Justice Department memo reveals legal...

Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans

There are 28 comments on the openchannel.nbcnews.com story from Feb 5, 2013, titled Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans. In it, openchannel.nbcnews.com reports that:

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at openchannel.nbcnews.com.

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TET 101

Nha Trang, Vietnam

#1 Feb 5, 2013
goooooooooooood morning from Nude Yok dr. Bill_phd! hav yo McCafe' yet? no more breakfast or breakcircuit black out ok!;-000

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#2 Feb 5, 2013
Thanks, Kahoki.

We know that Americans in combat against, or posing an imminent thereat to our country, is an enemy.

This paper must make us all ponder what is an imminent threat.
DO NOT assume your foolish poses, and attack because Obama is president. This is more serious than your superstitions.

Is this the direction our country must go in?

First torture, and now this?

What does America REALLY mean to you...and are Americans leading known terrorist cells enough of a threat that it comes to this to protect our way of life?

Do we have the right to kill an fellow American before he kills us?

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#3 Feb 5, 2013
TET 101 wrote:
goooooooooooood morning from Nude Yok dr. Bill_phd! hav yo McCafe' yet? no more breakfast or breakcircuit black out ok!;-000
5 days, get the firecrackers out of the back room.
TET 102

Nha Trang, Vietnam

#4 Feb 5, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
5 days, get the firecrackers out of the back room.
;-000000h, Tet sound like Christmass here:-0000h, does Kerry increase bud-wild-sir!! let bottom up!

Bill can you drink??;)

“Open your eyes”

Since: Sep 09

Central Florida

#5 Feb 5, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
Thanks, Kahoki.
We know that Americans in combat against, or posing an imminent thereat to our country, is an enemy.
This paper must make us all ponder what is an imminent threat.
DO NOT assume your foolish poses, and attack because Obama is president. This is more serious than your superstitions.
Is this the direction our country must go in?
First torture, and now this?
What does America REALLY mean to you...and are Americans leading known terrorist cells enough of a threat that it comes to this to protect our way of life?
Do we have the right to kill an fellow American before he kills us?
This is exactly what I have been trying to get through to everyone.

No matter what side of the isle they fall on, how far is to far?

In the article it states, "Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.” "

Ok, well, who makes that decision? And if the terms are not defined, can anyone be considered? Should anyone have this much power?

Now you couple this with the NDAA and the Patriot Act and what do you have?
TET 102

Nha Trang, Vietnam

#6 Feb 5, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
Thanks, Kahoki.
We know that Americans in combat against, or posing an imminent thereat to our country, is an enemy.
This paper must make us all ponder what is an imminent threat.
DO NOT assume your foolish poses, and attack because Obama is president. This is more serious than your superstitions.
Is this the direction our country must go in?
First torture, and now this?
What does America REALLY mean to you...and are Americans leading known terrorist cells enough of a threat that it comes to this to protect our way of life?
Do we have the right to kill an fellow American before he kills us?
it"s FLer! the cat had 9life! dog onlee 3live!!!!! ;-000

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#7 Feb 5, 2013
TET 102 wrote:
<quoted text>
;-000000h, Tet sound like Christmass here:-0000h, does Kerry increase bud-wild-sir!! let bottom up!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =z9_40ZSIJZ8XX
Bill can you drink??;)
Like a fish.
Had a quart of brandy over the Superbowl.

I'l toast you on TET, my friend.
...Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit!

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#8 Feb 5, 2013
Kahoki wrote:
<quoted text>
This is exactly what I have been trying to get through to everyone.
No matter what side of the isle they fall on, how far is to far?
In the article it states, "Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.” "
Ok, well, who makes that decision? And if the terms are not defined, can anyone be considered? Should anyone have this much power?
Now you couple this with the NDAA and the Patriot Act and what do you have?
Obama has let us know that he makes that decision.
His rsponsibility.
That is right; but is the desiaion right.
Robert

Lithia Springs, GA

#9 Feb 5, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
Thanks, Kahoki.
We know that Americans in combat against, or posing an imminent thereat to our country, is an enemy.
This paper must make us all ponder what is an imminent threat.
DO NOT assume your foolish poses, and attack because Obama is president. This is more serious than your superstitions.
Is this the direction our country must go in?
First torture, and now this?
What does America REALLY mean to you...and are Americans leading known terrorist cells enough of a threat that it comes to this to protect our way of life?
Do we have the right to kill an fellow American before he kills us?
The key here is believed to be a senior alqaida a senior operational leader. Given the goals and methods of the origination that is really all you need to say it is ok to kill them. Their stated major target is the united states and it is a stated method to engage in mass killings of us citizens. As a senior leader you are in effect in a war against us citizens and should be killed just like the enemy in a conventional war.

