Obama's Secret Kill List

The essence of our values is the rule of law, not the rule of presidents.

The leader of the government regularly sits down with his senior generals and spies and advisers and reviews a list of the people they want him to authorize their agents to kill. They do this every Tuesday morning when the leader is in town. The leader once condemned any practice even close to this, but now relishes the killing because he has convinced himself that it is a sane and sterile way to keep his country safe and himself in power. The leader, who is running for re-election, even invited his campaign manager to join the group that decides whom to kill.

This is not from a work of fiction, and it is not describing a series of events in the Kremlin or Beijing or Pyongyang. It is a fair summary of a 6,000-word investigative report in The New York Times earlier this week about the White House of Barack Obama. Two Times journalists, Jo Becker and Scott Shane, painstakingly and chillingly reported that the former lecturer in constitutional law and liberal senator who railed against torture and Gitmo now weekly reviews a secret kill list, personally decides who should be killed and then dispatches killers all over the world -- and some of his killers have killed Americans.

We have known for some time that President Obama is waging a private war. By that I mean he is using the CIA on his own -- and not the military after congressional authorization -- to fire drones at thousands of persons in foreign lands, usually while they are riding in a car or a truck. He has done this both with the consent and over the objection of the governments of the countries in which he has killed. He doesn't want to talk about this, but he doesn't deny it. How chilling is it that David Axelrod -- the president's campaign manager -- has periodically seen the secret kill list? Might this be to keep the killings politically correct?

Can the president legally do this? In a word: No.

The president cannot lawfully order the killing of anyone, except according to the Constitution and federal law. Under the Constitution, he can only order killing using the military when the U.S. has been attacked, or when an attack is so imminent and certain that delay would cost innocent American lives, or in pursuit of a congressional declaration of war. Under federal law, he can only order killing using civilians when a person has been sentenced lawfully to death by a federal court and the jury verdict and the death sentence have been upheld on appeal. If he uses the military to kill, federal law requires public reports of its use to Congress and congressional approval after 180 days.

The U.S. has not declared war since World War II. If the president knows that an attack on our shores is imminent, he'd be hard-pressed to argue convincingly that a guy in a truck in a desert 10,000 miles from here -- no matter his intentions -- poses a threat to the U.S. so imminent and certain that he needs to be killed on the spot in order to save the lives of Americans who would surely die during the time it would take to declare war on the country that harbors him, or during the time it would take to arrest him. Under no circumstances may he use civilian agents for non-judicial killing. Surely, CIA agents can use deadly force to protect themselves, but they may not use it offensively. Federal laws against murder apply to the president and to all federal agents and personnel, wherever they go on the planet.

Since 9/11, the United States government has set up national security systems that function not under the Constitution, not under the Geneva Conventions, not under the rule of law, not under the rules of war, not under federal law, but under a new secret system crafted by the Bush administration and personally directed by Obama, the same Obama who condemned these rules as senator and then extended them as president. In the name of fighting demons in pick-up trucks and wars that Congress has never declared, the government shreds our rights, taps our cellphones, reads our emails, kills innocents abroad, strip searches 87-year-old grandmothers in wheelchairs and 3-year-old babies in their mothers' arms, and offers secrecy when the law requires accountability.

Obama has argued that his careful consideration of each person he orders killed and the narrow use of deadly force are an adequate and constitutional substitute for due process. The Constitution provides for no such thing. He has also argued that the use of drones to do his killing is humane since they are "surgical" and only kill their targets. We know that is incorrect. And he has argued that these killings are consistent with our values. What is he talking about? The essence of our values is the rule of law, not the rule of presidents.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written six books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is "It Is Dangerous To Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom." 

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  • mybarber||

    The One is so much smater then the rest of us so he can use this power wisely.These people in huts and caves thousand of miles away are the greatest threat since WWII don't you see,

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Hey that's just Nixon's kill list with Nixon's name scratched out and Obama's written on there.

  • Drake||

    This is so much cooler than what Nixon, LBJ and JFK had going. They had to deal with human error, local politicians, Communist Agents, etc...

    Now the crazy paranoid President can kill anyone in the world like he's playing a video game.

