February 7th, 2013

Obama Gives Himself Permission To Kill


This article was written by Judge Andrew Napolitano and originally published at LewRockwell.com

After stonewalling for more than a year federal judges and ordinary citizens who sought the revelation of its secret legal research justifying the presidential use of drones to kill persons overseas – even Americans – claiming the research was so sensitive and so secret that it could not be revealed without serious consequences, the government sent a summary of its legal memos to an NBC newsroom earlier this week.

This revelation will come as a great surprise, and not a little annoyance, to U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon, who heard many hours of oral argument during which the government predicted gloom and doom if its legal research were subjected to public scrutiny. She very reluctantly agreed with the feds, but told them she felt caught in “a veritable Catch-22,” because the feds have created “a thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.”

She was writing about President Obama killing Americans and refusing to divulge the legal basis for claiming the right to do so. Now we know that basis.

The undated and unsigned 16-page document leaked to NBC refers to itself as a Department of Justice white paper. Its logic is flawed, its premises are bereft of any appreciation for the values of the Declaration of Independence and the supremacy of the Constitution, and its rationale could be used to justify any breaking of any law by any “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government.”

The quoted phrase is extracted from the memo, which claims that the law reposes into the hands of any unnamed “high-level official,” not necessarily the president, the lawful power to decide when to suspend constitutional protections guaranteed to all persons and kill them without any due process whatsoever. This is the power claimed by kings and tyrants. It is the power most repugnant to American values. It is the power we have arguably fought countless wars to prevent from arriving here. Now, under Obama, it is here.

This came to a boiling point when Obama dispatched CIA drones to kill New Mexico-born and al-Qaida-affiliated Anwar al-Awlaki while he was riding in a car in a desert in Yemen in September 2011. A follow-up drone, also dispatched by Obama, killed Awlaki’s 16-year-old Colorado-born son and his American friend. Awlaki’s American father sued the president in federal court in Washington, D.C., trying to prevent the killing. Justice Department lawyers persuaded a judge that the president always follows the law, and besides, without any evidence of presidential law breaking, the elder Awlaki had no case against the president. Within three months of that ruling, the president dispatched his drones and the Awlakis were dead. This spawned follow-up lawsuits, in one of which McMahon gave her reluctant ruling.

Then the white paper appeared. It claims that if an American is likely to trigger the use of force 10,000 miles from here, and he can’t easily be arrested, he can be murdered with impunity. This notwithstanding state and federal laws that expressly prohibit non-judicial killing, an executive order signed by every president from Gerald Ford to Obama prohibiting American officials from participating in assassinations, the absence of a declaration of war against Yemen, treaties expressly prohibiting this type of killing, and the language of the Declaration, which guarantees the right to live, and the Constitution, which requires a jury trial before the government can deny that right.

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 that delay would cost innocent lives. He can also order killing using the military in pursuit of a declaration of war enacted by Congress.

Unless Obama knows that an attack from Yemen on our shores is imminent, he’d be hard-pressed to argue that a guy in a car in the desert 10,000 miles from here – no matter his intentions – poses a threat so imminent to the U.S. 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 lawful circumstances may he use CIA agents for killing. Surely, CIA agents can use deadly force defensively to protect themselves and their assets, but they may not use it offensively. Federal laws against murder apply to the president and to all federal agents and personnel in their official capacities, wherever they go on the planet.

Obama has argued that he can kill Americans whose deaths he believes will keep us all safer, without any due process whatsoever. No law authorizes that. His attorney general has argued that the president’s careful consideration of each target and the narrow use of deadly force are an adequate and constitutional substitute for due process. No court has ever approved that. And his national security adviser has argued that the use of drones is humane since they are “surgical” and only kill their targets. We know that is incorrect, as the folks who monitor all this say that 11 percent to 17 percent of the 2,300 drone-caused deaths have been those of innocent bystanders.

Did you consent to a government that can kill whom it wishes? How about one that plays tricks on federal judges? How long will it be before the presidential killing comes home?

