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View Diary: U.S. Admits to Killing Four American Citizens in Drone Strikes (128 comments)

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  •  Exactly, and it is precisely this sloppy use of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catesby, Chitownliberal7, Ray Blake

    language that underlies most of the arguments by those who cry 'murder!' here.  

    The same is true of the bald assertions here that Al-a was 'killed without due process.'  Nevermind that the term due process has a specific definition and does not mean 'after trial, conviction and death sentence', or even 'after judicial hearing'.  Due process simply means the process that is due, i.e. that which the law requires.  In matters of war such as targets, the law - meaning the Constitution, Art. II - vests that power in the Commander in Chief, i.e. POTUS.  The only thing required to invoke that is a Congressional declaration of hostilities and direction of POTUS to use the military to prosecute same.  Congress did that with the Authorization of Use of Military Force resolution.

    That is the process which is due.  Whether the target/victim is a US citizen or not.  Whether on or behind 'the lines' or in Timbuktu.  Arguments that they should capture them put troops in harms way instead of a robot are arguments abuot military tactics, not due process, which exclusively is the CinCs province.

    Just as the CSS Nashville could have been sunk and all hands killed even when it atacked union ships in the English Channel, so too could it have been attacked and all hands killed if it had been in foreign port.  The same is true for anyone deemed a combatant in an authorized military action.

    As I have said here for months, those who attack Obama on specious ground of 'due process' on this would be far better served- as would their cause - by directing their efforts to getting Congress to repeal the AUMF and thus removing the legal basis for these acts.  

    Everything else is psudeo-legal bloviating.

    BTW, a number of terror suspects have claimed al-A was connected to their acts.  Even if only as an instigator of them, he might then be deemed a legitimate war target ala Reichminister Goebbels, who was never in the German military either, bc if al-A did have a connection with those attacks, then a fear of connection to more in the future is not so absurd as to be patently unreasonable.

    •  I agree on all points, and it is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Blake, truong son traveler

      clear in the Bill of Rights.  Citizens are not singled out for special protection - it applies to everyone under US power.  And the exemption for war and public safety is a huge one.

      My problem is, and this is more a matter of international law than Constitutional, is whether a country can make military attacks against individuals without that country's permission and without declaring war.

      Sometimes I miss the USSR, because then at least we attempted to try and look like the principled guys.

      •  re: USSR, too damn (and sadly) true. I worried ou (0+ / 0-)

        tloud about just this in 1991 (and the deeper concern that average Americans would not understand why something should not be done without the example of the boogeyman, e.g., torture, indefinite detention without trial).

        And I agree, it does not mean that we should not aspire to a more just system.  Nor does it mean the People thru Congress can not decide to impose a higher standard.  Or that they should not.

        The problem with International Law is it really doesn't exist, since Law requires Authority to enforce and there is none independent of individual nation-states' desires and interests.  E.g., 'international law' applies to and binds the US only by virtue that the US has chosen to be bound via treaty and only so long as it continues to so choose.  (And anyway Yemen has consented to US strikes and you really don't think Pakistan really objects do you?  Not too mention the UN charter gives one nation authority to violate another's sovereignty in self-defense and in this age when a handful of men can kill a city, the refusal of host nation to police in its own borders may
        justify the defender to act without the hosts consent.  Tho the 'Afghanistan solution' - i.e., the hosts refusal to act is an attack or abetting same on the defender nation is extremelu problematic when dealing with nuclear powers such as Pakistan.)

        But, that aside, legal principles adopted by a vast majority of humanity would seem a pretty good place to look if we care about being just as well as legal.

        IOW, a just result, as well as due process.

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