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Assassination of an American Citizen Abroad


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#1 devilsadvoc8

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 11:37 AM

With the Obama administration's green light to execute an American citizen abroad comes interesting questions. I know it was authorized a while ago but since the execution actually occurred recently it is a hotter topic.

Frankly, I don't exactly know where I fall on this. We have an individual (citizen or not) who is plotting to kill Americans (assume right now this is beyond a doubt) from foreign soil. During wartime is a citizen fair game? Does an official war make certain rights null and void as he is a combatant on the other side?

Not being a constitutional expert, I have read that the President's actions were without precedent. I don't know if it is true or not, I know Bush detained that one American in Guantanimo for a while which was at odds with our rights to due process or whatever. This seems to kick it up a notch.

Am I happy a threat to the US is gone? I sure am. As I type this I am leaning slightly towards the ends justifying the means but it sure is a slippry slope. I do think the administration should release their analysis memo. This should not be a secret especially from the man who pledged more transparency.

I am also a bit surprised with the lack of protests. Prior to the execution in Georgia recently, there were lots of protests- over a man who has gone through our legal system. Here is someone who has not had one day in court and we executed him. Are there protests and I am not aware of them?

Thoughts?
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#2 Devils731

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 12:27 PM

I'm surprised with the lack of outrage as well.

I support the decision though, as I believe it is justifiable. If you choose to wage war on America then you're committing treason, which is punishable by death. Since you're engaging in war, you forfeit your right to trial if military command/tribunal decides you're an imminent threat.

I'm not even sure if the US still considered him a citizen anymore, which would also remove any constitutional protections.

The papers authorizing his assassination were re-examined every 6 months, I read but forget where, to ensure they still felt he was a threat and shouldn't have the order lifted.

I do think they should explain their rationale though. I believe the gov't has a reasonable rationale, even if it's different than what I guesstimated on above, but it seems something that could be made public. I'm not sure what national secret is involved here.
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#3 squishyx

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 12:30 PM

If this was Bush every liberal would be freaking out by the violation of due process and every conservative would be praising his name in the name of safety.

The hypocrisy continues to become more and more deafening.

Anyway as for the subject, either we are a country that is ok with killing suspected terrorists or we aren't. I don't think it shouldn't matter what piece of land you happened to be lucky enough to be born on. WRT "rights", If it's ok to waterboard KSM, if it's ok to raid pakistan to get Bin Laden, then it's ok to to drop a bomb on this guy.

Edited by squishyx, 03 October 2011 - 12:33 PM.

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#4 devilsadvoc8

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 04:02 PM

If this was Bush every liberal would be freaking out by the violation of due process and every conservative would be praising his name in the name of safety.

The hypocrisy continues to become more and more deafening.

Anyway as for the subject, either we are a country that is ok with killing suspected terrorists or we aren't. I don't think it shouldn't matter what piece of land you happened to be lucky enough to be born on. WRT "rights", If it's ok to waterboard KSM, if it's ok to raid pakistan to get Bin Laden, then it's ok to to drop a bomb on this guy.


Mark it down, I understand and/or agree with all your thoughts here squish.

Edited by devilsadvoc8, 03 October 2011 - 04:02 PM.

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Official Keeper of the 3 story statue of a hockey player by the artist J. Krawczyk.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence- Christopher Hitchens

ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

#5 DevsMan84

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:33 AM

Mark it down, I understand and/or agree with all your thoughts here squish.



I agree with his statements too.
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#6 '7'

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:52 AM

Living outside the US, actively waging war against the US. Shouldn't have been that hard to strip him of citizenship before taking him out. This whole snafu could've been avoided
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#7 Pepperkorn

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 11:13 AM

I'm a hypocrite. I think our govt. shouldn't publicly sponsor ANY assassination. I think a "war on terror" is impossible. The line can be moved anywhere.

BUT... I have no problem with covert operations taking guys out -- just no happy victory dance after the fact. Just take 'em out no fuss no muss no credit assigned to anyone. The loss of life should never be a cause for celebration.

As for the citizenship - I think it's bullsh!t. American criminals deserve no better treatment than a foreign criminal. Or perhaps you'd prefer foreign criminal deserve the same treatment as US criminals.
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#8 matcat1116

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 12:21 AM

If this was Bush every liberal would be freaking out by the violation of due process and every conservative would be praising his name in the name of safety.

The hypocrisy continues to become more and more deafening.

Anyway as for the subject, either we are a country that is ok with killing suspected terrorists or we aren't. I don't think it shouldn't matter what piece of land you happened to be lucky enough to be born on. WRT "rights", If it's ok to waterboard KSM, if it's ok to raid pakistan to get Bin Laden, then it's ok to to drop a bomb on this guy.


What hypocrisy are you referring to exactly? From what I've been seeing and reading conservatives have been giving Obama a lot of credit for this kind of aggressive anti-terror policy and supported this assassination. It has been the American Criminal Liberties Union and the Ron Paul isolationist nut jobs that have opposed it.

As a conservative Republican I back the Obama administration on this 100%. One of the few times I could say that about an issue.
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#9 devilsadvoc8

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 01:02 PM

While more details are coming out (Reuters) it still remains very murky. This article indicates there is a secret panel who makes the determination to place an American on the kill list. I understand that the members of this panel should have some degree of anonyminity, however, the process should not be secret.

I disagree with Obama and his administration on a lot of things but those are ideological. I think he genuinely believes his health care reform and his class warfare, for example, is best for the country. I agree with the result but the existence of a murky backroom committee operating under secret memos of authorization which authorizes the assassination of American citizens is just plain wrong.

As the article points out, the Bush admin received extreme pressure to divulge the rationale for extreme interrogation techniques. This is worse and isn't getting the same reaction from the media.
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Official Keeper of the 3 story statue of a hockey player by the artist J. Krawczyk.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence- Christopher Hitchens

ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

#10 Jerrydevil

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 01:23 PM

Devilsadvoc8, you described it well in your first post: slippery slope.
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