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#215334 - 03/05/12 10:21 PM Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in terror fight
Quote:
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. defended the U.S. right to target and kill American citizens overseas in the war on terror, telling an audience at the Northwestern University law school that when those individuals pose a real threat to this country and cannot be captured unharmed, "we must take steps to stop them."

But according to the text of his remarks released by the Justice Department, he stressed that it can only be done "in full accordance with the Constitution," and asserted that a targeted slaying, like that of American-born Anwar Awlaki in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen last year, can be ordered only after an "imminent threat" was posed to this country and their capture was "not feasible."

"In this hour of danger, we simply cannot afford to wait until deadly plans are carried out," Holder said. "And we will not."
Los Angeles Times

As opposed as I am to war in all its forms, I am tempted to give the Obama administration some credit for trying to avoid war with smaller scale efforts. It may be this is the best anti-war strategy.
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#215338 - 03/05/12 10:51 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
pdx rick Offline
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Really Phil - assassination without a jury of one's peers?
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#215339 - 03/05/12 10:54 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: pdx rick]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Yes, and if I had my way it would never happen. However, in this world it may be the killing of one instead of thousands. That makes me less certain.
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Life is a banquet -- and most poor suckers are starving to death -- Auntie Mame
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#215341 - 03/05/12 11:00 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
pdx rick Offline
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Given that the terrorists who struck our homeland 10 years ago were Saudi nationals - remind me, why did we go in to Iraq and Afghanistan?

How many Americans are there abroad advocating for the destruction of America?

I'd prefer to have them renditioned, and brought to trial - in Kansas.
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#215342 - 03/05/12 11:02 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
pdx rick Offline
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ps.

I think Oxy would label your stance as 'conservative.'

...just sayin'. Hmm
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#215347 - 03/05/12 11:18 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: pdx rick]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Originally Posted By: california rick
Given that the terrorists who struck our homeland 10 years ago were Saudi nationals - remind me, why did we go in to Iraq and Afghanistan?

How many Americans are there abroad advocating for the destruction of America?

I'd prefer to have them renditioned, and brought to trial - in Kansas.

Me too, and the statement at least says that is our commitment except "only after an "imminent threat" was posed to this country and their capture was "not feasible.""
_________________________
Life is a banquet -- and most poor suckers are starving to death -- Auntie Mame
You are born naked and everything else is drag - RuPaul

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#215348 - 03/05/12 11:37 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
issodhos Offline
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Posts: 12581
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in terror fight
Quote:
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. defended the U.S. right to target and kill American citizens overseas in the war on terror, telling an audience at the Northwestern University law school that when those individuals pose a real threat to this country and cannot be captured unharmed, "we must take steps to stop them."

But according to the text of his remarks released by the Justice Department, he stressed that it can only be done "in full accordance with the Constitution," and asserted that a targeted slaying, like that of American-born Anwar Awlaki in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen last year, can be ordered only after an "imminent threat" was posed to this country and their capture was "not feasible."

"In this hour of danger, we simply cannot afford to wait until deadly plans are carried out," Holder said. "And we will not."
Los Angeles Times

As opposed as I am to war in all its forms, I am tempted to give the Obama administration some credit for trying to avoid war with smaller scale efforts. It may be this is the best anti-war strategy.

What a disgusting rationalization, Hoskins. What war was prevented by killing a US citizen on the instructions of the current occupant of the oval office? And a "right"? Governments do not have rights, they only have goddammed powers and authority. Holder and his contemptable boss demonstrate that there is no longer anything that is unconstitutional. A US citizen needs killin'? Put his arse on public trial in absentia, have a jury determine his or her guilt, then issue a sentence. That at least would come close to being ethical and representative of a constitutional action.
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#215353 - 03/06/12 01:18 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
jgw Offline
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I would point out this is the same attorney general who has worked, very hard, to protect the bankers, foreclosures and the rest of the crominals in our financial system. When the lesser savings and loan disaster went down over 1000 went to prison. Kinda puts things into perspective?

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#215354 - 03/06/12 01:26 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: jgw]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Well, I had hoped for a real discussion, because I am uncertain about this. But what is true if this were a declared war, whether the person is a US citizen or not will not matter on the battlefield.

I think this is a unique situation in history. Assuming that a person is in fact capable of great injury to Americans, are you certain that you want your government wait until they can capture and bring to trial suck a person? I am not.
_________________________
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#215356 - 03/06/12 01:57 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
NW Ponderer Online   content
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I have believed from the outset that the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and otherwise are criminal activities, and not war, per se. Nevertheless, they are criminal enterprises of a new and more virulent variety. Outside of the United States, it is simply not possible to "knock and announce" prior to making an arrest. Even in a pure law enforcement arena, homicide can be justified on the basis of an imminent threat. Where there is an established pattern of threatening behavior, such that it is an ongoing criminal enterprise directed at murder, and numerous lives are at stake, I do not think that targeted killing is unjustified.

I think, Phil, that might be the kind of discussion you were hoping for. With due respect, jgw, I don't think your last statement puts anything into perspective, and I would transfer that statement off to the quibble thread. Similarly, Iss, with the exception of the "in absentia" comment, the rest of the comment was off topic and a violation of good taste, if not also a guideline violation. To give an example of how one might make the same point without it being objectionable, I would edit it down to this:[quote]What war was prevented by killing a US citizen on the instructions of the current occupant of the oval office? And a "right"? Governments do not have rights, they only have goddammed powers and authority. Holder and his contemptable boss demonstrate that there is no longer anything that is unconstitutional. A US citizen needs killin'? Put his arse on public trial in absentia, have a jury determine his or her guilt, then issue a sentence. That at least would come close to being ethical and representative of a constitutional action.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#215357 - 03/06/12 02:05 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: issodhos]
Irked Offline
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Originally Posted By: issodhos
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in terror fight
Quote:
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. defended the U.S. right to target and kill American citizens overseas in the war on terror, telling an audience at the Northwestern University law school that when those individuals pose a real threat to this country and cannot be captured unharmed, "we must take steps to stop them."

But according to the text of his remarks released by the Justice Department, he stressed that it can only be done "in full accordance with the Constitution," and asserted that a targeted slaying, like that of American-born Anwar Awlaki in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen last year, can be ordered only after an "imminent threat" was posed to this country and their capture was "not feasible."

"In this hour of danger, we simply cannot afford to wait until deadly plans are carried out," Holder said. "And we will not."
Los Angeles Times

As opposed as I am to war in all its forms, I am tempted to give the Obama administration some credit for trying to avoid war with smaller scale efforts. It may be this is the best anti-war strategy.

What a disgusting rationalization, Hoskins. What war was prevented by killing a US citizen on the instructions of the current occupant of the oval office? And a "right"? Governments do not have rights, they only have goddammed powers and authority. Holder and his contemptable boss demonstrate that there is no longer anything that is unconstitutional. A US citizen needs killin'? Put his arse on public trial in absentia, have a jury determine his or her guilt, then issue a sentence. That at least would come close to being ethical and representative of a constitutional action.


Is a kangaroo court where a defendant is denied the right to examine the evidence against him some how better than the obviously legal position of attacking and killing an enemy combatant? How could it possibly matter if the enemy was a traitor or not?
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#215358 - 03/06/12 02:06 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
NW Ponderer Online   content
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By the way, while European and other countries conduct trials in absentia, it is much harder to do so in the United States, primarily because of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. ("No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime... nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law[.]; In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.") In absentia trials do take place in the United States, but only after indictment and arraignment have occurred. If the accused absents himself at that point, they have waived the other rights.

The problem, of course, as Phil has pointed out, that we do not have the facility to "bring them to justice" directly, and the danger is too imminent. This is a new, and uncharted area of U.S. and international law. In my opinion, Attorney General Holder has done a pretty good job of laying out some reasonable criteria for application of the rule.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

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#215361 - 03/06/12 02:20 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
NW Ponderer Online   content
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As a general legal matter, there has existed in the common law and most civil codes the concept of "Justifiable Homicide." Generally, this requires Self-Defense or Defense of Another.
Quote:
The defendant is not guilty of (murder/ [or] manslaughter/ attempted murder/ [or] attempted voluntary manslaughter) if (he/ she) was justified in (killing/attempting to kill) someone in (self-defense/ [or] defense of another). The defendant acted in lawful (self-defense/ [or] defense of another) if:

1. The defendant reasonably believed that (he/she/ [or] someone else/ [or] <insert name or description of third party>) was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury [or was in imminent danger of being (raped/maimed/robbed/ <insert other forcible and atrocious crime>)];

2. The defendant reasonably believed that the immediate use of deadly force was necessary to defend against that danger;

AND

3. The defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.

Belief in future harm is not sufficient, no matter how great or how likely the harm is believed to be. The defendant must have believed there was imminent danger of great bodily injury to (himself/herself/ [or] someone else). Defendant's belief must have been reasonable and (he/she) must have acted only because of that belief. The defendant is only entitled to use that amount of force that a reasonable person would believe is necessary in the same situation. If the defendant used more force than was reasonable, the [attempted] killing was not justified.

When deciding whether the defendant's beliefs were reasonable, consider all the circumstances as they were known to and appeared to the defendant and consider what a reasonable person in a similar situation with similar knowledge would have believed. If the defendant's beliefs were reasonable, the danger does not need to have actually existed.

The classic case is when someone is holding a gun to a victim's head during a standoff with police. Can a sniper kill him? Generally, the answer is yes. It doesn't matter if it turns out the gun was a fake. Same with holding up a bank with a bomb. The question, I think, posed by the current situation is, how imminent is the threat?
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#215370 - 03/06/12 07:43 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Ted Remington Offline
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Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 4890
For the sake of discussion, let me set up a hypothetical.

The President has received what he considers to be good information, no make that impeccable or unimpeachable evidence, that a US citizen at a known site overseas has the only copy of the detonation code for a nuclear weapon hidden somewhere in the US, and he is telling his cohorts that he would explode the bomb on say the Fourth of July.

