Holder says secret executive branch reviews of evidence for ‘targeted killings’ count as due process

By End the Lie

Attorney General Eric Holder has become such a farcical character with the Fast and Furious scandal (which he has been busted lying to Congress about), his attempt at debating the definition of lying with Representative James Sensenbrenner, and now his claim that the executive branch’s secret review process of the evidence against alleged terrorists counts as due process.

In his speech Monday at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, Illinois, Holder actually argued that the process surrounding the approval of so-called “targeted killings” (which are, in fact, assassinations) meets the constitutional requirement for “due process” and that American citizenship does not protect anyone from being murdered by the government of the United States.

Meanwhile, the federal government says that the program is so secret that they cannot even confirm or deny its existence.

“Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security,” Holder argued. “The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”

I seriously doubt that the founding fathers thought that a future government would actually exploit the language so as to have a wholly unaccountable, unlegislated entity giving the green light on the murder of American citizens and call such a ludicrous practice “due process.”

Holder’s speech attempted to broadly outline the Obama administration’s supposed guidelines for their assassination program, even though the government has avoided all real legal challenges since they know such a laughable argument is unlikely to hold up in a court of law.

He stated that the American government could legally murder an alleged senior operational al Qaeda leader who is taking an active role in planning to kill Americans if they meet three basic requirements; they pose an imminent threat of violence, they could not feasibly be captured and the operation is conducted in line with war principles.

Of course, the Department of Justice hasn’t used such a supposed legal justification in court, instead opting to claim it is so secret they cannot even address it, thus avoiding the issue entirely.

Holder just continued to get more absurd; claiming that such operations do not violate the executive order which supposed bans assassinations or any other criminal statutes because the murder is committed in self defense.

He even went on to dispute the label of “assassinations,” claiming that the “use of that loaded term is misplaced” since an assassination is illegal while these targeted killings are supposedly legal in the eyes of the increasingly demented American federal government.

The fact that the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Council (OLC) continues to block the release of a legal memorandum supposedly justifying the murder of Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S. born individual who dined at the Pentagon and has allegedly inspired attacks and attempted attacks, including the nonsensical “Underwear Bomber” case (which was even torn apart live on CSPAN by callers).

This is why it is insane for Holder to make these kinds of arguments in public during a speech while still saying he “cannot discuss or confirm any particular program or operation.”

However, he clearly was referencing the Awlaki killing by using the example of a U.S. born alleged al Qaeda leader in his speech.

Holder claimed that the Constitution’s guarantee of due process does not mean that judges have to review executive branch decisions to kill anyone they accuse of being a terrorist.

This, of course, means that they never have to present evidence to anyone or justify their actions, which is quite similar to how the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA) work.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that the Due Process Clause does not impose one-size-fits-all requirements, but instead mandates procedural safeguards that depend on specific circumstances,” Holder said.

What procedural safeguards are there when there is absolutely no oversight and zero accountability?

“In cases arising under the Due Process Clause – including in a case involving a U.S. citizen captured in the conflict against al Qaeda – the Court has applied a balancing approach, weighing the private interest that will be affected against the interest the government is trying to protect, and the burdens the government would face in providing additional process,” Holder said. “Where national security operations are at stake, due process takes into account the realities of combat.”

Holder is correct in saying “due process takes into account the realities of combat” but that would mean that someone like Awlaki could be tried in absentia as Adam Gadahn was in 2006 for treason, which obviously never happened with Awlaki.

Holder claimed that the government’s evaluation of an alleged “imminent threat” had to consider what would happen if the military missed the window of opportunity to assassinate the alleged terrorist.

Of course this leaves out the consideration that there is no proof that the individual poses an imminent threat, nor is there proof that they are even a terrorist since no trial is to be held.

Holder said that the Constitution did not force the President to “delay action until some theoretical end-stage of planning.”

He said that due to the “nature of how terrorists act and where they tend to hide” capturing them alive isn’t always possible while also once again raising the “time-sensitive” aspect of these decisions.

Once again this ignores that fact that there is no burden of proof required to show that they are even planning anything since the review happens behind closed doors with no public scrutiny to speak of.

In an attempt to counter this obvious fact, Holder claimed that the Obama administration tells members of Congress about their counterterrorism activities and the supposed legal justification for their assassinations all of which he claims is part of “robust oversight” over the program.

