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DOJ Memo Makes Case For Killing US Citizens

From Michael Isikoff at NBC News:

EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans

By Michael Isikoff | February 4, 2013

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes…

[T]the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.

“The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states.

And yet this same administration did not act upon all the threats against our consulate in Benghazi. But, apparently, threats from US citizens are different.

Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.” …

Man alive, this could end up being used to wipe out the more radical wing of the Democrat party, including the Occupy Wall Street movement. Or even Obama’s friends, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Ayers.

Although not an official legal memo, the white paper was represented by administration officials as a policy document that closely mirrors the arguments of classified memos on targeted killings by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which provides authoritative legal advice to the president and all executive branch agencies. The administration has refused to turn over to Congress or release those memos publicly — or even publicly confirm their existence. A source with access to the white paper, which is not classified, provided a copy to NBC News…

And never mind Obama’s promises to have the most transparent administration in history.

The white paper also includes a more extensive discussion of why targeted strikes against Americans does not violate constitutional protections afforded American citizens as well as a U.S. law that criminalizes the killing of U.S. nationals overseas.

We would like to hear those. But NBC skips over them.

It also discusses why such targeted killings would not be a war crime or violate a U.S. executive order banning assassinations.

“A lawful killing in self-defense is not an assassination,” the white paper reads. “In the Department’s view, a lethal operation conducted against a U.S. citizen whose conduct poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States would be a legitimate act of national self-defense that would not violate the assassination ban. Similarly, the use of lethal force, consistent with the laws of war, against an individual who is a legitimate military target would be lawful and would not violate the assassination ban.”

So a nation can defend itself. But a person can’t.

Still, we don’t know why is anyone is surprised. This is Obama’s modus operandi with all opposition. Just destroy them. And it doesn’t matter if it is legal or not. They will bury any complaints with words.

And our news media will give them cover.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “DOJ Memo Makes Case For Killing US Citizens”

  1. cerberus6

    Sure reads like there is plent of room for permission creep…..

    If “one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter”…..whats to stop this regime or one in the future from naming political opponents terrorists and whacking them and/or extending this justifications to “terrorists” on US soil?

    Look how far this administration has gone, along with media propaganda and education indoctrination: now, if you believe in a balanced budget and following the Constitution, you are labelled an extremist…..

    Extremist today, maybe a puff of smoke and a small crator tomorrow….. when someone in the regime decides it easier to take out a citizen holed up in his survival bunker that way, the trickle down might not be that difficult to walk so they can use it for other “problems”.

    Heck we are already seeing the expanded use of drone surveillance on our civilian population inside the continental US….so why not – after all it is for the Greater Good!

    • Petronius

      “Extremist today, maybe a puff of smoke and a small crater tomorrow….”

      You mean like Waco and Ruby Ridge?

  2. JohnMG

    Holy Cow!

    Our troops in Afcrapistan adhere to more stringent rules of engagement against a declared enemy than our own government does against her own citizens……..unless you consider that our current administration and the one in that sh!t hole of a country operate within the same parameters.

    It IS becoming harder to tell them apart.




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