Holder Promises To Kill Citizens With Care

Attorney General Eric Holder was at Northwestern University Law School yesterday explaining President Barack Obama’s claimed authority to kill any American if he unilaterally determines them to be a threat to the nation. The choice of a law school was a curious place for discussion of authoritarian powers. Obama has replaced the constitutional protections afforded to citizens with a “trust me” pledge that Holder repeated yesterday at Northwestern. The good news is that Holder promised not to hunt citizens for sport.

Holder proclaimed that “The president may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign terrorist organization with which the United States is at war — even if that individual happens to be a U.S. citizen.” The use of the word “abroad” is interesting since senior Administration officials have asserted that the President may kill an American anywhere and anytime, including the United States. Holder’s speech does not materially limit that claimed authority. He merely assures citizens that Obama will only kill those of us he finds abroad and a significant threat. Notably, Holder added “Our legal authority is not limited to the battlefields in Afghanistan.”

The Obama Administration continues to stonewall efforts to get it to acknowledge the existence of a memo authorizing the killing of Awlaki. Democrats previously demanded the “torture memos” of the Bush Administration that revealed both poor legal analysis by Judge Jay Bybee and Professor John Yoo to justify torture. Now, however, Democrats are largely silent in the face of a president claiming the right to unilaterally kill citizens.

Holder became particularly cryptic in his assurance of caution in the use of this power, insisting that they will kill citizens only with “the consent of the nation involved or after a determination that the nation is unable or unwilling to deal effectively with a threat to the United States.” What on earth does that mean?

He was more clear in establishing that due process itself is now defined differently than it has been defined by courts since the start of this Republic. He declared that “a careful and thorough executive branch review of the facts in a case amounts to ‘due process.’” Of course, from any objective standpoint, that statement is absurd and Orwellian. It is basically saying that “we will give the process that we consider due to a target.” His main point was that “due process” will now longer mean “judicial process.”

That last statement goes to the heart of the controversy. Many reporters have bought into the spin of the Administration that there are real limits to this power because they perform their own constitutional analysis for each killing. This starts with the presumption that the Constitution does not require these determinations to be made by a court or that they be subject to court review. They then redefine the protections of due process as a balancing test within the administration. This Administration has consistently maintained that courts do not have a say in such matters. Instead, they simply define the matter as covered by the Law Of Armed Conflicts (LOAC), even when the conflict is a war on terror. That war, they have stressed, is to be fought all around the world, including the United States. It is a battlefield without borders as strikes in other countries have vividly demonstrated.

The result is that they are claiming that they are following self-imposed “limits” which are meaningless — particularly in a system that is premised on the availability of judicial review. The Administration has never said that the LOAC does not allow the same powers to be used in the United States. It would be an easy thing to state. Holder can affirmatively state that the President’s inherent power to kill citizens exists only outside of the country. He can then explain where those limits are found in the Constitution and why they do not apply equally to a citizen in London or Berlin.

All the Administration has said is that they closely and faithfully follow their own guidelines — even if their decision are not subject to judicial review. The fact that they say those guidelines are based on notions of due process is meaningless. They are not a constitutional process of review. They are a dressed claim of process for a unilateral power. Presumably, the President can override the panel or disregard the panel. The panel is an extension of his claim of inherent unilateral authority.

If the “limit” is the internal review described by the administration, we are speaking a different language. Any authoritarian measure can be dressed up as carefully executed according to balancing tests, but that does not constitute “fifth amendment analysis,” “fourth amendment analysis,” or any constitutional analysis that I know of. It is at best a loose analogy to constitutional analysis.

This is precisely why the Framers rejected the “trust me” approach to government, as discussed in this column.

Since last year, U.S. drones have killed three Americans overseas.

Source: LA Times

213 thoughts on “Holder Promises To Kill Citizens With Care”

  1. Brother Hughes is a mellow snowcaps kinda guy. Take a deep breath. Smell that? It ain’t incense.

    I sang with a jazz band for awhile in my late teens. The goofus (sax player) was a heavy user. About 3:00 in the morning he was always seeing Jesus everywhere. We used to find a Catholic Church in whatever city we were in and dump him in the rear pew to sleep it off. (This was back in the 60’s and Catholic Churches were never locked.) We’d tell him he was in heaven and sure enough, he’d start babbling away to Jesus who was always in the pew with him. We’d come back and get him in the morning.

    Brother Hughes reminds me of Bobbyboy.

  2. JH,

    Just let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you think you are Jesus? Either literally or figuratively? Do you think you are a saint or some other kind of specially chosen figure? Do you think God has sent you personally to save mankind? I’m not being facetious. I’d really like to know the answers to those questions.