“Open your eyes”

Since: Sep 09

Central Florida

#10 Feb 5, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
Obama has let us know that he makes that decision.
His rsponsibility.
That is right; but is the desiaion right.
It does not matter if the decision is right or not. Nobody should have that power.

What does the fourth amendment state?

Amendment 4:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

What does Amendment 5 state?

Amendment 5:
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; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb ; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

So being an American citizen, the government must follow these laws and protect these rights. If an individual is considered a terrorist, then proof must be supplied and warrant issued.

Now the example everyone likes to use is Al-awaki. And the argument is treason. Ok, but, the courts never issued a ruling, article, warrant, nothing. There is the failure.

The government now has established a precedent. And the people? They listen to the media and do not know what their actual rights are. So they give up essential liberty for security.

Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers,“Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.”

“Open your eyes”

Since: Sep 09

Central Florida

#11 Feb 5, 2013
Robert wrote:
<quoted text>
The key here is believed to be a senior alqaida a senior operational leader. Given the goals and methods of the origination that is really all you need to say it is ok to kill them. Their stated major target is the united states and it is a stated method to engage in mass killings of us citizens. As a senior leader you are in effect in a war against us citizens and should be killed just like the enemy in a conventional war.
Here is the issue Robert,

The Government makes that decision and determination. There is no public criteria that dictates what a Senior Al Qaeda Leader is. Just their word.

So in essence, the government could kill any American it sees fit, all on the orders of 1 man. And all they need to say is, "the individual is believed to be a senior member of Al Qaeda."

But, the constitution protects American citizens from that very thing. You should read it sometime.

And also remember the words of Ben Franklin, "Those that would give up essential Liberty for temporary security deserves neither Liberty nor security."
TET 102

Nha Trang, Vietnam

#12 Feb 5, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
Like a fish.
Had a quart of brandy over the Superbowl.
I'l toast you on TET, my friend.
...Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit!
here: traditional is 333 beer!! ;-000h, hop U don't lost inda junk-go again!! ;-00
TET 102

Nha Trang, Vietnam

#13 Feb 5, 2013
Kahoki wrote:
<quoted text>
Here is the issue Robert,
The Government makes that decision and determination. There is no public criteria that dictates what a Senior Al Qaeda Leader is. Just their word.
So in essence, the government could kill any American it sees fit, all on the orders of 1 man. And all they need to say is, "the individual is believed to be a senior member of Al Qaeda."
But, the constitution protects American citizens from that very thing. You should read it sometime.
And also remember the words of Ben Franklin, "Those that would give up essential Liberty for temporary security deserves neither Liberty nor security."
Kahoki!!!!! DC is Debt Collecting!! ;-000h, just obey to Dr. Bills;-0000

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#14 Feb 5, 2013
Robert wrote:
<quoted text>
The key here is believed to be a senior alqaida a senior operational leader. Given the goals and methods of the origination that is really all you need to say it is ok to kill them. Their stated major target is the united states and it is a stated method to engage in mass killings of us citizens. As a senior leader you are in effect in a war against us citizens and should be killed just like the enemy in a conventional war.
Well reasoned, my friend.
But is it 'constitutional?'

