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So Obama wants to kill an American Citizen

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Posts

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Ann Arbor, MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Allow me to ask this simple question:

    How do you know this guy has violated the law?

    Is it necessary for him to have done so?

    With a kill order on him? Yes, yes it is.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    In that situation, wouldn't the cop have attempted to arrest the suspect first?

    But that's what's happening here too as far as I've read.

    They've changed the order from "Capture" to "Capture or Kill if necessary".

    It's not like they've just abandoned the idea of capturing him all together.

    If Obama's ordering an assassination, that pretty much does explicitly rule out capture.

    Since he's authorizing kill or capture (again, as far as I've read), your if doesn't come into play though.

    I mean really, even if you don't believe anything these people say for a single second, it's still ludicrous to think they wouldn't rather capture him then kill him. This guy probably knows alot. Dead people can't be interrogated.

    This is one of the reasons this controversy rubs me the wrong way. It's not an "assassination order." Crying about him being an American citizen (which, again, is completely irrelevant) is another.

    I feel this is a good opportunity to talk about the use and abuse of executive powers... such as MrMister and ronya and yourself are having.

    Saying Obama authorized the assassination of an American citizen is a big old distraction.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    How else are you going to try people who's crimes and the evidence thereof would necessitate revealing sources and information that has to be kept secret?

    The same way we deal with organized crime, which presents many of the same (if not all of the same) challenges.
    HamHamJ wrote:
    I think as has been said before, no oversight, and no public oversight are not actually the same thing.

    Two of Obama's employees agreeing does not constitute oversight. As far as the news has said, no one outside of the executive branch has even been allowed to see the evidence against this person, let alone give it the go ahead.

    Not to mention, of course, that the real "oversight" built into the constitution here is explicitly outlined in the sixth amendment, (and some places elsewhere), and it is not trivially satisfied.

  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Allow me to ask this simple question:

    How do you know this guy has violated the law?

    Is it necessary for him to have done so?

    With a kill order on him? Yes, yes it is.

    Why? Plenty of people we have actually killed probably never broke US law.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Ann Arbor, MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Allow me to ask this simple question:

    How do you know this guy has violated the law?

    Is it necessary for him to have done so?

    With a kill order on him? Yes, yes it is.

    Why? Plenty of people we have actually killed probably never broke US law.
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Person here being US citizen, which he is. And he is not a member of the armed forces. Hooray!

  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Allow me to ask this simple question:

    How do you know this guy has violated the law?

    Is it necessary for him to have done so?

    With a kill order on him? Yes, yes it is.

    Why? Plenty of people we have actually killed probably never broke US law.
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Person here being US citizen, which he is. And he is not a member of the armed forces. Hooray!

    Except there clearly are exceptions to this.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    This is one of the reasons this controversy rubs me the wrong way. It's not an "assassination order." Crying about him being an American citizen (which, again, is completely irrelevant) is another.

    Well, a "kidnapping order" would also count as false imprisonment when issued against a person simply because the president decided so. The fact that killing is also authorized is just ugly icing on the cake. Furthermore, we really have no concept of whether they are actually going to try to apprehend him or not. In order to know whether he was accidentally or on-purpose killed during a capture attempt there would need to be some sort of public transparency of the sort which is completely lacking.

    It's true that his citizenship may be irrelevant (although I am not sure--I thought there was some SCOTUS precedent from recent Bush terror cases that it could matter). And I think we shouldn't be putting out hits on anyone, regardless of citizenship. But many people disagree with me about that. So I tend to mention his citizenship just because of the existence of so many people who think it should matter.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Ann Arbor, MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I think citizenship should be irrelevant, but I know SCOTUS would disagree with me.

  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Allow me to ask this simple question:

    How do you know this guy has violated the law?

    i doubt he's filed taxes for the last however long he's been in yemen :P

    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Everyone still seems held up on this being a criminal justice matter. Its not. He isn't "Wanted: Dead or Alive" for a violation of US law.

