Obama admin won’t say if they claim authority to assassinate US citizens on US soil without charges

By End the Lie

(Image credit: Scout Tufankjian for Obama for America/Flickr)

(Image credit: Scout Tufankjian for Obama for America/Flickr)

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the Obama administration’s assassination program is the fact that they simply refuse to address if they claim the authority to kill Americans on US soil without charge or trial.

While they clearly claim the authority to kill Americans abroad without requiring any clear evidence based on secret meetings and a classified legal justification, they dodge any and all questions around assassinations on US soil.

Individuals in the Obama administration – including Obama himself – have chosen to simply answer a question that was never asked when they are confronted with the issue.

This recently came up in a series of written questions and answers (original without notes here) from Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to John Brennan, Obama’s nominee for the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“Could the Administration carry out drone strikes inside the United States?” asked the Committee.

“This Administration has not carried out drone strikes inside the United States and has no intention of doing so,” Brennan responded.

No one asked Brennan if the Obama administration has carried out drone strikes in the United States or if they have the intention to do so. The question was if they could carry out such a strike. This was not answered.

When asked, “Could you describe the geographical limits on the Administration’s conduct drone strikes?”

Brennan responded that the Obama administration does not “view our authority to use military force against al-Qa’ida and associated forces as being limited to ‘hot’ battlefields like Afghanistan.”

“Al-Qa’ida and its associates have in the recent past directed several attacks against us from countries other than Afghanistan. The Government has a responsibility to protect its citizens from these attacks, and, thus, as the Attorney General has noted, ‘neither Congress nor our federal courts has limited the geographic scope of our ability to use force to the current conflict in Afghanistan,’” Brennan wrote.

“This does not mean, however, that we use military force whenever or wherever we want,” he continued. “International legal principles, such as respect for another nation’s sovereignty, constrain our ability to act unilaterally. Using force in another country is consistent with these international legal principles if conducted, for example, with the consent of the relevant nation – or if or when other governments are unwilling or unable to deal effectively with a threat to the United States.”

Unfortunately, this answer does not rule out assassinations on US soil in any way.

Glenn Greenwald, writing for the Guardian, further points out that Obama has also dodged the question when it was posed to him in a Google hangout, of all places.

“A lot of people are very concerned that your administration now believes it is legal to have drone strikes on Americans and whether or not that’s specifically allowed with citizens within the United States,” said Lee Doren during the hangout.

“And if that’s not true what will you do to create a legal framework to make American citizens within the United States know that drone strikes cannot be used against American citizens?” Doren asked.

“First of all, I think there’s never been a drone used on an American citizen on American soil and we respect and have a whole bunch of safeguards in terms of how we conduct counterterrorism operations outside the United States,” Obama replied.

“The rules outside the United States are going to be different than the rules inside the United States in part because our capacity to – for example – capture terrorists in the United States are very different in the foothills or mountains of Afghanistan or Pakistan,” he said.

Obama, like Brennan, simply answered a question that was not asked. No one asked him if a drone strike has been used on an American on American soil.

Obama did not answer the question as it was posed in any meaningful way.

Obama went on to concede that “it is not sufficient for citizens to just take my word for it that we are doing the right thing.”

Unfortunately, that’s precisely what we have to do.

“I am the head of the executive branch. And what we’ve done so far is to try to work with Congress on oversight issues,” Obama said.

The evidence of that is nonexistent. While some have promoted some kind of oversight of the drone assassin program, they essentially recommend another secret court to oversee the program.

Some, like Senator Lindsey Graham, see even that little oversight as “the worst thing in the world.”

The anger surrounding the lack of transparency is shared by Senator Rand Paul.

Paul asked Brennan, “Do you believe that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a US citizen on US soil, and without trial?”

“Until you directly and clearly answer, I plan to use every procedural option at my disposal to delay your confirmation and bring added scrutiny to this issue,” Paul wrote in a letter.

Paul has pointed out that Obama and Brennan have been asked this question previously on multiple occasions (see here and here) with no answer.

Greenwald writes that Senator Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, said that he shares the concerns outlined in Paul’s letter but is not yet ready to threaten a filibuster.

“Congress needs a better understanding of how the Executive Branch interprets the limits of its authorities,” Udall said, according to Greenwald.

Udall also pointed Greenwald to the recent New York Times article outlining the growing anger among several other Democrat senators over this highly secretive assassination program.

“Not only does the Obama administration refuse to make these legal memoranda public – senators have been repeatedly demanding for more than full year to see them – but they only two weeks ago permitted members to look at two of those memos, but ‘were available to be viewed only for a limited time and only by senators themselves, not their lawyers and experts,’” Greenwald notes.

In his article, Greenwald goes on to explore the issue in much greater detail and thus the article is highly recommended for those who want to learn more.

Suffice it to say, at this point it is impossible to say if the Obama administration claims the authority to kill Americans on US soil without charge or trial. It might be wonderful to pretend otherwise but it would be unwarranted since neither Brennan nor Obama will outright say so.

Did I forget anything or miss any errors? Would you like to make me aware of a story or subject to cover? Or perhaps you want to bring your writing to a wider audience? Feel free to contact me at [email protected] with your concerns, tips, questions, original writings, insults or just about anything that may strike your fancy.

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16 Responses to Obama admin won’t say if they claim authority to assassinate US citizens on US soil without charges

  1. Banderman February 24, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    One of the dangers of this Administration is they never give a simple “yes or no”, let alone truthful response, to questions regarding the notion of them doing their job as tasked and within the bounds of The United States Constitution; which they swore to defend, protect, and respect. They seem to have forgotten or completely ignore the fact they work for us, not the other way around.

