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View Diary: The Power to Assassinate a Citizen (228 comments)

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  •  So.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizen k, Deep Texan

    Is it your position President Lincoln should of waited for a court decision before each & every battle with the Confederacy, and killing American citizens who took up arms against the United States?

    •  Considering... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Support Civil Liberty

      ...I think it should be the right of any state to secede from the US if they feel like it, no.

      A country is only a free country if it's a voluntary union. If it's a bunch of people being forced to be part of the nation by a bunch of other people with guns, it isn't really freedom, is it?

      /Yes, yes, I know about slavery, that's not the point.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 10:26:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you know about Fort Sumter? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, happymisanthropy, Deep Texan

        'Cause the whole secession debate was rendered moot when the Confederacy attacked the United States.

      •  Except..... (0+ / 0-)

        Citizens of all 50 States have spent blood & treasure defending & investing in every State. I have as much right to travel to Texas, to take residence in Texas, and become a "Texan" as the people who live there because we're all Americans.

        By the original compact of government which all states in the Union agreed to when they hopped on-board, the United States and all of the citizens of the United States have rights in every state that have never been relinquished, and never will be without the consent of all involved.

      •  A nation is never forced (0+ / 0-)

        The U.S. is not a nation because it is not a single people.  It does not have a shared culture like France or Romania or Russia.  The U.S. is a country only as a political construct of sovereign states joining together to provide the federal government limited powers of government for efficiencies and security.  A nation takes centuries to develop and is forged by culture, land, language, food, religion.  We do not have the history to be a nation -- maybe some day we will but not now.  I know it is a small quibbling point, but the word "nation" when applied to the US always sounds like fingernails on a chalk board to me.

      •  On DKOS where pro-confederacy is "progressive" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JR, Deep Texan

        hilarious.

    •  Article I, Section 9 covered him (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, happymisanthropy

      We were in a state of rebellion where the public safety required martial law and the suspension of habeas rights.  I think Lincoln was wrong to suspend habeas himself and not await Congressional action, but I also think the exigencies of a civil war where rebellious troops are less than 60 miles from the nation's capital and eleven states deny federal authority are far greater than those where a single treasonous citizen is concerned.  Matters of insurrection are constitutionally different than ones of singular treason, by my reading.

      "Speaking for me only." -Armando

      by JR on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 10:37:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Molly Norris isn't a case of public safety? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan
        •  She's not a case of Insurrection or Rebellion. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, pgm 01, happymisanthropy

          Serious question: have you ever actually read the Constitution?

          "Speaking for me only." -Armando

          by JR on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 10:51:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, have you read al-Awlaki's writing? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            He advocates for insurrection.

            •  Writing about it doesn't create it. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pgm 01, happymisanthropy

              I can write about the Braves winning the pennant, but that (sadly) doesn't make it so.  There actually has to be an insurrection or rebellion before habeas can be suspended, and, frankly, I think you might have read parts of the Constitution, but I seriously doubt you've ever actually gone cover-to-cover, because you seem to have some very odd ideas about what out government is allowed to do.

              "Speaking for me only." -Armando

              by JR on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:09:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Again, Molly Norris, credible threats. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                citizen k, Deep Texan

                In this case, he does in fact seem to have the power to carry out his threats.

                •  Words mean things. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pgm 01, happymisanthropy, 2020adam, cai

                  Pretending that "red" means "blue" doesn't make it so.  Pretending that "The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it" means "We can assassinate a citizen who writes a pamphlet advocating rebellion" doesn't make it so, either.

                  You're flailing for a way to make this Constitutional, but the fact that you don't know what the Constitution says is making it a bit tough.  Fortunately for you, there is actually a way: you can amend the Constitution to allow the government to extrajudicially assassinate citizens.  It's not a power they currently have, and it isn't a power they can assign themselves, but We the People can give it to them.  We really shouldn't, but we can.

                  "Speaking for me only." -Armando

                  by JR on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:18:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Just to be clear, you're admitting (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Deep Texan

                    that he's advocating rebellion, you just don't think the life of a cartoonist is that big of a deal?

                    •  Not where war powers are concerned, no. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      pgm 01, happymisanthropy, cai

                      That's a criminal matter, not a military one.  Advocating rebellion is a seditious act.  It isn't enough to trigger the use of war powers against an American citizen.

                      "Speaking for me only." -Armando

                      by JR on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:27:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, I think we've reached an honest difference (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Deep Texan

                        of opinion, because I do think that it's a big deal.

