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View Diary: Does the US have the right to kill its on citizens without trial? (303 comments)

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  •  You are conflating the role (0+ / 0-)

    of criminal law--to punish past actions--with that of armed conflict/self-defense, which is to prevent future attacks.

    It was not permissible to attack him in order to punish him for past actions.  It was permissible to attack him to prevent him from carrying out future ones.

    Crucially, the determination of whether someone is engaged in hostilities against the US is not a judicial matter until he is in our custody.  While he is at large, his status is delegated strictly to the elected branches.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 01:33:14 PM PDT

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    •  When you use a rationalization... (4+ / 0-)

      ...that effectively nullifies an entire section of the Constitution, odds are you're wrong. I think that rule applies here.

      You're saying that one who has allegedly committed treason may be summarily executed without trial in order to prevent future treason. While that's certainly not a novel theory (at least, not since John Yoo worked at OLC), it's circular as hell.

      Of course, that prompts other questions: most notably, why wait? Can't the President pre-emptively determine someone is likely to commit treason and order their execution under your view? Why not?

      What you're essentially arguing is that the President, based solely on his determination that a citizen is likely to commit treason in the future, can kill that citizen (so long as, I assume, there is an ongoing conflict of some level, somewhere in the world, involving the US). I understand how you've reached that position. I understand why you're defending that position. I cannot square it with the Constitution's explicit protection for traitors and other citizens.

      ‎"Our greatest asset as advocates is a deep cognizance of our own ignorance, plus a willingness to do something about it." -Joseph Mitchell Kaye, 1966.

      by JR on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 02:05:25 PM PDT

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      •  For one, if someone is within the reach (0+ / 0-)

        of law enforcement authorities, the requirement to take him into custody would apply.  

        If he were sitting in a hotel in Paris, the only legal option would be to have the French police pick him up.

        But, if someone puts themselves out of the reach of law enforcement authority and the options are (a) kill him or (b) leave him alone, then (a) becomes an option.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 02:26:03 PM PDT

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        •  There are criminals wanted in the US hiding outsid (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marie, Brown Thrasher

          the country.  Does the government then have the right to drop bombs in those countries in any case, or is "terrorism" somehow a special crime?

          Reality has a liberal bias.

          by Hayate Yagami on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 02:48:10 PM PDT

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          •  Unless they are members of the (0+ / 0-)

            Al Qaeda network and have been determined by the President to be engaged in plotting armed attacks against the United States, the use of deadly force without a chance to surrender would not be legal regardless of circumstance.

            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

            by Geekesque on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 02:50:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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