Do we put him on a public in absentia trial so we can justify an air strike to take him out? Will he explode the bomb before the Fourth if he learns that we are onto him? Do we send in the SEALs to capture him and bring him to trial, knowing that the fifty percent chance of failure will result in immediate explosion of the device? Or do we conduct a lethal air strike without warning, knowing that we are going to save hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives by doing so?

Now, let's change the scenario to where he is getting ready to do a suicide bomb mission where he will blow himself up in the middle of a shopping mall with probable deaths of only a hundred or so and that there is close to zero chance we can stop him once he gets across the border. What course of action does the President take?

The President has sworn the only oath specified by the Constitution for an elected or appointed official. He must preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. I maintain that regardless of the citizenship of the individual targeted, an immediate strike without warning is not only justified but required.
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#215377 - 03/06/12 08:56 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
numan Offline
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Well, Ted, let me set up a different hypothetical.

Suppose the President, or some other official of the US government wants to destroy a personal enemy, or wants to create a patsy to scare brainless Americans into supporting an evil policy.

In my view, judging from history and common sense, such a scenario is far more likely than the far-fetched nuclear bomb fable you have sketched.

All these fables that are used to scare the bejesus out of politically unsophisticated hicks are, in my opinion, just tedious variants on the brainwashing "communist-under-every-bed" hysteria of the 1950s, revamped for the present phony-baloney "War on Terrorism" -- used for the same purpose : bamboozle the people, gain power, and keep the money rolling in to the war profiteers and other beneficiaries of the American Totalitarian System.
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#215381 - 03/06/12 10:11 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
pdx rick Offline
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"Clear and Present Danger" without evidence - that 's how Statism exists.

The power of the State cannot exist within the "rule of Law." The rule of Law entails that there is no absolute power, no secrecy privilege for any member of society or any institution.

"Due Process" can not be made-up as one goes along. There are centuries of established principles and rules. The Bill of Rights is one of those.

Since acceptance of absolute power of the State and its secrecy privilege, the rule of law automatically disappears. They are mutually exclusive. So do not complain about abuse, injustice or anything at all. Period.
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#215403 - 03/06/12 12:25 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: numan]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Ricki and Numan, there is no question such a power can be abused. That is true of police action within the US boundaries. But because a power can be abused should not automatically remove the power from the hands of potential abusers.

It seems to me there are real threats that are impossible to handle using the "arrest and trial" model. Do you and issodhos contend that there never are such situations?

How would you deal with a high risk scenario in which there is no way to capture and bring out such a person?
_________________________
Life is a banquet -- and most poor suckers are starving to death -- Auntie Mame
You are born naked and everything else is drag - RuPaul

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#215409 - 03/06/12 12:55 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
numan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Ricki and Numan, there is no question such a power can be abused. That is true of police action within the US boundaries. But because a power can be abused should not automatically remove the power from the hands of potential abusers.
It seems to me there are real threats that are impossible to handle using the "arrest and trial" model. Do you and issodhos contend that there never are such situations?

I can certainly conceive that such situations are possible, but I am unaware that any such situations have ever occurred. Perhaps you could provide examples that are clear and unquestionable. The only tales that have been thrust into my awareness by the Brainwashing Machine mass media are, in my opinion, highly questionable, and seem to be very probable cases of official lies, manipulation, actions of agents provocateurs, entrapment and leading foolish dupes into absurd plots in order to create publicity for draconian government measures.

I think it is highly significant that the United States managed to survive for more than 200 years -- including a Cold War with a superpower that was a real threat -- without the necessity for such outrageous totalitarian measures, and that now, suddenly, the Powers-That-Be have whipped up Americans into chickens-with-their-heads-cut-off, racing around in hysteria about a handful of ill-defined, shadowy amateurs, who supposedly justify the official waste, expense and crushing of civil liberties by the simple expedient of being called "terrorists" -- by a government and propaganda machine that have demonstrated over and over for 60 years that they are quite incapable of telling the truth about anything of significance.
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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#215413 - 03/06/12 01:16 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Numan, undeniably conditions are different when any individual can wreak great destruction compared to the past when attacks came from armies or government actions. I am not privy to secret information about any particular threat and neither are you, so this conversation needs to be abstract.

You cannot say that you know there has been no such threat. Your skepticism is good and proper and we should always question such power and authority. But to say it has or can never happen is unsupportable.

I repeat my question, assuming such a situation occurs, how would you deal with it?
_________________________
Life is a banquet -- and most poor suckers are starving to death -- Auntie Mame
You are born naked and everything else is drag - RuPaul

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#215415 - 03/06/12 01:30 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
numan Offline
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So because of some nebulous, unprovable imaginary threat, it is right and proper to turn a country into a police state with the most alarming, oppressive, draconian powers imaginable.

Good thinking.


Edited by numan (03/06/12 01:31 PM)
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#215428 - 03/06/12 02:47 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
NW Ponderer Online   content
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It is just as fallacious to believe in every threat as to to deny the existence of any threat. Threats exist. Few days go by without some innocent killed by a terrorist. Serious people spend a good deal of time trying to address such threats in a balanced manner. This could be just such a forum.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#215430 - 03/06/12 03:01 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Ted Remington Offline
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Posts: 4890
Ignoring attempts to numanize this thread, I will try to continue:

When I proposed the two scenarios above, my thought was to show that there was a large continuum between the lowest level threat and the highest level threat. If the President thought some guy was going to take out a city would he take more drastic steps than if he thought the terrorist was going to take out a food court at a mall?

It is my belief that a President must respond to all such threats in the same way, by taking the quickest and most efficacious actions to stop the threat, even if they involve sending a Predator after a US citizen. Let's put it this way:

If you were President would you rather be impeached for acting or for failing to act? Would the country and history call you a hero if you allowed a half a million citizens to die because of your view that US citizenship was so sacrosanct that you would stay your hand because the guy holding the trigger had not been convicted in an open court? I think not.

And that, regardless of the screeching from the peanut gallery, I call "GOOD THINKING."
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#215434 - 03/06/12 03:40 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Originally Posted By: numan
'
So because of some nebulous, unprovable imaginary threat, it is right and proper to turn a country into a police state with the most alarming, oppressive, draconian powers imaginable.

Good thinking.

If you care to discuss this intelligently and with maturity fine, otherwise I will ignore you.
_________________________
Life is a banquet -- and most poor suckers are starving to death -- Auntie Mame
You are born naked and everything else is drag - RuPaul

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#215436 - 03/06/12 03:49 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
numan Offline
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I see -- believing all the lies of the official power structure and letting them build a lawless rogue nation means being intelligent and mature.

Good thinking.
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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#215443 - 03/06/12 04:55 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
keysersoze Offline
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Registered: 12/01/11
Posts: 881
Open the door and get a foot in the door. This type of action may have positive immediate results but I wonder the long term consequences especially the selection process. I can see a CIA flack coming to the president and in the best remembrances of McCarthy saying: "Mr. President - we have a list!"
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#215445 - 03/06/12 05:30 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Scoutgal Offline
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Originally Posted By: numan
'
So because of some nebulous, unprovable imaginary threat, it is right and proper to turn a country into a police state with the most alarming, oppressive, draconian powers imaginable.

Good thinking.


The Bush Administration pooh poohed the intelligence given them by the outgoing Clinton Administration, and we ended up with 9/11. I can see why the Obama Administration wants to be able to have this action available to them. But I would only very reluctantly vote for this-and with many restraints. I don't like it one bit, though. Nut then neither do I like the death penalty-but reluctantly OK the use of it until a better idea(that has been proven to work) comes along
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#215510 - 03/06/12 11:15 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Scoutgal]
pdx rick Offline
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Originally Posted By: Scoutgal
The Bush Administration pooh poohed the intelligence given them by the outgoing Clinton Administration, and we ended up with 9/11.

I have to strongly disagree. The mere existence of the PNAC doctrine, written in 1997, tells us the true facts of what happened during the Bush Administration with Cheney, Libby, Wolfowitz, among its signatories.

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#215511 - 03/06/12 11:16 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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Phil, I'll get back to you - too tired to respond to your post.
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#215516 - 03/07/12 01:07 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: pdx rick]
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Originally Posted By: california rick
Originally Posted By: Scoutgal
The Bush Administration pooh poohed the intelligence given them by the outgoing Clinton Administration, and we ended up with 9/11.

I have to strongly disagree. The mere existence of the PNAC doctrine, written in 1997, tells us the true facts of what happened during the Bush Administration with Cheney, Libby, Wolfowitz, among its signatories.


Regardless of PNAC, rick, they still pohpoohed the intelligence, because 1)The Republicans would do nothing might give the Democrats any credit, and 2)they wanted to try and get oil, since they cannot drill as much here in the USA. They also had their defense contractor buddies behind them, salivating at the thought of all the war profiteering. So yes, they definitely ignored(pooh poohed, as I said) the Clinton Administration intel.
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#215541 - 03/07/12 11:47 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: keysersoze]
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Originally Posted By: keysersoze

Open the door and get a foot in the door. This type of action may have positive immediate results but I wonder the long term consequences....

OPEN THE DOOR AND GET A FOOT IN THE DOOR

Those words deserve to be in letters a foot high.
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#215542 - 03/07/12 12:02 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
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It is easy to criticize this policy and it is troublesome.

Unfortunately, just criticizing it doesn't get us anywhere. I have yet to see those of you raising the alarms offer something to replace or modify it.

Possibly a more stringent definition of "imminent danger" and a requirement of judicial review except in those circumstances where the threat would occur within 12 hours.

I don't know what, if anything, will satisfy the naysayers but I am very disappointed that all some people can do is yell "fascist" and be critical. Are we not cvapable any more of reasoned discussion?
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#215549 - 03/07/12 12:23 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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Perhaps, Phil, the problem is that you simply cannot recognize that yelling "fascist" and being critical is very, very reasonable.
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#215551 - 03/07/12 12:31 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Originally Posted By: numan
'

Perhaps, Phil, the problem is that you simply cannot recognize that yelling "fascist" and being critical is very, very reasonable.