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11 Responses to “Obama Gives Himself Permission To Kill”

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  1. 1
    Cal Says:

    Basically it comes to this, it is murder plain and simple. Obama and his spokespeople can say anything he/they wants but that does not make it true.

    Obama has committed treason, murder, mass murder, arms trafficking (and if any of you forgot his news release about it in either late March or very early April of 2009 then you need to NOT WATCH TV), arms trafficking with terrorists including the terrorists blamed for 9/11, oath breaking (which is not only a political offense, but is both a civil and CRIMINAL offense also), he has lied almost daily since being in office. His AG, national security adviser, Justice Department lawyers, his administration, all his spokespeople, all senators that were present at the hearing (where Panetta, Dempsey admitted treason & implicated Obama), Boehner who did nothing with Obama’s treason written to him in a letter, congress who has not investigated, the FBI and Secret Service who have been there while it was going on and it is THEIR assigned duties to stop it, judcial branch, etc.

    Remember, knowing about treason and not doing anything about it, not reporting it to those who have not committed treason and requiring their action is treason also. Plus, if the states do not act, it is left to the Militia if I remember correctly.

    So, don’t you think it is time the states stepped in? It is past time that we REQUIRE our state governors and AG’s to arrest those senators from our states that were present at that meeting and let TREASON against the USA and her people slide. That we DEMAND that Boehner be arrested for treason. That it is time we start removing – yes we can remove anyone who did not keep the oath without a “vote” as it is the law – within the states and arresting then prosecuting them. Plus we remove any and ALL judges who did not use constitutional law as their office and oath requires.
    Then it is time to move into the treasonous federal arena and start arrests and prosecutions. The Federal Reserve has committed treason and needs to be also arrested (every single one) for prosecution. Remember, those who commit treason and are convicted lose everything. That will kickstart our nation financially. Require the three branches to do the jobs the US Constitution assigned them.

    Those bureaucrats within the federal government, many have been pushing and implementing UN’s Agenda 21 and other treasonous actions. Spring cleaning done early. Lets start with kicking…

    It is time we kick all foreign military off US soil. They are waiting like vultures.

  2. 2
    Jason Henson Says:




    So if the continental US is considered a “battleground” and the president has the ability to dronestrike American citizens on foreign soil and the definition of a citizen is being brought to question. It would not be a far stretch to redefine an American citizen as a “belligerent” or an “enemy combatant” or a “terrorist”,an argument could be made that would allow drone strikes within the continenal US.

  3. 3
    Deborah Says:

    Are these people (congress etc.) bought off also or are they scared?

  4. 4
    Teri Says:

    As far as I know this article originated @ Reason Magazine (reason.com), where Andrew Napolitano is a contributor (http://reason.com/people/andrew-napolitano/all). The article was reprinted with the author’s permission @ Lew Rockwell. Just a heads up.

  5. 5
    Teri Says:

    Correction: http://www.reason.com/people/andrew-napolitano/all

  6. 6
    dave Says:

    these politicans in washington better wake up, last time i looked they were american too! i have to say though lots of them hold passports(THE ONES THAT WANT YOU DISARMED) from israel . so they want to kill americans when they believe their a threat. are they going to get that information from the same people that said iraq had wmd, or the same people that gave guns to mexican drug dealers? how about the same people that let stevens get murdered in libya! yep, lets kill them first then ask questions. , CONGRESS YOUR STILL AMERICANS

  7. 7
    Linda Says:

    It appears that, since Obama is crazy and power mad, and since the congress won’t impeach him, even after all of this, that we will have to rely on the State’s nullification process, and the Tenth Amendment.I pray God takes Pharaoh down, and that every Godless globalist learns the power of our God. Linda

  8. 8
    Deborah Says:

    I sent the speaker of the house another email letting him know we people are awake to Agenda 21, why nothing is done by now and also attached Robert Welch 1958 John Birch Society speech about the insiders plan to increase debt and taxes etc, in case he missed that one.Why I was not being informed by my gov’t and my news but the internet only. Next day he was forcefull stating they had been kicking that can down the road for 22 years, wants it resolved. He was angered. Well, I won’t shut up ever. Now I’m starting to look over my shoulders more often than not. Stupid me before I found out about Agenda 21 and after the election what do I do? I emailed the WH told them to put me on the TEXAS secession list. The more I discovered the more I sank and got little bit scared, well I am not scared anymore. If I have to be afraid of my government then they are an enemy. period.