“The Constitution’s guarantee of due process is ironclad, and it is essential – but, as a recent court decision makes clear, it does not require judicial approval before the President may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign terrorist organization with which the United States is at war – even if that individual happens to be a U.S. citizen,” Holder said.

According to Talking Points Memo, Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said before Holders speech that the big question was if Holder would offer meaningful transparency both about the legal standards that the Obama administration uses to determine who can be killed as well as basic facts about who can be targeted,” none of which he followed through with.

To be brutally honest, I find Holder’s speech to be morally reprehensible, ethically disgusting and outright absurd. This is nothing short of the criminal activity of a wildly out of control federal government which is so drunk with power that they actually think they can kill American citizens without a proper trial.

They then claim that they do not even have to justify it in court because it is so secret they cannot even confirm that it exists.

This kind of behavior is wrong no matter how you spin it and I sincerely hope that the American people will take action and hold these murderers and those who enable their crimes accountable for their actions.

It might not happen for a while, but once it does the whole, “I was just following orders,” excuse will not hold up, that much is certain.

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5 Responses to Holder says secret executive branch reviews of evidence for ‘targeted killings’ count as due process

  1. Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    arrest holder! traitorous scum needs to spend the rest of his life in jail so he can think about due process a bit more.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous March 8, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    First Class Private Bradley Manning did what the Established International Law from the Nuremburg Trials said he should do.

    Wikipedia says: In 1945 and 1946, during the Nuremberg Trials the issue of superior orders again arose: that essentially states that the defendant was “only following orders”. In German this was “Befehl ist Befehl”, and it literally means that “an order is an order”, and is therefore not responsible for his or her crimes, but it was Established that following an unlawful order is not a valid defence against charges of war crimes. Thus, under Nuremberg Principle IV, defence of “superior orders” is not a defence for war crimes, although it might influence a sentencing authority to lessen the penalty. Nuremberg Principle IV states: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

    We can see that as Private First Class Bradley Manning was reading the Diplomatic Cables, that day after day he could see that America was guilty of War Crimes, of Conspiracy to Commit War Crimes, of overthrowing Democracies and installing Puppets.

    At first, his Military Training as a Soldier ensured that he would remain silent, but as the days wore on, his Conscience began to bother him, and he became very confused as to what to do.

    To give himself options, he made a copy of the Evil things he read and saw was being done in the name of the American People.

    Wikipedia says: In May 2010, Adrian Lamo reported to American Army authorities that Specialist Bradley Manning had claimed to have leaked a large body of classified documents, including 260,000 classified United States diplomatic cables. Lamo stated that Manning also “took credit for leaking” the controversial, classified video footage of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad air strike, which has since come to be known as the Collateral Murder video. Lamo has stated that he would not have turned Manning in “if lives were not in danger.” Julian Assange calls Adrian Lamo “a very disreputable character”, and says that Lamo’s monetary support for WikiLeaks amounted to only 20 U.S. dollars on one occasion. Assange says that it is “not right to call Lamo a contributor to WikiLeaks”, and quite correctly questions the electronic record associated with the Manning-Lamo chats, because, according to Assange, Lamo has “strange motivations” and “had been in a mental hospital three weeks before this.”

    We see that even though Iraq was just one in a long line of needless wars, based on lies once again, and that has claimed thousands of lives of American soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of lives of Iraqis; then the only lives it can save is his own, or is it Euphemistic for saving their lifestyles of Lamo and a few others?

    We can see that Adrian Lamo who needs Medication, could have been pressured by the American Government to follow their script, because even an American mental hospital can become the equivalent of Guantanamo Bay, with medication or solitary confinement as the torture.

    I am not suggesting that Adrian Lamo cannot think sufficiently, but that he made to be Puppetized to follow the American Government Script equally as any Person who does not need psychiatric medication.

    Lamo can be made to lie, can be bribed with fortune and fame, and he can be manipulated with being looked upon as respectable and Patriotic, which is the last refuge for a scoundrel.

    The manipulation is by them saying that if a Person loves his People and his Country, then he will do what the American Government says, and not by what he may think is right.

    It is not surprising that Bradley Manning’s Attorneys have chosen to consistently base his legal defence upon the premise that personal problems and shortcomings are what motivated the young man to turn over hundreds of thousands of classified government files to Wikileaks.