No, it is not reasonable, it is irresponsible and leaves finding a solution to others.
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#215557 - 03/07/12 12:56 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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In addition to being lazy and annoying, just whining is counterproductive - especially when it comes from those with no stake in the outcome. I prefer a) having a discussion, b) offering solutions. Anyone can be a Republican.
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#215562 - 03/07/12 01:10 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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I have told you the solution many, many times. Throw the present Constitution into the garbage can of history and create a constitution that will work in the 21st century.
If you choose to reject the only solution that will work, that is not my fault.
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#215584 - 03/07/12 03:59 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Ted Remington Offline
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Originally Posted By: numan
'

I have told you the solution many, many times. Throw the present Constitution into the garbage can of history and create a constitution that will work in the 21st century.
If you choose to reject the only solution that will work, that is not my fault.


But it is your fault that you keep up the non sequiturs. As usual, you are numanizing another thread. You may think your comments are germane, but they are not. To tell you the truth, I am not even sure yor posts even indicate that you are thinking, only jerking your knees spasmodically in rhythm to some tune that plays only in your head.

This thread is not about rewriting our Constitution, it is about a specific bill before the President for signature. If you want to start a thread about rewriting the Constitution we have a whole forum on the Constitution. Please direct your attention there. And rather than just screech about it, provide what you consider a framework for such a new Constitution, concentrating not on your anathema towards what we have now, but on what we could do in the future that would make our government better. Even though it is no longer your Government you might provide something constructive, rather than your usual destructive diversions from the subjects at hand.
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#215589 - 03/07/12 04:46 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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I can assure you, Ted, that I would have abandoned this thread long ago if other posters were not constantly addressing their postings to me!!

Instead of picking on me, as a good moderator, you should be telling all these other people to ignore me!!!


Edited by numan (03/07/12 05:08 PM)
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#215607 - 03/07/12 07:04 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Ted Remington Offline
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As you are fully aware, I am not speaking as a moderator unless I sign moderator after my name.
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#215619 - 03/07/12 08:39 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: NW Ponderer]
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Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Similarly, Iss, with the exception of the "in absentia" comment, the rest of the comment was off topic and a violation of good taste, if not also a guideline violation.

Nonsense. My reference was "Holder and his contemptable boss..." -- I did not say, "sheriff asshat", which you found to be " in-bounds " in another thread. coffee
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#215622 - 03/07/12 08:46 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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It is hard, sometimes, to carry on an intelligent, thoughtful and productive discussion when the thread gets clogged up with pseudointellectual detritus.
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#215623 - 03/07/12 08:46 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Irked]
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[u]
Originally Posted By: Irked

Is a kangaroo court where a defendant is denied the right to examine the evidence against him some how better than the obviously legal position of attacking and killing an enemy combatant? How could it possibly matter if the enemy was a traitor or not?

What part of, "That [u]at least would come close
to being ethical and representative of a constitutional action", do you not understand, Irked? Be specific. I will assist you.
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#215625 - 03/07/12 09:11 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: pdx rick]
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Originally Posted By: california rick
Since acceptance of absolute power of the State and its secrecy privilege, the rule of law automatically disappears. They are mutually exclusive. So do not complain about abuse, injustice or anything at all. Period.


Good points, rick, and three addtional points you may agree with.
1. There is no such thing as a NON-slippery slope when the state claims a power. What begins as "we will do this only in extreme cases, over time morphs into routine use for less and less "extreme" cases. It is the way of power.

2. The rationalizations and examples in the thread are legalistic quibbling -- a pharisaic argument, at best.

3. But, most important to this 'argument' is the illogic of the claim made by the originating poster. The premise for the argument for the killing of an American citizen on the orders of a president is that it may avoid a war. The poster has not provided the evidence that the killing of the citizen in the article resulted in avoiding a war. Therefore, the argument is false. Period.
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#215627 - 03/07/12 09:26 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Scoutgal]
pdx rick Offline
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Originally Posted By: Scoutgal
...they wanted to try and get oil, since they cannot drill as much here in the USA. They also had their defense contractor buddies behind them, salivating at the thought of all the war profiteering...

Exactly. It's was a part of a blueprint to get military bases into the middle east, and Bush Administration was successful:

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#215629 - 03/07/12 09:32 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
pdx rick Offline
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Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Do you and issodhos contend that there never are such situations?

I can only speak for me: No

Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
How would you deal with a high risk scenario in which there is no way to capture and bring out such a person?

The Patriot Act is enforce. NDAA is enforce. We eavesdrop on him, get his GPS location - because every where in the world cell phones use satellite, except in the U.S. - and we send the SEALS in and bring him back.

How are we to know if the "terrorists" really got due process when we can't access the information regarding their charges and "conviction" because it is a matter of national security?

According to Holder's statement, all it takes to kill an American overseas is for the administration to accuse the citizen of terrorism or terror affiliation.

There needs to be a court with oversight over the decision to target a U.S. citizen for attack over terrorist activities.

It's time to establish a framework for doing this right. No president should be able to decide purely on his own authority to kill Americans overseas. I would hate a possible "President Romney" to have this unfettered power, one day.

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#215630 - 03/07/12 09:36 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: issodhos]
Irked Offline
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Originally Posted By: issodhos
[u]
Originally Posted By: Irked

Is a kangaroo court where a defendant is denied the right to examine the evidence against him some how better than the obviously legal position of attacking and killing an enemy combatant? How could it possibly matter if the enemy was a traitor or not?

What part of, "That [u]at least would come close
to being ethical and representative of a constitutional action", do you not understand, Irked? Be specific. I will assist you.


There is no Constitutional basis for trials in abstentia. There is plenty of Constitutional basis for killing armed enemies of the country no matter what their nationality.
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#215631 - 03/07/12 09:50 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: NW Ponderer]
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I don't understand why anyone would think al-Awlaki's constitutional rights would restrict the actions of the US government any more than the constitutional rights of any other serial mass murderer not in custody. We know he was plotting to murder more people, because that is exactly what he claimed on his website, his Al Queda newsletters, and in personal statements. We know this was a completely reliable threat because of his involvement in planning other terrorist actions in which many died. Didn't his continued freedom to act constitute an imminent danger to many other people? A Yemeni judge tried him in absentia and ordered him captured dead or alive, so even the government of the country where he was hiding thought he was an imminent threat.

Criminals have rights, but they have a much more limited set of rights before they are in custody. Even within the US, a citizen who commits a murder has only the right to cooperate with law enforcement and surrender. If he fails to do that in a timely and direct manner, then he doesn't even retain the right to live! Armed and dangerous criminals are sought "Dead or Alive". Our police shoot fleeing armed killers, bank robbers, etc. rather than let them escape while they obtain a warrant. Police have no obligation to announce their Miranda Rights with a bullhorn during a shoot-out. They even put down spike strips across a highway to stop somebody who's only crime may be evading police by reckless driving, even though hitting the spikes at 120 MPH is usually lethal.

Anwar al-Awlaki could have gone to a US Embassy or sought out US government agents to make his surrender. Then (once he was no longer an imminent threat) he would have enjoyed some of those constitution rights we all value so highly. We can argue over which rights he should have been entitled to by virtue of being outside the US's sovereign territory, his citizenship or repudiation of that, his leadership position in an organization that "declared war on the US", and so forth.

But the idea that he had constitutional rights intact while engaged in deadly attacks, is just ridiculous. Like many have said: The Constitution is not a suicide pact.

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#215676 - 03/08/12 09:17 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: pondering_it_all]
rporter314 Offline
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i think you failed to make the case

police do not shoot and kill people who are sitting at a desk with no weapons as they do not pose an immanent threat regardless of their prior activities or future planned activities

i think you are trying to make a case based on an emotional response to what you would consider a person who commits the most heinous crimes imaginable which i does not think reflect the methodology of apprehension

follow your logic ... if we allow an abridgement of due process for anyone we will be faced with police in every situation becoming judge, jury, and executioner ... how soon would it be that innocent people are arbitrarily killed because someone suspects them of some crime

very dangerous
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#215748 - 03/09/12 12:01 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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Regarding Eric Holder's speech/appearance at Northwestern University. Professor Joseph Margulies:

Quote:
“I was disappointed. I defy anyone to read that speech and show any differences between Obama and Bush on these issues,” Margulies said. “They both say we are in a war not confined to particular battlefield. ... Both say we can target citizens without judicial oversight and that can happen anywhere in the world,”

Professors Bridget Arimond and Juliet Sorensen, who teach international human rights, were likewise unsatisfied with parts of Holder’s speech.

“I think he didn’t address a lot of the harder questions,” Arimond said. “He went through the various principles that authorize the use of lethal force in armed conflict. These principles are unassailable in armed conflict: You kill the enemy. I don’t think it makes a difference if it’s an American citizen if it’s an armed war.”

But the problem is that while the Bush administration saw and the Obama administration sees a worldwide “War on Terror” that gives the United States government license to hunt down and kill enemies, other nations aren’t willing to embrace such a broad notion of a battlefield and a “war” with no end in sight. That’s why they are resisting full cooperation with the United States when it comes to extraditions and Guantanamo detainees, Sorenson said.

“The question of whether we’re in an armed conflict is a difficult one to answer,” said Sorensen, daughter of Kennedy advisor and speech-writer Ted Sorensen. “This administration and the last administration have answered it in the affirmative. ... There remains some international resistance to the tribunals in Guantanamo. There are a number of nations that resist intelligence sharing when it involves the tribunals in Guantanamo Bay.”
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#215749 - 03/09/12 12:06 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
pdx rick Offline
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Quote:
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder this week attempted to explain how the U.S. Constitution allows the American president to be a law unto himself – to be judge, jury and executioner. Those are the powers that President Obama claims are inherent in his office: the right to kill at will, based on evidence only he is fit to examine and assess. This is a system of law without courts, without evidence that either the public or the condemned person has a right to see, or to contest. One man, with the power of life and death over any inhabitant of the planet, including citizens of the United States.