  • Killazontherun||

    What makes this different, our philosopher king is not even concerned with plausible deniability. He revels in this role as if it gives some sort of gravitas high. I read the NYT report. It is the most fucked up thing to hit my eyes ever, and I've read a great deal of Phillip Dick, William Burroughs, Ballard and Anton Wilson. This is the most fucked up shit ever.

  • Drake||

    Just chilling in the White House - tossing lightning bolts down like Zeus when somebody misbehaves. What God complex?

  • death panelist||

    Paging William S. Burroughs...

    - "Intelligence and war are games, perhaps the only meaningful games left. If any player becomes too proficient, the game is threatened with termination."

    - "America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting. And always cops: smooth college-trained state cops, practiced, apologetic patter, electronic eyes weigh your car and luggage, clothes and face..."

  • NotSure||

    Having a secret kill list is perfectly consistent with winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and minute now all the leftwingers who hand around here will say how this is so.

  • db||

    This administration is so incompetent it can't even keep the existence of its secret kill list a secret. It's a wonder they haven't accidentally flushed the Nobel down the toilet. Oh, wait, they've already done that on purpose.

  • ||

    Well at least they're sticking to the transparency promise in regards to SOMETHING.

  • ||

    Talk about damning with the faintest of praise...

  • Ben the Duck||

    Having a secret kill list is perfectly consistent with winning the Nobel Peace Prize

    Worked for Arafat.

  • Drake||

    Neither of them were very good at keeping it secret.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I blame Bush.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Hey! That's my line!

  • ||

    The leader, who is running for re-election, even invited his campaign manager to join the group that decides whom to kill.

    Well, he has been looking for a campaign theme. So why not this one?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The thought of Obama profaning the awesomeness of early John Woo/Chow Yun Fat fills me with the berserker rage of the Ulfhethnar .

  • ||

    well don't waste that rage here - go put it to good use

  • ||

    I have some suggestions.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It would be much like this.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    It's like White Power meets the Chemical Brothers

  • ||

    That Axelrod has seen this just makes it transition from completely nauseating to a full-out bowel-clearing mess.

    Time to go to HuffPo and read the comments defending this so I can continue the purge.

  • cheaurelio||

    You may be disappointed. I was inspired by your post to read the comments on HuffPo and they are almost entirely critical of Obama. This is in sharp contrast to the general US population, of which 83% approve (59% strongly) of using drones to kill terrorist suspects abroad.

    Nevertheless, come November most of the HuffPo contingent will either ignore this and vote Obama or just stay home. I've found that you can often convince these hardcore liberals that a better strategy is a protest vote for Gary Johnson, particularly if they live in a state which is pretty much predetermined to go one way or the other. The key is to focus on the many issues on which they agree with Johnson and don't even know it. Even on big government economic issues they can often be won over with a focus on the distinction between free markets and crony capitalism.

    It's also important to not approach them in a condescending, insulting manner. As libertarians we may almost always be right (or at least I think we are) but acting like assholes -- as we are prone to do -- doesn't win hearts, minds or votes.

  • sloopyinca||

    but acting like assholes -- as we are prone to do -- doesn't win hearts, minds or votes.

    So you're saying I shouldn't go over there and chime in?

  • cheaurelio||

    You absolutely should go over there and chime in, as long as you keep in mind that the goal is to convince them rather than to insult them in a way that makes you feel clever and self-satisfied.

    Gary Johnson works well with the liberal crowd in a way that Ron Paul doesn't. Valid or not, Paul's newsletters make him completely unpalatable to most liberals. With Johnson on the other hand, they find themselves in agreement with 75% of what he says, and from there you can more easily convince them that the other 25% is reasonable as well. And it helps that Johnson doesn't carry the stench of the religious right.

  • JoshSN||

    As someone who would probably, if somewhat ignorantly, be called a real lefty liberal, I agree.

    Johnson comes off as unpolished, but generally reasonable.

    sloopyinca, however, comes off badly.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Is sloopy running for something?

  • Brandon||

    No one here calls you a real lefty liberal. You're just a general power fellator.

  • JoshSN||

    Brandon, you are really bad at spelling "powerful fella."

    As for that other shit, asshat, you've got your terms wrong.

  • hk||

    Time to wake up then and stop being a statist.

    Obama is a clown.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    feel free sloopy, just remember to not put the word "cunt" in all caps when talking about the candidates.

