Friday, December 19th, 2014

Obama Gives Himself Permission To Kill

Judge Andrew Napolitano
LewRockwell.com
February 9th, 2013
Reader Views: 1,589

obamaassassinations

After stonewalling for more than a year federal judges and ordinary citizens who sought the revelation of its secret legal research justifying the presidential use of drones to kill persons overseas – even Americans – claiming the research was so sensitive and so secret that it could not be revealed without serious consequences, the government sent a summary of its legal memos to an NBC newsroom earlier this week.

This revelation will come as a great surprise, and not a little annoyance, to U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon, who heard many hours of oral argument during which the government predicted gloom and doom if its legal research were subjected to public scrutiny. She very reluctantly agreed with the feds, but told them she felt caught in “a veritable Catch-22,” because the feds have created “a thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.”

She was writing about President Obama killing Americans and refusing to divulge the legal basis for claiming the right to do so. Now we know that basis.

The undated and unsigned 16-page document leaked to NBC refers to itself as a Department of Justice white paper. Its logic is flawed, its premises are bereft of any appreciation for the values of the Declaration of Independence and the supremacy of the Constitution, and its rationale could be used to justify any breaking of any law by any “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government.”

The quoted phrase is extracted from the memo, which claims that the law reposes into the hands of any unnamed “high-level official,” not necessarily the president, the lawful power to decide when to suspend constitutional protections guaranteed to all persons and kill them without any due process whatsoever. This is the power claimed by kings and tyrants. It is the power most repugnant to American values. It is the power we have arguably fought countless wars to prevent from arriving here. Now, under Obama, it is here.

This came to a boiling point when Obama dispatched CIA drones to kill New Mexico-born and al-Qaida-affiliated Anwar al-Awlaki while he was riding in a car in a desert in Yemen in September 2011. A follow-up drone, also dispatched by Obama, killed Awlaki’s 16-year-old Colorado-born son and his American friend. Awlaki’s American father sued the president in federal court in Washington, D.C., trying to prevent the killing. Justice Department lawyers persuaded a judge that the president always follows the law, and besides, without any evidence of presidential law breaking, the elder Awlaki had no case against the president. Within three months of that ruling, the president dispatched his drones and the Awlakis were dead. This spawned follow-up lawsuits, in one of which McMahon gave her reluctant ruling.

Then the white paper appeared. It claims that if an American is likely to trigger the use of force 10,000 miles from here, and he can’t easily be arrested, he can be murdered with impunity. This notwithstanding state and federal laws that expressly prohibit non-judicial killing, an executive order signed by every president from Gerald Ford to Obama prohibiting American officials from participating in assassinations, the absence of a declaration of war against Yemen, treaties expressly prohibiting this type of killing, and the language of the Declaration, which guarantees the right to live, and the Constitution, which requires a jury trial before the government can deny that right.

The president cannot lawfully order the killing of anyone, except according to the Constitution and federal law. Under the Constitution, he can only order killing using the military when the U.S. has been attacked or when an attack is so imminent that delay would cost innocent lives. He can also order killing using the military in pursuit of a declaration of war enacted by Congress.

Unless Obama knows that an attack from Yemen on our shores is imminent, he’d be hard-pressed to argue that a guy in a car in the desert 10,000 miles from here – no matter his intentions – poses a threat so imminent to the U.S. that he needs to be killed on the spot in order to save the lives of Americans who would surely die during the time it would take to declare war on the country that harbors him, or during the time it would take to arrest him. Under no lawful circumstances may he use CIA agents for killing. Surely, CIA agents can use deadly force defensively to protect themselves and their assets, but they may not use it offensively. Federal laws against murder apply to the president and to all federal agents and personnel in their official capacities, wherever they go on the planet.

Obama has argued that he can kill Americans whose deaths he believes will keep us all safer, without any due process whatsoever. No law authorizes that. His attorney general has argued that the president’s careful consideration of each target and the narrow use of deadly force are an adequate and constitutional substitute for due process. No court has ever approved that. And his national security adviser has argued that the use of drones is humane since they are “surgical” and only kill their targets. We know that is incorrect, as the folks who monitor all this say that 11 percent to 17 percent of the 2,300 drone-caused deaths have been those of innocent bystanders.

Did you consent to a government that can kill whom it wishes? How about one that plays tricks on federal judges? How long will it be before the presidential killing comes home?

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

Andrew P. Napolitano [send him mail], a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom. To find out more about Judge Napolitano and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit creators.com.

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Contributed by Judge Andrew Napolitano of LewRockwell.com.