They used to call such people kings. But even the English kings of old – at least since the signing of the Magna Carta 800 years ago – were compelled to recognize the principle that free men could only be punished based on the law of the land. The United States Constitution is rooted in the principle of due process of law, with the courts as final arbiters of whether the law has been served.

With the passage of preventive detention without trail or charge, and President Obama’s claim to have sole power to target any human being for death, the rule of law has been eviscerated, abolished by presidential decree and congressional acquiescence. A pillar of civilization has been toppled, but most people in the United States appear not to have noticed.

“Holder acted as if he’d found a previously undetected loophole in the Constitution.”

Read more at BAR.com
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#215751 - 03/09/12 12:46 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: rporter314]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Originally Posted By: rporter314

follow your logic ... if we allow an abridgement of due process for anyone we will be faced with police in every situation becoming judge, jury, and executioner ... how soon would it be that innocent people are arbitrarily killed because someone suspects them of some crime

very dangerous

And what makes you think that doesn't happen now? I do not like the idea of what Holder claims, but I fail to see how it is new or a big deal.

First, at least this administration is up front about scary stuff like this. Would have been good if he had given us an idea of what circumstances would trigger this "power."

But police do this all the time. So why is it suddenly a big deal when the terrorist is offshore? What is different?
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#215762 - 03/09/12 08:50 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
rporter314 Offline
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Quote:
police do this all the time

hmmm ... if by all the time you mean it happens ... well of course ... anything you can imagine happens

but here we have a different situation ... the DoJ has voiced an opinion prior to any legal proceeding in order to justify abrogating due process ... this is a blatant abridgment to the 1st ... it says so ... this is not some perceived infringement but a real one

we have far too many willing participants throwing away my rights to further some paranoid fear about boogie men and the only thing between me and them is a piece of paper and when that paper has been shredded by those folks there will be nothing to protect me from their jackboots
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#215768 - 03/09/12 09:03 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Joe Keegan Offline
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Anyone ever formally charge Awlaki and his son with anything?

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#215770 - 03/09/12 09:20 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Ted Remington Offline
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there's only one thing better than a dead terrorist, and that's a terrorist who dies prior to perpetrating. Would we have been better off as a nation if McVeigh had been taken out with a Predator drone while he was driving that truck from Junction City KS towards Oklahoma City?

There are 168 (or possibly 169) dead people who would say yes, including 19 children at the day care center, one only three months old. There are hundreds more who were relatives of those victims who would say the same thing. How many people would say that gunning down a vile piece of sh!t before he could perpetrate such a cowardly despicable act was better than making sure that McVeigh was given all the rights to which he was entitled under the Constitution?

What would you say about a President who failed to prevent a similar tragedy to the 9/11 attacks because one of the conspirators was a US citizen? Why should a person have the right to a trial prior to being subjected to a preventive air strike just because he is a US citizen?

You people need to listen to yourselves and place yourselves in the shoes of the parents of those 19 children. You need to imagine the grief of thousands and thousands of relatives who watched the two WTC buildings crumble to the ground in a massive column of smoke and dust.

I asked this question earlier and no one even bothered to answer it:

Would you, as President, rather be hated and impeached for failing to prevent another tragedy or would you rather be hated and impeached for killing a US citizen who was bent on creating another tragedy? And how many of you think that the President who acted would be impeached?

I don't give a rat's ass whether the President has the "right" to order the destruction of a perpetrator before he acts. I care that he acts and does it as soon as possible after uncovering the plot.
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#215781 - 03/09/12 11:29 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
NW Ponderer Online   content
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There are two ways to address this issue: one, with ideology, devoid of real world implications, or, to address the real world situation with full awareness of potential implications. I am as idealistic as is possible in the real world. There are real threats, and they have to be dealt with realistically. I am not a believer in the Jack Bauer school of diplomacy, nor do I believe that Eric Holder is. He presented, as clearly as he could, the parameters for the use of exceptional force, acknowledging limitations. Is there a threat of overreach? Of course there is. One only has to review the actions of the Bush administration to see that.

At the same time, it is irresponsible to ignore the reality of how terrorists operate, and the difficulty that poses to law enforcement. I do view this as a law enforcement issue, primarily, with the emphasis on law (and that is not being legalistic, but rational). All law enforcement efforts require balancing the rights of the accused/suspect against the safety of the public, and Holder's approach is no different. The greater the imminent threat, the broader latitude law enforcement personnel have in countering it. The "rights" don't go away, but they are affected by the circumstances. In this instance, we are really just talking about "the use of deadly force," a well-known and thoroughly analyzed area of the law. This is not a significant deviation from that analysis, it just deals directly with the most extreme situation.


Edited by NW Ponderer (03/09/12 04:25 PM)
Edit Reason: speling
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#215782 - 03/09/12 11:53 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: rporter314]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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rporter, I merely was pointing out that a police officer faced with a person holding a weapon at the officer or another person does not have to seek a judicial approval of shooting the person with the gun.

How is this different (and I have said that I think definitions are everything on this)?
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#215788 - 03/09/12 02:13 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Ardy Offline
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This US government has designed and built an extensive array of nuclear weapons. I frankly doubt that any effort would be undertaken to remove all american citizens from an area targeted fo a nuclear stike?

It seems to me that it has been clear for quite some time that the US government is prepared to pursue the most extreme --- even cataclysmic methods in pursuit of our perceived national interests.


In that context, I have a hard time seeing what is so shocking in this circumstance? If you have a government that is literally prepared to blow up the whole friggin world... how could it possibly be surprising that this government would be prepared to send a drone to yemen and take care of a perceived threat?

The only thing vaguely surprising is that the government took the trouble to make a policy announcement on this.


Edited by Ardy (03/09/12 03:48 PM)
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#215799 - 03/09/12 04:33 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
rporter314 Offline
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Quote:
pointing out

and i agreed but i believe you have lost sight of one important distinction in this case

a police officer is operating under due process which may be impugned by circumstances while in this case there is no disguise ... there is an overt rationalization that we are operating under due process but Holder continues with when inconvenient throw it out and simply assassinate an American citizen ... i don't think the Founders thought we could arbitrarily abrogate our rights because some people think it politically, economically, or philosophically expedient

this case is even more distasteful than a superficial disagreement ... what we have are legal scholars concocting rationalizations for actions already taken ... we saw this when Yoo et al wrote opinions justifying torture as legal ex post facto in contradiction to standard international law of which we are a part and now we have an AG writing similar rationalizations to justify an assassination without due process ... these opinions constitute the foundation of a pattern of legal rationalizations which posit that individuals do not possess rights guaranteed by the Constitution

this is not a perceived threat to our rights but a historically accurate characterization of real events ... we have lost our way
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#215800 - 03/09/12 04:41 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: issodhos]
numan Offline
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Originally Posted By: issodhos

There is no such thing as a NON-slippery slope when the state claims a power. What begins as "we will do this only in extreme cases," over time morphs into routine use for less and less "extreme" cases. It is the way of power.

Well and succinctly expressed, Issodhos. I do so agree with you.

Those who do not understand this simple fact are very, very ignorant of history.
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#215802 - 03/09/12 04:59 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Ted Remington Offline
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Ah yes. numan continues to repeat that all Americans are too stupid to take a dump without having numan to wipe our butts.
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#215804 - 03/09/12 05:23 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Ted Remington]
numan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ted Remington
Ah yes. numan continues to repeat that all Americans are too stupid to take a dump without having numan to wipe our butts.

Well, judging by the lessons of history... · · wink

Anyway, Ted, there is no reason to get shirty about it !
[That sentence should be read with British Received Pronunciation to savour its implications]
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#215805 - 03/09/12 05:28 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Ted Remington]
rporter314 Offline
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Quote:
as President

as president i would have to uphold the Constitution

your exact premise and argument was used by Pres Lincoln who brazenly suspended Habeus Corpus which was determined to be Unconstitutional by the then sitting Supreme Court

long after you and i are gone the law will remain ... should our legacy be a piece of paper which can arbitrarily be altered by the vagaries of wind direction or an inviolable memorial of human aspirations
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#215806 - 03/09/12 05:36 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: rporter314]
pondering_it_all Offline
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Quote:
police do not shoot and kill people who are sitting at a desk with no weapons as they do not pose an immanent threat regardless of their prior activities or future planned activities


"People" as in somebody they would like to talk to? Or "people" as in a known murderer in flight from law enforcement? I think you are creating a straw man by ignoring the difference. If police go to an office where they know such a wanted killer is sitting with his hands visible on the desk surface, and nobody seems to be in any immediate danger, then they will burst in with guns drawn but not fire. At that point, the criminal has the right to do nothing but surrender. If he instead reaches for anything in his lap, pocket, desk drawer, etc. then the police will kill him and be entirely justified. Once he surrenders, he will have more rights (such as due process, right to an attorney) but not anything like the rights of a citizen not in custody. (For example, no right to bear arms while in jail!)

Now what if police are chasing a person they know has committed a deadly crime and is on his way to commit more such crimes. The police officer sees him climb on a empty flatbed car of a train that starts moving away from the officer (who is on foot). The officer has to choose between shooting the fleeing criminal or losing sight of him and possibly never capturing him. In the US, if that officer can kill the criminal without endangering others, he is justified to do so. The only "due process" that applies in that case is for the officer to do his job and capture (if possible) or kill the criminal.

My argument is not at all an emotional response to al-Awlaki's crimes or politics, which is why I have been using examples of common criminals who are US citizens, inside the US.

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#215807 - 03/09/12 05:43 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Joe Keegan]
pondering_it_all Offline
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Quote:
Anyone ever formally charge Awlaki and his son with anything?


