U.S. Government Can Kill American Terrorists Abroad If They Pose “an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States”
February 5, 2013
NBC News placed online yesterday a 16-page U.S. Justice Department “White Paper” which argues that the U.S government can legally order the killing of U.S. citizens overseas if, according to the paper, “an informed, high-level official” decides that the target(s) are a member of al Qaeda who pose “an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States” and that capturing the person(s) is not possible.
Jeez! Talk about some pretty broad and massively abiguous guidelines for ordering the killing of American citizens without any due process of law. What the document describes is roughly akin to a Star Chamber - a secret gathering held in the White House Situation Room that can order the death of an American citizen without and appeal if some anonymous “informed high-level official” decides that the target is a “terrorist.”
I have said it before, and I will say it again. The secret policy and processes described in this document stinks to high heaven. And it bothers me that some anonymous Justice Department lawyers are busy writing legal briefs trying to justify the policy. Are these the same Justice Department lawyers who said that domestic eavesdropping without a warrant was perfectly all right, or that waterboarding of prisoners and other forms of torture were O.K. as well?