

  • Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score:5, Informative)

    by anagama ( 611277 ) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @05:28PM (#42801887) Homepage

    He was there because his family moved there. He was participating in a barbecue when he was murdered. He had been trying to find his dad for some time because he missed him.

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2097899,00.html [time.com]
    http://www.salon.com/2011/10/20/the_killing_of_awlakis_16_year_old_son/ [salon.com]

    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 -- and about our own capacity for self-deception."

    And of Al Awlaki himself? He was killed because of his youtube postings. Freedom of speech, so long as you don't say stuff the Feds hate. That list of things the Feds hate? Sure to grow.

  • by Wolvenhaven ( 1521217 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @05:59PM (#42802207) Homepage
    Yea because this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_(1946) [wikipedia.org] clearly never happened and didn't work according to your logic.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.