    Hell, let's say we did want to try Anwar al-Alwaki for a crime. What crime would you like to charge him with considering he has spent decades outside US jurisdiction? That would be illegal. You don't have to be a criminal to be a threat to the national security of the United States. Indeed, its a violation of international law to try a prisoner of war under most circumstances.

    The 5th Amendment doesn't say anything about citizenship. Non-citizens have Due Process Rights.
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation
    Applying this beyond US borders to military matters is nonsensical. One would never suggest that before we attacked an enemy position, the military had to demonstrate that each of the soldiers holding that position beyond a reasonable doubt were guilty of a crime or a that the judicial branch must determine whether each soldier was a threat to US national security. Applying criminal justice standards to the conduct of war doesn't work.

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I just wanted to note that this thread title and the finger pointing is super-loaded; it implies Obama is doing something heinously unheard of (unique) with regard to the United States government. So what I'm saying is the OP's intent was drumming up shit against Obama, rather than discussing the issue.

    That said, the guy, even if a traitor to the United States and actively engaging in terrorism, does need to be captured (if possible) and brought to trial and sentencing. Pursuing his death immediately is wrong though. Check me out, with my totally not-different opinion.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit." - @Ludious
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Ann Arbor, MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    Applying criminal justice standards to the conduct of war doesn't work.

    Applying the standards of war to a criminal justice matter doesn't work and only breeds the problem.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    Applying criminal justice standards to the conduct of war doesn't work.

    Applying the standards of war to a criminal justice matter doesn't work and only breeds the problem.

    He isn't being charged with a crime, and given that he hasn't set foot in US jurisdiction in decades by all reports, he couldn't be. It would be illegal under both federal and international law to arrest him and charge him with a violation of US law. Its not illegal under federal or international law to authorize a US forces to enemy leader outside US soil under the explicit authorization of the US Congress.

    FDR ordered the killing of Admiral Yamamoto. That wasn't a Due Process violation, it was part of a war. Clinton launching cruise missiles at OBL, or Obama using Predator drones to target specific Taliban or AQ leaders in Waziristan or Bush targetting al-Zarqawi aren't Due Process violations. Neither is this.

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Ann Arbor, MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Yamamoto isn't relevant with an actual war declaration, he was a uniformed officer. You'll note that all of those other things are shitty, backfiring policy.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Yamamoto isn't relevant with an actual war declaration, he was a uniformed officer. You'll note that all of those other things are shitty, backfiring policy.

    The AUMF has been found legally equivalent to a declaration of war in nearly every way. And um....no on the rest.

    ed
    And even if we were to accept arguendo that those were "shitty backfiring polic[ies]" that does not in anyway address their legality.

    And honestly, a policy where we tried to get rid of OBL several years before 9/11, or eliminated one of the more effective leaders of our enemies in Iraq (which the foreign AQ Wazirists militias in Iraq certainly were) were shitty or backfiring. You're just knee jerking now.

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Ann Arbor, MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    Yamamoto isn't relevant with an actual war declaration, he was a uniformed officer. You'll note that all of those other things are shitty, backfiring policy.

    The AUMF has been found legally equivalent to a declaration of war in nearly every way. And um....no on the rest.

    Yamamoto was a uniformed officer! Very different thing.

  • HozHoz Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Yeah, he was all dressed up and clean shaven.

  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    Yamamoto isn't relevant with an actual war declaration, he was a uniformed officer. You'll note that all of those other things are shitty, backfiring policy.

    The AUMF has been found legally equivalent to a declaration of war in nearly every way. And um....no on the rest.

    Yamamoto was a uniformed officer! Very different thing.

    So if the other side decides to skimp on uniforms we're fucked and can't do anything to them?

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Ann Arbor, MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    To address the edit: I think fighting terrorism as if it was a war is a dumb idea, because you're elevating a bunch of trumped up murders to the equivalent of a nation state. Furthermore, I think unless you have perfect intelligence, you're going to do more harm than good. If I recall Petraeus' estimate, for example, every innocent we kill creates 10 people who hate us enough to join (insert terrorist organization here). So yeah, if Clinton's strikes took out bin Laden woooo, but they didn't and are instead pointed to as one of a series of atrocities we've committed. Awesome!