    That appears to turn them off for some reason.

  • Ben the Duck||

    Nevertheless, come November most of the HuffPo contingent will either ignore this and vote Obama or just stay home.

    A quick perusal of the most-commented-upon threads at Democratic Underground, Daily Kos or Balloon Juice, on any given day, will quickly disabuse you of the notion, sadly, that they'll do anything but the former.

  • cheaurelio||

    Undoubtedly true, especially for those Democrats who live in swing states. From a generalized liberal Democrat perspective, all of the problems with Obama exist to a greater degree with Romney, and the prospect of potentially throwing the election would be too much to bear.

    On the other hand, many hard-core Democrats (and Republicans) live in states where it makes no difference which of the major party candidates they individually vote for, e.g. Texas, California, New York. Those on both sides with libertarian inclinations could be convinced instead to vote for a libertarian candidate as a signal, even if they don't subscribe to the ideological purity seemingly required by many of the members of this forum.

    What that means for us is releasing ourselves from the teat of our echo chamber and building a case for libertarian ideas in a broader forum. And that's not going to happen as long as we keep going around calling everyone who disagrees with us an ignorant, statist fuckwad.

    Those of us who came to our current beliefs from the left better understand the mindset of liberal Democrats and are well placed to make the case to them for libertarian candidates. Often that requires making things like school choice and gun control palatable, which if you frame the issues the right way is actually much easier to do than you might imagine. Those of you who were Republicans before you were libertarian are similarly positioned to do the same with current Republicans.

  • ||

    And those of us who always fell in with libertarianism can just keep making fun of all the slavers!

  • Drake||

    The Washington Post survey question is pretty vague.
    "The use of unmanned, “drone” aircraft against terrorist suspects overseas"

    I bet a lot of people substitute Afghanistan Iraq for "overseas" in their minds. Places that Congress has authorized military force.

    Change the word to "countries we are at peace with" and you will get a different answer.

  • cheaurelio||

    I think you're right about the overseas v. Afghanistan/Iraq distinction, but that might not make so much difference in the results. On the whole, Americans are pretty belligerent and apathetic about civil liberties and due process when it comes to terrorism suspects.

    I was somewhat surprised that the level of approval only dropped from 83% to 79% when the "suspected terrorists" are American citizens living abroad.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    CAPTION:

    "Night night, bitches!"

  • ||

    Now, like bush, he wont be able to travel outside the country after he is out of office. International human rights groups will call for his arrest....oh wait.....that would be racist. And besides, he will just hit anyone who tries to arrest him with his peace prize.

    Fucking lefties, I hate them so much.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I believe the Nobel Peace Prize gives him a Cloak of Invincibility w/regard to killing. He can waste anyone and no one - worldwide - will object.

    Awesome! What possibly could go wrong?

  • ||

    It appears to work in a similar fashion for Paul Krugman, since that Prize gives Krugnutz a Cloak of Believability with +infinity saving throws. With lefty (and some righty) progs at least.

  • SugarFree||

    Are you talking about Dr. Paul Krugman PhD? How dare you leave out his argument from authority!

  • ||

    That's Celebrated Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Krugman, Ph.D. (MIT) to you, peon.

  • SugarFree||

    He's also had a Blockbuster membership card since like 1987.

  • ||

    Actually, it was Hollywood Video. The guy was too cheap to spring for the Blockbuster Plus. I also have it on good authority he never paid his "extended viewing fees" when he quit using Blockbuster. If he paid them, they would have avoided bankruptcy.

  • SugarFree||

    Hollywood Video is just a right-wing meme.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Paul "I've got a stimulus in my pants" Krugabe

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Unless you're Israeli, then you can't even swat a fly without shrill ululations of protest arising from Pallywood.

  • affenkopf||

    Can't wait for Democrats to star bitching once Romney gets his own secret kill list.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Their objections will be purely intellectual and conforming to their principles

  • Ben the Duck||

    Remember when the streets were filled with shrieking, outraged Democrats by the tens of thousands, all stridently claiming that "THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT!" and that the indiscriminate bombing of civilians half a world away was "NOT IN OUR NAME"...?

    They just seemed so touchingly, achingly... sincere back then, didn't they?

