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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/7/13

Extrajudicial Killing: Official US Policy

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"Some have argued that the president is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or associated forces."

"This is simply not accurate. 'Due process' and 'judicial process' are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process."

In other words, the UN Charter, Geneva Conventions, other inviolable international laws, constitutional rights, and US statute laws don't apply.

With no evidence or justification whatever, Holder said "a small number of US citizens" plot attacks on America. Citizenship grants no immunity, he claims. They're fair game. They can be targeted and killed extrajudicially.

Pentagon general counsel, Jeh Johnson , made the same case. He claims "(b)elligerents who also happen to be US citizens do not enjoy immunity where non-citizen belligerents are valid military objectives."

"The legal point is important because, in fact, over the last 10 years Al Qaeda has not only become more decentralized, it has also, for the most part, migrated away from Afghanistan to other places where it can find safe haven."

"Within the executive branch the views and opinions of the lawyers on the president's national security team are debated and heavily scrutinized, and a legal review of the application of lethal force is the weightiest judgment a lawyer can make."

"And, when these judgments start to become easy, it is time for me to return to private law practice."

ACLU National Security Project Director Hina Shamsi addressed the white paper. She calls it a "profoundly disturbing document."

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