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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Obama's Attorneys: President Can Legally Kill Any American

Obama's Attorneys: President Can Legally Kill Any American

(The New American) -- by Thomas R. Eddlem --

When the President orders American citizens killed without trial, Obama's attorneys bluntly argued in a September 25 brief before the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, these are not crimes but “non-justiciable political questions.” In other words, the courts can't prevent or judge the right or wrong of Presidential assassination lists because these are questions under the political judgment of the President.

If one leader can order the death of any citizen without review by a court — or even releasing a reason or evidence — could there be a more perfect definition of the word “dictatorship”?

The case that brought Obama's lawyers out of the pro-assassination closet is Nasser al Aulaqi v. Obama, a case brought by the father of Anwar al-Aulaqi, an American citizen who has allegedly allied himself with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Numerous news agencies have reported that the younger Aulaqi is at the top of a U.S. citizen “assassination list” created by the President.

The father, Obama's own lawyers admit, doesn't want to get the court to create a broad injunction against killing his son under any circumstances. Rather, he's seeking a much more milder ruling banning the court from assassinating his son when he could just as easily be captured and returned to the United States for trial. As Obama's attorneys summarize in their brief, Nasser al Aulaqi “does not seek to categorically stop the United States from using lethal force against his son under all circumstances. Rather, plaintiff seeks to enjoin the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, from 'intentionally killing U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulaqi' outside an armed conflict 'unless he is found to present a concrete, specific, and imminent threat to life or physical safety, and there are no means other than lethal force that could reasonably be employed to neutralize the threat.'”

That sounds like a reasonable enough request from a U.S. citizen, protected by the Fifth Amendment's restriction on the federal government that “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Right?

Wrong, Obama's attorneys argue:
The injunction plaintiff seeks would be unprecedented, improper, and extraordinarily dangerous, regardless of the truth of his allegations (which the United States does not and cannot confirm or deny). That requested injunction would necessarily and improperly inject the courts into decisions of the President and his advisors about how to protect the American people from the threat of armed attacks, including imminent threats, posed by a foreign organization against which the political branches have authorized the use of necessary and appropriate force.
Of course, what's “ unprecedented, improper, and extraordinarily dangerous” is the creation of presidential assassination lists in direct conflict with the Fifth Amendment...MORE...LINK

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