Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

06 February 2013

Drones: Targeting Americans


"Was Lincoln wrong to order the US army to open fire on the “insurgents” in the Southern part of this nation?"

herself on February 6, 2013 at 6:02 AM

No, because the Constitution gives the President express authority to put down insurrections. Further, the South fired on Fort Sumner FIRST so, President Lincoln, as is law enforcement when attempting to apprehend a fugitive that opens fire, acted DEFENCIVELY, which he was permitted to do under the Constitution to "repel sudden attacks." 

On 24 December 1860, South Carolina passed the “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the S-c-ssion of South Carolina from the Federal Union.”  It S-E-C-E-D-E-D .

By February 1861, seven Southern states had S-E-C-E-D-E-D and, on 4 February, they formed A NEW COUNTRY, the Confederate States of America with its OWN President, Jefferson Davis, and its OWN government.

While Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481) was not in effect because it was passed in 1940, but if we use it as a basis, it is OBVIOUS that the people in the South had forfeited their American citizenship by:

1. Pursuant to § 349 (a)(1) INA, obtaining naturalisation in a FOREIGN STATE.

2. Pursuant to § 349 (a)(2) INA, taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration to a FOREIGN STATE or its political subdivisions.

3. Pursuant to § 349 (a)(4)(b) INA, accepting employment with a FOREIGN STATE and taking the “an oath or declaration of allegiance” that was “required in accepting the position.”

4. Pursuant to § 349 (a)(6) INA, entering or serving in the “armed forces of a FOREIGN STATE engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a FOREIGN STATE.

Unlike the Confederate States of America, al Qaeda is NOT a FOREIGN STATE. It has NO government, NO flag, and its members wear NO uniform.

The solution to this problem of citizenship is easily rectified. Congress can amend § 349 and strip Americans of their citizenship if they join a foreign terrorist organisation that is currently conducting hostilities against the US. The government can make a proffer to a court and a judge could then decide.

As an aside on the use of deadly force and law enforcement, in Tennessee v Garner, 471 US 1 (1985), the Supreme Court held that law enforcement is only permitted the use of such force against dangerous suspects, who are in flight, when killing the suspect is “necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”  In Fourth Amendment cases, the Supreme Court has stressed that “the use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so.  It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead.”  Deadly force was held not justified where a suspect’s vehicle was “moving slowly and in a non-aggressive manner, could not have hit any of the officers, and was stationary at the time of the shooting.” Kirby v Duva, 530 F.3d 475, 482 (6th Cir. 2008).  Also, in Smith v Cupp, 430 F.3d 766, 774-75 (6th Cir. 2005), the Court held that suspect who had taken control of officer’s patrol car, although he was in possession of a dangerous weapon, “was not threatening the lives of those around him.

"Was it wrong to bomb Tokyo because it might have hit Iva Toguri D’Aquino, an American Citizen who was a turncoat propagandist?"

herself on February 6, 2013 at 6:02 AM

No, American citizenship does not act as a shield to protect people if they are in the capitol of a FOREIGN STATE. It is the TARGETING OF AMERICAN CITIZENS, specifically, that makes this programme problematic.

John Walker Lindh was captured on an Afghan battlefield. If he had been killed on that battlefield, instead, there would be NO problem because he was not targeted. He was a casualty of war and the American military does not have to pull its punches because an American may be in the midst of the enemy.

1. Both CSA and Japan were FOREIGN STATES. Al Qaeda is not.

2. Specific Americans were NOT targeted for execution.

The three Americans that have been executed by drones, including a 16 year-old boy that had just joined his father in Yemen, but was killed 16 days after al-Awlaki was killed, were not wearing the uniforms of any country. They had not formally renounced their American citizenship. They had not even been charged with crimes where a prosecutor could have made a case producing his evidence to a grand jury. There were no indictments. There was NO oversight of the Executive Branch by either of the other two. 

No leader of ANY country should ever have the power to decide which of his fellow citizens are terrorists and should be killed without any checks and balances. 

Americans have a right to due process, including the opportunity to challenge the charges, their detention, the evidence, and to confront their accusers. We make a grave mistake allowing the President to summarily – and unilaterally – decide who should be stripped of those rights.

Further, we must be incredibly vigilant about ceding rights in the name of “national security.” From the Night of the Long Knives through the end of WWII, Adolf Hitler killed millions in the name of “national security.”

"Political leaders who decree guilt in secret and with no oversight inevitably succumb to error and/or abuse of power. Such unchecked accusatory decrees are inherently untrustworthy. That’s why due process is guaranteed in the Constitution and why judicial review of government accusations has been a staple of western justice since the Magna Carta: because leaders can’t be trusted to decree guilt and punish citizens without evidence and an adversarial process. That is the age-old basic right on which this memo, and the Obama presidency, is waging war." 

