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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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  • incorrect leftist BS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:14PM (#42797461)
    US citizens relinquished citizenship [] and due process if they joined an enemy army of the US, whether it was the Redcoats, Germans, or Al Cada.

    Its important to set clear boundaries. Joining the US Communist party or neo-nazis should not have had the same consquences because it never declared war on the US.
    Plus I am concerned about growing use of domestic drone technology like for the in the Alabama kidnapping this week. Only a short step to arm them.
  • Re:Bush Sucks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mc6809e ( 214243 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:18PM (#42797519)

    I am not sure how this is attributable to just one party.

    Obama does suck on this issue... and it is a continuation of Bush policies.

    The Bush policy was extraordinary rendition and a stay at Guantanamo until guilt or innocence could be determined -- and that was for non-citizens!

  • by NewWorldDan ( 899800 ) <> on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:19PM (#42797533) Homepage Journal

    I care. It's why, among so many other reasons, I voted for Johnson. Obama and Bush have both committed impeachable offenses that absolutely dwarf Clinton's perjury. Throw in the stupidity of the Reagan/Bush years, and you've got to go back to Carter to find an honest president. And he was incompetent. It's a tough job to do with integrity and principle. And honestly, I would never ever want to be president.

  • Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DJ Jones ( 997846 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:23PM (#42797599) Homepage
    I'm not supporting Obama's policy but I don't think this is as evil as everyone is making it out to be. Our country is theoretically "at war" with Al Quada as an organization (whether that makes any sense is a whole other tangent). During World War II, plenty of German-American citizens living in the US flue back to Germany and fought against American forces. We didn't need due process to kill them on the battlefield. Whether you're an American citizen or not, if you're on foreign territory and pose a threat to our armed forces, there's not a large legal barrier to killing you.
  • by medv4380 ( 1604309 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:35PM (#42797789)
    No, some of them that look isn't "there is no way this could be real". It's more like "are you really so nieve to believe this isn't how all countries run. Even Democracies". Are you honestly trying to convince people that "The South" had all the rights of US Citizens during the Civil War? Because that's the only logical conclusion of your argument. If you are in a state of Rebellion against the Government ether by Joining Al-qaeda, or the Confederacy you shouldn't be too surprised if the Government, Military, CIA, or any other enforcement arm decides to shoot you rather than arrest you. Or do you not believe Article One Section Nine even exits?

    The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

  • Re:I agree. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:13PM (#42798311) Homepage Journal

    If you want a proper trial, simply present yourself at the nearest major international airport and I'm sure the US government will be happy to bring you home for one.

    No they wouldn't, they'd put you in a certain prison camp in Cuba.

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

    by OldSport ( 2677879 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:15PM (#42798371)

    Our country is theoretically "at war"
    theoretically "at war"
    "at war"

    Remind me again when Congress declared war on Al-Qaeda?

  • by femtobyte ( 710429 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:20PM (#42798493)

    Which shows just how ideologically blind many libertarians are, given how intimately the "original design" of this country depended on the labor of certain "3/5 people".

  • by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:30PM (#42798667)
    I honestly believe that the exact same thing would have happened with McCain or Romney as president. I also think Bush would probably have done the same thing if he'd had the drones available at the time. I can't prove it of course, but i do feel the fact that a bipartisan group of Senators were asking for the criteria used to kill Americans rather than demanding that it not happen at all kind of supports the idea. For the same reason i don't think Obama will be impeached or even seriously criticized by Congress over this. (If all the Republicans get together and try to pass a law that would effectively stop things like this i would get behind them on this one issue. But it ain't gonna happen.)

    I voted for Obama in both of the previous elections. I didn't vote for him because i honsetly thought he would Change anything. One can always hope, but i didn't believe it would really happen, so i wasn't that disappointed when it didn't. I voted for him because i believed he wouldn't do _most_ of the things the Republicans said they wanted to do, and _maybe_ he'd actually manage to do one of two good things. And that's pretty much what happened. He's managed to do a couple things i view as good, and _mostly_ hasn't done the things the Republicans said they wanted.

    I would rather have had a president who didn't do _any_ of the crappy things i believe the Republicans would do, but realistically there was no way to achieve that. In game theory terms i got the best outcome (from my perspective) that was possible under the current system. Under any kind of instant run-off system Obama would not have been my first choice. He might not even have been my second or third choice.

    And both the Republicans and the Democrats know they can get away with a lot of crap exactly because of the two party system. "What are you going to do, vote for the Greens or Libertarians instead? Ha ha, go ahead, see how well that works out for you."
  • totalitarianism (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jodka ( 520060 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @03:16PM (#42800147)

    A few observations:

    • -Last October, prior to Obama's reelection, Kimberly Strassel writing in the Wall Street journal documented Barack Obama's record of consistency and dedication to principle [].
    • -More recently Daniel Kessler has assessed the promises Obama made [] when selling Obamacare, concluding "Every one of the main claims made for the law is turning out to be false."
    • -Gun and ammunition sales surged [] immediately following Obama's reelection.
    • -We have just learned President Obama has secretly granted himself the power to assassinate U.S citezens without due process.

    Some people, with reasonable cause, do not trust Obama. Their suspicions have been vindicated.


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

    by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @07:05PM (#42802799) Journal

    We are all ignorant, that's for sure. Perhaps if the US government had given US citizens due process, as required by the Constitution, then we would know what Abdulrahman was doing over there, and whether he was an enemy combatant.

    And, even if Abdulrahman were taking up arms against the US [citation needed], and even if he weren't a US citizen, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 37, limits the punishment of anyone under the age of 18, specifically excluding capital punishment of the type that was meted out to Abdulrahman.

    Due process is an amazing thing. You see, the government isn't always right. Sometimes they accuse the wrong person. Certainly the man who launched the "Amerithrax" attack on America is an evil terrorist who deserves no rights, correct? Lucky for Dr. Steven Hatfill, we still had due process back then. []

    Or how about the guy who bombed some trains in Madrid in 2004? They found his fingerprints on the bag containing the bombs. Open and shut case, right? Well, lucky for Mr. Brandon Mayfield, we still had due process back then. []

    And those are just US citizens! If we expand the scope of government fuckups to include foreign nationals, the list gets much bigger, much faster. Off the top of my head: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

    All were alleged terrorists. They weren't delivering pizza (Boumediene in particular was a member of the Red Crescent, which is a lot like our Red Cross), but all were eventually proven innocent of being terrorists.

  • by makubesu ( 1910402 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @07:22PM (#42802991)
    Let's cut the crap about totalitarianism. Do you think Obama wants to be a despot? Do you think Bush did? The real issue here is that the America people have given their president a mission that he does not have the powers to complete. The world is changing. We can't declare war on our enemies anymore. We can't identify them by the colors they're wearing. Now we're directing our government to put down organizations that exist in many different countries and feature people of many nationalities (even American citizens!). Our institutions were not designed to fight this kind of war. We must design them. We should be passing a constitutional amendment that handles these sorts of situations. There should be a dialogue going on where we the people determine what values should be involved. We need new, big ideas for a new world. Unfortunately, we don't want to discuss big ideas anymore. Everything needs to be pushed away while we stick to talking points and bureaucracy. As a result, the president is making these decisions on his own behind closed doors. This is unacceptable. It's a shame too, because I'm sure we could reach a broad consensus. But until we're willing to have adult conversations about these things, our government will continue to change in the shadows.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972