    It's a law enforcement matter, and should be dealt with within our legal system, or within a new international legal system such as the ICC.

    Terrorism is not and never has been an existential threat. The existential threat is responding to it with ham handed displays of force and perverting the rule of law to "protect us" when that is an essentially impossible goal. In the long run, 9/11 killed 3,000 people and did billions of dollars of damage. Our response to 9/11 has done considerably more than that on both fronts. Alternately, Hamas is not and never has been an existential threat to Israel. Israel's response to Hamas and embargoing Gaza in an incredibly violent fashion so as to turn most of world opinion against them? That's a bit of a threat to them. Terrorists have the goal of doing something spectacular in the hopes that your response will be dumb because that's the only way they win.

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    Applying criminal justice standards to the conduct of war doesn't work.

    Applying the standards of war to a criminal justice matter doesn't work and only breeds the problem.

    He isn't being charged with a crime, and given that he hasn't set foot in US jurisdiction in decades by all reports, he couldn't be. It would be illegal under both federal and international law to arrest him and charge him with a violation of US law. Its not illegal under federal or international law to authorize a US forces to enemy leader outside US soil under the explicit authorization of the US Congress.
    This isn't correct. There are any number of Federal laws this guy has probably violated and could be charged with. Most of those laws only apply to him because he's a US citizen- treason, for example. John Walker Lindh was convicted for crimes he committed outside of US territory.

    If you're an American citizen and you engage in hostilities against the US, you can be charged with a number of crimes. On the other hand, a non-citizen engaged in hostilities outside of the US is often not violating any US laws. An uniformed Iraqi soldier who shot American soldiers during one of the wars in that country is not guilty of any crime.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • doramide7doramide7 Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Wishpig wrote: »
    He looks diffrent than me. Therefore I agree with the president... he looks ethnic and guilty!

    Well, he almost certainly is guilty. But that doesn't mean we get to skip that whole "due process" thing.

    There is nil chance of due process here, even in the secret-trial approach; we have to wholly discard trial by jury and so on. Note that due process entails no trials in absentia either, and we can't exactly find al-Alwaki to begin with.

    It is, I think, less a matter of ensuring process justice than of ensuring some mechanism of oversight. As it stands, the current formal procedure of putting people on the CIA "kill list" apparently requires US NSC consent; unfortunately, since it seems that the National Security Council is pretty much made of the President and his administration's appointees, it can probably do whatever its main ideological leader (e.g., the position Cheney apparently occupied in Bush II) can talk the Joint Chiefs of Staff into doing. This isn't much oversight; we do know that ideologically similar groups of individuals can convince themselves to do some pretty egregious things.

    I feel like the debacle that has been Guantanamo Bay pretty much proves that american citizens shouldn't be trusting the govt's claims of secret proof, like ever, as secret proof seems to be nothing but a code word for "no proof" these days.

    It's entirely possible this is one bad dude, but then that shouldn't make it very hard to make a criminal out of him and arrest him, it certainly hasn't stopped the US before. Field of battle is one thing, but assassination, while of great immediate benefit, seems to have far reaching long term issues.

    My preferred solution would be to have some kind of process where a jury can review evidence against someone in this situation and make every effort to keep it secret. I don't have a problem with assassination by itself, the part of this that rankles me is the "we have evidence but we're not gonna show it to anyone" part.

    I have a reasonable amount of trust that this guy probably really is a scumbag and a threat to the country and world, but from here it's a short walk to deseparecido-type abuses of power. For all the comedic hay that's made out of comparing this or that to what the Nazis did, this really is something that blurs the line between a representative government and a totalitarian one.
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  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Henroid wrote: »
    I just wanted to note that this thread title and the finger pointing is super-loaded; it implies Obama is doing something heinously unheard of (unique) with regard to the United States government. So what I'm saying is the OP's intent was drumming up shit against Obama, rather than discussing the issue.