  • ||

    I really should have known better, given I'm very aware of the historical example with the left going from stridently antiwar to screaming for blood overnight when Hitler and Stalin didn't end up being best buds carving up eastern Europe together.

    After eight years of nodding in agreement to complaints made during Bush's reign of terror, I'm still bitter that so many people I thought I had something in common with actually had zero intellectual honesty whatsoever and are merely political tribalists.

  • hk||

    The Left never had any credibility.

    Anything they've accomplished recently is because they were forced into the center during the Clinton years. Etc.

  • Trespassers W||

    Judge Andrew Napolitano on Obama's Secret Kill List

    Am I the only one who read that wrong the first time?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    You didn't read it wrong

  • Loki||

    If he wasn't on the list before, he probably is now.

  • Bobarian||

    He's on the secret secret kill list. This one we're discusssing is actually the public secret kill list.

  • ant1sthenes||

    It was an unfortunate choice of phrasing.

  • ||

    That was how I read it. I hope it was wrong.

  • Voros McCracken||

    After this article he probably is.

  • Syd Henderson||

    Nope, I did too.

  • WTF||

    So apparently "Kill 'em all, and let God sort 'em out" is now official policy.

  • ChrisO||

    No, that would violate separation of church and state. It's just "kill 'em all."

  • Devil's Advocate||

    Not to mention that Obama believes that he is God, and we all know how much he hates talking about himself.

  • ||

    No it's "Obama sorts 'em out then kills those he has sorted."

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Where's John and sarcasmic?

  • sloopyinca||

    Maybe today is the day that John actually works for our tax dollars. It would only appear convenient if he didn't show up to refute the words of a Constitutional scholar.

  • sarcasmic||

    Considering how fallacious John's arguments are, it doesn't surprise me that he couldn't hack it in the private sector and has to work for the government.

  • General Butt Naked||

    John always looked like a genius before.

    But, then again, before he was always arguing with minge.

  • sarcasmic||

    John always looked like a genius before.

    Er, what?

  • General Butt Naked||

    "You're so fucking naive, libertard. Have fun in the political wilderness, asshole."

    There's months worth of arguments from John boiled down to their essence. Now he can get back to work in his gilded cage.

    How much taxpayer money have I just saved?

    *The Nekkid General saves your tax dollars, vote for me and I got five on that doja, America.*

  • ||

    No shit Sloop. I wonder if his constituents know how much of their money he uses to tell you that you are an idiot because you have the fucking temerity to have your humanity trump international law.

    Remember Sloopster, when it comes to law and legal reasoning...... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lstDdzedgcE

  • ||

    I've had two government lawyer jobs, a persecutor and an Assistant AG. And I remember reading some threads at work and wanting to oh so much to participate and endow y'all with my pithy comments, but I didn't because I felt guilty enough just reading reading libertarian threads and the wasting people's money taken by force. I take it that John doesn't suffer that kind of moral anguish.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    I take it that John doesn't suffer that kind of moral anguish.

    Morals are for pussies. The real world requires flexibility.

  • Tulpa the White||

    a persecutor

    RC'z Law of the Intarnets.

  • Devil's Advocate||

    Whether intended or not, the persecutor line is tremendous. Please tell me it is written on your resume like that.

  • sarcasmic||

    Dunno about John, but I'm trying (and failing) to find link worthy stories in the Daily Mail.

  • sloopyinca||

    I hadn't thought of the "CIA is civilian and cannot be used for this" angle as to the illegality of the murderdroning. I sure hope John comes on here and rails against a former judge that has written several books about the Constitution and explains to us how this is both legal and moral again. I'd like to see some gymnastics before the London Games get going.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I want to see Napolitano and anyone from the administration arguing over this on live TV. The fireworks would be fantastic.

  • Tulpa the White||

    They'll just send Jay Carney and the Indian guy from House.

  • Devil's Advocate||

    Napolitano is the best. He will be coming to Boise to speak at the Idaho Freedom Foundation banquet in July and I can't wait.

  • sarcasmic||

    and 3-year-old babies in their mothers' arms

    I'm pretty sure that when the TSA strip searches children they separate the child from the parent to ensure maximum trauma, but I could be wrong.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    OK. It's early in the morning, and I don't wake up quickly. By by what interpretation did we NOT 'declare war' in Iraq and Afghanistan? I know Bush went to congress, and he sure didn't keep his intentions secret in either case.

