DHS Nominee Believes US Government Personnel Can Be Legally Assassinated Without Due Process

Here’s the report from Associated Press:

U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets when they take up arms with al-Qaida, top national security lawyers in the Obama administration said Thursday.

The lawyers were asked at a national security conference about the CIA killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and leading al-Qaida figure. He died in a Sept. 30 U.S. drone strike in the mountains of Yemen.

The government lawyers, CIA counsel Stephen Preston and Pentagon counsel Jeh Johnson, did not directly address the al-Awlaki case. But they said U.S. citizens do not have immunity when they are at war with the United States.

Jeh Johnson is Obama’s nominee to direct the Department of Homeland Security. According to radio reports I heard, his first name is pronounced “jay.”

Washington’s blog points out:

This is particularly concerning since the U.S. wants to expand the assassination program to cover “ASSOCIATES of ASSOCIATES” of Al Qaeda … and blurs the lines between bad guys and average Americans. This violates a little thing called the Fifth Amendment.

Given the rule about taking “up arms with Al Qaeda,” one might think Johnson was targeting (not literally on his part) the Executive branch. But the story goes on to stipulate,

Johnson said only the executive branch, not the courts, is equipped to make military battlefield targeting decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.

I can’t envision that he meant for Obama to put himself on his own kill list. I have to assume that he means that Obama can target other people. Would that include others in the State Department or CIA, or only those in other branches of government, like a Senator giving aid and comfort and arms to terrorists who abduct Christians? (For all McCain knows he posed with terrorists who eat hearts and rape Christians; I am only mentioning what has been confirmed.)

Of course, you and I both know Johnson is completely convinced in his own mind that he has said nothing of the kind. When he speaks of people taking up arms with Al Qaeda he has a bunch of exceptions in mind that allow him to give the US government a pass. In reality he thinks the US government always has good reasons for arming and supporting terrorists. Only the people who don’t really matter get put on kill lists.

But I think anyone outside the Federal Masters club knows those rationalizations are simply elitist posturing. The position is undeniable. If you say that the Executive Branch can kill people who take up arms with Al Qaeda, and the government is arming and aiding Al Qaeda, then you are saying that the Executive Branch can kill them without trial.

Interesting to see a guy who has been at the forefront of defending drone assassinations of American citizens be nominated to guard the “homeland.” Since DHS is investing in increasing numbers of drones, I’m curious about what tactics he plans to use. Does this mean DHS will work more closely with the NSA?

Yet when I listened to the radio news this morning, I only heard that Republicans objected to the nomination because he had been an Obama fund raiser. This is too important a post for a mere fundraiser.

Really? The guy even argues that the President cannot be questioned when he targets the teen who is guilty of nothing except not having a “more responsible father,” and that’s the only pushback from Republicans? I am hoping that the radio report was biased and/or incomplete.



Posted in Bureaucrats, Constitution, Foreign Policy, Morality, Police State, Terrorism Tagged with: , , , , , ,
  • http://www.thechristiansolution.com/ The Christian Solution

    In the old days,
    the executive would not assassinate you without due process,
    in the war the executive would not operate without a declaration of war from Congress,
    because you were associated in some way with the Muslim the executive allowed to immigrate into America,
    who was a cousin of the terrorist the executive armed in Syria.

  • parlayer

    Bunker Buster lobbed into the white House right would go a long way toward world peace. “Delivered by a Drone of course” time to take your medicine barrack. Besides I want to see what coins are in the corner stone.

  • Joseph B Campbell

    So who is making the list!?


    Just what is needed, a multi millionaire, fund raising lawyer, with no real security experience or real military background, that wants to concentrate on terror from the skies, as opposed to terror coming across the southern border. Again another unqualified hack to work in the administration.

  • drofelkcahs

    If an American citizen engages US forces in armed combat it is not always a good idea to ask for proof of citizenship before returning fire. Don’t give Obama any ideas about changing the rules of engagement to require ID checks on hostile forces. I don’t think even Obama would dare send military hit squads after American dissidents in US territory.

  • brenda l

    i can think of a couple of folks in dc who would fit that bill

  • Robert N. Schick

    and I thought having a Lesbian who wasn’t qualified to head security for a Gay Pride parade was bad~~Sherriff Joe Arpio should be heading homeland security~~Then the Jihadists or Gangsters getting through our border would be dead has Barry the Fairy’s 2 Gay friends in Chicago~~who were murdered in 08 !

  • badseed78

    Its sounds to me like he is saying that anyone can be labelled an enemy they have already told u who the new enemies are tea party, patriots,Christians,etc.

  • ICorps

    Writer Mark Horne’s astonishing claim about legal assassination of U.S. government personnel or of American citizens without due process is apparently based on what was written in some blog. What more factual, unimpeachable source could there be?

    The blog writer states “That this violates a little thing called the Fifth Amendment.” Someone should inform that writer that there is also a little thing called TREASON, which is defined in the Constitution (Article III, Section 3) as follows: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them [plural is correct, which deserves a separate discussion], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

    I do not like Obama, but that same Constitution makes the president commander in chief of the military (Article II, Section 2), and in that capacity, he IS the only one “equipped to make military battlefield targeting decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.” If you don’t like that, change the Constitution (or vote in a better president).

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