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The Emperor Obama “justifies” his murder of American citizens.

NBC reports that it has obtained a secret 16-page Department of Justice memo containing, among other details, the justification the Obama Administration uses to kill American citizens by drone strikes. Michael Isikoff, NBC News, writes (my emphasis):

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 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.[…]

That’s the al-Qaeda which has always been a figment of the imagination. No-one can be surprised at what government does. The sadness is that so many are comfortable with it. “Civis romanus sum”, men said all the way until Lord Palmerston. It means “I am a Roman citizen”, and implies that one is due all the rights associated with Roman citizenship. The Washington regime tosses that principle aside. It says a US citizen is not due all the rights associated with American citizenship, that due process is non-existent when the regime wants you dead.

That al-Qaeda is cited is irrelevent. They are terrorists, and Washington regards many Americans as terrorists, or potential terrorists. Yes, the zombies, the party hacks, the faux patriots will say “so what?” So what, because you’re next. As with drones and the security state, what Washington does abroad it will soon do at home, but if due process would have protected the al-Awlakis and Samir Khans, it would have protected everyone else. Larry Flynt would have recognised the principle.

For those who want to be lied to, the full memo is here.

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40 thoughts on “MEANWHILE, IN THE LAND OF THE FREE

  1. this action by Obama is one that I totally support. If you are a member of Al-Qaeda or any terrorist group and are outside the United States you should be terminated with EXTREME prejeduce.

    As an American if you are involved with these groups outside our country you deserve to be made an example of and should be placed at the top of the list for termination.

  2. Any American citizens incorporated within the troops of the Reich or the Empire of Japan would have been subject to termination also. They would not get an OJ Trial unless they were captured.

    These ” American citizens ” deserve equal treatment with the other detritus of humanity running in the Al Queda ranks. They are to get no worse treatment than the Yemenis they cavort with, and no better.

    God bless the drones of justice.

  3. Behold the GOP worship of omnipotent state power.

    All that stuff about the Constitution and small government and liberty, when falling from the mouths of Republicrats, is always bullshit. They know the words but have no idea what they mean.

  4. Troll –

    The Constitution applies to the State, wherever it is, and for American citizens, wherever they are.

    Look, citing al-Qaeda is irrelevent. It’s a red herring, Washington is justifying why it can murder American citizens with impunity, whoever they are, wherever they are. They are saying they can legally kill you. Wake up man.

  5. It’s not murder.

    It is lasering out an enemy threat.

    You should encourage this activity.

    You don’t get a ” get out of jail free ” card because of accident of birth.

    And there is no other alternative to doing this. These bad guys are unreachable by any other means.

  6. no it does not. The Constitution and the rights it details belong to the United States ALONE.

    Once you leave our borders it no longer applies. Try going to China and saying that as an American you have Free Speech rights etc.

    Once you leave the borders of the US even as a citizen you are no longer protected by its laws.

    The reason that the CIA is not allowed to run ops inside the US is because they are mandated to accomplish tasks that if done inside the US would be illegal.

    This nonsense that American rights apply to anyone outside the US is just that nonsense.

  7. Please advise any practical alternate methods to effectively deal with bad guys in the frontier regions of Pakistan or in the lawless areas of Yemen.

    I’m all ears.

  8. It was rhetorical. We all knew the answer.

    This cuts both ways. Most of the libs are pretty quiet on the drone strategy now. But oh my God if it was a Republican president doing it, there would be no end to the moaning.

    Here, their selective morality is actually helpful.

  9. Yes their hypocrisy is something else. I saw a caption recently

    “Obama: making killing brown and black people cool for liberals since 2008”

    Sadly, there’s a lot of truth to that.

  10. Pete what are your comments and feelings on NK putting out a video of them dreaming of nuking the US as they are about to test another long range missile?

    Should we laugh, should we shrug it off or if given the opportunity should we defend ourselves?

    If we should defend ourselves do we have to wait until we are struck, or should we act to save American lives before we are struck?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/05/north-korea-video-us-city-flames

  11. I think the big problem is that the world’s #1 country is a very divided and confused country.
    George Bush Jr. amongst other things managed to show the limitations of military shock and awe.
    He also managed to confuse us with his close links to the Saudi Royal Family, the rapid departure of a contingent of Saudis just before 9/11 and then attacking Saddam Hussein instead of going after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
    He also had people in government with strong links to the armaments industry.
    Then the banking crisis kicked in..

    So a fair amount of confusing stuff there.
    Then after all these problems with Muslim extremists and 9/11, America goes ahead and elects…a man from a Muslim background, who sets out to lead America down the reddish brick socialist road, starting with ObamaCare..
    He also seems at times to be defending America’s sworn enemies, and questioning the very foundation of the American Republic.
    Even more confusion!

  12. …..NK putting out a video of them dreaming of nuking the US…

    Hollywood puts out many films showing the US ravaged by disease, war, terror and devastation. Given that zio-jews rule Hollywood, surely these depictions must be the zios’ intentions towards the US – except where they live, of course?

