Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

Friday, March 9, 2012

Obama OK With "Target Killing" Americans Here?

OK, the headline reads, FBI Director: Have to check whether "Targeted Killing" rule is outside US only

Wait a minute! What does he mean, he has "to check?"

According to the article, FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday said he would have to go back and check with the Department of Justice to see if Attorney General Eric Holder's "three criteria" for the "targeted killing" of Americans also applied to Americans inside the U.S.

The new phrase in the whole Obama speak dictionary is "Target Killing." And by the way, "Target Killing" is the Political Correct term for "Assassinating!"

From what I gather from Holder, it sounded like they were targeting Americans overseas as people trying to kill other Americans.

I'm up front when I say, I have no problem killing anyone of any nationality who is living overseas and is trying to kill Americans. If an American wants to kill Americans overseas, either as a part of a terrorist group or a foreign military, then he is simply a part of America's enemies overseas and needs to put down. No different than a rabid dog.

But we're talking American citizens here in America, and that is a whole different story. If a person in the process of attempting to kill Americans is himself shot and killed during the process of being arrested, than that is a completely different situation because the law is being carried out.

A person in violation of our laws is a criminal. As a criminal, our criminal justice system enables law enforcement officers to arrest and detain individuals being investigated or charged. If something goes wrong during that arrest, than yes, citizens have been known to have been killed.

That is not the same as actually targeting and killing Americans in the United States because they are wanted for something - even if it is complicity in a terrorist plot. We don't kill these people. We arrest them.

So where's the difference between here and overseas? Well first, here we have full law enforcement capabilities. Second, as citizens, we have rights to a trial. If overseas, our law enforcement cannot depend on even the slightest cooperation to locate and apprehend criminals. And if that criminal or terrorist is located, then many countries will not allow Americans to be extradited.

And why won't many countries extradite criminals and suspected terrorist to us? Well it's either because the United States does not have Extradition Treaties with those countries, or it is because most criminals running from the law have relinquished their American citizenship to stay in other countries.

To me, when they become a former American citizen - they lose all rights under our justice system. And yes, that makes them fair game for target killings overseas.

OK, so that's how I see killing terrorist operatives who used to be Americans. But, when he was pressed by House lawmakers about a recent speech in which Attorney General Eric Holder described what he sees as the legal justifications for assassination overseas, FBI Director Robert Mueller did not say without qualification that the three criteria could not be applied inside the U.S.

"I have to go back. Uh, I'm not certain whether that was addressed or not," Mueller said when asked by Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., about a distinction between domestic and foreign targeting

Yoder followed up asking whether "from a historical perspective," the federal government has "the ability to kill a U.S. citizen on United States soil or just overseas."

"I'm going to defer that to others in the Department of Justice," Mueller replied.

Indeed, Holder's Monday speech at Northwestern University seemed to leave the door open. While Holder speaks of Americans who lead al Qaeda overseas, the implications of the speech seem broad.

"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," Holder said.

Holder said the feasibility of capturing a U.S. citizen terrorist is "fact-specific and potentially time-sensitive."

"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," said Holder.

So OK, this sounds like the bad guys overseas couldn't be arrested and they were losing time, and the situation was such that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States.

OK, I have no problem with that.

fact is that three Americans were killed last year when lethal force was used against American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. I don't know if Awlaki relingished his American citizenship, but since he wanted to kill Americans - that becomes a mute point.

Awlaki is credited with helping plot the foiled Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and inspiring the Fort Hood shooting. The two others killed - his son and a cohort who published his online terror magazine "Inspire" - were considered by the U.S. to be collateral damage.

Asked about FBI Director Mueller's response, the Justice Department said the answer is "pretty straightforward."

"The legal framework (Holder) laid out applies to U.S. citizens outside of U.S.," said a spokeswoman pulling excerpts from the attorney general's speech.

OK, that's what I thought as well. But as you will see, I', wrong.

Holder said the circumstance were legal when it is a case of "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. The circumstances are sufficient under the Constitution for the United States to use lethal force against a U.S. citizen abroad," Holder added.

So if we're clear that it is to "use lethal force against a U.S. citizen abroad," the why is the FBI Director so screwed up as to what the policy really is? Well, the problem comes from Attorney General Holder referencing legal authority in the War on Terror that dates back to the George W. Bush administration and saying that the Obama Administration is not bound to a particular battlefield.

"Neither Congress nor our federal courts has limited the geographic scope of our ability to use force to the current conflict in Afghanistan," Holder said.

Eric Holder contents that it is "simply not accurate" that the President must get permission from a Federal Court before taking action against a United States citizen terrorist.

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, not judicial process."

Imagine that, an Attorney General who wants to usurp the Constitution and break the law.

It is remarkable that he doesn't understand that even the President is bound by the Constitution. Granted a citizen can be arrested, for example, by a Federal Agent, but to take action in the line of a warrant or a trial than that federal agent must go through a Federal Court to take action against a Untied States citizen.

So friends, now I can actually see why FBI Director Mueller doesn't know the answer.

It's because the Obama Administration is saying that assassinations of Americans is not restricted to former Americans and American terrorist overseas - but to American citizens here at home as well.

That's scary if not stopped.

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, wrote in Foreign Policy magazine on Wednesday that Attorney General Eric Holder's remarks not only would be seen by the framers of the Constitution as "the very definition of authoritarian power," but were met "not with outcry but muted applause."

"Holder's new definition of 'due process' was perfectly Orwellian," Turley wrote. "What Holder is describing is a model of an imperial presidency that would have made Richard Nixon blush. ...

"Where due process once resided, Holder offered only an assurance that the President would kill citizens with care. While that certainly relieved any concern that Obama would hunt citizens for sport, Holder offered no assurances on how this power would be used in the future beyond the now all-too-familiar 'trust us' approach to civil liberties of this administration," he wrote.

I'm sorry, but giving any federal agency the power to kill Americans on orders from the President - here in the Untied States - is a American State that is too scary for me to imagine.

And this administration doesn't understand why many Americans are frightened at where he wants to take our country?

This is why, and come November it has to stop!



Story by Tom Correa

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