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FEBRUARY 7, 2013 10:47AM

Hard Cases, Bad Law, & Killing Americans Overseas

Rate: 8 Flag

 For MEB, forever.

The most fundamental thing a government does is protect the life of its citizens, as to why it's not unreasonable to give pause when the government kills one it's citizens, wherever they may be, if the circumstances matter too.

Charles Krauthammer was right that the people storming beaches at Normandy didn't say"Any American citizens here go to the right please."

Note, there did exist Americans who were pro-Hitler. 

Of course Krauthammer, one of the best voices in American opinion as to think carefully about over the years, not perfect, but very smart, often wise, also qualified that statement by saying that the war on terror is a new type of war, in that since as CIA nominee Brennan pointed out, terrorism is a tactic primarlily, as to serving variegated political ends historically speaking, part of the conceptual difficulty with the GWOT, the Global War on Terror.

It is a conceptual difficulty, because the GWOT in fact has many enemies only loosely associated, in the sense that al Qaeda is as much a spirit now as a group, popping up like a whack a mole game, in which not only are local conditions often at least as important as the global jihad against American power, but management therefore of local political issues often is actually probably more important in preventing terrorism, and in exerting U.S. influence, the latter invariably part of any State's foreign policy, like it or not.

For all the neo-communists who protest such things by reflex action, all they do mainly is like Stalinists of the past support the foreign policy of the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, if they do so in modern conditions mainly of naivete, and also still serve a very important function as to corrective argument about U.S. policy.

Debate is always important if we are to governed by laws, not drones, the most important contribution of Justices Brandeis and Holmes, if both saw some limits to free speech as to advocating violence too.

That utility of corrective debate is particularly important in the case of the GWOT, in which what the enemy or problem is remains so ambiguous in character, in which many other agendas could be supported under the GWOT banner that might be bad ideas as practical matters.

Having said that, it remains the case that the question of using drones to kill foreigners is very different than killing American citizens, if of course it's never trivial to kill anyone.

That is because States always claim the right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, and because in the field of foreign policy, the Executive Branch has to manage things, practically speaking it being the duty of the Congress to oversee that at a high level, and not micromanage, just as the Commander in Chief shouldn't call in most airstrikes, like LBJ in Vietnam.

Killing American citizens on the other hand touches on the fundamental nature of our government, as a government of laws, not drones, if in the hard cases to date, one would want to be careful about the laws to make going forward.

Clearly one could use the FISA Court to make sure that any American citizen targeted by a drone would have been indictable as to probable cause, the execution of the warrant not being feasible allowed as to presumption if rebuttable like say Paris, common-sense being a fair assumption, and which therefore under a Use of Force resolution making force lawful, therefore allowing for other measures as to drone strike versus capture.

Clear warning of facing an American legal process could be required as part of that process, if that also might have effects one didn't want on balance too.

Obviously no one can lawfully claim that an American citizen on American territory could be lawfully killed in a drone strike, because when on American territory, there is no escape from the ability of lawful agents of the U.S. government to execute an arrest warrant. One can merely outwait the person in a bunker, like in Alabama, unless they have a hostage, in which other considerations as to risk to the hostage are lawfully allowed to govern.

If that isn't the case, observation of a felony in progress, then there's no lawful basis for executing a warrant using force, the Randy Weaver and Branch Davidian cases correctly perceived at the bounds of the law, although one cannot hide from arrest warrants that are lawful forever either. Common sense, and political feedback, in both cases got it about right, that people maybe were a little more cautious, if in such rare situations, people also got the point that there weren't good answers either.

As to why an Amerian citizen being on foreign territory is radically different, one cannot count on the cooperation of local law enforcement, if only because in for example the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, there is no such thing we understand as law enforcement.

There are pluses and minuses of allowing lawful killing of American citizens in that context.

To make such a thing lawful, instead of allowing the political process here to decide if it is good policy by feedback effects, might in the long run be something we regretted as to the precedent established, even the FISA Court idea having that risk as to a Star Chamber process that someday could be used to harass dissidents from American foreign policies.