Not sure about the son, but I do know al-Awlaki was charged, tried in absentia, and the judge issued an order to take him dead or alive.


Edited by pondering_it_all (03/09/12 06:23 PM)
Edit Reason: factual correction

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#215808 - 03/09/12 05:58 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: pondering_it_all]
Joe Keegan Offline
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Do you know what Yemen charged him with? I thought that he was American and that an American drone took him out. Did Yemen subcontract the hit to the US?

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#215809 - 03/09/12 06:21 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Joe Keegan]
pondering_it_all Offline
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There is a pretty complete wiki page on him. From that page:
Quote:
The Yemeni government began trying him in absentia in November 2010, for plotting to kill foreigners and being a member of al-Qaeda, and a Yemenite judge ordered that he be captured "dead or alive".


wikipedia entry

I don't think Yemen "subcontracted" the action, but I would not be surprised if they supplied intelligence and maybe even urged the US to do it. There are "tribal areas" in Yemen (as in Pakistan) where local law enforcement and military are not safe.

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#215812 - 03/09/12 08:13 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: pondering_it_all]
rporter314 Offline
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Quote:
straw man

no straw man created except by you or at the least a confusion man

this is simple ... we are talking about a person who does not pose an imminent threat to anyone or one who does ... there are no particular attributes of this person since any pre-history, current history, or future history is irrelevant i.e. it doesn;t matter if this person is the most heinous beast who ever lived or an innocent falsely accused of some crime

no where in the Constitution have i found a Founder referring me to a section or article which arbitrarily suggests we can abrogate any part of the Constitution at our pleasure (the process is to pass an amendment in which due process has caveats if you want to ignore it)

now for your hypothetical: i am not so easily convinced that any law enforcement officer can side step due process because he can't outrun a known criminal without taking responsibility for his actions vis a vis being charged with a crime ... the critical component is imminent threat not he was getting away

Quote:
emotional response

again your comment is replete with the words one would use for an emotional response ... in other words throw me some Constitutional basis, a SC opinion, or some legal precedent which suggests due process may be ignored by exigent circumstances such as he was getting away ... he is too hard to catch ... he looked like the picture in the poster (o my bad)

everyone who has responded positively to this opinion has done so based on the "facts" this character was involved in conspiracy to commit, plan etc terrorism, but both the 5th and due process has nothing to do with a crime in particular but with the relationship between a person and the state, specifically that the state can not act either capriciously or arbitrarily but must act within the constraints of law

"No person shall ... be deprived of life ... without due process of law"

no where does it say unless that person is a known terrorist, murderer, tax evader ... no person ... without qualifications

sorry guys but don't let the criminal activity of a person cloud Constitutional interpretation
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#215815 - 03/09/12 08:38 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: rporter314]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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No matter how often I have asked for a statement outlining an alternative and yet reasonable proposal, I get nothing back.

Does that mean nobody has a better alternative?
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#215818 - 03/09/12 09:38 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: rporter314]
pondering_it_all Offline
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I guess the first precedent would be common law, under which police have always had the right to kill a fleeing suspect. Then we could look at Tennessee v. Garner, which I believe is the last word on a similar case before the Supreme Court. They found in favor of the parents of the 15 year-old boy who was shot to death by a policeman while fleeing the scene of a burglary, after the officer saw he had no weapon.

If you just look at the court's decision that would be an over-simplification: The officer had no knowledge of any danger the suspect posed to anybody. What if the officer had know the identity of the suspect, knew he was armed, and knew of some danger he did pose to others? Under those circumstances, the court may well have decided the other way. In the majority opinion, Justice White wrote that in order to determine the constitutionality of a seizure, the court must weigh the nature of the intrusion of the suspect's Fourth Amendment rights against the government interests which justified the intrusion. [The seizure here being the suspect's life.]

The message from the Supreme Court was: "You can't kill fleeing, unarmed children who are suspected of minor felonies." Not: "You can't kill any fleeing suspect, ever."

Tennessee v. Garner got to the Supreme Court because it was an unreasonable application of the common law "right to kill". But thousands of cases every year in which police kill fleeing criminals, get no consideration by a court because they WERE reasonable. The real issue here is: Was somebody known to have planned a successful mass murder before, known to have control over all the deadly resources of Al Queda, and who swore to do it again, a danger to his planned victims?

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#215829 - 03/10/12 03:47 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
NW Ponderer Online   content
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Again, two points: first, why is it that so many posters are completely ignoring what Attorney General Holder actually said? That is what is most important, yet is being completely ignored. Why? I think, perhaps, because nuance does not fit neatly within absolutes.

Second, there is this presumption that constitutional rights are simple, and not subject to interpretation, or different application in different circumstances. They are principles of law, and I am one of the most ardent of champions of constitutional supremacy. But all laws, and most particularly the Constitution, gain substance by application to real world circumstances. Arguing that doing so is being "legalistic" is tautological. Of course it is legalistic, we're talking about application of the law. It's like saying doctors talking about medicine are being "medicalistic." Well, duh.
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#215832 - 03/10/12 05:24 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Ted Remington Offline
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numan:

We have you wiping our butts for us and you have the nerve to say that WE are the stupid ones. Go figure.
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#215840 - 03/10/12 10:34 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: pondering_it_all]
rporter314 Offline
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Quote:
common law

wow in what country? perhaps in iran ... certainly in iraq under the shah ...

from wiki
Quote:
Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985)[1], was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that under the Fourth Amendment, when a law enforcement officer is pursuing a fleeing suspect, he or she may use deadly force only to prevent escape if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.

as i previously indicated when there is imminent threat ... o that is what the supremes said

now what you suggest is a perversion of that by trying to argue an American in a foreign country is fleeing by simply being in a foreign country and assume as a probable cause without any knowledge of possible threat, future plans for mayhem, we are allowed by TN v Garner to assassinate that person

I rather imagine TN v Garner was meant to allow law enforcement some latitude in apprehension when a suspect is actually using some mode of transportation, such as feet or vehicle, to flee the scene of a crime or site of detection and is waving a bazooka in a threatening manner ... it does not say that a suspect sitting at a table eating dinner in a foreign country who may be planning future criminal activities is subject to TN v Garner i.e. he is not fleeing in the sense of TN v Gardner and is not an imminent threat

Quote:
the real issue

is not your question but should be about the law ... in this case Constitutional law ... TN v Gardner is not relevant as suspect was not fleeing and posed no imminent threat ... assuming one can apply US law on foreign soil, if he had been surrounded and was trying to escape and was waving an AK-47 about, and even if he was innocent and was killed, then i suppose in some fashion someone could argue the case based on TN v Gardner and justify it

this case is not some hypothetical proposed by university law students but is real ... an AG has written an opinion which states when it is too hard to apprehend a suspect we can abrogate due process ... i don't need to speculate about possible consequences ... we know what they are ...

so if this acceptable to you for whatever reason where do you draw the line? now i will speculate ... what if the next AG writes an opinion about [ yeah use your imagination ] will that also be acceptable? we are not talking about perceived threats to the Constitution but real threats

in the citizen state relationship, the only thing that separates me from the ideological vagaries of those in office is a piece of paper, and when the veneer of ink has been removed from the vellum there is nothing which can protect me.

Quote:
But thousands of cases every year in which police kill fleeing criminals

this is not accurate and i suspect some hyperbolic language to bolster your, in my opinion, weak and emotional case

paraphrase from USA Today 22 Apr 2010: about 1 person a day is killed in all police chases, which includes of course police, criminals and bystanders and also of course the greatest number killed are bystanders and of those killed some 88% are for non violent crimes i.e. no imminent threat involved, until, if in a vehicle, they go careening through the streets which imminently threatens other peoples lives ... which is, gee, way far fewer than your 1000's a year

i think we have reached the critical point, whereas i believe that my rights guaranteed by the Constitution are inviolable, you apparently believe those same rights may be mitigated by circumstance.
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#215841 - 03/10/12 10:58 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: NW Ponderer]
rporter314 Offline
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Quote:
ignoring what Attorney General Holder actually said

i believe i referenced is remarks in a previous post but have zeroed in on the crux of the issue

basically, after the fact, which should be a clue, Holder wrote an opinion justifying lethal force. His opinion was based on previous SC opinions which disambiguated Constitutional language. What he failed to do was to argue that al-Awlaki met those criteria. Further Holder argued that there is a difference between due process and judicial process. I believe there to be a difference as judicial process is commenced only when due process has been implemented. In the al-Awlaki case there was no judicial process as there was no due process, the government subsumed an individuals rights without regard to law.
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#215842 - 03/10/12 11:11 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: rporter314]
Greger Offline
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Registered: 11/24/06
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Quote:
hyperbolic language to bolster your, in my opinion, weak and emotional case

That silly Northwest Ponderer is well known for his lack of understanding US Law and the Constitution and you will find that most of his legal opinions are "Weak and Emotional"

LOL LOLLOLLOLLOL LOL
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#215843 - 03/10/12 11:12 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
rporter314 Offline
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Quote:
an alternative and yet reasonable proposal

i think you are creating scenarios which are unnecessary

i think what you and others are saying is it is ok to rationalize Constitutional infringement in the case of terrorists. But, when faced with the reality that the Constitution may be just a piece of paper, you ask for alternatives, suggesting that infringement is the only resolution. If it is too hard don't throw your hands up in surrender ... re-dedicate and be disciplined ... persevere with a renewed diligence ... the tools are already available to bring to justice terrorists without compromising the Constitution ... it is just a harder process

if life were simple, we wouldn't need laws
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#215853 - 03/10/12 12:26 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: rporter314]
numan Offline
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Originally Posted By: rporter314
I rather imagine TN v Garner was meant to allow law enforcement some latitude in apprehension when a suspect is actually using some mode of transportation, such as feet or vehicle, to flee the scene of a crime or site of detection and is waving a bazooka in a threatening manner ... it does not say that a suspect sitting at a table eating dinner in a foreign country who may be planning future criminal activities is subject to TN v Garner i.e. he is not fleeing in the sense of TN v Gardner and is not an imminent threat
Originally Posted By: issodhos

There is no such thing as a NON-slippery slope when the state claims a power. What begins as "we will do this only in extreme cases," over time morphs into routine use for less and less "extreme" cases. It is the way of power.