    Reply
  2. walt February 24, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    This is how terrorists work.
    Make up your own laws instead of following established constitutional laws- unless it works in your favor.
    This is clearly a criminal act.

    Reply
  3. Captain vIc February 24, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    We should have stayed with the old ways where assin., of anyone outside America was not tolerated ( though it appears we like others sis not stick to morals ) but its a nice law ,.

    But how frightening we now can have the viper death squad operating with impunity inside our boarder ? My God is this peace and the way of the NWO ? Count me out

    They won’t admit its not real ? Yea not until they come forward with evidence and someone goes down for it then they will point out the verbiage means there allowed ! The same things we used to march on FORIGN soils and Gain public backing has been turned inward ,.. History coming back ?

    Reply
  4. Armed Citizen February 24, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    This is so fucked up it is beyond belief…assassination agendas, assassination lists, assassination squads/drones….who the fuck does he think he is….GOD? No one, NO ONE, should have the power to be judge , jury, and executioner….this is against all moral guidelines and especially a U.S. president considering killing U.S. citizens, either here or abroad….who the hell does he think he is ??? I cannot believe I am even reading shit like this…and it’s not just puppet obama…any president is controlled by the NWO leaders (world bankers) and we should already be fighting to the death against this unreal agenda….WAKE UP WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  5. American Patriot February 24, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Obuma only says and does what his puppet masters tell him to.

    Reply
  6. Strayhorse February 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Assassinating Americans in America with or without a drone; and without a trial – is murder and treason. If you were the acting president would you respond to that question? Congress, the Supreme Court and the armed forces of America must demand and answer. They must demand capital punshment for using either of these terror tactics against American citizens.

    Reply
  7. Mr. Jonz February 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Obviously, they have every intention of murdering Americans in America. They probably have done so already, many times, Even if they passed a law prohibiting them from doing so, it would make no difference. The government violates it’s own laws every day.

    Reply
  8. Steve in KC February 24, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Police are doing it all the time with electrocution stun devices commonly referred to as tasers. Isn’t the death total between 400 to 500 worldwide and none of these creatures are ever proscuted for their crimes.

    Reply
  9. Steve in KC February 24, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    The Bush adminstration and this adminstration will not follow the rule of law.

    Reply
  10. KidRob/ February 24, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Nobody really cares about the U.S. government or what it does. The U.S. government is going to do, and indeed has been for a very long time now, whatever it wants to do.

    Do you honestly think any of those politicians care about you? Do you really think they are losing any sleep over your concerns?

    They’re not. They only respect one thing. M O N E Y.

    Money is God and in God We Trust.

    Its not about politics or the law or the Constitution. It’s about M O N E Y. Money money money money.

    The U.S. has the greatest democracy money ever bought.

    Reply
  11. Armed Citizen February 25, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Yes KidRob….see my quote “any president is controlled by the NWO leaders (WORLD BANKERS) and we should already be fighting to the death against this unreal agenda….WAKE UP WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    These are the Rothschilds, Bilderbergs, Duponts, Rockefellers, and let’s not forget the Vatican and the CFR…..and PNAC…..not to mention Darth Vadar and Sasquatch….just kidding!

    Reply
  12. Winston February 25, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    The NWO is for Lucifer – no one else. These Illuminati shills have sold out to him for so long they know better than to fail in his demands. They work because of fear – not love for the Enlightened One, the Great Deceiver or the Double-crosser! He’ll crap on them after they hook him into all the main computer databases, networks, communication nodes, and that Big Brother ‘ol Eagle Eye Hal in Utah.

    Reply
  13. Nora February 26, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Obama’s claim that as head of the Executive branch he has tried to “work with congress” is a total falsehood. He ordered military force against Libya and claimed authority came from the U.N. when congress flared over his abuse of power. He has clearly said that “congress is ceremonial” in nature, and that he (Obama) has authority to do things without their approval…well, no he doesn’t. Leon Pannetta responded to congressional inquiry that authority for military action comes from the U.N. as well, although there is no mention of the U.N. in our constitution, and no authority given to the executive office even, to declare war without the approval of congress. From statements to actions, it’s clear that Obama sees himself as having authority that the American people have not given him, including the authority to murder anyone, anywhere with impunity, without so much as a review of the facts, let alone formal charges. There is too much secrecy. There is too much disregard for due process and the God given rights set out in the Bill of Rights. American values need to be restored and his majesty Obama needs to be impeached.

    Reply
    • Armed Citizen February 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      Right on Nora…I agree with everything you’ve said. And I have always said that no good honest person with integrity will ever become president because they have to sell their soul in order to even have a chance to attain that position. It is a sad commentary on the many, many good honest hard working that live in this country to be ruled by such worthless bastards as most politicians are. The average person in the United States deserves so much more than the shitheads we have that make the important decisions that shape world policy. I have more confidence in the people who are on our kids school boards than the high and mighty pols who reside in Washington. Again it is a shame but something I am afraid will never change. It would be nice to think lucid reasonable people like the ones leaving comments after this article had an actual chance to make a difference but i just don’t see it happening! Sad but true…….reality sucks sometimes!

      Reply
  14. Pingback: Obama Officials Refuse to Say if Assassination Power Extends to US Soil « vineoflife.net

  15. wally3 February 27, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    The biggest crime syndicate ever!
    It is good to know Americans are beginning to realize this.

    Reply

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