That is the real complaint of the Left, although as to Al Qaeda in the cases at hand, that is also a hard case, as to why making no law might actually be better, instead of the feedback effect, like maybe someday the killing of Anwar al Awlaki's son.

As to the drone strike on Anwar al Awlaki, that the the author celebrated, as he had clear ties to the 9/11 hijackers among other things, and could have been indicted later in Yemen on a treason charge, as to aid and comfort for enemies of the United States calling for the death of American soldiers in front of the Internet, as to more than two witnesses to a specific act required under the only crime defined specifically under the Constitution.

Treason is the only crime defined in the Consitution, for the good reason that the Star Chamber courts of Henry VII, after offing Richard III, were in fact instruments of Tudor tyranny; judge, jury, and executioner.

As to the problematic case, pointed out by a radical Leftists in the main, note the really important thing being free speech per Brandeis and Holmes on this topic, Al Awlaki's son was not so clear in character as to what has been stated publicly, if one can see why that might have had to be done as to him seeking revenge inevitably.

But then that proves there is freedom that people can bring that up, and not find a drone lurking outside their window too.

So as to legalizing such things, it could be done narrowly with the FISA Court being a very logical place, by definition requiring fair warning, although one would also want to think carefully about the creation of a Star Chamber as lawful, instead of just allowing the politcal process to feedback what is popular or not. 

Some day there may be a war that is a really bad idea, in which people have fled the country because it was unpopular, and could not as a practical matter survive here, since one cannot live in the United States if one is unpopular enough, alas, the prediction by the way of Alexis DeTocqueville of a popularity-contest democracy having that effect.

But then we often regret such things later, in which it is totally reasonable to have concerns about the non-judicially authorized killing of American citizens, and still be wary of having a hard case drive the evolution of the law, instead of free speech, per Brandeis and Holmes.

Treason isn't protected free speech, and Al Alwaki could have been indicted even under Brandenburg v Ohio as such, and as to advocacy of violence with concrete aims, as to the legal question of was it outlandish in character, as opposed note to whether drone strikes being a good idea in general. 

And to date, in defense of the Obama Administration, it is three cases as has been described, two of which were very, very clearly indictable on a treason charge, and very clearly as well not capturable without the risk of a major foreign policy incident.

So be wary of hard cases making bad law, even as the mechanism of the FISA Court under an authorization of a use of force resolution would work, if it could become a Start Chamber, and to date,  it would mainly protect the users of force in effect, instead of just having confidence that if they judge correctly, they won't be judged negatively in the court of opinion, which in our society still remains among the most powerful courts of law, in the end.






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A lot of things that used to be obvious are no longer obvious anymore. These targeted strikes used to be obviously out of the question along with many other things. It may still be obvious to some that they can't justify the killing of American citizens on our territory since they can prevent their escape but how long with this continue to be obvious.

It is obvious that continuing to kill many people that are called "collateral damage" or justified targeting killings without any evidence or trial is doing more to anger people around the world than to protect us; yet the lawyers act as if it is legal and wise.

It is obvious that this is a rogue government.
The Tribal Areas in Pakistan have little law, and attack American troops.
Maybe toppling the Taliban was a bad idea, and we could have accepted an offer to try him in a third party court. It's a little late for that too, and the Taliban is hardly friendly to the United States.
There is always collateral damage whatever force you use. It may be the case that drone strikes have run their course for a variety of reasons, although I bet those who complain about them among jihadists and in the Islamic world won't be our friends no matter what we do, which creates a management problem in a world in which WMD is getting closer to being available and when people can attack all sorts of targets.
Why the dominant view here on OS has become to only see American flaws and not anyone else's I have never understood. Never. It's an imperfect world.
The world has always been imperfect, but we have been more perfect and less perfect in the past. Killing gets done here, there and everywhere, now no more or less than then. You can dribble about law all day, if there is killing to be done, it will be done.
Our treasure - treasure that could be used to shore up the worlds failing interconnected systems, first being our own, is being sucked out of us for a reason. The weaker we are the less likely it is our government will be able to lead the world beyond corpgov rule. While the law, and a strong justice system will not prevent killing, it will regulate the behavior of corporations and the people who own them. The net result of of invading Iraq etc. is a weaker justice system, which suits the war mongers just fine.
Law has its limits in international relations, if its not non-existent either.
There were a lot of Nazi sympathizers among the British upper class.
Some of whom Con were bothered by the State in wartime conditions, possibly before. Hi Con. Hope all is well with you.
The objection is not to the "Execution for Treason", but to the arrogation of power to a single person, the president, who is never to have such with the possible exception of the gravest of imminent national emergency. The constitution has been turned inside out. It was not written that The executive may do as he wishes until someone stops him by impeachment.