    Not passing judgement on the advisability of either invasion. Just saying nothing about the process in either case struck me as NOT declaring war.

    As for Obamarama ding dong, why the surprise? Liberal?Progressives have always been about rule-by-whim according to momentary expediency.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    We did declare war explicitly against Iraq. In the case of Afghanistan it's much more vague. We declared war against whoever blew up the WTC plus anyone who is harboring them. So, in effect, we gave the administration a blank check to use against anyone who self-identifies as Al Qaeda and anyone who might be standing nearby.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    ...and anyone who might be standing nearby.

    Eggs/omelets, you know the schtick.

  • sarcasmic||

    We did declare war explicitly against Iraq.

    No we didn't. There has not been a declaration of war since Japan.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Is this like "We didn't find any WMDs in Iraq"; nothing but an explicit declaration of "a state of war exists" made by FDR counts?

    I'm sorry. There are lots of aspects to the War on Terror that I don't like. I don't think that excuses lying. We did find WMDs in Iraq. Maybe not as many as we were afraid we would, but saying there weren't any is a lie. Bush got authorization from Congress for military action, and told the world what he was doing before hand. "No declarations of war since WWI is, at best, nit picking and beside the point anyway.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    WWII, not WWI

    sorry.

  • sarcasmic||

    Words mean things.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Yes, they do. And "We are going to invade Iraq." means "We have declared war."

  • sarcasmic||

    Actually, it doesn't.
    Declaring war means the entire country is in a state of war.
    That means industry is diverted to war production, conscription, rationing, etc.

    invasion != war

    Those on the receiving end may feel differently, but strictly speaking we are not at war.

  • hk||

    If you read Reason long enough, you missed the point C.S.

    The point is it doesn't fucking matter what other countries do, as long as they leave us alone.

  • CatoTheElder||

    There has not been a declaration of war since Japan.

    Not quite true. The "Joint Resolution declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial Government of Japan and the Government and the people of the United States" was made on December 8, 1941.

    War with Germany and Italy wasn't declared until December 11.

  • sarcasmic||

    I was off by three days! Damn it!

  • Seamus||

    We didn't declare war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania (which I believe was spelled "Roumania" in the joint resolution declaring war) until 1942.

  • tarran||

    The U.S. Congress voted overwhelmingly against declaring war with Iraq in 2002.

  • Tulpa the White||

    This. The people acting as if the difference between AUMF and DOW is semantic never seem to acknowledge that Ron Paul's proposal to declare war was voted down in committee.

  • Loki||

    Technically we didn't "declare war", but congress did pass an "authorization for use of military force" (AUMF). There are some differences between the 2, such as the number of reservists that are allowed to be called up and for how long (an AUMF has a limit while a formal declaration of war doesn't). Probably some differences wrt international law, etc. etc. I'm not an expert, so I don't know all the details. Funtionally there's not much difference to us peons or the peons actually doing the fighting and dying.

  • Loki||

    This thread gives some more info on the difference between the 2.

  • Tulpa the White||

    There's also the fact that a DOW essentially requires the President to wage the war, while the AUMF leaves the decision to go to war up to him.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I wonder: did the Congress have the Constitutional authority to pass the AUMF in the first place?

    I know, that question is rather quaint these days.

  • DJK||

    The matter of what US law has to say about this seems to have been cleared up by the 1st Circuit opinion in Doe v. Bush. A Federal Court of Appeals held that the Congress had effectively declared war on Iraq. The USSC denied certiorari. Moving on.

    A far more interesting matter is whether the Iraq War violated international law. According to the UN Charter (which the US ratified as a treaty and is therefore legally equivalent to being part of the US code), member states may not use force unless specifically authorized by a UN Resolution. Resolution 1441 was the last passed in regards to Iraq and basically consisted of giving Iraq an ultimatum. However, it did not authorize the use of force. US envoy John Negroponte even said that the US would return seeking a resolution authorizing war if Iraq kept up their shenanigans. None was ever passed. Multiple independent commissions have determined that nothing in Resolution 1441 authorized war.