    Bradley Manning’s Attorneys are living in the America Dictatorship, know that they too are saving lives or lifestyles of themselves and a few others.

    It could be that the Bradley Manning incident is what led to America finally declaring that they are an Evil Dictatorship, and that they will murder there own citizens before they even Charge them or give them a Trial.

    The reason that the American Government did not even charge Anwar al-Awlaki, before they murdered him, was because they would be lying, and lies can be disproved, because anything you say can and will be used against the American Government in the Court of Public Opinion.

    All these Facts are not lost on Bradley Manning’s Attorneys, and they have their own interests to protect, and so the Soviet Show Trial Script has been given to them by the American Government.

    Bradley should be tried as a criminal or traitor, because he is a national hero, and has worn the American uniform with distinction, and he should be given the Congressional Medal of Honor, because he has acted honourably in America’s Service.

    It could be that the Republican Congress will recommend to President Obama to award First Class Bradley Manning the Congressional Medal of Honor if the Republican Presidential Candidate needs the Votes to become the next President of America.

    This helps explain the bad and unjust treatment of Bradley Manning, because the Democrats want him to follow their Soviet Show Case Script, and may offer him leniency if he does, and if he lies about Julian Assange, who only acted as a Journalist, and is a Member of the Journalists’ Union.
    The motivations for mistreatment of Manning before his trial, even though he is an American Citizen, is certainly for the purpose of making him testify against and implicating Julian Assange, and the others are for him to follow the American Government’s Soviet Show Trial Script, and to punish him for having a Conscience, and for Valuing Democracy, and for daring to remember the once upon a time American Constitution.

    As far as the American Government are concerned; Julian Assange is Julian Arrange, because they can Arrange the circumstances for Julian that will intimidate and silence other Journalists.

    We know that the Guilty Verdict has been determined for Bradley Manning, and for Julian Assange if they can Arrange to have Julian on Trial, because they know that they would look like Evil Fools if they were to be decaled Innocent, especially the Journalist, Julian Assange.

    There are People who will say that even though Hitler was not put on Trial, everyone accepts that he was Guilty, and that is because Hitler built such a huge Army, Navy, and Air Force to attack other Countries; and his Illegal and Immoral Occupation of Czechoslovakia and invasion of Poland, along with many other things.

    The Serbian People were only defending themselves from American Sponsored and Directed Aggressors, even as Julian Assange is defending himself on a different level.

    Had Hitler been put on Trial, then the Dirty and Unjust Tactics that were used with on Slobodan Milosevic would not have been needed , because the Prosecutors against Hitler could have easily proven their case against Hitler in at least one month.

    However, after Four Years, the Corrupt and Bribed Kangaroo Court at The Hague could not prove their case against Slobodan Milosevic.

    The Kangaroo Court and the Farce that The Hague is, was afraid that Slobodan Milosevic would appeal any guilty conviction, and so some types of American and European Politicians who claim to be big on Democracy were glad that Slobodan Milosevic was conveniently found dead in his prison cell.

    Vojislav Seselj is on trial for saying: If we cannot grab all their NATO planes, we can grab those within our reach, like various Helsinki committees, and Quisling groups. To those who we prove have participated in the service of foreign propaganda and those are the Voice of America, Deutsche Welle, Radio Free Europe, Radio France International, and the BBC radio service etc. If we find them in the moment of aggression they should not expect anything good.

    I personally judge Deliberately Maliciously Lying Journalists to be War Criminals that should be put on Trial and put in prison if they are found guilty of helping Foreign Governments murder innocent citizens.

    We all say things at times in the heat of the moment, and we should look at the comments of former President George Bush and others who called for the Murder of Iraqis over the Deliberately bogus calm of weapons of mass destruction, and why are not these People on Trial, for not only what they said, but what they have done.

    Vojislav Seselj has been on trial for seven years, and we all know that the Kangaroo Court can make nearly anyone their Puppet, and we do not know if there has been any pressure or incentive on Vojislav Seselj to go along with NATO’s desperate need to whitewash their Evil Crimes against Humanity that they Primitively perpetrated the Physical, Cultural, and Economic Genocide against the Serbian People, while blaming the Innocent Serbian People, and in Europe of all places.