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  • Leon H

    The Prez can want whatever. That he found a Judge to sign off on his BS AGAIN is just as disturbing. NDAA had to go to a Judge, Black hawk helicopters flying 150 feet off the deck in major cities SHOULD have gone through a judge and/or Congress, stop and frisk, drones in the USA, their new personal scanners they want to put on the street as well. “Those that give up liberty for temporary safety deserve neither.” Ben Franklin

  • Locus

    In Obama we have an administration that staggers across sacred lines without noticing, makes transparent plays cover its own ass, then failing that fronts specious arguments claiming the right of assassination where the time, place and citizenship of the victim is of no consequence.

    I honestly believe that the time delay between the request for a ‘presidential policy memo’ on drone killing and the actual release of the document was not merely an effort to keep that policy secret — it was to give them time to write one.

    That’s right, we are dealing with people who found themselves possessed of the ability to kill and just did so.

    The Obama administration has been a continuation and worse escalation of the Bush administration. But where Bush would face down the critics and respond by saying outright “But.. those we killed were bad people…trust me…” in the least, responding publicly to the charge as a charge —

    Obama is attempting to create some fog of war judicial backstory that re-frames the Executive powers of the Constitution in Orwellian terms and pretends that absolute authorization to kill is his and was it was always so. Played as if it were a game.

    This is so dumb in the context of history it is not even evil. It is kindergarten leadership.

    I wrote this back in 2006, seems like so long ago now. Still fresh today,

    “I do not fault Caesar, who is fulfilling destiny. I curse and vow to oppose the stupid bastards who are polishing his empty throne in anticipation of his arrival, shutting Government so that none outside will see Caesar when he does approach it. ”

    Kindergarteners with drones.

  • ncjoe

    He has done nothing more than you fuckheads have done. He has given himself permission to kill in perceived self-defense of the U.S. You morons have given yourself permission to kill in your percieved self-defense.

    • Wolf

      Cant wait til this all goes down. Someone like me will take care of someone like you joeblow.

    • Mark

      Crawl back under your rock Bitch

    • neslo

      eff you

    • Ken

      Hmmm. Your resorting to blanket abusive terms hints of some possible anger issues. It is a good thing that you are a drone, and thus readily replaced within your family and society; thus not needing to protect yourself. Besides which, this isn’t about home/personal defense (read that as Gun Control), it is about overstepping authority, abuse of power and calculated disregard for “The Law Of The Land”.

      Perhaps if you opened your mind to the facts you read, and learn to think for yourself, you might grow to realize that people who actually want to live their lives aren’t crazy. OR you could grab your Obamaphone and call someone who cares what you think…Never mind, that would require you to think.

      No one here wants to deny people the right to be handed their subsistence while their society is eroded. We just think they should be molly-coddled somewhere else.

  • Heimdall

    The really shocking thing about this totalitarianism and tyranny is that American officials like cops and soldiers will follow all illegal and immoral not to mention unconstitutional orders. I really thought that most Americans would refuse to do such things.

    It is shocking that there are such large numbers of traitors who will implement illegal executive orders and all other manner of attacks on the citizens of the USA.

    Shame on you who do implement these things. Shame on you who practice attacking the American people in war game aggressions against the citizens. Shame on you police officers and soldiers who support this. Shame on you mayors who allow traitors to practice killing Americans in your cities. Shame on all of you Viper teams spying on American citizens with the flimsiest of excuses. Shame on you cops who target veterans because some psychopaths who employ you and propagandize you have told you to watch out for them!

    Shame on the principals and police who take police dogs and armed officers into high schools and do unconstitutional drug sweeps and physically and emotionally brutalize the students! They verbally and physically abuse and bully the students and search all lockers and backpacks without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion (the requirement for a police stop). If you have an anti-bullying campaign, start with school administrators and police who abuse the school-kids with communist-style police sweeps.

    Shame on the military people who tolerate the removal of flag level personnel because they refuse to fire or order fire upon American citizens. That is an illegal action.

    Shame on anyone who tolerates the removal of flag level military personnel because they tried to rescue the staff at Benghazi (yes, the criminal with several aliases and social security numbers did that and the orders were followed).

    I really believed in the past that Americans were of such high quality that they would refuse to enable dictators and organized criminals taking over our government. I was wrong!

    • neslo

      Yep, thats what the proud Germans thought too….now they are still embarrassed. I have visited Auschwitz, the evil still lingers, it can be felt directly.

  • spencer

    @ ncjoe ive no desire to kill anything i dont percieve as a threat to me or my family but i wont hesitate to protect those i love…period

  • Heimdall

    P.S. Vote fraud has completely determined the outcome of elections for more than a decade now.