    1. I am not literally of figuratively Jesus, but Jesus is in this body that does not shine visible light like his body shines light..The light from Jesus is what is hell to the wicked.That light when it shines will be the end of the wicked. I am a chosen figure. A saint I am not. There is but one good, and that is Christ. A saint is an idol figure that Catholics use that turn your mind away from Jesus having eyes that do not see. Jesus is in me to save all mankind. He found me when I was at a low point in my life. He never forsook me. He showed me who is evil, and who is not in a dream. God spoke four words to me on night with no images at all. The voice said; God,is, Not ,evil . I believed those words. Then the devil was allowed to come in from the side introducing himself saying hi I am Satan smiling thinking if I was angry with God that in my mind I would accept him. He looked like any man slight of build with a wide grin trying to look as good as he could. I immediately wanted to get away from him. He repulsed me. When I awoke I vowed I would never be negitive toward God ever again. I did not want to see the face, and feel the negitive energy of that being ever again.
      The Lord God has opened my mind up more, and more ever since. The world is upside down in many ways, and needs to be made right side up. It is my goal to reduce the number of lose souls in Gog, and Magog at the final Judgment that will eliminated them from existence in Gods light when they try by force to take the city of God Revelation 20-9.kjv, The lake of fire in the vision loos like a lake of fire by reason of the multitude of lose humans being burned up in Gods light that searches the inner most thoughts of the heart.,

  3. My friend, and brother a religion I am not even as Jesus was not connected to a religion. I see the loving heart of God who made all. I see beyond what others have seen. I see Jesus where others do not see him. I see him in you. I see God in the humans that are oppressed with man made laws to make them the poor in spirit. I see the light of God coming from humans in the words they speak from bodies shining light that cannot be seen with the human eye. My spiritual eyes perceive it without seeing it.

  4. Jonathan Hughes:

    I am starting to like your religion because you get to make it up as you go along. No need for Holy Books because whatever interpretation strikes you that day is the right one. I could get used to that.

    1. My friend, and brother a religious I am not even as Jesus was not connected to a religion. I see the loving heart of God who made all. I see beyond what others have seen. I see Jesus where others do not see him. I see him in you. I see God in the humans that are oppressed with man made laws to make them the poor in spirit. I see the light of God coming from humans in the words they speak from bodies shining light that cannot be seen with the human eye. My spiritual eyes perceive it without seeing it.

  5. Jonathan Hughes:

    “The devil uses words to divide us to have us war with each other, and clothing is used by him to divide giving the illusion of us, and them.”


    20 And the man gave his wife the name of Eve because she was the mother of all who have life. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins for their clothing.

    ~Genesis 3

    Come on Jonathan just take a look at the Cliff Notes.

    1. let me reappraise that. Names given to a human to give a human a supposed reason to shoot at them. Humans are conditioned to condemn a human called a bestialist. or zoophile or zoo , Pedo, Third gender was a favorite of humans to assault too, and Gay was another. Yiff another name for sex. Furries was a target of some. God in humans does not do that. Naked came from the devil. That is why humans respond to that word the way they do. To not respond to that name with fear will only make the devil upset.
      Look at all the flags with war blood on them. Had man not fallen we would not have war. You are making the same error Our first parents made blaming each other. You are blaming God. That lamb that died was the first animal to die. That lamb represented God who was going to die in the physical body of Jesus. What happened had significance to what God was going to do. He knew the weather would change too. The devil is in humans that die. Have us not care about nudity, and we would be more peaceful. Before Adam, and Eve fell God did not say a thing about them being nude. Humans made cultures as they call them. War seeks a vain thing. See all naked, and we will look more alike than different, and it will be humbling too. Humble is good, Right? Have all with skins, and all would still look somewhat the same. Humans made the man made materials to have us, and them making nakedness indecent. Had God wanted nakedness to be indecent he would have declared all of nature indecent, but he did not do that. The name Pedophilia separates. Hear zoosexual of bestialist, and you want to war. That is what I am talking about. Jesus who is God does not war. Jesus is heaven in us.

  6. “Satan is in all things that die.” – Jonathan Hughes, March 7, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    “Satan is not in sex .” – Jonathan Hughes, March 8, 2012 at 11:38 am


    Your Freudian slip is showing.

  7. I think it was OS who wrote about the presidents never having been in combat (or military, for many).
    I strongly believe if we still had a draft it wouldn’t matter if the pres had been in or not because the people would be taking to the streets again because we would all be effected: everyone who has a son, daughter, uncle, father, friend who was or could be in danger of being the next victim of the war.

  8. In the near future will come out a new spell-checker program.
    It will change all words to accepted new-speak, and Ministry of Truth approved doctrine. You will be graded monthly on how much the program has to change and will be rewarded accordingly in your food rations.

    Each person, allowed to circulate freely, ie in the confines of his compound, will be equipped with a “truth module” which will monitor the sound you utter tto the microphone and modify it ot Truth as needed. All encounters, both parties being so equipped, will be in the service of Truth.

    Next bulletin from the Truth Agency will come in 10 minutes. Until then, remember Truth is what we eulogize and hold highest.

  9. TO ALL

    I say it is too late for elections, The political system is a poor, misleading farce.

    The two parties are two vultures, fighting over a half-dead corpse.

