Yesterday, in John Brennan’s confirmation hearing for the position of Director of the CIA, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), asked Brennan whether an American citizen that has met the CIA’s test for assassination, may be given the opportunity to surrender before being killed.
Brennan stated that all Americans who have joined with, Al-Qaeda (for example) have been provided notice that the United States will kill them by any means necessary through speeches and broad U.S. foreign policy.
So according to Brennan – the answer is no.
The CIA will however, give the American citizen a unilateral, secret trial by CIA operatives to determine guilt or innocence. Under Brennan’s watch, the CIA will continue to act as the JUDGE determining the rules that give exception to Constitutional Due Process rights, the JURY in determining whether the American citizen is guilty and the EXECUTIONER of the citizen.
This is wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
The Fourth Amendment does not provide exceptions for Al-Qaeda operatives.
We provide free speech protection for the despicable members of the Westboro Church that pickets military funerals to ensure that good speech is protected under the First Amendment. We protect the Due Process rights of despicable child rapists by giving them an attorney and a trial. And we must protect the rights of despicable terrorists in order to ensure that our rights will always be protected.
I wonder how many liberals that are going along with Obama’s consolidation of power would feel comfortable handing over the power of American assassination to Karl Rove or Don Rumsfeld. I wonder how they would feel twenty years down the road when this policy is completely accepted and no longer controversial when someone like Dick Cheney resides in the White House.
The Justice Department White paper has NOTHING to say about the location of someone marked for assassination. It does not mandate that they be located overseas. It does little to define what a high ranking official is and it cannot restrict future administrations from broadening the definition of how a terrorist group is defined.
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