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#15 Feb 5, 2013
Kahoki wrote:
<quoted text>
It does not matter if the decision is right or not. Nobody should have that power.
What does the fourth amendment state?
Amendment 4:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
What does Amendment 5 state?
Amendment 5:
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; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb ; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
So being an American citizen, the government must follow these laws and protect these rights. If an individual is considered a terrorist, then proof must be supplied and warrant issued.
Now the example everyone likes to use is Al-awaki. And the argument is treason. Ok, but, the courts never issued a ruling, article, warrant, nothing. There is the failure.
The government now has established a precedent. And the people? They listen to the media and do not know what their actual rights are. So they give up essential liberty for security.
Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers,“Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.”
Well researched; but if indicted, will tthey come in to be tried?

Are they a real and genuine threat?
is imminance the real hinge?

Is citizenship a 'free pass' for a violent murder?
333 beer

Nha Trang, Vietnam

#16 Feb 5, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
Well researched; but if indicted, will tthey come in to be tried?
Are they a real and genuine threat?
is imminance the real hinge?
Is citizenship a 'free pass' for a violent murder?
Dr. Bill_phd! Fler&GAer not Bill Obey yet! teach em say (knee-how-ma) meant!!!!!!!!!! ;-00

Since: Feb 08

Hypoluxo Fl

#17 Feb 5, 2013
Kahoki wrote:
<quoted text>
This is exactly what I have been trying to get through to everyone.
No matter what side of the isle they fall on, how far is to far?
In the article it states, "Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.” "
Ok, well, who makes that decision? And if the terms are not defined, can anyone be considered? Should anyone have this much power?
Now you couple this with the NDAA and the Patriot Act and what do you have?
This is definitely wayyyyy to far. This isn't a rabbit hole, it's a shit hole.

“Open your eyes”

Since: Sep 09

Central Florida

#18 Feb 5, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
Well reasoned, my friend.
But is it 'constitutional?'
If their so called "senior leader" is an American citizen, then no.

“Open your eyes”

Since: Sep 09

Central Florida

#19 Feb 5, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
Well researched; but if indicted, will tthey come in to be tried?
More than likely not. This is where warrants need to be issued, rewards posted, maybe a couple of bounty hunters hired, etc.. But the law must be adhered too.
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>Are they a real and genuine threat?
When I look at the Al-Awaki allegations and look at that history. The answer is, I don't see it. When the Pentagon is having Al-Awaki inside for a dinner days after 9/11 as an out reach program to the Muslim world, then the Ft Hood situation where Hassan was taking mind altering drugs while talking to Al-Awaki, just don't see it as a huge threat.
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>is imminance the real hinge?
Looking at Al-Awaki again on as an example. The guy was in Yemen. How imminent is the threat on US citizenry from Yemen? Let's use some common sense logic.
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>Is citizenship a 'free pass' for a violent murder?
Unfortunately, this is the flaw, and yes it is. This could be up for debate depending on each individual situation and immediate happenings. If the event is passed and the guy is gone, then yes. We still have to follow the law. Nobody, not I, not you, not the government is above the law.

If the event in immediately going on, then deadly force to take the individual down is authorized.

Your final question is a broad scenario and in a broad scenario, it cannot be answered.
Robert

Lithia Springs, GA

#20 Feb 5, 2013
Kahoki wrote:
<quoted text>
Here is the issue Robert,
The Government makes that decision and determination. There is no public criteria that dictates what a Senior Al Qaeda Leader is. Just their word.
So in essence, the government could kill any American it sees fit, all on the orders of 1 man. And all they need to say is, "the individual is believed to be a senior member of Al Qaeda."
But, the constitution protects American citizens from that very thing. You should read it sometime.
And also remember the words of Ben Franklin, "Those that would give up essential Liberty for temporary security deserves neither Liberty nor security."
I am not a constitutional scholar but I do recognize our right and Obama's responsibility to defend us.

I see it as simple self defense, the organization has the proven ability to inflict deadly harm on citizens of the united states, given the scope of their people, equipment and tactics alqaeda has opportunity to strike from afar and only waits for the chance to use it, alqaeda has proven its manifested intent is to inflict civilian casualties on the united states by doing it, claiming credit for it, and maintaining an expressed desire to do it again.

To strike back is no different than to strike back at a criminal trying to kill you in self defense. The fact that the person you are defending yourself from is or is not a citizen of the US is inconsequential to your right to self defense.

On another level it is war, in war you don't get to get judicial approval for every kill.

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