Government claims right to assassinate citizens abroad

Early in February, our country’s top intelligence official, Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), testified to the House Intelligence Committee, that the US government asserts the right to kill US citizens travelling, working or living abroad, if the government had evidence those citizens were in some manner involved with terrorist activities.  Such assassinations could be carried out without providing a court any evidence that the targetted persons are in fact guilty of any terrorist or terrorist-related activities; and without providing to such person any of the constitutional guarantees to due process, right to trial, right to confront witnesses, and so forth, which they normally would enjoy if charged with offenses while in the United States.

This startling position continues a policy reportedly instituted by the administration of President George W. Bush in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  The policy also is contrary to the long-established view that those rights such as guaranteed a person under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, are not limited to the place in which a person is found at any particular time; but rather are to be enjoyed by U.S. citizens wherever in the world they may be, by virtue of being Americans.  Apparently, even during times of declared war, such as World War II, the US government did not practice assassination of its own citizens who might have gone over to the other side.

Already, according to former CIA official Philip Giraldi, writing in the April 2010 issue of The American Conservative, three American citizens have been placed on the list for possible assassination.

62 comments Add your comment

dewstarpath

March 19th, 2010
4:11 pm

neoCarlinist:

– Great quote from the beginning of one of my favorite movies. And I agree
that the recent CIA tragedy is but one of many examples of battlefield
obfuscation. It happens even when there’s no outright conflict, as in training
exercises stateside, or, for example, the April 1994 incident involving two US
helicopters being misidentified by AWACS, and shot down by two F-15s with
more than two dozen people on board the Blackhawks.

joan

March 19th, 2010
4:50 pm

Kuncous go back to school and learn to spell. Oh, I forgot, government schools are incapable of teaching spelling.

neo-Carlinist

March 19th, 2010
5:13 pm

dewstarpath, and therein lies the rub (my original point), who get’s to determine good guys from bad guys, and is the determination made before or after the fact? and even more disturbing, when/if we do get the wrong guy (fog of war OR double agent doublecross), the politicos (Cheneys and Rumsfelds of the world) throw the guys in the field under the proverbial bus.

007

March 19th, 2010
6:15 pm

This is a none issue. Why? Because, How would you know! Its not like some government official would report to another government official “We killed so in so, because he was doing such and such” AND that conversation would be recorded in some shape or form so that it would become knowledge to the masses. Indeed, it would not surprise me if we have already assassinated an American abroad, under some reason(s) because that is what power and evil do. The next time your read or hear of a report of an American killed (or Murdered) in another country it could be your government at work protecting and/or securing your right to be free from terrorist, or a government sanction killing to allow a corporation to expand its operations, or a government sanction killing to appease the son of a king of a country in which our national interest is at stake, or……..

neo-Carlinist

March 20th, 2010
7:31 am

007, I agree with everything but your first “it could be…” a government that sanctions murder for the purposes of furthering the interests of a corporate citizen, or to appease a nation with whom it shares common or reciprocal interests does not “protect” or “secure” the freedom of its individual citizens. I agree that these scenarios are ALL very likely, and very likely as far as the USA goes, but my point is, if this is the case, it is the government (State) which protects and secures its own freedom, and the idea that individual liberty is part of the equation is more of a political poker chip or bartering tool (elections, social order/stability), as opposed to a matter of policy (”inalienable right”, as it were).

Liking Barr more every day.

March 20th, 2010
9:11 am

Yes, indeed, NMP, it seems we live in a world populated by individuals who are stuck on stupid. I’m probably the most stupid, but the difference between me and Jihad Jane is that I would never presume to imply myself in another’s destiny.

The Tea Party is not a party. It’s a symptom. It’s the advanced stages of a disease called Viral Ego. This disease is contracted during the contagious quest for fullfillment of the Scriptured Birthright of Fame ordained by the prophet Worhol.

Of course the fifteen minutes of fame was calculated in dog years, which means it’s actually 105 minutes of fame for you and me. It’s not fair that Lassie, the Taco Bell dog, Benji and Rin Tin Tin got more than 15 dog-minutes of fame while I’ve never gotten even one millisecond of notice from anyone. I can’t even get noticed at McDonalds to give my order. The clerk looks right past me every single time, I swear. I raise my hand, “Um, I think I’m next, sir….” Nothing. The person behind me goes, “Yeah, I’ll have the #3 and supersize it.” I look around and people are like, “Why don’t you stand up for yourself? Speak up, man”. And I’m like, “I’m not going to start a fight over french fries.” And they always say, “You don’t have to start a fight, just speak up. HEY! This man was in line here. Sir! This man was next.” Then I go, “Shhh. You wanna relax? It’s alright. I’m not in a hurry.” Then the manager comes out and goes, “IS there a problem? What’s this all about here?”

Of course THATS when I get noticed. IT only takes one guy to point at me and say, “This man here, he started it all. He’s trying to cut in line. He thinks his time is worth more than us.” I lamely objected, “But I was just trying to get a meal, and the lady didn’t notice me but I said it was okay and then the guy behind me started yelling and I didn’t do nothing and…”

Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.

Everytime. I haven’t had a big mac since 1974. Fact.

jack.

Now THAT’S stupid.

No More Progressives!

March 20th, 2010
1:30 pm

Jonathan

March 19th, 2010
12:38 pm
Do you own any guns? Are you a member of the NRA? Do you think there’s any reason, any reason at all that the Federal Government might have reason to label you a terrorist in the future?

Owning a firearm (or an arsenal) does not make you a terrorist. Your behaviour with the firearm(s) is what may make you a terrorist.

Yes, Liking Barr, the propogation of stupid people has reached an exponential level. McDonalds is a good training ground…………………..

SouthernGal

March 20th, 2010
2:16 pm

Oh my….they want to give U.S. citizen rights to terrorists yet the want to deny the same due process to citizens!

Port O'John

March 21st, 2010
2:33 pm

Is this really surprising? Its from the George W. Bush administration: torture, extraordinary rendition — any means to justify the pursuit of power.

And its sounds sadly too much like conservative policy-makers in the GOP today.

Liking Barr more every day.

March 21st, 2010
3:12 pm

“Killin’ Americans is okay if it’s good clean killin’.” (Ma Barker, Bonnie Parker, Sarah Palin).

No More Progressives!

March 21st, 2010
7:57 pm

Port O’John

March 21st, 2010
2:33 pm
Is this really surprising? Its from the George W. Bush administration: torture, extraordinary rendition…

Torture is being duct-taped to a chair and made to watch Rosie O’Donnell re-runs for 24 hours.

You big wussy.

What Me Worry

March 23rd, 2010
3:20 pm

Yeah, I’m a pu$$y because I don’t want to give up my rights for a completely false sence of security. Or are you the pu$$y because you would give up your every right and march lock step with big brother for nothing more then a pat on the back and a tussling of your hair.