It is that the executive MAY only do that which he is empowered by legal and judicial action TO do, and in the event of ANY disagreement or imminent need to act, will defer the question to the representatives of the people- Anything else is the Imperial presidency claiming "Letat c'est moi"
Killing American citizens is a serious thing, Herr Rudolph, although with Al Alwaki, going and grabbing him wasn't trivial either.
And, if you legalize that, say with FISA Court, set up to deal with national security issues, that would solve one problem, if, it might create others that were worse, maybe not. Thank you for coming over btw.

I do have objections to such acts on many level, the killing of children as "Collateral Damage" not the least. But if you argue at such detail, you wind up in a "What color is the sky?" argument where if you say blue, the questioner will point out that it is night and if you say "Black" he will point out the depressive nature of the answer. Emily Littela.Purposeful misunderstanding.

The only real answer necessary to me is that it is never one man or one groups decision- that by making such an arbitrary decision, even to save your country , you have dishonored yourself and proved yourself unfit for such power.

OF course, you may easily regain your honor and prove your sincerity by commiting seppuku-

I'm rather an Orientalist at heart.
There are pragmatic grounds to reject drone strikes, in terms of intelligence collection, and error too, plus alienating people with "collateral damage."
Maybe that's a bad word to use, too clinical and distant, to what is a horror, although if you want things one way, and other people want them another, and both care about whatever that is enough to fight, then there you go, the samurai of course not being pacifists.
The secrecy of it all is concerning to a point, as to what objectives are being pursued, but then the Congress certainly can oversee what is done too, and very much ought too, secrecy sometimes being a cloak for just bad ideas, if hardly always either. It is very easy to hide behind such "purposeful misunderstandings" of course.
This topic doesn’t need to be this complicated.

The explanation for killing by drone lacks the rationale that the target represents an imminent danger to human life, including those of Americans. It is elimination predicated upon the science fiction of ‘thought police’ but without much, if any, judicial review.

It is a punishment often levied mostly on the basis of precognition, without a great deal of high quality evidence presented, reviewed, or debated to prove the culpability of the target for crimes committed. In fact, America condemns similar actions by the Israeli government against its perceived enemies as “extra-judicial assassinations” with a great deal of justification.

The argument that it’s difficult (or inconvenient) to drag Americans (or otherwise) back to our soil in order to serve them arrest warrants has another side. We can simply encourage those citizens whom we wish to execute without the benefit of a trial to travel to a foreign land for termination. Our national government wouldn’t find it difficult to expand the definition of capital crimes to regulate this into legal acceptability.

Our government has detested the existence of many in this world, even in time of declared war. However, there is little to indicate that our morals have slipped this far up until now.
They did it exactly three times to date, one of which I will grant raised eyebrows, al Awlaki's son.
However, disagreeing with our policies as you so antiseptically put it is rather different than being a propaganda arm for people fighting our soldiers overseas, like al Awlaki, whatever you thought of the policy.
He was certainly free to protest here, up to the point of advocating violence in a concrete way per Brandenburg.
What shall we do, give them milk and cookies and ask them "What's your major malfunction? Didn't your mommy and daddy love you enough?"
It seems to me a lot of people here always think America is evil, without considering what the world would like practically speaking should we just walk away, even as it is very important to be ruthlessly self-honest and aware about what it is you are doing overseas too. I'd be the first to say that.
The ignorance of congressional authorization per AUMF should be astounding, but around here it's commonplace. We have goofballs from the Right and Left who can't tell the difference between citizens and enemy-"citizens" who, by their actions, as much as renounce citizenship. We never so much as burped before we cut down some citizen who fought for the Germans, and the stateless combatant has no formal protection.