                        •  "Big deal" is not the point. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          JR, crose

                          We have a court system for everything from littering to, yes, treason.  Try the guy.

                          My comments may not be used for any purpose without explicit permission.

                          by cai on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 11:52:52 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  contrary to some theory (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Deep Texan

                            the courts are not the supreme branch of government. The political branches are entrusted with foreign policy and war matters and can act in those without judicial sanction. There is no constitutional protection for those engaged in war against the USA until/unless they are in custody.

                          •  Hey, if he was killed on the battlefield (0+ / 0-)

                            that would be different.  But we don't bomb Americans because they are overseas and have (allegedly) committed crimes.  We shouldn't, anyway.

                            (And I happen not to accept the Bush designation of any place overseas as "the battlefield".)

                            My comments may not be used for any purpose without explicit permission.

                            by cai on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 01:23:35 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  actually Bush wanted the world to be defined as (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SoCalSal, Deep Texan

                            the battlefield. The blatantly illegal imprisonment of Padilla who was seized in a US airport was a sign of Bush's effort to bring rule of law to an end.

                            However, that does not mean that Yemen is not the battlefield or that a person engaged in military actions in Yemen is in any way entitled to judicial protection while he is not in US custody.

                            Just because Bush wanted to illegally designate American soil as battlefield does not mean battlefields are not battlefields.

                          •  If all it takes is bombing the shit out of a... (0+ / 0-)

                            place before we call it a battlefield, then I suppose you're right, Mr Awlaki is on a battlefield. Apparently all a President needs to create a Constitution-free zone is to start bombing the shit outta the place. Yea, that's definitely what the Constitution wanted.

                            "And he shall, in times when he has unilaterally decided to unleash a bucketload of firepower on a location, be empowered to target and kill any of his subjects citizens found therein, upon convening a decision-making body whose members have been chosen entirely by him and whose tenures are at his discretion. Further, he shall ensure that the people not be made aware of the criteria used to judge fellow citizens, and that no due-process or injunctive relief be made available to the citizen to be killed."

                        •  That's called authoritarianism. (0+ / 0-)

                          If being accused of threatening a cartoonist and inspiring a criminal conspiracy can get you summary execution, I don't know what else you want to call it.

              •  i don't know what you call (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Deep Texan

                commanding a military force in a foreign nation that is organizing attacks on the USA, but I don't call that "speech".

                •  The Constitution and I call it "treason". (0+ / 0-)

                  "Speaking for me only." -Armando

                  by JR on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 01:20:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  actually the constitution calls it "war" (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    SoCalSal, Deep Texan

                    and gives the political branches the authority to dispatch the military without judicial oversight.

                    What you suggest is that if a legally dispatched US detachment is about to engage in battle with enemy forces, the citizenship status of members of that force can determine legal tactics and actions. That has no basis in any law.

                    •  I suggest no such thing. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      2020adam

                      I really don't understand how you've conflated a "battle with enemy forces" with a standing kill order, but I think that's a distinction with a difference.

                      "Speaking for me only." -Armando

                      by JR on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 02:04:47 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm assuming you are (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Deep Texan

                        supporting the plaintiffs in the ACLU/Alwaki Senior lawsuit.

                        Suppose the US military makes a list of 20 AQ commanders and puts them all on a list for shoot-to-kill if seen in Yemen or Afghanistan - in the battlefield. Is that legal according to you? Does it depend on the citizenship of the commander?

                        •  That's 3 different questions as I see it. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          burrow owl

                          In Afghanistan, we're actively engaged in military operations and standard rules of warfare would, I presume, apply.

                          In Yemen, we have not been authorized to conduct military operations, and we aren't in a state of war, so what's okay would largely depend on the Yemenis.  But I think the citizenship of the targets would matter much more there, as it isn't an active war zone.  You've called it a "battlefield," but I don't think you can say that Yemen counts as a battlefield but, for example, Hamburg, Germany doesn't (or even Cherry Hill, NJ).  Would it be acceptable to assassinate an American citizen in Hamburg?  Would citizenship matter in Cherry Hill (ignoring posse comitatus for the moment)?

                          But as far as I know, we're specifically talking about a kill list that is not territorially bound to places that one might consider "battlefields."  So isn't it more like saying that the military made a list of 20 people who are under shoot-to-kill orders regardless of where they're found?

                          (I'm really enjoying that you're presenting real arguments with sound footing, even if I disagree with both your premise and conclusions.  But it's 5:35 a.m. local time, so I probably won't be playing much longer tonight.)

                          "Speaking for me only." -Armando

                          by JR on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 02:36:12 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

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