- Glenn Greenwald, Chilling Legal Memo From Obama DOJ Justifies Assassination of US Citizens, The Guardian, 5 February 2013

PS:  Randy Weaver was deemed a “danger” and possible “domestic terrorist” because of his infrequent attendance at some meetings of a group along the lines of the Aryan Nation. Of course, I do not approve of such groups and we can even agree that people, who are associated with them, are despicable, but he still had rights. The Federal government planned a set-up of Randy and then his wife, as well. It entrapped Randy Weaver by having an undercover agent ask to buy a sawed-off shotgun. Weaver, at first, did not want to sell anything. Finally, he agreed and, when the agent arrived, he asked where to cut the barrel. Intentionally, the agent point to a spot that was 1/4″ outside of the legal bounds. It was THIS that led to Ruby Ridge.
The government staked out his property. Put cameras in the trees. Enter his property without a warrant. Finally, Federal agents shot the family dog, which provoked the minor son to return fire. He was killed by a Federal agent. The man, who was with him, defended him and shot back killing one of the agents, was ACQUITTED OF ALL CHARGES.

The Federal government then changed the ROE and, for possibly the first time in American history, put a shoot to kill order on an American family. The agents shot Randy Weaver in the back and they shot his wife, Vicki, through the head while she was holding their infant daughter.

The Feds charged Randy Weaver with a slew of crimes and sought the death penalty. So obscene, obnoxious, and unconstitutional were the actions of the Federal government and its agents that his attorney, Gerry Spence, did not even put on a defence. Weaver was ACQUITTED and the Federal government later settled with the Weaver Family for MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

Now, I am not suggesting that President Obama or a successor will take this programme, immediately, and start using it on American soil, but one can certainly imagine that slippery slope when just considering what the Feds were willing to do to the Weaver family.

What if, instead of being Americans, the Weavers were Pakistanis? Does that change anything?

What if, instead of putting Federal agents’ lives in jeopardy, an “‘informed’ high level official” determines that an American like Randy Weaver “poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the US” with “imminent” being defined as “possibly at some time in the future”? Should the Feds be able to use a drone since apprehending him might cause the death of one of their agents?

"Those people were not authentic Americans..."
Tripwhipper on February 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM

“Authentic American” is NOT the test. Both Anwar al-Awlaki and his son were born on American soil.

"...but determined by national security to be terrorist enemies..."

Tripwhipper on February 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM 

Well, then, that settles it. Let’s leave all legal INTERPRETATION to the branch of government that is tasked with EXECUTING THE LAW.

On what basis did national security “deem” 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who was killed 16 days AFTER his father, Anwar al-Awlaki, to be a terrorist?  

Let’s see this evidence.

Let’s see what upon what basis President Obama believed he had a right to execute a minor when such IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL in the United States, Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005).

Let’s see if Obama could have produced the evidence that would have convicted the 3 Americans he has so far denied due process to and executed...or, at least, been enough to get a grand jury to indict.

"...and they are not about to drone strike us here in the US..."

 Tripwhipper on February 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Slippery slope. This administration once believed that the waterboarding of known, confessed terrorists, who were NOT Americans, was torture and a war crime. Now, it believes that it has the power to play judge, jury and executioner.

"This is about political legitimacy more so than legality, as was Reagan’s defiance of the Boland Amendment."

 Tripwhipper on February 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM

It has EVERYTHING to do with legality. Reagan was wrong for defying the Boland Amendment. Presidents swear to uphold the Constitution. They don’t get to disregard laws they do not like.

"We have much bigger issues to worry about. All nine justices of SCOTUS are from the same two Ivy League institutions, Harvard & Yale. All presidents for the past quarter century are from the same, Harvard & Yale. So I suppose no other educational institutions in the nation qualify or need apply?"

  Tripwhipper on February 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM

All of the above is IRRELEVANT to the issue at hand, i.e., whether a President can “deem” an American a “terrorist,” deny him due process, and then execute him. Current law does NOT support this position.

"We lost our Republic a century ago. Govt. is transgressing into illegitimacy. We the people are now in a political barrel of oligarchy about to go over the falls of totalitarianism. Time to get out of the barrel and get to shore."

Tripwhipper on February 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Wow! So, your answer to rising totalitarianism is to give the President of the United States the ULTIMATE power over citizens.

Bloody brilliant!


Related Reading:

Drone Strikes on Americans:  Illegal, Unethical, and Unwise

Chilling Legal Memo from Obama's DOJ Justifies Assassination of American Citizens

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