A hit! A palpable hit, most worthy Issodhos!
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#215915 - 03/11/12 12:59 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: rporter314]
NW Ponderer Online   content
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I think it is imperative to understand what the argument is, and is not.
Originally Posted By: rporter314

basically, after the fact, which should be a clue, Holder wrote an opinion justifying lethal force.
First of all, this is an inaccurate characterization of his discussion. Undoubtedly, there was a pre-action discussion, and development of the principles underlying the actions taken. I have done such analysis, personally, as part of my job, and I can assure you there is almost never a planned use of force action of this nature that does not involve a lawyer in analyzing its legitimacy. These are usually classified and also attorney-client protected work product, so the documents themselves are not made public. The principles upon which they are based were articulated by AG Holder.

The difference, in this case, is that the administration has been willing to bring forth its justification into the public forum, for a particular kind of action. We are all well aware that the Bush administration also developed justifications for its actions, but did not reveal those justifications voluntarily. That is a HUGEdistinction.

Quote:
His opinion was based on previous SC opinions which disambiguated Constitutional language. What he failed to do was to argue that al-Awlaki met those criteria.
That was never his intention, so that is a bit of a non sequitur. He was not intending to discuss any particular action, but the general principles that would be applied.

Quote:
Further Holder argued that there is a difference between due process and judicial process. I believe there to be a difference as judicial process is commenced only when due process has been implemented.
Respectfully, that is a mischaracterization of the principle. What the Fifth Amendment actually says, in pertinent part, is "No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law[.]" Nowhere does it say "judicial process" because the principle is much broader than that (for example, eminent domain; license suspensions, etc.). Due process is "the process that is due, based upon the circumstances." Judicial process is a specie of due process, not the other way around, so the argument
Quote:
In the al-Awlaki case there was no judicial process as there was no due process, the government subsumed an individuals rights without regard to law.
is an incorrect analysis (and also factually incorrect). Rather, AG Holder's analysis
Quote:
“Some have argued that the president is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or associated forces. This is simply not accurate,” Holder said. “Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, it does not guarantee judicial process.”
is a correct analysis of the principle.

Now, let's turn to the actual, articulated analysis (Key Excerpts from Holder’s Speech on Targeted Killing):
Quote:
Let me be clear: an operation using lethal force in a foreign country, targeted against a U.S. citizen who is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces, and who is actively engaged in planning to kill Americans, would be lawful at least in the following circumstances: First, the U.S. government has determined, after a thorough and careful review, that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; second, capture is not feasible; and third, the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles.
(emphasis added.)

After laying out those general parameters, he dealt with each of those three principles with more specificity,
Quote:
The evaluation of whether an individual presents an “imminent threat” incorporates considerations of the relevant window of opportunity to act, the possible harm that missing the window would cause to civilians, and the likelihood of heading off future disastrous attacks against the United States. As we learned on 9/11, al Qaeda has demonstrated the ability to strike with little or no notice – and to cause devastating casualties. Its leaders are continually planning attacks against the United States, and they do not behave like a traditional military – wearing uniforms, carrying arms openly, or massing forces in preparation for an attack. Given these facts, the Constitution does not require the President to delay action until some theoretical end-stage of planning – when the precise time, place, and manner of an attack become clear. Such a requirement would create an unacceptably high risk that our efforts would fail, and that Americans would be killed.

Whether the capture of a U.S. citizen terrorist is feasible is a fact-specific, and potentially time-sensitive, question. It may depend on, among other things, whether capture can be accomplished in the window of time available to prevent an attack and without undue risk to civilians or to U.S. personnel. Given the nature of how terrorists act and where they tend to hide, it may not always be feasible to capture a United States citizen terrorist who presents an imminent threat of violent attack. In that case, our government has the clear authority to defend the United States with lethal force.

Of course, any such use of lethal force by the United States will comply with the four fundamental law of war principles governing the use of force. The principle of necessity requires that the target have definite military value. The principle of distinction requires that only lawful targets – such as combatants, civilians directly participating in hostilities, and military objectives – may be targeted intentionally. Under the principle of proportionality, the anticipated collateral damage must not be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage. Finally, the principle of humanity requires us to use weapons that will not inflict unnecessary suffering.


As we continue this discussion, I think it is incumbent upon us to be accurate about what was said, and why. This is a dicey proposition, I do not quibble about that. When the government undertakes any action it has to have justification for doing so, and that justification needs to meet the criteria of both the Constitution and relevant international law (since these actions are occurring outside the United States). When the action is as severe as this - lethal force - it has be be carefully and thoroughly analyzed. I just don't think that facile condemnations further the analysis (and I'm not picking on you, rp, just responding to your analysis, because it was what I was responding to).
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#215920 - 03/11/12 06:42 AM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: NW Ponderer]
Schlack Offline
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#215928 - 03/11/12 12:56 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: NW Ponderer]
rporter314 Offline
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Registered: 03/18/03
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Quote:
pre-action discussion

yes of course someone did an analysis of the situation ... i don;t think someone woke up one morning with a hair out of place and said let's kill an American on foreign soil today. In a similar fashion Bush administration officials decided they could torture detainees but when someone asked the question if they would be held responsible for what could be not only construed as but was a violation of international law, the administration found an opinion which seemingly protected those people and all after the fact.

Since these principles were not announced prior to the action I can only speculate that there was not a thorough legal investigation and that only after the fact were legal scholars requested to provide a Constitutional justification for abrogating due process.

Quote:
the administration has been willing

and there was an alternative course of action?

Had the administration advertised the extent of what has to be a new policy regarding Americans abroad, there would have been no necessity for Holder's speech justifying government action. This administration has the benefit of hindsight and knew of the potential firestorm of political, legal controversy surrounding their actions and simply preempted that with Holder's speech. To conclude as you have done, that there is a distinction, is irrelevant as there is no application of equivalency.

Quote:
never his intention

of course it was not his intention as the speech indicates yet he offers a opinion of principles justifying abrogation of due process. Since he did not expound on these principles you and I are obligated to determine through interpretation what they mean.

apparently you did not understand what I said or perhaps I was not very clear
Quote:
that is a mischaracterization of the principle

I think that is what I said and continuing I suggest not that judicial process is the problem (I suspect Holder mentioned this to divert attention from the real issue) but due process, to which you state yes that is the correct analysis.
So I believe you and I are in agreement that due process is the issue.

For the particulars of principles:
1. imminent threat
2. capture is not feasible
3. applicable law of war

Holder then mitigates the very language he used by redefining imminent to simply mean if a person is in AQ then they are an imminent threat.

Holder continues with sometimes it is too hard to capture suspects.

Holder closes with rules of war.

Now strip away the involved criminality and let's see what this is really about.

The SC thinks imminent is an impending action i.e. someone waving a gun, not that someone may wave a gun, not that someone may plan a crime, not that someone wants to commit a crime. The SC does not think that affiliation with a criminal organization constitutes an imminent threat.

No where can you produce an opinion from the SC which states that if a suspect is too hard to apprehend then ignore the Constitution.

The third is nothing more than standard issue rules of conduct in war. From the perspective of due process it has no relevance. A surgical strike against high value military targets is simply a procedural example of the rules of war. It is nothing more than the result of abrogation of due process in this case.

What should be clear is, these principles, whereas founded on SC opinions, have been perverted to justify abrogation of due process. Viewed from the SC perspective, political affiliations do not constitute an imminent threat and suspects hiding does not excuse application of the Constitution.

How we can deduce this to be a problem is to compare it to application in America. If we can target anyone who is a member of a "threatening" organization or if that person is in hiding and apprehension is too hard, can we assassinate that person on firm Constitutional grounds? I think the answer is no.

The rebuttal used by Holder is an example of appealing to emotional responses i.e. known AQ affiliation, knowing they are a terrorist org etc. Only the underlying principles of law are important not the politics or location of a suspect.

I think this case would have been much more easily argued if a different principle had been used which would have made Holder's principles unnecessary and thus the case void. Had Holder argued that al-Awlaki, in the singular, implicitly renounced his citizenship from the very nature of his words and actions, I suspect I would be in agreement.

This is a strange argument as it appears everyone who has posted in agreement with Holder mentioned AQ. Not only did every poster mention it but Holder makes it the main premise. What this means to me is people can carve out any caveat to the Constitution to rationalize a justification for abrogation of rights. Rationalization is meant to appeal to people's emotions and ignore the underlying legal principles. Turn this around, it should not be necessary to qualify the legal actions taken with extraneous adjectives.

The bottom line is this is not a perceived threat to rights with no palpable evidence but a real threat which was implicitly acknowledged by Holder with his justification speech. Holder's position is essentially the government can sequester due process from the individual and take action from behind closed doors. I believe this is precisely why the Founders wrote the due process clause vis a vis to preclude this exact thing from happening.

You may appeal to my dull sensibilities if you drop the appeal to AQ and form an argument based solely on the law. Then on the other hand it crossed my mind, you may agree that due process has not been afforded but you believe there is justification for it, in which case we disagree about justification.
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#215932 - 03/11/12 01:36 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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I think, rp, where we differ is that, in my opinion, you are arguing from the conclusion. You begin with the premise that due process has been abrogated, then reach the unsurprising conclusion that due process has been abrogated. Rather, I think, it is important to start with what "due process" is, then determine how it applies in this circumstance. I am not at my computer right now, so a more complete response will have to wait. It may be that, in the end, we agree, but that requires an agreement on how to analyze the question.