    That said, the guy, even if a traitor to the United States and actively engaging in terrorism, does need to be captured (if possible) and brought to trial and sentencing. Pursuing his death immediately is wrong though. Check me out, with my totally not-different opinion.
    OP here. Perhaps Obama isn't doing something unique, that doesn't make it any better. Am I upset about this? Yes. Am I trying to drum shit up against Obama? No. I supported him during the election and I still support him now because so long as the alternative is the Republican party there isn't much he can do that'll make him look worse then them.

    For all the people saying this should be treated as a military matter, then do you think that if captured he should be treated as a Prisoner of War? Presumably if he were to be captured he would be tried for crimes and convicted, doesn't that make this a criminal matter? Should John Walker Lindh be in a Prisoner of War camp instead of a prison right now? Because it seems to me that saying that until they are captured it should be treated as a military matter, but the moment we actually have him it is time to try him for his crimes is the height of silly goose hypocrisy.

  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Neaden wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    I just wanted to note that this thread title and the finger pointing is super-loaded; it implies Obama is doing something heinously unheard of (unique) with regard to the United States government. So what I'm saying is the OP's intent was drumming up shit against Obama, rather than discussing the issue.

    That said, the guy, even if a traitor to the United States and actively engaging in terrorism, does need to be captured (if possible) and brought to trial and sentencing. Pursuing his death immediately is wrong though. Check me out, with my totally not-different opinion.
    OP here. Perhaps Obama isn't doing something unique, that doesn't make it any better. Am I upset about this? Yes. Am I trying to drum shit up against Obama? No. I supported him during the election and I still support him now because so long as the alternative is the Republican party there isn't much he can do that'll make him look worse then them.

    For all the people saying this should be treated as a military matter, then do you think that if captured he should be treated as a Prisoner of War?

    Yes.
    Presumably if he were to be captured he would be tried for crimes and convicted, doesn't that make this a criminal matter?

    No. The Nuremberg trials didn't suddenly make WWII actually a criminal matter. And transferring someone captured by the military to judicial authority if they had also committed crimes would not make the original capture not a military matter.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Neaden wrote: »
    For all the people saying this should be treated as a military matter, then do you think that if captured he should be treated as a Prisoner of War?

    It depends on how you define 'war' (I'm 100% serious, by the way). Some think the 'War on Terror' isn't actually a war, and simply a series of tactical strikes / aggressive measures on known terrorist groups, agencies, etc. Some think we are indeed at war though.

    In the latter case, the answer would be 'yes.' I however don't think we're in a war as is generally perceived, so the military issue / prisoner of war aspect has no bearing.

    Though just a note, whether he were a prisoner of war or simply a civilian prisoner, we'd have to treat him fairly humanely. It doesn't matter. The difference is what kind of justice system we run him through. Either way, he's on his way to sentencing.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit." - @Ludious
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  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    doramide7 wrote: »
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Wishpig wrote: »
    He looks diffrent than me. Therefore I agree with the president... he looks ethnic and guilty!

    Well, he almost certainly is guilty. But that doesn't mean we get to skip that whole "due process" thing.

    There is nil chance of due process here, even in the secret-trial approach; we have to wholly discard trial by jury and so on. Note that due process entails no trials in absentia either, and we can't exactly find al-Alwaki to begin with.

    It is, I think, less a matter of ensuring process justice than of ensuring some mechanism of oversight. As it stands, the current formal procedure of putting people on the CIA "kill list" apparently requires US NSC consent; unfortunately, since it seems that the National Security Council is pretty much made of the President and his administration's appointees, it can probably do whatever its main ideological leader (e.g., the position Cheney apparently occupied in Bush II) can talk the Joint Chiefs of Staff into doing. This isn't much oversight; we do know that ideologically similar groups of individuals can convince themselves to do some pretty egregious things.

    I feel like the debacle that has been Guantanamo Bay pretty much proves that american citizens shouldn't be trusting the govt's claims of secret proof, like ever, as secret proof seems to be nothing but a code word for "no proof" these days.

    It's entirely possible this is one bad dude, but then that shouldn't make it very hard to make a criminal out of him and arrest him, it certainly hasn't stopped the US before. Field of battle is one thing, but assassination, while of great immediate benefit, seems to have far reaching long term issues.

