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Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:08 PM

The ACLU's Response To The Drone White Paper

The Justice Departmentís White Paper on Targeted Killing
By Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 10:04pm

<snip>

Michael Isikoff at NBC News has obtained a Justice Department white paper that purports to explain when it would be lawful for the government to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen believed to be affiliated with a terrorist organization. Many of the white paper's arguments are familiar because Attorney General Eric Holder set them out in a speech at Northwestern University in March of last year. But the white paper offers more detail, and in doing so it manages to underscore both the recklessness of the government's central claim and the deficiencies in the government's defense of it.

The 16-page white paper (read it here) is said to summarize a 50-odd page legal memo written in 2010 by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to justify the addition of U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulaqi to the government's "kill lists." That legal memo is one of the documents the ACLU is seeking in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Needless to say, the white paper is not a substitute for the legal memo. But it's a pretty remarkable document.

The paper's basic contention is that the government has the authority to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen if "an informed, high-level official" deems him to present a "continuing" threat to the country. This sweeping authority is said to exist even if the threat presented isn't imminent in any ordinary sense of that word, even if the target has never been charged with a crime or informed of the allegations against him, and even if the target is not located anywhere near an actual battlefield. The white paper purports to recognize some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are so vague and elastic that they will be easily manipulated.

The paper initially suggests, for example, that the government's authority to use lethal force is limited to people who present "imminent" threats, but it then proceeds to redefine the word imminence in a way that deprives the word of its ordinary meaning. The paper does something similar with the phrase "capture is infeasible." It initially sounds like a real limitation but by page 8 it seems to mean only that the government won't use lethal force if capture is more convenient. It's the language of limitsóbut without any real restrictions.

Even more problematic, the paper contends that the limits on the government's claimed authority are not enforceable in any court. ("There exists no appropriate judicial forum to evaluate these constitutional considerations.") According to the white paper, the government has the authority to carry out targeted killings of U.S. citizens without presenting evidence to a judge before the fact or after, and indeed without even acknowledging to the courts or to the public that the authority has been exercised. Without saying so explicitly, the government claims the authority to kill American terrorism suspects in secret.

Some of the white paper's key legal arguments don't stand up to even cursory review...


<snip>

More: http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/justice-departments-white-paper-targeted-killing


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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply The ACLU's Response To The Drone White Paper (Original post)
WillyT Feb 2013 OP
doc03 Feb 2013 #1
WillyT Feb 2013 #2
WillyT Feb 2013 #3
Luminous Animal Feb 2013 #4
WillyT Feb 2013 #5
woo me with science Feb 2013 #6
DonCoquixote Feb 2013 #24
woo me with science Feb 2013 #37
Bonobo Feb 2013 #7
WillyT Feb 2013 #8
hootinholler Feb 2013 #31
WillyT Feb 2013 #9
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #10
WillyT Feb 2013 #11
DirkGently Feb 2013 #12
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 #13
hay rick Feb 2013 #14
riderinthestorm Feb 2013 #15
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #16
WillyT Feb 2013 #17
Hell Hath No Fury Feb 2013 #18
WillyT Feb 2013 #19
WillyT Feb 2013 #20
The Link Feb 2013 #21
WillyT Feb 2013 #22
KakistocracyHater Feb 2013 #29
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #23
bobduca Feb 2013 #25
EastKYLiberal Feb 2013 #26
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #32
Le Taz Hot Feb 2013 #27
OutNow Feb 2013 #28
WillyT Feb 2013 #30
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #33
99Forever Feb 2013 #34
whatchamacallit Feb 2013 #35
woo me with science Feb 2013 #36

Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:14 PM

1. Wow, the Constitution is dead isn't it n/t

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Response to doc03 (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:21 PM

2. Yep... They Might As Well Lower It Down Into The Vault... And Leave It There...

"Placed in the center of the grand 75-foot high domed semi-circular Rotunda, the Charters are currently displayed in a raised marble case, flanked by two 35-foot murals depicting the presentation of the Declaration of Independence to John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, on the left; and James Madison presenting George Washington with the final draft of the U.S. Constitution, on the right. The Declaration is mounted vertically on the wall above the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Each night the Charters are lowered twenty feet into a steel and reinforced concrete vault beneath the display area. Before opening the Rotunda each morning, the documents are mechanically raised into the marble display cases. The two pages not on display (the two middle pages of the Constitution) are stored in the vault and are not on view to the public. George Washington's transmittal page for the Constitution, which is written on parchment, is also stored in the vault."