    Don’t you feel them going for your eyes, your mouth, the ears are already rendered useless. You are half-numb, stupified by pain, soon all consciousness will leave you. Enter Big Brother.

    How long will they feed on the carrion before they bring in AY’s ants?

    We think we are active participants in a democratic system. We are only the last twitchings of a dying nation.

  10. Messpo and OS
    They ALL knew, and are kept up to date with data and prognoses. The question of long-term viability/success never ever leaves the table. Sure there comes BS out in false reports. ARVN night patrols,,,yeah, so and so many good stuff……never happened. Ellsberg went out several times and knew thay went to bed, never a soul stirred, but the reports went in. Tha USA adviser said “We lie”, they want the reports supporting their new program. But these small lies did not effect the overall outlook.

    BS to say they did not know. The Bay of Tonkin was rigged.
    The BS fed to us all along were lies. From the Colonels in Nam, to the Generals, and Lyndon’s closest political advisors since he war kneebritches said: Get the fuck out. He did not. Why. Not even Ellsberg has an answer, that I remember, except it was not on his political agenda. Well we are left asking, who determined that for him.

    And all the apologizing done afterwards is of course political face-saving, no more than that. Myself, asking a President if he’s ready to pull the trigger on somebody wouldn’t do it. Instead put the fucker in front of a rifle aimed at him and ask if he won’t us to pull the trigger if he goes to war. That’ll do it.
    Am sure the boys dead in Vietnam and their families would applaud.

    Final thought; By the time a President is sworn in for the first time, he has sacraficed many lives, careers, friendships, and done it to get where he is.
    It’ s part of politics.

  11. Jonathan Hughes,

    “What I mean by the body not able to do anything good is that it will not accept any living thing into it unless it kills it, and reduces it to a stinking smelly substance, and pisses out the rest.”

    Now I know how the world population got to seven billion!


    Enjoyed all your quotes, nicely done.

  12. Gene H. re Satan
    I’m embarrassed to write:
    Isn’t it all meant as an object lesson to believers. Type: There’s always some uppity wiseass in the group who is used to make a example.
    That was Satan. And we see what happened to him. And he’s used to bear the burden of he who puts uppity ideas in our head; like the priest is buggering my boy, etc. And the boss is a bloodsucker, etc.
    So bow your heads, how symbolic, and pray that ye not be tempted to stick up yourselves.

    Now everybody else knew this, not me, I was still stuck in the legend wondering when he was gonna visit me. but that’s another story.

    1. Satan is not in sex . Movies like end of days feeds us one lie after another. Had Adam, and Eve apologized about going to the tree, and even eaten of the fruit there would be no death or any of the bad things we see today. A devil will never apologize for anything. That would mean that Adam, and Eve apologizing would not have been contaminated with the devil. The devil uses words to divide us to have us war with each other, and clothing is used by him to divide giving the illusion of us, and them. The devil wants you to fear losing your life so your flesh, and blood body will kill to try to save it losing its soul.

  13. So much to comment, maybe should stay up at nights and do it then.
    Who comes back here today, Thursday? None, maybe.

    just to finish—-where in E. Asia? My eco-sattelite is poor at scanning for ant anomalies.(Nah, just curious—we old Asia hands (smile) have to trade stories)

    LBJ was fully informed the whole time, the generals did not lie to him.
    They said it would take many, many years, and after two they said it could not be done in terms of forcing our will; but LBJ and the loyal Pentagon kept shucking the public, press, and Congress. All the above if we are to believe their own study; “Pentagon Papers”, and Ellsbergs book. His first day in the Pentagon. He, as special assistant to the man responsible for Vietnam theater, was fielding all the Flashs, from our ship in the Bay of Tonkin, during the so-called battle; coming in a 5 minutes intervals by running messengers from comm room, cuz his boss was sitting with McNamara. So he was on the inside from the beginning. He exposes what really happened ant the lies told to Congress by LBJ and to us via the press.
    I think we should trust what he writes.
    PS He chose as a good analyst, working on the Pentagon paper at McNamara’s orders, to study not the period which he had been involved with, but chose the post-WW2, where it was the French doing it with our money.

  14. But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee Deuteronomy 20:17

    Jonathan Hughes’ God of Genocide … and Love

  15. This comment above caught my eye: “Books are no longer bought up and destroyed by the US government.”

    Not at all a true statement. See Professor Turley (or Google the subject of Pentagon book burnings) for more on the ludicrous attempts our “government” makes to keep us ignorant about its manifest and pointless military screw-ups.


  16. Woosty’s still a Cat 1, March 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    so………………, full moon tonight…………………..


    Is that what it is? 🙂 I thought that it was a lack of sleep, among other things… Thanks for the update.


    Color me totally dense. Do tell…

    1. China is required to pay living wages…. You released the ants…. Now they have the jobs…..

  17. AN,

    I’m gonna take heat for this but somebody’s gotta do the work since they are required to pay a living wage…..

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