    My preferred solution would be to have some kind of process where a jury can review evidence against someone in this situation and make every effort to keep it secret. I don't have a problem with assassination by itself, the part of this that rankles me is the "we have evidence but we're not gonna show it to anyone" part.

    I have a reasonable amount of trust that this guy probably really is a scumbag and a threat to the country and world, but from here it's a short walk to deseparecido-type abuses of power. For all the comedic hay that's made out of comparing this or that to what the Nazis did, this really is something that blurs the line between a representative government and a totalitarian one.
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    I just don't understand why it has to be secret at all. If you have evidence that a guy is up to no good, good evidence, not just some neighbor of the guy looking to collect a bounty to feed his family, than why the secrecy? What real damage or safety is compromised by airing that evidence in a court of law once you arrest the guy? Why is it that we're in the position of arguing if it's ok for the President and Govt to assassinate US citizens at all? I mean....the answer should unequivocally be no. We even give child molesters the benefit of a trial.

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    I just don't understand why it has to be secret at all. If you have evidence that a guy is up to no good, good evidence, not just some neighbor of the guy looking to collect a bounty to feed his family, than why the secrecy? What real damage or safety is compromised by airing that evidence in a court of law once you arrest the guy?
    A couple of points about evidence in the context of a terrorist operating overseas:

    1) Revealing your evidence could lead to compromising ongoing operations and sources. In many cases, that could put American operatives and local allies in danger.

    2) Much of the evidence is probably collected in a manner that would make it inadmissible in American courts.

    The type of evidence collected and the form of investigation done in an overseas terrorism case is quite different from when the FBI goes after bank robbers.
    Why is it that we're in the position of arguing if it's ok for the President and Govt to assassinate US citizens at all? I mean....the answer should unequivocally be no. We even give child molesters the benefit of a trial.
    People within US territory get the protection of the Constitution. Outside of American territory, the applicability of the Constitution is a gray area. No one would argue that German soldiers captured on the battlefield in WWII had the right to counsel, for example. If this guy in Yemen was not an American citizen, we wouldn't be having this debate.

    As a combatant against the US, this guy's citizenship shouldn't be an issue, IMO. Since he has taken a role in an organization that is hostile to the US, I don't see an issue with US forces firing a missile at him if they get a chance.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    I just don't understand why it has to be secret at all. If you have evidence that a guy is up to no good, good evidence, not just some neighbor of the guy looking to collect a bounty to feed his family, than why the secrecy? What real damage or safety is compromised by airing that evidence in a court of law once you arrest the guy?

    Really? You don't see how the kind of group which would kill thousands of civilians might exact revenge on an informant? You don't see how, in a small, tight-knit group, just revealing that there was a human informant might expose him? You don't see how it might be possible that we would want to keep that informant so he could give us information on others in the group?

    You don't see how identifying the technique we used to target someone could be detrimental? You don't see that if we identified, say, mobile phones as the way we targeted them, then they might stop using mobile phones? You don't see that if they were aware that mobile phones were used for targeting, and had procedures in place to mitigate that, then they could slowly work out (through trial and error and communicating lessons among a group) exactly how we used mobile phones to target them, and thus avoid it?

    You don't see that it might be ever so slightly detrimental if every time you took out a target, you had to recruit an entirely new intelligence network or invent an entirely new technology, because you blew your old one by publicising how you did it? You don't see how, in a situation where there are a lot of potential targets trying to attack us, that might endanger lives by slowing operations against them down to a crawl?

    How hard are you trying?
    Modern Man wrote:
    People within US territory get the protection of the Constitution. Outside of American territory, the applicability of the Constitution is a gray area. No one would argue that German soldiers captured on the battlefield in WWII had the right to counsel, for example. If this guy in Yemen was not an American citizen, we wouldn't be having this debate.

    Bingo. This has happened before (US citizens fighting vs the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, WW2, WW1, etc), and it will happen again. You had a bit of a civil war a while back I seem to remember, fairly sure Lincoln ordered a lot of US citizens killed then.