Let me start that with a question: does the analysis depend on the nationality of the subject of the attack? Or, maybe more correctly, does it start with the nationality of the subject?
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#215933 - 03/11/12 01:40 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: NW Ponderer]
numan Offline
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'
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
The difference, in this case, is that the administration has been willing to bring forth its justification into the public forum, for a particular kind of action. We are all well aware that the Bush administration also developed justifications for its actions, but did not reveal those justifications voluntarily. That is a HUGEdistinction.

Let me get this straight. A person who publicly announces that he is planning to commit murder is better than someone who tries to hide his homicidal intentions.
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#215939 - 03/11/12 01:58 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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I agree with reporter in that Holder back-tracked (CHA) and came-up with legal theories after the fact. Law and Justice are two totally seperate concepts.

Why does anyone suppose that over the centuries governments have tended to be dictatorial? It's not because they didn't think about the possibility of a democratic/socialistic paradigm. It's because men with power like to think of themselves as exceptional, superior to everyone else and therefore deserving of more benefits than everyone else, with a right to exploit everyone else. In that way the US is no different from Saudi Arabia or any other dictatorship.

Fascism is not what it used to be - no black or brown shirts - fascism now pretends its brutality and murder are "collateral damage" in spreading democracy around the world. Fascists talk as if a corporate state is not a form of authoritarian rule and that their empire is benign (maybe, when compared to 1930s Germany). The big lie, national empire, and the corporate state are the fundamental elements of fascism, either as crude dictatorship or more refined rule through competing corporate political parties. Its not coming - it's already here.

The difference between the former GW Bush Administration and the current Obama Administration is insignificant enough to keep the U.S. murder machine killing on multiple fronts regardless of which man is called POTUS.
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#215941 - 03/11/12 02:09 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Ted Remington Offline
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Originally Posted By: numan

Let me get this straight. A person who publicly announces that he is planning to commit murder is better than someone who tries to hide his homicidal intentions.


Murder is the unlawful killing of one human being by another. Since the killings in question were deemed to have been lawful, then they could not have been murder. Homicide, yes, but not murder. And homicide is not unlawful in and of itself.

A person who announces that he is taking the life of terrorist to prevent the mass murder of perhaps thousands of people is a hero, not a criminal.

It is best to get one's terms straight. If you believe this is murder ask a grand jury to bring in an indictment. It might be best, however, to restrain yourself because in general grand juries in the US do not have jurisdiction over alleged crimes on the other side of the world.

Your call.
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#215953 - 03/11/12 02:48 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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Therefore, the actions of the Hitler regime were lawful, since they did not contravene the laws in force in Germany at the time.

Thank you, Ted, for the insights you have given us on law and morality.
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#215957 - 03/11/12 03:12 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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Stripped of all the legal and political embellishments, it seems to me we have a simple question: what rights does a US citizen have if he is in a foreign country and is engaged in actions that would lead to events that would be criminal when committed in the US. As for engaging in actions that are planned to occur outside the US, there may be a slight change in the issue.

But if a citizen is in another country and he is planning to commit a crime in the Us, and acts on those plans, that is, I believe, a crime under US law. As such, the criminal in another country who is a US citizen is entitled to the protections afforded by the Constitution, one of which is due process of law.

Due process does not mean that law enforcement cannot kill that citizen, it means that he can be killed only in certain circumstances. So the question becomes, what circumstances justify his killing?

If that is the question, I think Holder has set forth an standard that is both amorphous and insufficient. It does not meet the same standard that applies within the nation and to me that makes it unconstitutional. But it does not mean that such a citizen can never be "taken out" without judicial process.
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#215959 - 03/11/12 03:33 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
pdx rick Offline
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Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
...the question becomes, what circumstances justify his killing?

If that is the question, I think Holder has set forth an standard that is both amorphous and insufficient. It does not meet the same standard that applies within the nation and to me that makes it unconstitutional. But it does not mean that such a citizen can never be "taken out" without judicial process.

I agree.
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#215961 - 03/11/12 03:46 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Ted Remington]
pdx rick Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ted Remington
...Since the killings in question were deemed to have been lawful...

By whom? Gonzales and Holder? Puh-leeeze! ROTFMOL

These two Adminstrations have a lot in common:

- support for empire america, bases across the globe
- support for corporate rule, corporate cash, corporate handouts
- support for the military industrial complex
- contempt and disdain for the middle class
- bomb the sh!t out of <insert muslim country here>
- prop up dictators
- contempt and disdain for human rights
- support for domestic spying
- support for 'extra judicial' rendering (outside the framework of any law)
- support for 'indefinite detention', detaining people for years with no recourse to the law
- support for the patriot act
- support for the military commissions act
- contempt and disdain for the constitution
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#215965 - 03/11/12 05:05 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Ted Remington Offline
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Quote:
As such, the criminal in another country who is a US citizen is entitled to the protections afforded by the Constitution, one of which is due process of law.
Citation, please.

Also, can you explain exactly what you yourself believe is due process in a situation such as that as Alwiki or whatever his name was?
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#215966 - 03/11/12 05:13 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Ted Remington Offline
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Originally Posted By: numan
'
Therefore, the actions of the Hitler regime were lawful, since they did not contravene the laws in force in Germany at the time.

Thank you, Ted, for the insights you have given us on law and morality.


That's a nice tactic, numan, just call someone a Nazi and avoid having to deal with the issue. You are entitled to believe that Awlaki's death was murder, but so far no one in Yemen (where the death occurred) has seen fit to bring charges against anyone. Perhaps you might want to go over there and help them in their investigations.

What would you have done, used your awesome mental powers to make Awlaki be a nice person while he is plotting to blow up American citizens on American soil? Tell us exactly what you would have done to effectively neutralize his threat to American citizens in the US.
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#215968 - 03/11/12 05:33 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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Whew... an ill wind passed through while I was away. Thankfully, no response was required.

Now, to the subject: What we have, really, is the intersection of at least two complex and well-traveled areas of the law - the law of armed conflict (Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC)), and the Constitution of the United States. (There are some other areas of law that may be relevant, but I don't want to get any weedier than I am about to be.) I would like to address them in turn, but let me start with a statement: outside of the United States, the Constitution does not apply to non-US citizens. Everyone agree to that? So, the first question becomes, what law applies outside the United States?

Start with the customary international law and the Geneva Conventions (The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols; Reference Guide to the Geneva Conventions Geneva Conventions of 1949 and 1977). First, is there an "armed conflict"?

[I'm going to have to do this in parts, as the shelves are not going to put themselves on the wall.]
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#215970 - 03/11/12 05:52 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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If there is an armed conflict, and if the target is a legitimate target under international law (and I would argue that both exist), then targeted killing is not only justified, but completely consistent with international law, and the criteria of the law of armed conflict applies: Necessity, distinction, proportionality, and unnecessary suffering. What is particularly tricky in this instance is that, for the most part, the actors are not state actors, which is what the Geneva Conventions primarily address. The 1977 protocol I (which we have not completely adopted), deals with non-state actors, which, I would argue, is what al Qaida, the Taliban, and similar organizations represent.

So, I get back to the first issue, which is: if the target is a non-citizen belligerent, would the Constitution apply? (Al Awlaki, by the way, expressly stated his intent to renounce his US citizenship... which is one of those side issues that I mentioned earlier.) If we all agree that it would not, then I think we can have a reasonable discussion about the next issues. Is there a distinction between Al Awlaki and bin Laden?
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#215979 - 03/11/12 08:07 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: Phil Hoskins]
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I am interested, Phil, in what you would consider clear enough criteria. I am personally satisfied that AG Holder adequately stated the general criteria. What area of the law is not somewhat amorphous? DUE PROCESS, by the way, is a pretty amorphous term, and gains its clarity by application in particular circumstances. I wish I could fully engage in the discussion, but I've got more shelves to install.
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#215980 - 03/11/12 08:08 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Ted Remington]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Quote:
The year 1957 marked a watershed in our conception of legal geography. That year, the Supreme Court's decision in Reid v. Covert expressly overturned the rule that the Bill of Rights did not apply abroad, calling it a relic from another era. Reid declared that "when the Government reaches out to punish a citizen who is abroad, the shield [of] the Bill of Rights...should not be stripped away just because he happens to be in another land."
Link

As to what I think due process requires under the circumstances, there is to my knowledge no clear precedent. It seems to me that Holder is attempting to define what it is in this policy. I think it is an insufficient definition, at this point.
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#215984 - 03/11/12 08:50 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Ardy Offline
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IMO a central question is this:

To what extent does a person's citizenship status offer some special protection in the event that they engage in conspiracies against the US people and government ... which conspiracies are violent, dangerous, and traitorous?


I suppose I agree that there should be a quasi judicial determination of the existence of such a conspiracy. And see no reason that could not have been done in this case... with the4 same result.


I will close by pointing out that there is no way to provide adequate protection from such conspiracies while at the same time being sure that individual rights have been nor will they ever be infringed upon.
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#215993 - 03/11/12 10:34 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: rporter314]
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Originally Posted By: rporter314
Since these principles were not announced prior to the action I can only speculate that there was not a thorough legal investigation...
Indeed, it is pure speculation. I can assure you, based upon extensive personal and professional experience, that it is inaccurate speculation.

Quote:
... and that only after the fact were legal scholars requested to provide a Constitutional justification for abrogating due process.
Again, this is arguing from the preconceived conclusion. You assume that there was an abrogation of due process, but that is, I believe, because you misapprehend what due process required.

Quote:
Had the administration advertised the extent of what has to be a new policy regarding Americans abroad, there would have been no necessity for Holder's speech justifying government action. This administration has the benefit of hindsight and knew of the potential firestorm of political, legal controversy surrounding their actions and simply preempted that with Holder's speech. To conclude as you have done, that there is a distinction, is irrelevant as there is no application of equivalency.
I'm sorry, but this doesn't make any sense to me. I don't want to get quibblish, but I really don't follow this point. Are you suggesting that the administration had the responsibility of projecting its actions in advance? Or, that it should have withheld any justification as the previous administration did? Seriously, I don't get it. Al Awlaki was killed in September. There was no "firestorm" on the horizon. As far as I can tell, the administration came forward, without prompting, to explain its policy. Is there evidence to the contrary?

