National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
And that begs the obvious question: are drone strikes on American citizens within the continental United States legal?
The Obama Administration’s 16-page memo (go here for memo) indicates it’s quite acceptable to target lawful American citizens in other countries who were never indicted in US courts nor officially charged with any delineated crimes.
Instead, it (the memo) says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”
First thought: can you IMAGINE the hue and cry from the DEM/MSM/AMM had President Bush made such a decree via his administration? And from the ACLU?
“This is a chilling document,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, which is suing to obtain administration memos about the targeted killing of Americans. “Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen. … 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.”
And here is your kinder, gentler, more understanding and soothing Leftist Gubmint via Obaka:
“A lawful killing in self-defense is not an assassination,” the white paper reads. “In the Department’s view, a lethal operation conducted against a U.S. citizen whose conduct poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States would be a legitimate act of national self-defense that would not violate the assassination ban. Similarly, the use of lethal force, consistent with the laws of war, against an individual who is a legitimate military target would be lawful and would not violate the assassination ban.”
“All animals are equal. Some animals are more equal than others.”
Mr Obama: you are an animal.