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/19/opinion/oe-stein19

    – I have never been so upset by a poll in my life. Only 22% of Americans now believe “the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews,” down from nearly 50% in 1964. The Anti-Defamation League, which released the poll results last month, sees in these numbers a victory against stereotyping. Actually, it just shows how dumb America has gotten. Jews totally run Hollywood. –

  13. Allan your a racist 🙂

    You really have to let go of your jewish hatred.

    The piece put out on NK official government website is not some hollywood film which are distraction in the form of entertainment. This video was put out as a goal and for inspiration for their people.

    Just like the Nazi’s did.

  14. There are valid issues with the drone strikes. These include collateral damage and a sometimes dubious identification of terrorists (males in vicinity of a strike are often counted as “terrorists” when they may very well not be). That being said there is also a need to eradicate terrorists who are plotting and committing violent acts.

    I think such advanced weaponry has to be used on a much more limited basis, with more accountability.

  15. it would be nice if they listed more information and actual film from the drones, but opsec won’t allow that even if they were so inclined.

    It’s hard to have accountability otherwise

  16. “I think such advanced weaponry has to be used on a much more limited basis, with more accountability.”

    Accountable to whom?

  17. ahh there’s the rub.

    Some would never find them justified, others would never find fault.

    Justifiability to me, which is why I support Obama in this is very simple. We are at war. If a target has a high probability of a threat it’s a justifiable target.

  18. Troll – I used your reasoning to make a statement then I backed the statement with support from a jewish source which you cannot refute.

    This video was put out as a goal and for inspiration for their people.

    Hmmm…

  19. The thing is that were America the unified nation it once was, then the people would have trust and confidence in the great offices of State and its representatives,
    I think that provided reconaissance and target info are good the drone system is a very useful weapon, especially in places like Afghanistan.
    But the way things are moving I can also see drones being used to take out “perceived enemies of the State” on your mainland, and given the diminishing trust in your politicians that may not be so good.

  20. Allan

    I know that these are things that you believe. I don’t.

    It’s no more complicated than that.

  21. Troll –

    This nonsense that American rights apply to anyone outside the US is just that nonsense.

    Maybe I failed to make myself clear. The constitution applies to American government wherever it is. It has no more lawful or moral authority to kill you abroad than it has to kill you at home, none whatsoever.

    Pete what are your comments and feelings on NK putting out a video of them dreaming of nuking the US as they are about to test another long range missile?

    Should we laugh, should we shrug it off or if given the opportunity should we defend ourselves?

    Defend yourselves from a video? Remember when Reagan quipped about bombing Russia in five minutes? Remember when McCain sang “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran”?

    GOP drones shrugged them off as jokes, notwithstanding that the US is now at constant war around the globe. If Russians or Iranians had talked of defending themselves in the light of those words you’d have thought them paranoid, notwithstanding the joint Israeli/American actions against Iran previously.

    Chill, it’s just a video.

  22. Phantom –

    Please advise any practical alternate methods to effectively deal with bad guys in the frontier regions of Pakistan or in the lawless areas of Yemen.

    What have those places got to do with Washington (which doesn’t have an empire)?

  23. Troll, Phantom –

    Given that the constitution, in the main, is a list of things which government may not do, feel free to point out which specific part of it empowers the feds to mark American citizens for death and carry out that action.

    Feel free to tell me which specific part of it overrides the 5th Amendment, given that the 5th is absolute and without qualification.

    Come on, man up, drop the rhetoric and give me some real info.

  24. I’m in Pete’s corner on this issue. The government needs the approval of a judge to detain a suspected terrorist. To kill one, it need only give itself permission these days.

    I have a problem with this grand overreach of executive power and I’m surprised that most conservatives do not.

    Jacob Sullum does an excellent job of summing up why we should all find this memo disturbing.

    The problem is that to accept this position, you have to put complete trust in the competence, wisdom, and ethics of the president, his underlings, and their successors. You have to believe they are properly defining and inerrantly identifying people who pose an imminent (or quasi-imminent) threat to national security and eliminating that threat through the only feasible means, which involves blowing people up from a distance. If mere mortals deserved that kind of faith, we would not need a Fifth Amendment, or the rest of the Constitution.

  25. Daphne –

    There’s the rub. GOP drones drone on about the constitution and small government and liberty. Then along comes the Pres to blow up what he describes as some bad guys and out go those principles straight into the skip.

    If you’re going to argue that Washington is good and wise enough to only kill bad guys, why do you have a gun to oppose tyrants in Washington?

  26. This is war, and in war you take care of the enemy.

    Tell me which part of the Constitution speaks against the use of drones.

  27. why do you have a gun to oppose tyrants in Washington?

    Most Americans don’t have guns, and only those with bats in their belfry have them to oppose the next King George III

  28. The politics in this country have become so partisan and tribal one might think we were living in an ignorant, third world cesspool where the rule of law is an empty catch phrase.

    The GOP drones, as you rightly call them, aren’t conservative by any historical or ideological measure and they couldn’t give one ripe shit about the constitution. Our wonderful document has become just another convenient rock to bash their opponents over the head when it’s politically expedient.