  9. 9
    George Baker Says:

    A Danger To Our Freedoms
    George Baker
    Feb 11, 2013

    The Obama Administration (DOJ) has approved the killing of specific American citizens without having first provided those citizens with due process in a court of law:

    >>> http://www.miakulpa.com/department-of-justice-approves-killing-of-americans-by-flying-death-squads/#.URkPIh3g3To
    >>> http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/05/obama-kill-list-doj-memo
    >>> http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/02/obama-targeted-killing-white-paper-drone-strikes

    Note what the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution has to say about that:

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    Note particularly that the amendment doesn’t say anything about exceptions like times, or locations, or memberships, or fighting on behalf of foreign interests against the USA. It says simply that no citizen may be deprived of his rights unless first having been provided “due process” in a court of law….. NOT EVER.

    The important thing to keep in mind is that such a ruling fundamentally changes things because the application of law in the US is based upon precedent. That is, the rulings that have been made before, are the same rulings to be made in future similar cases, so that the law is uniform and consistent and treats everyone equally.

    The Obama Administration’s ruling in this instance is extremely dangerous because it establishes a new precedent allowing citizens to be “sanctioned” without having first been provided due process in a court of law…. It is dangerous because it allows the sanctioning of a citizen simply because someone doesn’t like him or her.

    While I personally agree with the sentiment of “sanctioning” an American citizen who has fought against our nation I must oppose doing that because it completely destroys the protections provided to us by our Constitution…. and that is a far, far, far more important consideration.

    I think there is something else at work here and it is worth our time to take a look at the history of how some prominent Liberals and Progressives have viewed average people.

    >>> Democrat strategist Steven Rattner: “We need death panels. Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health care resources more prudently rationing, by its proper name the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget.”

    >>> Matthew Yglesias, a business and economics correspondent for Slate, in an article entitled “The Case for Death Panels, in One Chart”: “But not only is this health care spending on the elderly the key issue in the federal budget, our disproportionate allocation of health care dollars to old people surely accounts for the remarkable lack of apparent cost effectiveness of the American health care system. When the patient is already over 80, the simple fact of the matter is that no amount of treatment is going to work miracles in terms of life expectancy or quality of life.”

    >>> Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger: “All of our problems are the result of overbreeding among the working class”

    >>> Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger: “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”

    >>> David Brower, the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club: “Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license … All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”

    >>> HBO personality Bill Maher: “I’m pro-choice, I’m for assisted suicide, I’m for regular suicide, I’m for whatever gets the freeway moving that’s what I’m for. It’s too crowded, the planet is too crowded and we need to promote death.”

    >>> Alberto Giubilini of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and Francesca Minerva of the University of Melbourne in a paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics: “When circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible. … We propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide,’ to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus … rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.”

    >>> POPULATION CONTROL – Barack Obama’s primary science adviser, John P. Holdren: “A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men. The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.”

    With attitude and beliefs like those it becomes much easier to understand how the recent DOJ ruling could be made.

    Folks the real issue is freedom. Are we going to have a nation devoted to the freedom of its citizens or are we going have a nation of citizens who are fearful of doing something, or saying something, that might result in being “sanctioned.”

    Now it is time to remind ourselves of a few words from our Declaration Of Independence:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”


  10. 10
    Deborah Says:

    Reading above Rattner is after the baby boomers, looking death panel his said then mentions social security putting aside that baby boomers have paid way too much much money in for it anyway.
    Baby boomers are Americas last hope.

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