    I completely agree that the real threat of terrorism is from the reaction to it rather than the act. However, if you think that the act of killing as many people as possible for political effect isn't one of 'war', then you have issues. Furthermore, if you agree with this line of argument, please remember the next time 3,000 people are killed in a terrorist act against the US, to tell everyone you know (or yourself if your friends are involved) to just man up and accept that this is part of the world we live in - as I'm sure you did nine years ago. Please also tell all the people who don't agree with you, and would rather not live under threat of an unlikely but rather inconvenient incident of wholesale murder, that they should be happy they are free to get killed en masse. Yes?

    I honestly do think that we over-react to the terrorist threat, but that debate isn't quite as easy or one-sided as some people have made it seem. Killing a man who has openly and avowedly sided and planned with existential enemies (whatever you think about the threat, it's hard to argue that this isn't an existential struggle for suicide bombers) of the US, while threatening people for practicing the freedoms you are worried about protecting, doesn't seem to be too much of a stretch - whatever his passport says.

  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    German soldiers have little to do with the issue, as they aren't american citizens, furthermore you're trying to apply an example using an actual war between nations to dealing with terrorist groups, two entirely different things.

    Secondly I don't believe that an american citizen loses constitutional protections from the US govt as soon they step off of american soil. True they cannot expect their rights to apply in another country, but by and large their president shouldn't be able to unilaterally declare them assassination targets while living abroad in spain either. And that really goes to the heart of the issue for me. Today it's a brown skinned guy with a beard who probably actually is up to no good, and his death warrant has been signed by Obama who I trust to make sound decisions. What about tomorrow, when it's Sarah Palin doing the signing, or someone with actual ill intent, what exactly do we do when there's absolutely zero checks in place to ensure someone with a score to settle doesn't abuse this? Because it will be abused, and it will not go away when the scourge of terrorism is no longer the hot button issue. The question is what hot button issue will it be next?

    As to evidence pertaining to terrorist investigations. Only in terrorism is there this crazy zeal for secrecy, and in truth it does no one any good. While I'm reasonably sure there are certain things that need to be kept secret, american courts have had no problem dealing with that issue and still presenting facts publicly in a trial. Secondly, I tend to believe that any "plots" still in incubation would likely no longer continue to exist once you start hauling in the individual suspects. Furthermore any allies or operatives would immediately be in danger once people started being hauled off or killed, as it would be pretty obvious a spy was afoot.

    And this:
    2) Much of the evidence is probably collected in a manner that would make it inadmissible in American courts.
    is a huge part of why I have a problem with the president making kill lists. Why is it inadmissible?

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Ann Arbor, MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    There's also a philosophical issue here: I'd rather know what my government is doing than be marginally "more safe."

  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    So you post this:
    I honestly do think that we over-react to the terrorist threat..............

    But then above that you post this:
    I completely agree that the real threat of terrorism is from the reaction to it rather than the act. However, if you think that the act of killing as many people as possible for political effect isn't one of 'war', then you have issues. Furthermore, if you agree with this line of argument, please remember the next time 3,000 people are killed in a terrorist act against the US, to tell everyone you know (or yourself if your friends are involved) to just man up and accept that this is part of the world we live in - as I'm sure you did nine years ago. Please also tell all the people who don't agree with you, and would rather not live under threat of an unlikely but rather inconvenient incident of wholesale murder, that they should be happy they are free to get killed en masse. Yes?

    A bit much don't you think? Just because 3000 people are killed doesn't mean we abandon the very foundation of our laws in a bloodlust for revenge.

    Edit: Furthermore, it's a pretty cheap move to imply that I don't give a shit about 9/11 just because I want the government to do things more transparently in regards to terrorism. I'm not comfortable with the CIA and president making assassination lists on their own volition, in fact I have a very serious problem with it, same as I do torture.

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    Secondly I don't believe that an american citizen loses constitutional protections from the US govt as soon they step off of american soil. True they cannot expect their rights to apply in another country, but by and large their president shouldn't be able to unilaterally declare them assassination targets while living abroad in spain either.
    Presumably, you'd be okay if this was a non-American citizen being targetted? I'm not sure I see how you can logically say that the President can order a hostile foreigner to be killed, while a hostile American gets some sort of special protection.

    And this:
    2) Much of the evidence is probably collected in a manner that would make it inadmissible in American courts.
    is a huge part of why I have a problem with the president making kill lists. Why is it inadmissible?
    Without giving a lecture on Criminal Evidence 101, the problem is that for evidence to be admissible in a criminal trial in the US, it needs to meet certain standards when it comes to how it is collected, who does the collecting and the ability of the accused to confront witnesses and the like.

    If you have evidence, such as information or documents given to the US military or CIA by a Jordanian security official (who is not going to come to the trial to be cross-examined), it's not going to meet legal standards of admissibility.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    This whole "does the constitution apply outside the borders" thing is relatively recent. As I understand it, for the bulk of the US' existence, whenever the US government was involved they held the constitution as law regardless of if they were applying it to a foreigner on US soil or an American on foreign soil

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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    This whole "does the constitution apply outside the borders" thing is relatively recent. As I understand it, for the bulk of the US' existence, whenever the US government was involved they held the constitution as law regardless of if they were applying it to a foreigner on US soil or an American on foreign soil
    I'm not sure that's correct. We've killed lots of foreigners in wars and no one is going to argue that they had the right to a trial before they were shot or bombed.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    This whole "does the constitution apply outside the borders" thing is relatively recent. As I understand it, for the bulk of the US' existence, whenever the US government was involved they held the constitution as law regardless of if they were applying it to a foreigner on US soil or an American on foreign soil
    I'm not sure that's correct. We've killed lots of foreigners in wars and no one is going to argue that they had the right to a trial before they were shot or bombed.

    Thats within the context of war, and not against american citizens except those engaged in treason.

    This doesn't really have an analog to conventional warfare.

    sig.jpg
  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    Secondly I don't believe that an american citizen loses constitutional protections from the US govt as soon they step off of american soil. True they cannot expect their rights to apply in another country, but by and large their president shouldn't be able to unilaterally declare them assassination targets while living abroad in spain either.
    Presumably, you'd be okay if this was a non-American citizen being targetted? I'm not sure I see how you can logically say that the President can order a hostile foreigner to be killed, while a hostile American gets some sort of special protection.

    And this:
    2) Much of the evidence is probably collected in a manner that would make it inadmissible in American courts.
    is a huge part of why I have a problem with the president making kill lists. Why is it inadmissible?
    Without giving a lecture on Criminal Evidence 101, the problem is that for evidence to be admissible in a criminal trial in the US, it needs to meet certain standards when it comes to how it is collected, who does the collecting and the ability of the accused to confront witnesses and the like.

    If you have evidence, such as information or documents given to the US military or CIA by a Jordanian security official (who is not going to come to the trial to be cross-examined), it's not going to meet legal standards of admissibility.

    I believe that the american govt should not be employing assassination period. Now obviously what constitutes assassination can be gray, especially with drone strikes complicating things. But in this specific case, I do believe that an american, even one committing acts against the US is still afforded rights under the constitution until he/she is stripped of them. Meaning because this guy is a citizen, and because the govt has not found him engaged in actual violence, then no, they cannot simply mark him as a kill target as you would in an actual war between nations. Nor can they simply call him guilty, apply the death penalty in absentia, and tell the american public to just trust us, he's totally a bad guy.

    Well I'm sorry, I can't trust the government to make that determination because many many mistakes have been made. And this goes to your remarks about evidence. You make good points, and I agree with you, but I tend to think that we need to do better with evidence collection, and transparency, because it's been shown that in the power vacuum we have right now, shortcuts will be taken, documents and evidence will be coerced or misrepresented, and innocent people will be horribly affected. And it all will be hidden under a layer of secrecy.

    If you're ok with assassination of a political target by the US govt, are you also ok with torture to produce confessions?

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    If you're ok with assassination of a political target by the US govt, are you also ok with torture to produce confessions?
    I'm okay with the use of torture against non-American citizens outside of US territory in certain, limited circumstances. That does not include the use of torture to secure a confession. Any such confession would be inadmissable in a criminal trial, anyway.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I'm okay with the use of torture against non-American citizens outside of US territory in certain, limited circumstances.