  • Heimdall

    Another terribly shocking thing is the extent of the moronic behavior of those who will support immoral, illegal, and duplicitous behavior from their political party, even when it goes against promises made by the party or official and the most ardent wishes of the parties own base.

    Don’t let professional shills fool you. It is not just one of the two Janus headed parties, it is both. Don’t let Jay Lenno and others fool you into believing that laughing at these politicians is valuable resistance. It is not valuable resistance to laugh at what seems to be incompetence but is really criminal behavior on the part of a large group of psychopaths.

    For example, one of the many lies and failures to deliver what he promised on the part of Soetoro/Obama/who-knows-what is the promise that the criminal foreign usurper made when running for the senate. The foreign communist criminal promised to vote against the continuation of the unconstitutional and tyrannical Patriot Act (it should be called the Traitor Criminals Act) when it was to come up for renewal or rejection when the first sunset clause matured. He went back on his promise and voted FOR the tyranny.

    The useful idiot moronic scum will vehemently and viciously support their own party even when it goes back on its promises to oppose a policy that its opponents had implemented and that flies in the face of the very foundation bedrock of party doctrine.

    Soetoro/Obama/Whatever does these things all of the time and the useful idiot communist followers will viciously support him (even disingenuously and immorally claiming that all criticism of him is racist) even when Soetoro is implementing policies that said base despises. It is complete insanity. No, I do not exaggerate, such supporters are insane.

    Republicans are often guilty of the same insanity. For example, the party is rushing to support illegal immigration and claims that their electoral failure (ignoring the vote fraud and their own corrupt behavior in suppressing Ron Paul, not to mention their failure to act decisively on immgration, although Ron Paul also would have stuck it to us on immigration due to his pro-immigration libertarian beliefs) was in not supporting illegal immigration and hispanics (who will not vote for them or support their policies) instead of the fact that the Republicans have turned on their own base and lost many previously ardent supporters).

    I’ve got news for you. The Republican Party is not the stupid party. They are not stupid. Like democrats, key leaders are conspirators implementing Fabian Marxist policies as put forth by Chatham House in Britain and American lackeys in the Council on Foreign Relations in New York city.

    Look at the list of politicians, “journalists,” and corporations that are members of the CFR so that you can see the influence that they exert. They also support the goals of other organizations like the Bilderbergers. They are also supporting corporate (not free market) business with wage-reducing foreign labor but that is secondary for the conspirators (supply-and-demand, econ 101).

    When these officials seem to be stupid (they are not stupid, they are immoral, criminal conspirators) it is because they are taking advantage of useful idiot Americans who tolerate what Americans mistakenly assume to be inept keystone cop behavior, incompetence, when it is really conspiratorial usurpation of American Liberty in the furtherance of worldwide Fabian Marxism aimed at further empowering a handful of billionaires and enslaving everyone else. Everyone. Your children. Your grandchildren. 1,000 years of slavery if they achieve their goal.

  • Heimdall

    A 1000 year Fabian Marxist Reich will resultif you do not put a stop to it.

  • Bill X

    It makes sense for Obama to take out American citizens that are working for radical islamic groups in third world countries. The US government would’ve had no problem taking out Americans working for Japan or Germany during World War II.

    The problem is that you can’t trust Obama and there’s no oversight. He could easily order kills against US citizens on US soil.

    • Ken

      The key difference in your example would be “…during World War II.” First of all, that was a war rightfully declared by Congress. Secondly, Due Process was afforded to those who were caught acting against the US.
      What is being set-up now is more like precedence for claiming authority to have “FEMA Camps” similar to the Japanese Internment Camps of that era.

  • Ken, your UK friend

    Sorry, I need to dig deeper for the link LOL but we learned how drones are now allowed to spy on illegal rhino poachers. Yes I have only contempt for superstitious chinese customers who incorrectly believe powdered rhino horn is an aphrodisiac but my fear is that now you go down this slippery slope where will it end? Eg have drones spying on children to make sure they have stayed in only the authorised play areas. BTW no joke, play areas in Horfield and Filton have the CCTV’s you normally associate with banks and prisons. Informed you are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than an islamic fundamentalist but I bet the children are more likely to be struck by lightning in the play area than meet a sick paedophile.
    BTW outside the Bulldog and Fellowship public houses the swivelling CCTV tracks your every move along the Filton avenue, Bristol. Me? The pubs lost trade and they never knew why. Blame it on austerity measures LOL

  • SKIP

    Let’s all keep in mind that whatever the Obamuslim does, congress and senate and most state legislatures/governors and mayors are signing off on it to protect their political careers. They are being added to the list.

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