Obama, Bound By No Law, May Assassinate Another American

John Glaser, February 10, 2014

Obama chair

An important story from the Associated Press today explains how the Obama administration is considering whether to extra-judicially assassinate another American citizen in contravention of the suspect’s constitutional rights to due process.

The suspect, the AP reports, is an American citizen and member of al-Qaeda, “and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.”

Under unprecedented pressure and public scrutiny for his unchecked secret drone war, President Obama recently narrowed the scope of the targeting policy. And now, apparently, there are bureaucratic protocols (not, mind you, the Fifth Amendment) getting in the way of killing the suspect.

Those new bureaucratic protocols, however, are as dispensable as the Constitutional mandates constraining government power over the individual. AP:

The senior administration official confirmed that the Justice Department was working to build a case for the president to review and decide the man’s fate. The official said, however, the legal procedure being followed is the same as when the U.S. killed militant cleric and former Virginia resident Anwar al-Awlaki by drone in Yemen in 2011, long before the new targeted killing policy took effect.

The legal procedure followed in the government’s assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki was revealed in a Justice Department memo leaked one year ago. The memo decrees the president can order the assassination of an American citizen – without submitting evidence to a court, without any oversight from Congress, and without even making its legal reasoning available to the public - so long as at least one “informed, high-level” U.S. official declares them to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaeda or “an associated force.” Continued:

The official said the president could make an exception to his policy and authorize the CIA to strike on a onetime basis or authorize the Pentagon to act despite the possible objections of the country in question.

So while Obama supposedly imposed procedural limits on drone-killing U.S. citizens without due process, those are not rules he has to follow. They are not binding, just as the Fifth Amendment’s mandate that “no person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” is not binding. The president can do what he wants. There are no legal restraints on his actions.

What does this say about the presidency in 2014, then? Is Obama a president or a king? In a 1775 critique, John Adams described an emperor as “a despot, bound by no law or limitation but his own will; it is a stretch of tyranny beyond absolute monarchy.”

I honestly don’t know how else to describe the office of the presidency if it openly admits it is bound by no law.

Update: Statement from Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project:

“The government’s killing program has gone far beyond what the law permits, and it is based on secret evidence and legal interpretations. The targeted killing of an American being considered right now shows the inherent danger of a killing program based on vague and shifting legal standards, which has made it disturbingly easy for the government to operate outside the law. The fact that the government is relying so heavily on limited and apparently unreliable intelligence only heightens our concerns about a disastrous program in which people have been wrongly killed and injured. Today’s revelations come as the administration continues to fight against even basic transparency about the thousands of people who have died in this lethal program, let alone accountability for the wrongful killings of U.S. citizens.”

18 Responses to “Obama, Bound By No Law, May Assassinate Another American”

  1. Rasool Aaed enemies are 30 dajjaloon: 8 superpowers + 22 qurisheeRoyal Mujremoon

  2. US citizens can be assassinated if they are leaders of Al Qaeda or “an associated force"?

    Obama is the leader of an associated force. He is aiding Al Qaeda right now against Syria, and also did so in Libya.

    What's king Obama's decision on that front? Something tells me he's not going to to stick to his principles and assassinate himself.

  3. We really should have stopped Obama before he killed again.

  4. Yea the Al Queda excuse. Never mind the U.S. government actively supports Al Queda.

    Maybe the truthers will be out claiming that if only "the truth" of 9-11 was known this wouldn't be happening. Maybe. But most Americans have been unable to learn from all TRUTHS that already have been shown beyond any doubt: like the truth that the U.S. is not serious in fighting Al Queda or they wouldn't be arming them! So the truth that the war on terrroism is a complete farce. The truth that millions of Iraqis and Afghanis have been killed in pointless wars. So the truth alone doesn't necessarily change minds. They seek some magical emotional touchpoint truth that will be powerful enough to, a secret button. But the propaganda is strong in the U.S..

    I wonder why exactly this particular Al Queda guy MUST BE murdered in cold blood without any hesitation, while other Al Queda people are supported by the U.S.. It may be strategic interests but understanding what exactly would require a much more fluent ability to understand Empire-ese than I have. The scariest answer might just be that they kill (and kill Americans without due process) because they can, and to show that they can.

  5. "The scariest answer might just be that they kill (and kill Americans without due process) because they can, and to show that they can."

    That's absolutely right. It's terrorism.

    It's also that the US kills people who are obstacles to US world domination, and support people who are tools for US world domination. Doesn't matter to them what groups these people fall into or what they do. The USA is still supporting the fundamentalist jihadists against Syria even though now we know pretty much 100% that they were the ones who carried out the very attack that Obama tried to use as a dishonest pretext for aggression against Syria.

  6. Just like any other serial killers he is bound to make the ultimate mistake.

  7. The President should be impeached and tried for murder. Of course that will never happen.

  8. […] PressUS weighs lethal strike against American citizenWashington Postkdvr.com -CNN (blog) -Antiwar.com (blog)all 243 news […]

  9. This Information will give everyone a lesson.

  10. This is not fair.We don't hope that.Need to do something.

  11. Nobody is talking about the connection between unrestrained immigration and the number of potential terrorists that live in the USA under a green card, or even have citizenship. I mean if you can have a dual citizenship with Israel and the US, why can't you have dual loyalties to the interests of the Mideastern countries. Why are we importing more potential terrorists, all these people, who have no cultural or blood ties to the United States. Being an American is not an "idea", it's blood and soil.

  12. Why is Obama allowed to "kill his own people" half way around the world at the same time Obama implies Assad is somehow 'not allowed' to do the same?

    Oh,,,that's right…the masked men with the AK-47s chanting "Takb?r – All?hu Akbar" over and over as they shell residential neighborhoods, detonate car bombs and decapitate people are really "peaceful protesters"…Gotcha

  13. As Richard Nixon once said: "If the President orders it, it's not illegal." (That may not be the exact quote, but you get the drift).

  14. He literally is Barack Obombya.

    But the sheeple are more interested in OJ's hunger strike.

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