The ones who think an Al Awlaki can't be zotzed without the same formal due process of the 5th afforded those accused of a domestic crime (not war) evidently haven't read the 5th. Those with knowledge...which excludes most around here...who ask for *more* legal formality have a point, but that point can't hinge on "same as" any citizen due process. To demand that is just stupid and unreasonable, which includes many around here--the Constitution as "lay there and take it."

The "collateral damage" caused by boots-on-ground pursuit would be much more than a drone zotz, and would often include the outrageous idiocy of launching war on entire nations instead of dealing directly with the perp. The bad actors are the ones who put their families and associates in danger. You'd think that, by now, they'd see a trend developing and avoid spending time with targeted perps. Al Awlaki knew well ahead of the execution he was targeted, btw.

It's kind of funny seeing the ersatz constitutionalists from Right and Left joining in ignorance of the difference between due processes, citizens and "citizen enemies" whose citizenship is actually highly questionable. It's fine to guard against slippery slopes, but not create them from mindless slobber.

The relevant part of the 5th, for those obviously unfamiliar:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, ***except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger***;

Seems clear to me.....
Don, interesting thread here. What is perplexing is the fixation on drones. It's as if were the US to go back to dropping bombs and killing more people and more civilians in the process a lot of the OS crowd would be happy. If they don't want ANY strikes, that's one thing, but the fixation on the drones is just weird considering less people are killed or injured.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, ***except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger***;

Seems crystal clear to me. Where's your declaration of war or "imminent" public danger when they "zap" a non-citizen in a wedding party? or aren't non-citizens considered "persons"? Or is their a different judicial system for "Non Citizens", Or is it not the duty of our nation to respect the boundaries of other nations with whom we are not at war by not attempting to enforce our law on their territory? Rendition? Seems to me the Saudis have "Right" by those standards to start enforcing Sharia by drone any time now.

People need to be DAMN careful what cans of worms they open. Idiots and Presidents more so.
You don't really know what you're talking about. As usual, you have your own unique, unstudied version of reality. Or we can call it a vast legal, constitutional and general ignorance. There doesn't need to be a declaration of war, nor a trial where the unavailable perp gets to confront his accusers, etc. "in time of...public danger. Doesn't say war and, it says war or.

I was unaware that the foreign "collateral damage" persons had constitutional protection. The Constitution is also unaware of that.

Again, you don't know what you're talking about. I think you do more talking about what you're unqualified to talk about than any 10 people who also don't know what they're talking about. Perhaps it's time you found a new hobby.
Oh come on PJ and Rude, play nice.
Everyone gets so grumpy on OS.
It's hardly ideal, if it is a truly weird "war," as to having a set of people who love to move from state to state.
Actually, I bet the "host" states complain about the drones for an unstated reason too: Go somewhere else please to play your game with the Americans.
To date, the only American citizens involved in this have a rather curious idea of what it is to be an American citizen, as to having your jihad cake and eating your citizenship cake too.
I mean, you could dispel the fiction and just say, "That is a target the destruction of which has been authorized as to a cell containing Al Qaeda members, "Problem solved drone strike sir."
That would be legal here, and under Article 51, the lawyers will argue till the cows come home, a bigger practical question being is it a good idea or not. It might not be, for a lot of reasons, which is the reason Congressional oversight is needed, and is there if how much attention is paid... who knows.

No constitutional protection for non citizens- interesting concept- try it out with ICE, I may or may not back you up as the mood takes me. I didn't want to make that pronouncement- just wanted to see if you would- and you did

The constraint is against the executive and the execution of law and who may execute it and how. As I said Above:

"The objection is not to the "Execution for Treason", but to the arrogation of power to a single person, the president, who is never to have such power with the possible exception of the gravest of imminent national emergency. The constitution has been turned inside out. It was not written that The executive may do as he wishes until someone stops him by impeachment.

It is that the executive MAY only do that which he is empowered by legal and judicial action TO do, and in the event of ANY disagreement or absent imminent need to act, will defer the question to the representatives of the people- Anything else is the Imperial presidency claiming "Letat c'est moi""
Sorry Don- posted as you were posting

Me, I always try to play nice -
Sorry just reread the "Idiots and Presidents comment- that was directed at Obama, not PJ
I am being nice, Don.
I could have brought in other comments about the idea that an Al Awlaki has to have a public trial, or the absurdity of crying "murder!"