Link: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_the_Declaration_of_Independence_locked_in_a_vault_when_not_on_display


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:04 PM

3. Kick !!!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:23 PM

4. Kick...

So horribly horribly wrong:

Even more problematic, the paper contends that the limits on the government's claimed authority are not enforceable in any court. ("There exists no appropriate judicial forum to evaluate these constitutional considerations.") According to the white paper, the government has the authority to carry out targeted killings of U.S. citizens without presenting evidence to a judge before the fact or after, and indeed without even acknowledging to the courts or to the public that the authority has been exercised. Without saying so explicitly, the government claims the authority to kill American terrorism suspects in secret.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:25 PM

5. Yep...

I am furious.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:28 PM

6. This is something that should outrage ALL Americans.


When will we have had enough, that we stop circling the wagons?

When will we have had enough, that we stand up together, as Americans, regardless of party, to oppose this shit?

When?

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:37 AM

24. what wagons are there to circle?

The GOp cannot work with us to fix storm damage.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #24)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:19 PM

37. You conflate the GOP leadership with Republicans in the country.

The GOP leadership SUPPORTS totalitarian power grabs like this. They take turns with corporate Democrats to implement them when they are in power.

Many Republicans out in the country are upset about this. I have already seen several utterly ludicrous posts here suggesting that, since Republicans are angry about this power grab, we should support it....circle the wagons around our Democratic President for this shredding of our Constitutions.

ALL Americans should be outraged. This is one of those moments when we have an opportunity to stand up together against what is clearly wrong.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:30 PM

7. That can't be true...

There was this guy on DU that reads a lot of legal memos and HE said it was good and would hold up!!!

I don't believe teh ACLU.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:32 PM

8. LOL !!! - Perfect !!!






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Response to Bonobo (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:33 PM

31. Here is his analysis...

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:15 PM

9. Kick !!!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:16 PM

10. Judicial review is for wimps

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:18 PM

11. Well... It USED To Be... For Americans...

So maybe you're correct.


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:25 PM

12. Ranks with the most vile and transparently bad-faith policy in American history.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:25 PM

13. K&R

 

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:30 PM

14. Paging Mr. Yoo- please report to the oval office.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:39 PM

15. K&R nt

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:01 PM

16. I'm with the ACLU on this, as on most things.

They put the civil in libertarian.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:27 PM

17. Me Too !!!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:35 PM

18. I stand with the ACLU.

They've "got my back".

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:36 PM

19. Same Here !!!







How ya doin ???

How's your mom ?


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:40 AM

20. Kick !!!



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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:47 AM

21. "Some of us don't equate terrorists to ordinary Americans."

 

That is the new progressive in America.

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Response to The Link (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:51 AM

22. Yep... They Are Definitely Scared to Death...

And they will be the death of us all... and the the planet, as we now know it.


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Response to WillyT (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:17 AM

29. and HOW would we know they were real witches &

not just merely labeled if we are never allowed to see/read/hear any evidence that lead to them being branded witches? THAT is the inherent & OBVIOUS illegality.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)


Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:59 AM

25. This Card-Carrying ACLU supporter gives a Kick & Rec

My hard-earned dollars at work!

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:04 AM

26. The same organization that supports Citizens United...

 

What they have to say means shit after that.

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Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:49 PM

32. Well, that's a stupid comment.

I don't agree with the ACLU on every single issue, and I didn't on that one, but I'm not about to shit on the country's leading civil rights organization because of that. They at least have a principled reason for the positions they take, which is more than can be assumed about you.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:12 AM

27. From a Democratic Administration.

My stomach in churning. Tell me why I MUST VOTE DEMOCRAT!!!111!!!! again?

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:25 AM

28. ACLU member for 37 years - the ACLU fights for all of us

I love the Lawyers Guild and the Center for Constitutional Rights and support them too.

They defend our constitutional rights regardless of who sits in the Oval Office.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:12 PM

30. Kick !!!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:51 PM

33. K&R

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:56 PM

34. Just when you think you can't be become...

... any more disgusted with the Barack Obama Administration's policies and actions, they step up and prove you wrong.

Shame, shame, shame.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:59 PM

35. The country died a decade ago but the zombie inhabitants don't know

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:09 PM

36. Kick

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