    We managed to capture untold thousands of people in the Middle East and Southeast Asia through rendition (I have some issues with that as well) over the past twelve years, why not continue that practice to collect overseas Americans suspected of terrorism. Charge, try and convict them properly according to the constitution. Murdering these people by executive fiat is fundamentally un-American.

  29. I’d think that 99.99% of the references to the Constitution in political debates , and a higher percentage here, are made in bad faith.

    There are no practical ways to capture these people in remote areas of Yemen and Pakistan that even the local governments don’t have any control of.

    We will not stand on ceremony, and we will not be tied into knots in responding to asymetrical warfare.

    No get out of jail free card due to a US passport – if anything US citizens such as Al Awlaki who are allied with such groups should be treated much more harshly than foreigners who do the same.

  30. //Murdering these people by executive fiat is fundamentally un-American.//

    But that’s what war is, Daphne.

    When war is started, you transfer to the military part of your executive power, the right to pursue certain military goals, which inevitably entails killing people.

    They can’t phone back to DC every time they have someone in their sights. It wasn’t like that in 1944, nor before or since.

    That is not to say that militaries aren’t subject to certain rules in war. Of course they are. But wars cannot be waged if they have to get government approval for every move as long as they are acting within a certain framework.

    The obvious lesson to learn from all of this is: think long and hard before starting a war, or supporting anybody starting one. They are nasty things. They have a habit of developing in ways nobody could have foreseen at the start. The aggressor is very often the one who comes off worse. It’s also much easier to start one than to end one.

    All of these are among the best documented facts in history. There is also a whole science of theory and practice in warfare, which the lads at the Pentagon certainly knew about. The problem was that there was such a giddy rush to war in 2001 and 2003 that they chose to ignore them. All that’s been happening for the past few years is basically nothing more than an attempt to mitigate those errors.

  31. Phantom, don’t you worry that these express war accommodations might have detrimental, long-term ramifications? I sincerely do.

    Noel, I know. Absurd as it sounds, there remains some part of me that would like my country to find a dignified way to conduct itself when shedding massive amounts of blood overseas. Abiding by the most fundamental aspects of our constitution seems to be the only way to retain some semblance of my nation’s redemptive credo which intended to put codified law beyond the means of fallible men.

  32. Maybe I failed to make myself clear. The constitution applies to American government wherever it is. It has no more lawful or moral authority to kill you abroad than it has to kill you at home, none whatsoever.

    No you made yourself very clear and you are very wrong. Our constitution does not only not apply to our citizens outside the US it most definitely does not apply to our governments behavior unless there is a treaty in place regarding that behavior.

    Other than what is spelled out in a treaty our government is not bound by anything outside the US, nor should it be.

    This is also the reason some of us are very leary of any and all treaties that our government engage in because then and only then are our actions recognized under American Law

  33. as for reagan or mccains jokes in reagans case he was that just joking. Who knows with mccain the man is senile, a traitor, and scum. Needless to say though neither of those instances were put out on the official government website while we testing missiles or doing nuclear bomb tests.

    Just like your position of ignoring the jihadist that says die or convert, these are failings in your readiness to act and defend yourselves.

    As for why do I and millions of other Americans keep guns. The majority is for defense from our fellow citizens. There are predators amongst us. Do a weekend ride along with your local police.

    To defend ourselves against our own government is however that right was spelled out specifically as to not be infringed because it is the history of the world that government first disarm and then subjugate.

    You have heard I am sure of the glorified ride of Paul Revere, the embellishments not with standing do you know what provoked it?

    The final order had come from the King to disarm the Colonials Thats what the call of the British are coming was warning about. They are marshaling to disarm us.

    So only an idiot would think that these actions combined with the expressed writings of our fore fathers to the very point that the populace have not only a right but a duty to be armed to protect their families, their homes, their community.

    Two of the lines that are instilled in all of our military Oaths We pledge to defend the Constitution… not the government, or the President, or Congress, and we make that pledge against ALL threats both Foreign and DOMESTIC.

    Do you understand the meaning of the word DOMESTIC used in this context?

  34. Troll –

    In my 8.42pm I asked you and Phantom a couple of questions which remain unanswered:

    Given that the constitution, in the main, is a list of things which government may not do, feel free to point out which specific part of it empowers the feds to mark American citizens for death and carry out that action.

    Feel free to tell me which specific part of it overrides the 5th Amendment, given that the 5th is absolute and without qualification.

    When you do answer them please also tell me where in the Fifth actions abroad are exempted.

    I understand exactly what “domestic” means in terms of the oath. It’s me who has recently reminded you of the oath and, on more than one occasion, told you that Washington is a far greater danger to you than any foreign force.

    That domestic enemy has just laid out the case for why it may legally kill Americans. This is way beyond anything George III contemplated, yet you defend it. Really, 1776 and all that was not about fighting for the right to be killed by a warlord in Washington.

    Yes, Reagan was joking. So are the Norks. They’re tweeking your nose. Chill, you don’t have to defend yourself from a video.

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