However, I was being not going into greater detail.

By the way, I don't think the lefties you're talking about are Stalinists or Bolsheviks. They're just people who parrot every opinion of a given pundit as if it's gospel, and don't have enough knowledge or ability to think for themselves. That is as endemic on the left as it is on the right. Then there are those who invent their own theories and present them as gospel, which is the subject at hand.
ICE is domestic. Non-citizens, aka: "persons" IN America get constitutional protections. You're still wrong, but now you have balanced it with being wrong twice. However, that wouldn't be good enough, so you add more wrong statements.

The president is authorized to act by an act of Congress. The president is thus authorized to make the decision, which is his alone as far as doing it or not, but is advised by the law, as well as...oh shock!..advisers!

You never bothered to look at the actual law or history of legal decisions, and your opinion is worthless because it ignores all of that. Impeachment? For zotzing enemies? That would be unconstitutional, as well as politically impossible.

Arguing the law is easy when you make it all up, isn't it?

Cite me ANY legal opinion giving the president the legal power to Summarily EXECUTE anyone as executive head of the legal system of the United States?

Cite me the part of the rules of international war and Geneva convention that allow the president or any military person to take military action in ANY "targeted Killing" ( as opposed to outright assassination ) absent IMMINENT threat ( like a band of terrorist wedding rowdies gathered on a street corner) Or is the president not bound by treaty?

you can't have it both ways.

Act of war- Criminal justice? which one- Neither is adequate to empower the presidency to do targeted killings without "Blending" the language of both together. The BARE "G-String" would be a Grand Jury chosen in accordance with the constitution and a publication that "You are being tried for Treason"- otherwise, you need to catch them in the act- "Imminent Threat"or the targeting is assassination and renders the perpetrator subject to summary execution on the battlefield ( Geneva Convention) or war crime trial

Also, the house might consider it a High Crime or Misdemeanor,
You guys are doing great.
Its an ugly world sometimes, full of death and destruction, if you'd rather it not be, but then States don't agree... and there you go.
It isn't a summary execution. It's a legal sanction with a formal process.

Non-state combatants don't get those Geneva Con considerations. Under our law, the threat doesn't have to be imminent. Your analysis is laughably un & misinformed. At best, you're guessing. You could try a tiny bit of study, but that would distract from your efforts at pulling theories from your wazoo.

Again, as if it helps, you don't know what you're talking about.

Of course ICE is domestic- are you making the argument that "person" in the constitution does not include non citizens? Just saving that up for the next time you argue immigration.

Cite the act of congress authorizing him to execute any "person" for treason?- sounds unconstitutional on the face, given your quote of the 5th amendment- what amendment superseded that?

Cite the act of congress authorizing him to violate international treaty?

Legal argument is easy when you aren't called on to cite any sources except "Everybody knows that" and "you're and idiot", your two most prolific legal authors.

A legal sanction to terminate? Let me guess, is that under his powers as chief law enforcement official ?

Lets just be clear, congress has no authority whatsoever to authorize assassination in war or peace, if you disagree cite the part of the constitution that provides that discretion to the president on his sole determination?

Emily Littela- "Whats this I hear about too much Sex and violence on TV? I like Saxophones and Violins- "- PJ's favorite way of misunderstanding misdirecting a question or a statement
Emily must be the imaginary person Rude can compete with.

President is CIC. That is a military designation. Zotzing terrorists isn't law enforcement per se, it's legal military enforcement. "Assasination" in the way you're using the word (as illegal), applies to political assassination, and is a continuation of an executive order by Ford, concerning CIA attempts to zotz Castro. It isn't now, or ever has had anything to do with enemy combatants or non-state terrorist operatives who, under no rational definition, qualify as political leaders.

