Both conservatives and liberals have condemned the Obama Administration policy of using drones to kill American citizens who are suspected of engaging in activities that pose a threat.
NBC News obtained a confidential memo from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that concludes the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens—"even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S."
The memo states, "The condition that an operational leader present an 'imminent' threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future."
Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) told NBC, "This is a chilling document. Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extra-judicial killing of an American citizen."
The Associated Press stated that the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), expressed concern about the deadly operations.
And House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said the Obama policy "deserves a serious look at how we make the decisions in government to take out, kill, eliminate, whatever word you want to use, not just American citizens, but other citizens as well."
The New York Times reported that a spokesman for Amnesty International said there was increasing evidence that the practices were "unlawful, violating the fundamental human right not to be arbitrarily deprived of one's life."
If this kind of activity had surfaced during the previous administration, it is certain President Bush would have been denounced very harshly.
Politico noted a Twitter message from Ari Flesicher, the White House press secretary from January 2001 to July 2003: "Good thing DOJ memo didn't come out in 2008. Candidate Obama would have accused Bush of violating the Constitution."
Andrew Kaczynski in BuzzFeed remarked, "As a liberal state senator (in the Illinois Legislature), Obama was a civil liberties crusader. Now, he's defending drone attacks on American citizens."
Judge Andrew Napolitano, the senior judicial analyst for the Fox News Channel, told WND that Obama's policy of targeting enemies, including Americans, for death through drone strikes is an alarming example of the endless expansion of government power:
"I've often commented that my job here at Fox is to monitor the government as it steals your liberty and steals your property, but I never thought I'd be monitoring the government stealing your life," he said. "Essentially, that's what this is."
"It basically says that the president of the United States can authorize an 'informed, high-level official of the U.S. government' to strip the constitutional protections of an American in a foreign country if the informed official is satisfied that the American is an imminent danger to American national security and his capture or arrest would be impractical," Napolitano said…
The Judge said it's very easy to read the administration's legal defense for the drone program and see how it could be used to target any American.
"The language in this 16-page document could easily apply to Americans in America," said Napolitano. "So the president could decide that Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck or Judge Napolitano are just too troublesome, too meddlesome, too much of an obstacle to the accomplishment of his purposes, and it's time to take them out."
And ConservativeHQ warned, "You Could End Up on Obama's Kill List."
The standard of mere "belief" by a government official that one is engaged in wrongdoing to justify a death sentence for an American citizen is so low that it does not even meet the requirements for surveillance of one's telephone or internet communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Yet, in the view of President Obama and his lawyers, it is enough to justify an unappealable death sentence…
The idea that a mere "belief" by a government official--unknown and unelected we might add--can lead to a death sentence for an American citizen is so antithetical to the founding principles of the United States as to constitute a victory for those who wish to destroy us.
It is time Congress stepped in and put an end to Obama's policy of executing Americans without a trial before the drones fly home and none of us are safe.
ConservativeHQ is also sponsoring a petition to the chairman and ranking member of the House and Senate judiciary committees to ask them to hold immediate hearings on the Obama policy of executing Americans without a trial.
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