    So the US points to resolutions allowing us to intervene on behalf of Kuwait in the first Gulf War. It's not clear if these resolutions have any legal significance. Certainly they have no logical significance. my conclusion? The Iraq War was definitely antithetical to international law.

  • DJK||

    And before I get harangued with one of those "who gives a fuck about international law...Constitutional supremacy...blah blah blah" type answers. Don't forget - the US ratified the UN Charter and is therefore legally bound by it. It's part of federal law and seems authorized by the Constitution. Some may argue that it conflicts with the "declare war" power of Congress. But remember that Congress didn't declare war here.

  • DJK||

    Though, there is an interesting thing about Doe v. Bush. The 1st Circuit decided to dismiss it without prejudice, claiming that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring suit. Could another legal challenge be brought? Sure. Is it likely? Probably not.

  • hk||

    It doesn't sound completely constitutional.

  • hk||

    We should separate from the UN anyway. The US Constitution should be sufficient.

  • DJK||

    Meh. The UN is a convenient means of enacting international policy. Which the US would have to do even if it weren't part of the UN and adopted a policy of isolationism. It's easier to shape treaties in an international body and then ratify them than it is to negotiate treaties with every nation of interest. Even if the UN didn't exist, we would likely have internationally agreed upon rules of war, etc. And once those treaties are signed (which is a power of Congress), they are legally binding. Which is why looking at international law is far more interesting than looking at US law on this issue.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    One issue that comes to mind for me is the fact that the AUMF delegates the actual decision to the president, and the Congress can't delegate its authority to the president.

  • DJK||

    What?!?! The members of the Constitution intentionally chose the wording "declare war" instead of the original "make war". The change in phrase was to allow the President to react quickly to imminent threats. This is from the written records of James Madison. That's a big amount of delegation.

    Not to mention that there isn't a single place in the Constitution that spells out the form that a declaration of war has to take. It's all up to interpretation. And, so far, the courts have interpreted a AUMF to be sufficient.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Well, I know that's what wikipedia says. Big deal.

    The president has authority to repel attacks but none to take offensive military action. That is reserved to Congress and Congress cannot delegate that authority.

    Yeah, I know, "living Constitution" and all that. We all may as well stop pretending that the Constitution means anything at all and just put a fucking crown on the "president's" head.

  • Mo' $parky||

    I'd like to thank the Judge for addressing the nice little back and forth we had in the AM Links thread yesterday morning. I'm with sloopy in eagerly awaiting the appearance of John to explain this all away.

  • sarcasmic||

    If we don't kill them there then they'll be killing Americans here!

    Dammit!

    ELEVENTYONE!!1!1!!11

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    In the name of fighting demons in pick-up trucks and wars that Congress has never declared, the government shreds our rights, taps our cellphones, reads our emails, kills innocents abroad, strip searches 87-year-old grandmothers in wheelchairs and 3-year-old babies in their mothers' arms, and offers secrecy when the law requires accountability.

    But it is OK because, um, well because. The only part that is a gray area for me it the 'authorization of use of force' that congress passed. Does that make it a 'declared war'? If so, then using the military is 'legal,' although it looks like he is missing the reporting part of it.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    To clarify, the legal gray area. It is still immoral as hell.

  • Loki||

    See comments upthread in response to C. S. P. Schofield.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Groovus - just be glad Chuckie Schumer isn't on the Murder, Inc. board, or you'd make the list, running away from the country that owns you and all.

  • Elaria||

    This is an impeachable offense. Obama should be impeached. He has broken and is breaking the oaths he took to uphold the Constitution.

  • Ben the Duck||

    Cartman: This window locks from the inside, right? And this door has a lock on it too? Don't worry Polly Prissy Pants, you're gonna be safe here. In this day and age, black people are just impervious to being fucked with, so we will be alright.

    Token: Why are you involving me in this?

    Cartman: Token, please. You're the only person I can trust. Because in today's time, black people are somehow incapable of doing something wrong.

  • Tulpa the White||

    If we impeached a president every time they violated the Constitution, we'd run out of replacements from the line of succession within a few months. (Interesting fact: the last person on the current line of succession is Janet Napolitano)

    And then what do we do?

  • Devil's Advocate||

    I don't know. Let's try it and see.