Maybe you should find Emily, as you aren't up to playing on this level.
So you say you're calling PJ "Emily?"
Now he may call a drone strike on you :)
So you say you're calling PJ "Emily?"
Now he may call a drone strike on you :)

I'm waiting for specific citation- anything else is , as usual, hot air

Just posted this on my post in answer to a comment by onislandtime about proper oversight:


Robamney isn't the point. The point is that electing the lesser of two evils doesn't make it "Good"- With proper oversight and public vetting of "targets" plus very strict limitation of the killing of innocents it might become something that could be given to the CIA in connection with the military

- oh wait, that's what we had for YEARS- those guys are called Spies, they don't chose their targets and hence aren't going to start targeting people who just make them look bad- course they are subject to summary execution on the battlefield, but them's the breaks-

James Bond- not part of the legal system, has gone on for years-
A presidential prerogative? NO Way In Hell.

A knife in the back in a Bazaar-? Things happen.
A Hellfire missle into a wedding party to kill one "bad guy" in a party of ( an average) 30 innocents? )? NO, Not EVER.
Rude has a few lines he uses to deflect from the fact that he routinely doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. In fact, he may have lifted using "Emily Littela" from me, as I have applied that to people like Rude on occasion ---full of misunderstanding, but inappropriately devoid of the requisite: "never mind" when it's pointed out (repeatedly, in his case) that he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

C'mon, Rude. Give it up. Instead of digging deeper into the hole of repeated error, just give out with a "nevermind." It may be the catharsis you need, and it's far easier than acquiring the knowledge you'd need to be called up from the minor leagues.

All that's left to do is see if you ever run out of ignorant statements.

Cite the authorizations, Emily........
Well, I'm going to bed- post em when you got em PJ
More obtuse babble. Cite where it's unconstitutional. When you realize you can't find it, you'll be one baby step closer to knowing something about the Constitution, which is one baby step away from near complete ignorance.

All you have to do is show the S Court where AUMF is unconstitutional. As to your insistence of a grand jury indictment and public trial for "citizen" enemies, ask them to overrule Ex parte Quirin and apply that due process to every unavailable terrorist.

Congress authorized AUMF as a use of their war powers, and the president is authorized to perform under that act. Your idea that war must be declared anew and again and again is significantly misaligned with legal and constitutional reality.

When you say something relevant and correct, I'll be sure to let you know. However, I see a trend developing, so I figure you will deny me that opportunity.
I'd launch a drone strike on Rude, but that would be redundant. It's more fun to watch the steady string of explosions that comes from aggressively arguing out of ignorance. Rude is too convinced of his superior intellect to be as aware as others are that it's neither superior nor intellect. I bet you can tell as well as I that he's making it up as he goes along.

The constitution isn't a proscription of things the government CAN"T do, it's a complete and total list of any and all things that the government MAY ( authorized) to do-- any other powers are the states and the people.

Unconstitutional doesn't mean that an act is listed as forbidden, it means that it is not listed as specifically allowed. Positive and definite duties for the actions as described in specific authorizations- this ye shall do and NO MORE.

If it isn't specifically authorized, it's unconstitutional.

It's not for me to cite a passage that prohibit assassination as a presidential prerogative, it's for you to find one that authorizes it-

Rights on the other hand say what the government May NOT do.
As long as you guys are happy, I'm happy, no drone strikes over here, so just keep arguing, and I'm calling it an evening, tipping that Palin beer I owe PJ, if alas an imaginary one, and Rude is welcome to one too. :)
And you provide more proof that you don't know jump from squat about the Constitutions, Rude. That "analysis" was laughable. You don't know the first thing about it. Even worse, what you think you know is wrong. You'd be better off only knowing the document exists.

You scribbled, presumably in crayon, the following:

"If it isn't specifically authorized, it's unconstitutional."

That is plainly stupid. Forgive me for using that word, as there are probably others that more completely capture the sub-basement level of sheer ignorance that statement represents. Madison just e-mailed your comment to Jefferson so he could have a laugh as well. Hamilton is laughing even louder.

Anyway, Congress has the power to declare war. Congress also has the power to use those powers to legislate AUMF and the president, acting with explicit and implicit congressional approval, has a wide latitude of ability to act. I bet you can count on the fingers of a horse's hand the number of politicians who want to publicly cry about the unfairness of Awlaki's terminal demise without Perry Mason defending him. It isn't that they're not that stupid -- it's that they know The People aren't.

