Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

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

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Obama's American Citizen "Kill Policy"

The Obama White House thinks they have a legal right to kill Americans overseas if they are involved in terrorism. Key word being "if"!

Of course the whole idea that Obama has decided that the United States is better off skipping due process and finding out if the charges against the person are valid or not does bother me. But then again, who am I to argue with the wisdom of President Obama and his faithful followers.

The idea that a U.S. President would authorize the murder of American citizens if he deems them a security risk or threat should bother everyone in our nation. Yes, everyone. That includes those working for Obama right now.

I see it this way, and yes you can call me old fashion for thinking such things, American citizens should be afforded due process. To summarily kill someone on mere intelligence from a government agency is pretty scary stuff.

Government agencies get things wrong all the time. Yes, big and small things. Small things like say telling you that you owe more money than you do in say property taxes, and big things like say President Bill Clinton and his Intelligence agency telling America that WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) were in Iraq years before George W. Bush was ever in the White House.

Government agencies have gotten Intelligence wrong as many times as right, and to think that their say is all that the Obama White House would need to order YOUR death --- well, that's scary!

I first learned what bad Intelligence was after the Mayaguez incident took place in May of 1975. It was a combat action that took place between the Khmer Rouge and the United States. US intelligence had my brother Marines hit the wrong island, Koh Tang Island, and a needless loss of lives ensued.

And yes, there have been other incidents where US Intel has been wrong or questionable and the needless loss of lives are the result.

Of course there is that person out there reading this right now who may be asking his or herself if I would have wanted some turd like Anwar al-Aulaqi taken alive?

The answer is no, I don't care if they killed him! I don't care that that jackass was killed at all. Besides, we have since found out that he was partly responsible for 9/11 by helping the Muslim Terrorists who did the act.

No, his death means nothing to me. Absolutely nothing. Besides, I truly believe that Americans like Anwar al-Awlaki forfeit their American citizenship when they urge others to kill Americans -- or when they commit such acts themselves.

What I am worried about is the slippery slope of a White House, present or future, first saying its OK to simply kill Americans overseas if they "believe" they are helping terrorist -- and second, possibly using that same reasoning to kill Americans here at home who they "believe" is up to something they deem as wrong.

Here at home? Yes, here!

Let's look at the News for February 5th, 2013 ...

DOJ Memo says drone strikes on U.S. citizens legal


The United States can target its own citizens with drone strikes if they have recently been involved in violent attacks, a Justice Department memo says.

NBC News reported Monday it had obtained a copy of the confidential 16-page memo. The case made for targeting U.S. citizens in countries such as Yemen is similar to, but goes beyond, the one laid out by Attorney General Eric Holder and other officials.

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

The undated memo, titled "Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qaida or An Associated Force," was given to members of the Senate and House intelligence committees.

It said American citizens can be considered imminent threats if they have recently been involved in violence and "their views" remain unchanged.

Such killings would be "a legitimate act of national self-defense that would not violate the assassination ban," the memo said.

Even a jerkweed who I never agree with over at the ACLU, Jamel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the memo "a chilling document."

"Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen," he added.

"It recognizes some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are elastic and vaguely defined, and it's easy to see how they could be manipulated."

Yes, manipulated. And that's what scares me about this turn of events.

Not saying it will happen, or it's going to happen, or it might happen, but what if the Obama White House uses that same logic to kills those American citizens that he considered imminent threats?

All he has to do is "believe" they have recently been involved in violence, or threats of violence, and that "their views" remain unchanged?

Such as, say someone who may have polar opposite political views as Obama himself. Would that person be considered a threat by the White House? Some say they certainly would be.

My concern is this: If the government believes that it has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen overseas, what stops the government from believing that it can do it here as well?

You think it can't happen here? You think this cowboy has fallen off one too many horses and has whacked my head on the hard ground one too many times?

Well, let's go to the News for February 6th, 2013 ...

States step up fight against use of surveillance drones by law enforcement


dronespolice12.jpg

Sept. 2011: This photo provided by Vanguard Defense Industries, shows a ShadowHawk drone with Montgomery County, Texas, SWAT team members. (AP)

Lawmakers in at least 11 states are proposing various restrictions on the use of drones over their skies amid concerns the unmanned aerial vehicles could be exploited by local authorities to spy on Americans.

Concerns mounted after the Federal Aviation Administration began establishing safety standards for civilian drones, which are becoming increasingly affordable and small in size.

Some police agencies have said the drones could be used for surveillance of suspects, search and rescue operations, and gathering details on damage caused by natural disasters.

Virginia lawmakers on Tuesday approved a two-year moratorium on the use of drones by police and government agencies.

