Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Attorney General Holder Says Murder Is Legal

Holder explains that murder is not assassination when the president does it, because he only murders people he declares to constitute an imminent threat:

“Some have called such operations ‘assassinations.’ They are not, and the use of that loaded term is misplaced. Assassinations are unlawful killings. Here, for the reasons I have given, the U.S. government’s use of lethal force in self defense against a leader of al Qaeda or an associated force who presents an imminent threat of violent attack would not be unlawful — and therefore would not violate the Executive Order banning assassination or criminal statutes.”

But Obama has not so much as claimed that each person he killed constituted an imminent threat, much less convinced any independent body (sorry, Eric, you don’t count) of this.
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The president alone can give you due process without ever explaining it to anybody else. Who knew?

“That is not to say that the Executive Branch has – or should ever have – the ability to target any such individuals without robust oversight. Which is why, in keeping with the law and our constitutional system of checks and balances, the Executive Branch regularly informs the appropriate members of Congress about our counterterrorism activities, including the legal framework, and would of course follow the same practice where lethal force is used against United States citizens.”

Why “would”? This is not theoretical. Informing a handful of Congress members, and no doubt forbidding them to repeat what they are told, does not create Congressional oversight. It just creates a Bush-era excuse for lawlessness.

Holder planned to take no questions following his remarks. I wonder why.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/attorney-general-holder-says-murder-is-legal.html

It's no oversight central.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, March 7th, 2012.]

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