Rude, you're just making a larger spectacle of yourself. Now run along, and never again try to fake your way through any constitutional issue. Who do you think you are? Uncle Chris?

As you commented about me on your post, let me confirm what any sentient being already knows -- I'm far better at this than you'll ever be.

Now go get your shine box.
That's "beers," Don. As you know, that one beer has been accruing interest. I hope to someday collect on that bet and see what kind of conversation a six pack or two can produce.
I'm not necessarily against the policy, but I have a couple of concerns:

1) when is the "war on terror" over? How would we know that it's over? Or will it ever be over?

2) In the process of deciding whether to assassinate someone, what checks and protections are in place? What are the criteria? Is there an independent review? Are they operating according to some standard of evidence? In general, how sound is this process? I mean, we have people on death row, who, having received a fair trial and having been defended by an attorney, are still wrongly convicted and turn out later to be innocent. If the committee made a mistake, would they ever know it? And what happens if they wrongly assassinate someone? Do we just say "oops, sorry about that dude?" And if a mistake is made, what are the foreign policy implications?
As a defense of country, I don't see where the "war" on terrorism ends, or has to. It does need an end where the issue of detention is concerned. There needs to be some form of "definite" where detainees are concerned.

There could be judicial review, but the Courts don't generally get into foreign policy or what are traditionally political questions. There can be something resembling more legal formality, and the relevant definitions of enemy combatant/collaborator refined to avoid "intent-creep." But the declaration of an unlawful enemy combatant and due process under that is legally backed-stopped by past rulings, so the policy is not as arbitrary as some--too many--ass/u/me. It certainly isn't "summary."

"Oops," in war, happens a lot. But those oopsies aren't generally subject to legal action, just cosmetic congressional hearings.

Did you argue Dredd Scott by chance?

I know you're one of those guys who argues law like Sherman through Georgia- did you notice you left your "Supply" column behind awhile back?

Lets start over. IN TIME OF WAR. Are we at war? What is the war? IF acting under the war powers act, why has Obama never presented any of these killings to public oversight?

Short and nasty is, there is no authorization for such powers in the Constitution, for either Congress or the President. The Military may do a lot of nasty things. The POINT in keeping the President NON MILITARY PJ, apart from civil control of the military, is to prevent him being a legitimate military target.

In any case, the congress may neither delegate it's obligation to declare war, nor may it delegate authority which it is not given to begin with. ( authority to delegate authority)

The Constitution is pretty simple, when you read it with the mind of a free man, rather than that of a creature of the Borg.
You are beyond ignorant. The War Powers Resolution isn't the same thing as the "War Powers" of Congress listed in the enumerated powers. I guess it's time to impeach George Washington, as he led the troops to put an end to the Whiskey Rebellion under his constitutional duty and power as CIC. And that without the Rude declaration of war! [cue laugh track]

I see you're still hung up on declarations of war when it's not required. It takes a real twit to repeatedly ignore: or public danger. The bit about the president in all ways being a civilian and the presumption he can't act without congressional approval of each specific act is downright oblivious. Congress delegated the authority to act in this case when it passed AUMF. Congress has the power to delegate that authority. In the case of declared wars, Congress does the declaring and the president as CIC runs the show. That, despite your anal ysis, is an explicit grant of power found in Art 2 Sec 2. The implicit grant of power exists when Congress doesn't modify the authorization of action to curb that power.

You don't know what the hell you're talking about, and if that wasn't entirely obvious we could call you a fraud. As it is, you're merely a joke. I'd say you have a screw loose, but that implies it's only one screw. When you shake your head it must sound like a maraca. Laughable constitutional anal ysis with a catchy Latin beat...

I didn't ask for a pinata, but you did a good job of being one. The difference is after being beaten, nothing comes out but a few loose screws.

I'm sure you'll want the Last Word, so carry on, ye Bore of Babble-on!
And PJ, you are beyond pitiful

I don't expect you to get the concepts of either free will associations such as the US, or Honor. I'll look for you come the revolution. You'll be the corpse with the Big Law book ( went down game though, swinging it till the end)
uh, excuse me if I can interurpt your insults and diatribe for a minute, Mr.

