Someday everyone will be on a kill list for 15 minutes
Which means that minute 16 is the sweetest minute of all.
With regard to the DOJ Kill List Memo, Pepperdine Law Prof. Greg McNeal focuses on Six Key Points Regarding the DOJ Targeted Killing White Paper, of which one is of particular interest, the issue of “war crimes”:
(6) The white paper discusses at page 16, potential war crimes liability for improper targeting decisions/criteria. It is notable that while the white paper cites the ICRC DPH study, the reasoning of the white paper and the sentence that follows the cite to the DPH study do not seem to comport with the ICRC’s views on direct participation in hostilities or continuous combat function, rather the U.S. view seems to be a membership only based approach. The white paper states “An operation against a senior operational leader of al-Qa’ida or its associated forces who poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States would target a person who is taking an ‘active part in hostilities’ and therefore would not constitute a ‘grave breach’ of Common Article 3.” I don’t think the ICRC would subscribe to the U.S. view of “active part in hostilities” as articulated in this white paper, unless the argument is that a “senior operational leader” has a continuous combat function, but that would require sufficient levels of organization for al-Qaeda as an armed group, something that is not mentioned let alone explained in the white paper.
I wrote about the possibility of war crimes charges back in December 2009, Drone Strikes Put Obama Admin Officials At Risk, and again in May 2010, Can War Crimes Charges Be Far Off?
Of course, the context there was to wonder if Obama would be held to the same standard as Israeli officials, with a full court press by American leftists and Palestinian/Islamist lawfare activists working through European “universal jurisdiction” countries.
The obvious answer then and now is the same: There will not even be attempts to prosecute Obama the way there were (and still are) attempts to go after Israelis and Bush administration officials, because he is Obama. That is the right outcome, for the wrong reasons.
Update: Glenn Greenwald has been almost alone among liberals in speaking up against the Obama administration on the targeted killing of U.S. citizens and other usurpation of power. While I disagree with him on this under the unique circumstances of al Qaeda (and we still disagree on the Israel lobby), it is worth a read, Chilling legal memo from Obama DOJ justifies assassination of US citizens. I do agree with him, however, on the issue of transparency:
In fact, The Most Transparent Administration Ever™ has been so fixated on secrecy that they have refused even to disclose the legal memoranda prepared by Obama lawyers setting forth their legal rationale for why the president has this power. During the Bush years, when Bush refused to disclose the memoranda from his Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that legally authorized torture, rendition, warrantless eavesdropping and the like, leading Democratic lawyers such as Dawn Johnsen (Obama’s first choice to lead the OLC) vehemently denounced this practice as a grave threat, warning that “the Bush Administration’s excessive reliance on ‘secret law’ threatens the effective functioning of American democracy” and “the withholding from Congress and the public of legal interpretations by the [OLC] upsets the system of checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches of government.”
But when it comes to Obama’s assassination power, this is exactly what his administration has done. It has repeatedly refused to disclose the principal legal memoranda prepared by Obama OLC lawyers that justified his kill list. It is, right now, vigorously resisting lawsuits from the New York Times and the ACLU to obtain that OLC memorandum. In sum, Obama not only claims he has the power to order US citizens killed with no transparency, but that even the documents explaining the legal rationale for this power are to be concealed. He’s maintaining secret law on the most extremist power he can assert.
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Wait, did that say DOJ Targeted Killing of White People?
This is an idiot, PC policy which leads to gross violations of due process (which is typical of PC perversions).
If we have the ability to find them with a missile, we have the intelligence to go get them. THEN we have that intelligence asset, AND they will get due process at GITMO before a tribunal.
But GITMO is NOT PC…
Gitmo was exploited and overexposed in order to acquire leverage. These people prefer solutions which are out-of-sight and out-of-mind.
Professor, the correct [mis]quote sould be “In the future” not “Someday”. I’m a big pop art fan…
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now relying upon Glenn Greenwald for reasonable commentary in the Main Stream Media.
Once again, the UK press gets the story.
Where you are missing the point. I ask these questions:
1. Who is qualified to decide which target is viable? Can it be a jihadist one day and a right wing blogger the next?
2. Why only on foreign soil? If the issue is risk to our people attempting to capture, one could argue a drone strike at a domestic terrorist target is just as legal. Imagine the ATF or DHS deciding to strike a compound instead of raiding it. All they have to do is paint the target as an out of control domestic threat.
3. If a drone strike is legal, then why not use something else, something more precise, like a Blackhawk helicopter manned with Special Forces soldiers?
4. If it is legal and based on what a current administration considers a valid threat assessment, what would happen if administrations change? For example, we have terrorist camps in Mexico run by Hezbollah. I know they are there, so does the DOD and DHS. Right now Obama likes terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. So they are safe. But if the next administration comes into power, do the fellows in the camp start living underground?
This is a very slippery slope.
Man – you guys always gotta do things bigger & better.
Not a nice compact poison umbrella .Not plutonium in a nice cup o’tea .Not a national health scheme to take out elderly & frail citizens.
Death Panels on steroids in the sky.
Krugman now says, yes, we need those death panels that Sarah Palin was not allowed to discuss. So some of us might want to keep our nursing home visits short and sweet.
“the U.S. view seems to be a membership only based approach.” Holy Smokes, they’re going after the “Masters” at Augusta.
Hate to break it to you but Obama, the Little Dictator (known affectionately as ‘little dic’) has had America on double secret probation since the day he took office.
Secret law is just another way of saying lawlessness.
Gee and I thought water boarding was illegal as hell. /sarc
Living in America these days is like living out a classic dystopian future science fiction novel. I don’t know whether to laugh it off or start digging a bunker.
Just to be on the safe side, start digging!
Archer52 has a great question and the proper answer is still to be written, I do believe, as to each of the four points he mentions!
Obama’s administration says it’s going after enemies of the USA or is it simply enemies of his administration, which I believe to be the case.
Obama’s administration is quite willing, IMHO, of going after those of us who oppose his many statist policies! So, should each of us advise our neighbors that because of us, they could be damaged by fallout from a drone attack upon us? Or, does Obama’s NDAA policy also include his collateral damage?
Who holds Obama accountable for his actions and policies or is that not pertinent to his administration? Perhaps he’s implementing his own concept of a constitution which contains his list of positive rights!
Watch how Obama acts after the 2014 elections when the Dems lose control of the Senate to the GOP, which also retains control of the House! The real Obama will come out then but perhaps God will help us if we help ourselves.
The Tea Party is the two thirds of voters that want smaller government and lower taxes. Or as Obama would call us, right wing extremist, racist haters that are a threat to national security.
Obama is president of the unions, his donors, and those that swallow his Hopey-Changey Kool-Aid. The rest of us must be demonized and reformed. Shooting bloggers off their lawnmowers with a domestic “peace drone” won’t happen till Hillary’s second term.
The chilling effect on free speech is ratcheted up with every new executive order and power grab. Sure, most of us “loud mouths” will keep screaming, but those on the fringe might prefer to stay out of the fray. I’m thinkin’ only a crash of the economy will stop our wannabe tyrant in chief, and we are well on our way to that outcome.
So, we can expect Code Pink, who has made no secret of their monetary contributions to Al Queda, to be wiped off the face of the Earth soon? Right?