(The following appeared on Planet Moron on March 6, 2012.)
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today laid out the legal justifications that permit the President of the United States to order the assassinations of American citizens.
Now, before you civil libertarian extremist types start ranting and raving about due process, the rule of law, and the imperial presidency, it’s not like the President can just order the assassinations of American citizens on his own.
He sometimes tells Harry Reid and John Boehner first.
Then he orders the assassinations.
That’s kind of like due process, only without the due.
And most of the process.
It should be noted here that Obama’s assassination of American citizens is in direct contrast to the war monger and international criminal terrorist George W. Bush, who unlike Obama was from Texas and wore hats sometimes.
As the Attorney General explained, the President is permitted under the Constitution to order the assassination of American citizens only under very special circumstances:
“First, the U.S. government has determined, after a thorough and careful review, that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States.”
That review to be undertaken by the President, with the final determination made by the President unless, of course, the President disagrees. (Those are called “checks and balances,” for you civics class students.)
“Second, capture is not feasible.”
This is particularly important in that by not capturing the individual and instead killing him on sight, we eliminate any possibility that he might be tortured. There is simply no excuse for that.
“Third, the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles.”
As Holder is careful to point out:
“This does not mean that we can use military force whenever or wherever we want. International legal principles, including respect for another nation’s sovereignty, constrain our ability to act unilaterally. But the use of force in foreign territory would be consistent with these international legal principles if conducted, for example, with the consent of the nation involved.”
See, the President can only assassinate American citizens if we follow international legal principles respecting another nation’s sovereign territory.
“– or after a determination that the nation is unable or unwilling to deal effectively with a threat to the United States.”
Unless we don’t.
So, to sum up Attorney General Holder’s arguments:
~The Constitution permits the President to assassinate American citizens.
~And so does international law.
Looks like he covered all the bases.
Mr. Holder did not stay to answer questions following his speech which is probably just as well as he had just patiently explained to his audience that the can kill them.
We don’t know about you, but we feel safer just knowing that the President can order the assassination of American citizens on his own authority whenever he likes.
Hey, as long as it preserves American principles, we’re for it!
Copyright 2012 by Planet Moron. Reprinted with permission.