Proponents of the legislation say the unfettered use of drones could infringe on Virginians' privacy rights. The legislation was supported by the ACLU, the Tea Party Federation and agriculture groups, while several law enforcement organizations opposed the moratorium.

"Our founders had no conception of things that would fly over them at night and peer into their backyards and send signals back to a home base," said Sen. A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico and sponsor of the Senate bill.

In an attempt to address police concerns, legislators carved out exceptions for the use of drones in emergencies, or to search for missing children or seniors.

The General Assembly action came a day after the Charlottesville City Council passed a resolution imposing a two-year moratorium on the use of drones within city limits and urging the General Assembly to pass regulations.

The Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties group behind the city's effort, said Charlottesville is the first city in the country to limit the use of drones by police.

In Montana, a libertarian-minded state that doesn't even let police use remote cameras to issue traffic tickets, Democrats and Republicans are banding together to back multiple proposals restricting drone use. They say drones, most often associated with overseas wars, aren't welcome in Big Sky Country.

"I do not think our citizens would want cameras to fly overhead and collect data on our lives," Republican state Sen. Matthew Rosendale told a legislative panel on Tuesday.

Rosendale is sponsoring a measure that would only let law enforcement use drones with a search warrant, and would make it illegal for private citizens to spy on neighbors with drones.

The full Montana Senate endorsed a somewhat broader measure Tuesday that bans information collected by drones from being used in court. It also would bar local and state government ownership of drones equipped with weapons, such as stunning devices.

The ACLU said the states won't be able to stop federal agencies or border agents from using drones.

But the Montana ban would not allow local police to use criminal information collected by federal drones that may be handed over in cooperative investigations.

The drones could be wrongly used to hover over someone's property and gather information, opponents said.

"The use of drones across the country has become a great threat to our personal privacy," said ACLU of Montana policy director Niki Zupanic. "The door is wide open for intrusions into our personal private space."

Other state legislatures looking at the issue include California, Oregon, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, North Dakota, Florida, Virginia, Maine and Oklahoma.

In Texas, State Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican, introduced 'The Texas Privacy Act,' a bill that would ban the use of drones over private property, according to MyFoxAustin.com.

Gooden said the legislation is necessary because of the growing privacy concerns over the aircraft, which he says are getting smaller and cheaper, according to the report.

"The drones that are coming out today, they're very small. They're cheaper. In four to five years everyone can have these," Gooden told MyFoxAustin.com.

A Missouri House committee looked at a bill Tuesday that would outlaw the use of unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance on individuals or property, providing an exclusion for police working with a search warrant. It drew support from agricultural groups and civil liberties advocates.

"It's important for us to prevent Missouri from sliding into a police-type state," said Republican Rep. Casey Guernsey of Bethany.

A North Dakota lawmaker introduced a similar bill in January following the 2011 arrest of a Lakota farmer during a 16-hour standoff with police. A drone was used to help a SWAT team apprehend Rodney Brossart.

Its use was upheld by state courts, but the sponsor of the North Dakota bill, Rep. Rick Becker of Bismarck, said safeguards should be put into place to make sure the practice isn't abused.

Last year, Seattle police received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to train people to operate drones for use in investigations, search-and-rescue operations and natural disasters. Residents and the ACLU called on city officials to tightly regulate the information that can be collected by drones, which are not in use yet.

In Alameda County, California, the sheriff's office faced backlash late last year after announcing plans to use drones to help find fugitives and assist with search and rescue operations.

Super Liberal Alameda County California is against the use of drones. And no, these drones are supposedly not armed.

But then, since it is very easy to arm a drone, will Americans here see armed drones in our skies? And if the slippery slope becomes real, will it one day be OK, all nice and legal, to kill Americans here?

Will it one day be OK for Americans to be killed on American soil by the Obama White House or any other administration because they find it expeditious to kill a suspect instead of putting him or her on trial?

And though I'm sure some of you who are reading this believe that my tin-foil cowboy hat is a little too tight, I'm sure you would have thought the very same thing if I had said that the Department of Justice says it's legal and justified to murder American citizens overseas?

No, it is not that far fetched to wonder how far a power hungry administration will go. It is not outlandish to wonder if the very people who supposedly represent us truly understand the concept of American Justice and American ideals when they come up with things like this.

Please understand the criteria that the government wants to use here. As reported today:

The leaked secret Justice Department “white paper” detailing the Obama administration’s legal justification for the targeted drone assassinations of Americans living abroad made its way onto the Internet late Monday evening.


The 16-page white paper — said to be a summary of a longer 50-page document on the highly controversial policy — is seeing the light of day ahead of the Senate confirmation hearing of John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s top pick for CIA chief.

