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Due Process of Lawlessness

The Obama administration has authorized the CIA to kill a US citizen. We aren’t talking about a soldier in a war (or even anywhere near a battlefield), and there will be no trial or any due process at all.

In other words, our government claims the right to murder anyone it pleases. It is judge, jury, and executioner. No oversight either.

So, kindly explain to me the difference between us and a tyrannical dictatorship?

And how can anyone who calls themselves a conservative cheer this decision? Don’t conservatives claim to defend the constitution?



  1. Morrius wrote:

    If he’s committed treason, as the article strongly implies he has, then wouldn’t he be stripped of his US citizenship?

    Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
  2. Jordan wrote:

    No, he has been *accused* of treason, *accused*. Calling someone a traitor does not strip them of the right to due process. If Obama wants to execute him, he is welcome to have him arrested and tried in a court of law like any other person accused of a crime. This is not the rule of law; this is an elected official authorizing the murder of a citizen of the United States.

    Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink
  3. Scott wrote:

    If the GOP come out against this, then are they saying they would not make the really tough calls when it comes to defending America from terrorist attacks.

    If the GOP come out for this, then they are saying that Obama will take what ever steps are necessary to defend America.

    Basically the GOP can’t say to much about it.

    Maybe it’s time to remember that world is an ugly place at times and sometimes, ugly things have to be done. Remember the three IRA terrorists shot dead by the British secret service???

    Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 2:51 am | Permalink
  4. Jonah wrote:

    I have mixed feelings about this but I think i support the decision 60/40. The decision was made to capture or kill so the fact that this guy lives overseas and probably amongst fellow like minded people, makes it a bit harder to capture him. There appears to be clear evidence that he has ordered american citizens to be killed and it also appears that he is influential enough that his orders are followed. So if it comes to it i’d rather it be him than an American citizen especially if its someone i may know.

    I’m partly against it because it could be a dangerous precedent. It is a time of war but there needs to be some due process so that if someone nutty like Palin becomes president (God forbid) she can’t indiscriminately off someone.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 6:20 am | Permalink
  5. Ryan wrote:

    Trail in absentia…

    Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  6. H. Rider Haggard wrote:

    This is indeed a dangerous step on the slippery slope to tyranny. It seems necessary to “provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare” as in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution, but it goes against the explicit grant of powers to the branches of government in the Constitution.

    I’m going to make the argument here that this is the right thing to do, that this step onto the slippery slope should be taken, and invite responses.

    We have to recognize that the law, like all human endeavors, is an imperfect instrument. It may in each case be improvable, but it is not perfectible, and situations will continually arise where “mere expedience” requires that the law be “honored in the breach” in order to obtain preserve life, liberty, and happiness for the innocent.

    In this case, the sitting president sees a need to act outside the existing law, and he is in effect saying “This needs doing. I’m going to do it. If you feel afterwards that it was sufficiently wrong, impeach me, or prosecute me after I leave office. I’m putting my own life and liberty on the line here, because the situation is too urgent to wait for the law to improve to handle this situation.”

    Now, if I were running things I would make sure there was an arrest warrant out for Anwar al-Awlaki, to at least give a semblance of lawfulness when he was “killed resisting arrest.”

    This is an issue that has rattled around in my head since the first time I read the story of Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot. Arthur made the laws, and found himself having to follow his own laws in prosecuting Guinevere and Lancelot. That always seemd like the wrong thing to me, and yet necessary if Arthur were to preserve the government which he had established. In contrast, the U.S. president finds himself running a government established by the people, a government having rules which, if he breaks them, has consequences for himself and not for the entire establishment of government.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  7. starluna wrote:

    I think the key part of this order is “capture or kill”. If it was just kill, then it would be more troubling. If he is captured, then there is the possibility that he’ll get due process. This may be one of those circumstances where I must trust that the president was as thoughtful about this decision as he has tried to be in others.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
  8. ebdoug wrote:

    Or Per the e-mails recovered, Anwar al-Awlaki sent one of his “soldiers” (Hasan) to attack the US military at Fort Hood. Is not that an unwritten declaration of war? Like everyone above, this is rattling around in my head.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink