How much evidence should the US government be obliged to show before it kills an American citizen?
None, according to the Obama administration.
That was the lead for a piece on Obama’s assassination policies I wrote for Christian Science Monitor in 2011. Unfortunately, that policy is still in place – despite all the breakthroughs that progressives have made in the past 2 years.
The Obama administration yesterday leaked out its confidential legal paper on killing Americans to NBC News. Obama’s legal wizards decided that the Fifth Amendment’s pledge that no citizen shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” is invalid in cases of imminent attack by terrorists.
Though this might sound reasonable, the memo proceeds to craft a totally bogus notion of “imminent.” But, as John Glaser notes at Antiwar.com, “The memo refers to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than what has traditionally been required, like actual intelligence an ongoing plot against the US. ‘The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,’ the memo states, contradicting conventional international law.”
Could not resist reposting the illustration that the American Conservative used for an article I wrote on Obama’s assassination policy a couple years ago –