The longer document was written in 2010 to justify the addition of al-Qaida member Anwar al-Aulaqi, a U.S. citizen, to Obama’s secretive “kill list.”

The white paper points out that the federal government has legal recourse to engage in the extrajudicial assassination of an American citizen, reported NBC News, if “an informed, high-level official” has determined that the American is a “continuing” threat to the country.

Remember that. All it takes is an informed, high-level official who has determined that the American that they want killed is a continuing threat to the country.

The individual would be determined a “continuing” threat if he were “”recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack, and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities,” according to the news outlet, which obtained and published the paper.

“The memo does not define “recently” or “activities,” according to NBC News.

Brennan is said to be the policy’s architect.

“Brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge drone strikes in a speech last year, calling them “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense”,” reported NBC News.

Not to mix up political issues here, but ...

Don't you find it strange that John Brennan, who is President Barack Obama’s top pick for CIA chief, finds it “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense” to use a drone to kill an American citizen because he deems that American a threat  -- yet at the same time the Obama administration doesn't understand that a person's right to own a gun is “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense” to use a gun to defend ourselves?

But back to Obama using drones to kill Americans ...

President Obama walked out of a press conference and away from media questions about his "kill policy".

It's true, it was reported that at about 3:15 PM EST, yesterday, that President Obama walked away from a roomful of journalists, leaving Jay Carney to evade numerous media questions about the administration’s leaked secret process of killing American citizens who are thought dangerous.

The numerous questions were prompted by the release late Monday of the administration’s legal brief explaining why it has the legal and presidential authority to kill overseas Americans overseas -- even without a trial or public due process.

Numerous reporters asked for more details and officials explanation of how the policy would work, for example, if an American-born "jihadist" living in the United States was about to launch an attack would he be fair game to kill here as well?

“These issues are best explained by a lawyer,” said Obama's Press Secretary Jay Carney.

But wait, Obama is a lawyer -- and he supposedly worked as a Constitutional Law lecturer during the 1990s. So why didn't he explain it?

Carney dismissed a letter from 11 senators seeking more information on the Obama "Kill Policy" of American Citizens.

A policy which the Obama administration used to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, who was an American citizen who did in fact urge others to attack American civilians while he was working for al-Qaida in Yemen.

Awlaki was the Muslim son of Saudi immigrants to the United States. But for me, if an American citizen urges others to kill other Americans -- then he or she has lost the rights and privileges of a citizen of this nation. To me, he becomes fair game.

After killing Awlaki for urging others, Obama ordered a missile-attack on Yemeni citizens which also killed Awlaki’s 16 year-old American Muslim nephew.

It is not clear if Awlaki’s nephew was targeted and killed because he was just with jihadis in Yemen or if he was indeed urging others to jihad.

Anyone who has read my opinion on Muslims knows that I do not like the religion because of their blood thirsty desires. But, with that being said, even I have to say, if the only reasoning used to kill an American citizen overseas is that he or she "urged" other Muslims to do harm -- well, that takes some thinking about on the justification scale.

Muslim jihad seems to apply to just about everything over there in the sand box. It seems that they don't know any other way to live. It seems its jihad this and jihad that. They don't seem to understand that after a while the term jihad means nothing to the rest of the world.

According to one source, jihad is Islam’s doctrine of holy war. Radical Islam requires Muslims to attack non-Muslims until they become Muslims, or until they are accepted in a subsidiary legal status under a Muslim government -- such as slaves, which of course Muslims still believe in.

For more than a decade, numerous jihadis and jihad groups in American and Europe have cited the doctrine to rationalize their blood lust while attacking American and European civilians. It's all just bullshit!

They are a violent religion and they try to justify it by saying that they have been insulted in some way shape or form when its all just a bullshit excuse to hate and do harm to others.

So it seems that Obama's "Kill Policy" is such that he wants to kill Americans who sympathize with Jihadis overseas.

And yes, though I find that wrong in a humanitarian sense because I believe that all men should be allowed due process, I really understand wanting them dead.

And sad as it sounds, yes this is the first thing that I really can't fault Obama for doing. 

You see, I don't care what befalls radical Muslims overseas - American citizen or otherwise.

As I said before, to me, Anwar al-Awlaki forfeit his American citizenship when he urged others to kill Americans. That's really how I see it.

Some can call Anwar al-Awlaki an American citizen if they want, but his actions said otherwise. He was a traitor to this nation.

My concern is whether Obama and future administration will use this so-called "kill policy" here on American soil?

And really, as of yesterday at the news conference, it is apparent that Obama would rather walk away than address this topic. 

Story by Tom Correa

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