"The deliberate killing of a United States citizen pursuant to a targeted operation authorized or aided by our Government raises significant constitutional and legal concerns that fall squarely within the jurisdiction of the Committee," they wrote in a letter to the president. "Indeed, the analysis in the Department's White Paper centers on core constitutional questions about the scope and application of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, as well as the possible violation of federal criminal statutes."
~ Joint statement from en. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the committee, and ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) - Senate Judiciary Committee

I suppose you don't think that two SENATORS, who both serve on the JUDICIARY COMMITTEE of the U.S. SENATE understand what Congress delegated and the legality of drone strikes? I further suppose that you don't think that these two individuals (who have a collectively over 70 years in Congress) "don't have enough knowledge or ability to think for themselves"?

Which leads me to my question: Talk shit much, dude?
^^ Directed at Paul J. O'Rourke ^^
Well, SBA,
I did say this:
"Those with knowledge...which excludes most around here...who ask for *more* legal formality have a point, but that point can't hinge on "same as" any citizen due process."

This certainly doesn't mean you're one of those knowledgeable people. You're far from that, which is why you think you can make your shrill point sound somewhat more intelligent by repeating others words. You might ask those Senators if they think standard due process should apply to terrorists unavailable for due process prosecution. Unless they're condemned to think....if that's the you do, they wouldn't suggest something so stupid.

Now that I have established your lowly position as an airhead who extrapolates dire consequences and spits out shrill blather, let me again note you present no thoughts of your own -- which heightens the humor of you commenting about others who can perform that task.

Anyway, I do appreciate that you contain your ignorance and merely attempt to launch a puny rebuttal based on others words. If you thought you knew what you're talking about, like Rude, I might be compelled to ridicule your absurd theories.

You don't even have an inkling of what the Senator's specific thoughts are, nor do you have the ability to match their thinking. So, we can say you don't know what you or they are talking about, or what I'm talking about, which is hardly a foundation for getting uppity with your betters.

Now, as a service to all simple-minded opinion repeaters who have no knowledge of the larger issues, I'll point out that there should always be somebody to offer a counter-argument. The rights involved should always be vigorously defended. That helps to refine the definitions of when such sanctions as targeted killing can be applied.

Again, though, note that you and Rude and Chris aren't capable of addressing those issues, so your uninformed babbling has all the intellectual heft of monkeys throwing feces.

Stay in your own league and try to remember ignorant is only half as pathetic as shrill and ignorant.
In other words, you got nothing... but bluster.

Thought so. Thanks for proving it.
You want a detailed assessment of your repeating of a statement that only addresses the issue in a generic sense?

If you have something relevant to say, say it. I don't have time to walk you through things you're ill-prepared to understand. I won't even babysit my sister's kids.

Note your response as much as screams you can't hang with the issues involved beyond pasting a quote. The only point in your favor is you evidently...maybe intuitively... know you can't be taken seriously.
Amy- that's not bluster- that's his dick, didn't you see him whip it out at you? Ask him to put it back in and try again, run slow motion and use your magnifying glass. Pauls real big on self gratification regardless who he's "Having Intercourse" ( I know, he doesn't know what that is) with, when no one wants to play with him, he plays with himself.
Hey O'Rourke, we've had an ... um ... er ... interesting history here in OS. But I gotta admit, you are friggin' pulverizin' Rude and SBA. And I'm enjoyin' it.

Yeah, gotta love SBA's lack of intellect/reasoning skills so she pulls out "buuuuuttttt, those old guys say it's so!". As if tenure on a committee automatically translates into god-like knowledge. SBA is hilarious ... and pitiful.

Anyway, thanks again for the enjoyable throttlin' of Rude & SBA.
Wow, joisey, buckin for a membership in the OS circle jerk?
Maybe PJ'll do a "reach Around" on ya? ( did I get that right Amy?), I have no idea what a "reach Around" is but I've heard it's something guys do with each other while jerkin off- ( Is Joisey a guy?) Maybe it's a OS daisy chain.
Thank you for coming over, as that was... interesting to watch, especially on the Internet with no sharp objects.