Several times you assert that there was an "abrogation of due process." I disagree. I believe that, in this instance, and in foreseeable future instances, considerations of due process obtained, and will obtain. As Phil noted, due process is not the equivalent of judicial process.

Quote:
For the particulars of principles:
1. imminent threat
2. capture is not feasible
3. applicable law of war

Holder then mitigates the very language he used by redefining imminent to simply mean if a person is in AQ then they are an imminent threat.
I completely disagree. He outlined, in reasonable detail, the fundamental principles that would apply, and used AQ as an example. Are you arguing that AQ is not an ongoing threat?



Not wishing to requote the entire post, let me address this issue:
Quote:
No where can you produce an opinion from the SC which states that if a suspect is too hard to apprehend then ignore the Constitution.
Nor, do I believe, that is what the AG said. Indeed, he said quite the opposite. As I said some time back, and I think you have agreed, if we were not talking about a US citizen, we wouldn't be having this discussion, because then, like the attack on bin Laden, only the law of war would be in play.

I am saying that we have to start with the applicability of the law of war, because that is the circumstance that informs what process is due. The only relevance that AQ has to the discussion is that it is the organization that is being targeted, not that it is the justification. Let's look at it from the other end of the telescope, shall we?

a) Is there an armed conflict? Yes.
b) Is AQ a belligerent in the conflict? Yes.
c) Do the laws of war apply? Yes, to some extent.
d) Are AQ members legitimate targets? Yes.
e) Are the activities of AQ war crimes? Yes.
f) Can members of AQ be tried for war (and other) crimes? Yes.
g) Should an effort be made to try to capture and try members of AQ for the crimes they have committed? Yes.
Now, if members of AQ are US citizens, do constitutional protections (due process) apply? Yes.
Here's the question that we get back to: What process is due under all of the foregoing conditions? THAT is the question that AG Holder was trying to address, and that, I think, should be the issue we should be discussing, not making the assumption that due process was abrogated.
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#216061 - 03/12/12 07:59 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas in [Re: NW Ponderer]
rporter314 Offline
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wow ... let me begin by saying i am not a Constitutional scholar but a simple citizen whom I believe can read and comprehend and on that basis will try to analyze this issue based on it's merits and not on any non sequitars

Quote:
it is pure speculation

i prefaced my statement by saying i would be speculating but in this case it is not a pull it out of the air speculation but an educated guess based on the history of the previous administration but still speculation.

Here is the scenario: people have for some time been talking about the possibility that an American may be detained and those people wonder what Constitutional rights that person would have if any. Since no one stepped forward with an opinion prior to al-Awlaki's assassination, I can speculate that no one had in fact formed a legal basis for the future actions. Intel informed the proper authorities that al-Awlaki was located and would be in a particular location for 2 hours ... so make a decision on what to do. They decide to act without legal justification and call DoJ and ask for an opinion which would support their actions. This I believe is precisely how the last administration proceeded with their torture of detainees. So it is not just pure speculation.

You contended that the administration willingly advertised the policy but from Holder Gives Legal Defense for Al-Awlaki Killing we learn that
Quote:
The Obama administration has refused to release the Justice Department legal opinion on al-Awlaki's killing under the Freedom of Information Act and is in court opposing efforts to have it made public.

I don't think that constitutes a willing administration.

Quote:
You assume that there was an abrogation of due process

really?? ... I assume???

I think if you go back through my argument you will find I called the pertinent clause and the SC caveats, compared with the Holder speech and found his criteria failing to comply with the clause and the SC caveat, ergo not an assumption but the conclusion of that comparison.

As with most difficult issues there can be more than one way to attack a problem. I see you prefer to use an indirect approach by appealing to the war scenario. In this case I prefer the direct approach by simply stating the premises and see how they were applied.

So let's review the direct method:
"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger" and it continues with "nor [shall any person] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"

and I will use the wiki definition: "Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person."

The SC has also weighed in on the issue with additional constraints which were also used by Holder, specifically "imminent threat."

Now let's see what Holder's 3-part test is:
1. the government must determine after careful review that the citizen poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the U.S.
2. capture is not feasible
3. the killing would be consistent with laws of war

This is Holder's test to in some manner account for the due process clause. So let's see if he did that.

al-Awlaki was assassinated i.e. his life was taken.
"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime" ... it is relatively clear he had committed an infamous crime but the clause continues with "unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury." There is no such indictment.

Further "nor [shall any person] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" ... he was deprived of life so was due process served? Using the wiki definition we should ask which legal rights was observed? The answer is no rights were observed, as for any rights to have been owed a person, it requires that person be present, and in this case there was no person present, only the government. I suppose the government could have been cognizant and provided a proxy to argue on behalf of a citizen they intended on assassinating, but somehow I find that not likely.

But there are caveats provided by the SC. A suspect may be fleeing and pose an imminent threat to either pursuers or bystanders. The SC clearly intends fleeing to mean actively evading apprehension either on foot or in a vehicle. Likewise the SC would define "imminent threat" to mean waving a gun around. The SC does not intend for TN v Gardner to apply to a person hiding in a foreign country, nor to a person who is planning some criminal activity. The al-Awlaki justification failed this test.

But let's see how Holder wants to justify their action.
In his argument he redefines imminent threat as affiliation with AQ. Note he goes to great length re-telling all the criminal attributes of AQ without actually talking about imminence. Now if Holder could present an actual plan concocted by al-Awlaki and if he could "know" al-Awlaki had his hand above the "go to war" button, then he could use imminence, but if he had that information he wouldn't have to rely on a phony redefinition of imminence to justify their actions. Since he obviously did not have that information, imminent threat was not an issue.

Further Holder stated that capture was not feasible which is obviously not the equivalent of fleeing.

Thus Holder was unable to use his contortions to comply with the clause or the SC caveat.

Thus the question is, what legal rights were afforded to al-Awlaki? I can't think of any. So if the government did not respect his rights, he was not allowed due process.

Quote:
I am saying that we have to start with the applicability of the law of war, because that is the circumstance that informs what process is due

I maintain any appeal to war is irrelevant.

Holder uses the rules of war as a crutch to try and re-frame the argument into something more amenable to abrogation of due process. Ultimately Holder has admitted the abrogation of due process to be considered under exigent circumstances, but offers a test to justify their actions. It is the best he can do, but I believe it is not good enough.

Quote:
the attack on bin Laden, only the law of war would be in play

this is not the case as we are not at war with anyone ... we are fighting a criminal enterprise in a foreign country and the rules of war may be used as a guide, otherwise we would be seen as capricious fools

Quote:
The only relevance that AQ has to the discussion is that it is the organization that is being targeted, not that it is the justification

re-read Holder's comments ... if he had simply said AQ was the target his argument would have been empty vis a vis imminent threat requires a reason other than targeted organization and in this case he goes on describing the methodology of the organization which he proclaims as imminently threatening.

Quote:
not making the assumption that due process was abrogated

as can be seen there was no assumptions made other than educated speculation regarding some context but not of substantive issues

After distilling Holder's argument we found that he justifies extreme prejudice without due process of an American based solely on his affiliation with AQ and not on the actions of the individual.
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#216330 - 03/14/12 05:16 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Ted Remington]
numan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ted Remington
Originally Posted By: numan
Therefore, the actions of the Hitler regime were lawful, since they did not contravene the laws in force in Germany at the time.

Thank you, Ted, for the insights you have given us on law and morality.
That's a nice tactic, numan, just call someone a Nazi and avoid having to deal with the issue.
Whom did I call a Nazi? You?
I did not call you a Nazi, nor do I judge that you are a Nazi.
However, in my view, many of the opinions which you have expressed are similar to those which brought the Nazis to power in Germany.

Quote:
What would you have done, used your awesome mental powers to make Awlaki be a nice person while he is plotting to blow up American citizens on American soil? Tell us exactly what you would have done to effectively neutralize his threat to American citizens in the US.

This is a textbook example of ignoratio elenchi. Everything you have written there is either untrue or not established as fact.

(Naturally, I exempt your reference to my "awesome mental powers," since your intent there was sarcasm) · · wink
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#216331 - 03/14/12 05:52 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Ted Remington Offline
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Tell us exactly what you would have done to effectively neutralize his threat to American citizens in the US."

So what is your answer? What would you have done? I notice that you raised a red herring to distract attention from the question. Now that is a perfect example of ignoratio elenchi, doncha know?

I and others await your answer with bated breath.

Tell us exactly what you would have done to effectively neutralize his threat to American citizens in the US.
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#216402 - 03/15/12 01:24 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: Ted Remington]
numan Offline
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'
Originally Posted By: Ted Remington
Tell us exactly what you would have done to effectively neutralize his threat to American citizens in the US.
Tell us exactly what you would have done to effectively neutralize his threat to American citizens in the US.

First, dear Ted, you must provide reliable information which demonstrates that he is a threat.
Reliable information, mind you -- not from the lying blither of the American government and the Brainwashing Machine.
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#216431 - 03/15/12 03:29 PM Re: Eric Holder: U.S. can target citizens overseas [Re: numan]
Ted Remington Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 4890
Originally Posted By: numan

First, dear Ted, you must provide reliable information which demonstrates that he is a threat.
Reliable information, mind you -- not from the lying blither of the American government and the Brainwashing Machine.
Upon deflection, I withdraw my question. Your posts make it obvious that you have no questions and all you can do is squirm and wiggle to try to make it seem as though I am unreasonable in asking you.

Fraud.
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Take the nacilbupeR pledge: I solemnly swear that I will help back out all Republicans at the next election.

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