  • GroundTruth||

    Impeachable? Yes.

    But he'll get the same treatment as his predecessor, 'cause, you know, he has "secret and privileged information".

    The republic may not be dead yet, but it's in pretty sorry shape.

  • ccfonten||

    Since when did Obama even consider that he should obey the laws?? He thinks the laws are only for us conservative peons...and not for any of the lefty loonies or "his people".

  • JoshSN||

    I don't feel like Judge Napolitano is being completely fair about this policy.

    There was a bill authorizing the use of force. As I said before, it should be a debatable issue whether or not we can use a force bill against a group (and last time, I pointed out, that the Barbary Pirates actually ran a province of the Ottoman Empire), but that's not what we are doing.

    Given that we have a force bill, and have elevated al-Qaeda members to enemies of the state, is it therefore legal to assassinate them.

    We certainly do it with snipers.

    George Bush certainly attempted a "decapitation attack" on Saddam Hussein.

    This is a nasty policy, but I don't see how it is inconsistent with any history.

  • hk||

    This is exactly why the state blows, and why Democrats have no credibility.

  • hk||

    An authorization for the use of force, should never be amorphous. We need to clearly state who we are going after, at least geographically.

    Also this administration needs to be held accountable when they make ignorant and erroneous interpretations.

  • Devil's Advocate||

    If the AUMF basically lists "All Bad Guys" as the targets of the military force, and leaves all of the details up to the President, then it seems to be lacking a few essential safeguards, doesn't it?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I realise that arguing the moral or legal aspects of this issue with the "Kill 'Em All" crowd is a waste of time. But I find it puzzling that they just don't realise where this could all lead.

  • JoshSN||

    Also Relevant.

    It's really General Petraeus, apparently, pushing at least part of this, both the use of the CIA as a military weapon (definitely) and (maybe) the assassination program.

    He's certainly part of it.

  • hk||

    Fuck them both.

  • 16th amendment||

    On the Bill O' Reilly show yesterday I heard Miller say he was on the kill list. I guess he's always trying to be funny.

  • strat||

    His Honor is right on the mark, but there's room for one quibble when he writes:

    Under no circumstances may he use civilian agents for non-judicial killing.

    I don't think that statement covers letters of marque and reprisal, which are certainly Constitutional.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    For Congress, yes. For the president, no.

  • sweeterjan||

    the CIA on his own -- and not the military after congressional authorization -- to fire drones at thousands of persons in foreign lands, usually while they are riding in a car or a truck. He has done this both with the consent and over the objection of the governments of the countries in which he has killed. He doesn't want to talk about this, http://www.maillotfr.com/maill.....c-3_4.html but he doesn't deny it. How chilling is it that David Axelrod -- the president's campaign manager -- has periodically seen the secret kill list? Might this be to keep the killings politically correct?

  • Publion||

    I completely concur that the Bush administration erected this into a foreign policy. But let's not forget that the 'rule of law' and 'due process' were attacked candidly and fundamentally from the Left as early as the 1970s (as Catharine MacKinnon relates and describes in her 1989 book "Toward a Feminist Theory of the State").

    "Deliberative democratic politics" was not something that she needed for "radical democracy": after all, if most people (formerly The People) 'just don't get it' then why listen to them and why waste time trying to persuade them? Just get the government to impose your dampdreams and visions.

    Thus the authoritarianism at the heart of the radical-feminist and radical-Left agenda for the past 40 years. And how could it have been otherwise, since the radical-feminists embraced Gramsci and his gamebook for undermining Western democractic polities in the service of Marxism-Leninism?

    The huge mistake was in the Beltway, led by the demographically desperate Dems of the early-1970s, thinking it could import the content and political method of Marxism-Leninism and somehow 'tame' or 'baptize' them. That content and method were rooted in principles from a fundamentally alien political and cultural Universe; indeed, an anti-Universe.

    Thus also why what should have been the crowning achievement of those agendas - the election of a young black man as President - has resulted in as much if not worse of a police-state than the Bush-Cheney administrations.

  • William Tedesco||

    Why is Obama getting away with all his unconstitutional actions ? Why is he not immediately being impeached ! Why can't he be declared insane or unfit to exercise lawfully the US Constitution ?

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