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Thread: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

  1. #111
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    Re: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    The due process argument is not relevant with respect to persons who are combatants. If the individual is captured, that's an entirely different matter.
    Yes, it is relevant. It says "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." It is explicit, and as the highest law in the land, incontrovertible.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    If one were to have applied such an unwieldy interpretation of the Fifth Amendment, then the Union Troops would have had no constitutional authority to use deadly force in the Civil War against Confederate troops (U.S. citizens under the law, as such force deprived them of due process). There are no legal precedents whereby the Fifth Amendment could be applied to bar the use of deadly force during disorder that threatened lives, much less negate the military's ability to target combatants.
    If you can demonstrate to me that this man wears the uniform of any military of any foreign government which is making war on the United States, then you can make that argument.

    Otherwise, he's nothing more than an accused felon.
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    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

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    Re: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    The U.S. has always been bound by the Laws of War. Such instruments preclude torture, among other things. Targeting a legitimate military objective is wholly consistent with proper application of the Laws of War.
    Bound by, yes -- except where those Laws contradict the Constitution, as is the case with rights protected by the 5th Amendment.
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    Re: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

    I don't know, maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but last I checked, America went to war (legally speaking, not metaphorically speaking) with nations, not organizations.

    If you go to war with a nation, like Yemen, then the Laws of War would apply.

    If you go after an organization, then you're talking about RICO and conspiracy charges. Not the Laws of War.
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    Re: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    Yes, it is relevant. It says "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." It is explicit, and as the highest law in the land, incontrovertible.



    If you can demonstrate to me that this man wears the uniform of any military of any foreign government which is making war on the United States, then you can make that argument.

    Otherwise, he's nothing more than an accused felon.
    The courts' silence on the issue during the Civil War (American citizens who declared themselves a separate entity and who, under U.S. law, were not under the command of a foreign government) demonstrated the limits of the Fifth Amendment, namely that it does not provide immunity from one's being a combatant. Moreover, as per Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1, 43, 44 (1942), if the cleric is captured, he can be tried by a military commission. There is no constitutional guarantee of a grand jury proceeding in his situation.

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    Re: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

    I'm not saying he'd be entitled to a grand jury. I'm aware of that caveat in the 5th Amendment, but he's still entitled to some form of due process.

    Sending in agents to apprehend him is one thing. Sending agents in to execute him is a clear violation of his rights -- and by extension, all of our rights.

    If all the President has to do to get away with killing any of us is to name us an enemy combatant, then what are our rights worth?
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    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

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    Re: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    If all the President has to do to get away with killing any of us is to name us an enemy combatant, then what are our rights worth?
    An enemy combatant is defined not by the President, but by the Laws of War. Indeed, in the 1942 Ex Parte Quirin case, the U.S. Supreme Court was crystal clear in its ruling that U.S. citizenship did not provide immunity to combatants and that their role as combatants was defined by the Laws of War:

    Citizenship in the United States of an enemy belligerent does not relieve him from the consequences of a belligerency which is unlawful because in violation of the law of war. Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts are enemy belligerents within the meaning of the Hague Convention and the law of war.

    Since that case, the only thing that has changed is that the Geneva Conventions have been added to the Laws of War. Those instruments further clarify who is and is not a combatant.

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    Re: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

    Here's the sick thing in all of this.

    If Obama gets away with this, then every President from him forward will then have the authority execute any American citizen at any time in any place if they are first named an enemy combatant. No due process, no judge, no nothing.

    Furthermore, this goes a long way to brushing under the rug all those nuts who have been accusing the President of being a secret Muslim, or of being soft on terror. Every time someone even thinks of making that accusation, he'll have this to point to.

    The worst part is, so many of you conservative Obama-haters are lapping this up. You don't even know your opinion of him is being changed, however fractionally. You don't even know that this, like GITMO and the Military Comissions Act of 2006, is yet another incremental step towards an all-powerful President.

    I'll bet you guys all the gold in Fort Knox that either the President isn't sure this is legal and wants to find out if we'll let him get away with it, or one of his advisors isn't sure but wants to find out. Either way, this isn't an excercise of established Presidential authority.

    This is a tentative step into a whole new arena of Presidential power.

    I'm scared of what the next step will be.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

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    Re: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    An enemy combatant is defined not by the President, but by the Laws of War. Indeed, in the 1942 Ex Parte Quirin case, the U.S. Supreme Court was crystal clear in its ruling that U.S. citizenship did not provide immunity to combatants and that their role as combatants was defined by the Laws of War:

    Citizenship in the United States of an enemy belligerent does not relieve him from the consequences of a belligerency which is unlawful because in violation of the law of war. Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts are enemy belligerents within the meaning of the Hague Convention and the law of war.

    Since that case, the only thing that has changed is that the Geneva Conventions have been added to the Laws of War. Those instruments further clarify who is and is not a combatant.
    I thought the whole mess with GITMO was that nobody could quite figure out how international law applied to "unlawful enemy combatants."

    I thought people aplenty were saying that there was no place in international law for "unlawful enemy combatants," ergo they were afforded no legal protections.

    At any rate, since we can't point to a nation whose uniform this guy is wearing, and since we're not at war with Yemen, and since you can't be at war with an organization, this is all moot.

    It's a criminal matter, not a war situation.

    I defy anyone to prove that you can actually, under US law, go to war with an organization versus a nation.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

  9. #119
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    Re: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

    Here's the ironic thing about you citing Ex Parte Quirin to me.

    Ex Parte Quirin in no way stated that a combatant was stripped of all his legal rights. There is still due process to be found, even there.

    Well, that, and while this cleric is about to be executed, Hans Haupt got his day in court.

    Funny, that.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

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    Re: U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    I thought the whole mess with GITMO was that nobody could quite figure out how international law applied to "unlawful enemy combatants."
    That issue concerned what to do with them after they had been captured and were hors de combat. Even unlawful combatants have minimal protections, something the U.S. Supreme Court upheld. The same would apply to the cleric if he were hors de combat. If not, he is a legitimate military objective and can be treated as such.

    At any rate, since we can't point to a nation whose uniform this guy is wearing, and since we're not at war with Yemen, and since you can't be at war with an organization, this is all moot.

    It's a criminal matter, not a war situation.

    I defy anyone to prove that you can actually, under US law, go to war with an organization versus a nation.
    Article I, Section 8 does not restrict declarations of war to nation states. It only states that "Congress shall have power...to declare war..." and "to...repel invasions..." To date, no U.S. Supreme Court case, much less decision, has limited that authority exclusively to nation-states.

    The Laws of War also are not limited exclusively to conflicts among states.

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