    Regardless of that, we will always know that the American led NATO and their Kangaroo Courts are Evil Scum, and even if Vojislav Seselj should admit to being an extra Scum in this World, then it does not change anything with regard to the American led NATO o to the NATO Kangaroo Court, and much of the Western Media.

    Reply
    • Stacey March 14, 2012 at 8:17 AM

      Awesome post – very well stated and informative. Maybe you should defend Bradley Manning.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous March 8, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    I meant to write: Bradley should Not be tried as a criminal or traitor, because he is a national hero, and has worn the American uniform with distinction, and he should be given the Congressional Medal of Honor, because he has acted honourably in America’s Service.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous March 9, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    If there had have been a Person like First Class Private Bradley Manning during the years of former American President George Bush, then there would be People in the American Congress, who would have seen him as a National Hero to America.

    I will not speak for anyone else, but it could be that Congressman Ron Paul who is not a pacifist, and who would use America’s Military to defend America, would not have used the American Military in such a dishonest way.

    According to the Official figures, and we know that they could be understating the actual figures; the Illegal and Immoral War in Iraq has claimed the lives approximately 4,500 American Soldiers, with 33,000 wounded, and in monetary terms, it has cost America at least Two Trillion American Dollars.

    Estimates for the Iraqi dead can only be said to be in the hundreds of thousands, while some estimate it to be over 1,000,000, with millions of Iraqis who became refugees and displaced from their homes, while thousands have been tortured by American Soldiers, and there was also much property damage in Iraq.

    Along with these Brutal Crimes, oil production was significantly lowered, and this increase the cost of fuel to Americans, which in turn caused a recession and high unemployment in America, and the Dollar cost to the American Economy and People must be in the Trillions of Dollars, and the human cost must also be significant.

    Imagine if we could go back to the time of the Evil Conspiracy that was knowingly based on lies, and see that the real Terrorist and Dictator was former President George Bush and former Prime Minister Tony BLiar, alias Tony Blair; who keep saying that the World is better with Saddam Hussein gone, but they fail to mention that the World is better of that George Bush is no longer President of America.

    With the depressed housing market in America, that Two Trillion Dollars could have purchased 10 Million homes, and those homes could have been rented for 150 Dollars every week, and that would earn the Government 1.5 Billion Dollars a week or 76 Billion Dollars a year, which could be given to the State Governments.

    It would have soaked up the excess houses on the market, thus pushing the value of homes up to their fair value, making them the investment that they should be, and they should neither be undervalued nor overvalued, but they should have and retain their fair value.

    We know that Western Journalists who Deliberately Lie for any reason, are responsible for the Consequences of their Deliberate Lies.

    Those who are Accomplices to a Crime, are also guilty of that same Crime, and they can even receive the same penalty as the one or more to which they were an Accomplice.

    We know that there are Many Journalists in the Western Main Stream Media who are in Fact Accomplices to the American led NATO War Criminals, because some would have known the Lies then, but they All know the Lies now, and their failure to Publish these things makes them Accessories after the Fact.

    Every American Politician, Journalist, Prosecutor, Judge, and Jury knows these things, and the Fact that former President Bush has not been put on Trial speaks as to the Dictatorial and Criminal Mafia Nature of America’s Elites.

    After all of this, the American Elites, along with the Manipulation of Bribed and Corrupt Puppet American Mainstream Media began saying that People like Bradley Manning and Julian Assange have blood on the hands; and it is the tactics of the Unprincipled to accuse others of what they themselves are guilty of.

    Bradley Manning has Helped America; he has rightfully caused Information which is Public Property and owed by all Americans to be published on the Internet: he has taken measures to Prevent future Aggression against America by the American Government who are Guilty of Committing Fraud on a Large Scale against the American People.

    All Governments starting with the Clinton Administration are Guilty of Intentional Deception in order to murder and injury another People and Nations for their own personal gain.

    Obviously, there will be American Politicians who are Hardened in their Corruption who will speak inappropriately of Bradley Manning’s courage, his love of America and concern for America’s future direction, and there could be many American Politicians who think that he should be either Pardoned or all charges against him should be dropped, and there could even be a few American Politicians who believe that Bradley Manning by his bravery and honesty has earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    Reply

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