NBC has obtained a copy of a Department of Justice Whitepaper justifying drone attacks on US citizens without going through due process – otherwise known as the 5th and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution.
Here are a few shocking excerpts from the NBC report (emphasis mine):
“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.”
“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 states.”
“Instead, it 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.”
“This is a chilling document,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, which has sued unsuccessfully in court 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.”
“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.”
The US is in a war with radical Islamic terrorists and I have no issues with killing these terrorists when we have justifiable intelligence but that only goes for those who are not US citizens. We have a Constitution that provides special protection to US citizens and before we kill them we have to go through a due process. If the President, who swears an oath to uphold the US Constitution, ignores these laws then the US is no longer a Republic but a Dictatorship.
I hate to say I told you so but……Elections have consequences!