    I don't get this idea that human rights are for American only

    sig.jpg
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    German soldiers have little to do with the issue, as they aren't american citizens, furthermore you're trying to apply an example using an actual war between nations to dealing with terrorist groups, two entirely different things.

    History lesson: ethnic German US citizens fought against the US in both World Wars. So, yes, this is comparable.

    And I'm using an example of people actually trying to fight the US government and kill US citizens for being from the US, so I don't think this is entirely as separated from national conflicts as you seem to think.
    As to evidence pertaining to terrorist investigations. Only in terrorism is there this crazy zeal for secrecy, and in truth it does no one any good.

    In truth I think the informants who aren't getting killed think it does a bit of good.

    Your point is also total wank. The Cold War spy era had no crazy zeal for secrecy? Intelligence agencies were open houses before 9/11? And how would you know it does nobody any good if, in fact, it's been the status quo for decades. Please show me a completely transparent intelligence agency somewhere around the world which does a good job.

    You are sounding extremely ignorant right now.
    While I'm reasonably sure there are certain things that need to be kept secret, american courts have had no problem dealing with that issue and still presenting facts publicly in a trial. Secondly, I tend to believe that any "plots" still in incubation would likely no longer continue to exist once you start hauling in the individual suspects. Furthermore any allies or operatives would immediately be in danger once people started being hauled off or killed, as it would be pretty obvious a spy was afoot.

    So essentially you are basing this on a best-case, perfect world scenario, based off what you want to believe rather than what the people who do this professionally have decided should be done? Fine, I think why that is a bad idea is pretty self-explanatory.

    But I am interested to hear how you propose the FBI and the like are going to haul off these suspects to be brought to trial, seeing as they are hiding in lawless provinces of foreign countries surrounded by militia, without the help of the military.
    A bit much don't you think? Just because 3000 people are killed doesn't mean we abandon the very foundation of our laws in a bloodlust for revenge.

    It's only the "foundation of our laws" if you want to take a pretty narrow reading of both your laws and the possible courses of action vs terrorism. The "foundation of our laws" aimed to prevent the government from violently oppressing the governed to impose their political will on them. Killing selected people because they believe they are actively trying to kill / have killed other US citizens doesn't quite fit that description. Hell, you do it all the time with the death penalty.

    So you come back to the bit which is missing being the judicial process: again, I'm interested in how you intend to arrest and try these people in FATA, Yemen and Somalia. And this isn't a bloodlust for revenge - it's trying to prevent someone who is planning to kill more people from doing so.
    There's also a philosophical issue here: I'd rather know what my government is doing than be marginally "more safe."

    This doesn't address the other philosophical issue that when some people see this (justifiably) as an existential threat to their lives, if not the material of the country, how do you assert that your desire to know what the government does should take precedence over the threat to their life?
    This doesn't really have an analog to conventional warfare.

    What part of "people are trying to kill you" isn't analagous?

  • Irond WillIrond Will Dragonmaster Cambridge. MASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited October 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I'm okay with the use of torture against non-American citizens outside of US territory in certain, limited circumstances.

    I don't get this idea that human rights are for American only

    the implication is that US constitutional rights are a superset of "human rights"

    that is, they contain all the meaningful human rights that we are willing to adhere to, as well as a collection of extra rights granted to people willing to abide by our social contract.

    Wqdwp8l.png
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I'm okay with the use of torture against non-American citizens outside of US territory in certain, limited circumstances.

    I don't get this idea that human rights are for American only

    the implication is that US constitutional rights are a superset of "human rights"

    that is, they contain all the meaningful human rights that we are willing to adhere to, as well as a collection of extra rights granted to people willing to abide by our social contract.

    Oh I get that, but I would think freedom from torture would be one of the big ones.
    What part of "people are trying to kill you" isn't analagous?

    Yes incredibly simplistic views are certainly the best attitude we can take.

    sig.jpg
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